Monday, July 16, 2012

Lemon Love

Peeps!  Be prepared to be blasted with an attitude of gratitude!

Before we get to that, I'm wondering about your summers'.  Yes, yours!  And YOURS!  I can only hope that wherever you are reading this from in the world that you are having as fantastic a summer as I.  My summer is going a little something like this:

Run cross training: open lake swims!  FUN!
Nothing like rolling out of bed and into the lake, especially when its hot.  DAMN hot.  So hot I'm almost remembering that really, I am a mermaid after years of being land locked on the prairies because I am spending so much time in the water.

Anyhow, I've mentioned before and I will again, that this year, I had the most massive honour of being chosen to be a lululemon run ambassador for the 4th St. store in Calgary.  In a nutshell, what this means in its most basic sense is that lulu supports me in my running endeavours, and I support them in their running endeavours.  However, it means, much, much, MUCH more to me than just that, and I want to take a moment to share with you what it has meant to me to be a run ambassador with this most amazing company!

One of the things I really appreciate about lululemon is that they fully and wholeheartedly support grass roots community building where their stores are located, locally AND globally! They really, really are trying to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness and for me, this has meant that I am able to ask them to support me in the work I do with individuals I am supporting to meet run, fitness and lifestyle goals.  Supporting and elevating individuals from mediocrity to personal greatness, if you will.  Truth?  This is what I LOVE to do.  It is my passion and  I feel so very fortunate that I have been able to do this with and through lululemon.

This is the bigger picture, but I'd also like to share, on a more personal level, just how much I appreciate everything and anything the 4th st. store in Calgary does for me.  Every single time I come into the store (truth- about twice a week, whether I'm taking runners out or not, I have a SERIOUS addiction to their clothing, run and otherwise) I feel like I'm with my tribe.  All of the peeps who work in the store treat me as a friend that they are happy to see, and that just makes me smile.  I love going to the store, talking running, talking goals and talking life with not only the people that work there, but the guests that are often cruising around the running section looking for some new gear.  I should also mention, that I am the proud owner of quite possibly the most fabulous running wardrobe the world ever did see thanks to my 4th street peeps!  I spend a lot A LOT of time in running gear and just because we're working hard and sweating it out on the mean streets of Calgs sure does not mean we shouldn't look good doing it, so much much gratitude to lululemon for continually coming up with new styles and colours that make a gal feel like she looks great despite the sweat!

Also...and this is big...I'd dare say that lulu and the 4th st. staff in particular, believed in me long before I actually believed in myself.  This has been a really big year for me.  Huge in fact.  I've imagined my life in 10 years, have clarity in seeing where I will be and now have the confidence to take the huge steps to get there.  In essence, I have been encouraged to get the eff out of my own way, and quite simply, I will!  There have been many messengers of magic on this journey and several of them wear luon (that would be lulu material :) and hang out at the 4th street store on a daily basis.  They encourage and inspire me each and every time I see them.  The impact they have had on my life simply cannot be understated and I feel like I am well on my way to achieving the goals I have set for myself.  I am humbled, honoured and so incredibly grateful to know these people, be a part of the lemons (as they affectionately call themselves) and to be a part of the work they undertake.  What an amazing company.  What an amazing experience.  I am so lucky.

Last but not least, did ya know that lulu is holding its first ever half marathon?  Eeek!  It's called the Sea Wheeze.  EXCITING!  Did ya know that its very, very soon on the 11th of August?  Did ya know that they sold it out?  That's right...sold. it. out.  A huge accomplishment on the very first try.  And like everything the lemons do, this will be one fantastic event and I am super pumped to be a part of it.   I know there are many people working tirelessly in Vancouver and elsewhere to ensure that the event is awesome, memorable and let's be honest, the best dang half marathon the world ever did see.  How much work it is to create and carry out an event of this magnitude, I cannot even imagine, so I'd just love to give a big shout out and a huge hug over the interweb to those who are involved.  Thank you for all you are doing to create an amazing event!

And on that note, I think I see the sun poking its head through the clouds.  My inner mermaid is calling and its time to hit the lake!

PS- One more running thing...I went for a long one this morning...25k in fact, in the mist.  It was a run and a facial all at once.  And surprise, surprise, I loved every second. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Plan

Running universe!  It feels like forever since I've blogged since I've been so very busy running around, quite literally. Training and running and working and training other people and running with other people and yoga...keeps a gal busy and out of trouble for the most part.  Notice I did say for the most part.

Last Saturday I ran in the K100.  For those non-Calgaryians, the K100 is a 100 mile relay race in Kananaskis Country.  10 runners make up a team and each run a leg of various distances, some trail, some road.  I had leg 1, which starts in the wee town of Longview and is a lovely18.1km on the open road.  Despite the 3:45 am wake up call to get my butt to the start line in time, this race was a fabulous experience and one that I highly recommend to anyone and everyone that wants to partake in a relay race with some seriously stunning scenery!

K100 legs 1-4.  Super speedy I might add!  Nicely done ladies!

I had no plans to run this race quickly as it was all for the fun and the experience.  I cruised through 10k and pushed for 8k.  Truth?  It just felt AWESOME to race again.  Totally and completely.  I felt alive.  I tingled.  I pushed hard up hills.  I laughed.  I raced a guy in an all out sprint for the finish.  I missed racing so much and I didn't even know it. Super excited now to get to the Seawheeze in August and the Marine Corps marathon in October.  Can. Not. Wait.

And this brings me to the summer training plan.  I'll be up to some serious training in between swimming and boating and fishing and water skiing and drinking summer in a can (that a Coors light in case you're wondering) and night boating and living like a hippie at my cottage.  Training will look like this:

1. Cross train, cross train, cross train.  Lots of open water swimming.  Cannot wait to hit Trinity Bay for several three island swims.  Glorious.
2. Maintain strength.  TRX hanging from tree overlooking the lake.  Intervals up and down the hill to the water and back.  Who needs a gym?  It's summer, people...GET OUTSIDE
3. Yoga.  On the dock.  In the sun.  What could be better?
4. RUN.  Like a maniac.  Keep the distance and the mileage up but ultimately need to work the speed.  Shocking, I know.

My summer gym.  LOVE.
And that's about it.  Busy but not too busy.  Outdoors, in the sunshine.  And on the water.  I can't wait for the feeling of peace and serenity I will get from it all.  For me, summer is truly a time to let it all go, give myself permission to stop planning, thinking, doing and seriously breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.  Summer Andrea is generally a more calm and peaceful Andrea.  I've kind of missed her lately...and am very, very glad that we will be reunited in just 2 short days. case you miss me over the summer as I am off the grid and blogging less, please, please, please have wonderful summers, ya'll!  And do some running too, please!  There is nothing better than summer running in my opinion, so get out there while the sun is shining and shorts are the costume of choice!

Peace.  Love.  SUMMER.  RUNNING.