So, I hear you quit…

I am now home.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I have been at Walt Disney World for the last week and now that I am home I feel discombobulated. So good to see my family but so sad to leave my team.

I traveled down to Florida to support my team in their epic quests for The Dopey Challenge, to attend some DAWS Foundation meetings and events and Participate in the Donald half marathon. I did a ton of stuff I had never done before and learned new things, met new people and had an amazing time over all. I honestly can say I love my team and wish I could spend all my days with them.

It was pointed out to me that I may enjoy starting fights at the end of the vacation because it is easier to leave in anger than to say good bye. Well…sure? I didn’t do it intentionally and I much rather leave crying because I will miss everyone than crying because I am mad. But then I learned that I made THEM mad.

Interesting.

Apparently I had a secret agenda for the half marathon. I was going to walk through the Castle and then call it quits.

I don’t remember it that way.

I do remember thinking “there is no fucking way I will be able to keep pace ahead of those balloon ladies with my knee the way it is. No freaking way.”

And there is it is.

That moment of mental strength out the window. The real reason my journey ended in the medical tent. I lost it.

That morning at 2:30 AM I woke up and was not nervous. I felt good. My knee was being a jerk, I taped it up, put on compression to keep swelling down, dressed and couldn’t think what I was going to wear to keep warm. I failed to bring throw away clothes for the start. I wrapped myself in a pashmina and figured I would be fine. It was quite cool and damp, but I was doing okay. I got separated from my team, but I was okay with that. I was mentally preparing for the fight ahead. I wanted to finish for a couple of reasons:

1. I love crossing the finish line.

2. There was a huge judgy rant back at the room the day before about slow runners and moving up corals so they can finish, people who don’t even try….yadda yadda yadda….

3. I have lost my mojo this year and need it back. My confidence is gone and this feels like one be giant fail of a year. It was harder than it needed to be or I am more sensitive than I need to be. At any rate, I wanted this.

I was enjoying the solitude of the coral when my guys show up. They found me. I was both elated and devastated at the same time. I had talked to my coach and told him my reasons for needing to run alone. I never run with people and have a great run. It is stressful for me. I don’t enjoy it. I can’t get into my zone and just go. I constantly worry. I know I am holding them back, I know they could go a whole lot faster, I just think about them instead of me. The WHOLE POINT OF ME RUNNING was to focus on me. That alone was a difficult thing to do. I am not that person. I am the caretaker and learning to set aside me time was really difficult.

Stressing that they would be running with me pretty much ruined my trip. It was hard for me to relax in the days leading up to it.  I would tell them no thank you, and I would get, too bad, we are running with you.

So there was that.

After I talked to my coach, I felt relaxed. I then had it in my head that I was doing this. My race, my terms, my way. Run my OWN race, the way you are supposed to.

When we reached the start line, I hugged and kissed them all, wished them well and was ready to watch them take off at the speed of light.

But that didn’t happen

They stayed around me.

I told them to go but they didn’t and it flustered me.

I ran too fast, I ran too slow, I tried to lose them, I was all over the place and started to cry. This was the WORST RACE EVER! I was in Walt Disney World! This was supposed to be AWESOME.

The worst of it is, they meant well. They were there to support me and I tried everything to get rid of them.

Coach came up to me and I told him how angry I was at them. He said he would make them leave at the first mile marker.

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It took 5km for me to calm down but I never found my stride.

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By Mile 5 my knee had swelled so much I had lost mobility and need to walk for longer stretches. I wasn’t having fun, I had no business being in this race and I wanted to just sit and cry. As I walked into Magic Kingdom, it hit me. I was doing what I had long dreamed about! I got my shit together and kept movingI was going to finish this freaking race. I stopped to take a selfie in front of the castle.

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Keep moving forward was my mantra.

Passed Buzz Light year, the weird happy guy from Tangled, a bear from Country Bear Jamboree and was able to really focus on the awesomeness of the course through Magic Kingdom. I checked my garmin and my pace was slowing. I had fallen behind pace by 3 minutes. I tried to step it up.

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I left back stage and made it past Mary Poppins and Bert on the left and the gold course was on my right. I was just over half way.

A big bus pulled in front and boom….. done.

The Grim Sweepers won and I sat on the cry baby bus with all the other crying/injured/slow runners/walkers. Worst feeling ever.

Almost.

I get to medical, they wrap me up, ice my knee, wrap me in a blanket and off to go look for my team. I have no idea where they are, I’m not getting text service, I am lost and defeated.

Coach calls and asks where I am because they were had already started to leave without me.

Ouch.

All mad at me for quitting.

It was that moment where I wished I hadn’t come. I wished I wasn’t me and I wished for someone to take the knife out of my knee.

I sat in a ice bath and cried. I felt lonely, disappointed and lost. I became that fat girl who couldn’t do anything again. Who wanted to fit in and just didn’t. Who wanted people to understand but couldn’t.

I was so ready to go home.

WORST DAY EVER.

