Sunday, 15 January 2017

Project PB Week 2!

Another Sunday another RUNday!

I hope you have all had a great week! I'd like to name this week "The week of being tired." Not that there was a whole lot of extra stuff going on or anything, I was just tired. I believe the culprit was staying up too late...oops.

Here's a rundown at how week 2 of Project PB went!!!

Monday: Rest day! Although I did go to a dry needling session at Physiotherapy...can you count pillow squeezing as a workout?
I think this is my first dry needle bruise!

Tuesday: I was feeling really good on my Tuesday medium long run. The plan called for 9 miles and the sidewalks were great! I got 9 miles with an average of 7:59.

Wednesday: Wednesday was a crazy day! I worked all day and then rushed home to walk Lola because I wanted to squeeze in 5 recovery miles on my treadmill before heading to Patriot's Day! It was really cool because I was at home, watching Gilmore Girls and running in my living room! P.S. Did you go see the movie yet?!?!? What did you think? 

Thursday: On Thursday I was basically hoping our school would implement Nap Time for Teachers as a new period, lol. It's totally my fault that I was yawning all day  but it just made me anxious about my Thursday run with some miles at marathon pace. Somehow after several cups of coffee, I headed out and made it through the run successfully!

Friday: No running today! I was secretly glad about this, lol. I did do some strength training at home while watching Jurassic I the only one who still loves to watch this movie? I also did my physio exercises and went for a really long walk with Lola.
Someone's too tired to
Saturday: Let's call this run "Super Cold Saturday Run," shall we? My goodness, it was super frigid out. Thankfully I had a short run (5 miles) on the plan followed by hill sprints. There were only four short sprints tacked onto the end of my run so it was okay. ;)

Sunday: I enjoyed a little bit of snooze time this morning and a nice coffee with oatmeal before heading out for my 16 miler. It was a gorgeous day for a run! I did an out and back route and the plan was to take it easy on the hills, (my hamstrings are a bit testy on the hills at times). I saw so many runners today and the COLT trail was in fine condition! It's paved and runs down into Halifax, which clearly means the way home involves a looooong gradual climb. I did get to run through the finishline arch for the Running Room's Hypothermic Half Marathon at the turn around point though! It was super funny. I assumed that they'd be packed up and gone home by the time I got there but Meaghan said they were waiting on a couple of walkers. On the way home I saw Stacey but unfortunately I was blinded by the sun and only knew it was her by her voice at the last second! 16 miles at 8:12 pace/mile.
Matt snapped this photo before he headed to the personal photographer!
Week total: 45.2 miles

Thanks for checking out the GGR blog space! Have a beautiful day!
How was your week?
Boston is in 91 days and 16 hours! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Staying Motivated During The Winter Months!

It's cold. It's dark. I'm tired.

The "dedicated, passionate and inspiring runner," I've been so called now feels like a fake as I can't even muster up enough will to get my butt out the door into the frigid air to train.

Yes, it happens to the best of us. The mercury drops and as to does our training mojo. Having a plan and some go-to tricks will help you karate chop the winter training woes and reach your spring goals!

1. Make a date!
Once again accountability to the rescue! Having a planned Run-Date definitely helps me get out the door for those long runs and actually even for some shorter social runs during the winter months.

2. Keep your goals in mind!
It can be appealing to cancel a training session because of weather. But remember, cold and nasty weather doesn't last forever and eventually your race will be on the horizon. I can recall running in the Boston Marathon April 2015 following the worst winter for training I'd ever experienced as a runner here in Nova Scotia. That day in Boston, the rain came sideways and the wind was ruthless, but I remember thinking as I chugged my way through Natick that this still wasn't as challenging as some of the training runs I had endured. If conditions are safe, get out there! It will make you tougher and more prepared for race day.

3. Seek out Social Media!  
There are definitely Pros to using social media, especially when you are looking for some motivation! Instagram, Strava run groups, Twitter, etc. can be a huge help when you are just looking for that little nudge to leave your cozy warm living room and hit the roads. I've certainly scrolled through the Strava News Feed to see which of my friends have already got a head start on me and it usually is just what I need!

