Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Days of Christmas. I Mean Fitness. I Mean Christmas Fitness. Yes- 12 Days of Christmas Fitness

I love Christmas.  I really do.  Christmas baking, Christmas drinks, Christmas turkey, Christmas chocolates...and you all know what this means; Christmas POUNDS!

This year I'm offering a challenge to those of you who would like to enjoy Christmas cheer and the best of the season with family and friends without having to worry about what that extra glass of wine (or four) or shortbread cookie (or seven) is doing to your bottom line.  And thus...

The 12 Days of Christmas Fitness

Day 1- RUN
I know you're likely not surprised that I would suggest a run on Day 1 of our (notice I said our) challenge.  Of course I did!  Why a run, then?  Simple- it's simple.  No, really it is.  All you really need is the proper footwear.  Bundle up, lace up and giddy up- get out there in the great out of doors and enjoy a run or a walk run.  30 minutes, please!  Your heart is saying thank-you for the gift!  If you're a beginner and are just not sure how to start?  Do a run-walk.  Run for a bit, walk for a bit.  Repeat.  For 30 minutes.  And watch the ice.  Slippery stuff, that ice.

Day 2- YOGA
Yes!  Nothing like a get down dog to help you to feel your best...or at least your longest and most flexible!  And let's face it.  The holidays, at times, can be stressful.  Nothing like putting your mind at ease for a moment or two while doing some yoga.  Don't have a yoga studio in your winter wonderland?  Try this- meditate for 5 minutes.  If you're like me and a clock watcher, set a timer and just focus on breathing SLOWLY and relaxing!  Then do some stretching.  If you know a yoga pose or two, throw those into the mix.  If not, just S-T-R-E-T-C-H.  And smile.  It's Christmas after all!

Day 3- Release your Inner Child
How about participating some winter fun today?  Like the kind you did when you were a kid?  This will feel  like fun and not even like exercise, I promise!  Skating!  Hockey!  Broomball!  Sliding!  There is so much exercise to be had in the great out of doors, I dare you to get out there and do it.  Triple dog dare as a matter of fact.  Pick an activity, put on your woolies, grab your friends and family and go for it!

Day 4- Cross Country
Nope, not running this time!  Why not try a fabulous cross country ski, running's equally awesome calorie burning cousin?  Cross country skiing is fabulous cardiovascular exercise and works those gluts and quads to boot.  And let's not forget the core...cross country skiing is a CORE exercise (that was for you, GG)...

Day 5- Winter Wonderland
How about getting out there for a walk in the winter wonderland?  There are all kinds of beautiful trails- Vernon if you're in K-town, Assiniboine Park in the Peg, Sandy Beach/Stanley Park in C-town.  Get some fresh air and stretch those legs.  And if I may,  I highly recommend the walk post Christmas turkey.  After the indulgence that is Christmas day, a walk will feel just fabulous.

Day 6- Fast and Furious
Day 4 was all about spending some time on the misery sticks (Xcountry skiis) so why not pick up the pace and spend a day downhill skiing or snowboarding?  Obviously you will not get the cardio burn that you will have in the cross country version of skiing, but you will still work those quads and gluts HARD.  Plus, apres ski is always fun, and an event I highly recommend.

Day 6- The Gym
Why not?  Just hit the gym.  Lift some weights, do some cardio, have a stretch.  Love the gym.  Love.

Day 7- SHOVEL
Accepting that we have no no control with the weather on this one, hopefully the white fluffy stuff will fall and that will give us a great opportunity for a fabulous cardio workout...and while the snow LOOKS light and fluffy, when it comes to shovelling, that stuff is heavy.  Lift with your abs, NOT your back and you'll be fine- and have a clear driveway and fabulous workout just the same.

Day 8- Inner Child Part Deux
See Day 3.  Pick an activity you didn't try (or one that you did and loved) and do it!

Day 9- Spin Class
Do you know I've never tried a spin class?  Nope, never!  So perhaps this is the Christmas that I give myself the gift of cycling.  And you should to.  Everyone, let's try it!  And reconvene to discuss how it went- maybe over wine.  And baking.  Yes!  Brilliant idea!

Day 10- Mermaid
Today let's head to the pool!  I have been swimming once a week and it has been a a great hiatus from all the running.  Very low impact and easy on the joints.  It will feel great.  Maybe not as great as a dip in the lake, but great just the same.  And did I ever tell you that I'm actually a mermaid?  Well, I am.

Day 11- Group X
How about a groupie?  A circuit training class?  Zumba?  Step?  Ripped?  There are tons of great drop in fitness classes.  Try one- you never know, you just might love it.

Day 12- Bring it in...
...with a run!  We started with a run and we'll finish with a run.  For me, running parallels the journey that has been my life this year.  No matter what, no matter how good or bad or up or down, it started with a run, and it will end with a run...and a smile on my face.  Training has started and stopped and restarted.  Marathons have been started and fiinished.  Goals have been set, re-vamped, met and re-set.  As you reflect on the year that has been the past, do yourself a favour, give yourself a gift and make the promise to YOURSELF for the new year.  Put on your running shoes, take the first step and just keep going.  JUST KEEP GOING.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Running Morsel

I received my first Christmas present of this most festive of holiday seasons!

Check it...

How fabulous!  A coupon for a run with junior.  I already can't wait.  Winnipeg.  Probably -30.  Can not WAIT. 

And also noteworthy, if not secondary, I got myself a Christmas present today.  I signed up for the Vancouver marathon which takes place on Sunday, May 1st, 2011.  Training will start January 1st...maybe January 2nd depending on what goes down on the 31st.  But to be honest, I've already been doing some running.  A quick run in the out of doors here, a speed interval workout on the treadmill there.  After all- need to be ready to check the good old V off the list.  Vancouver here I come!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Self Doubt

I had a strange thing happen to me today. 


I had a look at the map of the New York City marathon which I pulled out of last months issue of Runner's World.  I have mentioned previously that I plan on running this marathon in November of 2011.  As I was looking at this map, the start line at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the pathway through the 5 boroughs, the finish at Central Park...

I felt doubt.  I suddenly didn't feel so sure that I could run in and finish the marathon.

This would be common if NYC was to be my first marathon experience.  But it's not.  It will likely be my 9th time pounding out a 26.2.  I have no idea where the doubt came from.  Maybe because I've been hibernating from the cold for a few days?  Maybe because I haven't run any distance at all since Chicago?  Maybe?  Maybe?  Maybe?  I know that self-doubt is something that everyone experiences from time to time; life is full of new and unique situations, all of which likely force us to consider our level of confidence and how we do perceive ourselves in the world often dictates our response to these situations.  But I am CONFIDENT in my ability to complete a marathon.  So why the doubt?  And why now?

