Friday, May 13, 2011


So its kinda hard to write often. I feel kinda silly saying "So, I went for a 4km run. Again. On the same route." So I'll sum it all up saying things are going great. I am definitely progressing and feeling much better. Tonight we ran 7:1's!! And the first half was up a big hill. And while it was hard, I didn't think I was going to die. The last part downhill was fantastic. There was a huge view of the local ski hill and the prairies (hmmm, kind of an oxymoron there).

The speaker tonight was great. He's a long time runner and was basically talking about form, breathing, pace, etc. He then ran with us and took time with each to talk about how we were doing. I think I'm doing pretty well, he had a couple of tips for me that did help on the run up the long hill.

So all in all it was a great night. Although I did 4.16km in 36min. My first 5k race is in two weeks. If I have any hope of coming in under 40min (which is what I want), I need to step it up. Although I know, just finishing means I win, no matter what my time! Two months ago it never would have even crossed my mind I'd being working towards a 5k, and here I am!

Some other things that have been happening...

Wednesday night I skipped my run. But only because I decided to do it on my own in the afternoon! And it sucked. I went by the river, just as everyone was getting off work and it was super busy. I couldn't get my RunKeeper app to work properly (my error, not the apps), and ended up running to fast, too far. Then I managed to turn it off after 12min. I had bought a new hip pack to carry my phone, inhaler and water bottle. But my water bottle was heavy and sloshing around and making my pack flop all over the place. I ended up pouring out the water which was a mistake, because it was hot and I was regretting it later! So I was hot, tired, clock watching and miserable. I never got my smile in the last bit like I always do. But I guess that happens sometimes?

I've been shopping a bit. I got a great pack from MEC (its not on their website so I can't link it, but it has a big zipper pocket, a water bottle holder and was $12). While it didn't work well with my big water bottle (although that will be great for hiking), tonight I found out it worked well with my sons little rubbermaid juice box. I've also bought a few tops, short sleeves for the warmer weather. I picked them up at Walmart. I think I spent $15 at the most. They're okay. Not super fantastic, but good for the group runs. I'm still looking for something nicer for my race though.

I'm also still using my long pants (that I still love). I also got a fantastic long sleeve zip tee from MEC. Its perfect for when its chilly when I start and easy to tie around my waist when I warm up. I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of it.

Also, for Mothers Day, I got a gift certificate for MEC. So I've been planning out my spree. I think the Elan capri pants, they seem to have good reviews, and maybe another zip t in the blue colour.

So I think thats it for now. I may be using this more for random ramblings, more quick thoughts.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Field Trip!

Today, May 1st marked one of the nicest runs I've done. We headed out to Bakers Park and did a great loop around the river. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery was gorgeous and my run was fantastic! 4.16km in 33min. That is still with a little regrouping, but I'm quite happy! It was about 2c, but very sunny. I wore a new tshirt I picked up from Walmart and my run jacket. About halfway through the run I had my jacket tied around my waist and felt great. The only problem was that we had to cross a narrow bridge over the river. I hate bridges. I ended up sprinting across and then nearly died at the other end. But I recovered quickly and ended the run in the front spot with another girl.

The view from where we started and ended courtesy of

I really enjoyed not being on a busy suburban street with lots of traffic. I know its not sensible to drive out to these nicer runs every time, but I'm looking forward to what I think will be a weekly thing.

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. One night threatened to downpour on us, but never did (we just had to suffer through the wind!).

And on Friday night, at the clinic we had a chiropractor speak to us. It was really interesting. He gave us a questionnaire at the beginning, we were to mark off things that bother us. At first I didn't think I really had any. You know, those headaches I get all the time, they're not migraines, so they don't count. The sore back I have nearly every day, I still function, so that doesn't count. Etc, etc. Except... they do count! Its not normal to have headaches where I need Tylenol once a week. Its not normal to be physically uncomfortable all the time, even if I can still fully function. So he was giving away free initial analysis and I signed myself up. I'm looking forward to it. Now I just have to go through our insurance coverage and see what I can claim if I continue with it!

I also bought a two running outfits at Costco this week (two tanks and two capris). They're the Costco brand 'Tuff Athletics'. Unfortunately you can't try anything on there, so it wasn't until after I bought them and brought them home that I learned that they're too small and I don't like them anyways. Back to Costco on Tuesday to return them! But I did find a good tshirt at Walmart last week. And at $15, with wicking material and UV protection, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I wore it today and while I was a little sweaty, it was quite comfortable. It also has a little reflective piping and is form fitting without being *tight*. I'm thinking of picking up another one. I'm not sure how many pieces of clothing is a good starting point? I figure two maybe three outfits for the season? I can pick up more pieces as I go along.

