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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Big Run

Race # 6 under my fuel belt! Only 8 (or more) to go.

I did my best to get to bed early last night, and even watched TV in the dark, to start the calming process. Basically flipped around, watching snippets of the wedding and such. Oh, and what can only be described as the best episode, ever, of Criminal Minds. The one where the Reaper and Hodges square off...duel to the death. Makes me cry, hard, every time I watch it. And I think I still hold my breath during the fight scene. So intense.

The alarm went off at 6am, and I was thrilled to look outside and see dry roads. No snow or rain. Phew... The temperature was listed at 0C (32F), but there was a windchill of -4C and calls for scattered showers in the morning. What to wear, what to wear?? I went with my old standby of capris, long tech shirt with a tech T over top. No gloves (hot hands), hat (hate hats) or jacket, although I did pack one, just in case. Ate a bagel with PB & strawberries (the grocery store was out of bananas...seriously?!), a glass of milk and a quick cup of coffee. I left the house at 6:50, for the drive to the NW end of town, and Bowness Park. Bowness used to be a separate town for the longest time, before Calgary gobbled it up in the '50's, and it to this day retains that charm, with angled parking, and quaint little houses in big yards. And Bowness Park has picnic areas, skating pond (in the winter), walking paths, is right on the river for boating and tubing (in the summer), an old kiddy train, park, etc. That was the start/finish point for this rather challenging race. Calgary has hills, there's no denying it, as we're in the foothills, less than an hour from the mountains. But many of our races are focused closer to downtown, which are a little flatter. This race is all about the hills!! I've done this race since it's inception, missing only one year when I went to Vancouver in 2009.

Met up with E. from the clinic (who did awesome, by the way), and we both decided we were running how we felt. Training run, race, all out...we'd let the day decide what we did. I started with my usual race pace of run 3m, walk 1 minute, although sadly there were very few water stations on this race (only 3 in total). The route had changed slightly (we used to loop the park first) which made the turn-around a little further out than normal. We run through the neighbourhood of Bowness, before connecting with the Bow River pathway, and run east past Edworthy (where I do boot camp). Turn-around and a water station, then back west to the river point, where we turn and run up 53rd Ave. Turn at the little old church and enter Bowmont Park...or as we all refer to it as "Blood & Guts"...this is where there are hills...lots and lots of hills. Rolling hills, steep hills and curvy, windy hills! And this is where the wind picked up...but making it more pleasant was the wild crocuses growing everywhere (the grass, dry and brown from the long winter was shaded purple by all the flowers) and watching the eagles (or osprey...we couldn't figure out which they were) circling overhead, hunting for lunch. I admit I walked most of the's not that I was tired, it wasn't that I didn't feel well, I just didn't feel the running mojo. Wonder where it went?? I pushed my way through it, walked when I felt like it and ran when that mood helped that I had great friends cheering me on, as many from the clinic were either volunteering or out on their own training run, and screaming my name as I ran past.

I took a lot of time mulling about my mojo, and decided that I'm letting the stress of my life affect my running. That pisses me off! I need to get to Boston, and I'm not going to if I let every one around me bring me down. So that stops now. Not quite sure how yet, but I'm certain to figure out something!

I stopped briefly to remove a pebble from my shoe (leftovers from winter salting) and while I thought I hit start again, Mr. Garmin stopped tracking my run! I did restart it, but lost about 2km worth of data. I'll have to wait till the results are posted, but I think I crossed at about 2:49. Not my best, but not my worst. Rather than dwell on the time, I'll take away a lesson from today (de-stress) and focus on my next race, which is in 14 days!!! In Canmore...I thought today had hills! Uh-oh!!!

Finished, grabbed a juice and a banana (you could tell I was near the end, as most everything was being packed up already...Calgary has a very fast Half group of runners), and then met up with the cheerers at Angel's, a tiny "restaurant" on the Bow River pathway that sells coffee, ice cream, lunch items, and is open all year round. We sat and chatted, while I inhaled a really good breakfast sandwich of egg, bacon, gooey cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo on a rosemary bun. Fabo and hit the spot.

