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Monday, 30 September 2013

Hot Damn THAT felt GOOD: Melissa's 10k Recap !

Saturday started out EARLY and CHILLY! An hour and a half drive with two potty breaks got me there a bit late. Then another pee break and a jaunt back to the car to get my iPod (affectionately known as doodie - does yours have a name?) Then head to bag check, then start line. 

But first a stop to take a picture of the absolutely gorgeous surroundings!! 

I had some time to think about this run and to plan...I set an expectation of 70 minutes. That would be slower for me, but this is high elevation and one mother of a hill (see THAT post here) made me say, I want 
to push, I want to have a PB, but maybe that is not today.

For now I will take steady pace and strong legs. Focus. Persevere. And it will come. Like my prior post said...Last time I ran this race I was pushing 215 pounds. I was heavy and starting out to do longer distances. This took me over almost an hour and 25 mins to do.

So THIS RACE is about proving a point. CRUSHING fatty voice. And, I  am confident that will happen. I take a sec, remember WHY I RUN and say to myself..OK then. LET'S JUST RUN. (in my fave Sparkle Athletic skirt), oh yesss go #teamsparkle!

Then I see Sophia (Check out her race recap @TheMamaRuns) at the 1:10 pace bunny meet area! YAY!! Nice way to start morning. We chat. Then I decide I am running the whole race, not going to run with the pacer, since I am not going to do 10:1s. If it was a half...diff story. But today. No. FORGE ON! 
Off we go!! As you can see the views are FREAKING spectacular. 
Love the run down the main street looking at Rundle Mountain! . 

Honestly, not sure what to recap. I ran. I just ran. I got outta the start area and realize i am running about 6 minute pace. Fast for me. I take a deep breath and think I am gonna do this till we get to the bridge an turn onto main street. I pull back ever slightly, but I feel f'n fantastic and think I am not stopping. Nope. Not slowing down. Keep this pace. Just go until you CAN'T! Less than 15 minutes later a woman in front of me just stops to "fix her watch". I manage to avert a crisis and not ram into her completely. The guy next to me helps steady me and we both stay on course. I hear the boys behind me yell at her to quit barking at me and get the hell over! Nice boys. I keep on pace. I slow down a little...only because the next few kilometres are climbing, climbing. I weave around those who are walking up the incline. I am doing my damnedest not to walk. I am also NOT looking at my watch. I do NOT want to see this time. Just get into the tunes (too big a crowd, only one earbud in!) and feel the steady beat of my feet hitting the pavement. 

Every time I want to stop, I push further. I only slow or walk to take some water. Before I know it that 4km climb is pretty much over. And we are cresting the mountain...and it is downhill from there. So I give in an just LET my legs go! The views are amazing and it just makes you smile as you race down the mountain and get a view of the Banff Springs Hotel, the valley and the town site. I wanted to stop an snap a pic...but I can  tell from my music I was AHEAD of where I thought I might be at this time, so I decided to push on and not stop to snap a picture. All of a sudden I was at 7km. THEN at 8km when I saw someone who is a WAY faster runner than me (usually 10 or so mins ahead of me in a 10km race) on a turnaround. THAT meant I was less than a kilometre behind! PRESS ON!!!  I turn around and know i have less than 2km left, Then I have less than 1km. I feel my legs burning, kinda heavy...but man its good. I don't know my pace, but I know I have to be under 70mins. 

And then I run around the corner. Come down the last bit. And push as hard as I can down the last stretch. 
I see holy shit 1:05 something. I actually choke up at the finish. A few tears. Because I really show myself WHAT I am made of....WHERE I have come FROM! (and honestly...this is the first really great race in a few months!) 
But tell me this: 

sooooooo what's the Official time? 1:05:39
*i need to double check but this is only 10sec off my fastest 10km time this year - which was a FLAT race. So hell yeh hot damn. I am pleased!!! Now let's translate THIS run to a halfmara...

