Training update: Sprint tri, epic trail runs, blister blunders and a second-place squash

Only in Metchosin would you get a second-place squash

So I meant be more consistent with my blog posts throughout August and September, but it was hard to find time to blog in between road trips to the Okanagan, camping, barbeques, and other more social activities that kept me outside and away from the computer.

Now that the typical west coast weather has returned to the island (sad face), I’ll probably get back to blogging weekly.

Since my first triathlon at the end of July, I’ve completed a few more races and blog-worthy runs and events, including another triathlon (a sprint distance at the Sooke International Triathlon during the first week of August), a local 5km race (where I came second in my age group and won a squash), and two epic trail runs with Hagen (one that I ran without proper trail shoes, also hungover from a wedding the night before; and one where I learned gels made of 100% agave do not agree with me), and a BC Cancer fundraiser initiative called “Van Isle Runners for Cancer”, which consisted of a calendar photoshoot (where I confirmed the fact that I take bad action shots; every race photo of me is horrible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide not to use my photos — Runner’s World cover model I am not).

In between all of this fun stuff, I’ve been training for my second attempt at 42.2 at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 9th. I don’t have any expectations this time around, other than I’d like to finish injury-free, and to spend the majority of the race running, not shuffling or walking like last time.

I’d like to BQ one day, but I’m not a huge fan of marathon training. I’d rather be running trails (I know this frustrates my coach!), cycling, and throwing in a few shorter-distance races and triathlons now and again than pounding the pavement five days a week. And I literally mean pounding the pavement. I feel like I could go for forever on a trail, but get achy legs after just two hours on a road. But, as my coach Noa reminded me, you have to train on the surface you will be racing on, otherwise you’ll be in for a painful surprise come race day.

That said, I think I see some trail running races in my future.

Finished the sprint distance at the Sooke International Trialthon in 1:37, 6th in my AG

Noa and team at the Sooke Tri

Top of Mt. Quimper in Sooke

Taking a break during Mt. Quimper trail run.

But for now, I’m sticking as closely as I can to Noa’s workout plan, even though it’s not what I’m used to following. When I saw the six-week plan, I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t have enough time to train properly. But she assured me that I had a good foundation of fitness from my triathlon training this summer (“It’s not like you were just sitting around… you will be fine!”).

I had a bit of a setback last week when a blister on my foot got infected. It wasn’t painful, just annoying; it felt like a hard, itchy lump under my foot. I went to a walk-in clinic two days after I noticed it, and went on antibiotics for seven days. The doctor told me that if it didn’t get noticeably better in three days, I should come back and get something stronger. It took about five days until it felt okay enough to run again. Even though the antibiotics made me feel like crap, I managed a bit of cycling and swimming, and took probiotics at the suggestion of Noa to reduce the chance of getting sick (it is cold and flu season, after all).

And so far so good. My foot is better, I’m not sick, and I’m still injury-free. Knock on wood.

Despite missing a week of running, I think I’m still on track. I did a 3:15 run this past Saturday, my longest before the marathon. I didn’t go as far as I had hoped, as I ended up walking quite a bit near the end. My quads were killing me. I feel like if I can just deal with the muscle soreness I get from long distance road running, I might be able to finish this marathon with a decent time. I guess I will find out in two weeks!