mickey mouse

mickey mouse

Monday, 31 December 2012

Oh the Places I'll (virtually) Go

colour me amused, one of my running buddies posted a link to this site where you can draw a radius around a point, and she chose how far from home she's run this year. So I had to try it too. Sadly despite my tendency toward OCD I've never tracked every KM I've run, so I had to rely on my Garmin for totals.

In 365 days I have run 917.45km, from my home town to almost South Carolina. That's not counting the runs I've done without my Garmin, or when it died and lost data part way through or whatever.  That's the training and running for a full marathon, one or two halfs (or was it 3?), a 15k ATB Relay...and the lead up and training for the Goofy Challenge, which will be over (celebrating) in 2 weeks!

I would say that I'll surpass that distance in 2013, but since Disney will be my 2nd and last full marathon, that kind of mileage might be a thing of the past. I want to run for fun....not that most of this training hasn't been fun, and not that I haven't found great friends on the trail, but I think a few short (;-0) half marathons next year might be just my speed.

Must remember to write about how fun it was to run a 20k training run on a treadmill...next year.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Is it wrong that I'm already packing?

I'm worse than a kid at Christmas, I'm making several lists and cross referencing them twice.

I've spent (way to much) quality time on the Disney Parks Blog http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/
and I've discovered that 2013 is the Year of the Ears. Each month will feature new ears. Anyone who has seen me work at Copps, or for that matter been in my house, knows I have a wee collection of ears.

From the huge anniversary Sorcerer Mickey hat to the fabu glow in the dark Jack Skellington ones, you can find them adorning surfaces in my Disney themed room.

What's funny is that I was on the blog looking for the information for the Jeff Galloway meet up and instead found myself mesmerized and squealing at the assorment of 'couture' ears being released in January.

Unrelated to that new discovery, I realized something that I need to commit to the deepest reaches of my grey matter. I hate running winter events. Hypothermic, Frosty, Chilly, anything with a snowman logo, Ewwww...unless it's taking place in a southern hemisphere, I don't want to do it.

Case in point, I ran the Boxing Day 10 Miler. 10 miles equals 16km in minus bleck with snow covered ice slicked roads and trails. We got that nifty fat little snowman medal. I also got cold, unhappy and tired, and was faint for 20 minutes after we ran (I think 'cause we headed indoors without cooling down, right into a hot room and were handed hot soup).

We started with the walkers, mostly to get the darn thing over with, and we were still passed by everyone who started half an hour later.....sigh.

We have another 2 weekends of back to back running (10k and 20k this weekend) and then we are as ready as we will ever be.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tick Tick Tick.....

I'm SO excited....

 Well, visions of sugarplums might be dancing in people's heads, but my head is filled with Gatorade and new shoes and staying injury free.

Many moons ago my friends and I ordered custom made running jerseys from a super wonderful Canadian company called Robena (www.robena.ca). Well, they came in the mail and I was so thrilled I could hardly wait to share them with Goofy Girls. It is making the whole process seem so my more real (realer?). Kind of like getting new clothes for school in June and wating to wear them right now!

Then in the mail I received my copy of iRun Magazine and I was in it....not ONCE, but TWICE! SO fun, so cool, so very awesome. I'm so neat I can't stand myself. Now I just need to get my hands on 20 copies so I can send it out in lieu of Christmas cards.

Speaking of Festivus.....I kept seeing these cool medal trees on FB and Pinterest, and finally I figured what the heck, I'd pull the medals off my 'dig me' shelf and bling the tanenbaum with my accomplishments. What's more amusing is that I've got another 7 or so that aren't on there yet......I think I need a bigger tree!

Only a few more long runs left before the big show.....and we've reached the point where the back to backs are 15 and 30 and 16 and 32. It's no wonder that things amuse the heck out of me after I've been on my feet that long. For example, I literally 'ran' across this in the cemetery during the 30k we did on Sunday. It's a HUGE massive stone monument of an RV, notice the wheels under it. I was momentarily speechless.

On that note, with a few more long runs before we taper, I will leave with this thought:

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Found a new route, lost my voice

Part of the fun of training for a marathon is that you have to run far. Like silly far. Like 30k some days far. That means that unless you have the ability to forget stuff right after you've seen it, running the same routes for miles and miles gets darn dull darn fast.

Granted we've gone off the beaten path and found everything from deer to train stations to places called the Hermitage...whatever that is...

Since we have to run back-to-back runs on the weekends, it's become a challenge to find places we've never seen and head out to cover the KMs with the distraction of new surroundings. Some places were winners, like the Dofasco Trail. Other routes like the daunting Bruce Trail will not soon be repeated.

This Saturday we filpped the runs, and did 28k Sat (14k Sun). Em chose the route, Niagara on the Lake, a lovely hamlet south of Hamilton. Did it take us 40min to drive somewhere to run 28k, yes. Was it 5:50 when Em pulled into my driveway and yanked me from my warm house? Yep.

The run was quite lovely, along the Niagara River from Fort George (whoever HE is) to the Isaac Brock Monument in Queenston. Luckily we have a rule that you can take a walk break if we have to stop and read historical markers....like the Dead House (cheerful).

We got to the Monument, and realized the darn thing was up like 300 rickety wooden stairs. Undaunted (and needing to pee), we climbed to the top.

