Tag Archives: sneakers

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

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

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

Anyone Can Run

24 Feb

New fitness enthusiasts fill the gyms every January but their excitement tends to fizzle out by this time of year.  I know many of you vowed to start running…but have your new shinny sneakers seen the pavement yet?  What are you waiting for?

Running has many benefits; it minimizes stress, enhances your mood as well as improves your cardiovascular and bone health. Running is one of the most effective calorie burning workouts which is it great for weight loss.  It doesn’t require a partner, a gym membership or any fancy equipment.  All you need is a pair of sneakers and a little patience.  Newcomers should try to follow these tips.

Set a realistic goal: as a new runner signing up for a local 5 km or 10 km race is a great way to stay focused. Most races are during the spring so this is the perfect time to start training.

Google it: search for a suitable training program that works with your lifestyle and stick with it! Depending on your level you may want to start with a run/walk program.

Schedule it:  at the beginning of every week enter your workouts/runs in your blackberry or jot them on your calendar. This will help keep you accountable.

Support system: find a partner. Join a local running group or online chat forum.  There will be bad days, I promise you. The support and reassurance that everyone has hard times will make it that much easier to stick with it and push forward.

Invest in a proper shoe:  a good running shoe should last you at least 400 miles.

Pace yourself: Run slower than you think you should. But run more often than you think you should.

Posture: relax your shoulders, unclench your fists and stand tall.

Hydrate: Hydrate! Hydrate!

“Everyone is an athlete. But some of us are training, and some of us are not.” –Dr. George Sheehan

PT Girl xo

For the LOVE of Comfort

14 Feb

I’m a stiletto girl at heart and until I started running a few years ago, I didn’t own a pair of sneakers or what I called flat shoes.

Did you know that the stiletto shoe was named after a dagger in the 1930’s? I think that sublimely the name is partially what makes women feel so powerful.  How can you not feel sexy in a pair of five inch black patent Gucci stilettos?  This style of shoe elongate our legs, making us look taller and thinner. We stand prouder and something about them makes us exude confidence.  This type of shoe is clearly not designed for comfort;  so I was very familiar to foot pain and I often doubled my agony by purchasing my heels too small, cramming my big eight and half size feet into a seven and half.

But I didn’t know true foot soreness until I experienced running blisters!  I ran in a size eight pair of stylish looking NIKE‘s for almost 2 years. My feet were always covered in blisters, even drawing blood on my longer runs. I was constantly soaking my throbbing feet and spent a small fortune on Band-Aids. One day I noticed that my middle toe was black and over time the nail fell off. It was then I told myself “If I’m serious about running I need to accept my real foot size.” I decided to go to a pro running shop and get advice on purchasing  the proper type of running shoe for my feet. I was advised to buy a more practical sneaker (such as New Balance or Mizuno) in a half a size bigger than my true size. The thought of buying a size nine shoe was mortifying to me, but my feet have never been happier.

I will always be a lover of  the stiletto shoe, but now I wear the right size and even though I look like big foot I run in comfort.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

PT Girl xo