Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Randoms: Ironman, TV and Tunes

Since it is Thursday I figured this was a good opportunity to share some randomness on the blog!

There was some major triathlon inspiration this weekend!  On Saturday I went to the Kona broadcast viewing party at Tri-It.  Neil and I don’t have cable so this was a perfect opportunity to watch the show and to hang out with awesome people.  There were draw prizes and yummy snacks (that were all vegan and gluten free).  There were some very tear jerking and inspirational stories and you couldn’t help but be in awe of Mirinda Carfrae and her amazing ability to chase everyone down on the run.

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On Sunday my three best training buddies Shannon, Tara and Kelly all raced Ironman Arizona.  I was glued to my computer for much of the day getting tracking updates and watching the live race coverage.  Apparently the winds were brutal on the bike but they all had super stellar days.  I’m so proud of them for all of the hard work they put into training and for executing a great race.  For Shannon and Kelly this was their second IM this year after they both raced Boulder!

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On the no cable topic of discussion, we cut the cord when we moved to our new house.  I thought I would really miss having cable but the only thing I really miss is having the news and weather on while I get ready for work.  The few shows that I am interested in watching are available online right after they air (thank you Food Network Canada and Top Chef).  I’ve also been checking out old TV series that are up on Netflix and I’m really enjoying Gossip Girl right now.  So trashy!

One last thing that I’m loving these days is the new song (and the video to go with it) from OK Go - I Won’t Let You Down.  The video is pretty darn cool and the song is catchy and fun.  It is a good song to add to your running/spinning playlist!

Since it is Thursday and this post is somewhat random in nature I’m going to hop on the bandwagon and link up with Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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What is your favourite oldie but goodie show to binge watch on Netflix?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A touch of inclement weather

Calgary is no stranger to some pretty crazy weather and I’ve raced in some fairly rough conditions.  When I saw that MCM Mama, My No-Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice were hosting a link up for Tuesdays on the Run to talk about the worst conditions we’ve ever raced in I thought it would be fun to participate.

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Torrential Downpour #1: Banff Citizen’s Race 10K - June 2007

Running and racing in Banff is one of my favourite things however the Banff Citizen’s Race was not the best day to show off the beauty of the mountains.  There were logistical issues with the race shuttles we were supposed to take, plus there was a bear on the course and the route had to be adjusted at the last minute.  And it was pouring rain...

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The final few hundred meters to the finish line was a big puddle…a squishy mess of rain and black sand.  That was a rough race!

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Torrential Downpour #2: BMO Vancouver Half Marathon - May 2014

This year’s BMO Vancouver Half was another extraordinarily wet race!

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Luckily I had company that day as my friend Shannon and I ran together and having her by my side helped to take my mind off of the fact that it was so wet and cold.  

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A nicer day weather wise would have been great but Shannon and I ran a really strong race together!

Snow and Ice #1: Last Chance Half Marathon - November 2013

The Last Chance Half in November is always hit and miss for weather and last year’s race was a doozy.  There were a few centimetres of snow over ice making for a tough race.  It was slow going and when I slipped and fell backwards, landing on my lower back and head the race went from bad to worse.  Definitely not one of my favourite race experiences.

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Freezing Cold #1: Nose Hill XC - February 2014

I think my coldest race so far was at the Nose Hill XC race.  It was -15C out and the course was pretty windy.  Despite the chilly weather I really enjoyed this race and I felt pretty strong out on the trails that day.

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I’ve learned that (with the exception of the Last Chance Half) rough weather doesn’t necessarily have to mean a rough race.  If we waited for the perfect weather to race here in Calgary our window of opportunity would be very narrow.  Instead I prefer to tell myself that there is no such thing as bad weather, just improper gear.

How about you?  What are some of the toughest weather conditions you’ve raced in?

Running Through My Shoes

Back when I was in Boulder I took a trip into Denver to pick up some of my favourite Asics Kayanos from Road Runner Sports.  I figured with Goofy Challenge training on the horizon I would be in need of some new kicks.  It seems I have a thing for Asics Kayanos.

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When we moved out of our old home in June I found more than 10 pairs of long retired Kayanos to donate.

At first picking up two pairs of shoes seemed a bit indulgent.  I didn’t think I would be wearing out a pair of shoes but I thought it might be nice to have two pairs of shoes to rotate through.

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My trusty pair of pink and purple shoes that saw me through the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon and Ironman Boulder were starting to give my knees a bit of grief shortly after I got home from Ironman.  Time to retire them!

