30 June 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Where in the world is summer?  I just want a few consecutive days of sun...

2.  Happy long weekend both north and south of the border!  We'll be taking Spud to see the local fireworks display on Friday night to celebrate Canada Day.  Other than that I have the good fortune (note sarcasm) to work all three days...  Sucks that I don't get to spend time with my boys, but we need me to be working so I'll take all the hours I can get.

3.  For any of you who are interested in seeing what I'll be doing this summer, and simply because I like talking about it and Colin's sick of hearing about it every day, Hood & Portland To Coast Relay has created their own YouTube channel.  You can check out the trailer for the documentary that came out earlier this year as well as lots of participant videos.  Pretty sure I'm going to need to bring a Costco-sized pack of batteries and multiple memory cards for my camera! 

28 June 2011

A Belated Virtual Race Report - SYTO 5K

I have a terrible time committing to races.  Generally I don't race a lot because they're pretty expensive around here.  As much as I'd love to do a 5k event every weekend I'm not willing to fork over $25 for the pleasure of being out for less than an hour.  So you would think that I'd be better at committing to a virtual race.  Yeah, not so.  Mainly because I haven't got a monetary loss to think about. 


This weekend was the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K Virtual Race hosted by Adam at I Am Boring. Now, I signed up because a) I wanted to make sure I ran this weekend and b) I felt kind of bad about banditing his Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K back in the fall.  

Gotta say that I am a terrible race participant.  Here are the reasons I didn't run on the day of the race:
  • I worked from 10:30am - 7pm.
  • I don't run in the mornings by myself so wasn't going out before work.  I also like to sleep in.
  • I wasn't going to run by myself after work.  By the time we got home and got Spud to bed, Colin decided to go to a friend's place and all I wanted to do was sit on my rear and watch Bridget Jones' Diary again some crappy TV.  
So I ran on Sunday after work.  Now, I did not race myself for 5km.  I could have.  But I had a 7km long run scheduled and I knew I was going to run longer than that.  All in all I did about 11km.  Not sure, though, because my GPS battery crapped out at 8-ish.  I turned it back on and it promptly told me I'd gone a kilometre in 3:41.  

I've counted my first 5km from Sunday's run as my official race time.  Given that it was part of a long run, I take a planned 1 minute walk break for every 20 minutes of running, and I had a whole bunch of traffic lights to contend with, I'm pretty happy with my performance.

