Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Change!

Homeslices... By popular demand...(and because my comment section sucks) I have moved my blog to...

Check me out over there! Please excuse the work in progress...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attempt at Food Blogging

My running work-outs this week were nothing too exciting... well I suppose watching Dave run along the seawall in a hula skirt was pretty entertaining...

Sunday- Long Run- 18.55km Average Pace 5:02/km.

Monday- Recovery run through the UBC trails with Rachel. Easy on the knees.
11km Average Pace 5:20/km
Tip from a former Olympic trial athlete: Rachel!
-Run strides (fast runs) at the end of a long run. Example: 5X 100.
Nothing crazy but it pushes your legs a little further and reminds them how to run fast.  
I wish I looked like this...

Tuesday- 146m run. Don't ask.

Wednesday- 6km Pace- 4:40/km (We are like sneaky children when Dave isn't there to make us run 10km...)

Thursday- 10 min warm-up. 3X 9 minutes- 4:30/km

So here is my attempt at food blogging...
Food Blogger Fail #1: I decided to add a little excitement into my Tuesday by not eating crackers, hummus and cookies for dinner. Vola! I cooked....a little sweet potato, black bean, yellow, orange, red pepper, artichoke, tomato, pasta sauce, hot sauce fiesta. 
Say hello to my little tomato nephew Tomatoie. (Tomatoie says heeey Mom ;)

My uncle says you should eat with your eyes (food should look good). My eyes did not think this looked good but it didn't taste too bad. 

Food Blogger Fail #2: This sandwich is pretty delicious and what I take to school everyday. 
Squirrelly Bread (best bread ever if toasted)
Smoked Tofu
- Weird Combo but tastes good I promise!

Food Blogger Fail #3: Ate some delish frozen yogurt (fro-yo) with the running crew Wednesday night. It was so good! I piled on so many awesome toppings. (M&M's, oreo, strawberries, buttermilk, blueberries, raspberries, gummy bears, etc)
Note to self: Take a picture before you eat it all.

Annnd that's all I got. Don't really think food blogging is my thing but I might try...

PS:  Check out this awesome article by my "coach" Please help me with my running technique!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blame it on the A-A-A-Alcohol

Or the Calgary Stampede.  Either one. (Just because I am in Vancouver doesn't mean I can't dress up like a cowgirl and drink.)
 Honesty time. Today's Summerfast 10km race was my punishment for a heavy night out. Why do I do this to myself?!
I woke up Saturday morning (thank you, Carolyn!) with about 10 minutes to get ready before the taxi came to take Care, Ally and I to the race.  I was feeling OK but totally not in race- mode. We did a little warm-up run (aka 1 km) and then got ready to roll.  I knew the race was flat the whole way through so my goal was to beat my PB (42:26). To make a 10km story short I ended up getting a PB. Yea! Sort of. I really didn't push it too hard during the race and know I could do better.  I was scared I would be sick if I ran too hard... and between kilometers 6 and 7 I was definitely not feeling hot. I also didn't  finish strong (people were  yelling "hard to the finish" to me, thanks people- do you want me to puke on you? )

Final Stats:
Time- 41:33
Average Pace- 4:11/km
Female Division- 5/65
Overall- 56/311

When I saw the results I was annoyed with myself because I think I could have run a lot faster and moved up a place. However, the race organizers combined the female age groups from 20-35 and gave medals to the top 5! Hollla! Thank you  VFAC for taking pity on the poor hungover girl.

Lessons Learned: Umm... don't drink the night before a race? I finished  feeling pretty comfortable and it wasn't an all out effort. It kind of went by in a blur. I hate not pushing myself during races, it feels like a waste. I think it's harder to do with shorter distances because I am so used too trying to conserve energy for longer races. Overall, I think that I kept a pretty good pace throughout the run but wish I had finished stronger.
I really liked the course, it was pretty and flat. Def wanted to be one of the people I saw on a boat instead of running...

Congrats to all my running friends for awesome races especially Ken for breaking 39 minutes. (Now can you not be so turbo?)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rest Days and Butter Chicken

This weekend I went camping in the Coastal Mountains! Beaaau-ti-ful.

