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Wednesday 29 April 2015

#RunYYC: Calgary Mara Fun & Medal Reveal

As many of you all know, (well my few lovely readers do that is) I am registered for the Calgary Marathon's HalfMarathon.

This is gonna be my 36th half ... and I am excited.

For the most part, (with the exception of the nasty ass flu that put me down for well over a week) my training has gone well. I have just under 5 weeks to go and am feeling great about it.

Not sure I will kill a personal best - but I am CERTAIN I am going to have fun and make the most of a great weekend of awesomeness.

I was feeling so great that I decided to add a little challenge to the halfmara madness.

I decided to run the 5k race, too. On the same day. After I am done the half. 
Yes, the one that starts about 5 hours after said halfmara. 
I shall bring a change of clothes and stretch and then go out and be FAB!
I heard the Jenny was doing it, so I was mulling it over. 
Then when Susan said she was doing it....well ---> HELLO FOMO

I knew that then I HAD to take part in all the fabulous! 
And, well, then I get two medals. What's not to like?

so .... speaking of medals
I KNOW you are dying to check em out. In case you didn't see the tweets at tonight's launch...may I present some FAB eye candy for you all:
 The Shirts! 
 Need another look??
 Aaaaand #allthebling 
Who's with me in saying they look pretty awesome!!
Mountains in 3D? 
I will be taking home these BEAUTIES!
Halfmarathon followed by the 5km!
What distance are you running on May 31st? The 50k, the mara, the half, 10k or 5k?
How's your training going? 
Are you excited? See you at the expo - and hopefully at the race!! 

Monday 27 April 2015

Weekend Update: Fresh Air YES!

And now it's time for the Weekend Update
I have to say that despite not getting out of bed from Friday (before last) to last Thursday, I was so excited for the weekend. I know I called it manflu - but I used that term as I was so abjectly pathetic-ly sick. Like near death. Super whiney. At least I live alone. I spend a lot of time feeling rather sorry for myself. By Friday, I couldnt wait to get outside and get some fresh air. I was gagging for it.
I still had that lingering cough, but dammit, I needed to get out and try for a run. I knew that a 23k was not in the cards after being so flat out sick for several days, but I felt I could start out and see where the run would take me.

Saturday morning I got in just over 10k. Whoo hoo. There was some crazy coughing - but this virus seems to be all about the hacking and wheezing dry cough. I took my prescribed 'puffer" which I used once on the run. Overall it was a slow pace, took walk breaks but got the miles in and felt strong the whole time. Sort of gaining happiness along the way.

This sign has been on the lawn
for 2 years

Ran through Bowness - a older community that is along the river. Parts of that area were badly damaged by the floods two years ago and it is still pulls at your heart to see thank you signs still all over the community.

I felt so strong at the end, I really wanted to do more. But thought...I shall go Sunday and try to do the same distance. I figured that maybe dipping my toes in slowly might be a preferable idea rather than one giant long run.

Glad I ran Sunday. The temperature was much warmer and the wind had died right down. It was a super pleasant morning for a run. We misjudged the mileage and only went 8.5km.
But it was not as slow as the day before. So was so happy with how great it felt to be out and about. And ALIVE.

And even better was how awesome the sun felt AFTER the run
 Not to mention the Caesar.
Don't worry a few hours later, I did follow up with a nice green smoothie! 

I have to work Tuesday and Thursday so switched run days to Monday and Wednesday this week.

Then I shall "taper" - haha. This switch up is probably best since I have a 30km race (which I am treating like a LSD run) on Saturday. So a few days of rest before the birthday run will be grand.
Yes. 30km on my birthday. I mean, why not?
To be truthful, I am not sure I should run this 30k so soon after being so sick. It really took the wind out of my sails. I need to think about it and decide by Thursday. I don't feel under-trained, but I just worry that I am still recovering...should I be do that much if I am not 100%??

aaaand while I am at it...might as well give you the Monday run lowdown. Yup, running on a little tired legs - though really they don't feel tired. But The temperature tonight were GLORIOUS! Seriously awesome - 15 degrees warmer than the weekend!!! whooohooo. Love a spring night run.
I took the opportunity to wear a new run vest - Thanks to my peeps at New Balance Canada and a new pair of capris - I had to get with a gift card that's been burning a hole in my pocket for months! And of course they match the vest.  I figured I would give my NB gear a go and look and feel fab. In fact, I was too warm!!! whooohoooo.

