Day 185: Happy Mothers Day!

“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”

SportChek Mothers Day Run CalgaryToday we started the day with the SportChek Mothers Day Run. It was a great run to participate in. Felix’s stay at the Children’s Hospital opened our eyes to just how fortunate we are to have a pretty healthy kid and as you may know, the funds from this run went to Sick Kids. My future mother-in-law (a.k.a. Dr Nana) and myself completed the 5km course. My goal was to at least beat my bib number (3524) and I did! I placed 233 out of 7083 [but actually 37/881 in my category]. It wasn’t my fastest 5km, but I was definitely pleased with it. My MIL and I were running together and being pushed and shoved all over the place by people; we both saw openings on opposite sides and went for it. Unfortunately, we lost each other. I crossed the finish line and figured she had completed it ahead of me, so called/texted and didn’t hear anything. Then we stumbled toward each other, got our picture taken as proof and came home to brunch on the back deck. I must interject to say that I was super pleased for a good friend who placed first in the 5km for MEN and WOMEN… she is a rockstar, way to go Sam!!

The rest of the day was spent reading the book, “Let’s pretend this never happened: a mostly true memoir” by Jenny Lawson I laughed until I cried! For anyone who just needs a good book to laugh at, this is definitely the one….[She finds a giant metal chicken at like a Winners or some such store and puts it on their doorstep, rings the bell & waits for her husband] He comes out, looks at it and shuts the door. “Then I yelled through his door, “It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole. Two whole weeks early. FIFTEEN YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.” This part especially spoke to me because I’m fairly certain I would do the same thing to Patrick. Though I feel I would do it with some sort of water creature (he claims to be allergic to fish…) Maybe a giant lobster? He is also the type to shut the door. And pretend that it didn’t happen. Oh man, my stomach aches from laughing all day long.

Anyway, I also spent a good portion of the day being very grateful for my mother. For her patience with me as a stubborn kid (and adult) and her willingness to do whatever she can for her kids. I never really understood how you can have  a screaming match with a kid, but in a split-second desperately want to jump in and do whatever you can for them when they’re sick or in danger (that is, until I had my own kid, now I get it.) “Thanks” to my mom and all the moms in my life who have helped me along the way…and to my mom-friends who have been so supportive over the last two’ish years and my non-mom friends who are just as supportive – love you guys!

love you felixAnd a good portion of the day was also spent reflecting on how lucky I’ve been to have such an incredible little person in my life. The little boy who forever changed me (for the better I think.) I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing little boy and so we (him and I) spent some time (and I mean a lot of time) viewing home videos of him from the last two years. There were tears and laughter at the silly stuff he/I have done to get a rise out of one another (e.g.: laughing trying to roll over; dancing to Pantera; skyping & FaceTime, getting ahold of cameras etc). It reminded me of how lucky I am to be a mom; how quickly time passes; how fast things can happen and change. He reminds me that the most important thing in life is to make the most of each day, because you can’t buy time back. Love you to the moon and back, Felix.

Happy Mothers Day to all the incredible moms out there. And to the dads who do the job of both.

Day 182: hills… dog…done.

So last night was hill training. I wasn’t super excited to go as we had a busy day, I was exhausted and we ate Indian for supper. However, once I got to the hill in Lake Bonavista, I got into a really awesome rhythm. I was consistent with my 250 m up and fast on the way down (no stitches!) There was another gal sharing the hill with me. Each time I passed her (she was going up, I was going down etc.) I felt like I should high-five her. Hills are the devil. Anyway, after I completed my fifth interval, a Honda civic pulled over on the hill about half-way up; I thought “uhhhh that’s weird.” And I started thinking, oh my God, someone is trying to kidnap me (I watched the news coverage on those three girls in Cleveland) + overactive imagination.

big dogAnyway, just as I turned back a fricking dog came out of the middle of nowhere… barking his ever-loving-mind at me. The Honda ripped around and came down the hill to where I was (and dog). The girl was like “Is that your dog?” uhmmm lady… I don’t think I would be crapping myself and stiff as a board if I knew this dog. But anyway, she was kind enough (and brave enough) to pull over and try to calm the dog down, but it only aggravated him further. She jumped behind her car door. I was standing below a tree. I tried to break a branch off (it was a ridiculous branch anyway, much too small) and it definitely wouldn’t have done SFA if that dog decided to really attack. Panicked I switched on the old safari looking for animal control. The dog put itself between me and my truck and would not let me move anywhere. If I turned away, he would run at me. If I faced him, he would run at me. It was the most uncomfortable position I have been in, in a while (except maybe labour.) Finally this enormous truck came barreling down the hill. I frantically waved them down so that they could at least occupy the dog so I could get into my truck. Out hops a guy apologizing and saying it was his best friends dog and “he’s a nice dog, wouldn’t hurt ya” …. uhhhmmm hmmmm At night, without glasses on and a dog furiously barking and stalking me didn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

run keeperAnyway, after they took off I thought I would finish the last five intervals. Then, I looked at the top of the hill and saw another loose dog and thought, “Oh hell no. I am not doing this again.” So I turned around and jumped into the truck. It was disappointing not to finish because I was doing so well and so strong, but my heart probably couldn’t handle it anyway!

