Running for Terry, The Terry Fox Run

I was hanging around, listening to running podcasts and dreaming about my future race plans when I got an email notification from Team in Training.

Apparently I won the supperduper grand prize pack from the EdMarathon Expo! YAY ME!

I went to pick it up today and it was a bag filled with groovy Patigonia and Bamboo tech wear, and sport wash, smart wool, Impact Magazine…hmmm and a host of other great stuff sponsored by Impact. Thanks Impact and LLC.org! This stuff is awesome, and needed because soon I will put that long sleeved tech shirt to good use! It is fall after all and it is suppose to be crisp out there. Only its not.

32C humidity today… yuck. I rode DangerBike in conjunction with my goal to get faster. Cross-training on my bike is suppose to help that. WOW is that boring. I can swim laps in a pool for hours, run for 4 hours but get on a bike and pedal in place for 15min is painful, literally and figuratively.

I have  two races coming up shortly, a 10k in October where I want to post a great time so I can move up a corral for the WDW half marathon. This might be tricky because it is on trail, so I run weekly on this particular trail. Practice makes perfect right? I also get a groovy medal if/when I cross the finish line. AND it is for pancreatic cancer so I need something purple. I have a purple buff I picked up at The Night Race, so I might wear that on the head like a touque ( it will be October 29? 26?) chances are it will be cold. That is the only purple I own. I may need to raid The Mom’s closet and see what she has. She loves purple. Chances are, I will find purple gloves or something. The trim on my iFitness belt is purple so that’s good. I am now in search of purple so I can blend in and no one will notice how slow I am. HA! Little do they know I am a faster slow. Progress is good.

English: Photo of Terry Fox, Canadian cancer f...

English: Photo of Terry Fox, Canadian cancer fund-raiser, during his 1980 “Marathon of Hope” fund-raising run across Canada. Photo taken July 12, 1980 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Jeremy Gilbert with his Praktika SLR 35 mm camera on Bloor Street East, near entrance to Castle Frank subway station, looking south-east towards Castle Frank Road as Fox heads west along Bloor Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other fall race I have coming up is the Terry Fox Run. When I was in Junior High, Terry Fox began his journey running across Canada, a marathon a day, on one leg. ONE LEG AND his lungs were filled with cancer. He had to stop at Thunder Bay. It was a very sad and tragic day. All this man wanted was for every Canadian to donate $1. $24 million was his goal. Today The Terry fox Foundation has raised over $600 million for cancer research. Today the chances of children surviving with the same type of cancer Terry had are greatly improved. Terry Fox changed the world.

He died in 1981, unable to finish his Marathon of Hope. Now, people all over the world gather to run/walk/bike for Terry. There are zero registration fees. You just go and walk in his name. In my case I will run for Terry Fox and run all those kids at the Cross Cancer Hospital in Edmonton, in hopes they can run one day too.

I remember crying the day I found out he died. Since then, I have visited Mount Terry Fox and hope to one day visit Thunder Bay Ontario where he stopped. His legacy means a lot to me. So I will run on September 15 and I ask that you support me by donating $1 to my online fundraising campaign. You can find it by clicking here. All Terry wanted was people to give $1. So that is all I am asking. Your Starbucks coffee costs more.

Thanks.

Happy Running

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope

‏An open Letter to Injinji: I love your socks, please let me buy them! @injinji #injinjisocks

Obviously I am procrastinating.

I am going for a quick 3k this morning as per my running schedule for training. My legs haven’t run since Wednesday and they are itching to go but why is it that I can’t pull my behind out of my chair?

Already this morning I have read my favorite running blogs, put on my Garmin, checked out upcoming races (the Terry Fox in September) and visited some sock pages. I want some socks that are light and breathable, won’t blister my tender tootsies and stay put in my shoes. I prefer short socks but I hate when they bunch up in my shoe. That will be my mission before August, FIND AWESOME SOCKS! Any suggestions are welcome. I tried buying running toes socks online but the company won’t ship to Canada. So in my desperate search I will send them an open letter in hopes we can find a solution.

Dear Injinji,

I get blisters on my toes because I have broken every single on of them at one time or another. They no longer stay in place like toes should. Therefore they blister from rubbing underneath each other. I do not enjoy this and though you offered the perfect product. Not only that, but you have my favorite colours! Why wouldn’t I wish to own a pair for every day of the week? I could easily be your best customer. Sadly, you think Canada is too far away to mail stuff too. My local Running store doesn’t carry your socks. I have noticed that MEC carries them online and I will go visit them this week to see if my dream can come true (blister free running) . Sadly MEC offers only one type of sock and its not the style I want. Nor is it the colour I want. Black or White? Boo. 

