Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year, New Dedication

With my Christmas holidays coming to a close (as sadly, I was not one of the smart people who took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off this week), I have been trying to plan my new year. 2011 has a lot of big things planned, and I want to do it right.

2010 was a bit of a bust in review. Although I finally managed to finish all my qualifications and become a proper lawyer-in-calling, I sucked hard when it came to finding a job. Three months of agony, mentally and psychologically, was tough. I thank god for my half marathon training, because I honestly think it was the only thing that kept me sane. Well, semi-sane, between the cursing and groaning with the long runs.

Finally in September, things came together in a pile of glory: I had my first wedding anniversary, finished my first half marathon (although not achieving my time goal) and found a job! For the past three months, I feel like all I have been doing is recovering, both physically and financially. I haven't talked much about the job, partially because I am not sure what I should and shouldn't say (this being a public forum and all) but it has been going fairly well. Still some kinks to work out, like finding the groove with all the staff and getting to a point where I feel even somewhat confident in what I am doing, but it will come with time.

So, 2011 is poised to be a big year for 2 prime reasons. First, with the job being in a town a little over an hour away from where I currently live, the drive has been tough. I am getting used to it slowly, but we knew that once I took this position, we had to consider moving out of the big city and buying our own house as soon as possible. Now that I am no longer struggling to get bills paid on time, I am squirreling away money for a down payment, and expect to be in the position to buy a home sometime in the summer or fall of 2011. Yeah! No more fighting for a second parking spot, no more listening to my neighbours through paper thin walls, no more light pollution and no more wasting 2.5 hours a day in my car.

Secondly, I have a big event to attend in October, one that I need to look good for. My best friend, who put up with being mocked in order to be my "Man of Honour" at my wedding, is getting married on October 29, 2011. Did I mention he lives in England??? So, we are also frantically saving up for the hubby and I (sorry, no Munchkin on this trip!) to go to Europe for 2 weeks. First week will be the wedding, second week we will spend in France and Germany before going home. SO excited for this.

With these goals in mind, I have set some expectations for myself for the new year. I have put together a tentative race schedule which looks something like this:

May - Ottawa Race Weekend 10K

June - Warrior Dash in PA - have to see if I can convince a friend to drive 6.5 hours with me to participate! Other potential runs include the Perth Kilt Run (8k, not confirmed), Emilie's Run (5k, women only) and a small 5k run in the town I work in.

July - No Frills 10 mile run, and the Mitsubishi City Chase

August - Xerox 10K, and potentially the NY Warrior Dash if I can't do PA

September - potentially the Underwear Affair, and another shot at the Army Run 1/2 Marathon

October - Fall Colours 1/2 marathon (if Army doesn't work out), and the Rattle me Bones 10K race

December - The Santa Shuffle (5k) and Resolution Run (5 or 10k)

In reality, I think the May Race Weekend 10k, July No Frills 10 mi, one Warrior dash, one half marathon, and the Resolution Run are my must have races. The cost of those runs alone will be over $300!

With respect to more general goals, I am the stereotypical woman, and would like to focus on getting fit and losing my little gut, or about 10 pounds. I have my gym membership that I plan on taking advantage of at LEAST 2 times a week, but aiming for 3-4 times a week with some pool time, some regular runs, and some HIIT training sessions. Not to mention some time on the StairMaster from hell:

Personally, I would like to love my job. I don't think I am there yet. I have my first court appearances next week, and am terrified. At least my first trial is against someone who is not represented by counsel, but it is still horrifically scary. I have fleeting thoughts that maybe I am not cut out for this job. Some days I am super interested, other days, it is mundane paperwork I would rather not be doing. I hope to find a groove, and really start getting my feet wet. How long after you graduate and start working do you realize whether you made the right career choice? How can you tell if you like the job and the job location, just one of those two things, or neither? It worries me.

Financially, I want things to be routine. Have a budget, stick to it, save like crazy for the house and trip, and start getting ahead in life. I will still be living like a student most of the time, but enjoying the things I get as a result of that effort. I might splurge on myself every once and a while too.....

Ok, so my task for YOU in 2011: Go after what you want. Figure out what matters, focus on it and make a plan to get it. Whether that be in life, in running, whatever. Let me know what your goals, hopes and dreams are for 2011, and let me help you be accountable to those goals. I hope you will push me too. Having someone there who knows what you set your mind to is a very strong motivator.

SO, what are YOUR goals for 2011???

P.S - Despite being dumb and not taking off work tomorrow and Thursday, I will be driving 9 hours to go and visit my parents from the 31st to the 3rd. So no updates from me. :( But I am recommitting to this blogging thing, so check in soon after for an update on my running, and whether I failed miserably at trial! Self -depreciation for the win.... :P

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unexpected Cross Training

First, let me say, I suck. I haven't been blogging, I haven't been running. My gym opening got pushed back, and it has been BLOODY cold up here (more on that later). So, sorry my followers, I am trying to get my butt in gear.

I thought I would jump back into bloggy world with an interesting example of how life sometimes forces you to get out there, and cross train in ways you never expected to, or really wanted to. This is the story of my day:

I wake up, dressed in my go to PJ's these days, which consist of one of my hubby's sweaters, and a pair of jogging pants. Comfortable lounge wear. I make my bed, and start sorting the laundry for my Sunday morning ritual of getting the ever-present task out of the way for another week. I sort everything out while my hubby, stepdaughter and devil of a Dog, Daisy, are downstairs. As a note, Daisy is a small terror dog we adopted a while ago from a local shelter. We love her, but she has some unsavoury traits we haven't managed to train out of her. She's a 25 pound Boston/Pug mix.

So here I am, in my jammies, starting to lug a big basket of laundry down the stairs when I hear a big THUD, and then my stepdaughter BAWLING, like I only hear when she's definitely hurt herself. I run down the stairs, expecting to find her bleeding or curled up in the fetal position, only to hear other words that I dread: "The dog is gone."

Yes, Daisy has the awful habit of being a Houdini and running off whenever she can. Problem is, she has no recall (or cares to ignore us) has no idea how to find her home again, and tends to gravitate towards people, who tend to be on the other side of public roads. We lost her once before, only to find her at the local 6! lane road, at a CAR ACCIDENT!

So, I freak. I throw on the boots, still in my PJ's, and bolt out of the door. As a note, the weather outside is about -5 Celsius (so 22 Fahrenheit), with about 3 inches of snow on the ground. I go to our back yard, and start frantically following her paw prints on the ground. I run behind all the other townhouses, until I think I have her cornered by a fence. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this back corner isn't a dead end, but instead leads to a small opening through to thick brush, a steep hill and a creek, before having another hill on the other side, and a 6 lane, 100km/hr highway on the other side. Of course, I think SHIT. So I have to cross this creek (in leaky boots, in my PJ's, to tail my dog, who is still running away from me. Brush is cutting into me, ripping my pants, giving me burrs everywhere. But I continue to follow the damn dog. Doing everything I can think of to lure her back. I call her name pleasantly, say I have treats, say I have a cookie, say I have her toys, everything. No dice.

At this point, I am a few blocks away from my house in thick brush, panting from exertion but soaked to the bone and freezing at the same time. Great combination, I know. I then see the dog go through another area, which appeared to be the underside supports and foundation for a house or a patio, which has about 2.5 ft clearance. I continue on behind her, doing my best not to whack my head on the wood above my head. Then onto more brush, more water, more pain.

FINALLY, I am exhausted. I can't run anymore. I start walking, and notice Daisy is walking too. She finally stops and sits, realizes she isn't built to be out in this weather, and calmly walks back to me. Success! However, I suddenly realize I have a BIG problem. I am physically drained, and need to carry my 25 pound dog back to my house the way I came, which includes climbing a steep incline with the dog in my arms, cutting through more brush, etc. I am so tired by this point I can't even walk for more than a minute without having to sit down in the snow, which my dog in my arms for a minute to recoop. Clearly, the situation is going from bad to worse. We are isolated, and I am getting very tired, very fast. I cut back to the foundation/deck, and convince my dog to walk while I hold her collar and crawl behind her. With a little more cross country trekking I am in my neighbourhood again. I am swaying, struggling to get home and not lose this dog, the bain of my existence once again. Granted at this point, I am pretty sure she wouldn't have the strength to run, as she is shivering in my arms.

