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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fly by post

Holy crap, where has the last week gone?  Oh yeah, buried under a pile of turkey, cookies, stuffing, gravy, wrapping paper, more cookies, chocolate, wine, wine, some more wine and jammies.  Today I had enough, and was ever so happy to be back at work, and therefore ROUTINE.

Met up with the peeps and pounded out a decent 7.79km in 54 minutes (6:54 pace...I am a machine), which included the SPEC-TAC-U-LAR wipe-out performed by none other than sweet old me.  It was epic.  One moment, running along side rather cute dude (God, tell me I was flirting nicely), next moment flat on my face and sliding!  Jumped up, a tad embarrassed but not much worse for wear (dude was amazed I wasn't even dirty from the fall...Mama raised a lady) and continued on the run after a brief walk.  Sad part is, this was my second fall today.  Walking home from work, day-dreaming and took a header over a lip on the sidewalk.  SPLAT!  I think my bruises tomorrow should be very interesting.

After the fooda-pa-looza that was my last 4 days,  I will be back out for a run tomorrow night.  May be too little, too late, but what happens tomorrow at weigh-in happens.  I am accountable only to myself, and therefore have no one or no reason to be upset. 

To help alleviate the "I'm bored with no boot camp in the evenings, so hey, let's eat" thing I noticed happening recently, I signed up to be the 5km clinic instructor at my Running Room.  So far, there appears to be 6 souls signed up.  Gulp.  Actually, I think this will be fun and will push me out of my comfort zone.  Not that I have any problem with public speaking (the only class in college that I earned an A+ in) but the thought I know enough about running to pass on the wisdom.  Daunting.

All right...time for bed.  I know I'm not getting enough zzz's, so I'm working on it.

Hope all of you had a very merry Christmas, and found all you wished for under your tree.  If not, it's on sale this week.

Final race (and #22) of 2011 on Saturday night, so watch for a full recap on the weekend.  I'm even going to try and figure out the money spent...or maybe I just don't want to know!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keeping up with boys

Put the call out to whomever wanted to run, as I was feeling the need for speed.  Okay, it was either run or sit at home and eat.  I am detecting a direct correlation between not working out at boot camp (therefore no endorphins flying through system) and feeling the need to fill the empty void with sugary treats.  I may not be the brightest bulb, but I do make a connection every now and then.

I almost missed out on the run too, as I got home, changed and then was sucked into the vortex of my latest People magazine!  Realized the time and raced out the door, arriving just past 6.  Both D's were waiting patiently (let's go with patiently) for me to show up, and after confirming there wouldn't be anyone else joining us, we took off.  I admit to being a little concerned about pace, as DO was the 4:30 pacer for the last marathon clinic (I was the 5:00 pacer) and DC just qualified for Boston in Seattle in November.  Uh-oh...this could hurt.

Both were gentlemen, and made sure they stayed with me (it was dark, after all), but still set a pace that was demanding.  We ran west first, so we'd have the wind to our backs for the return, and crossed over at Crowchild.  Chatted about this and that, got out of the way of cyclists and enjoyed another lovely evening in Calgary.  Weather has been downright perfect for running these days.  Fingers crossed our good luck holds out. 

There was even a Christmas miracle on the route, as the section around 10th Street and Memorial Drive has finally opened up to runners again.  They (the City) have been working on this section for what feels like FOREVER (okay, over a year at least), so as a runner, we always had to detour and wait for lights to change, run a super skinny section fighting for space with other runners, walkers, bikes, etc, all the while wondering if we'd ever get to run by the river again.  Tonight we ran by the river!  The path under the 10th St bridge has reopened, and they even did some work around a rather tight, dangerous patch that totally opens it up for two way traffic.  Now, if they could just finish the Peace Bridge and get the south side of the path open again, all will be right in the world.  After crossing under 10th St, we ran to Prince's Island, where I told the boys to continue if they wanted, but I was heading in.  We all went across, and finished at 7:78km in 53:37, or a 6:54/km pace.  I keep this up, and I'll be qualifying for Boston soon enough!!!

