half marathon training: february update

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Cadence Cycling Studio in Vancouver

I’ve been really busy. I think I am coming down with something. It’s too late. Cleaning has tired me out. I need downtime.

These are all excuses I’ve used as of late to avoid my weekday runs. I keep my training schedule on my fridge so I can tick off workouts as I complete them but I’ve been avoiding eye contact with it. There are more Xs to mark workouts I’ve missed as opposed to checks to mark the workouts I did.

With that said, I have been good at working out 2-3 days a week, but my goal is workout 4-5 times a week. So what have my 2-3 workouts a week looked like? Well, I have been going to a 6am (yup, you heard me) spin class every Tuesday morning, thanks to some pushy girlfriends who encourage me to get my ass out of bed. And I’ve been good at completing my long runs on the weekend. But its the runs during the work week that I have hard time motivating myself to do. It’s too easy to justify staying in after a long day at work.

My goal for the next couple of weeks is to make my training more of a priority and get in those runs and hill workouts during the weekdays. Like brushing my teeth, eating breakfast or doing dishes I just need to make it into a habit.

How do you motivate yourself to workout during the work week?

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training for my 4th half marathon: why this one will be different

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This winter and spring I plan to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ll be running my 4th half marathon but this time I’ll be running for a serious PB or what runners like to call a Personal Best.

I started running half marathons in 2012 and have crossed the finish line anywhere between 2:20 and 2:37. My attitude towards running was always to do it for the sake of doing it. That’s right, I am one of those crazy people who actually loves running. During previous half marathon training regimens I’ve never timed myself, aimed for faster splits, or done intervals to increase my overall speed. I’ve just enjoyed the run and felt happy simply crossing the finish line. I still think this is a great attitude to have towards running any race. But now I want more. I not only want to cross the finish line but I want to cross the finish line knowing I gave it my all.  Continue reading

crossing the finish line

IMG_2566Fellow blogger and friend Gretchen and I with our SeaWheeze Medals at the finish line!

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IMG_2574Yoga by the thousands at the SeaWheeze Sunset Festival at Stanley Park post-race

One of the most amazing feelings in the world is crossing the finish line. Whenever I do at the end of a race–whether it be a 5k, 10k or Half-Marathon– I am immediately flooded with this feeling that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Anything.

On Saturday I ran my third half-marathon in Lululemon’s 2nd annual SeaWheeze Half-Marathon event and while I felt great crossing that finish line with my friend Gretchen (author of the mouth-watering blog gsnackingcruz) the week before I have to admit I was feeling pretty low.  Continue reading

The Vancouver SeaWheeze Half-Marathon: That feeling of accomplishment



pictured above: my friend mika and I at the end of the race

my poor injured calves!

I did it! I conquered my first half marathon back on August 11th: The Vancouver SeaWheeze… or lululemon’s first half marathon in the city.

So why did I take so long to blog about it? To be honest I think it was hard for me to admit it was over. I trained for this race all summer. I still have the training schedule on my fridge with my tick marks all over it and can’t bring myself to take it down. This race totally consumed my thoughts… in a good way. I made working out and eating healthy a priority, something I hadn’t done since University. But more than that, it felt so good to work towards something bigger than myself. And taking it step by step I set out to accomplish this race on my standards.

At the end of the race (which by the way, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done!) there was no one telling me I should have run faster because I didn’t make my goal time… there was no one criticizing my running outfit… or telling me I ran that wrong! There was only my mother in law cheering loudly and ready to give me a big hug and tell me how amazing I am.

That feeling of accomplishment and the celebration of that accomplishment too often gets lost in the day to day grind. There are the to-do lists that just don’t end… ever! There are the thankless tasks we do everyday. I know there are countless times Andrew and I come home from a long day at work and just feel drained.

But unless you have a trust fund… you, like me, can’t escape the “9-5” and other daily responsibilities (although, trust me there are days I wish I could!). But I think there are ways to add things to into my life that could give me my own feeling of accomplishment.

Like setting up smaller personal goals for myself to complete. Just me. Nothing to do with the career train necessarily or Andrew (sorry, honey) or anyone else, just me. So I’ve decided I will be signing up for another half marathon. In fact I think I’ll do the SeaWheeze lululemon half marathon again. They’ve already announced next year’s race date: August 10th, 2013.

Completing my first half marathon made me feel like I could do anything! Not to mention the festivities after the race made me feel like a rockstar!

After the run, there was brunch catered by barefoot bistro (blueberry waffles, fruit and more!), a free concert featuring the band fun. and free sunset yoga on Kits beach. So… c’mon. Who’s doing it with me next year? Oh ya… and we got free lululemon yoga mats. Did you know those things retail for $68?!!

pictured above: shelley (my mother in law) and I yoga-ing!

pictured above: holly (check out her blog here) and I yoga-ing!

How do you find that feeling of accomplishment?

Running Update: Finally! I am seeing results

In a world of instant gratification, waiting 6-7 weeks to see real results from my half marathon training efforts feels like forever, but it’s totally worth it.

