Monday, 30 June 2008

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Wet Weather, Air Show and a Mouse in the House...

Thank you so much everyone for your very useful ideas with respect to my Try-a-Tri, I am definitely going to put some of them into action!! Thank you all! A quick release and bathing suit are first on the list! NO! Not a quick release FOR the bathing suit....stop it you guys!!!

The Wooo Hooo Du (thank you
Blue for the great name) will be going on just as planned. This I know will be an absolute riot! And no Ted, it's not too cold to swim in Canada in the summer!!!

Tuesday is Canada's 141st Birthday, Canada Day! Our National Holiday!

Last week I worked extra hours so I could take tomorrow (Monday) off, making it an extra long weekend, now I just wish the weather man would co-operate.

I actually started this post on Sunday but the wildest thunderstorm rolled through just as I was writing it up and I had to shut down.

Thursday morning around 3:30 am, Lily (the cat) was tearing around the house knocking things over, meowing like crazy and just generally being a pain in the you know where. I stumbled out of bed to come face to face with a mouse with Lily in hot pursuit! Gah, now the three of us are running around. You have to picture my house is or was an old cottage before I started renovating it, so there are a ton of hidey holes for this mouse to head for. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, I finally catch the mouse and turf it out the patio doors and head back to bed. Not even thinking that the mouse would even be in close proximity in the morning, I let Lily out the back door and head for the shower to get ready for work. When I get out of the shower, yup, you've guessed it, the mouse is back in the house and the cat in tow. Somewhere in my house is now a mouse.....hope I find it soon!

Due to the stormy weather we had (all of June), our local Carp Airport had to cancel the air show on Saturday and yesterday when that fast moving thunderstorm rolled in all the planes were grounded once again. I just heard on the news that they are considering cancelling the show permanently due to the poor attendance. It is sad news for all of the avid aviation fans in our area.

Our run yesterday was great! Now we are getting back up in mileage I'm loving it! We have been running on the Cattail Trail which is just stunning! We have been lucky with our Sunday running, the weather is hot and humid but sunny until the afternoons when the thunderstorms roll in. After the run yesterday, Jen and I headed over to pick up Brenda (who is recovered from her appendectomy) and we headed downtown to pick up our race kits for the HBC Canada Day 10K.

Downtown Ottawa was teeming with tourists, Canadian flags flying everywhere, every building has a Canadian Flag on it, it is spectacular! Ottawa Tourism is expecting over 300,000 people to be here for the Canada Day celebrations. (I'll take pictures tomorrow).

Our race shirts are awesome, and the swag in the bag is GREAT! It is an early start tomorrow, 7:30am race start. Since we live over an hour away, we will be up early and on the road by 5:45am. After the race a gang of us are meeting up for breakfast and then I'll head home and spend the day on the beach!

I can hardly wait! So, pictures, race report and more to follow! Have a great Monday everyone, I'm off to buy a bathing suit!

Life's fun if you don't weaken

Friday, 27 June 2008

Reality Bites....

After great angst, I finally had to make myself sit down and re-cap the year so far, concerning my running expenses.

  1. January ~ Phoenix ~ for the weekend!!

  2. February ~ start marathon training : more winter running clothes, ran through three pair of Saucony's, not to mention gels, bars, groceries (yes, I gained weight, oink) and sports drinks.

  3. March ~ Trip to Hamilton for the 30K Around the Bay.

  4. April ~ Chiropractor visits and massage therapy....

  5. May ~ more chiropractor visits and new running clothes for warmer weather. Oh yes, another pair of Saucony's.
Would you care for a little cheese with that whine Lily...????

So, here we are in June and I want to start training for my first Try-a-Tri. Well, this is where reality fits in, dang, I really hate reality....because I bring it upon myself....

  1. July ~ Utica 15K Boilermaker, wooo hooo!

  2. September ~ The first ever, Army Run Half Marathon.
  3. September ~ Toronto Half Marathon, meeting up with Vickie and Tiger!
So, the Tri ~ It's not going to happen this year!

  1. Don't have a proper bike, need to get one,
  2. Get a bathing suit, goggles, cap etc....
  3. Entry fees,
  4. Getting a bike rack to get me there,
  5. More groceries, hahahaha
  6. Kaching....!!!!
However, being the proactive type of person I am....I'm bringing the mountain to Mohamed!!

