27 January 2011

One Thing Thursday

Nothing of much consequence has been going on here lately so today you only get one thing:

The Environment Canada weather person is a total liar!  A couple of days ago we were supposed to have a lovely sunny Sunday for our long run, but as of today the next week looks like this:

Now I know that this is glorious weather compared to so many of you.  And I am definitely thankful that we don't have freezing temperatures or ice and snow.  However, it is like this here ALL THE TIME!  Would one measly nice day be too much to ask for?  

25 January 2011

Mind Games

How does one tell their brain to shut up?  Do you know?  Because I really need to start ignoring the garbage that mine comes up with.  I have had two really good runs this week and they should be confidence boosting, but they just haven't been.  I don't know if it's because I still am identifying with the old slower me or if it's fear.  I haven't been able to be proud of these runs.  Actually, that's not totally true.  I was doing a happy dance around our kitchen on Sunday, but for some reason I've stopped.

On Sunday we dropped Spud with friends for an early morning playdate and then headed to the store for our group 16km run.  I don't run with Colin due to obvious speed discrepancy issues.  I've tried to be pretty consistent and keep with the same long run group each week.  I found early on that I can keep up with the 4 hour marathon group which runs a 6:22 - 7:11/km (10:15 - 11:33/mi).  I always find that the first 5 kilometres or so are my worst so I wasn't too worried that I was on the slow end of the pace.  As the run went on I settled in nicely with a few other ladies.  The route was a long rolling out and back up to the watershed (had to touch the fence!).  I ran so I could talk and had a good run.  The second half was great!  I think we finished at about a 6:55/km pace (and that was with doing 20 + 1s).  

I know my problem with this run.  My brain.  It keeps telling me that it was a fluke.  That I didn't really belong.  That the people I ran with are SO MUCH faster than me.  Intimidated, much?  It's like I have a sign on my forehead that says "Not Good Enough", but only I can see it.  I shouldn't be competing against anyone but myself.  And not even against myself on a long run.

And then there was today's run.  I went out with my friend Lindsay with whom I run once a week.  Because she brought a friend along I ran an extra 2-1/2km each way to meet up in a convenient spot.  It actually worked out well that I had a long run today (17km) since I wasn't going to be able to do my 10km run tomorrow due to another running partner being out of town.  So I rolled two tempo runs into a long steady run with Spud.  I figure that the weight cancels out the speed of the others and I'll come out even.  Anyways, once we met up we ran out along a trail for 40 minutes, turned around, I ran a little extra so Spud could go over a bridge and back (never promise a 3 year old anything), and then I ran home.  All told I was out for over 2 hours.  I'm not fast when I have the stroller and I walked up all the hills that were even remotely steep.  The weather was decent - a drizzle that was more like mist - and the company was good.

I know my problem with this run.  My brain.  It keeps telling me that I'm slow.  HELLO?!?  I was pushing 60+lbs of stroller and kid.  Anybody would be slow.  And really, an 8:11/km with walking up hills and stopping to attend to the whims of a toddler isn't shabby.

So where do I go from here?  I obviously know what my problem is.  I just don't quite know how to fix it.  There's no easy off switch for this.  I can't keep comparing myself to other runners.  Especially ones that aren't really faster than me.  And I can't keep telling myself that I'm slow.  A middle-of-the-pack runner, yes.  Slow, not so much anymore.  

I think I'd really benefit from reading about positive self-talk.  I read a book a while ago that touched on it, but I don't remember too much (and it was relatively old).  Do any of you have suggestions for hippy dippy mumbo jumbo running/sports psychology books?

20 January 2011


And not as defined by the SUAR dictionary...

I just looked at the BMO Vancouver Marathon site and discovered that I have ONE HUNDRED days until my second marathon!  My printed out 4 page calendar schedule made it seem so far away.  Now I kind of want to bang my head on the desk and ask myself why I'm putting myself through this again.  Oh yeah, because I actually do love running that far!  Who woulda thought?

19 January 2011

Wordy Wednesday - We May Have A Problem

Colin and I have an aspiring runner on our hands which, since Spud is 3-1/2, I think is awesome.  Unfortunately I don't think we can enter him in a race any time soon.  

