Tag Archives: pace

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

Aiming for Speed

14 Jul

PTGirlFrontView

Can anyone become a faster runner? Well after running three half marathons where each race I finished shy of breaking two hours by 90 seconds or less I am starting to believe that I’m not designed  to run any faster! I decided to run the Okanagan Half Marathon Oct 10, 2010 and am about to embark on a three month training program where the bulk of my energy will be focused on increasing my pace.

turtle640

The last half marathon I ran was the BMO Half in May; my official race time was 2:00:47; pace of 5:40 per km.

I used to think that I had to run more miles to run faster. I’m no longer worried about the distance of the race, as my Saturday leisurely 17 km run is one of my favorite times of the week (besides Friday afternoon cocktail hour on the patio…of course) I attempted some hill training during my last half training but focused mainly on logging miles; unfortunately running those extra miles at my regular pace didn’t turn me into a cheetah :( After talking to some friends, discussing with some trainers and a little online research it seems the only way to learn how to run faster is to get out there and run faster!  Here are a few steps that I think will help me:

Step 1

Increase your turnover (turnover refers to the number of times your right (or left) foot hits the ground in 1 minute). Obviously the faster your turnover, the more distance you cover in a given period of time. Count your current turnover rate and then aim to increase your turnover by 5 steps per minute until you eventually reach that magical 80. Elite runners usually clock around 90+ strides per minute but for us mere mortals runner a turnover of 80 is considered pretty decent.

*Note – Don’t let your feet get in front of your body.

Step 2

Push off with your big toe. This will also help to take some of the pounding out of your heels and push your body forward more effectively.

Step 3

Swing your arms forward, not across your body. Moving your arms back and forth across your body will pull your body from side to side. Aim your hands in the direction you want to go; directly in front of you.

Step 4

Incorporate speed workouts into your program. Speed workouts are a great way to increase your pace slowly and steadily over time.

Cheetah

In addition to a long run and a shorter fast run per week, here are the new rules I will be living by for the next three months:

Rule # 1 – Set a clear & realistic goal of a time you wish to beat

I want to run a 1:55 half marathon (5:27 per km) Thirteen seconds per kilometers faster

Rule #2 Use hill training to build muscle & endurance

Hill sprints at least once a week

Rule #3 Yoga & strength training to prevent injury and to increase flexibility and range of motion

Strength training twice week with my personal trainer.

2 yoga classes a month and 1 massage therapy session a month.

Rule # 4 Interval training, using sprints to increase speed as well as lung capacity

To be incorporated in each of my personal training session

Rule # 5 Give your body rest so your muscles can recover and avoid injury

I swear to take a rest day (or yoga day) a week

Does anyone have any other suggestions how this turtle can evolve into a cheetah?

PT Girl xo

Nothing last forever, not even a good buzz

6 Jul

PTGirlmartini-01

My long weekend launched off Wednesday with a late lunch at Cactus Club with my friend Shauna. She was there when I arrived and was holding a beautiful burgundy drink.  “The sangria is awesome!” she said as the waitress came up to our table; I pointed at her refreshing looking cocktail “I’ll have one of those please!”sangira

After one glass I was feeling my happy place.“Holly Yum…!”I smiled. “Aren’t they the best!” Shauna said. When the waitress came back and we ordered a second round. I sighed “Yikes… I could really get on roll here but I’m supposed to do the Grouse Grind.” Shauna slightly rolled her eyes “Have fun with that?!” I started to think it may be a bit ambitious of me to hike tipsy especially as I recalled my disappointing first hike of the year a few weeks ago where I didn’t come close to breaking an hour (1:07:44). I don’t know if it was too early in the morning or what but I couldn’t find my pace and just wasn’t able get my breathing in check. It felt as is I had to stop every twenty steps.

Mike, Michelle and I headed up around 6 p.m. and my only intention was to find a pace where I didn’t have to stop. I reached the first quarter mark in 15 minutes and knew if I was able to keep my rhythm I’d make it under and hour. I reached the top in 58:14  “Bring it ON!! I shaved ten minutes off my first climb! I said jumping around. Every Wednesday is social night at the top of Grouse Mountain so we decided to stay and have some nachos and of course a few drinks. The elevation really does wonders for your buzz ;) We chatted about Mike and Michelle’s Iron Man experiences and laughed our asses off while “beerstorming” (brain storming) for innovative fitness ideas I could bring to my blog.  (Which I will share with you in future posts)

When I got home I popped a melatonin and slept for six glorious hours. It was heavenly! Thursday morning my girlfriend CC came over for a short run. We ran my usual seven kilometres Cambie to Burrard bridge loop. She’s training for the Okanagan BMO Half Marathon in October and managed to convince me to sign up as well. “Twist my arm!”

