Saturday, 15 September 2018

Maritime Race Weekend 10k!

The Fall Racing Season is definitely here when Maritime Race Weekend arrives. This year I made a big decision to sit the Sunset 5k out as I've done in many years past. Instead I visited Jillian at Nova  Physiotherapy for a little pre-race massage. It was especially welcomed after the first full week of teaching my 22 new little grade ones. ;)

My race for this year's MRW was the Coastal 10k, a race I'd run way back in 2012 which has my fastest official 10k to date, (44:02).
A photo from the archives! LOL...this was the first ever Maritime Race Weekend and I placed second female in 44:02! 

After a disappointing attempt at the 10k in June at the Johnny Miles Running Event I became determined to find my strength in running once again and maybe some speed too. That's when I joined the Halifax Road Hammers and was completely sold on the power of training with a pack. I was challenged and I pushed myself harder than ever in a summer of non stop heat and humidity. The lead up to this year's Maritime Race Weekend had me feeling strong!  I was ready and I could definitely do this!

I LOVE how Michelle let us pick our names for our bibs!!!!!! 
Lee gave me a great race plan that sounded completely doable based on my recent workouts. I just had to go do it.  I had race nerves all week!!!

Race morning tattoo prep was underway (and I'm now struggling to get it off...Looks like sleeves at work on Monday, haha).


I got a drive with Courteney and we all met at Paul's who lives amazingly close to the start so the convenience and hospitality of a bathroom without a line was awesome!
Not to mention an awesome photographer!

I met up with Jennie, Charlotte, Dave and a few other runners for a warm up. I was already hot and sweaty after only 2.2km, uh oh. 

Who ordered up the race humidity??? ;)

The 5, 10, 1/2 and full marathon share a start so I got as close to the front as I could at the bottle-necked start.
Another Amazing photograph from Bruce Nelson!
At the horn we were all OFF and it was hard because the 5k'ers are zipping by. Erin's wise words resonated with me, "let them go." So I did. I met up with an amazingly talented friend, Jennie, who would keep me in line. "Relax," she repeated but I was a bit worked up because I just wanted to go do it!!! ...LOL.

I love this race, as tough as it is. You can see the 5k turn around and begin running towards you right before you head up "the hill." I saw Matt and Craig heading back to the finish looking stellar and strong. Matt was in the lead so I thought, "Oh this is exciting," and I got a bit of pep in my step. The hill everyone mentions that zaps you at around 2-3km is not long but it's also not welcomed in a ten km race, you know? You cruise back down the same hill later and it's amazing! You can see ALL the 10, 1/2 and full runners who are heading up and I heard so many people yelling my name. It was awesome. Check out the hill:

I stayed in control for the first 6k for sure. I tried to keep with Joanne H., who I always run into at races and we sort of pull energy from one another and keep the other one pushing depending on the day.

Then I started getting super warm. :( Jennie told me not to look at my watch and I sort of knew that if I did I'd feel defeated. When I thought I was running really fast, I wasn't. My stomach really started to get worked up and I thought I might actually throw up with 2k still to go. The race got super hard to navigate because the 5k walker congestion was super tricky to weave around. Erin told me to stay to the right on this busy section but an official yelled out to "stay left!"

It was a grind for the last 3ish km. Like I'm talking a serious grunting grind. Jennie got me a water and threw it over my head, lol. I was hoping to drink it but in the heat of the moment, quite literally, I decided we'd laugh about that later. I was sure to grab one for a gulp at the next station. The course was awesome for on-course support - hydration and port-a-potties. The marathon routes had personalized signs too! Special shoutout to Joanne T. who ran her first marathon today!!!!!!!

I just kept pushing thinking of all the strong workouts I'd had and I pictured Charlotte giving me confidence from our most recent long run/speed work where I had run 18k at basically the pace I was trying to pull off today. And that 18k had a 15k warm up! So I knew my fitness was there, but where exactly was it today because I was a hurting unit?

"I'm actually going to finish this thing!"