For reasons known only to the locals, there was THIS sign in the women's washroom:
Had not occurred to me to partially disrobe after 14k and wash my feet until they told me I couldn't.

We took a couple more lovely photos of the view from the top and the monument, but I was wishing I had Google with me so I could research the good General.

By the time we got back to NOTL, I'd lost my voice and Lori had done some kind of horrid damage to her knee, which kept her in Emerg 'till 5am and off the road Sunday. We did, however, manage lunch and a trip through the Christmas Store. I'd run there again, just not on a wickedly windy November morning. The only bright side was my shift at Copps was cancelled for Saturday and my boss let me have Sunday night off because I still can't talk. My husband loves the silence....

Monday, 12 November 2012

If they say 'flat' they lie!

So with WDW Marathon weekend coming up faster than a jackass in Honda Civic in my rear view mirror, it's time to get moving with the training.

On that note I managed to skip my Saturday training run, blaming it on the fact that my buddies were either sick or running at horrid early hours of the morning. Good eh?

For our Sunday LSD, in a fit of 'seemed like a good idea at the time', we registered for the Downsview Half Marathon, run on Rememberance Day in Toronto.

I thought it fitting that I customize the race bib to pay tribute to my favourite man in uinform....although that would come back to haunt me at about the 20K mark when Emily used it against me.

It was a beautiful day, we actually broke a temperature record in Toronto with a balmy 17 or so degrees on November 11th. What that meant was I was overdressed as usual and spent 21.1k trying to take off clothes while wearing a Camelbak. The first few K felt nice, which should have warned me that the last few were going to kick my butt.

Who'd have thought an Air Force Base would be hilly? Seriously, you can't land a plane on those hills....lying liars who lie about flat courses! I've never run in the park/base before and I was happy that they had marshalls and volunteers everywhere pointing us in the right direction and shouting encouragement.

We ran, and ran, and ran some more. The only thing I have to say I was unhappy with was the fact that they said there would be planes lined up on the runway. There was 'plane', singular.....so we posed with it.

I started to get tired around the 19k mark....plodding along while Emily yelled 'pick up your feet' and Angel kept up a steady stream of happy patter.  The closer we got to the finish (which was up a freaking HILL) the slower I got. Emily pulled out her ace in the hole and said 'do it for Henry'.....AHHHH, how do I say no to that?

We ran across the finish line, right up to the nice lady with the medals.

For the first time ever, I was one of the last people to cross. Normally I'm slow, I'm aware of that, but this was a hard, hilly course, and those folks in front of me must have been made of stronger stuff. The medal lady ran a wee bit short of medals and had to (literally) chase down a truck and get some medals off it for the last finishers.

681    655 carolyn pleasance      3:10:37 HF40-49   83/83     325  9:03 3:09:45  

I was impressed with this race for many reasons: the venue was interesting and challenging, the weather was wonderful. The fact that the course stayed open until the last last last people crossed the line, including the mile markers, the water stations, the actual finish line signage, the people directing along the course was the nicest feature of any race I've ever run. Normally the last racers are an afterthought...but in this case we were treated the same as the speedy folks, there was even food (hot food!) left over!

The only odd complaint we had was one volunteer at the end of the race. We were collecting our post race snacks and one of our group asked if she could have a package of the Worther's Candies that were being handed out. The volunteer said 'nope, it's the last box and I'm taking it home'. Really?  Another volunteer kindly offered to break open another box and share with us.

What a wonderful way to spend Rememberance Day, but darn I'm tired out. Thank goodness for waffles afterwards and friends who don't mind if you're lying face down on the table.

I didn't understand the giant flower pots, but they amused the heck out of me. FEED ME SEYMOUR!

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Big Show

Well, the day dawned (actually at 4AM there is NO DAWN) wet and warm. It reminded me of the way the dishwasher feels when you open the door when it is just finished running.

I made my lists, checked them more than twice. Slathered Body Glide and vaseline all over myself and tried NOT to break my ankle slipping across the bathroom floor. Slithered into my sports bra, topped it with the pre-planned outfit. Pinned on bib, put up hair, stuck on hat.

Realized my Garmin was NOT charging all night like I thought it was. Figured I'd charge it in the car on the drive to Toronto. Packed 'after' clothes and shoes, and my new, shiny, never-worn 42.2 pendant for my necklace. Poured Gatorade (yeah, that's what I was drinking, sure) into the Camelback, stuffed important things like garbage bags (AKA raincoats) into the pack.

Slugged down my first of at least 2 coffees and snuck out of the house to pick up Angel.

Off we went, into the wild blue yonder (okay, warm dark yonder). Got to the city before the sun did, found parking in a lot where I knew I'd remember we'd parked (for old Chapers people, it's the lot at Peter and Queen by the Gap).

Made our way in the pouring rain to the meeting place of the So You Want to Run a Marathon, Eh group an hour before the meet up time (nerves and OCD make me early for everything). Killed time in Tim Hortons as the crowds built.

Off into the rain, met up with the group, did the 'pregame' photo. Realized that to get to the start corral we'd have to swim like salmon to get back DOWN University Ave. Swam and swam and made it just as the corral started to move. Hurry up and wait....walk and wait....finally cross the start line....

