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Winner!

With a grand total of 16 entries (15 online and one offline) I can now announce the winner of the Endorphin Warrior training bracelet.

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Lucky number 6 is PENNY who wrote, “I would go with the Believe bracelet. Reminds me to Believe in myself.”

Congratulations!

Penny, please email me at alanna @ lovemyrunners.com to claim your bracelet.


Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet Giveaway

When I received my Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet in the mail a few weeks ago I was excited.  They had extended the offer to do a contest via Twitter and I was happy to be on board.  I have a bracelet like the one above that says FOCUS from Hood to Coast in 2011.  It was my go-to word that year as I tend to wander mentally during races.  The only issue with it is that it’s a bit too small so I can’t wear it all the time.  My request for a new one (with a new word, of course) was received well so I chose BELIEVE.  I have a bit of a hard time with that during some of my runs and can succumb to negative self-doubt more often than I like.

It’s honestly hard to review a fairly simple piece of jewelry – I’ll admit that I was putting off the post since I had so little to write – so I’ve been wearing it lately in hopes of having more, besides “I will believe in myself on race day”, to say.  Last week gave me too much to say.

Life stress had me looking down at my wrist more often than not; I need to believe that certain things are changing for the best.  And then Boston happened.  I was at work when Colin phoned to ask if I’d heard.  Working in retail, where I don’t see much of the outside world for 8 hours, I had not.  After I had, though, I was on Twitter (regardless of cell phone use rules) trying to learn about all the people I’ve met in real life and online because of running.  I was mentally checking off their names while also trying to learn as much about the situation as possible.  It was frustrating and worrying.  I wanted a hug.

As corny as it sounds, having a simple word BELIEVE to look at helped.

Believe people I know are okay.

Believe things I can’t control are taken care of.

Believe that those responsible will be found.

Believe.

Believe.

Believe.

Because if I couldn’t do that I would have freaked out.

So, as simple as a piece of leather and a bit of metal are, my bracelet helped.

You could win your own Training Bracelet courtesy of Endorphin Warrior.  Simply head on over to endorphinwarrior.com, look around, and let me know via a comment what bracelet you would want to wear and why.

Contest closes Thursday 25 April 2013 at 11:59PST.  Winner will be announced Friday 26 April 2013.

Note: I was given my bracelet from Endorphin Warrior free of charge in return for this review/giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

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I’m in love with a French bird…

I don’t usually shout from the rooftops about things I love.  Yes, I love running (most days).  I’m happy to talk about it all day which probably annoys my coworkers more than they’ll let me know.  However, right now you’ll have to put up with me professing my love for the Seattle women’s running apparel company Oiselle.

I have been a fan of their clothes since I saw (and was subsequently gifted) the Start Line Tee:

Start Line Tee

Source: oiselle.com

I had just run a 50k and was proud that I could claim that bottom line.  I still don’t have a 5k or 8k finish, but I digress…

Last year a local store, Distance Runwear, started carrying their line.  I was ecstatic!  Not having to drive to the States to get my fix was great.  Since their clothes are investments for me I’m sure Dave, the owner, was sick of me coming in all the time and perusing.  However, since my Christmas/birthday/just because wish lists are basically “Oiselle” or “money for Oiselle” he sees us often enough. 🙂

I have slowly been building my wardrobe (I won a gift certificate from them on Twitter last summer).  Last weekend I hit the jackpot!

Let me set the stage:

Two weeks ago Oiselle announced that they were having a sample sale.  If you’ve never been to one the gist is cheap stuff!  Of course, my problem was distance.  About 200km.  So I brought up the idea with Colin.  And was roundly turned down.  We were already planning to drive down to pick up my (exchanged) Nuun visor – my love for them is a whole nother different post entirely – but only as far as Costco in Burlington.  So I moped and pouted about the Oiselle sale.  And told Colin that so many people I knew from Ragnar would probably be going.  And pleaded to go.  Eventually he caved.  Yes, because he’s awesome and loves me, but I’m pretty sure it was mostly so he wouldn’t have to hear me talk about it anymore!

Saturday morning we did what we needed to do in Blaine and then made a bee-line to Green Lake.  A note to you locals, how do you stand the parking situation there?!?  It took us 15 minutes to find a freakin’ spot!  Anyways, we found the place and waded in.  Well, I did.  Colin found a few things for me, but by the time I went to try stuff on he and Spud had found their way to a couch.  If everything had fit and I had an unlimited budget I would have happily purchased it all!  There were a few things I was hoping for, but didn’t find (Motor Tee, L/S Stripey, bras).  That said, I’m certainly not disappointed by what I got!  I also got to meet Sarah from Oiselle (that’s her in the top picture) and Sarah from the Oiselle team; it’s always nice to meet the people you converse with online…

Transformer Vehicle aka How Spud Kept Busy for an hour and a half

Transformer Vehicle aka How Spud Kept Busy for an hour and a half

The Goods:

Fair warning: if you don’t like or care about pictures and descriptions please skip the following…

1. Injinji No-Show socks x 2: $2/pair.  Colin found these for me. Injinjis are my favourite and only running socks, but I was apprehensive because of the height.  The last time I got no-shows they kept ending up under my heel.  For $2 I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy all of them!

Source: rei.com

Source: rei.com

2. Onward Tee: $10. Love the colour and design!

Source: oiselle.com

Source: oiselle.com

3. Tall Track Tee: $10. Spud’s favourite because it’s orange.

Source: oiselle.com

Source: oiselle.com

4. Stripey Short Sleeve: $10.  Super cute running shirt.  It even has a pocket I can hide my iPod in.

Wore this on my last treadmill tempo!

Wore this on my last treadmill tempo!

5. Heathered Tech Top: $10.  Another for running and will match my new Mizunos.

Source: oiselle.com

Source: oiselle.com

6. Aero Tank: $10.  Pretty sure this will be a go-to summer run top – and has the iPod pocket too.

Source: oiselle.com

Source: oiselle.com

7. Rogas Galore!!  2 x regular and 1 x long (my second pair – lived in them last summer): $30 total.  I think I found the last three size medium Rogas.  And for that price I can get over my lack of love for the backs of my thighs.

Source: oiselle.com

Source: oiselle.com

My shorts are really where I notice that I got them from a sample sale.  The Long Roga is actually the pair I’m wearing in the Stripey tee picture above.  I haven’t been able to find a picture of them with that light blue on the waist so I’m thinking they were an experiment.  Also between the two regular length Rogas the pink is quite a bit shorter than the blue.  They have been deemed (by me) my inside shorts as there’s a little too much underbutt going on…

8. Onyx Jacket: $25.  Chose this over the Bum Wrap (same price).  It’s like the arm warmers, thumbies and all, only a whole garment.  This will get a lot of wear!

