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Friday, 30 May 2014

Why Be Normal?

Embrace the joy, enjoy the run, sun, or whatever it is you are doing this weekend!
Just thought I would share a wonderful quote from Maya Angelou. What a wonderful wise woman. I have too many favourites to list here, actually. 
But this one is perfect for my Marathon weekend. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

RMSC - the 10K Weekend

I love running in Canmore! I mean look at the view!! How is this not amazing? Love the air, Heck I even forgive the hills out here. And, since we are talking mountains, there are hills. #holyhills
 The Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run was moved back this year and fell a week before the Calgary Marathon. Because of that I chose to do 10km on Sat and 10km Sunday. The goal would not be to have a best time, but to remain steady and do a time that would set me up for a great run at the Calgary Mara! The night before I set out the outfits....
And set the alarm as Tara was picking me up VERY early on Saturday to drive out to Canmore for the run! As I waited I tried to think about race strategy. Then I settled on the 'just run and have fun and push up on the hills' strategy. Sounded like a hella good plan!
Tara was walking the half and I would do the 10km. It really was a beauty day for it!! 
Or so it seemed around 630 am! 
 The hour long rive was awesome! And once we got to the Nordic Centre - YES! It was awesome.
 The start of the race...As you can see - an amazing view!
One of the things that makes this race so awesome is the aromatherapy cloths (the volunteers are prepping them in the photo) and the goodie bags at the end of the race! And the super cute t-shirts! 
And Buffs...funny no pics of the buff, tho. 
So now finally. Time to get a move on!
My usual...before selfies...
The race itself went quite well. I remained very steady. I did slow down a bit at the the 5km an 6km mark and the 8 and 9 km mark. Just felt a little tired and distracted. I could not see my data, but knew I was really steady throughout the entire race. I mentally noted a couple trouble spots that I could FIX the following day...But here is a bombshell. IF i forget about time, pace, performance - and just enjoy the run, I run better. Sure this was not a personal best. But I felt so GOOD the entire time. Running out in Canmore at the Nordic Centre just feels good. It is my #runhappy spot. I forget about what it SHOULD be and can JUST BE. I love that about running out here. Good thing, since i think I have 4 more races out her before September!!  
Run Finished in about 72 minutes. I was pleased. Sure I would love to be able to pop off more like 66-67 mins...but I do have a marathon in a week...And I can try to do a little better tomorrow too! I popped over to say hi to Simon Donato of Stoked Oats and Boundless fame...and had a visit and ate some oatmeal. Then I whipped over to help out at the Strides tent to help sell merch as we were rather busy! Tara came and got me when she was done. She shopped a bit, while I finished my shift.

Off we drove...and once again...reminded how glorious this town it! 
We checked in and then had a lie down. Normally I don't do that, but \why not. 
We conked right out and slept for a couple hours!! 
Then we went for dinner and had a glass of bubbly to celebrate.
 And then we decided to have a nightcap at the hotel...but there were no cups or glasses. 
Handy we both had our hand-helds at the ready (and the foam roller)! 

And then we got to sleep in til 8 since Sunday didn't start til 10! So lots of time for jacking around.
Overall I ran a steady race. It was the exact same race as the day before. And in spite of having a couple glasses of wine, I felt rested and fine. I drank a lot of water the day and night before. And, I popped  a good dose of ENERGYbits when I got up. And again just before the race and felt energized. This time I did not carry water and was just fine with three water stops available to me on 10k route. I pushed on the hills I knew I needed to and felt comfortable the entire time. I remained focused and my mind did not wander like Saturday. I suppose one's goal is not to be comfortable but to push the boundaries. However, I wanted to finish strong and feel good going into a marathon. And I felt great afterwards. And I finished almost a minute and a half faster than the day before! Score!! And a few days later when uploading data, I was very close on pace for both races. Did a tad better on a couple hills. Another score! 
Our friend Jen was running with her mom on Sunday, but we never caught up with them until after the race. But we all had a great run! I was faster than the day before, and remained nice and steady in pace. Jen's mom was 3rd in her age group - a first for Gabrielle! We were so pleased for her!! And both Jen and Tara ran strong races. A great day by all! It's such a feel good celebrate girl power race and you really leave filled with a lotta love. Such a great atmosphere!  Jen wearing the Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run Buff - I am wearing the Fast and Female Buff! 

And then it was time to go home....sigh...
Oh and you know how I always hate my race photos? 
Somehow THIS race always gives me ones that are pretty darn good! 
Here are Saturday's
and Sunday's
(And I only left out one really bad one!!)

So now to concentrate on my big bad mara next weekend! eep

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Running for Pancakes: Stampede Road Race

The other morning I woke up and thought...mmmm. Pancakes. 
Anyone who knows me knows that I love pancakes. A LOT! 
Even when I am not running or on taper
I know you are thinking...and this has to with running...HOW????
One of my local favourite runs has pancakes. You run, they feed you pancakes. BONUS, indeed.