Realize that I'm now running up University, along the same spot where, during my first half marathon, I was mere yards from the fininsh line and feeling like having a seat on the side of the road. It was the first of what would be a bunch of 'Bite Me My Gatekeeper' moments along the next 42.2km.

Full of vim and energy I start leading a spirited tour of Toronto, pointing out things like the Death Star (Robart Library) and the places I've worked and played while I lived there.

As the first few KM pass, I realize that Amy, who we are also running with, is WAY faster and is pretty much just hanging out for moral support. She finally comes to her senses and sprints away along the Lakeshore. As I write this it's coming to me that it was a LONGGGGGG way....we passed so many things in so many neighbourhoods, from the drag queens at Church and Welsley (and Amy and Scott's old appartment) to the kids with the pails and drumsticks playing One Direction. We ran North, then East then West then South then West then East, and we were at the halfway point. As we neared the 21.1 cut off I thought about just throwing it in and going for a half marathon.

I could hear a lot of voices in my head, from Lori being Miss Cheery Pants to Trishia and Shannon and Jen yelling words of encouragement. The 'throw it in' voice tried to drown them out, but then Angel started doing the math 'only 1k 'till we've run a half' 'only 3k 'till we've run 25, etc). I figured it was better to keep running and argue with it as I went.

We headed East toward the Beaches.....running along the portlands, to Pier 4 and the entrance to the Leslie Street Spit, and then into the actual Beaches (past Annie's old appartment at Woodbine and Queen). As we ran into the Beaches they started taking the course apart and told us we'd have to hit the sidewalks.

Into the crowds of babies, dogs and yuppies we went, dodging clouds of cigarette smoke (ewww, at 30k that's a horrid smell).

We ran and ran into the Beaches, and I realized that we we going to turn around soon.....and that 'soon' was actually at the corner of Beach Blvd and Queen Street, home of the Goof! I started screaming at the sign, which cleared the path for us. Seeing the home of so many fun times gave me the energy to turn around and head back Downtown. (nobody offered me the 'thing' from the Hot and Sour Soup). Around this point my Garmin died. No idea how far we'd come, how fast we were running or how much was left to do. AND they'd taken down the KM markers as the course reopened to traffic.

As we ran we met up with other runners from the back of the pack. Felt rather like the Pied Piper as we collected them and dragged them along with us. Almost got turned around but were saved by the coach from my first ever Running Room Half Marathon Clinic, Dick, who appeared out of nowhere like an Oracle on a bike.

We ran past the street I used to live on (Booth Avenue) headed toward  the end of the line. Laughed as I ran past Jilly's at Queen and Broadview.

The downside to living in Toronto was that I knew how much further we had 'till the end at City Hall....ran across the DVP, down onto Eastern Ave, up onto Adelaide, right onto Bay. Through the financial district wind tunnel. Nearing the finish line I heard my name being screamed. Looked up and saw Trishia...almost burst into tears. Stopped for a hug and realized I hadn't crossed yet! Linked hands in the air with Angel and sprinted across the line. Considered passing out from the shock, figured it would freak out the medical people, so I just stayed upright and looked around me like I'd just landed on Earth.

Gun Time 7:18:41.0
Chip Time 6:56:33.1

Got the bling, and waited for some of the people we'd run with to cross the line so we could cheer for them.

Took some photos, and then walked (right, plodded) back to the car for the drive home.

All the way home we kept looking at each other, and at our medals, and grinning like goofballs.

There are no words for how thankful I am that Angel stuck with me and ran the whole thing by my side. I would have given up, slowed to a walk, and just skipped it long before if she hadn't been there, making me run each interval, counting the KMs, and being her wonderful self.

It amazed me that the iRun Team had the faith to pick me to run my first Marathon with their help. The support, the cool new Brooks shoes, the fashion show, the cheering and the new friends were so much a part of this experience for me.

I was trying to find that stat about how many people in the world have ever completed a marathon, but all I could come up with was the USA (which IS the world sometimes). It's 0.5%. Is that a little number? I'm not sure.....

this was SO funny, I was laughing my face off at work (thank goodness my face isn't as sore as my quads)
I guess the bigger question is how long do I get to rest before I have to start training for the Goofy in January?

That's NOT a meatball!

Time keeps on ticking, one more sleep 'till the big day!

On Saturday, the day of packet pick up, Angel and I volunteered to be models for the Brooks Fashion Show. I have to say there's something about wearing over $400 worth of clothes that don't belong to you that makes you want to just make a run for it.

Our motley crue took to the stage at the expo and were interviewed by Lisa (at iRun magazine) about our goals, our iRun statement and then we had our outfits described while we strutted our stuff.

I got the coolest shirt from the team at iRun (you can see it in my finish line shot tomorrow). Then we hit the expo hard. First stop, the Brooks shopping area. My inner voice was yelling pessimistic stuff about buying shirts for a marathon I hadn't run yet. My outer voice was yelling right back about how we were generously given an awesome discount (thanks Janine) for doing the fashion show and no way in heck was I missing out on the chance to add to my running wardrobe.

I got two shirts for me, one for Kevin and a pair of shorts (showing remarkable restraint). Angel on the other hand went bonkers ;-)

Then we wandered, avoiding ALL chances to sign up for another race of any type, any where, ever.