I may never figure out where this (hopefully!) moment of doubt has it's roots but I do know one thing for certain; I am confident it will go away.  I am confident because I will help it the only way I know how...

I'll go running.

Winter Wonderland

Eep! Winter has arrived.  Snow.  Cold.  Ice.  Sigh.  This runner is most certainly dreaming of warmer days, running shorts and ice free sidewalks!

Photo from the Calgary Herald November 23rd
First, an admission.  I planned on running the reservoir Sunday afternoon, which usually takes me about an hour and a half.  Instead, I had a lovely 2 hour afternoon nap.  Yep, I sure did.  I'm like a bear in hibernation.  Eating.  Sleeping.  Eating some more.  If only there was some kind of award for marathon eating and sleeping.  I think I'd win...or at least have a very, very good chance.

So.  Winter running.  All kinds of fun.  Please be careful if you're out there on the sidewalks and paths because it is SLIPPERY.  And gear up- it's C-O-L-D.

And, read these tips, they just might save you're life...or at least your FITNESS!

Tip#1- Stabilize, stabilize, stabilize
When you run on ice or when you are running in the winter and your brain is worried about the potential of hitting ice, you change your stride.  Trust me, even if you don't think you do, you just do.  The muscles that help stabilize your bod when you're running are working much, much harder than a run on the dry pavement.  This can lead to soreness in different areas than normal- groin, abs, hip flexors, calves...not that this is bad, its just different and is something to be aware of.

Tip#2- Gear Up
Dress in layers, wear a toque and remember- cotton is your ENEMY!  You definitely want fabric that pulls the sweat away from your body but doesn't make you cold.  Most of the running companies make some pretty sweet winter running gear so it is possible to look sort of cool under all those layers. And don't forget your mitts or gloves; mini gloves work very well unless you're in Calgary where it's the second coldest place on the planet, in which case I highly recommend mitts.

Tip#3-Footwear
When I run outdoors in the winter, I stick with the same shoes I wear at every other time of the year.  There are shoes that you can purchase that are more for the colder temps and snowy conditions, some people swear by them,  so it's definitely an option.  There are also warmer socks that are still quite thin, which are good to consider if its brutally cold.  And last but not least, you can purchase something called Yak traks which fit on your shoes to provide you with some more traction when its icy.

Tip #4- Relocate
California would be nice.  So would Australia.  Oh- and how about Mexico?  Yes, please!  But if moving to a lovely, humid, warm, tropical environment is not in your near future, you may want to consider moving the running indoors when the mercury dips to the lowest of the low.  Hate the treadmill?  You can always hit up an indoor track.  I had to relegate myself to the treadmill once this week and while I was not looking forward to it even a teeny bit, I felt fabulous afterwards.  Cabin fever had set in and I was like a rabid dog.  Rabid.  So I ran it out.  I pounded away on the treadmill and if felt fabulous.  FAB-U-LOUS.  So if its the only option, give it a shot...you just might surprise yourself and end up loving it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Read Me!

If you have a second, have a read...

National Post Article: The Black Toenail

National Post Article: The Party that was the NY Marathon

Two inspirational articles worth a moment or two of your time!

P.S. Went for my first wintertime run last night.  Calves are SORE.  More later...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Guess WHAT?

This is a photo of the start of the NYC marathon.

And...

My plan is to be there...

NEXT YEAR!  YES! YES! YES!  Exciting!  SO exciting!

I discovered in my interweb travels today that the NYC has a guaranteed entry if you have run under a certain time.  For me that certain time was a 3:23.  My 3:09 in Chicago just became that much sweeter, as next year I plan to be in that pack, pounding the pavement on the means streets of New York.  The only question now is how am I going to manage to contain myself for a full calendar year.  Curious.  Tips anyone?  Do share...

But that's not the ending of the running excitement and news...

This past weekend was Winterstart.  Yes, THE Winterstart, which, in previous years, has resulted in everything from an altercation with a VERY irrate hotel employee over the Inn Keeper's Act to intense Flippy Cup competitions hard fought at the Rose and Crown.  I'm pleased to report that this year we managed to avoid any legal disasters and cup casualties.  The 5 miler up Tunnel Mountain was conquered by all and we managed to keep our behaviour in check.  One item of consequence I would like to highlight is the fact that ARJR, Bergie-Lynn, Ellis and I finished the race in a solid tie- around the 47 minute mark.  There really is nothing quite like holding hands and crossing that line together.  Nice work, ladies!  And for that matter, nice work to ALL the ladies that made the trek to Banff for this event- a job well done!

And last, but definitely not least, I'm running again.  YES!  So happy to be back at it.  It just feels awesome to get out there and work it out people.  I think I've decided that my next 26.2 is going to be Vancouver in May.  Having said that I'm open to suggestions...any other ideas for a spring marathon?  I'd love your input...yes, YOU!

And one more small thing...I'm training the Tech Shop half marathoners again.  The target race is the Calgary police half at the end of April and I'm really excited to be working with Nolan and his crew again.  If you are considering this kind of training, I highly suggest checking out their website (The Tech Shop) or stopping into the store to sign up.  If the half distance seems a bit daunting at this point, there will also be a learn to run clinic, which usually has a shorter distance for the target race.  Go for it, people!  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's a Great Day to be ALIVE!

Love that song!  Don't you?  There's just something about good old Travis Tritt wailing away about rice cookin' in the microwave that makes a gal smile.




But the very meat of this post will not be about Travis Tritt...or running (shocking, I KNOW)- so let's get right to it.  I am going to be doing some personal training...or shall I say MORE personal training.  EXCITING!  And even more exciting is that I will be doing it out of a gym.  And while I enjoyed my time training the peeps in the great out of doors, the frosty -4 this morning reminded me that it's time to move it indoors- and move it indoors we will.

The fitness studio is called ALIVE.  Great name for a place that focuses on committing and re-committing and re-re-committing (if you're like me) to health and fitness- yes?  The ALIVE studio is fabulous.  They have a well thought out space, a fabulous variety equipment ,and, most importantly, every single person I have encountered there from the trainers, to the front desk staff to the owners are positive, welcoming and generally just awesome to be around.  I have really appreciated the warm welcome I have received from them and am super pumped to be spending a lot of time there.  The atmosphere at ALIVE is much, MUCH different from that of other gyms around which can feel large, impersonal and intimidating  So.  Let's work out people...WORK.IT.OUT...at ALIVE!

