Day 93: A chilly 10km #run through Fish Creek Park

Cownation aka CORONATION street I was a little late leaving for my 10 km run this morning (surprise, surprise). The weather network said it was -15, but felt like -25, so I can’t say I was thrilled to get out there. I ended up in four layers on the top and my arms were still chilled! Scarf, gloves and hat were on pretty much the entire time (my fingertips are still cold!) I was super proud sporting my “COWNATION STREET” shirt that my folks got me from the store “Cows” (out of PEI) and of course, my Rick Hansen “difference maker” jacket 🙂 I definitely think the most important thing to remember while running in these conditions is to layer, layer, layer. Protect your face and any skin. I did end up having a bit of an ice cream head ache, but I’m not sure what I could to do lessen or eliminate that. I think it was just too cold!

The run was pretty great, I do have to admit. I was disappointed that my Wedgie couldn’t make it out, but having a personal best made up for it. After about 2km I had to pee like a racehorse, so I quickly shuffled into an Esso (thank you Esso person for letting me use the washroom without having to buy something!) Then I hit the trail again. The trail was pretty bare, but there were some snow covered icy spots to watch for – incredibly slippery! I met a few people out, but not many. One woman was walking her husky – they were both bundled which was funny to me. I didn’t meet any other runners; seemed like it was mostly folks out getting their dogs out for a quick jog. I have noticed that people don’t tend to pick up after their animals this time of year. I guess they think that if it freezes, it won’t make a mess. Gross, but funny… I ran by a frozen dog turd that looked like a giant chocolate chip. I would have taken a picture but there were some people around and I didn’t want to be “That” person.

Rick Hansen Difference Maker JacketMy legs felt really strong and so did my core. I think this whole #PushUpADay and #PlankADay is really helping me. It may also just be in my head too. I was incredibly happy with my time because the last time I ran a similar distance (in warmer weather) it was about the same. So despite feeling kind of sluggish in terms of speed, I didn’t do too badly. In Arizona I ran a 6:08 min/km pace in ideal conditions; when I ran 6 miles on the treadmill on completely consistent conditions I was around a 6:38 min/km; and the last time I ran a 10km my pace was 6:13 min/km. Today my pace was 6:09 min/km! I feel really close to getting my 10km down under 60 minutes, I just need to shave off two minutes!

My training schedule has me running seven miles next Sunday, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I almost think that I need to start building in increments of half-miles. Does anyone else out there have an opinion on this? There’s also less hill and speed training, which, believe it or not I will miss!

Tomorrow is TRX training @TricoCentre. I’m looking forward to it and checking out the new equipment over there!

Here are todays stats: IMG_6419

  • Distance: 10.02 km
  • Time: 1:01:43
  • Pace: 6:09
  • Best Pace: 4:34

Day 73: the last 5km in warm weather!

This morning was my last run in Arizona before my Remembrance Day 10k in Calgary tomorrow, where the temperature is hovering around the -16 mark. Good grief!

Surprisingly this morning, the temperature here was cooler than it has been all week, around 65 F. But I completed the usual 5k and didn’t mind it at all; I even could’ve thrown a long sleeve on (imagine that!?). My legs felt a little heavy; I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t stretch enough or if they were just restless. I made it in under the thirty minutes, but don’t know pace/best pace because I didn’t use RunKeeper to track it. I definitely could have run further, but I didn’t want to push it as I need to conserve energy for tomorrow! After tomorrow, I’ll be half-way to half-marathon and I will be starting my next round of training on Monday – no time for breaks!

The past week has been awesome– it was like a nine-day cheat retreat! We had hot dogs, nachos, chips, chocolate, beer, wine, margaritas and loads and loads of Mexican food; simply delightful! And although I’m not looking forward to the cold weather in Alberta, I am looking forward to getting back into a routine (I’ll likely forego cheat days for the next several weeks).  HUGE thanks to our friends, the Millar’s, who opened up Hacienda Millar to us so we could relax and enjoy some beautiful weather. We’ll have to hang onto the memories to get us through the LONG winter in Calgary! 

Tonight we head back to Alberta and to the aftermath of a blizzard (so we hear). Time to really break out the snowsuit and winter gear. But as Anthony D’Angelo  would say:

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

Hope everyone is doing well out there, especially those of you in the eastern United. We’re thinking of you every day!


Thank you, Ms. Runninbear!