I stopped at Purdy's for Mom (and somehow came out of Reitman's with $150 of new clothes for me!), and then drove to her place to drop off the chocolate, putter around, check out a few things before finally getting home around 3:30. Dragged my butt upstairs and had a little nap for about an hour.

Ate some KD for supper (hey, I ran a Half marathon...I deserve the KD! Don't judge!!) and am now sitting here feeling like I need something more, but I don't know what. I'll have some water and see if that's what my body is actually asking for.

I get to sleep in tomorrow (no 29km training run for me) but have decided to walk down and meet everyone for coffee/lunch later on. Running clinic is fun.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

All my fault

Yes, Calgary, I will shoulder the blame for the snow today...and the snow predicted for tonight and the snow for tomorrow. I know, some of you are like "what the fizzle, ma dizzle?!" but yes, it snowed today. April 28th! And all because of me. You see, while I haven't actually changed my winter tires yet (Tuesday, however) or put away my shovel or brush, I do have a race first thing Saturday morning. Mother Nature has decided that I need to learn how to run in snow...and only in snow. Oh, and a little ice for extra fun. So, be warned will (or should) snow again on May 13th, May 28th, June 11th, July 9th (don't's happened!) and August 20th. Although, technically, that race is in Edmonton, so maybe I'll just learn what heat stroke at mile 25 feels like! I'll probably be praying for snow. Add to that I had another appointment with Mom today, and every.single.time that I have had to drive to get her and go to an appointment, it's snowed, blowed and generally been a rotten day outside! Growing weary of it, I tells ya.

Because of the appointment, I drove to work this morning. I feel so silly driving 1.2km to work! Heck, some mornings I swear it takes as long to drive as it does to walk! And big surprise for me!! I forgot to fill up on my way home from running last night, and for that little oversight, I got to pay .05/litre more! WTF?!?! What did I miss??? But again, what exactly are we to do about it? I remember when I could fill my tank for less than $ it was almost double that. Sucks.

After the meeting with the lawyer, settling up some documents and stuff for Mom (I am a "ducks in a row" type person), we went to Jack Astor's for supper. I was craving a burger, and they do make a wicked good bacon cheese variety. I love a cheese burger that is shaved cheese, not a slice of processed or even a slab of regular, but shaved so it was all melty, ooey, gooey goodness. Yummo!

Got home and really haven't done much since. Tired, but too tired to go to bed, you know?? I thought I'd clear off a bit of the PVR (I heart Glee) so that I had loads of room for the Wedding. I'm starting recording at 1am and running it till 8. Last time (yes, I was old enough to remember) I was working nights and got off shift in time to get home and turn the TV on. Sadly, I was off work in '97, so I sat up to watch her funeral too. I am too old for such foolishness now...thank goodness for technology!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The need for speed

And so it begins...Calgary is in 5 weeks, so speed work was on the menu tonight at running clinic. Good luck, by the way, for all those runners headed to either Vancouver or California for Big Sur. You'll do awesome.

Back to speed Evil Uncle Doug is running the clinic, and I've only learned Good Uncle Garrath's methods, I wasn't sure what to expect tonight. Imagine my surprise when EU Doug said it would be up to us...either Fartlecks or Speed laps. I'll take the laps! We warmed up with about a km run, nice and slow, before setting up at the start of our lap. It's about 800m, and gives us enough time/space to cool down and let the heart rate drop back to normal. Goal here is consistency (make the 4th lap as good as the 1st) and race pace, which for my little team is 6:52. Speed pace should be around 6:14, but I wanted to work the ladies up to it. The main rule in all of this, is no injuries!!!

