Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hi Blog!

It's been a long time.  But in my world it seems like it's been a couple days at most.

I ran the Calgary Marathon 10k (in 1:05...easy for me, should have pushed myself).  Then I started into the training for SeaWeeze.

Jet played ball May and June and then tried out (and was accepted) by the All Star team.  So we spent the ENTIRE end of June, July and first 2 weeks of August either at practice or in small town Alberta for tournaments.  6 night a week?  For 8 - 10 year olds?

He had a blast, made some good friends and got in front of the "right" people.  Sad, but true.  You gotta play the game.

Had a good friend pass away from a work accident at the end of June.  That rocked the worlds of a bunch of us, been friends since high school.  Everyone came away from that vowing to honour old connections and I think we'll succeed.  One of Adam's buddies flew half-way across the country on a couple of days notice just because he knew we needed him here.   Nice to have friends like that.

In the end, I don't think I ate a vegetable or worked out for 6...maybe 8 weeks. 

Oh...and SeaWeeze was the same weekend as Jet's All Star Prairie Tournament.  So I chatted with my sister and she agreed that I should watch him instead of going so still no half -marathon for me.   Next year.  Possibly the Wine and Dine Half to celebrate my 40th birthday.


Started working out again this week.  Gone back to my old Gunnar Challenge workouts.  Feel so good!  I think they're starting a new challenge soon.  I should sign up for it.

Gotta get in shape for our Christmas trip to Florida!

Monday, April 8, 2013

5 by the 5th - April

The good news is, I'm getting faster and the 5k's are getting easier.  The bad news is, I'm still doing them on the treadmill because it's still snowing at inconvenient times (like this morning and all of last week).

I keep my sanity in this by reminding myself that in 4 more wake-ups I'll be on vacation and en route to places south where snow and gloom are not on the menu.

Anyway, I submitted a time of 33:59 for my 5k this month.  Broke the 35 minute mark, yay!  It really is getting easier to run longer and faster, and I'm liking the intervals too.

Hopefully next month will be outside in the nice spring weather - I'm not holding my breath - and I'll be able to find an actual organized race to run it it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jelly Bean Virtual Race

Over the weekend I did two distances for the Jelly Bean Virtual Race hosted by Run with Jess.  I also caught a pesky sinus cold, but I'm sure one wasn't a result of the other.  Probably.

First up, on Friday I did a 5k on the treadmill.  35:19...not too shabby for treadmill work.  I think I've finally figured out the incline problems too.  Now I just have to remember to set it to zero after I'm done and raise it up before I run.

Sunday I did a 10k out on the river paths kind of by my house.  Kind of chilly but nothing like the race the other weekend.  Time on that one was 1:10:41...pretty good considering I couldn't breath out of my nose.

Taking today and yesterday off from the serious workouts.  It's been really mild weather here so my walk at lunch has been more of a stroll in the sunshine.  Hopefully tomorrow I'm not coughing and then I can pick it up again.

Also, the fact that it's Opening Day for the Toronto Blue Jays has no bearing on missing a workout this evening.

None at all :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Run for L'Arche - Race Report

My first timed race! 

On Saturday I ran the 5 mile Run for L'Arche in Calgary.  L'arche is an international organization of communities that create homes and programs for people with developmental disabilities.  Before this, I didn't know they I do and I'm glad that the proceeds of the race went to a good cause.  Also, it seemed like a very well run race but I have nothing to compare it to so it's difficult for me to say.

Onto the race and preparation...

I basically took the week off of running, except for the little bit of speed work I did on Tuesday and it was too cold to walk outside at lunch so the legs were well rested.   I did start to feel a little nervous on Friday, which was weird, I know I can do this distance - I even did a trial run so I knew about how long it would take too.  But still interesting that I would get a little bit of the pre-race jitters.

Of course, it can't all go smoothly.  After putting together a kick-ass play list and gathering all of my gear I found out that I'd lost my running socks.  Which leads to the excellent question as to why I only have the single pair (I only wear them for "real" running and never needed a second pair).  And I could only find a single magic mini glove.  We got some gloves in the race kit, but I didn't know if they would be too much (and they didn't really fit well, but neither do the minis).  But other than those two things I was all ready to go.

Race day morning - up at 7am.  The one good thing about a March race is the start time of 10:15, I think in hopes of it being just a little bit warmer.  Got ready leisurely, breakfast of toast, peanut butter and tea.  Adam got Jet ready to go to baseball evaluations and they were off before me.


Quick and easy drive downtown, got there just before 10:00.  Parked across the street from my office building and walked the block and a bit to the start at Eau Claire Market.  

And just about froze doing it.

