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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In a nutshell

I swear I just sat down at my computer yesterday, and look at that, over a week has gone by.  So, here's my life:

Monday, February 20th:  Frozen Ass 50 Ultra
 - In keeping with my year of firsts, I recorded my very first DNF (did not finish).  I tried, really I did, but the 3" of snow made the first 18km loop (course was an out and back, times 3 - OMG, BORING!) like running on loose sand.  Very physically draining, but then running the 2nd loop by myself (and I mean completely by myself, as everyone else surged ahead) was the most mentally draining thing I have done.  The negative self talk started and try as I might to switch out of it, I was done by the end of the next loop.  I burst into tears (yes, in front of friends and strangers alike), declared defeat and sulked and ate pizza.  Waited for the rest of our gang that did manage to finish, and cried some more.  Thankfully no running clinic tonight, as I seriously don't know how I would have presented a positive spin on running to 5km beginners!

After a few more bouts of tears, I'm better with my decision, and know that one day I will beat this race.  The pictures say it all...

At least we did get a really nice hoodie out of it...I did the Frozen Ass 35.14, if that counts for anything!

Tuesday, Feb 21st:
 - Happy Birthday to me!  I woke up feeling pretty good (took the day off work, as I agree with H-woman that one should never work on their birthday) and spent the day relaxing, eating pancakes (it was also Pancake Tuesday!) and then going out for the most amazing meal at Notable.  I'm not just saying that because that's where Trainer Josh works now - the food was AH-MAZING. 

Wednesday, Feb 22nd;
 - besides being my mother's 76th birthday (Happy B-day, Mama), I also returned to work and to run clinic.   Actually felt good to run a quick 34 minute loop, and then of course Wednesday night Guinness and salmon.  And laughs with good friends who don't care if I did or did not run 50km on Monday (the course revision actually came out to be just under 54km, BTW).

Thursday, Feb 23rd:
 - nothing major here, as I worked on tax forms for work.  My goal is to have all 1,400+ forms completed, printed, signed, copied, filed, stuffed, stamped and in the mail by Feb 29th.  If only the printer and computer I'm using were on the same schedule!  It's going to be a long few days.  Weigh-in was uneventful, as I didn't lose or find anything.  Which is okay, considering the massive amount of delicious lamb, gnocchi, chocolate and wine I enjoyed on my birthday.  Worth every bite.

Friday, Feb 24th:
 - department engagement afternoon, spent at the bowling alley.  My team were the Bowl-leggers, and we had a Hawaii theme  - we don't know why, but we had fun.  My arthritic right hand didn't totally appreciate bowling, especially the 10-pin, but I still had fun.
I know how to rock bowling shoes...

Saturday, Feb 25th and Sunday, Feb 26th:
 - both days were basically spent at the office, trying to get ahead on the tax forms.  At one point I had two computers, two printers and a copier all churning at once.  Once printed, I had to sign each form (someone lost my stamp, so yes, all autographed by me...I feel so Hollywood!), as well as signing an attachment that goes with each.  Copy everything, sort and file the copies, and then fold and stuff the originals.  It was a long weekend.  I did manage to watch the Oscars, which I did enjoy.  Maybe I'm just old and boring, but I love Billy Crystal.  There, I said it.

Monday, Feb 27th:
 - spent the day folding and stuffing envelopes.  I know, I know...Accounting sounds glamorous, but not everyone can handle this kind of fun!  But the good news is everything is done, and I met my timelines.  Return to running clinic, where we talked nutrition before our run.  I think I've got most interested in moving up to the 10km clinic with me mid March, after their goal race, so at least I'll see familiar faces. 

Tuesday, Feb 28th:
 - all of the tax forms are in the mail, and now I can return my attention to cleaning up my desk from the past week.  The good news is my boss is really good about days off in lieu, so I booked a few half days around Christmas (which now means a 5-day weekend followed by a 4-day weekend for me) and taking a day off in March, as I booked my ride-along with HAWCS (the police helicopter squad).  Maybe we can buzz the house-band house, because the idiots appear to have met bail and are back to practicing.  Seriously?!

