Friday, July 31, 2009

Well I'm glad THAT'S done

Yesterday's LT/tempo run was not pretty. It's true that we Canadians like to complain about the weather (see Marci's post) and I was not loving the 25C/77F (30C/86F with humidex) when we set out around 6:30.

Once again, it seemed like it was going to be a craptacular run. I was struggling at our easy warm-up pace before we even got close to the park where we would complete the LT portion.

But at some point along the way, I thought to myself: it is what it is, so suck it up and get it done! Complaining wasn't going to make it any easier, so I ignored the fact that I could hardly breathe and the fact that my clothes were soaked through after 10 minutes and the fact that all I wanted to do was jump into a cold pool of water (even the boggy pond looked appealing).

And we were off. As I mentioned yesterday, our target pace was 5:00-5:10/KM (8:03-8:19/mi). I held on for the first half, but slowed down after the turnaround. Splits were: 5:27, 4:47, 5:06, 5:02, 5:18, 6:11. The first one was too slow, second was too fast, third and fourth were perfect, fifth was when I was ready to lay down on the sidewalk and die and I pretty much threw in the towel half way through the 6th. It was brutal, but I think I did okay overall. We have the same workout next week, so I'll be looking to improve. (Some cooler weather would be nice...)

And now, it's Friday! We're camping for the weekend, so have a good one and I'll catch up on the other side!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TIART: Changing it up!

Tom and Amy are changing things up over at the The Runners' Lounge. Make sure you swing by to check out their new concept for Take it and Run Thursdays, and sign up to be a 'sponsor' if you feel so inclined!

It's been a while since I've participated in TIART, but I like this idea. What do you think?


In other news, I had another craptastic run in the humidity yesterday despite getting up at 5:00AM. We've had such a cool July that I am not remotely prepared for this. I miss my non-summer! The ol' Garmin 205 was not having a good day and kept shutting itself off if I moved my arm the wrong way or touched it. I need it to hang in there a little while longer!

Tonight at clinic we have a 13K (8mi) with 6K (3.75mi) at LT pace this evening. LT pace will be 5:00-5:10/KM (8:03-8:19/mi) for my group. I'm hoping it goes better than my last couple runs.


Anyone else ready for the weekend??!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Miscellaneous

It's time for some bullets to get caught up on a few things.

• A couple weeks ago I picked up a jar of Eload Zone Caps (electrolyte capsules). I prefer to drink plain water on long runs, so I thought this would be a good alternative to carrying sport drink(s). I’ve had the opportunity to use the Zone Caps on two long runs (16mi and 17mi). While it’s difficult to judge how well they work as far as far as providing electrolytes, they seem to have done the trick and the best part is, they’re super convenient. I popped one (51mg sodium, 13.5mg potassium) approximately every half hour. (Note: the capsules can also be opened and mixed into water.) For more info, see: Zone Caps

• I also tried a new energy gel by Eload. They’ve done a lot of research (see here) and report that the content of their gels is less likely to cause GI upset due to the lack of resistant starch. Sounds good to me! They also advertise a “low relative sweetness”. Well, apparently I prefer sweeter gels because this one tasted like motor oil! NOT tasty at all.

• I’m sticking with Gu.

• I received an awesome seamless running shirt from Zensah this week, so watch for a review soon!

• In race news, I’ve decided to run the Midsummer Night's Run 30K on August 22, possibly as a marathon race pace training run and possibly with my favourite pace bunny; Toronto Women’s 5K on August 29 exclusively for fun; Road2Hope 10K on October 31; probably the Whitby Waterfront 10-miler on November 22. Thanks for all your feedback!

• In Garmin news, thanks to all of your support and some begging on my part, I have convinced hubby that the Garmin 310XT is a necessity. Fortunately, my trusty 205 is cooperating (for now) with the help of some tape, so I'm hoping it will hang in there until the 310 is available here. (Next month?)