Let me explain: We live in a condo so we don't have a lot of inside running around space.  So Spud's preferred "race" route is around our living room table.  It's normal for him to get his sillies out before bed by doing laps.  Sometimes he'll stop for "fuel" (yogurt or Cheerios) every 2 or 3 times around.  Yesterday, however, his competitive side came out.  And I mean COMPETITIVE!

He started out okay.  Then all of a sudden he began pushing his arms back and yelling, "CRASH!", every time he took a step.  I asked if he was pretending to be a race car.  Um, no.  He told me that he was pushing all of the other runners out of his way.  I don't think he believed me when I told him that he wouldn't be allowed to run if he did that in a real race.  So he stopped and had a sit-down break, which are apparently okay in races because all of the other runners have to stop and wait for him to be finished.

I had hoped that he was just going to go back to running laps nicely, but that didn't happen.  Instead Spud put a pillow on the ground and used it as a hurdle.  He then said, quite matter-of-factly, that the pillow stopped the "pretend runners" from catching him since he was a "real runner".  I have a feeling he didn't mean pretend in the invisible sense, but that he meant that they were posers.  Complex thoughts for a preschooler...

As Colin said after, maybe he and Spud should be playing a little less Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit?  All I thought was that we should sign him up for the local T&F club when he's old enough!

17 January 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award...

Alyssa at Chocolate is MY LIFE and The Running Mama at Happy To Be A Running Mama awarded me The Stylish Blogger Award last week.  Thank you both!

Here are the rules (which I am about to break):

1. Make a post + Link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10 or 15 (depends on who sent you the rules) recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

I'm only going to do the first two.  I could say it's because there are too many good bloggers to choose from (true) or because a lot of the blogs I read have already been selected (also true), but in reality it's due to the fact that I'm lazy and I also tend to break the chain in chain letter type activities.  

The first rule is complete so here are 7 random facts about myself*:

1.  Colin and I have been together since 1999.  That's over 1/3 of my life.

2.  I threw javelin in high school.  I was neither the best nor the worst member of the team.  It was fun and I got to "travel" to Washington and Oregon!

3.  After watching the Golden Globes last night I still think Colin Firth is good looking.  I'm sure it has something to do with the whole BBC Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy thing, but I don't care.  I should really watch that again!

4.  I killed my self laughing over Colin's high school "fashion sense" yesterday.  We were dubbing tapes off the VCR to dvd (yup, we still have cassette tapes kicking around.  We borrowed the VCR, though) and there were some awesome selections.  Stüssy, Mossimo and No Fear tees - all way to big, Adidas soccer shorts (he's NEVER played on a team), an unfortunate meeting between his hair and a bottle of peroxide, etc.  I think the best was that he totally owned wearing his black jeans.  
     Me: Are you wearing black jeans?

     Colin: Oh yeah!  Orange tab!
5.  I've been going to the same place for summer vacation since I was 12.  I ♥  Tofino, British Columbia.  I think I only missed one year due to school or work.  We still go with my parents so it's a real family vacation.

6.  I love pop.  The beverage not the music category.  I'd be happy if I could replace water with black cherry Coke.  I am currently drinking the last can of Pepsi in the house and know that it's in my best interest not to replace it anytime soon.  I will, however, still drink pop at my parents' house since they always have some in their downstairs fridge.

7.  Here is one of my favourite pictures of myself.  It was taken back when Colin and I had time to go hiking.  It's one thing to carry a pack full of gear for 8+ hours.  I don't think I could carry a pack full of kid for more than a couple.  It's car camping for us for the foreseeable future.

Elfin Lakes, Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia
Photo by Colin Aldous

*My apologies to my friends on Facebook.  I may have used these when that whole 25 Things About Me note went around...

13 January 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  This is my 100th post!  

2.  Nerd that I am I've been checking my stats to see how many people have looked at my blog!  It's amazing what a little publicity on a bigger blog can get you:

Considering that on Tuesday the section titled "pageviews today" read 29 the increase was a huge surprise.  Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and welcome to all my new followers.  

3.  Strength training is going well.  I no longer hurt every time I do my workout (10 random exercises that I think cover all the major muscles).  It doesn't hurt to run up hills too much.  I still feel like it's a bit of a hassle to do it (2-4x/week), but, really, if I'm watching The Biggest Loser I shouldn't be sitting on the couch doing nothing...  AND (!) it's making me look better!  I guess I should have figured that out, but it was a surprise to find out that all the hamstring bridges and curls on a stability ball have made my butt look better (to me at least) and it doesn't really look like my bum has a second chin anymore...

