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Category Archives: Running

Hurdles…

I started running in January, 2010. That first winter I was just starting out and I was very happy on my treadmill. I never thought I would run outside. I was going to be strictly an inside runner.

Then the first nice day in March came and I went for a run with my husband, outside. That was wonderful, I was definitely doing that again!

All was great, until October and November came, as they always do, cold and rainy.  I was training for a half-marathon, I had to keep running. I even did one of my long runs on the treadmill. I had learned to detest the treadmill.

I made it through the half-marathon in Florida in January, came home and had no pressing reason to run, so I didn’t run.  That was a problem, I missed it.

That's me at about the 3.5k mark of the 10k. There was no smile left by the 8k mark but it came back once I crossed the finish line!!

So here I am once again, the cold rainy weather has returned. Somehow I need to keep running.  In August I signed up for a 10k race in the beginning of November. That got me running. Gave me a reason to continue to train.

Now I stand in front of my running hurdle, cold weather. I don’t like to be cold. I like to sit in front of the fire with a wool blanket. So how am I going to handle this obstacle.

I need to schedule my runs and I have to run regardless of the weather. This means I either have to brave the weather or learn to enjoy my treadmill again. I don’t think it has to be one or the other. If my scheduled run falls on a sunny day, I will enjoy the outdoors; if the weather is bad, I will take advantage of running indoors.  I will remember why I run and will take it any way I can get it.

I just signed up for a 5k race on March 4th.  That should be some good incentive.  Do you need a goal, join me http://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=6690&contentId=20794&vrindex=0

I am determined to run through this winter and I will succeed.

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in General, Running

 

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Priorities…

Priorities…

Today was a day to run, but another need was just more important.  About a month ago I promised my kids that I would not purchase cookies for them this year.  They would only eat homemade ones.  So to keep up with this promise, I baked.  On Labour Day weekend I baked about 25 dozen cookies.  Sure that seems like a lot, but I have 4 kids in my house and 3 of them are teenagers.  I also have a husband with a crazy fast metabolism who absolutely loves my homemade cookies.

On Sunday, we ran out of cookies.  Monday, I choose to run, Tuesday was too busy.  So today, I had a choice to make after my errands were done.  Run or bake.  One meant keeping a promise to myself, the other meant keeping a promise to my kids.

My afternoon looked like this:

Getting the job started. (Okay these are the last 6 to go in the oven, but the first I thought about photographing!)

The finished product. I grew up eating these, I've just tweaked the recipe a bit.

I really love baking!

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Family, General, Running

 

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Hills are necessary in running…

This hill kicks my butt more than I care to admit! It continues around the bend, it just seems to go on forever.

My husband always tells me that hills make me a stronger runner.  I don’t always like to listen to his running advice, it makes too much sense!  I learned something valuable on my run this afternoon.  He was right!  The hills that I run in my neighbourhood are very beneficial to my training.

Let’s be honest, hills are frustrating and for some reason I always seem to be running into the wind when I have to tackle one.  By the time I get to the top of a hill my face is red and I’m breathing pretty hard.  My pace is also slower, I don’t like being slower.  But I run them anyways because of where I live.  There are only hills here and some of them are big (I my opinion).

Today, I was working in the library at my daughter’s school and I really needed to get my long run in.  I must to get up to the 10k mark and today had to be a long run, the rest of the week is just too busy.  So, I mapped out my 7k route starting at the school.  About halfway through I realized how much my hill running was paying off.  Normally I run at a 6:30-6:45 minutes/km pace.  Today I averaged 6:19 and that was after I hit a wall of dehydration at the 4k mark (my antibiotics were the culprit on that one).  What was the difference?  There were no hills on this route, it was relatively flat.  Sure it wasn’t 100% flat, like running in The Netherlands, but it was pretty flat.

The other thing I learned about hills…I like them!  They make the landscape more interesting, they break up the run.  Running today almost seemed boring, it was almost not challenging.  I struggle with writing that because the run was still a challenge, but it was just different, I can’t put it into words.

Hills are for training, I’m glad I’m surrounded by them where I live.  Flat running is for races where I can then feel faster!!!  If you run, find hills, you will hate them but you will learn to appreciate them.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Running

 

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Running can be a time of worship…

I don’t like to get up early. My kids will confirm that. I have been known to crawl out of bed after they all leave for school. Sunday mornings have changed recently for me. Instead of getting up a 8:30 and getting ready for church, I dragged myself out at 7:00 so I could get a run in.

The thing that shocked me the most was how wonderful a Sunday morning run can be. Sure, the other mornings are okay but they are filled with commuters, trucks and school buses.

The air was cool but the morning sun felt so warm. As I started out, I just drank in that sunshine. I let my feet do all the work, I let my body do what I knew it could. I chose to enjoy my surroundings. I forgot my iPod so my ears were wide open to the sounds around me. First I heard the birds and around a corner the crickets and other bugs joined the choir. I kept running, past a pond, I heard the frogs. I opened my ears to the chorus that the world worships God with. It was beautiful!

 

The animals in the fields just shouted out the majesty of His creation.

 

 

The colours seemed extra bright this morning, the dew in the grass gleamed. This was true worship. Nature was calling out to God and my heart and mind sang along.