After some stretching, we decided that we were parched and managed to find seats in our usual haunt, the Barley Mill.  In fact, the place was almost...empty.  Sadly, our luck will not hold out for tomorrow night (usual BM night) as they confirmed they are already booked solid.  Tonight I had the turkey, brie and strawberry sandwich on a very dark brown bread.  With side salad, it was tasty and filling.  However, they were out of Guinness (WTF?!?) so I had to settle for a Kilkenny.  So not the same...  J.came down and joined us, which was awesome as we may not be able to get together again before she heads home for Christmas, and had a really nice visit.

I am ever so grateful for my running peeps.  They keep me going, even when I don't want to.  They encourage, challenge, amaze and inspire me.  They make me laugh, out loud, just like Snoopy!
Case in point:

Yeah, that be me in the background, enjoying yet another silly race-day moment.

Joining a running group was the best decision I ever made in my life.  If you haven't, do it now.  Right now!  You won't regret it.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Run Santa Run

Race #21 on the books.  Calgary's Third Academy's Run Santa Run.  This wasn't a timed race, and you could choose either a 5km or 10km distance (of course, I chose 10), but instead of a t-shirt or bling, you got a full on Santa Suit to wear!

Me on the right, with Santa D. in the middle and Mrs. Claus W., who may have regretted the full on velvet outfit, considering the temps hit +10C yesterday!  As you can see by the sweat stains, this is AFTER the race.

Here's a good before shot!  Santa G. came in 2nd for the 5km: even though it wasn't timed, he still got a medal!

A sea of Santa's getting ready for the gun!!

Myself and Santa J. running in.  We maintained a perfectly wonderful 6:38 pace, coming in at 1:03:32.  Considering my 10km PB is 1:03 and was done in October without snow and ice, I'm really pleased with my pace yesterday.  I may have held Santa J. back, as she is a much faster runner, but we chatted the whole way, and I didn't feel like I was struggling to keep up.  I may just master this running thing yet!  What I'd really like to know is how Santa J's outfit still looks pristine, and I look like I fell in the river?! 

Despite all the snow in the pictures, it was a perfect day for a run!

After some visiting and a coffee, I changed and met up with another friend A. for brunch.  We went to the Barley Mill, which was empty, where I had the ham, cheese and mushroom omelet with wheat toast.  It tasted so good, I basically had the same thing today, only it became a pepper scramble (red, orange and yellow peppers, celery, Egg Beaters, Epicure Roasted Red Pepper dip mix and Epicure 3-Onion dip mix, shredded cheese) at the last minute.  Still quite yummy, filling and only 7 PP for the whole thing!

It snowed a bit overnight, although God has kindly removed most from my sidewalks for me.  Just have to scoot out and clean up a bit out front.  Then down to Mom's, get some groceries, and then back home.  Did laundry this morning, so if I get home early enough, I'll head out for a quick run to get my sweat on.  And figure out what to have for supper.  Only one more week till Christmas, but not freaking out.  I'm going to resist baking right till next Saturday (no cookies in house = no temptation!) and then will make a small batch of chocolate pecan tarts (buttertarts sans raisins) to take to the Christmas Eve open house at a friend's.  And maybe a cheese ball. 

Can't believe it's after 2pm already...guess the day gets away from a person when they sit up far too late and sleep in.  Who knew?!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Double Duty

Boot camp this am involved legs...lots of legs.  Squats interspersed with squat holds, hack squats followed by single leg dead-lifts, followed by regular dead-lift raises.  It was a leg-a-thon and I am now starting to feel it.  Could be partially due to last night's run through the loose snow, which also does a number on the butt and hammies.  But why let that stop me from lacing up the runners and heading back out tonight.

The clinics running right now were doing hill training, but while I enjoyed that, it does get monotonous running up and down the same hill over and over again.  Since we did the 10k last night that included a long hill, we decided to stick to the flats tonight and ran long zoo instead.

