Saturday, December 11, 2010

Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

This past Sunday, December 5, 2010, I ran the half marathon in Las Vegas. Here’s how my morning went.

* all photos in this post are from my Blackberry and some are blurry due to me being in motion at the time the photo was taken :) *

4:10 am – I woke up. The alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but I was awake.
4:45 am – this is when the alarm was supposed to go off, but apparently something screwy happened and my Blackberry had turned off even though it was connected to the computer at the time.
5:00 am – went down to Starbucks to grab a coffee and then head back up to the hotel room at MGM Grand to eat my Luna bar and banana for breakfast
6:00 am – headed out of the room to start the walk down to Mandalay Bay. We met up with some more runners in the elevator and even more walking through the casino on the way out. Once we were outside, there was a large crowd of runners walking down the middle of Las Vegas Blvd, which was closed for the event.
Las Vegas-20101205-00067-2
During the walk to the start, I tried to turn on my Garmin. It wouldn’t turn on. I started frantically pushing buttons, trying to remember how to do a soft re-set. I finally got it to turn on, but it had a message that did not make me happy at all “battery low.” Crap. I was upset. I wanted so badly to do well in this race and the thought of not having the Garmin to verify that I was maintaining the pace I wanted did not make me feel confident. Ryan told me to calm down and turn off the Garmin for now. I did. I kept it off until just before race start.
6:30 am – arrived at the corrals, walked past all of the Southbound corrals and around the corner onto the Northbound side of the blvd where I showed my race number to prove I belonged in this section. I found my way to my corral and settled in. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had port-a-potties right in the corral. Very smart.
6:45 am – start line entertainment included “Cher” singing the national anthem (with some sound glitches, where she couldn’t hear the music and actually only sang the last half of the song).
7:00 am – race start for corral #1. It was a wave start, so each corral started about 90 seconds apart. For the few minutes I was waiting, I was entertained by the Blues Brothers.
7:03:32 am – I crossed the start line

Now that we’re into the race, I will talk in km and miles since I’d have to reference various files to figure out times.

6 km mark – my low back started to hurt – no doubt due to the 6 hours on a plane the previous day where I didn’t get up to walk around until the flight was almost over. Note to self: always get up and walk around on a plane when running a race the next day.
7 km mark – had to take a wee walk break due to the back pain. Decided to take a couple of shot blocks and drink some water slightly early (was planning on doing this at 5 miles/8 km)
10 km mark – had to take another small walk break, but on the plus side, the Garmin was still going strong.
9 mile mark – Ryan was on the side of the course taking photos. I let him know that I was running well but that my back was hurting me since 6km. A nearby runner overheard the conversation and told me to run with him until the half and full split. I was grateful – it was nice to have someone to talk to for a while
10 mile mark – the runner from Chicago was a little too fast for me, so we parted at this point. Very very shortly after, I looked at my Garmin and it went blank. It had finally died at  I was on my own for the final 5k.

I took a walk through the next water station and drank some Cytomax. At this point, I saw the 1:52 pace bunny run by. I knew I was doing alright, and thought that maybe I could catch up with me. This thought quickly went away as I was running hard, but not gaining ground. I decided to just keep my pace and do the best I could.

As I approached Mandalay Bay, I was feeling good and was happy that I was very close to the finish. I was passing a few people, which is always a confidence boost. When I crossed the line, the clock time said 1:58:25, but I knew my time was faster and thought it might be a PB (previous best was 1:57:08). After I collected my medal and food and left the secure area, I noticed a sign that stated that race results would be online by 7pm. Boo.. I was hoping to see my time.. and with no Garmin, I had no reference. I spotted the medal engraving booth, so I dropped off my medal, paid my $20 and had them engrave my name and finish time onto the back. These people have the chip time results, so I was able to find out my time about 20 minutes after finishing. As I picked up the medal and looked at the time, I was very happy. A new PB!  Yay!

The race was great and well organized. The course was fantastic and I would definitely run it again!


My post-finish self-portrait. (after I took this, another runner offered to make my photo for me, which is my current profile picture on Facebook).


And my finisher certificate

Finish Certificate

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I forgot to blog about the race

So.. here’s a quick note and I’ll write a better post after I’m back home from Vegas with pictures and more details. It will include such information about the Garmin issues, the entertainment at the start, the pain during the race, the nice guy I ran with for a while around the 9 to 10 mile mark, and the finish concert.

For now, here’s a quick note.

The weather was fantastic, the spectators were encouraging, bands and cheerleaders on the course were entertaining. The start and finish were well organized and I ran my race in a new PB time of 1:55:02.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Short, easy run

It’s just a few days until race day, so I decided to go for a nice easy run in the snow. It was just a short 20 minute run, but it was good.

Tomorrow afternoon, I head out on the mini-vacation that includes the half marathon on Sunday. It’ll be a great time and I’ll be sure to update on the race results on Sunday!

Today’s Run:
Distance 3.6 km
Weather: –2 C, felt like –7 C, wind SW 17 km/h

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rainy Run

It’s raining. It’s been raining all day.
So I went running in the rain tonight.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 9 C, rain, wind S 24 km/h

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Final Long Run before the half

One week from today is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and 1/2. I am running the half and I’ve just come back from my final long run before the race.

I ran 18 km today and felt quite good. I’m hoping for a PB (of course) and maybe just maybe Lady Luck will have my back in Vegas.

I’m all packed (except for some running essentials that I still need to use this week) and I’m ready to go. Just 5 more days and I’ll be on my way!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 18 km
Weather: –1 C, felt like –4; wind SW 4 km/h

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Night Speedwork

Tonight I hit the gym and ran on the treadmill, which is something I don’t do very often. I did an interval workout consisting of running a total of 7 miles with 1 mile intervals at a 7:41 min/mi pace. I definitely did a lot of sweating, but it was good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A week and a half to go

I’m getting excited for Vegas! I’m now at the point where I check the weather daily to see what race day is supposed to be like. A couple of days ago it said that the expected high was 16 C, but now it says a high of 9 C with a low of 2 C. I know that it’s likely to change again, seeing as there’s still a week and a half to go.

This week, I’ve kind of stopped following my training schedule and have started just going out for runs of whatever distance and pace I feel like running. I’ll do my speed workout tomorrow as per schedule and my weekend long run as per schedule as well, but my regular “easy runs” are being mixed up a bit. It’s kind of fun.

Monday morning I ran 10 km, this morning I ran 5.5 km. I may run again tonight… who knows?

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: –2 C (felt like –6 C), wind 11 km/h

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I have successfully applied for entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2011

Now to wait until spring to find out if I’m in.

I’m either in for 2011 (if I’m chosen in the lottery), or I wait until the next year when I have guaranteed entry due to being declined entry 3 years in a row.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Morning in the Park

The sun had recently risen; the frost had not yet melted, giving the grass a snowy look. I looked to the pond, which was covered in a morning mist. The sun illuminated it. As I ran past the island, I watched silhouettes of ducks swimming gracefully through the mist and a swan grooming itself near the shore.

It’s not very often that I see Victoria park like this. Normally there are many people walking and cycling, kids playing, and cars driving by. But this morning I was out early enough to enjoy it without the hustle and bustle, but late enough to have light.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 18.5 km
Weather: –3 C, sunny, wind 6 km/h NW

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

When you’re hungry…

don’t run past a bread factory.

Tonight, I went for a run after work. I didn’t feel hungry when I left the house, but as I stood at a stop light smelling bread baking, it became apparent.

Mmmm… bread.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 4 C, wind SE 11 km/h

Sunday, November 07, 2010

It’s NYC Marathon Day

I wasn’t running it, but I did watch the highlights on TV and I do know several people who ran it today. It looked like the weather was great for the runners!

Congratulations to all the finishers today!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 16 km
Weather: ~6 C, clear, wind S 13 km/h

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Today I ran to Remember

This morning was the Remember Run 5K and 8K races in Cambridge at the Legion. The funds from this race go to the Poppy Fund.

I ran the 8K race. It was a beautiful course, running through Riverside Park on roads, trails, boardwalks, bridges, and even some stairs. Anything wooden was slippery with frost and ice, but it was cold out, so that’s to be expected.