12 January 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

To begin let me say that you can see me on skinnyrunner.com today as her Cat Lady Blogger!  Again, a big hip, hip, hooray for self-promotion.  It'll get you everywhere in the blogosphere!  It's so much easier to be extroverted on the internet... if you knew me you'd know that I'm pretty introverted in real life.

If you like my blog, please become a follower!  I'd love to have 100 followers for my 100th post tomorrow!  Lurkers, that means you... time to let me know you're here.

Now to the photos:

It's snowing!  Turn off flash...

Colin post-1 hour/10km run.  It wasn't snowing when he left.  So not impressed that I took his picture.

That's what it looked like after he came home!

10 January 2011

I'm A (Virtual) Race Bandit

But before I get to that there's great news!  After groveling begging and pleading inquiring nicely Courtney at Run, Courtney, Run has featured me as her "Runner Of The Week"!  Yay Me!

Now, back to my first experience being a race bandit.*  Adam, over at I am Boring/The Boring Runner, hosted the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Virtual Race this weekend.  The goal was to run 5 kilometres.  That was pretty much it.  If I had been living in Arizona I could have gone for a run with a group of people, but I don't, so I didn't...  I meant to sign up (really I did), but I usually work on Saturdays and figured that it wouldn't work out.  I found out that I was scheduled to work on Sunday instead yet I still didn't sign up.  My excuse is that I was too lazy to let Adam know it must have sold out.

The Report (such as it is):

Where:  Suburban boonies.  
Route:  The figure-8 up the river, past the rec centre, up the big hill (Colin pushed the stroller, I walked - much needed hill repeats start in 4 weeks!), along some busy roads, back to the river and home.
Virtual Distance/Time:  5km in 40:46.  That's taking the first 5km since it's a better result that the last 5. 
Actual Distance/Time:  13km in 1:53:24. 

I told Colin to remind me to bring the camera so I had proof of running, but that didn't pan out.  I barely got out the door due to my cold, we left later than we should have, and well, we have a 3 year old.  The camera was on the bottom of my list and I'm pretty sure Colin had forgotten altogether.  Here is my feeble artist's rendering of our run.

This was a very slow run (see reason for forgetting camera).  The best thing I can say about it was that we completed it.  However, I have to say Thank You to Adam because I don't think I would have even left the house if I had not wanted to bandit his race!


*I have to state here that I don't think I'd ever actually bandit a race (not pay, but run anyways).  It would seem far too much like stealing to me and I'd feel guilty if I had to look at a medal knowing that I didn't really earn it.  

06 January 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Technically my 18-week training began on 26 December 2010, but it didn't really feel like it started until I'd had my first clinic night last Thursday.  So, as of today, I'm one week in.  Sunday's long run (only 10km) was great.  Good weather, met some new people, and ran at a pace I didn't know I could sustain.  The calendar I printed out with my run and core/strength/stretch schedule is up on the bulletin board.  I'm proud to say that I've ticked off "yes" on everything I've had planned.  We'll see how that goes this weekend since I'm working on Sunday (long run day) and now need to move a couple of things around to get my 13kms in.  

2.  I signed up for Tall Mom's 1000+++ challenge this year.  That's running over 1000 miles in 365 days.  Do-able, yes.  Especially since I'm aiming for 1250 (2011kms).  It will be nice to have some accountability.  Click the picture if you want to see what it's all about or if you want to join!

3.  Core/strength/stretch is kicking my butt.  I know I need it, but wow.  I have it on my  schedule 4 times/week and am hoping that if I can't do all 4 days I'll at least get in 2-3.  Thankfully after 3 sessions I'm not hurting as badly as before.  Deciding to start at 10:30pm the night before a long run = bad idea.  I could barely walk on Monday.  Colin, as he did the day after my first bootcamp, thought it would be funny (harhar) to tickle, poke and generally torment me.

04 January 2011

Jogging Stroller Recommendations Needed

Now, this isn't a request for myself.  I'll stick with my BOB Revolution, thankyouverymuch...  However, the son and daughter-in-law of my Mum's friend (got that?) are having a baby soon and will need to get a jogger.  They both run halfs and fulls and, like most of us with kids, would rather cart the baby along in a heavy contraption rather than give up running!  I know that joggers are a personal preference, but I'd love to help them out and pass along some good advice. 

