Tag Archives: Marathon

Spring Cleaning

7 Apr

My spring cleaning is never planned or scheduled.  Every year a strange feeling builds inside me for a few weeks. I get antsy and irritable. My thoughts are scrambled and everything feels chaotic. I usually can’t pinpoint what’s bothering me and that makes me even grumpier. When I’m crabby I tend to internalize and question everything. “What the hell I’m I doing with this life of mine!?” 

This year like most years, “IT” took over when least expected. I’d just showered after my afternoon run and was sipping my coffee and watching CNN when I decided to empty the dishwasher.  Then out of nowhere “IT” consumed me. I went into a cleaning frenzy, I was in a trance; boxing up clothes for donation, recycling endless paper, throwing away junk that I’ve accumulated over the year, reorganizing cupboards and drawers and scrubbing my home from top to bottom. Five hours flew by; there was no stopping me. I ignored my phone calls and text messages; which if you know me, is almost unheard of.  My stomach growled but I didn’t eat or even sit down for a second. Well past dinner time I put the last load of laundry in the drier. I was sweaty, dirty and I exhausted but as I looked around at my organized, sparkling home a sense of peace swept over me.  All was well again!

Somewhere between throwing out needless clutter and lining up my glasses perfectly all my meddled thoughts filed themselves in order without any real effort on my behalf.

With a clear head I was finally able to focus on my training again. My first week back at it I ran over 40 kilometers and to be honest I felt pretty cocky. “Piece of cake!” I thought. Week two handed me a severe dose of reality; my longest run since my marathon in December was a 16 km last Saturday and it kicked my butt. My breathing was out of control, my pace was inconsistent and my legs were easily tired.  It took everything in me to maintain a sub six minute per km pace. “This winter has really taken a toll on my cardio”.  I don’t know if it’s right or wrong but this week I’ve been focusing on speed work. I pushed myself to the verge of throwing up while running short distance sprints. I’m hoping the agonizing pain I’ve inflicted on my lungs will in turn make my long ‘slow’ run this weekend seem more manageable. With only three weeks of training left before the BMO half marathon I’m definitely not planning on setting any personal bests but I’m looking forward to the return of race fever! Whoot Whoot!!!

 PT Girl xo

Half Way

16 Feb

After my marathon in Vegas in early December I sorta let things slide. First I told myself I was allowed a few weeks recovery, then the Holiday season arrived, which was followed by birthday celebrations and then NFL playoffs. The Super Bowl was my big finale. The culmination of circumstances made it memorable indeed but also brought forth a feeling of unhealthiness that was unshakable.

Therefore, in attempts to cleanse and get back into shape I decided to embark on a 20 day detox & fitness rebuild program.  Day one was horrible; I was sweating out champagne while riding the bike. Day two I saw my trainer for the first time since before the holidays and I seriously thought I was going to meet my maker.  I kept at it and by Sunday while out on my run I felt human again. My lungs were open; my legs were light and fast.  Day eight came and I meet with my trainer again. He pushed me much harder this time and although it was a difficult workout I didn’t feel as though I was going to collapse, I actually felt pretty strong. It’s absolutely incredible what a week sans booze, proper nutrition& hydration, good sleep and exercise can do to a body!

Yesterday was a struggle but I managed to squeeze in a 45 minutes ride on the bike. Today is day nine. I’m almost half way there but the gloom lurking over Vancouver is slowly sucking the life out of me….

PT Girl xo

Let the Journey Begin!

2 Feb

It’s been dark and wet in Vancouver. Maybe I’m exaggerating but it felt as though I hadn’t seen the sun for over a month. With much struggle I woke every morning to darkness.  My commutes were grey, I sat at my desk and watched the rain fall and then I returned home to the night. Coworkers and friends were grumpy and irritable; lack of vitamin D will do that to the cheeriest of people. It’s seasonal disorder or more simply put “the January Blahs”. Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while know well enough I’m not a big fan of running in the rain, so it should come as no surprise when I say that I didn’t run in January; that is until Sunday morning when I rose to the blazing sun.  I inhaled my oatmeal and couldn’t get my sneakers on fast enough! With no expectation of my performance I bolted out the door with my ipod in hand. I must admit I’d been hard on my body; consuming alcohol and even choking back the odd cigarette while out with friends. Plus my exercise this year had been reduced to about 3-4 hours a week on my indoor bike trainer and that’s about it; I anticipated I wasn’t going to be at my best and was fully prepared to take it easy, enjoy the run and soak up the rays.