I tried so hard to be strong. I tried so hard to be fast. I tried so hard not to throw up, at least until I finished anyway, lol.
 It's crazy motivating hearing your name from friends as you head up to the finish.

I saw the clock saying 44:XX and for a brief moment I was defeated. But then I was reassured. I'm at peak marathon training on max fatigue marathon training legs and I am within seconds of my 10k PB on this blistering hot 29 degree day. It was also over a minute faster than my June 10k at Johnny (45:39). Then I discovered I was the third female!!!! :D

44:28, 4:27 pace, 2nd in age group, 3rd female, 10th overall!



I was so wobbly and dizzy at the finish. This doesn't happen often but I  knew I was overheated. 

 A ten k seems short, but boy it felt long today! LOL.  Courteney did a great job capturing all my glory...lol!
P.S. Don't you love my new Mizuno Wave Riders?!?!? Christine and I got all excited and decided these would be the greatest shoes for our marathons, LOL!
I'm also a huge fan of the Crew Socks from tiux! You can use my discount code HEATHERLCTIUX at checkout to get my ambassador discount!

Jennie, pacer, racer, speedy friend and running extraordinaire. Thank you <3

Courteney rocked a 5k Friday night AND a 5k Saturday morning!

And here's Matt winning the 5k in 17:44!!!


Craig, Matt and I. :)

It was a pretty great day, hot but great! Congratulations to all the amazing runners and thank you Maritime Races!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


Saturday, 1 September 2018

So Long Summer Training!

Hey there!

Just to clarify I do realize that we are not quite done with the humid toasty runs...I'm not in heat denial I promise. When I say, "So long," it simply refers to my vacation mode training. This is training that happens whenever I like, napping, eating and peeing whenever I like AND drinking warm coffee, not the stuff that gets forgotten about on the desk and spilled all over my outfits. Or in other words, "Teacher Summer."
Look at Google stylizing photos for me! Thanks :D 
PS: this is my shirt for the Chicago Marathon that I got from Mama Bear Runs Marathons! Don't you love it??? Fun Fact: I met her at the start of the 2016 Chicago Marathon...we knew each other through IG.
Yes that's right, school starts back up in 3 days for teachers and only 4 days for kids! I don't think I'm mentally ready, haha.

With the new school year starting up I AM looking forward to a routine, cooler training temperatures and of course FALL RACES!!!!!!! 

Next up on my racing radar is the Maritime Race Weekend 10k! Yes, I know another 10k?! Coach Lee said it would be a great idea to race it and I'm sort of excited to see what happens and how I feel after a summer of seriously hard work in training with the Halifax Road Hammers. Wish me luck!

Then I'm running the Rum  Runner's Relay with the BLT Runners women's team! That will be soooo fun! 

Although we've had one of the hottest most humid summers on record, I have really enjoyed training these past two months. 
Photo credit: Michael Bergeron
With the intolerable heat and humidity, (some days it felt like 36 Celsius), running and completing the Wednesday evening practice was challenging. I made the decision that I would join the Wednesday morning group...that meant "Warmed up and ready to run at 6:10a.m.!" Yes, 4:45 came quickly when the alarm would blare in my ear. I'd travel into the city to meet Christine at 5:45...she's going to kick major butt in Berlin btw! We'd run 3km or so to meet the crew and run like heck around the Oval. It was so cool to be done a butt busting workout at 7:10!!! I'm going to really miss that when school starts. 
Morning run done!
I'm also going to miss random Thursday runs with Stacey! She's off on Thursdays and is training for her own in Minneapolis! We'd get some easy miles in on the trail, usually in the blistering sun, lol. 

Lola would like to add that she's going to miss deck naps anytime she pleases. <3

I'll tell you another thing I am EXCITED about: These Crew Socks from tiux! Use HEATHERLCTIUX at checkout to access my ambassador discount! 
 I LOVE THESE!!!!!! Not too short, not too long...just right!

I tried them out on a long run today and they were awesome! 