It was another perfect evening in Calgary, just cold enough to remind you it's December, but not bitter.  I think -4C is perfectly reasonable weather to run in.  Didn't stop me from looking like I stuck my head under a tap along the way.  MS's daughter, home from Uni, joined us tonight, which is good because we needed someone speedy to keep up with DS.  As it was, I ended up with a 7/km pace overall, even faster than last week's "fast" time.  Who am I?!

km 1 - 7:16
km 2 - 7:05
km 3 - 7:02
km 4 - 7:13
km 5 - 6:50
km 6 - 6:44
km 7 - 6:58
last 440 m - 6:32

Well, that looks like a negative split to me, Bob.  Boo-yah!

After changing (okay, I strip off my wet shirt and put on a dry one, in the parkade by my car...not shy!), and trying to figure out where to eat, we ended up at the Garage again.  Actually, it's not bad.  They don't sheep-dip their vegetables in butter (Joey Eau Claire, side vegetable for entree, 21g of fat!  There's no sauce, there's barely any choked) and they serve Guinness on draught, rather than in the can.  And the grilled salmon club is actually quite good.  Nice salmon fillet, grilled (not battered and fried), whole wheat ciabatta, green salad on the side.  Nom, nom, nom, slurp (still had Guinness, after all).

Okay, home now, DailyMile updated, FatSecret journal updated, eyes at half-mast...time for sleeps.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No excuses

That's what I was told when the email about a Tuesday night meet-up for a run went around this afternoon.  "Carol, you have no valid excuses, so we'll see you at 6"...or something along that line.  And they were right, I had nothing! 

So, I walked home from work, arriving at 5:30 (starting late is throwing me off!), changed and left my house, arriving right on time.  Met up with J., MS, DC and DS.  Other than meeting at Eau Claire, we didn't have a plan.  So DS suggested heading west to Crowchild, cross the river, back to 10th St, up the hill and into Crescent Heights, back to Centre St and home.  After setting Mr. Garmin, we were off.

DS and J took off, both being much faster runners.  And DC, ever the gentleman, stayed with MS and myself, although we told him to take off if he wanted (he's a REALLY fast runner, qualifying for Boston on his last marathon PB) but he treated tonight as a recovery run and stuck with us.  It really was a perfect night for, around -2C - 0C (high 20's F) with little to no wind.  The paths were clear with some icy patches, but no one fell (DC did scare the crap out of me, as I thought he was going down at one point, but he caught himself quite nicely, resulting in 9.5 from the Russian judge!)...Kept our pace going nicely too, until we hit the hill of 10th St.  It isn't so much steep as it is long, and with the walkway not really cleaned off, it was like running up a loose sandy beach hill.  A long, loose, sandy beach hill!  I did walk for about 15-20 seconds, and finally made it to the top.  After letting my heart rate drop back down below 130 (which happens quite quickly rocks!), we took off, running past some prettily decorated homes, and the lights of downtown Calgary.  Down Centre St, and back to Eau Claire.  All in all, 10.75km in 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Met up with the Speedy McRunners, and figured out who was running where next, before we all scattered to the wind.  I didn't have anything at home quick and easy to cook for supper (wasn't planning a run when I was planning dinner) so I grabbed the salmon club ciabatta from the Garage, that I had last week.  While everything else in the food court is closed, the Garage kitchen is "outside" the establishment, so you can get the food items to go.  Sadly, not the beer though!  Drat. 

Ate that, watched Glee twice (on the PVR and then live), and got caught up on my DailyMile, FatSecret journal, reading blogs and this post.  I really should be going to bed, but I just can't get my brain to accept that the alarm will still be going off at 5am!!  But here I go anyway...  No more excuses.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Card

You're hogging my shot, woman!  Get out of the frame and give the people what they want...

Meow-y Christmas and a Scrappy New Year...

Purrfectly yours,
Giorgio Armani Whyte


Sat up way too late last night watching of movies - finally saw the Hangover...m-eh.  Not rushing off to catch the HO2, that's for sure.  Then watched the last bit of Reds (I heart Bruce Willis!) and finally trotted off to bed at 1:30, having decided around midnight that I did not feel like leaping out of bed in the morning for a run.  In hindsight, that may be been a good idea, as the snow started sometime last evening and is really piled up out there.  Shovelling = cardio.

