Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tale of the Trail and V for Veg

I am a terrible blogger as of late...we are moving out of our house in 10 days, moving into my sister's house for 7 weeks and then moving into our new house in early September. My son has finished school and my daugher is entering the "I'm 4 years old and I can anything!" phase. Summer and its crazy schedule is upon us and time is just slipping away from me!

That said, I have two topics for today.. The first is my debut to trail running - I LOVED it! it was fantastic and I will absolutely do it again. I was very nervous about things like the etiquette during the narrows and how to maneuver through uneven terrin and as it turns out - these were reasonable things to be nervous about! However, it was great and I STRONGLY recommend to any runners - particularly if you are feeling a little blah about your running. The event has a real "ECO" vibe to it, right down to the earth friendly music at the finish! As expected, my friend totally kicked my butt but hats off to her - she is a short distance machine. She loved it as much as I did so we will do another.

Secondly, I am going to add a cooking and nutrition element to the blog so I need some help! I need some good examples of fruits and vegetables that are maybe not exactly mainstream. Everyone is familiar with the standard things we see but I want to open up the mind a little and find some that are less popular. I want to set up my articles from A-Z so try to think alphabetically with your ideas! Lastly, I want to find ways to use these fruits and veggies in a family friendly way so if you have any tips/recipes/ideas or links that you can suggest, pass it along in the comments on in my email -


p.s. For anyone that follows it - Dementieva is beating Serena Williams in Wimbledon right now.. not by much but it is shocking nonetheless. Match Point for Dementieva---oops back to Deuce..

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best Friends and Opponents

This weekend will be a first for first trail run! I am really excited but very nervous! I am not sure why because the distance is short but the idea of all those hills and different terrain have me a bit spooked. Also, being a Canadian, we could only get out on trails in May because it was either frozen or sludge until then. Not to mention, I don't like to go out to the trails by myself so I have to ensure I have a partner with me. This can be challanging when most of my running partners are also Mom's with crazy parent schedules. As a result, I have only done 2 trail runs and the race is this Saturday!

Here is my other problem and it is NOT a reasonable one. I often run with one of my best friends. Our children are both the exact same age and sex and we see and/or speak to each other nearly every day. Even our names are only different by the placement of the "E". She was a great short distance runner in her youth and as an adult she is still very active in hockey, lacrosse etc.. She and I are running this event together and she is PUMPED. However, she normally cuts runs off at 10km. While training for my marathon, she would often meet me on my second loop so to give me a push but she was not going more than 10k.

I am definately the stronger long distance runner and have far more mileage in a week but I can say with certainty that she will KICK MY BUTT in this race. She is super fast on the short distance. This has me a little bummed out! Do you think that is strange? What is even more strange is why would I even want to be so competative with my closest friend? Is that a woman thing or just a human being thing? It is even more strange that we are hardly Olympic competitors in our 20's. Does anyone else think that once you have a mortgage, two children and exceed the age of 35, we should be a bit more forgiving to ourselves and our fellow competitors?

One of my favourite things about running is the racing environment. I am addicted to the energy people give off and I can honestly say that I am fine with total strangers running me down but it stresses me when it is my best friend. I feel the same way when I am play soccer and tennis. I don't lose any sleep when a team of stranges mows us over but last week I played against a friends team and felt compelled to kick (forgive the pun) it up a notch. Playing tennis with my brother in law is probably the best workout I can get because I refuse to give an inch.

I think I need a little therapy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laptops, Sippy Cups and Running Shoes

So is the woes of a working mother. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I spend all day encouraging Corporate Canada to support their employees in improving their lives, their health and their overall wellness. In this trying economic times, the message is louder than ever.

However, there are days.....for example, Friday of last week I started the day like any other with one MAJOR execption. I like to run in the mornings - it gets the job done, I get a nice jump start to the day and frankly, my evenings are often absorbed by so many other things. However, on this day, I just didn't. No reason really, I just took the children to day care, came back to change into running clothes and go. I was a little concerned about time as I had my first meeting at 9:00 which meant a short run and a quick shower but I had done it before. This particular morning, I just wasn't feeling it and instead, I read the paper (online of course!) and drank a tea and got myself ready at a nice leisurely pace. - I should have known not to mess with the order of things as I discovered throughout the day.

Off I go to my meeting, smugly enjoying my change in schedule and thinking about some article I had read in the paper. When I drove around a corner toward my meeting, my bag fell off my seat and its contents went flying out. Although a pain, it is usually not a problem but this time, a wayward sippy cup was in my bag from the weekend. Of course the lid had come loose and now the contents of the sippy cup were all over the place - including my wallet, my Blackberry, my expense cheque that I had not yet desposited....When I say contents, I actually mean GRAPE juice. Excellent. I allow myself a few cursory statements not suitable for family reading and carrying on thinking about how I was going to pitch out all the sippy cups and therefore end the ongoing battle with my four year that she is WAY too old for them. There, now I felt better.

I arrive at my meeting where I am scheduled to speak to a large group of community nurses about our new partnership with their employer. The room in which I was presenting was large and what was probably at one time a cafeteria. I get myself set up and pull out all my materials. Then I pull out my laptop for the presentation slide show and begin to source an electrical outlet. Now, under normal circumstances, it is faily likely that an outlet is a no brainer. But keep in mind this was a cafeteria and the set up of the room is not exactly "standard". With no outlet to be found, I think - no problem. The laptop has a battery right? Of course I had forgotten that on Thursday, I had sat in a coffee shop between my meetings where there was no outlet and I had used up most of the battery life. Now I am standing in front of 200+ employees eager to learn of the wonderful changes their employer is embarking on and my presentation will probably only last about 10 minutes on the charge I have. And so it continues...

