Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Is The New 2008

I have been reading a lot of great posts these past days that summarize the accomplishments of 2008 and the goals for 2009.  I had hoped to do something similar but then I realized the difficulty I might have in doing that?  First, I really just returned to running earlier in the year and have yet to accomplish a formal race accomplishment beyond a few 5k and 10k's.    I guess I could summarize as follows:

  • Decide in early 2008 that we could not just wait around for our daughters condition to get worse.  Rather than be idle, I informed my hubby that I was going to run a 1/2 marathon with the Joints in Motion Care team in Toronto.  The 1/2 marathon was many, many months away so I was not overly worried.  Hubby was somewhat concerned about my tendency to overextend myself but I assured him that all was well. 
  • In February 2009, I met with the Arthritis Society.  After learning of my previous running experience, they convinced me that the 1/2 marathon in Disney is a far more exciting thing to do and that I could try to raise a lot more money.  I was very skeptical but decided to give it a shot (see: hubby has more anxiety...).  
  • In March 2009, I began running again with more regularity.  Somedays I felt like an Olympic Athlete and super Mom...other days I was little more than pathetic and bloated former athlete trying to relive the glory days after two kids and one too many plates of nachos.  I digress....
  • In April 2008, I began to fundraise and Glory be to God, it was an enormous success!  In less than a week I had raised over $4000 and within a month I had exceed $6000.  At last check, my total funds raised was approached $7000 with one week left.   We have wonderful friends, families, colleagues and employers! 
  • In May 2008, the training coach convinced me I could do the full marathon.  This was a matter of significant debate in the RunMommy household as the time, energy and physical capacity was soon to exceed critical mass.  However...the full had eluded me twice previously (darn pregnancies) so a little part of me couldn't let it go and hubby relented.
  • May 2008 to present - training really begins..hurray!
  • September 2008 - foot injury and relentless pain threaten to sideline the event and there is much discussion on whether we can proceed with so much on the line.  Several mental breakdowns later, it is decided to push forward and hope for the best!  After rest, lots of massage, physio and excellent advice - we were back on track with only the time goal to sacrifice. 
  • November 2008 - first run to exceed 30k and the first time we actually thought this might happen.  Thanks again to M&M! 
  • December 2008 - tickets are paid for, travel plans are booked, children are over the moon with excitement and there is no turning back now
So here we are!  We leave one week from today and I am ready to roll.  At this point, I would be happy even if I finish is 6 hours (put sub 5 would make me happier - who am I kidding??).

As for 2009 plans:
  • Complete first marathon
  • Sit on butt for at least 1 full week (post Disney tour)
  • Play competitive soccer again after 5 year hiatus.  
  • Conitnue to encourage children to participate in athletic endeavors to their fullest effort!
  • Repair SuperMom cape for future use
  • Cook dinner every night - not just on days I want to have vegetarian fare
  • Participate in at least one trail race
  • Complete at least on other marathon (maybe 2 - maybe 3 - Wow, the addiction really is catching!)
  • At least one marathon must be in another country - perhaps without children this time??
  • Become friends with my bikini (seriously??? no)
  • Enjoy 10 years of joyful marriage (hopefully in a cafe in Paris)
  • Introduce one new children's active living event in the community (LOVE my job)
  • Continue to read up on the activities of all the bloggers who run for health, run for love, run for joy, run for torture or run for all the above.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Running the Holidays

Again, I have been very neglectful of the blog and my blogger friends these past weeks but it seems wrapping up work, final weeks of training, planning a family vacation all over the busiest days of the year is a little more time consuming than I thought!  

With that thought, I need to start planning what to bring.  Packing for my family is one thing but I don't want to forget any essentials for the marathon either.  I have been pouring over websites with tips and ideas and tried to search through the Disney site as well but I welcome any tidbits of advice!  I have this horrible image where I arrive in Florida with only one shoe (of the pair that I have PERFECTLY broken in) or without my all important hat.  

I have mostly done my speech and practiced it a few times - 4.5 minutes give or take. Now my biggest stress on that is what to seems the marathon training diet is the WORST one ever!  I had hoped that two weeks before marathon, my butt would be the size of Jennifer Anistons but it seems that eating non-stop (especially on Sunday's) is not offset by miles of running...who knew???  Lesson learned oh wise running gods. 