 

 

Day 130: an amazing day all around. Personal records, awards and a very special birthday party! Love life.

This weekend was incredible, but today was especially so.

Last night I celebrated a very special occasion with a good friend, but I managed to maintain my long-run eve ritual of pierogi pizza and four beer (I think I may be a little superstitious.) I managed to get a really good nights sleep, was up early had a couple more pieces of pizza and a banana (no porridge today), lots of water and hit the road.

When I got Eau Claire I was horrified to find that the washrooms were locked. I started to panic a bit thinking I’d never make it through that distance without going. Then, I saw the beautiful glow of “the Running Room” sign. I KNEW if they had a washroom in there that they wouldn’t deny me. I slipped in and asked the cashier, he jokingly said no…and then my face must have dropped because he started laughing and said, “Of course you can!!!!” PHEW!

feathered friends under the centre street bridge calgaryThe sun was shining, the temperature was terrific, I put on a podcast from Judith Briles and hit the trail along the river. The first thing I came across were our feathered friends under the Centre Street bridge – holy mackerel! They were just camping out on the ice. It was so funny I just had to stop and take a quick picture. There were loads of people out (mostly serious runners – you know the kind I mean. The ones who don’t acknowledge you on the trail.) I like the theory laid out in the letter “Hey Fat Girl” (which is awesome) where they say that “elite” runners bow down to the rest of us, but I have a healthy amount of scepticism about it. I held my head high and proud; I was smiling from ear to ear; I made eye contact and I said”Good morning!” to literally everyone I met this morning; walkers, runners, bikers – everyone! But in my case, the elite runners pretended I wasn’t even there – uhh hello, I’m wearing a bright yellow jacket, you ain’t fooling anyone! So about half way through my run I decided to start keeping track of how many ignored me; you’ll be interested to know that about 8 out of 10 did. Sad, eh?

18km running route around calgary But nothing (not even personality-lacking elite runners) were going to spoil my run today. I came to my turnaround point and an older lady said, “Way to go. Running is tough. Just keep going.” I was so grateful to her for taking the time to say hello and encourage me. I was feeling great (when usually at a turnaround point I don’t.) My pace on the final leg of the 18km stretch was faster than it had been, I even had it down to 5:06/km at one point for about 2-3 km. I stopped for water twice using my handy fuel belt. I felt great. My legs felt great. My chest felt great. It was amazing.

When I finally finished I probably could have cried. When I first started training I didn’t think I would make it back to 8km let alone 18km. But here I am.

I also had a pretty special birthday to celebrate today – my son is turning two tomorrow. When I got home, we had our close friends and family over for an incredibly sugary cake and it just made the whole day even more wonderful. So thank you for coming out – we’re so lucky to have extended family here and friends who are our family by choice – you.are.awesome. 

Finally, I’ve heard good things happen in threes and I checked my email and found out I was nominated for the “Sunshine Award,” by the wonderful ladies at “We Shall Have Pie” – thank you 🙂

So that’s it. The end to a wicked weekend. I did it. 18 LONG kilometres. Only a few short weeks and I hope to hit that half marathon mark – YAHOO!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Here are todays stats: run keeper calgary runner girl

  • Distance: 18.05km
  • Time: 1:54:36
  • Pace: 6:21
  • Best Pace: 3:55

Here are my personal records:

  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Calories burned
  • Elevation climb

Day 119: cross training at the Trico Centre

fish fartThis morning I was up early and trucked over to the Trico Centre. It was PACKED. I could hardly believe it; I thought for sure it would be a quiet morning at the gym – it’s SATURDAY! Instead, I was met with total chaos. There was some sort of class going on and the guy teaching it was yelling. My ears are still ringing. Thank goodness I wasn’t hungover or I would have turned right around…legitimately.

I was excited to hop on the elliptical machine and complete twenty minutes at a pretty tough pace. Unfortunately for me, the guy beside me must have had back mexican or something because he was letting them ride the whole time. I’m also fairly certain that he sharted because he jumped off the machine pretty quick and headed for the locker room. I even did the “shelter-your-face-in-your-shirt” move – which did not help. At all. My eyes watered. IT. WAS. AWFUL. A total assault on my nose and mouth.

