Sunday, June 27, 2010

Training is for "Sucka's" - Vancouver Half Marathon Race report - Part 1

The title pretty much sums up this post. (And YES Larry I know this race report is 4 days late! It takes time to perfect such humour!) ;)

[Edit - I know realise the post shows up as being written on Sunday. I only managed the title before I found something funnier to do on the internet. It's now Thursday!]

I ran the Vancouver Half-Marathon last Sunday, in one of those, "I haven't planned it, why not? I don't need legs, do I?" moments.

So with NO training, (does a couple of 10K and a handful of 5K's in a 2 month period count as training?), I decided to run the half. I suppose I had more than a couple of personal reasons to run the half. My mother died a few weeks ago and I knew she wouldn't want me to quit on something I love because of her. She would also want me to try regardless, no matter what. I also wanted to run for my Dad; who about 7-8 months ago had to have a leg amputated. I wanted to run for myself; my running mojo has been severely lacking lately and I needed to kick-start myself. Add the fact that I have some INSANE running friends who think it is hilarious when I do something stupid, who persuade me whilst I am in a drunken moment, then stand on the virtual sidelines and laugh at me groaning the mantra "Why did I agree to this?". It's okay Guys, I know who you are, and you know I would do the exact same if the tables were reversed!

In my usual style, I did the packet pickup registration. I had at some point managed to convince my 2 Sunday "Walk/Run/Let's have an excuse for coffee" partners to do the accompanying 5K race. I have NO idea how I managed to do it and I am not even sure they know either. It might have had something to do with the "I will pick you up and take you to registration at 9AM tomorrow". I am not that big, but obviously I must be scary!! I wondered why they had a look of fear when I picked them up; I thought it was due to pre-race jitters, but thinking on, perhaps it was more of a "Don't argue with the crazy lady" look.

I picked up my friends after my sports physio appointment. I DID NOT mention I was running the half; the Dr. has a silly idea that because I am ITB prone I should limit my long runs to 8-10K. This was probably not something he would want to know about. I haven't the heart to tell him about the MTD's Ultra 2011!. We all tootled down to the Empire Hotel. "Tootled", I like that word; sounds like something you do to someone when they aren't looking. The drive was uneventful; I beeped my horn at some cops having coffee and made some of them jump, but that doesn't count right? (Thanks for not getting us pulled over Mel! Blame your wife!)

I am not sure if my friends have ever been to a packet pickup expo before and it must have seemed strange to them. It is a strange place to the un-initiated. A place where you are given free handouts of deodorant and Advil. Where you walk around stalls trying to sell foam rollers and other medical items that look as if they landed from a medieval torture chamber. They were very sweet and brought me a beautiful necklace to say thank you for being their coach. I was fairly sure they would change their minds the next day :)

I tried to give them advice on the way back, but frankly I was more concerned on how I was NOT going to break myself. As I had contemplated the time I should put on the form; I had put down 2hr 15min, (this was the time I had on my last half 2 months ago - the one where I had little training as opposed to none); I wondered if I had over-estimated myself. I wasn't up to my normal level of fitness and my ITBS had only recently recovered. Then I realised it didn't matter - I mean, my aim was to make the half a source of comic entertainment. This I could do perfectly!

So what would happen race day?
Tune into the next installment of the race report, which will be written as soon as I return from making another cup of tea!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My eclectic running playlist

I keep mentioning to some of my running friends about my eclectic running playlist. No-one believes it I think and now it's almost taken on a mythical quality. So here is the "running playlist" that I have on my ipod. I sometimes don't use it on my runs and sometimes I place 1 or 2 podcasts from the Radio4 Friday Night comedy in-between the songs . If you are British you will understand why I put in the comedy podcast. Let me know your thoughts. Any songs I am missing? I am always looking for ideas.

