Making it To the Start (and Finish!) Injury Free.

SO it’s Friday. Seeing as I was only at school for 2 full days and 2 half days, this week has definitely flown by. Works for me, with the exception of exams getting closer. 😦

But I’m not talking about that! WAY back before March I was posting all kinds of different training, recovery and nutrition plans for my half marathon this weekend. I was super obsessed with not hurting my chronically injured knees and came up with grand plans that, wait for it, I actually followed through with! I know, I think it’s cool too.

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Anyway, now that they have been tested and deemed successful by yours truly, I think that they are worth sharing! Barring getting hit by a car on my last (easy) run this Friday, I will be 100% ready to go come Sunday morning at 7am.

1. Conservative mileage. I peaked two weeks ago at 25 miles. That is NOT considered a lot of running for a half marathon – this Runner’s World article recommends at LEAST 30-40 miles for “mere mortals” aka normal runners. I know myself, and jumping to 40 miles a week from maybe 5 would immediately result in injury. My first week of training I ran SIX miles. Then 13. I increased slowly and ignored Hal’s plan when my body told me to.

2. It’s not all running. The most that I ever ran was 4 times in one week. With the exception of one time, I always took a day off in between runs and got 2-3 30 minute strength training sessions in each week. I 100% know that this helped my knees (the most injury prone for me) strong and helped my running improve as much as it did.

3. POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION! I used to time my runs so that they finished right before a meal, and if they didn’t I would just wait until it was “time” to eat. NO. Your body needs to refuel as soon as possible after working your muscles so hard, so the moment I got home from every run I chugged a cup of 1% milk with ovaltine. I didn’t want to buy non-organic milk and I couldn’t find organic chocolate milk so this is what I ended up doing! I so looked forward to this during my runs…even if I wanted to throw up when I was done. Also, this way I could eat a meal when I was actually hungry for it, not because I “should”.

earlsGive me a few hours after finishing…I’ll be ready for it. 

4. Take care of them muscles. Following said milk-chugging, I immediately plopped myself down on my yoga mat and proceeded to foam roll and stretch. After every. single. run. When I was in Toronto, I used a bread roller. Make it happen, folks.

5. Be a slave to nothing (and no one). What do I mean by this? Repeat after me: I will not be a Garmin slave. I will not be a Garmin slave. I tried obsessing over pace and keeping the same (hard) one during every run. My legs always felt tired and I wasn’t having fun. Eventually I figured it out and glanced at my watch very rarely (think 3 times in a 12 mile run) just so that I knew how far I had gone/had left to go. It makes running so much more fun when you go at your happy pace – and the post-run surprise of SUPERSPEED is pretty awesome too. 🙂

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All of these things I did RELIGIOUSLY – it won’t do you much good to foam roll once every ten runs or take an easy day every 3 months or so. But please also remember that you and I are very much different people and what worked for me may not work for you! I would love to say that you can do the above and become the new Kara Goucher but sadly that is not the case. I hope that this was helpful and that you go ROCK your next run/race! 🙂

Best tip on injury prevention? 

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Thinking Out Loud…And So The Procrastinating Begins.

Yeah, that title…no. Just no. It’s that time of year again, folks…diploma time. Although I am super proud of myself for actually starting studying for my English diploma, it’s so hard to concentrate when there are so many fun things to be doing! Also, half the world has been off school for what seems like forever and I’m freaking jealous. But I digress. It’s Thinking Out Loud day, so let’s get right to it!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

1. I am reading Pride & Prejudice for the fifth time in 3 months. No wonder I haven’t been making any progress on my 100 book challenge – it seems like I always have my nose in this stupid thing! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic book and I definitely enjoyed reading it…but it gets old after a while and picking apart the themes and characters is not actually super fun.

2. I found my perfect major. Just as I was beginning to freak out MORE about what I want to major in (more of what I don’t, actually), I got an email from UBC saying that they are introducing a Bachelor of Media Studies, which combines creative writing, journalism, critical theory and more! The application process seems extremely competitive and confusing, though, so I’m a little worried because it just seems so perfect!

too-good-to-be-trueNot. Allowed. 

3. I’m bad at going to school. I’m not intentionally missing a ton of class, but it’s just been working out lately that I have barely been there…not that I’m complaining. Grad was on Friday, so no seniors were there, I went home Monday afternoon because I wasn’t feeling well, missed Wednesday thanks to a mid-day appointment, and have a retreat on Tuesday! Thank goodness too, because I don’t think I could handle two more full weeks of school.

4. I have no full weeks of high school left. I’ve been saying “Oh only 2 weeks left!” but that is actually false…I will never have another Monday-Friday in high school. HOLLA.

yes

5. The half marathon is in FOUR DAYS. I can’t believe this didn’t pop into my head until #5! Craziness. I’m honestly not nervous, just super excited. I get to see my old best friend who I have barely spoken to in years, run a super awesome victory lap celebrating all of those 5am wake up calls and eat ALL. THE. FOOD. Well I obviously do that anyway but you know.

