Sunday, November 24, 2013


It all started innocently enough.   My friend Tracie just had a baby a month ago and she was saying how she's an awkward size and too small for maternity clothes but too big for her old clothes.  She was going to go shopping and I said "wait, I have so many clothes, I'll find something for you".  I have four wardrobes.  One might think spring, summer, winter, fall but it's more like 10, 12, 14, 16 and a mishmash of seasons.  Now, I have been meaning to go through my closets (yes two single closets) for ages and had done a little bit here and there.  I knew I only wore about 10% of what I had.  So I started, at first I was just looking for stuff for her but then I started literally, trying on every item and making many decisions, do I wear it? will it be good for Tracie?  does it fit?  do I love it?  if it ever does fit again would I really wear it?  I got ruthless and I couldn't be happier!!!

It started off looking like this at one point (and this isn't even everything)

And ended up looking like this

It didn't stop there either.  I went through EVERYTHING.  In the end, I dropped one big moving box full of clothing at my friend's place.  And 5 big moving boxes at the Salvation Army, mostly clothes, some housewares etc.  There's a 7th box half full in my living room and I keep adding to it.  I can't even explain what a weight has been lifted.  I feel like I had SO MUCH stuff.  What's crazy is that I can't believe all that stuff actually fit in my closets.  I can't imagine how much stuff is in a house on Hoarders considering what was actually in those closets.  I also made two jewelry organizers.  One for post earrings and one for hanging stuff.  The earrings one just sits on my dresser and the other is hanging behind my bedroom door.  It's just a box from the dollar store and in it, I cut strips of grey foam insulation and stuffed them in there and glued them in place.  The hanging one is just an IKEA frame I had that the glass was broken form.  I used chain from the hardware store and leftover square hooks from my running medals/bibs display.

In the end, here's a list of clothes that went bye bye.  It's crazy.  Unbelievable.  And it feels so good.
23 t shirts
27 summer tops
25 sweaters
3 pairs of shorts
3 button down tops
5 dressy tops
5 pairs of jeans
1 pair of cords
1 pair of dress pants
2 pair of yoga pants
3 jackets

And that's just the clothes.  There were some bags, hats, etc as well.

It's incredible how much easier it is to find things, get ready for work etc.  I've always wanted a wardrobe with simple pieces that I can mix & match and that is not what I had.  I had a mess.  I did find a few items that I now fit into that I had in my "smaller clothes" closet so I've added those to my good closet.  I also know that there is very little that I need at the moment and I most definitely do not need any workout wear.  Holy crap is there a lot of it!!  

And with all the trying on of clothes, I got brave and finally finally finally wore skinny jeans and boots.  With one of the tops and one of the sweaters that I found in the other closet. :)
Please forgive the terrible picture.
found sweater, macy's t shirt, old navy bootcut jeans
my new jacket, the skinny jeans and boots.

I need a proper wall mirror so I can stop taking pictures in divided mirrored closet doors. :)

Do you tend to hang onto things or get rid of them as soon as they are no longer useful to you?  I think I've turned over a new leaf.  I keep finding things that can go and I have to say, it is so much easier to stay clean & organized now!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two-fer Race Recap!

I'm totally getting this 13 races in 2013 thing done!  Race #10 was the Fire Paramedic service 10 km.  I had a great time and although it wasn't a personal best, I was within 45 seconds of it.  Baha!  I've had three 10 km's this year in the 1:21:xx.  My friend Nicole on the other hand . . . SPEEDY!!!!  You'll see.
Before the race!

So Nicole finishes about 35 minutes before me.  She gets her bag and then comes back to the finish line to wait for me patiently.  Then she says "hey do you mind if we head over to the auditorium for the awards?  I may have won something".  Ummm what? OF COURSE!  Hehe - if she can wait 35 minutes for me to make my way to the finish line, I definitely have time to see if you won something!  We couldn't find a race result posting so we just went to the auditorium and waited for it to start.  They did a few little speeches and then started with the 5 km top 3 finishers of female and male and then here it comes "For the 10 km, top three finishers, in third place Nicole Speedypants!"  Yes, I whooped super loud and then cheered like crazy as she ran up to collect her extra medal and swag.  47 minutes and change.  And that wasn't even her fastest, she was first place female summer before last in a 10 km race at 43 minutes.  It was also 38 C/104 F that day.  Hotter with the humidity.  I'd have died, surely.
Nicole in her super fast shoes.