ALIVE emphasizes the benefits of personal training, so in that respect its much, much more than just a gym.  A personal trainer is one of the smartest investments you can make for your health and well-being.  They are experts in their field and can help you reach your fitness goals more effectively no matter what your goal may be: weight loss, sport specific training, general fitness, injury recovery, injury prevention.  You wouldn't do your own dental work- right?  You don't diagnose your own medical problems- true?  A trainer is an excellent investment in your overall health and well being...physical, mental AND emotional!  If you have not had the experience of working with a trainer in the past, I highly recommend you give it a shot- I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!

And so as to not ramble on and on as only I can do, I do encourage you to check out the ALIVE website (just click on the word ALIVE).  Memberships are VERY reasonable...and if you are interested in personal training, just let me know.  You don't have to purchase a memebership to train with me at Alive, but it really is a fabulous place to work out for those of you looking for an option different than a large, impersonal gym!

P.S. I dressed up for Hallowe'en at school today, as a runner.  LOVE being a runner!  Usually I dress up as a teacher...

P.P.S. Winterstart T-8 days!  Fun!  And I have almost kept my promise of not running post Chicago until Winterstart.  I did a warm up a the gym on treadmill (does this even REALLY count?) and was out for a run on Wednesday.  I just had to!  Obsessed...sigh...I know...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Chi Town

A few more pics from the trek to what I will refer to as Marathon Heaven (at least for a while)...

CHICAGO!

Note that these are not necessarily running pics, but dynamite none the less...



What a stunning morning for a run! Yep, this was the sunrise on marathon Sunday- 10-10-10.

How fabulous to have my peeps support me!  And in matching unis too!
Dressed up for a post marathon dinner at Gibson's.  Think Big steak.  Huge.
Day after marathon dinner.  So good.




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Post Chicago Post

So 10-10-10 finally arrived- the date of the Chicago marathon...

I love Chicago.  I love the city.  I love the architecture. I love the FOOD.  I love the shopping. 

But most of all...

I LOVE the marathon.  LOVE.

I know that many people will consider it strange for one to profess undying love for something like a marathon, but after the experience I just had in Chicago, I don't quite know how else to describe it.  The marathon was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and the city of Chicago has most certainly left a lasting impression on my heart.  The course for the race was just fabulous; it goes through so many of Chicago's very cool neighbourhoods and there were people cheering and encouraging those of us crazy enough to undertake a 26.2 every step of the way.  I ran a personal best- 3:09.41, which is a solid 5 minutes under my previous PB.  I am THRILLED with my time, but even more than that, I will cherish the experience as one of the best 3 hours in my life for a very, very long time.

Now that I've had some time to process the whole crazy event, I realize that Chicago taught me some very valuable running lessons. 

Less is more
I tend to overtrain.  Overtraining happens when you are running crazy distances and are not giving your body enough time to recover.  It is detrimental to the overall training experience because your body is not in a place to reap the benefits of the miles and miles and miles.  This time around I most definitley did not do that.  In fact- I was worried about my endurance and that I hadn't trained near enough for this one.  So lesson learned.  I need to focus WAY less on quantity and go for quality instead.  Friends, this is a lesson I will likely forget- PLEASE, someone remind me!

Power to the Peeps!
I was lucky enough to have my peeps with me at this marathon.  How fortunate I feel to have had 3 of my closest friends in Chicago to support me during the race is indescribeble.  There were times during this run where I HURT.  Big time.  And I actually pictured these 3 ladies PUSHING me when I wanted to stop.  I hope they realize just how powerful this was; a large part of that 3:09 is because of their love and support.  I mean, how many people in this world have friends that would travel all the way to Chicago to watch a marathon?  Not only did they travel all that way, they were up at 6 so they could get a good place on the course to watch and had to wait for 3+ hours until I went by.  And they had to put up with religious teenagers.  And they bought me breakfast post run.  What a lucky girl I am.  I don't think I can quite put into words how much these ladies mean to me.  When I saw them cheering 800m from the finish I just couldn't stop smiling.  And believe me, smiling was not high on the list of priorities in that moment because I H-U-R-T!


This is me shortly after the finish.  Note: if I look dazed and confused it was because I WAS dazed and confused.  The Gatorade post run formula that they were pushing helped big time.  BIG TIME.  Thanks Gatorade! 

I should also give a massive shout out to all the volunteers.  How many there were at an event of this magnitude I cannot imagine.  Likely they will never read my blog (but they should- yes?) but I'll put the volunteer love out there in the universe and hopefully they feel it!


Tortoise vs. Hare
I am NOT a hare.  Not in any way, shape or form.  I am much, much more tortoise like.  I do not start quickly.  I like to run an even paced race.  As a matter of fact, I was 1:34 at the half, which puts me at about 1:35 for the second half.  Even Steven.  This is something I have known for a while, but Chicago confirms it.  I am not a fast starter, but that doesn't mean that I can't run a fast race!

Bring on the Heat
Temperature in Chi town half way through the race...86F.  Which translates into a glorious +30C!  LOVE running in the heat.  As a matter of fact I had a conversation with a gentleman part way throught the race where he mentioned that the heat was likely going to be problematic for him.  I indicated that I was quite enjoying the steamy temps.  He then followed up with a "You must be from the South."  Nope.  I'm from Canada.  The frosty north.  And I love running in the heat.  Go figure.

Bigger Really IS Better
So 46, 000 people ran in Chicago on 10-10-10.  46 000.  Huge.  In case you need a visual it looks something like this...

I didn't wear my ipod on this one and for those that have never experienced something like this, there is nothing quite like the sound of all those running shoes hitting the pavement at 7:30 a.m.  And there is also nothing quite like hearing a massive number of people screaming, cheering and going crazy as you go under the first bridge in the first kilometre.  There are a lot of really humbling stories that happen along the course of a marathon.  Lots of people have a story to tell.  People succumb to injury...there are tears...there are people running together...people running alone...people running as families...marriage proposals (yep- there was one right in front of me at the finish)...and sometimes no story at all...but it is most definitley a great, great accomplishment, no matter what the story!

I Love Running
Not that there was ever a doubt.  But I do.  I worked some crap out in my head over the course of this marathon.  Worked-it-out.  And the result?  Peace of mind and happiness in my heart.  I really can't put it more simply that that. 

This is me running.  I may not look like I love it, but I can promise you I do...I really, really do!

So now, I wait...

For my legs and bod to recover so I can get back out there, pounding the pavement.  Of course, I miss it like crazy.  Of course I can't wait to get back.  And last but not least...

Of course I'm plotting my next 26.2.  Can't wait.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

YES!

It's finally here!

Way back in February when I signed up for this one, I felt like it would never get here. But now it IS here. Yes...the Chicago marathon is 5 days away...EXCITING!

Going to Chicago with TG (those girls)...