I'd been obsessively watching the weather network for the last week, hoping that it would get a whole lot warmer than they'd been predicting.  Once I accepted that wasn't going to happen I started hoping that it wouldn't be windy.  It wasn't windy, but it was about -10 Celsius and that's way too cold for this fair-weather runner.

Inside the market was toasty warm, with lots of places for everyone to sit and hangout.  The announcer was setup as well inside along with a couple of booths to take a look at.  I hung out until they called the half marathon runners outside and figured I should see them off.  It was getting slightly warmer in the sunshine, which was nice.

After the half marathoners were off I did a warmup run around the market - felt good.  Chatted with a very nice older fellow while waiting to be called up to the start line.  I commented it was my first timed race and he said he still remembers his first race, back in 1970!  It was nice to chat with someone, made the time go by quickly.

Soon enough we were called up to the start, the mayor said a few words (which I didn't hear, I put my headphones in, turned up the music and was ready to go!), blasted an air horn and we were off!  I lined up about 3/4's back...but it was a small race (197 people) so even at the back of the pack it was close.

Crossed the start, started my Nike+ watch and off I go.

Out and back course along the river pathways, nice and easy (if you ignore the bridge at the very start and therefore at the very end).  Off to a good, if quick, pace.  Dodged a few people at the beginning, but not too many, I think I seeded myself quite nicely.  Over the bridge - with a volunteer telling everyone to watch the center of the bridge, it was slippery - and onto the pathway.

At the first kilometer marker things spread out a bit.  There was a fellow in front of me that was going a nice pace so I tried to keep up to him and it worked for quite a while.  Kept checking my watch, still going faster than I'd like, but feeling really good.  After the first mile I started to pass people who were walking, that made me feel even better because I was sure that I'd be the only person who would need a walk break.

Over the river again, still running, pass the water station - don't need anything yet.  Caught up with the fellow I was chatting with at the start line at 2.88 km...still running, legs feel great, music is perfect, lungs feel fantastic, no need to stop yet.

Pass two mile marker, know the turnaround is coming soon.  First of the 5 mile runners are on their way back, those guys can fly!  Hit the turnaround, still running.  Now get to see everyone who was behind me.  Realize that the 3 mile marker is coming up and I still haven't taken a walk break.  That's never happened before.

Pass the three mile marker and give myself a virtual pat on the back.  Pleased as punch when I pass the 5km marker without walking.  By this time I'm participating in the age-old game of picking someone ahead of you and work on passing them.  Legs feel really good and I can accelerate without any problems when I need to.

Water station - took the cup of water and walked to drink it.  Tossed the cup in the garbage and started running again.  Back over the pedestrian bridge, along the path I walk almost every day at lunch.  Mile four my stomach growls, good thing it's almost done.  Slowed down a bit in anticipation of the "big bridge", accelerated up and over.  Can see the finish area from the top.

Downhill for the last two hundred meters, want to finish strong so pick up the speed until I cross the finish line.

51:39 clock time!

Get my medal and bottle of water (there were bananas that I didn't see) and walked around for a bit.  Checked my phone to see Adam and Jet were on their way and they just missed me finish.  Met up a couple minutes later and realized I hadn't stopped my watch :)

We got our pancake breakfast and ate inside.  Really yummy.  The chocolate milk hit the spot.
Calgary Stampede Caravan Breakfast

Then, back home to shower and relax.  I was super hyper for an hour after, but then just wanted to be left alone and sleep.  I wonder if that's normal?


I'm super happy with my times.  My A goal was to finish in an hour, my B goal was to finish in 53 minutes (same as two weeks ago) and by C goal was to finish in 50 minutes.  Considering I still had gas in the tank I feel really good about increasing the pace slightly next time.  Also, never in my wildest dreams did I think I could run 5 miles and only take on 10 second walk break.

In the end I cam in 115th overall (out of 197), 24/46 age group and 49/111 for ladies.  Chip time of 51:09

I can handle that.


1) Buy more socks

2) Good playlist is critical, I had high energy tunes for the entire thing and I'm sure it helped

3) Continue the speed training for the next 10k

4) Do another race.  It's so much easier than running on a treadmill

5) Most likely every run outside for the rest of the year will be warmer than this one

Friday, March 22, 2013

Vacation! - Grand Palladium Vallarta

We finally had enough.  Booked a week in Mexico at the lovely Grand Palladium Vallarta!

From Palladium website

Okay, so I've never been there before.  But it's 1) Not here.  2) On the beach.  3) Somewhere warm and 4) All Inclusive.  We have stayed many times at the Palladium in Riviera Maya, so we're familiar with the brand and very familiar with Mexico.

