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Sunday, October 30, 2011

C level Cirque Hike

Oooo...two posts for the price of one!  I know it's Sunday night and I should be heading for bed, but thought I'd load some pictures from today's hike.

Love it!  It's October 30th, and we're still out hiking in the mountains, on a beautiful, albeit windy, fall day.  I HEART my home.  We settled on an easier hike (many of us are coming off recent marathons and runs, or have crushed toes) and made our usual Sunday arrangements to meet up at Canada Olympic Park to carpool out.  Today, we were heading into Banff National Park to hike the C Level Cirque up by Lake Minnewanka. 

It was an easy hike, on a well marked, laid out trail.  Some incline, but nothing too technical to scramble up and over, and going through the forest to an old mining camp.

 The mine shafts were fenced in for everyone's safety.

 Nature fighting through the snow.

 It was snowing a bit at the top...we got to the lookout point, and went a bit further to the edge of the former glacier/rock slide area.  A bit of a climb up here, but again, nothing we can't handle!

 We went to the edge of this forest.

 Mama Nature does work good!

 Us enjoying our lunch and the views...on very cold rocks!  Just the four of us today (J, MM & MS) but we laughed as much as usual.    Also came across many other hikers along the trail...must be very popular in the summer months.

This was our only nature encounter...a little woodpecker with ADHD!  He would not sit still long enough for me to get a good shot!!!  With the wind blowing, we did listen to creepy tree sounds (fitting for October 30th), and wondered a few times if one was going to come down on our heads, but we all survived quite nicely.

Got home very early for us, and that left me wondering what on earth to do.  So I napped!  It was quite unintentional, as I had planned on doing some laundry, but I unpacked, put stuff away, and cuddled with George.  That may have been my downfall!  Woke up almost 3 hours later!  Oops...

Had a repeat dinner of last night's feast (so good) but with goat cheese instead of feta, and watched (sort of) the Amazing Race.  Which is getting Amazingly the "same old, same old".  I used to love this show, but now I find it so hard to sit and watch.  Maybe because I'm off dong my own amazing things all weekend long!

Back to work everyone!  I am dressing up, and hope to scare a few people...especially those who like to sing!  I'll take pictures.


Thar be Pirates!

Just in time for Halloween, I participated in the 2nd Annual Rogue's Run in Calgary.  Started last year, by our former marathon clinic instructor Garrath as a way raise money for causes near and dear to him (this year Kid's Sports), he decided that there just weren't enough races for Pirates and he should do something about that!  In runner's terms, a Rogue runner is someone who has entered into a race without the benefit of purchasing a bib.  Kind of ironic I suppose that we all purchased bibs to run in a race that celebrates running without purchasing bibs...wait, is that right?!  My head hurts!

 Me and me parrot are ready to run (luckily I could see through the patch!)

 And we're off!  Some people really got into the spirit of the race!

 Even the wee ones had a 1km Runt's Race.

 S. and I "walking holding the plank".  Fooled Garrath (in the background) as we are both boot campers extraordinaire!!  Haha!!  I think my toe gave out before the rest of me, and S. won the jacket - we both already have one, but it is a nice coat to run in.  In hunting season!

Umm.....I have no words...none.

All in all another great day spent outside and having fun.  Didn't push it too hard, and finished the 10km in 71 minutes.  Not bad, considering running in a costume and with a very, very, very sore toe!  Luckily it went numb at about the 2k mark, and didn't really hurt till I put some pressure on it (the planking didn't help).  I had two nurses look at it (okay, my friends, and by "look" I mean glance down and say ouch) who both confirmed that there is nothing to be done with it, except to watch the nail turn black and fall off.  Trust me...won't be my first.  Or my last!

After the run and a nice lunch/gab session, I took Mom for a much-needed hair cut, to stock up on her Purdy's supply and to get food for her fur-children.  Then it was home, putter around, make a nice dinner of roast chicken strips, roasted eggplant with tomatoes, rosemary and feta cheese and some roasted butternut squash.  Packed up lunch for another hike in the mountains, and then hit the sack around 11pm.  I heart my weekends.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Physics 101

f = m x a

Or, force = mass x acceleration.  A lesson I would have done well to remember last night.  That and the silly one about gravity, inclines and round objects. 
Now, I know it's hard to tell from my "regular" ugly runner's toes, but the purplish red one is the direct result of a 10 lb weight dropping from a height of roughly 2' and ricocheting off my foot!!  I so badly wanted to drop many, many f-bombs, but I was standing beside a nice new boot camper, who I didn't know at all (and didn't want to scare!), so I was a lady.  I may have muttered "oo, that smarted", and insisted "no, no, I'm fine" as I chased said weight as it rolled across the parking lot (mocking me the whole way - see above gravity mention), and then hopped every so lightly into the truck, so that I could cry in peace on the way home!!!  What a way to ruin a perfectly good boot camp session.  Although I am happy I was wearing my more substantial Asics, rather than my minimallists (hard cement floors in this hall), otherwise it could have been far uglier!

This morning's walk into work was a little on the slow side, as the swelling really blossomed under the pressure of walking.  I wore my 'birks (of course...there's no snow on the ground...yet) so that helped, as did the Advil and trying to keep the foot elevated during the day.  It was fun watching the colour change throughout...kind of like those space rocks we used to get and put in water to watch them "grow". that only me that remembers those?! 

I haven't decided if I'm running the 10km in the morning, getting as far as I can and walking it, or swabbing the poop deck for Captain Garrath - yes, of former marathon clinic instructor fame - he who hates boot camp to begin with...why do I feel like I've just handed him a pack of matches to throw on the gasoline that is my busted foot?!  It is a race for us inner Pirates, and I have my costume all laid out and ready to roll.  Would hate to waste it standing on the sidelines.  No worries...there be pictures and stories to tell, that'd be sure.

Boot camp tonight was a bit slower as well, as my toe was certain to tell me what it didn't like...running around the gym, going down the stairs (up wasn't bad), lunges off that leg, jumping rope...oh, and getting into plank on the exercise ball.  Once in plank, we were fine, it was just any time that I put direct pressure on it.  Told Josh it happened subconsciously as a way to punish myself for yesterday's weight gain.  Could be true.