EXCITING!

And in a very un-Andrea Rice-like way, I feel super calm about the run and am just smiling everytime I think about it. How much fun this will be I cannot even imagine...just think, running a 26.2 with 45 000 peeps? Insane! So rather than do what I normally do in the week before a marathon (worry about my training, invent new injuries, worry that I might be getting sick, worry that I haven't rested enough...worry...worry...worry), I am going to continue to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...

Dare I say I'm feelin' the triple c...calm, cool, collected...

With a 4th addition...

CLARITY.

In CHICAGO!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

P.S. Pics to follow as I KNOW ARJR will be taking some fabulous shots!

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Kicks

I have new kicks!  Asics (I know, SHOCKING...Ok- not really shocking) 2150's.  And I love them.  Just like plump little pillows on my feet.  Happy feet, happy knees, happy hips.  Happy, happy, happy.

And still on a happy note, they're purple!  Yes!  I love purple!  It's just so lovely when fashion and function come together, yes?  I hate to admit it but I have gone from running store to running store when the colour choice in my model did not impress me.  Often different stores carry different colours, just in case you didn't know.  Now you do!

One more happy thing.  Checked out the Chicago course online today.  Haven't looked at that thing since I signed up way back in February.  And guess what?  It's flat.  YES!  FLAT!  This is generally not a huge concern as I do train a lot of hills, but since this one is just for fun, I think I'll enjoy that flat course.  Take it all in.  Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment as the lulutians like to say.

Who knew so much happiness could happen on a Monday?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tidbits

A few little nuggets of running and fitness wisdom for ya'll my fine friends, just in case you are starved for a sordid tale from the pathway.  If only my life were that interesting...

A word about maintenance.  Race season is quickly coming to a close for many people.  Alternatively, even if you're not a racer, the weather will be turning soon enough (or now if you live in Calgary, current weekend weather not included) and for most of you, less running that will mean.  One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to maintain sense of endurance over the long winter months while still giving the bod a bit of a well-deserved break.

Personally, I like to scale back to about three runs a week in the off season.  I still keep in the habit of doing one longer, slower run.  Although distance wise, this longer run is much shorter than my usual longer run; I would not be out for more than 90 minutes.  Another run will be a 60 minute pace or tempo type run and then the third will be a speed interval OR a hill workout, but nothing crazy.  Alternatively, you could look at scaling back to 2 runs per week and getting involved in some alternative form of cardio- swimming, biking, whatever you like, really, anything to get that heart pumping.  The off season is when I really suggest people hit the gym to tune up all those running muscles.  Getting strong in the gym over the fall and winter often translates into an injury free running season which is always a fabulous thing.  And of course, stretching...lots and lots of stretching...I would encourage yoga, but in front of your TV at night works well too!

And one more thing...I trained a person today.  She shall remain nameless.  In fact, let's just call her Eunice.  A quick word about Eunice.  One- she's lost a TON of weight on her own.  Amazing.  I hope she realizes just how amazing it really is.  Two- she doesn't consider herself an athlete.  I disagree.  In the gym today she did a fabulous job.  I can tell right from the start that she has drive and determination- qualities that are indeed rare, my friends!  Three- she wants to learn to run.  And so learning to run we are.  We are working a 5k running program which she will dominate, of this I am certain.  November 14th- we have a date with a 5k!  Yes, yes, yes!  SO exciting!  I am honoured to be included on her journey.

And one more small thing...

Chicago.

T-15 days.  Can.Not.Wait.

I can.  And I will. 

Peace out.





Monday, September 13, 2010

Refreshing

I think everyone should read this...

That's right- EVERYONE.

It's certainly not about running, but is a tribute to an amazingly humble athlete.  This is a dude you want your kids to look up to.  Seriously.

U.S. Open WINNER

And just in case anyone missed it...

He won it all!  The man is a machine.

As the US Open slogan says..."It really MUST be love!"

So a bit of a tennis reprieve, but not to worry, next time we'll be back to the very meat of this blog.  The running part.  The very meaty running part...


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tennis Love

A gal can dream, can't she?

Crush.  A huge one.  Now if only I were just a bit younger...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pain

This is what pain looks like.  Officially.  And yet I'm doing another...and very, very shortly

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Always Look on the Bright Side of Your Life

This morning I woke up, albeit a wee bit later than usual thanks to a long, late night, hard fought Trivial Pursuit, to do my usual Sunday morning tempo run.  And to be honest and truthful, I had to spend a bit of time convincing myself out of bed, into my running clothes and out onto the mean streets of Calgary.  It was a grey, gloomy and chilly morning.  Admittedly, I'm much more motivated for a morning run when it's a beautiful, hot and sun-shiny day!

Anyhow, not only was it gloomy and chilly, it was raining.  Not too hard when I started, more like a gentle mist, but as the run progressed it rained harder, harder and harder.  And the last 20 minutes were spent in an outright deluge.  Ugh.  My shoes and socks were soaked and squishy, my hair was drenched and I had mud splattered all the way up the back of my legs.  And this is where the story begins...

Truthfully, for a moment, I was a bit annoyed at the rain and the weather and the mud.  And then I got to thinking...

I am RUNNING.  And on a Sunday morning after a great Saturday night spent with friends.  On one of my favourite running routes in Calgary.  With a full day off to look forward to.  And in spite of the rain, I just felt FANTASTIC.

So fantastic in fact, that I was running along with a huge smile on my face.  A massive smile.  I even started to giggle at one point.  I cruised by a fellow runner who actually commented that he had never seen someone running with such a big smile on their face, which, of course, caused me to smile an even bigger smile.

Why the smile, you ask?  Well, as I mentioned before, I got to thinking.

I was running.  Just because.  I went running because I wanted to and that was it.  Because I could...

I wasn't running away from bombs or guns or war.  Only because I'm fortuate enough to live in this spectacular place called Canada.  People in many, many places all over the world aren't so lucky.  They often spend their days running from bombs and guns in conflicts that have nothing to do with them.  How scary this is I cannot even imagine.

I wasn't running away from persecution based on my race, gender, or religious affiliation.  Freedom is a beautiful thing isn't it?

And while I'm on the topic of freedom, there I was, a woman, and I was running by myself...I didn't have to be escorted outside of my home into my community by my father, brother or husband.  Nor did I have to have every part of what makes me a woman covered because I can choose NOT to be covered if I don't want to be.  I don't think I can overstate that FREEDOM really is a beautiful thing, yes? 

I was not running in fear...of anyone or anything.  I feel safe running whenever and wherever I run. This simply is not the case for many people who live in places wrought with significant criminal activity.  Lucky me.