And I ate the best Butter Chicken I have ever had while camping. (Typical camp food, oui?)

Camping meant I missed my Sunday Long Run with the crew.  :( I think this was the first Sunday where I didn't run with the RR since moving to Vancouver. Can't believe they would run without me...geez.

Luckily, I dragged Keiran out with me once I got home since he is now training for the Montreal Marathon and luckily Keiran has no sense of smell so he couldn't tell how bad I stunk after my camping expedition. ;)

The route was supposed to look like this:

Easy. Out and back to Stanley Park. Nothing to it.Can't go wrong. Piece of cake.  Not quite. I didn't want couldn't find the turn off to go up the hill to Prospect Point so we ended up doing a little extra around Kits Beach. I am hopeless at directions.  
The run felt really good! I think it was a combination of the awesome weather (early evening- still sunny and cool) and my legs having a couple of days off. I really feel better on my runs after rest days because my muscles have had time to repair and strengthen. 

We ran 16.2km at a 5:18km pace.  

On Monday I took another rest day and did some strength work and then headed to the track Tuesday.
 I warmed-up in the trails with some ex-trackies for about 20minutes and then decided to do 10X400 at 10km race pace in prep for this weekend's 10kmer. This meant I should be running about 1:35-400s
 1-1:20 (too fast)
2- 1:26
4- 1:26
5- ?

I ran 400m recovery runs between each set. While these were a little faster than my 10km pace, it still felt pretty good. Track work-outs are awesome if you only have to run 400m reps.  Once around the track and done!

Why do I want to be a marathon runner again? So my feet can look like this?

Friday, July 9, 2010

I take it all back...

Running in the morning is the way to go! Wednesday night's run was a KILLA l0km... seriously, it felt worse than the marathon. I could hardly lift my legs off the ground... hence the 5:23/km "tempo" run. (Numerous walk breaks were taken, innocent people were exposed to my sweat showers, profanities were spoken. Thank you Carolyn and Evelyn for letting me complain so much). After realizing how hot it was at 6pm in the evening, I agreed to meet my friend Rachel for a fartlek type run (speed intervals) Thursday morning at 5:40am..! Immediately after I agreed to it, I was nervous. Rachel ran varsity track at university (2:12-800m! Went to Olympic trials!Ahhh!) I was out of my league. Luckily, Rachel has just started getting back into running and our plan was to do 4 sets of 8 minutes at a 4:00-4:15 pace with a 1 minute walk break between each. 
It wasn't that hard getting up in the morning (probably because I woke up every 5 minutes scared my alarm would go off) and it was so pretty watching the sunrise! It was the perfect temperature as we started out on our 3km warm-up.
Our session looked like this:
#1- 4:09/km - 1.93 km
#2- 4:12/km -1.90km
#3-4:11/km- 1.91km
#4- 4:20/km- 1.85km

My legs were pretty sore afterwards and it was starting to get really hot. Glad I got my work-out in early. I went to the gym afterwards and foam rolled my legs out which made them feel so much better. Can't believe I just started doing this! Tonight at Run Club Dr.Aaron Case came into our clinic to talk about injury prevention and stretching.  Foam rolling is key and contrary to popular belief, static stretching (holding stretches) does not prevent injuries. It's better for most people to do some dynamic stretching (constant, fast movements) before and after their run.
Ahhh trees= shade.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good-bye June-ary, Hello July!

Spent my afternoon class at the ropes course on UBC. Thank you, BEd summer semester.

It's finally summer in Vancouver! Sunny and Hot, Hot, Hot! On that's time to complain about it.
 "I hate track work-outs." -Alan Yu    
  Amen brother.
They are so hard in the sun and heat.
Today at the track our plan was to do 16X800  8X800. (Nice try, Ken.)
This then turned into 6X800.
I recently read on this track pacing chart that in order to break 42:00 minutes for the Summerfast 10km, I need to be running 2:50 800's during track work-outs.
I did that for one. Shameful. My lungs felt like they were burning!
1. 2:51
2. 3:11 (?!)
3. 1:25 (switched to a 400m)
4. 3:00
5: 3:03
Plus a 5km warm-up and 1mile cool-down.

