Well August sucked. 😦 It was not the month for me. I was going into August hoping to challenge myself and run the Spartan Race Ultra Beast. It would be my first 50k and my longest obstacle/trail/any type of race. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to challenge myself. It’s okay though. One valuable lesson I’ve learned for the month of August is that there will always be another race. Take your time to rest properly, take care of your body and spend with family and friends.
I didn’t really post anything all month either. There wasn’t much to post. I had pulled my hamstring during a water skiing session back in July (see last post). Since then, I have been foam rolling, icing, stretching and resting. I went for a massage a few times and my Massage Therapist said I should slow down and really take care of my body if I want to be racing well into old age. Yes, I know I should take care of myself….it’s just so hard when there is a race just about every weekend in the Spring and Summer months.
My total mileage for August was only 44.53 km’s with 5 days of running. This is the first time since December 2014 that I did not run over 100 km per month. It’s a bit depressing but I know that I needed a break. I had been racing for 10 weekends straight. That is a record for me! 10 weekends in a row of collecting medals and even multiple lap races; with my last race being 2 laps of the Spartan Super in Toronto. The Super was about 12 km of hill/mountain climbing and 10+ obstacles. It was the first time I ran 2 laps of a Super. I ran with friends on the second ‘fun’ lap and we took it easy; it was still hard and the weather was hot. At the end of my second lap, I could feel my quads starting to cramp up. I felt great to finish with my friends and know that we just ran 24 km!
The weekend after the Toronto Super, I was up at the cottage and that’s when I pulled my hamstring. I guess injuries are a way of our body telling us we need to slow down. This has happened to me at least once a year since I started running in 2012 and usually at the end of Summer, beginning of Fall. I guess I should have learned the lesson by now huh. Every time I train hard and do a lot of races, I end up getting injured after and end my race season early.
OKAY! I get it now. Something needs to change. So for next year, I will focus on training smarter and injury prevention. That means not racing every weekend and choosing only a few major races to focus my training on. That also means more cross training and yoga for injury prevention. Quality of races over quantity. 😉
I still have 2 more big races for October. Run for the Toad 50k and STWM full marathon. Depending on how my training goes and how my body feels ( I still get a bit of tightness in the hamstring when I run); I will decide closer to the date if I need to downgrade my distance for them. I have no time goal for either races, the goal is to just finish the race without injury.
Fall is my favourite time of the year to run so hopefully I can get more runs in and run at least 100 km this month. Good luck to everyone training for your upcoming Fall races! 🙂
I started the month off pretty strong. I thought I would hit over 200km for July for sure. I had been racing every weekend for 10 weekends straight. I was feeling good and my weekly mileage goals were on target. Another lesson learned: sometimes you may feel great, but underneath the endorphin’s, your body is slowly wearing down. I pulled my right hamstring during a water skiing session at the cottage. Go figure – I don’t get injured during races or training but doing something fun on the side. 😦 Be good to your body, give it the rest it deserves. Rest days are part of the training process and you will see the benefits and rewards from taking care of yourself. Yep – hindsight is always 20/20.
My total mileage was 129.72km’s for the month of July. This is pretty bad considering I should be ramping up my training for the Run for the Toad and STWM in October. Okay, I will recover from my hamstring injury and train smarter so I am ready for my upcoming races.
Speaking of upcoming races… 3 more days until the Spartan Race Ultra Beast!!! OMG!!! The is the first year Spartan Race is having an Ultra Beast distance in Eastern Canada. Ultra Beast is a disgustingly difficult 42k+ course from the Spartan Race series and there are not many of them. The famous original Ultra Beast is the Vermont location. Vermont is in September and it’s held at Killington Resort. If you’ve never been there, google Killington and check it’s elevation stats. 😉 Crazy elevation (you’re climbing the hill several times) mixed in with Vermont September weather and you’ve got yourself a crazy challenge. Finishing rates are usually around 20-30% and average completion times vary around the 12+ hour mark. Oh.em.gee.
So of course, I wanted to challenge myself this year and register for the Ottawa Ultra Beast. Last year I ran the Ottawa Super Saturday and the Beast Sunday and it was a great challenge. Having done that already, I decided to go big this year. This will be the biggest challenge ever for me. I may have been more ready for it two week ago, but since I pulled my hamstring over a week ago; I am getting super nervous. I don’t want to back out and still up for the challenge. I even went for a 17k last long trail run on Monday. It wasn’t bad but I have definitely have to adjust my running to smaller strides and can’t race down the mountain/hills like I normally do. Stretch breaks will also be a key part of my game plan for Sunday.