Getting frustrated again, as I've lost 13" so far, but the pounds have stalled, yet again.  Or, I'm just being a dunderhead and not wanting to pay attention to my food intake.  Either way, I want to make some serious headway on the poundage, as it doesn't matter how lean I am, hauling almost 200 lbs around a marathon is still going to slow me down.  It's on, stomach o' is most definitely ON!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indoor vs Outdoor

Alas, it is that time of year when us hardy boot campers grab our weights and mats and move to the dry, warm safety of indoors.  Boo...  I, as a person who sweats like a mother bear, and is freaking hot all.the.time (menopause has been a blast thus far, let me tell you!), actually prefer working out in Mama Nature's great outdoors, but I do feel for Trainer Josh, who isn't moving around as much as we do.  So indoors we go.

I am sticking to the 5 times a week (13" lost over 12 weeks do not lie), so will be splitting the classes between two locations again.  One is new to's a church that's close to home, and has a real gymnasium attached to it.  This will be home base three times a week, and we used pretty much the whole church to get our sweat on.  Did that sound creepy??  It wasn't meant to sound creepy.  We ran laps around the gym, then out to the stairwell, down to the basement area, around there and back up.  Several times, as a matter of fact.  We were good and warm by then.  We then split into two groups (two trainers for the price of one) with those of us staying with Josh working on our upper body.

Now, I've been to almost 60 classes in the last 12 weeks (missed a few due to rain/Toronto) and yet I am totally feeling last night's workout.  I was actually sitting at my desk today, thinking "it hurts to breathe"...not heart attack hurt, but tight, stiff muscles hurt.  I think it has something to do with the traveling push-ups we did across the gym...three times!  After much lifting and pushing, we swapped trainers and went downstairs with Trainer Michelle.  There we concentrated on lower body, doing step-ups on the stairs, hopping 1-legged up the staircase (seriously difficult), hopping up with both feet (Michelle challenged me to hop up 2 instead of one, but I like my teeth right where they would not have been pretty otherwise!), squats, lunge to kicks, and other stuff that will all make me a stronger runner. 

Tonight was back to Rosscarrock Community Hall...not quite as nice as the church, but again, it's indoors and Trainer Josh makes it work.  The one thing with indoors is what we lose in running, we make up for in lifting.  Lots and lots and lots of lifting!!  Left both classes soaked to the skin, and feeling the burn.

Last week at Weight Watchers, Leader F. introduced a 7 week challenge to our group.  We picked a goal for each individual week, whether it's to lose, maintain or even gain (say, the week of a party), as well as what we want to get out of the 7 weeks.  Then we had to support our goals for the first 3 weeks with what we were going to do to get there.  So here's mine:

1.  -2 - journal every day
2.  -1 - 7+ hours sleep/night x 5 nights
3.  -2 - bring breakfast/lunch x 3 days minimum
4.  -2
5.  -1
6.    0 (weigh in after our Christmas party)
7.   -2
Total loss: 10 pounds

I have been journalling, after falling off the habit of late, but have not been a superstar at it either.  Just need to get back into the habit, so along with the 7 weeks, here goes a 21-day challenge (takes 21 days to form a habit, good or bad).  I will journal every bite, lick and taste EVERY DAY for the next 21 days.  Worked for flossing for me (closing in on 3 years without missing a night, after starting with just 21 days!). 

On that note, updating my journal and then going to bed.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another great weekend

Woke up bright and early on Saturday...too early, as a matter of fact, but it was for a good cause.  I decided last minute to help a friend with race support for the Robert Hamilton Memorial Run and Mito Canada.  After filling up with espresso and a turkey bacon sandwich at Starbucks, I arrived at North Edworthy park at 7:30am, rolled up my sleeves and helped out where I could.  I ended up at the refreshment table, handing out water, juice, apples, bananas and muffins to the 210 runners that completed either the 5 mile or 10 mile distance.  A great way to start a weekend.

Met up with the Running Peeps (some came by and gave me hugs while on their 23km LSD) down at Eau Claire afterwards, and had coffee and lunch and a gab session before heading for home.  Somehow I managed to sneak in a 2+ hour nap, which was GLORIOUS!!  Had dinner of chicken, roasted butternut squash chunks and cauliflower, before catching up on some People magazines and watching random TV.

Got up early again this morning, and after toast, PB and a glass of milk, I drove to the far north, to meet up with another running friend (it is a huge community!) who is expecting a baby, but who is still teaching the half marathon clinic at her local Running Room!  When I was at the Expo for Toronto, I saw a onesie that I absolutely had to buy for her..."future marathoner".  I dropped it off, and then ran a lovely 7km LSD, with her biking along side.  It was in the 'burbs though...scary business!!  LOL!  Actually, not a bad route, with some hills and through the neighbourhoods.  Grabbed a Starbucks and then met the group back at Tim Horton's (was that wrong of me?!) and chatted about races and running and life, before making the trek from the far north to the far south, and Mom's.  A quick trip to the grocery store, hauled some garbage, took her to Wendy's for a cheeseburger (offer in the mailbox), before heading for home myself.  Finally showered and then spent many hours trying to decide what I wanted for supper.  Crazy making!  I'd wander into the kitchen, not see anything I wanted and wander on out again.  Wander in, wander out.  Back and forth, forth and back.  Thankfully I don't keep anything snacky on hand, so I didn't eat around anything but it took me till 9pm before I decided that I was really, really hungry and finally whipped up a quick frittata of egg, Parmesan cheese, broccoli, carrots and cherry tomatoes.  Filled the hole...and saved me an expensive trip to the grocery store.

Signed up for another round of 30 boot camp classes!  I am hooked, people!  Managed to get rid of another 4" (that's 13" in total in the past 12 weeks...for those keeping track!), and I really feel it in my running, as I know I'm stronger and faster.  I also managed to lose at weigh in, so again, down around 10lbs in the last 12 weeks.  Next race is the Rogue's Run 10k next weekend, but it'll be for fun. After all, it's the only race for Pirates, and it's hard to ace a sub-60 10km with a parrot on your shoulder!  But who knows...

