Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some Like It Hot

RIP Tony Curtis, we will miss your
dashing looks and comedic timing!
I might have just sunburned for the first time ever in October in Calgary.  After sleeping in until noon (yes, I do that pretty much every Saturday, but this week I have an excuse...I was volunteering until 1230 last night at a literacy fundraiser!  Lookit me, all philothropantic!) and eating a nutritious breakfast of Spolumbo's breakfast sausages and Eggs a la Joey, I headed over to the reservoir for an 8k run.  It was already 24C, and a glorious day, so I was looking forward to enjoying one of those few lovely fall days Calgary gets per year.  I headed out, enjoying the cloudless azure blue skies against the canary yellow leaves still on the trees while the latest international dance songs scrolled by on my Ipod.  I have to say, I really enjoyed the first 5K, I felt fast and the scenery was amazing. I felt like a RUNNER and it felt good!

Around 6.5K, I started crapping out. It was hot, my lips were all dried out and gross and my legs were getting heavy. Also, the sun was just blazing and my skin felt like it was burning under the crust of salt accumulating on my arms, but I kept pushing on.  I know from last week I can run 7.5K without too much trouble now, and I wanted to go at least that far again.  I started skipping songs on the Ipod looking for the ones I knew could carry me through another 4 minutes.

I thought I had timed it so the big hill I ran down at the beginning of my run would be the end of the 8K and I could walk up the hill as my cool down. I hit this hill just as the Nike Plus cheerfully announced "400 meters!" and I almost quit.  I was so hot, so tired, and I just didn't think I could make it up this hill after running 7.5K, but I thought I would give it a try since a sinewy woman in front of me was still chugging along.  I started up, and just at the point where I was going to quit, a sweet elderly gentleman on a bike started pacing me and saying "you can do it, you're almost at the top!"  I kept shuffling along, still running but barely as he cheered me on. At the 200m to go mark, I gasped "I don't think I can do this" to which he replied "yes, you can!  You're young, you can do it!!!.....but I can't, I'm old!" as he hopped off his bike and started walking.  Just as he did that, Sinewy Lady also started walking. 

 I'll be darned if I didn't chug my way to the top of the hill.   I was just channeling the Little Engine That Could because I figured if that old timer thought I could do it, then I probably really could.  Apparently I'm kinda petty because when I passed Sinewy Lady, I chortled to myself "you may be 5% body fat with zero cellulite, lady, but I'm passing you, mwahahahahaha!" It was a pretty weak finish to my run, and I bet that last 400 meters took as long as the previous km had, but I still ran the entire 8K without walking once, so I'd still say it was a win! 

I guess I could! Yay me!
PS...check out the update to our running to Disneyworld as of October 1...we're so close to the border, we can see the bright lights of the Duty Free!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"If it was easy, everyone would do it"

If you have been following our blog somewhat regularly, you would have noticed a trend in the posts, and that they have mostly been written by PrincessFliss. She gives us the stink eye all the time because we haven’t been posting. I think her blogs are awesome and love her writing and I haven’t really had anything to write about. I could have wrote about how I went to Vegas a few weeks ago and pretty much didn’t run for 2 weeks after that. I didn’t even kid myself by bringing my running stuff to Vegas. The only running I did there was the running man on the dance floor in heels! Now that’s cardio!

It’s amazing how fast you can fall out of running and your body begins to revert back to it’s couch potato state when you take a few days off. I then had a terrible cold after Vegas so didn’t do much running the week after I returned. It was then that I realized how close the 10k race I had agreed to run with a girlfriend actually was! It was Tuesday and the race was Saturday! First off let me tell you I have never run a race before and I had also never run a full 10km before!! The furthest I had made it in my training so far was about 6.3km! So, I was a little nervous and I got me arse out running in the few days I had left before Saturday. I ran here at the airport once, along the river from home once and over to a girl friend’s house one evening, which was my attempt at hill training! Yikes!

