Tag Archives: garmin

It’s About Time!

12 Oct

When my friend CC asked me to run the BMO Okanogan Half Marathon I figured I’d surely be guaranteed a dry race. But as my luck would have it I stood near the start line with less than three minutes before the gun went off with thousand of other racers and was blessed with a monsoon. “I came here from Calgary to run.” said a petit lady standing beside me. “Doesn’t look like you’ll need those!” I pointed at the sunglasses on the top of her head.  In front of me stood a tall lanky man wearing rabbit ears. He was the 1:50 race bunny. “Hummm wonder if I should try and keep up wi th him.” I pondered.

As the race started I decided to attempt to stick with Bunny 150. Less than two kilometers ran I noticed my shoe lace was untied. “Dammit!” I ran over to the right side of the street doing my best to move away from the runners to bend over. I must have lost 30 seconds; for whatever reason I just couldn’t get my shoe tied up. Once laced up, I jumped up and sprinted as fast as possible to get back behind Bunny 150. As my body warmed up my pace increased and I passed right by Bunny 150. “There no way he’s running at the proper pace.” I thought.

The temperature was warm which made me grateful for the rain; it was a perfect combination. Around kilometer twelve I was feeling strong and enjoying my tunes when out of nowhere Bunny 150 zipped passed me! I looked down at my Garmin and realized I’d slowed down a bit. Since I was ahead of my projected pace I was annoyed to realize that I still had to fight a few inner battles. The struggles lasted for about three kilometers when I decided to take back control and refocused. “Fast & easy! Fast & easy! Fast & easy!” I kept repeating over my head; and as always my pace picked up, my breathing calmed down and I started cruising.

Around kilometer seventeen I decided to play my ‘hunting game’. I started this game a few months ago as I tried to chase down a few cuties in the park. The rules are simple. Find your PREY running ahead of you. HUNT by focusing on that person and slowly start making my way closer to them until finally KILL by pass them. I found my prey; he was blond, tall with broad shoulders and wearing a grey and back Nike long sleeve. Running about ten feet ahead of me he was just the motovation I needed to push harder. I managed to pass Mr. Good Looking; feeling mighty fine I picked up a bit more speed.

After seeing the 19 kilometer marker my game was no longer required. My adrenaline kicked in knowing it was less than eleven minutes to the finish line.

I did it… FINALLY!!!  I broke two hours and demolished my previous personal best by seven minutes, finishing in 1:53:47

I grabbed my medal and scanned the crowed looking for CC. She’d participated in the 10 km run and would have finished way before me, so she had to be around. I saw her, waved, yelled and jumped up and down. “What is she looking at?” I thought. Seems CC was also preoccupied eyeing Mr. Good Looking who somehow managed to pass me. “Cheers!” We clanged our water bottles together smiling and feeling fabulous about our runs.

Next stop, Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon. With seven weeks of training I’m still somewhat  confident I’ll be able to meet my goal of running my first marathon in sub 4 hours.

PT Girl xo

My First Marathon

21 Aug

I started training for my first marathon this week. I have 18 weeks until I run the Rock & Roll in Las Vegas; where everything is excessive, sinful and neon lit. “Fitting…right?”

Monday Hill Training: I felt good after this first run/interval session. I didn’t stop my Garmin and I managed to do the entire 6 km (including the 5 hills drills) at 6min/km. This hill is my secret weapon.  “Watch out…” Every Monday I will run 5 to 10 – 200 meters hills drills. The route there and back is about 5 km and the goal is to run this short distance as quickly as humanly possible.

