Sunday, 24 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

I am calling this a reset week. A week when you take a step back, evaluate your recent workouts, heart rate data, and how you felt during the week.  It was also a really busy week at work so when plans got sidetracked I just went with it.

Monday, Feb 18  – 70 minute ride (with 2x8min threshold tests)
Tuesday, Feb 19 –  OFF - traveled to Calgary
Wednesday, Feb 20 – OFF
Thursday, Feb 21 – 60 minutes on trainer (Gayley ride on TrainerRoad - avg HR: 136)
Friday, Feb 22  – OFF
Saturday, Feb 23 – 1.5 hr track session, ColdestNight Walk
Sunday, Feb 24 - 9k long slow distance (avg HR: 142 - Finally!)

So yes, I took 3 rest days this week but all of my workouts were higher quality.  I was sad to miss hill training on Wednesday but I worked really late and had a bad day for eating so squeezing them in didn't make sense.

So this week things are back on track with my run group. I should get in a Tue and Wed run and 1-2 rides before we leave on our mini vacation.


Friday, 22 February 2013

Countdown to vacation

In one week we will be flying to Seattle. Thank goodness! We haven't taken time off since November so even a day and a half tacked on to a weekend seems like a gift.  side note: I am also already counting down the weeks until Easter and the 4 day weekend!

Things I look forward to on our trip include:

  • The Seattle Hot Chocolate Run (running on cement and not slush and snow!)

  • Whole Foods!

  • Vegan food

  • Vegetarian Sushi

  • Shopping!!

  • AND... Welcoming in 30 years for J 😄

This week my sister flew to Arizona with her family to spend some time with my parents.  Unfortunately they brought pink eye with them. Ahh the joys of having two toddlers right? Regardless, I am jealous that they are having a family vacation sans me and J.

Today marks a day of remembering a wonderful woman.  My Gran passed away two years ago today, and I still miss her.  When we got the news, I flew to Scotland to meet my dad there for her funeral. During the 18 months I lived in Edinburgh I got to know my Grandma as an adult. Something I will always treasure.   When we cleaned out her house, I took home a little tiny journal with me that documented the first time she met me.  I hope that someday I will at least show half of her wonderful qualities.

Scan 8

So I am sorry that this is a mopey post. It really has been a busy week full of very exciting changes and of course, the house hunt continues.  Oh and my bestie is coming up from Calgary tomorrow to spend the day with me!

TGIF! Does anyone else feel like Spring is coming??

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A better ride

Hello Tuesday! Today I am flying to Calgary for a day of meetings, which means this four day week is really a 3 day week in the office. Not bad : ) The good things about travel days are trying new places for lunch and meeting folks really passionate about their work, the downside is my 5am alarm and 6pm return flight probably means I won't make my run today.

As promised, here is some more info on TrainerRoad. Since December I have been enjoying spin sessions on my bike on our new trainer.  But between you and me I kind of dread them. I don't have J's ability to pound out intervals on my own and I have a hard time making the rides worthwhile.  To combat the boredom I started looking into training videos like thesufferfest and using my ipod to guide my cadence. 

It was under the "indoor resources" tab on the Sufferfest that I found TrainerRoad. For about $60 ($10 a month fee and the purchase of a $50 Garmin speed and cadence sensor) I now have a virtual power set up.

Yesterday I did the 8 minute threshold test - 1 hr cycling with 2 all out 8 minute efforts. It was so tough and i was actually shocked at how low my power output was.  But on the plus side, I now have a solid base line to work onwards and upwards from.

