Boundary Bay Recap

So this recap was delayed for two reasons: Firstly, work exploded. But secondly, I neglected to take any pictures because I was so frustrated and so I wanted to wait for Try Events to put up all their pictures on Facebook (I love that they do this!).

So the Boundary Bay Marathon/Half Marathon/10K/5K took place on Sunday November 4, 2012. This is the third annual iteration of this race that takes place in Delta, British Columbia every year. This was my first time running it and my understanding is also that this is the largest number of participants that they have had so far.

Pick-Up/Registration: 

This was super easy – once I got to the RunningRoom store, it took literally 30 seconds to pick up my package. In the mix was a Brooks Technical Tee, a Muscle Milk Protein Shake, and a Vega One Pre-Workout Energizer Sample.

My only disappointment was that the Brooks Technical Tee was so cute, but my giant head didn’t fit through the head hole. I was planning to wear it for the race but I kind of felt like I was choking. It must be my enormous brain.

Course: 

The promo for the race was pretty accurate:

NO HILLS!! FLAT, BEAUTIFUL & the Last Boston Qualifying Course of the year!

3rd Annual Boundary Bay Marathon
TRY EVENTS’ only a Full Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K on Sunday 
November 4, 2012. The route is on a beautiful gravel ocean side trail! This is one of those 
routes that are so scenic you forget you are running! We are talking BEEAUUUTIFULLL!!! 
All distances are an outback design and the route is completely flat! The only challenges 
you are going to face is the weather and the fact you might run off the trail as you gaze
at the ocean views!

And this was true. The course WAS beautiful, but it was also raining so much that I wasn’t that excited about checking out the scenery. The other issue I had with the gravel aspect of the trail is that the rain made it a bit difficult to run and I found that instead of my usual calf tension after the run, my quads were killing me, and I wonder if that’s because I needed to use more stability muscles given the running surface. But the flatness – that was a special gift. All pics from HERE.

Awesome Things: 

For a small race, there was a lot of heart! All the volunteers were great, smiling, lovely people. I was offered extra samples of pretty much everything wherever I went.

There weren’t a lot of spectators, but those that were there were fantastic! I found that most of us were pretty spread out, and they cheered equally loudly for every single participant.

There were two water stations that we saw twice each (course was out-and-back) which especially given the weather was completely sufficient. They weren’t overcrowded, they had enough supplies, well-organized.

They had a heated tent for us to congregate in after the race, which was fantastic given how crappy the weather was!

Also they had coffee for the finishers (anyone else have a deep love for McD’s coffee? I take it over Starbucks anyway).

Not so awesome things:

Honestly, I didn’t have too many complaints. It was definitely low key and relaxed, and I actually really liked the vibe. Overall thought it was actually run very well and was a lot of fun.

The only issue for me was that they started out the Marathon/Half Marathon/10K/5K all at the same time and out of a very small space. The initially 1 1/2 miles were REALLY crowded and frustrating. My guess is that for people that are really serious about running or even those that really were wanting to Boston Qualify, that this would have been a big deal.

Overall: 

I will most definitely run this race again! But next time, I need a better photo. There are reasons I am never seen on profile. In my head I resembled more of a gazelle than a gremlin, but there you have it.

 

Congrats to everyone who ran!

xx

Boundary Bays and Birthdays

So the Boundary Bay 1/2 Marathon was this morning!

It was rainy and windy and crowded, but I ran the half in 2:04:40 which is more than a 5 minute improvement over my first half marathon! I believe in the running-world, they call this a “PR” haha. I didn’t get the under 2 hours I was (not-so) secretly hoping for, but I can tell that it will come soon. I think that one or two more attempts will get me there.

Actually, due to a strange assortment of errors, the 2:04:40 was much faster than I thought I was running during the race, and so it was a very pleasant surprise. I felt like I was going SO SLOWLY, and I can’t even tell you how many people passed me. Older ladies passed me. People running in jeans (?wtf?) passed me. People with their dogs passed me. Marathoners passed me. In my self-pitying state, I’m pretty sure I saw a random turtle pass me… Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my Garmin and so was stuck with having the Nike + App to pace me. As you know, I have used the Nike + for a long time, and have never really had any problems with it at all. Today, however, I finished the half when the Nike + was telling me that I had only run 12.7 mi. The finish line came to me as a total shock! The whole time I was running, I was estimating my finish time based on the Nike + to be well past 2:10, which meant that I would actually be slower than the first half marathon.

