Monday, 24 September 2012

I can now say "I'm a half marathoner!"

A year ago, I ran my 5km run at the World Alzheimer's Day 'Run for Heroes' Marathon in beautiful Amherstburg, Ontario.  My friend ran the half marathon.  I remember telling him he was nuts to run that far.  Seriously, what's wrong in your brain to make you want to run 21 kms?  I had just finished a 5km race and I wanted to die.  Never, never, never, would I run a half marathon.

Finishing my 5k at The Run for Heroes 2011

At the beginning of August, we were out having a coffee and he says to me "Run the half with me.".  At first I thought no way.  Then he starts convincing me, he'll work out a 7 week training program that will get me ready in time for the half.  Well, let's just say he's very convincing.  So that night I registered for the half.  Then he emailed me the training schedule over.  First week was 5, 7, and 9km run.  Uh, I've only ever ran 5k.  But I've spent the money so, have to get through it.  Over the next 7 weeks I only missed one short run because of my IT band acting up.  The whole time he would check in on me to make sure I was getting my runs in.

One week before the run, we did a long run together.  He pushed the pace faster than I was comfortable with, but I got through it.  So now the training is done, I can't do anything but run my race.  We decide that the three of us will run together.  Now he's done many halfs and fulls, and his son has ran a couple halfs.  So I'm the odd one out.  I tell myself over and over, stick with them as long as you can.
Dean, Scott and I at the starting line.  Smiling but oh so nervous!

We go to the start gate and he goes right behind the 2 hour pace group...uh, really? Ok I guess.  Gun goes off and we are on our way.  Right away, I feel great, pace feels good, weather is perfect.  We keep a great pace, don't even slow down at the water stations, just grab and go!  

The whole time we're talking about movies, stories, houses....Anything to keep our mind off the run.  Right about 11K the 10 kmer's link up with us.  We start passing people like mad, and it got us all fired up, like a second wind.  At kilometer 13, the full marathon runners turn off and the pack spreads right out.  And now we're talking about how nice it is not to have to follow them, hell we're over half way done! 

At 16.5km i get the best pick me up.  We're running by the cars lined up along the road, and I hear "Go Daddy, I love you".  My kids are in the car with my parents on their way to the finish line.  Now I've got lots of energy again!  We get to 18.5km and my buddy and his family are banging on their window in their house.  More motivation!

Just as Dean started to take off on us.  Oh I'm gonna catch him.
So we get 2 km out, and Scott and I are picking up the pace a little, his son is saying "I can't go faster". So we just lie to him and tell him it's the same pace, he's just getting tired.  We keep motivating each other and talk about how cool it's gonna be to cross the line together.  We get just under a kilometer out, and Dean starts to pick up the pace.  Game on young grass hopper!  So i catch him and it's now a sprint to the finish line.  We leave Scott in the dust.  Dean and I end up crossing together, but who crossed first?  Photo finish?

We get our medals and grab some snacks.  Time to find out who's top dog.  we head over to the time charts.....Drum roll...We finished at the exact same time to the millisecond. Scott came in 2 seconds behind us. Well there you have it.  I'm officially a half marathoner, with a time of 1:55:00.  Before the race I kept telling myself to beat 2:15, beat 2:15...I did it!  Huge thanks to Scott, a great friend and a great running coach!  Could not have done it with out him!

Friday, 21 September 2012

The time is near!

Well that says it right there.  In less than 2 days I will be able to say that I've ran a half.  This week was a little nerve racking.  I only ran twice this week.  By my training program I was supposed to run 6km on Monday and 8km on Wednesday.

Monday's 6K - I brought the kids with me, one in the jogging stroller, one on a bike...and one extra kid on a bike (Not mine, I swear). As much as I love running with my kids, I find it hard to get into the "zone".  I'm always watching for traffic, pushing the stroller, and they talk....ALOT!  So we take off and 4k out my older one falls off of her bike and scrapes herself pretty good.  Time to head home.  So my 6k ended up to be a 5k with a real crappy pace (6:15 km/min), and just not feeling it.

So now my nerves start going and my mind starts trying to tell me I'm screwed for this weekend, the shitty runs will continue.  The rest of the night Monday I'm crabby about the run, all day Tuesday my mind is racing.  Not a great feeling.