And that's been me?  How's by you?  I will have to dedicate a few days to catching up on blogs, but not sure when that will be.  Must head to bed, as boot camp beckons.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pre Frozen A$$

Bib is picked up, and packed in bag with two extra tops, honey gels, a protein bar for after the race, and assorted other stuff.  Forecast alternates between sunny and -1C (30F) and "flurries" and -2C.  Either way, perfect temps for running long distances, as far as I'm concerned.  Remember, I overheat quickly and easily.  Unfortunately, due to construction on the pathway (I swear, our city council is on crack..."we want Calgarians to walk/bike more, but in the meantime, we're going to rip up every single pathway at once to "make them prettier", and then can't seem to understand why no one is walking or biking...le sigh) so the course has been adjusted.  No more are we running east from the Forest Lawn Canoe Club to Chestermere and back, but now running east from the club to a hotel about 8km out and back...THREE.EFFING.TIMES. 

I hate loops at the best of times...  This run has just changed from being physical to totally being a mental game.  A HUGE mental game.  You see, after actually reading the rules and regulations posted on race sign-ups (you know, the ones we all check that we read but maybe don't actually look at?) and seeing the words "the use of headphones is strictly prohibited, and/or strongly discouraged", I don't run with music.  Ever.  Besides, I'm almost always running with people and I just think it's rude to run with someone and immediately plug in.  So, the voices inside my head will have to keep me entertained for 50km tomorrow, 'cus the route is not going to be pretty...not in the least.

So why am I doing this?  After all, no bling...not timed...barely anything at package pick-up (the bib, and some samples of Honey Stingers, a protein bar, refuel powder).  My only reasoning is all the cool kids are doing it.  And it'll be my first Ultra.  2012 is the year of firsts, after all.

Dinner is in (baked salmon, asparagus and wild rice pilaf), I am hydrated and will be well rested.  Mr. Garmin is charged, as is the battery for my camera.  Bag is packed and ready to roll.  Initial race outfit is ready to wear. 

Update tomorrow...should I survive!  Pray for me.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


And I registered for THIS on Friday.

Bring it!!!

Hypothermic Half and run for Sherry

Enjoying teaching the 5k clinic so much I signed on to be the 10k instructor in March, which this class ends.  That'll take me through to the Calgary marathon.  Then we'll switch up gears to train for Sinister 7 - yay to hiking in the mountains all summer again!  To that end, bought a really nice pair of trail runners that cost me NOTHING!  Okay, I volunteered at a run last fall, and remembered this week that I was given a coupon for free runners from Gord's Running Store.  Had to be sure to use it up though, as it expired in a week.  I wanted trail runners, as I have two newer pairs of street runners, so ended up with inov-8 Talon 212's.  They are cool looking.  Can't wait to take them out to the trails to try them out.

Up at weigh-in on Thursday, but just a smidgen.  Truly not the end of the world.  I did purchase 8 coupons, as they are on sale, and decided then and there (and declared it out loud to anyone else who would listen) that this would be the last time I will need to purchase coupons.  Combined with what I already have, this is plenty of time to reach goal.

Only made it to boot camp on Friday (headache Monday, forgot to set alarm on Wednesday) but did cheat on Trainer Josh with Trainer Ally.  She does a fitness class (doesn't call it a boot camp) that focuses more on core and balancing, and is based for runners.  I enjoyed it, but discovered (not a shocker) that my balance sucks.  I may invest in a wobble board.

Today was the Hypothermic Half in Calgary, as well as the virtual run for Sherry.  I printed off a bib this week, posted it on my Facebook group, and got everything ready for today's first race of the year/season. 

Keeping to it's name, Mama Nature decided to chill Calgary out a bit these last couple of days, as we woke up for -16C with a -25C windchill (that'd be -13F, btw).  Add the 80+% humidity, and you've got a bunch of silly runners seriously risking hypothermia!  However, I've run in colder, so it was just a matter of making certain to layer up and layer properly.

Hence: compression socks (oops...broke running cardinal rule #1 - don't try anything new on race day that you haven't done training...)
tights (bought for skiing, they work great under running pants)
running tights.
skin tight wicking shirt
wind resistant over shirt
Resolution 2010 jacket
gloves (which lasted all of 2k on my hands and were carried the remaining 19.1!)
headband.  Glad I resisted the toque urge, as I would have been too hot, and carrying a toque sucks.  Head band can be pulled down around the neck if too hot.