Off we went, and hit our stride at about 6:20. Even my heart rate has settled down a bit (I've been eating Cheerios to try and scrub the last of the smoked meat out of my veins!!!), capping out at 174. No more 180's for me! Lap 2 was a little slower, but man, we had a wicked head wind to contend with...still nice pace of 6:23. Lap 3 felt good, and roughly the same pace. In fact, the girls ran ahead, as I was chatting with someone, and I managed to catch up (okay, they were about 5' ahead of me at the end). Last lap and it felt as good as the first. Finished with a nice slow run to cool down, although after the speed work, it feels like you're walking! Overall, our average pace was 6:57, including the warm up and cool down, which rocks da house. Bring on next week. Maybe we'll try the Fartlecks for fun, as the others ran a 7km course, with the intent of hitting speed pace for 200m at a time, for a total of 10 times. Sounds kind of complicated...I like having a set route/distance to follow.

One pint tonight, watching to see if Montreal would continue on in hockey (they are not...sad) and then dropped a friend off at her bus and chat, chat, chat. Home now, and really should be in bed but felt I must update here first. Oh, and while I think of it, wicked good, fast dinner tonight. Boil beef (or chicken or whatever) tortellini till done, and toss with a tablespoon (or gob) of light cream cheese and Greek salad dressing till the cheese melts. OMG, so good...I want more, but I'm out of tortellini. I may have to try it with the gnocchi I have in my fridge tomorrow!

Okay, time for sleeping.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Runners

I decided it was time for a new pair of runners, and since I still have my mad on with Asics, I went with Saucony this time. Yesterday I walked over to the local gym (Talisman) and ran on the indoor track. Man, I HATE running indoors!!! It's hot, it's humid (Talisman has a huge pool) and it's BORING. Around and around and around I went. But I ran for 20 minutes, went and ran up and down the fire exit stairs (5 x 18 steps each direction) before returning for a final 10 minutes on the track. Ended the day with a last blast at the stairs, just to make sure that my toes weren't pounding into the toe box. They felt good, so today we went outside. Typical Tuesday tempo run, but none of us were feeling the speed, so we settled for a consistent steady run instead. However, I shut off Mr. Garmin to adjust my shoes and forgot to turn him back on. Boo... Asking one of the others in the group, it appears we did 6km in about 44 minutes, or a 7:43 pace.

Food today was good...cheerios and almond milk for breakfast, fresh fruit salad for snack, and the last of the Easter dinner from Sunterra, salmon and a wild rice pilaf with barley. The salmon was fabulous and the pilaf was tasty and interesting. Add the last of the carrots, snap peas and sweet potato and I had a well rounded meal.

Dinner was a whole wheat bagel ham sandwich, toasted with some cheese and tomato. Fast and simple as I was running late for run clinic. After clinic, and a quick coffee and a gab, I came home to steam clean the carpets in one of the suites. Better to do in the bright daylight, so I'll go over the floor tomorrow afternoon before returning the unit to the store. Why I try to crowd everything together all at once is beyond me, but I do appear to work better under pressure. Speaking of...time to find something for lunch tomorrow and go make it. I'm trying to start getting a more consistent amount of sleep, water and proper food before Calgary (5 weeks and counting) so that I can kick this one to the curb!

I do have another Half on Saturday, and oh, boy, they're calling for snow on Friday!! Seriously?! When do I get to run a race WITHOUT snow to contend with????? Grrrrrrrr!!

Happy thoughts...only think happy thoughts. Here...crocus' from my garden, doing their best to put a smile on my face.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Garde Manger

I am a Food Network geek. I admit that. I love almost all the shows on there, save for the silly decorating shows...I watch the Food Network to learn about food, not about how a restaurant should decorate. Please stick to Home and Garden for that. Anyway, one of my favourite shows is Chuck`s Day Off, where Chuck Hughes cooks for various guests on his day off from his restaurant, Garde Manger. Once I knew I was going to Montreal, I had googled the address and wandered around Old Montreal till I found it!! And it wasn`t easy...

Narrow, unassuming street leads to doorway, with nothing to indicate that it`s a restaurant. In fact, I walked past it several times, before I realized that this was Nirvana!

Once you pass through the door, you are greeted by the sign, letting you know you`ve found the right place.

Push past the black velvet curtain, and you enter a sweet little restaurant that is packed. They were taking reservations into May and June when I was there. I was seated at the bar, after all, I was dining alone. I did announce that I was a Foodie Geek, and that I was taking pictures! They were awesome about it.