Please consider expanding your shipping into Canada. We are awesome runners in the great white north and loyal. 

Because Google is my friend, I did try to locate you here in Edmonton. You offered a Groupon in December so I know you will ship here sometimes. But when I go to the website you say  Shipping outside the US is not available at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience. All International orders will not be processed and we will issue a full refund.

I appreciate that you see me as an international order, but we are located on the same land mass. Boats will not be involved. UPS and FEDEX come here all the time. US Postal service gets on just fine with Canada Post. So I am not sure why you can’t do it. I will even pay the custom brokerage fees!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! I just want a pair of your socks!!!

Run 2.0 Lightweight No-Show – Look how pretty they are! Add white shoelace bows and I will feel like a Tiffany Box!

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Love,

Robyn The Edmonton Tourist

Goal Achieved! Calgary Marathon Weekend was fantastic! Well done Calgary, well done.

099Remember when the wheels fell off my training and I went into panic mode on Friday? I was scared and really I was actually a little terrified, but then I went for a run and Jess my girl crush at Scoot a Doot gave me some solid advice and calmed me down.  I was scared about these things:

 

  • What if I can’t find parking?
  • What if I injure myself and get pulled?
  • What if I feel crappy race morning and can’t pull myself together?
  • What if I run out of fuel/water/water and water?
  • What if I don’t push myself?

Jess suggested I write on my arms, so I did. I bowed to her wisdom and she was right. It worked for me.

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I wrote my pace that I needed to finish with a Personal Best, I wrote PUSH because I can get lazy and NO FEAR so the wheels didn’t fall off and I don’t go a bit crazy with an anxiety attack. All of these worked. Push was a big one that I needed and so was the 10:30 pace because there were moments when I was too fast. I know that sounds crazy but being too fast would deplete my energy stores and I would have to walk the last bit of the race. I was not ok with that. I want to have a steady race pace that would have me running the last 2 kilometers. AND I DID THAT! In Fact, my walk breaks were my fuel breaks because I cannot run and eat/drink/slurp gel. It think it stems from childhood and hearing “Robyn, don’t run with your food! YOU WILL CHOKE!” Well, no one wants to choke, either physically or mentally so don’t worry mom, I walked while I ate. THat slowed me down but not as much as not being able to throw garbage on the ground. I just can’t do it. Finding the garbage can was really important and it slowed me down or had me stop. That is not going to change, I am not so competitive that I have to become a  litter bug, therefor I need to improve my regular pace. I am cool with that.

The trip started with me (Robyn 45), Dadeo (my dad – 65) and The Boy (my son – 17) driving the 3 hours to Calgary in the pouring rain. We were prepared to run in the rain. It is better than snow. THere has been snow for past Calgary Marathons, so you just never know what kind of weather you will have.

We arrived at the Stampede Grounds and went to the Big Four for the Expo. It is small by other city standards but huge compared to Edmonton’s Marathon Expo.

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The Road Carpet was cool. It was a tribute to the Calgary Road Runners.

 

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That is Dadeo picking up his race package. There was a lot of stuff in there, power bar, noise sticks, magazine, coaster – you know…stuff and junk and coupons.

We went around the exhibitors and my fellas left me to go sit at the end while I explored the booths.

I met Martin Parnell, he took at year off at the age 55 and ran 250 marathons. He was amazing and interesting. We chatted for awhile and he signed his book for me.

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I learned more about the Nike San Francisco Women’s run. Did you know they have Fire Fighters in Tuxedos handing out these little gems while giving you a hug? Who doesn’t want to run THAT race? I am putting that on the bucket list. Because I love Tiffany jewelry, I am a medal whore especially if it comes with a blue box and white ribbon and I love hugging firefighters….sigh….can’t wait until I am ready for that one!

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I then caught up with the fellas and we went to explore Calgary for a while. The next morning we were up at 5:30am (or stupid o’clock) and got ready to catch to the 6:30 C Train. WHICH WAS PACKED! Apparently there were 15 000 runners headed to the Stampede grounds. Edmonton has 1500 runners this race was massive compared to what I am use to.

We arrived at the Start Line and discovered there were no corrals which is ironic because we were steps away from The Corral where the Flames use to play. We just lined up with thousands of runners.

