Friday, 31 October 2008





Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Monday, 27 October 2008


So, I'm sitting here just finishing up my previous post and I'm thinking, geez, my furnance keeps coming on, what's with that? I didn't even wear a coat today...

so I flip over to Environment Canada and read THIS!

Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans

3:50 PM EDT

Monday 27 October 2008

Winter storm watch forOttawa North - Kanata - Orléans issued !!

The first Major snow storm of the season likely late Tuesday and Tuesday night.This is an alert to the potential development of dangerous winter weather conditions in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

Humdinger may not be a scientific term but it may very well sum up the weather that mother nature has in store for eastern Ontario. It appears a noreaster will be born just off the North Carolina coast this evening then intensify rapidly tonight and Tuesday before slicing through southwestern Québec Tuesday night.

In advance of this system an expanding area of significant rain will blossom across far eastern Ontario on Tuesday before changing to heavy wet snow in many areas by late afternoon or early evening.

In a swath from Ottawa through Renfrew to Algonquin significant heavy snow will likely set in late Tuesday and continue into Wednesday morning. Snowfall accumulations in excess of 15 centimetres are likely before it tapers off during the day Wednesday.

The rain will linger in the extreme east on Tuesday..From Cornwall to Hawkesbury..Where a rainfall warning is possible once the track of the heaviest rain becomes more certain.

The rain will change to snow Tuesday night in this area. Strong northwest winds of 50 gusting up to 70 km/h Tuesday night in combination with the snow will create hazardous driving conditions due to snow and blowing snow with low visibilities especially when the mercury edges just below the freezing mark.

Also any residual leaves left on trees may create additional concerns of snow-laden limbs affecting power lines.The storm track is still somewhat uncertain.

Winter storm warnings and rainfall warnings will be issued as deemed appropriate as the situation unfolds.

CRAP, you can always tell when Halloween is close by, the weather likes to play tricks on us...

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Buck or Bear with me...

Since I got my Dirty Girl Gators from Mr. Q's weight loss challenge, I've been doing a lot more trail running.

Saturday morning I tried to get out for a run before my Open House. It was reasonably warm and I really love running in bush in the fall, but again I was delayed by phone calls and my Saturday 8:30 phone date with my by the time I got out the door it was raining.

I finally got out and headed into the bush and ran, it was exhilarating...I just love it.
Running on the trails out of the rain, listening to the sounds in the forest, the smell of the earth, rotting leaves and deep humus...ah, Mother Nature.

I live on an peninsula the juts into the Ottawa River, in the middle is the Torbolton Forest. A fantastic spot to hike, Nordic ski in the winter and trail run the rest of the season. It is also very popular with the snowmobilers.

As I headed out of the bush on my way back home, I headed towards the dirt road that would lead me back towards my place, I noticed a really strong odour. Knowing that often people would trailer in their horses and go for a ride through the forest, at first I didn't think anything of it. With the heavy air, I just figured it was quiet pungent, but, this was NOT a horse...

Once I got out onto the dirt road I headed back up the hill when I heard it.
FFFAHRUMPPFHHH, then I heard it again,

and again,

and again.

Very soft, very methodical, very menacing. What is it?? Do I throw myself down prone onto the muddy road? Do I start yelling, do I stand still and continue to listen? What do you do when you are alone on a deserted road, in the middle of a forest?

Was it a another runner goofing around? Was it a dog snuffling in the fallen leaves?

I was now parallel to the sound, I stopped running and started to walk backwards.

If it was a buck, I could probably scare it by shouting,
but if it was a bear, I would probably faint dead away.
And if it was a bear, I would have sooner seen it coming towards me than feeling the back of my scalp being peeled away if it came up from behind....gawd, what DO YOU DO?

So walking backwards really quickly I kept thinking, geez, now what?
Luckily a car came over the horizon of the hill and was heading in the direction of the noise...then I saw the brake lights come on!!!

Whatever it was, had been coming out of the bush.....holy crapiolla....

When I saw the tail lights, I took off like a shot....and blasted my way home. It was the fastest 5K I've ever run, 24 minutes....Holy Crap.

To this moment, I don't know if it was a buck or a bear, but you can be sure that for my run on Sunday, I stuck to the main roads...

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 24 October 2008

Here's what's happening...

I'm having a Beotch of a time with my internet at home, so therefore today's post is from work. Work is crazy, busy, and I have no real time to put down a proper post, plus all my pictures are at home on the laptop... sigh...

So, bear with me while I work the kinks out of the home issue...

If I don't post for a couple of days while I work out my internet issues, I'm certain you'll be able to live without me!!

I'm having an Open House this weekend for my new home business, (sorry Marcy), so I'm going to be very busy with that...I bought some cheesy Halloween wine glasses and I'll be passing out trick or treats...but shhhhhh, I don't want to give too much away!

