Day 156: beautiful day for a run!

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great!”

calgary downtown and stampedeicy river in calgaryWhat a morning! I was totally frazzled – lots on the go in this joint! Therefore, I wasn’t really sure what kind of distance I would have time for (I’m single-parenting this weekend)…so I took advantage of “Nana” to get out for a run. I decided to run from our place downtown, which is only about 10km. The temperature was a bit nippy, but the sun was shining so it made it easier to enjoy the run. And it turned out to be a really nice run, despite physically feeling awful (another cold.) Seriously. For the first few km I was cursing myself, my running shoes, the wind, my runny nose – everything. But I’ve been making a serious effort not to complain about dumb stuff (because I’ve noticed lately that there are a lot of people who could make a living complaining…about everything…. every single bloody day) so I made the conscious decision to enjoy the darn thing, and remember that not everyone has the opportunity to run…

There weren’t many people out, but it was fun to run through a few neighbourhoods; I ran along MacLeod Trail which was interesting (anyone who lives here would get that…sketchy…) And then I cut through the old cemetery to get to the river trail to Stampede Park. It was lovely. I hopped the LRT back to Willow Park and enjoyed some homemade pizza. Delish!

Hope everyone is having a great day out there – HAPPY TRAILS!

Here are todays stats:run keeper

  • Distance: 10.53 km
  • Time: 1:07:04
  • Pace: 6:22
  • Best Pace: 5:35

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 86: Early morning #run and a cheat day a.k.a.: glutton day

I was supposed to run four miles yesterday, but when push came to shove I just didn’t feel like it. No excuses. Just lazy. I should also mention that there was some sort of sting operation going on in our neighbourhood, so I was nervous to go out. Also, my core is a little achy from TRX training at the Trico Centre the other night. Okay, so a few excuses. Ha!

Anyway, I got up bright and early this morning (it was still dark out) and got running before 8:00 a.m. I could definitely feel my core muscles during the run; the shifting of my tummy up and down darn near killed me. But the run was nice; the temperature wasn’t too cold and the sidewalks were mostly bare. My time wasn’t amazing, but I was happy with it because as mentioned before I’m definitely not an “early morning runner” – though I LOVE the thought of it. I had to smile when I finished, because I came to a cross walk with three very eager Crossing Guards. They were all smiles and chipper (at like 8:30 in the morning) and obviously young students from the elementary school in the neighbourhood.

Today is also cheat day, or also known as, Glutton Day. I made homemade fudge with white and milk chocolate chips (recipe here) ; we made homemade pizza; I had nachos and I plan on having another treat while watching Bachelor Canada. How awesome is that cheat day? Wedgie and another pal are coming over to watch. Nothing like junk food and trash TV to finish off a busy day!

Runninbear & I decided that we were going to do #PushUpADay as well as #PlankADay.  Okay, so the plank wasn’t so bad because I just did a standing plank for 90 seconds, HOWEVER, the pushups were non-existent. Seriously. I was doing chaturangas instead and even that was ridiculously painful; my “abs” are still sore. I made it through three (3); I know I said I’d try for five (5) good ones, but it was not happening today my dear!

And with that, it’s almost time to get ready for the show. Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Here are this mornings stats: 

  • Distance: 6.45km
  • Time: 39:57
  • Pace: 6:12
  • Best pace: 4:45

Day 83: #Running through #WillowPark blaring @PaulBrandt #IWasThere

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

This time last year we were gearing up for the #WJC2012, so I thought it was only fitting that I run with Paul Brandt tonight. I would not be lying to you if I said I played, “I Was There” on repeat for at least three times. Never. Gets. Old.

Though the song is terrific to get your blood going, I just didn’t have it in me to push hard this evening. I only had five hours of interrupted sleep last night, which isn’t an excuse but a damn good reason I couldn’t lift my legs (I know it’s mostly mental) And I also know some of you can function on less than that, but I ain’t one of them! And it goes without saying that when I have these kind of days and see a slower pace like the one  tonight, it’s disappointing. Like anyone who works hard, it’s discouraging to have such a fantastic run one day and not the next.