I am so happy I purchased this hand held for summer runs!!! My old one kicked the bucket but this Nathan one is amazing!

Also, I'm sure you saw via INSTA GGR that I have been obsessed with the new Run Fast Cook  Fast Eat Slow book! Christine and I communicate almost daily about the new recipes we've tried! Get the book...you will not regret it!
Apple Cinnamon Superhero Muffins
So that's a short note for now. I'll try to get back to regular blogging once the school year begins. I'm so nervous to meet my 22 new first graders!!!! LOL. Any teachers out there feel the same?

Thanks for stopping by my little space in the blogosphere! Have a wonderful day!!!! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Chase the Pace Mile Edition!

Happy Sunday everyone! 

I hope you had a fabulous weekend filled with friends, food, running and sunshine. :) Well that's what mine looked like anyway. :)

Yesterday I did something really cool. I raced a mile on a track AND got a PB! I know, so much info in one teeny sentence. 

Here's what happened:

The Halifax Road Hammers hosted a second Chase the Pace Event that this time would cover the mile distance. Back in June they had a 5k event which I, who was teacher tired, did not take part in. It looked super cool and a lot of my friends ran it so this time I was not missing out! 

The meet was hosted at Saint Mary's University Track. Now, my understanding before I got there was 1 mile...4 laps of the track, okay, I can totally do that! They're just 4 little loops, am I right? ;)  

I noticed the before mentioned loops seemed gigantic as my little Wave Riders stepped onto the blue lane when I arrived on the 28 degree Celsius day...gulp. Who stretched the track???


It sure was a beautiful day!

The first thing I said when I arrived, "I'd rather run a marathon than this!"

Here's Jennie: a.k.a. pep talker, motivator, warm up partner, ice cube giver, pace bunny and running extraordinaire! She kept me positive, warmed up and believing in what I thought was not possible yesterday.

Courteney came along as well to cheer and offer support...It was awesome! She took my bag, shirt, photos, cheered, you name it!!
You can totally see my bib under my shirt...lol.
It was a great event because it was designed in Heats. I was in Heat 4 so I got to chat with and cheer on a lot of running peeps. There were about 80 runners there and it was very exciting! And I was beyond nervous. I had not raced a mile since the 2011 Bridge Mile where I ran a 6:14. It may have even been 2010! I can't remember, lol.

Here are some of the speedy folks finishing one of the Heats I was NOT in...thank goodness! LOL.
During Heat 3 Jennie and I did a mile warm up including drills and strides. My 120 lb body felt like it weighed 250 lbs and the air felt hot! Jennie yelled, "Positive thoughts ONLY!" Whatever works right, lol.

Before I had a chance to even freak out we were off!
I'm near the back in the pink shorts and my pacer Ian Holdway is in the white tank.
 I wanted to do a sub 6:10 but the more I thought about it the FASTER it sounded!!! I decided I'd plant myself as close to his back as I could and if I felt good at the end...if I was still near him...I'd sprint to the finish.
Courteney and Nick did a great job capturing the day in photos! Thanks guys!!!!  Here is the side of the track where the majority of spectators were. The opposite side was deadly quiet where slowing down was so tempting. But I powered on breathing like fire into my chest. Good times!
I tried to run the loop tight. It got tricky when I wanted to pass someone but there was someone on my right. I can't even remember how I got around them both, but I did.

"Wait for me Ian!" haha
I was close to speedy Bea and she was having a strong run! 

Things were hard. It felt really tough. I tried to just work hard and remember that this was not going to be easy or feel good. I pushed the track away as hard and as fast as I could...later seeing that my average cadence was 200spm! 

I heard Lee yell to the finishers up ahead "Sub 6 go go go!" and I knew I had to GO also. So I did. I ran so hard I thought my legs would detach from my body.
 6:07! A mile PB! And no puking!!!!!!!!!! I'm getting better at this finish line puke thing.