The run felt great. Got in 11km. And my legs feel awesome. But i still am coughing....not sure about that 30km. hmmmm. must mull it over.

What did you get up to this past weekend?  
Anything FAB?
Have you ever changed distance before a race last minute due to illness?

Friday 24 April 2015


I have said it before ... seek out what makes you happy.

Running, by all means, does that for me. But, sometimes, not just the run, but the social aspect, or the friendship aspect, or the fun pre-race and post-race aspect is what also makes me happy.

Having a bit of a retrospective week this week - being sick and all. No running. No breathing. I am trying to visualize upcoming runs. Deep breathe and relaaaaxxx. I hope to get out for a bit tonight. And this weekend. And, looking at my happy pics makes me less PANICY about missing a whole week of running.

I love that when I run (or walk or drive) I sometimes see signs. They make me smile. Sometimes I am lucky enough to snap a pic, if the timing is right. You have all seen my signature #signSelfie!
I like to look for the beauty or the unusual or the quirk on my runs, or when I walk to work. 
They give me a little lift - sometimes just what is needed at that very moment.

Sometimes when I am about to start a run - or finish a run -- I look at my wrist and see a message. 
I LOVE signs on the run - interpret however you like - if it makes me double take, I stop and snap.
They can be art.
Or graffiti -- Hey, whatever lifts you!
Nature is a clear sign - a message of beauty. And a the best way to unwind is a run outdoors. 

I am lucky to live near the river pathways - walking or running along them means great sights. 
I love running in new places, too. Exploring cities and nature is the BEST! 
And, am super lucky that I am close to the mountains - less than an hour's drive
 and I am surrounded by beauty. 
Races, running, hiking. A walk through the familiar or the new. 
I love it when I finish a run and can chill with a view!
You have to stop and take in the moment. 

Hope you liked a few of my 'signs' and that they made you smile! I often use #seenonmyrun when I post to InstaGram, so look for may more to come.

Do you have a fave place to run?
Are there some great signs/art/sights in your neighbourhood?

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Diagnosis: ManFlu

Last Wednesday, I went for a nice 10k run. It was marvy. 
Except for the coughing fits. A tad worrisome, given I had planned a 20k and a 10-15 km run on Saturday and Sunday. And, I had had a throat tickle all bloody week. eep.

I had started started out the week taking some juicing remedies....Ginger overload and Oil of Oregano: tasted like shit fresh but wasn't helping, apparently.

By Friday morning....I was feeling crap. By Friday afternoon, miserable. Friday night over some hot and sour soup I am fit to be tied  - shiiiiiit...please let me run - say - just 10k? Panic is setting in.
My alarm went off for long run Saturday, I got up. Started to get dressed an KNEW there was NO WAY. Nope. Can't run. Hell, Cannot BREATHE! eek What am I gonna do? I need Drugs. What can I do? I texted one of the gals in the run group and said, No way I can run. I thought I best lay down for a bit. I woke up over 3 hours later. I sat the alarm for 2 - one hour before I was due at work. I crawled out of bed got dressed and went in only to be told you have two options - work or voluntarily give up your shift (as in do this and you wont get paid).Well, I am coughing like I am losing a lung, and I have no business helping patrons. I need the money, but I cannot work and be on my feet for 8 hours. I choose to voluntarily give up my shift. Head straight to pharmacy and then straight to bed. Up for a couple hours, eat, more meds, back to bed. Sunday Morning I know I cannot run. Instead, I google symptoms. And then I reluctantly call in the job and voluntarily give up another 8 hour shift. 
And then I check out some homoeopathic remedies. I might do anything at this point.
Oh sod it...I am so tired. I cannot even look at TV or interwebs. 