So I will spend the next week getting vacation organized because taking a loving but useless husband and two small children on an airplane to Orlando should be no problem. (*cough, gasp*).  

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and looking forward to a joyous 2009!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Three Weeks and Counting

I must apologize for my absence this week, it has been crazy busy.  I am just starting to get caught up on the blogs so I hope I didn't lose anyone!  Anyway, I am not feeling to great today and I am praying that it is not a drive down bug because this could possibly be the WORST timing for that!  Christmas is a few days away, I have to finish up a few more things for work before holidays and I am in the final three weeks of my training for Disney.  Let's hope it all works out. 

Today I met with my training gods, Marci and Moe and managed to get in about 17km in the dome (round and round and round...).  This morning when I woke up I felt a bit funny and nauseous but when we got going, I felt better.  I was banking on 30k+ today and felt pretty good about it early in the run.  At about 10k I started to feel a bit off and by 15km it was awful and I was sure I was going to be sick.  I had some water, a gel, and kept going.  At 17k I had to pack it in because I was sure I was going to lose my lunch on poor Marci (sorry for the graphic details but there really is no dainty way to say it is there??).  This has me a bit stressed as that was to be my third and final 30k + run before the marathon.  Not to mention, this crazy winter weather is making outdoor runs nearly impossible so the bulk of my final weeks will be indoor.  Both Moe and Marci were very certain that I will be ready but I am very nervous...much more than I ever thought I would be.  

Well, I think I will soon head to bed as the toast I had when I got back from the run is also disagreeing with me.  Here's hoping this is nothing more than a 24 bug as I think my children will be devastated to have a wiped out Mommy for Christmas!  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Need Ideas!

Thanks everyone for the comments on the last post. I feel a lot more confident about what I am going to say and actually, I am kind of excited about it now. Thanks!

This is totally off the running topic but I really need some finish up my Christmas shopping. My own kids are done as is my husband and both set of parents. We don't buy for aunts, uncles, cousins etc.. We do a draw among the 25 or so extended family members and then make a game out of it on Christmas. It is really fun and a lot more economical! However, I still have three more to buy and I am TOTALLY stumped.

First, my 14 year old nephew. He is my sister-in-law's son and he is a great kid. He likes what all boys his ages likes - HELP! Who knows what he likes - he is 14??? From what his mom tells me, he mixes between little boy and grown up man every hour so his interests change by the minute. In one sentence he is excited about heading out to snowboard and in another sentence he is talking about all his cool friends (of which some are possibly female??). He wears his pants too low and his hair too long but he is a really good natured kid - even for a quasi adolescent. :) I am at a loss on this one.

Second is his sister. This is a real stumper because she is 18, wears various assortments of black and her hair is all different lengths and about 4 different colours including pink, blue, purple - really just depends on her mood (which by the way is equally as unpredictable). She is a very beautiful girl who wears WAY too much make-up and paints bizarre things on her face and hands. I couldn't not even begin to guess what her interests are. When I was 18, I wore boot cut jeans, button up polo shirts and had white blond hair halfway down my back. I am confident she would have found me appalling! She doesn't play any sports and abhors any kind of sweating. She struggles in school despite being genius level of intelligence and rallies against her parents and their rules at every opportunity. Depite all this, she adores my children and gets down and dirty whenever she plays with them! They really love her which is a wonderful statement on the fact that children don't judge in appearance. Underneath all that junk on her, she is a nice kid just looking for her path. She is also an excellent artist but my attemps to buy her art supplies in the past have been somewhat poor as I apparently know nothing about it (that is true).

Finally, my babysitter. She is a wonderful woman who watches my children three days a week. She is also my son's Cub Scout leader and she is the assistant coach on his hockey team. She takes my daughter to swimming lessons and remembers when it is "needle day" so to make sure she gets an extra surprise on those days. Usually a new package of hair pony's or a toy hockey stick (yes, my daughter would rather play with hockey sticks than babies). She and her husband both give up a lot of their time to their own kids activities as well. She is the president of the Parent and Teacher Association and quite often does little extra's for me like picking up my son from school even on days that are not hers. I know the obvious chloice is a bonus ($$) and she would probably like that best but I would like to get her something personal and more thoughtful. She really cares for my kids a lot and want them to give her something!