Later in the day I meet Hank and Jules at Local in Kits. The vibe there is pretty relaxed and the drinks over the bridge are so cheap! But today’s 20 something fashion trends are seriously disturbing.  All the girls were wearing scarves (it’s not winter) flannel chequered shirts and/or flip flops. I just don’t get it?! A few sangria’s..blah blah blah… a few tequila shots, fast forward….fireworks and “Happy Canada Day!”

Friday morning I had to go into work- blech! I took care of the few necessary tasks and rushed home to grab my fur baby Gucci (Yorkshire Terrier) and went to North Vancouver to meet my friend SM and his dog Reggin for a hike in the trails. We walked about five km then headed back to his house which is absolutely gorgeous; it looks like it’s permanently staged for a photo shoot in Modern Living Magazine. We sat in the backyard basking in the sun drinking Frenz Rose from Naramata,B.C. I was pacing my intake because I planned on running 17 km the next morning, when deWolf sent me a text and told me he had an opening for a session instead.

Saturday I woke up refreshed and got ready for my PT session. I decided to run the 7 km to the gym. I was unsure of how long it would take me because of the elevation on the last few kilometres. I made it in 42:55 and could instantly tell that deWolf had no intention of taking it easy on me; I knew he was actually going to push me harder than normal!  Argh! I know he thinks I can be problematic. I sometimes bring tude’ to our session’s and tend to question why he makes me do certain exercises. He’s stubborn, I’m stubborn and we butt heads from time to time.  But he’s encouraging and supportive in his own unique way, yet never forgets to remind me that I am capable of more. Given that I’m surrounded by friends and family who tell me I’m fantastic all the time his form of motivation typically works. After an hour of arms drills, core exercises, squats and hill sprints I was feeling surprisingly okay. I geared up, grabbed my iPod and headed out for the 7 km trek back home. My legs started to get heavy and forced me to slow down as I headed over the Burrard Bridge.  In total,  I ran 14.10 km in 1:22.

wine-glassesThat evening the girls came over for dinner and copious amount of wine.  We all ravaged the low fat turkey lasagna I whipped up earlier that day and shared lots of laughs.

On Sunday I didn’t roll out of bed until ten am. I lazed around and later on hooked up with Alicia for a long overdue chitchat …and yes… more sangria!  But as all good things, the weekend has now come to an end and the reality of my week ahead has set in. I’m staying upbeat by enjoying the wonderful weather and as much running (away from life) as possible.

PT Girl xo

Heel My Injury

14 Apr

Most people buy shoes to go with their clothes but I will seek out an entire outfit base around a fabulous pair of shoes. Last week I decided to do a massive purge in my shoe closet because so many don’t fit, are out dated or are just plain ugly and are taking up precious space. During my cleanse I found an old pair of black patent Calvin Klein stilettos. “Ahhhhhh” I sighed. “My good friends! You carried me painlessly through many nights of drunk dancing….” I reminisced.  The good memories made me feel all warm in fuzzy and I knew I had to wear them one more time before they hit the trash can. So, last Thursday before leaving for work I slipped them on. “Still as comfortable as ever.” I thought to myself. “So what if the left heel is worn down about an eighth of an inch….right?!”

I arrived at my personal training session at six p.m. and could feel a slight twinge in my lower back. “Probably nothing…” I thought to myself. The session went fast as de Wolf worked me hard. During stretch I felt tighter than normal but didn’t think much of it. By the time I got home there was definitely a pain in my back. I popped a Robaxacet® and went to bed. On Friday morning I could still feel the ache which seemed to worsen as the day went on.   But like with many other things in life, I ignored it and  swallowed two more Robaxacet®. Tunnel vision “Nothing is going to stop me from doing my 25 km run.”

I woke after a great sleep “Yeah! This is going to be a great run” bouncing out of bed! “Ouch ouch…wtf my back!” I limped out of the bedroom. “Lala lala” ignoring that there was anything wrong I went into the kitchen and prepared my ritual pre-run meal; oatmeal and green tea. I turned the tunes up loud and started to put my running gear on. “Runner’s water belt or no?” I contemplated testing the belt around my waist. “Nah! Screw that! It’s so uncomfortable” I tossed the belt aside, put a pack of Cliff Bloks in the back of my Lululemon shirt pocket and crossed my fingers that the water fountains along Kits beach would be turned on.