Back to the grind...and that means off to bed for me.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Long week

My work week started on Thursday, and it's been the longest week ever!  Took me all day, seriously, just to go through my emails.  I was only gone 7 days, people.  This does not bode well for when I actually change my job and no longer deal with my current responsibilities.  Hopefully Monday will start much better.  Fingers crossed.

Last two days of outdoor boot camp as well this week.  Sad am I.  Granted, I won't be so sad when we're under a big blanket of snow, but I do prefer working out in Mother Nature, as opposed to the stuffy, hot indoor environment. 

Last night was at North Glenmore, and at the staircase.
It was the happy good times drill of exercise set followed by 2 laps (1 lap = up & down...sadly, not just up!) of the stairs. 

Here goes (reps of 12), oh and this is after a warm-up run that started up the Bitch Squared (the bitch squared...hill at N. Glenmore that as steep but twice as long as Edworthy's Bitch Path):
   1: dips, incline push-ups, 1-legged squats (6 each leg)
       2 laps of stairs
   2: seated row, lat pull, curls
       2 laps of stairs
   3: shoulder press, extensions, reverse curls (facing out)
       2 laps of stairs
 - quietly throw up somewhere...oh wait, was that just me??
   4: toe touches, overhead drop-legs, scissors
       2 laps of stairs
   5: lunges, squats, burpees (my personal favourite!)
      2 laps of stairs...or enjoy fact that front runners finished and I only had to do 1 lap when Trainer Josh called time.  Of course, it does mean I missed #6: v-sit shoulder press, push-ups and full body bike, followed by 2 laps of the stairs.  Add it to my "I owe" list.  After a quick drink, we "got tough" and changed the reps to 20, we did groups 1 & 2, then a lap up and down Bitch2.  Groups 3 & 4, lap up and down Bitch2.  Groups 5 & 6, you know how this ends...  Some ab work to finish, and we're done with North Glenmore till spring.  Bye..

And sadly tonight was the last night at Edworthy till spring.  To boot, only 3 of us showed up.  That made me more sad...last night in the park, and Tabata Friday and only 3 of us?!  What was up with that?!  Warm up run up the BA Hill (how I shall miss thee...), through the dog park and down the "stairs" and trail to the start. 

Tabata Friday really makes the class go quick, but in a giving mood, Trainer Josh made sure we properly said good-bye to the one and only original Bitch Path!  Interspersed in our sets of tabata (curls, step-up shoulder press to reverse lunge - man, those take some kind of concentration and coordination! - inside/outside squats, weighted 1-leg squats, rows to flies, full body bike and toe touch crunches), we also heard (oddly, with Trainer Josh's voice) the Bitch calling us to come run on her, with a couple of jaunts up to take in her majestic fall beauty.  Or at least what I could see through my dizzy, lack of oxygen, haze!

As usual, Trainer Josh had us all laughing, usually at my expense!  Granted, I've continued to return to him for over 3 years now, so my feelings are never hurt, and I usually laugh the loudest.  Tonight's was a classic, as we were discussing running and enjoyment and form.  I mentioned that I have been told by people that I have good form running, and Josh's zinger was (gosh, I hope I get this right)..."of course, you run in slow motion, so they have loads of time to critique you..."   hahahaha...  I'll show marathon...5:19!!  Take THAT!

Before we left for the night, we did take the measurements again.  I cannot believe I have done 12 weeks of 5x a week boot camp now.  I really only missed 3 classes in total, which is pretty darn good.  I am totally feeling stronger and leaner, and I'm anxious to see what this session's numbers look like.  I'll keep you all informed.  And yes, I will be signing up for another 30 classes, starting on Monday. 

My addiction could be worse, couldn't it?!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home sweet home

While I truly love Cathy and her family, and Toronto holds fond memories for me (two marathons, two PB's), I was ever so happy when the plane banked yesterday morning and there they mountains!!  Sparkling in the morning sunshine, all capped in white, standing tall against the clear blue sky.  I was home.  Again, Gravol is a wonderful thing!  Just sayin...

I got home, unpacked, cuddled with my fur-baby, and then walked down to meet up with H-woman and her mom, before H. heads to...wait for it...Toronto (ships in the night, we are) for the Niagara marathon on the weekend.  I would love to do this one, as it's an International race, where you cross the border from Buffalo, New York into Niagara Falls, Canada, point to point.  Maybe next year.  We'll see what H-woman has to say about it.  After catching up, and a coffee, I headed for home and changed for boot camp.  Oh, how I missed that too.  Never mind I had a "little run" on Sunday, I was itching to throw some weights around.

Last night was at North Glenmore, and it was a perfect fall day in Calgary.  We did our warm-up run, and then got right into the circuit, alternating between our free weights and bands, doing a lot of shoulder and upper body work.  A LOT.  The hour flew by though, and then it was home to a dinner of baba ganoosh (eggplant dip) and pepper strips, and the best Shepherd's pie I have ever had.  I was hungry, it was already warm, and the amount of mashed potatoes on top amounted to about a quarter of a cup.  The beef was lean (not ground) and tender.  It was delicious!

Got up this morning nice and late, as I had one more day off to chill.  Had coffee, tried the Oikos Greek Yogurt (new to me), and while it was as thick as the Liberte, it was 2 grams of fat per serving.  Piled on the fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, melons) and enjoyed the last of the spice bun which I brought home from TO.  Then I watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Kathryn Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier.  What a good movie...very intense subject, considering the year it was made.  Quite enjoyed it.  Finally, after nearly falling asleep on the couch, I realized I had to get ready for boot camp.

Back at Edworthy Park (haven't been there in so long), so it was the final Wednesday to do the BA Hill and the stairs.  We move indoors next week...  Again, it was a perfect fall day, but the BA Hill, she almost won today!!  My lungs were on fire by the time I got to the top...I would have expected the legs to have issues, but it was the lungs crapping out today.  Went over to the stairs, where we did some drills (side squats up, a couple of up & down and then finally the goat trail to the bottom and back) before hooking up with Trainer Josh.  He was running a little late, but most of us have done this so many times, he knew we'd look after ourselves.  Back to our mats, where we did a 15/20/25 circuit.  Full body bike to drop legs flies to push-ups.  Run to the next area where we did dips to incline press to step ups.  Run to next area, where we did shoulder press to extensions to curls.  Repeat at the next rep #.  Repeat at the final rep #.  Collapse on ground...wait, that may have just been me!!  Finished with some abs and we were done...the hour literally flew by. 