I finally get around the corner and see my stepdaughter outside our house, and manage to yell to her to get my hubby. He comes outside, and I tell him to take the dog, because I can't walk and carry her one more step. I stumble into the house and struggle to catch my breath while trying not to throw up. I swear, at that moment I was more tired than I was crossing the finish line at my half marathon. I couldn't calm my system down; I had a headache, my body was trembling, my muscles weren't in my control. After a few minutes, a glass of water, a quick acting Advil and some new clothing, I managed to get things somewhat in line. A few more glasses of water and a hot bath brought me around even further. I was SO glad it was all over, and beyond the point of even being mad at the dog since I was so exhausted.

12 hours later, the dog is fine, but I am still feeling like my lungs are messed up. I take a deep breath launch into uncontrollable coughing, feeling like I am suffering from a lung infection that took hold the minute I came into the house. I am hoping that feeling will pass after a good night's sleep, and that I don't have freaking pneumonia for Christmas. What a present that would be?

Anyways, that's my entertaining story for the day. I guess I realize now I can run outside in the winter, but I am still opting for a treadmill in a nice warm gym, starting this week. Hopefully I will have an updated running schedule and new years resolutions in the next couple of days, for now, in case I don't check in before, have a Merry Christmas, and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Start in December

Well, after having a kind of shitty month of November, I am hoping that December will bring good habits along with good cheer. I will not recap my November goals, because the fact that I failed miserably will depress me even more than I have been lately. Needless to say, with injuries, bad weather, the long commute and time change, I have not been doing so well in the running department. Or in the food department. Or in the "not being a crankypants" department.

Moving on, I'd like to believe that December will be better. I have hope. It seems to be a popular month for bloggy-runner birthdays, and I can say I am one of the crowd - I celebrate my birthday this weekend. No big plans - I don't know if I am happy or sad about that.

My problem with this Christmas season and December in general this year is that it wasn't the best year. When I was employed before being called to the bar and becoming a lawyer, everything was going well, we were saving money, and we had two big things planned: 1) to build a downpayment and buy a house, and 2) take my stepdaughter to Disney in Orlando with my parents for Christmas. Then I found myself unemployed, the downpayment fund rapidly shrunk due to bills, and we had to cancel on my parents. Despite my mom's health problems this year, my parents are still going, and I feel all kinds of awful about it. I feel bad I won't be able to see my parents over Christmas, that I can't see for myself how my mom is really recovering from her surgery (I know things aren't 100% yet, which has me concerned), I feel upset that we can't go because we could all use the vacation, and I feel sorry that we can't manage it for the Munckin, who is at the PERFECT age to go.

So, my December goals primarily revolve around not being depressing, and staying positive. I need to do more things for me, as my life these days is tending to revolve around what has to be done for work and home, with me as an afterthought. So, here are the plans:

1) get moving - my gym opening was delayed again, but I hope to build time into my schedule to swim or run, do something to get the endorphins flowing
2) try to plan a visit with my parents - they are about 8 hours away from me, but I think I need to go down (may have to be sans-hubby and stepchild due to scheduling conflicts) and see my parents. I am worried about them, and for the first time in a long time, homesick.
3) I need to stop being such a hippy and get a haircut! lol, at least figure out what is going on with my hair, which I have been letting grow out for about a year. No ideas what to do with it yet.
4) Treat myself - I want to set up a massage, either alone or with my husband, to relax a bit.
5) Plan my races for next year - I want to get my schedule worked out asap, so I can be motivated again. I would like to aim for at least 4 races, if not more, and possibly two that are international. Just an idea I am toying with....

Not the best goals exercise wise, but it will have to do given the current circumstances. Seems like everyone is destined to wind down a bit this time of year. I will try my best to get off my butt, no matter how hard it is after a 12 hour day away from home.

So I'm trying to check in more, but I feel like I am failing you all. Not running = boring, depressing life. Anything I can write about to entertain you all? Shopping ideas? Lawyer jokes? Entertaining running slogans? Anything? Let me know!

P.S - to any of my Jewish readers - Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. As promised, here are some of the most random, but coolest things I have come up with for gift ideas, not just for the runners in your life, but for the others who deal with my (or your) runsanity!

Thanksgiving art can be found in different sizes here:http://www.etsy.com/shop/Raceytay

These pieces, and more can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/missashleylu

A great clutch, and other purses, cup cozies, yoga bags, guitar straps can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/people/obleek

Lovely trinket boxes for you or the little girls in your life here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/funkyart08

And for the person who commented about a unique cuff/bracelet, this lovely can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MarchelloArt?ref=pr_profile

2. My running and general activity has been knocked down due to an unfortunate incident during go karting. It was my first time, and I don't know if I'd ever go back. Being 5'4", and seeing that the go karts don't have adjustable seats, I had to be propped forward with a pillow, and I was still never 100% able to press down the gas or brake. As a result, I got jostled by others quite a bit, ran into the wall HARD at least twice, and have massive bruises on the insides of my thighs from the thrashing around. Every time the thigh chub rubs or even touches, it kills me. It looks so indecent, and hurts like crazy!
3. Happy Thanksgiving (albeit late) to all the Americans celebrating Thanksgiving. Good luck to all those going shopping for Black Friday tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010


So my life has been revolving around my work these days, and I really haven't been keeping up here. While I have been at work for over 6 weeks, my first court date is quickly approaching on Friday, and despite being told to not worry about it, I am FREAKING out. I feel like I still don't have a clue what I am doing, and that no one should trust me with their legal affairs.

That, on top of having an out of town conference this weekend, a sick family, a long and tedious drive that is getting harder, and a general feeling of social isolation/not fitting in with the older and tight knit crowd at work and in the small town that I work in, has me off my game completely. I knew this job would have its ups and downs, and I hit a major rut this weekend.

The one great thing I managed to do on Saturday was to haul my ass to the pool, a gorgeous, 75m heated pool at my conference and got some serious swimming in. Best exercise I have admittedly had in ages, and refreshed my mind and soul. I can't wait until my gym opens up and I can get my butt totally in gear.

On a positive note, about 2/3 of my Christmas shopping is already done, and I am also managing to pay for some things with money I have earned via doing surveys online, which is AWESOME.

So here's my question for today: What is the best, most unique thing you'd love to get as a novel gift under say $30?

I'll show some of my favourites the next time I check in (which I promise, will be soon!) Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So, I was so excited yesterday when my second prize from the 10-10-10 runs finally arrived at my door!!! As mentioned before, I ran the Jog for Joubert Syndrome 10-10-10 run and Marcia's run for Lupus, and I was lucky enough to win prizes from both, while supporting some GREAT causes.

So I decided to try out the two new additions to my running wardrobe ASAP, and finally live up to my title as the running lawyer:

Suit and all, I think the Ryder Glasses and Moving Comfort hat are both great, and I am super excited to try them out on the road soon.

So this week hasn't been successful in the way of runs. I have been keeping myself accountable with food, but with the time change, I feel exhausted. It is pitch dark on my drive home, and I feel like all I can manage to do is eat and sleep once I get here. Looking forward to the gym membership, and to establishing a winter routine.

My friend (the same one who killed me in my first half marathon, going on to get a PB by 13 minutes!) is trying to convince me to train in the winter for another half. Not sure if I have agreed yet, as I still don't feel 100% sure I want to do it again, and my toes are still agreeing with me on that point! That being said, it is kind of like having a child or getting a tattoo - after a while, you forget the pain that you endured and start refocusing on the positive rush you get, and the satisfaction of being able to say you conquered the situation. It's a badge of honour that you definitely earn. There is a race here in Ottawa in May, probably one of the largest in Canada, so I am considering it, with two stipulations: 1) we don't start at the pace we did the first time - it killed me going out so fast and 2) I need her to stick with me throughout the whole race. Mental training is key for me, so having someone there between kilometers 16-21 is crucial to my success.

Am I crazy to be thinking about doing it all again and trying for my original sub 2:30 goal?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Excuses...

I haven't been here, because I haven't been doing anything interesting. After I blogged last, the weather here took a turn for the worst, and it started SNOWING! I kid you not, we got 2 inches of snow overnight, and it was a very chilly halloween! The kids had to bundle up super well, and we were only able to stay out for an hour an a half before we all lost feeling in our toes. I will try to get the photo from my friend, but we even saw a snow jack-o-lantern! Someone made a big snowball, carved out the middle and carved a face into it before lighting up the inside with a candle. Coolest thing I have ever seen!

