#WhyIRun

I was challenged this morning by my coach Brian

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at Running Down a Dream23 to post a video about #whyIRun.

That was easy.

I run for all sorts of reasons, but I started because someone told me I couldn’t. Nothing gets my dander up more than being told I am not capable.  I narrow my eyes, focus on the goal and say in the dreaded whisper I give my staff “Watch me”.

I also run because I believe in being kind. You may be asking yourself, “What has that got to do with running?” I figure, if I have to work anyways…work to make a difference.

If I am going to run, I might as well raise money for a great cause. Check!

My cause is simple. I run to support children and their families who cannot help themselves and are in need of support. That is also a big reason why I am proud to say I help start a charitable foundation from the ground up. We are still little but I have a vision and just like the reason why I run, don’t tell me I can’t do it. I will drag you, Mount Robson and part the Red Sea to make it happen. People who are nay sayers have tunnel vision, are somehow misguided as to my reason for the charity and think I am in competition. Let’s get one thing straight right now. Any charity that helps children and their families who cannot help themselves is not in competition with me, they are in PARTNERSHIP with me. It will take a boatload of kindness to change the world. If we all work together we can change the world. I believe it to be true and it will happen. It just might take longer than expected.

Giving of self for others is a HUGE reason why I run…HUGE.

The other reason of course…this is a no brainer, is COOKIES

ba70b2e156ac36981dff4a301bddedbbchocolate-chip-cookiesjammie_dodgers_2655228bDamn I love cookies. They are a ritual in my #CivilizedSaturdays and are that special treat for me where they used to be my daily/hourly food of choice.

I lost 5lbs in January. Total over three years 117lbs. Think about that for a moment.

I have a lot of extra skin now. I am not ready to have it removed because it will interfere with my goals this year. Next year I will take care of the that. But I look back at photos of me, old clothes I used to wear. I got rid of everything except one pair of pants, and they kinda look like circus pants. They don’t have a fly because they didn’t put zippers in pants that big. But then someone says something to me about how heavy I am and I think…. you small minded F#$%T%#$

It sure doesn’t take long for someone to be mean.

JUST BE NICE PEOPLE! Jeeze… it isn’t hard! Okay, it takes practice to be nice, but it IS doable!!

Meanwhile….back to #WhyIRun

I am going to challenge YOU all of YOU who read this blog to do 3 things:

1. go friend me on Facebook because its fun and then I can see your video a little easier

2. Record a video and challenge 3 friends to comment on why they run. Tag me in it so I can see it.

3. Use Hashtag #WhyIRun #whyIWalk

Here is ME challenging YOU. I feel like Romper Room, I see Karen and Sharon and Tiffany and Scootadoot and Chef, I see Jenny and Ebone and Barbara and Cristina and Patty, I see Tammy and Mer and Charlotte and Kathy, well, I see all of you.

Let’s inspire the world to move more.

What Day is it?

Okay, wait a minute.

I have a my January goals to get through and suddenly its FEBRUARY?

I have been trying to find my mojo lately and I figured I would write up some goals, set up a game plan and BOOM, all done.

All I have done in January is go to Walt Disney World, Got sick and by sick I mean I was considering death as an option for recovery, and Work. All of the above kept me otherwise occupied. I have been doing physio for my knee, planks and some other routinely horrible ‘healthy’ things for my muscles. Its not as bad as it sounds tho, I never regret doing them, the starting is just the hard part.

So that left me with needing a game plan for the rest of the year.

And by game plan, I mean race commitments.

I thought about what I really want to do to enhance my running.

I want to become a faster 5k runner.

To achieve this I need to stop signing up for so many 21.1km distances. That’s hard. Races are fun and medals are shiny.

I sat down and thought very carefully about what I need and what I want and what is doable.

Goal #1: Run a faster 5km distance

If I am being honest here, I could run a faster 5k distance today. What holds me back are, waiting for my dog to sniff stuff. Stopping to take photos. Stopping to drink water.

Okay… all those are excuses.