I was joking that I should do the two back to back classes, to make up for the ones I missed while down east running...sadly, only my friend M. showed up for the 6pm class, so I thought I couldn't leave her there all alone.  So, yes, I did TWO boot camps tonight!  Luckily, Trainer Josh didn't make us run, but we did repeat the 15/20/25 circuit, and added on some squats, lunges, tree sits, curls to shoulder press to control down, moving plank (hands to elbows, repeat), and other fun good times that have my shoulders actually whimpering right now. 

Met up with the gang at the Barley Mill for the usual Wednesday night supper of mussels, salad and Guinness.  J. from boot camp is also running Niagara this weekend (the Half) and another friend G. will be running his first Half in St. Louis as well.  Good luck to them both...they're going to kill it.

Back to work tomorrow...guessing I'll have roughly 200+ emails to sort through when I get it.  Will most definitely need the big coffee from Starbucks to get me through!  Wish me luck...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Last day in Toronto

Woke up today feeling pretty good...pretty damn good, actually!  Don't get me wrong.  My legs quickly reminded me this morning that they had indeed run a marathon less than 24 hours earlier.  However, I was able to get out of bed (which is pretty low to the ground) and climb in and out of the tub for a shower, as well as...wait for it...walk down from the second floor to the main level like a normal person, without having to go down backwards or on my butt!!  Yay for overall training!

After I got dressed (everyone in the house was at work or school when I got up at 9am), I walked a couple of km to the local mall, and found myself a big old 6-shot latte at Starbucks.  The barissta did question the high number of shots, but the look of sheer desperation from me quickly had him brewing the beloved espresso!  I supplemented that with the turkey bacon breakfast sandwich and then went in to the post office to mail off my Mango Coconut Curry sauce (I only have carry on, so couldn't just bring them home with me) and then wandered the mall a bit more.

Walked back to the house, where Cathy was home from work for the day.  Joys of part time shifts.  After she had a bite to eat, we decided to head off to another mall, just to do some wandering.  I wanted to keep moving today, to help the legs continue to heal from the run.  We wandered around, Cathy buying a few things, and me getting ideas for a dress for my upcoming Christmas Year End Celebration party.  There are days I really hate being politically correct.  Anyway, I can't  decide between long or cocktail length, but will most likely wait till closer to the date (end of November). 

We then hit  up another mall area, before heading home to chili, rice, tortilla chips and salad.  Cathy actually made the chili on Saturday, so it's been sitting and melding flavours since then.  Nom, nom, nom...  I have eaten very well since my arrival here. 

In fact, I must throw a HUGE shout out to Cathy and her family for being the best hostess and clan, and for being awesome race support.  There's not a lot of people (runners included here) that would get up at the crack of stupid on a Sunday, drive a half-asleep runner into town, fighting traffic, and then hang out in downtown Toronto for a long time waiting for said runner to return to the finish line.  And making sure there is a "carb" appropriate meal the night before, my special dietary needs for race day are met, my special dietary needs for AFTER the race is met (Cathy, God bless her, was waiting with chocolate milk for me!), a warm bed and a fuzzy fur-baby for me to cuddle.  Okay, so the dog isn't a required need, but is a great bonus!!!  Thank you, one and all, Cathy and fam.  You guys all rock my world.

And remember that, Cathy, when you're driving a slightly quiet, grumpy me to the airport at 4:45 in the A-effen-M!  Blech...


Sunday, October 16, 2011

STWM Recap

The day dawned cloudy, but not raining and not too cold.  I woke up at 6:30am, and after a breakfast of bagel, peanut butter and banana, a half a cup of coffee and a glass of milk.  I then decided what to wear, settling on the technical t-shirt I bought at the Expo yesterday and capris.  We finally got going about 7:40, heading into downtown Toronto.   We did get stuck in some traffic, and while Cathy worried that I would miss the start, we got out of the car with time to spare.  Granted, I missed the bag pick-up but Cathy held my bag for me, and once I got into the corral, my jacket as well.

There were 22,000 runners competing today in the marathon, half and a 5K later in the morning, but still most were doing the half or marathon.  As we both had the same start time of 9am, we also shared the same  corrals.  I have never been officially corralled like that before, and it was admittedly different.  We were in a horseshoe shaped area, with the start line off to our right and behind us, so we would have to walk through the queue to get to it.  As we lined up behind the 4:55 bunny (he was the "slowest" bunny there today...nothing over t5 hours), we also saw Fauja Singh come into the corral with his entourage of media.  This guy is 100 years old and after setting a bunch of world records yesterday for some short races, he was poised to do it again today, just by completing the marathon.  There were quite a few of us there that said (quietly as possible) that we really didn't want to be beaten by the 100-year-old!!  And the 6 hour cut-off was intimidating as well, as there was constant mention in the rules about "if you are not past this point at this time, you will need to get on the special bus that will return you to the finish line area"...none of us wanted to ride on the "special bus"!

Finally the starting gun went off, and then we shuffled, oh, so slowly to the start line.  Took me 14 minutes to cross the start mat!  Guess that's better than some of the bigger marathons out there, but still strange for me.  I tried to keep up with the 4:55 pacer, who said he was sticking to a "consistent" 7 minute pace...I lost him at about km 4, which is odd, because I was toggling between 6:45 and 7:15 for quite some time...interesting.  Oh well, I decided to stick to 10:1's, wearing both Garmins today.  Garmin I was for the 10:1's, and Garmin II was for distance. 

It was a cool run through downtown to the Lakeshore area, and then it was a run out west, turning around and  heading back at about the 12k mark.  I am pleased to say, I settled into a rhythm early on, and stuck to my 10:1's consistently the whole way.  I passed the 10K mat at 1:11 (a good 7 minute pace!).  The wind was blustery at points, and downright in your face mean at others, but the rain held off, as did the sun, which we know is not my friend.

