Marathon Monday: cutting it close

Well, let’s just say that this isn’t going to be a  happy post.  If my grumpiness is going to ruin your Monday then I’m okay with it if you decide not to read.  Yesterday marked two weeks until race day and I felt disappointed, worried and doubtful in regards to my abilities and the package that I will be bringing to the start line.


Let’s get the easy part over with.  Here’s how last week’s lame training went down:

Monday: REST

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 10.25 miles (8 @ tempo) -> 7:43 average pace

Friday: 3.75 miles -> 8:45 average pace

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 16 miles -> 8:38 average pace

Total: 30 miles even (this should make Suzy happy)

That doesn’t sound so bad, right?  I’m actually okay with only running 30 miles since I’m supposed to be reducing my mileage anyway and no run is going to make or break me right now.  I’m more concerned about my leg (if you’re new here, I walked about 6 miles in rubber flip flops while I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and did some damage).  I rested Monday – Wednesday because things started to feel really sore after my long run on Sunday last week.  I thought if I gave it a few days of rest, things would subside.  Well, they didn’t.  I ran my tempo on Thursday with a little bit of pain and then finally woke up Friday and made an appointment with a PT.  My regular PT is completely booked until marathon week so I had to see someone new but he was great (Mark at Athletic Edge).  I know I made the mistake of waiting too long to see someone about this.  I mean I got back from Vegas at the beginning of September and it’s been hurting me since then.  Not hurting enough to stop training but enough to make me realize that this isn’t going to go away on its own.  I’ve basically been diagnosed with tendonitis and Mark gave me a pretty painful massage on Friday.  He also gave me a couple of exercises I can do at home and taped me up.  I asked if I should keep training and he didn’t recommend that I stop…so that’s good.  I think he just understands the whole runner thing and knows that at two weeks out, it’s not realistic to sit around and do nothing.  He just wants me to slow my pace and only worry about getting distance in.  Cool.  I’m okay with that.  I tried running Friday night and OH MY WORD.  His massage really got things fired up!  I was only able to complete 3.75 miles (instead of 8) and frantically messaged Danielle and emailed Phaedra to confirm that this was normal.  It is.  I decided to rest on Saturday in hopes of feeling good enough for my Sunday long run.

Now let’s talk Sunday.  OH SUNDAY.

First, it was freezing and HELLA WINDY.  I hate running in pants (I actually hate pants in general) but I put them on anyway and headed out.  Less than 0.25 of a mile into my run and I had to turn around and go home to change said pants because they were falling and the crotch was almost at my knees.  Turns out buying a size up in Lululemon tights to avoid muffin top leads to worse problems.  I changed into some tights that fit but forgot to take my ID and credit card out of the first pair of tights which I needed because my plan was to run to the Running Room to buy gels since I was all out.  Off to a good start, right? (*insert pissed off emoji face*)


I accepted the fact that I would be running without fuel and just thought, “Hey, maybe this isn’t the worst thing!  No fuel means I’ll take less breaks and get this run over with faster!”  I was wrong.  My stomach hasn’t felt this bad on a run in a very long time.  I was so uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, took a ton of breaks to try and walk it off, then ended up cutting my run a mile short so I could go home and lay down.  I guess 16 miles in the wind feeling like absolute death is still better than no miles at all…?

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The good news is that my leg didn’t feel so bad on my run.  I’m seeing Mark again this week so hopefully I’ll be okay to actually race (rather than run) the marathon.  Fingers crossed.  We are cutting it real close.  A bad week is usually followed by a good week though so I have high hopes for the upcoming days.

Happy miserable Monday!! 😉

JUST KIDDING.  Have a great day!

The Friday Five

So I decided to hop on Jen’s Friday Five train today.  She should totally start a link-up.  I always look forward to reading her Friday posts (as well as all the other days, too!) which include a short list of things she is loving for the current week.  It’s fun because you get to learn about new products, people, books, shows, etc. that you may not have come across yourself.

Anyway, here are five things I’m loving:

1. These pants from Lululemon:

sattva pant ii

I bought a pair of pants from Lululemon when I was in Vancouver back in August which turned out having a minor defect.  When I went back to the store they offered to exchange them for me so I picked the Sattva Pant ii (above) and holyyyyyy guacamole.  They are so comfortable – perfect for post-race!  I have never felt a material so soft in my entire life.  The ones I got are a wine colour but they don’t have them on the website.  They seemed to have more colour options in-store.  On the site they’ve got heathered green, black and grey.

