Friday, November 18, 2011

Foto & Follow up Friday


I'm Alive!!!!

Yes, I know, it has been too long for me to be away. I somehow forgot to tell you all that I was going to be away for a while! My husband and I went to a wedding for a good friend in England, and decided to make a tour of France and Germany at the same time! So there was a lot of packing, travelling, eating, relaxing, and some stressing when our travel agent messed up our flight home. Since we've got back, I have been working overtime to get back on track. Why does it always seem like you have to spend two weeks catching up from a 2 week vacation?

So to make up for my absence, here are some photos for your enjoyment! More to come!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Third Time Thursday

Well, this weekend I had scheduled plans to help my friend M complete her first marathon. She had signed up for a tough local race, once that had a lot of hills, and a pretty arbitrary policy of telling people to not sign up if they thought they would take more than 6 hours max. Even those who thought they might be over 5 hours had to sign up for an early start time. As a result, there were only about 200 marathon runners, and my friend was SUPER nervous.


The week before her race, I agreed to meet her about 25km into the looping course, and help her run the rest in. 12-15k was something I knew I could do just fine, so I planned where to park accordingly. The morning of the race however, everything went wrong. I couldn't get to the place I wanted to, so had to park with all the participants, and had to walk the course to the 25k mark. This meant about 5k of walking to get to the meetup point, with a bag on my back in 28 degree heat. I was worried I had missed my friend, and kept an eye out for her. I texted her, and was scared when I got no response. There was at least one marathoner I passed who collapsed at the 20k mark, and I assisted another in dropping out on my way to the meetup point.


Finally, I called my friend, and found out she was just approaching where I was. She had got to the 23 k mark, and decided that running it wasn't fun, and she wanted to cross the finish line with a smile on her face, so she made the executive decision to walk the rest of the race. Somehow, I was convinced to walk with her. So, I accidentally completed my third half marathon this weekend. My friend was the last person on the course, and didn't finish in the 6 hour time limit, but thanks to some great volunteers, she had a human finish line to cross and a medal to receive when she got there.


I had great fun being a sherpa for her, even with the blisters and sore muscles the next day. I got home to my husband saying he told me so (I said I wouldn't do another half marathon again) but that was ok. It was my first time "spectating" and was completely enjoyable. If all my races were like that, I would do a half marathon anytime. There were no expectations, no pressure to complete in a certain time frame. The goal was to cross the line, and in the end, we both did.


Anyone have their own "spectating" stories where you ended up being more than just verbal support? What do you think about a race having a time limit?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spoke too soon

Every year, I get to this point (October) and think, I will run through the season. I will not be a wuss. I will put my big girl pants on and get my butt out of my warm bed and run, even though it is getting chilly.


And then the season change comes, and it hits me like a freight train, and I can barely get out of bed to get to work on time, let alone run. I have signed up for the Resolution Run in December, so I have to get back to it, but I am giving myself a little bit of breathing room for another week or two before getting back into it full force. I have a pile of other things going on, work related, life related, and sometimes, you just need to give yourself a little break.


So my last post, I mentioned that I managed to avoid the dreaded black toes that I had last year. If you weren't here, 5 of my toes turned some shade of purple or black after my first half marathon, and partially detached from the nailbeds. I managed to keep them all, but was not happy about the process. This year, some of my toes turned a strange shade of pink, but after almost two weeks, I was confident I was going to keep them all.


Fast forward to this past Saturday, I had a friend visiting from overseas and we were showing her our new house. My husband and I stepped in to hug her at the same time, and sure enough, my husband stepped on my big toe, and I immediately knew it was trouble. I looked down and the middle of my nail had already started turning purple/black from blood pooling underneath, or bruising, or something. So, I'm back to crimson nail polish!!!


FYI - don't google black toenail - some people have ugly toes!


Are you a fall runner? Do you notice any change in your running when the seasons change from warm to cold?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I love running...

This post has been a bit inspired by Mel over at Tall Mom - she had a negative incident with a photo caption, and clarified that you don't always have to look happy or have a smile on your face to love running. I think right now that point needs to stick in my head. I don't have to be competitive, I don't have to be fast, I don't have to run marathons or half marathons. I could, and I know that, but just because I choose not to doesn't mean I am not a worthy runner, and doesn't mean I don't love running the distances I choose to run from now on.
My husband proceeded to keep digging a hole with me today when he called me at work. After the run, he didn't ask what time I finished in, and to be honest, I didn't share because I was horribly ashamed of it. I should be able to run faster than I do. So many people I know, bloggers I see do halfs in 2 hours or less like it is no big thing, so when I have to say I did my second half in 2:48, it sucks.
I guess my husband took it upon himself to look up my time, then he called and jokingly called me a slacker. Which resulted in me bursting into tears at my desk, because I feel like it is true. I feel I failed, I am lacking, the result isn't impressive, and am terribly ashamed. I think upon hearing my reaction, which was crickets followed by a conversation on why that wasn't funny, he finally got it.
Still waiting on the photos, but my body is pretty much 100%. Toenails are a bit sore, but thankfully, I think none of them will turn black or fall off this time. Might try to get a run in tomorrow.
Has anyone ever made a really stupid comment to you they thought was "funny"? What did you do about it?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not my best today....

Wanted to check in really fast to provide an update, as I received a few comments on my last post. Saturday night, I knew that things weren't going to go my way when the hubby didn't go to bed early, instead deciding to stay up till 2am (I know, he woke me up when he got in bed) watching movies and doing his thing. I didn't even bother trying to wake him up on Sunday. He didn't show, but he did manage to drive into Ottawa that same morning (could have probably made it to my finish) to go shopping instead.
Race was fine for about 8k, then we stopped because my friend was having digestive issues, and I just didn't want to go any further. I was done. It just wasn't my definition of fun anymore.
I finished the race, 5 minutes slower than my first, but did noy feel joy or relief. I just felt empty and sad.
At this point, I don't think I will be running another half again, at least not with any serious intentions. Maybe the disney princess half, but no others. My heart isn't in it, and the whole process has just made me sore, cranky, sad and depressed. And it truly shouldn't make me feel this way.
So 5's and 10's are what I'll do. I'll accept what I now know is my personal limits. It is hard not getting caught up with other bloggers who go further and faster than me, and it is getting me down. So I am going to focus on what I can do decently well, that puts a smile on my face.
P.S - two years ago today, I married my husband. Realized I never posted any photos of us last year, definitely meant to, so here's one for you:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Freak Out Friday

Two recent developments have me freaking out in different ways about this weekend:

1) the race directors/powers that be have just announced that the course has changed for the third time in three years. While I hate that there isn't consistency, and that I now don't know/have never run about half of the route, the advantage is we get to avoid a KILLER hill that made me nearly keel over last year. It's about 2k of straight uphill torture which I am glad to miss. See my comments on that hill and the racer who I saw collapsed on the course here.

2) the bigger freakout has to do with my husband, who I love, but is not a runner. I have tried to convert him, he has done part of the C25k program, has ran with me as recently as this month, but has never caught the running bug. I can accept that. However, he has always been supportive of the past in attending my races and cheering me on, which is something I thrive on and means a lot to me.

So I had the following conversation with him on the phone just now:

Me: Hey Hun, so we have to get to M's house at around 7:45-8 so we can drive into town for the race, since it starts at 9.

Him: 7:45?!?!

Me: Yes, it is a 9am race.

Him: Well, I was planning on going out to the shooting range tomorrow morning, and was really looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday.

Me...... um, ok, but you knew about the race.

Him: What am I going to do for 3 hours anyways?

Me: Go have breakfast? Watch me and support me?