37:09.8

27 June 2011

Monday Musings

Yes it's late in the day, but I need to get this out of my head before bedtime...  Ah, the bullet point.  It makes posts so much easier!
  • Went for my long run yesterday.  7km was on the schedule, but I ended up with almost 11km... I forgot how fun half marathon training is because the runs are so short!  I was trying to kill time between my shift ending at 5pm and the start of the cashier meeting at 8pm.  I tried to keep it not too hilly and sort of succeeded.  No huge uphills, but a couple of gradual hills that went on forever... like 2km.  Ugh.  Would have been fine if it was on a normal road, but it was all driveways.  My butt was killing me at the end.  It didn't help that it was super muggy out as well.  Most of my co-workers thought I was crazy.  
  • Ran my first run in a running skirt yesterday.  Colin stopped by the Sugoi sample sale the other day and picked me up the Stamina Skirt for $15.  Seriously not too many complaints.  It fits really well and doesn't move around a lot.  The shorts rode up a little on the inseam, but nothing Body Glide and quick readjustments couldn't fix.  Not too sure about having a white under short, but unless I get caught in a strong wind no one is going to see my backside...  Besides that the only thing that irked me a tiny bit was that the edging at the front flips over on itself.  Purely an aesthetic thing though.
Looks like this only it's light blue with white piping.
  • I think I'm now a confirmed skirt girl.  But it has to have the shorts, not a liner.  Maybe one day (Christmas, hint, hint) I'll receive the holy grail of skirts: a runningskirts.com skirt!  
  • A while back (before the Canada Post lockout) I received the Eazy-Bandz headband that I won on Amanda's blog.  I  it!  I picked out the Iridescent Sequin band.  I wasn't quite sure what it would look like because the pictures online look gold or white, but the ribbon part is actually silver.  It's awesome.  I also love the fact that they have sizing.  Because I wear mine close to my ears and forehead I was a "tween" size.  It barely moves when I run and I've worn it a whole day with it moving only about 1/2cm back.  The only time I notice any movement is if I crane my head back to look up really far.  Matt at Eazy-Bandz was great to deal with and was willing to ship it to me in Canada even though that's usually an extra cost.  Like running skirts, I didn't know that I'd love headbands until I tried one!  
  • Colin went on a run before dropping me off at work on Sunday.  I specifically asked him not to run through one of the trails since it's (black) bear and cougar season right now.  As in the sign at the trail head says, "Cougars Are In The Area."  When he came home I asked where he ran.  Of course, he said, "First I ran through X."  Seriously?  It's 7:30 in the morning!  That's when the animals are out!  
  • During the aforementioned run Colin said there were signs that the bears had been about.  Besides the easily identifiable poop he said he saw where they had walked through the tall grass, etc.  He also came across an odd phenomena that we dubbed "Slugpocalypse."  He kept seeing slug trails that abruptly stopped and the gravel looked disturbed.  The best we can guess is that the bears bunted the slugs as they ate them...  Funny and disgusting all at the same time.
  • I love summer!  Sure the weather here is leaving a lot to be desired, but the season means fresh fruit.  Colin took Spud out to a local strawberry farm on Saturday for their opening weekend.  Spud got to pick strawberries, play on a tractor playground and, because he's lucky, loved and they were in the area, Bramma and Baba bought him a strawberry milkshake.  I'm looking forward to the raspberries coming out!  And blueberries... Once we go up to Colin's parents' place in the summer we'll be able to gorge ourselves on peaches, apricots, etc. since they live in the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.
  • Still riding the Nuun HTC high.  Every so often I'll break out in a happy dance, much to Colin's amusement.  I'll hear later this week (I think) which leg I'll be running.  Choices were 1, 3 and 2 in that order.  We'll see what happens.  It doesn't really matter which one I get because I get to run HTC!!!  
  • Not sure if I ever mentioned it, but Colin and I are doing Warrior Dash this August!  Some friends from our marathon clinic mentioned they were going to be signing up at a post-run breakfast ages ago and I basically invited us along.  We're renting a house in Whistler, BC and plan to have quite a party weekend.  Should be super fun!  

23 June 2011

Super.Freaking.Awesome!

Thanks everyone for your congratulations yesterday!  In case you couldn't tell I'm excited too!

If you happened to be stalking Nuun's Facebook page on Tuesday night (and, if you entered,  don't pretend you weren't) you would have seen that I had a bit of a conundrum.  Spud's end of year picnic started at 8:45 Wednesday morning.  It was at a park about a kilometre away from where we live so we had to be out of the house by 8:30am.  Nuun was announcing their team at 9am PST.  I don't have a smart phone so there wouldn't be any checking from the park.  What to do?

I hemmed and hawed all evening.  I had a couple of "Negative Nelly" moments when I was just convinced that I wasn't going to be chosen.  I kept apologizing to Colin for being a "Debbie Downer."  To which he told me to be a "Positive Polly" (or "Positive Perogy" since that was dinner).  It at least made me laugh.  Going to bed, I still was unsure about what I'd do in the morning.

Finally I decided that I would call Colin at work once I arrived at the park.  He said he'd probably check even if I didn't want to call and, of course, I didn't want to find out when I got home if he'd known all along.  Impatient, much?  Our conversation on Wednesday went something like this:

Me: Have they posted it yet? (it's 8:58:37am).

Colin: No.

Me: Have they posted it yet?  It's 9am, by my watch.

Colin: No.  I'll call you.

5-ish minutes later...

Colin: I already called you once.

