Then there was that time I was in the Fall Classic…

A year ago today I ran in the Edmonton Fall Classic 5 miler. I had been running for only 10 months. I ran 5 minutes and walked 1 minute intervals. I finished in 1:28:08. Slow… but who cares? I was 20lbs heavier.

Today I walked the Edmonton Fall Classic 5 miler. I ran 3 times for a total of 6 minutes. I need to keep my heart rate at a certain level until I get the clearance to run again from my Doc. I Had surgery in June, did the Moose is Loose Half Marathon in July, split open incisions and went into shock. It wasn’t pretty. I was put on the injured reserve list by my Doc. No Running, no racing until the end of October. “But I have a half marathon the end of October” Well, I guess you aren’t training for it…said my Doctor.

But I walked, not hard and fast, I went out a few times to push the envelope to see how I was fairing. I felt healthier and stronger than I have in decades. But NO RUNNING.

Thursday I decided to enter the Fall Classic as a test race to see how I react under race conditions. Granted, there was only 160 racers entered. Sure it was a quiet and empty Ada Boulevard on a cool Edmonton Sunday Morning. But I wanted to know what to expect for next Sunday, The Inaugural Vancouver Rock and Roll Half Marathon. My very first RnR, so I decided to do it in Vancouver on their very first one too. Its a big deal for me and I don’t want to be swept. I walk very fast – yet I walk faster than I can run…. not really. Not any more. I have 4 hours in which to complete or they pick me up on the bus of shame.

Anyways…back to the Fall Classic.

I signed up Thursday.

I arrived early this morning because I was going to start with the 10 milers – I am slow, and I wanted breakfast with my team. I started out. In the far away distance, I could see a gal on her second lap. I had met her in Florida last year hanging out in the corrals. She is from Edmonton and she is also slow. I put her in my sights. And I walked.

I find walking harder in many ways from running. If you are consistent, there is no slow speed. When you do the run/walk method you get to slow down and rest. I hate this about walking so I would walk super fast 10:50/km then slow it down to 11:10/km. Now there are walkers in the 109 Street Club who were walking 7/km but we won’t focus on them. They can write their own blog. This fast/slow method kept me focused and I had a target in my sights. By the 5km, I passed her. I PASSED HER! I had never passed anyone before AND I left her in my dust!

That was an awesome feeling!

I knew about 155 people on the course so there was a lot of cheering and high fives. I still didn’t think I was doing very well, but my heart rate was where it should be and I was feeling surprisingly awesome (never before had I felt great in a race – until this one. I thought I felt great at Calgary – but no…I was wrong). The finish line came up fast. Last year I was tired. This year I was not. I finished today in 1:28:52. A few seconds slower than last year and I WALKED IT!

I am walking next week’s RnR. I want to run it. But 2015 will be all about running. My goal is to finish before the truck of shame. If I complete it, it will be my 3rd half marathon this year. Not too shabby for a a fat girl who was injured and couldn’t train the way she wanted too. By finishing next week, that would be a nice feather in my cap.

At any rate, it should be fun.

Happy Running!

The First Valley Run of the Winter Season

Lately it has been super cold so I rode DangerBike on my office. I haven’t been for a run farther than 8 miles in a while…a long while. I have a month-ish before I have a major race at Walt Disney World, so I made it outside today and the first 7km were lovely! The last 4km? Well, lets just say it was my intent to run 13km but trudging through the city streets made it difficult and exhausting.

(Follow me on instagram to see my video of my run – you can hear what the cold crunch of northern snow sounds like

Today’s run has to be the most difficult 11km run I have ever done. Period. That includes the run I did when I was dehydrated or the run I did in the pouring sideways rain. Today’s run ended with a trek UP Walterdale Hill (FYI – that was stupid and it is a ONE and DONE hill…not again this winter!) after running on un-shoveled sidewalks and roadways. Lumpy, uneven paths are difficult to navigate.


Millcreek was ploughed by City Tractors and it was gorgeous running.  I ran down the creek into the river valley. I was hit on by Hobos who wanted to kiss me, I said no thank you. Then they asked if they could run with me, I said, no thank you. They were disappointed, I was a little scared. Running in the opposite direction of them and towards the University Run Club Men made me feel a little happier.

The biggest issue I find with running in the winter is the cleats I have to wear. Running without them is too scary for me. I easily lose my footing and am thankful for the solid feeling my YakTrax Run provide me. But, my feet get tired quickly. I was at about 8km and I wanted to pop the cleats off. If I remember correctly, it will take me a few weeks to build up the strength in my feet again. It should make me feel like I am flying for the WDW Half Marathon!

