It’s Clinic Day, which means a bit of talk/advise/tips from the experts, then a 6K tempo/steady run afterwards with the group. This is officially my first clinic since last week I was out of town in Portland.

I go to the Market Crossing Running Room in Burnaby. I’ve taken a Half-Marathon Clinic there two years ago so a few faces were familiar to me. I knew Jackie is the Running Room Store Manager and Alan would be our Full Marathon Leader. This time as well, I’m joined by Arinder who I met there two years ago. I was so happy she called me last week wanting to get back into running. She and I trained well together and we were great motivation for each other so I was excited she’ll be training with me! I know I’ll get to meet more people to run with but it’s a bonus when I already know someone off the bat.

Tonight’s talk was about the basics – info on resources, the drop-in clinics, safety and a few tips and advise on this journey we’re all about to take on. The speakers Kurt, the Half-Marathon Leader, and Jackie were great because they were very informative.

For example, I knew what the types of run were (tempo, steady and long steady distance) but didn’t really know the difference with each one. Kurt explained it the best: on Tues and Wed when we run tempo or steady, you should not be able to hold a conversation about your tv shows and movies with other runners, and that afterwards you should feel tired because you exerted maximum energy. But on Sundays when we do LSD, the pace should be slow enough so you could have that tv show, movie and social life conversation, and at the end also feel you would have enough energy to do that run again three or four more times. I’m probably the only one who had an A-Ha moment when Kurt explained it but I’m glad he dummied it down so people like me (finally really) got it.

I’m also taking to heart a few things Jackie said – to do the race as how you’ve trained; the 10/1 run/walk program sets you up for success; and most importantly to be mentally prepared. I’m one of those runners that during the race I get caught up in the moment so I just run non-stop to try to beat everyone, but in the end I end losing steam so my race pace is now all over the place, then worse – I end up getting hurt and can’t walk for a freakin’ week! So this time, I promise to listen to the experts.

After the talk, we finally headed out in the cold and pouring rain to run the 6K route. Once you get out there, it isn’t so bad. You eventually warm up and you just get used to the rain. Arinder and I ran alongside 3 other girls and found a good steady pace. I was so happy with tonight’s run that believe it or not, I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I was so glad though that I had the Clinic and the group to run with because if I didn’t, let me tell ya’, guaranteed you’d find me at home watching re-runs of ‘Sons of Anarchy’.

Well I better rest-up for the scheduled 10K run tomorrow night.
Cross your fingers that tomorrow won’t be pourin’ mad like tonight!

I was pretty proud that throughout the busy holiday season, the sore throat I’ve been fighting off for a month hadn’t turned into something worse. I was able to keep my health in check for most part of December. However come New Year’s Day, it hit me… and NOOO (for those who know me well), it wasn’t because I partied too hard (lol), I wished it was that!

As per previous post, a group of us did the “Portland First 5K Run/Walk” for New Year’s Eve. Days leading up to the race, my sore throat had turned into a hacking cough and running at midnight when it was -4C certainly didn’t help.

By the time we got home on Tuesday night (New Year’s Day), my body just gave up. All day Wednesday (which was my day off too. Booo!) and Thursday, I was bed-ridden. All I could think of as I battle this cold/flu was how am I going to make up my missed runs. The Burnaby Running Room Clinic I was to attend had started their Run Clinic that Tuesday, which meant I’ve missed some runs (Tue-Thurs mileage totalled 22K). WTH!

Luckily though, my condition improved by Friday afternoon. All the naps, Vicks, meds and soup worked their wonders! I also thought fresh air would be good so I went for a brisk walk. 7K walk to be exact. I thought I might as well try to make up some of the missed mileage by walking.

I felt even better by Saturday so mid-afternoon I decided to try and do an easy 7K run/walk program. I was fairly successful and it felt great to be functioning again.

This morning was our first long run – a 10K. Though I was feeling better, I took Steve’s advise (he’s one of our key contacts at Running Room) and opted for the shorter (Half-Marathon training) route of 7K (instead of the Full Marathon 10K). I’m sure glad I did! I felt great and wasn’t too tired or sore after the run. I’m so glad I listened to the expert and didn’t push myself too hard.

