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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Deep Freeze

It's cold. like, totally COLD. Yeh, yeh, Tina. You're Canadian. It's winter. Of course it's cold. Don't be such a sissy.

-40 aint no picnic
True True. But it's TOO COLD to run. SERIOUSLY cold. As in MINUS 40. (yes that magic temp where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet). Glad they are so social, but to be truthful...that temperature is no fun. Even for a hardy Canadian. No matter how long you live here, you don't get used to it. True True. But it's TOO COLD to run. SERIOUSLY cold. As in MINUS 40. (yes that magic temp where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet). Glad they are so social, but to be truthful...that temperature is no fun. Even for a hardy Canadian. No matter how long you live here, you don't get used to it.

Brrr. You don't believe me? This is a me after being outside for 10 minutes. Trying to start my car (unsuccessfully). Then plugging it back in. And then saying F*ckIt and heading back in to wear some PJs for the rest of the day. I warmed up with a lovely little curry. Nothing says eff you to some chilled bones like a hot and spicy dish.

I feel badly that my last "real" run was on Sunday. It was -29°C (that would be -20°F). I did 13 km. It was HARD. the wind howled and it HURT!!!! My skin burned more than my thighs. Funny that it used to be my thighs, legs, that hurt for days after running that distance. Now, it seems that I run 10km without any tightness...gotta do a 10miler or more to feel the sore legs. HA! It’s a nice feeling being in a lot better shape. 

I digress. I tried something new on my run last Sunday. I fear if this nasty Canadian weather sticks around I am gonna have to use it more often. Which is good. Cause i LOVED it!!  Oh yes! Kiehl's Cross Terrain UV Face Protector (SPF 50). It rocks. Sure it's a "men's product". And it's a sunscreen that gives you UVA/UVB protection in extreme weather conditions. 

Well, first of all. Ignore that it's in Kiehl's men's line. It is for everyone! I know skiers who use it and swear that it prevents that nasty wind burn and chaffe you get. Well, after putting it on my face and going for a long run, I too can kneel at the temple of Keihl. LOVE IT! No chaffing. No chapping. No burning. It rules! 

I figure i am gonna be using an awful lot of it in the next few weeks, since Winter isn't going anywhere. (Just c'mon Mutha Nature....warm up to -15...pleeeeeaaaase). I wanna run outdoors. I hate the dreadmill and need to feel the road. 

Courtesy of Lululemon
Up until a few months ago, I wouldn't have cared a fig if it was colder than a witches tit. I don't run in the winter. Then I started running with a purpose and now i love it so much I feel the need to go for runs regularly. Like, 5x a week. 

Maybe I should mention that I am registered in THREE half marathons in the next month. Aptly named "Hypothermic Half Marathons", I am doing one in Calgary Feb 11, in Edmonton on Feb 26 and in Red Deer on March 4. 

It's a grand adventure this new year running resolution! Faster, Stronger, Further 

So then in April, there is another HalfMara in store. May brings my first Marathon (holy sh*t!). So...these halfs will be fun and further my endurance training. I have two buddies - Calli and Lisa - who are on this crazy adventure with me! Strength in numbers, right? We are all so ready to rock it (dare I call us the Hypo Honeys? Badass Bitches? Stone Cold Vixens?) 

Calli is kicking off the BastShitCrazy with the Tinkerbell. I will do the TinaTink in Calgary, and Lisa with get her Tink on in Edmonton. That way we are kicking off 4 HalfMaras in 6 weeks! Wahoo. Welcome to the BSC club. And yeh, one needs to definitely use the Kiehl’s to keep up one’s youthful exterior.

Bring it On!

Oh yeh…and I think I forgot to mention Calli is bringing back Sparkle Skirts for us! Wooo hooo. I am beyond excited! 

Monday, 16 January 2012

French Cooking Class - Pure Food Porn

Saturday evening I was lucky enough to partake in a French Cooking Class! I thought it would be a learn to cook class, with some instruction and maybe a glass of wine.

Instead I was pleasantly surprised. It was 5 star food and wine-lover overload. C'est Manifique!