Next week, my coach has me running 5k on my long run and then 15km the following week. I have to say, 5k almost feels like a waste of time, but 5k I shall do. Why? Because I trust him. He hasn’t let me down yet.

Meanwhile, keep warm and Happy Running!


Running Down the Rabbit Hole

Tomorrow is Kathy’s Race for Pancreatic Cancer and I am suppose to be in it.

I am not.

Mostly for awesomeness reasons.

I had some time today, so I ran the course I would have run tomorrow and its dry out there which makes it lovely. The gravel in some spots is a little slick – not hard packed like it was in the summer, but nice just the same. It was frosty but this time last year there was snow and it had STAYED for the winter, so quite frankly, I will take the blue sky sunshine and dry ground because the less I have to run in my cleats, the better.

013I signed up for a Virtual Race last month, Running Down the Rabbit Hole. She opened the race up to 50 more runners, if you are an Alice fan, do it! It is an amazing medal and it spins which is super cool. It is the biggest medal on my wall. The race coordinator is stellar! Today I earned my 10k Running Down the Rabbit Hole medal. I ran the course I would have run tomorrow, and the entire time I kept thinking…I should cancel my half marathon in January. I am not ready. I am too slow. What was I thinking?

Then I thought – So what if I get swept? It won’t happen before I get to run though the castle. Who cares? I will have fun and that is all that matters….I am SUCH A LIAR TO MYSELF.

I want the medal. I want to succeed. I need to get my ass outside and train dammit! Today was a great start. Actually, Last week was a great start. I haven’t lost my fitness levels but I obviously am not getting to the speed I wish I was. C’est la vie. (look how French I am!) I can not be angry with myself if I try my best. This week, I will likely log 40km or so walking. It would be awesome if its more…but we shall see. Meanwhile, I am out of races until January. This is a good thing. It helps me focus and if something comes up between now and then, the good news is I have the fitness level to enter on a whim…I love that.

Happy Running!

It’s all fine and dandy until Mother Nature gets mad



Remember how I was going to run 6k yesterday? Well, I didn’t.

I ran 4.5k instead.

After a week of lazy movement behaviour and eating junk, my legs were filled with concrete and burning acid. Well…it felt that way. I stretched everything out after a .5k warm up then I was good to go. I was feeling great! I was faster, I felt strong, I was maintaining my race pace.

The sun set at 9:00pm so I put on my new handy-dandy headlamp so I could see through the creek. Good thing too because suddenly the skies got REALLY BLACK and not from lack of sunshine either. Here is the thing about Alberta storms. The come in and out in a split second. Often without warning. Storm clouds rolled in and I was pelted with hail the size of a dime. For the record – OUCH! I had nowhere to seek shelter. I was running along the trails by my house which is a powerline zone. So Running under those suckers made me feel super safe. (Insert Sarcastic tone here) The lightning started, huge forks lit up the sky. Then a transformer was hit and turned the sky green. When that happened, the sizzle of the extra current traveled down the lines to where I was standing in the open. I was still a quite a good distance from home, so I called my Trusty Steed.

I asked him to rescue me and meet me at the north end of the creek. He agreed and I ran towards the creek to our meeting point. By this time I was soaked through to the bone. Dri fit is only good to a certain point and last night was not it.

I normally am not scared off by rain. The rain wasn’t the problem – the hail hurt and running on the prairies in Lightning is just not smart. So where does that leave me?

Well? I think I will do another 3-4k today. Just light, not at race pace because tomorrow a 10k is on tap at race pace. I have some weird aches and pains that I think yoga will assist me with and running them out should help. I am starting to get the pre-race jitters. BUT I am not scared like I was for Calgary.

That is a good sign.

I have run a half marathon already this month. That does WONDERS for my confidence. I am ready, even if I have to walk it I know I’ve got this.

Looking forward to it because it brings me that much closer to my marathon goal. Goal setting rocks my world. Just WAIT until you hear my plans for 2014 and beyond!

Happy Running!

I need to cry or change the attitude. Change the attitude it is!

Worst Run EVER happen today.

My pal came over early this morning and we headed to Emily Murphy Hill to run 6 repeats.