Oh! And Amazing Husband and Amazing Husband's sister are starting the Couch to 5K program tomorrow! She lives in Korea and he's of course here with me, but with the time difference, they may be running together. Very cool! I'm hoping that maybe once the Learn To Run clinic is over we can somehow figure out childcare for the boys and do a little running together!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! What a gorgeous day for a holiday today! The sun was shining and warm, we got to have an outdoor easter egg hunt, played at the park for an hour, I finally believe that perhaps we have a summer ahead of us!

Its been a great running week too! The weather has been so much nicer, and what a difference its made. Wednesday we did the same run as the bad snow morning, and it was so much better. I don't have a time difference (because the snow day was the day I forgot to turn my app on), but it felt fantastic. Also, for the first time, I pushed myself a little harder and ran at the back of the front pack. It was tough, and I really had to push myself, but my legs felt way better at that pace, and I was running with one of the ladies from our Ladies Only group, so the chatting helped pass the time quickly. I felt fantastic at the finish!!

Friday was a holiday, and the Running Room was closed, so no clinic. But a couple of the ladies from the Ladies Only wanted to meet up anyways which was great. Turns out it was just me and one other lady, but off we went. We started 5:1's for the first time! This lady was great to chat with, it makes such a difference. She had a timer on her phone, and I had my RunKeeper app to track our distance so it worked out well. She has a slower pace then me, but it was fine, it was just nice to get out! Turns out we did just over 3.5km! We were very proud of ourselves! And I know physically its tougher for her, so it was great to see how proud she was of herself too. Just a few short weeks ago we were worried about having to run two minutes straight, and that night we pushed through five!

Today bright and early I was at the Running Room yet again. I'm really enjoying the schedule of the runs. And I'm really enjoying the Sunday morning runs. There was still a chill in the air though. I wore my long sleeve tshirt and my running jacket. I got way to hot though and ended up with my jacket around my waist and my sleeves pushed up. It was about 3c, but very windy (wind had a bite too). The big LTR group drove off to meet at the river for a long run. Our first "off campus" run. But several of us moms didn't have the extra time for that, there were Easter Egg Hunts and brunches to get back to. So we decided to split off and we did the same run that I did on Friday. There were five of us (including the lady I ran with on Friday night) so it was a nice small group. This time though, I ran ahead with our 'fast' lady (she's always with the front pack). It feels great to push myself. I worry a bit that I'm slowing her down as we chat, but that might just be in my head.

So one thing I have learned is that I'm loving the RunKeeper app! At first I didn't think it would do all I wanted, which really are just basic things. I want to know distance, time and speed. But the timing options didn't seem that adjustable. Turns out I just wasn't looking hard enough. I discovered this week that I get all my main info, plus it tracks my route on a map (that I can see on my Iphone, not just the website like I first thought), and I can customize the 'coaching' so I can set up something like a warm up, 5:1's cool down or whatever. Its doing everything, I just needed to play with it more! The only thing I'm a wee bit concerned about is I'm using it for 35min-ish three times a week with the GPS. I have a smaller data plan on my phone. I'm hoping its not using it all up!

I am enjoying the nicer weather, and this week I'm going to take the kids and hit up MEC. They have a running water belt that I think might just suit my needs now that I'll be losing my pockets soon (when I'm just running in a tshirt and capris). It will carry a drink (great for those long hot runs), plus room for my Iphone and my inhaler (which I've only used once in the second week, but I always bring with my just in case). And I like to have my giant Palmers chapstick and a handful of kleenex.

So with Wed, Fri and today, I clocked in at 11km. Great week and as we run longer stretches, I'm sure that weekly number will just be increasing!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snow curse

Its official, I am cursed with snow. Or maybe its not me, maybe its one of the other runners! Whatever/whoever it is, it seems like every time I run, snow is a consideration. Its either falling, fallen and heavy or fallen and slushy.

This morning it was still snowing after falling all night. There was lots of it on the ground, and it was chilly! I actually wasn't supposed to go this morning, amazing husband had an early appointment. But that guy canceled due to the 'poor road conditions'. So last minute I headed out the door, poor road conditions be damned. (And really, the roads weren't that terrible, I think dude probably just realized how fricken early it was on a cold Sunday morning!).