We started with an Amuse Bouche - a seared albacore tuna loin with sauce vierge. Served avec Champagne
Well, actually they called it champagne. But it was really a Crement. Since it was from a region other than Champagne. 
Not to be picky...but let's face it the French are about their wines. So we should be too. Still. It was wonderful bubbly! 
And the taste of the tomato and cuke "salsa" (rather pedestrian expanation, I know.... ) as amazing! mmmm
I have to say, popping it in your mouth then having some bubbles in there made your mouth sing. ah. heaven.

Then we moved on to the Beef Tartare. Watching them prepare it seemed so easy. It makes me want to whip out and buy some tenderloin RIGHT NOW! 
Finely chopping the shallots, capers and gherkins makes it seem easy. What kills me is how amazing a drizzle of raw egg on top of the tartare is like liquid silk. 

By god, this dish reminds me that while I very much enjoy vegetarian dishes, I could never ever give up meat. Because this is something else. 
As Robert Smith (and The Cure) so eloquently put it...Just Like Heaven.
Oh wait. I almost forgot. Paired with a lovely little Cab Sav it was amazing. Made the oakiness of the Cabernet disappear. Almost.

O la la, Then came the Duck Confit. But while they prepped the dish, they came around and asked, "Would you like some of the featured wine that accompanies the next dish?" 
Ummm. Let me think about that. 

You are offering a wannabe oenophile a glass or two of Pinot Noir to enjoy before you serve me one of my fav dishes. uhhhhhhhh. BRING IT ON! Two of my favourite things.

And, let me add...The Mirassou Pinot from California exceeded my expectations. Velvet. Le Manifique. And I think I exceeded how much I should have had by scarffing 3 glasses. 

But really. How could you NOT imbibe?

And then the Prawns. oh yes. YES.
Big, no - giant, juicy prawns. Sautéed in Butter, garlic, lemon and chili. And drank with the most gorgeous Sauv Blanc. oooooh. Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc 2009. I generally don't care for Sauv Blanc. Too much gooseberry. Too tart. But this baby was smooth and delightful. A hint of lime and gorgous minerality. Pretty much approaching heavenly. And when drank alongside the prawns...well this minx was one happy gal.

And we finished with the Coq au Vin...This is my FAVOURITE french dish to make. I have to say i make a mean Coq. But this was less winey than mine. Hmmm. What does that say?  It was meatier, and the garlic smashed potatoes were divine.

It was pure food porn. Orgasmic. Delightful. Each bit making you feel naughty and rewarded at the same time. 

Just like fine French cooking should make you feel.
Or maybe it was that I was well into my third glass of Vinahonda Monastrell 2007 Jumilla by this point.

And when you thought you couldn't possibly eat another bite...they tell you that the Crème Brûlée is coming up next. 

And, if you are like me. There is ALWAYS ENOUGH room for Crème Brûlée! Not sure what is better - the silky texture inside or teh cracking of the burnt sugar on top. 

What a meal! And, I actually think I could cook the entire meal for some friends without skipping a beat. I should be careful in announcing this. Because They will read this. Then they will want me to do the cooking. Wonder if I drink as much while cooking as they served if it will taste the same?

If I cook this sometime soon, I shall let you all know.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

This self-aggrandizing moment brought to you by....

Good God. Finished a 13km run today. Short run, yes. But Winter has arrived. Nasty, bitter  windchill of over -31. Batshit crazy.

Apparently running in "THIS"  builds character.

I await my new character. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012


I have been following the story of  Sherry Arnold, the missing runner in Montana.

She has been found. But I am so sad that it is not good news. (See story here)

This is so, so, SO disturbing. On some levels, I am not sure why I am so bothered by the abduction of a stranger. Some I never knew or met. But I read the heartache in her cousin's posts. And I run. Sometimes alone. And, I have many friends who run alone. And all I could think of was that this could happen to anyone. It's all so troubling.

Stay safe. Run with a buddy.

And be kind. Why isn't the world a kinder place? This makes me sad.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Journey of epic proportion

Last year around this time I vowed to get back into running with more dedication.  I resumed my fairweather runner schedule in March with an eye on a few races. Went thru disastrous breakup and job loss. The only thing that seemed to help me feel human was running. Then I sprained my ankle. I was crushed. Then, I decided to rehab the hell outta the ankle. By the end of April I was back atter. With a vengeance

Picked several races to do. Decided to do a half mara by fall. FOCUS.  

