July & August update

Been a pretty fun couple months!

  • Ran the Stampede Road Race 10k with my buddy, Paula – it was a nice, relaxing, sunny run
  • Ran the Red Deer Mud Hero 6k with Paula, my sister Robin, and my husband – Mud Hero this year was much tougher than last year!
  • Then finished off by running solo in the Spartan Sprint 5k – not a good idea – but it was still fun

Just trying to enjoy myself while I work with the doctor to figure out my energy system issues. Sure is tough to keep your chin up when diligent training results in either plateauing on regression – but I keep reminding myself that at least I can do it at all!

Paula & Jen enjoying the Stampede Road Race

Paula & Jen enjoying the Stampede Road Race

Jen & Paula crossing the finish line @ the Stampede Road Race

Jen & Paula crossing the finish line @ the Stampede Road Race

Paula, Jen, and Robin pose before Mud Hero. Unfortunately there are no 'after' photos.

Paula, Jen, and Robin pose before Mud Hero. Unfortunately there are no ‘after’ photos.

it was such a busy weekend, i did not get any photos

well, that’s partially a lie. it was a busy weekend. but thats not why there are no photos… the main reason for no pics is that hubby participated in one of the events with me this weekend! which is approximately 1,000,000 times better than him being a spectator. not that i don’t love when he takes photos (because, uh, he is awesome); but it is just so much more fun to do something together!

maybe i have turned him into a runner and he doesn’t quite know it yet. SH! don’t tell him! it will be our little secret.

anyway – the weekend!

last wednesday, the physiotherapist gave me the green-light for easy running on pavement. in my head, this translated to full-on-whatever-i-wanted-so-long-as-i-wore-my-ankle-brace-and-remembered-to-not-be-dumb running on any terrain. which meant my 5 peaks race on saturday. it also meant the mud hero race on sunday. and it was fucking awesome.

5 peaks was at a municipal park in Sundre called “Snake Hills”. Much to my dismay, there were no snakes, but there were about 6 or 8, or maybe 12, but also possibly  different number, intermediate hills. they weren’t killer steep, they weren’t killer long… they were just plain old steep & long. the terrain was pretty much heaven… not very technical at all. 90% soft grass or soft dirt… 10% loose gravel or sticks & twigs. we were in this perfect little picturesque forest the entire time. it was a little humid. it was a nice, challenging track.

mud hero was so awesome! first off, it sold out. there were over 4,000 people participating. aside from the cash-gouging tactics, the venue was actually pretty awesome. the course itself was very easy; mostly flat with about 3 uphills. the ~13 obstacles were relatively easy (in comparison to other obstacle races out there, such as Spartan Race). It was a hot, dry day… Which unfortunately meant very little mud. No one was really covered in mud until the final mud pit right at the finish line… and that mud pit was 1/2 dried out, too. HOWEVER, even with the lack of mud, it was by far the most fun event I have participated in. Jamie did really well, even with a horrible cold (from me 😦 ), and Paula and I ran the whole thing together. I wish I had photos. Maybe there will be a couple of me on the Mud Hero website in a few days… If I find some, I will definitely post them!

Next event… 5 Peaks @ Nakiska/Delta on August 18th. I have decided to go for gusto and, failing another injury, I am going to do the full 12km run!

5 peaks #2 – done!

whew, after much stress and deliberating, i finally decided to switch from the 10.2k race to the 5.2 race at the canmore nordic center on saturday, june 19. i am so glad i did. the last km my legs felt like jelly… I am not sure how i could have added another 5k on there! all in all this race was a blast. the course was gorgeous and full of tons of fun and chatty people! it was nice to see so many people at my same level.

can’t wait for snake hilly on sat july 21, followed by mud hero on sun july 22!

what’s on your mind? apparently you are thinking about starting to run… AWESOME!

remember that poll i posted a couple weeks ago – asking who runs? i am going to give myself a “B+” grade for it as my very first attempt 🙂

The results surprised me. I am a little shocked to see that no one enjoys running as much as I do! What?! I cannot possibly be the only one… Maybe I just need to convert some people. On the other hand, 6 of my respondents chose “Me? Yeah right. I can’t run. (Although some part of me wants to… hmmm)”. Cool – you’re thinking about it!

See, doesn't running look fun?

If some part of you is considering running, what’s stopping you? Is it the myth that to start running you must be fast? Is it the myth that only “athletic people” can run? Are you overwhelmed and unsure where to start? Here are some tips from little ol’ me (the newbie-ish runner who has no right to be handing out advice…):

  • You don’t need any “special” gear to start running

You really just need a pair of shoes and clothes that are comfortable (and warm during this time of year) to run in. Don’t go spend $200 on a new running wardrobe & another $150 on a fancy pair of shoes. Chances are you’ll be running less than 15km a week (unless you happen to have the natural running gene and find it really easy and I hate you), so a “decent” pair of runners will do. I didn’t start getting the fancy gear until I graduated from “trying to run” to “loving to run”. I would rather spend money on a new adidas technical shirt than a new pair of dress shoes!