Onyx Jacket

9. Green Lake Hoody: FREE!!!  High quality control standards meant I got to take one of these with me as I left.  I can see the stitching issue (barely), but am certainly okay living with it!

Sleepy selfie

Sleepy selfie; don’t mind the pj pants and cans to take back…

Thank you Oiselle for cleaning out your closet, so to speak. I am so happy with my purchases. I have no problem writing a completely unsolicited post singing your praises. You’re an amazing company (run by some pretty awesome people) and I’m more than happy and willing to support you.

Now if I can only convince you to add a Canadian team member.

Seriously.

All I need is a singlet and a bio and I’ll be a happy girl…


Insert Witty Title (to distract from the fact I haven’t blogged in 4-1/2 months) Here

Let me be honest about the lack of posts since 28 September 2012.  Last year, I decidedly did NOT love my runners.  Don’t get me wrong, I ran races – had fun at most of them – but the way I wanted to train was taking all the joy out of running.

I thought that heart rate training would make me a more efficient, faster, and better runner.  And it probably would have.  But to buy into the theory I had to start at zero.  I don’t often discuss speed and pace (mostly so I don’t fall into the comparison trap).  However, I went from comfortably running a 7min/km long run to being told I needed to slow down to be in zone one.  And that meant a 13min/km.  Discouraging much?  Considering that’s slow walking pace?  Yeah.

Having seen other runners I know benefit from testing and training this way meant that I was willing to try.  I rented a treadmill so I didn’t have excuses not to run.  I knew that my planned marathon wasn’t going to be a goal race.  I actually had a very good time just completing the course.  It was kind of nice to have no expectations.  Of course, I got a PW of almost 6hrs, but I was fine with it.

Colin and I ran a fun wine-tasting almost-half just after the full.  Again, no expectations, but the hard part about running with a faster person is feeling like you’re holding them up.

The next race I did was Ragnar with Nuun.  This is where my blogging started becoming more sporadic.  I never did a race report – started it, but only got about half a day in.  Although I feel bad about not doing it, as I am a Nuun ambassador, I don’t regret it.  Ragnar was special and, quite frankly, I don’t really want to share.  I had conflicting feelings because I loved it so much more than Hood to Coast – I knew what to expect, I felt like I connected with teammates better prior to the event, blah blah blah…  It’s one of those things that I want to explain with Las Vegas’ slogan: “What happens at Ragnar, stays at Ragnar.”

After Ragnar I had a half lined up in September.  I was an online ambassador for them as well and fell down a little in that respect too.  Active on Twitter, but not really on my blog.  Again, no race report.  This time because I felt slow and pathetic.  I was partially burned out and so sick of having running feel like something I had to work at.  After that race I barely ran.  Who wants to do something they don’t really like anymore?

Anyways, that’s what last year looked like.  This year is quite a bit better already.

First off, I’ve dropped heart rate training.  I’m sure it would have worked eventually.  But that was the problem.  I have no desire to take another year or two trying.

We registered for the BMO Vancouver Marathon when it went on sale (expensive, but was only going to get pricier).  I decided that the only way I was going to be able to commit to training was to find a way to run indoors.  Colin’s busy at work until March and I have no desire to push Spud in the stroller anymore, so that meant a treadmill.  I pooled my Christmas money and bought one off of Craigslist just before the holidays for $300.

Due to scheduling I decided to forgo training with the clinic I’ve done in the past.  I chose the Train like a mother Marathon: Finish It plan.  It’s quite a bit different than I’m used to, but I am really enjoying it.  I do most of my long runs on Saturdays (Colin runs Sundays), usually by myself .  I ran 25km/15.5mi on Sunday; it was purposely a very hilly route and I loved it.  While not fast (except when I was bombing down hills) it was well within where I need to be running for my race.  I would not have said the same a year ago.

I’m looking forward to (almost) all of my training runs.  I’m trying to build back the speed I’ve lost and be smart about my increases so I don’t hurt myself.  I’m not sure if I’ll finally break 5hours, but the most I can do is stick to the plan and try my best.

I’ve promised too many times that a post will be the turnaround for my sporadic, at best, blogging.  I won’t do that right now, but I will make an attempt to blog more often now that I really am liking running again.  In the meantime, if you don’t see anything recent here you can find me on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @lovemyrunners (or just click the linked words).

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218 Days / 1 Day

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Source
And just like that my 2013 A-race is set! Extremely excited to #RunVan again. Goals coming soon, but I have a half to run on Sunday first.


Miracle Monday

Here’s why:

1. Started full time work today (M-F) and didn’t stab my eye out with a fork; I did complain about stuff to Colin on the way home though.

2. I’m actually posting something!!

3. I ran today.

3a. It was a tempo.

3b. In my Vibrams.

3c. 6.8km out and back.

3d. Finished on the fast end of my Z3 for pace.

3e. I ran negative splits!!!

Considering out Monday started with a forgotten driver’s license and work entry card (Colin) and a forgotten lunch (me) things ended well.

How was your Monday?


A Break

Hi All,

So it seems that running Ragnar actually took more out of me than I expected.  I still have to recap that weekend – it was amazing – and process the whole thing (I’m an introvert so, yes, that explains things).  It’s been a while since I’ve done much of anything.  Life has been getting in the way.  More work for me and longer hours for Colin have seen both of our running suffer.  Hoping things will pick up soon since I’ve got a half at the end of September that I want to do well at!

Thanks for sticking around even though I’ve been M.I.A. quite a lot lately!

Happy Running,

Alanna

 


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Wordless Wednesday: Packing

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#NUUNKOTB

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 3 months since I found out that I wouldn’t be running HTC I would be running Ragnar Northwest Passage with Nuun!

The ball gets rolling on Thursday with Colin and Spud dropping me off at HQ in the afternoon.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but Colin earns the title of world’s best husband as 19 July is our 9th wedding anniversary.  I think I’m going to have to push really hard for an ultra team next year so we can have a 10th anniversary trip!  #runnerds! Once I’m dropped off I’ll be meeting up with Holly (van 1), who is coming in from Oregon.  I’m assuming we’ll toodle around town until it’s time to see the rest of the team for dinner and van decorating.  I asked about decorating rules this time around and, unfortunately, this is a no-go:

Window art is highly encouraged, but there was a bit of an issue getting the rest of the van clean after Hood to Coast 2011 (so I heard – thankfully it wasn’t me that had to drive up to the rental place in it…).