6. Seasons don’t agree with me. So, for basically all of winter I was addicted to yogurt bowls and just could not bring myself to eat anything else for breakfast in the morning. Then, just as it starts to warm up, I hop on the oatmeal train. And now that it’s rainy/foggy/justplainGROSS I’m addicted to frozen bananas. Who even knows.

oats

7. Rain, rain….make me happy? I need to figure out how to like the rain. The overcast, rainy type of weather we have been having the past few days is pretty much exactly what I (have been told) I’m going to be dealing with in Vancouver. So I don’t want to think it’s gross and awful! I need some Hunter boots and a really awesome umbrella.

8. How do weather forecasts work? I have been checking the weather in Calgary regularly to see how it will be on Sunday, and it has gone from sunny –> thunderstorm –> rainy –> sunny in the span of about three days. I JUST WANT NICE WEATHER.

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9. So…there has been a watermelon sitting in our fridge for 2+ weeks. I really want to eat it but am super intimidated about how to cut it. I hope it’s not rotten…:(

10. It’s time to go take off my nail polish. I kid you not, every single nail has literally half of the polish chipped off. I have been procrastinating (notice a pattern) because it’s the sparkly kind which looks SO NICE but takes approximately 7.9 hours to remove. Maybe I’ll study while doing it. 😉

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

WIAW…Almost Vegan Eats

Happy Wednesday to ‘ya! 🙂

I HATE missing What I Ate Wednesday! And I missed last week’s thanks to running around like a chicken with my head cut off attempting to make myself attractive for the weekend. But no worries I’m BACK, so thanks for having me (and the rest of us), Jenn!

Yesterday I noticed something a little interesting. All of my meals turned out to be suuuuuper close to being vegan, but had just one thing each that kept them in the “everythingtarian” category. Case in point:

Breakfast was oatmeal topped with bananas, blueberries and peanut butter. With an egg whipped in for some extra staying power.

oats

Lunch was (and probably will be for a while) the new standard PB+J. Or is it the old standard? I don’t even care. IT’S JUST SO YUMMY. But my stomach usually starts getting angry in math class if I don’t have something extra, and it’s usually some greek yogurt on the side.

ABJ

When I’m not mindlessly snacking on frozen banana slices out of the freezer (SO ADDICTING!) I have been blending them up into smoothies! Salads have basically disappeared around these parts as of late, so getting some greens in somewhere is a good idea I suppose. This could be 100% plant-based without protein powder…but a starving Emma = dontcomenearmeEmma so let’s leave that in there, mkay?

smoothie

…I don’t really have an explanation for this. My container is completely empty at this point, but they don’t have any animal products, right? 😉

werthers

Annnnnd, then dinner was a whole lot of meat on top of a whole lotta veggies. You can’t win ’em all, can you?

My biggest point in writing this is to highlight how AWESOME plants and plant-based proteins are (even if mine aren’t necessarily the healthiest) but also that they don’t always provide enough substance. If you’re vegan/vegetarian/99%plant-based and feel great, GO YOU, ROCKSTAR. But maybe you’re tired and hungry and wonder why! At least in my own experience, adding that complete protein helps me feel like I’m not always hungry (but let’s be honest I almost always am anyway).

What’s your experience with plant-based eating? 

This is The End…Half Marathon Week 11.

And, just like that, my last week of half marathon training is in the books. Coming up in the next few days are a couple of easy three milers to stay fresh, but no training. At this point, all the work has been done! It’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the carbs. 🙂

I’m pretty happy with this week of training. I didn’t feel the best, since I think I ran my 11 miler WAY too fast. An 8:11 pace has generally been a moderate tempo pace for me throughout this training cycle, but near the end it’s been feeling easy, so I went with it. NO. BAD IDEA. I ended up with arches so painful I could barely walk, a baseball-sized knot in my right quad and a general feeling of exhaustion/soreness. Nevertheless, though, I pushed through and made it a solid final week of training.

Monday: 5 miles @ 7:55. I had planned on doing an easy 10K, but when mile 1 was an 8:00 pace my competitive edge kicked in and I wanted to maintain that pace for the entire run. Mile 4 was hard on me though and an 8:17 mile made me PUSH. IT. IN. for the last one. Mile 5 was 7:19!!! I don’t know if I’ve ever run a mile that fast, especially at the end of a tough run. 🙂

runSHORTS!!!