I was running because I have two legs that take me wherever I want to go whenever I ask them to.  My lungs and my heart and my bod serve me well each and every day; and believe me- I'm HARD on this bod!  Many, many people in this world simply don't have the benefit of good health.  I am so thankful for mine.

I was running on a Sunday morning because I had a day off...a day off to do whatever I please.  I have had the good fortune of an education and opportunities that afford me the ability to enjoy a day like this.  I know many others don't have the opportunity to run because their only focus is survival and the basics- food, shelter, water, making ends meet.  There simply isn't time in their lives for something as frivilous a run on a rainy Sunday morning.  Again- lucky me.

I was not running from my past.  Believe me, I've spent some time trying to outrun my past and it sure gets exhausting!  Those days are over, my friends.  I'm now going to accept my past as a part of who I am today.  I have made mistake- many of them-and I'll probably make many more, but I'm just a person doing the best I can with what I have.  Everyone has a story.  So rather than run from mine, I'm going to embrace it.  Give it a great big old hug if you will.  Today I just chose to run in the moment.  It wasn't about the past and I sure didn't worry about the future.  I just appreciated every little thing about my run in the rain.  I took it all in.  And I just had to smile. 

So?  Long weekend! Is everyone having a good one?  I'm sure people are camping, hiking, biking, running, swimming and are trying to squeeze in a last bit of summer despite the weather. Whatever you're out there doing...


I hope you're finding something to smile about!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oops.

Um...I haven't blogged in over a month.

Bad.

Even worse, I haven't been running much.  And Chicago looms in the not so distant future.  Oops.

I'll be back next week- promise.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Open Water

So.  It's July 22nd...SLOW DOWN summer!  Why are you trying to go so fast?  I am ENJOYING the lake and the Peg.  I am ENJOYING time with the fam and old friends...I am NOT enjoying the fact that I saw a back to school advertisement coupled with a store that I noticed was already selling gloves and fake Uggs.  No. Not kidding.

Another thing I have been enjoying immensely this sunny summer season are my open water swims!  Yes, that's right, I have been doing tons of swimming this summer since I've been in Kenora at the lake.  Nothing like rolling out of bed at the cottage and into the lake for a bit of water adapted exercise!  It has been a lovely break from all the running I tend to do and it tough, tough work.  Young Hammy and I created our own little route- from the dock to Andrea Island, to the point, then around Bigger Island and back to the dock.  We figure the distance is about 1500m or so, but we also could be way off...sometimes its tough to time when you're swimming straight into the wind!  I should also mention that I forgot that swimming is a tough workout.  My arms get tired FAST.  My legs seem to hold out (hmmm...I wonder why- hee) so it has been a good switcheroo to get some different cardiovascular exercise in.

Also mention-worthy is that it is essentially 2 months until the Chicago Marathon.  Eep!  But in a very un-Andrea Rice-like way, I've decided I'm not even concerned.  I've been doing some running.  Some swimming.  Some workouts at the gym.  Some yoga.  And I've been enjoying it all.  And Chicago will be a fun, fun time regardless of my time in the race.  So I will continue to swim away and enjoy the break my legs are getting...

Oh and one last thing, in case anyone's wondering, I'm a mermaid and always have been.  Yes.  It's true.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Baby

JUST KIDDING!  Of course I don't have a baby!  When the heck would I have had time to have a baby?!

But if I do have one, I would like her (or him) to look just like this one.  Cute.  Very, very cute. 

PS- J and L if you read this, I will not try to steal your baby, I promise!

Back with a Capital B!

Several warm up runs- check.

2nd pace run, average pace 7:18 per mile- check.

1st long training run for Chicago out of the way- check.

Yes, yes yes...I'm back, baby...and with a capital B too!

It feels good to be running again.  Better than good in fact...it feels GREAT.  And running around K city rather than dreary old brown town with the lake in the background and a pending post run swim each and every time I hit the pavement is even more fabulous!  I heart summer.  Yes I do!

Sorry for the lack of posts, I know that all of you have been pining away for a post from me.  I'm sure you're wondering how you've survived this long without one.  That is in between enjoying the beautiful summer and a few summers in a can.  Ha. 

And just to add insult to injury, I don't have much to say, except that training for Chicago is well under way.  Don't worry- I'll keep you posted by posting more frequently.

Peace out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sadness

Running, I miss you already.  Don't forget about me, please.  I'll see you in 10 days or so.  And I'm not cheating on you with yoga...we're on a break, remember?

Love, Andrea

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

26.2 in Pancake Form

Just in case anyone is wondering what 26.2 looks like in pancake form, here is it...



Lovingly made for me by one ARJR post marathon.  I enjoyed every bite.  Who knew we had an artist in the fam.  And one who expresses their creativity in pancakes.  Original.  I like it.

She also carved an "A" in the butter at my aunt and uncle's on Saturday night...

Nothing like leaving your stamp.  Nothing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toilets and Stairs- Ouch

This is me post marathon.  Please note that I had an odd number (first time ever- I like even better).  Also, please note the more than awesome homage to the marathon in the form of flowers in running shoes that my sister and I put up on her fence the day before the run.  Finally, please note the pic is taken post run, thus the sweat and awesome hair.  If I look dazed and confused I probably was!

So...

It has come and gone...

I ran yesterday.  In the Manitoba Marathon if you recall. 

And just to back pedal a bit since I seemed to vanish in the last couple of weeks, I got sick AGAIN.  Yes, again.

But I still managed to have a wonderful race yesterday!  I finished in 3:15 which is about 30 seconds off my personal best.  This was good for fourth place overall on the women's side.  It was a beautiful day for a run- hot and humid which is just how I like it, and the marathon course was just great.  And I do have to hand it to all the Winnipeg peeps...to those who volunteered, cheered and competed, it was a spectacular race from start to finish.  I will be back, that I can promise.

I also would like to give, a big, big shout out to my family.  You guys just rock.  Ains and Ty, thanks for putting up with me all weekend!  Ains, thanks for keeping me calm at the start, hanging out in the porta-john line with me, the good lucks hugs and for all the support- you are WONDERFUL.  And to Mom and Dad AND Ains and Ty- thanks for being at the finish!  I heard your cheering and it really, really helped on that stadium lap, because truthfully, I thought I was going to die at that point!  I should mention that my Mom and Dad came all the way from Kenora for the event, which I truly appreciate, since they have been VERY hard at work doing some home renovations.  And I have to hand it to Ty- he CRUTCHED all the way from where he had to park his truck to the finish and then back again. This was a long, long way and is what I will from now on refer to as "the marathon on crutches".  I really appreciated all the love and support, family!

