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 125: “YOU GO GIRL!!” 10 miles. 4 personal bests. YEAH BUDDDDDDDDDY!

peace bridge calgaryAlways a creature of habit, last night I decided I was going to carb up on my pierogi pizza  and beer. Yep. Exactly what I did last weekend before a terrific long run. Figured it wouldn’t hurt. And it didn’t.

I got up this morning and had a really sore neck. I was tired (was up several times through the night) and wasn’t generally feeling a great run today. To top things off, my porridge burned and the only coffee left for the Keurig was fricking hazlenut, not my usual Columbian. All these things were annoying me and I thought for sure it was going to be a really crappy run. But it wasn’t.

It was grey out, but the temperature was about 12 degrees warmer than last Sunday and I hit the same trail (Memorial along the river) with a goal of 10 miles! There were so many people out today. I was lapped a few times by various people but I kept my head down and kept going. Around the 5km mark I had to stop and adjust my fuel belt (which is AWESOME by the way) and then again at 9 km. I took water at several points because I was feeling parched (maybe the beer from last night?) Overall, I had a really great run and was extremely pleased to maintain a really strong pace. It gives me confidence and comfort to know that in a few months when it’s a little warmer I may be able to get it back down below 6 minutes/km.

A few things I noticed on my run today: 

  1. People running with dogs. I get it. It’s nice to kill two birds with one stone. However, there are a few things to consider.  The trail I was on today is generally packed with people who are running long distances. I passed by a few different people running with dogs and forty minutes later, we passed each other again on the turnaround. Generally I don’t take much notice of dogs (unless they’re intimidating) but several of the the dogs I saw running today were tongue out and dragging behind. They did not look happy. In fact, I swear one dog was looking at me like, “Please come back and pick me up in your truck. Please.” Honestly, I get that dogs need exercise and they probably enjoy the first thirty minutes, but if the dog isn’t conditioned for a long run, why the heck would you do that to them? 
  2. The Peace Bridge is fricking amazing.
  3. Having the wind at your back is far more awesome than in your face.
  4. Sunday activity enthusiasts are the best – always friendly, always supportive.

Finally, I was being heckled on the Peace Bridge – like the guy ahead of me – I knew it was coming. I tried to tape it because I thought it would be funny, but I failed so it’s just a quick video of me running across (and I can’t upload for some reason) But the best part was when I came out of the bridge and there was a little, old Indian woman on the other side waving her cane in the air saying “YOU GO GIRL!!!!” and giving me a thumbs up. I had just under 2 km to finish and that was exactly what I needed to keep going. I yelled back “THANK YOU!” and kept going. I ended the run with the sun shining. It was amazing.

And that’s how my run went today. But I just quickly want to draw your attention to what’s going on in Australia. I had no idea, but one of my WP running pals is in the middle of it. We are thinking of you all and hoping that this will pass quickly and with as minimal damage as possible.

So in light of the awful weather they’re experiencing, I promise that for the rest of this winter  you will not hear me complain about the weather. And if you do, I expect you to raz me about it.

Anyway – here are todays stats:run keeper 16km run in calgary

  • Distance: 16.01km
  • Time: 1:41:50
  • Pace: 6:22
  • Best Pace: 5:06

PERSONAL BESTS:

  • Farthest distance
  • Longest duration
  • Most calories burned
  • Biggest elevation climb