Dirty Dash-4K July 6 2014

Do you like to run? Do you like mud? Then the Dirty Dash is the one for you. This was my second race and I hadn’t expected to be competitive at this race. I went with a couple of friends and we had decided we would run together. There were times when they waited for me, and times when I waited for them.

The race started out much like any other cross-country run. We were running in a park, and so it started out on a nice grassy section, eventually leading to the pavement. Following long the pavement we started up a hill, what a hill ugh… That hill was nothing as we soon found out. Back to the grass and up we go, then down then up again. Grassy hills but no mud? Eventually we wind into a wooded section along a creek, eventually into the creek…twice! There was some mud, many of us getting stuck in it trying hard to get out of the creek. The mud was yet to come. After trekking through the hills and the woods and the creek we could hear the crowd cheering, the end is near. The end a big mud pit a mud pit with rules. To maximize your mud experience ropes were strung across the pit, the rule, you must go under not over. After some play in the mud we make our way to the end and cross the finish line and head for the showers.

Oh the wonderful showers, cold, cold water so cold it took my breath away. After getting as clean as we can its time for food and prizes. Checking the results I realize I had placed 4th in my weight category. It was now that I learned that had I not stopped to play, I could very well have won a medal. In fact one of my friends DID win a medal, she took 3rd place in her category, and her husband who had started the race with us also took home a medal.

It was a fun day but I learned something very important. I don’t like getting dirty, and don’t like to play in the mud. From here on its straight road races for me!

Results: 4K 00:30:34 4th place in weight category.

Being Prepared Pays Off

So like every Saturday since I started my training program I spend a few minutes before bed preparing for the morning run. We are 11 weeks out from the race and starting to amp up our kilometers so a little prep in advance helps for an easy pre-run morning.

Unfortunately after reminding my mom who was coming over to babysit to be sure she turned her clock ahead, I forgot to do it myself!! Up I did, but I woke up 5:30am and realized at that time that I hadn’t done it (I knew because my husband had not just arrived home from work.) I promptly changed the clock, realized I had 30 min left to sleep and promptly dozed off. Knowing the alarm was set for the correct time all was well. A short time later I heard something that made me stir, then the door bell. OH KNOW mom is here, its 8:00, how could that be I should have been up an hour ago, I need to leave now to be there on time. So I chat with mom, send her back home and head back to bed, there was seemingly no point in trying to get there on time now. I message the girls in the group, my son wakes up, my husband wakes up, and I lay there feeling a heavy disappointment. Suddenly I jump up announce I can make it I am going. Even if I have to catch up to the group I would only be five or so minutes behind, surely I can catch up to them! I rush rush rush. I message the girls saying wait 5 min for me I am coming. Its 8:10 as and am scrambling to get dressed. I skipped brushing my teeth, I skipped my coffee, I did grab a banana to eat, but left my recovery drink on the counter. Out the door and don’t I make it with time to spare. Who knew!

So even though I was on time and wanted to be there, the rush is over and the feeling of I might still be sleeping sets in. My eyes not adjusted and feeling puffy I pull up my buff and we head out. The first few kilometers are KILLING ME! Everything hurts today, but the feeling of guilt and disappointment are gone because I made it I am out there no matter what. Of course by the end of our 15k I was feeling pretty good, sore but good. I am so glad I have this group of ladies to help me stay motivated and encouraged to get out there.

I am also thankful that I had everything ready to go the night before, if I hadn’t I surely would have had to catch up. A little preparation sure goes a long way.

Cold weather is almost gone!

While I know that all of this cold weather running is good for me it’s getting hard. I have to say it, not a bug fan of my choice of winter shoes. They are great for their purpose but they aren’t great for my legs. Non the less I have worn them faithfully which has kept my feet warm and dry. I am looking forward to the spring when I can wear my new shoes!!.

So far this winter my training group and I have endured snow, ice, wind, cold and rain. Sometimes all in the same 5 km run LOL. I officially consider each of us hard-core runners now! I do fully admit that I skipped one very cold Long Run Sunday it was a wonderful -30 that morning, but with that admission it should be known that the cold was only the sprinkles on top of the mountain of icing. Sometimes we runners need to remember that we can not always get out no matter how much we may think we should or need to. Like that Sunday, I worked until 5 am, felt stuffed up and dry irritated throat for about three days, and then add that bitter cold weather. It was exactly the day to stay at home in bed where I rightfully belonged. Will I continue to feel guilty about skipping a day…. I will its my nature.

Since that time I finally got the full on head cold, which I ran with anyway. I received notification from the running application I use that I have completed/logged 500 km!! Wow I can’t believe I did that much in less than a year… then a realization kits me. In the next 11 weeks I will have done more that by just going to my training sessions. Unbelievable I really am a hard-core runner, and I love it.