  1. I hate running up hill but love running downhill
  2. I have felt bad of late, I haven’t bounced back from last week’s 18 hour sleep days
  3. Hurling your cookies because you run is never fun

But those are excuses. I didn’t push myself. Instead I watched my friend take off like a rocket and do all 6, then she went home and signed up for the 10km. I am feeling a little jealous of here today. She is a BEAST, she pushes hard and has serious stamina. I run halfway up and hurl. After 6 halfway attempts I went to the grass and punished myself with core work and yoga poses I hate until she finished.

The worst of it is, I am angry. Angry at me, angry at my PERCEIVED expectations of others, angry at the fact that I am happy running slow and just don’t feel like getting faster, except when I run in WDW on Marathon weekend, I better run faster or my ass will be swept off the course. I am angry because I feel like I am being left behind. I see my teammates progressing or ask for help and get it. Here is the thing:

  1. I know what I have to do
  2. I know how to do
  3. Someone holding my hand while I do it just makes me angry
  4. Crying on my coaches shoulder is not going to help the situation because I KNOW what the problem is!

Here is my plan to improve the situation:

  1. Get some serious sleep! I was up late last night waiting for my girl to come home after a concert, then I had to hear the evening’s recap and oogle the merchandise. It has been a very long time since I have woke up in the morning feeling rested. Sleep by 10:00 tonight and I am NOT setting my alarm. I shall wake up when I am ready.
  2. Hydrate better. Fricken Diet Coke has slipped into my life again. I need to quit it before it becomes an addiction again. More Water Missy! And when I say Missy I mean me for a change.
  3. Find my earbuds! I haven’t seen them since Sunday. I think they are in Trusty Steed’s Truck. He drove me home on Sunday after my long run. Plug in and listen to music that energizes me.
  4. Find a path that isn’t flooded but isn’t dead boring either. I AM SO BORED OF MY TRAIL – the hideous one behind my house. I think I will head to  – I have no idea. I will explore some maps tonight.
  5. Run for fun tomorrow. I have forgotten how to do that. Run without a goal other than distance. No time, no pace, nothing else but fun.
  6. Change my attitude! End my run on a positive note. Smile while I run or at the very least feel like I am smiling.

There we have it. I have vented and no longer feel like crying. I will have a better run tomorrow. I will have fun running tomorrow and as my reward for changing my attitude, I will go to yoga class.

I can’t wait 🙂


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.



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.



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




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.



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!



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.



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?



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



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:



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)





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.

I am scared, so the dream must be big enough

Checking out my countdown clock I am told I have 2 days to go until the Calgary Jugo Juice 10km race.

I feel sick.

Why you ask? Good question.

I can run 10km, I have done it before and quite recently in fact…last Sunday, the Sunday before, the Sunday before that…

But nerves are attracting the butterflies and the butterflies are scared off because my belly is filled with bats.

Can I do it? Absolutely.

So what is the problem?


I am afraid I will not push myself. If I go at a relaxed pace that will have me finish the 10k like I do on my LSD days, I will reach a time of 1:55:00 for 10km. For those of you who don’t run, that is super slow-mo speed. Most people will finish the race at about an hour to an hour and a half. If I push myself to my limit, I will finish in 1:40:00. I dream of finishing in 1:30:00. My body isn’t ready for that. I think I could push it but I’d be puking and Jeff Galloway frowns on puking during a race, that means I am over exerting.

There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limits of what you can do. I know for a fact that my body can do more than I anticipate it will, but by how much? There is the question that no one ever gets to know the answer to. We can always do more than we think we can.

My support team is all happy and sunshiney, saying things like “It doesn’t matter if you come in last” – well, I fully expect to come in last…I just don’t want too. They say things like, “The medal is the same for first and last place finishers” I know, that is why I am doing it. My medal will be made of sweat and tenacity. THey say things like “You’ll do fine.” Sure I will, I have trained for this, my muscles know what to do – it’s the brain that scares me.

A whole bunch of ‘What if’s’ are rolling through my head.

  1. What if I can’t find parking?
  2. What if I injure myself and get pulled?
  3. What if I feel crappy race morning and can’t pull myself together?
  4. What if I run out of fuel/water/water and water?

That is the problem with race day. You plan and train for the best, but nothing ever happens as planned. You hope for a personal best but race day is like the Mickey Mouse Club equivalent to ‘Anything Can Happen Day!’  I can mull over all possible scenarios but the reality is I am nervous. My first running race…with my Dad…on his birthday…in a City that isn’t mine…on a course I don’t know…filled with Calgarians who taunt Edmontonians…


My coach says “If your dreams aren’t scary they aren’t big enough”. I didn’t think 10km was big enough. I am scared. It is big enough. I need this to take me to the next level. To calm my nerves I think I will go for a run in the rain – at race pace. I need to remind myself I am ready.




