Wednesday, 30 April 2008

What a Crazy Week!

How busy is one suppose to be?

I had to book my own pedicure, manicure, make an appointment for my coiffe AND have my stylist bring in fresh flowers for my foyer....

oh wait, that wasn't me.... that must have been Cher!!!

(who is playing at Caesar's Palace on my birthday and I would kill (kill Bill) to get tickets). LMAO....

In reality my week was crazy, we are so busy at work, taxes are due today and we are in the final weeks of training for the marathon.

For two (no, make that three) nights this week, I've stuffed myself with Tostito's and salsa, splashed with a glass or two of red wine for dinner while sitting on the couch watching, yes Dancing with the Stars...mulling over can I write off the Phoenix RnR Half Marathon, mmmmmmmm????

Yes, I'm eating that crap even after having gone to the nutritional course at our most prestigious Heart Institute. My salt intake has just increased a thousand fold and my veins are gurgling plague.....gah, quite the vision. I need to eat a great big apple and have a colonic, LOL.

Truthfully, this past week's work outs have been busy too. The weather has been great and warm and really the necessary tonic all of us northerners need right now.

Last Tuesday was our clinic night and the first week of starting our speed work, hills are over with and now onto speed and fartlek....let 'er rip!!!

Jen and I ran a really nice almost 7K at a very comfortable speed and the nicest part was we were back on the Trans Canada old railroad track that has been converted over to a nice pathway for runners, walkers, cyclists and dog walkers.

Wednesday was our tempo / speed day, but I changed it up to do this on Thursday, I usually do this run on my own. Sometimes I just need to run on my own and zone for the 6K run, my average pace was 7:05Km with my speed spurts maxed at 5:33Km...I was pretty happy with that pace, it felt comfortable and my recovery was fairly easy.

Friday was a steady run for 6K at 7:34Km...again a nice easy pace and a great run to reflect on life.

Saturday was a nice easy run day without time, nor pace, nor anything other than just run and enjoy the sights, the sounds and clear out my mind.

Sunday was our LSD 29K, we were out again on the Trans Canada Trail, up to Turtle Pond, we ran through what use to be a private golf course, but now is public with stunning homes, ponds and bike trails. Of all the days to leave my camera at home, this would have been the perfect run to take pic's along the was just so nice to get out of the mouse maze that we had been running in for weeks on end during the winter weeks. Finally, a run where you can just enjoy the scenery. It was warm and sunny and I even got a scorcher of a sunburn where I had missed with the sunscreen, oweeeeee!

Our 29K average pace was 8:15 /km. This run felt far more comfortable than our Around the Bay race....amazing what your body can accomplish in a few short 4 weeks....what a nice run and easy recovery.
Even though it took us 3:59:08, the best part of the run was coming up the final hill where we ran past the faster runners who were already out on the patio enjoying their beverages.....Jen and I received a thunderous WOOOO HOOOO as we ran past and high fived matter how fast you run, we as runner's all support one another!!!

Finally I'm not so nervous about the marathon!!! My goal to finish is attainable.

So far it's been a non running week, today was TAX DAY, once I submitted my taxes, I came home to chill'ax and write up my post.

Tomorrow, back running, hopefully today's little snow showers will be gone and the sun will heat us back up again.....

Life's fun if you don't weaken.


Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Blogger was not playing "nice"

Don't know about all of you but I was having trouble with Blogger, he just wasn't playing nice over the weekend and well, I kept losing my Internet connection as this will be short and sweet as I'm here at work. Yes, robbing the company of valuable time, LOL....

Thanks everyone for your kind comments and positive feedback with continuing with Lily on the Road ~ I'm not that easy to get rid of, so yes I am going to continue to post and thanks too for sharing your thoughts with me...I certainly wasn't fishing for compliments...(no I wasn't, hahahaha).

I'll hopefully be able to play with all of you later today, when I'm back home and can get my thoughts together....

BTW, had a great 29K run on Sunday, don't know the actual stats, but it was beautiful and sunny and yes, I'm sunburnt where I missed with the sunscreen....yikes, "lily white skin meets the sun"!!

Okay, got to "run"....catch you all later....again,

Life's fun if you don't weaken!!!!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

So, after the Marathon...

The other day I was thinking to myself , what on earth are you going to blog about after the marathon in May?

