Wednesday, August 10 (2 DAYS)

Hilary and I were teammates in 2012 Olympics and are teammates again!

Hilary and I were teammates in 2012 Olympics and are teammates again!

This morning the athletes had access to the Olympic stadium so we all jumped at the chance to get a feel for the track before our competition. I jogged a couple miles inside the stadium and then ran my last “workout” (it was very easy… pretty much just strides) at the warm-up track just beside it. 

Seeing the stadium for the first time made me smile from ear to ear. After being so business-like and taking nothing for granted all season long I’m starting to let myself get excited. I can’t believe it’s only 2 days away now. 

The workout:
ladder [100m, 150m, 200m, 150m, 100m]
Felt great.

This afternoon I would love to take a nap and rest but we always have lots scheduled for us by the COC and Athletics Canada. I’m off to get fitted for the leisure apparel we are given to wear in the village and then have a couple hours of team meetings following that. Tonight, let the relaxation begin! I'll be doing a lot of nothing until race time... including these posts... check back when I'm finished racing. Thanks for following along!

 

Tuesday, August 9 (3 days to go)

The workout: 40minute run

Felt GREAT on my run today! I wasn't worried about feeling "off" since I arrived - it was completely expected, which is why I traveled on the 5th instead of waiting until closer to my race. However, it's just nice to feel like myself again and fully adjusted. I truly enjoyed the run today and my body feels strong and smooth. Thank you Lord!

Settling in...

Settling in...

At 1:30pm we boarded a bus to drive down to Rio and move into the Olympic Athlete Village. We were told it would be about a 4 hour journey, and in the end it was quite a bit longer due to a variety of reasons. The good news is at least it was the nicest bus I have ever been on, and I didn't run out of battery power on my phone, and I had snacks and water. Focusing on the positives!

It also didn't hurt that the village grounds are totally BEAUTIFUL! No pics to show yet since it was dark when we arrived. Check back in a couple days...

Sunday, August 7 (5 days to go)

Brazil's 4 leaf clover!

Brazil's 4 leaf clover!

AM: A group of middle distance and distance athletes took a van out to run on a closed road in Juiz de Fora. I did an easy run with Canada's best 800m runners, Melissa Bishop and Brandon McBride. While we were there I spotted this gigantic leaf-like insect, which according to our attache means good luck. Lucky me!

PM: I went back to the track for another shakeout run and some strides. I also got some therapy for my shoulders and back to improve my posture and improve range of motion in the upper body while running... nothing like sleeping upright overnight in an airplane to make me a hunchback! Still feeling the travel in my legs but it was a better session than yesterday!

After dinner our team manager took some of us recent camp arrivals up on the hotel rooftop. We got a great view of the city at night and took some pics. 

L-R: Me, Noelle Montcalm (400mH), Erin Teschuk (3000mSC), Sage Watson (400mH), Melissa Bishop (800m)

L-R: Me, Noelle Montcalm (400mH), Erin Teschuk (3000mSC), Sage Watson (400mH), Melissa Bishop (800m)

Friday, Aug 5 (One week to go!)

Today I ran an easy 30 minutes in the morning and then got ready for my flight. The main goal right now was to be as rested as possible going into the overnight travel to Rio and on to Juiz de Fora where our training base has been set up by Athletics Canada.

A happy airport goodbye. He'll be in Rio next week!

A happy airport goodbye. He'll be in Rio next week!

Finally time to go

Finally time to go

Tony dropped me off at the airport (he'll be coming to Rio next week, closer to my event) and Mike and I flew to Toronto where we met up with a big group of Team Canada athletes. We had a long layover there but were comfortable spending it in Air Canada's maple leaf lounge. Air Canada is an official COC sponsor, so I'm allowed to publicly thank them for granting all Canadian Olympians elite status. Thanks Air Canada!

We flew out of Toronto at midnight and woke up in Rio! 

Wednesday, August 3 (9 days to go)

This lovely dirt road is just 400m away from my house. I run here at least 3 times a week.

This lovely dirt road is just 400m away from my house. I run here at least 3 times a week.

HOME DAY :) 
The kind of day when I literally don't leave the house... except to run.

Most of my training days are in Ann Arbor,  which is about a 30 minute drive from my home in Plymouth. I run track workouts, trail workouts, lift, and get massage and treatment all in Ann Arbor, but one day a week I plan a home day as much for my mental & spiritual health as for my physical health.

The workout: 8 mile run, easy.

I ran along the bike path near my house for about an hour, and that's it! The rest of the day I spent reading my Bible, praying, memorizing scriptures (Psalm 103 today), doing laundry and packing for Rio. This is the kind of quiet day I look forward to once a week, and that won't be possible again until I'm back from the Olympics. 