In the  middle of the expo there was a giant bowl of pasta with a giant fork sticking out of it. Brooks was doing gait analysis and letting you take your photo running from a giant meatball. The Carb Happy booth. Who can resist running from food? (Me, I run TOWARD food)

We hopped up on the treadmills and had our gaits filmed, with the end result being a shoe recomendation.

They also sent a video of me running....thank goodness from the calves down, from the back ;-)

I was amused and happy to hear that the shoes I planned to run 42.2 in were the same ones they chose for me (thank god) the Ravenna 3. Then we got to scratch a card and win a prize. I got a CD of accordion music (SCORE) and Angel won new shoes from Brooks!

We got our photos taken with the giant meatball, and then I took it home and scanned it into the computer. As the image appeared on the screen I started thinking 'that looks NOTHING like a meatball'.

oh my.....

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Maranoia sets in

Maranoia (n.): Fear of something going wrong (illness, injury, etc.) in the weeks before a marathon.

How about Super Maranoia, where you have 4 sleeps before the big 42.2 and you've taken to staying away from stairs, you won't climb a ladder, shoes have to be flat, surfaces have to be clear, and woe betide your six year old son if he leaves those infernal Lego bits in your flight path?

Yep, that's me. Commander Maranoia

We had one final 'long' run this past Monday. The funny thing is, it was 'only' 15k, which when I started running wasn't 'only' anything...unless it was 'only' something total freaking crazy people did. Now it's just a short hop en route to a much longer destination.

In (an)other moment of weakness I volunteered to be part of the Brooks Fashion Show at the Expo for the STWM. It takes place Saturday morning, and seems to involve showing up in Toronto early, getting outfitted in the latest and greatest running gear, and strutting my stuff down the runway. Should hopefully take my mind off the fact that it's supposed to be 18 degrees and RAINING on Sunday.....ewwwww.

So all that's left is to get a lot of rest, stay safe and healthy, pick up my run packet, carb load, buy some GU, pack my bags and head to Cowtown for the first of my two lifetime marathons.

Yes, I've said it, I mean it, I never really was going to ever run a single marathon, let alone two, but two is my limit. I won't run AtB again, not the full at least, I have no desire to run another full after the Goofy. I will have my friends put my credit card somewhere I can't access it, I refuse to attend another run expo, and I won't open e-mails titled 'your next race'. Straight to the spam filter.

Anyone want to go for pasta dinner Saturday around 4? I have to be in bed early....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

To Hell and Back

So it's almost the end of the road, the big show, balls to the wall, all that stuff. My first full marathon will take place in 10 days.  Anything I haven't already done to prepare isn't going to help now, and everything I've accomplished training will carry me forward on race day.

My last 'big' run was last Sunday. It was also my first run over 30K. The magic schedule said to run 35k, and I was dreading the idea of running around in my home town, since another glimpse of the same old streets was likely going to send me to the fun house.

Ah, thank goodness for Google, which pointed my running crew to the former T H and B trail (was a rail line, is now a rail trail and goes by the nickname To Hell and Back). The trail is just over 32k, and runs from Brantford ON to Hamilton ON. (Don't look on a map, it's REALLYYYYYYY far)

Crack of dawn, meet up, drop car 1 at end point, drive car 2 to start point. Note to self, if it looks like a bad area of town, listen to the inner voice (and the sirens).

Off we go, into the beautiful Fall morning, leaves changing colour before our eyes. We saw lots of neat nature, from deer to sheep grazing in the pastoral fields. It's a good thing there was stuff to look at 'cause it took SIX FREAKING HOURS to 'run' the trail, complete with injures, bathroom breaks, sign reading and photo ops.

All I could think about for the last 5k was breakfast...or lunch...or roasted squirrell if I could catch one.  That, and how freaking cool it was that I'd surpassed my previous 'longest' run!

Got done, dragged back to car 1, drove back to Bford for car 2. Discovered some jackmunch tried to break into car 2 while we were running. Seriously? Didn't succeed (apparently if they DID the car would have been gone). Call the local law enforcement, nice officer comes. Mentions we're kind of parked in a bad area (who knew, there wasn't a sign that said Ghetto, park at your own risk). Luckily no permanent damage to car 2.

Toast that and our successful run over a huge dinner. Drive home almost asleep, realizing again how FAR Brantford is from Hamilton.

Now we taper, or as I like to call it 'recover from my horrible cold while working 3 jobs, single parenting while hubby is away for 4 days, and hope my dorsalflexor thingy stays dormant'.

I have to say that there's no way in heck I'd have made it this far without my running buddies. If I didn't have them calling, texting, e-mailing and showing up on my doorstep I'd never have continued the training. Lori, Angel, Emily and Kaylee have brought me further than I ever thought I'd go (literally).  Rain, dark, snow, cold, hot, sick, injured, happy, stressed, we've run through it all. When I cross the line at Scotiabank I'll do it with them beside me...if only in spirit.

I feel bad for my non-running friends, whom I'm neglected for so long I think some have stopped talking to me (but I've yet to notice). All I've done lately is sleep, work, run, do laundry and see my family in passing. I'd promise it will get better soon, but next up is the Goofy Challenge, and that's WAY more tranining. How about this, let's hook up in February when things quiet down? I don't like to run in the Winter.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

who knew I had a fin?

So I discovered the hard way that if it's not broken don't fix it.