I just kept running, and felt really good and strong for almost the whole marathon - my Half split came in at 2:31 (Yeah, baby!!!), 30km at 3:40...Garmin I crapped out at the 32km mark, so I was on my own to try and stick to 10:1's.  When I realized the Garmin was running out of steam, I figured out that I was running roughly 1.5km in the 10 minutes (I was slowing feet were rather sore but I also really concentrated on planting mid-foot, and no heel strikes), and then counting to 100 was roughly a minute.  So, as we ran through the Ports of Toronto, and then into the Beach area, I was doing my best to stick to these guidelines.  I admit I was getting tired (and yes, Hiking Ladies, I fueled with Honey Zingers at several points throughout the run), and the rain was starting a bit, and I was doing my best not to get bummed out by realizing we still had so many kilometers left to get "home".  At one point I even reverted to running/walking for counts of a 100 each, just to keep myself motivated.

Finally, I was on the final stretch, so I tried my best to keep my head up, shoulders back and run it in (there was a brief walk with about 500m left) crossing the finish line at...well, this is debatable, of course.  Mr. Garmin II had me done my 42.2km in 5:20:06 (a PB!) but that was also before the official finish line, that one being about 200m further!  So, official gun time is 5:35:42, and chip time of 5:21:55.  I like Mr. Garmin better, although the chip time is extremely close to the Goodlife time of this time last year.  Still  like Mr. Garmmin better!!!!

Met up with Cathy and her hubs, who brought me chocolate milk (nectar of the Gods, after a race!) and we hobbled - okay, I hobbled, they walked  normally - off to the car.  Then sat in traffic for quite some time before finally getting onto the highway for home.

Once here, I crawled upstairs to change and visit the loo (this may be a TMI moment, but I do not, under any circumstances, use the porta-potties on race routes), I came down (very slowly) and decided that Chinese for supper would be AWESOME.  We enjoyed some S&P shrimp, noodles, several beef dishes, palace style chicken, pork dumplings, rice, vegetables, and wine.  Many glasses of wine!

I am now fading very quickly, and will most likely sleep like the dead shortly.  Going to wander over to the mall down the road in the morning, while everyone is at work/school, and get a Starbucks and then mail  myself the curry sauces I bought this week.  Then back here to pack, as I will leave so very early on Tuesday.

All in all, I recommend the STWM to anyone interested, as the course is nice, flat, not too challenging but not too boring either, the volunteers are great, the police were outstanding and the crowds were GREAT!  Yes, people actually hung out to cheer us runners on!  What a concept!!!  One area, the Beaches,  was packed like for a parade, and I was almost blushing from all the people yelling my name and shouting encouragement. have a lot to live up to in May.

Oh, as for Mr. Singh, he finally crossed the finish line in 8:25, landing in the records books for the oldest person to complete a full marathon.  It's nice that they didn't make him get on the special bus, and they left all the timing mats and finish line up for him to cross.  Granted, he would have had to go up on the sidewalks for a lot of the race,  but so happy he finished it.  There was a sad incident of a 27-year-old that passed within meters of the finish line after running the Half.  You just don't know these things, do you?

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and enjoyed  doing whatever it is that brings you bliss.


Saturday, October 15, 2011


STWM or the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon starts in less than 12 hours, yet here I sit, calmly sipping a beer and blogging.  No nervous running around and packing, repacking of my gear.  I am chill.  No idea why!

When I got up, Cathy was already making chili with the hamburger we were going to use for Thursday night's dinner...plans changed at Ocean's, if you all recall.  Such good smells for so early in the day.  I had a couple of slices of the leftover pizza.  Breakfast of champions, I tells ya!

After some puttering around, we both got ready to face the outside world, and after some negotiating with the family (who decided to stay home), Cathy and I took off for the Expo.  What a difference a year and a race makes.  Last year, at this time, I was running the Goodlife Toronto marathon, and since I flew in on a Friday, we went to the Expo from the airport.  It was a good Expo, but nothing special.  This year, on a Saturday, and with 5,000 registered for the marathon alone (and all three events - Half, Marathon and 5K - all sold out) the Expo today was PACKED.  And quite large.

We walked in and immediately sampled some Oasis juices (a new "Canadian" blend of Saskatoon berries and Cranberry - yummy, and an orange mango mix that I quite liked)...then it was on to the Liberte booth, where we tried the Vanilla Greek with forks...just to get their point about it's thickness across.  After filling out my "why I run" bib (because I CAN) at the iRun stall, I decided that I should get my bag to start holding all the swag.  Picked up my bib# (that's how the packages were sorted), and then found out how to register my stats on Facebook, so everyone can watch my times as I cross the mats at 10k, the halfway mark, etc.  Then we went back into the crowd, to see what else we could come up with.  I decided to pick up a t-shirt from the Brooks STWM collection, as I packed a long-sleeved and a tank, but nothing in between.  I think I'm going to be too hot for the sleeves and too cold for the tank, so best be safe.  I chose a green one with a really nice logo on front.  Since I forgot my USB port, any photos will have to wait till I am home.  As well, on the sale rack, was a onsie for a future marathoner.  I picked it up for a running friend that is about to have a baby.  Perfect! 

Wandered around from booth to booth, sampling Cliff bars, Powerbars, shot blocks and the like, looking over gear and some of the other marathons trying to tempt me to run there (Quebec City looks quite nice...maybe one day), and chatted with John Stanton, posing for a picture.  Found the 4:55 bunny, and after confirming his pace (and 10:1's), decided I would try to keep up with him as long as I can.  Would be SWEET to cross the finish line sub-5!  I will be equally thrilled with another PB  on the year, finishing better than last year's 5:21.  I then signed up for my photo plaque (will include a medal, my photo, race bib, and engraved time) and bought a pair of sunnies (which I don't know if I'll need or not but they were on sale for Expo), we packed up and took off, me much poorer than when I walked in! 