Yes. I am talking about the one and only Stampede Road Race
SO I guess a little background is in order. The Stampede run is held during the Calgary Stampede. If you are not from Calgary, you might not be familiar with the Stampede. 
The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition,festival held every July. The 10-day event bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" attracts over a million visitors and features one of the world's largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions and First Nations exhibitions. Our Stampede has been going strong since 1912. 
And with Stampede comes pancake breakfasts. I am not really sure why. 
Legend has it that in Stampede's early days there was a chuckwagon driver known to camp at the old Canadian Pacific Railway station. He often shared breakfast with other cowboys. And, with other who passed by. Thus began the tradition of Stampede hospitality. And, over the years this tradition has expanded. Today, (seriously) every day during Stampede there are dozen so pancake breakfasts. 
Pancakes are synonymous with The Calgary Stampede. So with the Stampede Road Race we would expect nothing less! Its a great local race - with a halfmarathon, 10km and 5km. And a fun kids race there is something for the whole family. Like many summer time races it really is a party atmosphere. 

This year I am SO pumped to be doing this race this year. I have missed out on running it the past two years due to other commitments. But this summer I am back. And I am excited for one of the the awesome shirts...something that many runners rave about. The shirts are fun, and technical. The kind you actually wear AFTER a race! 
And in keeping with the "stampede" or western tradition, 
the medal for the halfmarathon is pretty freaking awesome. 

Another reason this race is so appealing to me is the view. The route is great - a scenic favourite of many Calgary runners. We run around the Glenmore Reservoir area and Weaselhead Flats - which connects north and south Glenmore Park. It's scenic, a little hilly (not THAT hilly) and challenging but so beautiful to have such a great park within the city! 

There is also a personal reason for why this race is 2010 I did the 5km race in just shy of 41 minutes. It was hard. And, there is no photographic evidence (whew). I was about 210 pounds, and not really in shape.

One year later, I was 30-some pounds lighter. And ran 10km in about 70 minutes. Quite a victory. And, the race was so fun for me. It was so different running after I had been training.

And I am so looking forward to running again this year! And this one will be a half-marathon for me. IT might be my 30th half...or maybe it is my 29th...I better go check! It does tend to get very warm, but the race starts early - 7 am - so by the time we are done, it is still early and time for pancakes!! 

And one of the other great things (IMHO) about this race is their charitable donations. Since 2009, the Stampede Road Race Society has donated over $45,000 to Calgary-based charities. This year, the profits of the SRR will benefit Can Praxis, a charity that helps veterans and their families though equine assisted learning. 

Stampede Road Race is proud to announce its partnership with Can Praxis, a not for profit that helps veterans and their families through equine assisted learning. Horses, along with team building and communications training, help soldiers and their families recover from the effects of war.

I love smaller community races, and this is one that you really should do! Come join me (and all the fun kids!) for a fun race and a great pancake party afterwards!

If this isn't enough to make you want to sign up for this FAB race, check out these reviews from my fab pals who love the race... Michelle is running the halfmarathon again this year. I am hoping Cori will have a super awesome cheer station! 

Michelle 2012 + 2013          Cori  2010 + 2011

Have you run the Stampede Road Race?
Are you signing up this year? 
HURRY UP....early bird pricing ends June 2!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Calgary Marathon: 5 More Sleeps!

The Marathon. Its looming. 

Really I am not panicked. I have momentary freak outs. 

Then I have moments of zen...where I say...yes. YES you can.
Then I get all up in muh grill and say..oh yesss. you WILL
Clearly I like me some power animals! 
I have trained. I have had my setbacks. I have gotten my mileage in, perhpas not all teh speedwork. And, frankly, I've had too much sickness and stress. But I persevered. And, I am (deep cleansing breath) ready. 
I am ready to run. To challenge me. To know that I have done this before. I will do it again. 

In doing so, I really hope I see some great signs along the way. 
Like this. 
Or this. 
I have a stronger heart and more determined head. I am ready. Sure, I would like to be faster, but that is not where I am at right now. I am going to be steady. Consistent. I will be present. And happy. 
Persevere. Breathe. And Believe. 
And when i get to the finish, this beauty (or is it a beast) awaits! 
Its a medal. It's a bottle opener. Its a belt buckle. 
Yes. Indeedy.
I think the most exciting thing is that I know so many people who are coming to the race to get a big fat shiny medal around their necks. This is gonna be a FAB 50th birthday party for Calgary Marathon. 
And, we are lucky to be able to run it. We have our health! Klink!
And we shall all proudly walk funny for a few days afterwards! 


Oh. YES. And I have one hellova kickass soundtrack for my run too!