Him: *sigh*

Seriously???? He knew about this race MONTHS ago, and all of a sudden sleeping in is more important? My friend M has her parents, who live in Alberta, who have flown out just to see her run, and my husband can't get out of bed and spend three hours supporting me. I could just about cry right now. Because the only thing worse than racing, is racing knowing no one is there to support you specifically. The rest of my family is in a different area of the province, so if he doesn't come, I'll be going it alone. As much as I am upset, it isn't worth me forcing him to attend.

I have been realizing over the past little while that I am losing my run mojo, and with this it feels like another nail in the coffin. It is hard to continue doing something where you have no one supporting you, and where your goals aren't motivating you like they should.

Do you have supportive family? If you don't, how do you do it?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Slacker Monday


On the weekend I was checking my facebook account, and was confronted with my status from last year which indicated that I had two interviews on one day. At the time, the interviews were great news as it had been a long trying summer of attempting to find employment, only to get two different job offers on one day. On October 4th, I will be with my workplace for one year, and so glad to be gainfully employed and earning $$$!

However, this status update reminded me of how different my life was last year, and where my head was at the week before the race. Last year, I had a guaranteed job, but hadn't started working yet. I was essentially on a holiday, with all the time in the world to run. I was optimistic and full of energy after a long and depressing summer. As a result, I was super excited/nervous for my first half marathon.

Fast forward to today, I am 6 days out from my second half marathon, and I feel like it is a chore. I did my last long run last saturday in brutal heat and humidity, and it was a definite slogfest. I have ran one 5k since then, and feel like my heart isn't in it. I am so focused on my job, my new house, our upcoming trip, finances, getting the Munckin back into the routine of school that running is something I do, not necessarily something I love or an excited about.

I know that excitement will come back as I attend the race expo later this week, get my swag and maybe buy some new gear, but for now, it is SO hard to convince myself to get out there and do a run or two this week. It is so scary to think that this weekend, I run 21k. I feel unprepared and nervous that I will tank out worse than last year.

In case you don't remember, I ran my first half in 2:43 last year. I am not exactly a speedy Gonzales here. I will be embarassed if I don't surpass that. I should be a better runner now, having another year under my belt, but I am concerned that with my life back on track, I didn't take the time to become a better me.

Is this rambling part of my taper madness? Maybe. Is it messing with my self-esteem? Yes.

Despite being so focused on life this year, the one thing I do find about my training is that I have been WAY more positive. Last year I would fight my running buddy to take breaks when it gets tough. This year I found myself pushing her on when she wanted to stop. I am hoping that between the two of us, we will be able to challenge our limits in a reasonable way, and get close to that 2:30 time frame I had initially wanted. I have not been wearing a Garmin on my training runs (*gasp*) and don't really know if I am on track, but I am hoping with some determination and drive, I will be able to push it (push it real good!) and get to my goal.



I WILL run a 10k tonight
I WILL be excited for Sunday
I WILL be positive and keep moving for as much of the 21k as possible
I WILL meet my goals, no matter what they are the day of
I WILL be happy for myself, even if it is just for being healthier than at least 50% of the population


What will you do today?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Foto Friday - My Creation



A few weeks ago, I won an Allied Metal Display in a blogger contest. I was trying to find a design that screamed me, and it wasn't there, so I contacted Joel, and we bounced ideas around. I have had the greatest customer service from Joel over at Allied, as it literally took me weeks to try and figure out what felt right for me.
While Allied had several cityscapes that are really nice, they didn't match up with my newly re-acquired country/small town life. So Joel and I talked, ran through several ideas, I even sent a PDF very bad sketch his way, and we came up with something I really enjoy. This afternoon, it got posted on the Allied Metal Display Facebook page, and I squealed with delight!!! 16 people had liked the photo and 8 more left comments, and I felt like one proud mama.
Here are the photos of my/our/Allied Metal Display's new "ruralscape" design:
It has been sent out, so I hope to be taking photos of the real thing in the near future, and holding a great giveaway for you all!
Happy Friday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fueling Friday


So I have thought about doing a post about how to appropriately fuel for a run for quite some time, I even tried to get a guest blogger to come do some notes on it, but alas, no dice. But now that I am back up to decent distances (yes, I have failed to fill you all in, but my half marathon training is somewhat back on track, with 4 weeks left to go!) I have been re-evaluating my fuel options.

I often do not fule for anything less than 10-12k. Just water. I find for this distance, as long as I get home and grab some lovely chocolate milk or other source of nutrients, I'm good.

But, with the longer runs now, I need something to keep me going. Every runner has their preferences, and I will just share mine! So here are some of the popular choices (food based, not any electrolytes or other brews), and my thoughts on them.

Clif: Clif offers two different products, the gels and the the shot bloks. I have tried both, and although I am not a fan of the chewiness and stickiness of some chews, I think Clif has hit a good balance for both of these products. I can take them manageably, and the flavours are pretty decent. They also tend to be cheaper than many of the other products out there, and the gels have convenient little tabs so that you don't have to litter on the run. That being said, I find the effect, the high you get is a bit muted, and may not last as long. They are my current #2 brand!

Powerbar: Probably one of the oldest and most well known companies for sports energy products, the powerbars, bites, blasts and the gels can be found in most sports stores and often in grocery stores. Powerbar provides a number of flavours and are generally middle of the pack on cost. I have tried the bars for non-running, and like them. On the run, I can't really fathom eating a powerbar, so I have tried the gel and the blasts. Sadly, I hate them. The gel in both products has a taste and consistency that I just cannot stomach, and they generally cause me some GI issues. They might work for some people, just not at all for me. I'd rather run without fuel than use powerbar gel.

Stingers: I have a pack of these purchased, but haven't gotten the chance to bite into them yet. The stingers are made of honey and kola nut, which is the natural source for caffiene, and they use mostly organic materials. The company produces waffles, stingers, and gels, but they are VERY hard to find in my area. I have never seen the gel, and the waffles and stingers are generally only available at Running Room. Stingers are limited in flavours as well, but are reasonably priced.

Jelly Belly: This is JB's attempt to diversify it's products, by taking jelly beans and adding some electrolytes and vitamins. These taste just like the real jelly bellys, which is an advantage in the taste arena. However, they are also made 100% like jelly beans, meaning a sugary exterior and chewy interior which equals a bad mix for me. I hate eating something that tastes so much like candy while running. They are extremely portable, and I love how the little bags are resealable, but I will take a pass on these beans.

Sharkies: These adorable little jelly candies pack real fruit flavour and some serious energy. The package is a bit more bulky, meaning that they can be harder to carry on longer runs, especially if you need to carry more than one. Nutritionally, they are a good balance of everything you need while on the run, and I find the energy is really great over the long term - no peak and crash. I do find that Sharkies have a bit of an aftertaste, and can stick in your teeth quite easily (saving for later?) but generally a good choice.

Gu: With Gu, you either love it or hate it. And many, many people love it. Myself included. Medium price (not including the Roctane), but with a superior energy punch, and great long term power to get your through the tough runs. I tend to like the variety of flavours available, both fruity and heavier options. I personally LOVE the Jet Blackberry flavour (2x caffiene for the win!). My #1 choice on all runs.
Carb Boom: this product has larger packages and can be quite hard to find outside of specialty stores. They also quite high calorie content, and either no caffiene or double caffiene. Personally I have never tried this brand, so I can't rate the effectiveness, but I have heard both good and bad things about this product. It is thin and can be messy.

Hammer Gel: Again, one I haven't tried due to it's lack of general availability in my area. Only available at Running Room. Medium price, about 9 flavours to try from. Lower on calories and made with real fruit. Noted to have a lower initial punch and long term energy boost than some other brands.

