Friday, December 24, 2010


"From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other."
Emily Matthews

12K in the fog and snow...we rock!
Synchronicity :)
My amazing running partners...I love you guys!


Friday, December 17, 2010

A wonderful winter run with my niece...

"Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality."
Andy Goldsworthy

Last sunday, we headed out in this for our 10K...

Going by the Fort in loose snow...if you look closely, you can see my plastic bags sticking out of my running shoes :)

We are hardcore winter runners!

Wet hair and rosy cheeks...we did it!

Winter running is not easy, but it's definitely a good workout! This afternoon, I have 4 X 500m hill repeats planned, it is still snowing lightly and -8°C/17°F...but I'm up for it :)

For some reason, Christmas just creeped up on me this year. I'm always at the last minute, but this year is even worse than usual...I have absolutely nothing done yet. Someone will be shopping and baking this weekend! Thank goodness...we don't buy lots of gifts in our family and I only have my cinnamon rolls to bake, which is a Christmas tradition. I better get moving...have a great weekend everyone!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Firsts and Training

“Make measurable progress in reasonable time.”
Jim Rohn

FIRSTS: As I mentioned a few posts back, I have decided to work "cautiously" on my speed (relatively speaking of course). Basically, I decided that when I went out and did my short tempo runs during the week, I would try and push myself a little harder. Seems I was ready, because on one of those tempo runs, I ran my FIRST 5K in under 30 minutes (29m14s)...the pride I felt was amazing. I also ran my FIRST hill repeats of the season on snowy/icy sidewalks this week...but, I felt great and had a smile on my face throughout. I'm feeling strong and motivated...Yay!

TRAINING: PT is going well...I'm really glad I didn't wait and that we are dealing with the piriformis issue before it's actually an ISSUE :) I've been feeling really good on my runs lately and am feeling very motivated. Here's what my schedule looks like for the next few months:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Short tempo run
Wednesday: 10 minute warm-up on bike and 40 minute workout (includes plyometrics and abs)
Thursday: Hill repeats
Friday: 30-45minutes on bike and Yoga/Pilates class
Saturday: 10 minute warm-up on bike and 40 minute workout (same as above)
Sunday: Long run

I've learned that I have to be careful not to just run, but to cross-train effectively. So I've added some biking and workout days, that don't include any running. This is my third week into this program and I'm feeling great. I've learned so much over the last year, it's incredible... Hopefully, I will stay injury-free, and to help with that, I plan on seeing Joseph (my PT) quite regularly, from now until my marathon in May :)

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa Shuffle volunteer - I won! - and an update...

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more”
Anthony Robbins

First: This morning was the Santa Shuffle here on Mount Royal and I was fortunate to be one of the few volunteers. We were a small, but enthousiastic group and we were all needed to help things "run" smoothly.
It was quite cold this morning (-2°C/28°F) and windy. But, we were all dressed for the weather and our main problem was preventing the water we had prepared in advance from freezing. I'm not kidding, we had to squeeze the glasses regularly to break up the ice.

Filling the glasses.

Responding to my brothers call of "Give me two beers" - it may not be beer, but it sure was a cold drink!
Yeah...he ran right past me after taking this shot :)

Here's the group after their race -
The one right next to me is my niece O, who will be running the Hypothermic Half with us :)

I loved doing this! Thanks to my brother for the great pics :)

Second: I have been very lucky lately in the Virtual Race department...this week I was one of the lucky winners of The Black Knight Virtual Race!
Thanks Stefano of Run with the Black Knight for this fun race!
Stefano is from Italy, which is very cool...and I am very excited to have won a black long sleeve shirt...YAY! :)

Third: A short piriformis update if you are interested...just to be on the safe side and because the pain, though mild, still comes and goes, I went to see Joseph the magician ("my" PT). The good news is that there is no serious injury, but there is definitely something going on. The strange news is that it all seems to be triggered by something that occured about 5 years ago. I've already mentioned this, but before my asthma (which started in 2003) was under control, I broke three ribs from coughing (left side). The cartillage around the ribs seems to have become a little wonky and it used to be that I could not do abs by bending at the waist without the ribs and cartillage getting tangled and causing major pain. it seems that when I breath, I only stretch one side of my rib cage, the damaged side (left) stays out and does not go in and out. So, the ab muscles on the left side are weaker than those on the right, and that leads to me not using my glutes, which are somehow tied to the abs. Instead, I am using my piriformis and my hamstring to try and compensate. This means that both the piriformis and hamstring on my left side are very strong, but not made to do the job of the big glute. Interesting how every little thing is connected in the body! So this week, I'm working on breathing exercises where I force my left side to work, and I really feel the stretch when I do them...I also have to do abs, but only with my legs. Next Tuesday, Joseph will give me exercises for my glutes. According to Joseph, doing this now is likely to prevent more serious injury later. Oh and there's something happening with my hip (probably due to the corticosteroids which eat away at the bone and muscle)...but nothing major and what we are doing now, should help with that too. PT fascinates me!

The take home message is that I can keep on keeping on :)