I was nominated for “A Very Inspiring Blogger Award” by the one and only Runninbear, author of A Running Reminder; to say I’m truly humbled is a complete understatement. Thank you for thinking of me and acknowledging my carryon 🙂 I’m excited to share what I’m doing, but far more thrilled to see what everyone else gets up to. Truthfully, so I can breath a sigh of relief and think: “Thank G I’m not the only one!” (e.g.: potty breaks before, during, after a run 😉

As an award recipient, there are rules to follow. They are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about me:

(1) I took Gaelic lessons as a kid. That’s right. I can’t really remember a thing from it, other than the usual words people can pick up from YouTube or listening to the Rankins. But I did the classes with my best pal (Catriona) and I know we had lots of giggles (especially at the expense of our instructor). We were certainly the youngest in the class; I can’t remember how old we were but there had to have been at least a twenty year age gap between us and the rest of the students. We were awesome.

(2) I love smelly cheese. I have to thank Uncle Bob for introducing me to the cheeses of the world. When I lived in New York, I’d spend weekends with my Aunt and Uncle in Connecticut (thankfully) where I was spoiled with terrific food and of course, wine & cheese. Since then, I search high and low in every deli department looking for the perfect cheese to enjoy whilst having a glass (or several) of red 🙂

(3) Fact: I am going to marry someone I met on a blind date.

(4) I had a serious infection in my leg in 2009 in which I had to carry around an IV in a fanny pack. It was gross and I have a hole in my leg + scar to prove it.

(5) I have a serious potty mouth. You know those swear jars? I figure I can pay for Felix to go to University some day. Every day I say I’ll stop cussing and I’m pretty good not to, and then I relapse. I can’t even blame my parents because they don’t curse! Where did I learn this from?!

(6) I believe in mediums but don’t get numerology. But I am too scared to go to one; especially since I played Ouija with my sister and her asshole friends when I was little and they told me I was going to die young.

(7) I always wanted to be a lawyer and probably should have been. But I’m too old to go back to school.

Here are my nominations. Most of you I’ve connected with here and others, I’ve just followed along quietly (which is a surprise…) I just wanted to quickly remind you of why I think you have an inspiring blog and why you are awesome. – You’re amazing. Living on another continent and doing what you want to do. – Love seeing you knock your 5k off the list and can’t wait to see you kill the rest! – Keep it up – your first post is a terrific start and I hope you’ll stick with it! – Your blog is an inspiration to everyone. I am always in awe of your truth and how you share with others. Thank you. – Your posts about food make my mouth water; weekly reflection of gratitude makes me think and I hope that the rules for this aren’t too much because I just wanted to share! 🙂 – In which I laugh hysterically at your posts, daily. Thank you. Laughter is the best medicine. – People don’t realize that you can make your own happiness. Love your blog. – I love living vicariously through your travels. I thought moving 5000km from home was a big deal, let alone TO to AUS! 🙂 – I just love your blog. Period. And you’re right on my doorstep 🙂 – Keep blogging about your journey because we need to stick together! – Because you trekked to base camp mount everest to raise awareness and funds for Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation. – Your blog is inspiring because I grew up with a close friend who has faced many of the same challenges and it would have helped her years ago… – So glad I found your blog and I’m happy to share it. – There’s nothing harder than losing weight. Your blog is a complete inspiration! – Love seeing what everyone is up to – inspires me to some day want to do a triathlon… even though I hate biking. 🙂

Thank you for writing and motivating others to push harder and higher for their goals. And to those of you who I consider my online running buddies:  keep the support,encouragement and especially the laughs coming!

Day 70: How to beat the Arizona heat with a terrific early morning run.

As a Canadian, despite it being considered a “cooler” time of year in Arizona in which people wear hoodies and long pants during the day, we stand out with our tank tops and shorts.   It’s been a lovely transition from the snow in Calgary to the sunshine and heat here, however, it also means planning a little bit more for my training. Of course, with any extreme temperature, whether cold or hot, you need to make sure to prepare. I have been running with water here (something I never, ever do) but am thankful it was suggested because I sweat a lot more in the heat. I’ve also been wearing tank tops, something I haven’t done since before the kid came along.

This mornings run was great. I got up early (6:30’ish) had some breakfast, let it settle and headed out the door. When I left the temperature was already 18 C and sunny! It was a nice run, lots of people out and very friendly. I did meet one poodle who decided to lunge a bit at me, I’m sure just to let me know who was boss. And I’ve been busy scanning the ground looking for snakes, scorpions or whatever! FACT: living in a gated community does NOT protect you from said scorpions and snakes. We’ve found three dead scorpions (thank goodness they’re dead) in our friends home. I was doing the “Plank-a-day” challenge and to my shock there’s Mr. Scorpion right there. I don’t think I’ve ever sprung to my feet that fast!