This is James and Zoe...James was the oyster shucker slash DJ and was also on Chuck`s team when he travelled to New York to battle on Iron Chef, beating the infamous Bobby Flay! Yay Team Canada!!!! James was fabulous and spent the rest of my evening there answering my bazillion questions about the biz, food, fame, Iron Chef, Montreal. Zoe was the bartender and recommended a lovely wine to go with my meal. Unpretentious and very friendly...that described everyone I met there.

During a quiet period - it was short - James took me back to meet the boys, and showed me how they reconfigure the kitchen for the show, where the cameras go and who else went to New York - dude in the red with his back to us. Sadly for me, Chuck was away in LA but James made up for that by being so darn nice.

The evening started with my wine (a lovely Riesling) and toasted breads with a sweet, caramelized onion cream cheese.

When in Rome, you have to have the infamous Lobster Poutine - I personally think that`s what won the judges over in New York - which was in a word DECADENT! It was rich, it was gooey, it was delicious.

Then, on Zoe`s recommendation, I had the duck breast with fois gras, mushrooms and rapini. There were also fingerling potatoes hidden underneath. The duck was perfectly cooked, the fois gras melted and the vegetables were just what was needed to cut through the richness of the duck. Again, my Riesling was delightful with the whole meal.

Somehow, I still had room...where I don`t know, but room anyway. After going down the list, I settled on the traditional Quebec dessert, which I cannot remember how it was spelled, but it boiled down to white cake baked in maple syrup till the cake was done and the syrup was caramelly goodness! Served with a gob of vanilla ice was HEAVEN.

I left the restaurant several hours later, pleasantly full and happy to have had such a wonderful evening. Again, I recommend this place to everyone and anyone, and when I return to Montreal, I will eat here again. And hopefully get to meet Chuck himself this time.

Cute but...

But worth $698...I think not.

Quebec City, a pictogram

Did I mention that the Queen E is not only centrally located in Montreal, attached to the underground shopping malls and only a $38 cab ride to the airport, it is also right on top of the Central Train station, and therefore very convenient to get to Quebec City.

While it was a cooler, damp day, I still had a lovely afternoon of wandering around, after my 3.5hr train trip through the countryside.

The Grand Dame...Chateau de Frontenac. She rises over the entire city, and proved to be quite the hike to get to her. But all my walking offset the ham & swiss crepe I had for lunch, as well as the smoked meat Reuben I had for supper that night!

Again, as a Calgarian, living in a baby of a city (oldest building around here is maybe 100 years, and we tend to have the ``it`s old, so tear it down`` mentality about us - hugely sad).

The wall that winds its way through Old Quebec. Most of it was closed due to snow, ice and general restoration work.

Loved the narrow streets.

Provincial Parliament building.

More narrow streets. I walked A LOT!!

Old churches everywhere.

So picturesque.

Two fabulous murals...the one on the left depicts famous Quebecois throughout history, while the right side depicts typical living way back when.

Lots of hills and stairs in Old Quebec. In fact, just saw a race for the Staircase Challenge in June. Too soon...maybe next year.

Irish influence everywhere in town. Finished my day in one such pub, hoisting a pint and enjoying cheese and bread. A fitting way to leave Quebec, I feel.

Montreal, a pictogram

If you are staying in Montreal, allow me to recommend the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth on Rene Leveques Boulevard. Beautiful hotel, lovely restaurants, shopping ( I walked away from the $698 dress!) and is walking distance to Old Montreal and the water. By walking distance, I`d 3-4 blocks to Old Montreal, and a km to the water. The staff were all wonderful, if you register as a Fairmont Member, then you get free WiFi in the rooms, and everyone went out of their way to make me feel valued as a client.

On my wanders...Notre Dame. This is where Celine and Rene tied the knot. A bit over the top, but if you`ve got it, flaunt it.

This is Queen Mary`s church, right down the road from the hotel. Lots of churches in Montreal.

