Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goal Reached

I forgot...

Please note...

I reached my goal of doubling my number of followers. Cross that off the to-do list people! Cross. It. Off.

Thanks faithful followers!!! Thanks a million!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh the Humanity

Please note to your left the lovely image of Ains, Ty and I completing the Manitoba half on Sunday. Yep, you read right, I ran in the Manitoba half on Sunday. I didn't have any previous plans to run this one at all, but with Ains and Ty planning on running I just couldn't miss out on the fun and had to register. And I was super happy that I did. The weather was fabulous, the course was amazing (flat, flat, flat) and I got to run the entire way with two of my favourite people in the whole world! Although I wasn't sure how this bod was going to hold up pounding the pavement on another long run, I must admit it didn't feel all that bad considering I just left if all out there in the Calgary marathon just 3 short weeks ago.

This was my first experience with the Manitoba marathon, and I must say that I was impressed. Very impressed. Nice work, sure know how to put on an event! The Manitoba marathon is the second biggest in Canada with 15 000 people competing in the full, half, and relay distances. I enjoyed it so much that I just might consider the full for next year. I am always in awe at the amount of volunteers and man hours that must go into putting on an event of this magnitude, so hi-5's to all who donate their time to ensuring that crazies like us get our endorphin fix whilst running the course on race day.

A quick comment about the It was H-O-T. And humid. We saw a couple of people go down in the half. My parents saw someone collapse in the stadium just meters from the finish. And I would not be surprised if they pulled a lot of runners off the marathon course simply due to the heat. Running in the heat brings a whole other dimension to race day. Not only is it physically taxing, it plays with your mind too. Personally, I enjoy running in the heat and humidity, which will come as no surprise to those who know me well, but its definitely not for everyone and can be dangerous if you aren't careful to replace your fluids and electrolytes when need be.

Anyhow, I was glad to have done a half since I haven't done one for a couple of years. It got me excited for the half that I've signed up for in October. Very excited, in fact. Now if only I can hold back on the training for a few days. In my immune-suppressed state I seem to have contracted a bit of flu. So its rest for me for a few days until I'm 100%...or at least 90 or 85...and then I will be off and running once again!
And one more quick thing...please note this lovely tidbit of info highlighting the importance of REST. An old dear friend of mine forwarded me this link and I think its worth a read. As a matter of fact, I'm going to read it again for the first time just to remind myself how important rest is to the training. And then I will sleep. Good night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Please note that I now have 2 followers. 2 WHOLE FOLLOWERS! It's official. I've made it! Maybe I should make it a goal to double the amount of followers by this time next week. That would mean I would have 4 followers for those of you who don't have a calculator close at hand. Can this really count as a goal? Let's is Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. That SMART goal (yes, smart, not DUMB, chaney) is for those of you working extra hard this week to polish off the last of those IPP's. Go Get 'Em!

I was thinking earlier this week about just how wonderful it was to have a contingent of people waiting for me at the finish line at the Calgary marathon. I wanted each and every one of those people to know just how much I appreciated their attendance! It really, really means a lot that you came to see the finish or stayed after your own race when all you really wanted to do was eat a massive breakfast and get off your feet. It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it!

One smiling face that I really missed at the end of this one was my dear sis. She has been one of my most faithful supporters and I always appreciate so much when she is able to see me finish a run...or at least has the intention of seeing me finish and arrives just in time to see me finish in the porta john! I am really excited to be at the line for her on Sunday in Winnipeg- I just know she is going to be amazing!

It was amazing for me as well that that certain someone was able to see me finish the marathon this year as his return trip to the Sahara was pushed back and he was able to make it to the race. Not only did the man come on the day of the race, he had to put up with me the whole week before the run which, if you know me well, is no small feat. If you recall, to run a great race requires full on rest the week before which translates into no running at all. My mood is not always the best in this week as my body is CRAVING those lovely running induced endorphins. And by not always the best I really mean unpredictable and crazy. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks for not just surviving the craziness, but for truly being there for me even when I wasn't at my best. And for being my massage therapist, personal chef, biggest (and tallest- hee) fan, and voice of when I really wanted to go running and you talked me out of it! How much this means to me words cannot express!

T-5 to the Manitoba Marathon people. T-5. Please. Positive thoughts and energy everyone!

And before I forget, I came across this article on the Runner's World website. Its short but sweet and definitley woth 5 minutes of your valuable time for a read!,7120,s6-380-381--13143-0,00.html?cm_mmc=beginners-_-2009_06_17-_-beginners-_-TRAINING%3a%20Get%20Stronger,%20Go%20Longer

Monday, June 15, 2009

Catching Up

This weekend I spent in good, old LA (Lethbridge, Alberta) catching up with a friend. It was so great to spend some quality time reminiscing about the past and our debaucherous days with someone who lived them in the flesh with me and is near and dear to my heart. And while those times were amazing, I don't ever want to live them again. Too much booze, too much unhealthy food and not enough exercise! Don't get me wrong, it was exceptionally fun while it lasted and I met some people that I will call friends for life, but I much prefer living in moderation, at least most of the time!