Anyway, back to the run. It was good. I felt strong, though I must let you in on a little secret: due to the heat yesterday I have the worst chafe marks on my left thigh. I know. TMI. But it is so sore! I wish I was lucky enough that my legs didn’t touch at all, but I’m not! Hah! I’ve been putting Aveeno on it since yesterday and I’ve been busy looking for places here that sell BlodyGlide! Other than the pain, my time today was pretty good. I managed to keep it faster than my usual three mile runs; it’s definitely a mental thing because for some reason I can get my pace faster on longer runs and then when seemingly easier runs come along, my pace increases! Does anyone else experience this? Next week is the last week before serious mileage build up again. Oy vey.

Other than that, I plan on hitting the pavement the same time tomorrow morning.

Here are todays stats: 

  • Distance: 4.85km
  • Time: 27:55
  • Pace: 5:46
  • Best Pace: 4:42

Day 69: 7 miles in sunny Arizona!

Okay, so let me start off this post with a little update. Early (4 am) Friday morning we woke up, got ready and headed for the airport. We got about ten minutes in and I realized, OH SHIT, I forgot my sneakers. I don’t know how I managed to forget them, but P graciously turned around (without saying a word of complaint) and we got the sneaks. We finally made it to the airport, but couldn’t find a spot in the lot. At this point it’s around 5:50 and our flight was scheduled to leave at 7 am. We found one and ran the ten minutes to the terminal. When we got there it was compete chaos. CHAOS! Apparently there were two WJ flights rescheduled so the line-up was ridiculous. Around 6:30 a.m. we finally made it to the head of the line. They rushed us through and down to security. We got there and that went smoothly (for once) and by 6:50 we made it to the gate. The WJ person was like “You’re the last ones!” We got on the plane and people were giving us the side-eye. Anyway, it was a great flight to Vancouver and then onto Arizona.

So here we are in sunny Arizona (thanks to some good friends who let us use their home for a week). It has been so nice to get all this Vitamin D in. We were pretty wiped out the first two days (Friday/Saturday) so I took Saturday as a rest day (which is a good thing because I also wasn’t feeling too hot, either).

I also want to tell you about a random experience I had at Walmart. Okay. So we were madly running around trying to grab some food/necessities for the night after a crazy day of travel with toddler. We get to the self-checkout and are almost done checking out, when this woman behind us keeps inching closer and closer and closer. Now, generally things like this don’t bug me, but after said travelling and airports, I wanted a little space (and she was all up in my space). I turned around and said, “we just have one more thing – almost done” – said with smile to boot. She rolled her eyes and mumbled something. I said, “Pardon me?” And she replied, “You’re fucking stupid. We need to get through. What are you fucking dumb? Fat bitch.” and continued to say, “Fat bitch…” and other rancid comments.

For a moment I was completely startled. I’ve never had an experience like that. I wasn’t hurt, because it was incredibly obvious that she was an LCD, but I couldn’t believe that this is how a human being treats another. At any rate, I turned around, finished what I was doing (but took my sweet ass time finishing) and slowly walked away from the machine. When we got back to the car, I kept saying to P, “Wow. Can you believe that?” And of course, being defensive he said “She was scum…” and used another couple adjectives to describe her. But I kept thinking about a quote I read recently (and shared with a few other people since)…

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”  Wayne Dyer

And it’s true. For anyone who knows me, you know I generally don’t take sh*t from anyone. But there was no point engaging someone who can’t rationalize how inappropriate their comments are, especially in the context they were used. It wasn’t like we were in a  life/death situation. Anyway, at the end of the day, some people are just assholes. And that’s that!

Now onto my 7 mile run. What a day! I got up early because I knew there would be no way I’d be able to run the distance once the day got hotter. When I started my run, the temperature was only about 20 degrees and the first 5k were great. I felt strong, my pace was fast and I was enjoying it. Pretty well everyone I met was pleasant and smiling, who wouldn’t be in this weather? However, when the 6k mark came I think “oh shit.” I was tired. It was getting hotter and the sun was beating down on me. I could feel my face and shoulders burning, and that familiar feeling in mouth of dehydration. Lucky for me, I ran with water and candy, so I popped one in my mouth and took a couple swigs of H20. I did have to stop three times and I made mini-milestones for myself, e.g.: just run 200 m more. And so on. Finally after over an hour of running, I heard that beautiful voice come over RunKeeper “Interval complete”. Best thing I’ve heard all day. I was elated when I got an email notifying me that I had three personal bests today: farthest distance, longest duration and most calories burned. So you know what that means? I can have beer today and not feel an ounce of guilt!  One thing I find interesting here is how fast it gets warm. The temperature literally increases 4 degrees Fahrenheit every hour and today was actually hotter than the norm for this time of year.

Anyway, tomorrow I run 4 miles. I’ll get up even earlier so I can enjoy the entire thing. 🙂

That’s it. Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 11:28
  • Time: 1:09:08
  • Pace: 6:08
  • Best Pace: 5:15