One more for the wall!
Next up, Race #11, my first Halloween themed race.  This was a Twilight Run - Spooky Series - 5 km.  Thankfully, the only spooky part is that it's dark out.  Like black.  We are out on a trail in the forest and the only light is our headlamps.  No people jumping out at us so phew!!  My Disney ears got used my friend Steph and I made myself a crayon.  The run was good.  I was slower than normal.  I caught up to a girl from my previous clinic and she was struggling so I just started walking when she needed to walk.  I had a moment where I considered just wishing her well and running on but it's SUPER DARK and although we were safe, I didn't want to leave her alone out there.  It was the right decision because the next day, she wrote on our run club facebook page how much it meant to her that I stayed with her and it was just what she needed.  Definitely made the right decision.

Beer is the new medal. :)

Now Race #12, I haven't added to my race page yet because it will be part of another post that is super exciting (I think) and involves my upcoming 40th birthday!!!  

I have loved reading all the race recap posts lately.  Fall is heavy race season and with so many people running big ones that just passed and big ones coming up, it's so inspiring and has me thinking about a full marathon.  One day.  One day.  I just have to pick which big one I want to do and what year i want to do it.  I'm looking at Chicago and New York in particular.  Maybe even Toronto.  Chicago and New York are top two though.  

If you've done a full marathon, where was it & did you love it?  Or if you were ever to do a full, which one would you do?

In two days, I'm flying to see my favourite little peanut!!!  I'll be wearing my crayon costume again to take her trick-or-treating.  Candy candy candy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tardy Race Recap & Onederland (Yet Again)

Sooooo . . . I know, I procrastinate.  Wild Hog 10 km race recap here we go.  First of all, I know lots of people probably had a miserable time because it was wet wet wet but we had a great time.  On the Friday, we made the 2 hour drive across the border into Grand Forks, ND.  Checked into our super cheap Travelodge (it was clean and had wifi & breakfast, SOLD!), and then went to the expo to get our race kits.  We got a glass and a great pair of socks and I must say, I actually like the race shirts. Long sleeved and not white!  They were navy blue.  Then we hit the pasta dinner which was actually super tasty and very convenient.  Especially since I knew there was a lot of out of towners so restaurants would be busy etc.

Next, was a quick stop at Scheel's looking for race fuel and an ear warmer -- success on both counts.  I tried a new fuel (totally not supposed to do that on race day, I know).  I forget what they are called but they are almost like jujubes and I think they are made by GU.  I will definitely use them again.  Then back to the hotel to lay out our stuff for the early morning.

This is when we both started wondering what the hell we were thinking when we were packing.  We knew it was going to be cool and possibly raining.   All the forecasts said that.  And yet, NEITHER of us packed our running jacket and Steph didn't have a long sleeved shirt.  (Luckily, the race shirt was long sleeved so she ended up wearing that).  What's even funnier is that I actually packed two garbage bags for us.  The last time I showed up at a race where it was raining, I noticed many had garbage bags they were wearing until the start and then they peeled it off after the race started so they didn't get wet and cold while waiting.  So yes, I had garbage bags and no jacket.

6 am, the alarm goes off and it's pouring and cold.  We're dreading it.  We get ready, we drive there, get an awesome parking spot and decide we are waiting in the car till the last possible minute.  We were so early too.  I was prepared for traffic and there was none.  We napped for about 30 minutes in the car.

Once it got closer to time, we made cut head & arm holes in our garbage bags and ran to bag check.  I actually ran with no music and no phone at all because I was worried about the rain.  Got to the start and everyone is jumping up and down and shivering.  I was so happy for the garbage bags.  I was bone dry.  Then we're off!!!  A couple weeks earlier, I had just run 5 km straight for the first time ever.  Slowly but running.  For this race, I decided I would at least run the first 5 km and then after that, anything else would be the new longest distance I'd ever run.  I RAN THE WHOLE THING!  I couldn't believe myself.  Again, slowly but I ran it.  I kept my pace as steady as I could so that I could keep it up and my time ended up only being 17 seconds off my personal best.  I also left the garbage bag on for almost the whole race.  It was so chilly out and my arm holes were big enough to give me plenty of ventilation.  At one point, I ripped a hole in the back too.  Then at about 5 3/4 miles, I pulled it off so I could cross the line bag free.  We even got those silver race blankets.  It's crazy how much warmer you feel with one of those wrapped around you.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I'd never been at a race with those.  Also, because our phones were in our bag check, we don't have photos of the garbage bags or the silver blankets!!  Booooo.  On our bib was drink ticket and it was booze!  We both got a Mike's Hard BLack Cherry Lemonade and it was soooo good.  I had a few sips and then decided maybe pounding a 16 0z 8% alcoholic beverage after running 10 km and then driving back to the hotel isn't wise.  I didn't know exactly where the food was and we were freezing so we decided Starbucks was a better option.  I really didn't want to waste my Mike's though and I had a water bottle in the car.  I dumped the water and filled it with Mike's and put it in the trunk (GO ME!)  Then we stopped at Starbucks for some well-deserved Salted Caramel Mochas and cake pops.