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Dadeo and I were ready. He made me fist bump and the we elbowed each other like we do – hockey style – for luck. He hugged and kissed me then we agreed this was an awesome way to spend a 65th birthday and wasn’t it nice of Calgary to throw him this fabulous party?

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Then we were off. We started 30 minutes after the Full and the Half runners. We were doing the 10k with 2500 others. Dad took off like a rocket and about a billion people passed me but I kept running. It wasn’t until I reached the first bridge that I settled into my run and my breathing eased. Why is that? Why does it take about 3k for me to feel like I shouldn’t quit?

By the time I reached the first water table, I needed to stop to drink because I slop and miss my mouth. Soon I was off again. I had ran up the bridge at Memorial Drive and ran past the zoo. By the time I was on 1 ave NW Random walker Steve caught up to me. He stalked to be and said, “I have been trying to catch for 5k. You are amazing.” I said so are you but he said – “no you are unbelievable, don’t forget to smile at the finish because they take video.” I replied with thanks and said see you at the finish. It didn’t really registered why he thought I was unbelievable until people were calling my name and shouting how amazing I am. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I had a lightbulb moment. They meant that because I was a fat girl running I was amazing! AND the fat girl running has a ton of 10k -ers behind her unable to catch up! I am halfway to my weight goal, so I feel less amazing than when I began. It was harder to run 20lbs ago, now I am 90lbs down and running is much easier. I can only imagine what it will feel like when I reach goal weight.

This is me, the fat girl running in Blue with all those people behind me. That felt AWESOME! The purple bibs are the 10kms and the blue bibs are the 21.1kms

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When I reached the 6k mark, I was directed into traffic and was nearly killed. I figured out I was on the wrong side of the road and the water table people saved me. THANK VOLUNTEERS! ALL 1000 of you were AMAZING!

At the 7k mark I was the victim of a water fight with sponges. Only in Canada is it considered hot at 8C with the sun shining. Therefore we needed to be drenched with water sponges. It felt great, I had more water…so I needed to walk…then I was off again past more dancers, DJs, crowds and cheering. The fan turnout was unreal. Well Done Calgary, Well done!

I ran to the last mile marker and this it was I saw:

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Alberta Blue Sky, the Calgary Tower and runners ahead of me. People were shouting “LAST MILE!” so we ran. we ran back to Stampede Grounds and into the shoot. People kept yelling my name and congratulating me on being amazing. 2 more corners and I was done. Thanks random stranger for tell me I had 2 corners, I hate it when people say “You are almost done!” they are liars. Last corner and a hill/ramp/mountain combination to get to the top.

The grandstand was full and I was the only one in the shoot because I sprinted the last km and pulled away from the pack. I ran sub 10, my tempo time of 9:30 for the final km. I fist pumped as I crossed the finish line and yelled YES!

I was given a groovy 10k purple medal for my efforts and heard my daughter calling me. WHAT??? There she was at the finish holding a present for me. My Trusty Steed brought her down from Edmonton so she could be there. They got up at 4am to make the trip. It really meant a lot to me to have my whole family at the finish line. I was given this because I am a medal whore

Give_a_girl_the_right_pair_of_shoes_30_x_1 (1)

 

Then she took my picture with my Dadeo who was also at the finish (15 minutes before me)

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On the trip back to Edmonton, my Dadeo announced that he has retired from racing but not from running. He gave me a big hug and kiss and thanked me for the fabulous birthday weekend. He told me he was proud of the way I am working hard to be fit and lose weight the right way. Slow and steady. Then I had to promise to run a 10k on my 65th birthday.

I promise Dadeo, but YOU have to be at the finish line.

Nothing EVER GOES AS PLANNED!

Running lately has been terrible. I go through these cycles as does everyone, but I sure don’t want too. I want every run to go as planned and be swell just like a Leave it Beaver episode!

Sunday it was the first hot day we have had since last July.

Don’t move to Canada.

I took myself out to the River Valley Loop at Whitemud Park and PLANNED on running 11km for my long run. It was so gorgeous, I was feeling fantastic! I had a great pace and ran to Keillor Hill. I made it up to the first switch back before I started to feel a stroke coming on. So I walked the next two switchbacks up to the top of Rich and Famous Blvd to a place called The End of the World. It is a gorgeous view and worth the climb… sort of. It was hot and the hill was packed with long boarders and cyclers. I didn’t come across too many runners – note to self THIS IS A LEARNING LESSON. THE RUNNERS WERE NOT ON THE HILL!