Tomorrow is Monday, which meant an “off day” for training. Yaay! But I think I’m gonna’ check out a Zumba Class. It’s fun and a great workout!

December was a busy and overindulgent month – as I’m sure it was for everyone – with all the Christmas dinners and parties to celebrate the holiday season. This meant, of course, a LOT of eating and a LOT of drinking.

Usually, I would freely enjoy eating plate after plate of whatever is being served and drinking many glasses of some holiday bubbly, but this time around I had to do some portion control. Not a fan of doing that BUT it was necessary. Not having run consistently since my last race (Diva 5K in July), I knew one of the things I should at least keep a watch on is my diet so portion control was definitely key. I’ve also ran a few times in December to get my ‘run’ legs back but still.. I felt I needed something to step up my preparations. I thought why not sign-up for a race?

The Portland 5K First Run/Walk crew.

The Portland 5K First Run/Walk crew.

I’ve somehow convinced my husband (who isn’t a runner) and a few good friends to join me in running the “Portland 5K First Run/Walk” for New Year’s Eve! It would be a different way to celebrate than usual and personally, it’s a great complement to the big challenge (training for the BMO Marathon as part of The Province Marathon Team) I’m about to take on in the new year. It was New Year’s after all so we did want to still have fun, enjoy the race and not worry about our time.

All geared up for the race with one of my besties, Linda.  She knitted our funky headbands for the special occasion.

All geared up for the race with one of my besties, Linda. She knitted our funky headbands for the special occasion.

The event had approx 1100 runners, though on race day I think only a few hundred came out. The pre-race festivities were outdoors at the World Trade Centre in Downtown Portland. They was music blasting and a few vendors set-up onsite. The weather was quite chilly with -4C, but at least it was dry and wasn’t raining or snowing. A few heat lamps were set-up so folks huddled-up under them to keep warm. We arrived about an hour before race time so we can enjoy some of the food carts onsite that Portland is well known for.

Lined-up for some vegetarian brown rice with stir fry. It was yum!

Lined-up for some vegetarian brown rice with stir fry. It was yum!

Thank goodness this was just a fun race and we weren’t really being too competitive with our race time. Shortly after midnight when the race started, a train passed through the route just after KM1. Everyone had to stop and wait for it to pass. Usually I’d be pissed it broke my race pace but this time around, I was actually relieved I had a bit of time to rest. With my hacking cough (that I’ve had all week), I was finding it a bit hard to breathe while running so I welcomed the break with open arms.

At KM1. If you were fast enough, you would have gotten through, missed the train and continued your run on the other side.  BUT for those of us who were slow, we had to wait 8-10mins. Boooo!

At KM1. If you were fast enough, you would have gotten through, missed the train and continued your run on the other side. BUT for those of us who were slow, we had to wait 8-10mins. Boooo!

After the race, the event had some warm food for the runners, which included chicken noodle soup and bread, plus fruits, snacks and beer. Yup, you read right – BEER. We didn’t line-up for it though, since all we wanted to do was go back to the hotel and shower-up. Let’s just say enough bevvies were already consumed anyways before the race.

Eventhough I got sick for a few days when we got home (guess what my next blog will be about lol), we all had a great time and were happy to ring in the New Year in such a unique way!

Special props to my husband who I was very proud (and impressed) he kept up with my pace and finished the race right next to me. I know he only signed-up for it to support me 🙂

Made it to the finish line!

Made it to the finish line!

Hello readers!

My name is Rose and as you know, I’m taking on a big challenge next year – to finally do a Full Marathon, the BMO Vancouver Marathon. After having done 10 Half Marathons in the last 10 years, I thought it’s time. Time to cross it off ‘my list’. Time to stop wondering if I could do it. Time to learn how to be disciplined. It’s finally time.

I’m happy and lucky to be taking on this journey as part of The Province Marathon Team. There are seven of us taking on the challenge to run the BMO Marathon – five to do the Full and two to do the Half. John Stanton, founder of The Running Room, is our Leader so I’m looking forward to learning a lot from him.

I’m also new to the blogospehere so I’m not even sure if I’m doing this right.. so for now I’ll keep my first blog short and sweet.