I headed left towards Science World. By the time I got to the South Side of False Creek all thoughts had slipped away and I pick up my pace. “I forgot how therapeutic running is!” As I  ran over Burrard Bridge I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy our spectacular scenery.

When I arrived home I realized I still had it in me; running a 10k in fifty three minutes. I felt fantastic! The sun decided to bless the Vancouverites on Monday as well, so I ran again. That evening registration for the Chicago 2011 marathon opened. I remembered all the buzz around this race last year and knew I had to be part of it this time around.  My friend CC, BonBon and I are registered and will be running along with 45,000 other participant’s on Oct 9, 2011.  I’m eager to start training and I am determined to break new personal bests. But I’m also super excited for my friends; they’ve committed to a training journey that will challenge and change their minds and bodies.  A journey, which only a small percentage of people in the world dare embark on; and I can’t wait for them to cross the finish line and realize that absolutely anything is possible!

PT Girl x0

1.11.11

11 Jan

2011 began as most new years’ do… hung over! The only difference is this year I was nursing my headache on the slopes at Whistler; with a little less than four hours of sleep I impressed myself by skiing all day, which was then followed by “après ski” at the Longhorn, which turned into another early morning.

My birthday was yesterday but the festivities started on Friday and didn’t stop for four days. Sharing all the highlights here would take a while but one of the best parts was sitting at Qwest Field in Seattle with my friend Alicia proudly wearing black & gold while surrounded by 67,000 Seahawk fans in blue and bad neon green. With a point spread of 10.5 in favour of the New Orleans Saints I can assure you that their loss was unexpected. I didn’t hold back my disappointment nor am I shy in expressing my dislike of the Seahawks in general but I must admit the fans were cordial and the energy in the stadium was infectious; especially when the 12th man roared!!

Amongst all the Holiday festivities I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my fitness accomplishments as well as other aspect of my life. 2010 was filled with failures, changes and difficult decisions but 2010 also encompassed personal bests, new adventures and eye awakening moments.

So after much thought, much debate and much self inflicted guilt I’ve decided not to do Iron Man Canada this year. There, I said it!!! *gulp* I know that some of you (you know who you are) are shaking your heads at me but after making a list of pros and cons, discussing for countless hours with my friends and losing many nights of sleep I decided I had to be true to myself; my heart is not in it. Having Iron Man on my bucket list isn’t motivation enough to train over 20 hours a week right now. I’m just not in a place where I am willing to dedicate the next eight months of my life to only training.  What I do know is that over the last few months I fund a new zest for life.  My goal for 2011 is to have a balanced year that will allow for spontaneity. Focus on my work is high on my list of priorities and so is travel. But don’t get me wrong, I have no intention on losing my passion for fitness. I will spend more time skiing, snowshoeing and taking advantage of British Columbia’s great outdoors. I want to ride my bike lots this spring and I also want to get back into hiking. I’m still seeing a personal trainer, attending infrared yoga and getting lots of use out of my indoor bike trainer. I’m excited to start my new running program that will prepare me for a sub 4 hour marathon in Chicago and I will most likely throw in a few half marathons along the way.

Stay tuned, as I promise 2011 will be filled with exciting, fun fitness adventures.

PT Girl xo

Viva Las Vegas

15 Dec

Almost two weeks have gone by since I landed in Las Vegas. Being my sixth visit to Sin City I knew how trying it was going to be to resist temptation for the two days prior to the race. I was a bundle of nerves, doubting myself. “I’m not ready!” I said to my friend CC. “Calm down or I’m going to slip you a roofie! You’re ready!!” She said.  We were tucked in bed by ten pm on Saturday; restless I tossed and turned as butterflies had a party in my belly. I stared at the ceiling replaying my training (or lack thereof) over in my mind. The alarm went off at 4:45 am; we laid in our beds waiting for our pre ordered breakfast to be delivered. Before leaving I filled my water bottle with XXX Vitamin Water, put six Gu candies cut in half in my back pocket and popped an electrolyte pill.

