Friday, 22 March 2019

The 2019 Moose Run!

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all doing well and by the way, Happy Spring!

On Sunday a large group of runners from the region participated in the annual Moose Run 25k. Each year I've run it it's never actually been 25k, but by that point I never care because I'm so exhausted and just want to be done! ;)

This race is a great prep for the Boston Marathon, as a physical test. The course is quite challenging and each year I've run it there's been wind in one direction or the other. Getting to the finish line is a feat in itself.

Because of the point the race arrives in marathon training I usually run this "race" with caution since my body is at that fine point between peaking and injury. I've suffered achilles issues in the past after running this race too hard.

This year Coach Lee suggested I aim for sub 5:00 minute pace (around 4:58 ish), since my Boston Goal is not to PB this year but to simply crack the sub 3:30 barrier along the course. I've  yet to do that coming in at 3:31 in 2015!!! Let's hope this is my year! ;)

On Sunday morning it was nice not to get up while it was still dark and get ready at my own pace. The Moose Run begins at 10:00, but is quite a far drive for us who live where I do. Even with distance to destination in mind we were still good to roll at 8:00. I hitched a ride with Craig, Stacey, Rachael, Marg and we picked up Charlotte along the way.
Some BLT Runners pre-race hanging out. Ugh, sorry it's blurry!
 Runners register for this free race at the Buffalo Club in Eastern Passage. Donations are accepted and it usually gets a big turnout!

Before the race a bunch of us headed out for a 4k-ish warm up. I felt so tired and heavy...dreading the run coming up. I was hoping that adrenaline a maybe a good tailwind would help. ;)
Rachael, Stacey, Charlotte and I. Marg where did you go?
 At 10:00 we headed out to race! Immediately during the first km there was a car in the ditch! This had shaken many runners and I can't even imagine the driver. It was so scary. 911 was called and thank goodness everyone was okay!

It was a gorgeous sunny day running along Eastern Passage and Cow Bay! I was grateful for this. So many indecision's beforehand on what to wear! LOL.

I started out with Sarah, Corinne, Charlotte and Rachael who were running faster than I was supposed to so I decided to scale it back. The first bit felt easy since there was a good portion of downhill.

Christy, Natasha and Natalia were cheering at the famous Moose 4k in! They were so motivating. I saw them again at 10k with Coach Lee and I was getting tired already at that point. Uh oh.

The wind.

Ugh, since recovering from bronchitis I'm having great difficulty running into cool headwinds. I know that's normal but it's also super frustrating. I slowed many times even walking up a couple of the big hills just to catch my breath.

Having Rachael with me was amazing. She's so positive and STRONG! Also recovering from a cold she was still able to pull me along. She's going to destroy Boston! OH! And at 6ish kms, Rachael actually FELL down on the ground, ever so gracefully but she fell! And like a total trooper she hopped back on up and kept running! #aintnothingonnabreakmystride

Sarah W. and Jillian got some great shots of us! Thanks guys!!!

At 12k we turn around and head back. Rami  yelled, "There's a nice tailwind going this way!" This helped me so much mentally after fighting a headwind for 12k!!!

Each time I saw the splits that were slower with inclines or wind I decided that as long as the effort was being put in I'd be happy with the fact that I worked hard.

Rachael and I put down a couple of fast kms in the second half and by 20k my legs felt like noodles.

This run brings out so many strong runners. The majority were aiming to hit marathon pace that day and it was amazing to see all the runners as you hit the turn around point ahead and behind you. I love that!

Check out these hills!!!!

I knew the race wouldn't be 25k and I really used that as a mental strategy when I was fading in the end. 

Rachael and I finished in 2:01..nearly 2:02 lol. And I was happy to be done! 

Marathon training and built up fatigue really isn't a joke. Man, I was zonked! Of course super strong Charlotte was gearing to get our cool down in lol. So we did. Corinne, Charlotte and I did 3.5km to make 32km for the day and then it was time for chilli!

The volunteers are so great to feed us!!!!

I saw speedy Janet who I train with and she was so strong!

Hey Charlotte!

And here are the awesome BLT Runners!

It was a great run even though I was feeling sub par. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers!

Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading GGR!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Friday, 8 March 2019

Friday 5!

Long time no see blog!

There have been so many things going on with training over these past few months that I don't even know where to begin. I decided that a Friday 5 would be a great idea to avoid my running rambling...we'll see!

1. The IT Band Shout out!
No, I'm not giving it props. On my 28k workout with my Road Hammer teammates at the end of January I felt that ever familiar twinge in the left knee that no runner wants. The IT Band let me know that I was not doing what I should be with it if I expected it to do its job properly.
Thanks Jillian for this...lol

Training didn't come to a screeching halt as I thought it would and to be honest I handled it way better than I did the first time this happened a year and a half ago.