This post only covers the basics but I would be happy to share more once I have the system down to a fine art : )

Enjoy this short week!


p.s. Is anyone else over winter by about now?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

Recapping this week:

Monday, Feb 11  – Buns & Bellies
Tuesday, Feb 12 –  Tempo run (avg HR: 162)
Wednesday, Feb 14– OFF
Thursday, Feb 14 – Cardio Circuit class, Evening Hill Training (4x400m)
Friday, Feb 15  –40 min interval spin on the trainer
Saturday, Feb 16 – OFF
Sunday, Feb 17 - 11k long slow distance (avg HR: 154 - getting better)

I have to show you all something weird. That is a snapshot of my long slow distance run today. My HR was all over the place and I was having a really hard time breathing. Air quality hasn't been great the past couple of weeks in Edmonton, but I think it was actually the warm temps and melting this week because I was wheezing pretty bad.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 5.39.55 PM

I actually took more rest days this week because my workouts have been really hard like I was hitting the wall with very little effort. It is frustrating! I am hoping it is just a low week and next week I will be back to normal. My friend suggested maybe I am fighting something because all I have wanted to do is sleep too.

I hope this week is better! I got a new cadence/speed sensor to motivate me on the trainer and downloaded a new program called Road Trainer.  I will post on it tomorrow after I do my 8 minute test.

Happy Sunday,


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Long Weekend!!

Ahhh three days off. I have been waiting for this long weekend all month! As an added bonus, our track workout today was rescheduled so I slept in (until 7... but the body feels so much more rested when you don't get jolted by an alarm clock).

This weekend we are celebrating the sale of our condo! The real house hunting begins because we need to be out by April 15.  Last night we went to look at one house but it was over-priced and had too much wood panelling for our liking.  We are however, becoming more forgiving on our list of must-haves. For example:

  • The kitchen doesn't need to be brand new. Just clean and bright.
  • We can do one and a 1/2 bathrooms.
  • The basement might not be perfect - but it would be nice if it wasn't painted Oiler's blue.
  • Armoires might need to replace closet space in these little 1950's homes.
  • Don't judge a house by it's paint colours... we may not be handy but we can paint. 

Today I am actually taking a volunteer shift from 7-11 to help out at the charity casino event for the Ronald McDonald House.  I am officially a "chip runner".  I suspect that it is going to be a tiring day so I am holding off on a run until later.  Besides, isn't that what holiday Mondays are for??

What are your plans for the long weekend??

Family time? Long runs? Maybe some kitchen experiments?? 


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coldest Night Edmonton


This year J and I decided to participate in a fundraising walk The Coldest Night of the Year walk on Feb. 23.

Thanks to the Twittersphere  – I have had the luck of connecting with Hope Mission’s Devin Komarnsiki and his ‘Hope Tweet Fleet’ team for the Coldest Night walk.

Coldest Night is a non-competitive (say what 😉) 5 and 10 km winter-walk fundraiser supporting select Canadian charities that serve the hungry, homeless and hurting in cities and communities across Canada. In Edmonton the select charity is Hope Mission.

So far there are 41 teams and 205 walkers signed up for the Edmonton walk. Each city has their own overall fundraising goal and Edmonton’s is $50,000. Edmontonians have raised 68% of that goal to date and there are officially 10 days left until the walk.

Please donate to my team, or to another team in Edmonton – in the end it all goes towards a great cause.

Important links:


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What Motivates You?

Over the years I have attended many motivation talks through the Running Room clinic programs.  They are probably one of my favourite clinic nights along with Goal Setting (I love to hear my fellow runners say their goals out loud and proud).  In the past we have talked generally about what motivates us, heard from people who have completed 50+ marathons, or read aloud excerpts from stories about parents like Dick Hoyt and Rick van Beek.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Dwight Kroening - the first heart transplant recipient to complete an iron man.  We sat in silence as he told us about his journey, from the initial bleak prognosis to his final marathon leg of the ironman.  He talked about tiredness, pushing through fatigue and at times needing to sit down to brush his teeth because it was too exhausting. Months later a trip to the Dr. would reveal his heart had doubled in size and was functioning at 8 per cent.  He was given two months to live at 26 years old and two options: go home and get your affairs in order or try this "new" organ transplant option.  After being told, if successful, the transplant would help him return to his prior state of health, Dwight and his family chose the transplant option.

It has been 27 years since his heart transplant in the state of Arizona. He shared that approximately 1% of organ donor recipients live past 25 years.  I am guessing that figure was lower in the mid 80's when he opted to try the surgery.  Dwight however has never had any rejection issues, something he admits is no short of a miracle.