2.  SUZY!!!


This girl.  I don’t know how we didn’t find each other sooner.  I love, love, LOVE her blog.  All of her posts are so funny, honest, real, entertaining, educational, inspiring…need I say more?!  Oh wait…she also recently WON A MARATHON.  She’s one of those people that just tells you how it is.  There’s no sugarcoating or BS.  I mean, her blog is called Suzy Has The Runs.  That alone should convince you that her posts are a great read.

3.  Usain Bolt’s racing strategy:


If it works for him, it should work for me, no?  😉

4.  I love that PRO Compression has all of their pink items on sale this month (40% off with coupon code PINK)!!


A lot of us are running marathons soon so it’s a great chance for us to show our support for breast cancer awareness.  I just ordered the new Elite Marathon socks for my race!  You can check out all the pink goodies HERE.

5.  The Thug Kitchen Party Grub cookbook is finally available for pre-order!

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I have their first cookbook and absolutely love it.  The marinated tempeh (from the carrot and tempeh sandwich) and the sriracha cauliflower bites are two of my favourite recipes.  The cauliflower bites call for a peanut dipping sauce and that stuff is SO good that I make a double batch now.  I use it as a dip for everything.  All of the links to sites where you can place your pre-order – in the U.S. and Canada – are on the Thug Kitchen website (just scroll to the bottom of the page).

Happy Friday!

7 things to focus on over the next 17 days

I can’t believe it’s October already!  It’s going to be such a busy month.  I get my condo keys on the 13th, I’m running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on the 18th,  two of my most favourite cousins have birthdays on the 22nd and 25th, and I’ll be getting ready for yet another race on November 1st.  More about that another day though… 😉

With the marathon being just 17 days away, I thought I’d share 7 things I’m going to focus on up until race day.

1. More water.  There are days where I don’t even drink one glass of water.  Not even one!  How am I even still alive?!  I’ve made it a goal to drink at least two of these glasses with every meal:


2. No junk.  Eating junk makes me run like junk.  It contributes to cramps, slower paces, heaviness, and just an overall feeling of blah.  Some people I know can eat a pizza and drink a beer before a race and do just fine.  I am not one of those people so from now until race day, it’s nothing but clean eats.  I haven’t done a What I Ate Wednesday post in a while so maybe next week I’ll share a day of eats.


3. Sleep.  I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  A lot has been on my mind and so there are nights where I end up tossing and turning for 2-3 hours before I actually fall asleep.  I don’t really know how to fix this or how to keep my mind from racing but I’m going to try to get to bed earlier in hopes that I’ll be able to fall asleep earlier.

4. Stretch and foam roll.  I think I can count the number of times I have stretched and foam rolled on one hand.  I tend to only do it when I feel like my body really needs it but the truth is that our bodies ALWAYS need it.  I don’t even know if doing it daily will help me at this point but I’ll feel better about myself if I try!


5. Nothing new.  This is not the time to try out new things whether it be running shoes, different foods, exercises, etc.  I’ll be sticking to what is comfortable and familiar for the next couple of weeks.  I’ve already been wearing running shoes as much as possible because I have a fear of hurting myself after what happened in Vegas.  Supportive shoes only from now until race day!


6. Mental game.  The hard work is done and I’m spending less time on my feet.  This gives me more time to work on getting my head straight for the marathon.  I’m going to re-read Mind Gym, come up with some words or mantras, study the race course and elevation so that I’m mentally prepared, and talk to coach PK about my racing strategy.

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7. Welcome laziness.  Reducing mileage during the taper can make people go stir crazy but I plan on welcoming laziness with open arms.  I’m not going to try and do other active things to “make up” for the time I’m not running.  Princeton will still get his walks but other than that, you can find me watching movies, eating boring food and planning how I’m supposed to get from the start line to the finish line on October 18th! 😀

Okay, here we go!  Off to do my tempo run that I was supposed to do on Tuesday.  Have a great day and HAPPY OCTOBER!!!