So there we are. 2014 is done, this race is DONE. Soon the crying will be DONE.

Knee will get better and I will begin again….from scratch.

I can’t go back there until I am different. That may take a while, but I am working on it.

When I do… I will own it.

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Defining Edmonton #50thingsyeg

The Edmonton Journal as a feature running until July 10 called Tell us what makes the city tick with 50 Things That Define Edmonton. The Summer of 2010 is when I became the Edmonton Tourist. I chose to live my life like I do when I am on vacation, take risks and explore my surroundings. Part of that included being a tourist in ETown.

I grew up with parents and a grandma who knew the importance of exploring your surroundings. From an educational and child development standpoint, exploring my surroundings increased my vocabulary, taught me about my City’s history and gave me a solid sense of family. I grew up learning that families do stuff together. Over the years we visited the Zoo, Fort Edmonton, Muttart Conservatory, the Royal Museum and Art gallery and went to shows and concerts at the Citadel, The Jubilee, Rexall (coliseum), and Commonwealth Stadium. I’ve curtsied to Royalty, hugged hockey players, conversed with artists, and chatted with fellow citizens. I think this makes me more than qualified to contribute to the 50 things that Define Edmonton.

But you guys know me so well, I won’t make a list of 50 things – just the 11 things that define Edmonton for me.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Things that Define Edmonton

  1. The Edmonton River Valley: I have always love the valley. My family picnics there every Friday night and we utilize the park system on a regular basis. Since I have become a runner, I now want to move closer to the valley. Every season there is something spectacular about it. I love running through it 5 times a week. There are trails I have never explored and some that are my favorite. It is the only place I know of where you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and yet you are downtown. End to end it is has more square feet than Central Park. Yet it is made up of hundreds of parks honoring great Edmontonians and Canadians. This is hands down, the number one thing that defines Edmonton.
  2. Volunteers: Every city brags about it’s citizens. True Story. But Edmonton has a community of volunteers that just come out of the woodwork to support events. It is nearly impossible to get a volunteer spot at the Edmonton folk Fest. When major sporting events come to town like the World Track and Field games, the Masters or the World Triathlon, volunteers put their hands up and say “I’d love to help!” Sure there are events where they just can’t get enough volunteers, but I think that has more to do with marketing than people not wanting to help. Edmontonians give back on a regular basis. True Story.
  3. Festivals: I’ll be honest, not every festival in Edmonton to fantastic. I have been to all of them – except any new ones that will pop up this summer. Some are duds. However, there are some festivals that are out of this world AMAZING and people (like me) plan their summer around them! Well, I plan around The Fringe Festival and the Canadian Derby Marathon. Marathon Weekend use to be Edmonton Festival Marathon, but now it’s name has change. The Fringe is a the largest Fringe Festival in North America and second largest in the world (Edinburgh is first). I can been seen DAILY down at the Fringe. As for the Derby Marathon Weekend? I am running on Saturday (5k) with my ChatterBox and on Sunday (21.1k) with a plethora of people – some friends and some strangers but we are all part of the running community!
  4. Hockey: I know not everyone is a fan (What???) but those who aren’t true fans are bandwagoners. True Story. When I say Hockey, I don’t just mean the Oilers, there are the Oil Kings, Minors, street hockey, pond hockey – you name it. It is all year, every day. The NHL lock out was hard on me, but there was enough of the other stuff to keep me happy. Edmonton has some pretty cool hockey memorabilia, like the giant Stanley Cup (engraved and everything!), Wayne Gretzky Drive (Cap freeway), Mark Messier Trail and the new arena controversy that keeps saying they are done but are they really? I think not. In fact, the papers are all full of the 25th Anniversary that Waynederful was traded to the L.A. Kings. And we have never been the same since. We have a new coach, but I am just going to keep hoping for a playoff spot and pray we don’t become Toronto (45 years since the last cup).
  5. Patio Seating: Weird right? Well, in Edmonton we have THE WORST weather. I am sick of rain and cold and before that I was sick of cold and snow, hopefully I will get sick of dry and hot. We don’t get much time to sit outside on patios drinking beverages with friends. So when we do, on a long summer evening, we try to maximize it. My favorite patio is one that has padded chairs because I will be there awhile. Those bistro chairs aren’t as comfy. Yes you will find Patio Heaters because in the fall and early spring it is cold but we just don’t want to admit that winter is around. All hail the PATIO!
  6. Construction: Before there was a guy named Mayor Mandel, we had a dude who wouldn’t spend money on infrastructure and we are paying the price now. But when it is done, we will finally have roads that can move the population around. Meanwhile, I cannot remember a time when potholes didn’t need filling, bridges are being built and road closures make summer driving hot and long. Which is why I am trying to be a long distance runner, it will be faster to run downtown than drive.
  7. Gardens: We don’t have Butchart Gardens, but since the season is so short, there are an awful lot of flowers in people’s yards. We can squeeze 4- 4.5 months of gardening in before the frost destroys everything. People go big with their gardens and I am one of them! I have huge patio containers in the back and planted beds in the front. I like flowering trees and running lately is a fragrant paradise! May Day trees and Lilacs fill the river valley. Beautiful!
  8. Golf: I don’t golf but I know by just living in Edmonton that lots of people do. There appears to be a golf course for every 5 citizens. They are pretty – maybe one day I will be a golfer. However, it just doesn’t make sense to me. There should be a goalie, THEN it would be a sport….whatever.
  9. Parks: Edmonton Parks are spectacular. The city does a great job keeping them sparkly and clean. The river valley does have great parks but they aren’t the only ones in town!
  10. Ponds: Actually they are reservoirs. They were created to assist the rain overflow to prevent basement overflow. And the result is fantastic wildlife pockets around the city. Geese, Herons, Ducks, and Bald Eagles can be spotted at some of these places. They are lovely spots of tranquillity splattered all over the city. And in the winter? Shiny or just skating happens. Skating on a frozen pond is a Canadian rite of passage. If you have never done it, embrace your heritage and do it!
  11. Recycle: Odd I know, but Edmonton is a world leader in Recycling. I notice it when I travel. We recycle everything and other cities barely recycle paper. Shocking. So happy we are doing our part.