Wednesday's 8k - I leave the kids behind.  I know I need a good run to put my mind at ease. So I turn the tunes on, lace up and head out.  Right away I get into the "zone" and I'm feeling it.  Pace is great(5:22 min/km), legs feel great, breathing is great.  I look down at my Garmin and I'm all ready at 8.2K, Guess I should head back.  I end up at 9k and it felt amazing.  Oh yeah, bring on the race!

Plan for the rest of the week is to take it easy, do some light core work.  I might do a small easy run either Friday or Saturday just to stretch the legs out.

Sunday's race will have my nerves up, but I've done my training.  I only missed one short run with my IT Band issues.  Nothing else to do but get my mind in the game and run on Sunday!  Wish me luck!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Who would have thought...

So the time is near...5 Day's and 18 hours from now to be exact, I'll be running my first half marathon.  Over the weekend and friend and I went out and ran 17.5Km of the half marathon course as a "dry run".  With the help of his son riding his bike behind us as our 'water boy'  we ran a avg pace of 5:43 min/km.
The course is absolutely beautiful.

The World Alzheimer's Day 'Run for Heroes' Marathon is a very important race for me. I ran the 5km there last year, it was my first 5km race ever. So to come back one year later and run the half blows my mind a bit. It's also a very important run to me for the cause it supports. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that has hit home to me twice. I had a Grandmother and a Grandfather who had Alzheimer's. It was horrible to see them go through it, and also horrible to see the family trying to care for them.

The World Alzheimer's Day 'Run for Heroes' Marathon was created by Chris Uszynski to honour his Mother. Chris’s Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 20 years ago and has lived at home, with his wife as the primary caregiver for all of these years. She is his Hero.

Another amazing thing that will be going on at this race is for the first time portable EKG will be used on 26 racers. The cardiophone, designed for The Windsor Cardiac Centre, is a wireless heart monitor that will transmit data on the electrical activity of their hearts during the race to the cardiac centre. The cardiologist said the cardiophone has a chip like a SIM card inside that connects to a satellite, which will send data to the centre in Windsor where it will be analyzed. That information will be shared with the runners after the race. And your's truly will be one of the 26 racers wired up with one of these really awesome cardiophones.

70,000 Canadians die every year from heart or stroke causes – one every seven minutes – making it the number one killer in Canada of both men and women.

I'm very proud to take part of this race, and to be part of the research.  The day will be here before I know it.  This week will be a 6km and a 8km run, probablay sneak in a bike ride in the middle.  Let's hope my IT band holds up!  Happy running everyone.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Damn you Gluten, Why do you taste so good!

Think about that soft, warm, fresh baked bread....Yum, right? Well, you might be causing yourself some major health issues.  Some of you may know what gluten is, some may have heard it in passing.  Let me tell you one thing, since I have been GF (gluten free), my insides have never felt better.  I went GF because of my oldest daughter.

My oldest daughter was a bit of a complainer, or so I thought.  It seemed that "too tight" was her favorite thing to say.  Her clothes, the seat belt, everything was too tight.  I can't even tell you how many battles I had with her about things being too tight.  This went on for years.  It never made any sense.  Fast forward a couple years, we had house guest for the weekend and my daughter was sleeping in my room.  I get woken up by her Mom yelling "She's chocking!", I turn on the light to find my daughter having a seizure.  One image that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Paramedics are called, and they rush her to the hospital.  they checked her out and didn't have any answers but that she had a Grand Mal seizure.  They gave us a referral for a neurologist, an EEG and a  MRI.  After test and test and test, seizure after seizure, my little trooper still had no answers.  I won't go into the whole story as it's way to long.  We waited and waited to get in to the local pediatric Neurologist, and a friend had another look at her file for us.  The response, "Have her tested for gluten and celiac.", say what?  I had never even heard of gluten or celiac.

So we have her tested and she's off the charts.  We immediately take her off gluten. Huh, no more seizures.  And all the clothes that were "Too tight", she now loves, poor kid was always so bloated from the gluten.

Now, a GF diet is not the easiest to get used to.  You will find it everywhere and not just in the obvious places.  It's used in a lot of products as filler.  It's been a battle getting used to eating GF and finding what's yummy, and well what bread taste like a cinder block.  Pasta was the thing I dreaded most, but I actually love GF pasta.  Since I've been GF I feel a 100 times better too.  I'm also happy to report that my GF daughter is a happy, healthy, kid.

