Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Zero Week

Woke up yesterday morning and found this on my Garmin.

That means we did it!  We held out the entire week without running.  They call it a zero week, and it is one of the recommended methods of marathon recovery.  I have never before completed a successful zero week.  It usually starts out something like this...
200 metres to the finish line-"What is happening, my everything hurts, WHY DOES THE FINISH LINE KEEP MOVING!!"
As I finally catch the moving finish line and my foot strikes the timing mat-"I LOVE RUNNING SO MUCH, THAT WAS AMAZING, LET'S DO IT AGAAAAIIIIINNNNNN!!"
Precisely one step over the finish line-"Oh crap...I can't walk."
In the car on the way home-"I'm gonna take the week off of running and the gym, I want to make sure I recover properly."
Day 1-"Who's dumb idea was it to put stairs in houses, and who made our toilets shorter?"
Day 2-"I feel pretty good, I'm just going to roll my legs really well today."
Day 3-"Hey!!  I can walk like a normal person
Day 4-"The gym is easier then running, I'm just going to go to the gym...Active recovery is good for you.  Oh look...There's a spin class right now...Spinning is easier then running...Low impact right?  You know, active recovery..."
Day 5- "My legs didn't fall off at the gym, I'm just going to try a little run.  Just a little, easy, slow 5K. 
And thus the demise of the zero week. 
After our 50K last September I did a spin class on the Wednesday, and then ran Thursday and Saturday, and then was back to 5 day/week running and 2 day/week strength training the next week.  It took me a very long time to feel fully recovered, and it was my own fault.  As of last week, I had exactly 6 weeks before the start of my next marathon training cycle.  My next marathon is a hugescaryoverwhelmingterrifying goal (which I will tell you about soon), so I thought it would be wise to be very conservative with my recovery but not with my voting.  I want to be ready to train very hard 5 weeks from now.  It's just the motivation that I needed to actually abide by the zero week. 
That's not to say that there were not moments of temptation.  I thought that working nights at the end of the week would be a great deterrent.  I never really feel like running after night shifts.  In fact I never really feel like being alive after working night shifts  Unexpectedly when I got up around 11 on Saturday morning I really wanted to run.  The weather was beautiful, and Lucas was going to hang out with my mom for a bit, so I thought it would be the perfect time for Leigh and I to stick Cooper in the stroller and go for an easy run (we recently realized that Lucas has outgrown his stroller running days).  I even managed to influence Leigh and convince him that this was a good idea (he is much wiser with his recovery then I).  After a couple of hours and a trip to the garden centre I came to my senses and realized that I needed to stick to the plan.  Then I started really thinking about how Lesley was running a half marathon on Sunday, a half marathon that I had sorta kinda planned on registering for so I could run with Lesley (early in my marathon traning). I started thinking about maybe just wearing some running clothes, and just jumping in for a few couple uhhh...some miles...You know, just if she looked like she needed some encouragement.  I ran that thought by Leigh, and he very seriously (which is very unusual) said, I really don't think you should run your first run back at that pace.  I wore a maxi dress and flip flops, the least running friendly attire I could conceive.
So after a week off I set out for an easy 5K in beautiful weather yesterday morning.  My legs are still a bit fatigued, my IT band still a bit whiney, but running was still there, nothing bad happened, and I still knew how to run after a whole week off.  Planning an easy increase in mileage through the rest of the week, and we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Our Marathon Weekend in Pictures

Everyone knows the best way to combat pre-race nerves is to photo blog. We are here safely in Halifax and the weather is beautiful. It's so beautiful in fact, we are hoping it cools down by tomorrow. Race kits have been picked up and we are ready to roll. Time to put our feet up and get ready for tomorrow. Here are a few pictures of our trip so far. 

My first selfie. The smallest airplane bathroom ever!

The weather when we left Moncton. 

Arriving in Nova Scotia

Below is our morning in pictures. Walk along the harbour, farmers market, pizza for lunch, me and a lobster, Tamales, the Citadel (where we first caught the running bug)

The 5k runners taking off. If you look closely you will see some fire fighters running in full gear! 

Some time with Amanda and Ashley

We are off to finish the carb load and try and relax and get ready for tomorrow. 


Thursday, 15 May 2014

The East Coast of Canada, Home of the Bagpipes.

