Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maybe just one more....

Ok....so I lied....I just signed up for one more race! This time I really think this will be the last one for the season! Lol! I will be running my first 5km road race at the Santa Shuffle this Saturday!  I am hoping for a blistering fast time (for me anyway!) even though this is advertised as a "fun run".  We'll see!  I'm looking forward to it! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mixing it up a bit!

I decided to try a couple of different things to keep me in shape during my off season.  I figured I would get back into serious tri training in January but I didn't want to get too out of shape.  I am still running and swimming with the Masters groups so that definitely helps!  And really, I can't get out of shape with those groups!  They really do keep me in check!  I haven't touched my bike though since my last race in September except for commuting all around the city on my single speed (which I really do enjoy!).  But this time, I decided to give bootcamp and yoga a whirl!

I have done yoga before and have done ashtanga, moksha, and bikram classes but it has been more than a year since I have practiced any yoga.  I usually stop practicing yoga once training and race season starts but I am hoping this time it will be different.  I went to a new studio for me at Fireflow Yoga and I loved it from the moment I first stepped in which is quite different from my other yoga studio experiences.  In the past I had to return to a few classes to warm up to the studio and a couple of them I just never did warm up to because I felt it was a bit to stuck up for me.  But this one is great!  I LOVE going to classes!  They offer both vinyasa and athlete yoga classes and I am enjoying them very much.  And I really hope I can maintain a consistent practice throughout the year and for many years to come.

Bootcamp was something I wanted to try for a while.  I found an awesome deal through WagJag where I got one month unlimited for $30 so I figured I had nothing to lose.  Classes are offered every morning within a 10min walk from me.  So I started it and get my booty kicked.  I do have to say I am quite impressed with myself and I realized I am quite in shape.  Anything abs, core, and legs I can do no problem.  My weakness are my arms.  And I think I have never seen my biceps so defined as they are now, lol!!!  It is definitely a great hour of working out which I don't think I would ever do on my own.  There is a lot of pain and lactic acid involved but it is a lot of fun!  However, once the month is up I do not think I would continue because quite frankly it is too expensive for me.  It would be great to keep this up over the winter months and really tone up and get my core in tip top shape but I can't see myself paying that much for these classes.  I am hoping I can learn from them and do some of these exercises on my own though!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I can run!

On Sunday I ran which I believe would be my last race for 2011.  I ran the Whitby Waterfront 10km race.  Another fairly last minute decision but I wanted to see what I can run a 10km in since I have been working on speed on the track this year.  The last time I ran a 10km was in 2006 at the Sporting Life 10km which is known to be a fast course.  I wanted to go under 50min and I was hoping to better my 2006 time of 49:34.

Got picked up by Marianne as her son and his friend were running the 5km.  Got to the race site nice and early and I did a warm up run.  The weather was great for running except for the wind.  It was another very windy day!  So I decided to look more like a runner and by-pass my running hat that I always wear (except for XC this year) while running.  This decision was more due to the wind and I did not want to worry about losing the hat. 

The 5km, 10km, and 10 miler all started at the same time right after the kids 1km run.  This was a much smaller race then what I am used to and it was a nice change from the big crowds and having to try to get some space and run your pace.  The race started and the first km was pretty fast for me.  I went about a 4:30 but I also wanted to get around some of the slower runners/walkers.  I then tried to settle into a fast but comfortable pace and found myself trying to hold back a bit.  My plan was to hold back and then go for broke at the turnaround at the 5km mark.  Got to the 5km mark in 23:30 and was really happy with that.  I still felt really comfortable.  Then I tried to pick up the pace, however, we were met by a nasty headwind.  So I may have been assisted my a tailwind on the way out but now I was paying the price for that.  I then had to dig deep to keep pace and the wind was not making it easy.  I got passed by one guy just after the turnaround who I ended up passing back at around the 7km mark.  I also passed one other guy at about the 6km mark.  Without the crowds it was all up to me to push hard and I liked that.  I found that I was pretty focused and just tried to run as hard as I could and the last 500m I gave what I had.  Marianne actually ran with me for about 200m to get me to run a bit faster and I did.  I was gaining on one guy just in front of me but I did not catch him at the end.  Crossed the line in 47:33 for a new 10km PB!!! Yay!!!  I was really happy with that!  Later I found out I was 4th out of 41 in my age group and 7th woman overall out of 100!  Woohoo!!! Ok, so maybe it wasn't a fast field but I am happy!  I feel that I ran a smart race and left it all out there.