 The official race photographer DID snap one where I don't look too bad. 
But it is 30bucks to buy it! no way! 
After race I tried to celebrate with a beer....

oh yesssss....I am finished

 CHUG!!! ooooooooooooooooooohhhhh

this is SWILL!!!

How was your weekend? 
Got a race coming up? 
Do you have a beer recommendation that does NOT taste like shit? 

Giveaway: #MyType is NOT the Stereotype #GetChickd


I've been an Ambassador for Chick'd Athletic Apparel for a several months now and am SO excited to say that I am finally doin a GIVEAWAY! 

I really am a fan of these FAB gals! And, if I had the $$$, I would order more, more more. Over this past year, I really have come to know more about this company, and have become a super fan. 

I love their clothes, which are MADE IN CANADA! I also appreciate and admire their eco-friendly attitude! Chick'd is more than great athletic apparel.

Here's a little bit about them from their website:

We created chick’d apparel in response to the lack of quality in North American made apparel.  After being discouraged by the names of too many third world countries on our apparel tags, we decided to change the way our clothes are made.  We design and manufacture our high quality women’s apparel in Toronto, Canada.  We use environmentally conscious and sustainable fabrics whenever possible, to create unique and flattering apparel for women.  We also started chick’d to create a healthy community of strong and dedicated women who regularly surpass their own expectations and overcome life’s many obstacles.  Whether you run, walk, bike, hike, do yoga, pilates, crossfit or any other activity, you are always welcome in the chick’d community. We want to help women celebrate themselves, their accomplishments and understand that they are worth it!  We do not believe in the exploitation of any population for financial gain and believe that a quality garment can be designed and made in North America for an affordable price.  It is our firm belief that there is strength in numbers and if we can support each other in all of our pursuits, we are unstoppable! 

and...Now...for the GIVEAWAY! 

What's your type? Don't think of what you can't do. Think of what you CAN. Think about all that you ARE! Chick'd wants YOU to celebrate your fabulousness. Tell them how #MyType applies to you. 

#mytype says 40 is a FABULOUS time to try new things.
Age has no limits! Push Yourself Daily!
#mytype is not the stereotype

To coincide with the launch of the #MyType campaignChick'd provided me with an awesome giveaway - an FAB tee (value: $35.99) to show everyone that YOUR type is not the stereotype. 

Enter in the widget below. Contests starts TODAY and runs until October 5, 2013 til Midnight (Mountain Time)!

And while we're on the topic of Chick'd, make sure you check out my GUEST POST on their blog this week!

You Just Got Chick'd! 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ready for Melissa's- 10km in Banff

Mountains. Banff National Park. Melissa's Road Race.Sounds like a FAB Saturday plan to me!!

Melissa's Road Race is one of best known races in Alberta. 
Sells out every year in less a day. Only two distances to choose from - 10km or 22km.

Back in 2010 I ran 10km in 1:24:56. I was probably 210 pounds.

One year later I ran 22km ...About 30 pounds lighter. 
It was my 2nd half marathon (well 22 isnt really a Half but you know...)

Now it's 2013. Time to try that 10km again. This year I know several people running. Whereas last two times I went I knew no one. Makes it a tad more fun when you know others racing!! 

Check out the elevation profile:
or MOUNTAIN  if we are being honest about the terrain.
This is not going to be a speedy race. Well not the incline, anyways....

I think I can say without a doubt this 10km race is gonna be WAY different
  than it was in 2010. 
And, I can confidently say I will CRUSH my old time! 

eeEEP! Now I need to figure out what to wear....

What you getting up to this weekend? 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review of Oral I.V. - Electrolyte Replacement

A while ago I signed up for an opportunity through Sweatpink/Fit Approach to review a new hydration supplement, Oral I.V.

It figured with a bit of summer left and with some hot temps, it is super important to stay hydrated. And I was doing a few long runs so I thought I neeeed all the help I could to stay hydrated!