• I headed out for a little 8K after work this evening and dropped dead due to the humidity. Okay, not quite, but it sure felt like it. Summer seems to have shown up this week and I am not remotely acclimated to this heat/humidity. It was an awful run. I'll be setting the alarm early tomorrow because I'm not dealing with that two days in a row.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Double Success

Hubby's first ever 20-miler (and first week running more than 61mi/100K) was a success! Must have been all that pasta.

My own 28K/17.5mi run went well, too. Interesting, we finished in almost the same amount of time. Actually, he was 2 minutes faster for 3.5mi more. Go figure. Must have been all that pasta.

Back to my run - it looked like it was going to rain on us all morning, but the skies cleared up just in time. This meant it was a pretty hot and muggy run. I was sweating buckets after just a few kilometres and went through all of my water really quickly. Fortunately, we had an organized pit-stop/water-station around 18K with cold water and fresh fruit. (Bliss!) Our entire route was in the country, but the home stretch took us along a major road, which was pretty busy at that time. The sun beat down hard and the cars whizzed by as I pounded the pavement. I found myself thinking that a little rain would feel pretty good! I also realized that it had been my longest run since my first marathon last September.

I'm happy to report another weekly mileage milestone - 70K/43.5mi last week! (Can you believe Denise ran further than that ALL AT ONCE? Whew.)

And now it's time for a recovery week, in which I will still run more than I did in my peak week of marathon "training" (if you can call it that) last year. The timing works out great because we're camping this weekend (it's a long one in Ontario).

Speaking of which, is it the weekend yet?!

**Eload review, Garmin update and race plan coming up tomorrow!**

Saturday, July 25, 2009

That's a lotta pasta

Hubby is running his very first 20-miler tomorrow and, as illustrated in the following photos, he takes his carbo-loading very seriously.

That would be a fruit bowl.

Getting there...

And he did it. *burrrrrrrp*

As for me, I'll be heading out for 28K/~17mi tomorrow morning, quite possibly in rain and thunderstorms. We're taking another 'scenic' (read: hilly) route in the country so I'll be thinking of you SFM girls.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

and the winner is...

Guest Hosting Foto Friday + 5K Pics

I'm hosting Foto Friday today for the awesome Adventure Seeker. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you're playing along so I can link you up!

Check out Foto Friday Fabulousness from:

Here are a couple shots from the Rebecca Run 5K.

Can you see the pain on my face? I didn't even try to muster a smile!

Hubby let me win, of course. :)


Last night was our workout run with clinic. We had a 12K (7.5mi) marathon pace run on the schedule. Since I've decided to start training with the 3:45 group on Thursdays, this meant a 5:20/KM (8:35/mi) - just a second or so slower than my best half marathon pace. I knew it would be tough, but it's supposed to be tough. I was hanging on by a thread toward the end of the run, but I nailed the workout. It felt good to really work for it.

Before our run we had a representative from the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon speak to us about the race. At the end of his presentation, he drew a name for a gorgeous 20th anniversary technical jacket. I didn't win, but my friend did and gave it to me after clinic! It's a little big and I likely won't be able to run in it, but I look forward to slipping it on after tearing up the marathon in September.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You guys are THE BEST

Thank you SO much for all of your comments signatures on yesterday's post petition. Hubby was amused when he read it and agreed to buy me my new toy if I get 50 comments (probably thinking it wouldn't happen). Well, would you look at that! I have 46 already! I just need 4 more, guys!

To thank you all for your awesome support, I'm going to make a very special custom batch of my famous power bars and ship them to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post if you'd like to enter (and of course, on yesterday's post if you haven't already). I'll draw the winner tomorrow night!

Speaking of power bars, Lil Runner was able to raise $225 for charity by auctioning off not one, but TWO batches through her virtual bake sale. Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to the winners!

(Looks like I'll be spending some time in the kitchen this weekend!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garmin Woe/Petition

After reading Marci's post yesterday about coveting the fancy new Garmin 310XT, I jokingly commented that I've been secretly hoping for my 205 to die so I can trade it in for this beauty.

Well, wouldn't you know...