Once you've done the marathon, then what?

Yes, you will still keep running, as a matter of fact my Wooo Hoooo Running Girlfriends are going to run the 15K Utica Boilermaker in July.

July 1st, our Canada Day we will be running the HBC, 10K Canada Day run and there is now a new Canada Army Run starting in September. It will be similar to the Marine Corps. yes, I'll still be running.....

Is this the end of blogging, do I shut it down? Do I drift off into space? Do I just let it all go?

I mean I've only been in blog land since I came home from Phoenix Rock n Roll...when I ran the half marathon with Tinkerbell in my fuel belt because Rebel was in a drug induced coma and I was running the race for her.....

Well, we now know that Rebel has had her heart transplant and is on her way to health, happiness and a long, long life. How great is that? You can receive updates on Rebel's progress by visiting her mom's blog
Spousalennuie. By the way, they, the family are absolutely thrilled with all the outpouring of love and concern we runner's have shown them...please stop by, drop them a note.....

Anyway, back to whether I will continue to I'm mulling this over and then I hit Nat's blog
"From Nat's Brain" with whom I've been killing myself laughing with since I "found" her in blog land....and she has bestowed upon me my very first blog award!!! Thanks Nat!!! That's just awesome!!

OMG, an award??!!! How cool is that?? And you know I'm all about the bling, how could I walk away now! This is an amazing gift and truly a sign that I can't quit blogging now! LOL....

The rules for for the Excellent prize are:

  • Give credit to the originator of the Excellent Blog Awards: Kayla at The Mommy Project. And then give the award to at least 10 bloggers.

I'll name those bloggers that I truly love reading and who haven't already been bestowed the award, all of you are brilliantly funny and you make me read you everyday!!! (if I have overlapped you and you've already won the Excellent Award, well then bully for you because your blog is that great, informative and down right funny).
  • The Dark Side of Blonde , you are always cracking me up....

  • SpousalEnnuie, you are going through hell, yet seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

  • A Side of Grits, Mendy you are a fantastic mom, wife, triathlete!!! you go girl!
  • Lust for Life, David, who always shares his knowledge, his positive attitude and is the loving husband to Mendy and the loving father to Grace!!!

  • Babooshka, a fantastic photographer on the Isle of Man, you are an absolute riot!

  • Triguyjt, as a fellow Gemini and sign of the Snake, you bring sportscast journalism a whole new meaning! Thanks for your humour and humanitarianism!!!

  • Cycling through Life, Jahowie, you are always making me see the greatness that a dad can be to his boys!

  • Chad in the Arizona Desert, Chad is always positive, humorous and willing to share his experiences with us.
  • Living and Tri-ing in River City, Vickie who continually challenges herself and is another fellow snake!!
  • Amy, living in Belgium with her loving family, and intrigues me with her vegan lifestyle while running, and continues to be fit and fabulous (after forty!!).

    There are many, many more of you that I just love reading and "stalking", but some of you have already received this most prestigious award....

    I would truly miss all of you!!!

    How would I get by without a daily does of Marcy? I mean this woman has taught me about trashtastic talk, the Kardashian's, hell, she has even enlightened me to the ways of blog polls.

    So, no, you're not going to get rid of me that easy, I'll still be blogging along with the best of you!!

    Thanks again for the award!!! My gosh, I'm honoured!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken!!


    Thirteen on Thursday

    Before we get to the thirteen, here is a Rebel update!

    Rebel continues to recover. Sitting up at the side of her bed less than 24 hours post surgery. Talking a blue streak, complaining about the chest pain, because the morphine infusion is pretty light. BUT she is gaining strength and moving. It's amazing! She continues to improve.

    Thirteen things I've learned while training for the ING Ottawa Marathon;

    1. I will never train in the winter again, unless of course it is somewhere warm!

    2. Sometimes it just hurts to get out of bed, but once you do, it's not so bad.

    3. There are never enough clean running clothes when you run 5 times per week.

    4. There is never enough time to visit with non-running friends, you'd better take up running if you want to see me!

    5. There will always be someone who can run faster than you, *sigh*.

    6. Sometimes I'm just a wimp and have to dig deep to get to where I want to go.

    7. Did I mention there are never enough clean running clothes? LOL!!

    8. Training for your first marathon is the hardest training you will ever do (other than you triathletes. and Bob our Ultra 100 Mile guy), your body just doesn't know what the heck you are doing to it....