I try to eat clean , eliminating any sugar and junk! I avoid most electrolyte products on the market because they are sugary and tend to give me gastro issues when running.  I usually drink NUUN, or veg based electrolyte drinks like INRefresh or activefuel+. I drink a ton of water everyday, an even more the few days before any race. I always am trying to ensure I am hydrate. Perhaps I have a fear of being dehydrated!!  I wasn’t really sure about this product, given that I am a bit of a label reader and I was unclear EXACTLY WHAT it was….

It's basically a electrolyte replacement product that contains some minerals - copper, iodine, manganese, zinc, potassium, cobalt, sodium, selenium, chromium, silica, and boron in purified water.
“At ORAL I.V., we are driven by a passion to help people perform at their highest levels.  Hydration is one of the fundamental drivers of human performance. Without proper water metabolism and function, dehydration and its associated adverse effects can occur. We developed ORAL I.V., a proprietary formula of crystalloid electrolytes, to serve as a hydration aid without using sugars, caffeine, or stimulants.  After its development, ORAL I.V. was first made available to those who could truly put it to the test – members of the U.S. military and law enforcement communities. Since 2010, ORAL I.V. has been used by some of the world’s most elite fighting forces, whose standards for physical and mental performance are second to none.”
The company generously sent me two 4-packs of their product to try out, which I did.

ORAL I.V. comes packaged in some very carry friendly plastic vials. The vials are opened by simply twisting the top – super easy to use. They also have the instructions printed directly on the vial so there is no confusion as to how you use.  You can use it by mixing with water or just drinking by itself. I just drank it on its own followed by a few sips of water. It just tastes like some salty water...

I read that the effects of ORAL I.V. are instantaneous. I was somewhat skeptic about that, so I took it about 10 minutes prior. I don't know if it was a placebo effect but I think I felt a bit more energy prior to running.

There was no real taste. It didn’t have an icky (read slimy, gooey gel-like) texture (which made me VERY happy).

I've used ORAL I.V. on 3 long runs (20-25kms) and felt great during those times. I didn't have a PB or anything. But I did feel hydrated, not once in these runs did I feel like I was thirsty. I'd like to say I noticed distinct changes. I did not. But I was happy to say that I didn't feel SUPER heat issues. I would actually love to give it another try on some more long runs.

Perhaps if you take more, or perhaps on a more regular basis? I will say that I felt hydrated, didn't feel thirsty and remained hydrated on my long runs. And, all of these runs were on hot days. I think I would definitely have this on me for any endurance event!

If you would like to find out more about Oral I.V., visit their website at
Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Have you tried Oral I.V. or any another hydration aid?

I received this product free of charge as part of the SweatPink Ambassador program.
All opinions are my own! 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Half that WASN'T

So lately have been feeling a little loss of my running mojo! It's a funny thing. I am feeling fitter, smarter ( comments from the peanut gallery)...Like I am running better. I am reading more about health an fitness. I am trying hard to eat clean - no junk - and stay hydrated and avoid sugars. Dehydration and sugars an crap food do my digestive system in.

I thought I had that shit under control. Oh noes....shit had a different idea lately. And in addition to the GI issues, I had  felt I should be seeing more improvement lately. But I haven't. I have had a few really taxing runs.

So for redemption, I signed up with Cori for the Loop Around the Lake. And, if you have read Cori's race report, you know how well THAT went.

It has taken me a few days to write. Immediately after the race I went home to spend a few day with my mom...she turned 66 today! So I went offline for a few days. Which given the circumstances of the run is a good thing. Two angry run reviews in one day from two bloggers might have really been a bit much. Cause we were PISSED.

Why you ask?? Well....the half marathon ended up being 25 FRIGGING kilometres.

There was no redemption in this run. Just some anger that come on pretty strong at 19km.

Shall we start at the beginning?