Just up the road (okay, 1-2km) is McGill University. I hiked up to see what the castle in the distance was...closest I`ll ever get to going to McGill!

Loved the art scattered around town. This piece was phenomenal. The detailing was breath-taking.

The Molson Bank of Canada...wonder why it never caught on. Maybe the staff were drunk on beer all the time!

Expo `67 produced some weird architecture. These are condos.

The Globe thing.

Amusement park across the water from Old Montreal.

The other side...I think there may have been people fishing.

Loved the old buildings.

Another 400-yr-old church.

Original Fire Hall in Old Montreal.

Me feeding Kate, after she so wonderfully pulled me around town.

Loved the squares and areas around town. They must be crazy busy in the summer.

More artwork.

Needless to say, I loved Montreal and can`t wait to return. Just have to deal with the whole flying there issue.

Happy Easter Sunday

As predicted, today (the normal day for the Policeman's Half) is absolutely gorgeous out. The snow is all gone, it's +14C, the sun is shining and the birds singing. What a difference a week makes. But what do you do? As it turns out, my time on the Half matched my clinic instructors time in Boston on Monday! Almost to the second!! Good job G. I shall run that with you one day...I will so!!

So, where the heck have I been? Haven't posted all week, but that's because by the time I got home from work, ate, did whatever running around (boot camp, running clinic) I had to do, and dealt with apartment stuff (some a-hole decided it would be "fun" to pull the fire alarm at 1:30 in the to deal with 911, firemen (they sent 3 trucks!) and angry tenants (I`m not the one who pulled the dang alarm, by the way), which resulted in pretty much zero hours of sleep for me. Been catching up all week.

Boot camp has been good, as I`m trying to go back all in. I really want to run Calgary at a lower weight than last year, but it may just end up being at a lower weight period. Really want to work on my strength and toning as well, so the 10-pounders are back, and man, are they heavy! Running clinic was also good this week, although I`m still suffering the effects of all the good food I had in Montreal, I think. I need to up the oats to try and scrub some of the smoked meat out of my arteries!!

Had a glorious Good Friday off, although I still made it to boot camp at 5. Great to be working out in the sunshine, finally. Kicked our (okay, mine at least) butts with a good old fashioned circuit of weights and cardio. Left there quite exhausted. Spent yesterday picking up cat food for Mom`s babies, groceries for Mom and Easter dinner for the both of us. Sunterra Market was kind enough to cook us ham, scalloped potatoes, fresh spring veggies and some awesome chocolate fruit tartletts. There was also an asparagus spring salad, and tomato soup, but Mom doesn`t really like soup, so that will be my lunch tomorrow.

Got up bright and early today for an enjoyable 23km training run. Although, I have forgotten how to dress for warm weather (although I did remember sunscreen today) and while I ran with capries and a long-sleeved tech shirt, I also had a light vest over top and totally overheated by km 20. That`s okay...I know by now to listen to my body and when it says STOP, I stop. Walked back the final km`s, and finished the day feeling quite okay with my run. Stopped at the local Lebanese place in Eau Claire, and picked up lunch of felafel's, salad, rice, hummus and tzatziki. Hit the spot nicely.

I have tomorrow off as well (we don`t get the holiday in February, so my company gives us 4 days at Easter instead), so I`m going to wander over to the local track to test out the new runners I bought - would have done that today, but I was seriously beat after the run this morning - before I commit to them. Saucony`s, which I have never worn before, but I`m just so mad at Asics for changing their shoe styles, resulting in many, many lost toenails for me. Boo.

