31 December 2010

A Running Year In Review - 2010

Had you asked me in April when I started blogging if I thought that I'd have enough to write about at year end I'm not sure that my answer would have been yes.  I probably would have told you that I ran a couple of races and that was about it.  But last night I was drafting this post and found that a lot more happened to me than I realized.
  • I completed my first half marathon, the Historic Half Marathon in Langley, BC,  on 21 February.  It was cold, but clear.  Hilly, but not too much of a challenge - if you can pre-run the route, do it! What a huge difference it makes.  I finished in  2:16:58.6.  Considering I went into it wanting to finish and hoping for a 2:30:00 I was thrilled!
  • I completed my second half marathon, the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on 27 June.  Hip Hip Hooray I got a PR!  2:11:38.  And that was despite some dire TMI circumstances.  I probably could have broken 2:10:00, but it wasn't to be that day.  Maybe in 2011.
  • I trained for and completed my first marathon!  I finished the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on 10 October after training for the whole summer.  Ups and downs in the training and the race, but wouldn't trade that first experience for anything.  Finish time of 5:07:18 for an automatic PR.  
  • I just started my training for my next marathon this week.  First clinic session was held last night.  I surprised myself by running just over 6km in just over 40 minutes.  It was probably a little faster than I should have run, but was a lot faster than I thought I could run.  This bodes well for my training!
  • I started blogging in April.  Has it kept me more accountable (my original reasoning)?  Probably not.  But I have gotten far more out of it than I ever expected.  I get to use my SAHM brain!  I've found so much inspiration from other bloggers and have even made a few "friends" (Colin, you can roll your eyes here) even though we've never met in person.
Overall I have had a great year running.  I have made good friends: consistent running partners (who I am so thankful for - you know who you are!); facebook friends - some I know in real life, some I've yet to meet; and some through my blog.  I've found an online community that is supportive, funny, and encouraging.  It's been a rewarding year!

Come back tomorrow to see what 2011 has in store for me!  Or at least what I think I can achieve.  Hint: my new key word is FOCUS!

29 December 2010

An International Audience

Being somewhat new to the blogging world I am excited about small things.  I know that family and friends are forced to have a look once in a while, but the fact that people even read my blog (and continue to come back) constantly surprises me.  Don't even get me started on tracking the number of followers.  I'm pathetically grateful for all 71 of you!!!

I switched over to the "new Blogger" a couple of weeks ago - I guess it's made my online life easier (?) - and found out that I can track some very basic stats.  My favourite is finding out where people who have been reading my blog live.  I know for a fact that most of my followers are from Canada and the United States so it's surprised me to see where others are coming from.  

Here's the current list:
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France 
  • Germany
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia 
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
So please, if you are so inclined, tell me where you're from!  Even better (for me) become a follower!  The more the merrier!

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you an amazing Christmas!  

Jesus is the reason for the season

* It figures that Spud's favourite toy so far is one he pilfered from his dad.  My parents gave Colin a "Weazel Ball" as a gag gift (inside family joke).  Spud has claimed it as his own and named it Tex.  Did I mention that it's a toy for pets?  Find a video of it - Spud pretends that it's playing tag with him... at least it's exercise!

23 December 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. THE GOOD: ran with two friends today.  Wasn't the speediest run - covered 8.43km in roughly an hour - but had Spud in the stroller.  I got a break for a little while when Jenn offered to take over.  It was very much appreciated!

2.  THE BAD: my hip flexor still hurts.  And, really, I'm not surprised since I've done nothing to help myself.  I really need to get off my ass start stretch and strength exercises.  I need to work on my core too.  I know my posture is atrocious if I'm pushing Spud.  Good thing New Year's resolutions are coming up!

3.  THE UGLY: I have to go to work tonight.  Night crew.  10:30pm - 7am.  I work for a large sporting goods retailer as sales support.  That means I get to help with Boxing Day ad prep and set up (I get to work Boxing Day too).  

22 December 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Holiday Stress Edition

How's your run-up to the holidays going?

20 December 2010

I Am A Runner - Video

Can't for the life of me figure out how to get this to embed from Facebook... I liked the tri video, but as a marathoner I can appreciate this one more!

"How far did you run?"
"Just 15 miles today.  My long run is not until Saturday."


16 December 2010

Canyon Lights At Capilano Suspension Bridge

Last night Colin and I had the opportunity to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge for their Christmas themed Canyon Lights.  My parents had won free passes and volunteered their babysitting services so we were able to go once Colin was off work.  It was only drizzling a little and wasn't too cold.  It was a really nice date night!  

If you've been to Vancouver you'll know that this is a big tourist attraction.  It's a wobbly bridge that is 450 feet long and 270 feet high.  Generally I'm terrified of it.  During peak hours it's not fun (for me) at all - the bridge swings back and forth; teenagers/tourists try on purpose (!) to make it move.  But when it's dark and there are very few people on it it's not too bad.  I did have to hang on to Colin's jacket though.  Once you cross the bridge there are mini suspension bridges between the trees - thankfully they don't move too much.  It was nice to play tourist in my own city for once.   


The bridge - it's covered in LED lights.

Fish pond - the lanterns changed colour.


I'd call it artistic, but really I just can't keep my camera still on a moving platform.

Nothing says "Christmas in CANADA" like dressing the Mountie bear like Santa.

Colin and I laughed ourselves stupid over this one - I refuse to make any comments, but you're welcome to.

Proof we were there.

14 December 2010

You Deal With Cold, I Deal With Rain

I am very fortunate that I do not have to deal with winter very often.  Here in Vancouver the season usually looks like this:
snow - everybody freak out that winter has arrived/city shut down!  We're kind of a pathetic mess...
rain - oh, got snow tires for nothing... 

