Race to Kinvara: The kit arrives

I got a text while at work yesterday.

“There is a really big box from Saucony addressed to you”

YAY! My kit arrived! I only had 6 hours before I could go home a tear that box open!

I knew it was coming. I had received an email with my airline tickets that my ‘kit’ would be arriving July 4th. Well…it arrived July 3rd. It looked like this.

I loved how it was wrapped in twine. Seriously, all packages need to be wrapped in twine!

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I savoured the moment. I want to say I didn’t know what to expect, but I work with shoes for a living. It felt like there were shoes in there and maybe some documents. I was that kid at Christmas who always touched the wrapped packages and could guess what was in there.

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Inside was the BOOK. This book outlines my trip. It let me know I have only 8 people on my team. Wowza…8 I know 3 for sure, maybe more. It also let me know I represent Team Canada, the other countries would include, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, USA…and some others I forgot. All I could think or register in my brain was 8. It also told me there were 22 legs one day and some another day…look, you do not expect me to remember do you? There is running involved and lots of it. But I was distracted by visiting the Guinness Storehouse the very first day! The next day I was distracted by Dinner at Kilkenny Castle! And the third day I was distracted by a SOCAIL MEDIA CONTEST! Now THAT is something I have a fighting chance to win! I need to tag everything #RacetoKinvara @Sacuony and for good measure #FindYourStrong. This blog series is about just that. I found my strong Saucony and its scary and wonderful all at once! I read it…running…places I’ve not seen before, like the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland. Pinch me already.

I put the book down, and read the letter from the President of Saucony – team spirit…fun… happy to be there… yep. sounds great! I am all for it! I put that letter down.

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I am a sucker for anything wrapped in tissue with a sticker. Its so…5th Avenue.

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Ooooh Race to Kinvara Tees! A couple of weeks ago, Saucony Canada sent me a questionnaire to fill out regarding my size. I replied with Shoes Women’s 10 or Men’s 9 – because I figured Kinvara 6 might be on the table….the women’s version is a little narrow for me. Men’s fit a bit better. It also asked clothing size. This is where I felt like not going. Just because I work in the industry and I am good at what I do, does not mean I am a Women’s medium. News Flash – while we are not the majority, we certainly are present. By we I mean fat girls. The industry does accommodate large men – okay men who are fat too. They do. Lots of things go up to men’s size 2XL. A men’s 2XL is really a XL, sizes are weird. But I would never dream of being able to fit into the women’s sizes yet. It just isn’t going to happen. So I am prepared to run in my running clothes that represent my place of work. The very reason I get to go in the first place. But I do know that I can fit into a men’s 2XL if it is stretchy – and by stretchy I mean, forgiving on the hips. Men tend to be not as curvy as women. so a bit of stretch helps a lot.

In the green tissue were 2 T-Shirts. One size women’s L and one size Men’s L. And wow… I cried a bit because if they go this wrong, there isn’t a team Canada Jersey that I could dream of fitting into. It hurt a bit and took some of the excitement away. Why have me go through the humiliation of telling strangers my size if its wrong anyways? Anyways… I get to go to Ireland and this will not hurt my Irish experience. Stiff upper lip and all that. As I tell my staff when things get rough…ITs only Shoes and Clothes people. The world has bigger problems out there… I get to go Ireland!!

I put those to the side and and looked at the next thing.

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Kineta Relay. Now I have heard about these but have never seen them. I quickly put them on because there is nothing that makes a fat girl happier than New Shoes and a Hand Bag. Why? Because they always fit. Always.

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These shoes weighed NOTHING. They were so light and so soft under foot, I decided to take them for a test run on Sunday…I cannot WAIT! They came with optional red laces, I might pop those on, I love red! I love these mostly because they are yellow. Not pink. VizGlo. Awesome!

I was asked at work today how am I not jumping up and down all the time? Well I am inside. I am scared too and that keeps the jumps more subdued.

I’m scared the jersey won’t fit, if I wasn’t scared before – I am now. If it doesn’t, I will be wearing red. My favourite RR T-shirt because you can’t expect me to wear what doesn’t fit. I’m trying my hardest. But I am just not there yet. 117lbs down and it still isn’t enough but I #FoundMyStong and that is enough for me.

