Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great race debate…

Mara 1… well, actually the great training debate…

I am going to start training for the Calgary Half Marathon. The Race is on May 30th and my time goal for this race is 1:55:31. This would be a 3 minute improvement on last year and would make me very happy. Under 2hr would be acceptable too.

Now my question is. How do I train for the race? I have only ever ran 3 days a week. Sunday and Wednesdays, and what ever other day worked or was clinic day. Now I am looking at different plan for my race training, just to mix it up until the next store clinic that is available. Do I all of a sudden ramp into 5 days a week? or 6? don’t answer, I know. Gradual increases… avoid injury. the program is 12 weeks, so I would start the program on Monday March 8th. 2 Mondays from now. That seems do-able.

HH training half program

You know what. No more debate… this is my plan! I think I'll actually buy the plan too! Any thoughts on how good the daily tips and running coaching are? I may push the Tuesday hills and speed to Wednesday, and take out the Wed run as I do the gym on M-W-F. Saturday race pace will be fun, never really ever run on Saturday before…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I won!

Thomas from Beyond fatigue, pain and ACTN3 had a giveaway contest of some items he had laying around his house (New, Unused and unopened) and I was drawn as the 7th place winner. *woot* I won a Runners World book called “Run Less, Run Faster”. Sounds good to me. He’s even paying the shipping, out of his own pocket…


Thanks Thomas! Oh, another blogger that has giveaways is Run Zoe Run. She has a contest right now for some ‘new from the  factory’ Champion running gear… check it out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I can be a mean son of a gun…

…more on that later.

I got up this morning at 6:30, to start getting ready for the 9:00 start time for the Hypothermic Half Marathon that started down at Fort Calgary. I made coffee, I made a PBJ sandwich (using sprouted whole grain bread Carla) and had a glass of water. I had laid out all my stuff last night, so it was quite nice to just ease into the day. I left the house at 7:30 and got down to the start at 8ish. That was a bit of a mistake as there was no indoors to wait and since there was no indoors for potty breaks, just a couple of porta-loos stuck in a snowbank by the start line, I actually decided not to go. I thought it may (pardon the obvious pun) bite me in the @$$, but I felt ok and just put it out of my mind.

Most of our group was already there and I ended up sitting in Wayne’s car to stay warm while waiting for the start. While we were waiting a guy walked by wearing tights that were TOO tight and it started a conversation on what is appropriate for guys to wear while running. The guy we saw walking in his tights was too much for me. He was probably 45-50, not in bad shape, but no athlete, and you could see his beans and frank like there was a hole in his pants. As we sat there there was a couple more guys with the same ‘situation’ where their dangly bits and jock lines were clearly visible for all to enjoy. I know you have to be comfortable to run, but seriously, put a pair of running shorts over your long johns big boy!

Ok, it was about 10 minutes to the start and we figured we better join the crowd and head down to the start. As always, its a pretty underwhelming start with some announcements that no one can hear (I heard blahblah blah blah ice blah blah no blah tripping blah blah). I did run around like a monkey in a tree taking pictures at the start…


From left to right is ? (sorry i forget your friends name Tracy, I suk) Liz, Tracy and Kim


Wayne. Look over there ! --->>>


Tina and her husband Vlad, thanks for running with us Vlad!


MaryAnne and Michelle had a fine run!


Here's Gillian, Laura and Lauren, who are our fasties from the clinic, they were all worried about whether they could do a sub 2:00 and ended up with a 1:56. Super work ladies!


Barb and Doug, they are training for a Marathon and used this for a training run (still faster than me today…)


Yours truly : *Everybody was kung fu fighting…dodododo do do do do*


We started slow as per our plan and it felt pretty good. We got spread out quickly as there was only about 160 runners but being this is a store feature event, there was a lot of 10 and 1’s going on so there was a bunch of jockeying as people made their walks at different times. Wayne and Dasha had enough of our slow start and took off in pursuit of their 2:15 goal. We were a bit slower than them and soon lost sight of them. Our group was pretty chatty at first, the pathways were clear for the most part and everything was going to plan. I ran ahead to take a picture of the group… Looking good at 4k, with the group still smiling! From back to front we have Tracy in red, Kim in blue, Caroline in yellow, Tina in Blue, Vlad in Dark blue and Liz leading the way in pink.


The course crossed the river three times going out which added some nice variation to the run, and for the most part was a good trail. There were some icy spots, but not too many and we had a fairly relaxing first half of the half. I always like the part where we start to see the fastest runners coming back. we saw the leader at the 8k mark, which put him at the 13k mark… woowoo, fast.