So is Gluten Free right for you?  Do your research, there's a million articles on the web about the subject. 

Link to Celiac Canada has a great article about Why is gluten bad for me?. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why not just run?

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I had an amazing run on Saturday night.  My new furthest distance ever, 18K.  It was an amazing evening for a run, sunny but nice and cool.

Big thanks to my Sister @jennyhartigan14 for meeting me at km 9 with hydration and a jacket.  Another big thanks to @inkdgirl55 for suggesting Nuun.  This was my first time using it, and I loved it.  My goal was to stick to a 6:30 min/km pace for the entire thing. I almost did it, stupid road traffic.

My 18K Run

I love when my Garmin does this!  Yeah, I think I'll accept that!

Over the last year and a half, I've realized that there is something inside of you and unless you are willing to push yourself, you'll never realize it's there.  Over the winter I started attending Adrenaline Xtreme Fitness after going though a really crappy time in my life.  Danielle the trainer kept telling me, just come out, blow off some steam.  So after a couple weeks of thinking about it, I decide to go to a class.  WOW, this is no joke.  People told me it was insane (but awesome).  Nervous as all hell, I show up to class #1, right away I notice something, there's teenagers, old people, fitness junkies, and well lets just say "not fitness junkies".  Everyone is really welcoming.  So the class starts and I want to DIE, and then I hear Danielle say "Great warm up guys".  WTF, that was the warm up?  What have I gotten into here.  I make it through the class with out puking, barely!  I go home and realize I'm hooked.  Danielle is amazing, she has pushed me further than I would have ever thought possible.  Over the winter and into the spring I keep going, and you know what happened?  My PB for 5K kept dropping.  Every time I ran I was getting faster, and faster with out wanting to die.  I wasn't out of breath at the end, but I ran faster!

So runners, don't forget to cross train!  Get into a bootcamp class!  And for the love of God, hit the hills! Happy Running!

SeanHarts on Twitter

In case you missed last Friday FITspiration

Follow AdrenalineXFit for work outs that you can do at home.  Warning : You will see changes in yourself!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Time to try this Blog thing!

After a bit of listening to people, I've decided to try this blog thing out.   I can't promise it's going to be great reading, but we'll see how it goes.  I guess the first blog will be about what's on my mind right now, RUNNING.  It's on my mind because I'm about to do something that I never in a million years thought I would even consider doing, a half marathon.  This is the part of the story where the blurred screen comes in and you do the flash back.  So let's go back a year and a half ago.....

My oldest Daughter finally was allowed to ride a bike (That's another story for another time)...So as Dad's do, we put them on the bike tell them it'll be ok and to keep peddling! Then we run besides them holding on the the back of the bike.  So we start off and I want to DIE!  I couldn't do it.  I came to the realization that I was fat and out of shape.  Lucky my daughter was a natural and got it right away or the ambulance would have had to come get me.'re fat and out of shape and you're 36 years old.  Better make some changes in your life fatty!  Obviously smoking over a pack a day, eating tons of fast food, and junk food, and sitting my ass on the couch was not creating the best body.  A friend of mine at work had just started running, and loosing some weight, so I picked his brain.  He told me about this C25K thing!  Now if you've been living under a rock and don't know what that is, C25K stands for "Couch to 5 KM".  It's the best program for new runners.  I'll get more into the details of the program later.  After picking his brain for a couple days about it, I made my decision to try it out.   Now I wasn't convinced that I would do it, or be able to do it.

Let me say this.....THE PROGRAM WORKS!  Don't get me wrong, it's not easy, you won't have set backs, and you won't want to quit.  But with a little motivation and a desire, you will have successes!

I used the app from Bluefin Software called Ease into 5K (Previously called C25K) on my iPod touch.  It plays your music and signals you to run or walk.  It's a 3 day a week program.  So I'm using this program and I see a trend...

Day 1 - Those people that run are nuts, I can't do this.  (but I fight through)
Day 2 - Well that wasn't too bad, better than day 1
Day 3 - Oh Baby, bring on next week, I got this!

So, get the app!  Put those shoes on and get out the door!  Register yourself for a 5k race close to the end of your program and get moving!