I did start my November goals, and have been diligently trying to avoid the donuts that come into the office, and all the leftover and discounted halloween chocolate. Not doing too bad. Thankfully, I have just found added motivation in the form of Run to the Finish's 2010 HolidayBootie Buster Challenge!

The system is similar to what I am following, a value for certain activities, and the person with the most points wins a prize, along with some random winners. I will not win top place, but I am game to try and be more accountable. Anyone interested in joining (or just stalking my progress and calling me out when I am failing) can check out the spreadsheet and sign themselves up.

K, will check in soon, promise! I have photos of my new Ryder sunglasses to share!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Recap and November Goals

So, October has been one heck of a month for us! My mom falling being hospitalized, having surgery and being cleared as cancer free, my father-in-law being hospitalized, and thankfully released yesterday, starting my new job and trying to stay sane. I posted my goals at the beginning of the month, and I thought that I had failed miserably on them. But, I am pleased to say that some things worked out:

- Running: I did do my virtual 10k races, which I won two! prizes for. I will definitely model my new gear once it comes in.
- Personal Development: there has been less ice cream and more carrots and tea. I am drinking more water, staying socially involved despite my long commute to work, and falling into a good routine.
- Work: I am still employed, so I think I am doing ok! Lots of clients, I am starting to feel like I am a part of the team, and sometimes, I even feel like I know what I am talking about. Still lots of improvement to do here though.
- blog - first giveaway done! I am also reading and commenting on a lot of your blogs when I can.

So on other things, I have not done as well. My new office has Tim Horton's runs every Thursday and Friday (Tim Hortons = the Canadian Dunkin' Donuts for you Americans) and I have failed on self control. My runs have also not been happening. Sad but true.

SO, in the past couple of days, I have been setting myself up for a good November. My friend and I have set up a healthy challenge to try and get fit. Basically, there are positive things and negative things that you can do, and a dollar value attached to each. So going for a 5k run = $5 in the bank, and eating a donut = $2 lost. The goal each day is to have a positive amount to put in the bank for a splurge item in the future. This will start tomorrow. She is holding me accountable, and vice versa, so I hope that my eating will get better.

Secondly, I decided to sign up for a gym in my neighbourhood today. It will be open in the next month or so, and will have a hot yoga room, group fitness classes, spin classes, a 25m pool and aquafit classes, lots of treadmills and is open 24 hours a day for most of the week. I know I should run outside over the winter, but I am convinced that with the days getting darker and the weather getting colder, it won't happen as much as it should, and I wanted a backup plan. This way, for the cost of one fitness class a week, I am getting access to a variety of different fitness options. Two friends in my neighbourhood have also joined, so I am sure to have gym buddies to keep me accountable!

So, with all that said, my November goals are:

1) Run more often. Nuff said.

2) Eat healthy - I would love to avoid the sweets 6/7 days a week. I think I will cave on one of the donut days, but if I am good the rest of the time it evens out. I want to try and not eat after supper, which is my worst snacking time of the day. Keep my water consumption up.

3) Keep going on the rest of my October goals. I don't want any behaviours that are positive to go to the wayside.

What are your November goals? How are you going to keep life interesting and keep yourself active as it gets colder?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When it Rains....

In my life, I have been led to believe that things often happen in threes. Whether it be good news or bad, I find that the same type of things (deaths, pregnancies, job promotions, divorces etc) seem to happen around me in threes. And of course, there is that general sentiment that when it rains, it has a tendency of pouring.

Well, fast forward to today, when I was on the phone with a client, and one of the assistants in my office came in with a post-it note saying that my husband was on the other line, and it was an emergency. My husband is a no BS kind of guy, and isn't frazzled easily, so I immediately was concerned. Was the kidlet hurt? Was my mom's health in question again?

Unfortunately, my father-in-law has been hospitalized for some serious bleeding problems. No need for details, but I left work really quickly to drive almost 90 kms to get to the hospital to support both my husband and my father-in-law, and definitely don't regret my decision to put my family first. Father-in-law is having surgery (I think, the doctors are French, and I only have partial comprehension) on Friday, and will be under observation until then.

So despite the wonderful weather in my area this week, the running is not meant to be. I feel guilty at my laziness (ok, also at the ridiculous amount of chickpea curry I ate for supper after running around) and really need to get back on track. Luckily I have a friend with a plan to curb my eating and increase my activity level, which I should be starting on November 1st. I'll explain what it is later, but for now, I am just focusing on keeping my family together and getting through the week.

Sorry I have been such a Debbie Downer, but hey, that's life, right now mine is throwing me a curve ball. Hopefully no one else is hospitalized in my life to complete the trilogy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CSN Winner!!!

Well, my CSN Stores Giveaway contest is officially a success!!! I am happy that there were 40 entries received, and a bunch of new followers. Welcome to everyone! I wish I had enough gift certificates to give away to you all!

Random.org did my draw for me, and the winner is entry #15!!! So congratulations to LAURIE from the (Mis)adventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom who has won my $30 gift certificate!!! I think it is ironic that Laurie won this, since she was also the one who identified 3/4 of my fake Friday Facts way back in August. So Laurie, send me an email and I will get you your gift code asap!

As for me, no more snow thankfully, but my knee has decided to have an awful twingy pain all weekend. Hoping to still get in some slow runs, but I am taking it easy since I have no goal races to work towards right now. Still need to sign up for the Resolution Run 5k, and have started thinking about what my races will be next year. I might be thinking of another fall half. Maybe. I am starting to forget the pain and the time invested, and thinking about getting a better PB. I am in, as long as I can find a running buddy/coach/pacer. We'll see. I will put a list of races out here in bloggyland soon, but for now, here's my question to you:

Have you thought about your races for 2011 yet? How many are you planning on doing? Any new distances or new types of competitions? What should I consider?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snowy Saturday?

I can't believe it, but for the past two days, there has been snow falling in our region. Sure, it's sporadic, and sure, it's not staying on the ground, but really? The minute I see snow, I start to re-evaluate my overall plan to run outside all winter. I am VERY cold adverse, and Ottawa frequently sees temperatures of -30 to -40 with windchill (so -22 to -40 for you Americans) which makes me believe I might just end up chickening out and staying in my warm bed.

I have been looking into other options, the prime ones being either buying a new treadmill, or signing up with a local gym. One is opening in my neighbourhood, will be 24 hour, and has decent rates ($40/mo) for people who sign up now and in the gym's early days, but I am still hesitant. I mean, it still takes a lot of dedication to get out of bed and drive over to the gym on a cold wintery day, even if that gym has a pool, hot yoga room, and 20 million treadmills.

Going to head out for a run this afternoon, and this week is looking like above normal weather, so for now, I don't have to worry about snow-covered ground screwing up my runs.

On some positive notes, I recently won a set of Ryder sunglasses in Laura's Jog for Joubert Syndrome !!! They look awesome, and I can't wait to try them out on my runs. I have been using my husband's discards (he goes through a lot of pairs of sunglasses) and it will be nice to have a pair of my own. Since they are pink, I am pretty sure that he's not going to steal them. Will need to double check Munchkin doesn't try to nick them though!

Lastly, you have one more day to get your entry in for my $30 CSN Stores Giveaway!!!! Glad to see that I have gotten more entries than before, but I am still hoping for more to roll in before tomorrow. Good luck to everyone (and welcome to my new followers!!!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cancer Free!!!!

Ok, so I guess my title for this post gives it away, but we finally got the results back on my mom, after a long surgery and a few problems with her recovery, she is healing well, and is CANCER FREE!!!!! So glad to hear that news last night.

This news, linked in with the sad news that Tall Mom on the Run's Dad passed away, makes me think of how much you need to seize the time you have in your life, and the time you have with others.

Life is for living, and enjoying with those close to you. Try not to stress too much about work; it is a means to financially support the things you love. Take up a hobby, tell a joke, always say I love you. Just make sure that you control your life and make the most of it. You never know when the world as you know it will change, and you will regret not doing the things you wanted to do.