Tuesday: total body strength 

Wednesday: 6.3 miles @ 8:20. Like I said above, my legs felt sluggish all week, so this pace was not fun. I didn’t look at my watch much, but I felt tired whatever speed I went at. I planned 6.2 miles but finished early…so I ran uneven mileage and it bothers me far more than it should. 😉

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 12 miles @ 8:45. Longest long run! Also my slowest long run, but I didn’t want a hard effort a week before the half, so I forced myself to keep it EASY EASY EASY, not look at my watch and stay relaxed.

12-miles

Around mile 5-6 my right shoe loosened up a LOT and my arches started really hurting but I did not want to stop. And I didn’t! I made it back alive, and only looked at my garmin maybe 3 times in ~1:45. A well-planned route and a new playlist will do that for you I guess. 🙂 I need more suggestions for the race next weekend!

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: OFF

1-2 more off days than usual, but it was grad week SO I really don’t care. I thought I might do a 3-miler on Sunday and maybe some strength training, but I woke up feeling absolutely horrendous and opted to laze about instead. It makes me really happy to hit 20+ mile weeks so anytime that happens I feel quite successful. 🙂

I didn’t feel the most amazing during my runs this week thanks to 10 weeks of mostly solid training, so here’s to a week of rest and an AWESOME FIRST HALF MARATHON! I’m a tiny bit excited!

Any half marathon advice? 

What annoys you most while running? Shoelaces, DEFINITELY. And slippery headbands.

High School Graduation + Longest Long Run = I’m A Little Happy.

*Do I say “happy” Memorial Day? I’m not American (obviously) but it seems like something that should be recognized. I know that the American troops have done a lot for us Canadians so respect and gratefulness goes out to them.*

So, this Monday is a little bit awesome. I can’t remember the last weekend I have that was just so genuinely AMAZING. I’m linking up with Katie for Marvelous in My Monday for the first time in MONTHS because of it. 🙂

On Friday I woke up at 5am and ran 12 miles. I then showered, put an exorbitant amount of glitter on my nails, and ate THIS:

earls

That would be a chicken, brie and fig sandwich with a side caesar salad. YUM x 100 000. I definitely ate every bite.

After, I bought shoes, and then didn’t do too much in the evening.

I just graduated from high school, it’s not like it’s that big a deal. 😉

commencement2

Although I still have a month to go and diploma exams so it’s kind of a fake graduation but YOU KNOW it still rocked.

Despite nearly dying of starvation during the ceremony (we were there from 5pm-11pm, the whole evening was a blur of happiness, excitement and contentment. I think I will do a post on how I feel about graduating after I’m actually done. Because right now I am anti-climatically getting ready to go to French class.

AND THEN SATURDAY WAS THE FUN PART! Not that walking across the stage wasn’t, but sitting in a sweaty robe for hours is not exactly the most fun way to spend an evening. So on Saturday I ate some delicious PB+B oatmeal, got my hurr all did, and then took pictures aaaallll afternoon before our graduation banquet. We drove around in a limo but nixed the champagne (underage and all).

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Dinner was surprisingly delicious. Mandarin orange salad, chicken coq au vin, and OREO CHEESECAKE. Our limo appetizer was frozen yogurt. 🙂

The foodstravangza continued on Sunday with this masterpiece.

waffles

I probably would have eaten anything at this point (even something SAVOURY, I know, the horror) given the fact that it was 11:30 and all I had eaten was an Emma-sized bowl of carrots. It was so worth the wait though.

But now it’s back to reality! Studying and working, with a teensy little bit of running thrown in there for TAPER WEEK!!!

Best part of your weekend? 

Thinking Out Loud: we GRADUATE.

Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

I have been all over the place lately, missing my favourite link ups so I am NOT repeating it!

1. I slept in today. It is 6:10am. 😉 I honestly woke up without an alarm. I know there are some crazies (ahem, our awesome host Amanda) who naturally wake up hours earlier, but I’m supposed to be a teenager. I don’t think I have ever in my life slept past 10am…

2. I graduate high school tomorrow. UM, EXCUSE ME? How was this not #1? I don’t even know what words to use to describe how I’m feeling. On the one hand, I feel like time has flown by and somebody needs to tell me exactly when it stopped being September 2009. And then on the other hand, it’s like BRING. IT. ON. I’ve definitely been ready to graduate for a while now, but the fact that it’s tomorrow is a little bit unbelievable.

I haven’t tried on the shoes I’m wearing in three years. I hope I don’t fall walking across the stage.

3. It’s mildly important to read degree requirements. I set up a possible schedule for myself, SUPER pumped at all the classes I was taking: French, English, Political Science, Creative Writing, and Classics. Basically all of my dream courses, smooshed into one ridiculously early-morning schedule. Annnnd, then I saw this:

Science Requirement:

It is important that students understand and appreciate scientific methods, applications and reasoning.

