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! - girl in motion headband - Garmin!!! - Sugoi Compression tights - SpiBelt - fuelbelt! GU! 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 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 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!