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Friday 29 May 2015

FABFriday: CalMara Party time

It's #FABFriday

It's #tapertime
The paparazzi have been going crazy over here as we prep for the BIG day...
Good thing Patsy and Eddie know how to #keepitreal when the paps are knocking at the door.
#stayFAB ladies!

Only 2 sleeps til CALGARY MARATHON! Time to party, run, celebrate! #RunYYC

Have a FAB weekend! I am spending mine working at the Run Expo with CEP and 5Peaks, tweeting up and going to pahhhhrrrties running! Yes! All the running awaits. 
Friendship/Shakeout Run at 9 am  - EauClaire
Tweet-Up to follow
Speaking at the expo - Saturday at 1pm
Yes, I'm kinda a big deal (Can you hear the ridiculous laughter?)
Running the half Sunday at 630am and 5km at noon!

What are your FAB plans??

Life. It's Fabulous.

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

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Half Crazy: It's THAT time again

I am sooo totally excited for this weekend. 
Last night I sorted my gear and put aside what I was going to wear. I also reloaded my iPod. Then spent a bit of time visualizing some  parts of the race. Then I decided to pull out pics from the last Cal Mara halfmarathon (2 years ago) I ran. Wow, in 2013, that was my 17th Halfmara!  And, I realized I picked out the same sparkle athletic skirt to wear. Ha! I picked out my race outfit based on the colour and how HAPPY it makes me. I also notice the top I am wearing -- the SAME top I wore for my race last weekend -- my FAV run shirt.
Don't worry (in case you were concerned) -- I am wearing a NEW top for THIS race. 
and mayyybe not the orange skirt...still debating! 
Maybe spending time picking out what I am wearing is silly, 
but I like to wear what makes me feel good, smile, and motivates me a little.

I love these pics taken right after the race...they epitomize the 'happy half' -- my goal for 2015.

These pics were taken at a time when I was running faster than I am now. A few months before I got my last bout of shingles...which affected my health for several months afterwards.  They show a time when I had a lot of happy while running. A time with a lot less anxiety. 

I have spent over a year clawing back and working hard to get back to THAT running pace. I have spent a whole lotta time and space chasing THAT time. I have also tried to get back to being more happy than frustrated with running. Over the last several months, run by run, race by race, I started fretting less, smiling more. Relaxing, not being so wound up by thoughts whether I am good enough, fast enough, improving enough. GAWD. It's taken some trips, a few runs (long and short), new friendships, heart to hearts with my pals, and some stern discussions with myself. It has taken a whole lotta work in regards to letting go of what I THINK others think (about me or my run). I mean ... really... no one cares. Somehow self-doubt or defeatist attitudes make one think that others are judging. When all the time it was ME who was judging. We are our biggest critics. And, if one does not celebrate the successes (big or small) then once spends too much time obsessing over stuff that doesn't matter. Right? Onwards and Upwards, indeed! 

And finally, over the last little while I seemed to find my way back to that happy pace. 

Last weekend I ran in the mountains. It wasn't a PB or a PR. Not an A goal. 
Nope. But it was a fine day to run. I felt strong. I was able to push and keep going and feel freaking fab. I was able to finish and say "YAY ME!" It was a course that is harder (and more hills) than Calgary and yet my mind or focus did not wander. Instead, I found peace. I didn't spend one minute of the race looking at my pace, or seeing if I was "on target". And that makes me happy. I have spent too much time worrying that I am not BACK to this or that time. I have a few friends right now who CANNOT miles in for them. When you think, "I'm done" or "This is too hard", then think about how hard CHEMO is. And that gives a new perspective, too.  

This run made me feel happy and grateful that I can run. And, it felt like a whole lotta of my training runs were finally coming together. It makes me confident for this weekend. It makes me excited to be HAPPY to be toeing the line of my 37th halfmarathon. To see SO MANY of my friends doing the same. And then following it up with a super fun 5k afterwards. A few short years ago finishing a 5k was a tough haul. Today, that 5k is going to be icing on a halfmara cake. THAT is exciting! Because THAT is why I run. I will run my own race. I will run to feel great for those 21.1 km. And I know I can push a little harder, have a whole lotta fun, be kind to myself and, kick some halfmara ass! 

