RUNNING WITH FRIENDS << Marathon Monday >>

 

Marathon Monday Siobhan McCarthy

I always get asked what running club I am with and when I say “I’m not,” people are shocked. I like running on my own. I like running my own pace and not making people feel like I am slowing them down by not keeping up. If I’m next to you on a treadmill, I guess we can technically say that we are running “together. But the only time I ran with someone was when my mum was training for a 5K and I would go on runs with her. I know that I should be running with other people. It’s good to run with people faster than you so that you push yourself and it’s good to run with people slower than you so that you can really do easy runs.

I branched out. Sometimes I don’t run solo anymore.

Running with Friends Siobhan McCarthy

 

It helps me to keep up my pace even when I want to slow down. I push myself even harder if it’s a hill day but if it’s a long run, so long señor, I’m on my own. I have made it up to running 5 miles with a partner in crime. That’s a big step for me and I like it!

I’ve been really happy with my training lately. Ever since I officially registered for STWM, I am more motivated than ever to crush my half marathon PR. Last week I totalled 18 miles. 2 out of 3 of those runs were focused on easy running and I think that helped with my 11 mile long run with a 9:47/mile pace. I’m feeling stronger. With 76 days until race day, I know it’s going to be a good one.

Next week I want to focus on foam rolling and stretching. I stretch for about 10-15 minutes after every run but I don’t give myself a really great stretch other than that. I think my muscles need it. They are not so happy with me today after yesterday’s long run.

Oh yea and how about that weight training for injury prevention? I need to get back on that.

To my Canadian friends, happy holiday Monday!

Weekly Miles: 18 
August Miles: 11

Finding My Training Paces

It’s hard to know what your perfect training paces should be. I know I want to  I want to PR my next half marathon. My current PR is 2:02:09 and ideally I would love to break the 1:45 so I went to the Runner’s World race time predicator to determine what my half marathon finish time might be based on my 8K Harry’s Spring Run Off finish time.

RW gave me a prediction of 1:56:09. I’m taking it. It’s not my goal of a 1:45 but it’s my back up goals of running a sub 2 hour and a PR. It’s all about smart training and injury prevention. I have to remember that I haven’t been focused just on running the last while so I can’t expect to cross the finish line and magically take off 17 minutes from my PR.

I looked up picking a goal time and how to figure out what pace my tempo runs should be. Thanks to Dave Khuels for this beauty of an article I found out that my tempo runs should be 8:37.

And speed work? I’m taking that one like the Kenyans. When you go hard, GO HARD. And when it’s easy, actually take it easy. Some days the pace of easy will be different depending on how your body feels. So it can be more beneficial to actually listen to your body instead of going off of a certain pace. But because I have am terrible at letting my body run easy, I figured out my pace. My easy runs should be at a 10:26 pace.

Yesterday I tried to do 2 easy miles.Garmin watch easy run siobhan mccarthy

9:57/mile. Well, it is close! I’m also trying to figure out if I am pushing myself enough at the paces that I have set for my tempo. It’s time to experiment and trust the process.

Happy Long Weekend!!

Hot & Sweaty July Miles Make New August Goals

July training has been hot, sweaty and full of faster miles. I ran less but it helped fuel my muscles to have productive runs. Even on days where I turned my alarm clock off in my sleep on a hot long run morning. I got up and ran those 11 miles anyway.

It was stinkin’ hot. I stopped for water at my hair salon at the 5 mile mark and just kept going. It felt amazing. I didn’t hit my target pace but I smiled and said, “I did it!” Sometimes you just have to find your strong.

Long Run Heat Siobhan McCarthy

 

With my new goal of running a speedy half marathon in the fall, my August running goal is to have one long run a week, one hill run, one tempo, and one EASY run and a good stretch/weight day.

Easy runs are the hardest. I just can’t seem to slow it down and I have to. These are the runs that are just as important as the fast runs. They recover your muscles and have less of a chance for injury. So why don’t I take them seriously?! Mainly because it feels pointless which I know isn’t true.

What else is hard for me? Reading. My bookshelf is full of books that I really want to read but I never make time for it anymore. When I finally decide to pick up my book, it’s usually when I am already exhausted and ready for bed. Then my eyes droop and it’s lights out for me. My new goal: read at least one book a month for the rest of the year. It’s realistic. One book in thirty days? Completely doable.

