Thursday, 21 April 2016

Safety on the Run with Armpocket

Let me start this post with a confession. I am not always a safe runner. I hate carrying a phone, I rarely have ID, I don't have one of those info bands or tags for my shoes. I don't have a good reason other that I get really irritated by having things in my pockets. They rattle, keys jingle, phones feel heavy.

A couple of weeks ago on a run my friend T laughed and laughed when I said I brought my bank card as ID. I was sort of serious. When Armpocket offered me the opportunity to test out one of their arm bands for running, I was excited but apprehensive. I have tried belts and backpacks in the past and have not been a fan.

I went with the purple aero-i10 model because it was best for my phone (the super reliable but slightly outdated IPhone 5s :) ).

Here is what I loved about it:
  • There is a separate pouch inside for my bank card, ID and a key.
  • It was tight enough to stay up on my arms (note: I need to work on arm strength)
  • There was no chafing.
  • The colour was great!
  • There are two small holes in the bottom for ear phones for your phone. 
Here are some other benefits:

Comfort: ergonomic design paired with cushioned memory foam, soft moisture-wicking rayon bamboo and durable sport velcro conforms to your arm and stays in place.
Protection: Weather and sweat proof.
Quality: Built to be durable and last. Made from sustainable Eco-friendly PET fabric, natural rayon bamboo, with pristine stitching and double zipper closure.
Convenience: Keep your protective case on your phone. Easy touch screen navigation and audio port function. Interior storage for ID, keys, and more.

I feel the Armpocket will be particularly good for long distance trail runs when I really should have a way to contact someone in case of emergency.  There are a lot of other colour options if purple isn't your thing.

Thank you Armpocket for the chance to try your brand and product!

Do you carry a phone? How do you practice safe running?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Race Schedule for 2016

I am a little late posting this, but there is nothing quite like sharing your race schedule to make sure you have an accountability mechanism in place.

Last year I ended up racing a few too many runs a bit too close together. This year I have more of a plan with a mix of distances.

2016 Races

May 1: Winnipeg police half (training run)

April/May: United Cycle Trail Series (5 runs, 4.5-7.5k)

July 3: Great White North Duathlon (10/40/5)

July 23: 5 Peaks Camrose (12.5k)

August 10: Seawheeze (½ marathon)

Sept/Oct: Franks Trail Race Series

October 9: Grizzly Ultra (26k)

That's it in a nutshell! I would love to hear what your race plans look like for the year. The duathlon is a fist for me and I am trying to do more trail running.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The thing about self-doubt

We have all been there. 80 per cent of the way through a training cycle you begin to think “maybe my goal was too lofty”, “there is no way I can crack that time”, “what if I don’t finish”.  I call this the “I can’t” phase. Not every runner experiences it to the same degree. My husband, for example, never doubts.  Maybe this is because he puts more work in than me and trusts the algorithm of training completely.  Maybe he has not felt the crushing pain at km 18 or 39 that screams you should just quit.
Recently a running friend who is closing in on her first full marathon asked me if the long runs ever get easier.  My short answer was no, but I thought about it after and realized what she was really experiencing was the tiny seeds of self-doubt trying to plan themselves.  “It is too hard”, “I can’t do it”…“what was I thinking”.  This discussion came as follow up to one a few days earlier when she asked me if I ever felt like I just “could not get through a workout”.  For the record, if anyone ever tells you they have not experienced this they are not being truthful.

Why does this happen so often throughout the training cycle and what can a runner do to combat these negative feelings?
I think the first thing is realizing it is normal to feel this way. You are getting closer and closer to a big goal. Big goals are scary, even terrifying at times.  You are also tired.  Training volume is near its peak and your body and mind are exhausted. This is all part of the plan and the glorious taper week(s) that will be coming your way.

As someone who doesn’t have a particularly strong mental game leading up to a race, here are some things that work for me:

·         Resist the urge to run more than your training plan calls for.  Runners tend to take a more is better approach. We are horrible at listening to our bodies and will push through a workout rather than take a much needed rest day, shorten a run or pull back on pace.

·         Find a running mantra. Some of my favorites are “it’s not supposed to be easy” and “you are stronger than you think”.

·         Believe in the process.  If you put in the work, you have to trust that on race day you will tap into that next level.

·         Prioritize self-care (aka take a break). There comes a time when a break will be much better for you than feeling you did not hit a workout. It is ok to rest, regroup and come back and crush a workout.  The training benefit is also better.  I’m not saying miss a week or two, but try to listen to the signals your body (and mind) are sending your way.

Do you experience a lot of doubt leading up to a race? Do you have a go to mantra while training or racing?