When I reached the summit (according to my garmin it was a 748 ft climb) I took a rest with the other 50 or so people at the top. It was quite comical. We were sprawled all over the place fighting for shade because we are CANADIAN and when the temps reach 27C we don’t know what to with ourselves! I drank water and realized I did not pack enough. My chest was wheezing a bit but I figured it was from the steep climb so I just waited for my heart rate to normalize. This hill is a tough one for all fitness levels so I didn’t feel so amateurish hanging at the top with the rest of the fit population. I made a realization at that moment, I am fit! Sure I have extra poundage but YAY! I am fit! That thought energized me enough to get me going again.

I headed south towards Belgravia Road and was immediately lost. Not really, I knew where I was but I was lost in the view. AH MAZE ING! THen there were the HOMES! WOW! It would not hurt my feelings to live in this neighbourhood even in the winter!

I had reached the 4k mark and I had an asthma attack so huge, I serious thought I should call an ambulance. Luckily I had my ventolin with me. The weird thing is, I NEVER bring it – EVER. But after Wednesday and the wheezing in the chest after running 5k I figure it would be prudent to bring it along, so I popped it into my fuel belt. Good thing I did! It took 4 puffs to get air into my lungs. I usually only need 1 or 2. I sat on the curb in front of some rich old guys house and just thought about how the hell was I going to get back to my car? I figured at that point, running was out of the question. Ventolin makes my heart feel weird when I take so much of it. I didn’t need to die in the river valley. People hate coming across bodies in there.

So I walked back the 3km to my car.

Walking hurts more. My feet hurt, which is weird because they never hurt when I run. My shoulders hurt, also weird because they never hurt when I run. I must shrug when I walk. Walking TAKES SOOOOOOOOO LONG and felt SOOOOOOOOOO FAR! I really hate walking. Don’t ask me to ‘go for a walk’ it is dull and boring.

Today when I woke up I thought about what one of my coaches said to me about hills. He said your muscles remember the last thing you did. Well if that is the case, I will never run again. So I decided I needed a short, quick EXCELLENT run. Something that would leave a good memory in my muscles and in my head.

Off I went, on a super hot morning – again weird because last Monday we had a blizzard and this Monday we were the hottest city in Canada 31.1C That is somewhere around 90F. Edmonton is bi-polar. Anyways…I went for a run. Short quick and only 3km. Ran the entire distance without wheezing or dying. I notice I am recovering quicker. I didn’t even feel like I had run today. I hope this is a good sign for Calgary’s 10km in 3 Sundays! I am taking it easy this week to get back into it. I plan to do 4k tomorrow, the 5k then 3k. No hills this week. I don’t want to tempt fate. By Sunday I PLAN to be ready for 11km in the River Valley again. Just this time I am avoiding the mountain climb. Perhaps something less steep and possibly flat. We shall see. In the mean time I will be packing my ventolin on every run. Lesson learned.

Happy Running!

Enter the big goals: Me and Mo and a Marathon

I need races to motivate me. I put out information on a night-time race to see if my friends wanted to join me. No takers. One gal said that she just isn’t competitive. Huh. I never thought about signing up for a race as competitive because I only hope I don’t come in last. I have come in last and you get treated like a rock star. It’s not about placing or times for me…well maybe a little bit about time, but mostly I just want to finish.

I have begun looking for my very first marathon to participate in. I thought I would likely run at home in Edmonton for my first marathon distance. However, I have come to really like the idea of destination races. I plan ongoing to Disneyland for a half marathon in January (The Tinkerbell) and I would like to hit up WDW for the Donald, so I need something closer to home for a marathon. I went to marathonguide.com and took a gander, but those mostly promote American races. Being Canadian, those races are to far away to be local!

Then I found this one: The Banff Marathon

I love the Rocky Mountains.

I checked out the course map, and it appears to be on the old Banff Hwy starting just south of Lake Louise. The half marathon starts at Johnson’s Canyon and both finish in Banff’s downtown. Not that Banff is a big city – far from it. Running through the Bow Valley would be so fantastic AND it’s downhill. It starts at an elevation of 4845 ft and ends at 4537 ft. I have been on that road, there are a few ups and downs but nothing like mountain climbing, so I am good there. This race excites me like no other, so I think it is a good choice for me.

Now the bad news.