Here is my plan: 2 days a week, I will do speed work, Hills or stairs one day and sprints another. I will ride my bike a third day, this will increase my turnover rate and is a good cross train option). Sundays will be my LSD run with me actually doing it the correct way, checking my heart rate, keeping in my zone that will be the optimal for increasing my capillaries and targeting cardio strength. My first 5K distance will be the St. Patrick’s Day 5k down at Fort Edmonton. It comes with a medal, breakfast AND an ugly shirt! We all know how I run for medals, some people need Beer/Coffee/Coke as their carrot at the finish line, I need a medal.

My second one is a Virtual Run that I will use as a race, It is the Enchanted Tiki Run and My goal race for April 11, 2015. I will run my second 5k and compare time with the St. Patrick 5k. 10924638_321521864711506_5210149559015274914_n

The next Race for May will be the May the Fourth be with you series from DAWS. DAWS is a charitable foundation that me and my pals have founded/created. It is something that I am HUGELY proud of and we raise money to directly support families with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can read all about it here. Part of our Fundraising efforts are virtual runs. Currently there is a Royal Guard Run happening, but May the 4th (get it? May the fourth (force) be with you? Haaaa? Haaaaa?) That will be the Yavin Run. All Star Wars fans know what the Yavin medal is. Where Chewy gets snubbed because it is a racist moment and Han and Luke get the great honour bestowed upon them by Princess Leia.

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I hope to be faster than my St. Pat’s Run! I will use the same course for both virtuals, Hawerlak Park, fast, flat and 2 loops is 5km.

Then my head turns to my next Goal

Goal #2: Keep Momentum going and run a PR a 10km.

By April, I will be adding distance to my LSD days so I can run a decent 10km. The Goal Race for my 10k is the Edmonton Run for Pie 10k Trail run because HELLO? A PIE RUN! There will be PIE at the finish…so hellsya! who needs more motivation than that?

Goal #3: Build a 18km base.

Why? Because I want to run a half marathon whenever I damn well fell like it. If my base is 18km, I am ALWAYS ready! To do this, I will increase my LSD distances as well as my weekly totals. Keep up will hills/stairs and sprints. Keep up with core and weights. Likely lose more weight a long the way.

Goal # 4: Run Disney’s Dumbo Double Dare

I had to defer this race from last year because of surgery. Lets face it, last year blew and I am glad it is over. I will run a 10km on Saturday of the September long weekend and then on Sunday, run the Disneyland 10th Anniversary Half Marathon. PR will not be on for this weekend because I want to have a good time and stop for #runfies and say hey to Sean Astin because I have secretly loved him since Goonies.

Goal #5: Run Disney’s Wine and Dine

Why? I like wine and I like dine! Simple math. Plus you run through 3 parks without it being a marathon. I am not quite ready for a Marathon. I am saving that for when I can run a 1/2 marathon in 2:30. I’m okay with a 5:30/6 marathon but on my feet longer than that and just shoot me now. My first marathon wants to be a major, like Chicago, New York or Berlin. I’ll save it for something moments like my 50th birthday.

There you have it.

My goals, my plan and my vision. It starts now.

2015 and new Goals on the Horizon

2014 feels like the year of the EPIC FAIL.

It wasn’t, but it feels that way.

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I am so injured I have just given up all hope of ever finishing the Donald in Florida. Painful, but true.

I have a guy…not my coach but an actual GUY who look at my knee and said “well, there isn’t much that can be done for it other than Ice and rest.” Really? Do you know how much THAT TOTALLY SUCKS?

So, not much running has been done. Not much of anything actually because being on my knee all day at work causes swelling and fatigue that requires rest.

Scrap 2014, now time to plan 2015 with a vengeance.