My Salted Caramel cake pop reminds me of those Little People toys.  Bahaha!

Next up, we showered and hit Qdoba for lunch, so love that place, and so wish we had one.  Then we shopped, shopped, shopped.  And I bought some shoes for Zumba so that I'm not wearing out my running shoes.  I googled and everyone seems to love the Nike Free for Zumba so I bought those in a super bright colour.  Also good to have different shoes because these were half the price of my running shoes.

After shopping, we unloaded our purchases at the hotel and headed to Buffalo Wild Wings for supper.  There was a 40 minute wait so we sit in the lounge and it's pretty much the same as sitting in the restaurant.  I love those deep fried pickles.  And I got a delicious wrap and a Redd's Apple Ale that tasted like punch.  I could have sucked another one back for sure.  The next day was a Target stop and then hit the road home.  Always nice to get away for the weekend.

Now for Onederland -- the scale was playing all kinds of tricks with me.  UP a bunch then down a bunch and then down a few more and I'm at 199.2 this morning.  It's funny because I'm excited to be under 200 but I really need to get further away from it in order to be more excited.  I've hit it a couple time in the last year or two and only for a short time.  I think I'll get more excited when I'm 5 - 10 away from the 2 mark.  

This weekend we have another 10 km coming up!  I've only run twice since the last one a couple weeks ago.  Bad Michelle.  Bad.  Hopefully, it won't be terrible :)

Now I'm off to try to empty my PVR.  This new tv season has me scrambling!   

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zumba Love & Weigh In

Tuesday is my weigh day and start of my new week of points.  I weighed in at 204.2, so down 2.2 pounds.  YES!  I was really needing a good loss mentally because if I'm working my ass off and not seeing it on the scale, I get discouraged and it makes me want to eat, because what's the point!  So to see the scale go down was just the boost I needed.

At lunch, I did the 45 minute Sculpt class and then in the evening I had run clinic.  Our distance was 5 km steady run and I actually did it.  No walk breaks, just 5 km straight running.  Slowly, but still.  That's the longest I've ever run without a walk break.  Even before when I was covering distances shorter or longer, I was always running 10 & 1's.  It was funny because the more the time clicked away, I just kept checking my Garmin for the pace rather than 'when is my walk break?' It also seemed to make it easier to keep going knowing that I wasn't going to walk.  I just have to keep going and stop when I'm back at the store.

Next up, ZUMBA!  I knew I liked Zumba.  I've been doing a 45 minute Thursday class at lunch at work.  I was looking for something to do on Mondays and a groupon came up for Zumba classes.  It was super cheap so why not!  Two friends from work also got them so the first class I went to, I met one of them there.  It was 60 minutes and oh man, it was SUCH a workout.  Every song was fast-paced and I could totally feel that extra 15 minutes.  I LOVED IT.  Coming up that weekend, I wanted to go again so I actually just went by myself on Saturday morning and it was just as awesome.  Once my 10 classes is up from the groupon, I'm definitely buying passes for more classes.  I'd like to do them Monday, Thursday (yes twice on Thurs, work and eve) and Saturday morning.  It goes by so fast and I sweat just as much as when I run, if not more.  On Monday night, my whole ponytail was soaked.  Gross and awesome, haha!

As far as my goal for 13 races in 2013, I'm on track.  However, tonight I was registered for a small fundraising run.  It wasn't a set distance, you choose your own number of laps around the park.  I was falling asleep on the bus home and when I got inside, I set the alarm on my phone for 30 minutes and I lay down on the couch.  I woke up 2 hours later, run already in progress/over.  Sigh.  I think I am still, even with losing this one tonight, on track to finish the 13 because I registered for a Halloween run.  It's a twilight spooky run 5 km.  I just need to come up with a costume.  I'm thinking something easy that I can make and that I can run in.