Marathon Monday: IT’S FINALLY HERE!!

I’ve finally reached that point in marathon training – TAPER TIME!  I know there are people that hate the taper but I’ll be honest, I am so glad it’s here.


Last week’s training was weird.  My strongest run was Tuesday’s tempo, just two days after my “fast finish” 23 miles.  Every run after that felt like a struggle and the only thing getting me through the week was knowing that reduced mileage was coming my way.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 7.16 miles moderate -> 8:19 average pace

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 7 miles with 6 x 100m strides -> 8:46 average pace

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 4 miles easy -> 8:54 average pace

Sunday: 20 miles easy -> 8:43 average pace

Total: 38.16 miles

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Now let’s talk about the good and bad things that come along with the taper.


  • Less running!  At this point in marathon training, I think a lot of us welcome less running.  Even though I only train four days a week, I am feeling really worn out right now.  Everything hurts and I feel really slow.  My legs and my brain need a break.
  • More time for other things.  I no longer have to worry about being out on Sunday mornings for 3+ hours.  Hey, maybe I can even sleep in this weekend since I only have 17 miles to run.  Weird how marathon training allows you to put the word “only” in front of “17 miles”, hey?
  • All. The. Food.  I know it’s a little early to start carb loading but the fun will start soon enough.  Truthfully, my diet is already so carb-heavy that I don’t really have to make many changes in the days leading up to the marathon.
  • Planning!  I love planning everything that has to do with a race.  What I’m going to wear, where I’m going to eat afterwards, who I can count on to cheer/pace me for a few miles, what songs I’m going to put on my playlist, etc.  It’s all pretty exciting.

The BAD:

  • Less running!  I know I said this is a good thing but there is a point during the taper where I will be like “I just want to run more!!!”  Who knows though.  Maybe that won’t happen this time around.
  • Mind games.  Even though I have put in all of the work, I am going to doubt myself at least 1000 times between now and October 18th.  Runs right now feel more difficult than they should and I am already wondering how the heck I’m supposed to get through 26.2 miles in one piece.
  • I actually have to think about what I’m eating.  About 2-3 weeks out, I do try to be a little more conscious about what I fuel my body with.  I’m one of those lucky people who has stomach issues more often than I’d care to admit.  I’m also one of those people that loves the kinds of food that give me stomach issues.  So for the sake of racing with minimal discomfort (no discomfort would be even better but I know that’s asking for a lot), I’m going to try and stick to what I know is “safe” for the next little while…starting now (because a coworker brought red velvet cake into work today… 😉 )
  • Phantom pains.  GO AWAY.  They always creep up right about now.
  • The crazy comes out.  I will probably start checking the weather starting tomorrow.  I have anxiety about race day conditions.  Wind and rain scare me so I’ll be praying to the weather gods every single day and night that it will be cool, sunny, 15*C (59*F), and with 0% chance of precipitation.

P.S. Does anyone else get severely bloated after a long run?  For me, everything feels super puffy and swollen for 2-3 days and then I can finally fit into my pants again!  I hold A LOT of water weight after a long run…like a good 3-5 pounds.  Is this normal??  I’ve probably asked this before but let’s talk about it again… 😀

New Balance Vazee Pace Review

A while back, I posted a review of the New Balance Zantes.  Shortly after, I received a pair of the New Balance Vazee Pace so I thought I’d talk about them a little and share my thoughts.

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I’ve been running quite a bit lately (if you haven’t noticed 😉 ) and keeping a regular shoe rotation has been key for me.  I don’t know if there’s a correlation but since I started running in multiple pairs of shoes, I have not had to deal with any serious injuries.  Maybe I’ve just been a smarter runner or maybe a variety of shoes has kept those injuries at bay.  We’ll never know!

The first thing I thought about the shoe was that the colour was fantastic.  I know, I know.  Here I am judging a shoe by what it looks like again.  But you ladies can relate, right?  All of our options are always pink and purple-heavy so it was nice to see something different.  I absolutely love the yellow but now this newer colour way came out and I’m all like OH EM GEE I NEED ANOTHER PAIR.

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New Balance, you are nailing it with the colours.  Kudos to you.