Thursday night I’m hoteling it in Seattle with Holly, Jenny (van 2), and Becky (van 1).  I’m pretty thankful that I’m not in van 1 this time around as they have to leave at 5:15!  My Friday starts at 9am with a van ride up to Bellingham-ish.

According to the handy Ragnar pace calculator I should be running at the following times:

Leg 9 * 6.1mi/9.8km * Moderate: 4pm

Leg 21* 2.7mi/4.3km * Easy: 2:30am

Leg 33 * 6.8mi/10.9 * Hard: 12:15pm

Apparently I was blinded by my love of downhill. Forgot it was quite an uphill to earn it!

For running a total of 15.6mi/25.1km within 24 hours I’m surprisingly calm.  Not sure if it’s because I’ve done a relay before; it’s NOT Hood to Coast, therefore less pressure; I feel like I know the people better this time around; or just because I get to hang out with the Nuun folks, but I’m so happy to be able to do it!  I”m packing tonight so it won’t be a mad dash tomorrow and hopefully I won’t forget anything.  Tomorrow’s Wordless Wednesday post apparently has its subject matter!

Pop back on Friday for ways to follow our team!  Twitter will be the main source, but I’m sure Facebook and maybe blogs will be utilized as well.  Just a head’s up that I won’t be tweeting much myself due to roaming charges (free WIFI is where it’s at!), but if you search for @lovemyrunners you can find out how I’m doing.


Surrey Half Saturday: A Tale Of Two Weeks

You may have noticed that after all the hype of a Saturday feature post detailing my half marathon training there was a distinct lack of a post last week. That was due to an EPIC FAILURE on my part to do any running other than my long run on Saturday the 7th. So, sorry for the hiatus, but there you go.

This week has been marginally, but not much, better. As you can see I added a run to the week. Scheduling should be interesting since I’m currently training at work for a full-time position starting in September. There’s going to be a lot of evening running in my future!

Saturday 7th: 16km long run. I won’t be publishing paces simply because I’m heart-rate training and am still uber-slow. Let’s just leave it that I felt like I was plodding along the whole time. I left at about 9, but it wasn’t early enough as it got really hot by the time I was on my way home. It also didn’t help that the program I’m following called for the 3 middle km to be at tempo pace. I hit my paces just fine, but due to the heat and exertion I just couldn’t get my heart-rate down fast enough after that. I had to walk for a good km to make it somewhat normal. I think if it calls for that again I’ll just do that portion at the end.

Wednesday 11th: My sister-in-law and I decided that we wanted to run together in the morning. Unfortunately (for us) her husband had to be at work early so we had to set out at an ungodly hour of the morning. I was confused when my alarm woke me up at 4:45am, but I got up, dressed, and headed out for our 5:20am run. We ran a short 3km loop around her neighbourhood before she headed home. Since Colin wasn’t even getting up until 7am I took the chance to get in my run for the day. I ran firmly in zone 2 (a no-no, but I wanted to run with someone) with Marie. I can’t do that too often since that’s what got me in this mess to begin with! After I left her I picked up the pace to zone 3 and ran another 3km at tempo pace. Felt weird since I’ve been so focused on zone 1 running for the last few months. When I got to cooling down I did part of our original loop again. A gentleman out for a bike ride said, “Good for you,” as he rode by – I guess he thought I was just a beginner since I was going so slowly! Wasn’t too keen on whatever was rustling around in the bushes and got lost in her housing complex, but finally made it back to the car with about 7km done for the day.

Saturday 14th: 19km long run. Well, that’s what was on the schedule. It turned out to be very hot today so I changed up my plan. I originally was going to have Colin drop me off 19km from home and I’d run there. However, it made more sense to not be in the blazing sun so I ran from home and got in 15.59km. As I said on Facebook, I’m stupidly proud of this as I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers.

That’s it for this week – I won’t be posting next Saturday as I will be running the Ragnar Northwest Passage relay!


Wordless Wednesday: My Boys

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Some Magic Would Be Nice – Surrey Half Saturday

Today marks the first day of training for my upcoming half marathon, being run as part of the Surrey International World Music Marathon weekend.  I haven’t run a half since June 2010 as I focused on 3 fulls, one ultra, and, now, adapting to heart-rate training.  I guess the only thing I can really say about how I’m feeling is, “This should be interesting.”

I have only ever trained using one program’s methods – that of the Running Room.  If you’re Canadian you know that RR is a bit of a Canadian institution.  You might not be a fan, nor do you have to be, but when I was starting out in 2009 they were the closest running store offering a learn to run program.  I liked their promotion of walk/run training (all long runs are done as 10+1s) and have found some great friends because of them.  However, I dropped out of the half clinic last summer due to never being able to make the runs and, to be honest, not really clicking with the instructor.  You might remember that I also dropped the full clinic this past spring once I had the lactate test because I simply couldn’t keep up.  So where do I go this year?

Well, I’m not “going” anywhere.  This is a purely self-directed training cycle as it didn’t make any sense to drop out of a 3rd clinic!  I am really excited to be following the training program found in Train Like A Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, who also penned Run Like A Mother.  It’s titled HALF-MARATHON: Own It and I have high hopes for it!  It follows the standard training regimen of long runs, easy and recovery runs, hills, tempo runs, and speed work.  I think the reason I want to do it is that it’s just different enough from what I’ve been doing to seem new.  I get the principles already so I’m not intimidated, but they are much more specific than what I have been doing so it will be challenging.  What I also like is that they include what zones I should be running in and, since I’ve already got my numbers (you could do it by perceived effort if you haven’t tested), I should be able to achieve those runs with (hopefully) few problems.

Another thing that is different for me is that my long runs are moving to Saturdays!  I have been a firm Sunday LSD runner since I began running.  However, with work commitments and Colin also wanting to do long runs, Saturdays just seemed like a better fit.  I’ll be getting out really early or going out in the evening depending on my shifts, but at least it will keep it interesting!

As you can see from the post title this will be a regular blog feature.  Surrey Half Saturday will cover how my training is going, what I was up to during the week (training log style), and any other stuff going on with the event.  Please check back each week to follow along, give me encouragement or a kick in the butt, and let me know how your running is doing as well.  If you are running any of the Surrey races tell me so we can catch up on race day!


