Wednesday, March 30, 2011


So today was my second run with the clinic. LOVED it!! I got there a bit early, and already the store was packed. I am amazed at how many people come out for this! There was the half marathon trainees, the 5k trainees, and then my group, the Learn To Run.

Tonight was the first night I actually met my instructor, K. Our group only had me and another lady, so we joined up with the LTR group, which is probably the way it will go on Wed and Suns as our group is so small. I really like her, she's positive and funny. The other lady from my group is also very nice. She too has kids and is just looking for a little time to herself, something to get active and something flexible, just like me. I ended up running with her and chatting the whole way. I felt like maybe I was running a bit slow, I didn't feel like I was really pushing myself at all. We were at 1:1's still, so things will get harder on Fri when we switch to 2:1's. Don't get me wrong, I still felt it! But I'm feeling comfortable and really enjoying it, so I'm very happy with that.

The weather was perfect. It was about 8c, with quite a chilly wind. I wore my long sleeve tshirt, long pants and my fleece vest. It was perfect. I was a little cold at first, but it didn't take long to warm up and I felt great. I did wish I had brought my little gloves with me, but as it turns out, the woman I was chatting with had an extra pair (did I mention she is a mom as well?).

And afterwards I chatted with two of the instructors and they showed me some good stretches for my hips, so hopefully I won't be as sore tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to Friday, we'll be chatting more about shoes, including hearing from a Chiropractor. I like that they bring in speakers and talk about things that newbies like me just wouldn't know. I'll try and remember lots to share here!

Much nicer day wasn't it?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quiet Tuesday

I bought my second Groupon ever today, $25 for $50 at the Running Room, yay! Perfect timing!

Things I'm thinking about buying...

A running jacket. I just have to decide which one. I need something waterproof (repellent), with venting and reflective taping. A few friends have recommended the Running Room jacket. I love the rainbow of colours to choose from, but was put off by the price. However with this coupon in hand...

An Ipod app to track my running. I want something that can give me the gist of how far and how fast I've run.

A short sleeve tshirt. I got one with my Learn to Run clinic (although I have to exchange it for a smaller size, its a "Unisex" so the sizing is on the large side), but I'd like a pretty one that I've picked out myself.

A pair of running capri's. My long pants worked great on Sunday and I'm sure will get tons of use. But they will be too warm one of these days. I have never (and don't plan on) worn shorts, I think capri's are the way for me to go.

Saying that, I did pick up a running skirt from Costco when I got my pants and tshirt last week. I didn't know at the time, but have since read, there seems to be a fairly big debate about the running skirt by running enthusiasts. For some its a little ridiculous. For other its a fun addition to attire. I bought one, so its not hard to guess what camp I lie in!

So if anyone has any suggestions on good items/deals on the things I mentioned, I'd love to hear them. Even if its a year from now and you've just happened upon this post and don't want to comment because you think too much time has past and its not relevant anymore, I'd still like to hear it!

Oooh, and the weather was warm and sunny today!!! I'll take a picture before my run tomorrow, its amazing how much snow has melted just today, and its supposed to be warm tomorrow too! Although it might rain, so I may end up with wet feet anyways, sigh.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Hangover

The day after my first run. I wasn't sure what to expect. I know when I've tried things like Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, I often wasn't able to walk, sit, lie down, stand up, etc (you know, all the basic human movements) for days. So I was a little nervous.

A few hours after my run yesterday I started to feel some soreness in my "inner hip flexors". I don't really know how to stretch this area, and its never bothered me before (although I think I had similar soreness at the ends of my pregnancies). This morning I'm still very sore, but its moved out more to my "outer hip flexors".

So I'll have to find some better stretches.

But otherwise I feel great! No thigh/calf/shin soreness at all. My feet feel great (no blisters or anything from the new shoes) so I'm happy there.

The weather is supposed to be warming up a bit over the next few days, so hopefully conditions will be better on Wednesday for my next attempt at this! I know I'm a bit obsessive about the weather, but I'm always cold and worry how the weather will affect my motivation. Know your enemy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My First Run

I did it!! I woke up this morning (okay, amazing hubby pushed my tired and cold ass out of bed) and went for my first run!

I was a little nervous, not so much about the actual exercise part, but the logistics of it. What to eat for breakfast? I had to eat something, but I've read (yes, I'm one of those newbies who devours any tidbit I can before starting something) that you shouldn't have a large meal. So I just had one piece of whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and small glass of milk. I always have a fear that I'll need to use the bathroom when there's one not around, so I skipped any more beverages then that (and come on, I know I'm not out running a 10k this morning, I didn't need any extra hydrating). Then I donned all my good layers. My long sleeve shirt, my long pants, a light fleece vest, a thicker fleece jacket, my toque and my mitts. Ready to go!!

The weather however was not as excited as I was. In fact it was -4 with "freezing fog". And did I mention it snowed last night? Like a lot? Here's what the parking lot looked like when I got there.

But I pulled up my big girl panties (which of course were a microfiber, no cotton here!!) and went in. I was pretty early, and there was only a trickle of runners at first. And then I started to get nervous because all these people were talking about the Long Run they were about to do. 20k long run to be exact! I was worried I had gotten the day or time wrong, but slowly a few other beginners arrived. I could mostly tell because of the look of horror on their faces at the idea of running 20k in this weather. Or at all, hah!