Well Friday came around and I forced myself to call it a night and be in bed by 10 even though I really wanted to stay out for vino with my friend Courtney on what felt like that last nice day Calgary will ever see again. Treena (my roommate and running pal that day) and I were up early, good breakfast in our bellies and about to hit the road when Treena couldn’t find that one little thing that might make or break her run. Her running shoes!! She couldn’t find them anywhere! So she threw on a pair of mine (size and a half too small) and we were out the door. She’s a trooper because I probably would have said F’it and gone back to bed! We arrived in Banff after a very windy drive there but the temperature was already +16 degrees at 9:30 in the morning, the sun was shining, the changing trees gorgeous and people in spandex everywhere!

I’m starting to ramble here so I’ll jump to it. I LOVED IT! The race was an amazing experience and I can for sure say I am hooked now! There’s definitely a crazy energy in a race environment and the most rewarding feeling when it’s done. This was the Melissa’s Road Race in Banff and is either a 10k or a 22k. The route was in and around the town of Banff and up a crazy hill at the very beginning. I had heard horror stories about the hill and that it just kills you at the start. It turned out to not be as bad as I thought and I think I did pretty well given that I have never done hill training! I had to stop twice to walk quickly to catch my breath but only for about a minute each time, so I pretty much ran the whole hill. Then of course, what goes up, must come down and it was a nice run down, perfect to recover a little from the hill. A friend a told me not to let myself get discouraged by all the runners flying by me, but I didn’t at all. First of all, I was actually passing people! That made me feel great and the people running past me only inspired me. They were amazing! I also really enjoyed checking out all the different running outfits as well as all the amazing calves on everyone! I have this obsession to get kick ass calves and I was definitely motivated to run faster. The one thing I certainly did not enjoy though were the people passing gas as they were running. And, no it wasn’t the sulfur hot springs I could smell!
I loved all the people along the sides cheering and all the signs they were holding. My favorite sign I saw, was one that said “If it was easy, everyone would do it!” and I thought “YA, that’s right!” and kept on running! It went by surprisingly fast, adrenaline assisting there I’m sure. I noticed the 2km marker and then didn’t see anymore until the 7km marker pleasantly popped up. At that point that was the furthest I had EVER run before so already I had accomplished something. I didn’t bring my ipod, so I enjoyed listening to all the random things groups of runners were chatting about and lots of them passing me and didn’t even sound out of breath one bit! Amazing! At this point I kept looking for another marker as it had to be getting close and we were rounding back to the area we started. I saw the 15km marker for the 22ers and sort of gasped in my head at the thought of running 22km at this point. People were cheering and yelling “Home Stretch!” although I still hadn’t seen another marker. I overheard someone saying it was just up and around this bend and back to where we started. I could see all the people who had switched back and were almost done, cheering and yelling “You’re almost there!”. At the bend, the person directing the path was yelling “1km! Only 1km left! And a beer at the end!!”. Well if that wasn’t enough to kick me into high gear. Now let me tell you, 1km, after running 9 already, seems like a piece of cake. But when you decide ‘I’m going to run like the dickens this last km’ and you think a km is shorter in your head than it really is, running really fast that last bit, probably isn’t the best idea. I was running and passing people and feeling awesome and knew I was really close to the point where the race started. Then I could see where it started and reality stuck hard, that the finish line was not exactly where we had started! It was further back in a different spot! Nausea set in instantly because I had run so hard that last bit, and then panic as I would rather die than barf in front of everyone 250m from the finish line. But, a few deep breaths later I was good to go and I was in that last little stretch. It’s a bit of a blur, all the people cheering and I couldn’t tell which line was the actual finish. I think one scans you as you cross for your name to be announced then the last one under the big timer clocks your time. I saw a photographer at the end and I couldn’t think of how my face should look as I crossed the finish! I think I may have mustered a half smile but inside I was beaming. I did it. I ACTUALLY DID IT! A year ago I would have never thought I could even run 5km let alone 10. The half marathon still seems like a stretch but more feasible than ever now. My official time was 1:03:46 which I was very proud of given that this was my first 10km ever, my first race ever and I was told it’s not an easy race either. SUCCESS!!