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You are doing WhaaaaT?

I took a little time off to distract myself from my exciting Race to Kinvara. I am getting to be like a little kid before they go to Disneyland….I CANT Stand IT!

FullSizeRender-3But I have a lot to do and sitting around day dreaming about Ireland is not getting things done.

August, my pal Joe is going to run from San Francisco to Anaheim. About 28 miles or so a day. some days more, some days less. We are raising money and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can read all about how this all began here.

Today the details began.

We began planning the little stuff. The focus today was food. We are essentially camping in a hotel. The challenge is how to meet Joe’s nutritional needs and cook in a hotel room. Sure it would be easy to go out everyday and eat in a restaurant, but when you are trying to get all the nutrient requirements in for a multi-day marathon, eating out for every meal just is not going to work. We need to control

all the details from taste to nutrition. Bland is his prefference for running. Bland tends not to keep resturants in business.

Breakfast:
The confevsation went like this… “I don’t like to eat too much before I run.

Swell. You will need to supply your body with actual fuel.

I know… but it needs to be bland.”

We talked about options. It is important that he gets carbs and lots of them of a multi day event like this. Oatmeal will be the mainstay of breakfast. And not that instant stuff. Old fashion steel cut oats – QuakerStyle. Secretly, this makes me happy – I love a great bowl of porridge! Apparently he likes apples, nuts and cinnamon. Perfect. I can control content, he gets 3 food groups for a meal, he is happy and I am happy. 4 food groups if we add dairy. That will be optional. Now… cooking it.

When I was a kid, my parents took me around the world. They instilled a love of travel beyond the love of home and things. I would rather spend my money on going somewhere than on TVs, Cars and furniture. Traveling is expensive, especially with kids, but my mom economized and provided us with great food so we could walk in the footsteps of kings.

My mom brought with her a trusty Electric Fry Pan – with lid. This was what it looked like:
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You name it, my mom made it in that fry pan. We had eggs, soup, pasta, stirfry, and countless other meals from a single source. We had a camp kit – all the things you would need in a kitchen: can opener, knives, cutting board, colinder, wash basin, condinemnts, spices, oils etc. It fit in a plastic bin. The Frypan went in a suit case. When we flew, the Frypan and a elecrical converter came with us. Between that and the hotel coffee pot, you can make anything. Ever have soup in a coffee pot? I have. She even warmed up bread by wrapping it in foil and placing it on top of the Fry Pan lid while dinner was cooking.

The advantage to this was her picky eaters (Hello Mike I am looking at you) would still eat and she saved a TON of money so we could see and do things like wander around the Louvre in Paris, or Chill with the Pope at the Vatican or even wave to Paul Bunion as he talked to us from across the parking lot.

Food is the one thing you cannot do without on vacation. Cooking and doing dishes is the least fun part about vacation – but it afforded us to do the fun things.

Shopping in a grocery store in another country really is a cultural experience. It became part of the vacation. Trying foods that were new, or laughing at the unusal nature of flavour combinations – all new to us of course. became part of the experience. Food is the one thing that brings people together on the same level.

Although our 500 miles for SMA is not a vacation, It will be an adventure. Providing our own food is an important part of this. Shopping in places I have never been will be an experience that isn’t new to me. I hope to find fresh farmer’s markets along the way but I am open to all new experiences. Which means…If you live there and are having a BBQ, I’d LOVE to come! Thanks in advance! Here is our route so you can make plans :)
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So the menus for the days have come together with flexible options open for contingency plans.

This trip is a million plans within a plan… and its all coming together.

You can help support this adventure by visiting here

We simply want to help as many people as we can, and play a part in defeating this disease. When I run, I always remember the faces of my younger brothers. ~Joseph R Kolinksy

My Summer Adventure

Last week I announced over at the Edmonton Tourist that I am running the Race to Kinvara. You can read about it here.

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It has given me the proper motivation to get my body moving more aggressively than I was before. I just haven’t felt all that keen on running even though I have the Dumbo Double Dare scheduled for September in Disneyland. I just don’t get all that exceeded about Disney Races. For someone who loves Disney and running as much as I do, you’d think it would be a match made in heaven.