Yeah. Cue internal despair and thoughts of “I will never be a runner” and “all my hard work was wasted.” But I decided that 2 hours of self-deprecation was not a fun way to spend the morning, so I tried to re-set. I listened to Drake’s “the Motto.” Then I attempted to channel the yoga method of just being in the moment, and doing what is available for you to do on that day, and to not concentrate on competition with your past/future self or with others. I normally do not really believe in this hocus-pocus stuff, but today, repeating this to myself helped me keep my head above water. I really was able to mentally re-group. In fact, despite the fact that I thought I was going to finish slower, I was starting to feel proud of myself because I was feeling a lot stronger, and less like I wanted to puke or die. I didn’t have to stop to walk. I even had some juice to kick it up a notch for the last (what I thought was) 3 mi. I told myself that if I was going to finish at the same time, I was going to have a better race.

This has taught me (again) how important the mental aspect of running is. I’m so glad I didn’t let myself get me down, because I think I have worked hard and I’m proud of my efforts today!

I’ll have the review of the race up tomorrow. But in the meantime, I’m off to celebrate cousin #4’s 2nd birthday party! She’s getting so big so fast! Her cuteness just kills me. There is no better cure for sore muscles than a cute little girl in polka-dots.

And as the coolest gift for our Minnie Mouse obsessed little one, check out this fantastic cake, again hand-made by their Aunt.

She is truly amazing, and is starting to do some personal orders – if you live in the Vancouver area, hit me up and I can give you details.

Have a wonderful last few hours of your weekend! We are spending ours eating some well-deserved cake 🙂

xx!

Pile on the Miles November!

So while I may not have been blogging much this week, what I have been doing is falling back in love with exercise. After a few months of just feeling so blah, something has just clicked for me lately and I’m back on the endorphin love train.

On Saturday, I went to the Bar Method Vancouver for my first class in a very long while. I have tried this type of dance-conditioning inspired work-out before, but have never been able to keep it up as a regular thing. However, that may all change because this was by far the BEST class I have ever been to. My gorgeous friend Jo frequents this location often and has been telling me for months that she thought I would just love it. Not only did I love it… but I absolutely love, love, loved it. The instructor was amazing, the participants were helpful and inspiring and enthusiastic, and the facility is beautiful. The workout was totally insane – my glutes are still thanking me today. And it definitely didn’t hurt that I randomly happened to drop in on their anniversary celebration that included free  post-class mimosas, Pink Berry, and personalized cookies. I mean what more reason to return could their be?

The only drawbacks are the location (a bit far for this suburban girl) and the price. I hope they accept my firstborn for payment  because you know I’ll be back next week! I tell H that this is kind of like investing in happiness. Makes more sense than fairway fees to me 😉

And run-wise? Things have been just… so enjoyable. My last speed workout was 4 mile repeats at 8:15 and for the first time I actually completed all 4 miles. My most recent run was yesterday and it was just the type of run that felt like I was Wonder Woman.  I’m gearing down now to prepare for the Boundary Bay half marathon on Sunday and I’m just feeling pretty excited about it. I’m not super confident that I will achieve the ultimate under 2 hour goal, but I am confident that I’ll do better than last time and I’m more than okay with that. I’m already looking for what’s next!

Sadly, there are no races going on until March, so in the meantime I’ve signed up for the blog phenomenon of Pile on the Miles November -it’s being organized by one of my favourite bloggers to follow, RunEatRepeat. I even technologically figured out how to put the widget up (look right, admire). Basically the premise is a commitment to run x number of miles in the month of November to just push yourself a bit farther as we get ready for the holiday season! I’ve signed up to do 85 miles in November and if I’m able to complete that I’ll be pretty darn proud of myself given all the travel/work plans going on this month!

Cheers to a new month!

xx

My Treadmill’s Back and We’re Gonna Get in Trouble

For week 9 (gulp) of my 10 week half marathon training, the schedule looks like lots of short runs on lots of days.