It caps at 1500 people. I need a 15 min/mile pace and must be done by 6:30. To do that I need to lose more weight, so far so good on that front, and I need to pick up my pace. I have a year to work on that and you only get better by practicing. They warn of cars so run on the shoulder – hahaha so the road won’t be closed. The good news is that road hardly gets used – and I mean HARDLY so that shouldn’t be too big of a deal. They also warn of wildlife. That is the best part of the mountains anyways! Can you imagine running down the road and seeing a bear, cougar or an elk? Cool right? Well…maybe not the bear or cougar, but the elk would be fine. I’ve seen Bears (black and grizzly) and I have seen cougars both from the safety of my car. Except the time I saw the grizzly IN BANFF TOWNSIGHT and a bus full of tourists ran out to take a picture. The bus driver was going crazy trying to pull the people back. Respect the bear distance people! The Rocky Mountains are not a zoo, it is filled with wildlife.

The other bit of bad news is it could snow. Snow in June is RARE but I have been there and needed mitts and a parka. It can be cold – even by my standards. But – the good news? It is on the longest day of the year so the sunshine will be at it’s peak and I really want to do this!

My intent is to train smart, I likely will use the John Stanton method. Eat right, I will consult my dietitian. My future runs will include me visualizing me running through the Bow Valley. Take a look with me and tell me what you think. Maybe join me, marathon weekend is suppose to be fantastic!

Meanwhile, Happy Running!

 

-18C feels like Spring! If that doesn’t increase your Mo, nothing will.

In case you didn’t know, when the temperature warms up to -18C – it feels like SPRING! YAY for spring! Not that I have any hope of seeing Spring until May, I still appreciate the warmer temperatures! It kind of reminded me of of when I lived in Canada’s Arctic. We lived in Yellowknife when I was in Elementary School. Yellowknife is located on the North shores of Great Slave Lake. This lake had waves. When it was frozen solid, an ice bridge (road) was created for the long-haul truckers to get supplies up north. It was a short cut. With winter brought wind. January in Yellowknife was typically around -30C. Don’t get me wrong, THAT IS COLD! Add the wind off the lake and you are dealing with -65C windchill. That’s right, -65C! When it warmed up to -35C, it felt like spring!!!

Most people don’t know how that feels. Let me clarify. Imagine sitting in your deep freezer, it’s colder than that. Your freezer should be -15C. I guess you cannot imagine how cold that is unless you have lived it. Our car wouldn’t start, so we walked to school. There was no such thing as a cold or snow day – just weather warnings as to how long before your exposed skin freezes and dies.  In case you are wondering, it happens in seconds. My mom was awesome at making sure we were bundled. Fur on the INSIDE of our hoods surrounded our face and kept it from freezing. Layering was the key – so was keeping dry. Long dark cold days, never again, thanks. I’m relatively happy here in Edmonton. When I am not, I remember what Yellowknife was like and I am GOOD!

So, back to my spring time January run. I learned from Thursday, I needed two layers on the legs. That was the most BRILLIANT idea I had ever had! My legs were perfect! I felt almost too warm running south, but then I turned north and HOLY FROZEN FREAKING CHEEKS BATMAN! I was then glad I had layers AND a hood. When I zip my hood, only my eyes are visible and they are covered by my Oakleys. I was well protected.

The Sun over Wildrose Park 

Wildrose Park Show some love to the Snow Plow Dude

Show some love to the Snow Plow Dude!

According my schedule, I am suppose to increase my distance tomorrow. I am not going to. Why you ask? Well, first of all I ran today and I felt great. I have been on a recovery from an illness/injury thing. I know I want to increase my running workouts to 4 times a week. I am at the point where my distance and time feels good. Adding too many variables are a recipe for disaster when it comes to me. I have learned this lesson from experience. Adding an extra run to my week should help me increase my stamina. I need endurance AND stamina to reach my long-term running goals.

I was looking longingly at my friends from the WDW Radio Running team. They are all in Florida this weekend running the Goofy (a Half Marathon today, and the Full Marathon tomorrow) some are running the Dopey (add a 5k on Friday to that total). I am watching and hearing about their fun and I must admit, I want to be apart of that too! I am not jealous, I know the work and training that needs to go into it. I am envious. I support them, cheer for them, excited and happy for them…but I want that too.

Next January is the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in California. I want to do that one. My daughter wants to run the 5k the day before, so I will run with her. There is nothing that sounds as much fun as running a race with my girl! I need to increase my endurance and stay healthy this year and meet my short-term running goals first.