I took it easy on the slippery sections and walked a bit. I don’t want any injuries this close to Vegas. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I finished in 43:17 and actually finished first in my age group, which I was not expecting. There are usually some sub-40 minute 8Kers out there.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Last Session

Last night was the very last Quality Workout session of the season for the marathon group at Runners’ Choice. We had a good night doing intervals at the park. The next session for this group starts in early January. I’ll be certain to join at that time, too because I signed up for my first full marathon! I’ll be running my very first full this coming May and I’m looking forward to training with the group.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Freezing Fog

That’s what the Weather Network says was happening this morning. It was very foggy for my early morning run today and I was noticing that I could see moisture and potentially ice/frost on my eyelashes while running.

This morning’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –3 C, freezing fog

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Nice Fall Evening Run

I went out for my run at 8pm this evening. It was dark, it was fairly quiet, it was calm. I could see both stars and clouds in the sky. The temperature was definitely not warm, but it wasn’t too cold, either. I started out with a toque and gloves, but the gloves were removed quite quickly. It was a great night for a run.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 14.5 km
Weather: 2 C to –1 C, no wind

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finally, a week where I covered over 50km!

It’s been a while since I’ve done it. In fact, this was my biggest mileage week all year! I covered about 52 km.

Since my last past, I had my Quality Workout night at Runner’s Choice on Thursday. I ran from work to the store and then headed out for the workout, so I covered 11 km total that night. Our workout consisted of intervals at Waterloo Park.

Yesterday morning, I got up and headed out for a nice easy morning run, not too early, but not too late (9am). I covered 6 km yesterday.

Now I just need to keep it up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windy Day

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”  ~John Ruskin

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7 km
Weather: 15 C, wind 50 km/h w/ gusts of 65 km/h

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a busy Month!

October has been flying by! It’s been a very busy month. I posted the first weekend of the month when I ran the Laurier Loop, so you know about that part.

The 2nd weekend was Thanksgiving, where I ran a 5K race in front of the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade. The event was fun, but not quite as good as last year. Last year it was chip timed, they finisher’s prizes, and age group prizes. This year, no chips, no finisher’s prizes, no age group prizes (just top male and female overall), and the cost was the same as last year.

The 3rd weekend of the month, Ryan and I spent Friday and Saturday in Toronto at the Henry’s Photographic, Video, and Digital Imaging Show, then came back here where I ran the Oktoberfest Run on the Sunday. I had a cold starting a few days before that race, but I still ran my second fastest 5K, so that was a pleasant surprise!

This weekend, (almost all better from my cold) I ran the Niagara Falls International Half-Marathon (although on the full marathon crosses borders) and also ran my second fastest time. My fastest half was in Virginia Beach last year, where I ran in 1:57:08, this time I did 1:57:40.

This morning, I made sure not to fall off the training horse and got up to go for an easy run. I did 6.5 km. My next race is an 8K in early November, and then a half marathon in early December. Hopefully I’ll achieve a new PB in Vegas!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Laurier Loop – 10K PB today

This morning, I ran the Laurier Loop, which is a 2.5 km loop run 1 time, 2 times, or 4 times depending on the distance you’re competing in.

I did the 10K, so 4 loops. I wanted to see how consistent I could be (there are split times for each lap as you cross over the mat) and I also wanted to finally get my 50 minute 10K.

The goal time didn’t happen, but I did end up with a new PB. My split times were: 12:19, 13:13, 13:33, 13:00.

Since I don’t have any more 10K races this year, I guess I’ll have to strive for that sub-50 next year.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Speed Work

Last night was speed work with Runners’ Choice at Moses Springer Park. It was a good, hard, quick workout. We ran to the park, then once we were there, partnered up and the first person would run hard around this triangle of trail and grass and then come back and tag the partner. Partner would then go around and tag the first person again when they got back. So, you run hard, then have a short break, then run hard again. We were to do this 5-10 times, so I did 10.

Total distance covered: 6km

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oops! I did it again.

I set my alarm for 6:15am. It went off, I got out of bed, put my Garmin in the window to find satellites and then made the mistake of lying back down on the bed. When I looked at the time again, it was almost 7. Oops. So… my planned 10 km run turned into 3.5 km. At least I still got out for a bit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A short race and a long run

On Saturday morning, I ran the AHS Fun Run at the University of Waterloo. This 5K race was free and included food and a t-shirt. What more could you ask for? It was odd weather that morning, kind of cold, but then when the sun came out, it was fairly warm. I did not have my best race at all, but that’s okay. My legs did not want to move that morning… they were still tired from hill training on Thursday night. It was still fun, though.

Tonight, after work, I headed out for a long run. As luck would have it, it was raining. It rained the entire time. I was nice and soaked by the time I got home.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 18 km
Weather: 13 C, rain

Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Night: Hills

I forgot to post after getting home from the Runners’ Choice group last night because I had to shower, eat, and head out to a friend’s house to watch Grey’s… so.. I’ll post now.

It was a hill training night out at Columbia Lake. It was a tough and rewarding workout. It felt very good and the rain stayed away as well.

We’re now 1 month out from my next half marathon.  I need to kick myself into gear a bit more for this last stretch as I’ve been slacking a wee bit this month. This week’s been decent though.. Back on track… yep… back on track.

Yesterday’s Run:
Total distance covered in the hill training: 12 km
Weather: humid, 20-something C

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I got distracted

I got up this morning at 6:30 with plans of running 8km before work. I went into the living room, put my Garmin in the window to find satellite reception, went onto the computer to check the weather, but found that Ryan had started a blog post our Shoot the Thrill Photography blog, but that it wasn’t published yet. He had asked me to write the blog post yesterday, but I forgot to do it, so I went through what he wrote, changed it slightly, added some links and published the post. Then I looked at the time and it was 6:57. Oops. So… my run was shortened. But then again, a short run is better than no run at all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 4 km
Weather: 17 C, cloudy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today’s Run

Today I ran past the bread factory and got hungry, but then a car with a really smelly exhaust drove by, so that cured the hunger problem on a few couple km into my run.

Distance: 10 km
Weather: 11 C

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick run before work

I got up at 6am this morning, but didn’t actually get outside until 6:30, so it was a shorter run for me this morning. Tomorrow is a hill day, so I guess it’s good that I saved some energy for tomorrow.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 5 C

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another week in Running

This time I have an excuse for not posting. Ryan and I were up on Oxtongue Lake from Friday to Tuesday, so there was no posting of any kind while there.

While we were up there, I did some trail running on some very hilly and wet trails, we did some kayaking a couple of days, and also did some hiking in Algonquin Park. It was cold and rainy, but was still a good time away from KW.

Last night I ran the inaugural Mudpuppy Twilight Trail Run, which is an 8km race finishing at Moose Winooski’s at Sportsworld Crossing. There were some glitches that they are planning to change for next year, but it was still enjoyable. There were really just 2 things that were frustrating. 1st, the gates for the trail were not opened up, so there were several bottleneck situations in the first km. 2nd, about 500m from the finish, there was a stop light that we actually had to stop and wait for. This made it so that even if you were ahead of someone for the entire race, they could catch up to you at this light (waited for a few minutes to cross) and basically had a sprint to the finish in groups of people. For me, this meant that a girl in my age group stopped at the light after me, got in front of me while crossing the street and then I had to attempt to pass her over the next few hundred meters. I ended up finishing in the exact same time as her. I tried so hard to pass, but it just didn’t quite happen.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long run today… better late than never

I didn’t run on Sunday because my legs were very tired after shooting a wedding all day Saturday. Then Monday just didn’t work out, so this morning I ran my 16 km run that I had planned for Sunday. It was a hot, sweaty run, but I got it done.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Running to go Running

Today I ran from work to Runners’ Choice for Quality Workout night. It’s not that far, just about 2.5 km, so it only made sense. I had to run with a backpack strapped to my back, though, so that made it a bit more difficult. I’m sure I looked wonderful as I showed up at the store all sweaty before we started our workout.

Tonight’s workout was a race simulation type workout. We warmed up (even though I was already nice and warmed up) but running a few km to the trails where we were doing our real workout. We did 10 km at a bit faster than easy run pace (to simulate the start of a marathon), then 10 km at goal race pace, then a final 5-10 minutes at “shut up and run” pace (to simulate the run to the finish line with any remaining juice you have left). After I finished this, I did 5 hill repeats, then headed back to the store.