 

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At the one book a month rate, I’m covered until March 2015.

My Bloglovin’ page has a new address because of my switch over to wordpress. I know, it’s annoying but you will have to follow this one:

Bloglovin' Icon Siobhan McCarthy

 

Sorry, friends! Now I’m off to update my August training plan!

Happy Running!

Worlds Wednesday

The 2014 Cheerleading Worlds was the last competition that I competed at as an all-star cheerleader. The past two seasons have been hard on me. I had 3 concussions within two cheer seasons and the last concussion took me over 2 months to heal.

Cheer Worlds 2014 wolfpack coed 6 6pack

The biggest struggle I had was that I was in post-graduate school for public relations which meant, I was always using my brain ALL. THE. TIME. My professors were great enough to realize what I was going through and granted my doctor’s wishes of me staying off computers, studying, reading and pretty much doing anything that involved my brain so that it could heal properly. Oh yea, and running.

I couldn’t even run.

I would go to physio and attempt to run. As soon as I felt dizzy, faint or had a headache, I was off of the treadmill. Most sessions, I was off the treadmill within 3 minutes. I was going to sessions for about 2-3 days a week. I told my doctor I just wanted to make it to worlds. He told me he would get me there but I had to seriously consider not cheering the following season.

After months of nausea, headaches and feeling completely defeated because you couldn’t physically see my injury so it felt like people didn’t understand the pain I would go through on a day-to-day basis, I finally healed and got back into the game and made it to my favourite worlds yet. The Cheerleading Worlds 2014.

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy
After having many stressful seasons of high pressure to get qualifiers bid to worlds and actually place well when you got there, I finally felt like I was performing for fun again.

On day one of worlds,  every team performs. The top 3 teams from your division make it to finals. No pressure, right? It’s not like we were talked about in USA cheer magazines for being the next world contenders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3eITDn8jj4

Honestly, those 2:30 minutes felt amazing. I had the most fun that I have ever felt in a long time on the competition floor. The best part? My mum surprised me at the Disney World Resort when she booked a last minute flight and came to watch me compete!.. And hang out with her cheer mom friends but mainly, to watch me ;)

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy
Waiting for our results to find out if we made day two was brutal. I just wanted to make finals. I knew this would be my last year competing and I wanted to go out on a high note. After the agony of listening to scores, we squeaked into finals. We were the third team to make it through.

Here’s the bootleg version of my finals routine. Yes, it was tapped right off a TV. Don’t worry, it’s a high quality bootleg. I promise.

Waiting for our results from finals was a great feeling. Obviously nerve wrecking but amazing because we knew we didn’t take any major deductions. After the waiting game and watching our competitors on the jumbo screens at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, we gathered for the award ceremony to find out that we were the only Canadian team to place in the top 10 of our division.

The only Canadian team and we just squeaked into finals the day before. So, we took the stage with the other top 10 finalists in the International Open Co-ed Level 6 division.

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy

We walked away being 1st in Canada and 8th in the world.

It was the perfect end to my cheerleading career. Yes, walking away with a world champion ring would have been nice but being the best in Canada on the world stage? Yea, I’ll take it!

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy

I spent the next few days in Florida at my castle in Disney World. No big deal.

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy Disney World Magic Kingdom

Building pyramids in the pool.

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy Pool Pyramids

And catching up with my little friends.

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy Disney World

Actually little. I’m only 4’9″ so imagine how tall they are.

As sad as I am about retiring from the cheer world, I’m not really leaving cheerleading completely. I’m still coaching some amazing athletes and will be cheering on all of my friends at competitions throughout the season and of course, getting back into my full swing of running.

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Happy Wednesday!

My First Half Marathon #TakeMeBackTuesday

Since I switched over my blog to WordPress, I have lost all of my old race recaps. I decided to make a #TakeMeBackTuesday where I revisit my old race recaps and post them here.

First on the list, my very first half marathon. The Disney Inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon. This post was published on October 10, 2010. Not only was it my first race ever, but it was also the entire reason why my blog formerly known as “Sio ‘n the Run” was invented. I learned A LOT during this race and right after I said to myself, “I am never doing that again.” That clearly lasted. It was that night that I really fell in love with running.