New Shoes

So far my winter running has been spent wearing a trail shoe Saucony Razor 2. I like them for many reasons and I dislike them for many reasons. Mostly I don’t like that they are rigid (they are supposed to be) and I find them a little hard on my feet. The good news is I bought them only for winter running as I am not a trail runner.

But with the aching feet and the thought of spring I decided what I really needed was a pair of shoes with some cushioning. I already know I need a neutral shoe with a 4mm or 8mm drop (Height of heel drop to height of toe). With this I was directed to try the Saucony (I like this brand so try it first) Kinavara 5. WOW what a shoe! It was so light it was unbelievable. The colour was nice, and the fit was good. BUT I wanted some cushioning, my feet want a little squishy bed to sink in when I pound them to the ground. The Kinavara have a 4mm drop but just not the amount of cushioning I am looking for. But if I should feel the need for a specific race shoe, I have found the one.

Next up, Saucony Triumph ISO. Yup the shoe I was dreaming of. The moment I put it on and took a step I knew it was the one. It was like no shoe I had ever worn before. It didn’t have that solid flat feeling but a soft gel foam like feel. I couldn’t be more excited for my first run in these beauties. My love of running shoes has me coveting them for the next several weeks though since I refuse to wear them in the snow, slush or rain. So lets all start hoping for a nice not so wet spring so I can get a chance to wear them.
(I got the blue ones!)

The following is a description for the Triumph ISO taken directly from saucony.com:
Delivers the plushest, most cushioned running experience we have ever created. ISOFIT upper morphs to your foot for a sock-like feel, providing superiour comfort and allowing the shoe to move in harmony with the foot. PWRGRID+ provides 20% more cushioning than the previous version for enhanced impact, protection & improved durability.

A frosty run

I can tell you I never thought I would run in winter never mind in -30 windchill weather. Well ok I skipped my 10k long run on Sunday because the temperature was -35 with the windchill. That is seriously crazy, but the thing is I know that if I did go I would have had just a fine a run as I would in -20 windchill. We already know how to dress for the cold weather so really there is no difference. Maybe you add a wind layer if you don’t already wear one, and you keep your buff or balaclava on your face the whole time. I would love to blame my skipping out on Saturday’s 5k and Sunday’s 10k on just the weather but I can not.

When you start running its important to learn that you MUST listen to your body. This helps to prevent injury, and illness, and can prevent that really crappy run you wish you never had. This weekend I was working night shift, I had the starting of a head cold, and add to that the freezing temperatures I just didn’t have it in me. Did I feel guilty for not getting out there with the group? Of course I did. But the simple fact is I was tired and sick and if I ran I would have been disappointed with my results I would not have been able to fight off the cold either. Exerting that kind of energy when your body is fighting a bug will allow the bug to take hold as the body becomes exhausted. It is best to stay home for a few days, get the rest and recover. It doesn’t hurt to have your chicken soup either.

If you are going to head out for a run in those temperatures more layers is better, and be sure to have a wind breaker layer. Wind can go through two or more layers of fabric and still give you frost bite or frost nip. Make sure you route has some sort of warm place that you can go to if you run into any problems such as a coffee shop or restaurant. Always carry your cell phone, and your ID!

Sometimes a BAD run

A bad run? Is there really such a thing? The optimist would say no, the extremely self critic would say yes. I sit on the fence. I am neither an optimist or extremely self-critical. I am very self-critical so I will say I was not happy with tonight’s run, and when comparing with other runs it would class as a bad run. But I know that not every run will be successful, easy or effortless and that sometime any run is a good run no matter the distance or speed. There are always going to be things in our lives that will affect our run. Sometimes these things will be worked out with a good hard or long relaxing run. Other times the run will in essence fail.

Today I had a hard time. Lately I have been finding that my choice in winter running shoes was good for the environment, and not good for my body. I love the function of my Saucony Razor 2’s but I am finding them too rigid and hard. They are a trail shoe, and they are made that way it’s a specific purpose. I just don’t really think its good for my feet/legs. Back in early September I was out tackling a 10 k run. At the 6km I was just finishing a downhill stretch when I suddenly had a sharp pain in my left foot. With every step the pain intensified until I could no longer push through it and was forced to stop. I could hardly walk but I had to walk the three plus kilometres home. I was convinced I had suffered a stress fracture. I was diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis and was told to rest. I did, for a while. I started physio a few weeks later, ran a couple of 5K races as well. While that sharp pain I had felt that day had gone, the nagging discomfort behind my ankle did not. I continued to push through it, most of the time it was only there after a run when I had rested. Finally a few weeks ago I considered that maybe running with my arch supports in my shoes what causing some of this problem. The supports were hard and rigid preventing my arches from falling. The day my foot hurt I found that I had to take the support out of my shoe in order to even limp home, and couldn’t wear it for a few weeks after. So two weeks ago I started going with out them…both running and not running. This has helped relieve the ankle discomfort almost completely, but now I don’t have an insoles in my shoes to absorb some of the shock. My supports had some padding in some areas as well.