P.S - only 10 comments on my CSN Stores giveaway??? I think we can do better!!! Go enter here:

Friday, October 15, 2010


So with my running season practically over and my financial situation looking up, I am starting to wind down and actually take a look at the things my life has been missing the past few months. One is the ability to spend some money to take care of myself and my family, above and beyond the basic daily necessities.

My focus has been on “upgrading” our home - trying to get rid of the furniture I purchased in college days and upgrading to newer and better things. I noticed a lot of bloggers hosting giveaways from CSN Stores, and I had to go check them out. They have SO MUCH STUFF!!!! There are accessories for bed, bath and well beyond. Paintings, furniture, even pet supplies and shoes!

Personally, I have been investing quite a bit of time searching through their dining room chairs, tables and sets to try and find one that can replace our big-box-store, wobbly-chaired, crystal light stained table with something that is a bit more classic and durable. I have narrowed them down to my current favourites:

#1 I love the design of this table, and that the chairs tuck under the table perfectly, but can't get past the thought that backless chairs don't seem very kid friendly.

#2 Softer, Cozier set, with a little flare. Love the base of the table and the padded chairs.

#3 - More of a classic design, I really enjoy the dark wood and sturdy large rectangular table.

#4 - The inlays on this table is what makes this set really stand out. Having the leather covering on the chair makes it a nice modern set.

#5 - I LOVE the backs of these chairs. The seats look cozy, but cream/white is not the most forgiving colour of upholstery when you have kids and spaghetti sauce all in one place.

Since I loved the store, you can imagine how THRILLED I was when they offered me the opportunity to give away $30 to spend in their store! Note: Canadian followers, CSN does ship to Canada, but you may face some international shipping charges. Just FYI!

Here are the requirements to enter:

#1 - REQUIRED - be a follower of my blog!

#2 - Tell me which of the dining room sets above you think is the best!

#3 - One entry for each blog, tweet or FB post about my giveaway!

Please post one comment for EACH entry. I will draw for the winner on October 24th!! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doubling up...

So, you know you are officially a runner when you agree to double up your runs, going out with two different people in one day. On Monday, after running 10k for the 10/10/10 virtual races, I wake up to my husband chomping at the bit to go out and run. He doesn't invite me often anymore, so when he asked if I wanted to come (probably because he thought my legs would be tired and I would keep better pace for him) I happily agreed. We only did a quick 2.5k, but it felt nice.

I get home, have a quick shower, and get a phone call from my original half marathon buddy. She asks me to run with her, but she's all the way across town, and I have to run out for a few things. She says it's ok, so I go about my merry way.

I get home, and out of the blue a friend who now lives about 5 hours away gives me a call - she is in town for a wedding, still has her bridesmaid hairdo and is functioning on 3 hours of sleep, but do I want to go running with her? Since I haven't seen her in forever, I put my running clothes back on and do 5k more with her. I know it doesn't seem like a big accomplishment, but I think running twice in one day shows some level of dedication (or insanity).

On a final note, I finally caved and bought bright red nail polish for my toes. My philosophy at this point is, if they are going to fall off, I don't want to know until it happens. So they are back to looking pretty!

I think I might have a giveaway coming in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 Race Report(s)!

As mentioned previously, today I had a 3-in-1 race day. Last month I signed up for three virtual races: Jog for Joubert Syndrome (held by Laura at My reason to run), Running Diva Mom's virtual 10k and Marcia at Running off at the Mouth's Power of 10 race to finish. I decided that I would combine them all into one race due to the fact that my work schedule has really hindered my running ability.

So, these three races all had different elements to them. JFJS had it's own race bib to wear, which I thought was super cute:

Marcia had a competition to see who could incorporate purple into their outfit the best. So I whipped out my purple red race shirt, and my funkiest arm warmers, made from toe socks. They might be cotton, but they are cheap and kept my arms warm when I needed them! So here is my crazy outfit for the day:
(My Dog Daisy is sniffing the Sharkies in my pocket)

Finally, Running Diva wanted to see who could make the most creative race bib. I am sure it is not the MOST creative, but the little Munckin and I had fun putting together this blinged out 10/10/10 race bib, which I wore on my Camelbak:

With everything together, I headed out the door to my start point. I decided on a course very close to my house that was fairly quiet and fairly flat. It was a short 2.5k loop which I would circle 4 times to get my total distance of 10k. I was looking forward to it for several reasons: #1 it was the longest run to date since my half marathon, #2 it was the first run I was able to do all week, and #3 the weather was supposed to be gorgeous.

I headed out to my "start line", psyched myself up and off I went! I decided that in the tradition of Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I would try to think of 10 things I was thankful for along the way. So instead of a per km outline of my race, here are my ten things:

1. My biological family. I have not updated on this, but I am happy that my mom is finally out of the hospital and doing much better. The surgery went well, and while we are still waiting on the biopsy results, I have faith that my mom will be fine. My family has always been there for me, and I feel blessed to have them present at some of the most important moments of my life.

2. My new family. I am so thankful to not only have my blood family, but also my husband and my stepdaughter who have been there for me through all the trials and tribulations I have faced in the past 6 years. They have had patience with me when I was fighting my way through law school, when I was sure I was going to fail the bar exams, and when I had to work late at night on school reports or at my articling position. They love me for who I am, and I feel truly blessed for having them in my life.

3. My friends - Although they are not in the same category as family, there are many friends I have who mean the world to me. They have been there to cheer me up when I am down, to help me when I needed it, to share the joy in my life and to generally help me become the person I am today. Some of them also encourage me to complete half marathons and are currently trying to convince me on some runs for next year.... :P

4. I am thankful for my health. While I have faced some fairly serious injuries in the past, I am happy that I have never been hospitalized, I have generally been in good health for as long as I can remember. I was at one point much heavier than I am now, and I am thankful I took charge and changed that, because my life has been enriched by being active and by being less self conscious about my appearance. I know so many people are faced with challenges, be it from Joubert Syndrome or Lupus, and that health can never be taken for granted.

5. One of the smaller things I was thankful for along my route was the fall. I appreciated the cooler temperatures one I started running, and one of my favourite nature smells of all time (aside from the rain) is the fall leaves as they collect on the ground. Fall Colours in Ottawa are brilliant, and running in them makes me smile.

6. I am happy for my new job! God knows it was a long three months, filled with a lot of self doubt and negativity before I found this position. Although I do gripe about the distance I have to cover to get there, the job is giving me invaluable experience, and I feel like part of the team already. While I will be even happier when I get paid, I feel so lucky that I am no longer unemployed, like many people around the world are right now.

7. Petty one - I am SO thankful it is a long weekend for us Canucks. Three blissful mornings of sleeping in? Thank goodness!!!

8. I am thankful I have the Blogging world to turn to for advice, entertainment, inspiration, competition, motivation and support. Being a lone runner most of the time, it is nice to have someone to talk to when you have a question or are having a bad day. Having others who know what you have been through puts things into perspective.

9. I am thankful for the food on our table every day, and the water we take for granted. I often forget what a privileged position I am in, not only for being educated and working in a professional position, but just for having clean water and enough food to eat. Many around the world, and sadly some in Canada as well, do not have those basic essentials and struggle daily.

10. Finally, I am thankful I can run. I may never be the fastest, but I am alive and enjoying life by getting out there and running. I came across some sad news in the Blogging world today. A man named Rick from the blog "Warriorman Runs Again" died this weekend during a run. I had never read his blog before today, but after reading several of his posts, and what others have written about him, I am inspired by his character. He just wanted to get out there, no matter how slow he was, and enjoy his ability to run. He encouraged other who blogged when they had a bad day to get back up and try again. He oozed positivity and love, and the world lost something great with his passing. I would like to try and be more like Rick: worry less about the competition, the finish, and focus more on the journey, and my ability to run.

So with all those things in mind, I ran my course. I looked down at my Garmin every loop/2.5K to make sure I was on track. I passed couples taking a fall stroll, kids on bikes, a traffic stop, and a lot of chubby squirrels. I pushed myself and am happy to announce a new PR! 1:04:36! It's not the under 1 hour that I long to get to, but I'm still SO happy!
Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day with my family. To all the Canucks: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!! To everyone: Be sure to take the time to remember what you have in your life to be thankful for. All to often, we get caught up in life and forget.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How am I going to do this?