Anyhow, let's get on to the very reason for this post. The lovely young lady that I went to visit this weekend (let's call her BMcC) has decided that after a bit of a hiatus (due to babies and motherhood) that she would like to start running again. I am extremely proud of her for making this decision and taking charge of her health and fitness, no small feat between working full time and having two wee ones aged 3 and just about 5! Personally, I think she is AMAZING for starting this running thing again. I think it is so important to keep a part of your life just for yourself, especially when you have a husband and kids to look after. Taking the time each and every day to do a bit of exercise is especially important for your health and well being even more so when you are a busy mom!

In discussing with BMcC her reasons for getting back into this running thing, she mentioned that not only is she doing this for herself, she is also doing this for her girls. It is important to her (and to every mother, I'm sure) to be able to keep up with her very busy girls. She wants to be able to run around with them on the playground and swim with them and bike with them, no small feat with babes that are that age! As I witnessed first hand this weekend, their energy is endless! BMcC also believes it is cruicial that her girls have a head start in developing a positive self image and that their first role model with respect to a healthy lifestyle and good self esteem should be their mother. Let's face it, in this day and age women don't receive a lot of positive messages about their bodies. The portrayal of women in the media is about as unrealistic as it gets. Perfection. Perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect bodies. And even though we know that the perfection is unrealistic, we still compare ourselves to this unattainable image, resulting in feeling like we aren't good enough, pretty enough or thin enough. BMcC wants to her girls to see her take charge of her life for the right she can lead a long, healthy life while reducing her risk of heart disease and diabetes. So she can be active long into her life. So she can continue to be an amazing mother, daughter and wife. So she has confidence and feels good about herself. How fabulous would it be for her two little ones to see her cross the line at her first 5k, 10k, half or full marathon? I personally think it would be the most fabulous thing ever.

I really just want to end this post with a huge hug and congratulations to my dear old buddy for recommitting to health and fitness. I think you are simply wonderful and feel honoured that I am, in some small way, a part of your journey. And to all of you moms out there who manage to find time in your already over-packed schedules to run, swim, bike, hit the gym or play badminton (yes, you know who you are, CS), I thank you for being a positive role model for the next generation. Each and every single one of you kicks some major ass and are heroes in every sense of the word.

P.S. 6 days to the Manitoba full. EXCITING!

Friday, June 12, 2009


...and it felt good for about forty minutes. And then it just hurt. And THEN I remembered why I was supposed to be taking 2 solid weeks off before I went running again. Sore hips, tight calf muscles, quads feeling like bricks, hamstrings in knots...oh body, I am sorry for the trials and tribulations I put you through. I truly, truly am. And while I'm in the business of confessing running sins, I should also add that this wasn't really my first run back. Oops. How did that happen? I went out on Wednesday as well but it almost doesn't count since I only ran for 20 minutes and walked for 40. The run yesterday was a full hour of torture...I mean running. Note to self: if you would like to continue running marathons, half marathons and perhaps even attempt the odd triathlon then you need to rest and recover. Self, please, PLEASE listen to yourself!

Part of the reason I got wooed into hitting the pavement a little sooner than I would have liked is the fact that the weather is simply glorious for running. I repeat, glorious. And I could not resist the temptation of being out there in the beautiful summer weather, getting a bit of a tan and enjoying the river path. Rest assured I have learned my lesson and I am not planning on going running again until next week. Its yoga and only yoga for me until then. And a little part of me just died while typing that...

ANYHOW. Many of you who follow this blog (note that I have an official follower...1 official follower, people! Does that give me cred in the blog world? I would love to have more, hint hint, nudge nudge) have signed up for the Harvest Half marathon which is slated for the first weekend in October. And since the next race is looming in your minds and the distant future, I have fielded many questions regarding what the heck you should be doing with your running right now. The answer, strange as it may be, is this: do nothing. Nothing at all. Run if you want to. Enjoy the weather. Stop and smell the roses and pet the puppies. You are entering a phase in training that I like to call maintenance and the toughest part of this phase is wrapping your head around the idea that you won't be covering the distances that you did in your half training. Your mind will tell you that you need to run further and further, but please, do yourself a huge favour and don't listen to those messages! Your endurance will come back quickly when you start your official training, I promise. You should be running some- a couple or three times a week would be nice, but just enjoy those runs, do them at whatever pace your little heart desires and don't sweat it too much if the busy summer social schedule seems to be interfering with running. You really don't need to be thinking about building up your mileage again until the middle or end of July. So enjoy this time! Jog. Stretch. Relax. Drink a mojito. Even better, drink a summer in a can. There is plenty of time to get it together for your next race.