Tips for running in the heat:
-Go early in the morning or late at night. (I don't buy this because sometimes that doesn't fit into the schedule)
-Drink lots of water!
-Wear little clothing.
-Run in the shade.
-Run shorter distances. (Hmm hard when marathon training?)
-Adjust your pace.  (This makes me feel better!)
-You will get used to it. Your body will adjust. (Here's hoping)
-Run through sprinklers! (We did that after the track and it was awesome!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, Monday

What up Queenie!
Sunday's Long Run was the second time I ran up Queen Elizabeth hill this week-I guess with the Queen visiting the country - it's only fitting I pay my respect my running "her" hill twice.

The run was fairly hilly but once you get to the top it's only about 4km downhill back to the store. Nnot a bad route at all. The weather was perfect for running  but I never really got into the grove. When I first started running my leg felt so sore. I was favoring one leg and it felt like I was limping when I ran. After about 5km I loosened up a bit. 
This is where I hurt. I believe it is my left abductor.  Someone fix me?

The route was 16km long and average pace for Sunday's run was 5:23/km.

Monday, I rook Keiran along one of my favorite routes. It's about a 10km loop around the seawall and back over Burrard bridge.
Average pace= 5:25/km.  My leg felt pretty good and the run was very comfortable. I think it only hurts in the mornings when I wake up and am stiff. Wow, I am aging at an incredible fast rate.

There are so many awesome running routes in Vancouver that I do with the Running Room that I never really have to think of my own. However, if you want to find a new and pretty run near where you live (ahem, Mom and Dad) or just want to plan out a new route is a good website to check out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The #1 Thing I Will Miss About Vancouver...

Running Friends! Anytime I want to go running, there are always a ton of people up for it. I have not run alone in months! Everyone who I run with here please move to China. Thank you. Wednesday morning I met with Keiran for a run around Main Street.

One of my top 10 favorite race photos. Eyes on the road. Tongue out. Is it the Michael Jordan of running?
 I had never ran around the Main Street area before so it was a nice change of scenery. It kind of reminded my of running at home because we ran through a lot of neighbourhoods. Lil suburbia up in hurr. We ended up running about 13.2km at an average pace of 5:15/km.  Longer then I had anticipated but it felt really good... until we finished on Queen Elizabeth hill. It was like a steep hill and stair-master all in one.
I was definitely cursing Keiran out as we  ran up but the view at the top was an awesome way to end the run.

I ended up running again Wednesday evening with the Running Room because I made these bad boys during the day.

They were a reward for my MCAT studying roomie. I will probably eat them all and she will get one. They were a healthy recipe until I added Reese Pieces and mini-eggs to the mix. ;) This was the second time I have baked all year. Maybe my mom's domestic side is wearing off on me??
Wednesday evenings tempo run was a little slower then usual because I was listening to Dave's 50 miler race report. Seriously, if there was a running hell... that race sounds like it. At one point they had to cascade down ropes?! Dave is a rock star for completing the loop. Running for 9 hours= HC to the max.
We ran 10.48km at a 4:58/km pace. It was a pretty hilly route but my legs felt good the whole way through. Maybe 2 a days are a good thing? This brought my total mileage up to 23.7 km for the day. A lot for a Wednesday.

Today is Canada Day!! I seriously have no idea what people do in Canada on July 1st because I haven't been in the country during the summer for the past 7 years! Crazy. This morning Carolyn, Alan, Jason, Ken and myself went up to the track for a little speed work session.
I dressed up for my country...but didn't smile. Woops.