    9. There is a multitude of support from places and people you'd never expect ~ Thank YOU!

    10. As per Lance Armstrong; pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.

    11. You meet the most interesting people while out running and see things you would have otherwise missed.

    12. Count your blessings that you have your health to be able to do any sport, I call it my attitude of gratitude.

    13. Smile, encourage others and don't take anything for granted, oh, sign your donor card!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken!


    Wednesday, 23 April 2008

    Tuesday, 22 April 2008

    Mending the broken heart

    Rebel's surgery went very well.

    "A perfect surgery," said one of her surgeons.

    All in all they were nearly done by about 7 AM after being in the operating room since 1AM. The VAD and ICD( pacemaker /defibrillator) were removed first of all before Rebel was put on the heart/lung machines and the heart surgery could begin.

    There also had to be extra precautions because of the MRSA virus.

    Given she has been on blood thinners there is the possibility of bleeding and that is all being carefully managed.

    Rebel is now back in the intensive care and recovery rooms. They expect to take her off the breathing tube later today or tomorrow, and they say she has been very responsive.

    The new heart is doing very well.

    Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement. It certainly makes us all linked .....again, please send prayers to the family who is mourning the loss of their young 18 year old son.....


    A New Heart!

    Last year at this time, a very good friend of mine called to tell me her teenager was really suffering from a bad cold and had been to the doctor's. All they could come up with was she had bronchitis and that with the proper medication she'd be back on her feet in no time.

    Bronchitis was then diagnosed as pneumonia and that with the proper medication she would be back on her feet in no time.

    Throughout the summer the young lady would get better but then fall into a bout of wheezing, coughing and sudden extreme tiredness, the doctor's were now starting to take things a little more seriously, things were just not right.....her heart was being affected and they didn't know why.

    Turns out that she had contracted one of the "new" virus's that are entering into North America and it had attacked her heart. By late summer the Ottawa Heart Institute was now involved and the talk turned to surgery with the installment of a pace maker. Know as a LVAD.

    We all thought that this was just a temporary measure until the Saturday before Christmas when all hell broke loose...

    My friends daughter was sent by ambulance to the Heart Institute where she was put into a drug induced coma for months....while everything about this situation was being assessed.

    By February, small steps were being made and as we most affectionately call her "Rebel" was slowly brought back to has been a very long, arduous journey.

    To make a long story short(er), it was determined at that time that Rebel would require a heart transplant.

    Today is Rebel's 20th Birthday,

    Today, they found a Heart.....please pray that this is the perfect match...

    Please pray for the donor's family. The gift they have given in the midst of their tragedy is so very beautiful and amazing. Please pray for the surgeons and the care givers as they minister to our Rebel girl, giving her new life.

    Take today to sign your donor cards, give thanks for your health, your family and friends....Take today to reflect how fragile life truly is and that we are truly blessed to enjoy this day.

    Life's fun if you don't weaken!


    (from her Mother)

    "The perfusionist came with the charge nurse from the Ward around 7 AM to tell us that she was `going like a pony!`

    At this moment she is still in the O.R. as they are waiting to ensure all the bleeding subsides and that all continues to go well.

    So we now want to ensure that that her body does not reject the heart. All seems to be going very well."

    Please continue your prayers for our Rebel.....

    and the family of the donor in their time of grief.


    Sunday, 20 April 2008

    More than 100 runner's from Ottawa at the Boston Marathon

    The Boston Marathon

    One of the most prestigious marathons in the world, let alone North America!

    Mark Sutcliffe staff writer for the Ottawa Citizen wrote an article today, highlighting just some of the National Capital runners'.

    One runner being one of my running associates, Alan Rushforth.

    Alan began running when he was 69 years young. He had witnessed the vibrant, happy looking groups emerging from the local Running Room. Mentioning that it was a horrendous step for him to get from the comfort of his car, he joined his first "learn-to-run" clinic.

    Five years later, by "accident" Alan met a group of runner's training for a marathon at Niagara Falls in the fall of 2007 and joined in. It was at this race that Alan qualified for Boston!!!