Recap: Earth Run {3 June 2012}

If you have read my blog for any length of time you’ll know that I don’t run a lot of short distance races.  That all changed on 3 June.  I was fortunate enough to be an ambassador for Earth Run and ran the 10k at Jericho Beach in Vancouver (there was a 5k as well).  This was the perfect race to be re-introduced to the distance.  There are a lot of larger 10k events in Vancouver – like the almost 50,000 strong Sun Run – but a small event has huge advantages.

1.  Mellow Atmosphere.  A small crowd means less opportunity for race day jitters.  I knew that I just wanted to go out to complete the distance in a decent (for me) time and not having huge crowds made it so much nicer.  It’s definite a family friendly event.  There was a small expo with about 6 tents – some vendors, some beneficiaries.  The Vancouver Aquarium and Young Naturalists’ Club of BC booths had Spud occupied for ages.

2.  Small Race Field.  If I was a faster runner this would be the race I’d want to go to!  Such a great chance of placing since there were only 71 finishers in the 10k and 48 in the 5k.

3.  Easy Package Pick Up.  Considering there was really just the chip (on a returnable ankle band to be no-waste) and shirt to pick up it didn’t seem like there was much of a wait.  I had a bit of an awkward moment when I had to find the race organizer to say I wasn’t on the list (my contact wasn’t present).  He was understanding and gave me my items.  My shirt (a unisex small) went to Colin, who’s quite happy about it.  The only problem with not being on the list is that my result is just a comma since there was no first or last name.  Oh well, I know it was me!

4. No Crowds.  The course was on an open park path and having fewer numbers was totally beneficial.  There was never the feeling that we were in the way or people were in our way.  It was an out and back along the ocean and, since the weather cleared once we started, there was a gorgeous view of the mountains.

 

5.  Affordable.  The race is $25/5k and $35/10k.  In Vancouver that is a great price.  Generally 5k’s start at the 10k price, so that’s really something that they have going for them!

6.  Plentiful Post-Race Snacks.  I know this seems like a silly point, but it’s nice to roll into the finish line close to the end and know that there will still be stuff waiting for you!  Oranges, bananas, water, and an energy drink were enough to tide me over until I could get to lunch.  Since the race aims to have a low to no environmental impact even the cups were recycled cardboard.

All in all I had a great time at Earth Run!  I was quite happy with my time (1:05:31) considering I really hadn’t done any sort of faster training.  I ran/walked it, but was completely fine with that.  I was breaking in my Saucony Mirage’s at the time too…  My watch did say the course was just shy of 10k, but there were two variables that could account for that: I started my watch a few seconds late and user error on the flour-marked gravel path (I’m sure I didn’t run the exact same path as measured)!  I think my favourite parts of the race were the atmosphere, the view, and having Colin and Spud waiting for me at the finish line.

Thank you Earth Run for letting me represent you online!  I had a fantastic experience and I’m sure Colin and I will come back next year to run!


Three Things Thursday: Everything’s Coming Up Roses

GOOD

I won another Twitter contest!  I be getting a prize pack from Shower Pill (makers of towel-like wipes for stinky athletes) just by following them on Twitter and retweeting about their contest.  Yes, it’s marketing at it’s best, but I’ll take it!

I haven’t even tried their product, but I already love their customer service.  I was contacted, told that they didn’t have my shirt size, and was it okay to send a substitute size?  For the “hassle” (I guess) of potentially being out the shirt as I wanted it they also said they’d send a second box of wipes!   I assume most companies would just have had a take it or leave it attitude since it was a contest so I’m extremely impressed!  And now I have extra wipes for my stinky self at Ragnar in June.

BETTER

 I finally got to try Nuun All Day!  The new line is enhanced with vitamins rather than electrolytes so, stating the obvious, you can add it to your water all day!  Smart cookies, those Nuun people…  

It comes in four flavours: Blueberry Pomegranate, Grape Raspberry, Grapefruit Orange, and Tangerine Lime; there are 15 tabs per tube and it works out to be the same cost per tab as regular Nuun.  Colin and I tried them all out yesterday.  A little more water than I needed to drink right before bed, but I was excited to try them.  The order above is how I’d rate my favourites.  Since I don’t drink water very often (it doesn’t taste like anything!) I decided to see how a very diluted tab would taste.  I put one tab in 48oz/1.4L.  It is perfect for me!  Just enough flavour and colour to trick me into drinking water.  I’m sure I’ll still drink it according to directions (1 per 16oz/473mL), but I’m loving this alternative.

Just a little bonus for my American readers who want to try All Day or buy any regular Nuun for that matter (sorry, Canada, they don’t ship up here yet):

Use the code bloggerslovenuun when purchasing at shop.nuun.com to get 15% off your order!  

BEST

It never ceases to amaze me how much social media can open doors or what happens when you get up the courage to ask.  For the second time this year I get to be a race ambassador!  After completing Earth Run on Sunday I was tweeted a congratulations from the Surrey Marathon for finishing the race.  If you remember from a few posts back I was considering them as my fall marathon until I decided I just wasn’t ready for another full.  Anyways, I said thanks and cheekily asked if they needed an ambassador for their race.  Turns out the answer was yes!

I am going from having nothing on the schedule after Ragnar in July to training for a half marathon on 30 September!  You can bet that there will be many blog posts about my training in the weeks to come so please, please keep me accountable!


Recap: Half Corked Marathon {27 May 2012}

The Half Corked Marathon in Oliver, British Columbia, Canada is not as it seems.  It is not a marathon.  It isn’t even a half marathon.  However, it is 18-ish kilometres that’s run through vineyards and wineries and filled with a lot of wine.  It’s also a really good time!

Colin and I heard about the race last year through friends of ours who had participated.  Seeing as we were just getting “into” wine – Colin’s parents moved into those parts and wineries are something fun to go to while we are up there – we didn’t sign up.  This year, though, we were on the ball!  We made sure we signed up to know when the registration date would be.  We made sure that one of us (Colin – I was at run clinic prior to dropping out) was home at the odd opening hour of 7pm on a Tuesday.  And we breathed a sigh of relief when we confirmed that we’d be 2 of the 600-some-odd runners/walkers.  I say it was a relief to get in because it sold out in 3 minutes!

At the end of May we packed up our bags and headed to my in-laws.  Conveniently it was my mother-in-law’s birthday the day before the race so we got to give her the “gift” of spending time with Spud the day after…  We had anticipated making a sneaky escape from the house race morning, but Spud had other plans.  He refused to go to sleep the night before unless we promised to wake him up before we left.  Of course, he was sound asleep come morning, but we knew he’d be upset if we didn’t keep our word so we got him up, settled him on the couch with cartoons (because the grandparents weren’t up yet – it was 6:20am), and said goodbye.