End of the day arrives and I pick up my children, go home, make dinner, chat with the hubby and put kids to bed. I spell out the mishaps of my day and he says, "maybe you should have run this morning after all?". After thinking about this, I decide perhaps he was right. Now after 8:00pm, I change my clothes, put on my running shoes and head out the door. I am determined to correct the universe! I start up the hill that we live on (I won't miss that when we move) and get to the top - about to the turn the corner when I trip over a ledge on the sidewalk. Not only to a trip but my foot goes off the sidewalk and into the mud to the side. When I say mud, I acually mean, swamp that has been freshly filled by the rain in recent days. My foot, up to the ankle, is buried in indescribable sludge and when I pull out my foot, I see that my shoe is not even visable.

I turn around and call it day. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Run Like a Family

This weekend was quite an internal debate. I was registered for the 1/2 marathon in Ottawa and I was quite excited about it! I have been training pretty hard to increase my speed and I really wanted to have a good result. I also planned on spending the weekend (Ottawa is 4 hours away) with my cousin and aunt and it was going to be a lot of fun.

Then, there was a problem. In the past few weeks, I have travelled for work, my husband always travels. Our house is in chaos as we undertake the daunting task of packing it and moving to new house in the summer. Our 6 year old son has had a few minor issues at school with attention span and following instructions which often parallels my husbands travel schedule. Our 4 year old daughter has had a terrible flare up of her arthritis - all of which has resulted in a less than mellow environment in our little family of four.

On Thursday when my aunt called to confirm details for the weekend, I found myself not wanting to go. This was a surprise to me because I was really looking forward but in that moment, I just wanted some peace and order. I felt terribly guilty as I was only planning on brining my daughter with me. I thought my son would enjoy a little private time with Daddy for the weekend. However, as I was talking through the plans with my cousin, my son asked if he and Daddy could come too. When I asked him why he looked at me like I might be crazy and said, "Shouldn't we all go together?".

It occured to me then that my weekend would be far better served just hanging out as a family. We had a yard sale Saturday morning and raised several hundred dollars for The Arthritis Society. Last night we hung out with friends and their kids, this morning we all went to play soccer and then this afternoon we went for a bike/run/rollerblade on trails along Lake Ontario. Now my children are in bed and out cold by 8:15 after a busy weekend where we were all together. That is a great feeling!

I may not have done the event but I think I made the right choice. I often tell myself that the benefit of my running on my children is tremendous. They see what it is to be active and competative. They get the "bug" to challenge themselves and they feel good that their Mom runs, plays soccer, plays tennis. They also get a Mom who is more relaxed, in strong physcial condition and gets her healing in running shoes instead of prescription bottles. However, I often forget (or chose to overlook) the disadvantages they have. Sometimes on a Sunday morning, they just want to hang out with me on the couch or go for a walk. They don't want to wait for me to head out for 2 hours. When they come to see me run, they are really only excited for the final 10 minutes and could care less if I run 5k or 25k. I may have to remind myself more often that children are just children. Then it may be easier to catch their cues when they pass them on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm Back! With a Twist....

Hi everyone!

Well, after just a few weeks away from the blog..I am back! But it is a little different this time. I have been talking to Amy from the Runners Lounge about a concept for their website that has me very excited! As nearly all of my blog buddies know, I have two small children, work full time outside of the home, have a busy husband and so on. I really enjoy reading all the great posts about the successes people have and the truely remarkable speeds, acheivements, mileage - very astounding! Having completed one marathon and several 1/2 marathons, I have yet to achieve my time goal so my hats go off for all those that do! I realized not that long ago that if I really wanted to do it all, there were some things that had to be removed from my life. As a result, I decided to break from my blog even though I knew I would miss it.

That said, I have come to realize that I really need this outlet for much more than just for running. I love reading the posts and embrace the feedback from others. Getting to know the bloggers has really been an inspiration! However, I need to channel my energy into the world I know best soooo....... I have decided to work with the Runners Lounge on something very exciting!

We thought that there was a great opportunity to create a new outlet on the Runners Lounge for a very special kind of runner - MOMS! With Mother's Day just behind us, I realized that running for Mom's is much more than just for exercise. Lots of Mom's start running after babies are born to lose the weight but discover a much better reward. Maybe you were a runner before you were a Mom or maybe not. Maybe you ran during pregnancy, or maybe you run with your kids now. Maybe you run to get a break from your kids or maybe you run to be a better mom. No matter how you got there - we want to hear from you!

Before we launch this great project - we want to know what you are looking for. What interests you as a Mom runner? What would you want to see? Are there topics out there that you think are not addressed enough? What do you think is missing? I have a TON of great things that I would love to write about but it is only interesting if people are getting what they are looking for! Maybe you are looking for a great network to start running groups for moms or maybe you want to start a team?? So many great things can be done but we are hoping you can help figure out what to do first!

One of the first questions we need to answer - we need a name for our group! I would love to have a great catchy name that says WE ARE MOMS AND WE RUN. Ideally it is just a few words and is not too cheesy. What do you think? Surely there is a Mom out there much more creative than me who has some great name for a bunch of crazy women who parent and run! It would also be great to have our own logo or design that was easy to recognize!