And, I must say, am pretty damn pumped to have #allthefun and #allthefeels
I am totally ready to ROCK my RACEDAY
HIGH-5 to all you racers! 
❤ Have fun 
Run with your HEART

Tuesday 26 May 2015

A Day in the Life ...

I was asked to do a 'Day in the Life' post by Carmy ... after saying yes...I thought...what the heck have I done? Will anyone care what I do in my life? haha.

But then after having an amazing run weekend (halfmara on Sat, 10km on Sunday) in the mountains, I woke up so happy and glad for Monday (CRAZY right?). Yup. Awesome mountain air, running and all the high-5s, a dip or two into some mountain water and, of course, a  celebratory drink totally presses the RESET button.

I work up a little late today...but got up and attem. 
As I walked out my condo...I paused for a sec to enjoy the view of Downtown Calgary.
 Hey I even put on a dress! It was a great morning. No jacket needed!!
I loved the sunshine-y walk to also just gave my legs a little shakeout too.
Normally I wear runners to walk to it as ballet flats.
I get to work and  my purse promptly overflows and all the crap goes all over my desk! 
Why yes that is a medal in my bag....haha never removed it from the weekend trip. 

And then I open my inbox...and get started in checking emails - 45 since Friday! eek.

OOPS. I should tell you what I do? Yes...let's start there. I am a Public Relations Advisor with the City of Calgary. I work on internal and external communications.
Right now I am working part-time (while looking for full-time work). I am what is considered on-call. I got to Business Units or Departments that need me.I am currently working at Community & Neighbourhood Services. My time is taken up on two major programs. Fair Entry, which is a new application process for subsidized programs at the City and Aboriginal Awareness Week.

Back to those emails...I got in today and was able to finalize the approvals on some internal and external promotion pieces for Fair Entry and on a poster and two invites for the Aboriginal special events involving my client, Fire Chief and the Mayor in a few weeks.
Tomorrow I will spend the majority of my day coordinating a video. We need to film award winners and then create a video to be used at one of the events. Time flies when everything (speeches, media releases, and everything else in between) must be finalized by June 15th. So it is going to be a busy next few weeks!

Finally, it is almost lunch and I have managed to carve out a nice 45 minute spot to have a weekly tea/coffee/catchup with Susan! Last week we ran but today we compare pedicures, recent race medals, running strategies and massage and chiro thoughts. And the plan on what is happening this weekend at the Calgary Marathon! EEK! A Big Weekend of run and fun is coming up! It's nice we work close - do nothing similar career-wise and can have tea and bitch or cheer each other up!
All too soon have to leave the garden we are chillin in and and head back to work -- writing, opening of dockets for more creative collateral and a quick photo session...for an employee profile that will be being published online tomorrow.

Normally, I am sitting at my office and writing or researching. Today, I was in 3 buildings each a couple of times  - 2 of them 4 times each -- All within a few blocks of each other. It was a day of meetings and photos and scoping locations. It was a fair bit of running around. But it was also a super day. Got a lot accomplished. Meaning approvals went smoothly and there were no rushes. Until the end of the day when a client asks if they could have 6 new posters created within 48 hours. eep.

To be honest I do love what I do. I just wish that I had a FULL-TIME job. And, that when it gets crazy and hectic that it was a little less like herding cats at times. But then, what would me and my communications and marketing buddies laugh about right?

There you go...a slice of my FAB day....Hope you enjoyed it.

Check out these other FAB Canadian bloggers to see what they are up to:

Friday 22 May 2015

FABFriday: Off to the Mountains

It's #FABFriday

I mean can it get ANY better?
I am off to the mountains.
The Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run is on this weekend!
A halfmarathon and a 10k await, As does a post-run massage and margarita!

I ahhhhhm so pumped for this year!
Plus a sleepover in one of my FAV places. weeeeeeeeeee.
My 2013 & 2014 recaps in case you wanna check out this FAB race!  What's up for you?
Klink! Last year our hotel didn't have glasses.
Trust me. This year we are prepared!

Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
FAB it up!
Laugh yer arse off.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Rock YOUR Race Day

oooh yes. Spring has Sprung! It is THAT time of year...Race Season is approaching!
weeee! Are you excited?
I have a few pals running BIG races this year -- Calgary Marathon and beyond. They have been asking about tips and tricks. And, since I also have a few races coming up in May and June, I thought it was a perfect time to share some of my fav tips to rock your race day.

5 FAB ways to ROCK your Race Day!

Before you start the race - no matter your pace - take some deep breaths. Focus on your breathing. If you start to feel nervousness build while running, think about your rhythm. Or sing along to whatever is on your iPod. It will help calm you down. Channel your nervous energy for good. I find that being nervous can be a good thing. Remember: You are strong. You are ready. You are fabulous. Stay strong, stay focused and get 'er done! I find I often compare myself to other runners. And in a negative way. This is NOT productive.  Negative self-talk leads to anxiety. When I get anxious, I like to practice positive affirmation. I HAVE. I CAN. I WILL. I AM READY! High-5, ladies. Let's do this!! You have no control over anybody else out there. Run your best race --  pay attention to yourself. Don't say, "OMG what have I done?" Tell yourself: "Hooray! I’m excited to be here. I can’t wait to start!"

Are you meeting friends? Great! If you are going solo, smile and within no time others will be chatting along with you. Everyone is excited to be out here waiting to start. Some folds are definitely more chatty than others. Say good morning. Take in the awesome atmosphere. Pre-race day - go to the expo - walk around...check out the merch, and the vendors and CHAT with people. Take in that inspiration. Arrive to the race early. And remember, a lot of runners out here feel just like you. While running, you will no doubt get caught up in the atmosphere. Cheer people on!

(this does not apply to trail runs - as I never run with headphones on the trail)
If you run with music, make sure you have some music that makes you wanna MOVE. There are always tracks that motivate. Load up that iPod with all your favourite tracks that keep you moving and put pep in yer step! And on the route if you want to! 

Rewarding yourself is important. Whether its with purchasing a little something at the expo, or going for a drink or lunch afterwards, it is important to celebrate your achievement. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and treat yourself! 

When you want to stop, keep moving. Remember, even walking is moving. It's all good. If your mind starts to say, "I can't", tell yourself you CAN. Push on and you will get over that hump. Repeat, if necessary, until you hit the finish! There are so many runners and walkers and cheer squads out there, so you know there they can raise your spirits and give you inspiration out there if you need that too. 
The number one thing I tell myself before every race is: You Got This

Your pre-race routine should include nutrition (eat a nice healthy meal - nothing out of the ordinary) the night before race day. Your breakie the morning of a race is so super individual. Just make sure you are doing something the is tried and tested! Remember that a warm-up (whatever works for you), positive self-talk, some deep breaths and pre-race port-a-potty visits are important. Get there early and soak up the amazing atmosphere. And the bathroom line-ups are shorter then too. HA!
Enjoy your RACE
Have FUN
Get out there and ROCK IT! 
Do you have any pre-race "traditions" or superstitions you ALWAYS do?

This post originally appeared as a blogpost for the Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run.
I loved it so much I decided to share (after re-working it slightly) on MY own blog too.

Monday 18 May 2015

Getting over a "bad" run

*oooh there MIGHT be a swear (or 5) in this post. Just sayin' ...

So this weekend I had my first DNS. I signed up for a half marathon ... and a few days before the small race, I had a great run. Then in the oddest of events, I somehow tweaked my back. WHAT? So I could barely walk, it hurt to roll over for god's sake. 3 days of intense sharp pain. Two visits to the Chiro. There was no way I could run. AWWWW FACK. Yes, apparently, sometimes shit happens.

And then there are those "crap" runs.

Sometimes during a training run or a race you have issues -- something in your head, and you cannot concentrate. Or you can't seem to hit your mark. Or the paths are too crowded. Or your legs feel like lead. Or you feel like you are in slow-mo. You jutt cannot hit your stride. Or as some of my TRI pals describe in races - the crowding in the water, the getting to your bike - can all be a bit much and distracting. It takes away from the task at hand, and your mind strays.
It is SOOOO irritating!
Have you ever had a run that wasn't stellar? Do you have a mind that sometimes won't STFU while you are out on a run, race, bike ride, swim?