There...all caught up. Hope everyone is enjoying Easter, or Passover or whatever it is that you choose to enjoy. Spring has sprung in Calgary! Take advantage of it, quick...who knows how long it`ll last.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Worst Race Ever

I'm not going to lie. As soon as I looked out the window, any thoughts of a PB flew out of my head and landed with a thud on the snow. Despite obsessively checking my email and website all morning, the race was not cancelled. Runners really are insane. Loaded up the car and headed off to the start point, Mount Royal University. Normally a 10 minute drive for me, and it was up to the road to get into the parking area. Then, after sitting on said road for over 15 minutes without moving very far, I began to get nervous. Race time of 8am was rapidly approaching. Granted, it was a chipped race, so your time doesn't start till after you cross the line, but still don't want to have to start the race a good hour behind everyone else! Finally, taking the cue from another brave/frustrated soul, we pulled over to the field (former army base) across the road, and parked. If it was illegal, fine, give me a ticket. I have a race to run. I'd say probably a hundred of us were parked there by the time I reached the start line. Despite an email from the Race Director saying the paths would be clear and cleaned, and icy patches sanded, they were not. We started down the roadway (not cleared) which was loose sand like consistency by the time 5,000 feet pounded over it (2,500 runners in this race). We weren't even out of the University grounds yet when the first ice patch - okay "rink" - reared it's head, putting several runners at risk...basically put your feet down and slide. Finally, after weaving through the neighbourhood on crappy roads, we reached the pathway system...just as nasty. The police biking along side were great, as they did their best to make sure all of us runners were safe, checking for ice and stopping any wayward drivers. And the volunteers made this race...their enthusiasm in the face of very cranky runners was a ray of sunshine. Which we got none did not stop snowing the entire race. Boo. Had to resort to some serious trail hiking/climbing to get through some areas, as the snow on the ice made for some serious conditions. Heard that one runner fell so hard, she blacked out. Good thing it was right beside the hospital! A friend of mine fell twice (I witnessed one fall) and I'm sure there are many runners icing butts and hips all over the city right now. Did I mention the conditions were pure crap?! I didn't feel well this morning, which was not helped by the snow. I've not felt "right" since my return from Montreal, which I initially thought it was the rich meal on Tuesday, but now I think I brought back a wee bug with me. After all, I flew in a germ tube twice and took the train. Your body (despite 2 doses of Emergen-C a day) can only take so much canned air and recirculated germs before it gives in. Anyway, I just was not feeling the race, and the weather, despite knowing there was nothing I could do about it, was really affecting me as well. By the halfway mark, I was walking, trying to get my stomach to settle down. Then we entered Weaslehead. Last spring I decided to run Weaslehead, not knowing then that the City does not clear the path - so imagine 2,500 runners entering an area that has not seen dry pavement since last October!! Nasty does not even begin to describe it. Trying to keep your footing was so hard, as we slipped and slid everywhere. Then we had the hill...yes, to enter Weaslehead, you have to go down a pretty intimidating hill. Imagine it covered in a good foot of snow and ice. The volunteers had managed to throw some dirt/rocks/sand down one section, but unfortunately not all the way to the end. So after carefully picking our way down the one section, we had to make our way to the metal railing and hang on for dear life, going down the rest of the hill sideways and one precious step at a time. Seriously grumpy by now!!!! Walked through Weaslehead (there was no way I was running on the uneven surface of snow and ice) and up the hill on the other side, which was in better condition. Walked with another runner, who was training for Halifax, but couldn't believe what we were running in today! She did her winter training indoors on a dreadmill. Wow. Once up the hill, I decided to give the running thing another try, telling myself I could walk if I didn't feel good. I managed to run most of the last 6km, which I was happy with. Finally, back to the finish line, crossing at the 3:11 mark. Like I said, no PB's today. I do believe this is my worst time for a Half, but that's fine. I was upright, uninjured and...well, I can't honestly say I was smiling. Grimacing was more like it! After some juice and a banana, I left the race (it had wrapped up by this time - they expect everyone to be done fast, I guess) and headed to Mom's for a quick check-up. Then off to the grocery store for some vegetables...I had too much rich food last week, and I need to cleanse the old body. Finished a bowl of chili with avocado for dinner, and am just dragging right now. It's almost time to go to bed. Work beckons tomorrow, but at least it's a short week! Later,