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Since then I’ve been using my new white Kayanos exclusively.  I had somewhat forgotten about rotating my new shoes.  I’ve been tracking my mileage on them but I haven’t really been paying attention to just how much I’ve been running in them.  Imagine my surprise when I picked them up a couple of days ago and discovered a crazy amount of wear and tear on the inside of the heal.

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I have two big holes where the lining has worn away.  I then checked out my training log to see I’ve run 300 miles in these guys!  Wow I’ve been running a ton lately.  I normally get about 350 miles per pair of shoes which may not be that much, but I always seem to notice knee pain right around that point in time.

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I guess that means it is time to put my black and purple shoes into rotation.

How many miles do you get out of a pair of shoes?  Do you rotate through different pairs or just wear one single pair?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Whose idea was this anyway?

This past week was where I questioned my decision to sign up for a January marathon.  Whose idea was this again?? :)

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The temperatures were in the -20C range with wind chill all week long.  Normally -20 is my breaking point and where I decide to hit the treadmill but I kept all my runs outdoors this week.  Thankfully I’ve got some great cold weather gear that helps to keep me toasty warm.

Tuesday: -13C (-22C with the wind chill).  I had a nice and easy 1:15 to run.  I struggled a bit with finding my footing with all of the snow on the ground initially.  The sun made a huge difference and it actually didn’t feel that bad out.

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Wednesday: -15C (-20 something with the wind chill).  The pathways around downtown were in brutal shape with so much snow and ice on them.  It was like they had barely been cleared.  Even though I only had a 35 min run on the schedule this was one of those days where I definitely would not have gone out if I wasn’t training for something.

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Thursday: -13C (and again, darn cold with the wind chill).  I was supposed to run 5 x 5:00 hill repeats but with the pathways and sidewalks in such poor condition I wasn’t sure if that was the best plan.  Instead I went to the stairs at McHugh Bluff for 25 minutes of climbing.  It was a tough workout and I had definitely overdressed as I needed to shed layers on the stairs.

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Saturday: -17C (-22C with the wind chill).  This was another easy 1:15 run.  It started off a little bit rough because my legs were pretty stiff and sore from Thursday’s stair workout.  Once my legs warmed up I felt great as I ran east along the Bow River.  Then I turned around and felt the wind smack me in my face.  The wind was so cold and so strong that it felt like I was barely moving.  Oof…that was a character builder!

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Finally things warmed up on Sunday and I didn’t need to wear my puffy vest out on the run.  It was -4C out!  It was perfect timing as I had a 3 hour run to do.

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This was my longest run so far in my training for the Goofy Challenge.  My legs were still stiff and tired from Thursday but I figured this was a good opportunity to run long on those tired legs.  After all, that is what I’m trying so hard to train my legs to do!  I unfortunately learned that my Camelbak can get a little stinky later in the run.

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Overall I had a really great 3 hour run.  In fact I felt so good that when I hit 3:00 on my watch I decided to run just a little bit longer because I was so close to hitting 16 miles.

So why did I sign up for a marathon in January?  Because I love the motivation to get outside and to keep running throughout the winter.  Having that goal helps me get out the door when I’d prefer to curl up by the fire eating a big bowl of comfort food.

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What keeps you motivated to train during the winter?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Join Me! Holiday Sweat Challenge

Remember when I said I was having a tough time fitting in strength, core and recovery spins into my weekly routine?  I have a plan in place for finding the motivation for these activities.

Holiday Sweat 2014

The new and improved Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, hereafter known as the Holiday Sweat Challenge.  This year Amanda at Run to the Finish is teaming up with Sweat Pink to keep you motivated to stay active and healthy over the holiday season.

What is the challenge exactly?  It runs from November 24th to January 5th.  Log your activity, servings of fruits and vegetables and water consumed to rack up points for the day.  Connect with a Facebook group just for challenge participants for motivation and inspiration.  Have the chance to win awesome prizes just for participating.  Get clean eating tips and recipes plus workout ideas throughout the challenge.  And all of this is for just $16!

I’ve participated in the challenge almost every year since 2008.  I’ve found that this is a great motivator to make sure I’m eating tons of fruits and veggies and drinking my water.  If you could use the proverbial kick in the pants to keep things healthy over the holidays then please sign up and join me in the challenge!  

If you decide to join please be sure to mention me in the referral section of the sign up form!