Recently. I have read online about people asking what to do when you have bad run. Or if you run slow should you put up your "50k" sticker in the car window? Or post on the blog, since the time was "embarassing" or disappointing. Holy Cow....really????

So, how do you get over the crap run/race/ride/day?
Here's my advice
If something comes up, seems to hinder you, overwhelm or piss you off - you need to:

Put it in the Fuckit Buckit!
Yes, you heard me.
And, well, sorry (not really) if you are offended. But if you are any sort of regular reader - or know me in person - you have heard that word  (or some variant of it) before.
Some coaches call it the mental box. Some describe it as compartmentalizing.
I prefer this name.
Whatever it is that is the issue, chuck it in that bucket and move along. Keep moving. One step, one stroke at a time. I find that during the run or race itself, this is a particularly helpful strategy. (And yes, I have used this strategy at work or in life, too!)

Sooo. Yeh. I did NOT run Saturday. I shed some tears. BUT I also knew that in ensuring I wasn't running in pain, I could have great runs the next few weeks. the bucket it went! There will be other runs.
Stay Fabulous, my friends! 

Friday 15 May 2015

FABFriday: Weekend Runs Await!

It's #FABFriday
It is an ultra fab week as it is a long weekend! 

What's up for you? 

This past week, I had a somewhat insane week - Job one 20hrs. Job two 30hrs.
I work all weekend too.

I have a long run planned for ooops signed up for a halfmarathon on Saturday,
and then a 10k run planned for Sunday (might do it Monday instead) ---
 great prep for the Rocky Mountain Soap Run next week!

So I am STOKED to have this MONDAY off. And perhaps brunch with a long lost pal.
Well not lost but way too long since a visit.

Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
FAB it up!
Laugh yer arse off.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Ooops I did it again!

It's no secret. I love me a halfmarathon.
I may not be fast. But, hells to the YEH, I am FABulous!
Or at least, after a half I certainly feel FAB - as evidenced by these shots...
When I said I was going to run the halfmara at this years Calgary Marathon, I knew I was going to be also running the Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run the week before. I changed up typical half
mara training and was doing some back to back runs (on weekends) to build mileage and keeps legs strong and essentially be used to running on tired legs. I did it for my two Ragnar Ultras (in September and November), so I figure I could trust that training and go for it.

I am not at all the fastest gal, but I am looking for improvement and consistency. And I have been striving for that for the past few months of training. And have been achieving. SCORE!!

I have tried to get in some varied training - track, speedwork, hills, trail and stairs. 
And just plain old getting the miles in. I am pleased mostly. Except for the two weeks off with the monster turdtastic flu (yup, still moaning about that - will that horrid irritated bronchial dry cough please just GO AWAY!)

This weekend, I have one last long run planned
So what do I do, knowing I have to run 20k? 
Shit, yeh. You should laugh. Clearly. I have issues.
Now, I know, money is tight...but this one is less than 20 bucks. I have to work all weekend, and I think it will be great motivation for me to get up, get out, get those miles in, shower and get me arse to work. Now, I cannot bail on this last run. And it will be halfmarathon numero 36.

Most of my running peeps are away for the long weekend (all my peeps doing RNR Portland you magnificent bastards), or are running Woody's  (in Red Deer - which is 1.5 hours away). Since I work at Job #2 at 1230 on Sunday, I cannot go. Maybe I have the FOMO. Maybe.Totally. But I somehow cannot resist a challenge.
Maybe I just need a little smack?
I wont be running for speed - but trying to be consistent. Push thru certain parts. AND have fun. It will be great prep for next weekend (hills galore half) followed by 10k. And then by May 31 - good ol Calgary Mara day - that Half should be a cakewalk I will be all prepped! Oh who am I kidding? I am completely batshit crazy a little nutty! Weeeee!

Yup. Crazy.
Make that HALF Crazy.

Monday 11 May 2015

5Peaks: Sikome Run & GIVEAWAY!

