Sunday, October 28, 2012

If You Wait for Perfect Conditions...

Yeahhhhh, I need to look at this one regularly. Repeat it to myself daily. Maybe get it tattooed on the back of my hand.
See, I certainly like the results when I run regularly. But I don't like running when it's hot... humid... wet... rainy... cold... too sunny... too dark... too early in the morning... too late in the day...
Sheesh, I'm a delicate flower, eh?
The funny thing is - I did a race this weekend (Women's Run 8K) in the pouring rain, and the rain didn't bother me in the slightest. Being underprepared from not getting enough training in was a problem, but the rain wasn't!
See, I woke up that morning and lay in bed listening to the rain. Briefly thought about ditching the race but knew I'd regret it if I did. Told myself that the starting gun wasn't going off for a couple of hours and I'd really regret not going if the weather calmed down by then.
Out of bed, showered, breakfast, got dressed and into the car. Still raining.
Drove to the site, parked and sat in my car with coffee and a book until the last possible moment, listening to the rain drumming on the roof.
Once I was finally out of the car...the rain didn't seem THAT bad. Hiked up to bag check, hit the washrooms and lined up in my corral. Ran/walked the 8K, dodged as many puddles as I could, and barely noticed the rain despite getting soaked to the skin.
Do me a favour? Remind me of this the next time that I'm in my cozy house and finding it hard to get out in the weather for a run.
I had a good - not great - time at this race. It's a wonderful event, but lack of training in the last few weeks and poor nutrition that morning (too small breakfast, too close to the start time) meant that I did much more power walking and less running than I would have liked, and I was scraping the bottom of the barrel energy-wise by 7K. I did manage to pick it up in the last 300m for the photographers, though :-)
But I made sure to look around to enjoy the course and the fall colours - the park this race takes place in is gorgeous!  My daughter did the 5K route with me last fall and we had a marvellous time. Also made sure to thank each and every volunteer on and off the course. They were troupers.
And when I got to the finishline, I was so proud of myself. Proud for showing up, proud for not cutting things short by following the 5K-ers, and so proud for finishing an 8K - going longer than 5K is still a really new thing for me.
Here's hoping I actually learned a few things with this race. I'm going to need it to get ready for the 15K I'm doing in March...
Here's a few pics from the last 2 weeks -
New running shoes. Went for a few short runs around the 'hood with the dog.
Got to High Park a couple of times for the dog park...
...and trail running. Stella had a fabulous time in this gigantic mud puddle.
Wasn't too pleased later at home in the shower though. 
Got to Curves a couple of times each week. My daughter likes to come sometimes.
Walking to the start of the Women's Run. Pretty park.
Wilket Creek winds through the park. Can't tell it's raining, can you?

Check out the rain - and how wet my hair is!
This is at about 7.7K. Told you that I pulled it together for the photographers!

Heading into the finish line. Proud. Happy.
8K is in the books! Soaked to the skin but smiling.
Had a complete set of dry clothes in my car. Got changed and wore my medal for the rest of the day - even to the dentist!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unfinished Business

Ever sign up for a race because you feel like you had unfinished business on the course?
I just did.
Around this time last year, I signed up for the 5K course of the Around the Bay race for March 2012. The full event is a 30K; you can do the full or split it as a 2-or 3-person relay. This was one of those races that I'd been wanting to do, but at the time wasn't anywhere close to being mentally ready to tackle anything longer than a 5K.
So - I did the 5 and cheered my friends on as they did the relay or the full 30K. But I secretly wanted to be on one of those relay teams, and badly wanted to earn one of ATB's "Older than Boston" shirts - which you do not get if you only go for the 5K.
Well, since doing my first 10.5K this season, I'm ready to commit to a few more 10s. I reached out to my running buddies and we started partnering up for the next Around the Bay in March. In teams of two. Wait - what? That means doing 15K each - and winter training. Huh. OK!
This one is definitely going on my list of Big Goals for 2013. Funny thing is, going from the couch to 5K was a lot harder than going from 5K to 10K. And now that I've done 10, 15K seems manageable. Work, yes - but manageable rather than terrifying.
Then again, it seems manageable now, in October. And it will be in March - as long as I put in the training time this winter. Good thing I've got that big dog. That big, half-husky dog. Who loves running and loves winter.
As for unfinished business, I'm also feeling like I have some on the try-a-tri course I did this summer. Have reread my race recap a few times and am trying to decide if I want to give tri another go, or if I'm going to switch to du rather than face open water swimming at a race again. Something to think about.
Recap for this week -
This was a short week, thanks to Thanksgiving on Monday. Made it to the gym for a Zumba class and circuit, took Stella for a 3K run.
My daughter and I went to a wedding on Friday - my trainer, Ana, got married! Beautiful ceremony (not a dry eye in the house), and we did so much dancing that this just about counts as a workout :-) 