I know this is not going to be as interesting for the male bloggers or all those great running women out there who are not mom's but I plan to still read all your blogs as much as I can. I am very excited about working with the Runners Lounge on this project because I can really expand on what I know best as a runner - being a Mom who runs!

Thanks for all your input and please pass along this message to any other Mom's out there that you think might have some thoughts, advice, ideas - just about anything will do. You can comment on this post or even better - send me an email at I can't wait to get all your replies and watch for us on the Runners Lounge!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hello all!

Thank-you so much for all the participants in our virtual event - Reese's Run (4 for 4 on the 24th). Marci and I were very happy with the outcome and could not have been more excited to hear all the updates and reports! I have some winners! Send me an email at with your details and either Marci or I will make sure you get your prize. Congratulations!

$100 Running Shoes from Online Shoes - Sara (Rookie on the Run)

Book - Explosive Running - Aron (Runners Rambles)

Book - Pfitz - Kristen G.

Restaurant Gift Card - Lori D. and Shannon W.

Marci and I really enjoyed putting this together and we hope you enjoyed it too. Personally, I cannot express enough how much the support of our event, the kind words my husband and I have received and the wonderful posts we have read have meant to us. As a parent, the first instict when receiving bad news is to worry about every last thing that could go wrong. You want to fix it and you want to take on the pain and suffering yourself. By doing what we do and by finding ways to give meaning to it, my husband and I feel a little less helpless. Our daughter is one of millions that suffer with JRA and "grown-up" arthritis. Please know that your contribution is much bigger than just this is definately much bigger.

Thank-you again to all the bloggers out there as I will miss posting about my ongoing rambles and reading all of yours. I could not have done my first marathon without this support and I wish you all the very best. I am sure I will peek in on everyone from time to time and hope to bump into at least a few in each event I go to!

Good luck and keep those laces tied :)

Run Mommy (Christy)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reese's Run The Grand Finale!

Hello all!

I am afraid this has been a CRAZY month and my blogging has really fallen aside. I miss reading all the posts and talking to others about running, parenting etc.. I continue to be amazed by all the accomplishments that people have acheived!

In my running world, I am planning to run the Ottawa Marathon in May, my first trail run in June and the Goodlife Toronto Marathon in October. Of course Marci and I plan to participate with the Joints in Motion late this year! I remain focused on the 1/2 marathon but will likely consider the full marathon for the JIM event. I was asked to participate in an event at my son's school to talk to the kids about running which was a great experience. I am still addicted to my Garmin although I may need to take a class in it. :)

On that note, I wanted to remind everyone of Reese's Run this Friday! Marci and I are very excited and we have lots of great prizes such as a pair of running shoes from Online Shoes, gift certificates for restaurants, books etc.. I have already received a few emails from people who have already done their 4 miles or 4km or whatever they chose to do. I am overjoyed by the response so far so I hope all you will participate! As an update, Reese is my 3 year old daughter and she suffers from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her treatments are ongoing and her prognosis is unknown but we have found a way make ourselves feel like we are doing SOMETHING to improve her life. Marci has been generous enough come on board to support the Arthritis Society as well and we are very excited about it!

Click on the banner below (or click here) to be linked to the donation page for the Arthritis Society. Then after your event, send an email to me or Marci (I am and hopefully you will be a winner!

On Monday, we will post the winners! On that note, Monday will be my last post on the blog. I have enjoyed this process quite a bit and I will miss reading about all of you and posting my thoughts. However, life is busy, busy, busy and occassionally we have to prioritize!

Marci and I appreciate all of the support everyone has given so far to Reese's Run and good luck!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Early Bird Winners! Reese's Run

Congratulations!  The early bird winners of Reese's Run have been drawn and the winners were announced first on Marci's blog.  Here are the results!

Keg Gift Certificate - Melanie (2nd Chances)

Running Books - Katie Riley

If you haven't already, please send an email to me at or Marci and we will mail out your prize.  Way to go!

We have over 40 people so far and we are excited to have a successful virtual run.  If you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for Reese's Run (4 for 4 on the 24th!).

Thanks for all the early bird entries!  Special thanks to all those with the nice comments and words I have received.  We deal with things as they come and although I worry nearly every day, I know Reese is getting great care and as far as she knows, she is a happy and healthy little girl.  I am eternally grateful for all those who support us. :)

Thanks again!

Christy and Marci

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last Day for the Early Bird (Plus new problem)

First, Marci and I just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is the last day before the early bird draw for Reese's Run - our Virtual event! We have great prizes like running shoes from Online Shoes, gift cards for restaurants, bootcamp classes, running equipment etc... Make sure you can be part of the early bird draw!


Also, I have a speed problem..Now that I am focused on the 1/2 marathon and really working on improving my time, I have really been working hard on speedwork. However, as soon as I increase my speed during regular runs (even a little) or tempo, I struggle with the run, get sore shins, sore hips - overall crappy runs. As soon as I slow down, my runs improve. Every once in a while I have a fantastic run and then I think I am FINALLY making progress but inevitably I struggle with the next one. Am I destined to be never break 2 hour HM???

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reese's Run to New House

What a strange week this has been!  First we launched our Reese's Run event - very excited about that.  Then we did out income taxes thinking we would going to need to eat boxed food to pay our tax bill and discovered we are getting a nice tax return.  Then we set out to see a house that our friend likes only to decide on buying a new house!!  