The title of this blog was inspired but a great, but certainly NSFW song/track by Canadian rap artist Classified. The song is called "The Maritimes" and you can take a listen here (do not listen with your children around or if you are afraid of profanity). For a family-friendly song that is only slightly related to this blog post but so great that I'm including it, I present to you, the great Rod Stewart:

As I'm sure you do most times I author a post on this blog, you are this point wondering two things 1) When is Lexie blogging again, and 2) Is he going anywhere with this or just trying to make us listen to his favourite songs? The answers are soon, and yes. Moving on.

One of my favourite places on Earth is the east coast of Canada for the following reasons: I enjoy the sounds of Oceans of all varieties, I love Donairs, I have been known to watch The Trailer Park Boys, I love bridges and Halifax is home to many, and most of all I love the people we visit when we go there. I also love run-on sentences.

A few years ago when we were visiting Lexie's Cousins and their cool families in Halifax for the first time we had the chance to watch Amanda, and Lexie's Uncle Mike run a 10k race. It was part of the Blue Nose Marathon race weekend. I can still remember how electric the finish line was. Seeing all these people complete a task I didn't think I was capable of was inspiring. People of all shapes and sizes were crossing the finish line. Now by no means did this inspire me to do the same, but when I think back, I think it may have planted a seed in the back of our minds that has now grown into a big, addicted, obsessed tree. I know that the last sentence made no sense, but you get it.

Fast forward to December of 2013, I was just recovering from my back injury and Ashley (Lexie's cousin who is one of the people we love to visit out east) was here for a visit. Now I can't recall the exact details but we were talking about our next race, and before we knew it, Ashley was talking to Rob (her Beau) and we had decided our next Marathon would be the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax on the May long weekend (the Blue Nose is a famous sailboat, hence the use of the "Sailing" by my man Rod). You know how the rest goes; time flew, we trained, I got injured, I recovered, we ran long, and far, and fast, and here we are. Race Weekend is upon us. Tomorrow we fly out to Halifax (without the boys, thanks again Oma!) to run a great race and see some great people.

The goal you ask? Under 4 hours.

How are we going to do it?

Catch you guys on the flip side, check back on the weekend for some short but informative posts.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Believe It Or Not...

We are still here, and we do still have the desire to blog.  The trouble over the last 3 months is that the desire to blog has not translated into actually blogging.  Like all of you, we have been busy and tired, and priorities at the end of the day shifted from blogging, to collapsing on the couch in a heap of exhaustion, and then staggering off the couch and up to bed sometime around 9pm.

It all started when I started a new job in January.  I got a contract for the winter semester teaching obstetrical nursing for a college program.  I loved (LOVED!!) it, but it translated into a lot of prep work, marking, and email answering.  Should have scored myself a phys ed gig I guess!  The minutes that I would typically steal to blog in were spent updating Blackboard, marking papers about breastfeeding and skin to skin, and answering panicked emails asking for extensions.

All sorts of other fun stuff has been going on in our household in the past few months as well.   I'm going to give you a little photo run down of what we've been up to!

There was a fun trip to the Raptors game that clearly contributed to their brief playoff stint.  Lucas has been very VERY into The Raptors this year.  It's too bad the officiating was so bad that they lost in the first round.  It was fun seeing Lucas so into it!

Leigh's junior team fared better then the Raps.  He coached them to a ROPSAA Championship!

There was A LOT of this.  Before all was said and done the snow on our front lawn covered about half the branches on the tree.

All that snow resulted in a spur of the moment decision to drive to Myrtle Beach for March Break.  We camped in Myrtle Beach State Park for 4 nights. We had so much fun.  We played at the beach and the park as much as we could.  Night time trips to the park with the lantern and headlamps to maximize our park time were a big hit!  It was a very welcome break from the snow and cold.  Runs on the beach in shorts and t-shirts are much more enjoyable then runs in -30+ windchills wearing 2 pairs of tights, shorts, and compression socks to keep my legs warm.  The day before we left it was 26 degrees C, when we crossed the border coming home, to a massive snowstorm, the temperature was -26 degrees C.  That is a 52 degree difference!

Lucas was just mildly excited to be able to play at the park!

We braved the cold and spent a morning at College Royal.  Here the boys are the the Teddy Bear Hospital.  Puppy had a broken tail that needed casting.  Elmo needed his heart fixed just like Cooper.  Convenient that Cooper still has not allowed us to take off Elmo's Sick Kids band.  He was all ready to go.

Oh...And what about running you ask?  Come on...Ask about running!  We are in week 16 of this little training plan.  That's right, we are in taper week for another marathon!  Bring on the carbs!