The Jean Genie David Bowie Aladdin Sane
Revolution The Beatles 1967-1970 [Disc 1]
London Calling The Clash The Essential Clash (Disc 2)
Head Like A Hole Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
Chocolate Snow Patrol Final Straw
Seven Nation Army The White Stripes Elephant
Pure Morning Placebo Without You I'm Nothing
One Man Army Our Lady Peace Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch
I Fought The Law The Clash The Essential Clash (Disc 1
Sunburn Muse Showbiz
Run Snow Patrol Final Straw
Peaches The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Cosmic Girl Jamiroquai Travelling Without Moving
The Cave Mumford & Sons Sigh No More
Hella Good No Doubt Rock Steady
That's What I Get Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
International Velvet Catatonia International Velvet
Tribute Tenacious D Tenacious D
Every You Every Me Placebo Without You I'm Nothing
Hands Open Snow Patrol Eyes Open
Should I Stay Or Should I Go The Clash The Essential Clash (Disc 2)
Little Lion Man Mumford & Sons Sigh No More
Happiness & The Fish Our Lady Peace Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch
Song 2 Blur The Best Of
Muscle Museum Muse Showbiz
Lump The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Hey Baby No Doubt Rock Steady
London's Burning The Clash The Essential Clash (Disc 1)
Down In It Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
Here Comes The Sun The Beatles 1967-1970 [Disc 2]
Kooks David Bowie Hunky Dory
Just A Girl No Doubt Tragic Kingdom
My Favourite Game The Cardigans Gran Turismo
Wonderboy Tenacious D Tenacious D
Boll Weevil The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Scooby Snacks Fun Lovin' Criminals Come Find Yourself
he Cave Mumford & Sons Sigh No More
Light And Day (Alt Version) The Polyphonic Spree The Beginning Stages Of...
Sanctified Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
Only A Northern Son The Beatles Yellow Submarine
Life On Mars? David Bowie Hunky Dory
Life Our Lady Peace Spiritual Machines
Annie Our Lady Peace Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch
"Heroes" David Bowie "Heroes"
Rock The Casbah The Clash The Essential Clash (Disc 2)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Well that was a crappy month!

Yep, I know I haven't posted in a little while. It's been a hard month for me - one that I could never have prepared for or expected.

Essentially, about 5 weeks ago, my mother passed away very suddenly. She suffered lung failure, but there was no real warning as such; she was admitted to the hospital for asthma, and less than 24 hours later she had died. My parents live in the UK and I am based in Canada, so the whole event had happened before I knew there was anything to worry about.

My family and myself rushed back over the UK for what has been the most exhausting month I can remember for a long time. I was (and still am) physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. There is no juice in my tank; I am running on empty on everything.

My plan was/is to run a half marathon next weekend (27th). Deep in my heart I want to; to prove that I am back to my old self, but really I don't know if I can. I am not back to my old self. I am not the happy go lucky girl I always am. Although I am probably still a lot more "gun-ho" than most people I know, still, I know that I am not like myself.

I know I will get over this. I know that in a while I won't think of my Mum and feel the ache. I know at some point, there will be some smell, or sound, or taste that will always remind me of her in the good comforting way she would like. (For my Granddad, it's the sound of a wood-pigeon in the morning; for my Nanna it's the smell of coal smoke). I never realised before now how much I sub-consciously thought of her. It's only know that I have to perform this mental check on myself that it's apparent. A couple of months ago I would have thought "Mum would like to hear about this", or "I need to call Mum and ask her", or "That's just like Mum" or even just the word "Mum" and the thought would have passed through my brain silently without me acknowledging it. Now, as soon as the thought passes through my head, I realise that it won't happen and for a couple of moments I get a head-rush, like I have stood up too quickly.

When my Mum died the first couple of weeks was like a huge ache. It was all encompassing; overwhelming. It physically hurt. I walked around feeling like someone had punched me in the middle of my back and I was bruised. Now, it's just lots of little aches that are spaced through-out the day. It's not as bad, I have periods where I feel like me; happy silly me. I am just so tired.. so very tired.

Sorry for the down post. I was hoping it would make me feel better - they say a problem shared is a problem halved, however I think all I have done is brought everyone down to my level.

Crap! I'll do better next time guys..