Okay, January is the Donald Half Marathon. Wishing it was the Minnie 10km because I KNOW I can finish that.  But I will plod along and fingers crossed,
I will make it across the finish line. I have huge hopes for this, in spite of everyone saying “you will” ….I am not so sure. Rock n Roll Vancouver was a walk race for me. I fear this one will be too. That adds stress to my day because my band of brothers will be with me. I know it is supposed to be comforting that they are there, but I am NOT THE PERSON WHO WHINES and insists people hang out with me. I am that girl who is more concerned that people run their own race and focus on themselves than worry about me.

I am a bit scared, I am not going to lie. I have never run with actual people before other than coach them along a Learn to Run session. Being coached and coaching are VERY DIFFERENT things and I think I will be stressed, anxious and have a hard time relaxing knowing I am holding back my brothers.

I will worry about that problem closer to the day.

Telling me “it will be fine” will not make it fine.

Okay…end of that discussion.

So that brings me to the goals and plans of 2015.

Things I want to do:

I only want to run 1 half marathon and not 5.

I am saving that goal for the September long weekend. I am running the Dumbo and I will run 10k and the 21.1k back to back and if things go very well I will have a coast to coast medal as well.

That means I should enter some 10ks or some shorter distance races but…. non really interest me. I have that ‘Been there, Done that’ mentality. Although I am kind of toying with the Vancouver 8k during the Marathon Weekend. I might also run the Policemen’s 5k during the half marathon weekend…maybe.

The sad reality is I am a medal whore. If there isn’t a medal for a race, I am not all that interested. because I can run for FREE out my front door. So the question is, What is the point of a medal-less race? I can’t figure that one out.

My plan is to:

  1. GET HEALTHY
  2. Train all spring and summer
  3. Really focus on speed work
  4. Love running again
  5. Earn a really kickass medal for all my hard work.

Bring on 2015….I am SO OVER 2014! I’m the gal in the blue….this is how I feel about 2014:

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Dear Clif Bar

The Edmonton Tourist:

Dear CLIF Bar, this is awesome.

Originally posted on This Running Life:

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An Open Letter to Clif Bar

Dear Clif Bar,

Recently I read that you dismissed 5 longtime athlete employees for undertaking risky behavior in their outdoor endeavors. I understand all sides here. I get it. You can’t condone climbers taking deadly risks while they can’t stop being the climbers that made them renown. This is the price of doing business.

I love your products and I dig the spirit behind your company. So I’ve been thinking about how you’ll replace those positions. You no doubt are well on your way to selecting a few more elite and high-profile athletes to fill these open slots. You are searching and asking who will be given the opportunity to hold the Clif bar banner high as they undertake awe-inspiring adventures on mountains and trails? Great question. I’d like to suggest and answer.

Try something a little different. I know you have an ambassador…

View original 252 more words

I have become that person I used to mock….Karma is real

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Welcome to Winter in Edmonton. Everything was moving along all tickety boo when suddenly there wasn’t enough snow to go around. Old Man Winter in his infinite wisdom decided to dump a couple of feet on us and then share frigid wind chills too.

Awesome.

And when I say ‘awesome’ I mean ‘$%#&*@!@$#%^*!!!”

That photo is my neighbour’s car mid way between the snow dumps. Dear Neighbour: USE YOUR GARAGE! My sled dog needs to bound across the snow because the piles come up to his shoulder. He is a big dog.

This winter I have become a wimp.

I admit it.

I am a wimp. I am the person I used to tease and mock. I DON’T WANNA RUN IN DEEP SNOW! Nor do I want to run when its -29F Windchill. Its nuts. I admit it. I am a sissy lala crybaby.

I have a problem. I am running the Donald Half marathon and I need to train. I am HATING my treadmill and do my Speed work on there. Its gross, but I do it.

My LSDs are another issue.

I just can’t face running the trails … I just can’t.

The Meadows Recreation centre just opened up down the street from me. I decided to give it w whirl. $10.50 for the drop in fee.

OUCH….did I mention I am also cheap? I like free. But given my options….$10.50 will have to do. Thankfully I wouldn’t be using the treadmill there. I have my own torture machine of evil in my office.