So there it is...I am stumped on these three things. I hope no one minds that I have hijacked my blog for this purpose but I am desperate! On the other hand, this week's long run is another 30k+ run as I countdown to Disney!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inspiration Mile

I have talked about this in the past but I thought this was worth posting.  As everyone know, I am running in Disney with the Joints in Motion training team.  I am running for my 3 year old daughter who was diagnosed last year with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.   I am in the final stretch for fundraising so I put this out there for anyone still interested in sponsoring me at  Run for Reese !  

That aside, I have also been asked to speak at the reception and tell our story.  While I am not a fearful public speaker, I have really struggled on what to say??  I don't want it to be a quiet sad story and I also want to be sure to talk about running a marathon - not just arthritis. I have been asking around for ideas and have several people send me little quotes, jokes etc...about running and I thought I would post but a few of my favourites for all my blog friends!  

If you want to win something, run 100 metres.  If you want to experience something, run a marathon. - Emil Zapotek

Most people run a race to see who is the fastest.  I run a race to see who has the most guts.  - Steve Prefontaine

You have to forget your last marathon before you try another.  Your mind can't know what's coming.  -Frank Shorter

We can't all be hero's.  Someone has to sit on the curb and clap as we go by. 
- Will Rogers

The advantage to exercising everyday is that you die healthier 
- Anonymous

Michael Johnson, the Olympic gold medal runner, was on his way to a club with some friends. At the door, the bouncer turned to him and said: "Sorry, mate, you can't come in here - no denim". Michael was quite annoyed at this and retorted: "Don't you know who I am? I'm Michael Johnson".  The bouncer replied "Then it won't take you long to run home and change, will it?" 

Last year I entered the "New York City marathon". I finished last. It was embarrassing. And the guy who was in front of me, second to last, was making fun of me. He said, "Hey buddy, how does it feel to be last?". I replied: "Do you want to know?" and I dropped out.

The difference between a mile and a marathon is that a mile is like burning your finger and a marathon is like being slow roasted over coals.

Most men take the straight and narrow. A few take the road less traveled. I chose to cut through the woods."

Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. 
  - Unknown

Some individuals dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. 
  - Beth Lukens, Florida State runner

Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not. 
 - Dr. George Sheehan

If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn’t run hard enough. 
  - Steve Jones

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. 
  -Lance Armstrong

Marathoning is like cutting yourself unexpectedly.  You dip into the pain so gradually that the damage is done before you are aware of it. Unfortunately, when the awareness comes, it is excruciating.          - John Farrington, Australian marathoner

I welcome any other thoughts, jokes, top 10 lists..anything I can put into my speech so I don't sound like a total cornball.  It will be hard enough to be a room full of people running for something that is so important to us and I think I would rather have an uplifting and positive story to tell the night before running the longest thing I have ever done in my life. Don't you agree?  :)


Monday, December 8, 2008

Work, Kids, Holidays, Training, Trip..... I'm Tired

I am really getting tired. I work full time and although I have a great job, I am pretty busy and have full days. My children, while I adore them - are EXHAUSTING. They have started to fight with each other CONSTANTLY which is driving me insane. They will fight about who gets to drink from the blue cup and who gets to stand beside the cart in the grocery store, who's snowball is the biggest and so on...I really thought a boy and a girl wouldn't fight so much. I stand corrected.

I am getting very nervous about the race so I stress about each training run a bit more than I should. The weather is stressing me because I really hoped December was going to be a more mellow weather month. This makes training more challanging because of the added thoughts about how and where to run. Not to mention, running 25 or 30k + takes a really long time! With little spare time as it is, giving up so many hours is wearing me down.

I think I have Christmas presents for all and have thought of everything but I know I am forgetting someone and with little time to get out, I hope that doesn't happen.

Finally, I am trying to plan for our trip which up to the this point has been sort of secondary to all this. Now I am starting to realize that in less then a month, my family (including my 3 and 6 year old) are heading on an airplane to a far away destination. This can not be done on a lark!

Umm...maybe I should head out to play tennis or something physical. Oh that's right, I can't do that because my husband is at his one night a week hockey game and sadly a 6 year old is not a suitable babysitter. :)

If you can believe it, reading all these posts including Marci's that I just read has me thinking about what race I will want to do next! I think I am insane. Aren't we all?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Run a Bust

Hello all,  

Today is a bummer.  I set out this morning on my 23k run (only four more long runs to go!).  I was a little worried because it was quite a winter stirring last night.  However, I bundled up and got myself prepared for the cold.  My friend was meeting me on the second loop and she bailed out this morning because of the wind!  So off I went down the road.  At 1km I realized it was much colder than I thought.  At around 2km, the wind was blowing and when it got strong (which was a lot) it would blow wind and snow on my felt like little tiny daggers on my cheeks!  At 3km, I turned around and ran home.  