Completing my first half marathon was such an accomplishment. After months of training and hardwork I can finally call myself a half marathon runner. Race day was like nothing I have ever experienced– especially with a 10pm kick off!

The morning of the race I went to pick up my race packet and swagga from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports with my sister- who was also running her first half marathon with me. It was fun to get the ID Tag and make sure it worked by walking over the example time marker and walking through the running expo. They had some pretty great gear that they were selling there for some amazing prices! I tried not to splurge but I did find a new running clothing line that I love: One More Mile.  They have some very witty slogans on their gear- check ‘em out!

After getting pumped for the run it was time to head back and chill out by the pool and try to take a nap. Yeah, that was hard to do. After 2 weeks of a vacation in Orlando and going to Disney World, Universal Studios, and playing my first ever nine holes of golf– sitting down and doing nothing became hard to do when you are use to the go, go, go! lifestyle for the past 14 days. But– I tried. Doing a race on the last day of vaca is not ideal but that is just how the schedule happened- so be it!

I put on my running gear, my mickey mouse pirate ears and headed for the start line at 7pm. 3 hours of breath, stretch, shake and taking pictures with Mickey and Minnie! Perfect, right? Waiting for the race was a lot of fun but I did seem to get yawn quite a bit and I just had that “I want to start already!! Feeling happen”. But I just kept waiting. And doing handstands…

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports (The Starting Line Location)

After visiting the 100′s of porta potties a few times from all of my power juice and water- it was go time! I had been placed in the last corral. Corral D because this was my first race EVER so I didn’t have a previous time to submit. I was fine with that. My goal was to finish a half marathon afterall- I wasn’t out to win it. That had to be my train of thought seeming as I just exhausted myself walking for 14 days! We gotta stay real!

As I took my place with the pack, we were both dead last. Not kidding. Standing at the back of everyone. As Corral A went to run fireworks went off at the start line and the DJ’s started spinning. 15 minutes to go until I reach the start line! I was so happy and I suddenly didn’t feel tired anymore. Off we went.

This is where I attached my ears to my amphipod. My head was getting tooo hot!

It was a lot of running past people saying a polite, “excuse me” but I got sick of that and by passed everyone by running on the grass. Then one of the mc’s yelled in his mic, “watch out for the brunette!” I laughed. I was running past stilt walkers, disney characters, amazing live bands, and DJ’s along with Disney staff yelling “almost there! Doing great!” I did feel great. I had my ipod playing but it was so different to be running a race with a whole bunch of people and working around their pace until you could reach a nice spot where you were running at your own pace. I didn’t hit this until about 7 miles. That made my time a lot higher but as I said, I just wanted to finish!

Running through Hollywood Studios

The amount of hills in Disney were incredible. I couldn’t believe how many there were! But running through a theme park made it so much fun! Until you got to a path that was very narrow and you had a whole pack iof runners trying to squeeze their way past people. It was like 4 lanes on a road going down to 1. Those were not so fun parts because people tended to take these as walking breaks and I just wanted to keep my pace. But I went with the flow. I cam across Buzz Lightyear and decided I might as well take a photo op break!  i mean how many times can you run past Buzz Lightyear and not have to wait in line?! It was perfect. At 8 miles I started to feel the, “omg 5.1 miles to go?! Seriously? Can I do this?” So, I popped some sport beans and I was feeling like dynamite. My energy just went from zero to hero. Amazing! I grabbed a powerade from the staff on the side lines and just kept swimming.

Entering Hollywood

I noticed that my ipod kept telling me that I had been running a lot farther than all of the markers. I also overheard other runners checking their garmin and saying that their devices have said they have ran farther too. So, I am really interested to know if I ran farther than 21K on that run because my time was no where near where I wanted it to be. But- I’m still happy with the outcome. Afterall, your first race sets your Personal Best (PB) so it’s only up from here! Sprinting through the finish line was great! I felt really proud of myself for completing such a huge goal!

The Finish Line!!