We got to the turn around in pretty good shape and it was my plan to kick it into another gear for the return trip as it was a net elevation loss and with a light breeze. everyone picked it up from an average of 6:30 running pace to about a 6-6:10, and that felt pretty ok for a while.

We ran together as a group until the 15k mark and then there was a breakaway by Neil and Liz, but the peloton qucikly reacted and reeled us in and pretty much left us in their dust from that point.

Liz and I had one more fuel feed and I took my gu as usual, and Liz took her energy balls (don’t ask don’t tell policy was invoked here btw). They were frozen solid though so she had to hold them in her hand for a while to make them edible, but they melted all over her hands… hehe… runners are gross. She got started eating them and this conversation unfolded.

Me: “are you still eating?”

Liz: “yep”

Me 25 seconds later: “are you still eating?”

Liz: “yep”

Me 25 seconds later: “are you still eating?”

Liz: “yep”

Me 15 seconds later: “are you still eating?”

Liz: “yep, I eat like a chipmunk”

Me 10 seconds later: “are you still eating?”

Liz: “are we going to go faster when I’m done eating?”

Me: “yep”

Liz: “then yep, still eating”


Ok, Liz got done eating and we picked up the pace for a while. With 4k left we had this conversation.

Liz: “I’m hurting”

Me: “good, then you are doing it right”

Liz: …

hehe. I’m mean, but not a son of a gun… yet…

With 3k left we go under an overpass and it is really icy at the bottom and I warn Liz

Me: “walk up over here so you avoid the ice”

Liz looks up to see where I was pointing and slips on a small piece of ice and bangs her knee on the path.

Me: “you ok?”

Liz tearing up a bit: “yeah”

Me: “ok, get up, lets go”

Liz: “i think I banged my knee, it’s feeling hot”

Son of a gun Me: “Get up... The pain of running will make you forget about your knee... Come on, let’s go... run.”

Liz: …

She did. and she ran! off we went. She said she didn’t think she could do it. I told her that was her body telling her that, and that she could tell her brain to tell her body to shut the hell up, we’re running here!

She did it! she ran across the line in 2:23… smiling!

Everyone did Awesome. Dasha and Wayne came across in 2:14. Tina and Vlad did it in 2:16. Caroline and Tracy won their race in 2:18. Kim did her first half Marathon in 2:21 and Liz and I won our race in 2:23. Corie finished hers in the second wave in 2:30… What a day. Pure success for everyone! *woot*

For me it was my slowest 1/2 out of the 3 I have done (I joke that if I keep this up I’ll be a 4 hour 1/2 marathoner before you know it). It was my slowest, but it was my most fulfilling by a long shot. I enjoyed every minute of this training clinic and to see so many successes today was way better than any personal best time goal.


After the run, we had a terrific buffet brunch… which brings me to the rest of the day AND how you can successfully reverse the positive effects of running a half marathon.

9am to 11:23 run half marathon –2200 calories

Noon – 12:30 eat massive plate of Eggs, Bacon (9 pieces) hashbrowns, biscuits and orange juice. + 1250 Calories

1:30 pick-up home made lemon meringue pie from my mom


1:55 eat 1/2 the pie + 750 calories

5:00 cook vlentines supper for Traci and Andrew consisting of New York Striploin Steaks with Giant Prawns, asparagus and béarnaise sauce. Side that witha giant twice baked potato and grilled vegetables + 1250 Calories

7:30 finish most of pie +750 calories


Add various valentines chocolates and sweet drinks +1000 calories

So… –2200 calories for my run, then eat 5000 calories and I am officially fatter than I was before I ran the 1/2… SUCK-O

That was my day… the moral of the story is…* next time only eat 6 pieces of bacon after the 1/2*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I was asked…

… by my new BFF Anthony, after I congratulated him on his big 37.5 miler down there in NC, “When are we going to be reading your epic adventures in the Rockies? “

Well, probably never, because…


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not my race story…

…but super funny, worth the 10 minutes to read it!

Congrats to Reader Anthony, Skittles (Shannon) and Bubbles for completing this crazy race.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Choose your attitude…

“The last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”


Viktor Frankl (1905–1997)
Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist

If you go to the gym, or take up running, or start an art class, you made the decision to be there. No one forced you and no one really cares if you quit. Make an honest effort and do it for yourself and you’ll never be disappointed.