Every single time my left foot hit the ground a sharp pain ran up my leg into my lower back which put me behind pace by about three minutes at 5 kilometers. “Suck it up!” I told myself pushing to pick up the pace. I zoned out ignoring everything around me and managed to get back on track at 10 kilometers at the foot of my nemesis: UBC Hill. The two kilometer, 75 meters of elevation was painful. Relieved to have made it to the top I realize I was behind pace again. I turned around and headed down the hill picking up as much speed as possible. I actually felt great from twelve to sixteen kilometers and the pain in my leg and back seemed to disappear only to return furiously. I was panting and needed to hydrate. The water fountain was insight; I washed two Cliff Bloks down with some cold water and off I went. I wanted to get this done. I was behind again but managed to hit 21.1 kilometers in 2:01. (5:44 per km) I was tuckered out and my legs were strained. I walked for a half block and then decided to run the last two kilometers to home. I felt great… for the time being.

A few hours later… agony and immobility!! The pain moved from my lower back deep into my left butt cheek making it difficult for me to maneuver in any direction. I figured I needed a good stretch, so I went to West Coast Yoga in Yaletown where my friend Leo teaches a hot yoga class. He was quick to point out that my friend Julie and I were newbie’s and gave us tons of “special’ attention. I enjoyed the class, but it did nothing for my injury. I hurt even when I sat on soft furniture, so I thought it wise to take Monday off completely. Not knowing what to do with myself I went to my personal training session yesterday. “How am I supposed to fill and entire hour with just arms?” deWolf asked me. He spent a great deal of the session stretching me out and using that odd stick to roll out some knots. When I stood up I was actually felt pain free; for about 45 seconds.

This morning I went and saw my chiropractor. He performs miracles and has never failed me before. I’m usually in and out and fixed under five minutes!  “WOW! You are really messed up!” he said lightly feeling my back. With my face down “Don’t say that! This is not what I want to hear!” I exclaimed. He laughed “Well you did quite the number on yourself!” He continued, poking, pulling and prodding at my back and legs; with my face still down on the table I said:  “Can I go to hot yoga tonight?”

Chiro: “No.” he laughed

PT Girl:  “F**K! Can I see my personal trainer tomorrow?”

Chiro: Still laughing and still working on me he said “NO!”

PT Girl: “F**K!!” as I visualized the shoes that had betrayed me!

shoe

Chiro: “You need to rest and heal if you want to run your half marathon. You can walk, that’s it! Try a light run on Sunday and come back to see me on Monday.” he said now laughing out loud.

I couldn’t believe my ears! One week left of training before my tapering starts and I’m being told to completely STOP all physical activities for  four full days!  Sheer panic!! For two reasons:

  1. What if I don’t heel in time for the race?
  2. What will I do for four days with no workouts scheduled?

PT Girl xo


Blah!

21 Mar

I had an off week. My legs were sore and tight at the beginning of the week and don’t feel any better today. Work was busier than usual and had a hard time sleeping. I either tossed and turned all night or suffered through crazy nightmares. This combination made me irritable and cranky; so keeping positive and on track with my training this week was definitely trying. Monday was my rest day, which was needed after my long hilly run last Sunday; but sleep deprived I went my Tuesday personal training session with de Wolf feeling lethargic. Wednesday I ran 9 km, slower than I would have liked. Thursday I was in a mood but went to my second personal training session anyways. Come Friday I was exhausted after work but forced a short 6 km run before going out for dinner. Fatigue finally caught up to me and I actually slept 7 hours. Saturday morning I felt sluggish. I could have sat around, read the paper and sipped on coffee and Baileys till noon. But the sun was shining and I knew I should stick to my scheduled 19 km run in case the rain came on Sunday.  I psyched myself, pulled on my favorite Nike crops and luluemon shirt, pressed shuffle on my iPod and started running.  I had a slow start but gained momentum around 7 kilometers and felt strong through to 14 kilometers. I popped a Cliff Blok at 15 kilometers. I refused to carry a water bottle on my runs but find that a few Cliff Bloks gives me the boost I need.  My glutes were burning during most of the run and I mentally struggled, feeling as if I was behind pace; yet somehow managed to finishing 19.1 km in 1h 49mins. Considering my negative state of mind and the pain in my legs I was content with my time; for this week.  Saturday night I attended my friend’s birthday party and indulged in a little alcohol for the first time in 20 days.  Although I didn’t have to nurse a hangover this morning I was “fuzzy” and sat around watching “Mean Girls” on TV. Once the credits ran at the end I was mortified that I’d lost 2 hours of my life on such a ridiculous movie. I tried to read but was unable to relax so I laced up for a short recovery run, hoping it would take the edge off; with no avail. Blah! I’m looking forward to my rest day tomorrow…. maybe I’ll make an appointment with a registered massage therapist to loosen up my legs.