So, while I don't have to deal with feet of snow (try a skiff) and extremely cold temperatures (maybe 0 C), I do have to deal with RAIN!  And there was plenty of it today.  I had scheduled a run with my friend Lindsay and she came over at noon.  She didn't have her little guy with her, but I had Spud so he was bundled up ready to go.  When I looked out the window it was only drizzling.  By the time we got outside to meet up it was pouring.  On went the rain cover and then we were off.  I had thought that we were maybe in a pocket of rain, but no.  It poured the whole time.  I'm not sure when Spud fell asleep, but he was out for about half the run.  At about 4km I stopped caring about the wheel spray and puddles and just let my shoes get wet.  They're now stuffed with newspaper in the hopes that they'll be dry tomorrow...  In total we ran 11.38km in 1:28.  Not fast by any means, but I was pushing 60+lbs and we walked up a decent hill close to the end.  Despite the weather it was actually a really good run.  We haven't been running together for very long so we're still in a getting-to-know-you stage and we had lots to talk about.  It was great to have the commitment as I don't really think that I'd get out the door (especially with a 3 year old) if I didn't have someone depending on me!

Soaking wet once we got home - you can kind of see the difference in colours on my jacket.
Nice hair!  You can see from my two-tone shirt that my jacket lost all of its DWR/water resistant capabilities on this run!

10 December 2010

TMB Is A Genius!

I have been trying for a while to come up with a coherent post about my fear of getting faster. It's not really that I'm scared - I'm just very reluctant to remove the "slow" and "back of the pack" labels from myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere near being considered fast. I still run a 6 minute kilometre (10ish min/mile) on my steady runs. However, I am faster than I used to be. So when I saw TMB's post today over at Racing With Babes I thought, "She totally nailed it on the head."

Here are the two quotes I identify with:

"I am starting to suspect it was because I "told" myself that that was the pace I could run." Yup. Fear of change. I've always known that Colin will run at my pace (he's obnoxiously faster). When we ran our last half marathon training he really pushed me to go faster and I must have dropped a good 30 seconds/km. But I haven't had him running with me lately so I haven't gotten that extra push.

"First, that if you want to improve, you need to be deliberate about your training. And second, if you want to improve, you need to BELIEVE that you can improve." I've totally seen how training has worked for me in the past. I have improved drastically over the last year and a half. But I struggle with the second point.

So thank you Tonia. That second part of the last point is totally going on my fridge.

And if anyone wants to send me one of these, please do:

09 December 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I have jumped on another social media bandwagon. No, not Twitter. I think I'll stay far, far away from that one...

I have to say that the power of suggestion is strong in the blogosphere. Quite a few of the blogs I read have been promoting the Endurance Athlete Project. Essentially it's Facebook for the physically fit! I'm actually kind of excited about it. I don't follow a lot of blogs on their fb profiles simply because it made my regular fb too much. However, this makes it a little easier. My only problem is that starting out I'll have to be the cyber-stalker making all the friend requests... We'll see how it goes.

2. I went for one cold, rainy run today. Nothing like being committed to a run with a running partner. We seemed to hit the worst rain of the day - total downpour and windy. My DWR jacket had nothing on the rain. I think the only part of me that was dry was my stomach - it was shielded a bit by the stroller. Of course it's beautiful sunny breaks now...

3. My hip flexor is dumb. I had severe hip flexor pain during my marathon (not that I knew what it was then, just that I couldn't lift my legs) and it's started to act up again. I don't know if it's from pushing the stroller and being out of alignment or from running faster. I haven't really upped my distance lately - the longest I've run is about 15km. All I know is that I have to start doing Colin's physio strength and stretch exercises. ERGH!!! I'm so bad with doing workouts at home... obviously I'll have to add them onto the core work I'm also supposed to be doing. Hello, New Year's resolution!

06 December 2010

Nothing To Do With Running (This Is Where I Live...)

Here are a couple of videos of Vancouver so you can see what it's like where I live. Enjoy!

The first is a time-lapse of the Winter Olympics this past February. It's not that busy here all the time!

The second is by the same people and I just think it's pretty cool. The fog was a totally random weather occurrence - at least it was beautiful from up above... We were all living in pea soup at ground level!

What does it look like where you live?

04 December 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

Sorry for the announcement late in the day - I just got home from work and remembered that I had intended to select the winner this morning. After inputing all the entries into a spreadsheet (necessitated by the two ballots for being a follower) I punched the grand total of entries into random.org. Here's the winning number:

Congratulations to:

Please contact me at running42km.blog (at) gmail.com and I will email you the e-certificate. Thanks to all of you who entered and welcome to my new bloggy followers/friends! I'll try to get around to your blogs soon.

02 December 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I just had my first Christmas orange. By this I mean a mandarin orange. And I must specify that it was a Japanese mandarin. Stores might try to entice you to buy the Chinese mandarins - they're usually cheaper - but they just don't compare! This is a big thing in my household - once we've started getting oranges (by the boxful, of course) we know Christmas is just around the corner. Spud was excited to try it with me, but once it was in the bowl he turned up his nose, which I was fully expecting. He deigned to suck some juice out of a piece, but that was it... I love these oranges since it's a tradition that Santa leaves one in the bottom of our stockings. On Colin's request Santa leaves his to cool in the fridge.

2. I went for a run today. Not a long one, but enough to get my legs moving (9-1/2km). Felt really good since I haven't been out to run since Sunday.

3. In case you've been in a cave/haven't been reading my blog/didn't care somehow missed it - and it's all I've been talking about for a week - I giving a $35 CSN Stores gift card away and the contest is open until tomorrow night. I'll announce the winner on Saturday.

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