As I was crawling into bed, I saw I had a voicemail, and once I opened up who called, I felt like such a heel!  I was supposed to go to a house party last night!!  Can't believe I totally forgot about it!  What an idiot.  I don't even have a good defense.  Yesterday morning was spent at the Epicure Selections 2012 product launch, and then brunch at Milestones with some of the ladies that I sell with.  I had the Signature Breakfast Wrap, which would have been worth the 93g of fat, had they actually put some of the avocado salsa on it!  I think I found 1 teeny, tiny little cube to enjoy, and the rest of the breakfast was just...not even worth a m-eh.  Bland is a good word to describe it, which is odd when you are promised salsa. 

After brunch, I decided since I had fought so hard for mall parking (the restaurant is at a local shopping mall), I do start some Christmas shopping!  Picked up stuff for Mom and my great nephew and niece, as well as purchased all the calendars I need for 2012.  I like calendars...I currently have 4 5 in my house alone.  My house is not that big!  But pick the right one, and they actually become art.  So for 2012 I have a small cat one from the Meow foundation (supports the cause), my beloved Rocky Mountains, Paris in B&W and a Martha Stewart cookies one for the kitchen (comes with recipes).  Then I'll pick up my 16mo at a glance from Scotiabank, which I'll also have at work.  Despite my smart phone, I also picked up a 24-mo book for the purse, and a small hanging one for work which wisely states "why limit happy to only an hour?" true.

I got home just before 5, and ate leftover Chinese for supper (had a hankering on the way home from work Friday night, so Shanghai noodles, mixed vegetables and S&P squid followed me home!).  I peeled the now soggy coating off the squid, picked the disgustingly fatty pork from the noodles (so nasty) and tossed everything together in a pan to heat through.  It was very good and should appear on their menu...Shanghai noodles with vegetables and squid.  Sold!

Just finishing another cup of coffee before I go tackle the walks, although it is still snowing.  It does look like the neighbour to the east did my one section for me though.  How nice!  Maybe because last weekend we were both out at the same time, and were sharing caretaker horror stories.  I will have to remember to pay it forward next time, if I beat him outside to shovel.  Should it stop snowing any time soon, I will gear up and head out for a run.  I do need to set up some sort of schedule for training for both the Ultra in February (52km!!!  WTF was I thinking?!?!) and the Vancouver marathon in May.  I'm pretty confident in my base already being in place (2011: 2 5k's, 1 8k, 7 10k's, 9 Halfs and 3 Fulls! - yes, 22 races in total, and there's two more I didn't count because I didn't run them - once cancelled till further notice and the other I forgot to pick up my race package)...just need to keep the energy up for the 6+ hours I'll be out.

Okay...maybe just one more cup of coffee, and then I'll head outside to clean the walks.  And figure out what I want for supper.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three for Thursday

1.  So tired this morning...alarm went off at 5am.  I shut it off, set alarm on phone for 6 and went back to sleep.  Alarm went off at 6, reset it for 7 and went back to sleep.  Alarm went off at 7, hit snooze till 7:30.  Just get out of bed already!

2.  Found a pesky pound at weigh-in today, despite my home digital devil being the same as it was last week.  Really need to introduce those two and have them get along with each other!  Received the new PointsPlus 2012 information, which I still need to read through, but at least there aren't many changes this time around.  Took me almost a full year to dump old Weight Watchers from this brain for the new stuff.

3.  Tried Kale chips, after being tempted by Jaime.  I put too much salt on mine, but not bad for a first try.  I went with Salt & Vinegar (evoo, red wine vinegar and Epicure Chili Garlic Sea Salt) and while they got nice and crispy, a few were almost too crispy (could barely pick them up) and some other pieces still mushy.  So, lessons learned were...spread out more evenly, lower the heat on my convection oven and way less salt.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Truth be told, if it weren't for Trainer Josh, I would not be at 6am boot camp.  I do not like 6am at the best of times, even when I have to be up at that time to get to work for 7am.  Not much of a fan of that time either, but I do love the leaving work part at 3:30pm.  Especially this time of year, when the sun drops out of the sky at what seems to be mid-afternoon!