Slowly but surely since June (and with the help of two half mara classes) I have gone from a size 16+ to a size 10. Lost over 12 inches and 40+ pounds. All by a lovely combo of stress, diet and exercise. Mostly exercise. People want to know my secret. It's easy. GET OFF YER ASS.

I guess I am a runner. This past year I logged 1,162km since March. Ran three 5km races, two 8km races, 11 10km races and two half maras. 

I have had what some of my fitter friends have been taken aback by my rapid progression and fantastic pace drop.

I went from running 5km in 40+ minutes (best time prior to 2011 was 38 mins) now being able to nail 5km in 30 or less minutes. 10km went from an hour and 20 minutes to  best recorded time in 2011 of 1hr and 3 minutes. I might even be faster than that now. 

"...And you don’t do that by sitting around.” — Katharine Hepburn

So where do I go from here? 

The HypoHalf Triology awaits. Three half maras in our lovely Alberta winter between February 11 and March 4th. Another Half in April. Then my first  (GASP) marathon in May. 

What have I signed up for??

Gotta say I am scared shitless about the mara. For the first time it won't be about time. It will be about completion. Still...I haven't wrapped my head around that aspect yet. I have a lot to lear. And a long ways to go. 

Maybe this blog will help me get there. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012


I follow Shut Up and Run on twitter and read her blog. In the past several months I have found some solace as well as motivation from her as well as many other of my runner tweeps. They make me laugh. They motivate me. I love their stories.

Odd how strangers who I have never met can have such an impact on one's life. Or thoughts.

Today this was made even more clear.

Sherry, a fellow runner - cousing to SUAR, is missing. I read this blog, and felt heartsick.

I am praying for her safe return.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

And now for a new year...

Today marks the first day of 2012.
One year ago I signed up for a 12km race. The longest race I had ever thought of doing.
This year, I have got 4 half maras to do before April. And am on an Ultra Marathon team. And about to sign up for a marathon and toying with the idea of doin the Iron Legs Ultra with a couple friends.

How things have changed. Used to struggle to do 5 or 10 km. Now that distance is a breeze. Heck a half mara isn't even daunting. it's doable.

What will become of 2012. Who knows. Let it unfold...

December Running Streak

Strides Holiday Running Streak
Inspired by the Runner's World Holiday Running Streak!
The Challenge: Run at least 1 mile per day for 31 consecutive days in December.

Day 1: 6.25km in 39 mins. Great night run.

Day 2: Day 2: crikey! totally slippy enroute home from work. walked 1 mile ran just shy of two.  Feeling slack. But I promise do do 1mile sat, 10 mile Sun 
Day 3: good god this little blizzard after i walked home (about a mile and a half) - had to walk briskly as i was wearing a skirt and had my big handbag...but had trainers on!)I promply got running gear on and ran around the hood for 20 mins. 2 miles and a bit...or maybe it felt like that cause of all the bloody blowing snow and cars sliding by me.

Day 4: Had clear intentions of doing about 17km this morning for a glorius long run. It was a LOT snowier out on the pathways than anticipated. Sorry guys. I finished 9 miles in a blaze of glory. Now have to hustle off to work! Did it in an hour and 25 so that was ACE, too.

Day 5: it is way too GD slippy out. only did one lousy mile as i wiped out quite badly and limped home. grrrr. off to soak. It WILL be better tomorrow.

Day 6: next time i have a day off i am doing a LONG run and forgoing stupid housework instead of wasting my time doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming THEN running. meh. Running first. I must remember this!!!! did a quickie 30 min run, forgot to set my ipod, but expect i did about 5k. 

Day 7: OMG! I am headed straight to a hot tub with epsomsalts. I am so freaking cold. Almost 10km in mins 10 with a nasty wind. But Day 7 of my challenge is checked off! (No one in my run group showed up tonight. lameos)

Day 8: hip sore from hill wipeout last night. Managed a brisk  couple miles to work and then home. no ipod, but it had to be 3-4 miles based on time. Hopein i warm up for tomorrows run! 