Headed down to the St. Lawrence market, and met up with M., who moved to Toronto earlier this year, and who I've run Melissa's with in the past.  The three of us wandered around the market, had a coffee and a danish (I did, anyway) before deciding it was time for dinner.  Ended up a the Irish Embassy, a nice restaurant/pub type place near the market.  After Cathy and I shared some calamari, I enjoyed a dinner of maple salmon on a bed of mashed cauliflower and butternut squash.  It was perfectly cooked and quite a nice dinner.  Oh, there were also a couple of pints of Guinness...after all, it was an Irish pub!  After a nice visit, we parted ways, as Cathy and I had to return to Brampton.  M. lives in downtown TO, so will also try to get out to see me across the finish line, or along the route somewhere.

Home, with another beer (not Guinness, so it is going down very slowly) and a slice of pumpkin pie (carb loading...jeez...), I'm upstairs blogging while the family watches Nascar downstairs.  Not my sport...not at all.

Okay, guess I should start to wind-down and head for bed.  I am yawning quite a bit, so I should take my own hints.

Will update you all tomorrow after the race.  Should be a good one!  At least it won't be +30C!!!


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Fine Friday

Watched some rain today, and some attempt for the clouds to clear.  So far the forecast for Sunday has improved a bit, with it just being cloudy and cool.  If the rain holds off, that will be perfect.

Got up nice and lazily today, waking up when I felt like it and not to any alarm.  It was still at 8am, but since I made it bed before midnight, I still had a solid 8 hours of sleep.  Glorious!  Had some coffee, and then watched as Cathy prepared me a Jamaican favourite of salt fish and ackee, with hard dough bread.  It was different and quite yummy.

Me like like bread (especially white and decadent!) intrigued by ackee.  It was all very good together.  Also had a couple of slices of Easter spice bun with buttah.  Mmmm...spicy goodness.  Carb loading...I am carb loading!!

There was some more rain in the morning, and then the weather calmed again, in time for Cathy and I to head over to the local mall for some retail therapy.  Before we left the house, Cathy also made two batches of pizza dough, for our planned supper tonight.  After wandering the mall, and wondering how on earth some children make it out of their homes dressed the way they are (I saw a pair of "shorts" at one store that made me just shake my head), I bought myself a couple more tops and a pair of pants at Reitman's, my favourite store.  Met up with one of Cathy's children and friend, and after a quick stop for pizza fixings and dessert, we came home to roll out dough, chop veggies and pepperoni, throw together a salad and toast up some garlic bread.  Dinner was AWESOME.  Homemade pizza ROCKS.  We ended up with four varieties...pepperoni, pepperoni & mushroom, all loaded (salami, green pepper, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, olives & tomatoes) and a "what ever was left over".  Sorry, no pictures...nothing to see here, folks.  After cleaning up, Cathy and I went out for another lap of the neighbourhood, enjoying  the evening. 

Now we're home, sitting on the couch, side by side blogging,  facebooking and catching up on news, while watching Calgary and Toronto play football, fittingly enough!  Toronto had a great second quarter, but Calgary appears to have been yelled at enough at half-time that they have come back and really played well in the third quarter.  Now only down 9 points, with 15 minutes to play.  Go Stamps Go!!  Made even better with dessert of chocolate fudge ice cream and chocolate chip cookies...more carb loading.

Heading to the Expo tomorrow to pick up my race gear, see what's new in running (and see how this one compares to Edmonton, which was rather lack-luster), and then off to the St. Lawrence Market.  Is it funny that each day I've been in town, I've spent it at a food market?!  Not to me!!  I can't wait to see this market I've heard about all these years.  Then home for dinner, lay out my gear, hydrate, get to bed  and figure out my game plan to ensure I at least beat this guy.   Wish me luck...he's got a few years on me.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boot Camp catch up

In all the excitement of Thanksgiving and holidays, I completely forgot about boot camp.  Oh, not forgetting to go, just forgetting to blog about it!

Holiday Monday had one class at 9:30 at North Glenmore, and it was a BIG class...I think there were are least 20 of us there.  We did a good old-fashioned circuit, with some side shuffles and sprints thrown in for fun.  Left at the end of the hour sweaty and exhausted, and still basking in the glory of my PB on Sunday.  Did a little running around for Mom (Purdy's run) and then took her back to North Glenmore, so she could see the fall colours.  Met up with H-woman, and ended up at Sunterra again for supper.  The two of us had our "Thanksgiving" dinner there on Sunday, enjoying some delicious roast turkey, potatoes and stuffing without all the dirty dishes and clean up!  Monday night I had TexMex chicken on brown rice and spinach.  It was good but nothing to do cartwheels over.

After a day at home, and on the computer/phone switching my flight out to Toronto and then feeling flustered because everything I had planned to do suddenly seemed insurmountable in the time given, I went to boot camp, anxious to sweat some more.  Again at North Glenmore, we did a run to warm up and then hit our circuits for a little 150.  One.hundred.and.fifty squats, one.hundred.and.fifty curls, one.hundred.and.fifty push-ups, one.hundred.and.fifty sit-ups and one.hundred.and.fifty lat pulls.  Granted, not all at once, but in multiples of 50/40/30/20/10 and mixing the 5 moves up.  Just to make sure that we kept our heart rates up, we did 15 burpees and sprints in between the was a good day for sweating!  Came home, straightened up the house a bit, and packed for the trip.  My goal was to take everything carry-on, and I did just that.

Since I was flying out at 1pm, I went to the 9:30 class again at North Glenmore.  Yes, I know, some people may have actually taken a day off from boot camp, but I will be missing THREE whole classes!  Okay, okay, I know I'll be running a little bit on Sunday to make up for it, but still...that three hours of boot camp I'll never get back!  We did another round of circuit work,  which was hard as my legs were still feeling all the squats from Tuesday.  But plowed through all the lunges and 1-legged squats, step-ups, Wal-marts (roll-backs) and triceps work to finish the hour.  Drove straight to the airport, checked in with the e-boarding pass (okay, that's cool!) and changed there.  Took my Gravol, had a bite to eat and tried my best to stay awake long enough to actually get on the plane.  I heart Gravol!