So why didn't I PB?  Who knows, really...I was holding strong until about 6 miles out and then my quads just turned into bricks.  Or maybe cement.  I think I need to work my middle distance pace runs a bit more and I think my endurance could have been a bit better, although missing runs due to illness is just unavoidable sometimes.  I think I will endeavour to really, really push the last 5-6 miles of my long runs from now on.  The elusive 3:10 is JUST within my reach...so close I can feel it...

So today- I hurt.  BIG time.  Quads absolutlely screaming NOOOOOOOO everytime I hit the staircase...or have to pee...and although the massage today should help, I know for a fact that it will H-U-R-T with a capital H.  Short term pain for long term, gain, right??

I must say- I am looking forward to a good couple of weeks of rest and recovery before the punishment oops I mean training for Chicago begins!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Break out the Violins


AH.  Guess what happened? 

Training for the Manitoba Marathon was going well.  Better than well.  In fact, it was just downright FABULOUS.  I was feeling fast, the miles had piled up and up and up with no problems...

And then I got sick.  The kind of sick where you are in bed and can't move sick.  The kind of sick where you can't eat any sort of food sick.  No, not even water sick.  It totally, totally sucked.  And the biggest part of the suck- 1 full week off of running- and probably the most critical week at that.  It's like the universe decided to send me a great big eff u for some reason that I have yet to determine.  Anyhow, whatever the reason, the sick came at the most inconvenient of times and I am charting into unknown territory trying to figure out exactly what to do with my training in the last 17 days before my run.  Then again, I have to remind myself that running is not my job (I know- SHOCKING), and the sole purpose of the torture I will endure over the 26.2 miles in Winnipeg on June 20th is simply for the challenge and the fun and that's it.  I'm pretty sure I won't go to runner purgatory if I'm a wee bit slower than planned.  At least I hope not, its likely really bad there with no running shoes or places to run...ugh...

So I consulted the experts (that would be Nolan at the Tech Shop who has become my all knowing running guru) who assured me that all is not lost, to just continue on and the marathon will be no problem.  I suppose only time will tell.  And just in case anyone's wondering, I'm not longer angry at the universe.  Too much time and energy wasted on anger means less energy for running!  And I will need all the energy I can muster today for my last long training run!  EXCITING!  So close now I can feel it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Items of Consequence

Several items of consequence since my last post.  I will do my best to be brief.

1. The 14.5 mile Half Marathon
Oh the humanity.  To those ladies who ran in the Rocky Mountain Soap Half Marathon last weekend in Canmore, you can now inform those near and dear to you that you completed a 14.5 mile run...which is a full 1.4 miles longer than a half marathon.  Apparently the race organizer had to get creative with the course and opted on lengthening the course rather than shortening.  Interesting.  Very, very tough when you have wrapped your head around and trained for a 13.1 mile run!  I should also note that the last 5k were straight uphill and that there wasn't any water at the finish line.  Nice work to all those who stuck it out and finished.  An incredibly difficult run for sure, and it was hot to boot!

2. Bowness Park
Last weekend I went for a run in Bowness Park.  To be fair, it wasn't totally in Bowness Park.  We started around Home road and hit up "Blood and Guts Hill" and made our way through Bowness Park on the pathway.  On the way back we switched it up and ran the trails.  What a spectacular run!  And right here in the middle of Calgary...who knew?  I will definitley be making the trek over that way again.  Also, please note that I almost fell in the river only once. 

3. Manitoba Marathon
I am a month out of the marathon!  Can you believe it?  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  I can't.  I suddenly feel as if there is a lot of preparation to do and a very short window to do it in.  Yikes.  Better be hitting those trails like no ones business. 

4. Calgary Marathon
The Caglary marathon is this coming weekend!  YESYESYES!!  So exciting!  Look forward to seeing CH and my running group at the finish!  Just checked the weather- partly sunny and 13- a great day for a run!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Canmore!

What a weekend for a run!  Are you running this weekend, people?  ARE YOU?  Today?  Tomorrow?  Sunday?

Well, if you're not, then you should be.  More perfect weather for a run, I cannot imagine.  In fact, I was dreading my 3+ hours this afternoon until I woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures...and now I'm just downright excited.  So get out into the world and go for a jog, peeps!  Try it!  You might just fall in love...

But that's not what this post is about.

Its about this:


I know two people who are hitting the trail this weekend for this half marathon.  And I just know they are going to be amazing.  I am super impressed that they commited to the training for this run.  Both are busy moms with a lot on the go, so to make this committment and follow through, well... I think it's nothing short of spectacular! 

This run is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Soap Company and supports supports breast cancer and  environmental initiatives.  I really do have to hand it to the female sector of the pop.  I mean, the xx faction is just better at organizing for a cause- no?  I think this looks like an incredible weekend; there are 6k, 12k and half marathon distances.  I volunteered at package pickup on Wednesday and I was impressed with each and every woman that has committed to a race distance.  For some, this will be the very first time they have done a race like this- EXCITING!  And on their behalf, I am putting nothing but good running vibes out into the universe for them.  How can you not be positive on a day like today?  I should also mention for my thousands and thousands of devote followers (sigh- a gal can dream) in One Great City (that would be Winnipeg) that there is going to be an RMS Women's Run in the dub in August.  Check it out if you're interested- RMS Women's Run- Winnipeg

So good luck to all!  But especially to KG and CES!  Have fun, enjoy the sunshine, and just take it all in.  Breathe, relax, and appreciate the moment.  See you at the finish line!





Friday, May 7, 2010

Etiquette 101

Running lovelies!

Just last week I received the following letter in my email…

Dear All-knowing, All-Seeing Running Guru Andrea:
A few weeks ago, I happened to run past a large running group consisting of about 25 people near 4th Street. At this point, they were just congregating around each other and stretching, so I ran around them and continued on my way at a comfortable pace. A few minutes later, I was swarmed by the running group on all sides and I was actually bumped and nearly tripped by runners passing and cutting in front of me...

I know I wasn't running as fast as them, but is it really necessary for physical contact? It's not like its race day. I actually stopped and crossed the street to avoid them.

Is there any running etiquette these days? What side of the road should we be running on? Do we run with traffic or against traffic? Should we only pass on the left? What are your thoughts?

Sincerely- Almost Road Kill

Let me begin by quoting a certain someone who is near and dear to my heart…

“HOW RUDE!”

Well, Road Kill, these people are sure lucky they didn’t trample over me, because I may have jerseyed each and every one of them. And then round house kicked them. Thanks goodness there are even tempered and calm individuals such as you in this world or there would be random episodes of kicking and jerseying all over the running path!

As far as the etiquette thing goes, I think it’s more about common courtesy and sense, but since these people were obviously lacking in that department, let me respond to your questions.