When speaking about what motivates him Dwight shared three things:

  1. His children - he and his wife went on to have 3 sons.

  2. His responsibility to the donor and his family - he shared that he has always felt he had to make good use of the heart he was given and live life to it's fullest.

  3. His responsibility to the transplant community - to push the norms and to demonstrate how rich and full life can be post transplant.

There is so much more to his story that I am sure I haven't fully captured.  At the end of his talk he turned the question on us and asked "what motivates you".  Someone in our group said "you do now".  So true. So true.

What motivates you to get out there and run or train or live life to it's fullest?

Happy Wednesday!



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

Recapping this week:

Monday, Feb 4  – OFF (except for a 7km walk to the running room to buy compression socks for my sore calves)
Tuesday, Feb 4 –  Tempo run (avg HR: 156)
Wednesday, Feb 6  – Rest day
Thursday, Feb 7 – Cardio Circuit class
Friday, Feb 8  –40 min interval spin on the trainer
Saturday, Feb 9 – 2hr track workout, 75 min hot yoga
Sunday, Feb 10 - 10k long slow distance (avg HR: 151 - getting better)

Checking in on last weeks goals:

  • Moving down to 1 cup of coffee a day - Umm we might need to revisit this one.  How much caffeine could fit in a tassimo pod anyway?

  • Fitting in all my runs this week - I missed one because we had a realtor appointment.

  • Foam rolling 1/day -  ✔ Ask me about foam rolling your triceps. Or don't. I don't want hate mail.

  • Planning my lunches - ✔

New Goals!

  • Added the lake summerside duathlon in June and the Canada day 15k in July!

  • Office run club is starting soon.

Happy Sunday! Who is watching the grammys tonight?? Me and my foam roller might.


Saturday, 9 February 2013


I am sitting at home watching chopped on a Saturday night. The are cooking calves liver so I am taking a break to tell you more about my duathlon goal.

What can a person who is still not quite confident with swimming (despite taking two adult swim lesson sessions) do to break into the multi-sport world? A Duathlon!

I have signed up for my first Duathlon on June 16, 2013. I am excited. Mostly because all the run/bike brick training I did last year has built up my confidence.  The distance of the Classic is perfect - 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run.  Totally manageable right?

Another pro - it is local which means no packing food, no super early rising and no travel anxiety about forgetting socks, race kits or inhalers.  I know that people love to travel to race but I do find it a little stressful. I am a creature of habit and I feel off when my pre race routine is off.

So, I just need to keep building my base and will begin the last training block at the end of March. I am excited!


  • My current run training will run until the 3rd week of March.

  • As you all know, I already build in 1-2 spin sessions a week but they will eventually become more focussed.

  • I will keep one gym/strength day a week.

  • I will keep up all the foam rolling and stretching techniques I have been learning.


  • I think I need to start getting massages.  I have always shrugged massage therapy off as a luxury but as I get older I think it is becoming more and more important.

  • Tri shorts! Who doesn't get excited about a new piece of gear?

  • Heart rate training consistently (J and I are planning to go get our VO2 max tests done soon so we can train more effectively)

That's all I have planned for now. I would love to hear about your duathlon (or tri) experiences.

I'm tuning back in for the desert round of chopped. maraschino cherries, greek yogurt, espresso and corn nuts. Time starts now : )

Friday, 8 February 2013

Big News Week

So the week has been short on posts but I have a few things to recap!

  1. I returned the Kinvara Trails for Kinvara 3s and spent most of Monday and Tuesday wearing compression sleeves to try to ease my calf pain. Fingers crossed! I think they are on the way to recovery.
  2. I have decided to do my first EVER duathlon in June. More on that tomorrow.
  3. We have an offer pending on the condo. YAY!!!!!!
  4. We are going to Seattle in 3 weeks.
  5. J did really well on his first week vegan.  

It has been such a busy week and it seemed to fly by with a series of major highs and lows (we missed out on getting an offer on a beautiful quirky 50's style home).

Here is to a week of relaxation, workouts and catching up with friends.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Give yourself a break

Last night I had to do a tempo run. "Argh a tempo run?!" I thought as our coach sketched out our route for the night.  Other thoughts like I am slow, I am not ready, It's icy raced through my head.  