I put on some chapstick and polysporin. And, wish for this to all go away. 
Crappy headache, congestion, unbelievable phlegm, And, the coughing. 
UGH. The pain in my chest is unBEARABLE. 
Yup. Diagnosis ManFLU
Don't use THIS lipbalm when you have a cold. BAD IDEA!
On Sunday I speak to my Mom at about 1pm. You know you are sick when you're mom is coming to town and says you sound terrible, I guess I better not see you. WAHHHHHHHH

I get up off the couch. Got to bed. I wake at 8pm. Yonks. I eat a small bit of leftover rice noodle salad. By 10, I go back to bed. It's now Monday. I woke at 7:30, went back to bed for a short hour.

Drank about 2 litres of water. Woke up a short hour later again. Yes. I slept through the Boston Marathon. Back. To. Bed. Up at 245. Pretty much back to bed til almost 5. Less Mucus and Phlegm! Ate pasta and spinach! Had a shower! huzzah! But still ... Trying not to worry about impending runs.

Yup. Another day of rest. OK Tuesday. Let's do this!! 

ERMIGAH...Dare I hope that all this sleep may help? I do feel better...Doc says it is a virus. Frick!! Doc gives me a ventilator - has immediately helped with my poor sore bronchial tubes. Today - feel almost human. Lets hope I feel even more human tomorrow.

How was your week? 
Wait don't tell me. 
I already have all the FOMO* (and panic) about not running. 

*FOMO = fear of missing out

Sunday 19 April 2015

What do YOU eat?

You are running. Its all awesome. Wind in your hair and then ... you gotta go. GOTTA.
Like BAD. WHAT? 
Does this sound familiar?
eeek what should I eat?? Are there foods to avoid? Do you ever have to GO on a run? AACK! 
oh....that. Yup, the age-old TMI "gotta go" question for runners.

I am not a nutritionist. I am not a Doctor. I am not a food health expert. I am a runner who has had many, many crappy (haha) experiences on the run. I have spent  time in the shitter (my record is 12 minutes in a halfmara), had to GO less than ONE K from the finish. Yup as in NOW, not in the 6 minutes I could get to the finish. SIGH. I have suffered from terrible tummy issues. Funny story AFTER - mortifying at the time. It is what it is ...For the most part now, I pretty good. BUT every once in a while I gotta GO on the run. This post comes from those experiences. Shitty and otherwise.

Nutrition is critical while training (well, duh!) for a marathon or half marathon. Your body needs fuel. It's not just important the week before race day...but the entire time. As in, have a healthy diet. Hey, some people can eat anything and not have issues. not. me. QUALITY is what works for me. I am all about carbs, carbs, carbs!  I gotta be careful with the high-fibre stuff. My diet has veg, fruits, whole grains, and some meat. Less meat, more veg.

I avoid junk food and crap. If I want steak I eat it (but NEVER the night before a run). My rule for meat - no bigger than the size of a deck of cards. I don't have a ton of dairy - it does a bit of a number on my gut.

Truthfully, I have trouble am to damn lazy to figure out which veg or fruit has carbs...perhaps I should spend more time figuring that out. I like potatoes, yams, beans, whole wheat bread, bananas, pasta, oatmeal, dried fruit, apples, bagels, brown rice, root vegetables  - Umm, I think they are all good carbs.  For protein, I have Almond Milk, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, tofu, lentils and nuts and seeds. I love spinach and kale too.

I am on what may be called the REAL FOOD diet. I take butter over margarine. I don't eat zero fat yogurt. Or anything labeled "fat free". There now you have my grocery list.

What do I avoid? Sweets, high fat meat and fried foods. Processed foods. And pizza. But, I do like pizza - sooo I have ONE place in town I will eat it at (never before a long run) and I can also make my own for a fun treat. If I want chips - I have them ONLY after a long run. I try to reward myself a little. Dark chocolate - yes, please. Oh and wine. I can't imbibe before a long run. Maybe one glass.