Today’s Run:
Total distance covered: 14.25 km
Weather: 19 C, sunny

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running in the Morning

I’m attempting to get myself used to running in the morning. I’ve generally been an evening runner, but this week I’ve been getting up early and running in the AM. At least I’ve done this twice so far this week. Tomorrow is clinic night, so I’ll be running in the evening tomorrow. I hope to someday get used to getting up early and running, but I know it’s not going to happen immediately.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 6 km
Weather: 10 C, clear

Monday, August 23, 2010

I’ve been slacking…

…in the posting that is, not the running.

Even though I run several times per week, I’ve only been posting about once. My whole idea with this blog was to write a post after each and every run. It was to be about the run, be about something I thought about when I was on the run, or something alltogether random, but still mention what I ran that day.

So… I now make my August resolution (‘cause it’s not New Years) to post after each run once again. Hold me to it.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 10 km
Weather: 17 C, clear (early morning)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I ran to the finish of the ENDURrun marathon!

But I wasn’t actually in the race. Yesterday, I ran from home to the finish to watch people who were competing and to photograph the runners. It was a very hot and humid day. My run to Conestogo was tough and I only ran 13 km. Congrats to all the runners who ran the marathon yesterday and especially to those who ran the entire 160 km, 7 stage event. You truly are tough runners!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reverse Duathlon

Last night was another “Quality Workout” night at Runner’s Choice. We were to meet up at Bechtel Park at 6pm and then start our workout. I rode my bike from work to the park (6km), then did the workout (8.5 km of trail running 3 min hard, 1 min recovery, repeat), then I biked home (5 km). 

So, I did bike-run-bike: a reverse duathlon. I can’t say that was really my plan, but it was a fantastic workout.

Monday, August 09, 2010


Yesterday, I ran Stage 1 of the 8 day, 7 stage race. I was part of a relay team for Runner’s Choice. Stage 1 was a half marathon on a nice course starting in Conestogo following roads and trails over rolling hills. The weather was good (except for a nasty headwind for a while near the end of the race) and race organization was fantastic. The group of runners are great as well. I find that at so many races people don’t really talk to one another. This race is an exception. There is a group of 50ish runners who are taking part in all 7 stages, completing 160 km over the week. They become a bit of a tight-knit group.
I’m considering doing the whole ENDURrun next year, but we’ll see. I’m going to watch a stage or two more this week and cheer on the runners. I’ve given myself a deadline of the end of January to decide if I’m going to sign up for the Ultimate Challenge.
Click here to see Ryan’s photos from Stage 1.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Longer Intervals

Tonight we took to Waterloo Park for some longer intervals: run hard about 500 m and then recovery run back to the starting point. Repeat.

Total distance covered at tonight’s workout: 10 km

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Shoes

Tonight after work, I went to the Nike Store to buy a new pair of shoes. Really, I just got a new pair of the shoes I already had: Nike Structure Triax 12.

I was hoping to find a good deal, but instead it was pretty much regular price. I’m sure they were a bit less than if I purchased them in a regular running or sport store, but they weren’t clearance and there wasn’t any “buy one get one half” type sale. Oh well. I needed new shoes, so I got new shoes.

Tonight’s Run (in the new shoes):
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 23 C, very humid, felt like 32 C

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A few days behind in my posts

I spent the weekend camping with my family at Charleston Lake Provincial Park. I did some kayaking, hiking, running, swimming, biking, and walking. I had intentions of running both Saturday and Sunday, but after Saturday’s 10 km run on a difficult trail and all of the other activities listed above, my body did not want to run again on Sunday morning. I decided to sit, have a coffee, and relax for a while before having breakfast and then packing up our site.

Since I didn’t do a long run on Sunday, I decided to do it after work yesterday (Monday). I got out for a 16.25 km run last night and it was tough since I was tired and my shoes are also pretty much done. So.. I need to go shopping for shoes again.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Tonight at the clinic, we ran out to the track (1.6 km) to do a short interval workout. We ran hard 200m and then had a 200m recovery run back to the starting position. This was repeated for 20 minutes, followed by a couple of easy laps around the track before we headed back for a cool-down run back to the store.

It was another rewarding workout with lots of sweat and tiring legs. I’m truly enjoying this clinic.

Total distance of workout was 7 km

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dirty Dash

This morning, I ran the first annual Dirty Dash trail/cross country race in Waterloo. The race involved running through a meadow, grass trail, dirt rail through a forest, river (both a section straight down it and another area where you just crossed it), more dirt trail with a large hill that ended up quite muddy, and finally, a mud pit just before the finish line.

I ran the 8K distance (there was an 8K, 4K, and a 1K kid’s fun run) and it was the toughest 8K I’ve ever run. It was very hilly and running with soaking wet shoes is also another new experience. Since the 8K course was a 2 look version of the 4K so all (except the mud pit) was done twice.

The mud pit was longer than I expected and you had to go under all of the flags above the mud, so crawling was pretty much the way to go. I crawled through the pit, went to stand up after going under the last set of flags and my shoe got stuck as I tried to move. I fell back down, pulled my foot out of the mud, and moved on my way, passing through the finish area.

2010-07-18 - Dirty Dash 2385

I placed 3rd in my age group today. Needless to say, the times were slower than most races as there were more obstacles and with so many people running on a narrow trail at once, there were some delays on the first trip into the river. It was a lot of fun today and I’ll definitely do this one again next year!

There will be some photos and another point of view (photographer’s point of view, that is) on Ryan’s blog in the next few days.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8km
Weather: 24 C, felt like 29 C

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Tonight’s “Quality Workout” with Runners’ Choice was hill training. It was hot out tonight and the workout was tough, but rewarding. We ran out to Columbia Lake and worked on three different hills there, with increasing difficulty from one to the next. We had some nice, ice cold, water waiting for us at the 3rd hill, which was refreshing, and after we ran back to the store, we had melon and a good discussion on nutrition. All in all, it was a good night of training.

Tonight’s Run - Hill training
Distance covered: 10 km
Weather: 29 C, feels like 37 C

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Car Camping Weekend

Ryan and I went camping at Guelph Lake Conservation Area this weekend. It was a relatively last minute trip as we decided and booked it just a couple days before going. The car was loaded without even really going through any of our camping items, so a couple things were missing,but nothing too important (didn’t have a dish cloth, so a potholder was used instead).

I had intended to go for a shorter easy run on either Friday night or Saturday morning, but we got to the park a bit later than planned on Friday evening and after a very loud evening (other campers, some of who were kicked out that night) and after an animal ran right into the side of the tent in the middle of the night, and a couple of girls decided to walk by talking, laughing, singing, etc LOUDLY at 4:30 am (they were kicked out) I was not bright-eyed or bushy-tailed at 7am, so I stayed in bed.

Saturday became a cross-training day with lots of walking, swimming, paddling, and a bit of hiking.

Saturday night was much quieter, but we did still the skunk waking us up by walking along the edge of the ten (on the edge of the tent floor). I guess we invaded his walking route. He didn’t bother us, though, just woke us up a few times.

I did get out for my Sunday run today. This morning, I went for a 15 km run, a good portion of it on 2 trails, one being the Speed River Trail. It was sunny and hot, so I was very glad to be in shaded trails for about 9km of the run. I had an enjoyable run, but really wanted to jump straight into the lake from the dam, when I was running across it. I resisted, of course.

It was a quick weekend, but a good one. It was quite a contrast to our camping up in Algonquin the previous weekend. But as they say, variety is the spice of life.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 15 km
Weather: 25 C, sunny, not much wind.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

First Quality Session

Tonight, in the heat and humidity, was the first Quality session of the Marathon and Half Marathon group’s summer/fall session.

We met up at Runner’s Choice and after a bit of announcements, group info, etc we headed out to run to a local park. Once we arrived at the park, the night’s workout was explained to us. We each had a partner (we’ll call each partner P1 and P2) for the workout. Each of the P1s went out first to run (staggered start) a loop around the park, when P1 returned the start, they tagged P2, who then ran the loop. So, you ran hard around the loop, came back, had a break to have some water while your partner ran the loop and then it was time to do it again. We did this around 8 times each before we ran back to the store for some nice cold, fresh watermelon! Great session!

Today’s Run:
Quality workout that totalled up to 5km on my Garmin.
Weather: 30 C, feels like 37 C

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I did it!

I got up just before 6am today, headed out for a run, and actually completed the distance that I had planned!

Lately, every time I’ve attempted to run in the morning, I’ve gone back to sleep for a bit and then cut my run short. But not today! I was out by 6:15 and I ran 10K just like I wanted to.

Now to just make this a habit.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 10 km
Weather: 20 C, no wind

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I had a week off… but not really.