In addition to running the 10k in Calgary with my Dad, my other goal is to raise money for the Dream Team Make-A-Wish Project. I chose to run for the Dream Team project for several reasons, the team, the support, the coaching but the most important reason is to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Project. I have family and friends who have benefited from this amazing charity and it is time to give back. Our Team slogan is Because you can’t smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside. 

Please consider donating on my behalf, Robyn Engel Couture here DONATEYou enter any amount from $1 – infinity and beyond

I thank you, my team thanks you and some little kid who’s wish came true thanks you.

For more information about the Dream Team Project, please visit here.


Hills are stupid but I am glad they were invented

This time next week I will be finished the 10k in Calgary. My Dad and I joke around about who is going to trip who, and who will sprint to the finish and elbow the other person into the boards for the finish.

Obviously it is going to be me. I will take no prisoners, just leave a bloody mess in my wake.

I will elbow my dad into the boards and sprint pass him so he has to buy breakfast.

We all know nothing ever goes as planned. The likelihood of me beating the crap out of my dad for the win is slim to none. However, a girl has to have dreams…

Today was my last long run before Calgary. I am officially on a taper. It’s not much of a taper seeing I am running 10k again next week, but I have a weekly total of 16k to get through this week instead of last weeks 23k before the weekend.

My run today through Millcreek ravine was fabulous. I had a decent pace for my LSD, kept it slow ran straight through to Connor’s Hill. This hill is becoming a thorn in my side. I am DETERMINED to run up the whole thing by the Edmonton Half Marathon if it KILLS me! Two weeks in a row, the halfway point does me in. I end up walking the rest. This is my new challenge. I WILL RUN UP THAT HILL BY MY BIRTHDAY or DIE TRYING.

Since I began hill training, the rolling coaster hills that use to scare me, now are barely noticed. It’s those steep mountain esc trails that really annoy me and have me sucking wind as if I am not very capable. Of course, that just isn’t true. When I first began running hills, I just couldn’t do it. I would plan my route to avoid hills. Now I plan my route for distance and scenery. Hills are apart of that. photo (21)

Dudley B. Menzies Bridge (LRT and pedestrian b...

Dudley B. Menzies Bridge (LRT and pedestrian bridge) over North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9k into my run today found me on the LRT Bridge Dudley B. Menzies crossing south towards the U of A over the North Saskatchewan River. This was the first time I felt scared. I was heading towards some dark forest and unknown trails. I stopped to ask some cyclers the best route to 109th Street. With all the detours and changes to the river loop, people were a little confused. I had a pretty good idea which way I should go, but it appeared to be straight up. I thanked the couple before I continued on my way and told them if they see me on the news because I was dead, my name was Robyn. Being able to identify my last known whereabouts seemed important at the time.

It was dark because the tree canopy had fully leafed out. It was  empty and lonely on that trail because no one uses it for good reason.

The reason no one uses that trail is because it goes STRAIGHT UP! The last time I climbed something that steep, I was mountain climbing in Jasper and had expected the steepness because I was ON A MOUNTAIN, not the prairies. JEEEZE!  The good news? My ass is going to look AWESOME by summer! The bad news? My pace dropped to 16min/km. Near the end I needed to stop and suck some wind into my lungs, finished off my water and took a deep breath while I mentally prepared for the stairs. I told myself at the top of these stairs I was home free. I would be 2 FLAT blocks from my finish line and car.


At the top of the stairs was another FREAKING HILL! OH COME ON! I was out of water and was fantasizing about eggs. I know, weird food cravings at 9.7 km.  But I wanted protein and lots of it at that point. My thighs were very disappointed in my choice of route and my calves were just plain ol’ angry.

As I reached my destination, I realized I had mentally conquered the most difficult ending to any trail I have ever taken. This will carry me far next week.

In Calgary should I come across some difficult parts of the route, I just need to think back to my past two weeks of training. Last week I ran 13km. This week I climbed hills from hell. Next week should be easy in comparison.

I am ready.

Roll on Calgary, I can’t wait!


Conversations with my former Coach, proof that everyone improves – even me


I had the pleasure today of sitting down with a woman I admire TREMENDOUSLY.  As my daughter says, “She’s the Bomb-Diggity!”