Meal regret - I had lunch plans with some work folks and I had previously looked at the menu and chosen what I was going to have.  The veggie goat cheese omelet with side salad.  Then we got there and the girl at the next table had a crazy awesome looking burger and then everyone at my table ordered the burger and before I knew it, I was ordering the burger. . . with fries.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious.  And I counted it, overestimating as I do when I'm not sure but I really think I would have liked the omelet just as much.  Must remember that for next time.  Choose ahead of time, don't open the menu.  

So for the rest of the week -- two Zumba's tomorrow.  Friday, I'm going out for a delicious breakfast and then driving to North Dakota for a race weekend.  Doing a 10 km on Saturday morning, followed by shopping, shopping, shopping.  Drive home on Sunday and back to my regular week by Monday.  Depending what time I get home on Sunday, I'll try to get in some Zumba on the Wii so that I can get  some activity points.  My goal is 70 points a week.  Not necessarily 10 per day but 70 over the week.  Last week, I JUST made it and this week, I'm off to a good start.  :)

Hopefully, I'll get a race weekend recap up early next week instead of months later.  Woohoo!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Start Where I Am

I worked out a lot this week.  And I ENJOYED it.  I've come (finally) to the realization that if I don't enjoy it, I'm going to dread it, and ultimately, I won't do it.  This little transition happened over the last couple of weeks.  I signed up for a 5km/10 km running clinic just to keep myself running.  I signed up for the 10 km portion which was probably a mistake.  The first two weeks of weekday runs were awesome.  I usually take frequent walk breaks and the first night we were encouraged to take it slow and run as long as we could before a walk break.  14 minutes!!!  Then the following week, I ran the whole 4 km straight.  The weekday runs have been between 4-5 km and I'm loving the distance.  Then I ran a longer Sunday run and my shin splints started to pop up again.  This is my body telling me that I'm increasing my distance or speed too quickly.  Then I realized that this is why I stop enjoying running.  I enjoy it for the first while but then whatever clinic I'm signed up in moves up to longer distances before I'M ready for it.  So the plan for me, is to stick to the shorter distances from now until the end of January.  And enjoy running.  In the past, I've always moved on to the longer distances and struggled because I've never gotten to the point where 5 km was a so-called "easy run".  Haha - that being said I am registered for two 10 km's.  Once next weekend and one in mid-October but i'm okay with that.  Run what I can, walk the rest.  It's how I've done them all in the past.  And hey, maybe my 5 km time will see an improvement.  I know already that my ability to run straight without walk breaks is improving and I'm loving it.  I think I'm loving it because that's where I am.  It doesn't make me feel bad that I can't do more yet because that's where I am.

This morning, I woke up thinking that I didn't want to run.  But I'm really trying to earn activity points every single day through exercise.  I thought about it for an hour.  I could have been out and back in the time it took me to think about it!!  Finally, I jumped up, got ready and was out the door in 7 minutes.  I told myself I only had to do 20 minutes but I had to try to run it straight AND I DID!!  It was so nice and brisk this morning.  6 degrees.  Dang, that is my kind of running temperature.  I also wore my fargo half marathon race shirt.  It's the first race shirt that I've loved AND selected a good size.  Baha!  I should actually check the size and make sure I select the same again for May 2014.

Super quick race recap - I ran the 10 & 10 on September 8th.  There's a 10 miler and a 10 km, I ran the 10 km.  I remember the first half being okay and the second half being really hard.  I knew I wasn't out there trying to get a personal best or anything so I just enjoyed the scenery.  It's a pretty course through an old area of HUGE beautiful unique houses and lots of mature trees.

When I crossed the finish line, I was about to mow down the food tables (sponsored by Subway) and then I remembered that I was doing WW and while completing 10 km does give me activity points, it doesn't give me unlimited points.  So I grabbed a 6" veggie sub and put some mustard on it.  I took a water and I skipped the chocolate milk, the juices, and the cookies.

I still want to talk about Zumba and food but I don't want to lose people with super long posts :)  My week in activity was this:
Monday - Zumba - 60 minutes.
Tuesday - Sculpt class - 45 minutes.  Run club 3.87 km, 32:00.
Wednesday - Pilates - 45 minutes.  Run club 5.02 km, 41:40.
Thursday - Zumba - 45 minutes.
Friday - Oops.  I have a hole on Fridays and I need to figure that out.  Likely a short run is in order since Wed to Sun is a long stretch with no running.  And maybe some strength stuff at home.
Saturday - Zumba - 60 minutes.
Sunday - Solo Run - 2.60 km - 20:17.  I'm going to try to get in some time on the Zumba Wii later today so I can hit 10 activity points for the day.