My legs felt really heavy on the jog to the track. We did approximately 3km warm-up and some strides and drills at the track. Then, Jason, Care and I decided to do 4X800m. We wanted to try the Yasso 800s theory which meant running 800m at your marathon goal time. I want to run a 3:23 hour marathon so I would need to run a 3:23 minute 800m. The break-down went like this:
1- 3:00
2- 3:06
3- 3:07
4- 3:04
5- 3:02
(Ended up pacing Ken and Alan for their last mile)
          6- 1:29 (400m)

We did 400m jog walk breaks between each. I'm interested to see how well this theory plays out if you do a full recovery (800m) between each set and do more sets (up to 10). I didn't feel great throughout the work-out and never really got into the speed-work but glad I did it.
We cooled down with about a 3km jog.

 One more lesson learned from the Scotiabank half marathon- Ladies: Do not put gels in your sports bra while running. The only people who think this is a good idea are men. They don't know. It's not comfortable. I have the scar to prove it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scotia Half Re-CAP (Does that rhyme?)

This is how much of the Scotiabank Half Marathon  looked...

See that guy in the white shirt... that's Alan Yu: Runner and Pacer Extraordinaire. Alan wasn't registered in the race but agreed to pace me and help me strive for the 1:35! (Ahem, another rhyme) He was awesome. Seriously. Despite having a Garmin telling me my pace and what I needed to do to achieve the 1:35, I would not have run as hard had he not been there. He said all the right things in all the right spots, reminded me of short, quick steps uphill and light, loose legs on the downhill. He stayed just a little ahead of  me so I would push myself and was so encouraging. Thank you, Alan!! I will pace you for a km or two sometime... not that it would help but it's the thought that counts, right?

OK, from the top. The race started like any other. It was raining. I had a pre-race breaky of almond butter, banana and toast AND my mom made coffee in the morning!! What a treat. (Carolyn and I cannot make coffee to save our lives.. why is it so hard?!)  Week-end fuel was also a treat:
We had these guys:
And  my Mom helped  made us her famous homemade bread!

 Once we got to UBC (after a mini run-in with Vancouver police...) We lined up for the bathrooms annnd waited. By the time it was our turn, the race was about to start. Typical. However, I did manage to squeeze my way closer to the starting line and only started 10 seconds behind the gun.  I knew that I would need to average a 4:30/km to make my goal time. My friend Tom caught up to me about 3km in. I am so happy he did because running with Tom made the race so much fun and it really seemed to speed by. He reminded me to always keep a straight line and not follow the road, to let my legs do the work on the downhills and just breathe. We were running at a decent pace (4:30/km) but still managed to talk for the first half of the race. 

Question: What do people do with their hands when they see people taking pictures of them? The Asian in me always wants to make the peace sign but I have started waving my hands in the air? Is this cool? Or should I just look straight ahead and try and look super hardcore?

So, the race was pretty hard. I realized early on that my goal of 1:35 was not going to be easy. I knew that I couldn't really set a new goal time since I had it in my head that this is what I wanted so I tried to push through. I'm so lucky I had two friends running with me. As usual, Burrard bridge seem like the biggest hill in the world. I was so happy to see Ken along the way and my mom and Aunt driving by and honking.

The winner: Kip Kangogo

I felt pretty good coming off of Burrard Bridge with about 2 km to go. I knew that a 1:35 was going to be close so I started running at about a 4:10/km.  This was fine until the last 600 meters, I thought I would pass out I was so tired. I imagined being dragged off the ground, collapsing at the finish line, ambulances everywhere. But then- it was over! And I felt fine!

Time: 1:35: 34
Average Pace: 4:32/km
Age Group: 10/ 386
Overall Female: 46/ 2124
Overall: 232/ 3812

Lessons Learned: My mom snores. I didn't sleep well the nights prior to the marathon or even the night of. 5:25am wake up calls never get easy. Sleep is important! But so is having your mom cheer for you! I also probably should have focused more on my running during the race instead of talking, but running is a team sport!   Overall, I'm satisfied with my run.  I wanted to be under 1:35 but I'll take what I can get. It was hard even though I was told how fast the course would be and that it was all downhill! I also realized that I qualified for the New York marathon! Most people don't realize that the qualifying time for the New York marathon is a lot harder then Boston. The qt is 3:23 but you can qualify with your half time which for women is 1:37!
Next goal:   Qualify for New York with the marathon time. Wonder how long that will take?