With all the eating I've been doing here (carb loading people...) I really needed the walk that Cathy and I went on tonight.  We took the pup around the neighbourhood for a couple of km's.  But the food's been so good...Pho last night on the way home from the airport (not Vietnam Fortune, but good), salad and homemade butternut squash soup for lunch, dim sum for snack (don't go to a very large, ethnic grocery store's just bad!) and Trinidadian Roti for dinner.  Yum...  Oh, and Cathy is making me a Jamaican salt cod  meal for breakfast in the morning.  Can't wait!  Also bought myself 4 bottles of the coconut curry sauce I found here last year, which I'll mail  home over the weekend.  Now I won't have to ration quite so much.  Oh boy!  Now I just need Ocean's to open a store in Calgary and all will be right with the world again.  Or I just have to drive to the burbs and check out T&T to see if they have the same selections.

Not sure what's happening tomorrow, other than homemade pizza for fact, we've planned out most of the food for my visit!  It's a good thing I'm  running for 5+ hours on Sunday after all!!


Marathon T-3 days

Let the countdown begin!  Thanks to the potential strike by the flight attendants, scheduled for 6 hours before MY flight, I did some last minute scrambling and switched to come into town yesterday.  Yes, it caught me off guard, as I was enjoying the mini-holiday at home, but I wanted to get to Toronto.  Hopefully the flight home next week won't be as traumatic!  Of course, the strike didn't happen, but it could still...we'll be closely watching the news over the weekend.  And thanks to some super-duper adult Gravol, I landed in Toronto vomit free!  Trust me, that's a big deal!!

Right now in Brampton, where I am staying with Cathy from At the Park, it's cloudy and cool.  Perfect running weather!  Fingers crossed that it holds out for Sunday...I'd rather no rain, but the cloudy conditions are perfect for me.  Going to head down to expo on Saturday, so will see more of the course and what to expect then.

The sun is trying to shine through the clouds, so we should head out and enjoy it while we can.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Living up to RunnerGirl name


October 9, 2011


732 Carol WHYTE                21/38   136/239  F4049  Calgary AB         1:03:44.06  6:23

Boo-yah!!!!  Still jumping around!  This is HUGE for me!  Fastest time EVER!  First negative split EVER!!  Wow, wow, wow! 

Okay, so it was a good run today!  LOL!

It's been a good, but crazy week.  Boot camps have been usual torture, although I thought I'd give Josh a day off on Thursday, as it wasn't just wet and cold, but pouring down rain.  Sadly, two others showed up, so he had to stand out there for them.  I stayed at the office and did the "let's move desks after 10 years of collecting junk and crap" workout.  Put the movers to want pythons?!?  Check out these guns, boys!!!  Could explain my single status...must ponder that.

Friday boot camp was good too, as the rain had stopped and a fair sized group of us showed up, despite the long weekend.  It was Tabata-Friday, with loads of lifts, squats, sprints and whatever else Josh could throw at us.  Lost at WW too, but not quite what I found the week before.  No worries...I will get rid of it and it's little friends too, in no time.

Back to today's run.  It was the Alzheimer's Memory Walk & Run, and I did this last year for the first time.  It's a simple out and back course, and last year I PR'd at 1:07 even.  Today, after a breakfast of steel cut oats, vanilla Greek yogurt and raspberries, I got down to Eau Claire, deciding today's race would be what it would be.  I challenged myself not to walk, but to treat it like a tempo run, although I really wanted a personal best.  Found a couple of friends (GDH, from run club - a gazelle in making and JDC, from WW, also turning into a gazelle, fresh off a PR for her Half, last weekend) and after a bit of warm-up aerobics, we lined up.  I let those two go ahead, as I was not ready to attempt a sub-60 (yet), and found my spot in the crowd.  We were off!  I found my groove, and after checking that Mr. Garmin II was working, I locked the bezel and turned the face away, so I wasn't obsessively looking at it every five seconds!  Just ran how I felt today.  The weather could not be more perfect...overcast, but no rain or drizzle, a bit of a breeze, but that would turn into a tail wind in the last 5k, and cooler at 12C.  Just the way I like it (Toronto, are you paying attention?!).  I passed marker after marker, and then began to pick off my co-runners, one (sometimes two) at a time.  Including the two young ladies who moved away from me at the start, to "get out from behind from the slow people" - eat my dust, be-otches!!  My breathing was great, my hip, which was a little stiff this morning, was totally lose and fine, and I just ran.  Very Forrest Gump of me...

Hit the halfway mark at 32 minutes (oh, so close to crushing the 30-minute 5k) and thought, okay...just keep going like this.  Little did I know, I was in the midst of a perfect negative split.  Passed even more people, and then finally poured it on when I was close to the finish...even had a sub-6 minute k for #10!  Who am I?!?!

Found GDH at the finish line (49 minute!) but totally lost JDC...she did come in sub-60, but couldn't find her anywhere.  Maybe she didn't want the pizza/cinnamon roll lunch that was served afterwards.  Something about running 10k on a beautiful fall day that makes pizza taste AMAZING!  Or I was just really, really hungry!  Hung out, chatted with more friends, before making my way home.

Can't believe it's 4pm already.  Wow...  Trying to decide what to have for dinner (Mom and I had our dinner yesterday, sharing a little chicken, scalloped 'tators and veggies), and then to plot out my week before I fly east.  Would like to get my house in a somewhat presentable state, as P. across the hall will come in and care for George while I'm gone.  And have to figure out what to take...not sure what the weather will be like, and I'd love to get away with only taking carry on. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and remember to be thankful for what you have. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not a great start

Don't get me wrong, October started just fine.  A good 18km run with awesome ladies, followed by a tasty lunch, and another Sunday spent in the glorious mountains, but then Monday came along.  More about that in a bit.