I leave you with Sweaty Saturday Zumba face. :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I don't know about your race bibs and medals but my race bibs and medals have been living in multiple places.  Piled in the junk drawer . . . stuffed in a cubby box . . . and most recently, stuffed into my last Nike shoebox.  A couple months ago, I was staring at my pile of bibs and medals trying to think of a way to store/display them.  I figured lots of people had the same system that I did but somebody out there must have a better way.  Enter Google.  Turns out there is lots of ways to store them!  But my favourite way, was a wooden plaque I found on Etsy.   The price was anywhere from $35 to $55+.  Gulp.  Plus shipping.  I left it at that.  I was going on vacation and would revisit it when I got back.  I thought about it and decided to get it because what else would I do.  Entered my order, all ready to spend $50 and then I see that they don't ship to Canada.  Well crap.  Kept looking for a place that would and then thought, wait, how hard can this be?? 

Turns out?  Not hard at all.  Last night, I painted it.  This morning I glued the letters on and put the hooks in and VOILA!!

I bought a 12 x 16 unfinished pine plaque with a fancy bevelled edge from Michael's.  Michael's is a bit pricy so the regular price was $25 but they put coupons on their flyers so I had a 50% off one.  I bought the already white painted letters from there too at $1.69 each.  I had leftover blue paint from my bedroom and I bought square shoulder hooks in two sizes from, about $6 but I have so many in the packages, I could easily make some plaques for friends who have already expressed interest them.  So for about $23, I made myself a display that I LOVE!!  It was really quick too.  The part that took the longest was measuring where to put the medal hooks so they were an equal distance apart. :)  I could have bought a cheaper plaque that was 11 x 14 but that would have been a little snug.  If you'd like to make it cheaper, you could cut a piece wood yourself!

And if you're not into DIY but you love the look of this, here is the Etsy shop where I saw the variety of displays . . .

Happy DIY-ing!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oh Ankles, I've Missed You!

I've had an on and off problem with my feet swelling.  Being a side effect of hypothyroidism, I do experience it from time to time but most often during travel or heat.  My feet started swelling on day two of my road trip at the end of June.  We spent 17 hours in the car that day and covered A LOT of ground.  I then walked Seattle for a few days and got back in the car, then walked Vancouver and got on a plane.  My feet kept getting bigger and bigger.  Then the heat wave hit and I noticed that even my lower calves were retaining water.  I could actually make a dent.  I was constantly trying to keep them elevated to alleviate.  I felt like my whole lower half was larger than normal because my jeans that were fine, suddenly became tight.

I started counting my points last Tuesday and weighed in at 215.4.  Two days ago, the heat wave broke for a couple days and I noticed things were starting to feel better.  My jeans were looser and I could actually get my sandals on my feet.  This morning I weighed in at 207.0.  8.4 pounds!  I would bet that was 7 pounds of water and 1.4 pounds of actual weight.  Here is a before and after of my feet.  These pics are only two weeks apart.  My pregnant friend messaged me that her feet were super swollen so I took a picture of my foot and said mine too.  She replied with "Holy Sh*t!  Why is that happening?"  Haha - I said "Probably because I'm fat and it's hot."

In activity news, our new session of work classes started up and I'm loving it.  I even got another friend to try the classes and she signed up for two a week.  Love that I have one more friend going.  I go Tuesday (Sculpt), Wednesday (Core & More), Thursday (Zumba).  I also joined a 10 km clinic at the Running Room that started tonight so I cranked out just over 4 kms.  Had to get back into running REGULARLY.  Not just sporadic 5 & 10 km races everywhere.  The heat has really killed me.  Plus the foot swelling didn't really make it comfortable to lace up my runners and pound the pavement.  Seems like a great group and the beauty of this clinic is that it will start off in heat (tonight was 27C/81F), and it will just progressively get cooler until it's Fall which is my favourite running time of the year. :)

That's it for now!  Hope everyone is staying cool!

Monday, August 26, 2013


We are in the middle of a crazy heat wave.  Days and days.  In fact Saturday, it was 45c/113f with the humidity.  Unbelievable.  Thankfully it wasn't quite that bad for the River Run on Thursday evening.  It was still bad though - for me anyway.  It was 33c/92f.  I slogged along and told myself I would just be happy with not being last and being under 45 minutes.  Mission accomplished.  I was not last. Close but not last and I finished in 43:17.
My face was beet red for hours.

After that, I raced home to shower because my sister is in town with my adorable niece and they were coming over for a late supper.  