There were about 300 of us running the first leg of the race (10am) and after a bit of jockeying about, we were off.  So happy other runners knew Sherry's story and commented and thanked me for wearing her bib.  The route was an out and back, and after heading briefly east to loop through Prince's Island Park, we ran west to Shouldice, turned around to face the wind blowing at our backs the whole time, and returned the same way.  I ran with a friend, DO, who kept a good pace with me and kept me from pushing too hard.  You see, this technically was a taper training run for me.  Frozen A$$ 50 (yes, that is a FIFTY) is in 9 sleeps.  NINE!!!!!  Maintained a really good pace, kicking it up the last two km (one leap-frogging runner was pissing me off, so I had to beat them across the line...I'm not competitive!) and finishing in a nice respectable 2:38, a full ten minutes faster than last year.  Good thing I held back!  Got the bling at the finish line, met up with the others and then left for why I really run this race every year.  BRUNCH!
Brunch is held at Fort Calgary, and is simple, yet delicious.  Home-made scones with fruit preserves (not jam), fruit salad (just fresh fruit...simple), fluffy scrambled eggs with chives and cheese, hash browns, thick bacon and sausage.  Coffee, juice and loads of water on each table.  We sat with a young man here on his own (I thought he was one of my friends, grey hoodie threw me off, so I just sat down and started talking...good thing I'm shy!) who just arrived in Calgary on Tuesday, and ran this race today.  He's travelling through Canada with work, is here from Germany and is training on his own for the Berlin marathon in the fall.  He completed today's half in 1:39, but was saying he's the slowest of his work team.  Huh...  We talked about Germany, running, where he's been (Toronto), where he's going (Vancouver) and where he works (Mars...yes, the candy bar place) and invited him to join us any Wednesday/Sunday that he needs to.  Oh, and that we run for beer.  He liked that...

After swinging by Gord's, I came home, changed into dry clothes, defrosted my freezer (my fridge has been acting up, and I hope this is the's not that old, and I seriously hope it doesn't need to be replaced), and then ate a random dinner of a mini pizza, spinach dip and some whole wheat pita.  Told you, random.  Caught up on a ton of blogs, and am now thinking it's time for bed.  I do have to run in the morning, but thankfully with the 5k group, it'll be for 30 minutes max.  Then my usual Sunday check up on Mom.  I think I need a 5 day weekend and a 2 day work week, but with the reversed pay schedule.  Think that's possible?!

Thank you to everyone out there who thought of Sherry while out running today.  Be safe.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Fourteen sleeps

Been finding it hard to sit and stare at my monitor all night, especially after a busy last week and so far today, staring at a monitor at work all day!  It seems much easier to lay like broccoli on the couch and totally veg out instead.

So, what's new?

Two boot camp sessions...very hard after missing one week in Vancouver.  Slept in on Monday, upper body on Wednesday, squat-a-thon on Friday.  Ow.

Lost one pound.  Yay.  Been enjoying super healthy, hearty oatmeal.  Delish and lasts in my belly.  Yum, yum.  Rest of my meals have been so-so.  Need to get back into habit of menu planning and cooking.  Especially cooking.

Running clinic is going well.  Toying with idea of taking on 10k clinic after this one ends.  Haven't fully decided yet, but I am starting to get into groove of teaching.  Of course, I haven't seen any evaluations yet, so I may speak too soon!  Spoke tonight about motivation and goal setting. 

Had a great taper run on Saturday (25km) and am looking forward to the Hypo half on Saturday as my last real training run before Frozen A$$.  Fourteen sleeps and forecast so far is +4C and sunny.  Fingers crossed that holds out.  It can all break loose the next day...just stay nice on the 20th, 'kay??

Leg not feeling bad, but not great either.  Hoping tomorrow's ART session does something positive.  I did not like last week's laser/taping session.  It did not work.  Tape went on Tuesday, came off Thursday.  It just chased the pain around my leg, like those creepy beetles on The Mummy!

Well, that's it.  I am bagged.  With my achy leg, I haven't been sleeping well.  Fitbit shows me falling asleep quickly but waking up a lot through the night.  That wastes about an hour of quality sleep time.  Not good.