Sunday, January 31, 2010

20K for Haiti

Yesterday I took part in the Run for Haiti/Mission for Solidarity, a 20 kilometre run to raise funds for relief efforts in Haiti.

The run started at 9:30 and took place downtown along the Toronto water front. A bunch of us from my training group drove and ran together. The run was casual, but well-organized and well-supported. The event raised over $15,000 for Haiti relief, which will be matched by the Canadian Government.

It was extremely cold and windy down on the lake, which made it feel even colder. I wore just about every piece of winter gear I own and still worried that I would be cold. As it turns out, I warmed up pretty quickly and felt pretty comfortable for most of the run, except for my face which was constantly frozen.

Group shot before the run... we are a colourful bunch. (I'm in the pompom hat.)

City skyline view over the water along the trail. It is extremely unusual that we don't have any snow on the ground, but January has been pretty mild around here until the cold snap this week.

The 5K turn-around, which we saw twice. We ran an out-and-back-and-out-and-back.

Photo op on the bridge.

And group shot post-run.

I kept the pace comfortable for most of the run, and picked it up for the last couple kilometres. It was by no means a race, just a training run for a good cause.

20.0 KM

After the run, we were treated to bagels, hot soup and free Gu! A great morning overall.

And now it's time to do it all over again with a 19K group run...

Friday, January 29, 2010

TGIF! Morning Workouts, Extreme Weather + Doubles!

WELCOME and THANK YOU to my new followers/readers!

If you haven't already, be sure to enter my
Lift Your Sole Giveaway by Monday!

I'm 5-for-5! I was at the gym by 6am again this morning. As much as I claim to be a non-morning person, I've really enjoyed it this week. It's a great way to start my day and squeeze in that extra 30 minutes of activity. I know I can incorporate some morning workouts (and hopefully runs) into my regular routine. Next week's goal: at least one morning run and at least two other mornings at the gym. Or maybe I'll just go for 5 again...

Last night was my usual meeting with the training group. We start speed work on Thursdays next week, but yesterday was just a steady run. The conditions were not pretty... -15C/5F (-21C/-6F with the windchill) and wind gusts up to 56kph/35mph. I talked myself in and out of running over and over again and even packed my gym bag to hit the treadmill instead, but knowing I had dozens of buddies waiting for me somehow made it easier to toughen up, bundle up and get it done. And you know what? Once we got out there, it wasn't bad at all.

I have double long runs coming up this weekend. (Hmm, Goofy Training all over again?) 20KM Run for Haiti tomorrow and a 19KM group long run Sunday. Bring it!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Check out this fantastic Giveaway for Charity @ Long Legs on the Loose

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Loaded Calendar

I hit the gym again this morning! 4-for-4!

It's time to reveal my race plan for 2010!

January 9 - 10: Goofy Challenge - complete!

March 7: Chilly Half Marathon
Hoping to PR on this flat & fast out-and-back course in Burlington, ON.

March 28: Around the Bay 30K
Seeking 30K redemption (although it will be treated as a training run) at North America's oldest road race. "Older than Boston!"

April 3 - Harry's Spring Run-Off
A 5K tune-up race to see if I can still find some speed in these legs.

April 18 - Montréal Half Marathon
A 100% FUN RUN as part of a weekend getaway with another couple.

May 2 - Sporting Life 10K
Hoping to PR for the 3rd consecutive year on this famously fast, downhill course.

May 16 - Mississauga Marathon
Here it is, my goal marathon. I've run the half on this course and enjoyed it - hoping for good things with my 4th marathon.

May 30 - Ottawa Half Marathon
Another FUN RUN as part of a cottage weekend with hubs and some friends from my training group.

June 6 - Mud Run (10K)
The tag-line says it all with this crazy, dirty trail run. This will be the 3rd consecutive year for Team Nucking Futs.

June 12 - Wine Country Run (10K)
Looking forward to more wine tastings along this route through the scenic Niagara vineyards.

June 19 (& August 14) - Toronto City Chase
Amazing Race style adventure race with challenges and check points to complete along the way. This will be my 3rd and 4th times participating. (The series makes TWO stops in Toronto.)

June 26 - Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon
Looking forward to hanging with some awesome bloggers and keeping up with them for as long as my legs will allow. My first Rock 'n' Roll event and 5th marathon!

July 10 - Rebecca Run (5K)
A wonderful local event that takes place at the park where I run regularly. Hoping to defend my title as first place female from last year!

