Next Steps – Jitters and How I’m Handling Them

Books imageNow that the Ottawa Marathon is in the books, it’s time to focus on what’s next. As per my coach I’ve taken it easy by doing a couple of weeks of easy running, but it’s time to get the new plan going so I can be fit enough for what’s next:

  • Aug 10-17 – ENDURRun Ultimate
  • Aug 23 – i2P 100k
  • Sept 20 – Sears Great Canadian Run 100k (Toronto to Blue Mountain)
  • Oct 4 – Sears Great Canadian Run 100k (Ottawa to Montebello)
  • Nov 2 – MEC Marathon – Gatineau Park

Needless to say anytime these events are mentioned, my stomach takes a flip. I’m not sure I can do all this. I’ve never run further than a marathon. BUT I’m stronger than I ever thought of, and fitter than I’ve ever been. So why not?

I’m meeting with my coach on Friday, and he will get me there, I have no doubt. Or rather, he and I will get me there. But I like to learn about the process from all angles, so I turn to my reading list and to podcasts (they will be covered in a later post!). This picture is only a few of the books in my pile. The top one is my kindle, where I have started reading Relentless Forward Progress, and have Born to Run, and Ben Greenfield’s Beyond Training among others.

The books cover training (which I’ll flip through and glean bits and pieces here and there), nutrition, and the mental side of training. Considering my comfort level with these events right now, I think that’s where I will focus.

Stay tuned for book reviews!

*if anyone has any book recommendations… please let me know!

Una Qualifies for Boston! Ottawa Marathon Race Report

Race Prep
You know how the week before a big race you’re supposed to stay off your feet, rest and eat well? Well our two previous marathons we spent walking everywhere. In fact, I wore my Fitbit in Rome last year and we clocked a minimum of 20k per day in the four days leading up to the Rome Marathon. Same could be said for the Ottawa Marathon last year. So this year? New York City, baby, ’cause that’s how we roll! We ran, we walked, we were pretty much all over NYC on foot the week prior to the race.

On Saturday we were at the expo getting our kit, and we were looking for PaceTats and CarbBoom. None to be found of either, but Phil from the Running Room directed us to the Slater Street store for the tats, which is where we headed next. Success on the 3:55 (me) and 3:30 (Steve) tats to keep us on track for our Boston qualifiers. Note, my previous best marathon time was 4:39, so I had a ways to go 😉

PC Organics Baby Food

CarbBoom? Nope. Off to Sports 4. Off to MEC. Out of luck – turns out they are discontinued and have been for months. On to plan B – winging it! Ok not really, in training I used baby food (like this one), salted cashews and pitted dates, so I improvised and went with baby food and a cashew larabar (ingredients are pretty much dates and cashews). I’m not a big pre-run eater so I had a bite of a hard boiled egg, a handful of salted cashews, a bite of the Larabar and we were off.

As always we headed to my office across the street from the start so we could sit in the quiet and use clean washrooms, and 15 minutes before the gun we headed down to seed ourselves. Pre-race photo, Cameron, me, Steve and Lindsay!

Pre-Race Photo

To reach my race goal I needed an average pace of 5:34/km. My race strategy was to go out a little bit faster (15s/km) to gain a bit of leeway to allow for a porta stop and to account for fade. While I did slow down in the middle of the race only 2km did I run slower than my minimum average pace. I felt amazing! Pee break at 20, a couple of slugs of baby food at 20 and 30 (plus a salt tab), a sip of water at each water station, and I was cruising to the finish. The last 5k were definitely my strongest. I was super excited to see our GoodGuysTri friends at 40.5, hence the crazy face.
 

Boston Bound Baby!

I also knew at this point I was going to reach my Boston goal. BOOM!

Ottawa Marathon Time

We Run Daily… who are ‘we’? Origins of the Runstreak

We are Steve Mahood and Una Beaudry! We live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and we like to run. A lot.

Some background:
We were both runners in high school, one of us better than the other (Steve). Truthfully, I (Una) ran to get out of classes.

Life got in the way, but we continued to run off and on over the years. To be honest we don’t remember exactly when we started to get serious about running again, so we defaulted to Sportstats.ca. I completed a 5k in ’99, and Steve in ’02, so let’s say sometime before then. We continued as recreational runners, entering events here and there, running for fitness. We remained somewhat consistent with our running, I completed my first marathon in 2003, but it became more and more difficult to maintain consistency.

On December 31st, 2010, we were registered to run the Resolution Run, but the forecast called for freezing rain so we decided we would get our run out of the way early, and stay in eating pizza, wings and beer until we fell asleep (good times!) instead of sliding around with everyone else. On our run Steve broached the subject of a 100 day run streak, a little challenge that he’d read about online. I thought ‘sure! he’ll never finish’ *sheepish grin*. We decided we would begin the following day, January 1, 2011.

The Rules (2011):

  • run a minimum of 20 minutes per day
  • if a run had to be missed, we must make up the run by running twice either the day before (streaksaver) or the day after, but the runs must be at minimum 6 hours apart.

The first 2 weeks hurt.  A lot.  But then it got easier.  All those little aches and pains that we had?  GONE.  Those niggling little injuries?  GONE.  HUH?  Turns out this runstreaking business is good for us!

After the 100 days were up, what else is there to do but aim for 365. After the year was up and we felt fantastic, there was no way we were going to stop. We upped the ante to a minimum of 5k/30 mins per day and at the time of authoring this post, we have run 1248 consecutive days. And it’s awesome!