I visited Jeff and Jillian at Nova Physiotherapy and they treated my symptoms AND Jeff made sure I was back on track with a solid strengthening program. Mileage was reduced on Coach Lee's advice and I have been diligently doing my homework. Now I just have to keep it happy for another five and a half weeks...(fingers crossed)!

2. And then comes Bronchitis! Seriously, just days after I was permitted to try speedwork (modified, but still!), I came down with what I thought was going to be the plague that would kill me. Matt and I were both sick with fevers, coughs, aches, etc. It was just peachy...lol. The doctor informed me that I had bronchitis and would require antibiotics and a puffer...again. The joy of teacher life.

Lola was a great nurse! <3

And Matt delivered me a blizzard!

3. Returning to workouts!
Once I felt better and slowly worked my way up in mileage, Coach Lee permitted me to try a full workout!!!!! I was thrilled to endure the pain, lol. If that makes sense.

My first 30k run of this Boston Marathon training cycle!!!

I have to cover my face in the cold air to not irritate my lungs further but I don't mind as long as I get to run!

4. Winter training: I am so over it! 
We have been blasted with ice and snow for what feels like forever. Sometimes I have to get creative with my running routes and timing is everything - especially on those sunny days when there is a lot of melt followed by sunset freezing temps! Black ice is not cool!

And even this thin layer of snow is so slippery to run on!
I've even had to whip out the trail shoes a time or two. 

5. It was Staff Appreciation week at school and we were treated like royalty! It was incredibly thoughtful of the TESPA folks to take care of us. Thanks!
 They fed us every day!!!!

+1
When you see my friend Christy you need to give her huge props for completing the six star marathons after recently finishing Tokyo! She is amazing! 

+2
Thanks Chicago Marathon for this cool photo!!!! 
I didn't even know this picture existed until I got tagged in it so many times yesterday! I love it! 

Of course Lola says, "hi."

Thanks so much for not forgetting about me, the absent blogger, lol. Have a wonderful weekend. :)

Happy Running,
Heather 

Friday, 25 January 2019

Friday 5!

Happy Friday!

Lola says, "Hi!"
I came across this photo from 2008 when she was just a puppy and I fell in love all over again. <3

Here are my Friday 5 things for you:

1. Strength Training!
One of the things I struggle to complete when mileage starts to climb high is maintaining my strength routine. Do not be like me! Having a strong core and body in general greatly help reduce the risk of injury and help push you through those tough final marathon miles.

This exercise below is one of my favourites! A long long time ago when my glutes were giving me heck, Julie (My PT from the past), showed me this core/stability move that you hold as an elbow plank and then alternate legs up and down for 90 seconds.  I realize that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is tough! Try it! I like to do this one before heading out for a run. It's not about reaching your foot towards the ceiling but pushing the leg up slightly and straight...clearly mine needs a bit of straightening.


2. Marathon Maintenance!
I had to pay a visit to Jeff at Nova Physiotherapy this week. My calf has been nagging at me since the Hypo Half and I didn't want it to get out of control. Jeff used those three little tools below to cause me great pain, but then relief...it's a love/hate relationship. It's not a compliment when your physiotherapist says that your calf is crunchy when using the Guasha or cups.




3. Snowy Runs with Friends!
When a snowstorm hits but everyone has to 'get their run in,' you can always recruit people who are just as dedicated crazy as you to hit the roads...lashsicles and all! 

4. Fave Fuel!
Megan recommended this DIY Grain Salad and at first I was like, "Salads aren't substantial enough to fuel me during a crazy busy work day with kids,"  but I was looking for other options besides my usual. Well, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I LOVED it and how filling it was!

It was so freaking amazing that I'm making it again this Sunday for the week!

5. Family Member Marathoner!!!
Guys - My Aunt Brenda who I lived with during my last year of university completed her first marathon!!! A group of her friends traveled to Florida and ran the Disney Marathon! I was so excited for her!!! Fun Fact: when I lived with her she used to run on the treadmill and I was extremely inactive. I did not understand the appeal of running...lol! CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!
Aunt Brenda is in the back row second person past Mickey!


Thanks again running friends for all the blog love! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Friday, 18 January 2019

Friday 5!

Happy FRIDAY runner friends!!!!

I don't know about you but I could really use a mid-week snow day for each week from now until the end of the school year, lol. Just kidding! But working with 22 kids 5 days a week is like a marathon of its own...zzz.
At least they bring me tacos. Okay, they're paper tacos that I can't eat, but the thought was there. <3

1. Hypo Half Photos!
I am so glad the Running Room and Your Running Race photos braved the cold to capture some action shots of Sunday's race. Thank you!!!

Look at the ice on my head!!!!!!

2. Ugh, IT Band Maintenance...
This is the least favourite thing I like to visit Jillian for. But to be honest it's probably one of the most important things she does for my IT bands and injury prevention. Cupping - It's a love/hate thing.

3. Speed WERK! ;)
After Sunday's race I wasn't too sure I could pull off the Road Hammer speed workout: 4 x 1km at VO2 Max & 4 short hills...Yikes! I headed out and gave it a go and to my surprise my legs held up!