My first impression of the facility was WELL DONE EDMONTON! It is big, bright and well thought out. I love that there is a ‘dry’ change room (which also means no kids in there because they use the pool!) Now that I no longer teach, I like kids WAY LESS when they aren’t mine – true story.

I made my way up to the track. It was located around the perimeter of the north side of the building, it didn’t go around the hockey arena nor the swimming pool. That would have only made the facility track better. Why? Because when you train for a distance like a Half Marathon, less laps = good.

As it was, 4.25 laps = 1km or 7 laps =1 mile.

3/4s of the track had large windows that reminded me why running inside was good. The other 1/4 of the track over looked the pool. That served as a reminder that I am thankful my kids are big….as in adult sized.

The track was 3 lanes wide and had ample room on the sides for stretching, lunges, walking super slow or just resting. I laced up my Ghost 6 and attached my footpod to my shoe (Don’t tell Andie, but I left my Polar M400 at home and wore my Garmin Forerunner 15). I kept a rough estimate to how many laps I did, and it was fairly comparable with my footpod. That was good to know. GPS units don’t work so well inside a concrete fortress.

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Now that I know how terrific the facility is, I think I will get myself a monthly pass so I can go there before and/or after work during the winter to get my workouts in. Did I mention there is a library too?

Meanwhile, next Saturday I am running the Santa Shuffle 5km with some pals. It’s supposed to warm up to +1C. That is not great because the snow will be slushy. MAKE UP YOUR MIND WINTER!

At any rate, the training is happening and I am still slow and now I have no excuse.

Thanks winter…you’re a jerk even though you are pretty.

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And I’m back…

I have a band of brothers who are insisting they run with me during the Donald Half Marathon. Joke’s on them, They will be walking fairly quickly while I sprint my heart out to keep up.

In an effort not to let them down too much, I am doing speed work during the week to get faster. I’m not all that convinced it will work. This year has been such a training clusterfuck. I had surgery and injuries and set backs. All of which have been important learning lessons.

I can get the long distance in, the speed works helps somewhat so now its time to add the other piece of the puzzle.

FOOD INTAKE.

I have been pretty good thus far. I have been careful about what I eat, drink my water and keep sweets to a minimum. I have MAINTAINED….after I gained 10lbs. First I gained 10 then I held it there.

I re-installed Myfitness Pal again today and am in the middle of syncing Mapmyrun and Garmin connect with everything.

Why?

It makes me accountable. I want to lose another 50lbs this year.  (not by 2015 – I mean November 2015). I have the tools, I have the knowledge and I have the ability. I just HAVE TO RIGHT IT DOWN!

That part is the part that I am not consistent with. I started today.

I wrote everything I ate – including the Aero Bar and the Tostito Chips. I was 175 calories OVER my daily goal of 1790. That total will apparently get me to my goal of 2lbs per week for 1 month. Then I will adjust it to 1 lbs per week. It also helps me not go bonkers over Christmas. I didn’t last year and felt awesome. I will do it again this year.

It is interesting how I feel about food journaling. A year ago I would have not wrote the food in, giving myself a clean slate for tomorrow. Yet I wrote the good parts and the bad parts in. I am trying not to think about food in terms of BAD or GOOD. But rather in terms of fuel for running. I need to make sure I have the right amount of protein grams and carbs in so I will feel fab over my long runs.

On FB I have THIS as my profile pic 1375002_10152876402766337_9194937867845132687_nOn the side of the hat it says TRAINING. I have no plans to run the Calgary Half or Full next year because I am planning on really focussing my training on the Dumbo Double Dare. That means I am running ‘just 2′ half marathons. My training pal Liz laughed and said “Just two?”

Just 2. When did I become THAT girl? That girl who can now fit into a running jacket. That girl who explains fartleks to run club members, that girl who can talk about nutrition with beginner, marathoner and ultra runners. That girl who can hear about a foot issue and talk to people about solutions and shoes. That girl who understands clothing tech.

Yet I am still that girl who is scared to run with her band of brothers because she is slow.

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And because one of them looks like this:

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That is pretty much all the motivation I need.