My next race is speeding towards me on September 8th.  A 10 km.  Gulp.  I don't have really high hopes for a new personal best because the weather this week is such that I'm pretty sure I won't be running.  30+ every single day.  I could weep!

Thankfully with my lunch classes at work, i'm able to keep a base fitness level happening.  At the race on Thursday I was able to run at least 5 minutes at a time so at least I wasn't back to running one minute walking one minute!  I know some people love it but I can't wait till the end of this heat wave!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Out of the Fog

I've spent the last few weeks in a fog.  Eating like it's an Olympic sport and I made the trials.  Gaining weight like it's also an Olympic sport and I've won the gold medal.  And couching like it's also, you got it, an Olympic sport.  The new triathlon.  Eat Gain Couch.

BUT!!!  Today was a good day.  It started off like all the others.  But then I got to work to an early morning email that the race dates and course for the Fargo Marathon had changed.  GULP!  In an instant flurry, I was booking a new room at the hotel I had already booked at.  Then thought about it for a moment, reviewed the new course and then hunted for a new hotel.  Within moments I'd booked another one.  Just in time to watch that hotel climb in price by $85 over 8 hours.  I got in there just in time.  Nothing like the feeling of getting a hotel walking distance to the start & finish line for badass price.  Then I started getting excited about the race. It's a ways off and I have other races before it but this one got me excited again.  I will be registering for the half marathon again.  Definitely hope to better my time.  DEFINITELY.

Twenty minutes later . . . because I was doing this blog post and I went to get that screen shot from the site, I noticed that the dates were different.  I quickly went to the Fargo FB page and saw they just announced that they changed the dates back!!!  OMG!  So much for my good deal hotel room!  Thankful that I didn't book an even cheaper NON-REFUNDABLE rate.  I got the same hotel for a good price.  Not as good as originally but still good.  Phew.  I'm not canceling the other one for months.  Till I'm sure this is the last change.

Anyhow, so where was I - yes!  I was getting all excited about running again and then I went to a workout class at lunch, Core & More.  It felt so good to be active.  It was hard, I felt huge, it's humid and hot here.  But I felt good.  Looking forward to Zumba at lunch tomorrow.

I also made some changes to my race schedule for the rest of the year.  I added a 5 km and a couple 10 km's and I scrapped the half marathon and am doing the 10 km instead in October.  I wouldn't be ready and it was a relief to change it.  I feel good again.  And tomorrow evening is my next 5 km race.  It will be tough because I haven't run in a month and it will be hot but I'll get it done and it will only help my confidence.

That's all for now!

Big ((HUG))!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Making me a canvas painting.

My 26 year old sister just announced that she's pregnant.  Ouch.  For the second time.  Ouch.  With twins.  Ouch f*cking ouch.  You know what I've got?  40.  I'm turning 40 in 4 months.  I have no idea why some people get what they do and why others don't.  But it's a pill so hard to swallow, it leaves a giant lump in my throat.  I'm happy for her if she's happy.  And don't get me wrong, I will be the Auntie that loves them the hardest, like I do this little sweet pea to the left as you've all known.  My FB page leaves no doubt.  And this is going to feel like shit for a while so in the meantime . . .

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another Race Recap!

Shorter this time, I promise.  I forgot to mention this race in my catchup post.  It wasn't until I transferring my Garmin info into dailymile that I remembered.  This was the Manitoba Marathon on June 16th.  I did this race as a relay in 2009 and it was a horrible, terribly hot experience and I swore I would never register for the half or more on this race.  But here I go in my excitement to do 13 races in 2013 and I registered for the half in a moment of weakness.    After my experience at the Fargo Half, I was so dreading this race.  I was still doing it but dreading it.  Then a few days before the race, a co-worker came up to me and asked if I knew about race kit pickup.  We looked it up together and I noticed under the FAQ that that afternoon was the last chance to change events.  OMG.  I checked the forecast yet again and saw that it was supposed to be hot, humid, rainy.  Same as Fargo.  I thought about it for an hour and called and changed my race from the half to the 10km.  I instantly felt overwhelming relief.  I was now looking forward to this race.  And it turned out to be the right decision.

My speedy friend Nicole picked me up that morning and we headed across town to the race.  It started off a little gray and by the time we got there, it was bright and sunny.  This year, they only had shuttle access to the site.  We parked and the line for the shuttle was so incredible long, we weren't waiting.  We opted to walk in.  Add 3 kms.  We figured we'd take the shuttle back after.