I set out for my run yesterday and the thing kept shutting itself off. It was driving me crazy and I had to keep turning it back on to continue recording my run. I found myself staring at it constantly to make sure it was still recording, which made it impossible to get into any kind of rhythm. I ended up having a crummy run, almost quitting several times, but finally finished up the 14K I had planned - reluctantly!

I discovered the problem back at the car - the face plate is coming loose from the base. I can press it back into place, but the slightest movement and it loses power. I'm going to try to MacGyver it with some duct tape until I figure out what to do about replacing it.

Yes, I really want the new model, but I can't really justify spending $439 on a new watch right now. Then again, it's hardly worth it to invest in another 205 when I'm only going to want to replace it soon.

I think I have to do some negotiating with the hubby... I do have a Birthday coming up ( three months).

[All comments left on this post will be counted as signatures on a petition. Tell him that I reeeeeally neeeeeed it!]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decisions, decisions

After my string of races this spring/early summer, I hadn't given much thought to my race schedule for the rest of this year (with the exception of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon).

Well, all of a sudden I find myself in full-blown planning mode! I don't know what triggered it - perhaps some chatter back and forth with Marky Mark about his own fall races, or the fact that I just signed hubby up for his first marathon later this year. (Or maybe The Happy Runner is rubbing off on me.)

Either way, here I am surfing dozens of race websites and analyzing my training schedule to see what works.


I'd like to see what I can do on a flat 10K course (my PR was set at a net downhill race).

Options are Island Girl 10K on August 15 or Road2Hope 10K on October 31.

The Island Girl would be fun because it's all women on a unique course around Toronto Island, but it could be very hot in August and the race doesn't start until 10:30. Road2Hope is a great time of year, but can I allow myself enough time to recover after the marathon (September 27) and still be in good shape for a strong 10K 5 weeks later?


In my mission to achieve a PR in all distances this year (5K, 10K and HM accomplished - marathon will be accomplished!), I'll need to find a 10-miler. It looks like the best (only?) option is the Whitby Waterfront Race on November 22, but there is very little info out there.


I've never run a 30K race and I'd love to do the Midsummer Night's Run on August 22. It's a Saturday evening race, starting at 5:30 and running along part of the Waterfront Marathon route. I'd treat part of the race as a marathon pace run.

Half Marathon

I'd love to squeeze in another half marathon as well, but so far have not found one that works.

Any thoughts?!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Already Monday

Honestly, where do the weekends go?

I'm happy to report that I successfully accomplished my painting project. I can't spill any details just yet because I want to surprise hubby when he comes home this weekend and I know he'll be snooping on here for details. :) I will say that painting makes for excellent cross-training, but I also found it kind of therapeutic. I look forward to tackling the next room!

My 16mi-26K run went really well yesterday. It was a cool, overcast morning - ideal running weather. We set out just before 7:30 and the time just flew by once we were running. We took some country roads and reveled in the peace and quiet. I felt great the entire time despite a pretty hilly route.

With yesterday's run, I polished off the week with another milestone of 65K/40mi. Looking back at last year's mileage while training for a September marathon, I maxed out at 51K/32mi. Ummm, no wonder I bonked so hard during the race! As the weeks go on, I think I'll post a little comparison of my weekly and monthly training mileage - this year vs. last year. I'm definitely approaching things differently this time around and hoping it pays off big time in September.

Enough about me!

Drop by Lil Runner's Virtual Bake Sale to bid on my power bar squares (or an assortment of other yummy goodies) for charity.

And Tall Mom is having a fun t-shirt giveaway, so make sure you check that out!

Last but not least, congratulations to Denise for completing her first ultra this weekend! Check out her race report. Congrats Denise!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

That's better

Today I used some of my winnings from last weekend to pick up a pair of Adidas "Slide" sandals. Now I don't have to jam my Recovery-Socked feet into flip flops!

I also picked up some eload electrolyte tablets to try. I prefer to stick to plain water while running, so this seems like a convenient way to ensure I'm getting enough sodium.

