As in my newly exposed biceps that my cross training is giving me!!
Hard to believe Summer is finally here and it’s almost over. It’s been a fast paced Summer for me so far and I haven’t been able to blog about much. I wish my running pace was a quick as this Summer is that’s for sure! Can you believe I have actually seen fall decorations in some stores? Agh! It’s like I’m in a nightmare that never ends! Don’t get me wrong, I love all the wonderful seasons of the year, it’s just that I much prefer Summer and wish it lasted nearly half as long as Winter.
So far this year I’ve completed the Tidal Run 15k, and The Epic Canadian 6.1 and the Scleroderma 5k. I am very happy to say that I ran a (since ankle injury) PB on the Epic and the Scleroderma. The Tidal Run 15? Well… you’ll read about that disaster below.
I remember the days when I would just run to run; I would look at all the runners glued to their Garmins and think… man, they are really missing out. I used to run just for the feeling of being free, being alone with my thoughts and enjoying all the new scenery I’ve never seen before, seeking out new routes became almost as exciting as the run itself. I would love to get back to being that type of runner, for now, I’m also glued to my watch. I have to get back to the place I was before I had surgery and then again before my ankle injury that took over a year to heal. My current pace is averaging out at about 6:50 – 7:10. My goal pace is 6:20 or less.
I am a strong believer in if you want to be a better runner, you have to cross train. I am also training to pass the PARE (4 fails so far and counting… ugh) I have been doing strength and agility training on Mondays and Wednesdays and taking a “STRONG by Zumba” class on Fridays. If you read “STRONG by Zumba” and thought “dancing”, you are really missing out on something special! Replace “Zumba” with “Insanity” and you might be getting closer. This is a muscle building, stamina training, heart pumping INSANE workout that is choreographed down to the beat. Timberland has created music to match the choreography, not choreography to match the music, this is a workout created by the same folks who created Zumba, but it is NOT dancing! Imagine instead of counting burpees you are dropping burpees to the beat. Every beat has a move and every move has a beat. I love this workout. It really is an amazing workout for anyone that wants to cross train, get stronger, build stamina and a whole host of other benefits. For the first time in a long while, I can actually see the difference this workout is making. Do I sound like I’m trying to sell you on something? Well, maybe I am because I love this workout so much I decided to get certified! Yes, this Summer I became a STRONG by Zumba INSTRUCTOR! If you want to know more, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook, we are called Double D (Doyle and Duke) Fitness and our classes begin in Woodside this fall. (there are also pop up fundraisers that happen now and then so if you want to try a class without the commitment, keep an eye on the Facebook page).
As my goal is to get back to the runner I was before surgery and before the ankle injury, my goal for now is to get faster. I’ve already detailed the cross training portion, I’ve also joined a running club. Well it’s more than a running club, it’s a training club for runners. It’s the 360 Fit Training for Maritime Race Weekend run. I love running with this group. Andrew Mitton is an excellent coach. He is very energetic, enthusiastic and is always available to answer questions and give you an additional training plan for whatever your specific goal is. I have also signed up for Maritime Race Weekend. I signed up for the tartan twosome. 5k on Friday and a ½ on Saturday. I’m really not feeling the ½ this year though so I will probably drop to the 10. Time will tell. I’m still doing the ½ training but I’m really not feeling it this year. I think a lot of that has to do with the continual PARE failures that are causing my confidence to plummet.
I did 2 new runs this year. The Tidal Trail Run and the Epic Canadian. The Tidal Trail Run was a fantastic run! It is definitely a keeper on my annual race calendar. I am not going to lie, all the races that Michelle Kempton puts on are fantastic! They are expensive, but they are worth every penny. She really pours herself into every single detail. I always sign up for these events as soon as they go live, because the early birds get ALL the perks! So far I’ve won a pretty amazing running vest from Solomon running, and a free month of boot camp from 360 fit and a super cool MRW limited edition BUFF that you can’t buy or get any other way but by winning it! Michelle always has tons of giveaways throughout the year heading up to MRW so you definitely want to get in early! Even though I didn’t win these prizes, they are totally worth mentioning; in conjunction with Spartan Fitness, Michelle gave away tons of exercise equipment, including an actual ROWER! Michelle also gave away a TRIP FOR 2 to the Toronto Marathon! Like seriously! If you plan on doing MRW, sign up early and get entered in to win these prizes!