For some reason I got it in my head that I needed to change my shoes. I've run in Nike Lunarglides for so long that I can't remember what my old shoe brand even was. Years, different colours, same shoe, over and over. Then, when I started training for Around the Bay this last time I thought to myself 'self, why not get some long-distance style shoes?'

I didn't head to Zellers, or Play it Again Sports. I didn't pick 'cause the colour of the shoes was pretty (though I tried). I went to a reputable store, got fitted, and chose my new shoes that way. Flash forward, run the Bay (the back half), run a bit more. Owie, foot hurts. Moan a bit, suck it up, that's the price you pay for running, right? Hit physio. My Physioterrorist treats my knees and we start chatting about my foot.

She says 'tendon damage' and hits my foot with a brick.
She also says 'get out of those shoes, you're over correcting and supinating and hurting yourself'.

Bye bye new shoes. Hello weeks of trying new shoes, icing, elevating and resting (forget compressing, it makes me want to throw up).

Make the mistake of asking Dr. Google what I might have, while lying down one Thursday night with my foot elevated over my head and an ice pack on it. Dr. Google says 'hey, look, a stress fracture, better stop running right now for 6 weeks'. It should be noted that I'm now 3 weeks away from running my first full marathon. I have the Oasis Zoo 5k to run Saturday, followed by a 20k training run on Sunday. So I ask Dr. Google what would happen if I run on a stress fracture. He's got nothing good to say about the idea.

I figure I might as well ask a REAL MD, so I haul myself to a walk in clinic. The funny doctor says 'well, I don't have x-ray vision, so we need to get an x-ray of your foot'. Smarty Pants ;-). Friday brings an x-ray and waiting for results. Because I'm basically insane, I'm still planning both my runs regardless of the results, and now asking friends if they have an extra air cast I can borrow.

Saturday rolls around and I'm standing in my corral waiting for the zoo run to start, when my phone rings (yes I run carrying my phone). It's the doctor's office, I don't have a stress fracture. Whoo hoo!

But what do I have?

Dr. Google is no help, there's too many bits and pieces in your foot that you can screw up. Real Doctor on Monday says 'you have a Dorsal flexor strain'. Who even knew I had a fin in my foot? How come I can't swim? She shows me a stretch I can do, tells me not to wear flip flops or sandals anymore, and wishes me luck on my marathon.

So now I have a new pair of super-stability shoes I can't wear, two new pairs of shoes I CAN wear, a neat new injury to add to the list, and clearance to run as much as I want. I call that a win!

p.s. Anyone need a pair of Progrid Stabils, size 9?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

I went to a training run and a race broke out

So I'm amused. I have a sort of bucket list, and on it has been to run a Terry Fox run. I must have done it at some point in my youth (somehow I don't recall it at all), but I haven't run it as an adult. I feel an affinity to Mr. Fox, as I saw him run through Thunder Bay on his Marathon of Hope, and if you know much Canadian history, you'll also know that his run ended in our city, and there's a wonderful monument there to his valliant effort.

This morning was my 30k training run for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and it also happened to be the day of the TF Run. I knew that 30k wasn't 10k (the max at Terry), so I was resigned to the fact that I'd spend yet another year not doing the charity event. I got up at 6am, pondered not running at all, and then figured I wasn't getting any closer to marathon distance by lying in bed. Texted my running buddy Angel (that's her with me above) and we planned to run the back half of the Around the Bay route as an out-and-back (15k each way).

We started at the Steam and Technology Museum on the Hamilton side, and ran into Burlington across the lift bridge. As we neared Spencer Smith Park we noticed a crowd, a start line, tents, all evidence of a run.....

What do runners who are 7k into a 30k training run do when faced with a start line? Look to see what's going on and how we can sign up! At first we thought it was a run Angel had done last year, but nope, turned out to be the start line for the Burlington Terry Fox Run.

The course was a 5k loop, so my math inclined buddy figured we could run it 3 times and then run back to the car....it should be noted that the TF Run is a 5k or 10k, and we were going to run 15k.  We registered and joined the start line. Two loops (10K) in, we 'finished' the official race and stopped for a hot dog and cookie. Then we went back for another 5k loop and toasted our success with a slice of pizza (they had GREAT post race snacks!).  The squirrell I was running with also came away with 2 Lara Bars and an apple :-).

Back to the car, slogging along for the last 8k....have to admit it was one of the funnest runs I've had in ages, and such a great way to support a great cause while also getting our miles in.

Kudos to the team organizing the Burlington run. Smooth start, beautiful course, great volunteers, cool post (or mid) race snacks. Would I do it again, totally!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Okay so before I start this post AGAIN, let me vent about the fact that my crappy, super slow, super old, jumk box of a work PC just ate my enitre last post and did a force close of internet explorer and lost the entire thing. Now granted I should not be writing posts on work time, but FFS people, could we get some equipment that at least can handle some typing without going tits up?

that said, I'll start again.

The team at Run Like a Mother wanted us blog folk to answer 10 personal running questions, and 'play it forward' to encourage other BAMRs to do the same.  Here's my answers:

1. Best Run Ever
    I don't think I've had my best run ever yet. I've had some I liked, some I fought my way through, some
    that sucked from the first step to the last. As Bryan Adams says 'the best is yet to come'.