Don't worry, I have not abandoned my mile recordings. And yes, I can still convert from miles->km and vice versa like it's my job. ;)

4. Fuel!
After Wednesday's workout I was starving!!!! I quickly changed a very basic dinner to super loaded tacos with cheese flavoured shells...healthy I know, lol.
 
I'm totally making this DIY Grain Salad on the weekend from my Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow book. Have you made it yet???


5. Some New Friends!
The neighbours cats have been getting quite familiar around the Callaghan household. I think they're pretty cool friends.

Okay, so Lola actually likes to refer to them as "Frenemies," but we're making progress.

Thanks again for stopping by the GGR blog space and have a beautiful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Sunday, 13 January 2019

2019 Hypothermic Half Marathon!

Happy Sunday RUNday!

Today was the first race of 2019 for me and many other runner peeps of mine - The Running Room Hypothermic Half Marathon. It's one of those races you sign up for and pray that the Nova Scotia winter will be on your side. I've run it in the past where it was aaaand where it definitely was not.

Lee encouraged us to sign up for this one as a hard effort training run. This took a lot of pressure off of what I was putting on myself, (If the weather cooperated). A hard effort would be easy to achieve on the Chain of Lakes Trail System since the elevation is one I tend to avoid in training...just ask Stacey & Marg. ;)
Flat Heather & Lola are ready to run!

The weather was clear and crisp...very crisp. It was -17 with the windchill early in the a.m. and my lungs do not like running in the cold anymore.

Marg picked me up with her heated seats and I did not want to get out of the car.
Avery, Marg and I pre-race with warm smiles.
With the frigid temperatures doing a warm up was a must but no one wanted to...lol. Janet, Annie, Sarah and I headed out for a very brief 2k warm up before the horn went.

The last time I did this race we were timed using popsicle sticks but today we were given anklets ... similar to the house arrest kind, lol.

My goal pace for today was out the window when I could barely feel my legs as we started. It would become a run by feel race.

I was hoping to stay with Janet and work together but I lost her before we were a half a km in. The woman I thought was her ended up being someone else. Darn winter gear making it hard to identify everyone!

I was very familiar with the route. Going up the first time (we went up and down the COLT twice), was okay. Not amazing or easy, just okay. I had to keep my mouth covered because the cold air irritates my asthma and of course you are running UP so, clearly that's not easy. ;)

I was so happy to see Christy cheering about a km and a half before the turn around. I looked like death and tried to say, "hi," although I'm sure it sounding like blarp blarp, LOL. Frozen face and mouth plus the before mentioned breathing in cold air running uphill greatly interfered with my ability to communicate clearly.
Your Running Race Photos braved the cold to get cool shots of the runners! Thanks!!
 I may be cold but I WILL try not to look like death for the cameras, lol. #potentialblogmaterial

At the first turn around I got to see who was where. I was very close to Janet and getting motivation from friends and teammates was just amazing, especially on a day like today!

I tried to make up time coming down the COLT but I also didn't want to blow up going up the COLT for the SECOND time...ugh! LOL.

I got lots of cheers and I tried to yell support and thumbs up to everyone as well, but at points the sun was so bright I couldn't see who was talking to me!

I took a Gatorade with a gel at 10k in or so and it was frozen! Basically a red Gatorade slushy!!!! Also, my legs must have been going numb because it felt like my chip anklet was sliding off so I stopped to tighten it and it was already as tight as it could go!

Going up the second time was very hard...breathing and frozen face and legs were just not awesome.  But I kept the downhill in the forefront of my mind so that I had something to look forward to...and of course the delicious brunch we were going to afterward! I am highly motivated by food. :D

The stats:
At 13-15 I'm pretty sure I stopped caring, lol. And then when life got flat again I was like, "GO!" LOL

I tried to zoom down the trail the last time to get to the finish but my legs felt a bit like lead. They were cold. I really didn't even look at my watch until the last two k and I saw that even if I did 5:00 min/kms I'd get in under 1:40 and I became very happy about that.

1:38:24 gun time! A solid hard effort on a frosty frigid day!
Check out the pace changes with the elevation. 
The course ended up being like 200m short...I was not complaining at all though. I wanted to get warm!

Congratulations to all runners and a GIGANTIC thank you to all the amazing volunteers! I do not know how you stood out in the cold but thanks!
Kari Ellen, Sarah, Janet, Annie, Me, Marg and Norma
 Check out our run crew! <3

This was as badass of a photo I could do. Marg had to help me get my running jacket off since I was FROZEN!

The Bling!

Post hypo brunch is something to get hyped about...

Cheers to many more miles in 2019!
Hilary, Annie, Sarah, Marg, Avery, Anna and I.

How was your weekend?
Every run the HYPO?
Do you enjoy winter races?

Thanks for the blog love!

Happy Running,
Heather :)