We have not actually done it yet but after researching all the necessary info such as which school our kids would attend, what we do about day care, how much our current house is worth, checking out other comparable homes on the market etc.. we have finally decided to give it a go.  Lots to happen still, like selling our house!  This gives me mixed feelings.  I LOVE our house.  We bought it before we had our children so it has grown up with us as a family.  We have done a fair amount to make it exactly like we want and now we are going to leave it behind?? Also, we know the community well and all the kids/families on the hockey team, soccer team, Cub Scouts, at school etc.  My son would have to change schools which makes him very unhappy but he is only going into second grade so he'll get over it.  Just a little sad to leave it all after 10 years.  I know every running route around me from a quick 5k to a half marathon!  I would have to start all over! 

However, the new neighbourhood is a little easier for my husbands commute and makes no difference to mine.  The area is surrounded by trees and a creek as well as a bike trail.  The school the kids would attend is only a few years old and has the option of regular stream or full year school (5 terms with 2 week vacations between each term).   The house is beautiful and exactly what we like in a home.  All we have to do is sell our house (*gulp*) and fork over all our money.  Just doing our part to save the economy... :) 

So I have been preoccupied this week but I am still excited about  Reese's Run our Virtual event on (or around) April 24th!  Have you registered yet?  

We are drawing for the early bird prizes next week so don't forget to register!  Remember the "registration"  page is simply the donation page for the Arthritis Society so you will receive a receipt email immediately following the pledge.  After the event, you would send us a message with your completed time and we have other prizes!  Thanks all!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reese's Run

My participation with the Joints in Motion Training Team is not new to most of you but now I can announce that I am officially participating in the Barbados event in December with Marci!  We are really excited to do this and I am extremely humbled that Marci has chosen this event to give back to running.  The fundraising is daunting but having already completed my first marathon, I feel more excited than ever for the event!  

March is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness month so it fitting that we commence our campaign today.  For most people, arthritis in children is unheard of.  My husband and I didn't even know how to react when we first heard the diagnosis as we had no idea what that meant for a 2 year old who is growing every day.  We have had ups and downs and the future is unknown but as of today, we have a happy, busy little 3 year old thanks to the efforts of her doctors and treatments that didn't exist even a few years ago.  This is why I participant with Joints in Motion because it is all I can do to continue the research and advancements not only for Reese but all the other loved ones who suffer from chronic pain.  

Below is an article posted by the Arthritis Society of Canada:

Affecting about 1 in 1,000 Canadians under the age of 16, juvenile arthritis (JA) is a leading chronic disease among kids in this country. The Arthritis Society uses Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month in March to heighten awareness of this disease and to raise much-needed funds for research that will find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

“Arthritis is a crushing reality for many children in Canada; it’s not just their parents or grandparents who are at risk,” says Dr. Brian Feldman, Vice Chair of The Arthritis Society’s Medical Advisory Committee and a paediatric rheumatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. “The course of juvenile arthritis is unpredictable. Painful flare-ups may occur without warning and the child has to undergo a rigorous, time-consuming and sometimes unpleasant treatment program.”

Juvenile arthritis is the result of the body’s immune system not working properly. The immune system fails to recognize healthy body tissue and attacks it. Symptoms include excruciating pain and inflammation in the joints. Depending on the severity of the arthritis, some children experience irregular growth or physical disability.

The rest of the article can be found at the following link.


In order to kick off our fundraising for the marathon, Marci and I are hosting a virtual race to raise money for the Arthritis Society.

Here are the details:

What:  Reese Run:  4 Mile Virtual Race

When:  April 24th, 2009

Registration:  $10.00 minimum donation (feel free

 to donate more if you can!)

Prizes: Great prizes

Early bird prize (Register before March 24th)

First male

First female

On April 24th, Reese will turn 4 years old.  She has decided that for her 4th birthday she wants to have a Floor Hockey party!  This makes us very happy as less than 2 years ago she couldn't climb the stairs.  To celebrate this, we are hoping that everyone will participate in the event and pass the banner and link on to others that may want to so as well!  Below is the link for the fundraising page:


We hope to have great success with our event and welcome your thoughts.  Thank-you for posting on your blog if you can and we are excited to see the results!   

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Glossary of Terms

Wow!  It has been a full week!  It has been a strange week work wise so I have been a little distracted.  I have been reading all the blogs, just haven't been able to comment. However, back to it!

I have confusion and I hoping that someone has posted a Glossary of Terms to clear up my questions.  In all my reading of various running books, blogs, articles etc..I see different terms and titles for different types of runs.  Just when I think I have it down pat, I read another article and the terminology is different and I am at a loss AGAIN.  

For example, I know was a LSD and I totally understand its purpose and structure.  However, the Continuos Run vrs a Steady Run vrs a Tempo Run vs the ordinary - just run - this is where I get  confused.  Throw in more advanced titles like "Lactate Threshold" and "Pace Intervals" and I am spent.  You'd think an expensive education would have served be better??? 

Therefore, if anyone has posted any such glossary or can confirm for me what things are the same feel free to tell me where to find it.  To further fuel the fire, I am constantly converting between KM's and Miles depending on what article or information I am reading which has turned me into scholastic mush. :)

On a side note, Marci and I are working on something great that we hope to announce soon!  We are very excited about it so we can't wait. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Return of the MOJO and Extraordinary Runner Award

Wow I am so excited! I got an email today that I won an Extraordinary Running Award from the Runners Lounge! If I had lost my mojo before..I DEFINITELY got it back today! I put a link to my story below.