4. Map out a loopy route!
Is it too cold/slippery/windy to run outside? Sometimes I choose a loopy route around my neighborhood with the intent of ditching layers or spikes depending on conditions. There have been many winter long runs where I've ran the first loop and then thrown a Buff, Yak Trax or gloves onto the hood of my car as I ran by the house. I have also finished water bottles and left them on the steps before I set out to finish my run. And it never hurts to be reminded that you WILL warm up after the first couple of miles!

5. Make it fun!
Try out a new neighborhood, climb to the top of a hill that in the past has intimidated you, challenge yourself to X number of minutes or add in some strides! Do something off the norm of your regular running regime to add a bit of spice.

6. Dress Appropriately! 
Well, you know how the saying goes, "There's no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing." I become a real crank-a-saurus when I'm cold so needless to say, I'm always dressed the part in winter running! I've been blessed with being a 2017 Mizuno Ambassador and as a loyal fan of their Breath Thermo gear I never leave the house without it in the winter! It is amazing how it captures escaping body vapour to generate heat returning warmth to the body!!!!!

On frigid days I cover my exposed skin (like on my face), with Vaseline. I also like to make sure my neck is covered (usually with a Buff), if the wind is sharp. You will also see me wearing long socks like my tiux compression socks to help keep me warm on the run.

7. Warm it up!
Congratulations, you can check off your run, sync your Garmin and upload your stats! You finished your run and now you can stretch and warm up. I enjoy using a hot water bottle or a heating pad on my muscles post run. Staying cozy after the shower in some warm socks and a sweater while enjoying a post run hot beverage - there's something so great about it!
Very cute hot water bottle my sister gave me as a Christmas gift!
So there you have it - some winter training tips that will help you stay on track and keep those spring goals a reality!

Thanks for stopping by the GGR blog space! Have a wonderful day and stay warm!
How do you stay motivated in the winter? 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Patriot's Day!!! An Advanced Screening :)

As soon as Michelle from Maritime Race Weekend announced a contest to win tickets to see an advanced screening of Patriot's Day starring Mark Wahlberg I knew I had to enter and by some divine intervention get to see the movie about the Boston Marathon Bombings and following Manhunt! I just had to.
Thanks Wikipedia for the image!

On Saturday, I received notification that I in fact WAS GOING! YAY!!!! Thanks Michelle!

Sam and I had made a deal during the contest that if either had won, we would reciprocate the invite...therefore, she was my date lol.

We loaded up on coffee, popcorn and jelly beans and we were good to go!

But not before a Selfie attempt with our friend Nick. :)

The theatre was packed! Probably as populated as the start line of a marathon. ;)

I wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, this movie was hoping to capture some really big moments in history for everyone! You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't know of someone involved in the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15th, 2013. 

Having Mark Wahlberg on cast was certainly a big draw for me-I love ALL his movies! I am certainly not a film critic but I thought he did an excellent job playing the role. Some of his lines made the whole theatre chuckle, while at the same time relaying a serious personality of an officer on a mission.

There was quite a bit of actual footage in the film which was really intriguing to me since at the time of the marathon bombings and aftermath, I didn't watch much of the media footage. I can't say for sure I was in shock but I really didn't want to relive the devastation when I got back home to Nova Scotia. It was really upsetting.

I was overly excited at the beginning when they showed the runners and the start line in Hopkinton! What is it about runners and the allure of the Boston Marathon?!

Following the interest and excitement of the actual running happening in the movie when the two explosions happened it quickly focused my attention back onto the horrific events of that day. I felt emotional when the blasts went off and the smoke quickly filled the air. Vivid details of that day on Boylston came flashing back to me. I still sometimes have to say to myself "I was there!" It still seems surreal. We really got a closer look at the search for the bombers and the lives affected. The manhunt was intense for me! I whispered to Sam a few times about the nerves and intensity.

Without sharing all the details of the film with you I will give you two pieces of advice:
1. Bring tissues and 2. Don't forget to wear waterproof mascara!

Go see Patriot's Day and Enjoy!!! Thanks again to Michelle for the awesome opportunity!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Project PB/Week 1!

Happy Sunday RUNday everyone!

2017 is well underway and so is Boston Marathon training! Since I was challenged and strengthened by working with Project  PB for the Chicago Marathon I contacted Greg to hook me up for Boston. :) Thankfully this week felt relatively mild. I say that knowing full well that it's going to pick up fast and furious!