Sunday's hike saw us heading for Picklejar Lakes.  In honour of the occasion, I did specifically pack pickles for lunch.  That's how I roll!  I was a little worried about the weather, as it was cooler and raining on Saturday, but the sun came out on Sunday.  It was a foggy drive, and in some places, the clouds were literally draped over the mountains, like a blanket.  Way cool.  We (the running crew) decided we should all wear our Resolution Run jackets from last year, as they are a lovely bright orange.  I mean, construction pylon, hunter orange!  After all, tis the season in the mountains (lawful in provincial parks with a licence) and we did not wish to be mistaken for a deer or elk or whatever has the target on it this time of year.
It was a bit colder at the top, with a very persistent breeze wind.  Hence J. - Ninja Hiker!
It was a really nice climb...not too hard, with a couple of steeper sections, but with a very clear trail to follow.  Didn't see any wildlife on the hike, other than one crabby squirrel giving us what-for when we passed, although we did see evidence that we were still in bear country.  Just make more noise... I think the bears know when it's the weekend and droves of hikers are heading for the hills.  They don't want to get shot any more than we want to get mauled.

The lakes are accessible after a little scramble across a steep hill, but I am getting much braver with each hike out.  I even "ran" down one section...okay, I walked quicker than normal, and was almost smiling, instead of my usual look of "oh dear God, what happens if I fall here?!"  Of course...couldn't find a prettier place to meet one's maker...
Faithful Inukshuk to guide our way.
Lake #1 (I think...)
Lake #2
Lake #4 (I was not impressed by #3...or I couldn't remember which shot it was!) 
Looking up, during lunch.  Of pickles!  And salami sammie. 
Back to the cars, after another successful hike.  All present and accounted for! 
The wildlife wisely stuck to the road (no hunting within 385m of the highway!), and were about 10 minutes down the highway from where the hunters camped all night.  Ha ha!!

After a quick drink and potty breaks, we decided to head back to Calgary via Longview.  Meaning we continued to head south on the highway, rather than turning around and coming back the way we came.  I had never done this loop before, and it was a rather nice drive, through the rolling foothills and ranch land that makes up Southern Alberta.  Hence it's nickname of the Cowboy Trail.  We stopped in at the oddly named New York Bistro for a quick beer (sat outside, where it was still a tad cool), before heading for home.  A long day though.

Followed, unfortunately, by another.  Work was a gong-show this week, and as a result, I went back after boot camp yesterday (it is all about balance, people), and ended up working till midnight.  I haven't had to pull a night like that since...well, honestly, I can't remember when I last did.  Sadly, I as back at my desk at 7am, and worked straight through till 4:30.  I was still leaving for boot camp (dammit), come hell or high water!  I was seriously dragging when I got there, but felt pretty good by the end.  Lots of leg work (sprints up Weaslehead) and shoulders, pulling each other with the bungee cords, and some hardcore biceps work.  All in all, another great class. I'm really tired and fading quickly.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1st

Where in God's name did September go?!  And what happened to my week???

Okay, here goes:
Tuesday - boot camp at Weaslehead, despite "bear sightings" signs posted right where we work out.  Yes, we are that hard core...bring on the da bear...we can take him!  And no, it's not odd that there is a bear sighting in the city.  Weaslehead is a natural area, and the animals, furry, clawed and all, follow the river in from the mountains.  In fact, a very sizable cougar was treed in the same park just a week ago (no, NOT.ME!) and taken back to the mountains.  We ran sprints up and down Weaslehead, did our usual circuits of pain (curl to shoulder press to controlled 2), introduced the Starfish (flat on your back, like a starfish, and rise up touching opposite hand to foot - this one is hard!) and finished feeling great.  Starting to sweat out Banff.

Wednesday - boot camp at Edworthy.  Head up the BA hill, then to the stairs for some drills (side squat up, jump up, sprint up...) before running a goat trail that Josh loves.  Get it while we can...once it snows, no more goat trail!  Returned for circuits...oh boy...more curls/presses/drops, and more Starfish.  I may cry...  Met up with the gang at Barley Mill for my Wednesday usual.

Thursday: I tried my best, but I still ended up in a pissy mood because of the damn digital devil at Weight Watchers.  I know I indulged in Banff, but I went into meeting with my clothes feeling loose and my scale at home showing no change from last Thursday.  Their scale...another story.  Fine, it was only 1.2 pounds and I will get rid of it, but still...I was pissy.  Took my pissy mood right into boot camp, and gave Josh full permission to push me till I puked.  He held back though, since I'm sure he knew I was punishing myself for this fail more than he ever could.  I did still run 13 laps of this!
Oh, and more of my fave curl/press/drops and starfish!  After everyone left, and I vented to the ladies about my weight, I decided to let Mama Nature remind me that life is indeed good.

Friday: it's Friday, Friday, Friday...that's all of the song I know.  Or care to know, for that matter!  Work week is done, as is the month of September.  Wow!  Had an appointment with my doctor to discuss my blood work.  All is fact, everything is normal, but cholesterol is a touch high.  However, she pointed out that my HDL (the good stuff) is nice and high, which is what is driving up the total number.  She's not concerned, and said to come back when I'm "at my peak (meaning weight goal/fitness goal)" and we'll test again to see the positive changes.  I do have to have my potassium checked again though, as that is high.  I do eat a lot of salmon, milk, bananas, but I always thought that was something us runners sweat out.  She just wants to make sure it's an anomaly and not something more serious.  Went to boot camp with the hiking/running ladies Friday night, and since it was just the four of us (MS couldn't make it) Josh designed a class just for us.  All weights and core, with no running.  It was a great, hardcore sweat-fest and we didn't even run a whole kilometre.  It was awesome.

So that brings me to today.  Got up bright and early and met the ladies (except for S. today...working) for a nice 18km LSD.  It was on the cooler side, and it even rained a bit, but overall a perfect fall morning for a run with a great group of ladies.   The link above shows the course and deets.

Met up with D afterwards, who was running with his group, and we all hung out having a late breakfast.  I had an egg wrap (really must watch the egg intake...), fruit salad and latte.  Went off to vote for our provincial leader (round two of the voting process), picked up some supplies at Walmart and Safeway, and got home at 3 or so.  Where did my day go??  Dinner was a salad tossed with feta and Greek olives, tomato, artichokes and pork tenderloin souvlaki.  Also brought home a new Mr. Garmin 405 today (, so I'm going to take him hiking tomorrow and see how he works out.

Deets tomorrow from Picklejar Lake.  And yes, I'm taking pickles to snack on!  Why wouldn't I?!