    Through sheer dedication, determination, running through our long, frigid, snowy winter, wonderful, quiet, smiling Alan will race tomorrow as the only Canadian in his age category...75!!!

    We will be cheering for you Alan (bib #21133), run strong, run safe and have the race of your life.....

    Life's fun if you don't weaken!

    ** updates as they happen.....

    Alan Rushforth, age 75 ~ finished: 5:15:29 ~ Congratulations Alan !!!

    ** Marathon Dude Bill ~ Bill Carter finished: 2:59:10 ~ Congratulations Bill !!!

    ** Nitmos ~ Michael Barr finished: 3:59:03 ~ Congratulations Mike !!!

    Saturday, 19 April 2008

    Saturday and all is well

    It is a beautiful, bright spring day! The birds are chirping, flirting, singing and doing the "birding" nasty.

    I've been on a flu induced taper this week.

    You know the story, wake up on Monday and soldier your way into work because, well, you have to....make it until 10am and just as you turn that sickly colour of green, you make the only wise decision you can make....get home while the getting's good!!

    Withholding all the gory details, I went into work on Tuesday and ran Tuesday night. Well it went downhill from there. By Thursday, let's just say I probably made a better looking corpse than live human.

    Friday was the only day to date that I was able to hold any sort of sustenance in my body.

    Today will be spent outside in the sun collecting the necessary gamma rays from the sun and overdosing on vitamin D from old Sol as assured I will have my cowboy hat on and my 60 sunblock.

    I think my running shoes may still be on a hiatus this weekend (well, I may try to get a nice slow 10K in), however, my long run in town on Sunday will go by the wayside.

    Monday is the Boston Marathon!

    Several of our fellow blogger's are heading to Boston as I type this up....Marathon Dude Bill, and Nitmos, to them, best wishes, run strong and make Great share them with us upon your return!!! (I know I've missed somebody...sorry).

    My personal friend Alan is heading for Boston today. He is the only Canadian man in his age group to be running the marathon. Alan is a spritely 75!! (we will be talking about Alan later....)

    Best Wishes Alan!!!

    Enjoy your day, I have to get out into the sun and rake up the oak leaves....

    Life's fun if you don't weaken...


    Friday, 18 April 2008

    Life is a Bowl of Cherries!

    We've got sunshine
    warm temperatures for the next four days!

    Life's fun is you don't weaken,


    I'm so excited

    Wednesday, 16 April 2008

    My Man Buster....busted.....

    As I previously posted Buster Martin finished his first half marathon in March and was 101!!!

    He said his time would have been faster but he stopped for a puff and a pint along the gotta love that! My Kind of Man for Sure...

    Buster then decided he would run his first ever marathon and picked the Flora London Marathon, in London, England on Sunday.

    I got up extra early on Sunday morning so I could watch part of the marathon (well the results at the splits) before I headed off for my run. When I got back I couldn't find anything about Buster and his run, so I thought, well that's great at least he didn't pass away!!

    So I get a post from my photogfriend Babooshka that indeed he did race, he did finish and of course had a puff and a pint to celebrate.....

    Well, granted Buster ran the marathon, heck, he even finished BUT instead of the reported age of 101, he's ONLY 94!!!

    Yup, he fibbed...he told a lie and he was supported in his lie by his employers to get some free publicity. As reported in The Mail on Sunday Darn them!!!

    Here I thought I'd not only found the man of my dreams, but one who wouldn't lie to me....

    Well, back to the drawing board for me...

    but as was commented in The Mail;

    "So if Buster has been busted, and he's only 94, then could the people from Guinness tell us, who really is the oldest person to complete the London Marathon?- Scarr, Dublin

    Okay Guinness, who is the oldest person to complete the London Marathon if it wasn't my man Buster??? **

    (hey, maybe he meant the Beer Guinness not the World Book of Guinness)

    Lifes' fun if you don't weaken, oh and


    ** Buster eventually finished the course in just over ten hours.

    Guinness World Records lists the oldest man to complete a marathon as the Greek runner Dimitrion Yordanidis, aged 98, in Athens in 1976. He finished in seven hours 33 minutes.

    The oldest woman to complete a marathon listed by Guinness World Records was Jenny Wood-Allen who completed the London Marathon at the age of 90 in 2002. She finished in 11 hours and 34 minutes.