To put into perspective for you, my pace was so comfortable that I barely sweat this evening (unusual for me); it was somewhere between 6:30 and 6:50 for the entire run. I’d love to blame icy roads, snow, bad drivers, wrong socks, not enough fluids or whatever else I can come up with that would result in my slow pace. But I’m just not that into making excuses. Today wasn’t my best performance and that’s okay. But I had a truly enjoyable run. It reminded me of why I actually get out and do it: I love running (which is something that not too long ago I had forgotten). So I’d also like to remind my friends out there that it’s okay to have crappy days; you cannot have personal bests every day. Whether you’re just starting out or have been at it for years – just make sure you try again tomorrow!

Oh and a serious word of caution to any of my Willow Park running pals: the sidewalks were absolutely treacherous! We’ve had temperatures warm enough to start melting the ice during the day but at night, when it drops below zero it takes no time for the ice to creep back. Sigh.

We had a busy decking the halls for Christmas, so by the time I hit the pavement for my run this evening I was really ready to see some Christmas lights. I wasn’t disappointed and really enjoyed all of the lights people have out (though I must admit I wonder about some of them). For example, one place literally looked like guy threw the lights onto the tree and just plugged them in and went on with his day. I laughed. Probably something I would have done today if I had to put lights up outside.

Oh, and it looks like my dads not the only one with a soft spot for Frosty. Running through my ‘hood, I quickly snapped this picture of a house that was sporting one vintage Frosty the Snowman and also Santa Claus. They had no other lights on their house. Just these two old creepy lawn ornaments.

I also quickly snapped a picture of the gigantic Christmas tree at the end of Wilderness Dr. The tree is bigger than the one we used to put up in the village where I grew up. I was in awe. Truly, the photo doesn’t even do it justice. I was really far back because I didn’t want to weird anyone out. I know. It is so weird to take random pictures, but if I didn’t I’d have nothing to share with you tonight!

I feel like this winter will bring it’s best game this year.

Here are tonights stats: 

  • Distance: 4:03 km
  • Time: 26:46
  • Pace: 6:39
  • Best Pace: 5:24

Anyway, that’s it from Willow Park! Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

P.S: Don’t forget to check out my Bust A Move page. Every cent counts – literally. 

Day 82: How to enjoy #fartlek training on icy sidewalks

This evening was fartlek training. I varied my speed from 7 minute per km to 3 minute per km. For the slow intervals I tried to keep it well under the 7 mark, it was usually between 6:30-6:40; for the steady interval I tried to keep it under 6:00 min, it was usually around 5:45; and finally, for the fast interval I tried really hard to keep it under 5:00 however, toward the end I was nearing the 5:10-5:25 mark. I’m thrilled to report that my first crack at sprinting tonight resulted in a 3:00 min/km for almost 200 m – which is good for me. I’ve never been a fast runner (which I’m okay with) but this is a nice milestone for me. I can’t remember, but I think this is one of my better 5km times? The sidewalks were about 65% bare this evening which was awesome but there were a few blasted icy spots that definitely gave me a run for my money! For most of the run I thought, man, running in humidity may not be too bad compared to this snow and ice. I mean, it wasn’t as cold out tonight as it was for my last run, but really? It’s +15 in Nova Scotia right now, with green grass and we have had snow for weeks now! So when it came time to take my post-run photo, I decided to get a little tropical – some beach, somewhere. But I quickly snapped back to reality when I remembered Claire’s (aka Runninbear) comment about getting up at the crack-o-dawn in Aus and it was already steamy. No thank you. 🙂

Which leads me to this evenings topic: How to enjoy fartlek training on icy sidewalks:

(A guide for anyone who is reward-driven)

  1. make a ridiculously awesome playlist
  2. count how many icy patches you cross
  3. when you get home, take a drink (of whatever bevvie you wish) for EVERY icy patch you hit on your run

Doesn’t that sound like a pretty awesome way to enjoy an icy fartlek run? What better way to motivate yourself than knowing you have a treat at the end of the tunnel. For me, since I can’t have wine or coffee until my tests are done, I’ll stick with some San Pellegrino. But you can make it OJ, hot chocolate, egg nog, tequila – whatever your little heart desires!

Here are tonights stats: 

  • Distance: 5:01
  • Time: 28:24
  • Pace: 5:46
  • Best Pace: 3:00

So that’s it from here. Tomorrow is an easy run and yoga. Hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday evening.

P.S: This made my Friday night. My kid is awesome. Sorry to all you people out there who hate people who talk about their kids. 🙂