A week off running, yes.
A week of doing nothing? Definitely not.

Ryan and I just got back from Algonquin Park late Sunday night after a 4-day trip to the interior. We actually stayed on the same lake the whole time this year so that if we wanted to stay put for a day, we could, but if we wanted to go out paddling all day, we could pack a day pack and head out, coming back to our already set-up site.

So… seeing as I was camping on a small island, I did not do any running out there. Instead, I was paddling, swimming, and climbing up and down the hill to get from our beach to our tent.

I’ll have more on the trip, as well as pictures of the trip, on my photo blog next week or the week after (I have a few other photo things I need to finish up before I start looking at the Algonquin photos).

Today’s Run:
Distance: 3.5 km
Weather: 22 C, feels like 30 C, wind 6 km/h

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Marathon/Half Marathon Clinic

Yesterday, I signed up for the next clinic at Runner’s Choice. I decided that I needed something to get me out running my long runs consistently on the weekends and people to give me a swift kick into doing my speed work, so it seemed like a logical idea. Now to train hard and to run a super-fast half marathon this fall!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 11 km
Weather: 16 C, sunny

Friday, June 25, 2010

Morning Runs

I have trouble getting up early and going for runs. I keep telling myself that I’ll do it, I set my alarm, I wake up in the morning, but I almost always end up going back to sleep.

This morning, my alarm went off at 6am, I turned it off, laid back down on the bed “for a minute” but then when I looked at the time again, it was 40 minutes later. Oops. So, my 8K run turned into a 3.5K run and I’m going to end up getting to work a few minutes later than I had planned today.

How can I motivate myself to get up earlier? And how can I have more energy to run in the morning? This morning I found myself practically dragging myself. I want to be able to train in the AM and I want to be able to train fairly hard. Any suggestions?

Today’s Run:
Distance: 3.5 km
Weather: 14 C, wind W 11 km/h

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A week went by….

And I apparently didn’t blog. I did run, however. I ran here, I ran there, I ran in Niagara Falls and ran into a friend of mine who was running a 50K race at the same time I was running, I ran a 10K race on Sunday (The Waterloo 10km Classic) and now, today, I just got back from a regular everyday run. The run was pretty uneventful: no earthquakes or tornados.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7km
Weather: 22 C, feels like 31 C

Monday, June 14, 2010

I didn’t run on Sunday..

So I ran today. But I don’t feel like writing much today, so I’m just going to tell you the basic details of my run.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 14 km
Weather: 24 C, feels like 29 C

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I love summer.

Yep. It’s true. And the official start is coming very soon. We are now into Mid-June and we’ve had a good share of summer weather days mixed in with the not-so-summer-like. Today was summer-like. And by summer-like, I mean humid. So, with the humid weather comes very sweaty runs, but I love it. I love warm/hot summer days and I don’t mind the humidity for the most part. Some call me crazy, but it’s very very rare to ever hear me say “it’s too hot” or a similar comment. It’s just over a week until the official start… Yay!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 23 C, feeling like 31 C (run was this morning at 10 am)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sick in the head

You know how I mentioned that I didn’t feel well on Saturday night? Well… I also didn’t feel so great Sunday or Monday for that matter. My head felt like someone was grabbing it and squeezing and my chest felt like I had a pile of bricks on it.

I stayed home from work yesterday and slept. I went for a walk late yesterday afternoon and I had the sweats (it was not hot out). I got a good night’s sleep last night and woke up feeling mostly better this morning. I went to work, still feeling a bit strange, but the chest symptoms were gone. Throughout the day I got progressively better and tonight I felt fine. I felt so good that I went out for a run. An easy run, of course, but a run nonetheless. I just got back and now I’m feeling lightheaded again. Hopefully this will pass soon.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 17 C, wind 4 km/h

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Guelph Lake 10K

This morning, at 10am, I ran the Guelph Lake Conservation Run. The course was nice, a little hillier than I’m used to, but nice.

When I went to bed last night, it was raining. When I woke up this morning, it was raining. Luckily, it stopped before race start and only spit a little during the race. It started up again about an hour after the race.

I finished in 53:14 as per my Garmin and 53:47 as per the timing chip (there was no timing mat at the start). I finished 4th in my age/gender group. It wasn’t my best race, but as I said earlier, the course was nice.

Lessons from today’s race:
- I need to do hill training
- I need to make sure my shoes are not too tight (my right foot went numb and I needed to stop to loosen my laces)
- When re-tying my shoes, I need to make sure my sock does not bunch under my foot (I could feel a fold or something under the ball of my right foot the whole rest of the race after adjusting my laces)
- I should definitely pay more attention to what I eat the day before a race (went out for dinner last night, enjoyed my food, but it didn’t like me… I felt ill last night and didn’t feel fantastic this morning.. I actually had a moment in the race where I started to think about what to do if I need to vomit. Luckily, the feeling passed)
- If the weather is above 10C, even if I feel very cold before the start, I do NOT need to wear a jacket (I brought my jacket thinking I would wear just the vest portion and leave the sleeves in the car, then when I got there, I was cold, so I put the sleeves back on and started the race. About 2 km into the race, I needed to take off the jacket and tie it around my waist)’

So, there were mistakes made today, but I still had a good time. I would definitely do this race again.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Camp Day

Today is Camp Day at Tim Hortons, a day where all proceeds from coffee sales go towards sending kids to the Tim Horton Children's Foundation Camp.

I bought 2 extra large coffees today :)

And I participated in the Camp Day Run, which was put on by Running Room and Tim Hortons. I did a 10 km route in the rain, which ended at Tim Hortons where treats of Yogurt & Berries and prizes were waiting.

Even though it was quite a wet run, it was still enjoyable and it was nice to know that running in my soaking wet Camp Day cotton t-shirt spread maybe just maybe sparked some people’s attention and perhaps they went to Timmies to donate or to buy a coffee.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 10 km
Weather: 20 C, rain.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lesson Learned

Muffin batter and running don’t mix.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 19 C, wind 13 km/h

Monday, May 31, 2010

I fell asleep again… oops

I woke up to the sound of my alarm this morning, hit snooze, slept for 9 more minutes, then got up and turned off the alarm. I felt a bit dizzy, so I laid back down on the bed “for a minute or so” but the next thing I knew it was 6:45am and I was still in bed. I got up and quickly put on my running clothes and headed outside to get at least a short little run in before work. After all, a short run is better than no run.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 3.5 km (I told you it was a short run)
Weather: 16C, sunny, wind 13 km/h

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back from Vacation

I’m now back in Ontario after a week long vacation in Orlando, Florida. I had great plans of running at least 5 days when we were there. I did 3. All in all, I guess that’s not too bad… we were on vacation after all and I really didn’t want to set alarms to get up at the crack of dawn to run. We were vacationing along with another couple, so we had plans to do things together during the day, which also makes it more difficult to get runs in.

Of my 3 runs, 2 out of 3 were pretty uneventful.

Run #1: I ran one evening through our vacation property, through the property across the street and then down the street for a bit of an out and back. It was a sweaty run, of course (it was Florida in late May after all), but other than that, nothing notable besides dodging a few lizards.

Run #2: I decided to head run around Sea World, Aquatica, and surrounding area. I ran out to the first main intersection, crossed the street by CVS, and proceeded to run up a few steps up to the sidewalk on the other side of the road. Me being the ever so coordinated person that I am, tripped up the top step and scraped up my knee. I squirted water on it from my camelback to clean up some of the blood and continued my run. I ran past Sea World and a loop around Aquatica when I noticed the angry looking clouds behind me. I felt a few drops and thought maybe I’d stay in front of the storm the whole way back. It went okay for a while, I was only a couple miles from the hotel, so I wasn’t too concerned. I got all the way back to the road the hotel was on before the rain started to pick up. I turned into the Marriott Cypress Harbour property and it started to pour. I headed toward our villa and the wind started to pick up. I stopped to stretch on the steps (covered) and watched the rain and wind around me. I was drenched, but I was mere minutes away from a nice shower and clean, dry clothes.

Run #3: Another uneventful run down nice long roads, a quick run through a Hilton vacation property and back to our hotel. Nothing to write home about, yet I appear to be writing about it here.

Now that I’m back, I had plans of a long run today, but that didn’t happen. I did some unpacking, went for a walk, enjoyed the nice hot weather (I couldn’t get enough of it in Florida, so I thought I’d enjoy it here as well) and I’ll get up for a bit of a run in the morning.