Not much else to report. Hubby is out of town this weekend and I painted one of our bathrooms today (first room painted since we moved in January 2008 - enough of the builder beige). I still have to do a second coat tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be up for it after 27K/16mi.

Friday, July 17, 2009


That's what time the alarm went off this morning.

My company is having a big outdoor party this afternoon (woot!) and I'd like to have a glass of wine or two, so I knew I had to get my run done early. I was out the door at 5:15 for 11K.

I was feeling pretty stiff and slow, which could be due to the early hour but also because I played softball last night for the first (hopefully not last) time all season! Some of you may recall that I played on two teams last summer. This year I decided to bench myself because I didn't want to risk overdoing it on
my shoulder. Fortunately, it's been feeling great so I was able to accept when my team was down a player last night. I really miss playing. It was so much fun - and we won!

The rest of my week has been good. After Tuesday's double, I had a 12K on the schedule for Wednesday. There was a 'minor' setback when I locked my keys in the car after arriving at the park (in the pouring rain). I was tempted to throw in the towel and call Mom to rescue me (hubby is out of town), but I had my house key on me so I sucked it up and ran home for my spare keys, then back to the park. I finished it off at 10K, cutting it short because it was getting close to 10:30. I don't like being out so late on my own, especially when hubby is out of town and wouldn't be home to make sure I got back okay.

Yesterday I ran a little 6K at lunch due to playing softball after work. Thursdays are usually workout days but my instructor suggested laying off this week to fully recover from Saturday's race. It was only a 5K, but I worked my butt off and really felt it.

So, today's run makes 4 days straight. I'll be taking tomorrow off and running 26K (16mi) on Sunday. If everything goes according to plan, I'll hit a new milestone of 65K (40mi) this week.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! Make sure you drop by Running Journal to wish Denise good luck on her first ultra this weekend!

[Scroll down to yesterday's post to find out who won my Recovery Sock giveaway!]

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my Recovery Sock® Giveaway. I see the trick to getting 100+ comments on a post is giving away free stuff. :)

Here's how I selected the winner.

First, I entered your names in an Excel spreadsheet once for every entry you earned.

Then I entered random numbers in the cell beside each entry using
these instructions.

Then I sorted the random numbers in numerical order, thereby re-sorting your names into random order.

Then I used to generate a number between 1 and 162 (total number of entries).

And the corresponding winner in my trusty Excel spreadsheet is...

lindsay from
chasing the kenyans


Thanks again to everyone for playing along and special thanks to Recovery Sock for sponsoring this giveaway.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Shoes, a Virtual Bake Sale and 7 Traits

New Shoes

It's out with the old and in with the new! My old pair of Saucony Progrid Stabil CS brought me two half marathon PRs, a 10K PR and most recently a 5K PR. Now I'm counting on the new pair to bring me a marathon PR.

The new shoes came in last week but I didn't want to wear them for the first time during either my 5K race or my 25K run, so I laced them up for the first time yesterday. I'm pleased to report that they feel great. The old ones still have some life in them (despite appearances) so I'll be rotating both pairs for a little while.

Virtual Bake Sale

Lil Runner is hosting a virtual bake sale on July 20th to raise money for Cancer research. Click here to find out more and get involved.

I will be contributing a custom-made batch of my famous power bars, so you won't want to miss that!

(Big thanks to Marci for posting about the event. You must check out her delicious caramel apricot pecan tart, which will also be available in the bake sale.)

7 Traits

I was tagged by both Unathletic Runner and She Wears a Red Sox Cap to list seven of my personality traits. Here goes:

I'm a bit of a neat-freak. I have a habit of putting things away before hubby is finished using them. I've been known to wash and put away a dishes while he's still cooking and the next thing I know, he's asking 'What did you do with the spatula?' I also hate clutter.

I'm organized. Everything has a place and should be in its place (see: neat freak). From my desk at work to our walk-in closet to the hard-drive on my computer, I know exactly where everything is and I can find it in a snap.