I got to The Running Room, and it turned out that two of the instructors I usually do the practice runs with (Wed nights and Sun mornings) are actually running the Policemans Half Marathon today, so weren't there. My instructor from the Ladies Only group usually can't make it Sunday mornings. So there was a regular there who took over the duties. She brought her husband to help (he's much faster as are some of the LTR people). But as it turns out, including her and her husband, there were only five of us! I think a few people were running the race today, plus I bet the crap weather kept several home as well.

But we did it! And we did the longest run yet! 3.65km in about 33min. The first half was up a steady hill, which was hard, but the last half was downhill which felt great. It was hard to see the curbs though, so there were a few slips here and there, but no falls or big trips. The snow was falling, but it didn't feel as sharp as last time which was refreshing. The stand-in instructor didn't have a Garmin on and of course I managed to forget to turn on my running app, so I don't know our pace, but it felt quicker then before.

I'm learning that the first bit of the run is the hardest. My legs are stiff and tired. But once we get going, I feel much better. And of course I'm freezing in the beginning but warm up quickly.

Speaking of which, I think I finally got my outfit just right. It was -5c and snowing when I left the house. I wore my long sleeve tshirt, and was going to wear my fleece jacket, but thought better of it and wore my thin fleece vest instead. Topped that with my new running jacket, a toque and some mitts. I was freezing as we walked over to our start point, I couldn't wait to get going. But other then taking off my mitts in the last third, I was quite comfortable for the rest of the run. I didn't even open the breeze flaps under the arms of my jacket. So I'm very happy I didn't wear too much.

I'm eyeing up the summer clothes that keep arriving every time I go to The Running Room, but just can't commit to a cute little tank top when it looks like Christmas. However these days will be behind me soon, and I will need to start thinking about some cooler options! And of course, I need to start deciding what I want to wear to my first 5K!! I'm thinking capris and a cute short sleeve, something bright and cheerful!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So last Friday we had the apparel talk, which is what I was really looking forward to! But really, I didn't learn anything new that I haven't already sussed out online. Cotton = bad. Technical wicking fabric = good. There was a neat little clip on pouch that he showed us, but it won't fit my inhaler and my Iphone which is too bad.

But I did decide to get a Running Room jacket. I had my groupon and it would fit all my needs hopefully now, through the summer and into fall/winter. However, I couldn't do it after the run on Friday (which I did 2.6km and kicked ass!) as I was meeting my mom for our Garden Show weekend which was awesome! We went and stayed at a hotel for two nights and spent two days wandering around and listening to many different speakers. Loved it! But it also meant that I missed my run on Sunday morning. At 8:30, I actually thought "Awww, I know what they're doing right now". Obviously not a moments regret at missing the run, but I surprised myself with just how much I'm enjoying it! I thought I'd be okay at the running part, and knew it would be better for me to do it through a clinic, but I didn't know I'd be liking it so much.

So on Tuesday morning, I took my youngest son (and an electronic device!) to the Running Room and took my time choosing a jacket. You'd think that because I had decided on which jacket that it wouldn't take me very long, but you'd also be wrong. I did have to try another style on and confirmed that while I liked the fit/look of said jacket better, the traditional RR jacket just made more practical sense. But then I had to choose a colour! Wow, what a rainbow they had to offer. I was paralyzed with choice. Got it down to two and went back and forth for awhile. Finally went with my trusty lavender/lilac favourite. The manager was working and was great during my deliberation, didn't tease me once!

I did see some other items I liked a lot (looking for a warmer long sleeve shirt that is more then my thin shirt but less then my fleece for a mid layer or single layer during chilly days), but one thing at a time...

And tonight I got to test out my new jacket. It was sleet/snowing and about 2c when I went. I wore my new jacket, my fleece jacket and my tshirt that I got for signing up for the clinic (which is horribly unflattering I must say). I was freezing when we started, but of course it wasn't long until I had the jacket zipped open, and eventually I took the jacket off, and just had my fleece mostly open. When will I learn?

We did 2.2km in about 19 min. It wasn't far, but we did mostly 3:1's (although we did hit a few lights which sucks). I was working hard, but I'm recovering super fast so I'm thinking I may want to push myself a little harder. I'm at the back of the middle group mostly.

On Friday night our little Ladies Only group is joining the large Learn to Run group for a talk with someone who is coming in to discuss running form. Its supposed to be a good technical session, so I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Enough with the fleece already!