I read the race preview and it’s definitely going to be a tough one on Sunday; maybe even tougher than Vermont. 50k, 70 obstacles, some never seen before and the organizers estimate the completion rate will be 25%. Again..oh.em.gee! I am going to try my hardest, give it everything I’ve got and push myself physically and mentally. If I DNF after all that, then I am okay with it. But I really hope to be in that 25% bracket! Wish me luck! 🙂
I didn’t quite hit 200 km’s this month 😦 I know I should be increasing my mileage and endurance since I am training for the Spartan Ultra Beast in August and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. But sometimes, we have to listen to our bodies and take the rest that it is asking for. I have learned this lesson many times in the past when I would push my body and over train to the point of injury.
My total mileage for June is 155.59 km. Not 200 km but still happy with my finish this month. I will need to step it up in July if I want to take this next challenge in my life.
So my next challenge…!?!? 😀
I have officially registered for my first ultramarathon! Yep, posting this for all to see; so there’s no turning back now. That’s going to be 50 km of trail running at the Run for the Toad in October. This is also two weeks before my STWM marathon! It’s definitely going to be a challenge alright; but my goal for the 50 km race is to take it nice and easy and just finish. I’ve learned that in trail running, the goal is just finishing and not necessarily the time. Well, for me it is anyway. Each trail is different and even if it’s the same route as previous years, other conditions play a huge factor in determining how fast you can run. I did my first trail race in May and have completed two trail races to date and I just love it. I have always loved my obstacle races because it always involves trail running. Now I’m taking it to the next level and giving this ‘ultramarathon’ running a try. I’m a bit nervous but I know I can do it. I just need to keep running and training hard and on race day; I will cross that finish line and become an ‘ultramarathoner’.
I may not be the fastest, I may not be the strongest but I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest. ❤
Three years ago, Canada Running Series introduced a new ambassador program called the Digital Champions. Their goal was to build an online community of support for runners as they trained for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I am honoured to have been a part of the Digital Champions team. I have witnessed the growth of the running community in Toronto – from Running Room groups to the vast running crews we now have. I used to run by myself around my neighborhood; now I can always find someone to run with. It’s more motivating when you have someone to run with, especially when it’s cold out or when you need to get a long training run in. The Toronto running community is such an inspiring community of runners both online and off and you can always find someone or some crew running on any day of the week.
Through running, I have met so many wonderful runners, who have become some of my closest friends. They have become my run buddies, my role model and my inspiration. I have also grown to be a better runner. I have learned everything from which gels and chews to take to what kind of stretches I should be doing and clothes I should be wearing. Gone are the days of wearing regular Nike’s (not even the running ones) and cotton everything. Much is learned through my personal trial and error; but a lot is learned from my fellow runners.
The running community also challenges me. I am continuously learning and setting new challenges and goals for myself. Seeing, hearing and reading about everyone’s training for their various goal races inspires me to keep training to excel in mine. It motivates me to try new races and new distances. Perhaps a triathlon or an ultramarathon one day…? 🙂
I am excited and honoured to announce that I am now a Canada Running Series Community Leader! Alongside 11 other ultra inspiring runners and friends of mine, we will be year-round ambassadors of Canada Running Series. We will be out in the community all year long, sharing the CRS mission of “building community through running” and hoping to continue to inspire other runners. Catch us at the CRS races in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver; and connect with us anytime online via social media.
Check out all the Canada Running Series Community Leaders here and a more detailed bio of everyone here.
The running community has inspired me so much and I hope that be living the best version of myself, that I can pay it forward and inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. ❤ xo. LN
They say goals are more achievable when you write them down…right?
Unfortunately, I did not reach my goal of 2014 km’s in 2014. 😥 I did not run as much as I should have been and injury also prevented me from running for three months (September – December). It sucks that the injury happened during my running peak of the year; I was running over 100 km’s a week before that! It wasn’t even a running related injury (feet, knees, etc.) but an obstacle racing injury (shoulder) 😦 Though, I’ve also heard that injuries are your bodies way of telling you to slow down..
Perhaps I was too eager in setting such a high goal of 2014 km’s in 2014. Especially since I am still new to running and I only ran 432 km in 2013. That’s not even 500 km’s and nowhere close to 1,000 km’s so how was I supposed to double that!? Looking back, yeah, that may have been unrealistic. Overachiever much?.. 🙂
Even though I did not reach my 2014 goal mileage, I am still SUPER happy that I finished the year with 1,166 km’s! That’s almost triple my 2013 km’s. I’m beyond thrilled and thankful that I was able to run that many kilometers. Maybe I wasn’t ready for that huge goal this year; but I am so ready for it next year!
What’s my main goal for 2015!? I have a couple of goals actually. One with me ending the year as an ‘ultramarathoner‘ and my main one: to run 2015 km’s in 2015! AND I also wrote it down this year! So this should keep me focused, dedicated, motivated and on track. So… who’s with me!?
Looking forward to new challenges and goals in 2015! Happy New Year Friends! See you in 2015! ❤