Me: Sorry, have it on vibrate/ring and they're mowing the grass.  Yay or nay?

Colin: Yay you!

Me: What?  Really??!  I got in?!?!?!?  Commence happy dance in middle of the park, which is me tippy-toeing on the spot with my arms in and hands up by my face.

Colin: Yup.  There are 20 on the list and 6 alternates.  You're first on the list, but it doesn't mean anything because it's alphabetical.  

Me:
 That's fine.  I'm in!


I had so many other things I wanted to ask, but I could tell he was busy.  The rest of the morning was spent having fun at the park and making sure Spud didn't fall off of any playground equipment.  I didn't have much time to think about it until I got home.

Of course, the first thing I did was turn on my computer and check Nuun's blog and my email.  Then I congratulated the other runners.  Then I stalked my stats to see how many people came by my blog.  It wasn't long before we were all contacting each other and trying to figure stuff out.  It's crazy how fast things move.

While I'm still a little stunned that I made it I know it's real because I have to send in things like my 10k time, leg number preferences and other fun stuff.  Thank goodness I have almost 2 months to prepare for this.  Not only do I need to get my training underway (at least I'm in a clinic already) I have to figure out what to pack/wear/etc.  Colin's taking vacation and will hopefully spend the 4 days in Seattle with Spud.  Lots to do.  

Here's why I'm stoked that I'm on the team:
  • I'll get the chance to figure out stuff about me.  Get to know myself if you want to be all hippy-dippy about it.  
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.  All the talk of HTC when the movie came out really peaked my interest, but to be a part of it now is so cool.
  • I'm the token "foreigner."  I'm sure I'll hear a bunch of "oot and aboot" jokes.
  • I will finally get to meet some ladies whose blogs I read.  A few teammates know each other and some don't so it'll be a nice mix.
  • I just gained 19 friends!  Crazy!
  • I will represent an awesome company!
I'm sure there are more, but those are the top reasons that come to mind.    

21 June 2011

Tuesday On Tenterhooks

Yippee!!!  Nuun is announcing their HTC team tomorrow!  Still stressing, but feeling as confident as I possibly can.  

I never posted my actual entry.  I couldn't figure out how to put it up without making a HUGE post.  Sure, you saw the video outtakes, but the video wasn't even my real entry.  Mad props, by the way, to those of you who did a video and sent it out into the online universe.  You are far braver than I!  But I was emailing with Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical yesterday and she asked to see it.  So I figured I should probably figure it out and just put it up for everyone to read.  

Like I told Nuun in my (scripted) video: My entry [one reason for each of the 197 miles in the relay] is honest, I like to think it's funny and sometimes it's just downright dumb.  But it's what I've got.


To read: click on white box with arrows at top right corner.

20 June 2011

"Ain't Too Proud To Beg" - The Temptations

Yes, the title of this post is very EMZ, but it seemed appropriate.

As you all know I applied to be on Nuun's Hood To Coast relay team.  The deadline was last Wednesday and the "winners" will be announced this Wednesday.  Let me say now that this has been the longest week of my life.  It even beats out the last week of my pregnancy.  Spud was 10 days early so I didn't know my last week was my last week; capisce?

Anyways, about this last week.  I think I have officially driven Colin nuts.  A lot of "do you think it was good enough?"  and "do you think I'll make it?" type questions.  I know that he does support me and does think my entry was good.  Pretty sure, though, that after asking him for the 20th time in one day he just starts to humour me.  The other thing I'm doing is practically stalking the Nuun Facebook page.  Thankfully I'm not the only one.  I know it's silly since there is no announcement for another 2 days.  But I figure it doesn't hurt to make sure they know I'm still out there and stressing!

So back to the title.  I know that this isn't a popularity contest.  If it were the team would be made up of the most popular "big" bloggers.  Which would be cool.  However, I wouldn't be on it.  As I was reminded: If you don't get what you want, it's probably because you didn't ask for it. 

Therefore, I'm asking.  Again.  

