Wait… I can do that?

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Run for ten minutes

Run a km

Run a 5 k

Run a 10 k

Run a half marathon

Commute to work on a bike (and enjoy it)

Lead running clinics up from Learn to Run to Half distance!

Hike and not break anything

climb the steepest hills (on a spin bike)

 

Book Review – Women Who Tri; A Reluctant Athlete’s Journey into the Heart of America’s Newest Obsession.

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Book Review – Women Who Tri; A Reluctant Athlete’s Journey into the Heart of America’s Newest Obsession.

A few days into my staycation and I’m adapting quite well to sleeping in. I had two goals for the week, well three if you include cleaning. First is to get my tri training on track, June was not a very productive month training wise and to get up to par for the August tri, I need to start putting in the work. So far it has been a lot of driving and not a lot of moving but I have some time.

Second was to read, I felt I like it had been forever since I just sat and read.

So here we are. I’m not exactly the target market of this book. I lack the multiple children trying to squeeze in the hours of training, despite my weight I’ve been lucky with a lack of illness but I still laughed, got a bit teary eyed and really enjoyed this read on my patio chair with a beer in hand. Alicia found a solid mix of research, warm-hearted honesty commentary and snap shot into a varying women exploring how strong they can be.

There were times I was taking pictures of the content to send to my partner, especially those pages about being Triathlon widowers or divorcees! I got a bit choked up with the stories of how many people who saw her competing and joined in on their own fitness journeys. I felt mind-boggingly grateful for how lucky I am to have my health. It might have given me a bit of a boost to get on that horse today and do a workout.

The honesty about the pricing of triathlon training is very off putting. For my Try a Tri I just used everything I already owned, no special equipment at all but it looks like that might change as I get deeper into the sport but for now… I should go out and get my run in.

Chafing and crippling disappointment

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In hindsight, I might find my title a tad dramatic but as I sit here slathered in diaper cream with my elbows propped out I stand firm.

 The Lowdown:

In Ottawa it was Race Weekend, thousands and thousands of people flock downtown to run varying distances starting at 2 k and heading upwards to 59.2 k. This was going to be my first PB one year after my epic and tearful joy of crossing the finish line in 2016.

I started the training off with what I felt was a reasonable goal of 2:30 (last year was 2:55 after hot weather and a long bathroom line wait). As I missed a couple of key long runs and started to experience some calf tightness I thought 2:45 was still a solid goal.

Sunday morning, I lined up at the back of the crowd, and took in the excitement as the giant Canadian flag passed overhead. I was nervous but no matter what the race distance I always had those butterflies. The gun went off and after a slow walk to the start I was off. The first couple of km’s felt light and easy not very usual for me because usually I trudge through the first 3 – 4 k before my legs remember what they are supposed to do. It was so hot. Not cancel the race hot but the sun was in full force with no cloud coverage and I was sweating. I took the opportunity to run through every sprinkler and dumped some water on my head at every water station at about 8 k. Which was probably my downfall.
Last year’s Race Weekend, everyone knew it was going to be hot. There was talk about canceling the race, so that tempered my expectations. I went into it knowing that no matter what it was going to be a PB and I was going to take it easy because I didn’t want to be the one on the side of the road. This year it was going to be warm but it looked manageable. I even went with a water belt instead of my trusty water backpack.

At about 10 k I started to notice how uncomfortable I was. There was definitely some rubbing happening. As a plus size runner and avid dress wearer I know chafing. I am armed with an array of supplies to help keep it at bay but this morning I had failed to prepare. I thought I was safe wearing an outfit that was considered tried and true over multiple training runs. I was wrong. My arm was getting raw from rubbing on my shirt, underneath my bra was beginning to cause such unpleasantness that I took to tucking in my t-shirt below it, my legs ached in a way that made me think I forgot to wear pants.

What was happening?! Why was I falling apart like this? I would try to run for several minutes only to slow down to try to ease the discomfort I felt. I watched my time goal slip away.

Less than 3 k left to go. I looked at my watch and saw if I could run the last bit I could at least beat last years time… I rallied for a bit but it wasn’t enough. I accepted what was happening and moved as quickly as I was physically able to the finish line. I was just over 3 hours. Looking at my pictures, I can’t believe I crossed the line.

Crossing the line, I was so angry with myself. I replayed every thing I did wrong in the last 16 weeks. I wasn’t eating as well as I could have. My practice run was a disaster clothing wise. I hadn’t nailed down a solid nutrition plan. My mental game wasn’t in check after two weeks of bad runs. I wasn’t stretching or foam rolling enough.

Going into the evening I tried to shake it off. I was in a foul mood, a toddler who throws a tantrum in a grocery store. Thankfully my roommate is a truly kind person who met me at the end of the race as a surprise, tolerated my incessant whines and slow walking. Then drove me to the drug store to get the diaper cream to help soothe the chafing I experienced.

Eventually I was able to rationalize with myself. This was second half race, I had grand ideas of crushing last year’s time. I forgot that Sunday morning I got up and ran a freaking half marathon. Despite some crazy hours and life stressors I got up and ran a half marathon. In the first real heat I’ve experienced this year. I ran I half. I have to cut myself some slack.

Today, the chafing is terrible. I can barely cope with the sports bra and I’m walking like a line backer. My clothes are covered in white cream BUT my muscles feel fine. I have no residual aches, even though I ran a half marathon yesterday. I also have a second half just 16 weeks away to prepare for. Another chance to work the program to get to the goals I want to achieve.

Gah- putting yourself out there

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This is seriously not my strong suit but this year I’m working on it.

That is why this blog exists, why I signed up for Polar Hero and debating other OCR, why I’m starting to train for a triathlon and why I’m going to apply for an ambassador program.

Since I’ve started on my fitness/health journey it has always surprised me when people told me how bad ass and inspirational I am. I need to take that to heart and actively work on being inspiration

 

Polar Hero Ottawa

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On a cold February morning, Polar Hero descended down on TD Place. I was terrified, when we signed up months ago it seemed just far away that I didn’t have to worry about it. I had to keep a strong face because my friend I was doing it with wasn’t a runner and if I showed any fear, I was worried she would run for the hills! Or away from the hills in this case.

I rushed for the bus and in my haste forgot my hikers I was going to wear. Which meant, I was doing a run in these babies:

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There is a first for everything.

The crowds weren’t crazy and the heats were distributed nicely, which meant people weren’t crawling all over at each obstacle. It also meant that I had some time to collect myself before attempting something I found terrifying. I.e. heading down a hill on a crazy carpet! When do adults become so cautious? I must have done that 100 times as a kid but that bump at the bottom looked intense (have no fear I survived with all my bones intact). I attempted almost every single obstacle. Attempted. I was not nearly as successful.

Turns out I need to work on some upper body to get across the rings and use those ropes. The final climb over obstacle also gave me a run for my money. I think my boots were too soaked and my legs too bruised to actually swing my leg over.

There were times I questioned my safety, especially for someone as clumsy as I. Some of the plates covering the ground acted like sneaky patches of black ice and the snow covered stadium climb. Oh my! But I really had a blast and highly recommend the laid back atmosphere for anyone who wants to get into OCR. And it is in the winter- how Canadian is that??

Next year obstacles. I’ll get you. Goal is to work on being able to get across the rings and swing myself across the rope. AND get more then two feet off the ground on the rope climb.

The swag was also great- I left with a tech t-shirt, buff, toque and awesome medal. Seriously some of the best swag from a race.

 

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And they had awesome music.