Here's an interesting chart about most of the brands above, plus some I assume are American:


What product is your favourite? How do you fuel on the go?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spartan Race - July 2011

Ok, here is my long awaited race summary for the Spartan Race, which took place at Camp Fortune in Hull.

First of all, for some reason, after living in Ottawa for approximately 7 years, somehow I never managed to figure out that Camp Fortune wasn't just a lovely place to relax and do some hiking, but that it was also a ski resort in the winter. Oops. As a result, I had NO idea what I was about to face, and just how hard this race would be. I was oblivious and excited.

We arrived as instructed over an hour early, only to find out that there was no parking available right near the site. We were forced to park, ditch all of our extra clothing, wallets etc, at the vehicle, and walk 2+ km uphill to get to the race site. The weather that day was miserable, it was approximately 30 degrees without the humidex, meaning it soared to approximately 36 degrees Celcius, or 97 degrees Farenheit that day.

When we finally got to the site, we proceeded to write our numbers on our arms in permanent marker, get our chips and free t-shirts (which were white, and of course, we had no where to put them, so we hid them in the bush and came back to get them later). We had very little time before our heat was called and we were lining up.

The course on this race can only be described as brutal. I had heard positive things about the other Canadian races, but they were described as mostly flat. We were faced with immediate hills, climbing to ridulous heights. The gun went off, and we started plowing up the first ski hill with everyone else. It became very clear that to survive this race, we needed to pace ourselves, and slowed down significantly.

Once we were up the first hill, we were directed through a wooded path where we had to climb over and under wood poles, through a cargo net, and dash to the first true obstacle, which was a short wood retainer wall which we quickly cleared. Once cleared we were directed to a grassy area where there was a long strip of barbed wire laid down and we were told to climb under it all, army style. This was by far my favourite obstacle with respect to the challenge - it was fun while forcing you to get down and dirty, and a lot of people were helping each other by raising the barbed wire or to untangle others who had got caught.

Once this obstacle was done, we were relatively filthy, and headed back over to the hills where we were given a tire and told to lug it half way up a ski hill and then carry it back down. I proceeded to find the smallest tire I could, and went to it. The hill was very slippery, and it was hard to find your footings going in either direction.

Once we dropped the tire, we went back under more barbed wire, and if you weren't completely filthy yet, this is where you were covered in mud and hay.

They turned us back us the largest ski hill I think I have ever seen. It literally kept going and going, we would think it was cresting and then cry to see more hill in front of us. At this point, we were probably less than half way through, and the heat was getting to me and my 5 friends. We had no sun protection, and at the top of the hill, we found out there was absolutely NO WATER on the course. An email sent to us had said there would be 3 water stations, and it would have been extremely difficult to carry it with all the mud etc. I am decently fit, not perfect, but all of us were walking part way up the hill, stopping and sitting down, catching our breath, and then continuing. Any time expectations went out the window, and we aimed to just survive.

At the top of the monstrous hill, we were met with volunteers (who were in the process of eating lunch and drinking cold water) and had to climb ropes to the top of the Ski lift mechanism. This is an obstacle that is not girl friendly, as I have NO upper body strength. With the help of a few good men, namely my husband, and tow other guy friends, my friend M and I both made it to the top.

Down back into the forest we went, racing through to a cargo net which we had to scale. I had no problems at all with this obstacle, flying right through and getting some confidence back. Continuing through the forest, we came to the next obstacle that required us to either do 30 pushups, or lug a bucket full of water up and down a hill. I knew my arms were tired, but thought that the bucket was a better form of torture, and cut some time going that route. We dumped the buckets on ourselves at the end, and that water felt like the best thing in the world. At this point, we were outside for about an hour with no water.

Back out of the forest, we ran ahead to the next wall where the girls and boys were separated. Girls got the easier side, where they had put some handholds and footholds for us to scale. The men had to go it without those resources, and I felt bad for any guy who was of short stature, as he would have problems considering the height of the wall. I scaled it with the help of some other girls, and then turned around and helped other competitors before moving on. (I am far left in black, helping someone up)

On the other side of this wall was another ski hill. If you check out the video (below) you will see just how big this sucker was. It felt never-ending. I had to take SO many breaks on this hill, as my body was just exhausted. I thought I was somewhat fit, but between these hills and the women all decked out in shorts and sports bras with amazing abs, I was feeling a bit inferior. We climbed and climbed and climbed, and finally got to the top.

After all that climbing, it was a joy to head downhill and be directed to throw spears/javelins at some straw spartans which were about 20 feet away. If you didn't hit the spartan at all, you had to do 30 burpees. Again, this was an obstacle where many women were at a disadvantage, but I managed to chuck it with everything I had and hit the leg. Yeah for no burpees!!!

The next obstacle came right after: we had to carry a cement block on our shoulders around a little track. Finally we were directed to the best obstacle ever: a river!!!! We were overjoyed to get in that water, cool down and clean up. We walked through the water to two culverts. We had minimal clearance, but were told to swim through the culverts to the other side. The culvert I was in actually had a dip in the middle, and we were forced to tilt our heads way up as to not drown. I loved every minute of it.

Out of the river, we ran over to a pole over some more water where we had to shimmy across or hang from it and climb across. Then we had to lift a brick on a rope up in the air and slowly back down. Easy peasy.

More running, mostly downhill lead us to more barbed wire, but this time instead of it being laid over the grass, it was overtop of a wood frame which was filled with ice and ice water. By the time we got to this obstacle, most of the ice had melted, but the water we had to crawl through was still pretty cold.

Nearing the finish, we had two obstacles left: the Spartans and the fire. (See my impressive jump in the background?)

From there the finish line greeted us, and "spartan women" gave us our rocking medals. We quickly went to the only water station at the finish line and tried to rehydrate as best as we could. We were told that there was free beer and a pay BBQ, but of course, our wallets and ID were in the vehicle 2km away, so once we were semi-cleaned up (and wounds were tended to) we slowly walked back down to the truck and called it a day.

Did I enjoy this race? Yes

Would I do it again? Yes, but I hope next year they do it better. We saw at least one person being taken away for heat exhaustion, and the staff wasn't the friendliest. They ran out of medals too. If they bring in water stations, and make the heats bigger but with more time in between (faster people made running in the forest dangerous), I would definitely try it again.

Here is a video I love, from the perspective of another Spartan Racer - it really shows what the course was like, condensed into 10 minutes. Enjoy! Aroo!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Country Runner


Well, after a brief break from anything not related to moving, we are now settled into our new home. We moved on the 22nd, and then my parents promptly decided that the first weekend after the move was the best time for them to come visit and stay with us. It was lovely to see them, but meant a lot of rushed unpacking, and chaos.
Finally, for the first time in weeks, I got to put on my running gear and get out for a lovely run along the trans-Canada trail, which runs through a town near where I live. It is a lovely isolated little path, and I noticed a huge difference between my typical runs in the city vs this run. Such as:
1) I saw a grand total of 3 people. Two cyclists and one walker. Which was a good thing, because I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction where I kept showing off my underwear to the world.
2) the bugs - I definitely got bit by something, and the blackflies were circling around my head for half the run. Bug spray is a new must for running gear
3) the quiet - related to #1, it was so nice to have a solid strip to run where the noises consist of the birds chirping and cicadas. Makes your mind relax a bit.
4) the little critters - practically ran over a chipmunk and a rabbit on my brief 40 minute run.
I am honestly loving the new scenery and environment, and plan on getting out there much more now that I am settling in as a re-found country girl. I grew up on a 30 acre farm, so being in the country is my true home, and I forgot that with the hustle and bustle of the "big city". I will be bringing in more of the country soon (hopefully) with a future giveaway from Allied Metal Displays. We're working on a custom/new design, and hopefully, I'll be able to show it off to you all soon and offer you all the chance to win your own display!
So, are you a country or a city runner? Who do you think has it better?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why I Read your Blog...