At any rate, I had full-intentions of doing a TRX circuit today. I had a workout all ready from http://www.self.com, but when it came time the TRX equipment was occupied.I tried to get another line set up but was told that people have been STEALING them from the gym – for real? You’re that cheap? I can’t believe people steal that stuff. Anyway, I took that as a sign that I shouldn’t do it (and realistically, tomorrow is a long-run so I’d be pretty sore if I went ahead with TRX today)… so I did a few laps around the track and headed home.

Truth-be-told I am still sore from my workout the other day, so it was great to give my legs and arms a break.Tomorrow is a long run day – I am scheduled for a 8.5 mile run – it’s also supposed to be cold again – GIVE ME STRENGTH!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

Day 114: survived thirty minutes on the elliptical @tricocentre with farty girl next to me.

screen at Trico on Elliptical machineWell, ladies and gentlemen, I made it to the gym this evening. It was not a pretty sight. Nor smell, for that matter (not me, I’ll get into it later). But I did it.

As I mentioned in my last post, this week was pretty frigging miserable. I spent a lot of the week (as I mentioned previously) laying on the couch watching TV – which is not an easy task when you have an almost-two-year-old running around. I’m fortunate to be on the upside of it (I think) so my hats off to those of you who have had the flu carry-on for weeks and weeks and weeks. I pray that the worst is over now. I still have a rattle in my chest but have a lot of my energy back. I don’t think I’ll be doing my long-run on Sunday, but it will really come down to how I feel in my chest (and head). It is -24 out there now (without windchill) so I don’t want to put my lungs into overdrive between whatever it is I’m fighting and the cold. We’ll see!

As for tonights workout, I felt pretty good. I was on the elliptical and tried to keep my pace at 130 strides per minute (which I read in runners world was optimal). It definitely felt great to get my sweat on from exercise and not a fever. I have to tell you, I felt like a thorn between two roses. There were these two chicks on either side of me. The kind that come to the gym, head-to-toe in Lululemon, with their make-up perfect and usually don’t break a sweat (I apologize to anyone who does this; I’m sorry you’re a stereotype.) As I rocked my six-year old Puma tights and an old hockey t-shirt (totally sexy).

Anyway, we get going and the girl to my left is so nosey trying to look at my screen that she dropped her towel on the floor. We both saw it happen. She awkwardly reached over to retrieve it and she totally farted. It was the mostly silent but deadly kind. She stood up and acted like everything was kosher. Then I had this weird feeling that she was watching me again. So I kind of looked at her out of the corner of my eye and she immediately focused on her TV. Now, this wouldn’t have been so outlandish if she hadn’t been focusing so hard on the TV show, which if you were just looking at her and not the TV you would have presumed was like, the Discovery Channel or even CPAC, but no. It was “Toopy and Binou” Seriously. It’s a kids show. She was not watching it. Or at least, I don’t think she was. Maybe she was? And then to my right, well that chick was just blatantly watching my screen. She didn’t even try to hide it. So you have to respect that.

We keep going along for the next little bit with relatively little excitement and then the girl to the right hops off. I think, yay, more fresh air. Nay nay. Girl on the left lets another one ride. At this point, I’m thinking “I’m going to be the first person to die from breathing in fart.” And texting friends to say goodbye but not before I say: “I think the girl on the machine beside me shit herself.” Because I’m pretty sure she did. It was awful. It was the kind of smell that would make a pig blush. Anyway, lucky for me I literally had one minute left and I hopped the heck off. And I’m still alive. But scarred for life. I mean, I totally know gas happens but for goodness sakes when you feel it coming on why don’t you just leave the room?

BAM CalgaryTo add to my awesome day, I was super excited to get my BAM Calgary stuff in the mail. I got laces and a gift card thing and a poster – so cool. I also came to the realization that I haven’t raised my minimum amount yet – OH NO! So I’m asking my friends out there, please, please, please sponsor me! For the first person who sponsors me, I will make a YouTube THANK YOU video for you saying/doing whatever you want (as long as it’s legal and not pervy.) But seriously, BAM Calgary is a really great event. ALL of the money stays at the Tom Baker Cancer Center. If you want to learn more, please check it out here!

Finally, a friend sent me this tonight, so I figured I would sign off with it. Hope you’re all having a terrific Friday!

Day 113: Yeah buddy! Hit some big running milestones today!

First, let me start by saying that I feel complete elation with the three PRs I met today:

  • Farthest distance
  • Longest duration
  • Greatest number of calories burned

OH SNAP!