The things I'll do for a race

It's 6:26am and I'm sitting here, eating a bowl of steel-cut oats with walnuts and banana, sipping a coffee and wondering if the race that starts in an hour and half is a go or not. After all, it has snowed, continuously, since Friday night. While it melted on the sidewalks, it got nice and cold overnight, which means for ultra slick conditions this morning. Good times. It's presently -5C (22F) with a windchill of -10C (14F) and IT.IS.STILL.SNOWING. You don't know how relieved I am to still be talking windchills in April! The Policeman's Half is challenging enough (we run in and back out of Weaslehead Park, which has a SOB of a hill (our own version of Heartbreak Hill) and I don't think the City maintains it, because it falls onto Native land. I'm debating which shoes to wear, because I want to be safe, but I also don't want to clunk around in my trail runners for 21km. I keep checking their website, as the race director said yesterday the decision to cancel the race will come out in the morning. I'll be really bummed to get all the way there, only to find out I could have stayed in the bed the whole time. Just because of Easter...we're going through this for Easter. Normally this race is the last Sunday in April, so it would have been next weekend, where the forecast shows temps in the double digits. Positive double digits. I guess this officially makes me a runner. Off to change. Race recap later. Let's see if anyone shows up. Later,

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Still snowing...

Yes, that's right. After the "record-breaker" on Thursday, it has been snowing all day and is supposed to continue on through the night into tomorrow afternoon. Good thing I have a Half Marathon to complete! Why must all my runs look like this lately?

I will be running on the other side of the reservoir tomorrow...yes, there is another side! Sigh...

So, where have I been since I got back from Montreal (where I got sunburned on Sunday, only to return to this! Grrrr)?? Wednesday I just did not feel well, so stuck to the couch/bed. Thursday was spent trucking Mom about. Friday I did walk down to the Tech Shop to pick up my race package and souvenir Hoodie, but really stuck close to the house, until boot camp. Oh, how I missed Boot Camp! We worked HARD on Friday - we were a big group and all women, so Trainer Josh turned into Mean Trainer Josh. Actually had us in stitches the whole time, as he pretended he was from different boot camps (Soldiers of Fitness, Booty, Bikini, etc.). He had a different voice for each, which made doing the bent-over rows/lat pulls quite difficult while laughing. I walked away exhausted and sore but happy. Despite the snow!

Zumba started today as well (yay!!) and we really got our sweat on! I was drenched head to toe (you can see where I sweat through my Vibram toe gloves! Eeeewwww, I know. TMI) and had a blast. Sadly no class next week (Easter) and then I'll miss the 30th due to another race (oh pray for no snow). Running clinic will start winding down, as goal races appear on the horizon, and I'm not sure when the next clinic will be. Whatever will I do with all my spare time?!

Okay, must go get some dinner in me, as I'll have an early night. I'll post some pics from Quebec, Montreal and Garde Manger tomorrow. Back to the grind on Monday...wonder if we won the lottery last night? That would be so sweet.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


This is what I just woke up far 19cm (8") and

Can someone please tell Mother Nature that it's APRIL!!!!! Oh, and great's supposed to snow Sunday for the Policeman's Half. Awesome, epic good times.

I'm going back to bed...wake me when "spring" arrives.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food Coma

Not going to say much, mainly because I am slowing slipping into one serious food coma after what will be arguably be THE.BEST.MEAL.I.HAVE.EVER.EATEN! EVER!!! I was a total "Food Network/Blogger" Geek and have photos and took notes, but I find the notebook and blog formatting do not get along, so I'll save that for a post when I get home to my big old desktop. However, I will say, and I mean this...if you are ever in Montreal, even just for one day, make sure you make reservations at Garde Manger, and indulge in the Lobster Poutine. Oh, and the Duck, if they're serving it that day. Definitely the duck...and the poutine...and the wine...and the white cake with maple and ice cream. But most surely the poutine...and the duck. Oh, I could go on like this forever. Suffice to say it was all FREAKING AMAZING!!!! Huge shout out to Zoe and James, who kept me entertained and filled me in on all the dirt of the restaurant business. Chuck has surrounded himself with the most outstanding group of people, and you can tell they all have each other's back. Sadly, Chuck himself was out of town, but I did get to go back to the kitchen and meet "the boys". They can all cook for me anytime. Side note: If you are trying to impress someone with all you know about wine because "you are in the industry", try spitting out the piece of gum you are chawing on BEFORE you slug back that taste. Oh, and the rest of us sniff and sip...shooting wine is...well, it just shouldn't happen. Ever. 'Nuf said. All right...I'm all packed, clothes are laid out and I am ready to fly out of here first thing. Going to finish the last of the wine I had on hand, and then it's lights out and sweet dreams of chunks of lobster floating among cheese curds and fries, all smothered in gravy. Yum,