(stolen from Rust Belt Runner here - see below)

Why do you read a blog? 
 


I currently have SO many blogs that I read on a regular, or semi regular basis, and I have different reasons for each one. Here are some of my favourites, and why I <3 you all!!! TMB from Racing with Babes


1) Love your sense of humour
Beth from Shut Up and Run


2) I know you from other online forums
Marlene from Mission to a(nother) Marathon
Meg from Worth a Tri
Huneybee from Mommy Running Through

3) You inspire me
Tall Mom from Tall Mom on the Run
Emz from RunEMZ
Laurie from The (Mis)Adventures of a Jogging Mom

4) I relate so well to you and your posts
Holly from Rust Belt Runner
The Turtle's Pace


5) You are an awesome runner
EVERYONE!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Currently I follow 67 blogs, and I swore, that number is lower than the number I thought it would be!


How many blogs do you currently follow and/or read?

To inflate my ego, why do you read my blog?

Monday, July 18, 2011

OMG!!!!


Top Running Blog

Without knowing it, I actually made a top 100 list for running blogs this year!!!!

You can check out the entire list here:

http://www.healthcarecolleges.net/awards/top-running-blogs-2011-awards/

I feel pretty privileged to make the list with some of the best bloggers out there! Now if only I can get my host, Blogger to work and get some comments flowing again, I'd be happy!!!

Go check out the other bloggers on the list, and I'll hopefully get my report (with functional comments) for the Spartan Race up ASAP. For now, here's a preview:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hello?

Ok, so after posting about my Perth Kilt run race report last week, I was kind of bummed that I got no responses to the post. BUT, I know I have been having HUGE problems with Blogger lately and commenting on other people's blogs, so I am hoping that it is not just the fact that I am boring.
Before I write my epic race report on the Spartan race, including a 3k uphill walk to the start, 35 degree Celsius weather and ski hills with no water, can someone leave a comment if they are able to, or telling me that they weren't able to comment on my last post? If I get no comments, I am going to assume I need to play with my blogger settings to get things worked out.
Is Blogger causing you problems???

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Perth Kilt Run Recap





Race Report #1 of 2 for this weekend, this is definitely the more tame race report, the Spartan race was, well, more interesting.
So all day Saturday I was hyped up because I haven't ran a race in so long! I forgot what it felt like to have anxious or nervous butterflies in my stomach, but really, I knew that everything would be fine, so I settled in and fueled up. It was a hot weekend, with temperatures going up to 28 degrees (82.4 F). I collected my friend M on my way out of the city to picturesque Perth.

Perth is known as one of the most beautiful old towns in the area, and it lives up to it's name. The city is amazing (interesting fact: It was the last place a legal duel took place in Canada, and now the dueling grounds are called "Last Duel Park"), and the people are phenomenal.

We got into town about an hour and a half before our race, and managed to find a parking space at our local courthouse lot. Perk of going there for work is that I had access to the lot and part of the buildings for washrooms and changerooms if needed, and the lot was two blocks away from the start point and end point of the race.

We ran over to the main park where a number of unique events were going on - there was sheep shearing, celtic music, face painting, a juggler, a guy on stilts with a VERY long kilt, and lots of people, both participants and spectators. We quickly got our registration package and I went to pick up my kilt.


I put on my kilt over my running capris, and it fell to over my knees! I tried switching with my friend, who had bought her kilt last year and was much taller than me, but it didn't work, and I was faced with rolling it up and pinning it. In the end, I am thankful I did, as the kilt had some poly-type material around the waistband that was a magnet for sweat and hot on the skin.


After some wandering around, getting our faces painted, and finding some secret honey buckets to flush our systems, we were summoned back to the park by the Town crier, who was organizing the runners to be paraded to the start line. There was over 1000 runners at the race, and the organization was phenomenal.


We came around the block, then waited for the gun. We were a ways back in the pack, and more than happy to be where we were. The outfits were hot, and I was not hoping for a PR. With the race the next day, M and I knew we would have to conserve our energy and run a good, but not amazing race.


Finally, the gun went off, and we slowly approached the start line. We had the opportunity to high five a Duke and Dutchess of Scotland (no not THE famous duke and dutchess, although they were still in Ottawa at the time) as we crossed and started running.


The race looped several times around the city, and there were lots of spectators. I found out later, one of my work colleagues who lives in Perth had came out to try and watch for me, but we never did cross paths. The course for the first 3k or so was lively, with people smiling and cheering, many senior citizens watching (which I thought was cute), and loads of water stations. They had bands playing, kids having fun squirting runners with super soakers, and one of the local fire stations was spraying water down over the course. It was a hot one, and the temperature was uncomfortable, but we kept a pretty decent pace.


At around the 3k mark, we were directed into a golf course, where we would complete the next 3-4k of the course. The golf course had beautiful landscaping and was serene, but the path was sort of sandy, there was no shade whatsoever, and little to no spectators. The heat really started to get to me here, and my pace slowed and attitude admittedly soured a bit. I managed to not grumble above saying "It's really hot" over and over again to M, but she helped me suck it up and move on. At this point, I swore I passed Andrew Opala, but didn't introduce myself mid-run.


Finally, we got out of the golf course and I knew we only had one km to go. Seemed like the longest one in forever, but we kept trudging along. I even managed to spot a cameraman up ahead and smiled and waived (Goal: getting a photo where I don't look like I'm going to die - CHECK!)


One last burst of energy got me the final 100m, and we crossed with a clock time of 1:00:10. Unfortunately, the timing chips were off and actually added time to the clock time. We think we should have had a chip time of about 57:00, which is pretty good in my mind considering the heat.


Little did I know the heat would get worse on Sunday for the Spartan Race (36C, 98.6F)... race report to come once I get some photos for that!
So bottom line - if you are ever in Perth in July, sign up for the Perth Kilt Run. Great event, great distance, awesome crowds and organization, and you can be a part of an (unofficial this year) world record run!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amazing Story - Brother Love

Ok, so I am not one to be overly sentimental or anything, but I read this story, and it got to me, hard.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110613/LIFE01/306130018/Kids-triathlon-strengthens-brothers-bond

So many of us complain about the things we can't do, or the things we don't think we do well enough, complain about the weather or how tired we are, but how many of us give ourselves like this little boy did? How many of us have the mentality that we can do anything, it just takes some hard work? That every run is worth smiling about, because we have the ability to get up every morning, brush our teeth and hair, feed ourselves, dress ourselves, and run? I know I often forget about that sentiment, and this little boy just reminded me to suck it up and do my best, but also that it is always an amazing thing to help others.

Just WOW.

So go out there and do some good today. I'm going to try and pay it forward in the next couple of days by helping someone who needs it, without thinking about my race time, without complaining about the effort or time spent to make someone smile.

Race reports will be coming soon - just waiting on photos! I can tell you, the runs were both hot and sweaty, and I survived both of them. More to come!