1. If you are running on a path, stay to the right. When you are on the right side, try to not float around the centre line, making it a bit easier for people to pass you on the left!

2. If you are running on the road- run on the left side INTO traffic (although I don’t recommend this there are times when it must be done). This is the opposite of biking where you would go with traffic.

3. As far a passing on the left, this is the status quo. HOWEVER- if I’m passing, I generally try to accomplish this in the least intrusive way possible.

4. If you are running in a group, you DO NOT have the right of way just because you have more people!  You still need to stay on one side of the path.  When you come up on other runners or walkers it is considerate to give people a few moments notice by shouting "on your left" or something to let them know you're about to move on by.

5.  Stretching on the path?  NEVER.  EVER.  Just move off to the side where you won't be in the way!  Stretching in the middle of the path is BRUTAL with a capital B.  Don't forget you can also just truck right on through those that insist on stopping mid path by announing that you're "Comin' through"!

I hope that clarifies some of the rules of the road when it comes to running etiquette, Road Kill.  Running is hard enough without having to concern ourselves with idiots who obivously hve no common sense or courtesy.  If you encounter problems again, I highly recommend the jerseying technique.  Or the roundhouse kick...these people obviously need some sense knocked into them, after all!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hee.

This makes me laugh.  Winterstart 2 years ago. 

Ellis is wearing a leg warmer.  And she has just destroyed me to become Leg Wrestling Champion of the World.  Giggle.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Runnin' Down a Dream...

OK runners!  I put my dream out there!  Recall: marathoning A to Z!  And now it's time for you!  Think big!  Dream BIG!  What is your running goal?  Your running dream?  Maybe it's to run a race in a new and exotic place.  Maybe it's to run a race of a certain distance (10k, half, full, ultra?).  Maybe it's to run a certain distance in a certain time.  Maybe it's weight loss and improvement in health and fitness...

Whatever your dream is, I'm a firm believer in putting it out there into the universe.  When you put it out there it just becomes a bit more real- Yes?  No?  At the very least WE become a bit more accountable to the dream.  Does this mean wallowing in self pity should the dream not quite unfold the way in which we envisioned?  Of course not!  It means celebrating the small victories too, revising the plan when need be and keeping your eye on the prize.

So let's hear it!  I'm expecting a flurry of comments- got that?  A FLURRY!  I want to know...

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?

And just in case you need some inspiration...


Friday, April 30, 2010

P.S.

Just in case anyones wondering (and I thought you might be since its the weekend)...

BEER+WINE=BAD 18km RUN

I know this from personal experience- last weekend.  I finished all 18km- but it was ugly.  And I had to go to bed for the rest of the day on Sunday.  Never, ever again.  Body, I really do promise you...at least that I won't do it before a run!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Run Runaway

What a gem!  An absolute gem!



I dare say this song has inspired me!  Time for a new running playlist.   This time only songs with the word "run" in the title will be included.  I like it.  Any suggestions, my running-crazed peeps?

Speaking of running crazed peeps, is anyone running in Calgary today?  Because if you are, they you are definitely crazy...maybe even insane.  We've just been hit by a major winter storm and it is Brutal.  Yep, that's right- with a capital B.  Even this running crazed lunatic is opting for yoga.  In the hot room.  Where it's warm and lovely and feels like Hawaii.

And before I forget- Run Runaway- Slade version?  Or Great Big Sea?  Thoughts?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Running from A-Z

So I have a dandy idea for a new running goal!

Well, to be fair...this really isn't MY idea, I borrowed it from one of the women, Jan,  in my Thursday night speedwork group. 

Here it is:
I am going to complete a marathon that starts with every letter of the alphabet. 

Yep, you heard right...I'm going to run a marathon that starts with EVERY letter of the alphabet.  So that would be 26 marathons.  Not necessarily in alphabetical order.  EXCITING!  What a fabulous idea, Jan!  I can't wait to get started!   I should also mention that I am SUPER impressed with how far Jan is into this most excellent of running adventures and wish her all the luck in the world in Duluth in June!

To be fair, I am going to count the ones I've already done...although since I've completed 4 Calgary's and a Boston it really only takes care of 2 letters.  And Chicago in October won't help me along since I have taken care of "C" 4 times in Calgary already.  Hmmm.  I think I'm going to have to start going to do more than 1 a year if I have any hope of completing this before I'm old and grey.  But that's OK since I now train SMARTER!  More on that later...

Boston was on Monday.  I wish I had been there running it.  Once you've run Boston, a little part of your heart will always wish you were chuggin' away up and over those Newton hills!  Check out the video of the women's and men's finish.  Monumental, both of them, the women's because it yet again came down to seconds (after an almost 2+ minutes lead) and the men's because it was a record breaking run!  Watch the video all the way to the end to see the men's finish.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Because...

...I think this will put everyone in an awesome mood if you aren't already on this bright and sunny Monday morning!



I especially like the dancing and the high wasited jeans that are part of the all denim outfit.  Really, what's not to love? 

Maybe this should be everyone's download for a new running song, yes?  Thoughts?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Juxtaposition

Last Friday when I went for my long run, it was like this...


This week when I ventured out for my long run, it was like this...



Any guesses which run was better?

It's not rocket science, that's for sure!  Beautiful sunshine, warm temperatures and calm winds made for a much, much for fabulous run for me!  It was just a positive experience all around. 

This is in COMPLETE juxtaposition to my run the previous Friday.  Can I be honest?  That run was so awful I just about cried...almost, but not quite...OK...MAYBE a tear or two, but I'm not sure, it could have been from the wind.  I was at least an hour away from home with a ridiculously frigid north wind practically blowing me right off the path.  I like to think that I'm kind of a hearty runner (ARJR forcing me out of bed for a -30 run or two in the Peg helped with the hearty factor), but this was just plain miserable.  In fact, it was quite enough to make me question my sanity and what the hell I was doing out in the great out of doors when I could be snuggled up on my couch with a blanket and a good book. I actually walked a few times...and believe me, I never, EVER walk.

And then this Friday happened.  Almost like summer.  And it was enough to erase the previous weeks run from my recent memory and I was just content to be out in the world, padding along the path, loving life.  Amazing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How Do I Love Thee?

Dear Running-

I love you. It’s really that simple. You just make my life better. You make my life easier. You make my life less complicated and more pleasant to exist in. So I just love you. I really can’t explain it any better than that.