I'm dependable. If I say I'm going to do something, I'll do it. If I have to be somewhere, I'll be there - on time. I very rarely cancel plans or appointments and generally don't have to be reminded.

I'm sensitive. My feelings are hurt easily and I am the first person to cry during a book, movie, TV show and sometimes even a commercial.

I'm picky particular. I like foods to be prepared/served a certain way, clothes washed and hung to dry a certain way, the house cleaned a certain way, etc. I also used to be an extremely picky eater as a child (weren't we all?), but I'd like to think I've come a long way.

I'm independent. Before this year, I probably would not have used this word to describe myself. Hubby spent seven weeks on the other wise of the world for work earlier this year. While he has not had to go overseas again, he has since spent several weeks in Montreal (usually just a week at a time), leaving me home alone. For someone who has never lived alone, I think I've handled it well.

I'm driven. I think this goes without saying for many of us runners. We set out to achieve something and (almost) nothing ca get in our way.

That was harder than I thought. And now I call upon these seven bloggers to share seven of their own traits:

Run to Finish
MCM Mama
Common Objects and Everyday Events
Morning Runner
Junk Miles
Shut Up and Run!
Just Running For Fun

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A noteworthy Canadian athlete

Tonight I had the opportunity to hear Rick Ball speak at our local Running Room store. Rick Ball broke the marathon world record for a single leg amputee in Boston this year with a 3:01:50. One month later, he went on to break the 10K world record in Ottawa with 37:55.

Rick has only been running for two years and completed his very first marathon one year ago in 3:17.

He has been invited to the Canadian Paralympics Training Camp and will run for Canada at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

He has an incredible story. To learn more, visit his Facebook page.


Knowing that I would be seeing Rick speak tonight [followed by dinner and drinks with some running friends], I had to run my 12K at some point during the day. I decided to break it up into two parts and ran 4K this morning at 6AM and another 8K over lunch. Doubles can be fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Equivalent Performance"

Is anyone else obsessed with McMillan's Running Calculator? I've been known to analyze the numbers, fantasizing about achieving the half and full marathon times that McMillan claims I could. Of course I realize that these are only estimates and depend on several factors, but I'd like to think there's some truth to the formula.

Anyone who has been paying attention will realize that my 5 and 10K times do not reflect my longer distance races. I'm working on it!

Naturally, I plugged in my latest 5K time less than 24 hours after the race. Let's see what McMillan had to say.

Who can ignore that (BQ!!!) 3:40 marathon? I don't remotely think it's a possibility any time in the near future, but it feels good to think that maybe, if I really worked for it, I could be capable of that.

So, what are your thoughts on "equivalent performance?"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rebecca Run 5K Race Report

First, thank you so much for all of your comments on yesterday's post.

I had a terrible sleep Friday night, awake for hours and restless once I did fall asleep (this is extremely rare for me). I had gotten myself pretty worked up over this race; it's amazing that a 5K can still get to me so much. I was still a bundle of nerves on Saturday morning.

It was overcast when we got up, and pouring rain by the time we got to the race site. There were tons of people milling about, many taking shelter under umbrellas or sponsor tents. The event had a record number of participants this year, selling out the 1K (kids), 3K and 5K for the first time since its inception in 2002. Rebecca Run has raised more than $1.4 million for Spinal Muscular Atrophy in its eight years. It definitely felt good to support the cause and see the entire community come together.

We met up with my Mom and sister who were walking the 5K and got to chat with many people from my clinic who were running, volunteering or spectating.

I went for a short warm-up jog shortly before the race start (didn't take long to get soaked once I ditched the umbrella) and it started thundering and lightening before I had finished. The storm didn't last, but the rain did.

Soon enough we lined up at the start and positioned ourselves close to the front (with only about 200 participants in the 5K, we knew we would be running towards the front of the pack). I was anxious to get going and relieved when the whistle finally blew.

As I mentioned before, my wonderful hubby had agreed to set his own goals aside to help pace me. I was only ever able to nail my intervals with him by my side, so I knew this would give me my best shot at sub-23:00. I didn't have to think or look at my watch - just run and hold on for dear life!