    Tuesday, 15 April 2008

    32K Recap

    After Sunday's 32K run I sat down to write up a full report on it...but as you know if you sit too long after a run like that you start to cramp I thought well, I'll just wait for Monday and then post.

    Monday arrived and so did my massive bout with the flu...gah, you don't need all the sorted details of woofing my Wheaties, tossing my cookies, whatever way you want to describe it...blah...I was sick....but.....

    here it is in a nutshell:

    Positive : ) We did it!!!!

    I think our average pace was about 8:28 (well, that may have been mine, Shirley, Rick and Jen were soldiering on at a faster pace than me. They will absolutely Rock the Marathon!!!

    Negative : ( Cold, wind, no really windy, and some frozen snow

    The run itself was not too bad, considering....then we turned to finish the last 5K and I ran into my nemesis...the wind...I really started to lag behind, I was huffing and puffing like an old freight train, my mind was fried. Rick the dear that he is dropped back to run with me....thanks Rick!!!

    Positive : ) We did it!!!

    We still have a lot of miles in front of us before the actual marathon including another 32K, but with that one down, the next one may be a little easier!!

    Tonight is our clinic night and a 7K tempo. I'm still not feeling great from the flu, but I feel amazingly great from the run....go figure....

    That's it in a nutshell!!!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    Saturday, 12 April 2008

    The Perfect Run

    I'm on the eve of my longest run ever.

    Sunday's run is 32K, LSD starting at 08:30.

    Admittedly, I'm a little nervous (afraid is the fear of the unknown), so nervous is the word I'm using.

    The cart is definitely before the horse, I think I have way too much time on my hands today to think about this.

    Albeit, doing laundry, cleaning the house and fish tank (yes I have a fish tank with fish.....being a Gemini, the Chinese suggest that keeping fish in the house is relaxing and calming for our twin personalities).

    It's raining and cold and crappy out, yes, another perfect day in Ottawa!

    My brain is so beat up about running in the cold and wind since beginning our Marathon training in early February, now we are being thrown rain / sleet / more cold our way, IT'S APRIL.....and I'm praying to the running gods that they will deem fit to throw some sun our way for tomorrow's run.

    What is throwing the whole scenario off course is that we changed the clocks early this year AND Easter was really early to boot.

    Normally by now we haven't even had Easter which by my internal clock is the true start of spring!

    I've finally had a chance to catch up on quite a few of the "blogs" out there, and their links.

    Marcy had written about "Runner's Wanted" and I of course gave my usual flip answer to her post and didn't think anything more about it until just now. (okay, this is where it becomes convoluted, what else is new, I'm a Gemini!!!).

    There was a link to the article in Runner's World about the three Ultra Marathoner's who ran across the Sahara Desert and now they are running across the USofA and are looking for runner's to fill up the their documentary....

    Turns out that one of the runner's (Ray Zahab) is from my neck of the woods and I've heard him talk of his if you are in the area and can join in on their run across the USofA documentary, you should, it would be an experience of a life time and as I always say, life is about making memories.....(told you this would become convoluted...).

    So, I'm now reading RW and I stumble across my favourite runner / author, John Bingham and he is writing about the
    Perfect Run.

    Okay, okay, it took me awhile to get where I was going with this story but hey I'm getting older, I tend to ramble....I'm allowed....

    He mentions that the run is an individual pursuit, and just like me he was looking for the joy of searching for the limit, the edge on every run and just like me he wanted more and more and more. Had to go farther, had to go faster, if he / I didn't, he / I was disappointed.

    Well now the reality has hit me, that man, I really admire all of you!

    All of you marathoners', 10K and 5K runners, all of you Triathletes, all you mom's and dad's and all of us everyday people, out there every day, pounding out the miles.....YOU GUY'S ROCK!!!

    Just like John Bingham, I couldn't imagine running 2K in the beginning and tomorrow I'll be running 32K....who would have ever imagined???

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,

    Enjoy your journey one step at a time.


    Friday, 11 April 2008

    Bra Codes....Pure Silliness!!!

    You asked for it,

    YOU got IT!!!

    Bra-Meter Codes


    what they mean!!!!

    Okay girls (or you big bosomed guys),

    can you find yourself anywhere in this group....?

    Okay now we are getting into the uncomfortable running zone...

