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 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)...


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


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)...


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...




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