The Rock & Roll Marathon started and ended at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Standing amongst 27,000 other runners a surreal calm overcame me; confident all of a sudden I was ready to go! The gun went off. We didn’t move, it was well over fifteen minutes later when we finally crossed the start line. “See you girls at the finish.” I waved and took off.  The entire strip was closed off for the race. This was an unbelievable way to see it in its entirety. In all my visits here I’d never walked more than two blocks of the strip at once; maybe because I’m usually inebriated and wearing five inch heels?!  I ran by MGM Grand and New York New York. I flew by the Bellagio and then the Venetian. Feeling fantastic I passed the Wynn and then headed out towards Old Vegas.  I passed a cheap motel and saw an old man handing out draft beers to the runners. “Oh that would add to my story…” I thought smiling at him and shaking my head as to say no thanks. All of a sudden I found myself stuck behind a large group of runners; feeling good I decided to hop on the side walk to pass them. I looked up for a second to acknowledge a lady that was cheering me on and before I knew it, I was ejected through the air and hit pavement, skidding on the entire right side of my body. I picked myself up before the lady had a chance to make it over to me “Oh my god are you ok?” she asked concerned.  The right sleeve of my shirt had been torn and I could feel a burning sensation and see some blood. “I’m fine.” I said and took off again. Leave it up to me to slip on the one lonely Gu pack that was on the sidewalk.  I could feel my right hip throbbing from the road rash as well but refused to let it slow me down. As I veered back onto the strip at mile eight I’d manage to completely forget about my spill. From that point on, without stopping I forced myself to grab a cup of water from each station. As I approached the thirteenth mile I could see the excitement in many of the half marathoner’s, picking up speed to get to the finish line. I on the other hand popped another electrolyte pill and turned right gearing up for the second half of my race. I ran over the hill with ease and was still feeling fabulous at fifteen miles. I’d created the perfect play list which kept me pumped. Nothing like Boney M. Christmas song followed up by some dirty Ke$ha to keep me going. At eighteen miles I started to feel my legs and I slowed a little bit. But then my mind went to a place I didn’t know existed, a place where no thoughts existed, a place where the only thing that mattered was keeping a nice happy pace. A place that made me run fast, easy, & smooth without having to think about it. “It’s all new miles from here on, so make em’ count.” I thought as I ran by the twenty-one mile marker. I tried to relish the last few miles pretending it was just another Saturday morning hangover run rather than fixate on the fact it was the last 5 miles of a marathon; physiologically this actually made the last leg of the run enjoyable. As I ran back over the hilly bridge I gained momentum knowing I was mere minutes away from finishing. I started to run faster; just before I turned back onto the strip I noticed a big sign that said “26.2 milesand I started to get chocked up. “No! no! Get it together and run!” Five hundred meters away from the finish I saw my friends on the side lines yelling “GO PT GIRL!!!!” waving their pom poms. This gave me the extra kick I needed to cross the finish without slowing.

4:13:10 and I was done my very first marathon!  I was totally pumped!! I’d meet my goal of 6 minutes per kilometers down to the second.

I walked round with a bagel in one hand and water bottle in the other.  It was impossible to find my friends in a sea of 50,000 people and visualizations of a hot shower was over -powering so I made it to the taxi line up at the front of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. There I was faced with a lineup of thirty people that weren’t moving. Frustrated after standing there for thirty minutes I eyed a stretch limo that had just pulled up and next thing I knew I was sitting in the back. Some things are just worth paying for!

My friend CC ran her first half marathon in five years , her friend Bonbon took ten minutes off her previous half marathon time and I ran my first marathon; needless to say we were all high on adrenaline and after being “good” for two nights were ready for a night on the town. All the girls got dolled up; I wore a mini dress and four inch heels. After some great eats at TAO we made our way to The Bank at the Bellagio. Twelve girls = free cover and too many free drinks :) We laughed hard, danced the night away under fake snow and meet tones of random fun people (and some douchebags as well).  The girls slowly dropped off and by three am there were only the last four hard core standing. We decided it would be best to head back to our hotel, the Aria. A riveting conversation with the taxi drivers had us in stitches as we stumbled out.  Some chicken wings, ten lapse around the casino chatting on the phone and another glass of wine (not necessarily in that order) and next thing I knew it was five am. I’d been up for 24 hours… then I crashed!!

In summary I must say this was the best first marathon I could have ever asked for. I wouldn’t change a single thing! I want to thank all my friends and family for their support as well as their understanding of my neuroticism.  A special thanks to IronMike who’s been there since my first ten k race telling me “I can do it!” Three year ago when he said “Watch out it’s a slippery slope you’ll be running marathons soon!” I laughed and said “As if, never!”

“To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who’s never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind.” Jerome Drayton

PT Girl xo

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

Who am I?

6 Oct

Last night I picked up my irun magazine and was reading the article “The Long Revisited” by Erin Sheared.

The article focused mainly on first time marathoners. It outlined many training programs and discussed how long and how fast you should run before your first big race.

In summary it suggests that no first timers should ever go over 32 km (or a three and half hour run). It advises first timers to do two 30 km runs allowing themselves plenty of time to taper off  prior to race day. “Huh?? 30 km…that’s it??”  Sorry but this is where I have to interject. This concept boggles my mind. Isn’t the “runners’ wall” at 35 km? So why wouldn’t a program recommend at least one 36 km run to help mentally and physically prepare you to overcome this defying obstacle?