    Either you are part of Bay Watch or a Pam Anderson wannabe, you definitely do NOT run if you're built like this!!!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken, enjoy your journey on step (bounce) at a time,


    Thursday, 10 April 2008

    Thirteen on Thursday

    13 items in my Hotmail in basket!
    (With thanks to the
    Blonde and M for the idea!)

    I'm too tired to think on my own right now!

    1. Hey!

    2. Pace Time for our Long Slow Distance Run

    3. Sunday’s run

    4. Around the Bay

    5. Heart Institute

    6. Bra codes

    7. Congratulations

    8. We did it

    9. Promotions & Events

    10. Psssttttt

    11. Lactate Zone Testing

    12. Run

    13. Thirteen More Signs of a Bad Day

    Life's fun if you don't weaken


    Tuesday, 8 April 2008


    ....well, that is how the InBody 520 found my body! What a pal!

    I attended a workshop on Saturday to find out where I was lacking, because I was starting to experience an overall lack of energy, a little bit cranky, reduced motivation and I was struggling with an upper respiratory infection.

    Here I thought I was doing so well with my training, my diet, my (small amount) of core work, nope, the machine saw right through my smoke screen.

    My days of beer swilling, cigar smoking, scarfing back processed meat sandwiches while sitting at the computer blogging have caught up with me!

    KIDDING...well, about the meat sandwich anyway, hahahaha

    My body composite proved to be catastrophic!

    Body Composition Analysis consists of;

    • Weight
    • Lean Body Mass
    • Body Fat Mass

    This is where the machine found that my body is catastrophic and I need to lose 20 lbs.

    Let me explain.

    Technically all of the above should either align on the bar graph OR your Lean Body Mass should exceed the other two. That is your ultimate goal....however, my Lean Body Mass was less than the other two. In essence creating a " C " (catastrophic) shape when you connect the graph bars....

    Body Water Balance

    • Intracellular Water
    • Extracellular Water

    = Total Body Water

    I wasn't too bad here.

    Obesity Diagnosis

    • BMI was within range
    • Percent Body Fat was over the normal range (Darn that extra glass of red wine isn't helping!)
    Segmental Lean Development

    • Right Arm
    • Left Arm
    • Trunk
    • Right Leg
    • Left Leg
    My arms are not too bad, I'm strong from shovelling snow!

    My trunk needs work. More plank, more crunches and more core work all round!

    My legs are strong from all of the running!

    It really was a fantastic workshop, well worth attending, I learned so much about fueling for the longer runs. Things that you think you know, but don't put into practice.

    I was lacking enough carbohydrates to get me through the long runs. Plus, because of my body makeup, I need to eat more often during the day than what I was. Smaller portions but more often will help me keep my blood sugar levels on a more even keel this will help me with the longer runs since I am now considered an "older runner".

    Between getting enough Carbs (which I wasn't), hydrating properly (which I am) and better meal planning, there has already been a noticeable difference in my overall feeling of well being. EEEHHHAAAWWW!

    My long 29K run (which actually ended up being 26+K) on Sunday was a really good strong run, which I recovered from easily.

    Tonight Jen and I ran a 7K tempo run and we took almost 5 minutes off of last weeks time....something is working!!!

    There are seven weeks until race day and a lot more miles to put in. The days at the gym are paying off as well. I've been trying to get at least 35 minutes on the eliptical and 45 minutes on the bike at least twice per week. I find it less stress on the hips than pounding the pavement.

    I'll keep you posted and let you know how it's working out!

    In the mean time, it's omega3 eggs, soya chocolate milk and tons of fiber rich foods.....

    Because this is what I want to look like on race day!!!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken, enjoy the journey one carb filled step at a time!


    Saturday, 5 April 2008

    Sports Nutrition & Body Composition Workshop

    Well, I've decided just to see where this old body is at. I'm attending a four hour workshop today at Ottawa's Heart Institute with Beth Mansfield from Peak Performance.

    I think I've caught the running bug and I'm now starting to take it a little more seriously than when I started really running six years ago.

    You know, well I'm only going to run a 5K EVER! Then a couple of 10K's creep into your running resume, then a whole bunch more!

    Then I hear myself saying, well, let's just try a half marathon, BUT THAT'S IT....