My nutrition target is on track. I am using MyFitnessPal to keep track of intake, feel free to add me as a friend if you need encouragement! Contact me for info 🙂  I meet with my Nutritionist once a month. I am seeking help for the emotional eating issues. I think I have those well on their way to being in control. When I feel vulnerable, I found my self on Pinterest looking at Channel and Vogue, and then skipped over to my running boards for inspiration. I also find myself visualizing running long distances. I know I am going to do it. I feel the same tenacious determination as I did when I trained for the Half Marathon. I am fitter and healthier than I was then, and 80lbs lighter.

The thing about running in the snow and cold, it is kind of like running through tires – like football players do for training. It can only make me stronger and make summer running a breeze.

 

Thank you John Stanton @runningroom

My last post was an open letter to John Stanton of the Running Room. Here in Canada, he has changed the face of running and made it something for everyone to do, no matter your size or athletic ability. His story is an amazing inspirational one and I encourage you to look into it. Keep in mind, he is the head of a giant corporation that has stores located across the country. The Running Room is THE source in Canada for running and races. Want to run the New York Marathon? They have a class for that and can hook you up with an entry. Want to learn to run 3km? They have a class for that. Want to find a shoe that works for you? They have an expert for that and their expert will spend all the time you need to find the shoe that works for you. It took me 7 pairs and 25 laps around the store to figure out my Adidas were right for me.

I just had an issue with their clothing sizes and told him so.

He contacted me today and told me he wishes for me to talk to and meet with his Senior Apparel Buyer for the Running Room Canada Inc.

How amazing is that? He is willing to talk to the one customer who would like to see change. His Senior Apparel Buyer then contacted me want to set up a date to meet at any store, or just talk.

Never did I think this would happen.

Thanks John Stanton, I am more impressed with you than ever now.

An Open Letter to John Stanton and the Running Room @runningroom

 

Dear John Stanton,

I know your inspirational story and follow your training programs. I walked a half marathon because of you and I thank you.

But I have a bone to pick with you and your purchaser for the Running Room stores across Canada.

We all know your story about you running when it was dark so people couldn’t see you due to your size. You started running because you were an extended size. Guess what? So am I. In fact there are a TON of us extended size people who run or are learning to run because we no longer wish to be on the extended size of the clothing chart. But guess what? Your store does not  carry extended size apparel. While that is not entirely true, your online shop shows you sell XL but are out of stock. However, if I wish to purchase S or XS I am IN! You have plenty of those sizes! Here’s the thing, most women are a size 12 of larger. I know you have all those runners at your store who have the classic runners physique. I also will have one of those, but not this winter. This winter I need to sport an extended size. While I am 3 sizes smaller then last year, I am still not one of those gazelles. I do not wish them ill will, I know your gazelles work and run hard to look like that. Well, Mr. Stanton, I have worked and run hard to look like this too. All I want is to be able to go to the Running Room, and buy tech wear that respects my body shape.

Please don’t tell me that there isn’t a market for it otherwise NorthFace and Columbia would not be making jackets that would fit me. I have yet to find a store that can help me. I want to be fit and you and other fitness merchants make it hard for me. I live in Edmonton. It is starting to get cold when I run. I do not have the luxury of running during the day. My options are morning or evening in the dark. Dark in Edmonton typically means cool or the very least, COLD.

Columbia also makes tech shirts that are extended sizes. The problem is, I can’t try them on. I live in the Capital City of Alberta. The streets are paved with gold, yet I have to shop online for tech wear. Seriously? The luxury of trying on clothing is lost for me. While you assume most runners are created equal, I can assure you this is not the case. Remember back to before you started the Running Room. Why can you not offer extended sizes for runners like me? I am a woman, therefore I am curvy, so those unisex jobs you sell do not fit the upper body very well.

Is it too much to ask that ONE of your stores offer extended sizes? Come on, one per city is all I am asking, please. I understand how inventory works. I guarantee you it will pay off in the long run. Bloggers like me will spread the word. Besides, I have lots of women friends who are looking for running apparel that fits them. I cheered on the marathoners at this years Canadian Derby Marathon and guess what? There were quite a few extended runners, shocking! We run in daylight for people to see. We are working hard to be the same on the outside as we feel on the inside. Support us by offering clothing that fits, and you will have the most loyal shoppers out there.

Please help us to keep running all winter long.

 

I didn’t wanna do it, but Mo made me.

I have been participating in John Stanton’s learn to run program – self induced. I am not doing this with the Running Room Clinics because I hate crowds. That isn’t entirely true, crowds are fine at Disneyland but not when I am trying to run up a hill. I don’t need someone talking to me to keep me going, in fact, I get slower because I cannot walk and talk at the same time…true story.