It’s Tuesday February 9, 2010 and it’s a great day for a run. Get out there!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Woot! At the start of the clinic I was missing the long runs… but now I am REALLY looking forward to a nice 6k jaunt tomorrow. I know I have done the training, I know I have what it takes to make the distance next week, and for the first time I am really REALLY looking forward to running 21.1k. Tapering is nice, but I understand that I will get a bit twitchy after tomorrow as my body will be feeling so fresh it’ll be screaming for more mileage. Tuesday we will do a 10k attempt at race pace. I’m not sure how that will go, it’s dark, it’s cold and it’s after work. My focus is usually on the Sunday long run, but I'll have to do some extra prep for Tuesday to get the most out of it.

We get a (hopefully) nice gym bag for our swag in this race. I like shirts, but it always is cool to get a nice ‘something else’ at a race. The resolution run jacket is obviously the best swag yet, and as far a shirts go, it’s a tie between the Okotoks 10k race  and the Diakonos 10k race for best shirts, although the Okotoks race shirt is better looking IMO. Diakonos bag also had a bottle of water and some food bits in it, so overall it wins for bag contents.

Having coffee with the pace group to discuss our race plan after the run, and to BS about general stuff…obviously…

As a side note, I have started helping a close friend to begin running. She ran today for the first time (I wanted her to go out, before coming to run club just so she knew what she was getting into, and with a few helpful pointers from your truly, she had a great start. She posted this on FB.

Well, I think more people would start running if they knew that you can start out really really slow. If I had gone any slower I would have started going backwards!
And, I feel so much better just from that run. Mentally and physically better just today. I don't think it's just because I'm diggin it because it's new....

Go slow. Sounds like a smart way to begin a love affair with running, don’t you think?

-8c in the morning with a light wind. Seems like the perfect day for a 6k easy run!

Friday, February 5, 2010




“An athlete may run ten thousand miles in order to prepare for one hundred yards. Quantity gives experience.”


Ray Bradbury (1920 – )
American writer

How many miles do we have to run to run a half marathon? geez.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Answer to a question…

‘Coolkids’ blog reader Anthony from North Carolina asks,

“Looks like you're near a big ass park. Gotta be some good trail running there, huh?”

This is in reference to his seeing the Hypothermic Half map I posted, and obviously zooming out to see Calgary and area on the map.

Well Anthony, if you are referring to the big green and somewhat bumpy area about 40 miles to the west of Calgary, then yes, it is a ‘big ass park’ that we like to call ‘The Rocky Mountains”. I personally don’t trail run as a common practice, however I know for certain that the multi use trails in and around the Rocky Mountains are second to none for outdoor pursuits of all kinds.

Popular areas in and around Calgary for running and other outdoor activities include:

There are too many to list them all, but we are very lucky to live where we do.

I have included an area map, so you may orient yourself to our location, as well as a map showing the relative location of Cary, NC as it relates to Calgary AB. Note, Google maps has us 3,979km or 2472mi apart by most direct road route.

map1 map2

Thanks for your question Anthony, and remember, always keep your stick on the ice!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of Cross Training… ver 1.1.003

Guest blogger Drew has penned an update for us, this time he is focused on some of the mental aspect of training away from running, yet still tied to running… hmmm, makes you think doesn’t it…?

Spin Class #5- The word of day is “Anticipation”

I guess you are wondering why I have chosen this word….. well let me explain why. I started thinking about today’s spin class early this morning as I was packing my gym bag before leaving for work. As the morning progressed it lingered in the back of my mind, was I worried about today’s class because I missed last week’s due to another commitment… no not all, I have come to understand that no matter how many spin classes I attend, they will in fact never get easier, that’s right.... never!!!

I arrived at the gym just in time to change, fill my water bottle and grab a towel. As I walked into the room, there it was my old friend, I adjusted the seat and climbed on. Diane came in shortly after and got things going, she put some music on- we began with a warm up listening to one of my favorite rap songs called “Loose yourself”, it donned on me that this is the way I felt just before embarking on one of my pre-marathon training runs.

Webster’s defines Anticipation as:

“……………….. the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
visualization of a future event or state…………………………..”

I am not sure that my expectation this morning before spin class was pleasurable , because this is definitely not a word I would ever use to describe spin class, but it is relevant in the fact that partaking in this class will help me towards my running goals……..

I am still trying to figure out what my goals for this year are, it will most likely be dictated on how my foot and shoulder feel, so far all signs are positive, but I won’t truly know until I embark on a regular outdoor running routine. At the very least I anticipate competing in some 10 km’s, I am considering the Calgary ½ as my first big run of the year. And another marathon still hovers in the back of my mind as does a sprint triathlon.

Final Thought- Spin class was grueling as usual, but  I can see the benefits, and not just the  physical ones, but mental ones as well, I have discovered that it helps me to focus on the moment and to keep pushing until that next small break, even if I feel like falling off my bike and puking!!!