Katie got this photo where we all died for a bit...lol. It's hilarious but I love it!
You can see Jennie in the blue hat above me and Courteney trying to understand what I'm saying...lol.
 Go run a mile they said. It'll be fun they said. LOL it was fun actually! But I DON'T want to do it again soon!

Trying to get up was fun.

I was very happy with the run. My first ever race on a track! (In long distance shoes, but whatever, right Stacey?).

Annie, Shannon and I with our fancy drinks...lol. Thanks Kombucha!

Courteney, Stacey and I. :D

Lots of BLT Runners there!

And a whole lot of Chase the Pacers! #bettertogether

So yeah, yesterday was pretty awesome.

A HUGE thank you the Halifax Road Hammers, Lululemon, Aerobics First and all the volunteers! Nick and Courteney thanks again for the pictures and Jennie thanks so much!

Thanks for stopping by GGR and have a wonderful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Summer Training & Stuff

Hey everyone!

Trying out a new fresh blog theme, I hope you like it!

Here's a little summer training update:

I've been spending a lot of my easy running days along the Rails to Trails as a shade seeker. Man, it's been HOT here! Today it feels like 41 celsius in Timberlea!!!!!!!!!!!! Running in the heat sure is challenging, like I have to tell you that. What keeps me going is knowing how awesome it will feel when September and October temperatures arrive!


I've started running with the Halifax Road Hammers on the regular now. Coach Lee has developed a training plan for me for the Chicago Marathon and I get to run with some of my super speedy friends more often! The workouts are challenging. If I read them on paper and then ran them alone, I'd probably pass out or give up. But when I'm running with a huge pack of other fast feet, somehow I get it done!
This was taken after an intense hill session at Point Pleasant Drive...in crazy heat and humidity of course. Sorry Charlotte for cutting your face out a bit!!! 
Intense workouts mean it's super important for me to maintain strength and do my injury prevention maintenance. Just ask Jeff! LOL.

 Oh boy...when will I learn to take care of myself?
 My IT band has been giving me a bit of attitude so Jeff and Jillian joined forces with needles, ultrasound and CUPS! I honestly can say it helps a lot!

Is anyone else as excited as I am to get a copy of Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow??? I've already pre-ordered my copy and I tried a sneak peek recipe that was released in Runner's World. Thai Quinoa salad...mmm!

AND Shalane Flanagan liked my photo!!!!!!!!!!!

 Lola got a haircut and I think she looks pretty fly. <3

More training talk:

One of the new to me things that the Road Hammers do is to incorporate a workout into the long run and you know how I usually run long on Sundays? Well, now it's Saturdays. I'm enjoying this immensely because there's no pressure or rush to get up early on Sunday. I can usually sleep a bit longer since my Sunday runs are usually between 8-11km at recovery pace.
This was Tash and I after doing a Threshold run in the middle of a long run. We sweat buckets but were so happy to be done! Thanks to Natalia (missing from the photo) for pulling us along.
 I also get to see speedy Jennie more now!
We were pretty pumped about it, lol. Michael is always to thorough in staging our post-run pics! 
On Monday I got to go cheer on a bunch of running friends and Matt at the Natal Day races in Dartmouth. I really like the spectator side of racing as well I discovered, lol. So much less pressure! The runners had a really hot run on Monday which was very inspiring to see so many athletes push through the heat and humidity. Great running everyone!
Tim Chesnutt always does a stellar job at race photos!
I took this photo at the start of the six miler.
SO MANY FAST FEET IN THIS PIC! Hey, there's me in the shadow, lol!
 My Monday recovery run was 7km so I met up with my BLT Running Buddies for an easy paced run. I ran with Scott and had a great chat and he was SO AWESOME BECAUSE HE BROUGHT WATER FOR EVERYONE!!!!
Thanks Nicole for the photo!
Today is Matt's and My 8th anniversary!!! Can you believe that?! We are definitely going out to eat tonight to celebrate...mostly because that's our favourite thing to do, lol.

Next up is the Chase the Pace Mile at the SMU track on Saturday August 11th. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for visiting the running rambles of GGR. Have a beautiful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)