Please let Nuun know on Facebook that I should be on their team.  Will it make a difference?  Who can say?  For all I know, they've already selected their favourites.  But at this point I'm not above begging.

Thanks!

Back to stalking 'til Wednesday...

17 June 2011

Why I Love Vancouver

In the wake of all the bad press due to rioters after the Stanley Cup final there actually is good news.  People are advocating posting pictures of rioters and urging people to identify and turn in their friends/co-workers/employees, etc.  There were clean up crews of volunteers who traveled downtown to help get rid of the messes.  Although city crews got most of the garbage there were tons of people out making sure glass was out of sidewalk cracks and graffiti was cleaned off of walls and sculptures.  




I think the one thing I'm most proud to see is this:



One of my friends was in the first riot squad unit to respond.  Having people recognize that he and his fellow officers put their lives on the line to keep their city safe is awesome (Thanks, Ian!).  Yes, there have been questions as to how the police put their plan in place and lots of "what-if" questions.  That's inevitable.  The one thing that I haven't even seen suggested is that the police weren't doing their job well.  In a day and age where emergency services rarely get their due the fact that people took the time to tell the police thank you makes me so happy.   

It's days like this where I'm so proud to be from Vancouver.

16 June 2011

Words Can't Begin To Express...

...how completely angry, distraught, disgusted, outraged, disappointed, sick, mortified, ashamed, etc., etc., etc., I am of what happened in Vancouver last night.  

In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup.  They deserved it.  Just like their goalie, Tim Thomas, deserved the Conn Smythe award for MVP and will likely win the Vezina Trophy next week for being voted the league's best goaltender.  As much as I want to be saying that the Canucks won, they didn't, and the better team won the series.  It doesn't even pain me to say that.  The Bruins earned the right to lift the cup.



In true Vancouver fashion (Google 1994 Canucks riots), "fans" decided to stick around after the Canucks loss and "celebrate."  I use quotes because there is no way that the people who destroyed downtown were representative of either of those things.  A true fan doesn't get into fist fights, over-turn and torch cars, throw barricades at police, break windows or loot stores.  Not only did a minority of people ruin it for the rest of us they also embarrassed us on a world stage.  We should have been commending our team on an incredible season and an exciting playoff run and wishing them better luck next year.  Instead we were glued to our TVs and social media wondering what in the world these people were thinking.  

There is NO EXCUSE for their behaviour.  I don't care if you were upset.  I don't care if you were drunk.  I don't care if your friends were doing it too.  You put people at risk.  You gave a black eye to "your team" and your city.  If you think that your friend wasn't taking pictures and posting them online, think again.  If you were dancing around the TV cameras goofing off thinking it was funny, it wasn't.  If you were staying downtown to "see what was going to happen," you are a moron and you were only providing an audience for those who were BREAKING THE LAW!  When the police tell you to go home, they mean it.  I wouldn't be surprised that if your own mother saw you on TV she would turn you in. 

There is no reason that a city should look like this over a sporting event.  There are far more important reasons to riot and people in Vancouver don't have the right to think that this was one of them.



If you are ever planning to visit Vancouver please don't let this change your mind.  This is not what the city is like.  I have no doubt that this may have still happened even if our team had won.  Unfortunately we have a well documented history of "Anarchists" who come out to all the big events solely to cause damage.  Almost immediately after this broke on TV there were Facebook groups created to return downtown in the morning to help clean up.  Others were created so that people could upload their photos so police can identify those involved.  

If you think that I still sound upset it's because I am.  Vancouver isn't this kind of city.  It hasn't been for many years.  Yet now, because of some useless idiots, we're back to being known as a city with fans that can't handle themselves.  Gone are the days of the Olympics when everyone had a great time celebrating (and that was only a year ago!).  I'm sure everyone here would like to "thank" those who have most likely turned Vancouver back to No-Fun City.    