Um, no. No thank you. I reject this request. Although I guess if I want to actually receive a degree at the end of four years, I probably should not. I will promise you one thing, though. I will run through the Sahara Desert and eat a spider before I take another chemistry or math course. And that is NOT an exaggeration.

4. I have some bad shoe situations. #2 reminded me of this: Friday is my last long run before my half marathon (!!!). So guess who is going to be awake at 5am, running for over 90 minutes, then back to run around in heels ALL DAY for TWO DAYS?! It’s also worth noting that the last time I wore heels was my sixteenth birthday. Pray for me.can't=walk

heels

5. Say Sayonara to the scale. So WOW that is totally unrelated to the last four but that is what Thinking Out Loud is all about, hey? Well, here’s the thing about “training”. It makes you eat a lot. Sometimes a little too much. Which results in the scale going up. Lately I’ve been waking up, feeling pretty good when I look in the mirror, and then disappointed when I step on the scale. SO. DUMB. My legs have grown because they have some badass MUSCLE and I am going to allow my casual 2 hour run tell me how awesome they are, not the scale. 🙂

6. Mizuno Wave Enigmas. I got new shoes! The arches in my foot suddenly started HURTING horribly right after my runs. After my 11 mile run, it got to the point where I could barely walk. I realized that I had put a decent amount of miles on my Wave Riders and they might just be toast. So, I bought new shoes, expecting to feel better, but I don’t. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence but my legs have been feeling off on the only two runs I’ve worn them for, plus I developed a knot in my quad the size of a baseball. The week before my race, this is not ok.

run

7. Mini Rant: Uneducated Employees: Every year of my life since the time I was five years old, I’ve been doing some sort of physio for my feet/legs. I don’t know what the scientific term is, but I lean out on the sides of my feet whenI run/walk. When I was getting new shoes, this employee who looked like she couldn’t care less told me that I pronated in, and then proceeded to bring me 11 pound stability shoes that made me look like Mr. Clown. No. P

8. I officially give up on school. Except I can’t because there’s this dumb little thing called university that I sort of need to stay accepted to. Although I don’t need to use my math mark so I’ve been sitting in class playing scrabble and reading blogs .;) And then I look up and I’m like…

what

9. 2 weeks left of Math. 2 weeks left of #*$#)!&##@ English. (It makes me so sad that I hate that class but that is ANOTHER story). 2 weeks left until I am no longer a high school student. Because there is (hopefully) no question of me at least passing my diplomas…

10. Emma’s grumbling stomach + a thousand delicious instagram pictures = WHAT DO I EAT FOR BREAKFAST? I think I need to be done with the yogurt bowl kick (at least the way I do it) so now I’m torn between basically every option available: pancakes, toast, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothie…help.

What time do you naturally wake up?

Best breakfast food, NOW. 

2500 Calories.

Okay, so I know that the title of this post is awkward and weird, especially for me. I spend so much time ranting about calorie counting and how pointless and bad it is, yet here we are.

The thing is, I 150% still believe all of those things above! I am totally on board with the fact that our bodies are not machines: we burn different amounts than a generalized calculator spits out, and not that exact number each and every day.

2000 calories

SO THEN, please tell me why I am spending so much of my time googling “calories for runners”, “2500 calories for teen runners”, etc.

could be reading the super amazing book I just got, but instead I am wasting my precious free time trying to validate fueling myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT going down ANY path of restriction. In fact, it’s actually the opposite. I’m running a lot of miles (for me), 25 miles last week and planning on 26 this week. It’s significantly more than I’m used to and girl is hunnnngry. I also rather enjoy chocolate and have developed the (awesome) tendency of eating whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it.

ginger-cookie

Most of the time I’m genuinely hungry when I do this. But sometimes I just feel like eating! Annnnd, then I gain some weight. And I look in the mirror and feel flabby.

“Who cares how much I’m running if I look like I sit on the couch all day?”

“Man, I really need to get back in shape before university.”

“THAT’S IT, green smoothies and salads from now on.”

smoothie

But let’s be honest here, yogurt bowls with copious amounts of nut butter, sandwiches, ice cream and chocolate win every time. So why do I do this to myself?!

I added up my daily calories from yesterday and today. Both were 2400 calories. Instead of WASTING my life away googling random pointless questions, I need to just ignore it in the first place. I ran 10 miles on Saturday, 5 on Monday and just got back from 6.2 today. I NEED FOOD. I need lots of food and no calculator is going to know my exact body and amount of exercise.

Moral of the story: Listening to your body is hard. But necessary. Chocolate is good. But maybe don’t eat 10 Lindt easter eggs per day. And waffles are delicious, but when you snack on them all day in addition to regular meals and snacks, it may not be the smartest plan.

I made a salad for lunch tomorrow. And am going for frozen yogurt after school. 🙂