So Cori and I arrive...we are pretty good to go. Both of us want to use this as a training run, yet want to push pace and see how we can stack up to getting a PB goal at our next half in October. Just before the start we are called to a runner powwow. Race director then says it's 22km. OK. Forget a PB...but lets focus on Pacing then. Cause I am TOO FOCUSSED on how fast i am going anyway. Lets do steady. Stick to a pace, race smart.

He then spends what feels like 10 freaking minutes giving us VERY COMPLICATED directions. After the first 15 turns i am lost. Jesus. We turn to each other an I am pretty sure say simultaneously, "this course better be well marked". I should have known things were amiss when he said when you see a water station take it, cause they are few and far between. hmmmm. And, apparently 21 registered in the Half, yet only 13 of us showed. Lazy Buggers.

So my first 10 km I focus on consistency. I am doing well. Though at this point i have a confession. I ran 7.5 km out in Canmore at a 5Peaks trail race the day before this long run. It appears someone (ME) wasn't using their nooooodle!!!

Anyone care to GUESS what I was saying?
So anyway, Cori gives a way better recap than I do. Read hers she does angry better than me. I turn into a raving loon when I start bitching.

Anyways. Thanks GOD I wore a hydration vest. Because our first water station was at 11km. We did pass a not yet set up one at 3k...but whatever. I think once we got to an out and back on the highway at 15k there was more water. As I ran into Cori at 15km mark...just after she turned around and as I heaing into the turnaround...there was a High5 and collective cursing. I believe I said, "Loop around the Lake MY ASS. WHERE is the EFFING WATER?" or something like that.

So by the time I finally ran past the water I officially got excited. I was gonna hit the 19km mark. It was the same table as the that means head straight to the FINISH! holy crap. woohooo...this frigging zigzaggy course would be OVER.

Do you hear the ptttttttttttttttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhttt. of the hope balloon? 

Nope redirected me back to canal. I actually said, "What? Why...that way is only 3km to finish??" NOPE. The volunteer smiled sweetly as she pointed and said you have to go that way. So then at 20km, the next volunteer points and says go down that way again. When i yelled, "FUUUUCK...that means there is another 4 or 5 km. That can't be!" He shrugged and said yup. keep going. I was pretty sure it was not the first curse he heard that day.

Thaat final 5km sucked. No other words. I felt awful and defeated and a few points just said fuck it and walked. And had conversations with myself that went something like this: "Less walking more running!" "i can't believe that GD director just drove by and waved. Seriously WHERE THE F IS THE FINISH" I wonder if he heard me? Because a couple volunteers did. They laughed. Uncomfortably. They were all so nice and cheering on. An at least 5 said something about how complicated an too long this race was. An i wondered if they know this, WHY doesn't the guy who designed the course know this???

Anyways...My last 3 or was it 2 km were made bearable by one lovely volunteer (named Fluffy earmuff lady by Cori) who rode her bike alongside me. Her cheering was nothing short of lovely. I had a couple moments of teariness...more because I felt so defeated. And mad at myself for doing that trail race (even though I actually ran a hella god consistant pace and great race...DWELL on THAT not the lead legs).

This race just wouldn't effing finish. And how I wanted to quit. SO SO BAD. Or take a shortcut. But there wasn't one. And its not me. And besides. My car was at the finish. I HAD to get there.

My last kilometre a couple young boys joined me and ran alongside me. I actually picked up the pace in those last 3km. THIS is why I like running! Because we are in this together. And no one knew me and they cared to run in with me! Very, very nice. It made me feel lotsa warm and fuzzies.

Well. I finally crossed. I tried to avoid giving a Hi5 to race director at the end of the race. Yes, I was pouting. It was my WORST time ever. One of my worse run experiences. And frankly, I am mystified how come we did that last loop. There was no need. SERIOUSLY!!!

I crossed the finish. Cori and I noted no water, no food at the finish. So after about 10 mins of organizing, changing into compression we went to Starbucks to drown our sorrows and celebrate PWs with a latte!