There you have it, my personal opinion of what defines Edmonton. What would you choose?

Been there, done that and got a t-shirt and medal to prove it

Good News! I ran a personal best in Calgary! And can I just say, Calgary knows how to put on a party. They are really good at it. I knew this from their Stampeders coming up to Edmonton for various events and putting on a pancake breakfast. These people take food, music and fun to a whole new level. Not only that, but their Calgary Race Marathon organizers shame Edmonton by a mile. The City knew there was a marathon and came out to cheer in a big way – big for Canada. When the half the city is running, and the other half is cheering it sounds like a massive people event, but the population is small compared to the Marathon Majors like Boston, London, New York, Berlin, Tokyo and Chicago. But still! I didn’t run very far without a band/DJ/people cheering me on. The best part was running past a group of preschool dancers dressed as butterflies showing me their moves and suggesting I give it try. HA! Oh honey, I couldn’t do that when I was your age, please don’t ask me an hour into running to do that. But I shook what my mama gave me, high fived them and kept going.

Only in Canada when the Temperature is 8C is there a guy on the course with sponges trying to soak you. You see the sun was out and therefore that equals summer. So if the sun is shining that and it is almost June, that means WATER FIGHT! I was drenched. BUT, it was fun.

That was the biggest thing I took away from this race – it was fun.

If you wish to read about my race and more about the Calgary Marathon Weekend, please visit my running and health blog Just Me and Mo by clicking HERE.

Saturday Morning My Boy and I went to pick up Dadeo at his home – 2 blocks from mine. From there we drove in the pouring rain to Calgary – 3 hours away. My Dad is a pretty funny guy – especially when he plays the Cranky Grandpa. He was logically complaining about things in such a way that we laughed a whole lot this weekend. I did learn that if it wasn’t for my mom, I would have grown up in Wales. Why you ask? Well, on a vacation my mom had a nap in the Caravan. She left dad with instructions to stay on the road we were on until we got to London – we needed to catch a flight home. Mom slept and dad drove to Wales. He just randomly follows people thinking they know where they are going. True – they do know where they are going but it is rarely where WE NEEDED to go.

Dad freely admitted that a map to him is a bunch of squiggly lines that mean nothing. So when I printed off the instructions for the boy to navigate to Stampede Park, we arrived exactly where we expected to. Dad was amazed. From there I just drove without mapping assistance. I studied the map before I left and knew where I needed to be, so I drove there. This also amazed him. It was nice for Dad to just sit back and relax while I drove and he didn’t have to worry about anything. However, I must admit, I was tired driving home 3 hours after running for 1:47:01 hours. I felt good but I was stiff. That sucked. I am thinking about Running the Calgary 50th Marathon Anniversary next year (half marathon 21.1km) because if their regular party is awesome, I can only imagine what their milestone party will be like!

This weekend was a celebration of my dad’s 65 birthday and me running in my first official race. I achieved my personal best, although I need to work on refueling and running at the same time. I just can’t. I am not coordinated enough. Or perhaps it has to do with the Grandma’s and moms in my life who constantly reinforced “DO NOT RUN WHILE YOU ARE EATING!! YOU WILL CHOKE!” So consequently, I have to slow WAY down to get gel and water into me. I also can’t bring myself to throw the paper cups on the ground. Sure  I know there are volunteers who sweep them up. But to it is WRONG to just litter like that, I just can’t do it! So I stop and work my way to the trash can. This is my downfall. It was these moments that slowed my pace from an 10:15 – 10:30 pace WAY down to 11:40 – full stop. I am pretty sure I am not competitive enough to throw garbage on the ground or have my mom worried about me choking while I run and eat so…I guess I need to step up the regular pace so my refuel pace can stay slow.