My Joints Are In Motion

I have won a free pair of shoes and I am also being interviewed for the Open Mic for this Friday! I feel like such a celebrity - at least in running blog land (that's good enough for me). I feel great today and not just because of this but when I reread my story it really reminded me of what drove me to come back to running in the first place. I shouldn't care if my butt is bigger than it used to be or that I don't have time to become a stellar speedster or even that I look like a bag of dodo at the end of a race (insert hottie magazine runner pictures here). I did some speed work this morning and at the end of it I felt fantastic - and a little sick to my stomach so I guess it was a success. A personal success. That's all I need!

This year I am participating in a few other events but I am doing another marathon with the Joints in Motion Training Team in December so I have that to drive me on. This time I am participating with a friend (Marci) and I am just as excited as I was the first time. I needed this reminder to confirm for me that I get my validation from myself. Logging heavy mileage or getting a record time is fantastic and I look forward to getting there once kids are older and life is easier but I can and should be just as easily motivated by the simple fact that I laced up my shoes and got out there.

Anytime I am losing my faith or feel the mojo slipping away, I will reread my story and many others like mine and tell myself that I run because my daughter might not or because so many people would love to run and can't/won't. I will be reminded that the only roadblocks to success are the ones we put up ourselves. I will also remind myself that the definition of success should be as flexible as my commitment to a sugar free diet (imagine crazy fits of laughter at this point).

Next time the big green blog of ectoplasm comes calling, I will sit on him with my "less than Jillian Micheals standard" backside. Then I will lace up and head out.

Thanks for all the great comments from the last post - it helps!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Attack of the Blob

I am in a rut. Marathon Mama refered to herself as Ectoplasm which I thought was hilarious so I am totally stealing it and it will now be a reflection of my mood over the past few days.

Last week we had great weather and now back to cold temps and snow - yuck. I keep begging hubby to get promoted to California or the Carolinas where he goes all the time but so far I am not getting anywhere. Run Girl has decided that sleep is not necessary even after nearly four years of life so I have had one too many pre-school sized conversations at 2:00 in the morning. Futhermore, I have had some work stress and things are not going as I hoped. I don't exactly work in a recession proof industry so I am hitting wall after wall and sometimes, it is better to just fall down.

I was very inspired by my new training plan last week and yet I have not run in four days. Call it time management, call it laziness, call it a sudden addiction to my couch after the kidlets are gone to bed - whatever it is, I am losing myself quickly and turning into that green blob. Perhaps me and Marathon Mama should go out for a gigantic bowl of ice cream to really finish us off. :)

I need some inspiration. I may be opening up the flood gates here but I want to know of a book you have read or a great article or something that really gets your blood pumping. It would be fantastic if it could be about a 30 something working mom of little kids, with a travelling husband, 20 extra pounds to lose and the desire to be a superior runner and elite soccer/tennis player and super mom but alas, this may be asking too much. I accept all entries and welcome thoughts.

It would also be wonderful if something free could just show up at my door like I read about on several blogs. What fairy godmother do I talk to about that? (I am smiling as much my ectoplasm will allow for) :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Race Schedule Update and Totally Unrelated Thoughts

Thanks to all the great advice from my fellow bloggers and those that run with me around here, I have decided to formally change my registration in the Ottawa Marathon (May) to the 1/2 marathon.  I have revised my mapped out training plan to reflect this new distance as well as my time goal of sub 1:50.   I was worried that I would feel disappointed in myself but I actually feel great!  I am anxious to get a great finish time and am strangely excited to increase my speedwork...weird.  

So now the modified 2009 Run Mommy Schedule looks like this:

May - Ottawa 1/2 marathon
June - Durham Forest Trail Run (very excited for this one - my first trail run!)
June  - August - perhaps a few more trail runs and the occasional 5-10k for speed
September - Scotiabank 1/2 marathon Arthritis Society Alumni event
October - GoodLife Toronto Marathon (or 1/2 marathon - undecided about this one.  The beauty part of this race is that I work for Goodlife so no registration fee)
December -  Barbados with Joints in Motion! Full marathon.

I know Marci posted about Barbados too and we are very excited!  I am sure we will post more on our upcoming events.  Can't wait.  Although I know Marci will kick my butt to the finish line because she has become super speedy gal - I am totally OK with it. :) 

So there you go.  I think my schedule works well for my family, my job, my marriage, my clean bathrooms.  It is enough that I feel like I am still running regularly but not so much that it takes over my life.  Also, the longer distances occur in the late fall when I have months and months of ice/snow free training beforehand.   It also gives me a chance to play soccer (pulled hip flexor aside) and tennis as well as all the activities we do as a family like coaching their soccer, bike riding etc..   Thanks again to all who gave me solid and thoughtful advice. :) 

Under the title of totally unrelated, I had a fun cooking day yesterday.  Thanks the Sexy Six Pack Challenge, I have been really trying hard to eat clean as much as possible.  This means lots of whole foods, nothing processed and staying away from crap (as much as one person can and remain sane).  For Valentines Day yesterday we decided on a fun family/adult menu.  First, I made homemade butternut squash soup.  I LOVED it.  I put a small dollop of sour cream on the top as well as some sprouts...

Final vote - Run Mommy - YUM.  Hubby - sort of, Run Girl - LOVED it, Run Boy - YUCK.  Umm..  soup is one my favourite things to make and is so much easier than most people think.  

