Two Races – Training Recap Week 7

*Feeling off this week and I forgot to hit publish. Whoops!

Here in Ontario we celebrated Family Day last Monday. I use the term celebrate pretty loosely in this case. While some people I know truly do use the day to spend time with their families, most people take the day to relax and enjoy an extra day away from work. Me? It was nice to sleep in a little bit, drink a coffee while reading a book and curled up in bed with my dogs, fit in a run, go to therapy, and do some meal prepping. Yup, I did all this and I didn’t feel the slightest bit rushed.

This week I was fully back to running but I was trying to be really honest with myself about how I felt. Was that calf muscle feeling achy from my strain the previous week or were my legs just tired as they should be from my run? Am I resting and recovering as I need to be? Am I pushing myself enough? I’m not trying to make myself stressed or anxious asking myself these questions; I’m simply aiming to be present.


I think the best example I have of this was my 10K run on Monday. I hopped on the treadmill mostly aiming to run by feel. I thought I would maybe get 5K accomplished. Instead, 5K came and went, and then 7K, and before I knew it I had run a full 10K with my leg feeling great, my body feeling strong overall, and not having to take a single break. I think there were three reasons for this successful run: 1) I had really carbed up. The night before I had chicken parm on a bed of homemade spaghetti and that morning I had a bagel for breakfast. Lots of carbs = lots of energy. 2) I had done a lot of strength training and yoga while taking my short break from running. My body was feeling both strong and I had a great range of mobility. 3) I was rested. Taking almost a week off from running left me with a ton of energy. This is a great reminder of why tapering is so important on a training schedule.

Monday – 10K.

Tuesday – Yoga

Wednesday – Upper body. 1K warm up, 10x200m, 1K cool down.

Thursday – Lower body. Easy 5K

Friday – Yoga.

Saturday – 22K

Sunday – Rest.

Two Races – Week 6 Training Recap

Well, this week was a bit of a doozy. I started the week feeling off. I just felt kind of tired and achy, almost flu-like but not quite. I took a rest day on Monday and debated taking a second rest day on Tuesday. I decided against it since that would have been my third rest day in a row so I hopped on the treadmill and decided to just run for feel – no pace or distance goals. Unfortunately, less than 20 minutes in something went wrong and I felt a twinge in my left calf. I should have taken that rest day because I definitely strained something. I walked it out for another 40 minutes and then worked on rolling and stretching that night, but I definitely injured myself.

On Wednesday I took another rest day hoping that would help. It did, and I found my way back to the gym on Thursday, but decided to cool it on the running for a few days. Thankfully my fitness is (otherwise) at good place and I feel confident that a short break from running won’t ruin my goal to run Around the Bay. I stuck to strength and cross-training to keep myself active. Taking a few days off from running definitely helped and on Sunday I tested out an easy 5K and felt pretty good.


Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 2.6K run. 3.6K walk.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Full body strength training. Walking and cycling.

Friday – (AM) Full body strength training. Walking and cycling. (PM) Yoga.

Saturday – (AM) Full body strength training. Walking and cycling. (PM) Hot yoga

Sunday – (AM) Easy 5K. (PM) Hot yoga.

How do you adapt your training when you’re feeling injured? 

Two Races – Week 5 Training Recap

On Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after running 10K at a pretty fair pace, I tried to run a few tempo kilometers. I clearly was not rested, fueled, or probably hydrated properly. I managed to push out one kilometer and decided not to force something more. The last thing I want is to burn out or injure myself early in the year. Instead, I finished the tempo and cool down kilometers and hopped onto a stationary bike for 20 minutes of cycling. It felt good to keep sweating while switching to something that required a different type of exertion.


This week was also a “down” week in mileage to work on resting and recovering my muscles. I was going to schedule it for this upcoming week but my boyfriend and I had a trip to Ottawa planned and the last thing I wanted to do was force myself to find time to run. So instead of my usual Saturday long-run we ended up skating the Rideau Canal and walking everywhere! I woke up on Sunday feeling a little sore but otherwise refreshed and ready to take on more mileage in week six.

Also, due to our trip and a therapy appointment I had to miss my usual two yoga classes. I fit in some yoga and stretching at home but I’m really looking forward to being back in the studio this week.

Monday – Lower body. 30 mins cycling.

Tuesday – Upper body. 1K warm up, 10x200m, 1K cool down.

Wednesday – 10K

Thursday – (AM) Lower body. 1K warm up, 1K tempo, 1K cool down. 20 mins cycling. (PM) Yoga @ home

Friday – Rest day

Saturday – Skating the Rideau Canal & lots of walking

Sunday – Rest day


Two Races – Week 4 Training Recap

Last week was a weird week. I could start to feel my mental health getting to a weird place on Tuesday so I focused on getting some sleep. Finally by Friday I was ready to jump in again so I moved some things around on my schedule to make the most of the rest of the week only to feel sick on Saturday. I had a two-hour nap midday and spent the rest of the day on the couch reading a book.