It was about an hour’s drive to the race and we thought we’d see a ton of wildlife on our way because it was so early, but we were disappointed.  After seeing 3 bears, a couple of deer, and a kamikaze mouse who almost bit the dust under our front tire on the way up, all we saw was a marmot sunning him/herself on the side of the road.  So, a pretty uneventful drive.

In order to get to the race start we had to board school buses and be driven about 15 minutes to the start, at Hester Creek and Gehringer Brothers (they shared a driveway).  It was quite comical to ride in a bus full of costumed adults (yes, it’s definitely that type of race!) who obviously hadn’t been on a bus in a very long time.  There was a lot of shrieking from the back when we went over bumps!

Colin and I signed up for the first of three waves, mainly to beat the heat in the early afternoon.  Temperatures that day ranged from 17C/63F at 9am to close to 27C/81F by 1pm so we really wanted to get done as early as possible.  Of course, that’s relative since we finished in just over 3 hours…  We hung out at the start and critiqued the costumes – Colin was “a runner” and I was “a runner in a sparkly skirt”.  The race started fairly on time (not that it really mattered) and we ran down the drive and onto a dirt/sand path.  Thankfully I didn’t get a shoe full of sand at any point!  I had dusty feet, but nothing blister-inducing.  I forced Colin to Colin and I decided to run together at this race since it was just for fun.  In the 3 years we’ve been running it is the very first time we have run a race together.  And, quite honestly, probably the last until next year!

Our first winery with a wine/water stop (no wine at/drunks before the start) was Inniskillin.  This was fun for a bunch of reasons:

  1. We love their wine.
  2. We got to sample white and red wine – don’t ask about types for any of the wineries as I didn’t even think to look – at 8:50am.  It’s apparently never too early…
  3. They had snacks.  Carrots, fig newtons, alphabet pretzels, and Timbits!  Really, a sommelier’s nightmare, but breakfast for us.
  4. Wine tasting wasn’t a requirement, but it was obviously encouraged.  98% of the runners went in.  The 2% who took the road past instead got booed.

Next up was Road 13.  The good part was that we got to try their Rosé wine.  The bad part was that we had to run up a hill to get it.  I walked.  Colin ran.  After that quick jaunt it was back down the hill and over to the next winery (sense a pattern here?).

Rustico Farm & Cellars was pretty fun.  After being greeted by 2 cowboys (who apparently wrangle grapes, not livestock) it was another hill.  I forced myself to run up this one just to get a hill repeat out of it (I’m training for Ragnar…).  The guy in the “Running Sucks” t-shirt gave me a good laugh.  At the top I got a sheriff badge button that would give me a discount later in the day – good marketing, that!  Had the requisite white, red, and water.  Also had the added bonus of cocktail weenies.  It’s amazing what you’ll eat on the run when finishing is the ultimate goal.

After Rustico we crossed the highway (thank goodness for traffic controllers – stop & go people – so we didn’t get smucked) and had a bit of a run til the next break.  It was along a shaded path and across the Okanagan River.  You can’t really see it in the left sign, but it says “The Drowning Machine” in reference to the weir.

Church & State was our 4th winery of the day.  It was a little bit of a climb up to it, but well worth it.  Another of our favourites.  Colin commented that he was looking for the fullest cup so the girl brought over the bottle and gave him a good half cup (think red plastic cup size…).  Goofed off a little, was thankful for the port-a-potties at each stop, and headed on.

I started to feel pretty tired at this point.  I am still breaking in my Saucony Mirage’s (they’re a 4mm drop if you’re a #runnerd) and this was my longest run to date in them.  When I stopped to walk on a very tiny incline Colin asked if I was doing okay.  I replied that I was “lazy”.  And then got an earful.  So I revised it to “my legs are fatigued…”  Back down the hill we went and along the river for a good while.  The shade was very welcome!

Silver Sage was probably my favourite stop on the route.  They had quite a few wines to choose from and it was really shady.  It was quite a busy stop!  They also had a lot of food – mini quiche, fruit, freezies, crackers, etc – which was greatly appreciated.  We were hungry by then!

After Silver Sage it was up to Stoneboat (another walking hill…) and their citrus granita.

We may or may not have had multiple servings of that!  Their part of the course was really nice since we got to run through the vineyard.  I made Colin take pictures of me for my blog – here’s my favourite:

Oliver Twist was awesome too.  Mainly because they had grapes in their wine and apple fritters to eat.  I definitely shouldn’t have had 3 pieces since I cramped up not long after, but it seemed worth it at the time!

The stretch after Oliver Twist was a little rough.  Not only did I have a food rock in my stomach, but I realized that I’d neglected to drink water at the last 2 wineries.  Oops!  Good thing refreshments were close at hand (unfortunately, though, coming right before a monster hill).  We were treated to Sangria and cucumber gazpacho by Tinhorn.  Again, not runner fare usually, but so welcome.  I made sure to drink plenty of water as well.  We ran a little bit more together until Colin told me he had itchy legs.  I guess that’s what happens when you run slower than usual.  Not that I’d know.  So he took off and horrified all the people who elected to walk up the hill.

We met up again at Desert Hills.  I had something white (Viognier? Gewurztraminer? Chardonnay? Don’t know.) and a lot more water.  Colin stayed with me this time, but we got passed by a couple dressed as a hot air balloon and anchor.  Only slightly embarrassing, but more so for Colin than me.

It was a pleasant surprise to find Nk’Mip (in-ka-meep; no, I had no idea the first time either) at the top of the hill with ice cold Reisling!

After that we only had one more stop at Quinta Ferreira before the finish.  They were at the bottom of a hill because I felt speedy running down to them!

It was nice to get back down into Oliver and know the finish line was near!  I didn’t make Colin cross the line holding hands (I should have) and we finished in just over 3 hours.  Honestly it was the slowest, most relaxed, fun race we’ve done.  After finishing we got commemorative wine glasses instead of medals (we also got a bottle of wine with each of our race packages) – with drink tickets for more tastings from wineries not on the route – and a decent bag lunch of a sandwich, salad, fruit, and dessert.  We met up with our friend Laurie to eat and to catch up.  Since it was getting pretty hot we headed our separate ways.

We got changed and hit up a few more wineries on the way home.

And went to bed at 9pm.


The Once A Week Blogger

Yeah.  So I haven’t blogged much lately.  And it’s not that things haven’t been going on.  To be honest, since I got an iPhone (very late to the plate on that one) I rarely turn on the computer.  I could blog from my phone, but I don’t love the app for WordPress so I just let it slide.  And then I realize that I haven’t posted anything in what seems like forever.  To catch up on the last little while you get treated to the ever helpful, convenient, and easy-way-out numbered list.