This little experiment started Monday morning, but I did drive into work afterwards, as I had some large items to take in with me.  The drive itself wasn't too bad, considering 7am is rush hour, but I really do hate paying $20 to park my truck for the day, and we're not even "downtown core".  The facility that he uses for the morning class is all's a community hall, but it's two levels and hardwood floors, so it's nice to run around on, and we've got stairs to add to our cardio.  Monday's class was about 12-14 of us, and today there were 8.  We still get our sweat on, but again, if it weren't for Josh, I so wouldn't be there!

What's really throwing me off is Tuesday working normal, and then coming home to do....nothing.  No boot camp to run off to.  Now what the heck do I do?!  I napped...that's the same, right?!  I will need to get this figured out for the next few weeks, as I really did miss the sweat-a-thon I normally have on these nights.  Today was hard too, as by the time I got home, cleaned up, changed and walked into work, it was 8:30.  That means working till 5.  I haven't worked till 5 for almost 3 years was very odd to me to keep sitting there and especially hard when I had to walk home in the dark.  Didn't like it one little bit...but again, it's for Trainer Josh, and I'll figure out a new plan for January & 2012.  Just no idea what that will be yet.

Decided since I was such a slack-a** yesterday (hehehe) that I should go for a run with the gang tonight.  After all, what else would I do with my evenings, now that they are void of boot camp (going to drag this out for while, people...get used to it!)?  Although, I barely had time to get home from work, change and race out the door again, making it to Eau Claire just at 6pm.  Everyone waited, which was nice.  We were doing a tempo run (at least, I think we were doing a tempo run) but no idea of the course, distance or even pace we were attempting.  It had snowed earlier today, so the paths were dusty and icy in spots.  And it's dark now at 6pm, so that meant headlamps for everyone.  I bundled up (currently -11C, which is oddly enough 11F) with long pants, a long sleeved tech shirt, with a tech T over top and my construction orange resolution jacket.  Which I've decided is so way too big for me now!  Can't believe it used to be tight across the chest and belly!  Yay me!  Add to that gloves and my Runner Girl toque and I was ready for anything.

We took off to the east, running past Fort Calgary, to St. George's bridge, back to the Zoo, over to Memorial Drive and west to home.  Good pace, with DO keeping me company for the first half, and then J. and MS taking over for the last half (everyone tonight is a much faster runner than I, so the company was most welcome).  No walk breaks, and a good pace had us finishing just under 7.5km in 53 minutes.  Some of the group continued on for another klick or two, but I was done when we reached the Prince's Island bridge.  I'll tackle the longer distances on the weekends.

With the Christmas season upon us, all the area pubs and restaurants were packed tonight, so instead of our usual Barley Mill meal, we ended up at the Garage.  Service left a bit to be desired (felt like we were bothering the waitress, what with wanting food AND drinks...) but the food was all right.  I had a salmon (shocker, I know) sandwich on ciabatta, with a side green salad and a pint of Guinness.  I am nothing if not predictable! 

Okay...must head off to bed.  I've been up for far too long, and am fading fast.  Happy Hump Day.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lazy, lazy Sunday

So happy I did all the running around I needed to yesterday, before all the snow blew into town.  The forecast called for "flurries"...we have got to teach our weather people the definition of that word!  it started coming down about 5pm last night, while Mom and I were enjoying dinner, and it didn't stop till sometime this morning. 

Yesterday's 5km race was also completed well before the snow, and good thing.  It was a charity run, the Santa Shuffle, to raise money for the Salvation Army Christmas campaign.  There were hundreds of people out to enjoy either a 5km run/walk or a 1km walk, and it turned out to be a perfect day for a run.  Although this race wasn't officially timed, Mr. Garmin showed yet another PB for me, clocking in at 31:51.  Again, getting oh, so close to breaking that 30 minute 5km.  Soon.  After grabbing a latte, and a late breakfast with the peeps, I headed home to finish sorting the latest Epicure order and dropped it off in the far south east end of town.  Then over to Mom's to drop off Purdy's and cat food.  Then it was off to the grocery store for milk and treats for Mom (no point buying regular food...Meals on Wheels takes care of that), and then heading into the Bull & Finch Pub for dinner.  Mom wanted something different, and I didn't want fast food.  While she worked on a burger bigger than her head, I had a philly cheese steak sandwich (only ate half the bun) with fries.  Yes, I had some fries...they were fabulous! 