While I am no longer having the ankle pain I have been feeling like my poor feet need to be on a bouncy cushion when I am running. They are craving cushioning which the Razor 2’s have none, at least none that I can feel. That and the large amount of snow we received a week ago have made for some painful running. My calves had been taking the brunt and have been sore for the last few runs. In addition to sore tired legs I am working the wonderful night shift. While I like what night shift has to offer getting enough sleep is difficult. Depending on which start/end time I have I am usually able to squeeze in 1:30hrs of sleep before the kids need to be up for school. Depending other daily needs and or activities I may be able to go straight back to bed once I return home for the walk to school, or I have to wait until after school is finished. It is certainly not ideal but it’s what I do and it’s not about to change any time soon.

So here I am I had my short sleep got the kids off to school and am about to get back into bed, because I knew I would be heading to run club in the evening. That is when I received a message from my cousin that my aunt had passed away early this morning. She was a wonderful strong woman who lost her battle with cancer. While it was expected, it was sudden and not expected to be quite so soon. I let my family know that I would be sleeping for the day and they could message with information as necessary. I head to bed, and started off on a nice sleep….until the phone rang. I could tell it was a long distance number and while it woke me I decided to let the answering machine take the call…. no message, it was Rogers Cable. Great thanks Rogers. But now I am awake, I check my phone, than I woke up again at 2pm, now thinking ok I am ready to get up but I don’t want too, I check my phone again. Finally at 3:30 the kids are home and I want to see them. Sleep is OVER! I sat on the couch having my coffee when I realized I had to get my dinner cooked and packed up, shower, and be out of the house in a little more than an hour. Suddenly I didn’t want to run today. I thought no I am too tired, I don’t want to, I should rest, my legs are tired and stiff. But I don’t listen to my body. I rush get out the door and head off to run club. Tonight we were scheduled to run a 4k tempo (its a little faster pace). But is slippery from some wet drizzle so we opt for a 5k steady. LOL I barely made 2.5K. I took a walk break then thought no get to it, get running. I pushed out all I could to get through another kilometre when I just couldn’t go any more. I had to walk in the last 1/2-3/4 of a kilometre. Done nothing left, then pain. My poor legs felt like this was the hardest run they have done in months. I even started to get sore hamstrings while I was walking in.

Was it a bad run or just a run that didn’t go as planned? I want to say it was a bad run and it sucked everything out of me but I am happy I got out. Even a bad run is a good run!

RACE STATS

RACES 2014
Waterloo Classic June 15 2014- BIB # 1347 (Class-Age)
Distance: 5KM Total Finishers: 434 Total Female Finishers: 232 Overall Place: 296 Gender Class Place: 15/25 Gender Place: 136
Gun Time: 33:13 Chip Time: 32:21 Avg Pace: 6:39 min/km

The Dirty Dash July 6 2017- BIB # 724 (Class-Weight Category)
Distance: 4KM Total Finishers: 263 Total Female Finishers: 147
Overall Place: 150 Gender Class Place: 4/13 Gender Place: 71
Gun Time: 34:30 Avg Pace: 8:38 min/km

Laurier Loop Sept 28 2014 BIB# 467 (Class-Age)
Distance: 5KM Total Finishers: 186 Total Female Finishers: 95
Overall Place: 80 Gender Class Place: 9/19 Gender Place: 24
Gun Time: 29:22 Chip Time: 29:14 Avg Pace: 5:51 min/km

Oktoberfest Run Oct 2014 -BIB# 497 (Class-Weight Category)
Distance: 5KM Total Finishers: 651 Total Female Finishers: 371
Overall Place: 266 Gender Class Place: 3/13 Gender Place:94
Gun Time: 28:22 Chip Time: 28:16 Avg Pace: 5:41 min/km

Remember Run Nov 8 2014 -BIB# 213 (Class-Weight Category)
Distance: 5KM Total Finishers: 266 Total Female Finishers: 157
Overall Place: 107 Gender Class Place: 2/11 Gender Place: 44
Gun Time: 27:53 Chip Time: 27:25 Avg Pace: 5:35 min/km