Tuesday Cross Training/PT Session: I woke at the crack of dawn to meet my trainer at 6:30 a.m. Sleep deprivation left me feeling weak and unmotivated :(

Wednesday Medium Run: This was a tough day. I woke up grumpy and wasn’t able to shake it. After work all I wanted to do was go home, eat junk food and curl up on the sofa with my fur baby Gucci; I refused to mess up on my first week of training though. So I pushed away all thought of comfort food and laziness, I put my sneakers on and set out for the long loop around False Creek. The first few kilometers were horrible; negative thoughts swarmed my mind. “WTF was I thinking signing up for a marathon… have I gone mad?” The sea wall was packed and the wind was blowing against me. These factors were making me crabbier and when I got to the third kilometer I had the urge to stop and go home. “Suck it up! Seriously big baby! *&%$ You will train and you will kick ass!” I told myself. All of a sudden my pace picked up and I started feeling better.  As I rounded the bend to home I notice that I’d finished 9 km in 48:34 (5:30 per km).  I was pretty pleased with that considering my slow start.

Thursday Cross Training /PT session: This session was fun; probably because I spent so much time chatting and laughing. “I wanna beat Oprah’s marathon time…” I blabbed as I did my sit ups. “What was her time?” de Wolf asked “In 94’ she finished in 4:29:15” I responded smirking in anticipation of his disapproval. He stop in his track and looked at me in disbelief “Jessh!! PT Girl!! Darn right you’re going to beat Oprah!” I burst out laughing! He seems to have a crazy notion that I am way more capable (aka faster) than I actual am. I don’t quite know what to do with that sometimes….To be honest my true goal is run the marathon at 6min/km. de Wolf thinks I should aim for under 6min/km. Only time will tell but right now, today, as I sit at my desk after gorging on a pecan tart… this seems unrealistic.

Friday Rest Day: Mental preparation for 25 km tomorrow morning.

Saturday 24 km: Longest run ever. My calves were killing me from the ball thrusts from Thursday’s PT session but I was well rested; which is unusual.  I felt strong and kept under 6 min/km. Half way around Stanley Park I saw my friend Alicia playing with her dog Jetsom at the beach “Hey!! How you doing??… Can’t stop… ping you later” I waved.  My legs started to slow around 17.5 km and I struggled to keep my pace, falling behind.  I didn’t bring gels or Cliff bloks and ran out of vitamin water at the ninetieth kilometer. I had the intention of running 25 km but when I approached my place and saw that my Garmin said 24 km the thought of water made me salivate and I decided to call it a day!

I must admit I struggled at certain point during this run and started to question why I’ve set this new goal.  But I know myself; there is no turning back now. Pushing forward on bad days or when it gets tough is what fitness journeys are all about. If it was always  fun & easy then everyone would do it! If it didn’t take determination, persistence and pain the awesome feeling of achievement wouldn’t exist!

PT Girl xo

My Speed Theories

18 Mar

Last year I ran my first half marathon falling short of my goal finish time by less than 90 seconds. Determined to run  the BMO Half Marathon under two hours I started a new training program in January with a positive attitude and lots of determination.  I knew I was physically stronger because of all the work I’d been doing with my trainer but my running pace remained unchanged the first few weeks back in training. (I’ve always ran an average pace at 6:19 per km)  Rather than get discouraged I laced up again and thought of my friend Mike (3time Penticton Iron Man Finisher) who always said “The way to become a faster runner is by running!!” Then mid February something changed; one day after work I set out on a short run… and with complete ease I ran 9.1 km in 51 minutes (5:35 per km). I was in shock and honestly thought there was something wrong with my Garmin.  “Where the heck did that come from?” I decided to test myself and my Garmin that weekend and even though I was hung over I managed to run 13 km in 1:14 (5:46 per km). The following week I ran a flat 17 km in 1:38 (5:45 per km) and this past weekend I ran the hilliest 18 km route I could map out and sustained my pace finishing in 1:43 (5:43 per km).  Ok, I know these times aren’t world class by any means but 5:44 per km was my race pace at the half marathon last year and I nearly lost a lung; now I am running this pace without difficulty. So what has changed? How am I gaining momentum? In no particular order here are my theories:


Without fail I’ve been running  my hill intervals once a week mixing it up between doing ten 200 meters up hill & down hill runs in 30 minutes, incorporating five fast 50 meters sprint up a very steep hill at the end of my short runs, as well as mapping out more challenging “hilly” routes on my longer runs.