Do some research. Figure out what works for you. I say, enjoy what you eat. 

Runners World has a million articles on calories, eating, recipes - their page on Nutrition - lots of articles and recipes. As with anything on the interwebs... use your judgment. I happen to love the Runners World Cookbook. Great recipes that taste great. It was a gift - thanks to Krista!! I have made so many things out of there. I like how the nutritional info is broken down. One of my FAV cookbooks is Julia Child's The art of French Cooking - pretty much anything in that book is a reward meal. haha.

Yup, I take multi vitamins. I have low iron, and take a supplement.

I also use EnergyBits - as a running fuel and as a supplement. I love what spirulina does for me - gives me energy and NO tummy trouble. If it is a LONG run, I take a gel - never more than two as they can upset my tummy - but honey stinger chews work well for me. I have even made some homemade energy bites - they will be definitely coming out when I hit the trails this summer.

Basically I have a list of things that I know give me the shits runs. And, well, I avoid them. Duh. After some trial and error, you figure it out. Mostly. Here is what I find works for me:

NIGHT BEFORE: Simple meal. Easy to digest. Sometimes Spaghetti with tomato sauce, sometimes chicken and veg. I avoid high fibre a day or two before race. I drink a boatload of herbal tea a day or two before the race. And, I have a tradition of drinking a water bottle with Nuun the night before a race.

BEFORE the run: I eat light - banana, whole wheat toast with PB, oatmeal.
If you've had issues, try a few things before a shorter run. Trust me - don't try something new before a long run.

DURING the run: I take EnergyBits before and during a long run. I have been using em since 2013! Love em. Under 2 hours - usually only Bits. Over two - some combo of chews or a gel and Bits.  3+ hours of running - I take some energy bar (I like Gorp, Vega, Go Macro, Luna or Clif) or chews (Honeystinger or Clifbloks). Quick and easy is key. I definitely take water enhanced with either Nuun  or Vega. On long runs, especially on trail - I have been known to take some sqeezy veg or fruit puree (yeh - like baby food - hey it works). The Gorp Energy bars re-seal - so they are great for trail too. If I am organized enough --> homemade energy bites/bars are yummy and you know what's in them! I have to be careful as I am allergic to walnuts - sadly most bars have
AFTER the run: If I am at a race, I grab water, banana, apple, yogurt, chocolate milk if they have it. During one ragnar ultra hard boiled eggs after a run were awesome. A protein lifesaver. If I head home after a run or race, I make a smoothie - almond milk, banana, and berries, PB and vega one or vega recovery accelerator. Then shower. And in between have another bottle of water with Nuun. Then eat a meal. Sometimes beans on toast, eggs on toast. Sometimes, if I am feeling frisky - and have a pal to eat with - breakfast or lunch is a nice celebration.

Seriously, food is fuel. Enjoy what you eat. It should taste great!
Don't eat crap. Have some treats once in a while. Enjoy em. 
And, remember, shit happens. So, don't forget Toilet Paper. EVER.
Have a great run!
This little ditty on Runners Trots was on Buzzfeed last week. Interesting Read! 
Definitely had some good pointers innit.

Some of my FAB pals have also written a thing or two about running and nutrition
Check em out:
Terry - What I eat

Friday 17 April 2015

FABFriday: Wine not Celebrate!

It's #FABFriday
What's up for you this weekend? Some Wine? 
Sadly, all the wine I am gonna get this weekend is in THIS gif. 'Cause I gotta run some miles.
So no wine. But there may be some whine.
Whatever is up for you this weekend, MAKE sure it's FAB!

Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
Wine Not, sweetie!
Laugh yer arse off.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

FAB 5 ways to stay motivated

Hey There! It’s spring! Hurrah!!
Us Canadians Get rather excited about the advent of Spring! woohoo! #nojackets

Are you training for a big race? Have you been getting in all your runs? Do you wanna smack people when they ask you that?

