Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Friday Favourites

I wanted to share a few things that I am loving right now!

French Press Coffee

I look forward to the weekends where I have a bit of extra time on my hands and can brew up a pot of French Press coffee.  The difference in flavour over my usual drip is unbelievable.  I grind the beans fresh with a Breville Burr Grinder and brew in a Bodum press.

I will admit that the idea of chili lime beef jerky sounded a little strange to me.  I then tried some at #birdcamp and was hooked!  This is no ordinary beef jerky.  It is soft and tender and the flavour is delicious.  I've found it in Calgary at Sport Check and MEC.

Basin White Salt Scrub & Body Butter

Neil and I were passing through the shops at the Venetian in Las Vegas.  I wandered into the Basin White store and walked out with a bag full of goodies!  Winters in Calgary are very dry and my skin turns itchy and scaly pretty easily.  I'm going to combat that this year with Basin White's Salt Scrub and Body Butter.  They leave my skin feeling soft, smooth and well hydrated.  The scent is subtle and intoxicating.  I picked up Lavendar for both the scrub and butter but it was hard to choose!

Amphipod Xinglet Reflective Vest

The days are getting shorter and I'm doing quite a bit more running before work.  To stay safe on the paths I've been getting a lot of use out of my Amphipod Xinglet reflective vest.  It is lightweight and I don't notice it at all as I run.  With 360 degrees of reflectivity I know I'm highly visible out there!  Add on a blinky red light and a headlamp and I'm good to go.  I got the pink version from REI.

Our New Home

My absolute favourite thing has to be our new home.  We still have a few boxes around, but those are mostly corraled in the basement and the den.  We've put up a few pictures on the walls and I've spent some time getting my workout space set up.  I love the great options for running around our house, including run commuting to or from work.  I'm so excited to build a home with Neil here!

What is something that you are loving right now?

Friday, September 12, 2014

On to the next (Goofy) challenge!

Since #birdcamp I’ve started on a run only program with Coach Angie.  My goals for the next few months are most definitely running related so this made the most sense.  What are my big plans?

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photo via Run Disney

It is time to take on the Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World in January 2015!  This will be my third time taking on the challenge.  How could I forget sweating with Winnie the Pooh in 2008??

Goofy 2008

2008 - 2:41:58 + 6:21:05

Goofy 2013

2013 - 3:02:16 + 5:44:25

I’m pretty excited to tackle Goofy again, especially since it is the 10th anniversary of the race.  I’ve had some fairly good runs lately as I begin tackling the back to back runs.  I’ve enjoyed some new scenery...

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I’ve run into friends…  Hi Michelle, Jen, Tina and Sophia!

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I even found my reflective vest and headlamp for some early morning runs.

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And I’ve run in snow…in September…really!

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What big event are you training for right now?

Who else is running the Goofy Challenge with me?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oiselle #birdcamp

Back in August I had one of the most wonderful experiences in Bend, OR at the Oiselle #birdcamp.  Shortly after I was invited to join the Oiselle Volee team in August 2013 there was talk about organizing a running camp for the Volee and Haute Volee members.  Initially an August running camp seemed awfully close to Ironman Boulder, but luckily once the final dates for camp were revealed I figured I could make it work.

Camp was a week and a half after Boulder.  I was still recovering and had only been for one short run after the race.  Luckily there were plenty of things planned for camp besides just running so I knew I could take things at my own pace.  I flew from Calgary to Portland just after lunch time, then found a few other Oiselle athletes at the airport - Jen Bigham, Kimmie Pearlman and Atha Vermillion.  We boarded a teeny tiny plane and made our way to Bend!


Photo via Kimmie Pearlman

Soon after we arrived in Bend the heavens opened up and it started to pour!  Here was hoping the rain wouldn’t stick around all weekend…  The rain couldn’t dampen spirits though as I excitedly met so many ladies I’ve interacted with on twitter and Instagram in person!