When I woke up this morning I definitely wasn’t feeling like I’d have a successful run; truth-be-told, we had kind of a long week and I really just wanted to laze around in my PJs. However, with some motivation from my FB friends, I hit the pavement.

funny slip on ice runningIt is gorgeous out there today – clear, blue sky, the sun is shining and the temperature is above zero. I decided last night that there was no way I was running one of my regular routes today because I am getting bored of them (naturally), so I parked the truck in another neighbourhood and hit it. Of course, in doing this I had no idea what to expect in terms of hills, traffic, sidewalks so I did run into a few glitches. First, within the first kilometre I had to run a hill, however, it was followed by a nice 2 km slope back down again. I also didn’t account for wind today and spent most of the run running into it (which sucked). There were some really icy spots in shaded areas that didn’t look too bad until I did the old polar bear move (no – I didn’t fall, but just about.) I went through four neighbourhoods that I’ve never really seen before (that’s how geographically large this city is.) I cut through one neighbourhood and there was a kid tempting the ice with roller blades – it made me laugh out loud. I can’t even remember if she had a helmet on. I even needed one running today!

Glenmore Reservoir Calgary Winter RunningThere was a bit of traffic so I had to be pretty alert when crossing streets. One guy almost hit me because he was too busy picking his nose. Seriously. I was waiting to make eye-contact with him and he had his pointer-finger so far up there I’m sure he was massaging his brain. Anyway, the next thing I saw on my run was an old guy on a motorized scooter going against traffic on 24th street (this means nothing to most people who aren’t in the city; but it’s a four lane street.) He wasn’t smiling. He meant business. I finished my run at Glenmore Reservoir. I must admit, at the 9km mark I sent a text to a friend to say I had 3km left and I was tired. And she responded almost immediately with “You can do it!!!” So I kept going. THANK YOU! I know you think it’s all me, but I really needed the encouragement – I was beat!

The last leg was good. I pushed hard and managed to keep a really consistent pace. Of course, my time isn’t exactly where I want it to be but I know it will come in time (pun intended). Overall, I’m pleased to have gotten this distance in – I could have wept when I finished as it’s been such a long time since I’ve run that distance. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever do it again! Here I am though..

Here are todays stats:runkeeper calgary running training

  • Distance: 12.04 km
  • Time: 1:15:12
  • Pace: 6:15
  • Best Pace: 5:05

Day 80: 4 mile #run in the cold & snow

Well, well, well – it’s just been one of those weeks (already) it feels draggy and hard to get through. It took every ounce (and I mean every ounce) of motivation and energy I could muster to get out this evening and run. I had a terrible sleep last night and had an extremely early morning. I did lots of running around with my son, errands and started organizing our house for Christmas – it was exhausting!

Anyway, at around 7 p.m. I decided that if I was going to run, I had to start by 8 p.m., or I had to stay in. And at 7:55, I jumped up, got ready and started out. To my surprise, the run wasn’t that bad at all. I knew it probably wouldn’t be because I had a rest day yesterday, but I had that nagging feeling of not really wanting to go that I couldn’t kick. It was a little slick out there because of the light snowfall and it was chilly (felt like -15). My time wasn’t amazing but I’m just glad I got out and finished it – and as they say, you never regret a workout you’ve completed.

I do have to make a small confession to make.

I was at a really busy intersection on my way back to our place and literally one-step from the crosswalk. This jerk sees me putting my foot out (we make eye contact; yes. I’m one of those people who confirms that you can see me before I step out) and he freaking hits the gas! But before I knew it, the third finger from my thumb was completely erect. Yes. I flipped him off. Truthfully, I am kind of ashamed. But not really, I was pretty choked.  There’s just no way I could have been more visible. A jacket with reflectors, a geeky running vest, white hat, sneakers with reflectors, running pants with reflectors. What a tool. Anyway, I feel better now that that’s off my chest. 🙂

Here is a picture post run. This is my first run of the season with a scarf and also the first time I’ve had to leave my mittens on for most of the run (except when flipping people off, of course). For anyone who is running in cold weather, do you know if there is any lip balm that will truly protect ones lips? Mine were frozen tonight even despite being covered by the scarf. P.S.: Look at out frickin’ bright that vest is – there’s no way to miss me!

Alright, enough ranting. It’s time to settle in and watch a movie. It’s snowing out and peaceful. But it would be tragic if it snowed too much tonight so that I wouldn’t be able to do hills. One can only hope…

Here are tonights stats:

  • Distance: 6.49km
  • Time: 39:01
  • Pace: 6:01
  • Best Pace: 4:50