There are differences in my plan for Boston than Chicago. First off, instead of two days for Rest I have Mondays -  Rest and now Friday is for Cross/Strength Training, NOT rest! I've been so conditioned for the past several years to use Friday as a rest day, but Monday makes so much more sense to me since it follows a long run, so I'll have to give Coach Greg kudos for that. ;)

I've made my goal to Greg pretty clear for Boston - Would LOVE a sub 3:30! I've never done that on the Boston course, ever. I came very close in 2015 during the rain/wind storm with a 3:31:12, so I'm's just not allowed to get too hot!!!! Mmmkay Mother Nature? Greg wrote me back a lengthy email about the details of my plan and also told me to not sell myself short. But in my head Chicago and Boston are completely different courses...okay, I know that's obvious but what I mean is in terms of marathon courses and their ability to eat you up and spit you out in the late miles! We shall see! 
It's actually 99 days away now....but who's counting?!
Okay so here's how week 1 went:

You'll be glad to know I followed my plan to the T! With the exception of swapping the Saturday short run and Sunday long run because of a snowstorm. Marathon training can really burn you out so I don't plan on sneaking in miles to have a larger number on Strava or Garmin Connect (Not that I would do that - LOL). I'm following the plan! 

It's a good thing Monday was a rest day because....

Tuesday was a loopy 8 miles around the hood at 8:12 pace. Pretty good but a little stiff from Sunday's 17 miler. Since it was my first training run for my 5th Boston Marathon (Can you believe that?!?!) I wore my first ever Boston Marathon Jacket:

I followed the run with some nutritious stirfry for refueling!

Wednesday, 4 miles at Recovery Pace (which ended up being 8:18). I completely ran by feel.

Thursday I ended up leaving the house pretty late! It was my first run with marathon pace included and I was so nervous I wouldn't be able to maintain pace, that I ran too fast! ugh. Apparently this is common, or at least Stacey does the same thing, lol.

I had a slippery 3 mile warm up followed by 4 miles at MP and a one mile warm down. For MP I had 7:30, 7:30, 7:36 and 7:36....yes, too fast. It felt great though!!!
This Mizuno jacket is amazing! I love how fitted it is and it has a hood. Not one of those floppy hoods that bounce around everywhere. One that will stay put if you put it up! I tried it in the rain a few days previous. It also keeps me super warm. AND it has thumb holes! Thumb holes-everyone loves those!

So on Thursday, Kristi from Running Room Magazine contacted me to tell me that they would be sharing my Marathon Prep story in their online magazine! You can read it here!

Friday: Getting a massage and shoveling counts as Cross training right? ;) How about taco eating? 

On Saturday I logged my 15 mile long run for the week (at 8:29 pace) since 40cm of snow was being delivered to us overnight Saturday. 

I then hung out in my favourite shirt for the rest of the day: 

I also took down the tree which made me pretty sad. :( I love the lights and cozy feeling it gives. 

Enter snowstorm: 

Matt shoveled for 2 hours and I got exhausted just thinking about it! LOL. I did a ton of stretching, rolling, physio exercises and lifted weights. 

Finally, late afternoon I headed up to the Chain of Lakes Trail and logged my Saturday Short run, yes on Sunday...remember the switch? ;) I saw Stacey who also had the same idea! The run felt great, even though footing was slightly tricky at times. 

Week total: 41 miles. 

Oh! And I put up our race maps!!! Aren't they cool??? I am soooo getting one after Boston to add to the wall.

So there it is, Boston Training week 1....done! :D 

Thanks for stopping by GGR on this snowy Sunday!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Welcome to 2017!!!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you celebrated safely (and of course with some yummy eats).