Hey…sometimes it is HARD to stay on track and feel like you are getting it all in. I know, I know...I just wrote about getting the runs in last week. And the week before about how HARD running can be.

I'm less than a month from my 30km Birthday run (Eyeball the Wall) , SIX weeks from the RMSC Womens Run weekend and SEVEN weeks out from the Calgary Marathon. Holy Sheeshakabobs!

It is right about this time last year that I struggled with my marathon training. The weather wasn’t cooperating. I was tired. I had a cold. You know… the running doldrums hit. And I almost tossed in the towel.

Currently, I am burning the candle at both ends right now working about 70+ hours a week. And trying to get the runs in and NOT sleep in.

Sooooo, I thought I would share my FAB 5 hints to stay the course on your way to your Big Race. Or..your Next Race. Or your Next workout.

1. Goal Setting. I have races and runs coming up. I set goals. I do something that challenges me. Sure, it is my 25th half marathon...but what can I do differently? How can I make it count? Why not take a look at what you have done and see what ELSE is out there to shake it up and challenge you. Use THAT to help motivate you and keep you going on your long runs. Don't stay in your comfort zone!

2. Be Positive. BELIEVE in yourself. You CAN do this! I have mantras. Poems. Songs. Music. I use these things to keep me upbeat. Even temporary tattoos. I am the queen of sarcasm. But I am working hard to stay and be positive about my running. Sometimes, I have to remind myself of all I have to be grateful for.  I know it might sound simple or silly...but I have the BEST running jewelry from Endorphin Warrior. Yes I wear one or two to run in. Each word has meaning for me and yeh, I think it helps.

3. Shake it Up. Ok. interpret this how you will. I have a plan for my training. I know how far I am to run. But sometimes...I need a chance of scenery. I don't want to run the same route over AND over AND over. Find a new route. Check it out and it will help keep you motivated to keep getting out there.
I recently took my workout to the track and trail to help me shake it up.

4. Track your progress. I have trouble doing this at times. Why did I run 5k in 29 minutes here and only 33 minutes there. Be careful of that. I ran a half marathon in this pace, but this week it took so much longer. I don't mean that. I mean ---> write down your workouts. If you are doing speed work or hills note your progress. Make a checklist... and then you will go from doing 1 hill repeat to 10 in no time! You will see it happen. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the BIG goals, so I break it down into chunks. One run or day at a time!

5. Celebrate Success. This relates directly to numba 2 (be positive). EVERY run counts. Count your blessings, count your miles, count your milestones. Hell, some days getting out of bed is a hard won victory. Give yourself a little cheer and move on the next step. And by all means, celebrate at that finish line!
Lastly...friends, family are IMPORTANT...use them to keep you positive and help celebrate! Or keep you on track running. Run dates are the BEST!

And by all means, celebrate at that finish line!
Keep your eye on that prize...keep moving one step at a time
Have you run today?

ps --  Check out my fab pal Marcia's post - she has some great thoughts on motivation too.

Friday 10 April 2015

FABFriday: Long Week

Has it been a long week?
Yes I know it was a short week...but I jammed in two jobs into a whole lotta short days.
It's time to tell the week to ...

Patsy and Eddie have been busy celebrating. Let's hope you do the same. 
But...perhaps not quite THAT much...

I am looking forward to the weekend.
Some running. Some volunteering at the Calgary Women's Show for Calgary Marathon. Some work. and then some more running. And a Sunday nap!

One year ago I was running SoCal Ragnar ... Check it out here. And then the 4 part (OMG overkill but it WAS amazing) recap HERE.  I am tres jelly of all my team mates running this year. In honour of them - doing a double run this weekend. The 15k has a 3km hill climb at the start...but then it has a 3km descent at the end! woot! Sunday's run - 15k for sure maybe more...up to 20K - is a nice LSD pace. And is it wrong to already look forward to an afternoon nap? Nah. Didn't think so. 

CHEERS SWEETIE! Have a FAB weekend! 

Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
Celebrate All the Awesome!
Laugh yer arse off.