I know we have faced some hard times, like all the times we had breaks from each other. Sometimes I felt like you deserted me. I would see you in the park, on the pathways, sidewalks and tracks with other people and I admit it, I felt jealous. I know that you would never, ever leave me or cheat on me, but it was hard to see you with other people. When we decided it was time to get back together, I loved that we could pick up right where we left off. I mean, I know we had to work at it, to get to the level we were at before the break, but it was worth it and our relationship was just better in the long run…hee- get it? Long run?

I want you to know that I have NEVER held it against you when I’ve been injured, sore or tired. I know that every relationship has its ups and downs, and those are just a part of the trials and tribulations that we face in our life together. I have done my best to give you what you need- good fuel, full nights of sleep, massages and physio, and I know that you have appreciated those things whole heartedly. I do apologize if, on occasion, I seem to be a bit selfish after a long night of self indulgence if I abandon you or if it seems as if I am forcing you out onto the path when you really don’t want to go. I know those days are tough, but I appreciated your perseverance to stick with me. I sure do owe you a lot!

I guess, Running, I just wanted to say thanks for all you do for me…I really do appreciated the mental and physical health that you bring me and want you to know that I promise to keep you in my life forever. You really are the best. I truly do love you more than you will ever know.

xoxo- ME



Thursday, April 1, 2010

One Great City

I'm in the Peg...the Dub...the 2-oh-4...

For those of you the require a translation, that would be WINNIPEG!  Also know as One Great City.  And it really is one great city.  Big trees.  Moisture in the air.  Affordable.  What's not to love?  Not quite this green just yet, but it will be...yes, yes it will be...


Truth?  It looks about like this right now...


Yikes!  Scary!  But lovely just the same...

Today I went for my speed interval workout.  I did it at the Gritty Grotto.  For those Peg-neophytes, the Grotto is the gym on the U of M Campus.   I've heard plenty about this gym, but have never had the full grotto experience until today.  And an experience it was.  I was running in a basement on a track made from rubberized interlocking patio stones. The gym equipment was from perhaps the mid 70's.  I was half expecting John Travolta to strut around the corner in a pair of skin tight white polyester pants with his shirt unzipped to his navel sporting a lovely gold medallion with Stayin' Alive blasting in the background.  It was DARK.  I wasn't sure if it was midnight or noon or what.  The ceiling was low.  The air was moist.  And it had a particular smell, although I'm not sure if I can relate the smell to anything I've ever smelt before...it might be a very unique Gritty Grotto smell all of its own.  Unfortunately, I don't have a pic for a good visual; I was slightly intimidated by the "NO CAMERA" signs everywhere and didn't want to get bounced from the Grotto on my first trip.  Mainly because I thought it was GREAT!  Definitley not the newest or most beautiful gym I've ever been to, but there was just something about the Grotto that tugged at my heart strings. 

And before I sign off, a quick note.  I LOVE running in Winnipeg.  Love, Love Love.  Why?  Here's why...

1. Friendly runners.  Everyone says hi.  Good morning.  Great day for a run.  Whatever...they just acknowledge your presence on the trail.  LOVE establishing camraderie with fellow runners.  In Calgary, when I say "hello"  to fellow runners on the path they generally either: ignore me, look at me like I'm crazy, or think really, really hard about where they perhaps they know me from since I wouldn't be saying hi unless I knew them...strange.

2. Its flat.  Perfectly flat.  In fact, I dare you to find a hill.  ARJR and I found one once...but it was more of a mound to be fair.  Not that I don't like hills, but I kinda feel like a rock star when I'm chuggin' along in Winnipeg.  Flat and fast.  Nice.

3. Tough runners.  Last winter when I was here my sister woke me up at 5:30 a.m. for a little jog before she went to work.  While you may be wondering what's tough about a 5:30 morning jog, I should mention that it was -40.  Yep- -40.  Running in a snowsuit was tricky but we managed.  And I should also mention that we weren't the only ones out there.  Runners in the Peg- a hearty bunch for sure!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Please Note.

Just in case people are wondering (and I know you all spend hours wondering what I'm up to these days- hee), it is official, I am registered for the Manitoba Marathon! 

The run takes place on June 20th this year (hoping for heat...crazy, but I LOVE running in the heat) and is a lovely, FLAT and fast course.  I am excited.  Should be a great day.  Now I just have to train.  Ah, the details of this whole running adventrue...

Second.  I would love to give a shout out to my peeps at the Tech Shop on 4th Street in Calgary.  Nolan and staff, you guys are FABULOUS!  Always cheerful and excited about running.  And as for the crew in the half marathon training on Tuesday, Thursday nights and Sunday morning...well, you guys rock.  I am totally impressed with your dedication and running prowess.  Last night we hit a VERY steep hill for 8 repeats, and each and every one of you did a fabulous job.  That was one tough hill!  Running comrades, please see Nolan and staff at the Tech Shop for all of your running needs- shoes, gear, gel, industrial strength bras (that's for you CH), advice, running gait analysis...these guys really do have you covered!  The Tech Shop- 4th Street

Third.  One last small deet.  ARJR, CH and I hit up the Banff Springs over the weekend.  LOVELY.  The only not so lovely thing??  The boot camp we attended in an attempt to "earn" our dinner on Saturday night.  More on that to follow...but let's just say I'm still sore...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Add Me To Your Running Playlist!

Oh what a gem of a running song!  Cheesy- yes!  Infantile- yes!  Better suited to high school girlies- yes!

But a good beat for running nonetheless.  I highly recommend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Curve Ball

Oh Life, just when I thought I had you figured out, you throw me a curve ball!

Strange isn't it, how we get comfortable in our little lives...and then suddenly everything can change.  And In a New York Minute too, just like my buddies Glenn Frey and Don Henley have reminded us in the past...



Don't you just love this song?  I do.  It had worked its way out of my rotation for a bit and now I'm glad to report that its right back in there.  Like swim wear, if you will.

Back to the curve ball.  It's as if something in the universe forces us along in our evolution as people, yes?  I mean, the status quo is a pretty comfy place to be, but sometimes in the status quo we forget that we always need to keep workin' away because we can always be better.  More evolved.  More calm.  I think sometimes we forget that when we are comfy in the status quo...and then the universe reminds us...even if its just with a wee shift and we get back to the business of keepin' on keepin' on.  After all, it really is about the journey and not the destination.

So the curve ball or the universal shift has happend for me lately.  And what do I do? I do the one thing that I know will make me feel better, take the curve out of the ball and re-establish the calm and positive energy in my life...I go running.  At least for that 1 hour or 2 my mind will be at peace and I might even consider my self sane.  Because in all honesty, do any of us really know where this crazy life will take us?  Not at all.  So the best thing to do (before, during and after the curve ball or the NY minute) is to enjoy the moment you're in and the people you're sharing it with.  We can sure try to plan for the future but we just never know where the journey will take us.