After the race when I was running into the shoot, fist pumped my way over the finish line and received my medal, I heard my ChatterBox’s voice calling me. I thought it was weird and must not be her because she was in Edmonton with her dad. But I was in the shock of my life when I saw her at the finish area! My Trusty Steed and her got up at 4 to drive to the finish line and surprised me with this:

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It is 30″ long. I have 3 medals. Good thing I am a medal whore because I need to get out there and earn more so I can fill this puppy up! I am not sure where to hang it. It is WAY bigger than I figure it would be so the space I had allocated for a medal hanger won’t work. It meant a lot to me for my family to be there at the finish line. It was a great day.

On the way home my dad said to me he was officially retiring from racing, but when I turn 65 I have to promise to run at least a 10k on my birthday.

Absolutely Dadeo, but only if you are at the finish line.

My new plans are Astronaut inspired

Astronaut Chris A. Hadfield Mission Specialist...
Astronaut Chris A. Hadfield Mission Specialist Canadian Space Agency (CSA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am a huge fan of Col Chris Hadfield. I talk about him before. There something so amazing to me about being able to chat with an astronaut in space! That is something I never thought I would be able to do, yet Saturday on Reddit, it happened. Well, none of my questions were answered but I had a chance to read what was going on and became a bigger geeky fan than I already was.

 

At one point during the chat time Col. Hadfield wrote this:

 

ColChrisHadfield[S] 40 minutes ago
Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.

 

That was a very profound statement. Two years ago, I did just that. I got off my butt, turned off the TV and went back to University so I could grow up without regrets. I changed my lifestyle habits and now am a runner. I am pretty sure I won’t go to space but I do know there aren’t any goals out there that are not achievable  It just may take longer to attain than reaching other goals. I realized age has nothing to do with goal setting and achieving, the only thing you need is a time line.

 

Sitting there saying “one I day I would like….” is not the same as, “I am going to do this, and these are the steps I need to get there.” One is about wishes and one is about action. Wishes are lovely but don’t come true without hard work and sweat. I don’t want to hear people telling me I am lucky – luck had nothing to do with my life. Hard work got me here.

 

The problem with goal setting is plans and time-lines can get big huge speed bumps in the middle.

 

One of my major goals this year was to run the 10k in Edmonton the day after my birthday with my dad. Well, apparently he is going to be a little busy that day. His daughter is planning on a big wedding or something fancy that day and he will be busy – I likely will be busy too seeing she is my sister and all. THAT was a big wrench in my plans. The old me (pre-Edmonton Tourist Project Days) Would just cancel the plan. The new me started searching for a new 10k to run. I realized running in Edmonton wasn’t the big deal, running the 10k was. And it couldn’t be ANY 10k because truth be told, I am a medal whore. I need bling. I want one of these for my birthday:

 

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I love shoes and I love medals, so my quest to have both has now begun.

 

Calgary, which is 3 hours south of me, is having their big marathon weekend May 26th. That is my Dad’s 65th birthday. I asked him if he wanted to run it with me. He asked me if there is a t-shirt – YES. That is all he cares about, a T-shirt, better yet – a TECH shirt! This race has a medal, so it’s a win for him and a win for me! YAY! My dream of running a 10k with my dad will happen this year and on HIS birthday!

 

Then I was thinking, if I am running a 10k 3 months ahead of schedule, then why couldn’t I run the Edmonton Intact Half Marathon in August? No reason I couldn’t, the worst case scenario is if I can’t run the whole thing, I can walk the rest. I’ve walked it with a stress fracture, so I think this year would be faster with lots of running thrown in. I plan to run 10 and 1s. Doable. I have gone to feeling sad and a little disappointed to super excited because I now have a plan.

 

Just like Col Hadfield said,

 

You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be…

 

That is true, this was not part of the plan, but the goal hasn’t changed. Just the steps needed to achieve the goal.

 

I am feeling great about this new plan!

 

2013 is close, time to get cracking on setting some new goals!

December 29th and I am reading my last book of my 50 book goal this year. It feels good to know I finished out a goal I’ve set. My other goal, to run a 5k race didn’t pan out as planned. Recovery took the wind out of my sails. I am not a resolution maker, I am a goal setter. To me there is a tremendous difference. When I began the Edmonton Tourist Journey in the Summer of 2010, I had no idea where it would lead me. Learning to set goals has been life changing. Continuing in the tradition of the Edmonton Tourist, new goals need to be set of this upcoming year.

Resolution or resolve means to me thy will be done. In other words, I said I’d do therefore it should be and will be done. Where as goal setting is a bit different. To me it is something to work towards. To set a goal with the hopes of achieving it, plans have to be made.

My #1 goal for 2012 is to run in the Intact 10k and grab myself a medal. I can’t just run that the day of without training. I need to map out my fitness strategy and work towards that goal. Writing it down is a huge part of it as are the steps involved to achieve it. Improving my fitness level is part of that and I want to be FAST. Knowing that, I will be slow at first means big plans have to happen.