Monday, April 11, 2011

le tired...

After getting up at 6 am (could have sworn I was on vacation!) and on a train at 7:10, I spent the day here: le Chateau Frontenac, in Old Quebec. I walked loads (anyone needs hill training, please go to Old Quebec! Wicked hills...EVERYWHERE! Arrived about 10:30, and spent the day wandering around and around and around. Sadly, much of the walkways and parks were closed due to the time of year, and even the museums were closed because it was Monday. I did head into a pub when it started to rain, and finally gave up and went back to the train station early, because it was really coming down and I was getting soaked. But it was still a great day, albeit a very long one. Returned to Montreal at 9:00pm. Very long day and I am too tired to fight with photos, so I'll do another post when I return to Calgary. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this: is a coin-operated French Fry machine.

I have no more words.

Bonne nuit,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Montreal Smoked Meat-athon

Finished Day 3 of Conference on a real high note. Pumped is a good word. This year was so different than last...of course, it was on Day 2 last year that I got the call that Dad had entered the hospital and technically he didn't come back out until he died. Last year is done and finished though and nothing can undo it, so we face forward. The speakers this year were phenomenal, mainly because they knew what they were talking about and they weren't busy trying to sell us something. The first lady, Denise Walters (who I couldn't find a good link for) wrote the Ten Steps to Success and has been a Direct Selling Queen for years. Her methods were simple and empowering, and not once did she talk down to us, or did her sessions feel rehearsed and scripted. Very neat lady. Broke for lunch - again, different from last year in Calgary, is the hotel actually made the effort to use Epicure products in our lunches! The day before was the new stuff (and that's all I'll say) and yesterday was an Asian theme with our Thai, Teriyaki and such on display. I thought it was all good, but some people didn't like it. Anyway, the afternoon speaker was Ellyn Spragins who wrote Letters to My Younger self, featuring such ladies as Sylvie Rochette, founder and President of Epicure Selections. We all learned how to put pen to paper and started to write a letter to my younger self, but I was never sure which self I should address it to. Going to continue to work on that when I get home. We then got the pleasure of listening to several people's letters, including my unit leader. Very powerful stuff, indeed. Finally ended the day with both Sylvie and Amelia (the CEO and Sylvie's daughter) discussing the future of the company and just inspiring us all to do and be our very best. My favourite quotes were: "I'm not a rat and there is no race" "It's only failing if you fall down and refuse to get back up" "You only have control over how you choose to show up" - my personal favourite! Wrapped up around 6, where several of us decided to head out for dinner. Many of the other ladies were heading out either Sunday or Monday, so it was a nice chance to get together for one last gab session and to compare notes. We heard Dunn's was packed, so Krista lead the way to Reuben's on St. Catherine's (but not the one downstairs...apparently that is important). We decided to split an array of appies from the menu - which was perfect. A little bite of each and we all left satisfied. Potato Latkes with apple sauce and sour cream Smoked meat Chop Chop on Poutine. (YUMMO!) Smoked sausage with rye and mustard - best sausage I've had in ages. Onion rings with BBQ sauce And finally, smoked meat spring rolls. Decadent!! So, all alone tonight, after my run and shower, I decided to check out Dunn's for a comparison. I will say their smoked meat was way more flavourful than Reuben's. I decided on the Reuben Sandwich with fries, coleslaw and the best pickle EVER. Still drooling thinking about it! I am STUFFED! At least my breakfast was healthy!

Bonne nuit,

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