We leave in 3 weeks.

We leave in 3 weeks?

That's not a lot of time to get into bikini shape, but I'm going to try.  I signed up for a new fitness and nutrition plan...more on that after the first week is done.

I've been taking it a little easy this week because I'm running a 5 mile race (my first chip timed race ever) and I want to have a good showing.  I really want it to warm up though.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring!

As usual, Calgary weather is mocking us.  The past week has been -14 and snowy, the next few days will be just below freezing and snowing. 

But today?

Today is supposed to be 12 degrees above zero and sunny.

And people wonder why we tend to go crazy here?

More substantial update in a bit, but funny workout story from yesterday:

I was doing speed work, as prescribed by my Jeff Galloway running book.  Yesterday was 7 x 400m @ 6mph pace.  It shouldn't have been difficult, it's only 2.5 minutes - enough to get the heart up and to be sweaty at the end of the 7 rounds, but not huffing and puffing.

Well, after the first round my legs were a bit achy.  Halfway through the second round I thought that I wouldn't be able to do anymore.  During this I remembered that I had set the incline 1% lower for my 5k on Sunday, so I bumped it up to get back to my normal 2%.  Somehow, I got it up to at least a 4% incline and it was reporting 0%.  No wonder I was feeling it.

So...reset the whole thing, put it back to 2% and was flying the rest of the way.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My first virtual race!

I hadn't heard of virtual races before this year, and I find them kind of neat.  I do a race at my own time and place and then post the results.  For a small fee (usually going to charity) you can even get a medal (which I love).

Yesterday was my first of two virtual races (so far) this year.  I was planning on going to the paths along the river...had it planned out and everything.  The forecast called for clouds and just below freezing but I could handle that.

Then the snow started...again.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday and then Sunday morning it was not only snowing, but bitterly cold as well.  Officially -14 and blowing snow.

I stayed inside and ran on the treadmill.

Official time:

34:13 for 5K (just over 11 min/mile)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Long Run in the Books

Even though it snowed and was gross at the start of the week it warmed up nicely so that Sunday morning I could actually go outside for my "long" run.

The plan was to run the same 5 miles that I'll do in two weeks for the Run for L'Arche.  I've never ran in a race that far (only 5kms previously) and I wanted to see what I was in for before trying it with a bunch of people.

Running outside is so.much.easier than running on the treadmill.  I thought I was going slow but I was way over a long run pace - even faster than what I thought my race pace would be.   I was easily running a 10 min mile pace and I can't do that for very long on the treadmill. 

And the time flew by, the turn around point came up in no time and I wasn't feeling tired at all.  I did lose some steam at the 4.5 mile mark, but that is almost certainly because I'm not used to going that fast for that long.

5 miles - 53:23 (10'40" mile)  What!?


So Yay! for long outside runs.  Let's hope whatever snow is left for this year is during the week and melts quickly.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Stridebox

My StrideBox is here!  And it's fabulous :)

I've been watching the tracking email that they sent with a mix of amusement and anticipation.  Firstly amused because it went from the Northwest (Seattle?, I forget) to LA and then to Canada.  Then I watched it go through customs and facilities and finally made it to my post office Friday morning.

Things always show up in Calgary on Friday morning, and they very rarely make it to my house until Monday afternoon.  But not this time.  When I checked the mail after work there it was!

Of course, we had to be out the door right away so I didn't have time to open it until Saturday morning...kind of like Christmas.

Here's what I got:

Lovely card that lists what everything is, where you can get it and the retail value.  I find retail prices interesting, since we very rarely pay the same thing here, if we can get the product at all.  This is the reason why I'm like a kid in a candy store when we go to the States - so many things to try.

First up, Given Brand - Original FLIP Pocket Wrist Wallet.  Very cool and something that I need for when it gets nice out and I don't have pockets to hold my key.   Also a coupon for Skora running shoes.

Next layer: Sample of WIN sports detergent, interesting...something I've never thought about before.  Two Peanut Butter GU's, I've heard lots of people talk about these and now I can try before I buy!  Click Espresso Protien Drink - Mocha  Not sure about this one, only because I'm not a coffee drinker anymore.  It might have to go to Adam.  And then, a Picky Bar - I'm intrigued, the main ingredient is dates, which usually means I won't like it, but I want to like it because of the other ingredients.

Last layer:  Sample of Run Guard - Anti-Chafe Stick, I haven't gotten to runs long enough to have Chafing...but I'm sure I will eventually.  A Kind Bar - Dark Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt, Looks yummy and I actually saw these at the store yesterday when buying groceries.  So I know I can get more later.  Then, two PowerICE bars; orange and lime.  Will try these when it gets a bit hotter out.