14 June 2011

Please, Enjoy Watching Me Make An A** Of Myself

What I'm about to post is essentially my worst nightmare.  If you've known me for a long time you already know that public speaking is not my forte.  I speak too quickly and usually feel extremely nauseated.  I just don't do centre of attention.  Never have.  

That said, I'll apparently do anything for Nuun's HTC contest.  I've put myself out there more in the last 5 days than I have in the last 5 years.  

Without further ado here is my HTC "blooper reel":

video

I had plenty of time to mess up when I taped myself.  It was just take after take for 15 minutes (hence the fading light).  Note that I have 1:27 of screw ups; there were way more, but these were the good ones.  By contrast, the video I sent them is only 58 seconds long.     

13 June 2011

Monday Musings

1.  Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final is tonight.  If you read this blog you know who I'm rooting for.  That's all I'll say out of fear of jinxing it.*  

2.  There is nothing worse than obsessing over things that are out of your control.  I submitted my entry for the Nuun Hood To Coast contest on Friday.  The problem with being somewhat proactive is that now I have to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  You get the idea.  The contest doesn't even close until the 15th.  They don't announce the team until the 22nd.  

I'm confident and my entry will speak for itself.  But I'm terrible at biding my time.  Just ask Colin.  I'm a ball of anxious nerves.  It sounds kind of silly, but I'm honestly sure this is why I don't put myself out there too much.  The "will they like me" question is killing me because what if they don't?  In my head I know that it has no bearing on me.  That's the insecure 15 year old me talking.  It's not like they're going to send me an email saying, "You know what?  Yeah, just not good enough and we don't like you."  Either my entry was more creative than the other hundreds or thousands of entries or it wasn't.  If I don't make it onto the team, I don't.

After reading that last paragraph it's obvious I simply need to let go and stop over-analyzing. Easier said than done, of course.  I'm sure you'll hear about it a couple more times before the 22nd.

3.  My half-marathon clinic starts tomorrow!  Hip hip hooray!  It's 16 weeks long (I think) and will train me for the half in Victoria, BC in October.  Colin's going to be training on his own for the full.  It'll be nice because I'll be able to watch him finish since my race will be over first.  I'm so glad that my running is back to being scheduled.  I've been so lazy lately.  The best thing is that the runs is how (not) long they are.  I'll be able to do most of them on my own since they're short (think 4km tempo runs, etc.) and it stays light out for longer.

4.  I'm considering having a Facebook page for Running 42km.  I think my real-life friends might be sick to death of all my running related status updates and blog post links.  Question is, though, would any of you "like" it?  It's another added thing so I'd only want to do it if you are interested.  Let me know.  

5.  My parents, Colin and Spud surprised me yesterday with my birthday cake.  This is only significant because my birthday was back on 17 March.  Things were just too busy around my birthday for my mum to make my labour intensive cake so we had a different one that Spud picked out.  Of course, being a mature 31 years old, I complained that I didn't get "my" birthday cake.  For the past month or so the cake and icing were in the freezer, but there was never a chance to assemble it.  Spud did very well not spoiling the surprise yesterday!  I wrote off his comment, "Happy Birthday, birthday girl!" (said with a big hug) as just him being his cute 4 year old self since he made me a block birthday cake a couple of days before.  I'll post a picture of what's left of it for Wordless Wednesday!


*No snide remarks from you Barefoot Neil Z.

10 June 2011

197

That's the number of reasons I sent Nuun in hopes of getting to participate in the Hood To Coast relay with them.*  

A couple of things in case you didn't know:
Nuun is the purveyor of "electrolyte enhanced drink tabs."  Here's why it's super: it has electrolytes; it's portable; it's sugar free; and it comes in a whole whack of flavours.  


Hood To Coast is a 197-mile relay in Oregon from Mount Hood to Seaside.  It's the largest running relay in the world.  There are some pretty fast runners who race the event.  Most teams, though, go to have fun.  It's basically 31-1/2 hours of finding out how much you like your (new and old) friends.


This year Nuun is a bronze sponsor for the event.  While I'm sure it would have been more than easy for them to fill a team with their own employees the fact that they are putting up one of their entries as a prize is awesome!