Like I mentioned above, I have the BOB Revolution.  Here are a few reasons I love it:  
  • Swivel or locked wheel.  I keep it on swivel 99% of the time.  Really, I'm just horrible at turning with it when it's locked.  Colin's noticed that it starts to vibrate on swivel if he's going too fast, but I've never had that problem!
  • Fits in our trunk without taking the wheels off.  That sounds funny, but it's true!  There's nothing worse than buying something and finding out that you've made more work for yourself, especially with an infant.
  • Car seat adapter.  It makes it a little top heavy with the infant seat - I didn't start running until after Spud was out it - so I can imagine that you'd need to have pretty good focus not to tip it over if you were rounding a corner too fast.
  • Great on trails.  
  • Awesome rain cover.  I don't think Spud's ever gotten wet through it.  Doesn't work with the infant seat though.
What I don't love about the Revolution:
  • Small basket that isn't easily accessible if child is in seat.  We used to have to put the diaper bag into the basket before putting Spud in the seat or it wouldn't go in.  
  • Accessories are expensive, but I think this is true of all brands.  Of all the ones we bought the most essential (for us) were the rain cover and the "console", which is a cup holder.
  • Not cheap.  We bought ours on Craigslist, but still paid through the nose for it.  This was on top of the Graco system that we'd already bought and decided wasn't best for our lifestyle.  Parenting "life lesson" there!    
Other jogger brands include:
  • BOB (fixed wheel).
  • Baby Jogger.
  • Chariot.
  • Mountain Buggy.
  • Phil & Ted's.
  • Valco.
  • Zooper.
Now it's your turn!  What do you run with?  Do you love it or hate it?  Why?    

Post your recommendations, opinions (good and bad please), and links to reviews if you've done one in the comments section. 

And, if you'd be so kind, mention this in a post and send people my way to comment!  Thanks! 

01 January 2011

Resolutions, Smesolutions... I Have GOALS!


I will not call these resolutions.  Resolutions tend to be less than permanent.  It's easy to give them up.  It's almost as if they are there to be broken.  

Goals, on the other hand, are something to strive toward.  If I have goals they are always there.  I might meet them this year - that's the hope, after all - but if I don't it's not the end of the world.  I won't feel too let down (I hope!).  Since I met the "Run a marathon when I'm 30" goal in 2010 I've had to come up with a few good ones for this year.    

My Goals for 2011, in no particular order:
  • PR in the marathon!  If I work as hard as I think I will it shouldn't be too hard.  I will be happy with one second faster than last time, but the most important thing to me is that my finish time reads 4:xx:xx.  Not sure what the "x"s stand for yet - I'll have a more concrete time goal in mind once training's in full swing.
  • Run another half marathon.  I'd love to run the Historic Half again in February, but money would have to come through for that to happen.  If I don't do that one it'll most likely be after the full.
  • Volunteer at races.  I'm already signed up to help out at the First Half Half Marathon in February.  Ideally I'd like to help out at a couple more during the year.  I've had nothing but good experiences with the volunteers in the races I've run and would love to make someone else's race great too!
  • Maybe run a fall marathon.  I have mixed feelings about training through the summer - how many times was it too hot to run?  Definitely a decision to be made in a few months.
  • Eat better.  Self explanatory.  Work harder at planning meals and having healthy choices (for all of us) in the house on a consistent basis.
  • Drink water.  Not my first choice of beverage, but it really needs to be.  This should be the easiest goal to achieve... hopefully.  I need to stop having "alternatives" (cough*pop*cough) in the house.  
  • Work on Core/Strength/Stretch 2-3x/week.  My hip flexors will love me, I'll be stronger, I'll look better (goodbye muffin-top), I'll feel better about myself, etc.  Again, shouldn't be hard to do - I'll just need to get my act together and keep it up.
And here is the biggest goal of the year:
  • Run 1250 miles.  Now that might seem like a kind of random number.  However, I'm Canadian and I run in kilometres (see blog name).  So 1250 miles x 1.609344 = 2011.68km. Given that the year is 2011 I think that it's a pretty darn good goal.  It also means that I'll have to run 38.some-odd kilometres/24 miles per week.  Obviously some will be shorter and some will be longer, but I really do think that it will be attainable.  Especially if I keep going back to that big, bold word at the top of this post... FOCUS!



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