Day 9: Usually a rest day. Did a short 5km run after work. As I got dressed and strapped on some shoe spikes (I borrowed em from my auntie!) I smiled and thought "Whoa...I counlnt have THOUGHT about doing this last year. I DO have something to b proud of! Yay me!! A year ago I struggled to finish a 10km run in 1 hr 21 minutes. Today I think of 5 as an EASY run in about 31 mins. And 10 is awesome at under 1 hr and 3 mins, and not a struggle at all. Under an hour is around the corner, I know it. Heck so much has changed for i think that 10 miles is totally doable and not some arduous unsurmountable task! LOVE IT!!!!! It's a beautiful night, a full moon, and I only wish I had more friends who ran (who live near me ...) HAPPY HAPPY Friday my fellow streakers. xoxo ps - am totally sad i couldnt get a lovely shot of the moon tonight. WHO is getting up to watch the solar eclipe tomoz??

Day 10: a shortie...3 miles. Tomorrow a nice long run. And this weather rocks!!!! 10 miles or bust. Foamie McRoller and I will have one hot date afterwards. 

Day 11: 13 km in 1hr 23 mins. Not bad for havin to plow throu a lotta fresh show!! Feet ABSOLUTELY SOAKED!!! Had a bath then promptly fell asleep for an hour. yikes.

Day 12:  Jogged almost all the way to work (had to walk some of the way after 15 mins due to non existant sidewalks) then tonight i walked home at a VERY brisk pace - not able to talk kinda pace ish (this crisp weather cleared my head.

Day 13: Eeked out 3 miles. feels so slack. 

Day 14: I feel bad. I ran 2 miles today. It was my day off I know I should have done more, but had 4 diff appointments and ran out of time for a REAL one before seeing Prince hit the stage. But 2 is better than none. 

Day 15:  Another 2 miles today. Man, I am feeling like I need a "real" run, but mean work schedule is impinging on running time. CANNOT WAIT til Sunday when i can get a nice long run in! 

Day 16: A very quick morning jaunt of about 2 miles. Followed by Work (9 hrs at work, followed by Theatre Calgary production of A Christmas Carol, then back to work for 3 hours for a midnight madness sale. bed...cant wait for a nice morning run.

Day 17: Hardest day so far. jsut so tired from work, managed to eke out a 4km run. I had alarm set for morning run with you at the store...but i jsut needed more sleep. sort of kicking myself now. looking forward to sunday long run and a day off monday which will allow me to have a nice run day (evenif it is my normal rest day! )

Day 18: meh. What a day. Got in a mile though. Sort of feel guilty for missing my long run this morning. 

Day 19: Oh today is grand. It's amazing how a day off makes you feel. Had a nice sleep in, ran almost 5km to massage appointment. Had my glutes and quads rightly worked over. Then ran home. ahhhhhhhhh.

Day 20: Today was hard...due to looong day at work. squeezed in a 3km run to work. Walked home to get me back in a good mood. feeling groovy now gotta make some lentil soup to keep me going for the week. 

Day 21: i ran 10k in about an hour and 5 mins. I think. Both iphone and nano died at the 7km mark! felt good to get in a decent run after work. I needed it today.
Day 22: egads. hard to do a couple miles this morning. had to get in in BEFORE work though. :-) 

Day 23: Done this morning with a 1,5 mile run. Added a brisk 5k walk to and from work too. Gosh. Today's 10hr work day was loooooong

Day 24: Just a quickie in today. Barely 2km. Feeling a tad tired from work.

Day 25: It's zero degrees!! Crazy. Managed a 4km run. Walked another 1 km. a bit to icy. Some sidewalks were way too snowy and slippy!!!!! Merry Streakmas!xoxo

Day 26: ‎30 minute run after a 11+ hour day at work. my dogs are barking. :-)

Day 27: Took the LONG route home tonight. Ran 8km in 53 mins. Gorgeous night to do it! Hope this weather keeps up for a few more days!  

Day 28: Hit 145 km today!!! woohoo. really only 3 more runs? wow! 

Day 29: Did 7km in 44 mins tonight. Am I getting faster? Or did the wind push me along?? Now having some yummy homemade lenti and smoked turkey soup while trying to avert my gaze from the iltalian amaretti's calling my name. 

Day 30: A Shortie today. Just a couple miles...

Day 31: Finished the last run of the year...ran every day this month for a total of 160 km. Did 1162km for the year. Lost over 40 pounds. Its been a year I would probably much rather of forgotten, quite frankly.20122 will be a LOT better. ♥Thanks to my lovely friends and family for being there for me ♥