I realize that I have seven races planned for May and June, two of which being marathons. The calendar is loaded, but most will be completed as fun runs ... or training runs with style.

August, Septepmber, October, November, December... TBD!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Run for Haiti

This Saturday Running Free is sponsoring a charity event callled Run Haiti - Mission for Solidarity. The 10 and 20KM run will take place along the Toronto water front on the Martin Goodman Trail and all funds raised will go directly to Haiti (the Government of Canada will also be matching all donations).

A minimum $10 donation covers registration, a commemorative bib number, sponsor goodies, coffee, refreshments and snacks.

I'll be participating in the 20KM run along with several of my training buddies.

A simultaneous event will take place in Hamilton as well. For details on both events, see here.

Let me know if anyone is going to be there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Triple

I decided that I want to get up early and hit the gym every single morning this week. This is not something I ever do (I'm more of a *SNOOZE* kind of girl) so I knew it wouldn't be easy.

So far, I'm two for two!

With the start of this latest round of marathon training and increasing mileage looming before me on the calendar, I started wondering how on earth I am going to be able to maintain my regular cross-training (which I am determined to do this time around). The solution: run or workout in the mornings before work once or twice a week and/or incorporate more doubles. The next couple of weeks will be my breaking-in period while the mileage is still relatively low.

As for today... I completed a Triple!

AM: gym - 30 minutes cardio (elliptical and stair-climber)

LUNCH: run - 6K with 1000 m hard/easy intervals (yay impromptu speed work!)
hard intervals completed @ 4:40, 4:38, 4:29

PM: gym - 1h aerobics/strength fitness class

Tuesday Triple Success! And now it's time to pass out on the couch make dinner and watch The Biggest Loser.

What did you do today?

P.S. Don't miss my Lift Your Sole Giveaway.

Other giveaways:

Nathan Fuel Belt @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical

Michael Kors Weekender Bag @ Run Zoe Run

Lift Your Sole Giveaway

You may remember that I recently won a gift from Lift Your Sole through a giveaway over at Laura - Live, Laugh, Run, Enjoy.

Recall this post?

It is my pleasure to pay it forward with a giveaway of my own thanks to Jill at Lift Your Sole.


Lift Your Sole offers unique and inspired hand-stamped jewelry (among other things), specializing in sport-related designs. Lift Your Sole encourages its clients to do what moves you! I absolutely love the piece that I selected and have received many compliments.


$24 to spend online at Lift Your Sole

HOW TO ENTER (one comment per entry please!)

Mandatory Entry:

(1) Visit Lift Your Sole Online and let me know how you would spend $24.

Bonus Entries:

(2) Become a Fan of Lift Your Sole on Facebook

(3) Sign up for the Lift Your Sole Newsletter - see the left sidebar on the Facebook Fan Page

(4) Leave a comment on the Facebook Fan Page

(5) Follow Mission to a(nother) Marathon - let's see if we can get to 250!

(6) Link this giveaway on your blog and be sure to let me know.

That's 6 ways to enter. Don't miss your chance! Winner will be selected at random on February 1st.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One Year Ago

(a.k.a. impromptu 2009 recap...)

One year ago today, I went cross-country skiing for the first time and took a nasty spill resulting in my very first DNS for a race I was supposed to run the next day. I didn't realize just how serious my injury was until I finally went to the hospital the next morning, only to discover that I had separated my shoulder.

I was put in an immobilizing sling and learned then that it could be a long road to recovery, but I was fortunate in that it appeared my shoulder would heal on its own. UNfortunately, hubby was literally on the other side of the world on business at that time and wouldn't be home for six long weeks - not the best time for me to be incapacitated! I'm blessed with a wonderful support system with great friends and the best Mom in the world who took care of me when I needed it. For the first week I couldn't even wash my own hair - that's what Moms are for, right?

After three weeks in the sling, I made an appointment to have a suspicious and painful lump on my forearm checked out. I learned that I had developed a blood clot as a result of the trauma of impact and subsequent immobilization of my arm. This led to quite the list of health issues, but we were able to monitor and treat it with blood thinners and frequent appointments over the next three months. (Remind me never to cross-country ski again...)

I didn't run for four weeks, which was even more disappointing since I had just started up my very first round of group marathon training (same group I am with now). Everyone was extremely supportive and I stayed involved with the group as much as I could during my hiatus. After those four long weeks, I re-joined the group and they welcomed me with open arms even though I could only run a fraction of their distances.

Due to the missed training, I had to sit out of a couple more races, but I made the most of it by volunteering and spectating, eventually making a comeback at the Inaugural B.A.A. 5K during Boston Marathon weekend.