I’ve never been one to follow the rules. I’m definitely the black sheep of the family and I’ve always liked doing things my own way.  So I am veering off the published training programs and creating my own course. Only time will tell if I am being foolish.

A few weeks ago I ran 30 km in 2h42mins and felt fantastic. With eight weeks to my first marathon my plan is to increase my distance by 3 km each long run, bringing me up to 39 km by the start of November. This will give me four weeks to taper and rest before the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon.

Marathon training programs like Hal Higdon’s have guided millions of people across the finish line so who the heck am I to say they are wrong?  Trust me; I’m aware I am no one. With only three half marathons behind me (4 after this weekend BMO Half in Kelowna ) I am clearly still a novice runner.  But I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I know how much I can push myself and I know what my boundaries are. But most importantly, I know what mental preparation is required for me to cross the finish line.

PT Girl xo

IRON MAN 2010

3 Sep

My personal trainer deWolf has been preparing for the Subaru Ironman for the last twelve months. This test of endurance has to be one of the most challenging events known to men. For the second year now, Alicia and I packed up my truck and drove out to Penticton. The hotels sell out for this epic athletic event so I was forced to make unconventional arrangements. I’d found an accommodation online. When we arrived at the address my contact Shannon had gave me; Alicia and I both sensed something eerie. We stood at the front door with much apprehension; I rang the doorbell. The door swung open and an unusual blond man stood in front of us barefoot.  “Come on in. I’m Charles.” He motioned to us to follow him down a hallway and opened the second door to the left. “Here’s your room girls.” he leered. “Make yourself at home” he mumbled and walked away.

Alicia and I sat on the bed both staring at the dreadful painting on the wall. “Where’s the TV?” Alicia asked. I shrugged, opening a bottled of wine attempting to stay positive. “Where’s the heck Shannon?” I said throwing down the local tourist magazine. As fate may have it, the magazine fell open on page 7 and there looking back at me was an ad for the Summerland Lakeside Resort and Spa. “I’m calling, I’ll pay anything!  Alicia looked at me with a glimmer of hope. “Oh, ok… no lake view…yup, ok, great. We’ll take it! See you tomorrow!” I hung up. We just have to make it through one night. “This bedroom is probably rigged with spy cams.” Alicia laughed. “Let go drink!  she said grabbing her purse and walking out.

 We over indulging in great food and wine at Theo’s Greek restaurant. Afterwards we ventured down towards the IM festivities.  We saw Charles eating poutine and dancing by himself a good ten feet away from the rest of the crowd. Alicia went up to him “Hey Charles, can we get a key?” “Nah! You don’t need a key, I leave the place open all the time!” he laughed sinisterly. Stunned, we forced a smile and walked away. “We’re going to end up on Dateline!” Alicia said in all seriousness as we walked into the first pub we saw. We cozied up at the bar and ordered two more glasses of wine. All the bartenders were wearing IronMan 2010 t-shirts “I’m want one of those shirts and before the night is over one of these guys will give me a shirt! I said.  “Hahaha! You’re funny!!!! … and we aren’t going to have pay for any drinks either!!” Alicia laughed.  The place was hopping and the bartenders’ decided to mix us some flame shooters. As the liquid courage started to run through my veins I began spouting off to whoever would listen “I’m going to sign up for IronMan!!!” No one seemed to take me seriously as I sipped from the trough. (The Bartenders specialty; a bucket of all mixed alcohols)

We sat at the bar for hours chatting and laughing with many great, interesting people and as predicted we stumbled out at three a.m. with no bar tab and an IronMan t-shirt on my back! “Oh what a night!!!”

 

 

The next morning, sleep deprived we showered, packed up and got the hell out of Charles’s house.

We were ecstatic with our room at the Summerland Resort & Spa

 

We took a quick ride back into Penticton to wish deWolf good luck.  He was oddly relaxed; not showing any signs of anxiety what’s so ever. “It’s just another day of exercise” he smiled.

The morning of the IronMan race came fast and we rushed back into town to see the 3.8 km swim.

As returning IronMan supporters we were pretty familiar with the bike route and well equipped with road pops, air conditioning, tunes and snacks. We managed to meet up with my trainer about 6 or 7 times along the 180 kilometers ride.

We veered off at Keremos to grab a bite to eat. Once we returned to the highway we weren’t able to find him again so decided to catch him at the start of the run.  Standing at the seven kilometers marker the wind picked up and it started to rain. Alicia spotted him up the road and I waved my big homemade sign YOU ROCK!! He ran by us “Shoot me!” he said smiling.