Yes, we are going to have the Very First Ever Duathlon with the Woooo Hoooo Girl Friends in August at my place with our Mountain Bikes!

We might even throw in a swim which would in fact turn it into a Tri! How great is that?

I feel a party coming on!

Nothing better than the Wooo Hooo's, running, biking, swimming and a Pot Luck Barbecue afterwards!

I love summer!

Life's fun if you don't weaken!


Monday, 23 June 2008

Keep Believing

Recently I was given this lovely little book for my birthday by a very good running friend.

I just love books where you open the pages at random and read the messages in no particular order. I believe that the universe opens the pages for you and you read what you need to read at that particular moment.

Day after day I read different excerpts but somehow I keep coming back to this particular passage, (and no, I haven't dogeared the page, nor spilled margarita mix or used a gooey peanut buttered finger to mark the page!)

I thought I would share it with you and oddly enough, it is the title of the book!

Keep Believing in Yourself and Your Dreams

Every goal that has ever been reached began with just one step...and the belief that it could be attained.

Dreams really can come true, but they are most often the result of hard work, determination and persistence.

When the end of the journey seems impossible to reach, all you need to do is take one more step.

Stay focused on your goal and remember that each small step will bring you a little closer.

When the road becomes hard to travel and it feels as if you'll never reach the end...

Look deep inside your heart and you will find strength you never knew you had.

Jason Blume

Life's fun if you don't weaken


Friday, 20 June 2008

Catching Up

What a week, I felt like I was on the fast train to Crazy Town!

You have them too, the weeks where nothing gets done quickly. The "guy" in the office who is a total pain is in rare form, (I even check to see if there is a full moon when he starts to ramp up).

The yard work is falling way behind because of the crazy rain and thunderstorms we've been having all week. (oh by the way, I did not take the photo of the storm seen in my Wordless Wednesday, as much as I'd like to take credit for it, I can not tell a lie.) And I haven't even started training for my Tri.

Running three days per week is the sanity I need and I have to say, I'm loving the commitment to the group I run with. Our mileage is starting to increase which is great, I just love the longer runs.

So here I am, catching up with life;

Last week, the ever lovely Kim and Archaeologist student extraordinaire Xenia tagged me.

So I'll try my best to answer the questions:

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

I wasn't running the way I run now. I was running very quickly away from becoming a person I didn't want to be. I made the decision to go single, bought my own house and had to deal with a major health issue. I always say I "lost 225 lbs" that year by becoming single!

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?

My best running experience was my first 10K race over six years ago, well, other than my marathon in May. I had no "formal" training for my first 10K race and I just wanted to run.

My running friends were really fast and wanted me to run it in an hour, I almost did too, my chip time was 1:02:27. 10K seemed like such a long way back then.

When I run 10Ks now, I'm reminded. It IS a long way.

My worst running experience was a training run for the marathon this past winter. It was a really cold, windy day, I think it was a 26 or 27K run. The last 5 or 6K were straight into the wind and there were freezing ice pellets. I couldn't catch my breath and I just wanted to cry, but a running friend dropped back to keep me company and that made it more bearable.

3. Why do you run?

Running challenges my inner strength and mental well being. I've always been very competitive, riding show horses. Running for me is social, it allows me to challenge myself, I've learned to be more accepting of my strengths and weaknesses and there is no one to blame but me if I have a bad run. I am very spiritual and running allows me to do a lot of reflecting when I'm out for a long run, I've been very blessed in my life.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?

I really don't remember anything in particular being the best or the worst (so far). I take everything in, mull it over, filter it through and do what I can.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

I'm actually kind of shy.

I KNOW, who knew!!!

But I always love an adventure. If no one else wants to go and do things with me, I just do them on my own and I'm quite happy with that!!!

Well, it's not earth shattering information is it? But that's me and that's why I run!!

Have a great weekend everyone, good luck to all of you racing, running, cycling or Tri-ing!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Monday, 16 June 2008

Wild Weather, Wild Weekend and even Wilder Friends!

Don't know what the heck is going on with the weather this past week, but we have been having Wicked Thunderstorms! Yesterday afternoon we had one heck of a storm that lasted for hours, houses were hit and destroyed, trees branches were down and we even had power outages.