Step 1: continue on my weight-loss journey. I started this road back in January 2011, with the ups and downs I’ve had, I am proud to say I have managed to keep all the weight off I have lost so far and am committed to losing more. I don’t look at it as dieting but as a lifestyle change. It has become mostly habit with some minor indulgences. My new dietitian is brutal, kind and supportive. If I follow her advice, there is no doubt in my mind I can be another 40lbs lighter for the 10k race. That to me is fantabulous!

Step 2: Plan out my running schedule. I have a couple of on-line coaches. They give me advice and support my slowness due to injury. The plan is to run a 3 day schedule with a 2 day cross train, building up to 5k. This is so doable. I was there, then I needed to stop. I’ve been back out on the trails recently to see how my fitness level is. Well, it’s better than I hoped but it will still require some regressive steps to regain what I lost. For the record, illness sucks. Tomorrow I hit the trails for Day 2 of my 6 week plan.

Step 3: Run a 5k race. Running the race means I will be comfortable at a 5k pace long before I run the actual race. The plan is to be at a comfortable 7 0r 8 km distance by then so 5 km will feel easier to me. The race has been chosen by my Book Club Compadres, 2 are planning to run it with me and the others want to walk it. Color Me Rad happens in Calgary this year in July. We will make a weekend out of it that includes more fun than the race, but the race looks like more fun than I have had running EVER…and I like running!Color Me Rad

Step 4: Run the Intact 10k on marathon weekend.

Along the way I will need new running shoes as my Adidas wear out. My course load for University will finally end and all that will be needed is to fit in a practicum. This will bring to an end of a long term goal I set back in 2010. It feels good to set a goal that long ago and have it nearly completed! I will need to set up some goals for the fall as well. Nothing is worse than completing a major goal and have nothing to shoot for at the end of it. So The plan is to begin training for a half marathon – run it this time. Walking takes me too long. Running a half marathon will happen 2014, so that is a ways off, but I need to have it in my mind for visualization purposes. Because THAT’S how I roll!

So tell me…what goals are you thinking about and how will you achieve them?

Ode to AbronxTurtle: The 59th Street Mount Sonofabitchs song, or Not Feeling so Groovy.

Today my friend abronxturtle ran his 12th marathon in a year in an effort to raise money for the Dream Team. A group of runners who raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. He posted this on his facebook page:577801_4993828286128_1137167856_n

22 in. And here’s Mount Sonofabitch. 59th street bridge. – J. Kolinsky

What is remarkable to me is not that fact that he ran well over 314.4 miles this year. It was way more than that this year because he trained, ran half marathons, 5 and 10ks, and did numerous fun runs. I am not amazed that he ran 3 marathons ALONE without help, support, fan cheering or anyone to meet him at the finish line (okay, that’s a lie I am COMPLETELY AMAZED!). What is remarkable to me is he just decided to to this incredible task and so he did it.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions and peter out around January 2. They lose momentum. Joe didn’t. He kept going. During these past 12 races he lost a tooth, sprained an ankle, ran with the Elvis’, defeated by Hurricane Sandy, ran hills like a roller coaster, bled, was bruised and batter, yet he still did it. He ran all those marathons just like he said he would. He never quit and if anyone had the right to it was him. He kept going because he told his daughter he would and he doesn’t like to let her down.

I have learned a lot from him over the years I have known him. I have learned from his mistakes and his success.

So Joe, now that you have ran 12 marathons in 12 months, what are you going to do? Oh right…going to Walt Disney World to run the Goofy. Congratulations my friend, you deserve a vacation in Walt Disney World, a medal and all the best.

You deserve to feel groovy.

Mindful Running


I crawled into bed last night and my muscles complained. I am starting to feel like I am 100.

I am not 100, I am 45. I cannot remember a time in recent memory (since I started this mo journey Jan,’11) that some muscle wasn’t upset about something I did. Secretly, I really like this feeling. I like when my belly aches from planks or swimming, I like when my legs burn from running. I like how tired I am at night.

At some point this week I reached the half way point of the C25k training program. So yesterday I ran the very first route I did  day one. I am not the person who will run the same route day in and day out. I need to switch it up. I do this for a couple of reason.

  1. Because running the same route is too boring for words. I am not running with music because I like to get out of my head, be mindful of what I am doing and I use it as a meditation. I have spent far too much of my life imagining and daydreaming about something else, this has been a fantastic experience of learning to run and I have not missed one painful, dreadful, wonderful moment. I need variety, different things to look at and new experiences. Apparently new experiences makes you smarter and Lord knows I could benefit from being smarter.
  2. Switching up the camber is a injury preventive strategy. My knee has reached the point where I do not even think about it when I run. I do not need to create a new injury in the process. Even when I run the same route for a week, I will head out in alternate directions for each run. Meaning I run a loop. One day I start on the right and go west, the the next day I run left and go east. I think this has really helped because I cannot avoid hills this way. Sure I want to, but I get to it eventually.