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with Victoria Freile, Kelly Burns Gallagher and Jill

Expert Panels

Oiselle had arranged for some amazing guest speakers to come talk to us.  Jay Dicharry, PT and author of Anatomy for Runners talked to us about keeping our body healthy, imbalances and the importance of strength training.  

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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

Takeaway: to build muscle strength you want to do high intensity with heavy weights, 5-8 reps, 3-4 sets.  To build endurance you want to do higher reps (15-20) with low weight.  Since we already train our body to build endurance with running that is less effective though!  Jay told us we should plan for one strength day per week to maintain, two days a week to see progress.

Stephanie Howe, nutritionist and winner of Western States 100 this year came to talk to us about sports nutrition.

Stephanie Howe

photos via Thomas and Velo Photography

Takeaway: nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and carbohydrates aren’t evil.  Emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Aim to fill up 50% of your plate with fruits and veg, then add a whole grain and a lean protein.  You need to take in enough energy to power your metabolism (how much energy your body requires to sustain itself), thermogenesis (energy required for digestion, absorption and transporting nutrients), NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and exercise.

Lauren Fleshman talked to us about goal setting.  She discussed the difference between setting an obvious goal (e.g. completing a marathon), something that a lot of people want to achieve but not necessarily understanding what achieving that goal means to you, versus creating a goal from scratch.

Takeaway: Set your own definition of success as a goal needs to be meaningful to you to be effective.  There are so many things you can gain if you keep moving forward in the face of adversity.  Have an athletic goal, but also set a personal goal to encourage balance.

We also had a pro panel discussion with Kara Goucher, Lauren Fleshman, Kate Grace and Stephanie Howe.  No question was off limits!  I asked the girls how they overcome negative internal dialogue during training or a race.  Some suggestions?  Write down the negative thought as that helps to take away its power, then write down the positive counter thought.  Also don’t be afraid to talk to yourself out loud.

Deschutes Twilight 5K

There just happened to be a 5K race in Bend while #birdcamp was going on, the Deschutes Twilight 5K!  A 5K race with 100 teammates followed by celebrations with Deschutes Twilight Ale?  What isn’t to like?

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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

The race started off with a nice run up a hill, then a rewarding downhill and a flat push to finish.  I really wasn’t sure how the race would go…my main goal was to just keep running.  I pushed hard to the finish…ow, pain face!

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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

Garmin says I squeaked in at 29:52!  I wasn’t sure I had a sub-30 5K in my post-Ironman tired legs so that was a nice surprise.  It was then time to enjoy some Twilight Ale (which was delicious) and time with my teammates!

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with Ashley (my roommate for the weekend) and Paulette

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with Beth and Alicia

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with Becky, Stacey, Paulette, Victoria, Jessica and Emily

Hiking Smith Rock

Luckily the weather was glorious for the rest of camp and we all boarded a bus to head out to Smith Rock.  IMG 3868

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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

Lauren explained the different options for trail running or for hiking.

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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

I joined up with the group hiking up Misery Ridge…apparently most difficult??


The trail climbed swiftly.


It was so neat to look down and see all of the birds below!


The views near the top were so rewarding!

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Finally at the top!


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photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

Lauren really can fly!

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On the way down we went past Monkey Rock, where there were a few rock climbers scaling up the side.


It was such a beautiful day at Smith Rock, and what a great hike!

Saturday Morning Trail Run

It was time to explore some of the beautiful running trails around Bend!  A lot of the girls were running long distances, but luckily Lisa was hoping to run something a bit shorter at whatever pace.  We hopped in a car with Christine Babcock (one of the Little Wing runners) who took us out to one of her favourite trails (that was also a bit flatter).

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The trail was so pretty as we ran into the trees...

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…and towards some waterfalls.

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Lisa and I had met when I was in Boulder but it was really nice to run with her, chat and get to know her better.  Thank you for the wonderful run Lisa!

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Bend Brewfest

We had some free time on Saturday to explore Bend as we wished.  I did a little shopping at FootZone and grabbed my first ever cold brew coffee from Thump.  That cold brew was delicious and I now need to try and make some at home!