Three Things Thursday

Short and sweet this one will be, since I am supposed to be working but can't focus with the long weekend looming!
1. We are homeowners! Yes, everything went well, and we now own a home of our own. Now the fun of moving in, making minor repairs, and paying for everything starts! Here she is:
2. Saturday I am out and about doing the Perth Kilt Run. I had hoped to do some baking for their scone competition, but it just isn't going to happen. To enter, I would have to drop the scones off by 12pm, and the race doesn't start until 6. Way too early in my books. I'll be looking out for Mr. Andrew Opala, who is also running this race.
3. Here's hoping that I don't kill myself on Saturday, because right on that races heels, I have the Spartan Race! So excited, despite MANY reports of people getting hurt. I'll just be careful, and take my time. Still looking forward to racing it with 7 great friends, then BBQ and drinks afterwards.
What are your long weekend plans?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Foodie Moodie Tuesday

Lame title, I know, but a good way to combine the two topics of the day. Moodie because this is a crazy week for us, my work is super busy, we are having last minute problems with our house deal which is supposed to close on Monday, my father-in-law is having surgery today so my husband is away, and I have events every night this week, most of which are luckily exercise! I ran 4k with my 15 year old protege last night, and she is doing so well! up to half a kilometer of running straight in intervals, she responds so well. I have started using a scale of one to ten to gauge her exhaustion and push her, and it is working so well.
Tonight I have a swim and yoga/tai chi/pilates class, then tomorrow I have a run of unknown distance with friends, then another run on Friday morning. Hopefully I can fit in some more exercise on the weekend, as next weekend is my big race weekend!!! Trying to be fit for it - I think I am ready, but still get pre-race nerves regardless.
As for the foodie part, I noticed quite a few bloggers giving comments on why they are vegetarian (http://myreasontorun.blogspot.com) and strange food habits (http://racingwithbabes.blogspot.com/) today, so I thought I would roll with it and give some of my strange food preoccupations too! (Sorry for the long links, Blogger is awfully temperamental these days!!!)
Here's a top ten list:
1. If I lived alone, my fridge would be poorly stocked, but I'd be happy. I could live off very few different types of foods and eat them over and over again and be happy. But sadly, I live with others, and need to vary my meals at least for supper quite frequently.
2. I was a SUPER picky eater when I was young, and I still am picky-ish. I have introduced some foods to my edible list, but a bunch of things still don't make the list, like most citrus fruits, brussell sprouts, and things that look scary to try (passion fruit, things like this)
3. I could eat all day and be happy. I used to be heavier than I am now by about 30 pounds, and I have to really control what I eat, or else I could just go on and on with crap food. Losing weight and maintaining a good diet is a challenge for me.
4. On that note, I am a sugar addict. Thought about joining the sugar free blogger challenge but was too scared. Tried to do it on my own and didn't last a day. I need sugar, every day. Today I have had honey flavoured soy nuts, fruit and sweetened yogurt, and sweetener in my tea. I cannot pass free sugar without a thought, which makes my office a hard place to work in. One of my colleagues is the "candy bowl" person, she has three different forms of candy. Plus we have timbits and other goodies every week, and currently have a box of ice cream bars in our freezer.
5. I love making weird foods. Combinations that people look at me like I am a crazy person for. My favourite when I was young was to take a bagel, melt mozzarella cheese on it and put BBQ sauce on that. Now I am more likely to take a can of chickpeas and go wild with other additions and flavours, so at least I am getting a bit healthier.
6. I have a strange relationship with eggs. Sometimes I go for months eating them for breakfast, and then all of a sudden, I am sickened at the sight and smell of them.
7. I am a food sneaker. I guess it is a strong guilt complex, but I will sneak junk food so no one knows - see sugar addiction above!
8. I am currently addicted to smoothies. Some days I have two a day - one for breakfast, one for supper. All with fruit, yogurt, protein and healthy, but still.
9. I am in love with this site: www.foodgawker.com
10. Since moving from small town hickville to a bigger city, I love trying new types of food. In hicksville, the only "ethnic" or "international" food we had was Chinese and pizza. Now I love Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Caribbean, Japanese, anything I can get my hands on. Desperately wanting to try Ethiopian.
What about you? Any strange food facts to share?
Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

OMG!

So after doing very little running these days, averaging once a week if I am lucky, I just did something that scares the crap out of me - I signed up for a fall half! Redoing the Army Half Marathon in Ottawa, hoping to beat my time from the first time I did it. Same course, so I guess I better start cracking on the hill training, because the hill on this course somewhere around 16k killed me last time.
I have a friend who has vowed to run it with me, so I am optimistic, if not scared shitless! I better get running eh?
Off to the gym to get at least 5-10k in! Better find a training plan too!
What have you done lately to scare yourself (or others)? Sign up for a half marathon? HTC application? Show off your bruised bottom at the gym?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tales for Tuesday

Over the past week I had a series of unfortunate events occur to me, including an episode where I fell down a flight of stairs (while carrying a plate of food, which of course fell and stained the white carpet) in a place with about 50 people I didn't know. I had got all dressed up for a celebration for one of my friends, who had a ton of her Pakistani family over at the house, as well as a few friends. They had the narrowest stairs, and I ended up sliding on down the stairs to the basement, taking out another girl on the way down and thoroughly embarrassing myself.
Once I hit the floor, I knew I had hit my butt, ahem, left posterior muscles pretty hard, but I played it off until I went home. Taking off my pants was horrible, and I soon found a welt the size of a telephone receiver across my bum. That welt turned into a big horrible black and purple bruise, which made sitting and taking the stairs incredibly painful and running out of the question. Over 9 days later, I am still bruised.
I went to the gym on Tuesday of last week, just to swim, and I swear I must have confused people when they caught a glimpse of my purple butt. It is not something you actively try to do in a public change room, but with a bruise this size, every one's eyes were naturally drawn to the mark. I can only imagine what must have been going through the minds of the people around me. In my mind, there are only three potential reasons for having a bruise that big in that location:
1 I had a horrible accident and should be pitied. No one seemed to by believing this one.
2. My husband beats me. I had at least one woman walk up to me and stare at me, evaluating if I needed help getting out of my abusive relationship. What do you do in that circumstance? You can't say what happened (oh, i just fell down a flight of stairs) because they won't believe that it is the truth!
3. The only other reason that comes to my mind is that my husband beats me - and I like it. S&M would explain the mark, but again, it causes me to be looked at like a freak. Definitely a fun day at the gym.
So after the long week of healing, I have finally had a good day. I am super busy at work, but two things have went my way today:
1. I get to announce my big news - we bought a house!!!! There will be a lot of running around for a while yet, but we take possession late this month and move in next month. It is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.
2. I got news this morning that I won not one, but two AMAZING giveaways!!! In the near future I will be the proud owner of these two items:
A Delta in2ition two-in-one shower head!
And an awesome Allied Metal display!!!
I am so excited to get both of these, do a great review (and maybe giveaway if I can convince either company to give me one for your guys!) and place both items in my new home.
Running tonight - will report in soon!
So, what would you love to win in a blog giveaway? Running gear? Cooking supplies? Household products?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Falling behind Friday

So quick update from me - I have been a little MIA over here because of some crazy happenings in my life. Something came up that I didn't expect, and I have been scrambling to keep up. I can't give details quite yet, but if all works out, it is good, and I will blab all of the details as soon as I feel I can.

I have been running, but not crazy. I regret not running in the Ottawa Race Weekend but I didn't get in before it sold out. I definitely want to sign up for the 10k next year, and I will sign up early. I haven't signed up for the half marathon in the fall yet, but I am worried that I might not have the same amount of time to dedicate to the training this summer. I mean, last summer I was unemployed and had all the time in the world to run, this summer I am out of the house usually for 12+ hours of the day, and running at work isn't an option. I want to do it, but I don't want the training to become a chore. Still trying to set up a schedule, see if it might work.

For now, let me leave you with some GREAT giveaways for all my American readers who (I think) have a long weekend this weekend:

Happy Runner Saucony Giveaway

http://www.shutupandrun.net/2011/05/winner-online-shoessaucony-giveaway.html

Chubby Chicks Run Too Saucony Giveaway

The Studly Runner Blitz Knee Sleeves

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bitten by the Green Monster


Along the journey to becoming a decent runner, I have seen other bloggers mention the GREEN monster. It scared me more then a little. It was green, and mean, and I thought that if I let one into my life, it would make me sad and blue (I know, bad colour pun there)

I viewed the green monster as the enemy I would never succumb to:



Ok, so maybe I am a bit drama filled. For those of you who don't know, a green monster is actually a smoothie, more specifically one made typically with spinach in it. I was a bit pessimist, thinking that there was NO way that the flavour of spinach could be disguised under fruit in a smoothie. Spinach was far too strong tasting, and the thought of blending it up and eating it for breakfast made me gag a little.