Plus, there is a ski swap going on this weekend that I may take my old nordic ski's in to see what I can get for them...and maybe pick up a "newer" used set.

While I'm in town, I'll throw in a 7 or 9K run, I'm starting back to get ready for the Hypothermic Half Marathon in January...I just don't have time to run the Rattle Me is busy!!!

Have a great weekend everyone, good luck to all of you competing this weekend!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


As it is in death, it is more so in life. We share.

Death brings us together to share our memories and grieve, death brings us together to laugh, to cry and to carry on with life.

Comments I heard yesterday while looking at the memory board were, "oh, there he is with his sister when they were kids", "look at that, I remember that Halloween costume", "he was doing what he loved doing", "I just can't believe he is gone", "it was so sudden".

We in blog land share our virtual lives with one another, we share training tips, we share training horror stories...

we share concerns for our children and grandchildren, we share concerns for one another when severe weather strikes us, whether it be Texas or eastern seaboard...

we share different lifestyles from Rome to Oahu, we share cooking tips from Belgium to Brisbane...

we share llama mauling, whitehead popping, speedy racers, to trashtastic topics from the Queen of Albany...

we share competitive cycling stories from Ottawa, Iowa to Queensland.

we share the excitement of someones first Iron Man to someones first try-a-try, to someones first half marathon and someones first marathon, we share!!!

We share our stories, our lives, our insecurities, our challenges and our triumphs...we share ourselves to people we may never meet, with people who we look forward to meeting and with people with whom we've met through this virtual world of ours.

It boils down to the common bond all of us have. It is the commitment to share a little bit of ourselves everyday, to laugh, to cry, to kick ass and tell someone to "bite your ass".

We share.

Thank you for that!!


speaking of sharing,

Look what I got yesterday in the mail!!!

Ted's Dean Karnazes 50 / 50 , the mobile book tour arrived in Canada!

Stay tuned for the information as to how you could be NEXT!!

Thanks for making me smile through the tears everyone.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Monday, 20 October 2008


Saturday morning dawned with the most spectacular sunrise, it was going to be the perfect fall weekend. Temperatures were forecast as bearable and the sun was very strong. After your collective kick in the arse, I got ready to go out for my run.

After many pleasant interruptions, either phone calls from friends or canvasser's at the door. I headed out. My neighbour was coming up my lane with his fuzzy little black dog in tow. Mike is clinically deaf so I have to wave and do my attempt at sign language, which always make him laugh...he is just so funny, he is my neighbour who wears the construction helmet when the acorns are falling. He is an absolute hoot. His wife is just as much fun.

Mike was on his way to tell me that a very good friend of ours (his uncle by marriage) was found dead on his dock.

It was crushing news for me.

As I came to terms with this, Mike stepped forward to hug me while I cried and tried to make sense of it all. Apparently our friend wanted to take his boat out for a spin up the river one last time before winter set in. He made it to the dock, collapsed and died. At least he was headed off to do something he loved and had happy thoughts, died quickly and is now with his late wife, looking down at all of us probably saying something like..."why the tears, I'm happy, I'm with Mon again, it is a nice day, now get out and do something productive".

Mike left me as I told him I needed to run to sort all of this out...and run I did, no garmin, no route, not even proper hydration (well a small bottle of PowerAid) and I ran. It was an odd run, with people stopping me as they were driving by. They shared their stories, their thoughts, their love of this man who had opened up his home to me when I separated from my significant other. He would not allow me to spend a Christmas, a Thanksgiving, a beautiful summer's night by myself. He ploughed out my driveway when we had the Ice Storm.

He and his wife knew that I was battling not only major health issues but the loss of a long time relationship...they would not allow me to be alone during special occasions. Both he and his late wife were very special to me.

My run went on and on and on. I laughed at some of the funny memories, I cried at the sad and because there were so many people out on such a glorious fall day wanting to stop and talk with me. I headed into the bush to run on the trails.

I had to run uninterrupted...I yelled to the trees at the top of my lungs and I prayed.

Today is the memorial for a really kind, gentle man who was getting on with his life after the loss of his beloved wife. He had found a new lady who truly loved him, they spent all their time together, they travelled, they blended families...they were it is time for me to be happy that he lived his life exactly the way it was meant to be and that his purpose on earth is now complete.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Saturday, 18 October 2008

Thanks for the inspiration!

Thank you so much everybody for your "kick in the butt loving" you all gave me from yesterdays post, that is just the attitude I need from you to "keep my head above water" as I fight off the affects of SAD.

Thanks too for being a part of my life for the past 200 posts!!!

Yes, this is number 200!! (chatty aren't I)

So with that said, there are a couple of races that are in my area....