Hoooray! Saturday I hit the trails for the first #5Peaks run of the season! It was in the south part (about 40 mins drive from my neck of the woods) in the city in Fish Creek Park - around the Sikome Lake area!

I got up around 630 - left to get my volunteer on - help out with race pickup - The drive there was great! No traffic at this time. Nice and peaceful.

There was the usual setting up and then the flurry of package pickup started by 830. At about 9:45 I got up from my post to get my shoes on and get warmed up a little for the start.

The Sun was shining and it was going to be warm. HURRAY for spring.

5Peaks often has great branded race goodies - so was excited to see this race graft was a Buff band! LOVE it!!
Funny how volunteering I forgot to go do the stand in line for the I was praying that I wouldn't have to go. Right around 10am the Enduro racers started, with the sport folks starting 15 mins later. Enduro is usually around 10 or so kilometers and the Sport is about 5 or 6.
 It was going to be an interesting run. I had never really ran down on these trails - nor the few paths we had to transverse on a couple times). There was a big ol nasty steep mother of a nice hill right to start -- so I knew it was going to be good. Not super hilly - but some steep climbs (no harm in walking some of them as there were 4 big climbs on the single track 'scape) worked your butt and legs. Feel the burn and press on...and run like hell on the flatter sections. Really it was a great day for a run. Sun shining. Birds Chirping. Ducks Quacking. The river just humming along. Every once in a while when you got so hot, a nice breeze would come and blow. It was not 100% trail - but it was fantastic and definitely some great scenery. And, of course the challenge of single track was wicked! Every time I wanted to slow down, I tried to chase the gal (or guy) in front of me. Overall the whole entire time I was happy with the run. I was a tad slower than I wanted, but I am still recovering from that heinous flu - so was pleased with the pace I was keeping.

Some people say they do not like to run without their tunes...but I LOVE these races - no music needed. And it is NOT missed at all. (And I used to only ever run with music) Seriously so much awesome nature going on it was a perfect day for the run. Yes, I do sound like suzy sunshine - but (c'mon!!) the weather was fantastic! It is just so nice to go for a run and feel sun on your face and shoulders. Trail running just puts you in a great mood and head space.

The signs were awesome!
 The volunteers and aid stations were great!
I arrived at the finish with a clock time of just over an hour and a half - not bad for a hilly single track race of over 11.5km! I know it's going to be considerably slower than my pathway times, but it is just THAT much more enjoyable. And of course the laughs at the finish are awesome!
 And, the food at the end was also fab! Fresh strawberries, bananas, muffins and some chips and pretzels. YUM!! And some muscle milk too. It was a great start to the morning.
After hanging out with some of the folks I know, I raced home, showered and changed to meet a friend for wine and belated birthday cake lunch.
Yup...a great day fo sho!
Hope you had a FAB weekend!

Yup - I am a 5Peaks Ambassador!
I have been a volunteer with them since 2011 - Its really a lot of fun. I
 feel like I am part of a great family, love seeing everyone at the races ... and really have had such great experiences that I am happy to share! 
Fancy trying a 5Peaks run?
Use my discount code to save $5 on your next race.
Have you tried 5 Peaks?  
Races are in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec!
(your choice of any 5Peaks Race 2 - which one is closest to you??)

Friday 8 May 2015

FABFriday: Keeping Crazy at Bay

It's been a bit of a long week, hasn't it?
Perhaps...even a bit harried

It's #FABFriday

What's up for you? I am trying to remain "good" - eat healthy, but not be too crazy. But the weight loss and getting to be "thin" remains elusive. Clearly, I am obsessing. 

Clearly am doing SOMETHING wrong. 
haha - didn't I just write something about eating foods on the run?

Thing strive to be healthy and eat right...then are bombarded 
with "eat skinny" weight loss shizz on the interwebs.
Sometimes best to stop reading.

I think another long run is in order to keep the CRAZY at bay and keep the FAB at hand. 

Good thing I am hitting the Trails this weekend - -
my first 5Peaks run of the season is this Saturday! WOOT! IT's gonna be FAB!

Life. It's Fabulous.

Embrace it. Love it.
Eat it Up!
Laugh yer arse off.