Why do I feel slow? Because I took a break from running. A 2 month hiatus that involved traveling, HIIT and yoga.  

Is this ok? Yes. But my mind tells me no. My mind tells me to speed up. My mind gets overly frustrated by the Garmin and thinks "who's pace is this??" Even more challenging, is the fact that my heart rate is higher lately on routine runs.  A normal effect of needing to build up my fitness level perhaps, but the heart rate graphs after a run don't lie.

Running back on the 1km cool down I talked to my friend Katy about this. We shared the same frustrations. Our paces, the aches and pains etc. 

I thought about this last night and I have these suggestions for battling the negative runners thoughts:

  1. You may be rebuilding your base. This is not a time for speed it is a time for conscious running and focusing on form. Speed will come later. Trust me. It always does.
  2. Try running without your garmin or watch. I plan to use this on Sunday by joining a slower pace group for my LSD and just trusting the pace leader.  Side note: We have a joke at run club "if it wasn't tracked it didn't happen". We usually say it when a Garmin dies or we forget them at home. 
  3. Give yourself a break. Every run will not be your best run. Every run will not be faster than the last.  
  4. Run with purpose.  This our coach EJ's mantra. Maybe your purpose is to focus on breathing. Maybe it is form. Maybe it is to help a good friend pace themselves.  The purpose is not always harder, better, faster, stronger. 

Are you coming back from a running break? Do you need to give yourself a break??


Monday, 4 February 2013

Runner's Creed

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

Recapping of this week:

Monday, Jan 28  – Buns & Bellies class (55min)
Tuesday, Jan 29 –  60 minute spin on the trainer (avg HR: 124)
Wednesday, Jan 30  – Run + 3 hills
Thursday, Jan 31 – Cardio Circuit class (55 min - it included a bit too many burpees for my liking)
Friday, Feb 1 – 8k on the treadmill (avg HR: 150)
Saturday, Feb 2 – 2hr track workout
Sunday, Feb 3- 8k long slow distance (avg HR: 157 - too high for LSD!)

Checking in on last weeks goals:

  • Moving down to 1 cup of coffee a day - Still not there yet.

  • Fitting in all my runs this week - I missed one because it was like -35!!

  • Foam rolling 1/day - I had a minor set back due to my very sore calves.

  • Planning my lunches - ✔ (yes - although I did have a clif bar and pretzels one day because I was running late).

New Goals!

  • Monitor my heart rate closely this week and try to stay in my training zones.  Me and J are going to check our HRs every morning to get an accurate resting avg. this week. We are so exciting 😀

  • Get my race schedule in order. Post March I plan to begin to add on distance. Probably mostly half marathons again, but I am toying with the idea of a 35k trail run in September.  Feel free to suggest a race!

Happy Sunday!


Friday, 1 February 2013

Run. Watch. Read.

This waking up at 6 am every day is actually starting to tire me out! Well maybe because our downstairs neighbour must have yelled out "party at my house" again when he left the club last night.  That in itself is not great, but does his favourite song have to be Locked out of Heaven by Bruno Mars??? As soon as that song comes on the radio me and J change the station at rocket speed.

Maybe I shouldn't complain. Our old neighbour used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing some kind of war games and it felt like bombs were going off in our bedroom.

Today's schedule is like this:  7:30 - 9 Coached Track Workout and then from 11-2:30 We need to be out of the house for showings. I am going to try to convince J to go see Silver Linings Playbook.  You know... see what all the buzz is about : )

Tonight I need to hunker down and start reading.  I always thought my days of reading texts etc. would be done when I left school.  Turns out that is not the case.  Does Anyone want to read Rich for the Right Reasons  and then give me the cliff note summary? Please?? I also have Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed waiting for me if you prefer.

Let me be totally honest with you.  If I had my choice I would read (ok reread) the entire Shopaholic series or the Carrie Diaries?

That's my Saturday so far.

What are your plans today (besides celebrating the return of less frigid temps)? 

What is on your reading list?