Then we made homemade pizza's.  This is always a big hit except that my children make theirs pretty quick. - sauce...cheese...done.   This time, Run Girl actually put on some tomatos, broccoli and a few pepperonis.  She is always the more adventurous eater than the boy. Then Hubby and I decided to make our pizza and this was the final result.
This pizza made me laugh so hard that I had to take a picture of it!  It is such a reflection of our relationship!  First, you will notice that the size if the halves is not quite half.  Clearly he made his half first.  Second, his is full the basic's - tomato sauce, mountains of cheese and pepperoni.  That is my husband- a very basic guy with no extraordinary requirements.  Then you see my half (or slightly less than) and I have put on pesto, broccoli, red onions, veggie chicken (soy), and goat cheese.   

I think all couples should make a shared pizza for therapy - it really helps define things!  What makes me so happy is that he admired my half(ish) even though the thought it was disgusting to him.  He didn't make fun of putting pesto on pizza or scold me for buying expensive goat cheese or soy chicken just for a pizza.  He appreciated that I thought it was yummy and he happily ate his portion with just as much joy.  I guess that's why we have been together for so long and are going to celebrate 10 years this year!  

Great the blogging allows us to give free food therapy too. :) Final thoughts..I became a new auntie this week!  I have a brand new nephew and a sister who is a first time mom so I expect lots and lots and lots of calls. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Alternate Universe

Today I am in an alternate seems so bizarre to me that I felt compelled to post about it.
  • I have not run since Saturday. I played soccer on Sunday but of course - now a sore leg. Today is better but I think I need to give it a few more days.
  • I am on a business trip this week so I will not be MOM (in person at least) for three days.
  • As a result of a said business trip, I have just arrived in my hotel room and I am now watching Oprah while I blog. Can't say that EVER happens at 4:30 in the evening.
  • I usually have fruit smoothie for breakfast and some kind of soup for lunch. Today I had a bagel with cream cheese and for lunch - a chicken burger. And I don't eat meat.
  • Before I turned on the computer, I was browsing through my Runners World magazine and my Oxygen exercise mag. This was to alleviate my guilt on today's poor eating (while I cannot run). What is really crazy about this is (aside from the time of day) is that while I was browsing, there was a knock on the door which was VIP Business services dropping off my complementary bag of cookies and juices. I ate the cookies while browsing the health living magazines...I don't even like white chocolate.
  • The temperature today is much like April - not January...and I am in Northern Ontario.
  • Tomorrow, after I sleep all by myself in my hotel room with no children calling me or husband making bizarre night time noise, I will get up and speak to employers looking to bring health promotion to their workplace. Can I do that with a straight face??
Maybe I should call my house now and talk to the kids during dinner so I can get a sense of the volume that I am not in the middle of. Then I should tidy up the hotel room and maybe wipe down the bathroom..That should be bring me back to reality. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

7 on the 7th and RICE

Well I managed to finish my 7 on the 7th in some good weather for a nice change! Yesterday was record breaking warm temperatures however the downside was the sidewalks were full of water and puddles from the melting snow.  However, I managed to get my 7 miles in pretty well (considering it was the first outdoor run in weeks).  I had a full intention of 75 minutes to get it done...well, well, well...

I started out great but like I said, the water getting in my shoes took some getting used to.  I had my ipod up to max volume to give me a push.  I felt a lot of energy from the warming temp.  I tried really, really hard not to look at my Garmin but couldn't help myself a few times.  A little addictive. :).  I am actually glad I did because it kicked my butt a few times.  I wrapped up the seven miles in exactly 70 minutes - I am not kidding - I hit the stop button at 7 miles and time was exactly 1:10.  Crazy.  I felt pretty good about it and anxious to get going on some speed work this week. Thanks to Run to the Finish for putting it together!  

Now on to today's adventures.  I did not do my long run today as I am running with a coworker tomorrow.  So tonight I had my soccer game which I was really excited about!  Last week we played a team filled with 19 and 20 year olds and I knew this week's opponents were more in the 30+ set.  Thankfully.   Anyway, I had a lot of energy to burn and couldn't wait to get on the field.  I play mid-field so there is a lot of running but today when I got out there, something felt funny in the right quad.  I ran around a bit hoping it would go away.  Then on a rush for the goal, I crumpled in what I thought was a charlie horse (the worst one I have ever had!).  I dragged myself off and then began stretching and trying to work it out.  

I waited it out until the second half and went back in.  I was running around OK and then again on a break for the ball on the right way, I planted my left foot with the intent of striking with my right foot and my whole body went down with killer pain in my right upper quad.  I think it is my hip flexor??  It is very painful to lift my leg and I literally dragged my right leg home.  

So now what do I do?? I will be really bummed if this squashes my soccer playing but even worse if I can't run.   I welcome any and all advice.  I am trying to do RICE but if there other helpful tips - I'll take them. :)  

Speaking of helpful tips - thank-you to all who commented on my last post.  I really took everything in and will make that call this week.  At this point (injury aside) I am really considering doing the 1/2 and save Marathon #2 for the fall.  I have decided I can be mom, wife, friend, sister etc... AND runner.  I just need to know my limits. :)  Thanks again all. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Half The Race, Twice the Effort

Today is a strange day and one in which I am grateful for the sounding board that is this blog. As most know, I just did my first full marathon and while I was not overjoyed with the finishing time,the experience was unforgettable. However, I am determined to do more marathons and get a much more respectable time. That said, I have some limitations. Ones that I have chosen to ignore for a while but I think I must acknowledge and confront.

First, the weather. No surprise here but I HATE winter. More importantly, I hate cold temperatures. Truth be told, I live in Southern Ontario where we have it much better than other parts of Canada or than our American friends in the northern states. However, I still hate wearing 8 layers of clothes and sliding on ice and getting frost bitten cheeks. This winter has been particularly daunting and I have run more on a treadmill or indoor track than I have outdoors for the past three weeks. This makes me a little nervous!