I wasn't able to run a Spring marathon as I'd hoped, but I made up for it by running 9 races in 10 weeks, including 4 half marathons and setting PR's in the 5K, 10K and half marathon distances.

I resumed marathon training for the Summer session, eventually seeking Marathon Redemption at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

And that just about wraps up my 2009!

After a successful long run with my group this morning followed by a lifting session at the gym this afternoon, I can safely say that January 24, 2010 has been much better than January 24, 2009.

Here's hoping there are many good things to follow this year. Stay tuned for 2010 race plans and goals next week.

(And a giveaway too...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

TGIF! Disney Photos + 10 Things

As promised, a look at our week at Disney...

Being Goofy:

Yummy carbs:

Having a drink with Redhead, who awesomely picked me up at my hotel and drove us to Downtown Disney. We had a wonderful time chatting about all things running and non-running. Thank you so much, Morgan! It was awesome to meet you. And my husband thanks you for not being a serial killer afterall. ;)

Posing on the boardwalk:

Ride pic (that's our friend U. in the back):

Castle by night:

Wine in classy hotel plastic cups after smuggling it on the bus to the park:

Funky (albeit impractical!) shades:

Steamy swimming pool:

Yes, we swam. Although it was freezing out, the water was nice. (Running back to the hotel room, not so nice...)
Don't mind my feet:

Carbo-load at the Biergarten German Buffet:

Fun with M&M's *Goofy Style* (for lindsay):

Sunny (and mild!) afternoon at Epcot:


It was an indulgent week:

Mirror shot (with Goofy medals):

Victory Dinner:


J at Morning Runner tagged me to list 10 things that make me happy and ask 10 more people to do the same. Instead of the obvious family, friends, running, etc., I decided to name some of the little everyday things that bring a smile to my face.

1. crawling into freshly laundered sheets

2. having no plans on Saturday

3. emails back and forth all day with hubby

4. taking clothes out of the dryer and matching every sock

5. Grandma's homemade applesauce

6. receiving (snail) mail - not bills or ads!

7. catching green lights

8. hot chocolate after a cold run

9. waking up with sore muscles and knowing I worked them the day before

10. bring 'tagged' in a photo I didn't know was taken

I'm tagging the first 10 people to comment on my last post:

1. Heather @ Trials of Training
2. Laura @ Live, Laugh, Run, Enjoy
3. Lisa @ Chasin Bunnies
4. Amanda @ Run To The Finish
5. Beth @ Shut Up and Run
6. Morgan @ Caution: Redhead Running
7. Diana @ My Road to Marinette
8. Staci @ Weight Loss Mama
9. Laurel @ Lily on the Road
10. Kristin @ unathletic runner

Feel free to play along if you haven't already!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Tonight we start up another round of Marathon Training with the Running Room. This will be my 3rd consecutive clinic with this group and many of us have also been training together between sessions. Tonight we will divide into pace groups once again and prepare for the next few months of gearing up for Spring Marathons. Here's a shot of some of our group after a track session last summer:

2. As of this week, I've gotten back to my fitness classes at the gym for the first time since before Christmas. After one aerobics/strength interval class and one Spin class, I'm feeling the burn in muscles that had been long forgotten. In fact, my legs are more sore this morning than they were after the Goofy Challenge! I intend to keep it up so I can feel as strong and fit as I did back in December when I was going regularly.

3. I plan to post my 2010 race plan next week, but there's one destination race that I just can't wait to tell you about. On June 26th I'll be running the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon alongside Tall Mom, Amanda and Steph (and hopefully Lacey?). Tall Mom graciously offered to host me for the weekend and I have no idea what I did to deserve her generosity and kindness. I finalized my travel arrangements last night and will be spending a few days in town seeing the sights of Seattle, hanging with some awesome ladies...oh, and running another 26.2! I promised Mel that if I win her Little Pink Dots Giveaway I will wear the tutu for the race...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Race Photos!

Thank you so much for all of your comments on my Goofy Challenge Race Report (Part I, Part II). Here are some of the official photos of our Disney Adventure.

Stay tuned for photos from the rest of our week at Disney on Friday!

Half Marathon:

If you look carefully, you can see the 4 of us holding hands in the next 3:



RoadID @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical

Newman's Own Organics @ To Be The Whole Package

Bondi Bands @ The Happy Runner

Little Pink Dots Tutu @ Tall Mom

Happy Hump Day!