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:

HILL THEORY:

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

PERSONAL TRAINER THEORY:

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).

ACID ZAPPER THEORY:

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/

A Woman’s Touch

7 Mar

The weather has been accommodating this winter. Vancouver hasn’t had any snow and barely any rain; since the New Year I’ve ran in nothing but sunshine.  After a long hectic work week I was exhausted so I canceled my Friday night plans and was tucked in bed by 11 p.m. Day five of my detox I woke up early, the sun was shining (again) and I felt good. I leisurely ate my oatmeal and drank my green tea while catching up on some e-mails.

I hit the pavement by 8 a.m. and I had a very specific run pace in mind. The seawall was just the way I like it, quiet. One of the best things about running is that I can just tune out.  I have a fatal obsession with my blackberry; which is connected to five email addresses, bbm, text message, twitter and facebook. I have an overzealous dog and 3 demanding clients; running is my only real solitude.  My first check point was kilometer five, I was ahead of pace as I entered Stanley Park just under 28 minutes. The sun was warm on my face and I let my mind go blank. At kilometer ten I was right on track at 56 minutes and still felt strong.  As per normal around kilometer 14 my hamstrings started to burn… A LOT, but I managed to stay on pace and got to kilometer fifteen in 1hr25mins. My legs got heavier and heavier but I refused to slow down. I pushed, ignored the burn and got to my front door in 1h38mins (17.3 km).  “Yeah!! I did it… Now it’s spa time!”

As I lay on my stomach totally relaxed after my facial, the esthetician said “The masseuse will be right in.” There was a knock at the door, I looked up and there stood a dude “Hi ma’am I’m here to give you your massage.” I’ve been to lots of massages, hundreds and I’ve never had a male masseuse. I first thought about the Sex in the City episode where Samantha got banned from the spa for trying to get the male masseuse to pet her ‘cookie’.  Except my guy wasn’t 6’2 blond and build like a brick house, he was a long haired, tubby Spanish dude. My second thought was that I’ve never been alone in a room with a guy with just my underwear on without the intention of ‘giving it up’, so this was just weird. Usually when I’m getting a massage I am so relaxed time flies by, sometimes I actually fall asleep; but not today. Although his man hands may be strong and more efficient since they can cover more ground, the entire experience was wrong. He was fumbling, making noises and kept dropping the bottle of oil. I felt like it was never going to end and I started cursing the receptionist for not telling me the masseuse would be male when I originally called to make the appointment. Spa Utopia would never book a female with a male therapist without her consent. “It will be over soon. No, no you can’t ask him to end the session early, that would be rude!” I told myself. Anyone who knows me would tell you I am incapable of masking my body language and I was sure he could feel my annoyance; for which I felt bad. “For god sake it’s not his fault… but make it stop! “ I sigh out loud.

I’ve always preferred to work with men and it goes without saying that I like my trainer to be a man but after today there is no doubt I prefer my massage be performed by a woman.

PT Girl xo

Staying Injury Free

27 Feb

Surfaces

Where do you typically run; concrete, treadmill, trails, the running track? All these surfaces have pros and cons. Your best bet is to try and mix it up whenever you can.

Walk breaks

I personally dislike breaks and try to avoid them. But when I first started to run I took walk breaks a lot.  Professionals say walk breaks are key and should be taken before feeling gassed. This type of training is designed to increases your endurance and help avoid injuries. (Especially for newer runners)

Chat

Keep a comfortable pace while training. You should be able to maintain a light conversation or recite a poem (slightly winded). If you are signing along to Lady Gaga or Britney on your iPod you are not pushing hard enough but if you can barely get a word out, you’re definitely pushing too hard – slow down!!

Mileage

Running 101: only increase your mileage 10% every week.  Add an extra run day to your schedule or add extra minutes to your existing runs. Always listen to your body and if necessary only increase your mileage every second week.

Rest

Take a day off every week, recovery is very important. Get eight hours of sleep and make sure your diet includes plenty of carbs and protein to help recovery.