Okay let’s get back on track.  The launch of the Vazee Pace coincides with New Balance’s latest marketing platform ‘Always In Beta’ – the brand’s promise to relentlessly improve, to never stop pushing and to always strive for more.

The Vazee Pace is New Balance’s new(ish) performance road running shoe.  It’s designed for runners looking for a stable ride and who want to move quickly through the gait cycle.  The shoe was launched in July so I’ve had a little bit of time to get some miles on them.

For the most part, I’ve been sticking to neutral shoes but wear something a bit heavier/more cushiony for long runs and something lighter for short/fast runs.  As soon as I got the Vazee Pace, I knew they’d be for my short and fast runs.  Like the Zantes, they are suuuuuper light so I don’t think they would do my legs and feet any favours on 20+ milers.  That’s just a personal thing though.  My friend just ran a marathon last weekend (and qualified for Boston) in these shoes so if you don’t need pillows strapped to the bottom of your feet to run a marathon (like me), then these could possibly be distance shoes for you!


From the New Balance website:

REVlite foam in the midsole cushioning helps energize each step while the sleek, bootie-like design wraps your foot like a second skin. Everything you need for speed is here and nothing you don’t, removing every obstacle in your way to your next personal best.

  • Awarded “Best Debut” by Runner’s World magazine
  • Weight: 6.5 oz
  • 6 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 6 mm drop are approximate
  • Bootie construction
  • Deconstructed heel counter
  • No-sew material application
  • Podular blown rubber outsole
  • REVlite midsole foam

The weight and the drop are basically the same for both the Zante and the Vazee Pace but after trying both styles, I have to say that I prefer the feel of the Vazee Pace.  They are both comfortable but the Vazee Pace feel more like a shoe to me (if that makes any sense) whereas the Zante feel more sock-like.


The REVlite midsole foam, along with the shape and construction of the Vazee Pace make me feel more stable and supported even though they are such a light shoe.  I will continue to use these for any runs under 10 miles.  They are very flexible and responsive making them great for track work, intervals and tempo runs.  I think they’d make great racing shoes too and will probably be my go-to choice for 5k or 10k races.  I literally feel like I’m flying in these without the fear of breaking my ankles.  Thanks to the bootie construction, they hug my feet really well but at the same time, have a cozy enough toe box that allows for some wiggle room and swelling (thank you marathon training).  I have super narrow feet though so I’m not the best person to trust when it comes to talking about roomy toe boxes.  Every pair of shoes I own has a roomy toe box!

In terms of sizing, I take an 8.5 in most of my running shoes and the Vazee Pace were no exception.

They are pretty sweet shoes but I would eventually like to venture out and try a more supportive New Balance shoe that I could possibly use on longer runs.  Though the Zante and Vazee Pace are different shoes, I wear them for the same types of runs because of how light they are.  I guess this means I just need more shoes, hey? 😉

Hope you have a great weekend!

That transition

I saw this quote the other day on @lifesabowl’s Instagram and it is so, SO true:


I think everyone who run/races can relate to this.  Whether it’s your first race with the goal to just finish or your 100th race with a specific time goal, that transition is always there.  We experience doubts and question our abilities, especially after those defeating workouts.  We all have them!  I’ve had a handful of super shitty weeks during this training cycle and was *this close* to dropping to the half marathon instead of the full.  But I didn’t give up.  I just kept saying “give it one more week, one more long run to prove you can do it.”  I’m so glad I did.  With just four weeks to go, I had the best long run on Sunday.  It was quite possibly the fastest 20+ mile long run that I’ve ever completed.  I experienced that transition and no longer wonder if I’ll be able to get to that finish line.  I KNOW IT.  If things line up on race day the way they did on the weekend, I may even be able to set a new PR.

Here’s a look into my long run in case anyone is interested.

Breakfast: Love Grown Hot Oats (sometimes I have a bowl of the Love Grown O’s instead)

HO_AppleCinnamon3Run nutrition: I ate four Honey Stinger gels over 23 miles – at mile 5, 10, 15, and 18.  I drank one bottle of water (which probably wasn’t enough).

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Run entertainment: I listened to four episodes of Serial during miles 1-15 and then switched to music for miles 16-23.