Good night, everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Daytime Runs Rock

I'm on vacation as of today, so I got to enjoy a nice morning run that was not at the crack of dawn. I headed out for my run around 9am, which was great! I didn't have to wake up super early, I didn't have to try to drag myself outside half asleep, and there were actually other people out and about that I could say "good morning" to. I got to be one of the people that I'm jealous of as I head to work in the mornings. The people who are out enjoying the nice weather, going for wonderfully nice runs along trails and through parks while others hustle and bustle along to get to their workplace and sit indoors at a desk all day. I'm usually the desk person, today I got to be the one outdoors.

Today's Run:
Distance 5.5 km
Weather: sunny, 17 C

Yesterday's Run (which was a morning run, but a 6am morning run)
Distance: 4 km
Weather: I don't remember the exact temperature, but it was likely around 12 C.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Smells like camping

I just got back from my run this evening and all I can think about is camping. It's a nice warm evening and the warm wind felt like a summer evening at a campground. I could also smell fire outside and it truly smelled like campfire, perhaps someone nearby has a fire pit in their yard. I don't have any big camping trips planned for this summer, but I'm now definitely looking forward to the weekend trips that Ryan and I will surely be taking.

Today's Run:
Distance: 6.5 km
Weather: 15 C

Saturday's run was 11 km along the Ottawa River (I was in Ottawa for the weekend).
Thursday's run was 5.5 km on the treadmill.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy 35th Birthday to Ryan!

Today's my husband's birthday. Since it's the middle of the week, we didn't do too much to celebrate today, but we had some dessert and then some ice wine this evening. There were some celebratory times last weekend and hopefully some more on Friday when we visit my sister.

I did manage to get a quick run in this evening (before the the indulging of cake and wine) and it felt good. My leg/hip feels almost completely normal.

Today's Run:
Distance 5.25 km
Weather: 10 C, Sunny.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lack of Running

I didn't run at all on the weekend. It was windy and cold and I just didn't want to, so I didn't.

Last night, I did plan on getting out and running, but I decided to go to the gym instead and run on the treadmill as I didn't feel that well and didn't want to get too far away from the house only to want to be in bed. It's a good thing I chose the gym because I did a whopping km on the treadmill before I decided that I felt too ill to be running. So.. home I went, sat and drank some water, and then went to bed.

Hopefully everything will work out today and I can get out there for a good run tonight.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tight Hip

Ever since the half a week and a bit ago, my right hip has been tight. I’ve had a bit of pain, but mostly, it’s just tight. On my run tonight I noticed that I can’t extend my right leg as far back as my left. I had to run with a shorter stride this evening to be sure that I wouldn’t limp as I ran. Back to the ol’ foam roller for some more stretching. I’ve booked a massage for Friday as well, so hopefully we can fix this hip.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7.75 km
Weather: 17 C, wind 13 km/h

Nice Sunny Evening

I was planning on going to the gym last night, but since it was so nice out, I didn’t want to be cooped up inside. I went for a nice, fairly short, slow, easy run around town, through the park, and down a few trails.

I’m definitely loving this weather that we’re having. It looks like another nice one today, too!

Last Night’s Run:
Distance: 6.5 km
Weather: 20 C, sunny, little wind.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Kitchener Downtown Mudpuppy Chase

This morning I ran the 10K race that runs through downtown Kitchener. The rain held off and it was actually quite warm. I wore shorts and a tank top for the first time in a race so far this year. I actually wore my vest as well, but wished I hadn’t. My iPod was in the pocket, though, and I didn’t have an arm band or anything so I kept it on.

I was hoping to run a 50 minute (or less) race, but that didn’t happen. I started out well, but just couldn’t keep it going in the 2nd loop of the course. I did the 1st loop in 24 minutes, but I really slowed down the 2nd loop. For some reason my legs just didn’t want to go. I think I need to do more hills and speed work.

I ended up finishing in 52:30, which did put me 3rd in my age/gender group.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Calling for Thunder Showers

For today and tomorrow, the Weather Network called/calls for thunder showers. There was a decent storm this morning (I was glad I hadn’t gone out for a run when I was considering it as I would have been out when the pouring started) but since then, it’s been a decent day. It’s been a little windy, cloudy, but didn’t rain more.

Tomorrow morning I’m running a 10K road race. It’s calling for thunder showers all day. Hopefully it’ll be kind of like today and not too bad. At least it’s not supposed to be cold out. It’ll all be good.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.2 km
Weather: cloudy, 21 C

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I forgot to post last night

So.. I’ll do a quick post now.

I ran on the treadmill at the gym last night. My hip and leg have been hurting since the half on Sunday, so I thought I’d take it a bit easy run-wise and ran 5K on the treadmill. It felt good. The leg feels much better today. I’m looking forward to the 10K race this weekend, although, once again, it’s calling for rain.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Waterloo Half Marathon

This morning at 8:30 am, I started running the Waterloo Half Marathon. It was nice and rainy and it didn’t stop until after I was done. There was wind, there were hills, there was a muddy, puddly, almost pot-holey section near the end. I got a nice cramp in my side a third of the way through (it went away fairly quick) and my hip decided to start to hurt just past the half-way mark (I'm guessing my muscles were mad because of the cold).

It would have been a nice run had the weather been good, but I was really just miserable the whole time as I was wet and cold. I did not PB today. Not in the rain. Maybe next time.

Today’s Run:
Distance: Half Marathon (21ish km, 13.1 miles) – I finished in 2:01
Weather: 7 C, rain, wind 17 km/h

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ENDURrace down.. Waterloo Half Tomorrow

Today I ran the 8K portion of the ENDURrace 2 part series. Last Saturday was the 5K and tonight the 8K. I had decided that tonight I was not attempting to place, but was just going out to enjoy the run as I’m running the Waterloo Half Marathon tomorrow morning and didn’t want to tire out my legs today.

I finished the race in 42:22. Tomorrow’s the more important race. Hopefully it goes well.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 15 C, cloudy, wind 15 km/h

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Running before coffee

I ran first thing morning, before coffee. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to put the sleeves back on my jacket before I headed out.

Lesson Learned: I need coffee before I can function properly.

This Morning’s Run:
Distance: 5K
Weather: 1C, 30 km/h winds

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exam done. Back to Running.

So now that my exam is done, I can get back to running without feeling like I should be studying.

I didn’t go for anything super-long tonight as I don’t want to wear myself out too much this week. I have a half marathon on Sunday morning (and I actually have an 8K on Saturday evening as well) and I want to have as fresh legs as possible.

I also get to finally read my newest issue of Runner’s World today. It’s been sitting on the piano taunting me since it came in the mail, but I told myself that I couldn’t watch it until I was all done my exam. Tonight, before bed, it will be opened.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5 km
Weather: 12 C, clear, wind 15 km/h

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quick run in an attempt to clear my head

I have an exam tomorrow. Because of this, I did not go for my long run yesterday and have been reading ever so interesting books and notes for hours on end over the last few days. Tonight, I attempted to study some more, but my head would have none of it. So, I put down the books and went out for a run. Just a short 20 minute run to get outside, get away from staring at the pages and to clear my head. Now, to attempt to read a wee bit before bed and hopefully pass my exam in the morning.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 3.7 km
Weather: 8 C, clear, 15 km/h wind

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Race Season has Begun

I ran my first spring race today. It was a 5K, the first half of a 2-part series. The weather this evening was… well… not so nice. It was snowing. It was blowing. The snow was blowing sideways. It was on the chilly side, and the wind was quite strong. I wore gloves. It was the first time for gloves (not counting my run earlier today) since… well.. winter.

Even though the weather was not what we’d hoped, it is still April and you never know what to expect in April. Actually, that’s not true… you know to expect the unexpected.

My time wasn’t bad. I finished in 24:19, which put me 3rd in my age/gender group (actually got a 2nd place medal as the 1st person in my age group placed in top 3 overall female) and 12th overall female out of 179 female runners. I was hoping for a bit better time as I really want to get back into the 23 minute times (I’ve only been there once, but I liked it… my PB for 5K is 23:18), but I’m not training specifically for 5K distance.

I’m focusing on half marathon and 10K and hoping to break the 50 minute mark for the 10K this season. Next weekend I have an 8K and a half marathon and the following weekend a 10K. Wish me luck!