Again, I was hoping for a personal best here.  I was actually hoping for 1:15.  I was on target to do that and then the sun hit me.  This is a flat and shadeless course.  What little bits of shade there was, I took advantage of.  The last 2 km's though was wide open and I kept getting slower and slower.  I ended up finishing in 1:21:02.  Not 1:15 but still a personal best by about 4 minutes or so.  I'm okay with that!!!  My friend Nicole finished her half in an amazing 1:42.  WTF!!!  She is such a motivator for me.  She is this totally fit, running, bike riding, spinning, weight lifting little dynamo.  She's in fantastic shape and she's earned every little bit.  Once I crossed the finish line, I made my way up to the stands and kept my eyes peeled for her so I could record her crossing the finish line.  She blew past about 6 people in the last 30 feet of the race!!  We then watched until the first female and male marathon finishers crossed.  It was actually emotional watching people cross because this race is on Father's Day every year and there's a lot of kids running with their fathers and they cross the line holding hands, arms in the air.  What a fantastic moment for the Dad and an awesome memory for the child.  We walked out to the shuttle buses and again, the lines were crazy so we actually walked back out to the car again!  Add another 3 kms!  Great day though.

Guide Runner & Blind Runner --and I could only keep up with them for the first few km's.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Half Marathon Race Recap & I'm Back (again :)

Consider me your fair weather blogger.  For you semi-anonymous bloggers, do you ever find that sometimes you think "sh*t, I wish I hadn't told 'insert name here' about my blog?"  I do.  Every once in a while.  And it delays me sometimes from posting or maybe just not saying what I would otherwise.  I don't even know if she reads it anymore.  Hehe - I hope not.  Anyhow, on with the business.  I'm not going to catch you up on the last 2 1/2 months entirely, just the main highlights.  So after my last race recap about the Wpg Police Relay, two weeks later was the Fargo Go Far Challenge.  Gulp.  That would the 5 km on Friday night and the half marathon on Saturday morning.  Silly? Yes.  Glad I did it?  Yes.  Would I do it again?  Probably not.  It was a pain in the ass.

Friday afternoon, we drive out to the States and get there in time to hit the expo and check stuff out.  I was looking for shoes, compression capris, and dual layer socks.  I left with Toms.  Go figure!  I picked up my race kits for both races, headed to the hotel to check in and change and head right back.  I was dreading it because I didn't know anyone else who was doing it.  That was short-lived.  I pulled in, wandered towards the start line and instantly found a group of about 10 people from my local run club. I was so happy to see them!!!  I instantly felt better.  We knocked out the 5 km which was super slow going because the majority of people were walkers and there was about 10,000.  Wowsers.  That would be medal #1.
Note my Boston Strong headband!
Here's where my regret for the Friday night run kicks in.  Trying to get out of the parking lot.  Not one person directing traffic.  I pulled out of my parking spot and then moved one car length in 40 minutes.  I was starving.  My friend was waiting in the hotel room raiding the vending machine because I had my car and she was starving.  Finally, I kept seeing North Dakota plates heading in the opposite direction as all the out of towner plates.  I spotted a cute guy in a truck heading the opposite direction and I yelled "HEY!" into his open window.  I said "what don't I know?" and he winked and said "follow me".  I pulled back into the spot I pulled out of 40 minutes prior and backed out in the other direction and followed him to a back exit to the parking lot.  C'mon now!!!  Mental note for next year.  I got back to the hotel and changed quickly and then we headed out for supper.  There we were at the Olive Garden, eating supper at 10 pm the night before the half.  Ouch.

We wake up bright & early.  5:30am I think.  We check the ever changing forecast and it just says "current condition: HEAVY RAIN".  OH hell no.  I run down the hallway of the hotel in my pj's to look out the exterior door and it's raining lightly and there are huge puddles.  Ran into the maintenance man and he said the rain had been coming down hard.  I did the best i could to prepare.  We also got stuck in traffic on the way to the race.  The interstate was backed up for miles and miles.  I did some crazy little things to get past a whole bunch of cars to get my friend there because her 10 km started earlier.  Again, next year, I'm not getting on the interstate.  I'm going through town.  I guarantee not one local was on that interstate.  