Also, I’m really hungry all of the time. I think I need to start counting calories again so I can make sure I’m in that sweet spot of eating enough without eating too much. Plus, I really should make sure I’m getting enough protein in my diet. As much as it’s freeing to not be counting calories I think I need to remind myself what I’m burning and how I’m re-fueling.

Despite all of the rest days I’m ready to take on this week. I’m feeling refreshed and it helps that I know I don’t have a long run this weekend – it’s my “down” week while my boyfriend and I head to Ottawa for the weekend – and I have my next long run of 22K scheduled for February 16th.

Last week:

Monday – Easy 10K

Tuesday – Yoga

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Rest

Friday – (AM) Upper body. 1K warm up, 3K tempo, 1K cool down (PM) Yoga

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – (AM) 20K. (PM) Yoga @ home


What I Read in January + Why I’m Reading 52 Books

In my post about my 24in48 experience I briefly touched on the fact that I have two challenges this year. My first is to read 52 books and the second is to complete the PopSugar Reading Challenge for 2019.

The former goal is the one that is guiding me this year. Why 52 books? Since I completed high school almost 10 years ago I became burned out when it came to reading. I used to devour books like they were nothing and I loved to read more than anything. Once I started university and had to read academic journals every week the thought of sitting down and reading became too much for me. The habit of reading never really returned and for years I’ve found it easier to just re-watch the same show for the 10th time on Netflix.

The thing is, I know that reading makes my mental health feel better. After going through the worst fight with depression in the fall I started to make changes in my life. Returning to reading is one of these changes.

52 books is lofty, especially when you haven’t been in the habit of reading. But I need big goals. It’s why I’ve moved from half-marathons to the full distance. I need a big push. I’m also a huge planner so aiming to read 52 books gives me an excuse to write a plan. As I also mentioned in my 24in48 post, I like to have three books on the go – an audio book, a physical book, and en e-book (I thought I would hate this format but it turns out my Kindle has changed my life!).

As a long-distance runner I like audio books because I can throw on my headphones on a listen while I run for an hour or two. I prefer memoirs in this format in case I zone out so I don’t miss a plot point. I like physical books because I love the look of having a home library and while Marie Kondo may disagree, my little library brings me joy. Finally, I love having my Kindle because it’s easy for me to cart to the gym where I can read on the treadmill or while cycling and it makes the cardio go by so much faster.

Now, onto my January results. I’m sitting at 9/52 books complete. 24in48 helped put me way ahead of schedule so once the nice weather picks up and I’m a little bit busier I won’t feel as guilty if my reading slows down.

Audio Books:
Let Your Mind Run – Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton. 
I felt like I needed this book. After dealing with my depression and running burn-out in the fall, listening to Kastor talk about her experience with shifting her perception and its effect on her running abilities really struck a cord with me. It’s a fluffy story with lots of descriptors about sceneries, foods, and emotions. Its not a self-help or a memoir, but more like a conversation with a friend.
PS Reading Prompt: A book about a hobby (I stretched this – her career is MY hobby)

Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
I love listening to David Sedaris on This American Life and have had his books on my To Be Read list for a while now. I found myself laughing out loud while listening to him recount his past. Sedaris is an incredible storyteller and I highly suggest purchasing his books in audio form to experience something really special.

Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown
A lot of reviews on Goodreads from those who have previously read Brown’s books seemed to feel like she was regurgitating previous material, but, to me, this book blew my mind. After struggling with depression I feel like this book was like one of my therapy sessions. I highlighted and bookmarked so many passages because it felt like I was having all of these breakthroughs while reading her words. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Brown.
PS Reading Prompt: A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter

Finding Me – Michelle Knight
Knight recounts her story of her many years held captive by Ariel Castro. She talks a lot about her life prior to being kidnapped and her entire story is heartbreaking. It feels like the wrong word to use, but I “enjoyed” it.

How I Became the Fittest Woman on Earth – Tia-Clair Toomey
Despite having never done CrossFit, I love watching CrossFit documentaries and following athletes on social media. Tia-Clair is a two-time winner of the CrossFit Games and it was incredible to read her story to-date. It’s a light read and a must for any interested in CF.

What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller
I have complicated feelings about this one. It was interesting but it was dark and it tackles such a sensitive topic that I walked away feeling almost dirty after reading it and disappointed in all of the characters involved.
PS Reading Prompt: Book with a question in the title

Lord of the Flies – William Golding
While I read it dozens of times from childhood into adolescence and my teenager years, it was my first time re-reading it as an adult. I still love it but it was interesting to read it from a more mature place.
PS Reading Prompt: Reread of a favourite

The Woman in the Window – AJ Finn. 
I loved this one. While I had figured out some of the twists I was definitely caught up in the thrill of this story. I could not put it down but don’t want to say anything else in fear of spoiling it for someone else.
PS Reading Prompt: Book becoming a movie in 2019

My Sister the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
As someone who loves her little sister more than anything but has definitely had times where our relationship has been complicated, I really felt like I could relate to the overall theme of this story. It was a really quick read and I thought the plot was really interesting and different from what I’ve read before.
PS Reading Prompt: Book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America