As I received my medal and food package, I was out of breath and ready to eat the food from my after race snack that was handed to me. I took one bite of my banana and did not feel so good. I was nauseous and just wanted to sit down. So I did. Then I went to the bathroom and there were a good amount of people throwing up and hugging the toilet seat and then I became one of those girls. Not so good. I tried to drink water and replenish myself and get that powerade  into me but my body just could not handle it. so into the line I went to the baggage claim. After getting all of my items I threw on my start up jacket and started walking to find my fame in Epcot. We were suppose to meet somewhere in England or between France and Morocco. Too bad I couldn’t see them and walked around the world twice trying to find them while making a stop in Mexico to do a little vomit. I couldn’t believe it. never have I felt this way after running a half marathon length. I got up and kept moving and luckily my family happened to walk my way. At 3:30am we left the park. Only to wake up at 7am to leave for the airport. I woke up, still in rough shape and tried to stomach some food and lift my luggage to the car. My luggage never felt heavier. With my compression socks on I headed for our plane. At that moment, I had no desire to run a half marathon any time soon. But now- I could definitely do it again! Not after a 2 week vacation mind you but definitely on a more rested level!

Overall, I had an amazing experience and I am SO glad I experienced my first half at Disney!

The Disney Half Marathon! Playlist:

Forget You- Cee Lo Green
Hollywood- Michael Buble
I Like It- Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
That’s How You Know- Amy Adams
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic- The Police
We No Speak Americano- Yolanda Be Cool feat. DCup
U Can Have It All- JRDN
Take It Off- Ke$ha
Check It Out- will.i.am feat Nicki Minaj
Stereo Love- Edward Maya
Nothin’ On You- B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
Say Hey (I Love You)- Michael Franti & Spearhead
Halo/Walking On Sunshine- Glee Cast
Beggin’- Madcon
Somebody To Love (Remix)- Justin Bieber feat. Usher
Letting Go (Dutty Love)- Sean Kingston feat. Nicki Minaj
Could You Be Loved- Bob Marley & The Wailers
Real Girl- Mutya Buena
All Dressed in Love- Jennifer Hudson
Ridin’ Solo- Jason Derulo
Pump It- Black Eyed Peas
Bulletproof (Dave Aude Cherry Radio Remix)- La Roux
Teenage Dream- Katy Perry
Dynamite- Taio Cruz
Fire- Glee Cast feat. Kristin Chenoweth
Kiss the Girl- Ashley Tisdale
Little Secrets- Passion Pit
Laces Out- USS
Black or White- Michael Jackson
Sex On Fire- Kings of Leon
Bang a Gong (Get It On)- T-Rex
Part of Your World- Miley Cyrus
Break Your Heart- Taio Cruz & Ludacris
Love Sex Magic- Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
Club Can’t Handle Me- Flo Rida feat. David Guetta
Fire In Your New Shoes- Kaskade feat. Dragonette
Ever Ever After- Carrie Underwood
Just A Dream- Nelly
Just The Way You Are- Bruno Mars
Got Your Back- T.I. feat. Keri Hilson
2012 (It Ain’t The End)- Jay Sean feat. Nicki Minaj

Stats of the Run:

Distance: 21 km
Time: 2:35:04
Placed in my: Division: 127th out of 331
Gender:  1836th out of 4602
Overall:  3530th out of 7286

5K Split: n/a
10K Split: 1:08:32
15K Spilt: 1:46:20

Marathon Monday

I’m on the road to my first marathon. It’s exciting but I’m also being realistic about it and making my game plan. I’ve learnt a lot since my first half marathon and I do not want to relive being sick in “Mexico” at Disney’s Epcot Park because I wasn’t use to the distance and racing at night.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marthon Siobhan McCarthy

 

Since I have spent the last few seasons running and training for The Cheerleading Worlds, my distance has not been so high in the running department. I’m taking advice from Drake and starting from the bottom. Well, my first official race was a half marathon so that is my bottom. I registered for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. I really wanted to registered for the full marathon but I am playing it smart so that I don’t injure myself in the process. My training plan for the full would have been down to the wire and I would have just been ready to race. I know that I could finish the distance but I want to be able to finish strong and not want to vom as I cross the finish line.

Every race I have goals. And this one will be no exception. My main goal is to finish this race in 1:45. Plan B: Finish Sub 2 hours. Plan C: Beat my Half PR of 2:02:09.

Realistic and achievable.

Running hills are always my favourite and my training plan to get speedy will be full ‘em! Fartleks, tempos, hills and long runs! The summer training key for fall PR’s!

Hill Training Running Siobhan McCarthy

 

This week, I rework my training plan so that I know that I am training without the risk of injury. The last time I registered for this race, I ended up on the sidelines cheering on my sister because I sprained way too many tendons in my feet. I was out for 6 months. Not this season.