Compared to running on flat surfaces, hills force the muscles to contract quicker as a result making them more powerful.  While hill training the muscles can develop two to three times as many muscle fibers as running on flat surfaces.

The benefits of hill training:

  • Helps stride frequency & length
  • Aids develop power & muscle elasticity
  • Encourages the proper use of arm action during the driving phase
  • Improves strength endurance
  • Short hills – develops maximum speed & strength
  • Mixed hills – improves lactate tolerance
  • Downhill – develops control & stabilization as well as improved speed


I’ve been seeing my current personal trainer twice a week for about six months now. We spend a lot of time focusing on strengthening my core. A strong core will improve your posture, making it easier to stay upright and thus run more efficiently. Implementing a weekly core workout to your training is certain to improve your running performance.  Try using the Medicine Balls, Kettlebells, Stability Ball, Bosu Ball or a stability board to keep the workouts interesting and varied.

Strong leg muscles are another key component to running efficiently. One method of achieving stronger legs is by incorporating Plyometric Exercises: a form of exercise that requires your muscles to reach peak force in a very short amount of time.  My training session always involve exercise such as squat jumps,  jump to box, split squat jumps and lateral hurdle jumps to name a few. I’ve been told these kinds of exercises will improve my speed and power. The third component of my training sessions is intervals: sprint intervals on the treadmill (flat and hills) and sprint drills with Resistance Bands (flat and hills).


This natural supplement was introduced to me last year by an associate. I started taking it religiously in January when I started my training.  Acid Zapper® is a mineral based composition that boosts body alkalinity to systemically neutralize metabolic acids created during exercise, helping athletes train harder and achieve peak performance.” * This product is 100% natural certified drug free. It is said to reduce recovery times, increase endurance and help with minimizing muscle cramping.  I can tell you first hand that Acid Zapper has definitely reduced my recovery time and has completely eliminated the muscle cramps I used to get in my legs.  Although difficult to prove, I believe Acid Zapper has had a huge impact on my over all endurance and performance.

PT Girl xo

* http://www.acidzapper.com/

Picking Up Speed

18 Feb

Since the start of January I’ve attended twelve Training Sessions at deWolf Training, each designed to increase my core and leg strength as well as improve my overall speed. I also did four, 45 minute workouts on the treadmill focusing on speed & uphill intervals (my least favorite workout) and I ran over 85 km outside. Finally… on tonight’s run I felt the hard work starting to pay off!

After my day at the office I wasn’t feeling that great, but the sun was out (which can be rare around here this time a year) and since I’ve been banned to the treadmill for over a week I was determined to get out on the road.  I was mentally prepared for people dodging on the seawall, since the city of Vancouver is bombarded with travelers attending the 2010 Winter Olympics.

By the time I got outside and fiddled with my Garmin, the temperature had dropped but the sun was still shining. Masses of people were milling about enjoying the city’s beautiful scenery. I started off strong and was able to maintain my speed as I ran over the Burrard Bridge; I hit the 5 km mark in 27 minutes. I felt great and kept going. At 8 km I was heading home along Pacific Blvd and wasn’t stopped by any red lights but was forced to zigzag through hundreds of people strolling in my neighborhood.

I sprinted the last block and a half using every inch of power in me and magically everyone moved out of my way. “Ah ah! I’m like Moses parting the red sea” I chuckled to myself.

I ran 9.2 km in 51 minutes which is a pace of 5:33 per km. I’m aware this ain’t world class, but it’s a great improvement for me and more importantly felt very manageable. My goal is to run my half marathon in 1h55min (5:27 per km).  Stay tuned for an update on my long 17 km run on Saturday morning.

PT Girl xo