And we were off! Within the first kilometre I was wondering what I had gotten myself in to and seriously doubted if I'd be able to reach my goal. I'm a long distance runner! Why am I doing this to myself? It was hard running that fast! I did my best to push the negative self-talk out of my head and just run. I had run this pace in training a few times, but always got that 500m recovery jog after a fast 1000. Hmmm, it's a lot harder when you don't get a break.

The route followed paved park trails with some sections on gravel and boardwalk (SLIPPERY WHEN WET). We had to really watch the footing as we splashed through puddles and navigated our way around the twists and turns of the park. We were absolutely drenched in the pouring rain, but it was actually pretty refreshing. (It stopped at some point during the race, but I didn't realize until we were done. Talk about in the zone.)

I snapped this pic after the race of one of the bridges we crossed:

KM1: 4:17 ... Oops, way too fast! Damn, this is hard. [This was my fault. I may have bolted ahead of my pacer.]

KM2: 4:34 ... That's more like it. But still hard. VERY hard. Huffing and puffing and panting and wanting to quit - already!

KM3: 4:41 ... Oops, too slow. We had to run run right past the finish line. Brutal! I wanted to be done sooo badly.

KM4: 4:19 ... Where did THAT come from?! HURTING!

KM5: 4:45 ... Fading, fading... hang on! Hang on! Somehow I found a kick for the finish. It helped when I saw the clock!

chip time: 22:36 (22:40 official)
average pace: 4:31/KM
overall place: 15/295
gender place: 1/190

I could have cried. I was so excited, shocked and relieved to have finished and reached (killed!) my goal. My personal pace bunny was a huge help and led the way, but I know my own legs carried me there.

Funny thing is, I had NO idea that I was the first woman! I was thrilled and thought I had a good shot at first in my age group, but first overall?! Hubby checked the results while I watched for my Mom and sister to finish and once he told me, I had to go see for myself.

Here are a couple of pics from right after the race, one with hubby and one with some of the others in my clinic.

They had some awesome post-race grub and we chowed down on hot dogs, fruit, cookies and chocolate milk (why doesn't every race have chocolate milk??) while we waited for the awards. I was called up first, and I don't think I will ever forget those words: "With a winning time of 22:40, from Newmarket... Marlene Sykes!" I won a medal and a $75 Running Room gift card. Pretty cool! Hubby placed second in his age group, so he got a medal as well.

By the time I got home, I already had an email from my clinic instructor congratulating me and asking me if I realized that this was good news and bad news. The good news was obvious. I would find out the "bad" news the next morning (today) when we met for our long run. He put his arm around me and said, "I look forward to having you run beside me on Thursdays." In other words, I'm being bumped to a faster pace group for our speed workouts! If I can pull off a 22:36, apparently I'm not working hard enough on Thursdays.

I felt good for the first half of our 25K (15.5mi) run this morning, but started to feel the soreness and fatigue towards the end. I slowly drifted further and further behind my group until my pace group leader looped back to retrieve me. I was dragging! I was definitely happy when we finished. Surprisingly, the pace wasn't too far off what I usually target on Sundays: 6:08/KM = 9:52/mi.

I'm definitely taking tomorrow off!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I did it!

Here's the short version:

[22:36 chip time]

1st place overall female


Thanks for believeing in me! I still don't quite believe it myself.

Long version to follow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Run like hell and get the agony over with

Rebecca Run is tomorrow. It was my first ever 5K last year (I do things backwards) and I surprised myself with a 23:37 (and 1st in AG) finish.

It's a great community event, well-supported and well-organized. It's just minutes from home and takes place at a local park where we run often. The course runs along narrow winding trails, some paved, some gravel, some boardwalk. The website even states "We are not billing this as a 'personal best' course." What do they know? :)

Racing a 5K is tough. It hurts every step of the way. I hate every second of it... until the finish line. And then, hopefully, it's worth it.