So, I reached the mid-way point of my training. I ran the original path I did on my first day. The first day of the C25k was 45 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes with 5 minutes on either end of walking to warm up and cool down. Between you and me, this was hard. I had the stamina and conditioning from swimming but the muscles were different. I was really concerned about running for 20 minutes because that day was going to happen soonish. I am a goal nazi. I have crazy intense focus when I set a goal. So even when I didn’t feel up to running, I did it anyway. I have set my 5k race goal for the first week of December. I gave myself lots of time because I want to have lots of practice and conditioning for my first 5k race. I want to feel like it isn’t hard. I also knew I needed time just in case my knee complained mightily. So here I am half way.

Yesterday I re-ran my first path. I live on the prairies and in the burbs. I love the big sky. My neighborhood, which is great for my kids, is DULL as dishwater for running enthusiasts. There is a running trail/dogrun/power-line corridor the flows north to south behind the local school. It takes you into the creek and up over the bank to the other burbish neighborhoods. I ran this.

I did it at first because it was asphalt, and that is better than concrete for my joints. If I am honest, it is also because there is no traffic and no one could see me. The first day I ran/walked less than a kilometer. I didn’t quite make it to pass the walkway to Kitlitz park. The first couple of weeks I didn’t get very far. Even the 5 minute warm up wasn’t that far from my house. I never quite made it into the park and had to start running on the road when my beeper went off.

Yesterday I did the same route. This time my warm up got me into the park and near the bottom of the incline to join the main path. I ran south for 5 minutes walked one then ran 8 minutes. I more than tripled my distance for the “out” portion. The sun was hot for September and I was running at 5:00pm heat peak. Keep in mind this is EDMONTON so the air was cool-ish but the sun was intense. I loved the long shadows that provided shade. This time of day tons of women were out. This struck me because in the morning I only see men run. Never any women. Apparently us girls are too busy getting families ready to start the day and wait until after work to run or walk the pooches. I also was keenly aware of the smell of fall. The leaves are turning and there is a distinct smell that goes with that. I had a friend who thought it smelled of gym socks, but rotting leaves is a warm musty smell that I love. I saw berries on the path and a middle aged dude sitting in the shade talking on the phone. I assumed it was a secret clandestined phone call. I had long passed my original turn around point and forgot to take note of it, but soon I was reaching the crest of the hill that would lead me down into the creek. At the top of the crest, I remembered the gravel turn off that I used to get extra miles in when I was training for the half marathon when I walked. I then looked to my left and saw the flood waters had subsided from the spring when I came through here and had to walk through 4 inches of water and soaked my shoes. The downhill portion was laid out in front of me and I checked my timer, I was only 2 minutes into my 8 minute run. WOW! I knew I was getting faster. The midway point of the hill brought me to the crosswalk. I scanned the road ready to pause my timer in case I had to wait for traffic. No such luck. I had to keep running because the road was free from traffic. I ran across the sidewalk and onto the cross walk. I was immediately struck by the resistance of the concrete. I didn’t suspect I would notice it, but it was noticeably harder.

Once I crossed the road, I was trying to decided should I turn right and follow the creek or just run over the bridge at the bottom of the path. The hill was getting steeper and i knew I would have to run back up. Just before I reached the point where I would need to decide, my running app voice said “half way”. I replied out loud, “OKAY!” and I pulled a U-ie on the path and started to make my way up the steep hill. A gal who was running behind me, one of those gazelles with a beautiful stride (ONE DAY THAT WILL BE ME!) smiles and said “GREAT JOB!” Thanks running gazelle! I looked at my timer and it was 3:55 into my 8 minute run. So up I climbed and scanned the road once again for traffic. This hill nonsense is stupid and I felt the burn of my calves and my heels and ankles swore at me a bit. Too bad so sad and I kept climbing. I was counting out power-lines and figured the 3rd set should be about right for stopping. I set my sights on the third set and then changed my focus once again. I was thinking about that cute pup who didn’t listen and wanted to keep playing. I looked at the blue sky and thought about how beautiful it is in the fall but not as beautiful as a winter sky. Then I was checking out the berries on the bushes and thought there wasn’t very many. Maybe it will be a mild winter! WOHOO! I then realized I was running past the third tower of my count off. WOW! I am faster! I checked my phone and I has another 42 seconds to go. So I ran.

By the time the beep went off and running app voice said “Walk”, I was nearly at the point of my very first turnaround on my very first day. I walked the 2 minutes and then was told to run again. I had 5 minutes left. I ran all the way to the walkway the would lead me home. I needed a 5 minute cool down still. I walked along my street home. By the time I reached my front porch running app voice said “workout complete”. Never had I gone this far or completed so close to home. I was pretty proud and happy. I stopped on my porch to stretch out. The running stretches I have read about and remember from my basketball days are good for a start, but I always finish up with some yoga poses. Those feel heavenly.