1.  I’m running a 10K race on Sunday.  Note that I said running it; I’m not racing it.  I’ll be thrilled if I come in anywhere around an hour.  This will be the first 10K that I’ve done in over 10 years.  I’ve slacked more than I’d like to admit since the marathon and even during training I didn’t really focus on much speed work.  However, I’m thrilled to get out to support a great cause.  You can learn more about Earth Run here and participate virtually if you don’t live in Vancouver or Kamloops, BC.  

2.  Colin and I ran the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon on Sunday and had an absolute blast!  It was the first race we’ve ever run together.  It was also the slowest race ever (3:05:–ish for 18ish km)!  And the fun part was that it didn’t matter at all.  I’ll have a race recap up eventually – no promises from a slacker – but here are some pictures to give you an idea of what it was like (click to enlarge).

We’ll definitely try to sign up next year!  Hopefully it doesn’t sell out in 3 minutes like this year!

3.  In Ragnar news our team has a name!  We had a lot of great ideas, but everyone agreed that they could live with NUUN Kids on the Block.  There’s a lot of talk about neon, scrunchies, rolled socks, and crimped hair.  Good thing I still have this kicking around:

I am thrilled to be able to let loose my 10 year old self!  If you have any ideas that would make our late ’80s/early ’90s theme even better please leave me your comments!  I have to dig out some *real* photographs at my parents’ the next time I’m there so I can see how horrific awesome my style was back then…


What Are You Doing On 3 June?

Don’t forget that Earth Run Foundation’s 5K, 10K, and Virtual Run happen on Sunday, 3 June!  It will be my first 10K race since 2001!

If you’re in Vancouver come out for an affordable race at Jericho Beach.  If you can’t make it here please join us by participating in their inaugural Virtual Run.  Register to run 5 or 10 kilometres between 1 June and 4 June.  

 

If you can’t run with us in June click here to contribute your mileage to see if we can run across the planet!  You can add your location or just your distances.  The goal is to turn the earth green!


Wordless Wednesday: Ryan Gosling

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(All images: http://heyrunnergirl.tumblr.com/ )


Finding The Best In The Worst

PW. Personal Worst. I got one on Sunday. And I’m happy about it.

This marathon was unlike either of the preceding two. I had no expectations. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Things were unplanned. Things went wrong. And, while I care, I don’t care. It was seriously one of the best races I’ve ever done.

Let me explain.

Background:

I originally signed up for the BMO Vancouver marathon in the fall (to take advantage of cheap rates, of course). I signed up for my local clinic. I had lofty goals of breaking five hours, maybe even coming in somewhere between 4:45 and 4:30. And then I went and got my heart rate tested. If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know that I was devastated. I pretty much dropped out of my clinic because I could no longer keep up. I rented myself a treadmill and focused mainly on learning to run more efficiently.

In the last two months all of my runs have been inside. I have done long runs up to 4:45, but at a pace that would constitute walking for most of you. My tempo paced runs have been few and far between. My hill training non-existent. I came to the realization that this marathon would not be any sort of goal race. Essentially I showed up on race day because I paid for it and, darn it, I was going to get that medal!

Race Day:

Colin and I got up at the ridiculous time of 5am on Sunday morning. Spud was at my parents’ house for a sleepover. Even so I think we only got about 6-1/2 hours of sleep. We had set out our things the night before because we knew we had to be out the door by ten to 6 at the latest. I ate my old race day standard (plain oatmeal) and made sure things were moving in the right direction, if you catch my drift…

Surprisingly for the family that’s always late we made it into the car on time. We had a 20 minute drive to the Skytrain and then about half an hour and two transfers on transit. Once we finally got to our destination it was about a five minute walk up to the corrals. We were there just in time to see the start of the half marathon. Those guys and girls were looking speedy only a couple of minutes in and they had a 5km downhill to start!

Prior to the race we saw a few friends who were running, both from run club and from work. It was nice to be able to share our race day jitters. Mostly Colin and I were concerned with getting our bags checked (it was point to point so they had to get on the UPS trucks) and generally sorted out. It was a good thing I had Colin put my phone in my pack because he discovered that I hadn’t put on my chest strap or GPS yet – oops! After a quick trip into the rec centre (where I swore to the ladies in line that I wasn’t budging) we were set. Colin and I said goodbye and good luck at this point since he was in a different corral. I chatted with some friends for a bit and then we were off.

The Race:

While the half marathon got to go downhill at the start of the race the full marathon got to go up.  It wasn’t huge – just steady.  Of course, I went out too fast.  Even though I had no pace/plan I knew it was too fast.  But it was such a perfect day for a race.  Taking my own advice I stopped at the very first aid station (they were every mile) for a pit stop.  Nothing dire, just too much water pre-race!  It was at the top of the hill so I knew I could “make up” time by booking it for a few blocks.  The route headed west and the rolling hills started.  Really it was average Vancouver terrain, but if you were from out of town it might have seemed like more.  There were timing mats at two major intersections where traffic had to be let through.  I got stopped for about a minute at the first one (thankfully not the second).  It wasn’t a big deal as I knew they were deducting that from my chip time.  The crowd support through this section was surprisingly good.  The neighbourhoods are more affluent than a lot of Vancouver so I wasn’t sure if people would be excited to have the race close down a major street or if they’d be all NIMBY about it.  Since I was just rolling along – and still going too fast – I made sure that I went a bit out of my way to high-five the little kids.  Really, what’s a couple of steps out of my way to make them smile?  I especially liked the Dad who was shaking one of his little girl’s toys (that we have too) since it had bells on it.

Eventually I came to the hill.  It wasn’t steep (for here), but it was long.  My feet were feeling off – 2nd toe on left foot was hurting – so I was smart and just walked the whole thing.  That’s the good thing about not having time goals – there was no pressure to haul butt up the hill!  At the top of the hill I had to stop and fiddle with my shoes.  My toe was just not shutting up.  And my quads were pretty mad too that I’d not paced myself at the start.  Fun times!  I started running again and it was a lovely shaded back street through a park.  I even saw a raccoon!  Once we came off that street we headed out to the University of British Columbia.  I was taking walk breaks often and was generally mad at my foot for hurting in a place that’s never bothered me before.  I made it to 16km/10mi before I sat down and finally dealt with my shoes.  You see, I had a feeling something might go wrong.  My shoes had a fair amount of mileage on them so I thought that the heels might go like they did at HTC.  I randomly put a pair of Dr. Scholl’s cheapy inserts in my backpack before leaving the house just in case.  Turns out it was the best decision I could have possibly made.  I took the time to put the insoles in under the ones in my shoe.  I made sure to loosen the laces so my toes had wiggle room (still re-blacked the same toe on my right foot though…).  It didn’t completely stop the pain in my toe, but helped enough to get me back on the road.  If I hadn’t had the insoles I probably would have called it a day before the half-way mark and DNF’d.