My goal for this year? Sub-23:00. Or at least a PR. I've done the work. I feel ready. I have my trusty husband pace bunny all lined up (I convinced him to sacrifice his own race to run with me). Anything can happen on race day, but I'm ready to go for it. As the title of this post says, I'm going to run like hell and get the agony over with.


If you haven't already, make sure you drop by yesterday's post to enter my giveaway!

Thursday, July 09, 2009


It's been a long journey since I started this "weight loss blog" back in November 2006. I certainly never imagined that it would eventually become a running blog (or that I would ever run period) or that it would connect me to such a wonderful virtual community. Now I have a hard time imagining life without running or blogging.

Many of you haven't been along for the entire ride, so here's a quick peak at where I started compared to now.

Thank you to all of you for being a part of this journey and for being such a constant source of support and inspiration. Not to get too mushy here, but you guys make it even more worthwhile.

So, in celebration of my 500th post (this one!) I've put together a little giveaway. I have a gift basket shoe box filled with goodies for one lucky reader. The folks at Recovery Socks have generously donated a pair which will be included, in addition to all kinds of other random items that I love and want to share.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post. (first entry)

2. Follow by blog or let me know that you already do. (second entry)

3. Mention this giveaway on your blog and let me know that you have done so. (third entry)

I'll be selecting a winner at random one week from today. Good luck!


July 16 update: Entries are no longer being accepted. Winner will be announced this evening. Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


A good friend of mine (J) has a 4 year old daughter with Rett Syndrome.

Rett Syndrome is caused by a random genetic mutation and is considered to be a severe neurological disorder affecting 1:10,000 female births. It is often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, or a non-specific developmental delay. Many girls experience seizures, scoliosis and the inability to communicate verbally. Girls and women with Rett Syndrome are dependent on their families and/or caregivers for life.

Last year J organized and executed the Run4Rett, a 5k and 1K Run/Walk which attracted 425 participants and raised more than $50,000 for the Ontario Rett Syndrome Association. I am happy to report that the event will be taking place once again this year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Richmond Green Park, Richmond Hill, Ontario

I have had the opportunity to get involved in the 2009 event and have taken on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. We are hoping to attract close to 200 volunteers (whom I will coordinate, assign and manage) so it will be quite the undertaking, but I know it will be totally worth it when it all comes together in October.

My little sister has also assisted J and I in soliciting corporate donations for products to include in participant race kits. We have already successfully procured up to 500 product samples from dozens of companies. Wait til you see some of these goodies!

It has been an enlightening and rewarding experience so far being 'behind the scenes' and I have admittedly been blown away by how much is involved in pulling together even a small community event like this one.

If anyone in the area (or anyone you know) would be interested in volunteering or participating this year, I would really appreciate it. Just follow the link below to register through the Running Room. Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tuesday Miscellaneous

• Why is it that after five days off and two days back at work, I feel like I need a weekend already?

• My boss caught me in a huge yawn this morning and offered me his Timmies.

• Hubby and I along with some of my family just booked a one week all inclusive trip to Cuba for Christmas this year. We stayed at the same resort back in 2002 so hopefully it's as awesome as we remember. We've never been away for Christmas or been south in the winter, so it's going to be amazing. I'm already dreaming of white sandy beaches and strawberry daiquiris...

• The best part is that just ten days after we get home, we take off again for a week at Disney World for the Goofy Challenge. It's going to be a memorable start to winter!

(See? All I can talk about is vacation! I need more time off...)

• Congratulations to Runner Leana who completed her very first Half Ironman over the weekend.

• Also, congrats to Marci for finishing her first ever triathlon this weekend (and she's already addicted).

• We're enjoying some cooler than seasonal temperatures this week and I, for one, am loving it! The high today is 19C/66F and it's not expected to be warmer than 25C/77F for the next week! If it stayed like this all summer, I'd be a happy camper!

• Speaking of camping... it looks like we'll be camping again for the Civic Holiday long weekend in August. My uncle invited us to a completely secluded property he owns on a lake up north and a lot of my family will be going. Party time! (I may have to run to work again before we leave.)