Its not.

I get excited about going, I get excited about see my pals, I get excited about the expo. But the race? Meh.

I don’t run fast enough to make it fun. I think that is the large part of it. I don’t have time to stop and meet characters or goof around with pals. I need to go and I cannot slowdown or I get swept.

And I do not need a lecture on increasing my pace. I have knocked 2 minutes per kilometre off since I began running… so just keep those comments to yourself thanks. I am doing the best I can.

Races that are much more forgiving, let me enjoy them for what they are. My favourite race is the Calgary Marathon Weekend. LOVE the atmosphere, the crowd support, the entertainment on the course and you know what? The course itself is pretty. I love the Bow river, I love seeing the Rockies in the distance and I love that it is mostly flat. Not Disney flat. That is FLAT, but Calgary is Prairie/Foothills flat. The perfect flat because running downhill is awesome fun for me.

I know, I know…You can walk a disney race and still finish. Well, maybe YOU can, but not everyone can. I have had 2 sucktastic Disney experiences in a row. I am determined to make my next experience a better one. I loved my first race – the Minnie 10km.

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Crossing the finish line and having Rudy Novotny say hey to me was awesome. This next race has my mental game shaken. Friends have already asked if I am running with them…HELL NO. Go have fun. Enjoy your race. I have to work my ass off to finish and I’d rather do it my own way. Stay focused. Stay Happy and STAY ALONE.

We talked about this before. To me there is nothing I love more than running alone, by myself as in SOLO. It is awesome to hang out before and after with friends but during…get lost. My pal said to me the other day, you don’t know if you like running with people because you have never done it.

Not true.

I have and do run with people for Run Club. I ran today with these awesome people!

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It’s sometimes my job to be a pace leader for the Learn to Run Group. I like it because I set the rules and I think because I am the leader its just different. I like it better when I set the pace and then need to slow down for others. I do not like having to make people slow down for me. I just don’t. I don’t want to talk when I run. I will listen, but don’t expect an answer. A) I am deaf in my left ear and can’t hear you. B) I daydream when I run so talking makes me have to pay attention. BOOOOO that just makes running hard.

When I daydream – or get in the zone – I am aware of cars and the vibration on my wrist for intervals. Thats it. I think about  all kinds of things that I don’t want to share because its about Me sorting out MY thoughts. I love being alone with my thoughts. I don’t get to do that very often. So when I get to…wow…pure bliss.

Anyways…. Ireland.

I have felt then need to up my game because I am on a TEAM. I don’t want to let my team down. Sure it isn’t supposed to be serious. Sure its supposed to be for fun. I still feel the need to be the best I can be. That means I need to run hills, practice pacing, try out clothing and get a feel for what will work.

The best part about the Race to Kinvara is….I get to run alone without my team.

It is a relay. Everyone will be on the bus when I run. I will have been left in the dust by the other teams, so that means I will have the road to Kinvara to myself. I am pretty sure I will weep with joy. Me and my shoes running along the road alone. Honestly? Nothing sounds like a better vacation than that. Apparently I will have a Porter who will drive a scooter to keep an eye on me, hand me water when I need it and basically take care of my needs. Thats as close to being a process as I will ever be and that really appeals to me.

I will do my leg of the run and someone will feel the need to make up for my slow time. Do I care? I did a week ago. I don’t now. This is going to be MY Irish experience. How they choose to experience theirs is up to them.

I did add an element to my training that I had not done before.

I have started wearing my HRM on my training runs. I want to make sure I am running at my best. This is what I learned: I go too fast on my LSD days, but I run within my target for maximum on speed work days. So when I tell someone I am trying my best…I really am.

I have also added my footpod. It gives me my cadence (steps per minute) I am not sure what to do with that information yet. I will keep collecting it and I hope to see it increase by the end of summer.

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I have also started back with My Fitness Pal because I am worried I will gain back what I have lost. I am NEVER GOING DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN! My jeans are a touch too tight…so its time to become aware again. So far? I have noticed that I was doing okay! I just indulged into many libatious moments over my vacation. But, I always said that I am not on a diet, I am changing my life, but with that, I need to live. Drinks with  friends is part of that. However, now that training has begun in earnest for my Summer Adventure, the beverages need to stop too – the occasional cool one at a BBQ will be fine because I will adjust my intake to accommodate.