Tuesday, August 2 (10 days to go)

I always look forward to track workouts - they're my favourite part of training. Mike rarely tells us the workout specifics ahead of time, but we always have an idea whether it will be a "strength" workout (longer reps or tempo, low-to-moderate intensity, with generally shorter rests) or a "speed" workout (short reps, high intensity, longer rests).

During the warm-up run Amanda, Shannon and I threw out our predictions about the workout as we almost always do. None of us correctly guessed the workout, which was:

5 sets of [200m, short rest, 150m]
followed by a 400m "tag" (a hard or nearly all-out effort)

Amanda and Shannon are preparing to race on Friday, so they skipped the tag at the end.

After the workout, Amanda and I did a bit of pool running to cool off a bit and help kickstart recovery from the workout. The pool has become an essential part of training and recovery for us and Mike's entire UofM team - there are always a few girls there and today we met up with Erin Finn and a few others. 

Amanda, Shannon and myself getting some strides in before starting the workout at Ferry Field.

Amanda, Shannon and myself getting some strides in before starting the workout at Ferry Field.

Great reminder every time we go through the entrance to the Uof Michigan pool. 

Great reminder every time we go through the entrance to the Uof Michigan pool. 

Me, Amanda and Erin enjoying the benefits of water therapy :)

Me, Amanda and Erin enjoying the benefits of water therapy :)

Monday, August 1 (11 days to go)

Workout: segmented tempo, off-track [2km, 1km, 1km]

My coach Mike, Shannon and I all met out at Lillie Park in Ann Arbor for a bit of tempo work this morning. We're still feeling Friday's 6x150m workout in our legs so the tempo was a good way to lead into tomorrow's track session. Low intensity, soft-surface trails, light volume- perfect for continuing recovery while getting some work in.

Lifting: Bit of a grind today in the gym. I was tired. Lifting has never been my favourite part of training but when you're coached by an expert it's easy to buy in. I'm incredibly fortunate that Bo Sandoval took me on this year and under his guidance I've become stronger and more resilient than ever. In the past year I've had zero injuries, and zero missed training days. This is the first year in my career I've ever been able to continue lifting so far into the summer without compromising my running. Quite the opposite actually!

Massage: Bumped up my massage schedule to twice weekly through the championship part of racing season. Keeping this body running smoothly (literally!) is worth every penny. 

RDL under Bo's supervision

RDL under Bo's supervision

Mike's favourite off-track training surface: crushed gravel trails

Mike's favourite off-track training surface: crushed gravel trails

The Final Countdown

There are less than 2 weeks now until Round 1 of the women's 1500m at the 2016 Olympics! Aside from my usual blogging, I want to share some of the details and the key players involved in my path to the startline on August 12th. I'll post daily updates on this page until the start of my competition in Rio, so if you're curious about anything along the way feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

Even though I'm the one who will race in the Olympic stadium, the people involved behind the scenes - who support me, guide me and push me to be better - are truly incredible. Hopefully through this series of posts I can give credit where credit is due, as well as shed some light on the kind of training that has made me an Olympian! 

My stomping grounds: the University of Michigan Ferry Field

My stomping grounds: the University of Michigan Ferry Field

T-12 days: July 31, 2016

Today I closed out my last full week of training at home with my FINAL long run of the season! Here is a summary of last week's training. 

Mon Jul 25:
AM- segmented tempo, off-track with Amanda Eccleston & Shannon Osika
[2km/ 1km/ 1km/ 2km, 60-90" rests] & lift session with Coach Bo Sandoval

Tue Jul 26:
AM- track session with Amanda, Shannon & Brook Handler, and Coach Mike McGuire
[150m/ 200m/ 400m/ 800m/ 400m/ 200m/ 150m] & pool shakeout & ice tub
PM- 3 mile jog with Tony Sifuentes

Wed Jul 27:
AM- easy 6 mile run, solo
PM- training room evaluation with Mike Hickey & 60min massage with Chris Yee

Thu Jul 28:
AM- 6 mile run, solo
PM- shakeout run & strides on the road outside my house

Fri Jul 29:
AM- track session with Shannon and Coach Mike McGuire
[6x 150m sprints, full rests] & lift session with Coach Bo Sandoval & ice tub
PM- 3 mile jog with Tony

Sat Jul 30:
AM- 18 minute jog, solo
PM- easy 4 mile run, with Tony on the bike beside me

Sun Jul 31:
AM- 12 mile long run, 6 miles with Tony & finished up solo

This was a really solid week of training- we hit all energy systems with the tempo, fast ladder and max intensity 150's. By the end of the training week, the last few miles of long run were a real grind! Overall this week gives me confidence that my current fitness is great and I look forward to next week which will certainly be a bit easier.