 

Rock n Roll Vancouver: The great, the bad and the ugleeeeeey

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So I was in this little town named Vancouver over the weekend. Maybe you heard of it? Apparently they hosted some sporting event called the Winter Olympics. It was apparently quite the big deal. I flew in for a one night stay so I could run the Inaugural Vancouver Oasis Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

We (the hubs and I) left Edmonton about 6 am. We boarded the plane with several other runners planning on doing the same thing. I knew a ton of people from RunClub, my work, and just bumping into people on local run paths. I am not a morning person, so I slept the 1,5 hours to Vancouver.

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We arrived safe and sound inspire of the Pilot telling us about the massive head winds and demanding the attendants sit and buckle up. I thought about the possibility of death briefly then fell sound asleep. We gathered up our carry-on luggage and headed straight for the train into the city. 45 minutes late we were ensconced securely downtown tucked into a Starbucks eating breakfast and getting our bearings. The Hubs was TOTALLY lost. He kept want to go in the opposite direction. It was beginning to annoy me and I finally said…just follow me. I had the great fortune to be trained in navigation by my grandfather the WWII navigator. Sure he made me cry while teaching me how to do it, but I can now find my way across the world with a map and a compass. Screw you Suri! I’m solid!

We got to the Listel hotel in one piece, although I was a bit tired of saying…No, its THIS WAY…

Dumped our baggage and headed to the Expo by 9:30 AM. We could have walked but I was hearing my Coach’s voice “Save the legs!” Right, so we hopped onto transit once again and I must say, the best app in the whole wide world is Transit. It’s brilliant and works in every city.

If there is a more beautiful city in North America… please invite me and show me. For now I think it is Vancouver. The sea, the mountains and the green is SPECTACULAR! I bought some Brooks RunHappy Clothing and a sticker for my car – I am now the annoying person who brags about milage on her bumper 13.1 baby! That’s in Miles. 21.1km for you metric babies. You bet I’m bragging. Its a big deal. If you don’t think so, join me next time. 13.1 is half of nothing. It’s a fine distance on its own.

After Expo we spent time at Canada Place just taking in the view. Amazing.

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People kept wanting to take my camera so they can take my photo… I’m good thanks. I selfie and runfie because I’m cool like that.

From there we hopped the transit once again and headed for Granville Island. Home of the Market and the Grandville Island Brewery. These were the two things I wanted most on my trip…and an Umbrella, but an Umbrella isn’t a practical carry-on item for the plane, so I went without even thought the rain came down in buckets ALL DAY LONG. In Edmonton is rains like that for 10 minutes and its done. All day rain is something else and it gives me hideous hair, however, I think I still want to live coastal.

The Market was amazing, I knew to go where the crowds were so we secured bagels, yogurt and bananas for $6. It was a delicious pre-race breakfast. We took photos for Chatterbox because she is determined to live and work in the TV industry here. She enjoyed the sets she has seen on various shows and was thrilled to hear about the thriving theatre district.

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We returned to the Listel for a pre-dinner nap, then trudged out in the downpour, fight the Umbrella People for sidewalk space. Riddle me this: you have an Umbrella, yet you still need to walk under the awnings where it is dry poking people in the eye with your Umbrella. Why?

We woke up bright and early for a 8 AM race start. That meant 7 AM awake and leave by 7:30 to walk to the start at Convention centre. 24 corrals and I was in 23. #24 got to leave at 8 because they were slow. Lucky them…wish I knew about that because the Grim Sweeper was on my tail the entire time. It makes for a stressful race and fast one for me to avoid his clutches.

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I snuck into corral 17. I needed the extra time, I knew to stay to the right out of the gazelle’s way. Hubs was worried we’d get caught. Of course I am that person who thinks “What is the worst thing that can happen?” They can kick me out…big deal. I wasn’t the only one doing it either…not that it makes it right. Slow people need more time to finish. Putting us last doesn’t make sense. This race was full of people who understood runner etiquette  – I am LOOKING AT YOU DISNEY RUNNERS. When you are going to walk, put your hand up and move to the right. Don’t STOP in front of someone. This made for a smooth race. Except for the lady telling walkers they should AT LEAST TRY…WTF? Has she ever walked that far? Walking is a legitimate sport.