And, some coupons for some of the products in the box as well.

So all of that for $20 ($15 + $5 shipping to Canada).  I think it's a good deal.   And I get a present every month.  Which I like even more than a good deal.

Can't wait for next month!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stuff in my mailbox!

I love it when things-that-are-not-bills show up in our mailbox.  There's one Friday in the month that is usually a good one; that's when my Food and Wine and Good Food magazines show up and I sit down with a glass of wine and flip through them for a couple hours.  It's a pretty good way to end the week.

But yesterday, on a Monday, I got a couple packages that yes, I paid for, but it's still a nice little surprise to see that little red key that means something was too big to fit into the normal mailbox.

First package:

Perfect Fit protein powder from the Tone it Up girls.  Gotta admit; I'm a sucker for anything that ships to Canada and I'm always looking for something natural to put into a smoothie so I figured I'd give this a try.

Race kit from Jessica at Virtually Running for Gold,  Proceeds going towards the St. Baldrick Foundation.  I honestly thought it was just the medal (and donating to a good cause), but to get stuff as well?!  I was happy happy indeed. 
And then, I got an email saying my StrideBox is on it's way.  AND my next wine shipment is in April.
Get to look forward to more stuff in the mail

Monday, March 4, 2013

5 by the 5th Challenge - March

After last weeks outdoor long run I was totally set to do my 5k for March outside and see how I do without that silly treadmill holding me back :)  It was dry and sunny on Saturday and supposed to be more of the same for Sunday.

And then this happened Saturday night:

So back to the treadmill I go for another week - next weekend is supposed to be sunny and nice again, I hope it is so I can do a trial run for my 5 miler on the 23rd.


On my treadmill, again.  5k - 36:45  then, because I was supposed to do 4.5 miles,  I cut the pace back and finished off the last 2.2 k for a total time of 55:00.  Felt good, no pain or aches but I really wanted to be outside.

Oh well, there's always next month :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Long" Run Sunday

I've redone my training schedule to better reflect the races I've signed up for and things actually worked out pretty well.   March 3rd - May 26th will be working on the 70 minute target for the Calgary Marathon 10k.  I think this is very do-able, not like the 59 minute target which is a little too close to crazy for me right now.

May 26th to August 10th will be training for Seawheeze.  I have a "to finish" goal for that one.

Today I did my first outside run since October.  It was interesting not being on the treadmill; time went by super fast, felt great, wasn't bored and had to dodge a million dog walkers who took up the WHOLE FLIPPIN' path. 

What I didn't expect was how fast my pace was, each run interval I had to slow myself way down to get to my normal Long Run treadmill pace.  Not sure if this happens all the time or if my treadmill is out to lunch.   Either way, it was fun and now that the weather isn't so horrible I'm going to try and do more outside runs.

February 24th 2013

4.1 Miles in 48 minutes (average of 11 min 27 seconds per mile)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wherein I find myself alone on a Friday night

This doesn't happen very often, but both Adam and Jet are off doing their own thing and I have the house all to myself.  It would normally be the perfect evening for a long workout followed by risotto (my favourite meal that the males of the house don't eat) and a glass of wine.  Possibly I'd even throw in Roman Holiday or Pride and Prejudice to watch on TV (I might still do that actually).


I was sick almost all week.  Migraine on Wednesday (after a really good workout too),  residual headache and stomach bug on Thursday and feeling about 85% today, I'm not sure I should be working out at all, let alone cooking a plate full of rich starchy food.

Grilled cheese and couch time it is.

To make it up to myself I registered for 3 more races!  Two actuals and one virtual:

Run For L'Arche 5 mile

Jugo Juice 10k (Calgary Marathon)

St. Baldricks Virtual Run 5k  I found the Virtual Run through a really cool Facebook group called Run Disney so I can Eat Disney.  I like the idea of a virtual fundraising race that I can fit into my own schedule.  I will do this one as my March entry of 5 by the 5th.

Almost long weekend home time, so looking forward to it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancake Tuesday

According to Wikipedia today is commonly known as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Canada.  I've never heard it called that here and didn't know it was a thing until I started reading UK cooking magazines.

It will always be Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday (if I'm talking to my mother).  But we will have pancakes, or possibly crepes for dinner.

(I also just found out that Fat Tuesday is literally Mardi gras in French.  Guess that one semester of high school French didn't stick, but now that I know it's So. Obvious.)

As is my custom I'm going to be giving up stuff for Lent.  Last year I gave up coffee and haven't looked back.  This year will be:

- Alcohol on weekdays (bye bye dinner glass of wine)
- Sugar in my tea
- Scones or other bakery products for breakfast

The sugar and scones are getting to be too much of a habit so I'd like to kick that one for good.  The booze....well, let's just say that I'm going to give it a try.