Resolutions are not something I usually do, but I'm seeing so many of them via social media over the past two days. Instead of setting a "goal" or a "resolution" I've decided to just be more mindful of my things. For example, if I don't wear it, it's getting donated, if it needs to go in the paper recycling, it's goin' in! I'm happy to say that I've done pretty good so far! :)

Matt and I rang in the New Year in our traditional way: A delicious meal at Ela followed by cheesecake at home and snuggles with Lola. Then of course we talked real loud through the fireworks in an attempt to shield her from the noise. She freaks over fireworks. :(

A wonderful package arrived for me the other day:

It was so exciting to receive my very first package as an ambassador for Mizuno!!! Lola was thoroughly disappointed that there were in fact NO treats for her in there....maybe next time. ;)

You can't even see the amazing gloves that were also there, but seriously, how awesome is this?! I'm feeling pretty VIP right about now. ;)
I tried it all on and headed out for run! 
It was like Christmas all over again!!! I have tried out each piece of fab gear and am definitely not disappointed! Mizuno's Breath Thermo gear offers heat generating technology designed for athletes. I now have three pairs of the Breath Thermo running tights and the latest pair deserves some talking about! They fit like a glove!!!! Around my gigantic runner thighs I could actually feel them producing heat and keeping me comfortable on my run. They aren't crazy hot in an uncomfortable way at all! I was very impressed. The bottom of the legs also have reflective printing for those evening runs. Thanks Mizuno!!!!

I want to share my favourite song on my running playlist with you! It's Fiend by Sam Roberts Band and I love it!!!!

My first run of 2017 was 17 miles! I was sure to run at an easy pace since official Boston training begins on January 2nd, which is today!!! I love how it begins with a "Rest" day - no complaints here! I finally conquered nearly passed out running up a hill I drive on nearly every day and once I got to the top, I felt as though I could see the entire city of Halifax! Wonderful Washmill: we shall meet again. ;)
 It was pouring rain when I left and sunny when I got home!

17 miles at 8:37/mi
Our very first dinner of 2017 was..................

No surprises there I'm sure.

Today was my last day of Christmas break and it's back to school tomorrow! Lola and I took advantage of sleeping in and late morning walks today before watching way too many Netflix episodes of the Gilmore Girls.

I hope you have had a great start to 2017 and thanks for stopping by my little space in the blogosphere!

Do you make resolutions?
How did you celebrate the new year? 
What are you currently watching on Netflix? I need recommendations! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Year In Review - The GGR 2016 Version!!!

Look at that - another blink, another year!

I am slightly intimidated to sum up 366 days worth of events, miles, mishaps, laughs, injuries, fist pumps, eating, hang outs, races, dry-needle sessions, bling hauls, Garmin uploads, etc. ;)

The year started with an invite to be a part of the Ambassador Program for tiux compression socks! They have treated me very well and kept me decked out for my marathons this year. I'm so thrilled to be invited back for 2017!

2016 began with me being determined to get faster and stronger than ever before. With a glorious weather day in January Marg and I rocked the Hypothermic Half Marathon with a new PB!

I never dreamed that I'd see a sub 1:37 but it happened (too bad the Popsicle stick result recording system inserted another runner in front of me so there is no online proof, other than my Garmin stats). ;)

Unfortunately I ran a little too hard and ended up not recovering properly. My glute muscle was NOT happy with me and I was side-lined for a short time. But boy, did I ever learn the importance of hip strengthening!

I recovered and Boston training resumed! We had a pretty great winter, weather-wise and I was super thankful.

Michelle also invited many runners to an advanced screening of the movie RACE and I met Kendra! We were paired up as dates, lol. Funny enough, she ended up being a mutual friend of Jennie's!

In March a large group of us headed over to Cow Bay to run the Moose Run 25k. I love this hilly scenic race with awesome food post-run. It's a great tune up for Boston!
Marg and I ran together and the run zoomed by!

Ian, Craig, Stacey, Dave, Me, Sam and Marg
Of course April brought the infamous Boston Marathon!!! I felt so strong and trained well after logging many challenging miles with Jennie around hilly Halifax and also with Christine, who was also running Boston. The race itself was again unforgettable, but the heat hit me in Newton and there was no avoiding it. Boston, you are a beautiful beast! ;) I am beyond excited to return in 2017 with so many of my running friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boston recovery as per usual took some mega TIME! It really does a number on my quads and toenails. For real. With recovery, I had a lot of time to think about my plans for the rest of the year.

Matt and I made the decision to seek training advice and a plan from Greg at Project PB. It would be a running challenge of dedication, patience and discipline, but we were both very pleased with the results! We would begin Project PB after the Blue Nose half Marathon!

Bring on Blue Nose! I'm sure you've heard me mention my great running friend Marg a time or two, well she ran a stellar race at the Blue Nose as her premiere marathon!!!! And qualified for Boston, but no big deal!!!!!!!
At race kit pick up we met John Stanton and this picture ended up in the Running Room magazine!