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After that Atha and I decided to explore Bend Brewfest.

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photo via Atha

Admission was free, but $15 got you a tasting mug and five tasting tokens.  Extra tokens were $1 each.

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I really enjoyed the opportunity to try so many delicious brews from the Pacific Northwest and I really enjoyed spending time with Atha.  Our beer tastes are very similar and there were some really great IPAs for us to try.  This is an event I would love to go back to, plus I know Neil would love it as well!

The Wrap Up

Saturday night finished up with tacos, more beers, donuts and dancing at Crow’s Feet Commons in Bend.  It was hard to believe our time at #birdcamp was coming to a close!

Bird Camp Collage

The experience at #birdcamp was one I will never forget.  The passion that everyone at Oiselle has for the brand and for women in sport is inspiring.  Sally may have started the company thanks to a need for flattering running shorts, but it has grown so much beyond that.  Considering I hated running as a kid I’m amazed by how much I love it now, and how much running has brought me.  My heart and passion for running was uplifted and rejuvenated by meeting everyone and discovering what running means to them.

It is such an honour to run for Oiselle and represent them, and I am so grateful I was able to go to #birdcamp.  Thank you to everyone I met that weekend for making it such a special experience for me.  And thank you to Sarah Lesko, Kristin Metcalf and Sally Bergesen for putting so much heart and effort in to organizing a marvellous weekend for everyone!

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photo by Thomas and Velo Photography

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Recap and September Goals

It has been a few months since I’ve done a goal post because I really only had one goal for July and August…have a great day at Ironman Boulder.  I thought it would be useful to catch up on everything that has gone on in August and then set the tone for training after Ironman.  Here we go!

September Goals

Ironman Boulder

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Done!  If you missed my race report, you can catch up on the swim, bike and run stories.  It was quite an amazing and tough day and I’m really proud of my race.

Las Vegas

After the race Neil and I drove to Las Vegas for a few days of post Ironman R&R.  It was such a great way to unwind and celebrate.  We stayed at the Aria, saw Penn & Teller and ate some very delicious food!  We ate at Julian Serrano (delicious tapas), Mesa Grill (blown away by the amazing flavours and great service) and Craftsteak (we love Tom Colicchio’s restaurants) and I would recommend all of them.




Just before we left for Boulder we discovered a raspberry growing on Peat’s rear leg, right on the ankle joint.

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Luckily Peat has an amazing vet and we were referred to a specialist for an appointment after we got back from vacation.  He had the mass removed that day and sent in for biopsy.  The great news is that the mass was benign, but because it was in such a tricky spot Peat’s recovery is a bit tough.  

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He still has to wear the cone of shame most of the time and Neil and I have to change his bandage every day.  Despite the discomfort and that he has to hop around on three legs he’s still a pretty happy dog.

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I haven’t had a chance to put the amazing experience that was Oiselle #birdcamp to words.  It was a long weekend in Bend, Oregon with some of the most passionate and wonderful people I’ve ever met.  We raced a 5K, we hiked, we ran trails and we got to hang out with some of the amazing ladies of Oiselle.  It was one of the best weekends ever and I felt so fortunate to have been able to go.

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Photo via Thomas and Velo Photography

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September Goals

I am now working towards the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge at Disney World in January!  That is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday.  Neil and I are also off to Disney World for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October for the third year in a row and I can’t wait for that!

My goals for September are:

  • Bring back strength training!  I did 30 minutes on Monday and I was hit with the worst case of DOMs for several days afterwards.  Ironman training doesn’t leave much time for anything but swim/bike/run and I’m looking forward to incorporating more strength training into my routine.
  • Core training, three times per week, including the Lesko Dozen two days a week.  Some of the ladies I met at #birdcamp have started a check in group on Facebook to keep each other motivated to get our double Dozen in!

There we go, pretty simple goals and nothing new.  Just stuff I want to bring back into the routine!  

What are your goals for September?