And since the weather has been so awful, I’ve had to what I said I would never do: Move inside. Theoretically, they tell me that Vancouver is one of those cities that you can run outside all year round. I think that this is probably true if a) you were a duck in a previous life b)if you have a rain radar and can predict the exact one hour no-rain time period and c)if you have time to wait around for that no-rain time period to happen. Now, I’m no wimp – I can handle a nice mist or even a light rain, but I’m finding it really hard to do that in the morning darkness… and sometimes it’s just this for real ocean falling from the sky rain that just feels impossible.

My relationship with the treadmill is an interesting one. When I first moved here and started running (again) after a few years off, I did 99.9% of my runs on the treadmill. I think I was a bit nervous to explore outside by myself in a new city, and I wasn’t confident enough in my running skills to feel like it was worthwhile to get out there. Obviously, that was totally ridiculous – but at the time it seemed like this big overwhelming thing to “run outside” and that I would have to be a “real runner” first.

Once I bit the bullet and started running outside, however, which happened in about April of this year, I was totally hooked. As much as I loved running on the treadmill, I loved running outside even more! It was like this whole new world of running possibilities opened up to me. I could not get enough of the changing scenery, the breeze and the feel of my feet on pavement. When you sweat outside, it just feels… different. When I tried to return to the treadmill a few months later, I was apalled. I was hot, it was hard, I was bored, I didn’t like watching the TV, I couldn’t run as fast as I could outside. And so I returned to the outdoors immediately.

Of course, now that we are back on to the treadmill for at least some of my winter runs, I’ve realized that running on the treadmill beats not running at all and staring out the window like a sad kitty. I’m still find it harder, particularly because it gets so hot (GYMS NEED AIRCONDITIONING. I CAN’T TAKE IT)… but I’m also noticing that there are some cool things that I can do on the treadmill. For example, I can make interval courses, or really push the pace without worrying about how I am going to make it home. Today, for example, I’m supposed to do mile repeats – way easier on the treadmill.

I think that it’s going to be a good winter with the treadmill/outside combination. I’m pretty excited to see where it takes me! One thing is for sure, having the run-outlet definitely helps with the rainy-day blues.

xx
F

Happy 6 months Little T!

Run Love. Not.

So yesterdays 13 mi was so awful I can’t even bear to post my watch pic. I’m feeling a bit demoralized, to be honest. I just keep need to repeat to myself that running is something that I get to do for fun, it’s not going to be the end of the world if I don’t do as “well” as I want to. But let’s be real, it’s driving me crazy.

On to happier things, guess who is 6 months old today?! I thought that in honour of his big day, I would tell the story of how Tembo came to live with us and became the most spoiled puppy the world has ever known.

Ever since H’s old friend Yoda passed away, he has been wanting another puppy. Now I was never really a dog person, but love makes you stupid, and so I agreed that as soon as we moved in together, maybe we could consider it. Of course, the day came, and H of course remembered my promise IMMEDIATELY. The debate began on what the compromise would be between no dog (me) and ginormous dog (H).

Finally, we came to agree on a mini-schnauzer. We thought he would be around 15-20 lbs, a smallish dog, but not so small that H would look silly walking him. We found a reputable breeder and off we went. She was great – we filled out a 3 page application form, completed a phone interview, and waited for her to match the perfect puppy to us. Litters came and went and we waited and waited.

At last, the phone rang that the perfect puppy for us had arrived! I saw one picture of this tiny little baby and I was screwed. Hopelessly in love. We named him Tembo immediately. Translated from Swahili it means “elephant” which most think is an interesting choice given his size, but to us it symbolized what would be his big personality and the luck/blessings that elephants are known for.

We had our first visit with him when he turned 4 weeks old:

And finally picked him up at 8 weeks (p.s. isn’t this the funniest pic? It looks like a photo shoot!)

He instantly made himself at home. He was definitely cute:

And definitely a bit naughty:

He flirted with all the girls (H proclaims that there is no wingman like our little T):

And he discovered his favourite activities of painting:

And of course napping:

He likes football like his daddy:

And fashion like his mommy:

And even though he never grew (despite his predicted size of ~15lbs, he looks to be maxing out at about 6lbs!)

We love him just the same:

Dear Little T, here’s to many more birthdays and half birthdays to come! The world is your oyster!

xx

Saturday Love

There is no day I love more than Saturday. I haven’t had to work, and Monday still seems relatively far away. It’s really just been one of those rainy, stay inside and warm, snuggle a puppy days. Happy sigh.