  • Pace/speed/distance (or anything relating to a number) don’t mean squat (at least not in the beginning)

When you start, go by feel. In general, you want to try to run at a pace that you can carry a conversation at. Don’t get me wrong, you should need an extra breath here and there, but you shouldn’t be running so fast that you <HUFF> have to <HUFF> take a <HUFF> breath <HUFF> every <HUFF> word. You should be able to <HUFF> comfortably chat with your buddy <HUFF>.

Stop judging the fact that you can’t run as fast  or as far as Joe Blow over there. You know, the dude that passes you in the blink of an eye on the public pathway. That’s Joe Blow. This is you. I’ve touted this over and over – running is personal. No one else’s running progress matters. I’ve passed people on the pathway who look like they’re shuffling, actually – I have run at a pace that was essentially a “shuffle”.  We all start somewhere. Joe Blow wasn’t always that fast and he couldn’t always run that far.

  • Be consistent

The only way running will ever become easier for you, is if you consistently do it. If you do get out there and pound the pavement, but only do so once or twice a week or less, it will continue to be a little tough, making it a little bit de-motivating. Keep it up twice a week or more (preferably 3x a week), and after 2-3 weeks, it will start to get easier.

  • The only person you might want to consider impressing, challenging, competing against is YOU

Don’t compare yourself to others. All that matters is that you go out there, and git ‘er done. Pushing yourself is not at all about going as far as Suzy Cooper (House reference for Hugh Laurie fans) or as fast as Ryan Hall (google him). It’s about knowing that you either stepped it up a notch to push yourself and make improvements, or knowing that you packed it in early or took it easy because your body told ya “Hey, I need a sec”. It’s about proving to yourself that YOU can do it… and waking up one morning and realizing you’re doing something you never even fathomed you had in you.

  • It’s winter – I hate cold, ice, and snow

It’s not that bad, really, for the most part. Unless it’s -20 and windy, the cold is easy to deal with… Especially once you get going and start to really warm up. Also, wear mitts and a hat. If you do get too warm, they’re not exactly heavy items, so just carry them.

If ice is really bad, or you’re overly paranoid, then hit the treadmill. Sometimes called the Dreadmill, this is a perfectly fine alternative – just be aware that it is easier than running on pavement (it does a little bit of the work for ya). To overcome boredom, split up your run… Do 10mins on the dreadmill, then do something else for a little bit – anything – and then continue and do another 10min on the dreadmill. Or 5mins each. Or 15min each. Whatever time, just split it up.

Aaaand… a couple resources from one of my fav runners I follow, Jason Fitzgerald (a 2:39 marathoner!)

My Marathon Training & Fundraising Update: May 2, 2011

My training and fundraising for the Joints in Motion Honolulu Marathon is getting more exciting every day! It has been just over 1 month since I officially started my JIM (Joints in Motion) endeavor; I would like to share my progress with everyone.

First off, I have reached 36% of my $4800 goal – THANK YOU everyone! The 36% is almost entirely from sponsorships – WOW!!

Training Update:

I officially began training again around April 15. I started a compressed Half-Marathon plan to be ready for the Calgary 1/2 Marathon on May 29. I have been running 3-4 times per week, and cross-training up to 3 times per week. It’s going really well, and I am excited about the May 29 race. This will be my baseline to design the specifics of my marathon training (ie – what i personally need to focus on to make it through the 42km without collapsing in exhaustion and agony!)

I also signed up to be a an instructor with the Running Room for a 5km Running Clinic! This is incredibly exciting; I mean, I’m getting paid to run and inspire “newbie” runners – how good can it get?

Fundraising Update:

BAKING: I have been selling cookies in the office, and will continue to do so until my final November deadline. I have also had a couple “on-demand” requests for other baking. My recent baking adventures include: a fruit tart, peanut butter cup cheesecake, nanaimo bars, any cookie, banana bread, chocolate-espresso cupcakes, chocolate butter cake… i will pretty much bake anything! If you’d like to order some of my baking, please E-Mail me. ALL proceeds go to the Arthritis Society.

PEROGIES: In June, I will also be selling homemade “Donna’s Perogies” – a recipe from my Arthritis Hero, Donna. I have had the luxury of sampling these perogies, and they are delicious. I cannot get enough of them. A team of us will be volunteering our time & donating ingredients in a Perogie-Making-Extravaganza on May 28 to roll out dough, fill the dough, and shape the perogies! I will be sending out a notification out in Mid-May with all the details & prices, but if you know you want some, please E-Mail me and we’ll get your order set up! Again, ALL proceeds go to the Arthritis Society.

Overall, everything is going really well. I am so glad I’m doing this!!

If you would like to help sponsor me, and help the millions living with Arthritis, click here! Or I can also accept “in person” donations, just drop me an E-Mail and we’ll get it set up.