This time alone with my God is another reason why I run.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Faith, Running

 

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6k Run, I Finally Did It…

Today, for the first time since my half marathon in January, I ran more than 5k.  Well, my regular block is actually 5.43k but for some reason 6 seemed so much farther.  I guess because it is the start of lengthening my runs so that I can get to 10k in the next 5 weeks.

Sometimes I wonder why I set goals that scare me. I know, I know, “do one thing everyday that scares you”. I don’t buy into that, I can’t think of a new scary thing everyday. But this run, it scared me.

Well, after running errands with my son, I knew I could put it off no longer. Surprise, surprise! The run was not tough, it felt great! It makes me think that the heat was beating me up more than the hills and the actual running. I ran every hill with ease? Well, maybe not ease, but it was easier than the last time. I ran 10 minutes and walked one, consistently. I finished strong, I felt strong.

This is why I run, this feeling is the high that I love. For the first time in four months I finished my run thinking that I can’t wait for the next one.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Running

 

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The things I learned helping at Ironman Canada…

I have come to learn some very important lessons this past Sunday.

On Sunday, August 28, 2011 my husband competed in Ironman Canada in Penticton, BC.  For anyone who has never heard of an Ironman, it is a triathlon where the athletes swim 4km, bike 180km and then run 42km. It is a grueling day for him. I have watched him train for years, but the lessons I learned were not from him.

To help pass the long day, I volunteered in the Women’s Change Tent.  There, I helped the athletes get ready for the next leg of the race.  I would organize the items in their gear bag, help them get their shirts down over their backs and then pack what they didn’t need back in their bag and move it to where they would pick it up at the end of the day.  It was a lot of work, yet very rewarding.  I spent roughly 5 minutes with each woman I helped.

What did I learn?

  1. These women know perseverance. They just pushed through the pain and the heat and finished the race.
  2. They know how to set goals. One woman I spoke with decided one year ago to register for this Ironman. She did some biking and running but pretty much had to learn to swim!
  3. They know how to gracefully accept defeat. Each leg of the race has a cut off time. If you do not make it to the transition area before that time, you may not continue. They cry, then they hold their head high and accept it as experience, “I will learn from this and do things differently the next time”.
  4. They need encouragement. Some of them came off their bike not sure if they could carry on. I would need to help them prepare for the run while gently telling them that they can do it.
  5. They understand that it’s okay to take a break now and again.  The best story of the day was about an athlete that was really feeling the heat. He got off his bike, laid down in the grass and asked a spectator to wake him in half an hour!  Many of the women took the time to rest in the change tent even if it was just for 2 minutes.
  6. They can laugh at themselves and circumstances beyond their control.  Another great story was from a woman who went to use the port-a-potty after gearing up for the bike.  She was carrying her helmet with her bike gloves inside.  She slipped going in, her hand landed in the urinal and one of her gloves flew into the toilet.  The only thing she could do was pick it out, she needed them for the ride!  She said all day her hand smelled like crap and it just made her laugh.

How does this translate into real life?

  1. If they can persevere on a day like that I can certainly do it in the small things.  I can get up and put in 5k.  I can eat healthy on a daily basis.  I can get through the laundry and housecleaning.  I know that it doesn’t seem like Ironman and housecleaning go together, but I must persevere in the things that are part of my life!
  2. We can all set goals.  They don’t have to be big.  Maybe it is just a goal to get out for a walk three times a week.  Maybe it is to plan each week’s meals on a Sunday night.  Whatever it is, we all need goals and then we need to head back to number one and persevere so that we can meet those goals.  I need goals to keep running, so I sign up for local 5k and 10k races, they keep me motivated.
  3. I have learned that when I fall down from my goals, that I just have to refocus and move on.  If healthy eating is my goal, then one bad day should not turn into a bad week.  I just need to pick myself up, refocus and remember what my goals are.  I will not let defeat get the better of me, each day and each hour I can start fresh.
  4. I do need encouragement.  That comes in many forms.  I’m encouraged when I step on the scale and it goes down.  I’m encouraged when my clothes fit just a little better.  I’m encouraged when I finish my run in the time that I expect.  I feel great when I feel the sweat just pour off my face after a great workout.  I’m totally encouraged by my husband.  He treads that lightly because he doesn’t want to accidentally discourage me, but he is really awesome.  My friends encourage me.  It is important to surround yourself with the type of friends who will help you achieve your goals.
  5. No one can go 100km/hour forever.  Give yourself permission to enjoy life.
  6. Laughter is good for the soul.  Thankfully, my kids are really good at helping me with this one.  It kind of goes hand in hand with defeat.  Learn to laugh at your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

I learned some good lessons and I hope to implement them for a long time to come.

 

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A Great Run…

Today I was able to run with my husband. It was an “easy” run for him. For me, I ran 5k which is something I haven’t done in a while. I was concerned that being in BC my run would be hilly but we are staying in a pretty flat area. I managed to run the 5k in 33 minutes. In was pretty pleased with myself!

When the Ironman participants that we talk to find out that I run, they say it is only a matter of time until I am doing Ironmans also. I assure them that it won’t happen. I say I will do them when I don’t have to swim or bike! They don’t believe me but my husband knows that this is one time that my determination will stand!

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Running