2.  Three words that describe my running
     Get 'er done

3.  My go to running outfit is
     Well, that depends on the weather (in Canada). A running bra, shoes and a hat. Something between the
     shoes and hat to prevent people from calling the police.

4.  Quirky habit while running
     Aside from the way I look while running? I like to touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.

5.  Morning, midday, evening
     I would prefer to run at midday, weather and schedule permitting. Normally I end up running either at
     an ungodly hour of the morning or after work when I'm exhaused and would rather curl up with my PVR
     and watch hours of talk shows.

6.  I won't run outside when it's
     Really hot, really cold, or when there's a warning like temperature or issues in the middle east.

7. Worst injury and how I got over it
     I did something to my achilles tendon right after I started running really long distances. My 
     physioterrorist fixed it somehow. Currently she's working on the arthritis in both my knees and
    something I've done to the tendons in the top of my foot that makes me feel like I'm being hit by a brick.
    I think she's a god.

8.  I felt most like a bad ass mother runner when
     I think that happened before I even knew BAMRs existed. I was running my first half marathon. About
     half a KM from the finish I thought I'd just have a seat on the nice curb and ruminate about the race. I
     figured that I could take a break and get up and keep running. The more I thought about it the more I
     realized if I did it that they'd find me the next week, covered in discarded water cups and GU wrappers.
     So I put one foot in front of the other and plodded my way to the finish. And finish I did, arms in the air,

9. Next race is
    The next fun race is the 5K Oasis Zoo Run. I've always wanted to run with the animals. The next
     'gonna take real work' race is my first Full Marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in
     October. It's the furthest I've ever run, the most I've ever trained and the biggest running challenge to
     date. What was I thinking?  :-)

10.  Potential running goal for 2013
      Nothing potential about it. I've signed up with some fellow BAMRs to run the Goofy Challenge in Walt
      Disney World in January. It's a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. Yep
      I'm f'in goofy, just like my blog title says. Nothing like having a challenge to work toward to get you to
      lace up those shoes!

Monday, 20 August 2012

the difference is negligable.....ooh, wrong thing to say, buddy!

I love my husband. Let's just make some stuff clear. He's the reason I can train as much as I can and run as much as I can and can take the time to do everything I do that helps to keep me somewhat sane.

That said, he did something yesterday that made me consider going a little off my nut on the poor saint.

This weekend I was offered an entry into the Midsummer Night's Race in Toronto , as part of the iRun Magazine Team. I ran the race last year, 15k in the horrid heat, and found myself all but passed out under the awards table at the finish, hoping that the fuzzy white haze I saw wasn't a mystical light looking for me.  So this year, with free entry, all I needed to do was pay for parking and head to Hogtown to redeem myself (and get a pretty spiffy medal to boot).

I'll skip past the part where they could not find my name on the participant list, where I spent 2 hours watching tv on my iTouch on the grass waiting for the race, where I discovered I hadn't eaten since 10am and Shot Blocks weren't a good meal replacement.

I hooked up with the 2 hour pace bunny, mostly 'cause she was the last bunny on the course, and because I could not remember how long it took me last year. She turned out to be a lovely woman who was 4.5 months pregnant, and therefore was just 'taking it easy' at the 2 hour pace. I figured 'no biggie, I can trail a pregger'. Oh, bear of little brain.

Made it 10k with the bunny, then started to lag behind a bit. Kept plugging along as the group loped into the sunset of the Leslie Street Spit.

Put on my music for the first time in the race, put my focus on the finish, and ran the rest as best I could. Granted  I stopped and took a couple fast photos (as someone behind me said, while also taking a snap, 'not like we're gonna win this thing".)

This year I finished upright, stayed upright, didn't see fuzzy white lights. Managed to drive myself home to Hamilton afterwards (stopping to take a silly photo on Yonge Street).

Next morning I'm comparing my times from 2011 and 2012

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I made an Art!

Okay, I didn't do it per se, I had someone talented do it.....

I think the pre-marathon stress is manifesting itself in fun ways. I keep cleaning at work, moving furniture around at the office and at home, and shopping. At least it hasn't come in the form of compulsive eating....yet.

I fell in love with some art I found at a site called jackandjillydesigns.com.  Long story short, found her from the site of a site that I like. The pretty text, the lovely colours, I knew I needed something for the house. But what? Then it hit me, running art, everyone needs running art.

I tried to articulate what I wanted, and somehow they understood and created works of art that inspire me to run and will look wonderful in my happy home.

oh, and here's a link to the insanity that is my Marathon training:

trying to step away from the PayPal account.....

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For, 'Cause You Just Might Get It

I know that runners will almost think this was a 'normal' idea, but non-runners and other sane folks will see it for what it is....slightly barking mad.

I was reading iRun Magazine, and they had a fun contest called 'So You Want to Run a Marathon, Eh?'. The criteria was simple: Have never run 42.2 before, have the desire to do so, and the time/energy to pull it off in 12 weeks.

Hummm...can I? Should I? Will this undo years of therapy (phyisical AND mental)? It never hurts to enter, they can always not choose me.

Whoops! Guess who got picked? There's 5 of us, running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. We get the benefit of a tranining plan, a nice online trainer, entry into the marathon, and who knows what else along the way.