Monday afternoon was no exception, so I'm trying to post this early Tuesday morning...hey, where did my coffee go?

Luckily we had planned for our girls day on Saturday even though the weather forecast was calling for rain. We were so lucky, nary a rain drop fell. We even had hazy sun for most of the afternoon.

Once we unpacked all the food and beverages, raspberry vodka and pineapple juice was poured, we headed for the dock and some rays.

Glenda, Nancy, Barb and Anne

Our little group of friends have been through it all, as life goes. Happiness, sadness, loss of friends, family members and jobs, health issues, elderly parents, but through it all we have had much laughter, actually, laughter until we've cried. We have shared many experiences, travels, training and races but most of all we have made fabulous memories together.

We were missing one of our Wooo Hooo friends, Brenda, due to an emergency appendectomy earlier in the week! We missed you Brenda....get better soon!

Because of our busy schedules with family, jobs and training for events, we try to get together to just chill'x a couple of times a year, this being one of them. It's always pot luck and everyone converges with some sort of cocktail recipe to boot.

Normally the food venue is very organised and this causes us to bring the same sort of salad time after time. However, this time I said, well if we all bring Caesar salad so be it. In my subliminal mind this would make us to come up with something quite different.

It worked!! We had an amazing assortment of different salads and snacks, along with an assortment of meat for the barbecue. (Although we did forget about dessert, sorry Barb).

Some of us, who shall remain nameless were adventurous enough to go swimming! The water was beautiful, cool and refreshing!

After our swim and much laughter we headed back up to the house to try out Anne's new Martini recipe!


Nancy, Anne, Glenda, guess who and Jen

It was one of those days were we all just kicked backed, laughed, told stories of past races and shared fears and hopes for up coming events. They were even trying to talk me into an Olympic distance instead of a Try-a-Tri, girls, give it up, I don't have a proper bike for that!!!

The day flew by, what with the stories, a few more and various cocktails, we headed back up to the deck to fire up the barbecue. Chicken marinated in a fantastic sauce, salmon with peppercorns and onion, potatoes and of course a wonderful selection of salads.

We were so lucky with the weather, it was warm and pleasant and we had no bugs! Our meal was out on the deck over looking the water, WOW!!

Our day concluded with a final visit to the dock to watch the sunset, while the fishermen were out in their boats for the last catch of the day.

End of the day on the dock, we left a space between Glenda and I for Brenda,

Nancy and Anne with Minnie

It was one of those "you had to be there" days, hard to explain but we had a GREAT time.

Thanks everyone, you are truly the best friends I could have ever met.

June Sunset

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


p.s. My personal favourite cocktail of the day was one I stole from Carly

Recipe for Beer Margaritas (oh, let's think up a name for this)

1 Cup Tequila

4 Beers

1 Can of limeade

lots of ice!!

Mix and serve cold.

thanks Carly!!

Woooo Hoooo Saturday!

Due to the extreme weather system that went through our area yesterday I could not post about our Saturday get together. Pictures and stories to follow later today!!

Woooo Hoooo

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 12 June 2008

Friday the 13th

Introduction to How Friday the 13th Works**

Let's look at this objectively for a second:

In order to organize time, human beings created calendars.

As part of today's dominant calendar system, every year is divided into 12 periods called months, consisting of roughly 30 days each.

All days are also grouped into sets of seven, called weeks.

In the Western world, a significant chunk of the population suspects bad things will happen whenever the 13th day of a month occurs on the day of the week called Friday.

Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th (known as paraskevidekatriaphobia) isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But the really strange thing is that most of the people who believe the day is unlucky offer no explanation at all, logical or illogical. As with most superstitions, people fear Friday the 13th for its own sake, without any need for background information.
The superstition does have deep, compelling roots, however, and the origins help explain why the belief is so widespread today. In this article, we'll look at some of the interesting stories behind this unluckiest of days.

The Christian TraditionThe fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears -- the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.

Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.

Leonardo da Vinci's fresco of the Last Supper

Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start.

Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever. A similar, entirely factual story is the harrowing flight of Apollo 13.

Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.

This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it's impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore. A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.

The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininity.

Other Traditions

Fear Free?