I looked ahead to my next running plan on my app and saw it was run 8 walk 1 run 10. That is for Sunday’s long run. It’s not really a long run. Last year my Sundays were filled with walks that were about 14-18kms, so this doesn’t seem like a big deal in terms of distance. But muscle endurance is a different thing. I then thought about my plan for running my first half marathon. It might sound odd that I have a plan for a half when I haven’t even run a 5km yet, but I am a planner. I plan to run 10 and 1s. Run 10 minutes walk 1 minute. I also told myself that there is no shame in walking if I have to.

My plan this year will get me to become a comfortable runner for a 10km. I will then become comfortable at running a regular 10k. Then the distance training will begin. It’s hard not to get ahead of myself. But I can clearly see the 1/2 marathon medal being place around my neck. I will earn it because I will have ran it in less time than I walked the original one.

I can’t WAIT! Roll on Sunday, I need to feel what a 10 minute run feels like because it is all part of my plan.

 

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Running Swag is Where it’s At!

Speedy Gonzales
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t speak Spanish, I am afraid of mice, BUT I might be related to Speedy Gonzales. I wish…

Last May I started training for the Edmonton Intact Marathon in August 2011. I completed that goal with less than stellar results, but I COMPLETED it. I started training for the Calgary Scotia Bank Marathon May 27th, 2012 because I have something to build on. My pace last May was roughly 14min/km. ZOINKS! Today was my 2 week of training. I started at 10min/km which thrilled me. I could look at how far I have come. Today it was 8.66min/km. Unreal, that isn’t even running. I thought I had slowed my pace because I wasn’t even puffing.

How did I do this? Well I shall tell you me secret….

I bought running swag

Shocking, I know! It has nothing to do with being hydrated, or eating right or getting enough sleep because I am doing NONE of that! In fact, that makes me laugh!  HA! <——–  see? Well, maybe I am unconsciously and maybe it has become habit now. Maybe now I realize food is fuel not therapy, but I am not paying much attention to that. I owe all my success to Running Swag.

Let me tell you how it came about so YOU can have success too!

  1. First of all, I run walk on an indoor track. 9 laps=1km no I don’t get dizzy but I do go into a hypnotic trance. I has spending all my time and energy counting stupid laps.  Today I bought a Tally Counter. It isn’t as awesome as it sounds because it is ginormous. But it works and that is enough for me! I tested it out on 3km today. I forgot to click it twice and remembered when I got to the window rather than the start/finish line of the oval. That’s okay, it’s not like it was for a timed lap or anything, it is just keeping track of how many times I pass around.
  2. Did you know that running socks are special? I didn’t either until I started with this shenanigans. They are designed to reduce wick moisture away to prevent blisters. As well as other stuff that i don’t care about. I don’t want blisters OR burning feet…. that isn’t fun because that is ALL you can think about. Well, I had these fabulous CoolMax socks from the RunningRoom. There was a Left sock and a Right sock – I kid you not. Who knew? The why of it has something to do with the arch support padding yadadadad… I wasn’t listening when they told me. I just didn’t want blisters. Those socks from last year (all 3 pairs) now are only good for pedicures (yes there are holes in the toes). So I pulled out the socks I got in my swag bag from the marathon. I ran crawled for Kids Sport and these were a thank you from that organization. Well, let me tell you something. THESE SOCKS KICK ASPHAULT! I need to find more and pronto! So I lied, I can speak un poco de español. Yes there is a Left and a Right but this is to show off the ugliness of the Black, Yellow and White to it’s full potential…. I know, I know…you are jealous, I can tell.
  3. I don’t wear shorts….you’re welcome. But walking in jeans is just not okay. I was working out in my yoga pants but those just weren’t cutting it. I was in Winners one day noticing I could shop in regular ladies wear – I KNOW! YAY ME! I found a pair of Nike DriFit pants that fit. Again… I KNOW! I TOO AM EXCITED! I now am thinking about getting capris of the Dri-Fit nature and wearing girl shirts. My tech shirts are mens and it just doesn’t fit right in the girl area…. I am sure once I get these items I will be moving EVEN FASTER!
  4. The other bit of swag I now use is a glass water bottle. Yes it is heavy, but at the track I don’t have to carry it. I hate the taste of plastic water and I am eco concious…or try to be. I am trying to make my body use to the fact that I can go at least 3km without water. THEN drink. Why? I don’t want to carry a a water belt for the race. We shall see. I have heard horror stories about water stations running out of water…that’s not good. OR worse – cups. I will think about it. Calgary is rated one of the top 12 races in North America (of course when you are in the top 12, you are likely 12th).
  5. I have a broken window on my iphone. The screen isn’t cracked but there is a largish piece missing out of the top right hand corner. I use it to listen to music which makes me fast! In the olden days (last year) I used the girl cleavage to hold the phone…if youve got ’em use ’em! The sweat moisture will kill the phone, so I bought an armband. I am SURE this is the reason for my fastness.