Dressed up and ready to go.
Was a rare chance to see my gym friends in non-wicking clothes, with hair and makeup done!

Took Stella to High Park the next morning and completely confused her by walking the trails rather than running them. Sorry, Stella - I was super tired.
Not the only time she stopped to stare at me. She could not figure out why I kept walking rather than start running.
And then we finished the weekend with a day trip to have Sunday dinner with my family. October is birthday season around here and we had some celebrathing to do. Also cake and cupcakes to eat. Back to the gym tomorrow!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had one heck of a week, followed by a fabulous weekend.
Things were exceptionally busy at both work and at home during the week, and I'm not proud to say that with the stress of it all I did a fair bit of yelling at home.
The one thing that kept me from going completely over the edge was exercise.  I'd have a nutso day at work, go home to a different kind of nutso, yell, then head out the door to either run with the dog or hit the gym.
Endorphins are wonderful things, aren't they? I'd come home feeling refreshed and happy, start off the next day calm, but then find myself getting increasingly tense as the day went on. Repeat.
So - I got in a couple of short runs, a couple of circuits, an abs workout, a body sculpting class and eventually the week was over.
And we had a 3-day weekend for Thanksgiving. Blissful.
We kicked things off with treetop trekking & ziplining! My son and I went with my brother-in-law and nephew, with my SIL on hand to take pictures. We gave this adventure to my nephew for his birthday, and had a fantastic afternoon out in the forest with the trees in full colour.
But here's the thing - I've done this before, but I really am afraid of heights. Ziplining is great fun, but walking on wobbly tightropes high up off the ground is really not my thing. But sometimes you have to push the envelope, y'know?
Me in red - catching my breath with my son. My nephew behind us in blue, with his dad on the platform to the right.

Heading out on the next obstacle. Reminding myself: "I am a Spartan...I am a Warrior..."

Edging along
I loved this one!
After the first obstacle course, I'd had enough. Meanwhile, both kids turned out to be absolute adrenaline junkies. They hit the intermediate course, then my son and BIL went for advanced one before all three of them went for the Big Zip at the end.
Double-decker cousins

My son ran through this one. Nephew was just as fearless.

The last zip: My son on the highest platform, nephew partway up the rope ladder, BIL on the platform below
I badly wanted to do this zip but couldn't face that rope ladder.

My son zipping in to the finish
The verdict? There's a really strong chance that I won't be going treetop trekking again, although I'd love to go ziplining again. The kids, though -
"We're coming back again, right?"
"Best birthday present ever, Auntie Jen!"
"We HAVE to bring [our younger siblings] next time - they should totally do the kids course!"
...and with that, we grabbed hot chocolates and met the rest of the family at Grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner.
The rest of the weekend has been a nice mix of chores, relaxing and our own Thanksgiving dinner. Followed by a trip to the park down the street to run the dog, soak up some sun...

 ...and shoot some hoops.

She sank this one.

The stress from last week seems like a distant memory now. A lot of it is temporary, both at work and at home. It may be a few more days until things calm down, but here's hoping that this week is more manageable.