Okay, the race.  When we started it was cloudy and it was raining.  Not really hard but enough to get wet.  Then it stopped after about 20 minutes.  It stayed cloudy for the next while.  Part of the course is a bit out & back so when I was at mile 3, this roar of cheering starts and running towards us super fast and looking awesome is the first place male.  We turned around to watch him go and I note that my sign says mile 3 and his says mile 9.  HOLY SH*T.  Then a smidge later, there comes the first place female.  She looked amazing.  AMAZING.  I often thing that really elite female runners tend to look just way too skinny and this woman just looked amazing.  Healthy, strong, fit, fast, amazing.  She was a machine.  I felt like I was doing fairly well.  I was looking forward to a PR.  At mile 10, the sun came out.  And it came out hard.  I felt like I was being steamed.  With everything including the people being wet, the humidity was insane.  This was the first time I ever felt like I wouldn't finish a race.  Shortly after that, I started walking and judging by my distance on my Garmin, I did the math and figured out how fast I would have to walk the last three miles to get under three hours.  I booked it, I kept to that time and under for the rest of the time and it wasn't until I entered the parking lot of the Fargodome that I realized I wasn't going to do it.  You see, you have to stick the shortest distance possible on the course for you to travel 21.1 km.  I don't always do that because I sort of abide by the "slower traffic keep right" so many of my turns, I'm swinging wide and so on.  I hit 21.1 on my Garmin as I was entering the parking lot.  I also hit 3 hours seconds after that.  I still had to run around the Fargodome and down into the dome to the finish line.  I was so sad at that moment.  If only I'd run a little bit longer before deciding to walk.  This was also the first race that I felt actually sick when finishing.  I ran across that finish line so hard, in a daze, hearing my name being yelled by people's faces that I couldn't focus on.  My eyes were scanning for the medal people as I did my drunken where's my medal stumble while taking note of where the garbage cans were so I wouldn't just barf on the pavement.  

Finally, I round the corner and spot the medal lady.  I stopped in my tracks about 10 feet from her and said "you're going to have to come to me".  She laughed and came to me and gave me my medals.  I rounded another corner and my friend Steph hollered my name.  I smiled, don't remember what I said and headed to the food.  All of the food looked like something I couldn't do so I grabbed two chocolate milks and some cookies (which I later dropped).  I chugged the first chocolate milk and started to feel better almost immediately.  Incidentally, at the time I finished, emergency workers were busy treating more people for heat related running issues in that 30 minutes than they ever had before.  

So one of these photos - the guy actually got my attention and that's why my arms are up in the air and I look so happy.  And the other one where I'm smiling is right near the end and I said to them "i suppose you want me to look like i'm having an awesome time?" so then I did a super awesome chariots of fire slow motion run.  Super funny.

I actually got three medals.  One for the 5 km, one for the half, and then the Go Far challenge medal for doing both.  Again, I don't need to do this challenge again!  Next time, I would much rather take my time at the expo, have a nice relaxing evening and supper and be in bed early enough.  

We went back to the hotel and showered and got ready to then go walk like crazy doing the shopping marathon portion of the weekend.  After all the cursing of the race that I did, our first stop was Scheel's and I bought some new runners and some Under Armor compression capris.  Say whaaaat??  I don't need those, I'm never running again remember??  Pfft.  
Love them!!!
The next day, we settled in with our carload of shopping for the two hour drive home and let me tell you.  I was moving okay.  Slowly, but okay when I got in the car.  However, we stopped to hit one more store and grab a bite about halfway home and when I tried to get out of the car, I realized I'd aged about 80 years in 60 minutes of sitting in the car.  Holy crap.  

So what I learned . . . 
1. Life Savers in a roll don't work well for fueling if it's raining out.  Way too sticky.  They need to be individually wrapped.
2. Nuun doesn't like me.  I wanted to like it so bad because so many people do but it gives me terrible bloating and gas.  TERRIBLE.  Through trial and error, I realized that my body does not like sugar alcohols, namely malitol and sorbitol.  Booo.
3.  Don't trust the Garmin.  Allow for that extra distance when calculating my time because I do not run the route of the front runner.  

Oh and to add insult to injury, this was the flight of stairs I had to walk up after feeling like I'd been hit by a train just to get out of the dome.  Mean people.


I promise the future updates won't be this long!!  Thanks for sticking with me!  Oh and I should mention, this half marathon was a PR but the slightest time.  I really wanted under 3 hours but I should be happy that it was the teeniest fraction faster than the last.  And I have another opportunity in September and if I can't get out of that race, then I'm registered for one in October too.  :)

Oh and this is my dear friend Heather who recently just moved away from me.  sniff sniff.  She would come over on Monday nights for supper and wine and Bachelor/Bachelorette.  This was her expression when I told I ran not once, but twice, that weekend.  Hehe - this is why I do it . .  . to horrify/impress people.