This should help me with the training for the Goofy, since I've got to get to an insane distance to pull that off too. As I was walking to work today I started to think about this. Much like being pregnant, it occurs to me that this has to come out SOMEWHERE, at some point, and no epidural in the world is going to dull the pain.

Grit your teeth, buy some new socks, get up early, run at lunch at work. Nag all your running friends to keep you company on the long slogs.

The clock is ticking.....

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

ouch, thunk, ouch, thunk

Owie....or running just to hear myself whine.

They say love hurts...I'm not sure why running has to, since sometimes I don't think I love it...however I'm developing a relationship with my physioterrorist that rivals that which I have with my husband. She's spent hours rubbing oils and potions and lotions on my body, she's asked me to lie down, roll over, stick this body part here and that one there.

All this in the quest to fix the arthritis in both my knees. Every time she pulls the Graston rods out I try to slither backwards off the table. I've never known a strange creepy pain like that one. If you've never been Grastoned before, picture this: first they apply lotion to whatever part of you is going to be tortured. Then they take this metal rod, sort of like a banana clip hair thing in shape, but solid metal, and they pull it along your skin like they're trying to roll the area flat, or squeeze the last of the toothpaste out of the tube. This causes every bit of skin, muscle, tendon, whatever else lurks there to be compressed and pulled at the same time. Yep, it hurts, nope you don't get used to it, and yep (again) it's worth it. Then to add insult to injury, you get these electrodes attached to the owie bits and they run this freaky currently through it that feels like a zillion electric bugs crawling under your skin. And I pay for the honour of having this done to me too.

So the knees are happier than they've ever been. I don't look at the stairs in my house and consider just living in the kitchen and showering in the sink.

The bummer is that my new shoes (which apparently have tons of motion control and stability) have caused me to become newly unstable and do damage to a tendon in my left foot. Just when god slams the door he also locks the window. Back to physio where I now have my left foot bashed against a wooden block (I don't understand it either) and to the Running Room to buy me some new kicks.  Three pairs and a half hour on the treadmill testing them later, and I'm back on the road.  The knees only protest meekly and the foot wonders why I have forsaken it, but I'm on a mission to increase my speed and therefore can mostly ignore the twinges.

The secret to increasing your speed is to run faster. I know, who'da thunk? The secret to running faster is to run shorter distances faster than you normally run longer ones. The secret to doing this is not to smash into something or run off the trail while staring at your Garmin to see how fast you're going.

ouch, thunk, ouch, thunk.....

Monday, 28 May 2012

Estrogen Based Life Forms

So this past Sunday I ran the Toronto Women's Half Marathon for the second time. I have to admit I was motivated almost totally by the promise of the pretty necklace that doubles as the medal you get when you cross the finish line.

My running amigas made the trek into the big smoke with me, and we lined up to start our adventure. My friend Trishia, who's lost half her body weight, was running her first 1/2. Jennifer who's become a skinny speed demon was running HER first half, Lori who's got a ton of running under her belt was running another half, and my pace bunny buddy Emily was tasked with keeping my butt moving.

The weather was beautiful, with a light breeze and some sun. Sunnybrook park was lovely, trees and flowers and trails leading us 21.1K.

Jen took off like a shot, we only saw her when we turned around for the out and back loops....goes to show what training will do! Lori wasn't far behind, but her leg got the best of her and a torn meniscius (sp) hobbled her around the 16k mark, allowing Emily and I to finally catch up with her. We walked in together (no man left behind) and then stayed to cheer Trishia as she happily ran across the line.

I realized that it was the first race I'd ever done more than once (unless you count the ATB 5K which I don't). So now I have new bling, sore knees, and a sense of accomplishment. I don't think I'd make it as far as I do without my running buddies...they keep me going long past when I'd normally take off my shoes and sit on a bench...or bribe a medic to bike me back to the start line.

Even though I'm normally brining up the rear, I could not be prouder of the women who go before me. Do I was I was faster? Sure. Do I wish I could have run it in under 2:30 like Jennifer? Yep. Is it going to happen? Nope. So I will celebrate my friends' accomplishments like they were my own, and celebrate mine as well. I'm still 21.1k ahead of a lot of people, and that's good enough for me!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

gone done and did it

Well, I've done it now!

In a moment of weakness, or impairment or general silliness I splashed out $400 USD for the chance to run amuck in WDW over the span of two days in January.
For those of you who've forgotten, I'm going to run what they call the Goofy Challenge. It's a half marathon (21.1k or 13.1mi) on the Saturday and then a full marathon (yep, 42.2km or 26.2mi) on the Sunday of the same weekend.

This little jaunt takes place in Walt Disney World, starting at 5am on both days.  I need to commit to a training program that starts in the early Summer, and consists of running 5 days a week.....Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sun. I'm pretty sure that my husband might notice I'm gone around the second week, when the only clothes in the laundry basket are spandex, I've gotten stuck in my sports bra and called for help, and the only stuff in the recycling is Gatorade bottles.

The running, for those following the 'program' is 5k, 10k, 5k on Tues, Wed and Thurs. Sat and Sun are math days....whatever we run Sat we double on Sun to a max of 16k and 32k respectively. Yes, for those of you keeping score, the Around the Bay road race is 'only' 30k and we'll surpass that while training for this. So several of my 'long' runs will be at 1/2 marathon or more distance, but for those I won't get a nifty medal, or a t-shirt or cheering kids holding signs, or a water station.