And on that note I would like everyone to pause and send a load of positive healing energy to my dear sister who is running the Manitoba full in just 2 short weeks. Sadly, she has developed an injury to her shin which is in turn affecting her achilles tendon and her knee. Come on marathon Gods! Let's get this lady up and running again please!

Now I should work. Really.

P.S.- My toes are not good. Not good at all. In fact, I kind of hoped that they would fall off so I could just start over. Gross.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I see people running and I am jealous.

I see them all along the river path when I drive to and from work and all over the Sandy Beach/River Park area when I am out walking (yes walking, not running), and on treadmills at the gym. However, I am in recovery and I need to stay in recovery if I want to see any more marathons in my future! After all, if the body is to recover from 3+ hours on the pavement, it needs tons of TLC in the form of rest and good food. And truth be told, I am already plotting my next marathon. I know, I said I was going to transition to triathlon (and I will at some point) and that I was going to give my bod a break from all of this pounding, but there is always room for improvement where the time is considered! And now that I demolished the 3:17 with a 3:14, I am pondering how I can conceivably get myself under 3:10...and then maybe even 3:00. Oh the marathon dreams!

The recovery is going quite well, truth be told...I don't recall recovering this quickly in recent memory. This time around I did try a couple of different things. One is that I went for a massage the day after the run. Ouch. It hurt. Big time. But I think it broke up the lactic acid nicely and put me well on my way to flushing it out of the system. Two, I went to hot yoga on the Tuesday after the run. And the Thursday. And the Sunday. And even though I couldn't do all of the poses, it was amazing for my body to be in the hot room stretching and sweating out the toxins. So low and behold I am one week and 2 days past the race and I feel...well, quite honestly, I feel amazing! Amazing enough that I think I might head out for a little jog today. Just a short one through the park for 20 minutes or so. I've got big decisions on my plate right now and I need some exertion in the form of running to help me work through them. Although I DID promise my body a solid 2 week break from running when I was in the throws of marathon pain around mile 24 or so...hmmm...

And on a very quick side note, I won some money in the marathon. $200 bucks as a matter of fact. How that happened I will never know. But I am now sporting a lovely new pair of Oakley's. Thanks HSBC Calgary marathon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Done and Done

The Calgary marathon has come and gone...and all we are left with are sore legs and the distant memory of energy gels and a beautiful race day. And the desire for MORE, MORE, MORE!

First of all, a huge victory V and shout out to the lovely ladies who completed their first ever half marathon. What a HUGE accomplishment. I was so very proud of them I had a tear when I saw them smiling at the finish line! Running 13.1 miles is a long way indeed and they all made it in fabulous time. Alicia, Adel, Clare and Christine, you guys ROCK. Nicely done. Of interest is the fact that each and every one of these ladies has contacted me regarding what needs to happen "next" to prepare for another one. I just knew this would happen! Running, after all, is a lovely little addiction! If you are reading this post and have never run a half or a marathon and are just a wee bit curious, its very easy...throw on your shorts, lace up your shoes and get out there!

So while these lovely ladies were dominating the half with style and grace, I myself was pounding the pavement in the marathon on Sunday. I am happy to report that the marathon Gods were smiling upon me with all their might as I was able to complete the race in a personal best time of 3:14. This is 3 minutes faster than my previous PB! I am fairly sure that all of the speed and hill training I completed this go around is what made the difference. I am extremely happy with this time. The course was entirely different this year and it was TOUGH. Hilly. Very, very hilly. Including the Shaganappi Trail hill that runs in front of the Children's Hospital for 1.2km. Yikes. I didn't find my legs for about 45 minutes but once I did I just felt amazing. The sun was shining and I truly was just happy to be out there running. I really, really missed running the 10 days before the race since I didn't run at all for the last part of the taper! Anyhow, the last 10k HURT. Ouch. But I was able to push through. I do love the mental battle that happens in that last 10k...I truly believe that a lot of it is mind over matter and having faith in your training. I am living proof of that because I can sure say that my legs have never quite felt like that before.

What's next? Ugh- I need a good couple of weeks off. My legs are toast. Done. Finished. I had a massage yesterday it hurt like you wouldn't believe. Your body absolutley needs a good couple of weeks of after putting it through that type of punishment. Coming back too soon means running a serious risk of injury, so I will be happy to hit up some yoga and do some lovely walks around the neighbourhood.

It is common to feel a bit lost after the race is over...after all, this is been your focus for 4 long months! But don't worry...running is NOT fickle- it will be there when you decide to are ready to embrace it RELAX...kick back...enjoy a beer (or several) on a patio. And then we'll start talking about the next batch of training!