Got Mom home, unpacked her groceries, and slowly made my way home on snowy roads.  Traffic was a bitch for 6pm on a Saturday night...WTF?!  Finally got home after 7 (I did stop into Home Depot for building supplies) and decided to take advantage of a break in the snow to shovel the walks.  Happy I did, because this morning the snow was wet, heavy and plentiful.

After a lovely lie-in this morning, I had some coffee and caught up on blogs and facebook, as well as tracked my many friends running the Sacramento Marathon this morning.  Especially Garrath, who finished in 3:26, more than enough time to catch his flight to Vegas, pick up his bib and start the marathon there at 4pm.  Last I checked, his half split in Vegas was identical to his half split in California.  The man is a machine!  I also did a couple of loads of laundry, had a major workout shoveling the walks (yes, strange lady, when I drop a load of snow right where I just shoveled and I get mad, I drop f-bombs.  Out loud.  Deal with it!), had a nap and made a chicken curry for supper.  It was all right, but not picture worthy.  Was rather grey instead of curry yellow.  Not sure why, 'cept maybe too much Garam Masala and not enough Madras Curry.  Still tasted fine.

Now I have to get caught up on the Amazing Race, and get to bed nice and early.  The alarm at 5am is going to come way too early!  Only 9 more Trainer Josh sessions...insert sad face here.  As a side note, me and girls took Trainer Josh out for supper on Friday, after class, and had a nice evening of laughs.  The ladies were prepared and brought extra tissues, but I held it together!!  I even "taught" the class at the beginning, as Josh was caught in traffic and running late.  So I had everyone running laps (gym and down the stairs, up again), once they realized I was serious, and then doing side shuffles / high knees.  Good thing Josh showed up when he did...despite going 5 times a week, I totally blanked on what we should do next!  Even forgot it was Tabata Friday!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three for Thursday

Seems like a good title, no?

1) It was shoulderiffic day at boot camp tonight.  Presses, squat presses, presses with bands, push-ups, wide hand push-ups, weird hand push-ups (one hand is close to shoulder, the other is wider out by head...try'll like it), lat raises, bent over rows, dead lifts with row...throw in some running around, full body bikes, toe touches, lunges, ab work and curls, and you have our night.  I sweat up a real storm.

2) Despite setting a goal of 0 pounds lost/gained this week at Weight Watchers, and having FUN at my company Christmas party, I managed to lose 1.2 pounds today at weigh-in.  I really feel like all my hard work is starting to come together.  I still indulge every now and then, but it's controlled and not all the time, like before.  Finally my internal motor (read: metabolism) is up and running smoothly, after years of abuse and neglect.  Just needed a good kick in the can!  Also had Trainer Josh measure me for one last time (sniff, sniff), and while I don't have the actual numbers yet, we're both pretty sure I managed to trim off yet another 1-2 inches.  Boo-yah!

3) I "may" have done something a little crazy today.  Certifiable, actually.  My defense, should I need one, is that all the cool kids are doing it, and my running peeps make it sound like so much fun.  Yes, I am now part of a team that will be racing the Sinister 7 in July 2012.  The team portion of this race sold out in just over an hour today, so I'll be part of 1050 (?) other teams made up of other crazy people.  Should be fun.  And while I was in a "oh, sure, sounds like a plan" moment, I also signed up for (gulp) my very first Ultra.  Only this one is in Calgary...that's in FEBRUARY!  It's called the Frozen Ass 50 for a reason, and it's actually 52km.  What the heck have I done?!  In case anyone is counting, that's a Half, an Ultra, a marathon and a relay trail run so far for 2012.  And here I said I wouldn't do as many races next year!  Someone save me from myself.

But if you think I'm crazy, look who I learned it from.  I come by it honestly, as this guy was my marathon clinic instructor for two seasons.  Run, Gorrest, Run.