All in all there were at least a dozen of us "Learn to Run" newbies. I'm in a Ladies Only class, that only has three ladies including myself, and I was the only one of that group, but again, everyone was very friendly and off I went with these strangers through the ankle deep snow and slush. We ran 1 and 1's (how do you type that? 1:1's? Is there some secret runners code?) and I felt great. I ended up beside a young woman who had done the program last year, but hadn't kept up with it and was doing it again. We were able to chat the entire way, even though the first half was up hill. And at the end, I felt fantastic!!! It was great! My shoes were awesome, my feet pretty much dry which is amazing considering the snow/slush I was going through. The only thing I would do different is not wear my light fleece vest. I was too hot fairly quickly. But I opened my coat(s) and all was fine.

And at the end, the instructor announced we did 2.5k!! It was slow, but I am thrilled!

So it was a huge success and I can't wait until Wednesday when I get to do it again! The weather is supposed to be warming up, but there may be some rain. So as long as we don't do the rain, freeze, rain, freeze it should be okay.

And now to tuck into some movies with my two boys for the afternoon...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Momma Needs New Shoes!

So considering that I've never run before (well, a short stint on a treadmill 8 years ago, but I don't think that still counts, however I do feel the need to bring it up a lot), my closest thing to running shoes is a pair of sneakers. I love my sneakers. I love them so much I buy a new pair of the same kind whenever they wear out. However, they are definitely not appropriate for the 'running'. And my first run is tomorrow. So, off to the Running Room I went today, with my two boys in tow (and a couple of electronic devices tucked in my purse as I guessed, correctly, it could take awhile).

The woman helping me was fantastic. In fact, everyone I've dealt with there are so friendly and helpful. And after a foot assessment, walk assessment and trying on a bunch of different pairs of shoes, I chose these babies... Brooks Ghost 3.

I also picked up some running socks but those aren't as exciting, hah!

Now one thing to know about me, and I'm sure it will come up a lot, I am cheap. I hate spending money and find that most things do not have enough value to justify their price. So yes, my heart rate increased probably more from the sticker shock then it will from the running, but I do understand the VALUE of a good pair of running shoes. I did make sure to use the discount I got from signing up for the clinic of course! The last thing I want is to be uncomfortable or hurt myself and give up because of some poor gear. So I'm willing to spend money where needed, and hopefully use this blog to also showcase some great deals I find along the way.

So for the rest of my new running outfit, off to Costco I went. My cotton tanks and the typical suburban yoga pants just aren't going to cut it. I found some moisture wicking pants ($18) and a great technical Nike long sleeve shirt ($30) that will hopefully work well enough in our colder, wet spring. I already have a cheapo microflece vest (Costco) and a fleece jacket (MEC) that I have my fingers crossed will keep me warm enough in these early snowy days. And a cute toque and my favourite "Magic Mini's" gloves. We are hopefully past our -25c days, so I'm hoping this will be enough in the layer department.

My clinic will be having a discussion on apparel in two weeks, at that point I will look into adding a couple items, like a good running jacket. My fleece one will be too warm (hopefully soon!) and I'll need something for the windy, rainy weather ahead. But I'm already online browsing. For as much as I hate spending money, I love shopping!! At least window/virtual shopping!

My First Post

Here I go, a new journey, a new blog!

This is about me, and doing a little something for myself. I am starting a Learn To Run clinic at my local Running Room.

"Why?" you ask. Well there are a few answers.

"Do you need to lose weight?" Well, I would be happy to shed a few lbs, and I would definitely be happy to stay my current weight but get to indulge in chocolate and Doritos more often, but no, that's not the driving force.

"Are you doing it to be healthier?" Closer. This is a fairly big part of the decision. I'm 34, not that active, and I would love to enjoy the health benefits that come with a healthier more active lifestyle. But no, that wasn't quite it.

"Then what could it be?" Time. To myself. Alone or with other grownups. Something to direct some energy and focus to. Something to enjoy and look forward to.

You see, I have a wonderful family. An amazing husband who is also the most fantastic father to our two boys. One who will be 6 in April, and one 3 year old. I love my family and the fact that I am lucky enough to stay home with them full time. In fact I've been lucky enough to stay home since my oldest was born. That's right, I've been home for nearly six years. With two boys. By myself. With two boys. And my amazing husband who is the most fantastic father to these two boys, works a ridiculous amount of hours. We're lucky to have him home for dinner a few nights a week, and at bedtime also maybe a few nights a week. Its a huge sacrifice, and I know its hard on him being away from us so much, but it also means its just me and the boys most of the time.

And as much as I love these two boys, after six years I'm starting to go a bit stir crazy. I'm starting to get a little tired of the cartoons and the fart jokes and the constant struggle to pick up one toy only to see two more drop. The dishes that are dirty 30secs after being pulled from the dishwasher, the laundry that I swear breeds and reproduces while we're not looking.

I wouldn't give up these cartoons, fart jokes, messy toys, dishes and laundry for anything in the world, don't get me wrong (okay, maybe the fart jokes), but I'm ready for something a little "more". Something just for me.

So I'm giving myself a time out. And while I would love to just send myself to bed early, I know that just wouldn't cut it. So I am sending myself to a Learn To Run clinic through my local Running Room, three times a week. My husband is of course amazingly supportive of this and has agreed to carve out a couple hours each week so I can go galavanting around with other grownups.

As I look outside at this end of March in Calgary, Alberta and stare at the drifting snow, icy sidewalk patches and drizzling sleet, I think I may just be crazy. But I can't wait!! And tomorrow morning, bright and early at 8:30, I will be joining perhaps a couple dozen other grownups who are carving out a little time for themselves too.

This blog will hopefully become a memento of what will hopefully become a great part of my life.

A picture from outside my window today. Think it will be dry and warm by the morning?