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Month: August 2019

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

I’m one of those crazy plan ahead people. For BIG goals, I like to have details worked out months (ok, it is really years) in advance. For the past month, I’ve been contemplating running a marathon.

A marathon is a huge commitment as a runner and as a parent. I completed my first marathon in 2007 and even though I puked my guts from mile 11 until the finish, I still told anyone who would listen that it was the best day of my life.Life was different in 2007. I was single, living in a trendy downtown neighbourhood, and had landed my career job. Life was good. I could be selfish in my training because nobody was relying on me for anything. Now there are a lot of factors to consider in taking on another marathon.

Are you ready for a marathon? If 42.2 kilometres sounds like fun to you, you should also consider:

  • Family
  • Costs
  • Holiday plans
  • Work demands
  • Personal health and current stamina

A marathon requires an intense 3 month time commitment. More time would be required if you aren’t up to 15km long runs at the start of the 3 months. There is never a perfect time to train for a marathon, but if you make it a priority then you can do it!

Marathon training
First Marathon in 2007 versus training for a half marathon in 2019.

Family

If your family isn’t 100% supportive of your decision to run a marathon, then don’t do it. Aside from the 3 to 4 hour runs that you’ll need to complete, you are also going to be tired, sore, and dare I say more irritable.

I always try and complete my runs before my daughter’s Saturday morning sports. To continue this, I’ll need to find something that doesn’t start at 8am. And now with two kids, this will be more difficult.  Luckily swimming lessons start as late at 11am in the morning. I also check sunrise charts and plan the earliest time possible that I can run. I’ve even calculated a start time that has me run in the dark, but aligns sunrise to the time I hit the trail portion of my run.

  • Potential Issue: I can’t expect my husband to handle Saturday morning breakfasts,clean up, and activities when I’m out running AND have him do it again on Sunday morning because I’m tired from the day before that I need more sleep.
  • Potential Solution: The compromise that would work best for us is that I’d go to bed a bit earlier on Saturday nights to catch up on sleep.

When my mother wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon she had to consider timing and it was best to wait one year until I was a freshman in university since she wanted to be present for all the activities and events that happened in my final year of high school. Know yourself and how involved you want to be or know how much FOMO you suffer from and plan accordingly.

Costs

If you tell yourself running is a cheap sport then you’re delirious! Running only requires a pair of running shoes… Oh and don’t forget moisture wicking clothing, double layer socks, Bodyglide to prevent chafing, special water bottle belt, another pair of shoes since you’ll wear out the first pair before the race, a sports bra that costs more than dinner for two at the Keg, recovery electrolyte drinks, the grocery bill from that time you’ll go shopping after a long run and accidentally buy the entire store, race entry fee, hotel for the race, the kiddie pool you splurge on out of guilt for not spending enough time with the kids, 8 bags of ice for when you realize you can hijack the kiddie pool for your long run recovery ice bath….etc. 

Holiday Plans

If you are thinking of a fall marathon then you’ll be completing some of your long runs (3+ hours) over summer.  If you’re planing a vacation you also need to consider how you will complete your long run.  I’d say live a little and miss a weekday run, but those long runs are not to be messed with.

  • Potential Issue: Your family trip to Europe occurs during marathon training.
  • Potential Solution: Look for a half marathon to participate in at your holiday destination. Or can you find a run club that will be running similar distance? Maybe travel with your training partner and map a run where you are visiting. Adjust your dates and vacation over a recovery week when miles are shorter and could be run on a hotel treadmill.

Work Demands

Are you going to be able to find the time to run or are you working 12 hour days in the office? I actually find when I’m super busy at work that I need to get my runs in to keep my sanity. However, this could be a vicious cycle if work and running keep you away from your family. Long work hours can mean more fast food meals, which could impact how you feel in your workouts.  This could mean more meal planning in order to eat right, work long hours, and feel good in your runs.

Personal Health and Current Stamina

I personally believe that anyone can run a marathon. However, the journey to that marathon start line will be different for everyone.  I wouldn’t undertake a 3 month training plan until I was happy with my 5km and 10km race times. After all, I want to run the next marathon faster than my last. If you have been running through an injury or hoping a tinge in your knee will go away on its own – then maybe get that checked out before fooling yourself into a marathon.

I include current stamina as well because you should be able to run at least 15km comfortably prior to starting your training plan. I would also suggest having run a half marathon in the last year before taking on a marathon. This will prepare you for a build up in training mileage. I like to eliminate “surprises” during training and you start to learn about your body when you increase mileage for a race above 10km. To read more on half marathon training and how I balance it with work and family check out my previous post Balancing Half Marathon Training.

Marathon Considerations
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What is the Verdict?