Ah! a few days off to bitch, moan, vent, certainly helped. Now I have to remember that it is done. OVER. And THis crap run is gonna make my next half feel like a walk in the park. Funny...its in a park. But there will be running. Not walking. And if I can finish this whore of a race, I can carry on an complete this next puppy!! Right? All part of traiiiiining!!

(Not that I still don't think it was a DICK move to add 4km to a half mara)

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Learnings from a 10km Run

Today I ran the Dino Dash at the University of Calgary. It's the third year I have done this race! 

In 2010 I struggled and made it thru in 1:22:25. 
In 2011 I crushed that and was so stoked to run a 1:09:08
So today I had a goal. To run my best 10km time this year. 
I did not do that. 

I know that having a "fast" run is not a measure of success. But it is hard to be OK with an average run. And sometimes I struggle with the idea that not improving is me being stagnant. 

(insert DEEP BREATH here)

Hmmm. Let's recap shall we? 

In the past week I has been miserably hot (I know I shouldn't complain about the weather when we didn't even have a summer!). Today was actually COLD and RAINY. 

Now that can mean good things when running, especially after a lotta runs in 30C (87F) temps this past few weeks. In fact, it was pissing down rain. So much so I decided to store phone, iPod, all electronic devices instead of taking them with!! 

I did wear my Nike watch for pacing. But honestly the rain came down so hard I could barely see in front of me.Keep moving was the mantra of the morning. After I finished my run I looked down to see most of race bib melted away!!

Oh yes it was a hard rain to run in! I Kept a decent pace the entire race. A few times I know I slowed down and got back into it....See pacing below...not bad. I can def see where I need to improve. And dig deeper. 
I was VERY glad to see my last two kilometres I smartened up and brought it home!  It finally stopped pouring and I was able to see where I was going. In the last km I unzipped my jacket as I was overheating...and in the last 700 metres I tossed the jacket on the hood of my car as I ran by it in the parking lot...(HA!!! how handy!!!) 

So where does this bring me? This brings me to finishing a 10km race in just over 67 minutes. And in hindsight, that is not a BAD time. Just not the time I wanted. 

I should be embarrassed to say/type/write/tweet that this is not a good time. I should stop being a whiny bitch. Maybe I should think about how effing hard this race was for me to do in 2010. Holy crap. I weighed 215 pounds. I struggled to finish upright. And it took a huge effort and push to get it in at an hour and 22 minutes. The next year, after losing almost 40 pounds, I was not consistent in time, but I was PROUD that I did this in 69 minutes. 

Not so proud today. But in reflection, this was a GOOD race. I didn't have GI issues like I have been having for close to a month. I only stopped to have a quick break at each of the two water stations. I maintained  a decent pace. yes, I dropped pace in a few spots...but overall, I ran strong, felt good, and was comfortable. So, maybe I push harder NEXT race. No more comfy. 

OR....i think about how this pace feels and I do THIS pace for my next halfmara. 

Maybe I need to remind myself (AGAIN) of something very important! Most importantly, I need to remember how good it feels out there. And  that sometimes racing is about moving forward. But not necessarily about time, placement, is about celebrating the I CAN, I HAVE, I WILL! And maybe if I stop worrying if i am good enough, I can just effing relax and enjoy the ride!

Its funny two pics taken after the race have my two current fav run items...not to be putting a plug in...but hey....check em out! 
PERSEVERE. I wear this bracelet for a reason!
 Love it! It's from Endorphin Warrior
Run + Done = HAPPY Damn rights
Love this great sweatshirt from Run Pretty Far!  

Thursday, 5 September 2013

ThrowBack Thursday....

A little view of where I have come....2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 ....
That last pic taken just before I ran my first halfmarathon ...
August 2011 - first half mara. 
Today I have run 18....

Post Edmonton Recap (aka The Lost PB)

Hey did I tell you about the time that my PB went down the shitter??? No?

Oh, well my dear reader...get ready. Herein lies the tale of the time I was running awesomely and then my PB got flushed. well, portapotties don't get the picture!!