Next up: 10km race in Phoenix. Piece of cake!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

She's back.. sort of...

Ok… ok.. she’s making an appearance and sending her apologies to her fellow princesses. It feels like a confession .. It’s been exactly two weeks and five days since I’ve done any physical activity.. so I feel the need to backtrack and explain away my absence.

Here goes.. With one week left of vacation I decided to take up one of the WestJet hotel deals and head to Punta Cana with a girlfriend. With the best of intentions I filled 1/3 of my suitcase with workout gear and the weekly workout schedule to ensure that I would be on pace with the other princesses when I returned. Now when you arrive in Punta Cana in September you realize quickly that any working out would have to happen before the sun rises as the temperature spikes to the high twenties as soon as the first rays hit the beach. No worries I say .. I’ll just work out in the gym.. um, another no go as the gym was not air conditioned and only had two stationary bikes and an ancient stepper machine. Needless to say i spent most of my vacation as seen in the photo to the left, my running shoes stayed clean (how will I be able to pack my shoes for my return trip with all that sand in the tread?) and unfortunately my workout gear just took up room in the suitcase (though I had clean workout gear should I decide to workout upon my return (I didn’t)). That explains away the first eight days.. now the next eleven…

Our plane arrived just before midnight on the 16th so even the thought of going to the gym, just wasn’t gong to happen, I needed the sleep in! Back at work for one day, the up at 6am to catch another plane to Melissa’s wedding in Kelowna. Though the weather was better in Kelowna (+17) than in Calgary (+1) it was still raining and with all the wedding activities it just wasn’t going to happen. Great wedding, late night, a bear sighting within the grounds (can’t run when a bear is around.. unless you are running from it) and another early morning to make the drive from the Lake Okanagan Resort to catch our plane adds two more days to the tally.

I knew I wasn’t 100% when I got back from Kelowna, I just figured it was the lack of sleep over the last three days (as I had slept about 16-18 out of 24hrs in Punta Cana) but when I woke up drenched from a sweat out, I knew it was a little more serious. Made it to work that day but ended up in bed pretty much on and off with my Tylenol cold and flu, juice, soup and Powerade (thank you so much Charles.. you saved my life) for the next week. I think I’ve gotten through the worst of it and can now say that I did fell like I'm definitely on the road to recovery!

So today marks the first day in three weeks that all three princesses got up early and took to the path to run the three kilometres this morning that we were supposed to run as well as one half of the weights workout. Yay us! Looking forward to putting this run as well as the rest of the weekly runs towards our 'Map to Orlando"

She’s back with fingers crossed she’ll be able to keep it up!! Thanks for the support Felic and Crystal!!

Monday, September 27, 2010


So, why the princess run, you ask? Well, to be honest, we had tried to get into the Nike Women’s run in San Francisco this year. Instead of a medal, you get a specially made Tiffany necklace from a firefighter, so they have to do a random draw for the spots they have because it’s basically the greatest idea ever. Alas, we didn’t get in, but had decided to run a half marathon, so we needed to find something else. I hate to say Disney was runner up, but now that we’re registered, we think it’ll be just as much fun, and a heck of a lot less hills. We get to dress up like princesses for it AND run a race through Disneyworld, which should be a blast!  Seriously, what could be more fun than that? Plus, the medal looks pretty, and it is a race geared more towards women, so the race shirts should be pretty nice too. In order to decide which princess we wanted to be, we took this simple quiz here:

Now, we realize this quiz is geared for children, especially with answers like “I have to do what my parents tell me to”, but we needed help deciding which princess and a good quiz never lies. As you can see from our profile images, we are going as Belle, Arial and Mulan, so we’re going to need costumes that show off our princessly sides, yet also wick moisture away as we run 21K through Disney World. I’m thinking since none of us can sew, it’ll be along the lines of child size tutus and glitter crowns over our running gear. We’re hoping that with Halloween not too far away, we’ll be able to find suitable accoutrements!