There is my swag list that promises lightening speed! Here is my want list so I can break some course records.

  1. I currently have super ugly hot pink and black Nike air. I love them. Sadly they are over loved and only have a few more miles left on them. I am happy to announce this years style is not hot pink! it is purple…hmmm not much better, but it is better. I know for a FACT new shoes help me walk faster. It is like having springs on your feet.
  2. I want a Nike+ Fuelband…. I don’t really know all the stuff it does but it is a gadget and I am all about gadgets! Besides, it might make me FASTER!
  3. iPhone 4GS I have a 3G no S There are NO LONGER RUNNING APPS THAT WORK with this old phone. I have do things the old fashion way…look at the clock.
  4. A headband.   HA! <————– see I laughed again. There is no way I would wear a head band. Although at camp I often sported a bandana on my head due to bed-head and bad hair. However, now that I have flair and panache HA! <————- again I laugh… I think I should sport an Axl Rose-esq head band – NOT Mike Reno type if you are wondering.

I am pretty sure these items will make me SUPER FAST. Yes it will…quit arguing with me.

Ego, Oracles and Stupidity

This has been the LONGEST WEEK EVER! The standard issue 7 days did not happen. How do I know? I was talking to a gal about a scenario that happened last week. I was told it didn’t happen LAST WEEK it happened Tuesday. Oh… What the… How come this week lasted two weeks? Lets have a closer look shall we?

First of all, I live in a freezer. It takes twice as long to do anything when it is freaking cold – and by cold I mean my nostrils froze shut this week. Winchills in excess of -45C That means busses didn’t run. That means students didn’t come to school except maybe 2 or 3 of them. That means there are MORE adults in the room than children. That means it’s hard to stay motivated. That means lots of cleaning and sorting happens. That means…whatever. Suffice it to say, it is Friday night and I heart Fridays.

Then when all was rosie, Ego came for a visit and kicked me in the stomach, not once, but TWICE. Oh Ego…. I do not heart you. I had two excellent learning lessons this week…feel like crap… want to run away and hide from the pain of it. However, I must “suck it up Buttercup”. Face my wrong doings. Apologize. Realize I am too big for my britches. Then FIX IT. Ug… the worst. This was the Edmonton Tourist’s FB Page status this morning

‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot
change; the courage to change the one I can; And the wisdom to
know that person is me.’

Just when I thought things were awesome the universe kicks ego in the head and says smarten up dirt bag. Humility is a humbling thing.

THEN I was minding my own business  – building 3 different puzzles with 3 different students (upside down because I am awesome like that….there goes Ego again) When a colleague comes up to me and says she  needs motivation so lets do a half marathon together. Huh? I’m good with the motivation thanks ( BIG FAT LIAR) Cold weather sucks the motivation out of me…activity wise. Food wise I am still doing it! I hope to meet my goal of 50lbs this year. If I train for the half in Calgary, then do the one in Edmonton in August, I will be WELL on my way to 50lbs down just from hours of exercise. Although you don’t lose weight from 30 minutes of daily activity, it does help with all sorts of other things that are associated with weight loss. When training for a half marathon I was working out for 90 mins or more a day. This is where your body will start burning body fat….that’s what I want it to do. So after thinking about it for about 11 seconds, I said sure! May 27, Calgary Alberta, see you at the finish line. I will be the one sporting the belt buckle odd looking cowboy esq medal. My sister says I should just wear a garbage can lid if I want a big belt buckle Calgary style (you should know there is a huge smack fest between Calgary and Edmonton – none of it means anything….or does it?). I’m all about the goal. I see the finish line in my head and I am all over it. This is what I need to light that fire I need. Stupid? Probably. Doable? Absolutely!

THEN – I hear the universe talking to me again through a Rootbeer Bottle. Some people see Elvis in fruit, others see Jesus in their toast, I have an oracle in my Jones bottlecap. True Story. Okay… ACTUALLY, I bought the bottle for GeneticOffspring. He opened it and inside said

Adopt a Pet

We all know I am a big believer is signs. This one has actual words like a REAL sign. I think I will wait for the Universe to bring me the dog/puppy/small/medium sized canine. Then I will adopt it if it is meant for me. The other bottle cap – ChatterBox’s – said “You will be successful in your work” If I apply the same logic as I did for the pet lid, then this one is meant for me too. All I can say is “universe, after the ego kicking you did to me this week I hope so, today I have doubts.” I doubt it because I have that sick ego smashed feeling in the pit of my stomach. I will recover. However, it feels icky still. I did get my ducks in a row in regards to my university project, so that’s a step in the right direction.

Winning the Stars Air Ambulance Lottery is looking pretty sweet right now as a viable option for helping me to run away. Winning it means I could just go to school and not work. THAT would be sweet! I would be done asap. Then get a summer job at Tiffany & Co. because who doesn’t want to work surrounded by sparkly things?

Or….kick ego to the curb and get back to reality planning my puppy’s future.

I heart Fridays people!