Run-wise, this week has felt awesome! Just two weeks to go until the Boundary Bay Half Marathon! On the docket Thursday was 7 miles with 5 miles @ 9min/mi. I didn’t quite get there, but it still felt good overall.  I had an easy 3 miles yesterday that I can’t even remember because I was still asleep, so I figure that went well too. It’s been pretty crazy trying to plan my runs around the torrential downpours that are happening here – thankfully I bought some new rain-weather gear that I will have to share soon!

Now I just have to psyche myself up for my 13 mi long run tomorrow… I randomly got an email this morning about the Rubber Ducky half marathon that’s happening tomorrow morning and I briefly considered signing up for it, but I figured that it might be better to have a lower stress run than an actual race – I know I’m not quite ready for that distance at this point given all that has happened. Also we had already made plans for our first dim sum experience (yum?). I’m still kind of ambivalent though, because how cute is this little race medal? Love rubber duckies!

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I have no transition here as these things are totally unrelated, but I have spent the whole day baking up the beta test for American Thanksgiving at the in-laws. They do the holiday up really big, and it’s such a fun family get together. This will be my first Thanksgiving as an official part of the family, and I’m super excited (I missed last year’s celebration because we had JUST gotten married). Anyway, now that I’m blood, I’m responsible for part of the cooking. Obviously, I volunteered to do desserts 😉

And because I’m (Type A) determined to make this the BEST dessert table ever, I’m practicing in advance to make sure things go smoothly. Thankfully, I’ve been following THIS BLOG forever, and she has the cutest desserts that even the clumsiest baker can accomplish.

So far H has rejected:

  1.  Oreo Truffles (too sweet, even for seasoned dessert eaters… he bit into one and announced that he had possibly developed diabetes)

And he has accepted:

  1. Red Velvet Cake Pops (I didn’t buy enough chocolate to completely cover them, but I’m planning to actually do half chocolate coloured, half white chocolate dyed orange)
  2. Cutest little pumpkin pies shaped like pumpkins (so easy, I die… I plan to decorate them with jack-o-latern faces the way that Bakerella does in her post)

Still to be tested:

  1. Mini cheese-cakes with Cherry Toppings
  2. Nanaimo Bars

I’m telling you guys, this is going to be EPIC. Although at this rate…. with all the testing I’m not sure if H and I will fit through the doors of the plane 😉

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Now I’m off to finish up some more baking and then hopefully snuggle up with Little T and watch the rain. My big puppy is 6 months old tomorrow! I can’t believe it 😉

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Have a good weekend everybody! Any recipes to add to my beta testing?! This table needs to be exceptional!

xx

All or Nothing… Emphasis on the Nothing

So first things first: The Energizer Race? Didn’t happen. I mean, obviously it happened, but H and I were not there to run it.

Things started out fine. We picked up the race packages on Friday, put together our little headlamps, and tried on our super-cool Energizer t-shirts. We laid out all our cold-weather running clothes. We arranged for someone to watch Little T. We went to bed early and dreamed that night about the cool Energizer photo-booth and the Molson Beer Garden.

And then… well, to make a long story short, my lovely husband had an anaphylactic reaction to an almond that I accidentally fed him and we spent the night making sure that I wasn’t going to go to jail for manslaughter. Thankfully, my hubby has lived to run another day, but we were both pretty bummed we missed such a cool event. Total disappointment people. We missed the Energizer Bunny! (SOURCE)

However, while the story of how I almost killed H with an almond for the third time in our short history is a dramatic one, it’s not what this entry is about.Something weird happened when we missed the run… something about which I thought I had already learned my lesson. HAH. As it turns out, the art of not living in an “all or nothing” universe is a lesson that I am probably going to keep learning over and over  (and over) again.

When I didn’t run on Saturday, somehow this translated into this “woe is me” and “ah well, my plans are ruined, I might as well just do whatever I want” thing where not only did I not run on Saturday, but I missed my long run on Sunday. And then not only did I miss out on running, but I ate like crap, didn’t study, and got to work woefully late Monday morning in a huge fluff of irritation and with my coffee still sitting on the kitchen counter. Also our apartment is a mess.