Well, quick post from me, mainly because I am exhausted and need to get to bed before 11 tonight. Started work on Monday, and boy, are they LONG days. Up by 6, out of the house by 7, 75 minute drive, 9.5 hour day, 75 drive home, food, lunch making, child tending, house cleaning, SLEEP.

I am really hoping that I am able to settle in more the longer I am there, because right now it is taking a bit of a toll on my physically. Driving, which is something I didn't do on a regular basis, is giving me headaches, and my body is recoiling from losing at least 2 hours of sleep each night. BUT, with all that said and done, I am really liking my new workplace so far, and the people do seem very nice.

The one downside to this job is how it is a major interference with my running plan. I am out of the house when it is dark, and get home (in the dark) hungry and exhausted. Of all the things my work does not have, it is shower facilities. So, I am a bit at a loss for how to get my running in. I have heard stories of some runners (ahem, Marlene: http://marleneontherun.blogspot.com/2010/02/intervals-and-logistics-of-lunch.html) using baby wipes to clean up when they don't have access to a shower, but I am worried about how that would go over. I might just have to suck it up, run at lunch but go easy so that I don't get too funky smelling. If anyone has suggestions, I am all ears!!!

Toegate 2010: The toes are thankfully healing nicely, they are all still purple black, but no longer painful to shove into 3" heels. Good timing for that to clear up... ;) I think I am past the point where any of them would fall off, so I might head out to the store and pickup some purple nail polish just in case I feel the need to sport open toed shoes while the weather is still decent.

Other than that, I am one boring Jane. I hope to work on my preparations for this weekend's race soon, and am looking forward to giving you all another race report, hopefully with photos from my neighbourhood. It's nice, the idea of doing a race on your own turf. Comforting to know where the twists and turns are, plan water station, and avoid big hills...I mean, I am trying to PR here..... ;)

Hope to have three things to come back and post on Thursday! Hope everyone is getting out there and enjoying their runs in the nice, cool fall weather!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Goals

Well, suddenly I realized today that September is gone, and October has shown up with all its fall colours. Life is finally settling down, and I am reminded of the fact that I really have no goals to work towards right now. I got a job, I ran a half marathon, so now I need to set up new tasks to keep me on track. So here goes nothing:

1. Running - stay with a running routine, try to get 2-3 runs a week, 5k or more, hopefully with a longer run each week. Also I need to convince my hubby to hurry up and start running 5k. He is holding himself back with fear, and I need a running buddy if I am going to keep dragging my sorry butt outside as it gets cold, so I figure I can convince him to suffer with me. Runs scheduled: 10k on the 10th right now, hopefully I will get the money for the resolution run (5k with hubby) soon.

2. Personal Development - First, start eating better and drop some weight. Goal would be 4 pounds this month, and about 10 pounds overall. Less chocolate and ice cream, more carrots and tea. Second, go out with my husband more. Have dates every couple of weeks. Keep up with social engagements with friends, despite the fact I won't have as much free time with work. Sleep more, wash my face every day, take care of me. This summer drove me nuts a bit, so I hope with work comes routine, and with routine comes some self control and sanity.

3. Work - settle into a routine. Not rip my hair out at the 2 hours of driving I will be doing each day. Like my job, like the people I work with, learn a lot about being a lawyer. Feel confident in my abilities.

4. Blog - stay interesting. Host my first giveaway! Start doing some of the regular posts (three things Thursday, wordless Wednesday, etc). Read and comment on what others are doing whenever I can.

Ran only 2.5k on my toes on Wednesday. Felt ok, but didn't want to push them. I think they will stick around for a while, so I'm pretty happy about that. Have to get out for a run this weekend, keep my mileage up so I am ready for my virtual races next week!

Sending good weekend vibes to all!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wdnesday

Since I am still feeling a bit off with the craziness of life right now, and to be honest, since I haven't ran at all this week (contemplating a run today if my toes allow it) I figured what better way to amuse you all than to give you all the photos I have promised over the past couple of posts. Without further adieu, here you go:

Army Race Shirt

Army Half Marathon Medal
My wedding cake, after we defrosted it on our first anniversary. The icing was awful, cake was ok, but we still ended up throwing it out..... :(

Finally, my toes. Four of them are some shade of purple, but the only one that is really causing me grief is the big toe on the left, which seems to have received the most damage. Suggestions on how to help them heal?
Hopefully I will be able to get my butt outside in the next couple of days, even if it is just for 5k. I need to get moving if I want to do my virtual 10K on October 10th! I would like to aim for a new PR for this, my second 10K race ever, so sub 1:07:45. I think I can, I think I can!
Thanks for all your comments. Mom is waiting for surgery, doing ok for now. I start my new job on Monday - eek! Lots of things happening, will update you all soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday

This will be a short one for me, as things are hectic and not so great on my end (see below):

1. I wanted to draw more attention to the great virtual races I am doing on October 10th.

Running Diva Mom is having a virtual 10k race with lots of great prizes, including one for the most creative race bib. Check it out here:

Marcia over at Running off at the Mouth is once again raising more money for Lupus by holding her own 10/10/10 race, which can be a 10K, or any other use of the number 10 (10 miles, 2x5k, etc) She has been a superstar at fundraising this year, and she is also gathering some great prizes:

Finally, Laura over at My Reason to Run was the first to organize a 10/10/10 race, Jog for Joubert Syndrome. Cost is $10 to get in, but the funds do so much to help research to find a cure for this rare and relatively unknown disease. Plus, there are prizes, including one for most referrals, so tell her that runninglawyer sent you!


2. My mangled body is coming back together after the half, although I am still facing some pain in my big toe. Many people have said I will likely lose it, but I have some faith, and am taking the wait and see approach. Still no plans for another half in sight, but I am starting to focus on my fall/winter races, trying to get money together to register for them.

3. My mom has been hospitalized for the past couple of days. They found a large growth in her abdomen that will be removed via surgery in the next couple of days, and then biopsied. Needless to say, I am concerned, more like a nervous, depressed wreck. As a result, I will be stepping away from this blog for a while, until I can get things on track with my life. I will keep you updated when I can, and hope that it turns out to be just a quick surgery and recovery time, but the biopsy and possibility of the big "C" word scares the hell out of me. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2010 Army Run Half Marathon Report

Well, I am finally finding some time to sit down and compile my thoughts and feelings from race day this past Sunday. Unfortunately, there will be no photos right yet, because a) the official photos aren't out yet and b) my hubby's photos are with him, on his Iphone, at work. Sorry. Will add them to another post as soon as I can.

Due to some scheduling conflicts between this race and another major national race which happened to be scheduled on the same day, same route, our path got changed. As a result, we faced a LOT more hills than first expected. One around 15-16k was rumoured to be a killer, but I decided to not study up on the course in advance. I just didn't want to know what I was getting myself into.

So, after carb loading Saturday evening, I got to bed at a relatively early (for me at least) 11pm. Slept well, but woke up to my left knee being in pain. Bad news bears. I quickly tried to deal with it by putting a brace/tensor on and taking some ibuprofen. Seemed to get better, so I felt ok. I grabbed a quick breakfast of a bagel and PB, and focused on getting my race kit on. Going with the theme of having fun with my friend (who was supposed to wear her "Bride to be" sash), I decided to put together a cute sign for people to read/laugh at/smile about on the road, that said:

1st Half Marathon + 1st Wedding Anniversary = Best Husband Ever & Post-Run Cake!!!

I definitely got a few congratulations and one person ask me "Where is he then??" (he managed to say hi around 16-17k, and then saw me run in to the finish line. Lovely man.)

So my hubby and I managed to get downtown at a decent time, and I went to the set meeting point to meet up with my friend. Unfortunately, she was no where to be found, and I ended up moving to the corrals with two other acquaintances. At the VERY last minute, I found my running partner, and we got settled in. Suddenly, the largest BOOM I have ever heard in my life sounded, and I realized that the cannon signalling the start of the race had just been fired. Time to go!

The first 4k was great. Nice course, people were moving well despite there being major crowds everywhere. At around 5k, I realized that my running partner, who was supposed to be just aiming for under 2:30, was going way too fast. Looking down at my 2:25 pace band on my wrist, I realized we were ahead of it by at least a minute so early in. I knew I couldn't keep that kind of pace up for much longer, and by about 7k, I backed off and lost my friend in the crowd. I was a bit disappointed I no longer had anyone to run with, but I knew it was for the best for me.