First off I would just like to point out that my “results” are seen not by what the weight scale says but by how I feel. And I feel great! I honestly don’t know how much I weigh, and I don’t see the point in me knowing. What I do know is I feel comfortable at a certain “dress size” (and no that size is not a 2!) but its the size I’ve been since high-school/university. It’s my fit, healthy and beautiful size! And I feel like I am finally have it again.

Result #1: The aches are starting to subside. I went for a 10km run not too long ago with Andrew and my legs felt so fatigued by the end of it, I was sure I would be so sore the next day. But I wasn’t. I felt great! … Crap! I need to work harder. 10km is only about half of the 21km I’ll have to run later this summer.

Result #2: I can now fit into a few dresses and skirts in my closet that were too tight two months ago. Once again proving getting fit is way cheaper than buying new clothes.

Result #3: I feel the need to run. Where as before I could barely motivate myself to put on my running shoes and get out the door, now it feels weird if I don’t get out and get active. It’s becoming a habit and I’ve been told all habits (good and bad) are hard to break, so I am hoping this running habit is one I can keep!

Result #4: I am buying health & fitness magazines instead  of fashion magazines. When I had a subscription to Glamour Magazine, I used to always feel the need to go shopping every weekend. I am hoping a subscription to Shape Magazine or Self Magazine will have a similar effect! Not to mention allow me to have a better relationship with my bank account.

Result #5: Not to toot my own horn, but my butt looks great 🙂 Andrew thinks so too.

About 6 weeks to go until my first half marathon! The longest distance I’ve run so far is 10km but my goal is to run 16km before race day…

When I first posted a post about my decision to sign up for my first half-marathon, I got a lot of great feedback and lots of stories of others who are also training for runs or just trynig to make a habit of working out more. So I have to ask, are any of you seeing results yet from your running efforts?

That’s my husband!

People often ask me why I call Andrew monkey… Well, this video from his Tough Mudder race should sum it up:

That’s my husband: Tough Mudder, Whistler, BC from Ashly Kissman on Vimeo.

Last Sunday, Andrew, his dad and two buddies Phil and James completed the Tough Mudder course in Whistler, BC. The obstacle course is a challenge fit for a U.S. Marine, with 16k of pure hell in between the start and finish line. It’s something Andrew and the boys have been preparing for for 2 months… and it’s the reason he’s also been my running buddy during my half marathon training sessions.

After nearly 15k of Tough Mudder track, with 1k left to go, the boys had to complete the second to last obstacle in their path: the monkey bars. Although exhausted, he did it! His dad, John did it too! But Phil and James…? Not so lucky… I don’t know if you can hear in the video but I definitely scream, ‘That’s my husband!” at one point… So proud of you Andrew!

Photos and more about the race to come soon!

Training for my half-marathon: 2 weeks in

The first 2 weeks getting back into shape suck. My mom always told me never to use this word but its true… they just suck. Suck, suck, suck. My athletic past knows enough to forsee that this painful period will pass and soon my legs won’t feel like lead, my shins will stop hurting, I won’t sound like I am hacking up a lung when I pick up the pace and my butt will look cuter in everything… very very soon.

I’ve decided the image above was definitely created by someone who was just getting over their 2 week hump. I can tell. Because when I run I think  I look like a sexy model in overpriced work out clothes, but instead I know I look like this chubby toddler who can’t catch a break.

But I have to say I am impressed by her one arm extended far from her body, in comparison to my low energy T-rex running arms. My arms usually stay close to my sides as I jog nice and slow, all the while I hear my 7th grade track coach screaming in my ear to extend my arms as I run. Your arms will pull you forward you must move them, I hear her yell in my head. I’ve run enough races to know she’s right but in my current state of mind all I can think is this sucks, this sucks, this sucks…

At least my second week of training has been better than my first. My first week of training I ran once, played 3 hours of Ultimate Frisbee (which if you know anything about the sport of Ultimate it’s the exercise equivalent of a billion quick sprinting intervals… that’s right, a billion) and I went to a bikram yoga class. That’s it.

I am happy to say this last week I ran 5 times! Mostly slow 3 mile runs averaging about 30 minutes, but on Saturday Andrew and I went for a 4 mile run. He’s been training with me, although he has no plans to run the half marathon with me (what a sweetie). And on Sunday we capped off the week by completing Vancouver’s infamous Grouse Grind— a 1.8 mile steep hike straight to the top of Grouse Mountain (2,800 feet). Again I thought (and hoped) I looked like this…

But I actually looked like this…

This is a picture of Andrew and I at the half way point. Yes, that’s me hunched over. Apologies for the blurriness, but I am sure the girl taking the photo with my iPhone was shaking from pure exhaustion like the rest of us.

On the way down I ran into a co-worker who had just completed the hike himself. When he asked how I did, I admitted I felt pretty slow (and simply neglected to mention it took me an hour and a half… he doesn’t need to know), but then I added (in part to make me feel better) that I was training for a half marathon and was hoping this would help gain some much needed leg muscle. He looked impressed and complimented me on my efforts.  I smiled. It felt good to say out loud that I was training for a half-marathon. It’s certainly a sentence I never thought I would say a few years ago.

So bring it on week 3… bring it on.