Today’s Runs:
Noonish run: 4 km, weather 5 C, bit of wind, a few snowflakes.
Evening 5K race: 5 km (obviously), weather 3 C, windy, snowy, etc.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Night-time Run

I was studying for my exam next week and didn’t get out for my run until a bit later this evening. I headed out shortly after 10pm and got to enjoy the nice warm evening with not too much traffic. Definitely enjoyable. I love nice quiet warm night-time runs.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 17 C, warm breeze

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fresh Shoes

I started a new pair of shoes tonight. What a great feeling. I knew my old shoes were just about done a few weeks ago, but didn’t realize just how worn they were until I put on the new pair today. I now have happy feet again.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5 km
Weather: 9 C, clear, wind 13 km/h

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My first snot rocket

I feel like it was almost a right of passage.

Today, I blew my first snot rocket. I’ve been running for 5 or 6 years and it took until now, which is kind of crazy. I had a bug fly up my nose, so, it was necessary.. and it a way it was kind of liberating. I was in the woods at the time, so it seemed only natural.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 20 km
Weather: 15 C, sunny, wind 24 km/h

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Lottery Day

Today, the New York Road Runners held the lottery drawing for positions in the ING New York City Marathon. For the first time, they did a live video feed of this. I attempted to watch the video, but I was unable to get onto the site. I guess too many people were trying to watch.

I did log into the site at 12:30 pm, as instructed, to see if I had been chosen. The message that I saw was this:

Marathon registration status: Not accepted

So.. no NYC Marathon for me this year. I’ll try again next year and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get in.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 14 C, light rain

Monday, April 05, 2010

River Run (post 2)

As promised, here are the photos I took on my phone while running yesterday.

This first photo was taken along the Long Sault Parkway, which connects a series of islands in the St Lawrence River.


This next section of trail essentially went in the middle of the river with water on both sides. The land with the trail on it was only about 3m wide.



I saw 3 deer during my run. Here’s the one I took a photo of, but you can barely see it. Lack of zoom doesn’t make for good deer photos.


Shortly before the end of my run, the sun was setting. It looked beautiful, so I snapped this photo as well.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

River Run

Since I was in Eastern Ontario for Easter weekend, I thought I should take advantage of some the close proximity to the St Lawrence River.

I knew that there were some paths and trails along the river, so last night I looked up some maps online and found the Waterfront Trail. I wanted to run approximately 20 km today and wanted to make it as interesting/pretty as I could, so I decided to start at Long Sault and work my way to Upper Canada Village.

It was a great run. I started a bit later in the day than I had planned, but I still finished just before it got dark.

I had my phone with me and took a few photos (not great quality of course as it was just my phone, but still something to look at). I'll post some photos and a bit more detail about the run tomorrow.

Today's Run:
Distance: 20.5 km
Weather: 18 C at the start of the run, 14 C at the end; wind 13 km/h

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I had company!

This morning, my nephew Brayden kept me company for the first portion of my run. He's trying out for rep soccer this year and was given instructions by the coach to get out and run, so for the first time in a LONG time I had company. I definitely enjoy running on my own, but to have a running buddy from time to time is quite nice as well.

The photo in this post was taken by my husband at the end of my run just as I was returning to my parents' house. It was a great morning for a run.

Today's Run:
Distance: 6 km
Weather: 22 C

Friday, April 02, 2010

Country Running

It's been a while since I've run in the country and it's also been a while since I've run in 27 C heat. Well.. today was the day for both. I waited to run until 6:30 pm today so I had a nice evening run. I brought my headlamp with me so that I could see and be seen after the sun went down and also my red turtle light to increase my visibility from behind.

It was a nice evening for a run, fairly calm and not a lot of traffic. I enjoyed myself, but kind of forgot how long it seems to get anywhere due to the large gaps between houses aka large fields. I ran around my parents' "block" which is just under 14 km. 2 of the 4 sections of road are approximately 5 km, while the other two are around 2 km each.

I was glad I brought the headlamp because it started to get dark when I was about two thirds of the way around. It was my first time using the headlamp for running and I must say, it was more comfortable than I expected. I will most certainly use it again.

Today's Run:
Distance: 13.75 km
Weather: 27 C with a bit of a west wind.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Long weekend, here I come!

It is now officially Easter weekend. I’m even taking Monday off work this year, so I get an extra long weekend, which is fantastic. I get to spend time with family, go for runs in the country, spend more time with family, and enjoy the fabulous weather. Excellent.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 16 C (and I ran at 10pm, so that’s pretty fantastic for April 1st!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Pants

I ran in new pants today. Well, not that new, but it’s the first time I’ve worn them. I received a Nike gift card for Christmas from my step-mother-in-law and with it, I purchased a pair of Nike Dri-Fit Stay Cool running pants. I’m not sure what model they are as I can’t find them on the website and I bought them at the outlet, so they’re likely last year’s model, but I think they just might be the most comfortable running pants I own.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: 12 C, Clear, Wind NW 9 km/h

Monday, March 29, 2010

Whew! I made it!

No walls jumped out in front of me today. My hand was safe and sound. I did, however, see a suspicious looking banana peel on the sidewalk… avoided it like the plague!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 10 km
Weather: 9 C, sunny, very little wind

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hi. My name is Vicki and I’m a klutz

Today, I headed out for a nice afternoon run. I felt good, the run was going well, I was half-way through my planned 10 km when somehow I managed to bash my hand against a stone wall on the edge of someone’s property. I then ended up flailing a bit and started to almost tumble forward, I sped my legs up to catch up with my top half, which was significantly in front of me as I was moving down a bit of a down slope. I managed to not take the giant tumble that I thought I was heading toward and righted myself. I stopped, looked at my hand and saw the blood starting to drip. I started to run again, but then turned around, realizing that I should probably get home to clean up my hand. I was just past a road that goes pretty much straight to my house, so I turned down the road and run the 2 km to home all the while dripping blood from my index finger to my middle finger.

Now it’s all cleaned up and I have a large Band-Aid on which is making typing interesting. My finger is a bit swollen as well, but just due to the scrape and bruising.

Man I’m a klutz. Hopefully, this will be my 2010 (knock on wood, but not too hard, ‘cause that hurts, too).

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7 km
Weather: 7 C, partly cloudy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Better late than never

I was supposed to do a 10 km easy run yesterday, but I put it off to today after looking at the weather forecast. Yesterday was not the nicest of weather and today was 13 C and sunny. Not too difficult a decision to make to postpone my run to today (I didn’t have another run scheduled for today anyway).

I went for my 10K run after work today. It was nice calm weather and the sun was still out. It  was a nice evening for a run. I estimated what I thought might be a nice 10K route without looking at any maps online and it turned out to be the perfect distance, which was fantastic. I reached my distance when I was just a couple houses away from being back home.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 10 km
Weather: 13 C, sunny, just a little wind

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Worth the wait

I played the “watch the weather” game today. The forecast called for some showers and a bit of snow, but also some sunny, partly cloudy parts of the day. I checked out the hourly forecast last night to see approximately when I might want to head out for my long run today and decided mid afternoon seemed like the time. 2pm was showing no more chances of rain.

When 2pm rolled around, I looked out the window and it was still very cloudy. I checked the Weather Network and saw that the temperature was only 3 above. I decided to wait.

Around 5 o’clock the clouds broke up and the sun came out. This was what I was waiting for. I put my Garmin in the window to find satellites, I filled up my Fuel Belt water bottles, got dressed in some running clothes, grabbed my iPod and headed out the door.

The weather stayed very nice for the whole run and I was still back before dark. Definitely worth the wait.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 18 km
Weather: 7 C, sunny, virtually no wind

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bright Sunshiny Day

I can see clearly now, but the rain hasn’t gone too far away. Rumour has it (or the weather forecast) that rain is coming again this weekend.

I took today off because my sister, niece, and nephew were coming to visit. It was fantastic weather today and I got to get out for a wonderful afternoon run.

I took to the trail today and saw many people out cycling, walking, blading, and running. It took me a while to remember that it’s currently March break, which explained all of the people with their kids out at the park.

I got to wear some of my spring running clothes today, which was also very nice. I’m glad to not have to layer these days.

All in all it was an enjoyable run. Now I should get back to hangin’ out with the fam.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 11.3 km
Weather: 17 C, Wind SW 22km/h

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Short run before work

I got out this morning to run 5.5 km. It’s tough for me to get out of the house early for a run. I wake up, see the darkness outside, and immediately want to go back to sleep. Today I forced myself up and out, but it did take me a while. I had plans of getting up at 6 and heading out for my run, but I actually started my run around 6:45.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5.5 km
Weather: 2 C, no wind

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I forgot!