Run gear: Lululemon Speed Shorts, Cool Racerback Tank, Stuff Your Bra Sportsbra (stuffed all my gels in there), Pro Compression Marathon Socks, and Brooks Glycerin 13s (I’ve been wearing these for all my long runs and they are FAB), iPod and Jabra Sport Pulse wireless headphones.

Run details: I was scheduled to run 22 miles with the last 7 at half marathon race pace.  I felt abnormally good so I ran an extra mile at the end as a cool down.  The first 15 miles were at an 8:36 min/mile average, the 7 at HMRP were at 7:55, 7:47, 7:45, 7:43, 7:42, 7:41, 7:19 and my final cool down mile was at 8:02.


Disclaimer: I did stop quite a few times during this run.  I don’t stop during races to eat or drink but for some reason I like to pause my watch and stop to get my gels and water down during my training.  Maybe it’s so I don’t choke like I do during races.  I still haven’t mastered the whole eat while you’re running thing.  I also stopped at some lights and a few times to take photos because the day was so incredibly beautiful and I couldn’t help myself! :)


I’m not sure how much all of the stopping affects my overall pace so the 8:19 average may not accurately reflect my abilities or allow me to predict how I’ll perform on October 18th.  I’m still really happy with the way my run went, felt like I was pushing really hard over the last few miles and dug deep to nail those paces.  The idea was to run hard on tired legs, just like we (try to) do at the end of a marathon.  I did my best so let’s just hope I can do the same thing (without stopping) on race day!

Post-run: I usually have coconut water right after my run and am currently loving Thirsty Buddha.  I have to wait a while before I eat because my stomach gets a little weird but even when that feeling goes away, I don’t have much of an appetite the day of a long run.  I still try to eat as much as I can but the hunger usually hits me the next day.  AND IT HITS HARD.

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I think that’s it.  Let me know if you have any questions!!  I know I personally get super interested in the way people go about their long runs.  I’m no pro and it’s taken me a while to figure out what works for me.  I’m still learning how my body handles distance and what it needs to run at its best!

Have a great day!!!

Marathon Monday: EFFORT vs. TIME/PACE

It’s that time of week again………


It’s crazy to think that there will only be three more Marathon Mondays before I actually run my 26.2.  Yikes.

Last week’s training went like this:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 10.36 miles (with 8 miles @ tempo) -> 7:48 average pace

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 8.54 miles (warm-up + 5 x 6 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy + cool down) -> 8:24 average pace

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 4 miles easy -> 8:40 average pace

Sunday: 23 miles (first 15 “easy” + 7 @ half marathon race pace + 1 cool down) -> 8:19 average pace

Total: 45.90 miles

Only four days of running and that’s the way I intend on keeping things until the marathon.  Sometimes I throw in an extra easy day but right now I’m taking all the rest days I can get.  A friend of mine just qualified for Boston (with a 3:07) and only trained three days a week.  Proof that it’s more about quality than quantity.  I’m not saying that I’ll qualify for Boston by adopting this sort of training but I’m not stressing about “only” running four days a week.  Sometimes I catch myself thinking it’s not enough, especially when I see others who run 5-6 days but I have to remember that this is what works for me.


When I was doing my interval run on Thursday I started thinking about effort vs. time and pace.  I think it’s natural for us to get caught up in numbers and become frustrated when we aren’t running as fast as we think we should be running.  When I set my watch to do intervals, the only thing visible on the screen is time.  It beeps when I need to begin my hard minutes and then again when I need to begin my easy minutes.  All I see is the countdown so I have no idea how fast I’m going unless I manually scroll to the next screen.  I choose NOT to do this because I base those runs on EFFORT.  What feels hard today is going to be different than what feels hard tomorrow.  Today my route may have some hills and so my hard pace might be slower than what it would be on a flat route.

My paces for the hard (6-minute) intervals during that run were 7:19, 7:24, 7:19, 7:42 and 7:35.

Could I run faster than that for 6 minutes?  Probably.  But on that day those numbers reflect what felt hard to me and that’s A-OK.

Anywayyyyy hope you all had a great weekend!!  I had a HUGE fam jam on Saturday with so many of my cousins (so fun!) and then nailed my 23-miler yesterday which did wonders for my confidence.  I no longer think I’m going to die on October 18th.  YAY.  I think I’ll talk more about that long run in my next post!

Have a great day! :)