    Okay three half marathon's later, since May 2007 and I'm training for my very first full Marathon as you all know.

    Well, guess what? I think, (only think at this stage) of trying a tri in August/September!

    Yikes, check my forehead for a fever.....(maybe it is the cold that I'm still suffering from, not sure).

    I'll let you know how the workshop goes....

    Catch you later, aligator.......


    Wednesday, 2 April 2008

    Oldest Road Race in North America....Older than Boston!

    Have you ever gone into a race never having done that distance before, not really knowing what to expect and nor is it anywhere near your hometown?

    Well Welcome to the Around the Bay 30K through my eyes!!

    Up and at ‘em early Saturday morning, loaded the car, collected Glenda and off we went for our adventure to Hamilton.

    For a girl who has been all over the world, who would have thought that I’d EVER get excited about going to Hamilton!!

    The six plus hour drive south-west flew by since they have added the 407 bypass around my hometown ~ Hogtown (Toronto) actually chopped almost two hours off of our drive bringing us into Copps Coliseum closer to 2:30 p.m. that the 4 p.m., I had anticipated.

    We found our way around the sports expo with the usual merchants hawking their wares. The expo was set up on the upper level of the coliseum so we could actually look down upon the JumboTron that is set up in the middle of the arena and we could see the chute where we would enter the building and run down to the finish line. It sort of gave me shivers to think that I’d be on a jumbtron after running 30K, really who needs to see the pain and suffering on my face that "up close and personal" fired over a huge screen on all four sides no less!!!

    Once we figured there really wasn’t anything we needed to buy, we headed off to find our hotel. All of our running buddies were staying downtown close to the action and the Food & Drink Fest, but we were staying out of town so we didn’t get the chance to catch up with anyone until race day.

    We did wander through the inside Farmer's Market which was great, because it gave us the chance to savour colours, fragences and tastes we haven't been able to all winter.

    We had fun getting lost, finding new ways to get to the hotel and we even found a great, fun restaurant along the way.

    We had made arrangements with my marathon running partner Jen to meet up at the Running Room kiosk prior to the race and luckily for us that was located in front of the women’s washroom....sorry Marcy, no washroom shots this trip!!!

    Jen had driven down from Ottawa with her sister and was staying with friends close to the race location. It was nice, we had our own stalker paparazzi courtesy of Jen!

    Race morning dawned with the hint of sun and seemingly milder temperatures than what we’ve been running in all winter. And NO SNOW!!! How weird is that???

    This year’s Around the Bay 30K was celebrating its 114th Anniversary, with the most number of runner’s to date, so it was great to be a part of history. The course description goes like this:

    The first 20k of the Around the Bay Road Race is an exciting, scenic, and fast route. The last 10k includes rolling hills through scenic North Shore Blvd.

    The race begins on York Blvd., 1 block west of Copps Coliseum.

    The race proceeds east on York Blvd. which turns into Wilson Street to Sherman Avenue. At Sherman Ave runners turn north and then east at Cannon Street. Runners stay on Cannon Street which turns into Britannia Ave to Parkdale Ave. Runners then turn north at Parkdale Ave and east bound at Melvin Ave to Woodward Ave, and then north on Woodward Ave to the Beach Strip.

    After crossing the Canal lift bridge the race turns onto Eastport Drive to Northshore Blvd. The race will turn west bound onto the rolling hills of Northshore Blvd., and then west onto Plains Rd. to Spring Garden Rd. Just past Woodland Cemetery awaits the Valley Inn Hill leading up to York Blvd. and the finish into Copps Coliseum at York Blvd. and Bay Sts.

    are your eyes glazing over yet????

    Knowing that we were going to be following our training pace for this race and not actually racing, we headed to the back of the pack.

    The elites were wearing singlets and shorts, while I, being really feeking slow, was in layers including my long underwear!

    Where is the justice???

    Our Garmin trigger fingers were ready as we crossed the start mats and away we went...

    Sunshine, warmth, good friends and lots of chatter....the route took us through the older area of Hamilton, the area where my cousins grew up....we ran past Ivor Wynne Stadium, home of the Hamilton Tiger Cats Football franchise and along towards Lake Ontario. The kilometres were zipping by because there was so much to see, old eclectic homes along the shores on Lake Ontario, through Tin Pan Alley and up to the Burlington Bay Canal Lift Bridge.