Until I finally caved this week, and tried it. I admit I was still a bit of a wuss, and only shoved a tiny handful of baby spinach (much milder and sweeter than the normal stuff in my opinion) in with my normal breakfast shake. After blending it up in the Ninja, it looked like I had taken a rose or carnation, flower, stem, leaves and all and blended them together. Little pieces of green and red floating everywhere in a pink liquid. (I know, if it's pink liquid, it's not a real green monster, but give me a break, I am working on it!)


It took all my willpower to convince me to take that first sip, and once I did: WOW! I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't really taste the spinach at all. The tiny little flecks that were still solid had a little tang, but the rest of it went down smoothly.


I am happy to say I tamed the green monster, and it is now part of my morning routine. Still haven't got the husband on the band wagon yet, but I'll convince him somehow... :)

Do you like green monsters? What's your best green monster recipe?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Adrenalin High

This weekend, I managed to have two perfect workouts. On the way home on Friday, I got a call from my normal workout buddy saying she wouldn't be able to make it. Normally, this would result in me throwing in the towel and lounging on the couch for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, I have a fire lit under my butt these days due to a weight loss contest I am entered in coming to a close, and having some impending races sneaking up on me. So off to the gym I went with the intention to do a nice, relaxed, 5k run.

Now I admit, I have not been running much these days. I have been swimming, doing step class, and doing some jogging with my new protege, but nothing that is a challenge. So when I hopped on the treadmill I set no time expectations, no speed requirements, I just set it at what felt right, and planned to run until I needed to walk. I have always been a 10 and 1'er, not having the stamina to keep going for long periods.

Needless to say, I was happily surprised when my body decided to act like the Energizer Bunny and let me keep going and going and going. The kilometers flew by as I watched some tv, and I was in the zone. That happy place where everything falls into place, you are in sync with your body and it feels easy, even though it shouldn't. I ran 5k in about 32-33 minutes, which is a great pace for someone who hasn't done that continuous distance since before winter. I have faith that I am in ok shape for the summer months.

Because I was on such a high, I ignored my tired legs and went to step class and swimming the next day, and continued to feel great. It was a weekend that reminded me why I stay active, because it feels so good to feel your muscles flexing and working, or to just feel your muscles under the thin(ish) layer of fat stored over your abs for the winter. I have recaught the bug, and all I want to do is run every night.

Have you caught the running bug yet this season? Is the weather in your area convincing you to get outside, or making you long for a couple million dollars so you don't have to work at all during the day?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom Runs



No, my mother does not run, but it is hard to not notice how many runners are women, and how many of those are busy moms, with careers and usually, multiple children to take care of. I am amazed by people like SUAR, TallMom, and Laurie who has FOUR! kids to manage on top of trying to get her runs in. As mentioned in previous blogs, I do have a 10 year old stepdaughter, aka Munchkin, but she lives at our house only 50% of the time.

Mothers are always in this dilemma, of whether they follow their instinct to take care of and devote all their time and effort to their children, or if they do what feels selfish, and take time for themselves. All too often, the requirement to make lunches, ensure homework is done, put the kids to bed, feed them or drive them to their endless activities takes precedent.


So I am issuing a challenge to all the moms that follow this blog for this Mother's Day weekend:

At least one day this weekend, take time for you.

Whether it is painting your toenails, going out for a run, ordering pizza so you don't have to cook, or just locking the bathroom door so you get some much-earned privacy, put others second for a few minutes and pamper you. You deserve it. I will be doing this by skipping our bi-weekly visit to my father-in-law, and going to step class instead. The father-in-law will understand, and I will get to do something that leaves me sweaty, but also refreshed and invigorated.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

P.S - last post I asked about motivation, and Chris gave me the best quote ever:

"I am always fighting the internal lazy person"

I highly doubt it considering his trail running/50k/50 mile running ways, but it made me laugh. Thanks Chris!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Banishing the negatives

So lately, I have been desperately trying to banish the blues, to break clear of the lazies and refocus my energy on upcoming events. It has been some stressful times, and will continue to be in the near future. The weather has been crappy, I am trying to plan the purchase of a home for us and an international trip in the fall, in addition to managing the finances to fund these expeditions, manage my husband's vast expectations on what we can afford, and manage to pay all the monthly occurrences that come up, which I am having problems juggling. I have just felt with the blah weather and so many financial stresses on the horizon, that my body is telling me to take a break and rest.



Does this rest mode help me? NO! I need to fight the inner lazy person, and remember all the benefits that exercize brings. This is why I went out for a glorious little run on the weekend, when the sun was shining bright and the weather was a balmy 20+ degrees. I took the time to mentor a neighbourhood girl who is 14 and wants to get into running on a regular basis. It was amazing to see her enthusiasm and just how much knowledge I have gained over the years with respect to running. This was evident when this girl, we'll call her A, showed up at my house in a cotton T-shirt, converse shoes, no water, no clue. I quickly fixed her up in my shoes, made her change her shirt and pants, got her a water bottle and some sunglasses, and got her set to go.

We set out on a route that took us about 3.75km, with a lot of walk breaks. It felt great to get out there and not focus on pace or time, just running when A wanted to and stopping when she needed a break. I will be starting her on a C25K program to do on her own, and will run with her at least once a week on the weekends to keep her company and motivated.

This run has reinvigorated my spirit a bit, and got me focused on my races that are fast approaching. I haven't yet signed up for my second half, but I think I will once I am back running 3 times a week. I know I can do it, I just have to get my mind out of the funk it is currently in, and back focused on a goal. Sometimes it just takes the push or encouragement of a family member, friend, mentee or stranger to get you refocused.

Who motivates you?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life could be worse.....

So my caveat to this post is that I am trying to make light of a bad situation. Not meaning to upset anyone or be insensitive. Just want that out there.

So after being sick as a dog for a full week, I caved and got some antibiotics. I still felt so awful, I tried to go into work and prep for my trial that was supposed to go on, but was told by my boss that I shouldn't do it if I wasn't 100% mentally there. So hesitantly, I adjourned it. Luckily, everyone understood. Fast forward, I got back to work the day after the trial would have been and work on catching up, with the stress of this trial gone for now.

Come the next Monday, I was still a bit tired and weak, but much better. One of the admins in my office asks me: "do you have a client who is an ex-cop?" Why yes, yes I do. "Is his name Joe Smith?" Yes, now wondering what is going on. Then I get the news: my client.... passed away. Four days after his trial was scheduled, he suddenly died. So now I am left with an understandably grieving wife, a client who is no longer with us, and a trial that may or may not still go forward. Believe it or not, a trial doesn't just go away because you die. It's not that simple, and apparently, it is also not that common an occurrence. No one seems to know how this will play out, so I am just trying to figure it out so my client's wife doesn't have to deal with it.

Despte the fact that this news threw me for a loop on the business side, it also made me think of the unpredictability of everything. I spoke with these clients 6 days prior, and everything was fine and normal. Less than one week later, their lives had been changed. It reminds me why I run, why I try to eat well, and why I try to promote this healthy behaviour to all my loved ones. Despite the fact that so many people have said it before me, you never know how long you have, so you should live life to the fullest, and make sure you take care of yourself so you can be around as long as possible. It is a fine balance between indulging and enjoying life and taking care to be healthy, but it can be done.