We had a few hours to kill so we went back to the hotel to shower and rest. By the time we retuned it was dusk which makes it hard to see the runners clearly but I know deWolf’s stride and saw him from afar “Here he comes!” I pointed and dashed to the side of the street. “Run with me.” he said.   He mentioned his foot hurt but he didn’t even look tired. “You’re doing great! You’re almost done! I said as I handed back his water bottle. “See you at the finish line” I yelled as he took off.

As we waited for him across the finish line I watched the many other Ironman finishers rejoice with friends and family. Congratulation, after all IronMan was the very FIRST triathlon he’d even signed up for and completed!

 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42.2 km run!  Crazy, impressive and extremely inspiring!

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

I am an “N”

12 Aug

This week wasn’t any better than last. Work is hectic because both of my clients are moving at the end of the month. On top of that I still have unresolved business that is weighing heavy on my shoulders; with lots on my plate already why did I sign up for my first marathon?  I had a moment  at the office where I boasted about an 18 km run; a bit smug I got carried away and before I knew it was typing in my credit card number online and registered for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll marathon on Dec 5, 2010. I’m an impulse buyer and never second guess a purchase. Shoes, purses, running gear, dresses and suits for the office I’ll bring up to the till with little regret. But this was different; pressing the ‘purchase’ button evoked instant buyer’s remorse!! “What the hell was I think…?”

A few days (and short runs later) I started to process and deal. I started rationalizing my decision, training for something more challenging might be exactly what I require right now; a grander goal to keep me focused and positive.

I’m bound to have uncontrollable interruptions during my training so alleviating any setbacks I do have control over is very important. I must remain injury free; for that reason I have made the following promises to myself.

“I, PT Girl swear to stretch after each run. I swear to attend one yoga class a week. I swear to see my RMT once a month (at minimum). I swear to take my fish oil pills daily and I swear to nourish and rest my body as required”

My friend Julie invited me to join CC and herself to a yoga class on Sunday afternoon. If you’ve been following my blog or tweets you know that yoga is not my forte and I’d usually decline the invitation. “Yes! Yes! I will come.  What’s the address?” I said. To my surprise this was no typical yoga class.

This was Infrared Yoga. I’ve been in infrared saunas before, I like the way the heat gets distributed and know of its many health benefits.

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Improves your immune system
  • Improves your strength and vitality
  • Helps cure several skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis,  and acne
  • Strengthens the cardio-vascular system
  • Helps control your blood pressure
  • Detoxifies your body
  • Gives you more energy and relieves stress
  • Relieves pain (joint pain, sore muscles, arthritis)
  • Helps control your cholesterol level
  • Helps treat bronchitis
  • and many more….

The small private studio (holds up to 6) was immaculately clean and beautifully lit with little red candles along the mirrored wall. It’s located in the heart of Vancouver and in last Sunday’s class it was just us three girls and the awesome yoga teacher. Upbeat, positive and full of confidence this yoga class is a more then a hot stretch session, it’s a self esteem booster!  The close personal attention from Sarah the teacher was fantastic.  She knows how to mold her class to her students’ personalities. I’m frightfully inflexible; it’s hard to believe that once upon a time I was able to do the split! These days I’d be happy to see any kind of elasticity. Like most yoga classes the vibe was mellow and relaxing but Sarah was quick to read that cracking jokes and making fun comments would be more then welcomed by us gals. At the end of the 60 minutes I felt fully relaxed! “… yes I will be back next Sunday!” I said thanking Sarah.

My body was feeling great on Monday and was ready for a long run.  The weather was overcast and 19 degrees, which is perfect!  I set out with no specific goal; I just wanted to let my mind go blank… so I ran and ran and ran some more, clocking 19 km. I kept a steady and easily sustainable pace of 5:52 per km.

Tuesday morning I had to face Toby my RMT. O.M.G. that was the most torturous 45 minutes of my life! How can my body feel so good yet be so stiff, tight and knotted?? “I’m barely applying any pressure; you are so tight. You have to stretch!” Toby told me again.  “To hell with this! I can’t take another excruciating massage like this” I thought to myself as she rubbed out the knots in my lower back, I vowed to religiously to stretch and attend yoga.

I’m excited about my marathon training. I’m starting this weekend by attempting a 24-25 km run (my longest run ever).  But as a marathon NOVICE I would like to ask my followers for some tips and advice. Dos & don’ts. Recommended books or training programs. HELP!!

PT Girl xo