Mix it up

Trade in one of your runs for a spin class, do some laps in the pool or modify one of your runs to include some sprints, hills and speed work.

Shoes

Your running shoes should be worn outside and on the treadmill.   A good pair of sneakers should last you 300-500 miles.  Check the bottoms every 5-6 months and invest in a new pair when the bottoms are worn to avoid injuries.

Soft Landing

Your heels or mid foot should hit the ground first then transferring your weight into your toes; always landing softly without expending extra energy. If you tend to run on your toes for long periods of time, don’t be surprised if you encounter shin splints.

Aches & pains

When slight aches and pains start affecting your stride take a break until you heal. Running through it or ignoring the issues can cause serious problem which will inhibit you from running for an extended period of time. Trust me… when your knee locks up 15 km away from home you’ll wish you’d taken the time off to heal. I know I did! Read standard RICE.

We all have an injury story and we all have our bad habits. Recognizing our bad behaviors is the first step to correcting them. I never carry water or electrolytes and I rarely stretch. What’s your bad habit?

PT Girl xo

As the “PT” World Turns

21 Feb

Two sleepless nights and too many GG martinis made it difficult to wake up this morning. I pried myself out of bed and shoehorned a cup of Cheerios and skim milk down my throat. It was another gorgeous West Coast morning, the sun was shining but the city was still sound a sleeping. I ignored my dehydration and set out slowly trying to stay focused on my breathing.  As I neared the second kilometer my mind drifted and for some reason I started to think about the Personal Trainers in my life…

I signed up with my first Personal Trainer in search of a quick fix to shed few pounds. I didn’t enjoy working out, I was closed minded, stubborn and above I refused to set foot in a gym.  My first trainer Steve had the biggest challenge; not only did he have to train me in the rain; he would have to change my mind set on fitness.  In the end, he definitely played a role in my new found love of exercise. I gained confidence during our time together by running my first 10 km race and overcoming my fear of gyms. (For more on Steve refer to blog entries February 1 & 3)

I meet my second Personal Trainer Greg at the Steve Nash Sports Facility where he taught a spin class. Fourty-five minutes of nonstop spinning combined with cranked tunes and his vibrant energy made for an awesome workout.  By the end I was soaked and instantly infected by his positivity. I was determined to hire him as my personal trainer.

Yup! It was that easy; I cheated on Steve and coming clean was the only thing that would ease my guilty conscious. I dreaded having to call Steve and tell him I wouldn’t be seeing him anymore. I remember a moment of sadness while saying goodbye and said “This isn’t personal.  I’ve had great time training with you. Keep in touch.”

Since my cardio was decent now Greg thought it was time to focus on developing my overall strength. Weights and fitness equipment were foreign to me which made the training sessions with him challenging.  Lunges and burpees were his favorite torture devices. I wanted to curse him so many times… but he was so nice, I just couldn’t. This past summer, trying to schedule my sessions with him proved difficult due to an increase in my workload, so I decided to take a few months off from Personal Training. The weather was fantastic and I took advantage of it as much as possible, clocking 30-40 kilometers of running a week.

Now they say “the third ones a charm”…

My current and third Personal Trainer is deWolf.  We meet a few years ago when Steve sent him as a substitute to one of my sessions.  Back then any kind of stand-in or unfamiliar person training me would have normally sent me into a tizzy but deWolf had a calming aura and his “leave your drama for your momma” * straight forward attitude was refreshing; we quickly develop an amusing banter. I wanted him as my trainer from that day on but we don’t always get what we want…not even me!

Circumstances changed and we’ve been training together for the last six months. I’ve never felt stronger and I’ve never been faster.  deWolf knows how to push my buttons and get’s me to work hard. “My pain is his happiness!” I smirked.

“HONK!! HONK!!” the sound jolted me back to reality. Startled, I looked up and quickly dodged a three thousand pound metal weapon “Sweet Jesus! My bad, my bad” I sighed, waving apologetically at the annoyed driver. My heart was pounding so hard I could see it rise through my lululemon shirt. Once I crossed the street I stopped and took a couple deep breaths to try and calm my palpitations. I realized I couldn’t hear anything around me and turned down volume on my iPod then checked my Garmin watch. I couldn’t believe it; slightly hung-over and totally sleep deprived I had just ran thirteen kilometers in one hour and fourteen minutes. (My race pace last year) Ecstatic with my progress, I dashed for home quickly forgetting my about near death experience.

PT Girl xo

*deWolf

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