Ok, that is the extent of my life lesson, my words of wisdom. What do you do in order to enjoy life in moderation? Do you run for wine or chocolate? Or do you have a specific "cheat" day? Is running something you do because you "have" to, or do you see it as one of your indulgences and a source of enjoyment in your life?

To come this week: An actual post about running since it is finally warming up around here! We got up to about 15 degrees celcius or so this weekend, and I am gearing up to run outside on a regular basis, in addition to in the gym. I know, I am a wuss, but at least I can admit it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Six Months Ago Today...

Six months ago today, I started my real journey as a lawyer. I started my job here at my law firm, optimistic and yet tired, hopeful I would find my place. I have definitely found my place among the staff, and the drive has gotten better, and a bit faster over time with a new route learned. I still frequently spend close to 12 hours a day outside of the home, but it is getting better.


The law stuff, that stuff is not so quick to learn. I was hired on to do a specific type of law, and I am learning every day that I like it less than I thought. I still love the workplace, but I want to focus on other types of law. I don't know how to tell my boss this. I am still finding my footing, gaining endurance, getting my stride and becoming more confident in what I do. Kind of like running. Here's hoping I find my pace, and finally get to a place where I am comfortable with how much I am doing, and I know I can do it.


Despite the fact that I haven't ran much this winter, I am comfortable with the idea that I can do another half marathon. It doesn't scare me like last year, and I hope to train better mentally to make it a more enjoyable experience this year. I am slowly building my time on the treadmill, rather than in the pool or in some of the classes my gym offers, and hopefully the running endurance will bounce right back.


I have missed my signup deadline for a race in May, so I think my first one of the year will be late June/early July. I should get 5 or so official races this year, which to most people sounds so low, but is definitely a step up from my 1-2 that I have done over the past three years as a runner. I like to focus, to obsess over these things for weeks! Now's the time for me to get registering, to get my plans in line for the next few months. Here's to another great six months until it is time for my big Europe trip!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blah....

I'm sick. Somehow I managed to make it through the winter, the blistery wind and the freezing cold, only to find the weather improving, the snow melting, and myself sick. I got a really great swim in on Tuesday, had a good day Wednesday at work, and then BAM, woke up on Thursday sick. I'm weak, shaky, sore body, sore throat, everything. Came home from work early with a file in case I didn't go in today, and curled up on the couch. Actually, I came in and made a double batch of pea soup, my newest obsessions, and some of these:



My PB&J larabar-balls. The recipe I followed tastes good, but I think the ratio of nuts to squishy stuff was off, so I will play with it in the future.

Then I tried to curl up on the couch, but with the hubby and Munckin at home, somehow everyone still expected me to make supper, eat with them, clean off the table, run the dishwasher, and do most of the general house tasks. My husband even dared to make a loud sigh that he had to make the Munckin's lunch. Boo hoo.

I skipped my workout last night and crashed out early, hoping I would feel good enough to go to work today. That failed, and I have found myself at home today as well, curled up in my Papasan chair with a blanket, trying to get my body healed.
My first real trial, one that I will actually have go forward and not settle at the courtroom door is on Tuesday, and I can say, I am not excited for it on several fronts. It's not the best file, and my clients have unrealistic expectations. I don't expect to win; my clients will have to pay out money, but if I can get through the trial without them trying to blame me for the failure of their case, I'll consider it a success. I just hope I feel better by the time I have to launch into my opening arguments in court.
Any home remedies on how to get healthy?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Springtime Snow?

This weekend was gloriously beautiful in Ottawa, the sun was out, it was about 7 degrees celcius and my friend managed to convince me it was warm enough to get my wussy ass outside for a change. We suited up in the most interesting attire, me with my pink Ryder glasses (awesome piece of running gear, LOVE them), my electric blue mittens, and a bright orange running room jacket my friend provided me because I literally don't have any winter, or fall, or spring running gear. I looked like rainbow brite threw up on me, and sadly, I was proud of it. No one was going to miss seeing me if I fell on my face on the ice!

The run actually went really well, almost 5k outside and only needed to slow down twice for some serious ice patches. No clue on the time, but it got done. I actually enjoyed being outside, and thought that my transition from gym running to outside running might be in the works for the season. That is, until I got up this morning to see this, on the first day of spring:


Within hours, it is back to the miserable, cold Ottawa I know and hate all winter. Why won't it go away?? I know it will get better from here on out, but I just want the winter blahs to be gone. On a positive note, since I have been focusing on my weight, I have lost a whopping 6 pounds! That's huge considering I am only 5'4" when I stand really tall, and only had about 10-15 to lose. Here's hoping I can continue the momentum I have gained so far.
I have found a great, if odd new replacement for sugar. As I have stated before, I am a sugar addict, it is my #1 weakness, but I have just recently ventured to try nature's best sugar source:


DATES!!!

I am thinking about making my own power/energy/lara bars this weekend, and will report back the success (or lack thereof) later. For now, I will leave you with a link to the best slow cooker pea and ham soup I made this weekend. Just a caution, cook less than the time listed, or add more liquid, because this soup is more a puree than thin, and I had it come out of my lunch container into a bowl in one blob (shaped in the edge of my container) today. But it is tasty!
Anyone have a good larabar recipe that does not include pecans, walnuts or cashews? Please share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10 Ways I Break the Rules



Inspired from today's post over at SUAR I thought I would come up with my 10 ways I break the rules. To make it challenging, I am not going to use any of the ones already mentioned like speeding (which I think most of us are guilty of), saying things to our kids and then doing them, etc.



So, here's my original list:
1. I almost always check my personal email/blogs etc at work. Not always outside of regular working time. Sometimes you just need a break to clear the mind!

2. I get wickedly dry lips in the winter, and I peel off the dry skin. It drives me nuts when my lips are rough. I know if I didn't pick, they'd go away fast, but I can't help it.
3. I rarely ever clean off my makeup before going to bed. Waking up with raccoon eyes is not uncommon.

4. I am guilty of being possessive about my own things (especially food I have bought for myself) and then sneaking bites of the things my husband and step-daughter by for themselves.
5. I am a seasonal runner at best. Winter + running don't generally combine in my head, and I let myself slide in the winter. Most runners, especially those with further distances under their belt, don't do that. Makes me feel a bit ashamed some days, and contributes to my "I must not be a REAL runner" feeling.

6. I reuse my gym clothes sometimes when I feel lazy -throw it in the dryer, hope I don't smell too much the next gym day.

7. Don't know if it is a rule, but people often think it is strange that I sleep with socks on, and wear socks all year round, unless I have to wear heels that they show.

8. I forget birthdays and special occasions a lot. Usually I catch myself like the day of and scramble to put something together.

9. I don't budget per se. I look at my expenses coming out and income going in every two weeks or so to know how much will be in my bank account in a given time frame, and spend accordingly. This method has worked very well for me over the years. If I was to follow a normal suggested budget, it wouldn't work for me because my car expenses (mandatory for the job) exceed the cost of my rent every month... :S

10. My general eating habits are awful! I can't keep track, I overeat and under eat some days, I don't get enough grains or protein, I love sugar and junk food, and I have little to no self control. The only reason I stay somewhat healthy is the exercise (5 times this week! Score!) and the tracking I remember to do during the day.



It was so hard to think of things not already mentioned by SUAR and the commenters on her post - can anyone think of new things to admit to? The only other one I have in my mind is leaving a job and taking some office supplies with me. But I wouldn't do that.... I'm a lawyer.... :P
What are the ways you break the rules?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous...

I know, I know, I'm posting this on Sunday so it's not Monday yet, but considering the way my weeks have been going at work, this is the best time to write this so you all can read it on Monday. The time change is already killing me, and I am sure it will only go downhill this week.