So Sunday morning, bright and early I was at the Running Room ready to go. There were only a few people that day, because it had snowed ALL night on Saturday! So it was still chilly (-2ish?) and we were running through quite deep snow in some places. We ran up a path and into a neighbourhood, which unfortunately on an early Sunday morning, most people hadn't been out to shovel yet (we did pass a guy smoking a joint on his stoop though hah!). Its a lot tougher to run in, your muscles are all tense and your concentrating on every step trying to keep your balance. But we clocked in at 2.66km and felt great at the end of it (even though the last stretch was up a big hill). But again it was shirt, fleece vest, fleece jacket, toque, mitts, gah.

So tonight off I went again. This time walking into the store, it was literally jam packed with people, the door wouldn't even open the whole way! While there was only me, one woman and our instructor from the Womens Only group, we ran with the regular LTR group, and there were probably at least 20 people running. But again, it was frickin' chilly! I left the fleece vest at home, and was quite cold in the beginning, but by the end had my jacket open. And that might be because we broke the 3km mark!! We ran a total of 3.2km tonight!

I'm feeling really good. Tonight we started with a couple of 1:1's, then did 2:1's. We had several rests as we seemed to hit every traffic light we came across and had to wait, so that probably helped. But when I was running I was working hard, but not killing myself. I recovered quickly during our walks and still had gas left in the tank at the end.

Of course at the pace I went tonight (including the stops at the lights), I was about 10min/km. That would put me about 50min for the 5k race. I really want to be under 40, and I'm pretty confident that as the training continues, I'll be able to do that.

But am I ever tired of all the layers! There's a rumor that Friday we'll be into double digits. That might be my first run with no fleece. Of course that leads to how/where I'll carry the few things I like to have on me. My phone (has my running app) and my inhaler are the two important ones. So I'll have to think a bit on that one.

Friday is also the night of the apparel talk. So I'm hoping to pick out a jacket. I tried on two tonight after my run. One was a Running Room jacket (sorry, can't remember which one), and while I loved the fit of it in general, it was quite short and a little constricting. So I also tried on the traditional Running Room jacket. I loved how long it was, but I found it very boxy on the sides. I didn't like all the extra material there. I might try it in a smaller size next time, maybe that would help, I just didn't have time tonight.

So that's about it. I'm definitely seeing progress, I love running with the group. And I'll be happy to put the cold and snow behind me hopefully soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to train for

I have officially registered for the goal race for my LTR clinic. I will be doing the Calgary Marathon Astra Zeneca 5K on May 29th. Woot!!

When I signed up I knew there was a goal race, but didn't think much about it. But its nice to have something to work towards, something to aim for. It makes it a lot more fun!

So I had my second clinic last night. They did a basic shoe talk. It was basically everything that I heard when I bought my shoes last week. But maybe it was good for someone else! There were two more ladies in our group, so including our instructor that makes us 6. We kept with 1:1's for our run last night,, and again, I felt fantastic. I definitely felt like I could do more, which amazing hubby says is a great sign at this beginner stage. I don't want to be pushing myself beyond my max, rather I'm training my body to work up to more. So we ran about 1.9km (according to the instructors Garmin is was 1.19mi and according to the running app I downloaded on my iPhone it was 1.75km but I don't think I included the cool down walk back to the clinic and I think she did).

The weather was pretty miserable right up until I got to the store, Mother Nature is not letting go of winter easily. It was snowing pretty hard, but luckily it was still relatively warm, so there was no accumulation. Some parts of the sidewalk were a little wet, but no big deal. I again wore my long sleeve tshirt, long pants, fleece vest, fleece jacket, toque and gloves as the wind was pretty chilly. But by the end my gloves were off and both vest and jacket were open.

Next week is our apparel talk. I definitely want a better solution to a jacket. And whatever it is needs to have pockets. I have my iphone (for my running app), inhaler and chapstick (and gloves if I happen to wear them and then take them off). I'm wondering if maybe there's a little 'fanny pack' type of carrier for when it warms up and I'm just wearing a tshirt and pants with no pockets?

Do you carry anything while running? What do you use to carry it in?

Oh, and I think that when I complete the 5k (because I will finish!!!) I think I would like to reward myself with some kind of Garmin watch to track time, distance, pace, speed, etc. But I'm setting my own personal goal of doing it in under 40min. Surely I can do that. Right? I'd love to get under 35min, but at this early stage I have no idea if that's a realistic goal for myself.

So today is a day off, and tomorrow morning I'll be back pounding the pavement again. That is, if the heavy snowfall we've had today doesn't keep me from getting there. I had to run out for groceries this afternoon, and my car got stuck in the alley trying to get back into the garage. Seriously, the amount of snow we got today is unreal. But as long as I can get my car out, I'll be there tomorrow!!!