So thats it in a nut shell! Aside from my awesome runner’s tan… I am just the same.

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Running Coast 2 Coast: Podcast Edition

rc2c5 years ago I was sitting in the car with my friend Simone and she was telling me how much she loves running. It released her from her stresses. I replied with…. I don’t understand how running feels good AT ALL. You are crazy, it makes no sense to me.

My dad always ran and my family was always saying “you are addicted to running, this is terrible, you need to stop, its bad for you.”

My dad didn’t stop. He kept running. He basically did what he always does. he replied with a “yeah yeah yeah” and did what he wants. Why? Because my dad is a grown up. He gets to choose his own hobbies, his own passions and his downtime spent freely from obligations.

Go Dad, you rock!

I met a runner who runs marathons…get this…FOR FUN. Seriously? Do you know how far that is? Dude, 42.2 km is FREAKING FAR! I didn’t give him the proper respect. I was all….big deal, so you run. So do lots of people. But the more I listened and understood, the more the Kool-Aid tasted better. I drank enough Kool-Aid that I wanted to give running a try.

Boom, 5 years later I am a bonafide Runner.

I have a Pie Run tomorrow. I get to go for a run and they will give me PIE at the finish line. Seriously….who doesn’t like Pie? I’ll run for pie.

I told my pal about the Run for Pie – the same guy who runs marathons for fun. He said “Pie? That has to be one of the best foods available a race course! But there was one time I had a sub, there was these people….”

We exchanged race stories.

Then we thought, this might be a fun podcast.

So he pressed the record button on one of our conversations.

Suddenly, not only am I a runner, but I am a podcast host who talks about running.

Weird how life takes you down paths so unexpected.

You can find my podcast Running Coast 2 Coast here:

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If you like it, please leave a review. If you hate it, please leave a review with WHY. Whys are important for growth.

We are 3 podcasts published and have lots ready to roll out. Even if no one listens, we are having fun. AND I get to talk about running, my next favourite thing to running.

Doing stuff I like and having fun. Can’t get better than that.

Dad’s are smart. Well, mine is. Thanks Dad.

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Suck it Up Buttercup

Zoinks Scoob! It’s been a while.

Remember how we talked about me increasing my speed? Did you know to do that, you actually need to run and train? Mental willingness just won’t do it. So here is what happened thus far.

I have hurdles. They are 6″ off the ground and I step over them to make my knees rise higher. They make my butt hurt. Ergo, they must be working.

I need a stronger core to hold me up when I run. I do planks and was forced into some crazy cult on Facebook called Challenge Crazy. Yeah… I do planks and I do not like them, but I love not having a sore back when I run, so I keep it up.

I walk a lot. by a lot I mean I don’t sit during the day and I walk my pooch so my Garmin steps say between 9-10 000 a day, more if I run. This helps my over-all fitness.

Running…say what now? I did two races. St. Paddy’s Day and Suck it Up Butter Cup 5kms. I ran a  block the other day when Cap, my pooch pulled me fast to get to the dog park… but thats about it.

Why? Ummmmmm…. I only have excuses with no real reason that qualifies. Yesterday felt really great. I ran a 9 min/ km pace for the first 2km. That is fast for me. That was no stopping. So for a girl who didn’t train or run or practice, I have to say that I am pretty happy with my result.

What did I learn? Well, I learned that if I put effort into my running, I have only up to go! I haven’t lost any endurance or speed, in fact I am a little bit faster. Being lighter has something to do with that, but what would happen if I ran 3 times a week? Or throw caution to the wind and run 4 times! I have a feeling a couple of things will happen:

1: I will get stronger

2: I will get faster

3: I will sleep better.

I need all of those things. I have some pretty big goals to reach this year. Now that the weather has turned to spring, I cannot blame that. Tomorrow begins my 3 day run week.

5km Monday, speed work Wednesday and Saturday 5km again.

3 days….simple plan.

So Suck it up Buttercup and get the work done.

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#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.