You may not take drastic safety precautions every Friday the 13th, but are you totally immune to the superstition? Given the choice, would you get married, start a new job or close on a house on Friday the 13th? Most Americans wouldn't, even though they don't put much stock in the idea. Superstition has a way of creeping up on people when they're in a particularly vulnerable state.
The Christian perspective on Friday and 13 is the most relevant today, but it's only one part of the Friday the 13th tradition.

Some trace the infamy of the number 13 back to ancient Norse culture. In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13. This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most entrenched 13-related beliefs: You should never sit down to a meal in a group of 13.
Another significant piece of the legend is a particularly bad Friday the 13th that occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil. Check out
this site to learn more.

Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

Ultimately, the complex folklore of Friday the 13th doesn't have much to do with people's fears today. The fear has much more to do with personal experience. People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. The evidence isn't hard to come by, of course. If you get in a car wreck on one Friday the 13th, lose your wallet, or even spill your coffee, that day will probably stay with you. But if you think about it, bad things, big and small, happen all the time. If you're looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you'll probably find it.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


**Tom Harris, holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Monday, 9 June 2008

32.5 Degrees Celsius, Bring it ON!!

This weekend we had near record temperatures in the National Capital Region, I say bring it ON! I live for this weather!!

The Bay, has started the summer bustle, cottagers are returning to enjoy the rivers and bays, from my back deck I could hear the motorboats out on the river. With the price of gas rising so quickly, I wonder how many people will be trading in the power boats for sail boats this summer.

Saturday was hot, hot, hot and humid. My run was just 5k and this seemed like the perfect morning to get out early. Yard sales galore, and the government dock was teeming with boaters launching their crafts for the first time. Ahhh, summer is finally here.

Two of my Woo Hoo girlfriends Glenda and Nancy, who were out biking had stopped to see if I was home, good timing as I was just walking in from my run. We had a great visit on the back deck, they had a chance to relax for a bit and refill their water bottles before the 20K bike ride home.

My other Woo Hoo friend Anne and her husband Dean were on the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour for the weekend. If you recall, Anne ran the marathon with me two weeks ago and has started training for her Half Iron Tri in August....she has graciously agreed to help me with my Try-A-Tri, yikes, I'd better get going on that!!

Sunday was really stinky hot. Glenda and I drove into the Running Room Sunday morning and it was really very hot and humid at 8:30AM.

The Half Marathon group assembled for the 7K run and split into the running groups. The 2:10 group started off and because it was so hot, as pace leader I determined that slower was better, so we set off at a 7:30 pace....

Interestingly, as always, the runners who have never done the distance just couldn't get it into their heads that this pace was what we do, even after explaining why we run the Sunday runs at a much slower pace, some understood and staid with us and while others went off on their own accord. All I can do is explain and hope that they will learn. Our route incorporated several large hills, each had a long grade to them. The runners that went on ahead were struggling up the final hill and finished their run with the group.

Over the next 18 weeks, they will come to understand the differences between the tempo, steady, fartlek and long slow distances. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear! That is why I firmly believe in these running clinics.

Even with this spike in temperature and the crushing humidity, this weekend was The Weekend to End Breast Cancer 60K walk. Over a thousand walkers and crew raised $ 2.1 million for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Well done everybody, you are all hero's....

On another weather related story, Bob Gentile, toughed it out on his Kettle 100 Mile run in LeGrange, Wisconsin. Due to extreme weather conditions ranging from Tornado warnings, hail, torrential downpours, he made the 100K cutoff but decided at that time to not try to make 100 miles. Congratulations Bob, well done despite the conditions and you got your KETTLE!!

Stay safe everyone while we experience this extreme weather, use common sense and be smart while you're out there training.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 6 June 2008

Back At It

Last night was Clinic Night for the Marathon and Half Marathon groups at our local Running Room.

Now that the hype of the National Capital Race Weekend is over for another year, the numbers in the clinics drop. Although there are quite a few Half runners there were only a handful for the Marathon clinic.

A new clinic, new instructors, seasoned runners and new fresh faces. Several of the runners are upping their personal challenge from 10K to the half, some of the runners are trying their first marathon in Big Sur to commemorate milestone birthdays, while others are trying to better their race times.