I ran my fastest 10k ever, when I say ran I mean walked…with running on the downhill. For the record, Vancouver is kinda hilly and not in a good way. I found my runs to be smoking fast which isn’t good when you have to monitor your heart rate. But still…. smoking fast is fun and AWESOME. When I say fast…I mean for me. I was running last January at 12:30 km/min. Sunday I was running 8:40 km/min. THAT IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!

By the time I made it to Stanley Park, the sun was out and the sky was blue, no rain at all! But my feet were soaked and shredded. The humidity was high and it was cold – that’s right – cold for me! I was freezing by 19km. Soaked thru with moisture not being able to dissipate because of the high humidity. The hills through Stanley Park were brutal for the end of the race, it just sapped me of all my reserves. However the view was stunning.

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When I ran across the finish line I was thinking “this is the longest 500 meters in the WORLD” The finish line was up hill, the start line was up hill…really Competitor Racing? Really? I have come to the conclusion that although I think Edmonton has some good hills for training, I am kidding myself. Clayton is right. It may be a sea level, but the hills are hills. I need better hill training for The Donald. It will only serve to make me stronger and faster.

The finish line had blankets…. YES! Because I was cold. It also had free beer, YES! because I like beer and especially after running. It didn’t have bananas, or bagels, but it did have granola cereal….Awesome? And it did have those yogurt power bars that taste like plastercine. The pretzels were good with the beer, and I was satisfied with my time. PR for me, 45 minutes faster than Calgary. How did that happen? I have no idea….I think it was due to the sea level part. I train at 2300 feet. OR it’s because I did what I could for training. I get the go ahead to actually begin running in a week. A WEEK! WOOT! Bad news though, I feel like I need to start from scratch building those running muscles. I can do it. I have a plan.

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To get me going in the motivational department (because lets face it, why train when doing next to nothing made for a great race) I am joining the Doctor Who 50 Mile Ultra. I need to record my milage for the month. The first one to reach 50 miles, wines.. I don’t expect to win, but it will keep me motivated and I get an awesome medal for it. I thought about doing the 100 miler, but that’s just silly. To far too fast. I have learned my lesson in that department.

Anyways…back to the Rock n Roll Vancouver. What did I think?

  1. Calgary had WAY MORE MUSIC on their course. Way more! That was disappointing. I had to wear my ear buds because the silence got to me after a while.
  2. The cups were too full. There was a ton of water and Gatorade but filling a cup full makes it hard to hydrate.
  3. The start line at the bottom of a hill is stupid.
  4. The finish line at the top of a hill is stupid.
  5. There was NO BAND AT THE FINISH. What??? It was a Rock and Roll event! Maybe this is always the way it is done, but Calgary did it better, and I am by no means a Calgary fan. They just put on an awesome event.
  6. The course was well marked. There wasn’t a lot of volunteers showing the way, but it didn’t matter because it was clearly marked with road closures and pylons.
  7. Not lots of cheering spectators but I am good with that. It’s normal for Canada.
  8. The course was BEAUTIFUL. Well done picking it out Race Marshall! The only ugly part was Rail Town, but the music was great thru there.
  9. The Medal was AWESOME! The Lion from the Lion’s Gate Bridge? Nice choice!
  10. Would I do it again? I don’t think so. Not because of the event itself, but there are so many other Vancouver events I want to try, like the BMO Full and Half Marathon, the SeaBreeze and maybe hop over to Vancouver Island for the Victoria Half Marathon! I would however, go do the Portland Rock and Roll or even Chicago. Vancouver is an amazing place to run!

Next race: The Santa Shuffle, 5 km twice around Hawrelak Park here in Edmonton. Last year it was -42C. Fingers crossed it will be a tad warmer this year.