STWM Scotiabank Toronto Marathon Siobhan McCarthy

 

Happy Running!

Marathon Monday

I started Marathon Mondays months ago and clearly my updates have been slim. It’s because I went to Europe and to be honest, disconnecting from social media was a nice break. My training did not break though. I climbed to the top of the Acropolis in Greece:

DSC00872Photo 6-1-2014, 3 04 42 PM

Then climbed the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland!

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Not to mention all of the city walking I did in Dublin and on the Game of Thrones set in Ballintoy!

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And the partying that happened for my cousin’s wedding in Faliraki!

Photo 5-31-2014, 12 49 20 PMLife is grand. Especially in a lazy river at your all inclusive in Greece.

But today is Marathon Monday so I will tell you all about that trip in another post!

Training has been going really well even with the humid runs. I’m pushing myself, eating healthy and not getting hangry after runs. I’ve come so far since my first half marathon!

I am up to a long run of 10 miles with my total running miles for last week equaling 24.73! My pace has been very slow because of the heat but then #MotivationMonday came along and I was featured on Runner’s World for my #RUNootd after I finished a speedy monday morning run!

Runner's World #RUNootd Siobhan McCarthy

 

You can check out the article here!

Happy running, friends!

- Siobhan

I Did a Barney Stinson During My Last 2 Races

I have a confession. I Barney Stinson’d my last two races.

It started with the Harry Rosen 8K on April 5, 2014.

Harry's Spring Run Off 8K Toronto 2014
It’s not like I haven’t been keeping fit. I was training for the cheerleading worlds which happened 3 weeks later. The problem was, I had a concussion from cheerleading. It took me 2 months to recover from the injury and I wasn’t cleared to run. I could only walk. Yep. Walk. Life was hard. For 2 weeks, I couldn’t even look at my computer, read or are you ready… knit. I wasn’t allowed to exhaust my brain for a long amount of time. At practices, I became the video girl.

Concussion Problems at cheerleading

I was insanely bored. I dealt with it because I knew if I hit or jolted my brain around, I would set myself back and 2 months was long enough for me. So, my training halted. I was happy to run my test 8 kilometres the week before my race. If I had any pain, I wouldn’t have been clear to run. I would have been really upset because this race is one of my favs.

3 weeks  later, I went to the cheerleading worlds for the week.

Cheer Worlds 2014 wolfpack coed 6 6packFrom training sessions, competing and going to Disney World– running did not happen. A week after I got back, it was the Sporting Life 10K on May 11, 2014.

Let’s just say, a PR was far from my reach. I came back with a rolled ankle and out of my peak running shape.

Sporting Life 10K Siobhan McCarthy

 

But I faked it until I made it. Check out that heal striking.

Lessons from my Barney Stinson running:

  • You are stronger than you think you are.
  • When your time is A LOT slower than what you are use to, embrace it.
  • Sometimes you just need to run for FUN!

Last week’s training was all about getting my head back in the running game:

Sunday: 6.25 miles @ 9:13/mile
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 2.12 miles @ 9:26/mile
Thursday: 3.16 miles @ 9:30/mile
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Rest Day

Weekly Miles: 11.53 miles

Now it’s time to get back to running!

 

Cheerleading Worlds 2014, Cheerforce Wolfpack Six Pack Co-ed 6 Siobhan McCarthy

New adventures for the new season.

On my last post, I mentioned all of the changes that have happened in my life. I am now a high honours post graduate in public relations, I coached an amazing season with my cheerleaders who not only won the provincial championships but the Canadian Finals and took home the Grand Champ banner and I competed at the cheerleading worlds and came in first in Canada and 8th in the world.

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Life is pretty amazing right now.

In between it all, I was still running races. For the first time, I ran purely for fun. I wasn’t caught up with PR’s or my time. Mainly because I was too busy to even get myself to the gym some days and running was the only time I had to breath by myself. It was my escape from assignments, working and stress.

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I decided to spring clean my blog. In the fall, my hosting site is shutting down some services so I thought, what better time to change up my page then now? I’m so exited for my new adventures. Now that I have less on my plate, I can start training for my first marathon and actually blog along the way. It’s time for me to start building my 26.2 training plan!

Happy long weekend!