It was at this point that I picked up a running partner.  I was running alongside a girl who had just found $5 in the gutter (someone probably wondered where their bus fare went later) and we got to chatting.  I asked if she wanted to run together for a while.  It was her first marathon and she seemed up to having company at that point.  We ran together down the hill out of UBC and eventually came to the 21km mark.  This part was a little weird.  We were shifted off the road into a large parking lot, taken past an aid station, turned back to run over the timing mats, and then out the entrance we just came in.  I know they probably had to add distance to the course at some point and that it’s an odd area to put an aid station on the road (not very wide), but it was awkward.  And kind of demoralizing since forward progress was detoured…  I said goodbye to the girl I was running with at that point since my legs were so tired and I didn’t want to hold her back.  I hope she had a good second half!

I can’t say too much about the next few kilometres of the race.  It’s the same route that a summer half marathon runs along so I’d done it before.  I knew what to expect in terms of hills, etc.  I walked a lot of it.  There were a few runners I kept leap-frogging along here and a few that looked like they might want to give up soon.  I had a nice conversation with a guy on a bike.  Crowd support was sporadic, but the people that were out were still awesome and supportive.  I came to the Burrard bridge (slight incline, nothing like the hill at UBC) and walked.  I knew there would be a photographer at the end of the bridge so I made the effort to at least look like I was moving at more than a walking pace.  I ran to the next aid station out of pure vanity.  My legs hurt with every step, but only one lane was closed so there was oncoming traffic.  Someone cheered for me by name, which freaked me out a bit because I wondered if I knew them duh, name on bib remember?.  Finally I was at the turn down onto the seawall and I knew that I only had about 10km left.

The last 10km was flat and winding on the seawall around Stanley Park.  The problem was that there was always just one more corner…  It’s beautiful, though, which at points was it’s only saving grace.  I was again leap-frogging the same runners.  I chatted with a few; I asked if others were okay.  I knew that I would have no problem getting my medal since there was an 8 hour time limit.  I tried to do a jump for a photographer at one point, but only one leg lifted off the ground – my brain obviously kept the other one firmly on the ground out of self-preservation!  Even though I was moving so slowly I was thrilled when I came to the final stretch (not so thrilled that it was slightly up hill).  I knew that I was close to 6 hours (chip) and I really didn’t want to go over.  A woman came up behind me and said she’d been trying to catch me for a while.  She passed me by a few steps and then I decided that I couldn’t let her beat me.  I’m sure I looked ridiculous trying to hobble-sprint, but I did beat her as there was a very tiny downhill to the finish line.  Apparently Colin cheered for me at that point, but I didn’t hear him.  I cheered for myself with my hands up because I finished my 3rd marathon!

Once I was over the line I got my medal, had a couple of pictures taken, and grabbed my bag lunch (so NOT hungry).  The bike guy from earlier stopped by to say congratulations.  I met up with Colin and asked how he did.  While I may have ended the day with a PW I’m proud to say he finished in 3:42:11 – a 10:42 PR!!  We celebrated by going out for appies and drinks.  We recapped our races for each other and bemoaned the fact that the restaurant’s bathrooms were upstairs…

Lessons:

  • Winging a race is a stupid idea.  Had I lined up with the 5 hour pace bunny I might have been able to keep up.  If I’d fallen behind, though, I would have become very discouraged.  So it worked out well for me in the end because there was no pressure.  However, I can’t recommend it and I don’t think I’ll ever do it again (for a full – see you in 6 weeks RnR Seattle 1/2!)
  • My form has changed substantially and my Asics don’t work for me anymore.  It’s the end of an era!  I think that running in my Vibrams so much really made me more of a midfoot runner.  I think my toe problem on race day was due to me blowing out any padding the Asics had left in the forefoot.  I’m getting a pretty pair of Saucony Mirage’s tonight.
  • I’m not ready for a fall marathon.  Colin and I had a constructive grown up conversation about it and I realize that I can’t focus on heart rate based training and marathon training at the same time.  Right now it’s more important for me to get better running in zone 1 than it is to pay for and only finish another marathon.
  • I ran this race because it was paid for, it’s a gorgeous route, and I knew that I’d be able to finish regardless of time.  Simple as that.  I want the next one to blow my 5:07:18 PR out of the water.

Sometimes the race gods look down and give you a perfect race.  On Sunday they gave me the perfect worst race.


Winging It

That’s right. I have no race plan for Sunday. It feels weird and liberating at the same time.

Any other training cycle would have found me printing off pace bands and stressing about where I would be when. This time I’m just winging it. I don’t mean that I’m coming into the race totally un(der) prepared running wise. It’s just that my training has been kind of unorthodox and I have no idea what to expect. After my heart-rate test I completely changed the way I was training. The vast majority of my runs have been on a treadmill. Most of my runs have been zone 1 with only a small amount of zone 3. I haven’t done hill training – although I know spinning has made my legs stronger. I did a lot of runs in my Vibrams and now my Asics feel so different (and I will be running the marathon in them). BMO Vancouver marathon is no longer my A race for the year. To be honest if I hadn’t already paid for the entry I probably would have sat this one out.

So here I find myself, three sleeps away from race day, with no clear idea of how I’m going to tackle the route. For once I don’t have a time goal. Yes, part of me wants to PR. But I don’t think I’ll have the same huge letdown that I did last year if it doesn’t happen. In the past I’ve done run/walk of 20:1. I know I’m not up for that this year. So do I do 10:1s? 5:30s? Walk at the aid stations that are every mile? Walk when I feel like it? It’s a quandary.

It sounds blasé, but I really think that I’ll be making it up as I go along. And, oddly, that seems to suit me just fine.


Itchy Legs

I’m 6 days out from my 3rd marathon so, if you’re a runner, you know what that means!  Let Taper Madness – or, as I call them, the Taper Crazies –  begin!