Through until about 10-11k, I felt good. I remember looking down at my Garmin around 9k and being under an hour. GREAT. I took my first gel and kept going. Doing this in under 2:30 should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Somewhere in the wide open space between 11k and 14k, I lost my mental strength. My body tired and my stride shortened. I felt the need to fuel, get Gatorade, anything to keep me going. My mental wall was hit, I wasn't doing too well getting out of the funk. With no one beside me to urge me on, I felt like, what was the use? I looked down at my Garmin and saw my goals running away.

I had stopped to use the honey buckets, which I knew was probably just my body giving me a pseudo excuse to stop moving. While standing in line, one of the two acquaintances I saw at the beginning of the race ran by, looking concerned at seeing me. I had one of two options: give in to myself mentally and stay put, or catch up to her and try to use her as my personal pace bunny and race supporter.

That girl saved my race. She urged me on when I felt like I couldn't go any further, up the massive hill where I watched a young man lying unconscious, waiting for an ambulance. She told me I was doing great when I felt like I was barely moving. She set distances to go before walking. And we kept going. I felt like I was holding her back, but at the same time I was desperately trying to keep up with her pace. At around 18k, I looked down at my watch and saw it was almost 2:30. Mentally I knew I wasn't going to give up, but my B goal was gone. Time to readjust my mindset. I reset to 2:45, and said it had to be upright and smiling. I knew I could finish, and I pushed.

Those last 3 kilometers were SO LONG. There was a marching band playing some music, but between that and the final 100m or so, there were few supporters watching. I struggled and fell back from my friend, but always kept within 20m or so of her. Finally, she said we could see the finish line. Due to a curve in the road, I didn't see it until we were very close, and I decided to turn on the afterburners and give it all that I had. I sprinted across the finish line, and even managed to put my hands up in the air for a good photo finish (here's hoping!). I crossed the line with a time of 2:47:51, chip time 2:43:34. I placed 471/515 in my age/sex category, and 2279/2642 for the women.

Am I proud? Of my time, no. I refuse to find excuses for my time, like my knee was hurting, the course was so hilly, my feet felt like they were going to fall off. I have done better in training, and I am coming to realize that mentally, I don't seem to do well in races. I find that having so many people around me with faster paces is discouraging, and I don't find I have any boost from the elusive "race adrenaline" that everyone talks about. My brain just keeps telling me to stop. BUT I did finish, and I am very proud of that. My race buddy kept making comments like "you can make it" and I kept telling her I would cross the line no matter what. It was never a question of making it; I could never give up on the race that easily. I just wish I could find someone with similar goals to run with to get over the mental roadblock I face.

Post race injury inventory: Three blisters on my feet, despite wearing proper socks and body glide, one raw patch on the underside of one of the "ladies" and one very tender toenail, which may or may not decide to fall off in the future. I wear my war wounds proudly.

Would I do it again? I don't know. I don't think I would do it in a race without a running partner again. For now, I plan on focusing on 5 and 10k races (like my virtual 10k on 10/10/10!) and working on speed with those distances, before reconsidering the half marathon. But, I will never say never.

Sorry for the lack of photos, but I hope that this race report is good enough to hold you all over until the photos come in. My next scheduled run of any sort will be this Saturday, when I get up with my original running partner for this race (who ended up finishing with a PB of 2:22:10) for a 5k race before donning a bridesmaid dress and seeing her get married! Lots of excitement these days.

Will be back to post photos of running gear, race photos, and our disastrous cake later!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I finished. Despite a few catches here and there (woke up with a sore knee.... boo) things went well. Met my C goal, unfortunately that's about it. Still proud I did it, and feeling ok with the results.

War wound recap: Blisters on both of my feet, despite the fact I put body glide on them AND was wearing "blister-proof" socks with a one year guarantee (guess who's returning them to Running room?). Worried that one of my big toenails might disappear in the next couple of weeks, as it is feeling painful when pressure is applied to it. Hoping it is just swelling and that tomorrow it will be fine.

Cake is a bit of a bust, icing didn't fare well in the freezing, but the cake is still moist and nice.

Will have full recap, WITH photos, soon. For now, just looking forward to a quiet night with my hubby and a good night's sleep.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In the name of Carb-loading....

Mmmm..... Spaghetti!!!! Just finished a huge plate of it, and am good to go for tomorrow!

Friday I went to pick up our race kit at City Hall. This is the first time that I picked up my kit in the same location as the race starts/ends, and to be honest, it scared the CR@P outta me. So many people, so much preparation made me feel weak and insignificant. But one I got into the tent to get my race timing chip, it kind of felt nice to see that my name was on the half marathon board with only about 6000 others, in comparison to the 5k, which has over 12000 participants. We got our chips tested, and went off to get our shirts, which are very nice long sleeve technical shirts that are black in the front with camo pattern on the sleeves and back (will get a photo soon!). I came THIS close to buying a headband that said "If found on ground, drag to the finish line" but couldn't justify the cost.

Today has been filled with last minute preparations and getting things together. I decided what I will be wearing, put my bib on my shirt and chip on my shoe, got a "post race kit" together that can address any of my possible complaints after finishing (hungry, thirsty, cold) just in case, taped my pace band to my wrist, and finally got my Garmin working the way it should be. Hopefully it decides to keep functioning through the race.

Now I get to sit anxiously for the rest of the night, trying not to panic and thinking about the morning. I may try to put together a homemade bib, primarily because I am an attention whore who wants people to know a) it's my first half marathon and b) I am doing it on my first wedding anniversary, but we'll see if that happens.

So, with nothing else to say, I'll sign off for the night, and try to get a race report back asap. It might consist of "ran good, finished upright, eating cake, update later" at first, and if so, forgive me. Thanks for all the support, and keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Running forward, not back

Way back in June when I started this blog, I was just a part time runner trying to get back into the game post-injury by dedicating myself to a half marathon that I was definitely NOT confident I could do. Jumping from 10k to a half marathon would have been bad enough, but back then, I was barely running 5k, and was only managing to do it twice a week.

Now, 4 days from my half marathon, I have confidence I never imagined I would have. I KNOW I can finish a half marathon, and I KNOW that no matter what, I will have a PB. It might not be the lofty 2:00-2:15 goal that I wanted originally, but I have decided that having fun is more important than bringing myself down over pace and speed. I will be running with my friend M whose goal is slower than mine, but I think we will nicely meet in the middle for a decent first half marathon time. So without trying to jinx anything, here are my A, B, and C goals:

A) I'd love to go sub-2:20.

B) I know I can sub 2:30

C) If all else fails, finish in a good mood (no smiles promised, but absolutely no grumbles allowed)

I know A is lofty. I think I will realistically be around 2:25. Fingers crossed.

The other thing that has changed in my life over the past three months has been my job, my outlook on job hunting, and my strength to persevere. Three months of rejections is HARD. Three months of searching for a position that just isn't there, or is so limited that here are so many candidates to fight with is also tough. But, thanks to some love from my friends and family, I kept going. I am happy to finally say that I have taken a job at a law firm!

I don't know yet if it meets the criteria of being "a firm that I love" but I will definitely learn about it over time. That being said, it brings new challenges of balancing life as a lawyer, 2 hours of commuting a day, spending time with my family and maintaining my running. So hopefully, that drama will keep all my followers interested... ;)

Today, I will go out and complete my last decent run before the half. Am debating whether I will do the 10K that is scheduled according to my running room chart, or a shorter distance closer to 6k, just to keep my legs fresh. I don't want to push it too much. Then tonight, picking up my new-newer-old car (new to me, 2009, but used), Friday race kit pickup, Saturday pasta dinner and Sunday race!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blog Giveaway Links!

No big update for me today, just letting my legs mellow a bit longer after the epic long run this weekend, and preparing for the chaos of this week with having a second meeting with the other law firm that I interviewed with (I was told I am their top pick, so I am meeting their staff and hoping to get an offer before Friday, or else I will go with the first firm) and preparing for a rocking Bachelorette party I am hosting this weekend!