• I just finished reading Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer. It was a really good read - smart, funny, empowering and inspiring. Highly recommend for everyone, female runners especially. "Katherine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in 1967 where she was attacked by one of the event's directors who wanted to eject her from the all-male race. She fought off the director and finished the race. From the childhood events that inspired her to winning the New York City Marathon in 1974, this liberally illustrated book details the struggles and achievements of a pioneering women in sports."

• My friend at work fell off her bike last week and suffered a fractured hip and a concussion, which resulted in short-term memory loss (yes, she was wearing a helmet). Reason #75638 that cycling scares me. She's not in good shape. Good thoughts for Susan, please!

• Does anybody know what happened to tfh?

• Running plan for the week: 12K MRP tonight, 10K easy tomorrow, 11K with 5K LT/tempo Thursday, 5K race Saturday, 24K Sunday. (=62K/38.5mi)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Weekend Running

It was cool and breezy on Saturday morning when I set out for my planned 12K. I headed to the park where I have a 5K race next weekend. Although I run there regularly, I wanted to be completely aware of the route, which is primarily along paved paths with sections of crushed gravel and boardwalk. I was feeling great and ran the 12K (7.5mi) much faster than anticipated.

On Sunday morning I met up with my clinic group out in the country at our instructor's house for 16K/10mi (step-back week). He wasn't kidding when he said it would be a "scenic" route.

We faced some steep climbs and it was definitely challenging. We did get to enjoy some gorgeous views along the way and it was well worth it. I love running in the country; I don't think we saw one single car!

When we made it back to the house, we enjoyed a delicious brunch on the deck, including a great variety of food from crepes to smoked salmon to couscous salad to fresh fruit. What can I say, we're spoiled!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Running, Shopping, Photos, Giveaways


Last night at clinic we ran a 3K warm up, 4K "LT"/tempo and 3K cool-down.
"LT"/tempo splits were 5:08, 5:04, 4:56, 4:36 for an average of 4:56/KM (7:56/mi). That is my "comfortably hard" (borderline uncomfortable) pace and the run felt good.

It turns out this weekend is a step-back run so we only have 16K/10mi on the schedule for Sunday - although we've been warned that the route will be very "scenic", which translates to hilly. The run starts and ends at our instructor's house in the country, where we will all be brunching afterwards. It should be a good day.

In the mean time I'm thinking about an easy 12K for tomorrow.


I did a little shopping at the Running Room today and expanded my summer wardrobe, which was seriously lacking. I picked up this sleeveless Adidas top and these Moving Comfort shorts (with built in boy-short liner, which I love!):

I also wanted to pick up a new pair of shoes because mine have 750K (466mi) on them. I decided to go with the same ones I currently wear, but they had to order in my size so I should have them within a week.

I feel like I've tried almost every motion control shoe out there, and these are the first ones that have been completely comfortable and have not caused a single problem. Knock on wood and fingers crossed that I have the same success with this new pair. It's the first time I've purchased the same show twice! Perhaps I have finally found "my" shoe.


Here are a few taken on Canada Day.

Check out my little maple leaf earrings:

With my sisters (yes, I'm the shortest... and the eldest):

One with Sarah:

That may or may not be a jello shot...


Don't miss:

• Erica's great Sport Duffel Bag giveaway

• The Chic Runner's sweet Zensah giveaway

• Tall Mom's awesome "medal you can wear all day" giveaway


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

A few business items to address first:

• After a run at lunch yesterday and another short run after work, I capped off the month with 223K (138.5mi) – my highest monthly mileage ever (1K over last August)

• Headed out to run some intervals at the park this morning but saw sooo many of my running buddies on the paths and kept losing focus. Nixed the intervals after 2 800s but it was nice running into my friends and still had a decent 7K run

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians.

I hope everyone's enjoying some BEvERages and BBQ. We're having a little gathering at our place today and I'm really hoping the rain holds off.

That's all for today. Have a good one!