1.  Sunday has finally shown up on Environment Canada’s website.  I’m not sure if I’m happy or if I’m scared.

Let me explain why.  I am slow.  I run a 5+ hour marathon.  I will be finishing my run probably right when the day is getting to be its hottest.  Last year was roughly 15 (or more) degrees C, sunny, and it was pretty uncomfortable by the end.  While I love the no rain aspect I’d really like a little more cloud, although I can hope for wind off the water during the second half.  To be honest I’d be happy if it was even a little bit drizzly.  Downpour or steady rain no.  But if there was a bit of precipitation it would be okay.

2.  I have itchy legs.  I really wanted to run today.  However, I have my runs for this week planned out since I kind of over did it Friday with the 16km Vibram run.  Add onto that the 11 hours I spent at work yesterday and I knew my body needed the rest.  It just seemed like I was doing nothing today (aside from the mound of laundry…).  I’m running tomorrow while Spud’s at playschool.  It’ll probably only be for about an hour, but it will be my first outside run in a very long time.  Should be interesting.

3.  I am losing my mind and doing exceptionally stupid things.  I know that hydrating isn’t stupid.  But it is when you try to do it on auto-pilot.  Here’s the story; feel free to laugh.  Or be disgusted.  We have two Halo 3 Slurpee cups that we use fairly regularly.  Not sure why we kept them other than they’re big.  Whenever I drink water, which admittedly isn’t as often as it should be, I’ll use one of the cups.  They’re 22oz and since they’re blue plastic I convince myself that I’m somehow not drinking water.  Anyways, they weren’t in the cupboard so I pulled one out of the dishwasher, popped in a Kona Cola Nuun, poured the water, and carried it to the bedroom to drink while I attacked the aforementioned laundry.  Since the drink is brown I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.  Unfortunately I noticed a kind of sludge on the inside of the cup when I was about 3/4 of the way through.  I thought, “that’s weird, Nuun doesn’t usually leave much residue.”  And then it hit me.  The dishwasher had not been run.  What I was drinking was Kona Cola Nuun with the reconstituted remains of Colin’s banana-pineapple smoothie from the night before.  I gagged a little, wondered if I was going to poison myself since it had dairy in it, and then thought, “meh, at least I had about 2 cups of water.”  No, I did not finish the Nuun once I realized my mistake.  That would be gross.

4.  I am starting to get paranoid about getting sick.  My allergies (along with a glass of wine) made me think that I was coming down with the plague on Saturday.  Thankfully I felt much better on Sunday.  It’s going to be a long week since I take Spud to his drop in playschool program every day…

5.  Nightmares: haven’t had any yet, but they’ve made an appearance every training cycle so far so I’m not expecting anything different this time around.

Any “Taper Crazies” I’m missing?  

Can anyone top the drink story?  Colin’s comes close: he poured a glass of milk and couldn’t figure out why it kept getting sweeter the more he drank.  Turns out he used the cup he’d already made powdered iced tea in.  Ugh.


Fabulous Friday

Despite finding out that I wouldn’t be running with these ladies in August, this week has turned out to be a decidedly glass-half-full kind of week.

1. I get to run Ragnar NW Passage in July. And when I said with Nuun, I meant with Nuun – it’s their corporate team. I’d be silly to turn down this opportunity and I’ve already been stalking the legs trying to decide which one I want!

2. I won a twitter contest! A really good one – as in, $126.20 from Oiselle. These are what I’m thinking of getting:

Arm warmers – probably in black since that matches most of what I wear.  Not exciting, but I’m not too much of a pink-loving girl and the orange ones won’t go with diddly in my running wardrobe…

Long Roga short, Stride short, or Bum Wrap – do I want to hide my thighs, suck in my bum and thighs, or hide my bum?  I’m leaning towards the Roga simply because they look like they’d transfer to regular wear more easily.  Yes, I do wear my running clothes as everyday clothes!  And, admit it, so do you!

Runbow Tee:

Thoughts or reviews on any of these? I love the Green Lake Hoodie (and it’s on sale), but it would still use up a good chunk of the amount.  Seriously, this is like being a kid in a candy store – I want one of each!!!

3. I booked my follow up appointment for my heart-rate training for June. I was originally going to re-test in July, but they offered me a substantial discount for booking in April. This way I’ll have my new numbers pretty much right at the start of fall marathon training. It meant giving up my Brooks Pure Cadence for now, but this is better for my training at this point. I know I haven’t gotten a lot faster (been slacking on the once a week zone 3 work) however, I feel like I am getting much better at staying in zone 1. Since I’ve been doing most, if not all, of my runs on a treadmill I know I’ve increased my speed for zone 1.

4. My marathon is next Sunday (6 May). I might feel woefully underprepared in terms of breaking 5 hours and getting a PR, but I know I will finish it. I’m excited to get my shirt (will be women’s specific) and medal because they’re really nice!

5. I got to go swimming with Spud yesterday. Yes, we hang out almost all day everyday, but this was part of school so he got to play with his friends.  I am totally counting this as cross-training!  Since there were more kids than parents/supervisors I had an extra child to look after.  Turned out that their favourite activity was having me hold them as I navigated our way through the lazy river.  Of course, I had to make sure the current didn’t run us into the walls so I got a decent lower body workout while holding 40lbs under each arm!  Win-win for everyone!

What made your glass half-full this week? Any good news?


Earth Run Foundation 2012 Virtual Run

I am a run ambassador for the Earth Run Foundation, which is based here in Vancouver.

The Earth Run Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization whose mandate is to bring people together and build a sustainable future.  By engaging the private and public sectors, we raise environmental awareness and fund local environmental projects. {source}

Earth Run organizes 5km/10km runs and walks to raise awareness for environmental issues.  In conjunction with the runs they also raise funds for environmental organizations and initiatives.  Each year, since 2008, they have held a Vancouver, BC, run.  This year there will be runs in Vancouver and Kamloops, BC.

New for this year is a Virtual Run! {Registration coming soon}

Like all virtual runs you get to do it on your home turf!  You might be living in Canada, the United States, or Timbuktu {which is in Mali – I looked it up!}.  As long as you sign up and get out the door you can run!

The Virtual Run is in support of UN-HABITAT, which, as an agency of the United Nations…

 …promote[s] socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. {source}

So while the local runs support local initiatives, the Virtual Run will be giving back worldwide.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up from anywhere in the world
  • Choose to run 5K or 10K
  • Create a fundraising page {donations are self-determined, therefore you can raise from $0 – sky’s the limit!}
  • Anytime between June 1-4, go for a run!
  • Log in and tell us your finish time
  • See how you stack up against other Earth Runners around the world!

I’ll be participating in the 10km run in Vancouver on 3 June.  Want to see who can run faster?!?