It was so awesome having people cheer for me during the race. They were in all the "right" spots. Thank you Mom, Aunt Janet, Andrea, Alan, and Ken!!  It's like I am a real Vancouvernite now!

Now that the half is over, I don't really know what to do? I'm still marathon training but no definite races in mind. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


So, I kind of keep forgetting I am running Scotiabank Half Marathon  this weekend. I know it's a big deal, but it just kind of seems like another Sunday Long Run. I haven't  been thinking about the race when I'm running and hadn't decided on a goal time until tonight.  However, I have been "tapering" this week- during marathon training I  had 'taper tantrums'  and felt restless and nervous the whole 2 weeks prior. This time I am enjoying a little break and an excuse not to work-out too hard. ;)
Long Run Sunday consisted of 14.5km to the Lost Lagoon... pretty sure I spotted the creature...

Alyson and I ran together and finished the loop in about 1:17 with a 5:17/km pace. The run felt nice and comfortable the whole time despite being hungover and egged the night before.. ps: who still eggs people?!  And then of course we went for brunch! :)
I did a little bit of stretching and weights on Monday- nothing on Tuesday and then tonight went for a 10.5km tempo run. It was really hard! I thought it would feel good because I hadn't been running in a couple of days but the humidity must have taken a lot out of me. I was sweatin' and puffin' a lot.  How do people who live in really hot places run?! The run took 49:49 minutes (cool! ha)  with an average pace of  4:43/km.
The rest of the week includes 1 run tomorrow night- I think it's only going to be a 5-6ker with a special guest star... my mom!! She is flying in from Nova Scotia to hang out and watch my race on Sunday! Woohoo. She is also bringing lobsters. Double wooohoo!

Back with a race re-cap of the half on Sunday... goal time- 1:35 ee! Might end up disappointed but we will see... the race is supposedly really fast and downhill the whole way!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Running Races, Making Money

Some people make money winning races, I make my money in the freebies section after the race. ;) This year's  Longest Day of the Year Run at UBC was no exception or maybe it was an exception because the amount of swag I took was UNREAL. More on that later, first- the race re-cap.
This race was kind of a last minute decision after my friend Alyson mentioned that the gym she works at was hosting it. It sounded like a fun 10km... actually, the semi-legendary beer garden at the end of the event is what really sounded like fun! CarolynAlyson and our other running buddy Alan all signed up. We ended up not being able to find the UBC stadium and running around campus for a little longer then intended. I hate being rushed before a race but that seems to be a common theme this race season and maybe it's actually better since I can't freak out before the start. The course was two loops around the UBC campus- I had no idea what the route was until we started running. (Note to self: check routes, visualizing a race is a good thing, I was checking my watch a lot) Since it was just two loops, once we had completed one lap, I knew exactly what I needed to do to finish the race. Despite playing 3 hours of ultimate Thursday night with no subs, my legs held up really well during the run. No running pain! My goal going into the race was sub 45:00, once I got into the run and felt really good I decided to push myself and aim for sub 43:00. My final time was 42:26:94.

 My results:
  5km split- 21:12.79
  Average pace- 4:15/km
  Overall Female - 8/ 293
  Age Group- 6/ 169

Overall, I am happy with this race. I pb'd and felt pretty good throughout despite my legs not being so fresh. The course was a little twisty but there were no major hill climbs. Big shout out to Dave for running out to UBC and cheering us on, taking pictures and being the best coach ever!
Check out my flashy new running flats...

They are the Saucony Kinvara and I love them! They are very light and's the closest I have gotten to barefoot running.
SO... the best part of the race was the after-party! The food layout was magical. Burgers, dogs, fresh fruit, cookies, chips, cliff bars, lara bars, ice cream. Honestly, it was a little over-whelming. As Carolyn put it, it was like Halloween for healthy people.
The girls and I probably embarrassed ourselves with the amount of swag we took but hey- everyone is getting lip balm for their birthdays from now on! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Speed, Tempo and Recovery Runs

Here is a recap of three days of running. Tuesday, I met with my new running/UBC/life friend Ken for some speed work at the UBC track.
Here is a picture of Ken being super hardcore at the SFU trail race... he is FAST (Ken came 5th in his first trail race!)

