On Saturday we spent nearly the entire late morning/early afternoon making our way through the RnR Montreal Expo. First stop at the Expo was race bib pickup and then on to t-shirt and swag bag pick up.
Once Neil had checked in and picked up all of his goodies it was time to make our way through the expo.
Our first stop was the Brooks Running game area where we had some fun playing a few games. We even played a competitive game skee ball which I won even with Edie sleeping in the Ergo (and no she didn’t even wake up!) I proudly wore my skee ball championship medal although after seeing Neil’s RnR race medal it wasn’t so impressive, but more on that another day.
After playing some games we made our way through the vendors and spent our time lusting over new running gear, trying some samples and of course getting our photo taken.
As much as I would have liked to have purchased everything in site Neil and I both held off since I am in need of new running shoes, which aren’t cheap. We did however pick up a few Bondi Bands which Edith just had to model for you (don’t worry she won’t be running for beer anytime soon).
Overall I thought that the race expo was really well done. The layout was perfect and we hit very few congested areas. I also loved the start of the expo where they had some fun games for us to enjoy. Now I have only been to the VCM expo besides this one so I don’t have much to compare it to but overall I thought it was really well done.
This past Sunday Neil ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Montreal, Quebec this past weekend. This was his second half marathon and his first international half marathon. We headed up on Friday after Neil got out of work and checked into our airbnb rental which was in the perfect spot just 1.1 km from the Mont Royal Metro Station and surrounded by our favorite shops and restaurants.
We arrived later than expected on Friday night and with a sleepy baby and pouring rain we decided to stay in for the night. We ordered food from our favorite vegan restaurant Aux Vivres which unfortunately took nearly two hours to finally get because the online ordering/delivery service that they have on their website did not place our order because we were not using a local number and rather than contact us or update our order page we didn’t find this out until 15 minutes after the food should have already arrived which was an hour after we had ordered.
Tired, hungry and frustrated we decided to call Aux Vivres directly and Neil ran out to pick up our order this time. I was a little frustrated and almost just gave up on getting dinner but I was so glad we did because my Dragon Bowl was just as good as I remembered and the big slice of carrot cake Neil and I shared was delicious.
Neil ordered the Macro Bowl (photo from Aux Vivres site)
Unfortunately I don’t have much else to share when it comes to food and sites because the bulk of the weekend was spent at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Expo and race. We did stop into the Eaton Centre for lunch at the food court and then Saturday night Neil and I picked up a few things to make a pasta dish at the apartment for dinner.
Since this weekend was dedicated to the race we are planning on making another trip up (hopefully) in October so we can spend some time enjoying our favorite eateries and sites.
This past weekend we made our first international trip with Edith up to Montreal for the RnR Montreal Demi Marathon. Neil and I are going to do a recap of the race and expo this week but until then I’ll leave you with a few photos. I’m exhausted after our weekend away and have a load of dishes and laundry to do but I’ll be back tomorrow!
Hello Cook. Vegan. Lover. readers! I’m Allie from Healthy Balance, Healthy Life. I write about all facets of wellness (physical, mental, etc.) and how they manifest in my daily life. I am honored to write the following guest post for Fitness Friday and I’d love for you to stop by Healthy Balance, Healthy Life and say hi if you enjoy it!
Scope out the course before and/or during training/ signing up (if possible).
Know what you’ve gotten yourself into! The Mad Marathon had lots of hills and inclines that I didn’t expect. The race still went well but I would have done much better had I trained on similar inclines! If the site of your race isn’t close enough to you to physically explore it yourself, do some research about the race and ask the race directors or people who have done the race in the past to describe the terrain to you. The Mad Marathon website said something about “rolling hills” which sounded pretty gentle to me – I should have asked for clarification!
Listen to your body.