At the end of this I'll have:
3 medals (1/2, Full and Goofy)
3 shirts (1/2, full and Goofy)
3 commemerative pins (you can see where this is going)

Right now if you asked me how I felt about this, I'd say I've got my reservations....but I guess it's nothing my internal dialogue won't smack down at some point.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bay Bewb Burn

Well, I have another Bay under my belt.

I told myself that I'd never do another full (30K) bay after last year, since I hated it so much. What I didn't account for was the fact that one of my running buddies pointed out that I hadn't done the 2 man (15K) relay yet. I've run the Bay and Back 5K 3 times, the three man (10K) relay once, and the full 30k once. So I figure that I can do the two man relay and then refuse all offers to participate again, having completed the 'full house' of Bay options.

The morning dawned chilly and clear, I was up with the birdies since I was full of vim and vigor (and a wee case of pre-race nerves). I picked up two of my running mates and we headed for Copps.

This run for me was not about having a PB, it was about pacing a friend and fellow runner on her first Bay 30K. For the first 15k one of us ran with her and for the second it was me. This was the first time I'd ever been the 'coach' of anyone, the cheerleader and all around 'fresh legs' that kept another runner moving toward her goal.

We chatted as we ran, laughing, distracting, discussing....counting the fun of each KM as we passed the signs marking our distance. We enjoyed the cookies (Which I fondly remember from last year) at LaSalle Park, and didn't enjoy the experiment of 'new GU' flavours. For the record, Espresso Love isn't lovely and Vanilla Orange is horrid.

As we hit the home stretch, and entered Copps for the finish line, my running buddy started to cry. We were a couple yards from the end and I started to slow down, letting her cross the line ahead of me. She'd earned the right to be there first, arms in the air, jubliant and proud. The time on the clock wasn't relevant for me, for once it wasn't all about me, and that was really cool.

Today is a day of rest, before we start training for our next goal races. I'm losing track of what I run when, but I think it's the Chocolate 10 miler. Will I run for chocolate? Hell YES!

BTW, I got a wicked sunburn at the Bay. I call it my Bay Bewb Burn, since the girls were representing for 2 1/2 hours....March in Canada, who'd have thought it would be THAT sunny?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Frost bite on my lady bits

SO, I've made a discovery. Just call me Christopher Columbus (or however you spell that). More important that messing up heading for India, I've discovered that I don't like to run in the winter.

Information that would have been usefull WAYYYY back when I signed up for the half marathon training program that forced me to run through rain, wind, sleety snow, snrain, ice pellets, and drivers bent on forcing me into snow banks to evade them 'Death Race 2000' style.

My goal race for the training program was this little thing called the Chilly Half Marathon. I should have been tipped off by the name, but, silly me, I thought it was 'cause they serve chilli and beer after the race. Yep, that too. There's also a wonderful, face freezing wind blowing off scenic Lake Ontario as you schlep your way on an out-and-back course that has no redeeming features. None, nothing to look at, unless you count the faces of pretty much EVERYONE else as they make the loop and run back toward you.

So there I was, thinking I could PB on this course....nope
I was thinking I could keep up with my running buddy...nope
I was thinking that the chilli and beer would be worth it...nope
I was thinking 'can you get frostbite on your lips'?...pretty close

What I learned is that if a race has 'chilly, frosty, frozen, sub-zero, arctic, hell-frozen-over or hypothermic' in the title it's probably not the race for me.

Did you know you can sweat when it's like minus 15 with the wind chill?

Next run, a couple weeks from now, this jaunt called the Around the Bay....but I'm 'only' doing 15k that day. And people wonder why I want to run in Florida?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

the countdown begins

Okay, so I've manned (womaned?) up and started a blog 'cause the book I'm reading (the Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women) told me to. Do I listen to everything I read? Mostly yes, which makes me a sucker for advertising and on the constant quest to 'feel fresh'.

Some of you who know the punch line will understand the blog title, but for those of you who don't, ask someone who worked for Disney....they'll tell you the joke.

The book says (not the 'Book' book, the Non-runners' guide book) that I should confess my mission in order to force myself to complete it......feels like 12 steps, although THIS mission will involve way more than 12.

I'm going to run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. What's that, you ask? It's an annual run held at the Happiest Place on Earth, involving a weekend in January 2013 where you run a Half Marathon (21.1km) on Saturday, followed by a Full Marathon (42.2km, natch) on the Sunday.

I consider myself sort of a runner. I've done a few 1/2 marathons, and it's not like I'm starting from the sofa. I figure it's the equivalent of hitting the tanning bed before going to the beach, I've got a base.

The amusing thing is that I'm not even counting down to the RACE itself yet. I'm counting down 'till I can REGISTER for the blasted thing! It's not supposed to open until either March (now-ish) or April (depending on who to talk to). I've been cyber-stalking the Run Disney site, waiting for the other (running) shoe to drop so I can shell out a lot (not telling the DH how much) of money to run in a bigggggggg loop for two days.

So this blog is my training confessional. The way to keep myself honest, or at least to make it harder to hide at Tim Hortons when I'm supposed to be on a LSD run (no, not THAT LSD: Long Slow Distance).

Now I wait, something I'm no good at......

Counting down

Mrs. Mouse