Monday, February 11, 2013

On Long Runs, Online Shopping and SeaWheeze

First things first; Yesterday was a Long Run day, 7 miles (11.1 km) and I was actually looking forward to it.  I remember the last Long Run to be quite enjoyable and rather easy, albeit...shorter.

Well, yesterdays sucked.  I struggled quite a bit and early on.  I think it was because I woke up, had a glass of water and then got at it.  I should have eaten something or taken something with me to snack on.  The cardio wasn't a problem, so I'll take that away as a good thing along with the fact that I did the whole 7 miles and didn't give up half way through (like I really really wanted to).

Stats:  7 miles, 1:33 (13:15 /mile)

I don't usually like to shop; I'm pretty indecisive and get buyers remorse pretty easily.  And, the stuff in the shops here is either for a seventeen year old or a sixty year old, and I am neither.  I'm actually pretty much right in the middle of both of those. 

But...when the mood strikes, I find myself with a whole bunch of new stuff :)  This weekend was one of those times.  I signed up for StrideBox because it seems neat and I like to have things delivered to me.  My mom gets GlossyBox but that's just not my kind of thing.  Then, I ordered a trial pack of Perfect Fit Protein from the Tone it Up store...because I could and the credit card was out.  I also picked up a couple pairs of pants and a new sweater from the Gap factory now I have two pairs of not-jeans to wear to work.

But the best one is....

I registered for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon!

Should be fun, but at the expense of going to Florida in November :(  Oh well, there's always next year.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


When I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon I spent most of my free time (possibly some of my working time) reading all of the runDisney blogs and recaps I could find.  And as I read through them I noticed a pattern; runners get hurt.  A lot.

And in my hubris I said to myself that it wouldn't happen to me.  I work out regularly, I'm going to be building on a strong base.

Ha!  Fates know when to smack you down when ego gets in the way.

I'm the proud owner of two owies;

 - Sort of where my big toe attaches to my foot.  Kind of.  It's an ache that comes and goes, mostly goes.  Possibly co-incidental with the purchase of new shoes.  Which would make me sad.  Good news is it's not getting worse and it doesn't bother me when running.

 - A HUGE knot in my calf.  I'm not sure if I'm doing more harm than good trying to massage it out.  I want to catch this one quickly so it doesn't get worse, it's only annoying right now but I think it could be one of those things that lingers.  A trip to a massage therapist might be in the cards for me.

On the good side (and I know that I'm throwing it out there just to jinx myself), my knees are holding up surprisingly well.  I will probably always have to ice them after long runs but I'm not feeling any extra soreness or stiffness day-to-day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 by the 5th Challenge - February

5 by the 5th is a virtual race series put on by Laura at Mommy Run Fast.  Basically what it says on the tin; run 5k (or 5 miles) by the fifth of each month - January to June, record your time and share it with everyone!  (And possibly win prizes :) )

I'm still hoping to find some actual races around Calgary that fits the dates, because it would be cool but also because all of my training so far has been on the treadmill and while I don't mind it - as it's flippin' COLD here - I think that getting some actual race-type experience would be beneficial.  And I'm not convinced that either of my treadmill or my Nike+ footpod are telling the truth when it comes to speed.

January's results were less than spectacular, still getting into the swing of things. 

February was much much better; 35:38 for 5km, or around 11:30 per mile (my math skills are fuzzy this morning), and I did it running 10 minutes (~5.5 mph) walking 1 minute which I'm super pleased with.  I've been doing the Galloway run:walk:run method and haven't pushed myself at all with pace or duration of the running segments so it's nice to see that I can run continuously for longer than 2 minutes.

Looking forward to what results next month brings!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time for an Update

I've been neglecting my blog again, it happens, but I haven't been neglecting my fitness which is good.  I've decided that I want to run a half marathon...this half marathon to be specific:

Yep, my plan is to run in this years runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  My plan is also to make my sister and my mom do it with me, Jess said okay (she's up for anything travel related and when I showed her the bling she was totally in) but mom is waffling.  But registration isn't for another month so I've got time to work on her.

Apparently one can't just go from ideas to 13.1 miles, so I've got books and a training schedule (I'm already on week 6...go me!) and shoes and gear...I'm ready to go.  I downloaded a random one of the Jeff Galloway schedules from the runDisney site and it has me finished training the week before the Calgary Marathon -  must be fate.

And that's what's up with me...more or less (we won't even start to talk about the Super Bowl...hubby is a huge 49ers fan, ouch)