This particular time, I am a pace leader for the 2:10 half group, which is really exciting for me. Even though it feels very odd not to be running with my friends that I just spent weeks and weeks with for the marathon training, it will challenge me to get out of my running comfort zone and run with these new folks and start making memories for them as well as me.

I have to admit to feeling a little battle weary as I drove into town but once I got there, met old friends and the new shining, smiling faces it was the tonic I needed, plus we only ran 3K!!!

Our weather is truly amazing in this neck of the woods, we have had nothing but rain but luckily warmer temperatures. This weekend the weather stations are cautioning us with predictions of temperatures in the 30's (84+ degrees) with humidity making it feel like 40 Celsius, which will make it 104+ degrees.....We will use our discretion for Sunday's run, with the temp's that high there is always the threat of thunderstorms.

Welcome to Ottawa's crazy weather!

My running this summer entails a 10K race on July 1st, the HBC Canada Day Race, supporting our athletes going to Beijing.

Utica Boiler Maker, July 13th, not sure what will happen since the huge fire at the Saranac Breweries, but I'm sure it will still be a go.

A Try-A-Tri in August


The very first Canadan Army Run, Half Marathon on September 21st, in Ottawa.

and the one I'm most excited about,

The Toronto Half Marathon, September 28th, where I'll be meeting blogger Vickie and running the race together!!! How exciting is that?

If there are any other crazy blogger half marathoner's wanting to get together in September, that's where the party will be happening!!!

Hope everyone that is running, racing, tri-ing, cycling this weekend has a great time, stay safe and keep on smiling!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 5 June 2008

From out of the "are you for real" files

Recently I was asked if I preferred the "company of women". What sort of question is that? Do I have great female friends? YES!

Do I spend time with my running Wooo Hooo girlfriends? YES!

Do I have a female friend who is "more than just a friend"?

Normally I don't air my very personal issues on my blog, but this is for the record.


And no, I am NOT against gay, lesbian, homosexual relationships. Some of my best friends are and were, (they have passed away) in very happy, loving openly gay relationships. I truly had and still have a blast with them.

So, no, I am and always have been happily heterosexual.

Truth be told, I have been on my own, single, old maid, spinster whatever the term you prefer for eight years now. Maybe it is a growing, learning who I am, what I will put up with, what I won't put up with, learning about myself, spiritually and otherwise journey I am on.

The journey has been long and often arduous, but I have battled major health issues, surgery and and now have a clean slate, all that while I had the rug pulled out from under me when I least expected it. All I can say is I've come out of it a better (not bitter, well I was for awhile, but that's a waste of good energy) person.

I can truthfully say I am happy with my life and absolutely embrace every new experience that comes my way, the good, the bad and the ugly.

For me, my wonderful friends have lived through it all with me, knowing when to offer advice, knowing when to let me stumble, fall and get up again on my own, but always being there for me when I most need them. Thank YOU!!!

When the time comes that I do find Mr. Wonderful, I'll be ready I suppose, everyone says it will happen when you least expect it.

So shove over P.O.M. there are two of us in the singles boat!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


* I just received an email from "Connect With Other Active Singles in Your Area!"
Is the universe trying to tell me something? LMAO!!!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Bob Gentile Good Luck my friend!!! You'll just fly!
Please visit Bob, wish him good luck and tell him Lily sent you!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

To Tattoo Too?

Truthfully I'm right on the fence about this. I'm the only one of all my running friends who does not have a tattoo. Many have said that once you complete your marathon you (I) should get a tattoo because the race is so empowering, the tattoo will commemorate the event.

I've gone as far as to pick out what I would have inked onto my body. Being born in the year of the Snake, the pattern is of two snakes, heart shaped and I would put 21.1K on one side of the heart and 42.2K on the other. Tastefully Gothic!

Now that I've found the design, what about location?? Do I put it in the middle of my forehead, like Marcy's homies from a few posts ago. (Kidding). Somewhere discrete, no one will see but me location? On my ankle that swells up, so they can look like King Cobra's at the end of the day?

All these decisions....a tattoo, gawd, my mother will be churning in her urn should I go ahead with this. "Ladies do not do that sort of thing". I had a hard enough time justifying multiple ear piercings when she was alive.

So, I will mull this over for a few more days....feel free to leave your comments....

Life's fun if you don't weaken,