A month post Boston and this half marathon always kicks my butt! But I love it and it was so fun to cheer our friend on to the finish.
We obviously celebrated!
Enter training with Project PB!

Greg's first assignment to us was to run the Penguin Run 5k to test our fitness. P.S. I suck at 5ks and ran without MY Garmin and on allergy meds. But I still tried really hard and puked at the finish. ;)
Matt did amazing, but I still had some major work to do! lol.
In June, our neighbourhood area created a Running Group- The BLT Runners! Not bacon, lettuce, tomato, lol. ;) It is such a great way to hang out, run, drink coffee, compare Strava segments lol and support each other!

July had me pacing the Epic Canadian Half Marathon. It was pretty hilly and really did a number on my hamstrings but it was very fun!
This is Matt finishing his 10k!
The first real race that I took part after the formation of the BLT Runners was my close to the heart Tely 10 in my home of Newfoundland. I had been training in the humid air of summer about a month and a half into my new training plan with Greg. Speed work was really paying off as I zoomed my way to a new ten mile PB!

It's also amazing to have my family cheering me on!

Look how cool we are all sweaty in our BLT shirts!!! 
This was such a fun day!!!! 
Upon return from NL, it was hard core Chicago training!!!! Matt and I had different plans, and paces clearly, but it was great to hash out our training talk over dinner. Jennie and I took part in some super hot tough runs this summer but always had time for a post-run selfie! LOL.

I took advantage of as much training as I could while on vacation, but life sure was busy! Poor Lola got so sick and ended up in the doggy hospital. :( I was also helping Sam plan for her wedding by hosting a shower and a bachelorette, so summer literally zipped by in the blink of an eye! 

Bring in back to school craziness and bam! Training, teaching and normal life just got so busy!!! 

Sam's wedding was a blast! It was a great day! 

September wouldn't be September without Maritime Race Weekend!!! We kicked off the evening with a super fast and fab 5k! PB's all around!

 This course is flat and scenic...with the best bling!
Lola and Matt always come to cheer so clearly she had to get in the post-race photo! 
I was also psyched to pace the half the next morning for the 1:50 half marathoners! White Rabbit Pacing has helped many runners achieve their goals and is organized by Iron Durwin! ;) Such a great group of runners!
If only we knew to step forward like two feet for the sunny
 Mandi invited me to do a talk to the clinic at the Running Room as well in September. I was beyond nervous, but super chatty once I got started! lol.

When the Rum Runner's Relay rolled around, I was STOKED that I could take part! I missed it in 2015 because of a super nasty sinus infection so I was beyond excited to run fast and make my team proud.  
Team Callaghan! :)

AAAAANNNNNDDDD just like that enter a sinus infection. Womp womp. It's like clockwork, I swear. Each year before my fall marathon I get sick. Well, I was using the nettie pot, sinus spray, antibiotics, Advil cold and sinus, you name it! I was forced to taper early but doing so helped me enter into major PB territory at the Chicago Marathon!!!
Double BQs and PBs!!!!! We are already registered for 2017!
In Chicago I basically ran my butt off and injured I was! My connecting tendon of the hamstring and glute was over used and irritated. So rest I did. I needed it mentally and physically.

Upon returning to running, I took it slow and easy building back my base. Marathon recovery is so important! Especially when you definitely gave it your all.

I spent a few early mornings with the BLT crew, just joggin' and joe'in. ;)

We took part in the Christmas Marathon again this year and it's a great way to stay fit throughout the holidays!

2016 has been good to me. I am truly thankful. 

Run stats: 
1865 miles (3002km)
292 Runs
254 hours and 50 minutes
PBs at each distance (minus the 10k since I didn't officially run one-although I did score one during the Rum Runner's Relay in my 11km leg)
Injuries - 2 :( 
Races - 11

Now onto 2017...there are some really cool things coming! Such as.....
This is truly an honour!!!!!!! I am so excited to be a part of the Mizuno Team for 2017!
Thanks to everyone who have been a part of my running journey this year: my friends, family, tiux, coworkers and yes, Mitch...even you for your sessions of dry-needling! HA!

2016 you rocked!!!

Happy running,
Heather :)