Here’s the thing. Theoretically, none of the things on my to-do list are necessarily dependent on the others getting done. But sometimes, mentally, it FEELS dependent. This was a much bigger problem for me when I was a bit younger and there have been times in my life when even the SMALLEST thing could throw me totally out of whack.  How I’ve mostly overcome the ‘all or nothing’ spiral is by knowing that if that thought of “oh eff it” gains power the logical, self-protective, self-loving part of my brain even once, all the other tasks tend to fall like dominoes into the den of lethargy and apathy and it’s hard to get back out again. If I prevent against it, and instead use common sense and say to myself, “well it sucks that I missed/ate/didn’t do a,b or c, but I’ll feel better if I stick to my other plans of x,y,z” usually I can move past it with no problem. Obviously, however, the all-or-nothing still crops up from time-to-time despite my best intentions.

Bonus Points for who knows which movie this is from… long live my love of the teen movie.

I will admit that I did not originally plan to blog about this, because it just seems so anti-everything that I hoped this blog would be about. However, we are all human, and everyone will have those moments where they choose Ben and Jerry’s OVER the treadmill instead of choosing Ben and Jerry’s WITH the treadmill. This weekend was my moment. But I also told myself that it’s only a lesson learned if I LEARN it.

So I’ve posted this now that I’ve crawled out of my garden of blah, got back into my run-schedule, and killed it. (I planned to insert a picture of my watch here, but of course I forgot to take a picture, so now you get a vision of sweaty/happy me instead):

6 mi, 9:23/mi

So there you go. Another weekend, another lesson learned. Here’s to a great week everyone!

xx

Little T takes the Rain

All the relatives I have forced to read this blog have been calling me with concern that I’ve fallen off the face of the planet and haven’t updated them about the long awaited Energizer Race. Worry not, I’m still alive, and have a post tomorrow that will explain all. How’s that for some drama?

But in the meantime, winter has ARRIVED y’all. The puddles are so deep little T is in constant danger of drowning. He’s not the sharpest puppy in the shed either, he just keeps diving in every time and then screeching in shock that it dare be wet and cold. Mopping in this house has become an exercise in total futility.

Thankfully, he has four lovely little Aunts who thought ahead and prepared our little man for the elements. Look out world, Little T is ready:

 

 

p.s. there’s nothing cuter than a tiny dog growling at a doberman while wearing a cute little raincoat. I repeat. There is nothing cuter.

 

xx

 

 

 

Running in the Dark

It’s no secret that I’ve always loved running in the morning. But now that the days are getting shorter (ew Winter) it’s taken on this whole new dimension. I find that most of the time, my entire run occurs in the dark. Last year at this time, I was already back inside on the treadmill, so I have never really experienced this before.

Disadvantages:

1. I ABHOR the cold. ABHOR. Pretty much the main reason I moved here is because it doesn’t snow. However, what I neglected to research is that at 5am without sunshine, it still feels like winter. I really like to BUY running jackets. I do not like having to wear them.

2. It always seems like the alarm has gone off too early if it’s still dark out. Biologically, I’m pretty sure the dark = brain sleep. Actually this might also have a place in the advantage column; brain sleep also means not noticing the first few miles and waking up when it’s already time to turn around.

3. Sometimes it’s kind of scary. Especially now that Criminal Minds has started again and I’m obsessively watching all the old episodes while waiting endlessly for new ones to air. I find myself on alert for serial killers at every moment. Thankfully I’m pretty secure in the fact that Shemar Moore would save me, so I’m usually fine to run through the fear. The FBI would totally rescue me in Canada, right?

4. Sometimes it’s dangerous. The answer to the age old question of “does it still hurt a falling runner if no one is around to see it” has been answered. A few times. I would normally attribute this to clumsiness, but K fell the last time we ran together in the dark too, so it’s not just me.

Advantages: 

1. No one else is crazy enough to be running, so it’s peaceful and quiet and I never have to worry about whether or not passing someone is okay or A$$hole-ish. Historically this debate has taken up quite a bit of my mental energy.

2. The sunrise is beautiful and leads to deep thinking about life and blessings, and sometimes not-so-deep thinking about how pretty Emily Maynard is and how weird it was that she was on the Bachelorette.

