Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And the Race is On...

Snow, Snow, Snow. I am getting tired of all the snow and like most Canadians we start dreaming of warmer weather. In five weeks we will be heading to Texas where it is currently in the low 20's (80's if y'all are Fahrenheit), for a visit with my sister's family and our first race of 2014. 
Rhythm & Blues Race Feb 9, 2014

Part of me thought of waiting and get back at it on New Year's Day but why wait? Why not start today. I would love to have braved the roads with Grant today but it is too slippery (Ice Storm 2013) for me and too much risk. (I hear the warnings of the doctors in my head and for once I will listen); so the treadmill and I have a date later today.
Grant Running 12/28/2013
Since I haven't really been running in the last 3 months I am going to have to kick it into gear. Only 5 weeks to race day. At least I was able to switch my registration from the half to a 5k. I am a little disappointed as it would have been my first half but I will be thrilled to just to cross the finish line at this point and thrilled the organizers allowed me the switch. 

Registration for popular races are starting to open up: The Run or Dye race opened yesterday for the those who preregistered and the Tartan Twosome opens on New Year's Day. 
Tartan Twosome 2013
So I'm thinking, why not run a race every month of 2014? After all, it is starting to shape up that way. What a great way to help keep me motivated, especially through these long winters months.  I don't want it to feel like all work and no play so I plan on doing a couple fun runs, a new race or two and the ones that got me hooked in the first place. Will I do a Half this year?Probably not now. I think I will save that one for 2015.

Well, that's my plan now to get working on it. Here's to a fit and fun new year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finding Joy in Unexpected Places.

My running came to a screeching halt a few months ago when I tripped and fell. I didn't grasp the severity of the fall and tried to get up, dust myself off and keep running or at least try to walk but it was a little more serious than that. My left wrist took the full force of the fall. A fall so strong it bounced me back about 3-4 feet onto the main road. Multiple fractures, surgery and now therapy for many months to get my hand and fingers working again.
It's not fun but I'm taking it all in stride and am really blessed that it was not worse: Blessed there was no traffic that morning or I would have been hit. Blessed that I am right handed. Blessed that I have a wonderful husband to help me. Blessed to be able to work from home. This forced rest period has given me lots of time to reflect and appreciate. 

Christmas is on our doorstep and I am reminded of all those out there who don't find joy in the holidays but rather it is a time of sadness, loneliness and despair - I've been there, I know how that feels. But what if?  Like this poster reads "what if Blessings come through raindrops?"
Joy can manifest itself in so many ways: some obvious / some unexpected. There is joy in every moment, even the hard moments. I know it sometimes is hard to find joy in the middle of difficult circumstances but if you look very closely you may find it. 

My dad passed away over a year ago. We thought it would be easier for my mom to come to our house last Christmas. And it was, but now she is spending this Christmas in her own home. I wanted to make sure it was not filled with sadness so I wanted to do something special, like dad would do. Due to my current situation I couldn't hand deliver her parcels so a mutual friend delivered my box of goodies to her. I'd like to share the exchange of emails from my mama this morning.  
Mama"I was overwhelmed and as excited as a ten year old  when he brought your beautiful box in.... I think you and Georgia do an exceptional job with Christmas... I think it was so exciting to see all the presents around my tree that I even shook a few.. Ha Ha Ha Ha./Now that almost sounds like I have hit my Second childhood. Right?  Well, I miss your dad and all the fun he would create for me at this time of year. And I do not want to let go of that, So my children are taking over his role and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Thanks.. Cannot wait till y'all get here safely. Love Mum"Me: "This made my day. I am wrapping up an Advent Bible study and this week was about JOY. I told the group you can find joy in some unexpected places and you getting that box was one. I know all the little things dad did for you and I was afraid that wouldn't happen so we made a plan and got it done. Mission accomplished. Enjoy. Love you."Mama: "Oh Ann.. You are so special. I am crying my eyes out with tears of joy. LOVE  Mama"

My Christmas Wish for you is that you may experience Joy in the most unexpected ways. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Over The Hill

Improve Your Running. Now that's a broad topic. What exactly do you want to improve? Endurance? Speed? Distance? Well one way you can improve all of these areas is to head for the hills. 
For a beginner like me, "hill training" sounds like a dirty word but the more you do it the more you will like it. For me this was a hard concept to grasp but then again, the idea of pounding pavement for fun was completely absurd to me only a few years ago. 
So what makes running hills so vital to a runner? Not only will you gain strength but you will run faster. I actually saw the results of all my hill workouts when I ran the PEI Runway Run . A flat 5k course. 
All my training routes are filled with hills anywhere from 50m to 200m long. Somedays I find them difficult, while others I plow through them but have never really liked running hills. As I approached a hill, I looked at it with dread, feeling the blanket of exhaustion drape over me. 

Knowing that some of the races I have signed up for include a few significant inclines I decided to do some research on How To Tackle Hill Training. It's hard work, but all goals are hard work, that's what makes it feel so good when you achieve it. And so, on the PEI runway I learned how important hill training is. On this flat race course I managed to shave 2 ½ min. off my 5k time. 

Now, when I head out for a run I embrace the hill, I  hold my head up, eyes focused on the horizon not the pavement, set my mind to overcome it and when I reach the top I can't help but give a little punch in the air - a physical "YES! I DID IT!"

Friday, June 14, 2013

I May Be Slow, but I'm Faster Than a Couch Potatoe

A Slow Runner - that's what I am.
Although that does not mean I forever and always want to be labeled as such. My goal is to run a 5k race under 30 minutes. My first 5k race was last summer and I was one of the final 3 to cross the line, clocking 38:58 min. I have been working hard, but lately, most days it feels like I am getting no where in my progress. My friends had signed up for a fun run/ charity race and I didn't ...until the last minute. I hesitated for weeks because I was nervous that I would not do well. Days before the race something clicked in my brain and I realized I was approaching my running in all the wrong ways. With all the motivation posts/ blogs/ memes floating around how could I ever doubt my abilities? and yet I did. 
Mr & Mrs. before the race.
The race was crazy fun. Tropical Storm Andrea was hitting the Atlantic provinces on the day of the race. I could have backed out but a true runner goes out rain or shine. So I psyched myself up for it, had my coffee, banana and bagel breakfast and piled in the car with my two comrades and head for the PEI Runway Run. 

Comrades: L to R Grant and David

A damp Day: 10C, 70km/hr winds/ heavy rain. Approx. 300 runners line the runway waiting for the signal. We were soaked before the gun went off. I stayed at the back of the pack while the boys went ahead. Many people were passing me but I kept a good steady pace. I had my tunes playing and miCoach guiding me, I was in the zone. By the first km I started inching on some of those who raced out of the starting line. That felt good. To be able to pass people was something I never imagined, especially in those weather conditions. I reached the 4km mark ahead of my anticipated time and realized if I push it just a bit more I can shave a minute of my 5k record. 

36:17 mins. That's what my finish time was. I was riding a high for the rest of the weekend. A new PB. 2 1/2 min faster than my last race. I couldn't be happier. Chilled and Soaked but over the moon with excitement. I may not do a sub 30min 5k this year but I am well on my way and not giving up on the possibility. 
drying off and all smiles.