Secondly, I have small children and a full time job as well as a husband that travels half the month. Again, I fully acknowledge that there are many, many women out there that have these same things and manage Boston level runs and superior accomplishments. I worship these women. Plus I imagine that they all look like this hardbody in the picture...

This leads me to my thought...perhaps I should put more focus on the half marathon and really striving for an excellent time than being so determined to to get a great time in the full marathon? Is that selling myself short? Am I giving up? That is not to say that I never want to do another marathon because I do. I am thinking that I would like to do several 1/2 marathons with some hard core training and specific goals and perhaps try two or three marathons in a year (preferably in the fall when I have a snow/ice free training period).
I have been doing a lot of reading lately on the half marathon and it has quickly become a huge event in recent years. I am sure there are a number of reasons but for many, it is simply more attainable. The distance is..well...half as much so it seems logical that more people could acheive it. The marathon is a wonderful experience, and one I don't want to miss out on a second time but the mileage and training structure is such that it takes up more of my time than I can spare on a regular basis. At least if I want to do it properly.

That is another fair point, I can continue to train for the full marathons but I may end up acheiving under my standards because I simply do not have the same amout of time to do everything in my life (Effectively). My children are very proud of me as a runner but I am often met with sad faces when I head out the door to run because they would rather play Checkers or even the popular, "Help Mommy Sort the Laundry" game. :) God knows my bathrooms would struggle to pass a "white glove" test.

I know myself and doing the marathon for the second time means that I MUST acheive some kind of respectable showing (for my standards). In May, I am registered for the Ottawa marathon but I am strongly considering changing to the Half Marathon and really focusing on a sub 1:55 result. Then I will do more 1/2 marathons as well as a few trail races followed by the full Marathon in Barbados with the Joints in Motion (and Marci!) in December. Of course then my husband and I are participating in the Disney event (his first 1/2 marathon) and I would like to do the Goofy. That would mean my total marathons for 2009 would be 2 but my half marathons would be more like 6 or 7 plus trail runs. Will I get the same satisfaction from that now that I have done a marathon?

Thanks for the thoughts. Wow I love having a blog. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dear Body

Dear Body,

I know you have taken some abuse in recent years, I apologize. I have taken you for granted and now I must try to make amends. I understand now that fancy creams and a loofah sponge are not enough to truly make you happy. There are so many other things to consider Body, and I have listed my promises to you below:
  • First, I promise to eliminate retched and toxic white sugar from my diet. I know that Tongue and Taste buds might be upset at first but overall, Endocrine system will be overjoyed and it will be worth upset buds.

  • I promise you Heart and Lungs to keep up all the oxygen that gets pumped into you on a regular basis. I realize that for a few years, you were starved but I am afraid you have to blame Reproductive system for that.

  • I promise you Muscular system, to really try to give you a workout. I try but it is simply not very fun to lift something up and down unless you get a fun toddler hug out of it. However, I expect something in return. I expect you to tighten up and maintain your shape when I am wearing a bathing suit or sleeveless top. No excuses this time. This is especially important for you backside muscles. 35 years is a long time to stay upright, I get it but lunges are not fun so I expect you to fall in line.

  • While I have already addressed Muscular System, I think it is important to speak directly to Abdomen. I believe you may have suffered the most, I am so very sorry. Unfortunately, I can't do much about those nasty stretch marks or c-section scars but I can really promise you that I will finally get rid of that nasty pouch you have been carrying. It must be so uncomfortable and frankly, a little embarrassing for you! I have to warn you, it might get worse before it gets better because they have these things called crunches. There are terribly unpleasant but no pain, no gain.

  • Now Skin...we have to really get serious. I accept that you cannot remain tight and firm for ever but what can I do to make sure you don't get lazy for at least a few more years?? I use great sunscreen and shield you from rays as much as I can. What more do you want?? OK, OK, I promise not to wash you with regular soap anymore and I swear I will invest in more facials. But I beg you...especially you around the eyes - cut me some slack..

Now for my requests:

  • Legs, I ask a lot of you. Not only do you keep my upright and able to be an active part of the world but I expect you to carry me for long, long, long time without rest. I want you to expel that lactic acid as quickly as possible and let that oxygen in! My guess is that it is like cocaine for your muscles so enjoy it! I appreciate your efforts but we really need to kick it up a notch. While I appreciate you hanging in there, it is time to buckle down. You also need to make nice with Feet because we need them to cooperate to be successful. Plus, as an added bonus I think it is time to chop off that little extra you got hanging on the you really need that? Think of the nice pants you could show off if you got rid of it.

  • Lungs, get ready because there is going to be a LOT more oxygen coming in at speeds a little faster than before. I never cursed you with smoke or toxic fumes so you should be able to pick this up quick.

  • Heart. The centre of your universe. The doctor tells me that despite all my efforts, you are hurting a little and need to be cleaned up. I will dedicate significant effort to make that happen. I beg you to give me some time because I can't risk losing you. I need you for practical purposes because everybody works together better when you are happy. More importantly, I gave some of you away to my husband and children resulting in a serious risk of breaking more hearts than just you if I left. I will make it my mission that with the my help, the doctors help and your dedication, you will be all fixed up in a few months. Please don't give up because I need some more of you to give away for many years to come.