If you need to walk then walk! Or you can “do the granny” as my friend Marlaina and I say which looks like running at a walking pace. You’re pretty much bopping up and down. It’s helpful to do this instead of walk because sometimes when you start walking, you lose your energy and momentum! Similarly, if you feel any pain that isn’t normal during training or during the race, take it from Kristina and stop! You could seriously and permanently injure yourself – one race is not worth that!
Know your foot type/running gait and wear a shoe that supports and protects you from injury.
I went to get fitted at Fleet Feet due to severe leg pain the week before the half and found I have a low arch and that I overpronate when I run. I found that I was hurting myself by overpronating and needed a shoe with more arch support. Running in supportive shoes made a huge difference in terms of protecting my body and running more easily.
It’s okay to get new shoes shortly before the race if you need them.
Yes, the majority of runners say that race day should be as similar to training as possible – eat the same food before, hydrate the same way, and wear the same gear. I was nervous to wear new shoes but it was the best decision I made. I think there is a very good chance I would have hurt myself running the half in my old shoes.
Follow your training plan and you’ll be fine!
I was a little leery of the fact that the Hal Higdon training plan doesn’t have you train the entire distance before you run the half. I wanted to know for sure that I could do it before going out and doing it! To me it seemed like training for 75% of a test and expecting to get an A on test day. Now that I’ve run the half, though, I understand why the plan is set up like that. It works with your body to prepare you for the race and reserve your energy stores. You “taper” the last week (decrease in mileage and exercise frequency) so your body is ready by race day. Had I done the entire 13.1 miles during training, my body would have been less able to complete it during the race than it was. As Hal says, “adrenaline gets you through the last three miles”. He’s right!
It’s okay to be flexible with your training plan.
As long as you stay close to what is advised, you’ll be fine. If you’re too busy to do strength training one day or you’re too tired to complete the last mile of a run, you don’t have to push yourself! It’s probably better to listen to your body and not let training take over your schedule too much, anyway. You want training to be as fun as possible—there were many a day I considered walking downtown and dancing or walking to class and back “cross training” (See Exhibit A above: I walked downtown and then gave my liver a work out.). Don’t let training overwhelm you. If it takes over your life you may start to resent it.
Experiment with hydration, pre and post run food, gear, and music during training so you have an idea of what works best for you.
I ran the half with four other people and we all planned to stay close to each other. We also realized, however, that there were good chances we’d get separated throughout the 13 + miles so we planned a meeting place in case we lost each other on the course.
It’s also a good idea to check the race map out for hydration stations before you set out on race day so you know how often you’ll be able to refuel. If there aren’t enough stations (the Mad Half was so good and had stations every single mile!) then you can bring a Camelbak or something similar.
Do what works best for you.
The above is what I have found works best for me but everybody is different. You know the needs and wants of your body better than any training plan or running expert. Use the advice of others as a guide but let the innate intelligence of your body lead the way.
Hi Bloggies! The next few days I am working 12 hour days (or more) so since I am going to be crazy busy so I have asked Megan to do a guest post about her journey to becoming a runner. I hope you enjoy her inspirational story of how she came to run her first half marathon. She is amazing such an inspiration especially to me because I am preparing to run my first 5k, 5miler, 10k and 1/2 MARATHON (eek) over the next 6 months.
Hi everyone! My name is Megan. You may remember me from this guest post about what it’s like to live in Germany as a vegan. Now I’m back in the US and blogging about my life as a vegan, dog mom, and runner in Upper Michigan.
Not long ago, that third descriptor – runner – wouldn’t have been included. I did gymnastics in high school and ran sprints on the track team for two years, but at my best I couldn’t run more than 3 miles. Some of the people I looked up to/envied the most in high school were long distance runners, but that sport just “wasn’t for me.”
Throughout college and graduate school I was a casual exerciser, going to the gym a couple times a week (in the best of times) to use the elliptical, lift, or do Pilates.