Yesterday, I woke up bright and early to get to the gym with my constant companion Tina. We are constantly going to the gym and getting a swim in, but we decided to try and double up due to a missed workout on Thursday and hop of the treadmill for a half hour or so before getting a swim in. I'm still slowly easing into more workouts as the weather gets better and the days get longer, so this was a good effort on our part.

So we get up all bleary eyed and get changed before I realize that I have managed to leave my shoes at home. Not wanting to go back home, we contemplated the options. Skip the treadmill, wear my winter boots, or hop on the treadmill in sock or bare feet, and see if anyone noticed. I try to be as considerate as possible for others, but at the same time, it was going to kill me to not get on the treadmill after putting all that effort in to get to the gym.
So I walked out of the change room in my socks, and hopped on a treadmill. Did 30 minutes of walking on a 4% incline and some tentative running in shoeless feet. It was definitely an interesting experience - I know there are a group of runners out there that do barefoot running, but I would never consider it actively due to the risk of stepping on something and hurting myself. Running on a safe surface, you really notice the difference in how your feet strike the ground, and it was enlightening. Not a single person noticed that I did not have shoes on - or no one said anything to me or pointed and stared. Score one for me!

So I've got four workouts planned this week which should help me make it through the tough times at work. I love work, but I have a few big matters moving forward soon which are stressful and time consuming. One is my first true trial, which I already know will end with my clients paying out money. The question is how much will they have to pay, and will I avoid getting sued or reported to the law society by them. Not my favourite clients.

To cheer me up and give me some energy, I am trying hot yoga at my gym Monday night. It is costly at my gym (boo for it not being included in the membership!), but I have done it before, and I always walk out feeling both refreshed and exhausted all at the same time. It is yoga, but sweatier, and I am a sweat loving kind of girl.... ;)

Then class on Tuesday, swim or run on Thursday, and maybe another mini-brick workout on Saturday morning. Here's hoping all the exercise will counteract the crap I have been eating lately. Cookies, doughnuts, cake, all need to be banned if I want to get that dreaded extra weight off. I try not to make this a weight loss blog, but darn it, it is hard to say no to the sugar! I finally received my dress for my best friend's wedding:



and I need to look good in it! I had been lusting over this dress for ages, and I happened to see one in stock, only one, and only in my size a few weeks ago and snatched it up. I think I may have ordered the absolute last one, as it has now been taken down from the only website I could find it on. Scores for me!


What do you do to avoid the sugar cravings? How do you say no to the cookies and sweets in the office and at home (other than tossing them)?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Double timing...

So despite my best intentions to register for a race early and save on fees, as of last week I still had not signed up for anything this year. Talk about being lazy, but really, it has more been a money issue than anything else. Since that raise isn't coming yet, I am trying to stretch our money as far as possible. I want to do a 10k in May, but really, I haven't been running as much as I should. The pool in my gym (saltwater, with a sauna) is drawing me in these days, so the treadmill is seeming very unappealing.

So I suddenly found a world of motivation last week, when my friend and I discovered two races in our region that are going to be AWESOME. I have paid for the first, and the second we are trying to gather a group for to reduce fees. I am proud to say I will be running the following races:

1. Perth Kilt Run - 8k.

This race was organized last year a a Guinness book of world records attempt to set a new record for the most number of people running in, you guessed it, a kilt. They had 1200 people run, and it was an amazing success, selling out long before the run. But it was supposed to be a one off, so I was happy to find out they are organizing it again this year. The spots are still limited (just over 2000) so I jumped and signed up asap. For $60, you get your entry and a bona fide kilt to run in. It won't be a PR run, but it will be fun. Keep your eyes out for pictures like this in the future:


2. The Spartan Race - 5k
Some of you in the US may have heard of this race, or the Warrior dash. Basically, it is a course of approximately 5k, where you run and also have to manoeuvre around a number of muddy dirty obstacles. I expect to climb through mud under barbed wire, run through fire, and generally get my ass kicked. Most people end the race looking like this:




Best part about these races? They take place on the SAME WEEKEND. Am I crazy? Yes, more than a little. Will I be physically exhausted at the end of it? Absolutely. Am I going to love every minute? Yes, because it is competition, but with a lot of fun to take the edge off of my overly competitive nature.

So from now until June, I have to get my motivation back and hop on that treadmill. I am in a biggest loser type competition right now to try and lose the extra 10-15 pounds I am currently carrying. Here's hoping by the Spartan race, I will look like one... :P

Anyone else signed up for some crazy races this year? Tell me about them!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The ABC's of me!

So I have failed on keeping you all updated. Here's a boring quick update: Work has been crazy hectic, with lots of files and court dates on the go. My boss threw me off yesterday when he suggested we should "review your pay level in the next couple of months.... and it won't go down" Pay raise after 6 months? New concept to this constant student, but AWESOME!!!!

Workouts: I have been getting them in, but haven't been finding much running motivation. My pool at my gym is finally open, so I am swimming quite a bit, which is so nice. I'm not a tri girl, but a swim strengthens my chicken wing arms, so it's a good feeling. I signed up for my first run of the year... well, not the one that is supposed to happen first, but the only one that is currently paid for. As mentioned in previous posts, I am doing a 5 mile (8k) run in my region. Oh yeah, it'll be run in this:


Yup, it's the annual kilt run. Should be super fun (might be a new world record too depending on the number of participants) and I'm running not for a PR, but for fun.

Personal: hahaha, what personal life? ;P The plan for tonight is kid in bed = hubby+me+wine. Yeah! TGIF!

So to leave you entertained today, here are the ABC's of me!

(A) Age: 27
(B) Bed Size: Queen. Hope to upgrade to King one day so I actually have some room on the bed with my sprawling husband and dog (see (D) below)
(C) Chore You Hate: Garbage. Beyond belief.
(D) Dogs? Yup, she's our little devil! Boston/pug cross.
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Breakfast. Preferably something a bit sweet.
(F) Favourite Color: Blue.
(G) Gold or Silver? I don't wear much in the way of rings and things, but most of it is white gold, which I like.
(H) Height: 5ft 4in. Yup, I'm a midget.
(I) Instruments You Play: Actively, none. Used to play clarinet.
(J) Job Title: Lawyer. Stepmother. Wife. Daughter.
(K) Kids: One 10 year old stepdaughter.
(L) Live: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
(M) Mom's Name: Bette. Not pronounced "betty" just pronounced "bet"
(N) Nicknames: These days, mostly Babe (hubby). Mom used to call me all sorts of things like smurfette, Boober (from fraggle rock, get your head out of the gutter... :P), munchkin. Clearly, I am a child of the 80's.
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? None. I like it that way.
(P) Pet Peeve: Lateness. Driving under the limit. People who can't own up to their own mistakes or responsibility for the problems in their lives.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: I got red, I got green, I got yellow... I'm out of purple, but I do have one Gold Circle coin left... the condom of champions... the one and only... nothin' is gettin' through this sucker. Whaddya say, hmm? (anyone who gets where this is from without looking it up gets a gold star!)
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right.
(S) Siblings: One older sister.
(T) Time You Wake Up? As late as possible. 6:30 on weekdays, 9 on weekends.
(U) Underwear: Thongs for me. Sorry if it's TMI, but the ABC's made me share!
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: brussel sprouts. Not a huge onion fan.
(W) What Makes You Run Late: Other people!!!
(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: Dental. My arm, my knee, my hand.
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Mini pizzas, lasagna, healthy chocolate chip cookie muffins.
(Z) Zoo, Favourite Animal: Haven't been to the zoo in ages. Fainting goats. Love them, want to have one as a pet.

Have a good weekend everyone!