As I sit here, watching Breakfast Television, eating my breakfast I realize that I didn’t post after yesterday’s run.

Yesterday afternoon was nice and sunny, so Ryan came to pick up my work stuff (laptop, etc) and I ran straight from work. I got to run in a different area than I normally do (I usually leave for runs from my house) and it was great! Since the time change happened on Sunday, it’s now light longer at night, so I got to get a long run in after work and not end up in the dark at all!

Yesterday’s Run:
Distance: 16.4 km
Weather: Around 10 C and sunny

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cold windy rain = running indoors

I took to the treadmill again today. I would normally rather run outdoors, but not when it’s kind of miserable outside. I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy my run and that I’d just want to be done the second I got out there, so I decided to forgo my long run today and hit the gym for a tempo run instead.

I’ll do my long run tomorrow when it’s back to warmer temperatures and clearer skies. Let’s hope that forecast actually comes true or it might be a not-so-enjoyable long run after all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 6.5 km
Weather: wet and cold outside, but warm and dry inside the gym :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easy Run

Scheduled on my training plan for today was a 4 mile easy run at a pace of 9:46 min/mile. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve been using the SmartCoach personalized training plans from Runner’s World. You set up a plan based on your own results from recent races along with your goals and current mileage.

I’m currently training for a half marathon that is coming up this spring. It’s 6 and a half more weeks until the Waterloo Half Marathon. I’ve never run this race before and I’m looking forward to it!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 4 miles (6.5 km)
Weather: n/a – ran on treadmill

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Super quick post tonight

It was another gorgeous day today with highs in the double digits, but I worked late, so I didn’t get out for a run until well after dark.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: +1 C, wind 4 km/h

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mild Late Winter Days

It was another wonderfully sunny day today. Since I was planning on doing a nice 10 mile run today and it has been above zero for a number of days in a row now, I decided to take to a local paved trail that goes through town. I ran through one park on my way to the trail and saw lots and lots of people out and about, walking, inline skating, and playing with their kids in the playground.

Once I set foot on the trail, I saw many more people. Dozens of people out for walks, riding bikes, and other fellow runners. My plan was to stay on the trail until I arrived at another park about 5 km up. I came across one section that indicated it was “closed” but I saw others coming out of this closed section, so I decided to continue. 50m or so down this section of trail it started to be less user friendly. It was snow, slush, and water covered.

I made my way to the second park, where I saw many more people once again running, cycling, skating, and playing. I encountered some more snow and slush, and also mud. There were a few muddy sections in my run today, but nothing too crazy.

For my route home, I decided to stick to the streets: the nice dry streets. The streets also contained many people out for the nice, sunny afternoon.

I love these extra mild late winter days. There’s still no guarantee that we’re out of the woods for snowfalls as it’s only March, but these mild, sunny days really bring a lot of people out to enjoy the outdoors. It’s always nice to see.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 16.5 km
Weather: +6 C, wind W 19 km/h

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Let the Sun Shine

Today was a gorgeous sunny day. The sky was perfectly clear and the snow was melting. It was good. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same and a little bit warmer.

I was excited to run in the nice weather today, but there were still some icy patches although they are now fewer and farther between. The melting ice and snow has caused some large puddles on the sidewalks, but that’s okay with me. It still means melting and melting is good.

I look forward to another good run tomorrow. It’ll be a longer one.

Today’s Run
Distance: 5 km
Weather: 2 C

Friday, March 05, 2010

Treadmill Time

After work, it was time for some speed work. I headed to the gym with Ryan and I hopped on a treadmill.

Tonight’s treadmill experience was much more enjoyable than most times I attempt to run at the gym. I tend to get quite bored with running in place, but tonight, for some unknown reason, the time flew by. I was watching TV while running, but that still doesn’t normally counteract the monotony, especially when running for an hour. It was a very pleasant surprise.

So now that I have my speed work for the week out of the way, I get to enjoy some nice runs over the weekend with our expected above normal temperatures and sunny skies! Come on spring, I’m ready for you!

Today’s Run:
Total Distance – 11 km
Warm-up, 1600 m hard x3 with 800 m jogs, and cool

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

With kid gloves

Well, not really kid gloves, but I was wearing gloves since it’s winter and all. I was also running with an iPod, which is also a usual occurrence for me.

Gloves okay, iPod okay, trying to operate the iPod with the gloves on – difficult.

I usually end up taking off a glove to go though the menu to start my Nike Plus at the beginning of my run or to stop it at the end. Today I decided to use my nose. Yes, that’s right, my nose. I push “menu” with my gloved finger, but to scroll down the the menu items, I used the tip of my nose. You see, when I use my finger with gloves on, my Nano doesn’t notice that something is attempting to tell it to change either volume or menu selections. The flesh of my nose is recognizable, so this works. I make look like a bit of a tool putting my iPod up to my nose, but if it gets the job done without having to remove a glove…

Today’s Run:
Distance: 5 km
Weather: –2 C

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Changes of State

“state change - a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition”

Lately, there have been plenty of state changes. This definitely affects the life of a runner.

This time of year makes me happy as spring is just around the corner, but it also calls for much more planning when it comes to the timing of runs.

During the day, when the sun is shining and the temperatures rise, the snow melts, causing snow banks to turn to water and spill into the sidewalks. Since this is water, people do not necessarily think to put salt on their walks to prevent the freezing, so when the temperatures drop when the sun sets, the water turns to a thin (or sometimes not so thin) layer of ice.

Morning before work = ice
Sunset time of just after 6pm = ice
Work hours = nice and sunny and no ice, but I’m at work

So… if I can manage to get home before 5:30 pm (a rare occurrence), I have a small window of opportunity to run without icy sidewalks. I attempted this today, but when I got outside to start my run around 6:00, the ice had already started to form. Luckily, I was able to find some fairly dry sidewalks.

Welcome to March.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7 km
Weather: I forgot to check (it was –2 C at 8pm and I ran at 6)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Obstacle Course

It was quite the course to run this morning. The normally simple, flat streets of this city had turned into an a number of obstacles.

It consisted of jumping over puddles, scaling snow banks, avoiding ice, and the occasional clear patch.

What a workout.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8km
Weather: 0C (hence the puddles and slush)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday Run

It’s my birthday today, so I took the day off work. I went for a bit of a photo walk this morning and late this afternoon I went for a run.

It snowed a lot yesterday, so I ran through snow, puddles, slush, and bits of clear sidewalk. It was an interesting assortment of terrain, but all in all it was a good, enjoyable run.

Now, back to my glass of wine. It is my birthday after all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 6 km
Weather: 1C, cloudy, but no precipitation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Re-Fridgee-Eighter – my first race of the year

This morning at 10am, the gun sounded the start of the 13th annual “Re-Fridgee-Eighter” 8K and 8 mile run.

This race is the first of the year in the Waterloo Running Series. It is held in February every year, which makes for variable weather. Two years ago, it was freezing rain right up until race start when it turned to regular rain. It was quite the slippery course with runners falling down quite regularly. Parts of the course were not even run-able and I had to walk, or more accurately, slide as if I was skating in my shoes. Other years have been very cold, or sometimes sunny and above seasonal temperatures.

This year was not icy at all. I’d have to say the weather was pretty much perfect. The sun was shining, the roads were clear of ice and snow and the temperatures were around or just above the freezing mark.

The course started at RIM Park and included large sections on University Avenue, Bridge Street, and Lexington Road. Both distances covered the same route, with the 8 mile distance taking a short detour into a neighbourhood and back out to do a second loop of the middle section of the course.

There were several water stations on the course run and police, REACT, and event volunteers were on the scenes providing a well-organized, safe, and vehicle-free run for all.

Photos of the race will be on Ryan’s Photo Blog in the next few days.

I ran the 8 mile distance today and had a decent run. I was a bit concerned that my fitness level was sub-par as I hadn’t been training as much this winter as last, but turns out I held up well. I knocked a few minutes off of last year’s time (although I had a cold when I ran last year, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison) and finished 3rd in my age group.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 miles (12.87 km)
Weather: –3C, winds 7km/h

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A quick late(ish) night run

I had initially planned on running early this morning before work, but when my alarm went off and I get out of bed, I felt light-headed; I went back to sleep.