I own a couple of John Stanton’s nifty books and have figured out his learn to run program with the exception of a couple of modifications,

  1. I run every other day so my knee will still love me in the morning.
  2. If I am not ready for the next phase of increased increments, I will run another day of the same for strength and practice. Because really, I am in no hurry.

I am in no hurry. This is very hard for me. I am the one who likes to jump ahead to the finish line and check of my goal. I can’t do that this time if I want my knee to keep loving me. I had some very solid advice of late and intend to follow it. I really wanted to run yesterday but spent the day icing and elevating my leg instead. I spent a good portion of yester walking on concrete and my leg didn’t like it. So I babied it when I came home. Smart move. I wanted to run, and thought about it seriously, but I held back. Part of the problem is my pool has been closed for the week for maintenance. This worries me because the water will have ice cubes floating in it tomorrow. It has also made me feel like a slug. Swimming is my zen, my fun and my power. Without it, I am a slug with great shoes.

Monsoon

A Lot of rain!

This morning when I woke up I was ready to face the day and get it started with an easy 3k in Wildrose Park. Problem number 1, the rain was SIDEWAYS. That usually means couple of scenarios are possible,

  1. There is a Monsoon
  2. It is very Windy
  3. it is time to build an ark

I put on my running shorts and tank. Put on my coolmax socks and nikes. Then I sat on the bench at my front door staring and listening to the rain as it pelted down. I was thinking about waiting it out. Then I got a text from a friend

Me: It’s raining sideways, I don’t want to run.

A: Get out there anyways

It is surprising how motivating that was. So I did. I went out in the driving rain in my tank and my hat, water was an inch deep on the side walk so I ran down the middle of the road. Not a soul was out. It was kind of awesome. As I ran I thought about pros and cons to running in the rain.

Pros and Cons to running in a Prairie Style Monsoon

Pros:

Cons:
You aren’t hot It is 60F or 15C no one is hot
You get a acupuncture session for free You skin goes numb from rain pelts
You don’t have to share the park, path or road because you are alone It’s too wet to bring your phone. If you fall and need help you may drown waiting for someone.
You don’t get thirsty You don’t get thirsty
People think you are dedicated People think you are an idiot
Newspaper really does work for water absorption in your shoe Water squishes between your toes
You cannot get more wet than drenched Drenched often brings lighting

As it stands, I prefer to run rain free. However, I have a feeling I will be wishing for more days like today when the snow comes and -30C mornings feel biting cold. The good news will be, Mo and I will run faster by then. That way we can be done sooner…or does it work that way?

Mo has a Wild Streak – Let the training begin!

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had enough guts to be afraid.

                                                                                              ~ Cheryl Strayed

I just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. That girl now as it figured it out. Mo does too. Intellectually I do too.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

I have been at this journey for well over a year. Last year it was about setting goals that were insane for me, achieving them and celebrating them. I then fell into a goal setter let down…

I couldn’t find my focus. I was tired. Not so much physically, but mentally. I let go of some serious things, serious people, toxic things and toxic people. Where does that leave me to date?

I smiled spontaneously this week for the first time in I have no idea how long. I smile a lot. I have the wrinkles and laugh lines to prove it. Smiling because you feel JOY is a whole other smile. It comes from a place of peace.

I found it. I have no idea how long it will last but I am enjoying the ride while I am on it.

Because I felt JOY, I was able to sit down and make some goals that had to do with wants. This is different than last year. Last years goals were about proving myself to people. I finally figured out that I don’t need to prove myself to others, I really needed to prove myself to me.

Things I have learned;

I am smart.

I am strong physically and mentally. I am almost strong emotionally. Baby steps.

I like me. I like spending time alone with me.

I have skills that can save my life in the wilderness, in an urban environment and in a recreation environment. How many people can say that?In an effort to find myself I tried a billion different activities and have weeded out the ones that I do not enjoy. If it is for pleasure, then do pleasurable things.

The quote at the top has deep meaning for me. I now have a healthy fear of life. I respect it. I know how to proceed with caution and not reckless abandon. This is a huge growth for me. I walked a half marathon thinking, pfffff I can do that easy. It was not easy. It was 99% mental and 1% physical. I could have and likely SHOULD have done things differently. Being the smart girl I am, I have taken what I have learned, and am applying it to my next set of goals.