Will you sign up for a marathon or run away screaming less than 42.2km in the opposite direction? I’ve considered these factors and I’m leaning towards YES! I’ve got my spreadsheets out and I’m starting to visualize how I can make this work. Tell me in the comments if you have a marathon or multiple marathons on your bucket list.

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5 Tips for Date Night at the Richmond Night Market

5 Tips for Date Night at the Richmond Night Market

I’m not big into “date night”, but a trip to the Richmond Night Market without kids is definitely worth while. My top 5 tips for a fun filled (and belly filled) date night at the Richmond Night Market are:

  1. Know you’re pre-Market options.
  2. Be early.
  3. Bring cash.
  4. Familiarize yourself with food options beforehand (if you’re reading this then you’re on the right track).
  5. Pack baby wipes or napkins.

I’ve also included the Mouse House Mom food suggestions at the bottom of this post.

Know Your Pre-Market Options

My husband and I live about 40 minutes away from Richmond so aiming to leave the house around 6pm would make it awkward for a babysitter (aka the grandparents) to only watch the kids for less than an hour before bedtime. For this date night out, we prefer to have the grandparents over ahead of our kids usual dinner time. This allows us to get to Richmond by 5:15.

I normally only go to Richmond to eat, but it’s also home to Ikea and the McArthur Glen Outlet mall. Both are less than a 5 minute drive from the Richmond Night Market. If housewares or clothes are on your shopping lists then you’ve got options!

Be Early

Now that I’ve got you to Richmond early, you should aim to arrive at the night market by 6:45pm for a 7pm opening. There are 2 line options for entering the market: regular single pay admission or Express Pass. Even 15 minutes early last Sunday there was already a 45 minute line up. If you remember anything from this post, you need to use the Express Pass – it is a 6 admission card for the same price as 6 admissions! We simply walked towards the regular line, had a vendor try to sell us an Express Pass, then asked two other pairs of people if they wanted to buy in together. Yes, you have to talk to a stranger, but it’s super easy and BAM! you all get to enter through Express. We were inside the night market 3 minutes after it opened and enjoyed the absence of food lines!

For my Disney peeps, using Express Pass is like an extra magic morning rope drop.

Bring Cash

At the Richmond Night Market cash is king. ATMs are available but prob best to avoid. Having cash also makes buddying up on the Express Pass with strangers easier.

Some people worry about carrying cash these days, but I felt really safe. We brought $50 and had no prob. If you want to eat more or eat fresh lobster then bring more dolla dolla bills… it’s not rocket science. I found $13 tended to be the price of most items at the food booths.

Familiarize Yourself with Food Options Beforehand

A quick google search or Instagram check will yield you plenty of food suggestions. I read those, but also roamed through looking for foods I like. I was shocked to find the dish I found most delicious wasn’t actually listed in the articles I had read.

By familiarizing yourself you can decide where to go first when the lines are the shortest. A lot of the foods are fried so if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to prioritize what foods you want to eat. I really loved Korean pork belly last year, but didn’t feel up for it after all the foods I had enjoyed this last visit.

I also learned my lesson my first visit that some of the most Insta worthy dishes aren’t the best tasting and they for sure have big lines. If you gotta do it for the ‘gram then go for it, but I won’t be ordering a heaping pile of fried squid again soon.

Pack Baby Wipes or Napkins

It is extremely rare that I leave the house without my diaper bag, but no need for it on date night. Wrong! I really could have benefited from some baby wipes for the messy foods we were devouring. Most places had napkins, some you had to ask for them, but if you forgot and walked away things got messy real quick.

5 Tips for date night at the Richmond Night Market
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Mouse House Mom Food Suggestions

The BEST thing I ate was the Poke taco from Nori Express. The seaweed was fried and formed the taco shell which was filled with rice and delicious tuna poke.

Tuna Poke Taco at Richmond Night Market
The Tuna Poke Taco at the Richmond Night Market is delicious.

The BEST VALUE at $8 was the Filipino fusion tacos from La Meza Grill. These were amazing! Roasted Cebu Lechon served in wonton taco shells with fresh mango salsa and smoked chipotle mayo. This blew my mind for being $5 less than most foods at the market.

The BEST DESSERT was the Taiwanese shaved ice with strawberries and ice cream. I didn’t think I liked shaved ice, but I was very wrong! This was from Icy Bar.

The BEST WTF combination was from Mamak La and somehow combined two of my favourites like I didn’t know was possible: roti and mac & cheese. Together. Forever. I’m glad they added some seasoning to the mac & cheese, which looked just like KD and while I didn’t think I needed to make KD more carby, the roti gave it something extra [maybe just extra calories, but still tasted good].

Let Me Know

Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve visited and what foods you liked best.