 I was feeling super 'blah' all day Tuesday. After two coffees and a LUNA bar I finally started to get my energy back. We ran/walked to the track which was about 2 km for a warm-up and then did a 1 mile warm-up around the track. Afterwards, we did some strides and then began our work-out... we decided on 8 X 400 reps... at one point Ken suggested 16... I quickly squashed those dreams.
I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the laps. We did a 200m recovery between each lap which ended up being more of a walk and chat then a jog.
My stats for each 400m= 1:28/ 1:25 /1:24 /1:24 /1:24 /1:23 /1:23 /1:18.
Just noticed that I continued to get faster throughout the intervals which is always a good thing. I tried to really push the last one to finish under 1:20 and it worked.
Moving on to Wednesday night's tempo run with the clinic. It was a beautiful night but my legs were SORE- I googled where I was feeling the pain and I think it is my abductor. The main suggestion was rest- BUT I don't want to stop running especially right before the half...I think I will just take it easy this week and be rested for next Sunday.  Hopefully, this will not cause serious injury. It's funny because walking hurts the most... legs-are you trying to tell me that I should only be running? Despite being sore, I still managed a pretty good pace (thanks to running buddy Matt- without him I would definitely have slowed down). We finished 11km in 52:13 with an average pace of 4:47/km.
Since Carolyn and I were missing Run Club on Thursday evening we decided to go for a recovery run bright and early Thursday morning. Thank God for running roomies!! Life would suck without one, I suggest everyone go out and buy a running roomie immediately ;) Such good motivation. I love, love, love running friends! We did a nice steady/slow pace of aprox 5:30/km for about 6km. I say this with a lot of about's and aprox's because Carolyn left me in the dust and I walked up the last hill to try and save my legs (and I am also lazy). Stay tuned for the best. race. ever. recap tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Trail Race

It was a beautiful weekend in Vancouver! Friday night was spent carbo-loaded on sushi before my first big trail race on Saturday at Simon Fraser University! OK-- I am not that hardcore and my race did not look like this picture at all. But it was still pretty difficult! I signed up for the enduro option- which was 9.7km. The race started downhill for the first 2.5km and then worked it's way back to the top... I thought  that the downhill part of the course would be a piece of cake... boy, was I wrong. It is WAY harder to run down a mountain trail then I thought. It was narrow, muddy and slippy... it was hard to see where to go when people were directly in front of you, even kind of scary. This was definitely the weakest aspect of my race. People were running down the trail with no fear and lots of people passed me during this part. I was actually looking forward to running UP the mountain, I contemplated dropping down to the 6km route because I was scared I was going to roll my ankle and ruin my summer! However, after the first 3km I started to get the hang of it and it became A LOT of fun! I am definitely hooked. I pretended I was in Twilight and a vampire was chasing me ;) I looked at the previous times from last year and the fastest time overall was 42 minutes... so I knew it would be a slow course. My original goal time was under 1 hour but once I started and realized how difficult it was I changed my tone and decided to aim for 1:10. I ended up finishing in 1:05:57 and could probably have taken off 2-3 minutes if I knew how to run downhill. The final km of the race was STRAIGHT up hill. Like-- at a 10 degree angle... I don't know how people could have run that, everyone around me was walking. I ran for maybe 10 meters just to push myself and to pass one girl... hehe. I felt a little nauseous by the end of the race but that passed as soon as I saw the fresh fruit! All in all, the race was a blast- Sunday's long run-not so much. The route was 16km and I wasn't as sore as I thought (or as hungover as I thought I'd be..) and averaged the route at about a 5:16/km pace. Legs were feeling pretty tight for the rest of the day and took Monday off from running even though I really felt like it... today I plan to do some sprints at UBC... let's see how this goes.  This is a pic from the non-trail part of the race...