So there you go.  What started as 23km ended up being 6km which I may have run in record time. Winter really blows.  

Tomorrow I am going to a local indoor track to run 6 million laps around and get my 23km for my long run.  It is not ideal but better than a treadmill for 2.5 hours. Next week it is back up over 30k again so let's start hoping for some sun!

Instead, my husband, kids and I are heading out to pick up our tree from a local farm.  The children are extremely excited and I am also anxious to get out the decorations and lights.  Some family for dinner tonight and back to work again tomorrow!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Friends and Enemies

Not to worry, my subject is not nearly as ominous as the title sounds. I was thinking yesterday that there are so many things that make me happy in running and then other things that are driving me crazy.
Friend: Disney! Can't wait, we are very excited and not just for the marathon but for all the super fun things that we are going to do. My children talk about it every day...if we don't see Lightening McQueen or Nemo..there will be trouble :)
Enemy: INJURIES! Most know of my nagging foot injury that put up roadblocks for several weeks during my training. I will not say that there is no pain but lots of massage, physio, orthotics and proper coaching really made a great difference. Sunday I did 35k and the pain was no more than the rest of my body! There is nothing more frustrating than having an injury after you are doing something so great for your body, mind and overall health.
Friend: My new Asics running shoes!
With all my research on how to alleviate my foot pain, it was suggested that I give the Cumulus or Nimbus models a try. LOVE THEM. For the first time, I am really having no foot or heel pain while I run. From a dedicated Nike girl - I am converted.
Enemy: Darkness. This time of year, it is dark - a lot. If I run in the early am it is dark. If I want to run in the evening, I have to go by 4:00 if I still want to be in daylight. Sometimes I don't mind the darkness but I can sometimes get talked into slowing down or walking for safety reasons or because it just seems so late and I am tired (even though it might only be 5:00). Here's to the planet speeding up the rotation process.
Friend: I have discovered a great benefit to running that some people talk about more than others (I am thinking men vrs women). Great Jeans. And no, not the genetic kind.
It is fair to say that I am not walking down any catwalks anytime soon but I enjoy that some of the more jiggly bits are little tighter and firmer. No woman out there can honestly say great jeans don't matter - just admit it. Let's not get crazy though, lots of parts are still a little too big and a lot more jiggly...perhaps I should do another marathon after this to keep working on it?
Enemy: Icy Roads.

For many of you this is not a problem. Here in Canada we have winter so ice can be a nightmare. As long as people clear their walkways and driveways, ice on running routes are not always a problem. However, quite often there are patches and sometimes they sneak up on you. I do hate treadmills but sometimes they are a necessary evil so I don't break my neck.

Friend: Support. This blog and my blogging friends, family members and non running friends who pep me up when I am tired, offer to babysit when Daddy is away. Friends that run really far distances with me when they don't have a race they are training for (thanks Moe/Marci). A great husband who makes sure I get the time I need and gives the green light on YET ANOTHER pair of shoes and kids who drive by with Daddy to cheer me on. Support is vital to success and I could not ask for more.

So there it is. My thoughts for today!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was giving this post a lot of thought as I considered several options for topics or some kind of clever title..but I have nothing.  Nothing more than to say that I had my longest run to date yesterday - again!  Last week I did 26k and I felt over the moon about it. This week I was planning 30k but instead of was 35k!!  

Many, many thanks to Marci's husband who was generous enough to accompany me on this mega run when Marci was sidelined with illness.  I felt terrible that he was up so early and on his feet for so long just to drag me along but I was extremely happy to finish!  The best part was that I thought we had only done 30k so to find out it was 35k was very, very thrilling.  In addition, I felt a lot better about the fact that I totally wanted to throw up at the end and it was comforting to know that it was because it was such a long run.  Thanks again Moe and I hope you are feeling much better Marci!

I must admit that making the jump from 26k to 35k in a week was tiring and I was pretty sore yesterday but I still feel great and without anything more profound to say - that is my boring post for today! :)