  • If I could make one last request, while I realize you are getting older, is it too much to ask that you shrink just a little?? We can only pull off a bikini for so long and I would definitely like that to be just a tiny bit longer.... please???

Thank-you, Body for listening to me. I hope we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement and not have to discuss these things again. Together we can accomplish so many great things so let's do it and stop thinking about it. Its time for action!

Your truly, the Soul of Run Mommy. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Run for Reasons

Some fun news! Actually, two things are fun in the Run Mommy house...

Joints in Motion: I had a fantastic experience participating in the WDW marathon weekend in January and it was very fulfilling to participate with the Joints in Motion Training Team. Obviously we have a personal reason to participate with this group but I would put it out there for all to consider. There are so many great reasons and organizations out there and I have no doubt that people want to do things like this for issues close to their heart. However, you might know someone who suffers from arthritis or other autoimmune diseases or perhaps it is even something that you yourself have experienced. Maybe you have considered participating for a cause but don't have one that is of high importance to you. The Arthritis Society does not necessarily have the same level of exposure as other groups do so they could use your help. To stay in theme with my previous post - It is a great way to make your running feel exceptional. If you don't know someone that could be your hero for the cause.. I happen to have a great little fair-haired arthritis hero for you to borrow.... :)
I have decided to participate in the Barbados Marathon event with the The Arthritis Society (Canada) JIM team. I am sure the Arthritis Foundation (US) does something similar as we saw a lot of team shirts at WDW. The Barbados event is in December 2009 so there is plenty of time to get registered and raise the funds. Trust me when I say that you will have a very fun time. Marci is in too....right Marci???
Second fun order of business... My better half has decided to train and run his first half marathon! I am very excited because I really wanted this sport to be something that could do together. I know there are significant limitations to this because of his long work hours, travelling schedule and the fact there are few times we can run together with two little kids. However, I really want to encourage him. The best part - we are going to Walt Disney World again!!! Him and I are going to go back to Disney in Jan 2010 because he wants his first race to be there too. We are both going to run the 1/2 marathon and I may toss around the Goofy...we will see. This time we are going to try and sneak away for the weekend WITHOUT the kids but going to WDW without our kids might be some very bad parenting. Unless we don't tell them... :)
Fun times all around! Now if only I could get rid of this nagging pain coming back to my foot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Revolutionary Run

I recently watched the movie Revolutionary Road. I must admit, it could be a chick flick but I am certain their are men out there who would really enjoy it. The two main actors were exceptional (hello Leo) and it was quite a statement on suburban living...even it was in the 50's. After I saw it, I was running and could not stop thinking about it!

In the past I have mentioned that I tend to make up crazy stories while I run and of course this was no exception. I imagined a very elaborate story involving a bottle of wine, a set of poolside deck chairs and Leo's glorious eyes..I digress.

In the movie, there is Frank a spirited young man with goals and aspirations who eventually falls into the same non-descript job his father held where he rides the train to the city and sits at a cubicle. April is his wife who at one time wanted to be an actress but now finds herself in the position of doting housewife and mother waiting while her man brings home the bacon. The tone of the movie is that of the deadening impact of cultural suburbia turning its occupants into lifeless souls. Without giving too much away, you feel sorry for both characters at one point or another and I doubt there is anyone out there that does not find some mirroring in their own relationship.

I live in the suburbs, I have a loving husband that I adore, 2 children - a boy and girl of which the boy is older, a two story house, 2 cars and a small yard with a wooden jungle gym. I work outside of the home but let's face it, despite my vast education, my salary would hardly pay the bills making the man of the house the primary breadwinner. He commutes to work and often comes home to his dinner warming up in the oven. So despite the generations between this film's story and now, I find myself in a nearly comparable position. Does that mean I will eventually face the same crumbling grip on reality? In some ways, I chose this life but it's not like I laid out a set of instructions and checked them off my list.. Two story house in the burbs - check, one boy and one girl - check. Trip to Italy for the weekend - check (oops scratch that - that was my other life).

Running along, I wondered if I was at risk of being sucked into the vortex of suburbia wasteland. It occurred to me that there was one dramatic difference - no where in the movie did the female lead follow through on something extraordinary. As much as I beat on myself when I miss a few runs because of the other things that fill my life, I still run a lot more than most people out there. I have no idea what the stats are but I am certain there is only a small percentage of people (particularly women) that can run for more than 20 minutes at a time. In the film, April is likely feeling the effects of not only her compromised life but also the list of accomplishments unfilled. Disappointment in yourself can be more toxic than swimming in one of our polluted water bodies.

I decided that if people only found something that makes them feel extraordinary than perhaps your soul would stay in tact - even if you live in a brick box surrounded by other, nearly identical brick boxes. When I run, I feel the blood pumping and the lungs filling and I love the sound my feet make when hitting the ground and even the strange twinge I get in my 35 year old hips that have borne two children. When I run in events the energy around me from the participants and the spectators is as addictive as refined sugar. The ever popular "runners high" can ride along with me all day helping to ward off the blues, lower the blood pressure and keep stress under control.

There is no doubt that I will never win a gold medal or even my age category. I don't have lunch with political power houses, take weekend trips to Peru or write bestselling novels but running is an extraordinary aspect of my existence. I am certain that running provides me the capacity to be a great mom, a loving wife and productive citizen. It lets me exist in my cookie cutter life and still be fulfilled as a human being. I hope that everyone that runs realizes that as much as running does not define you, it certainly is part of the definition.

That said, I have get going because I have cookies in the oven -- and their burning. :)