In September of 2009, after quitting graduate school and spending a summer working and studying in Sweden, I moved to Germany to teach English for a year. It was a life-changing step, but nothing compared to what happened after: I became vegan. I’m still not sure where the conviction came from, but the idea had been simmering in my brain for awhile. Finally, it boiled over and I went vegan overnight in October 2009.
After that, everything changed. I felt like each day had a bit more of a purpose and challenge to it. I began to eat differently, cook and bake more, and to come out of a slump caused by an unhappy two years at grad school and a summer of eating delicious but often unhealthy food in Sweden. I didn’t realize until much later, but I had gained some weight and was just feeling weird in my body. Now, as a vegan, I was thinking much more about what went into my body and what I did for my health. I joined a Pilates studio and started taking class 2x a week.
The fall gave way to winter. I began to make new friends and form a life in Germany, but with life comes struggle. Shortly before Christmas I began a short-lived relationship with one of my new vegan friends, who also happened to be a marathoner. The few weeks the affair lasted were intense and tumultuous and ended abruptly right after my first Christmas every away from my family. I was sad, angry, hurt, and lonely. I was also on break from school until mid-January and had way too much time to feel bad for myself.
Then, one of my new Twitter friends Lindsay (yes, this Lindsay!) retweeted a link to Tia’s post about completing the C25k running plan. I read Tia’s words about her silent struggle to complete the program. I was so inspired and, even though it was bitter cold outside, suddenly needed to go run. Right away.
And that was it! The program was so simple to follow and had such a firm goal that I never stopped. From January to April (I had some breaks for illness and travel) I ran in all sorts of weather, often the only person on the street. I began to feel so much better physically and mentally, and I started to lose some weight I didn’t know I’d gained, likely a result of the running combined with my new diet. I even brought my shoes on a backpacking trip to Portugal ran through the town of Sintra. Who was I?
On April 25, 2010, the last day of my C25k training, I ran the 24th annual Hildesheimer Wedekind-Lauf 5k in Hildesheim, Germany. I could NOT believe it! I was so proud and so thankful that I had felt driven to train, even if I was inspired by pain and sadness.
After the race, I continued to run a few times a week, loosely following the One Hour Runner plan. I moved back to the US in July 2010 and kept going, but in August I began working toward teacher certification at the local university and my Masters thesis was due in October. I stopped running almost completely and before long it was snowy and icy and I didn’t have a park across the street to run in.
I missed it, though, and I also knew how well I had responded to having the goal of the 5k during the C25k program. On New Years Day 2011, after nervously considering the idea in the back of my mind for a week or two, I took the leap and registered for the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon.
Yep. A half marathon. I was so scared but C25k had proved to me that slow, steady, dedicated training can prepare you for things you never thought possible.
I joined my university’s gym and began following an adaptation of Hal Higdon’s novice plan. If I hadn’t registered I never would have trained! Without having $60 invested plus the verbal commitment (to my parents, boyfriend, etc), it would have been so easy to bail. There were many dark and nasty winter days when thinking about going to the gym felt painful. But I stuck with it for 14 weeks, gradually increasing my mileage closer and closer to 13.1.
No part of it was easy, but the rewards were great. Each week brought a new personal distance record. I was accomplishing something and I could see and feel it. As May 15 grew closer, I knew I would be able to finish the half marathon. I had put in the sweat!
On April 23, I ran a local 10-miler (in the SNOW!) as a training run and after that it seemed like just the blink of an eye before mid-May.
The morning of my race (full recap on my blog), I knew I was prepared but it felt like a dream. I had read so many half marathon recaps that I couldn’t believe it was me who was going to run. I was not a runner!
But, in that moment, and the 2 hours and 25 minutes that followed, and all moments since January 2010 and all the ones since, I was and am a runner. If you run, you are a runner. I will be a runner forever and I have the C25k and the support of my Tweeps to thank for it. If you think you could never do it, you can. All it takes is one step, and then another and another – with plenty of walk breaks.
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