When I heard that they were inviting female bloggers - thanks AMR- to get creative and enter their contest I knew that I wanted in.  I just didn't know how I wanted to go about it.  I'm not terribly artsy-craftsy, nor am I competent in front of a camera.  Being that I'm a history major I found something written to do.  I'm crap at essays (or anything for that matter) extolling my virtues.  But a list was a little less intimidating.  Until I decided that I should give them reasons why I should be on the van.  And maybe one reason for every mile of the relay.  It went well for a while then became daunting.  I begged Colin to come up with reasons.  He gave me 2.  When I couldn't sleep I'd lie there and think of things to add.  I finally finished a week after I started.  Some of them are great, some good and some mediocre.  Some are personal and some are funny.  Thankfully I never had to resort to "This is reason 186" as a reason.  

I figured that it wasn't enough to just send in the list.  Yes it's awesome, but there was no face to the name.  So I did what I am terrified of doing.  I made a video introducing myself.  Pure cheese.  I refuse to put it up on here due to embarrassment - and the fact that there's personal information in it.  I might put up a series of the bloopers though.  Lot's of "darn it!s", "craps" and "pbbtthss".

I know this is true of all entrants, but I really want this.  It's not just because I think that it would be a fun event.  There's no denying that the teenager in me wants to party all night while my adult self knows that I should be sleeping.  The runner in me wants to be challenged.  Marathons?  "Easy" (thinks the 5-hour marathoner).  Approximately 3 10Ks in a day and a half with people I've never met?  Challenge.  I know that I can physically do it.  Yes, I'm not insanely fast, but I can keep up my speed for a 10K.  

It's the mental aspect of this relay that I know I need.  I'm having a hard time explaining this in words even though it makes sense in my head and my heart.  I need to figure out who I am.  Right now whenever I think about me all I think is "I'm just a stay at home mum."  Yet I know that I'm so much more than that.  But I don't know what.  I'm stuck in a rut.  Sometimes I feel like there isn't much of me left even though my 20-something self before I had kids didn't really know me either.  See, not making much sense, right?

All I want is a chance to figure it all out and I see this as the way to do it.  When else am I going to get to escape my life (and it's a great life, don't get me wrong) for 4 days?  

Here's where I need you:

There is no "most votes gets it" winner.  The van teammates are picked at the sole discretion of Nuun.  I think that my entry holds its own and can probably get me in.  It meets all their criteria, but I'd love for you to show your support.

How?  And don't feel pressured to do so.  Honestly only do it if you think I deserve it.
  • Comment here.  You don't have to tell them I'm awesome (though I won't complain if you do!).  If you want to explain why you're "voting" for me, feel free.
  • Let them know on Facebook.  All you have to tell them is that you think Alanna at running42km.blogspot.com should be on their HTC team.
  • Let them know on Twitter.  I don't tweet, but if you do you can contact them @ministryofnuun.  Same as above, just say "Alanna at running42km.blogspot.com should be on your HTC team."
Thanks for your help!  It means a lot!



* When I typed this all I could think of was Tyra Banks telling the poor "models" that the might have to go home.

09 June 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Where have I been, you ask?  Mostly just reading other blogs.  It's not like I've been out of town or anything.  Just kind of blog lazy.  I haven't been running much since I don't start half marathon training until next week so there really hasn't been much to say.  

2.  I think my blog stats are messed up.  I went from having about 5-10 pageviews to having 151 yesterday.  The weird thing is that they're coming from blogs I read, but they haven't linked me anywhere.  Not that I mind my stats getting skewed.  It makes me feel more popular than I actually am...

3.  I've almost completed my entry for Nuun's Hood To Coast contest.  It's taken me a week, but I hope to submit it tonight.  I think (and hope and pray) that I actually have a shot at making it!  For those of you who don't know Hood To Coast is a 197-mile relay in Oregon.  I'll post about it once it's sent off.
 

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