So let's rewind a bit....

On August 25th, I ran my 18th half marathon. In Edmonton. It is usually a hot hideous haul, but it is thankfully flat. So I figure starting at 8 am will still be cool. I hope.

I had been running steady, and stronger with the help of my training partners Cori and Michelle. They had pep talked me all up. So I was feeling pretty good heading into race weekend. The 10km race I had a week BEFORE the half went well (except the total GI meltdown I had after the race). Timing wise, though I was happy. Then the week before the race I just had GI issues constantly. I laughed it off. Not really, I was stressing. But then by Thursday was certain I had it BEAT!
This is me "passing" Kip Kangogo -
2nd place finisher at this years EdMara! 

So the Saturday before the race we go for a lovely run ...its's not too hot, but its a great little way to shake the legs out!

We runners then meet up with John Stanton, the owner of Running Room. A nice 3 km run....and we are off. Feels great.And I am starting to feel good about this race.

Even confident...maybe.

So race day comes...and I am feeling pretty good. I did have a crap sleep. But that's ok...i feel good.

Earlier that week I chatted with my pal Lisa who was wanting to come run it with me. Luckily she used a pals bib and was gonna be my pacer. She is faster than me, but wanted to do a SLOWER pace (aka my pace) as she was starting to taper for her first Ultra).

We start out. Pace feels good. In fact, It feels slow. But Lisa keeps popping her arm up saying, "Nope. Hold it back. Keep it for the stretch home!".  Pace is  6:20-6:30 per kilometre. STEADY. Not bad. And this is probably the boring part. We hold up this pace for 3, 5, 10 kilometres.

At the 10km mark, I start to get tummy rumbling. Oh CRAP. really??? But I ate carefully this week. I took immodium (shit...maybe not early enough!!!). I push thru...another kilometre...and think out loud...I GOTTA GO!

I know portapotties are right around the corner and barely BARELY make it. WELL OVER 10 effing minutes on the shitter. TEARS. sobbing. cursing. (i wonder how many heard...poor souls!!!). FUCK (sorry) but wicked PB really went down in flames.

I finally stop cramping out and freaking out. And readjust and get the hell out of the portapotty. I am certain I yell #PLOTTWIST as I leap out of the portapotty!!! Guess I have to live with what is what it is...make the best of it....I get out and Lisa is all freaked out about me, worried cause I was so sick. I was freaking. I think I yelled. FUCK IT. LETS finish this SUMBITCH. The poor water crew who witnessed my breakdown!!!

I felt weak. I felt drained. I was pissed. And off we went. I think I drug along at about 6:45-7 min. I slowed down after a kilometre. I would kick it up...then cramp. But I wasn't stopping! I passed a gal who collapsed and was being hauled into the ambulance. I needed energy but was afraid to take a gel or more GI assistance, thanks!! I drank water...maybe too much. But kept moving. By the last kilometre I ran as hard as I could. I figured it was too late, and no way I could finish in a time I "liked"...but dammit, I WAS GONNA FINISH.

I crossed that line in 2 hours and 36 minutes. about 18 minutes off what I was initially on target for. BUT. I. FINISHED. I saw my cousin, got my the baby wipes and changed into clean shorts (why i had them in my bag I will never know)....Got water, a bit of food and went back to finish line.

And felt good about the PERSEVERE factor. 
Holy Crap I wanted to curl up and die. 
I wanted to stay in that shitty portapotty and keep crying. 
But I knew I had a job to do. 

And that smile in those pics came after some hugs and cheers from friends made me feel good about the "shitty" run. 

So...I had 12km of a steady run at my desired pace. So...if I can do 12 I can follow through with another 8. TOTALLY. 
Bring it....

10 more sleeps til my next half. 
And 4 weeks til my next after THAT! 

Yup. Sometimes it is not the TIME that matters. It is the act of gettin er done that matters.