So to keep you all amused, here are some great giveaways I have found in bloggyland. Enjoy entering!

http://teamarcia-runningmouth.blogspot.com/2010/09/headband-review-and-giveaway.html?showComment=1283873609568_AIe9_BHaCYcR4WjU-WPV-w8sb1fK9Y0FjIoNRcE2E0xmk6n_pS6OxHVhNG1YKbJQch9ggYNJ5yK5Fp0zx_UZ0SUJAwINhT6F2M6NE_a37iHcioNk4BwlWwj2BfzrGzsEKW5yAO2eRtZ8FomEwbBgN1ab3NjcKAGVWgV-b7L7zJLfb2__ZApfOQWiGJV2Qg7II9YRJ__A3YhiOL1OCUJmRjl2s67lNG-cSv_zwtgtSsse4XH0FfumlDIuZ2eqWI7fMy5Niv8EvcrMw_NzPuS-6t7bEgFZezcnYdk5vLbo8a4fn0zuJrYub1VkgweMMasmI-w1xnZwcMCdXSPzAmRB85ZNFW6hjS3Hv2oOGAXJiaVViqUD2O55LJwmNmHHDBT_yhJcHnGObaOd_jfwar8bOJqsGMF3YTGfD3OW5BobwO89q-2AwkIYG5Q#c3426595898673423276 - girl in motion headband

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/09/september-garmin-forerunner-310xt.html - Garmin!!!

http://misszippy1.blogspot.com/2010/09/need-some-race-and-recovery-tights-look.html - Sugoi Compression tights

http://mommaof3ontherun.blogspot.com/2010/09/for-labor-day-my-spibelt-review-and.html - SpiBelt

http://runningdivamom.blogspot.com/2010/09/fuelbelt-product-review-giveaway.html - fuelbelt!

http://www.forwardfootstrides.com/2010/09/great-gu-giveaway_7482.html- GU!

http://www.forwardfootstrides.com/2010/09/most-excellent-giveaway.html headband!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Peak Week!

So yesterday I ran the furthest distance I have ever went, and will go before my half marathon on the 19th. 20 kilometers, or 12.5 miles!!!! I changed up my routine a bit and ran with a friend who will be running the half with me, using a very scenic route in the city. It was nice to break away from the lonely path I have taken up until this point, circling the same neighbourhoods and seeing the same sights while listening to my iPod on repeat.

I was able to run along some of the most beautiful places this city has to offer: along the Rideau Canal, some of the locks on the river, and of course, the experimental farm. The weather was cool and lovely, and I enjoyed having the added company, in both human and dog form. I even got to talk to some other runners along the way, who were impressed that we were running so far. Made me smile and feel like a "real" runner for once. I think the first 10k was a breeze, and I really didn't start feeling too worn down until we got to a more desolate part of the route where there was a lot of traffic, and my choice to wear old socks bit me in the butt as I started developing blisters on both feet.

The last kilometer was killer, but overall, I am happy that I ran for longer intervals, was not overly winded, and most importantly, kept powering through!!!

After, we looked like fools trying to haul our butts to the store in order to pick up food for lunch - we could barely walk, I was freezing (dehydration or just due to exertion?) so I was looking all gangster with a hoodie on, hood up, and we both had post run brain drain, so everything was either really tedious or really funny. We enjoyed our extravagant meal of soup and sandwiches, with some cookies and chocolate milk on the side.

I am happy to have this run under my belt as the last major run pre-race. Makes me look forward to the day of, rather than dreading it. Now, just 13 more days to go, and my goal is to get in 3-4 short runs a week to maintain myself until the day of.

So here's the only thing on my mind: What do you other long distance runners pack as a "must have" for after the race? I was thinking a sweater and track pants, some Sharkies for post-run fuel ( had a bad experience with my first 10K where there was no food left at the finish line) and maybe a knee brace and ibuprofen just in case I have some aches or pains. Anything else I should think of?

Finally, the amazing Marlene from Mission to a(nother) marathon http://marleneontherun.blogspot.com/ graciously passed this award onto me on Thursday:

I am supposed to name 10 things I like, and pass it onto 10 bloggers. Instead of trying to hand it off to ten people, since many of the people I follow/who follow me are tagged, consider this an open invitation to anyone reading; you're it!

Ten things I like (I decided to make it a list of the first ten things that come to mind that make me smile):

1. My family - my parents, my husband, my stepdaughter, and all those close to me.

2. Being employed!!

3. Blue skies and calm fall days

4. Mom's lasagna

5. My dog Daisy,because she's cute and crazy all at the same time:

6. Fireplaces, pyjamas and s'mores

7. Sleeping in

8. Spending a morning in bed with someone you love, hugging, cuddling, reading

9. The thought that we soon might be able to move out of the ghetto and to a place with space to run and be free from the city

10. The fact that in thirteen days, I will have two things to celebrate: My first anniversary and my first half marathon!!!

Happy Labour Day everyone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Pain, No Gain

Despite what a lot of people hope happens in life, most of the time, if you don't put the time and effort into the things you do, whether it be in your schooling, your career, your weight loss, your exercise goals, new year's resolutions, you won't get significant gains. Life tends to be hard, and I am (most of the time) happy that it turns out that way. You have the opportunity to learn far more from your failures than your successes.

When I started this blog, I faced several challenges. #1 - train for and complete my first half marathon. #2 - figure out my legal future and find a job that works for what, and who I want to be. #3, somehow manage to maintain this blog in an amusing fashion that attracts others.

Well, a little over three months later, I am still working at these things, but the hard work seems to be paying off. I will be completing my final long run tomorrow with a friend, a 20k run before my taper week and first half marathon. It still seems too far away to be real. I still don't feel like a true "runner" most days, I feel like I am still just learning the ropes. However, I am ok with that. My first half with automatically be a PR, so the goal is to complete it, view it as a success and learn from the experience. I may never complete another half (who knows at this point) but I will be able to take the things I have learned, like hill training, fartleks, fuel and even the limits of my own body, and apply them to whatever distance I want.

As for my #2 goal, things have thankfully came together. I went and had two very positive interviews, at two very different firms on Thursday, and to my surprise, after a two hour interview with one of the firms, I was given a job offer! I have been so happy that no matter what happens at this point, I will have a law job by the end of the month. I am waiting to see the results from the other interview before deciding, just because the two firms are SO different (different areas of law, different cities(!), different sized firms, different pros and cons to each) but I finally know that something WILL be working out.
I am a little nervous, mostly because it is a big choice, and means big life changes for myself and our family. With a steady income, we can keep working towards buying a house and getting ourselves to where we want to be. I mean, I have to buy a car!!! Terrifying to face for your first time. Worse than wedding planning. But the terror is mellowed by the fact that I will have a schedule, a career, and I won't be stuck in the place of depression and hopelessness that I had been before. Thanks to everyone here who supported me, and of course, I will update on where I ended up, and some of the trials and tribulations of working as a new lawyer, like the possibility of having to drive over an hour each way to work!

#3 - well, I have been trying my best to amuse you all. I started with no followers, I am up to fifteen (hello everyone!!!) and I have been enjoying myself. I don't get to post as often as I would like, but that's life. I will keep trying to make it interesting, and hope you all keep reading!

That's it for now since this post is a bit long, I will update on this week's running and my newest blog award tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I have had, and will continue to have, the busiest week EVER. That update on Thursday got even more complicated when a second law firm called me and wanted to set up interviews! So despite several false starts (interviews set up and rescheduled) I have TWO interviews tomorrow, with two very different law firms. Fingers crossed.

This week I also had my first training session for my part time job (which I may have to ditch if I get one of the law jobs) and I finally went for an MRI on my knee, which I injured more than a year ago. Add on the planning of a bachelorette party, 40 degree heat and my futile attempts at getting out of my funk and into my runs, it's been pretty crazy.

But, here I am finally, back posting. And I came back to find, I am now an award winner! Honeybee over at mommy running through http://mommyrunningthrough.blogspot.com/ gave me this award:

and it has really helped me in getting out of my "taper tantrum" or peaking funk. So here are the rules for it:

1. Answer the question: If you had one chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

Aside from a bad relationship I would have cut off way sooner than I did in my teen years (don't we all have those) I think I would have found the motivation to slim down and get running at a younger age. Having a regular hobby just for me has been great. I have also got to meet so many great people through it!

2. Pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have been selected for the award.

1. Running off at the Mouth's Marcia! - because she is a cute smily mom who seems to face a lot of the same problems as me, almost at the same time! And she has rocking giveaways!

2. Laurie from the (Mis)Adventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom - because she is always commenting on my little blog, and is an inspiration, getting her runs in with 4! kids!!!

3. Meg from Worth a Tri - because she finally took a huge step in her progress from injury to success, and the post was super awesome and inspiring that everyone should see it!

4. Laura from My Reason to Run - because she is making a huge difference in the live of her own child, and the lives of other children affected by Joubert Syndrome. Everyone should donate to the cause, and sign up for her virtual race on 10/10/10 - say I sent you!!!

5.Leslie from Leslie's 30 day shred - Not a runner's blog, but Leslie is an inspiration, she is a great foodie and is dedicating herself to being honest to the virtual world about her efforts to lose weight and look great post baby. I wish I could admit the crap that I eat on a daily basis - I'm sure half of it wouldn't end up in my mouth that way!

6.Laura from live well, laugh often, run much - a fellow canadian who perserveres even when things get really tough. She is honest and realistic about the things going on in her life, and I like hearing it all.

3. You have to thank the person (people) who gave you the award.

Thanks again Honeybee - I think the award will help me out of my funk, and keep me accountable here. I mean, the next three weeks until my race will be epic and a whirlwind of craziness, so I have to make sure I write about it for your entertainment!

Night all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Things Thursday....

1. My hubby called me this morning to let me know that it was gorgeous and cool, perfect for a run. Wonderful thing to wake up to. So I headed out for a 6k (3.75mi) run in 17 degree weather (62F) and got it done in just over my ideal time. I finally looked at my body this morning and realized that despite the fact that my weight isn't at an ideal point, my muscle tone and shape are pretty darn good! My legs look wonderful, except for a horrible blue-purple welt I got from walking into my hubby's exercise equipment. Ouch!

2. I sound like a broken record sometimes - but I sent out 26 (!) job applications yesterday to firms - some that I knew were looking for someone, others who were just firms in the region I would like to practice. While I have already received about 4-5 rejections, I got a call about one of them, so we'll see where it goes.

3. Based on Laurie's comments yesterday, I will be signing up for 2 different virtual races, both scheduled for 10/10/10. #1 is the 10x10 Virtual Race for Jog for Joubert Syndrome (info can be found here: http://myreasontorun.blogspot.com/2010/08/10-x-10-virtual-race-for-j4js-details.html ) and the second is Running Diva Mom's 10/10/10 10k Virtual Race (details here: http://runningdivamom.blogspot.com/2010/08/running-diva-moms-101010-10k-virtual.html ) I am looking forward to them both, and will be officially signing up once I have the money to donate for the JFJS run. Everyone should consider signing up for both of them!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So much to say, so little time...

It feels like with summer winding down, things in my life are winding up: I am getting into my high kms in preparation for my half marathon next month, my job searching has kicked into high gear with prospective employers having a slight contemplation about their staffing situations, and with my stepdaughter trying to jam as much activity into her summer before it is time for back to school shopping and getting back to the regular routine.

As a result, I haven't been blogging as much. I am sorry. But I have a generally long update, which I will try to fit in before my husband finishes the dishes.

I have a part time job. runninglawyer will now be employed at a deli counter in a major supermarket near you (or not near you.... :P) It is not the perfect job, but it supplements my EI income, and it is starting like now. Plus, no way that my grocery store job will screw up ANY future law job. Everyone has surprisingly asked why I took it, or if I am ok with it. I get the feeling that even some of my close non-law friends think that either I should be above that, or that I should feel like I am above working there. I don't get this mentality. Money is money, and I am no better than anyone else because I have two degrees. So thank god for something, because bills keep rolling in.

I had a horrible long run yesterday. I don't know 100% what went wrong, but I am pretty sure that my fuel (clif gels, Bleh and never again) just didn't do it for me, and I pseudo-bonked. I literally had to sit down in a park for about 20 minutes because I felt like I was going to pass out. I finished the "run" but 18k (a little over 11 miles I think) took me 2h45mins as a result. I literally stumbled home and into a ice bath that my husband helped pour for me, then started refueling on a banana and Yop. I was lethargic for another hour at least. IT was not pleasant, but I feel like it was a one off, and that next time, with Gu on board I won't have any issues. Let's hope so.

I have came to a point in my training where, I'll admit it, it's not fun. 18, 20k, that is a long time running. I was thinking before and after my long run, that this routine isn't enjoyable, and how I wasn't sure I would ever want to do another half marathon again. I like the freedom of going out and deciding how far to run based on how I feel. I think after the 19th, I will fall back into just trying to run 3 times a week, and go into winter hibernation mode a bit. I really don't have any serious runs planned for the rest of the year (I am considering Rattle me bones and the Resolution Run) and I like it that way. Maybe I will change my mind after it is over and I feel euphoric for completing it, but for now, I think I'm just tired of training.

I promised a winner on my Sunday Night Secrets Post, so here's the recap:

With 3/4 right, the winner is Laurie! Please let me know what Bondy Band you would like, and send me your contact details. Sorry I can't offer bigger prizes/prizes for all of you, but I will try to offer another contest soon.

Here are the answers:

1. totally true. I went to track camp for a summer and was one of the few teenagers who knew how to hurdle correctly. So I rocked them!

2. Despite the comments from Ms. Laurie (I might be a lawyer, but I am totally NOT one of those sleazeball lawyers! I just want to help people!), I can make a three leaf clover with my tongue, just like this:

3. Again, a true oddity about me: I can't eat cashews, pecans or walnuts, but bring on the PB and almonds. Mmmmm....

4. Totally hate Twilight, and hate hearing the "Go Edward" stuff from the Munchkin. Bleh! I read REAL books.

5. lol, see above rant about doing another half to determine the answer to this one.

6. FALSE! One sister, that's it.

7. Sadly true. I like the freedom of running when I want to, but I often think I am missing out on something since I always run alone. Hoping this won't be true forever.

8. Germany, three months. Best time of my LIFE.

9. My husband is definitely the shopper in the relationship. I am part Scots and part Jewish; it might be a stereotype but I like keeping my money in my wallet!

10. true - I killed my hubby's (then boyfriend) favourite ring by somehow dissolving the welding that kept it together. Oops.

11. I like keeping everyone I pass on the street clothed, in reality and in my mind. Random nakedness is not my thing!

12. I was surprised so many guessed this was bogus. I was an untraditional bride, and loved it. Here's a photo of my lovely rings (yes, they have diamonds on the side, but I like them anyways!):

13. Yes, this is a contemplated challenge. I have to swim more and then figure out if that is going to be my fitness goal for next year. Thank god triathlons don't require you to dive.

14. Yup. No explaining it.

15. This is partially due to habit, and partially due to the pull in my groin on the right side, but yes, at least 90% of the time, my left foot does the leading up and down curbs.

K, night all! Laurie, send me those details!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Facts

Once again, my posting is going to be fast and furious, with no real central theme. I am catching up on all the things I wanted to say but didn't get to this week with all the chaos.

1. For those of you who have been on the edge of their seats with anticipation (ie nobody) - I didn't take the job. Too much risk, not enough reward. It still feels bad, but I think I made the right choice. I hate that I have had people around me doubting my decision and making some less than supportive comments, but thankfully those most important in my life are there to hold me up while I am feeling down.

2. I might have another job offer in the hopper - just a part time gig to increase my income at a local grocery store, but it is something, so fingers crossed. We could use the money, especially considering the $900 (!) we had to pay out for repairs to our car this morning.

3. Despite my best intentions, I have not stuck 100% to my meal plans or my running schedule. I'm working on it, but it's definitely not easy! Must. Try. Harder

4. I'm having a busy weekend with a bridal shower and visiting friends with a new baby, but I am oddly looking forward to my 18k run this weekend. I may finish my Gu chomps (not my favourite, make me nauseated unfortunately) and try my clif gel, but I am pretty sure I am a Gu gel girl.

5. I'll be revealing who wins something little from me on the weekend for guessing the most lies from my Sunday Night Secrets post. You have to be a follower to win! This means there is still a bit more time to enter! Don't know what I will give out, but I hope you'll enjoy.