    When I first read that we would be crossing a bridge, in my mind I thought it was going to be the Burlington Skyway (now called Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway) which is freeking huge!!!

    If we were to run over that, we'd freeking blow off and be found on the shores of Michigan!!!!

    As we were getting closer to the lake the wind was picking up and the whitecaps were really making themselves present as the waves crashed onto the pier and shoreline...

    Just before the lift bridge we had sort of collectively agreed to make a pit stop at the port-a-potties before carrying on, however, at the last minute we saw the timing mat for the 15K split and decided to keep going.

    We were part way across the lift bridge when we heard the horn blow announcing the presence of a Great Lakes steel tanker that was either coming into the bay or heading out....with the sound of the horn that could only mean that they were going to be lifting the bridge so we’d had to get moving otherwise we’d be in trouble........luckily we had made the decision to not stop, other wise we would have been stuck until the ship passed through....

    Continuing on we were starting to sense the change in scenery, we had been running through a mostly industrial area, steel plants and smelters, wastewater treatment centres, (hey, you wanted to know the details), etc....

    We headed towards the rolling hills, the huge homes and a ton of wonderful, warm, supportive spectators.....everyone along the route was just wonderful...The runner's received unbelievable support, not only from the residents, but from the police who were at every cross street and every main thoroughfare, looking after our safety while we crossed intersections, they were great.

    The medical teams on bicycles were always cheering us on (maybe because I looked like I needed help, they were hovering).

    The supporters with their boomboxs’ blaring, the high fives from the man in the wheelchair, I could go on and on...the support is wonderful. Every once in awhile we would be coming around a corner or running up a hill and who would be ahead, cheering us on with their camera’s in hand? Jen’s sister and her friend who were following us around the great is that?

    By 21K I knew I was starting to have some trouble with my left foot, not sure if my shoe had been tied too tight, but it was definitely starting to give me some grief. We were also well into the "rolling hills", yikes, they had bigger rolls to them than my stomach!!!

    Onwards past at least a half dozen cemeteries, I’ve never seen so many cemeteries in a row....then headed towards Heartbreak now we were running with the same pack of people, so we got a chance to chat with some and it’s amazing how runner’s support one another.

    One of the runner’s that we were running closely with was legally blind, she had two "guide runners" with her, can you imagine running a 30K race, blind? The Amazing Spirit award would definitely go to her!!! We were always cheering her on....

    It was at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill I had to stop to adjust my running shoes and socks because of the discomfort. Even with water and gator aid stations every 5K or so, I was really starting to feel dehydrated, I think the wind was sucking the moisture right out of me....Carb-booms were helping but I needed more, I think because of being sick earlier in the week it took more out of me than I thought it would.

    Glenda was really trucking along, she is such a strong, fast walker, that when the hills started getting tough, she would power walk up them faster than anything, she is truly amazing!!

    Jen has been so diligent in her hill training that by the time she got to Heartbreak Hill she was just heating and beating up the hills....she ran up the whole way, WAY TO GO JEN! You’re going to ROCK the Marathon in May!

    Once we got to the top of the hill it was literally all down hill from there....we crossed over a huge overpass, and believe it or not, ran past another cemetery where we ran into the Grim Reaper....too funny!!!

    He was way too cute to be the Reaper.... in a sick, morbid kind of pale way, rather like a Morticia Addams attraction don't you think???


    Jen could have had a much better time, she is strong and ready to go, but being sensible and a good runner, she stuck with her long slow distance speed.

    As for me, I was starting to struggle what with having trouble with my foot for the last 5K, but wasn’t going to give up....heck, it’s all about the BLING.

    We saw the Coliseum and the chute leading us into the arena, it was such an amazing feeling to think that we had Run 30K Around the Bay and we finished upright and smiling!!!

    To get a really great description of the race through a younger more articulate runner, check out I Run for Life , Tiger has a great, keen sense of running and a spirit for life!!!

    On a side note, after the race we got totally lost heading back to our hotel, after many miles, many "Fbombs" on my behalf and many missed turns we made it....

    So, there you go, rather like a version of War and Peace, but none the less, we will go back next year and enjoy it all over again!!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken!!!

    Enjoy your journey one step at a time......


    Wordless Wednesday