We were talking about how my running is going. Coach was there for me with support and extra courage when I walked my first half marathon. Today, she provided the same support. It was like walking into a cozy sweater. She asked me how things are going with my training.

Me: Well… I am slow.

Coach: That’s okay. Its faster now that you are running.

Me: HA! I run as fast as I can walk.

Coach: That’s okay, how are you finding hills?

That is when I had to think about how far I have come.

2011 I didn’t hill train or do speed work or even think about recovery. I walk every kilometer in the same slow pace. My goal was to cross the finish line.

It is still a goal to cross the finish line, but I have set a goal of faster recovery time. To achieve that goal I need to do hills and speed work, I need to fuel properly before, during and after a training run, and most importantly I need to accept that I am WAY FASTER than I use to walk a 14:30 min/km and worked my way up to 12:45 min/km. When I started running in January I was running (in snow) 13:35 min/km – see! I was a faster walker!! Now I run a steady pace at 11:04 min/km. On really great days when the stars align, I can run 10:30 min/km.

If I look at the my running logs, I can see marked improvement. Does it make me happy?


People keep saying, speed will come. I know. People say, you get the same medal for last place as you get for first place. I know. People keep telling me it isn’t a race – well it is – but it’s not. It’s like golf, the only real competitor you need to worry about is you.

I know.

I also know that if I keep doing what I am doing (LSD, Fartleks, Hills, Steady, Tempo) I will improve.

I have a fantastic support system for team runners and other runners in the community. We cheer for each other on facebook, twitter and dailymile – come join! Sometimes it is PAINFUL to post a super slow 8k (like today’s run – I have a million reasons why I was slow, but it doesn’t matter – they are just excuses) and I see someone post a 10k in 1:01:00. WOW! An hour! I am still hoping I can complete the Calgary 10km in 1:30:00, but realistically, I think I am looking at 1:55:00. I have to be okay with that.

The point to this race is to run with my Dad on his 65th birthday.

I am running farther than everyone else who will still be in bed on that Sunday Morning.

I am running faster than I ever have in my entire life.

I am down another 2 clothing sizes, the more weight that comes off, the faster I will be. That is the biggest part I need to remember.

I am carrying the weight equivalent of my 17 year old son on my back when I run. My friend who ran a 10k in an hour, just has to carry her water. She already is the ideal weight for her height and age. If she had to carry my son, she would be slower too.

This I need to remember.

I also need to remember to keep moving forward because there is NOTHING sweeter than the taste of achieving your goals.

Thanks Coach for teaching me that.





In addition to running the 10k in Calgary with my Dad, my other goal is to raise money for the Dream Team Make-A-Wish Project. I chose to run for the Dream Team project for several reasons, the team, the support, the coaching but the most important reason is to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Project. I have family and friends who have benefited from this amazing charity and it is time to give back. Our Team slogan is Because you can’t smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside. 

Please consider donating on my behalf, Robyn Engel Couture here DONATE. You enter any amount from $1 – infinity and beyond

I thank you, my team thanks you and some little kid who’s wish came true thanks you.

For more information about the Dream Team Project, please visit here.


Running the River Valley Loop – I need to get use to hills and it hurts.

I missed my LSD (long  slow distance) on Sunday because of several factors:

  1. I had 2 final papers due
  2. I had a family birthday party
  3. I had 2 final papers due
  4. Did I mention I had 2 final papers due?

Clearly I need a mental break. I planned my long run for Monday. It was to be my second 8k. I still shock myself that I can run that far.

The plan was to head to Fort Edmonton Park and run the River Valley Loop. I started in the parking lot by the John Janzen Nature Center and ran east towards Keillor Hill. I remember the old days of that being the thru road to get to the University. I had never been on it as part of the valley trail system. Shame on me. It is a fantastic run along the river.

river valley loop

This was a challenging run for me because of the hills towards the Fort Edmonton footbridge. My usual run doesn’t the same elevation change, in fact you could say it is flat. Okay, you WOULD say it’s flat but I am a prairie girl and thats all I have to work with unless I drive to the river valley. Now that spring is threatening to arrive for REAL, I will be doing more of that because as much as I hate hill work, it is still better than wind AND it makes me stronger AND it makes my ass look good – well-  better.

More snow for the weekend, but obviously it doesn’t stop me, especially after the events in Boston.

Happy Running everyone.