As I was updating my PB's on the right column of my blog, I noticed that all of my running PBs are from 2011!!! Woohoo!!!  I actually would have PB's at all distances (minus IM)  if it wasn't for the cancelled swim at Steelhead and the shortened swim at St. Anthony's!!!  Here's hoping for more PB's in 2012!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

OMA XC Provincials

On Sunday I ran in the OMA Ontario XC Championships in Guelph and I really had a blast!!!  This time it was a 5km run and the weather was quite favourable except for a pretty harsh headwind at times.  I travelled with two other teammates (thanks for the ride!) and got to see my first ever big cross country meet.  Other races were going on and it was fun to watch some speedy youngsters rip the course up.  I did a 20min run in the morning before leaving for Guelph and I did another ~10min run once we arrived in Guelph on the course. 

Part of the reason why I am having so much fun is being part of a team!  And I got to put on my UTTC singlet and spikes again! Furthermore, everyone is so encouraging and positive, how can I not have fun!?  We did our little cheer at the start line and then the race was on.  I think I started out way too fast because I had the lung-burning feeling early on.  I was also running close to people I normally don't run close to, lol!  But I paid the price for that!  Before the half way mark I was getting passed by other runners again.  No passing on my part this time....oh well!  And I was just hanging on at the end...I faded fairly quickly.  The wind didn't help though but I probably should have paced it a little bit better.  I ran a 24:33 for the 5km...a PB for me!  Yay!  I also got a medal for placing third in my age group...although there were only three in my age group! Haha!  But I can say that the first place woman is a pro-triathlete!  UTTC maintained our second placing for the OMA XC series!

Hmmm.....I am liking this XC thing!!!!  Too bad it's the end of the season and I'll have to wait til next year to try it again!

Up next: 10km road race in Whitby this Sunday....I'll be gunning for a PB!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

XC Race #3

In my state of insomnia (flipping back and forth from night shifts to days is not working right now!) I have decided to finally get around to writing a report from my third XC race last weekend at Sunnybrook park.  This was the same course as the 4km we did a couple of weeks before this race but this time we ran the loop twice for 8km.  That meant we had to run up the steep muddy hill twice.

I did not have to work the night before and it made a huge difference in how I felt.  Ok, maybe not so much in performance but this time I felt like I was able to push it a bit more in places and my legs felt fine. I rode to the run again and that hill actually wasn't that bad either, lol!  It was an absolutely beautiful day to run though!!!  Even wore sunglasses!  As well, our girls team decided to dress up in Halloween costumes for this race and we came out as cheetahs!  One of our team members made some ears and tails for us!  Lol!  So much fun!!!  Oh....and and this was the first time I ran in a UTTC singlet!!!  Now I felt like a serious runner! haha!

The run started and I just tried to hold a good pace.  Also tried to be more aggressive in the downhills but I still need to work on that.  Got to the big hill and passed two guys who just passed me before the hill as we were going up.  I thought that they would re-pass me after the hill but I managed to keep them away.  Going up that hill actually was a lot of fun! It was so muddy that when I planted my foot down it would slide back a bit.  Also almost lost my shoe as my heel popped out when my shoe got stuck in the mud.  I passed one more person, a female runner, before the end of the first loop!  Yay!!!  I am finally passing some people.  Completed the first loop just a bit slower than the race a couple of weeks ago and then tried to push it more on the second loop.  Got to the hill the second time and I caught up to and passed my friend Tim as I was huffing and puffing!  I could not say two words to him!  I wanted to pass on some encouraging words but no can do!  Got to the top and I thought he was going to re-pass me and I tried my darnest to stay in front of him.  I was successful but at one point he was really gaining on me.  I was hoping for a 40-41min run but I was a bit ambitious with that goal and was off by a bit.  I clocked in at 42:30.

Good times though!  I am liking this cross-country thing! Haha!  UTTC managed to hold onto our second place overall in the standings! Yay team!!!  I also decided to run at the Ontario Masters Championships this weekend in Guelph!  Go figure, I am running at provincials!  Out of my league but I am having fun and hope I can just run my heart out!