 

3. All the bugs are still sleeping. This should count for two points.

4. You get to (YOU SHOULD) wear a cool headlamp (I’m getting mine this weekend at the Energizer Race! So excited to look as cool as these folks, SOURCE)

5. And, finally, the most important reason: It feels really hardcore to run before everyone else wakes up. And I like to feel a little hardcore 😉

So there you have it. Running in the morning: Winning. Running in the morning in the dark: Double Winning. Get out there and try it, but be safe: Tell someone where you are going, choose a less isolated run route for those mornings, run with a partner if you can, ALWAYS WEAR A HEADLAMP, and carry a phone.

xx

 

Turkey Trot 10K Review

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

I had such a busy weekend between eating and working and eating and eating and eating that it will take me a few days to get my whole weekend up into the blogosphere. Suffice it to say that I’m trying to recover from my ‘carb-loading’ by trying to restrict myself to only ONE piece of pie per day. It’s been moderately unsuccessful. Pumpkin Pie is my kryptonite.

But what WAS successful was the Turkey Trot! Me, K, and her lovely fiancé (G) ran the 10K.

H and baby T braved the morning chill and cheered us on from the sidelines. Yes our dog is in H’s jacket. He is the wimpiest little puppy of all time. Cutest, yes, but wimpiest also. How he is going to survive winter is a mystery.

K and I ran together, and pushed ourselves to a dual BEST TIME of 54:14 for me and 54:13 for her (I had an almost-puke-amergency and told her to go ahead – please help me find something to eat for breakfast that won’t come back to haunt me while running. Banana was a bad choice). Anyway, I am totally thrilled because this beats my previous best by 3 minutes! It also puts me on track to possibly finish my upcoming half marathon in 2hrs-ish, which is still the dream that won’t die.

However, our little triumph was nothing compared to K’s fiancé’s INSANE time of 33:50 which won him 2nd overall! It was so exciting to actually know someone winning something, so I totally paparazzi’d it out to forever document the moment of triumph when they handed him the prize.

We (I) spent some time excitedly deliberating what it would be: a medal? a cheque? a Turkey Trot t-shirt? Ah but no. The Turkey Trot prize for our handsome little winner was a …. duffel bag. A bit anti-climactic, but exciting nonetheless.

Pick-Up/Registration: I didn’t go myself, but K/G went and picked up my package along with theirs. They described it as super easy, very organized, and super fast. I did find that the race was fairly expensive (with base fee + registration fee it was about $50) considering that in addition to being able to run the race itself, all we received was a pair of socks.

Day-Of Organization: The Turkey Trot was smaller than I expected, about 1000 people were participating and strollers/walkers/kids were allowed.  There were no corrals and everyone pretty much started together. For the slower people like K and I, this wasn’t a big deal, but for our little speed-demon it was pretty annoying. The water station was very organized and it was super easy to just pick-up while running.

Atmosphere: My favourite part of the race was that people totally got into the spirit! There was a guy wearing a hollowed-out pumpkin as a helmet, and I saw more than one person with a rubber rooster on their heads! It was very much Thanksgiving themed and I just loved the energy. There were also tons of volunteers directing people along a very twisty-turny route making sure that none of us got lost. They were very enthusiastic and encouraging and it was kind of fun to have cheers all along the way despite the race being so small!  Some of them even gobbled at us. Tembo was in on the fun too, little pumpkin.

One of the other great things was that they gave prizes in race categories including the “over 70” which consisted of three women! It was so inspiring to see them up there, and I hope that I can be running this kind of race when I’m 70 years old. Keeping it up at that age to me is the true definition of a run-love lifestyle. Love it.

Finish Line: We were kind of disappointed with the snacks available to the runners – it included platters of smoked salmon, hummus, pita, and fruit. It was really crowded and difficult to access, and there were lots of sweaty hands touching all the food and none of us really felt like we wanted to eat it. However, they had a live band playing old-school rock n’ roll music and they were really fun and energizing. I just loved them and told K and G that they should hire them for their wedding. They said no.

Overall: Super fun race! I will definitely be back next year 🙂 And next time, you can bet that a turkey will be represented in my outfit somewhere.

Next Up: Energizer Race 10K (me), 5K (H) on Saturday! So excited to run around in the dark!

xx