The Tidal Trail 15k started off great. The scenery is to die for and but for the first 1/2k, it’s completely flat. Like pancake flat! Lets face it, Race Directors try to think of everything and plan in advance, but nobody except the good Lord Almighty can plan for weather. It was a cool and windy day, scratch that. It was a cool and hurricaney day! The wooded portion of the run was awesome, until you hit that wide open ocean trail. The scenery is amazing, it literally feels as though you are pulling a Jesus and running on water. Nothing but wide open ocean on the left and the right with a small causeway that connects Lawrencetown to Cow Bay it just so happens that the connector is about 3k in length. On a less windy day it is a beauty of a run, one of my personal favorites. On this day, it was hell. The wind was insane. I was grateful to get back in the wooded area again on the Lawrencetown side. Even with the dreadful wind blowing me sideways on the causeway I was still keeping pace to beat my last 15k time at the MEC in 2017. That is until my sister tried to FaceTime me. With my phone in my holder I answered the FaceTime call through my earphones. With the wind whipping me around it was impossible to hear her and it was impossible for her to hear me over the wind. All I could manage was screaming “I CAN’T TALK NOW!”. I hung up. 5 seconds later she calls again. I scream into the headphones “I CAN’T TALK NOW I’LL CALL YOU LATER” and I hung up. 5 seconds later she calls again she starts texting me. All I’m hearing is bing, bing, bing, bing, bing in my earphones. Frustrated I stop running. Completely. I dig my phone out of my holder and I read the text messages… “OMG WHAT’S HAPPENING?” … OMG PAULA I’M FREAKING OUT… Just as I was about to reply with “I’m running... call you back” she called again. I answered the phone and said “I’m RUNNING! I’m in a RACE I’ll call you back!”. That was it. I put my phone back in it’s holder and continued on with my run. Frustrated but able to continue on. I was hitting my stride and my phone started ringing again. I was done. I dug my phone out and said “HELLO???!!!”. Nothing. “HELLOOOOO?!!!!” nothing. I look at the phone and it’s my running buddy Jimmie. He had already finished the race no doubt and was calling to see where I was. I was furious. I screamed into the phone. “JUST LEAVE WITHOUT ME! I’m DONE!”.. turns out he butt dialed me by accident. So yah, that was my Tidal trail 15k. The sad part is I finished in the same time as my MEC 15k a year before, except in the MEC I never stopped and on the Tidal Trail I stopped and walked from the causeway until I was back in the woods again. Defeated, frustrated and spent. At least my running buddy was there to greet me as I crossed! Thankfully he was unaware of the rage I was yelling into the phone when he butt dialed me. I totally could have PB’d that one. I know I could have. I got back to the tailgate party and called my sister to tell her it will be a while before I can forgive her for harassing me during one of my best runs. She told me that when she called the first time, all she heard was me screaming and all she could see was woods and water. She thought I was being dragged somewhere and I was about to get murdered! HAHAHHAHA! Oh dear! Ok, she was immediately forgiven. I now run with my phone on Do Not Disturb.
The Epic 6.1 was a PB for me! I can’t tell you how good it feels to run a personal best. I see now why runners are glued to their watches while out on a run, forever seeking that race pace. The runners high I felt when I ran my very first 5k was felt again on that Epic 6.1 The route was fantastic. Just enough hill to keep things interesting and if you know me, you know I love hills, hey, if you go up, you have to go down and the down is the best! You can really recover on those downs and pick up some serious speed as well. My favorite part of the run was running over the newly uncovered canal on the brand new canal bridge. It was fabulous. My second favorite part of the run was the flag! There is nothing better in this world than knowing you are running your best race under a huge Canada Flag along a path lined with amazing and beautiful flags announcing the birth of our Nation. It’s incredible! Perfect Canada day weekend! Gone are the days when a perfect Canada Long Weekend would cause a serious hangover, they’ve been replaced with the lasting euphoria of crossing that finish line strong, proud and free!
If you’ve made it this far, you must really be looking for something to pass the time :). Thanks for reading! Stay happy, stay healthy and most of all stay fit! See you at our next STRONG by Zumba pop up class!
I began my running journey in March of 2009. I began my journey of faith in September of 2012. Running releases stress from my body while my new found faith releases stress from my mind.