In October 2010, I was in Germany. I was walking back from the camp showers late at night to the caravan. It was dark and damp. I slipped on some muddy grass and tore my MCL on my left leg. I saw stars, I howled, I cried and I needed help getting into the caravan. I hit rock bottom physically. Mentally that was about to happen much later…

My Doctor encouraged me to walk and he is the type of guy who doesn’t want to tell someone not to exercise. I was just suppose to listen to my knee and not push it. What the hell does that mean? I walked the Half a year later, I swam 1.5 hours 4 times a week and walked 40k a week….that was a lot. My knee hated me but I told it to feck off.

I started training for the Calgary half in January. my knee hated me more than anyone could possibly appreciate. I was stronger than ever. My heart and lungs could take me to new heights and I could walk fast enough to pass runners on the track. Once I hit 45 minutes, my knee said…that is IT, I HATE you and I quit.

And it did.

I had to stop walking, swimming and strenuous yoga. I felt soft and gooey. Gross…

When I went back to my Doc and walked up 3 flights of stairs without my knee weeping, I figured I could swim again. So I did. This time I took it easy. I swam 30 minutes for my short swims and 45 for my long. I was faster than before. I couldn’t belive it. I felt strong, healthy and focused.

I still felt squishy. I knew I needed weight baring exercise. I want to run like a gazelle. I see and hear stories of men who were fat and chunky running and then they became these fit Adonis’. Why can’t I do that? Truthfully, there is no reason why I cannot.

I started reading John Stanton. He is a local hero who was a chubby guy, started running then became the go to guy in Edmonton for all things running. He branched out. He is now the go to guy in Canada and owns a string of Running Room stores. I figured this guy knew what he was talking about.

This is what I know. I HATE LEARN TO RUN CLASSES. When I have a goal I turn inward. I prefer the silence and solitude to pull me through. I have an inner drive and focus that will amaze the strongest man. I get this from my dad. When I swim I use this focus. This is why I can swim for 1 1/2 hours. I only stop because I am hungry and have no energy left. Mentally I could go for days.

I did some research and discovered that I should start my learn to run classes at a 3Km. Running for 20 minutes non stop. I don’t want to be surrounded by people when I do this. Perhaps it is because I talk for a living  – but I don’t want to chit chat when I run, walk or swim. I just want to go. It feels like flying when I am alone in my head.

Saturday I did my first session alone at Wildrose Park. I ran 1 minute and walked 2 minutes x6. This took me 19 minutes. I went a distance of 2.07km. My heart and lungs laughed their heads off. It was easy for me. It was EASY for me. The fat girl RAN and it was EASY. I can walk 26km.

When I got home what struck me as I walked in the house was, wow it feels good to not be so tired I want to sleep. I felt energized.

I need to repeat 1 and 2s for the rest of the week. Stanton says to do it every other day. Awesome, that is easy enough to do. I did yoga today. Tomorrow I will run 1 and 2 for a total of 19 minutes. I will then swim after work for 30 minutes. I swim to de-stress and to change eating habits of eating while stressed out. Here is my challenge for the week…

It is no secret that I am a night owl. Mornings are for the birds and the sunrise. To get my runs in this week, I will need to run in the morning before work. Holy Hell that sucks the big one.

That will be the challenge. Not the running, not the swimming – but running in the MORNING for crying out loud. I will do it. Laying out my clothes tonight will help motivate me. I can do this because this is the MENTAL challenge. I kick-ass at mental challenges. Morning run? I accept that challenge!

Besides it has me excited. I am anxious to run 3k without stopping.

I plan on doing that for my birthday. Happy birthday to me on Dead Elvis Day! August 16 incase you want to come cheer me on at Wild Rose park.

Goal #2 5k in the same fashion. I will start at the beginning and work every week until I can run 5km with out stopping. I plan to have that goal achieved by October. Then I will be a 5 k runner and do the Santa shuffle in December, run at the indoor track and perhaps outside if I can figure out the not falling on ice part.

Goal #3 will be to run the Canada Day 10Km.

Goal #4 will be the Donald Half in WDW. I want that medal so bad I can taste it. I will run the 5 k fun the day before.

Doing this slow to re-build the muscles around my knee will be the key. It is hard not to skip to the end. But that is the goal – slow and steady.

I completely get Cheryl Strayed. Her journey made perfect sense to me because in many ways it is my journey. One step in front of the other. I can’t jump ahead to the end and neither did she.

Wake up call at 6:00AM – good grief… I’ve got this.