I worked late today, so I didn’t get home until 8pm. I was hungry by this time, so I ate some dinner shortly after coming home.

I was sitting on the couch, watching the Olympic Games, when at 10pm, I finally decided to get up and go out for a run. I stepped outside at 10:15 and looked at the sky – perfectly clear. The air was relatively calm as well, not like yesterday morning. I started out and enjoyed the quiet night. Not too many cars on the roads this evening, or at least not on the roads I chose to run.

The run was a good one. An easy one. I didn’t push it, I just enjoyed the evening and savoured the sky. It’s not too often one can see the stars in the city.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 6.5 km
Weather: –4C, feels like –8C, wind 10 km/h

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Against the wind

As I ran this morning, Bob Seger sang in my head. “Still runnin’  I’m still runnin’ against the wind.”

At least I planned it so that I’d be running against the wind for the first half of my run, which meant with the wind for the home stretch.

Distance: 6.82 km (as per the Garmin)
Weather: –3 C, feels like –10 C; wind 24 km/h

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I’m back in the game!

Tonight I headed out for a “test run” so to speak. I was hoping to attempt the run that I was planning to do yesterday, but to do short loops close to home in case the ankle pain returned. I was especially worried going out because on my walk home from work today, I had a few moments of ankle pain (lasted a block or two).

I started out very slowly, walked to the end of my little road, turned the corner, started a slow jog where the pain started yesterday, kept it slow until I reached a corner, turned, and picked up the pace a bit more. It felt good. No pain. I made another turn and decided I would run 2.5 to 3 km down the street, then change directions in order to keep it close to home tonight. When I approached the 3 km mark, I didn’t want to change directions. I wanted to keep going, to run far out. Since the run felt good, I followed my gut. I kept running and did a large oblong course today.

The run continued to feel good. I felt good. I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t take any breaks. I kept going. The final 5 km stretch back toward home was against the wind, which had certainly picked up and gotten colder. By the time I got home, my legs were about ready to give out. My hands were almost numb with cold (I wore the thin gloves… oops). My legs were burning. I didn’t care. I felt good.

Tonight, I ran with a smile on my face.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 15 km
Weather: –4 C, feels like –9 C

Monday, February 15, 2010

Long run deferred

This afternoon I got ready to go out for a 9 mile (14.5 km) run, got dressed, filled up my water bottles and loaded them into my Fuel Belt, strapped on my Garmin 305, laced up shoes, started my iPod and headed out the door. I got to the end of my road, turned the corner, ran past one house and OUCH! I got a sudden, sharp pain the the front of my left ankle. I had to stop immediately, turn around, and limp back to the house. I got inside and it didn’t feel too bad, but I’m not going to chance it and run right now. I’m still hoping for an injury-free spring. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Breaking through mental barriers

For some strange reason, this fall and winter I’ve had more mental issues with running than ever before. I’ve felt less motivated. Some days I haven’t wanted to go out at all for a run and other days I get out there and just want to stop mid-way. I’ve found that I’ve started to take walking breaks in the middle of my run for no particular reason. This is odd for me.

I used to never have this problem. I would lace up my shoes, head out the door and feel great. I would run, run, and run some more. I didn’t want to take breaks, I didn’t want to stop.

Writing about my runs has helped. I do generally enjoy my runs a lot once I’m out there and now that I’m keeping track of my runs on this blog, I’m making sure I’m out there.

Today’s run was fantastic. I got out mid-afternoon and got to enjoy a nice mild winter day. I ran for the first time in months without taking a break. I feel back to my old self again, like I can take on the world. I’m back to enjoying it. I don’t want to stop. I’ve broken the mental barrier and it feels great!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –3 C, feels like –9 C

Friday, February 12, 2010

Woke up, fell out of bed..

and realized that I hadn’t posted about last night’s run. Since I have to head out to work, this will be a quick one.

I went to the gym again as it was icy out and I was planning on doing a tempo run. I timed my trip to the gym so that I could watch Grey’s Anatomy while I ran, but low and behold, it wasn’t on any of the TVs. Oh well. I still had a decent run on the treadmill.

Last night’s Run:
Tempo Run of 3 miles with warm up and cool down to a total of 5 miles (just over 8 km)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

There’s a storm a-brewin’

Or at least that’s what the radio and TV told me. In anticipation of crappy weather outdoors, I headed for the indoor comfort of a treadmill at the gym for today’s run.

It’s not too often that I’ll run indoors. I definitely prefer to run outside, even in the winter. It’s more enjoyable, more interesting, and more rewarding. Not to mention, I seem to sweat less outdoors (at least in the winter).

So.. I packed up my gym bag and headed out the door for the grueling 2 minute walk to the gym. I got outside and was surprised by the nice mild night with light snowfall. I was a bit disappointed in my choice as this appeared to be great weather for my run, but since I was already on my way, I continued into the gym and did my workout on a treadmill. After completing my run, cooling down, and stretching, I made my way home. I stepped outside into windy, very snowy conditions. I guess I made the right choice after all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 9km
Weather: N/A (ran indoors)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sunlight. What a wonderful Thing.

Today was a nice, clear, sunny day today (cold mind you, but sunny) and I didn’t have anything that I needed to do or any place that I needed to go this afternoon. It was fantastic.

For the first time in months, I ran during the day. I got to feel the sun shine on my face; I got to clearly see any obstacles that might be in my way; I got to wear sunglasses.

I bought my glasses at MEC last year after getting sick of my old glasses fogging up. I tried on several pairs at several stores before deciding on the plasma pair. I can’t be trusted to not lose things or not break things, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of sunglasses, but I also didn’t want another super-cheap pair that distorts your vision and just doesn’t fit your face well.

The MEC Plasma sunglasses have removable/interchangeable lenses so you can switch up the colour of lens for different conditions easily. They also have nice grippy arms, so they stay securely on my head even when wearing a smooth, slippery toque.

For $36, these were great for me! I didn’t have to spend too much and they were comfortable, secure, and didn’t fog up when running. I’m quite happy with them.

Today’s Run
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –6C (feels like –13C), wind N 19km/h with gusts of 30km/h

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New York City, here I come?

Ah, the world of unknowns.

Entrants in the ING New York City Marathon are chosen by lottery system. Each person who wants to run completes an online form and pays a small fee to enter the lottery (if they are not guaranteed entry by another means such as running for a specific charity, being a member of the New York Road Runners and running all of the required races throughout the year, or qualifying with a fast time in another half or full marathon). Entrants are then drawn randomly from all of the people who have paid their fee.

I’ve entered this lottery to run this November. This is the second year that I’ve entered the lottery. Now I cross my fingers and play the waiting game.

As of today, Ryan and I have a hotel booked for the week of the marathon. I doubt I’ll be chosen to run this year, but one can hope, and one can be prepared in case the wonderful e-mail comes to say that I have the opportunity to run. I can always cancel my hotel if I didn’t make it in.

Wish me luck!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –5C, light snow

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fuel Belts – We have a love/hate relationship

For the most part, I love my fuel belt. It’s gotten me though some tough runs, providing me with the hydration that I need to keep going, but some days it’s the bane of my existence and it spites me. Yes. My fuel belt spites me. Today was one of those days.

I was running along on a snowy Sunday evening (aka about 3 hours ago) and I had a sip of some water from one of my trusty fuel best bottles. I replaced the bottle in it’s elastic-y holster and kept running. A ways down the road I came to a red light so thought to myself “while I stand here, I might as well have a few sips of water” so I reach down and feel the nothingness in the place where the bottle should be. Now I know that I have 3 other perfectly good bottles on my belt that are nice and full of water as well, but this particular bottle is missing. Crap. I turn around and run back to where I came from and stare at the ground the whole way. I checked my Garmin at my turn-around point to make note of how much backtracking is going on. I find the bottle on the ground, pick it up, carefully place it back in it’s rightful place on the belt making sure it’s good and secure, look at my watch: 1 km. Phew. not far at all.

Today’s run
Distance: 12 km
Weather: –6C (feels like –13C), wind gusts of 31 km/hr, snowing

A new focus for the blog

or.. more accurately put: A focus for the blog.

Yes. I’m switching this from complete lack of focus to a running blog. Most of the events that I would have normally blogged about would include photographs or photography in general, so these will go on the photo blog and this one will now be running-related. I will write a post after every run. Perhaps this will even give me more of a kick in the bum to train harder, run faster, race smarter.