Sunday, October 26, at the General Hospital.

Rattle Me Bones raises vital funds for patient care, arthritis, and orthopedic research at The Ottawa Hospital.

I've just put out an "all call" to the Wooo Hooo's to see if anyone else wants to join me. Blogger Nat will be there with some of her "brunch bunch".

The other race I'm anxiously waiting for is the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Ottawa in January. (Last year I ran the Half Marathon at P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Phoenix, too much fun).

The 2009 race date hasn't been posted yet but this is from last year...yes, the medal is a large snow flake and usually they give you something really very nice along with your bling. Last year it was a fabulous running bag with a thermal running bottle. Handy to have in our cold winter of running.

The race is posted as "Brave the cold in Canada's capital to run as part of a group of 300 participants running or walking the half marathon", it is a small out and back loop race, just something to shake the cobwebs out of you after Christmas. Oh, oh, that "c" word just keeps creeping up in blogs everywhere!!

The sun is shining this morning and beckoning me to get out and "suck up" all the Vitamin D the sun has to offer, so I'm going to strap on my kicks and get out for a run and maybe later, hop on Ruby Red and go for a spin!

Have a great weekend everyone, thanks again!! Good Luck to everyone competing this weekend....

Life's fun if you don't weaken!


Friday, 17 October 2008

What is required is....

... a good kick in the pants!

Where, oh where, has my motivation gone?

My mind seems to have its own time frame and if I don't get a chance to get my run or swim in at a particular "time", well then, it just doesn't want to do it.

Maybe it is the onslaught of fall, darker mornings, darker earlier in the evening...maybe it is my reptilian brain, or maybe I'm a reincarnated hibernating bear.

I'm not too sure, but this certainly needs addressing and SOON.

Work has been very busy and my NEW business, has just taken OFF!!

Ladies, sorry, only my Canadian ladies, I'm sooo excited about this but I'm not allowed to link from my blog, but you can always track me down by email...I just know you will love, love, love the product!!!

This weekend the weather is suppose to be gorgeous again, so no matter what, I'm strapping on the kicks and getting out to enjoy this wonder full fall weather! I may even take Ruby Red out for one last spin!!!

Good luck to all of you who are running, racing, cycling and tri-ing....Good luck Vickie, Jan and Chia!!! Kick some Michigan butt!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Thanksgiving weekend - Cumberland Fall Colours

Cumberland Fall Colours race weekend is a mixed bag of every event you could ever imagine. Please note events on the banner and that is just for the running divisions.

They also have duathlons which are held on Saturday.

This is held every Thanksgiving weekend at the very scenic Cumberland Heritage Village, which depicts life in rural Ontario circa the 1930's.

The setting is spectacular when you have fantastic weather like we had this weekend and it is very much a family event. There are a lot of things for the teeny tiny's to keep busy with and the farm animals love all of the attention, plus there is a cute little park area for them to scream and shout in. This of course is where I hung out (just kidding) while looking for Vava and his family. Young Owen was in his first chipped, bibbed, big boy race. With little information of who exactly I was looking for, I pretty much accosted any male over 6' 2" with children in tow.

Short of someone calling the police for this insane woman saying "are you Vava? You're tall and with kids"....I gave up looking for him. Maybe next time more of a clue would help, or I'll just hang out at the finish line listening for father's yelling at their kids to run faster!!

This year, I was still on my hiatus from running, but many of my friends were there competing in the Half Marathon and one of the Wooo Hooo's significant other was tackling his first marathon ever!

(some of my Running Room friends getting ready for their Half and Full Marathons)

Now, trying to be positive here, I would never slag an event intentionally (well, maybe just a little), but when I think of a Boston Qualifier race, shouldn't there be timing mats at the beginning of the race???

Nope, no mats, no announcement that the race is going to begin, just stand near the pig pen, that's the start line, everybody ready???

Last year I ran the half marathon and it was a nice race, but not one that I would do again, but what the heck I'll go and support anyone who wants to run.

Okay, while I'm on my soapbox, could they not have a food concession stand available for the spectators / support people? There was nothing!! Some of these people (a large majority) had kids and pets with them and they were going to be there for hours waiting for their loved ones to cross the finish line.

There was no water, no juice, no coffee and no food for anyone other than the runner's who by the way, got chocolate milk and chili! Yup, I'd want to eat that after running a marathon....come ON! Maybe in my subliminal mind I remember all of this from last year!

Well, after re-reading that little paragraph I suppose I did slag the race....oooppps sorry!

Luckily I had packed an apple, orange and power bar into my purse, which really came in handy while I waited and chatted, then someone showed up with Tim Bits and a jug thermos of coffee....

My camera was put to good use and and so was my little bell, (not a cowbell, darn) and I happily sat in the sunshine and waited for the runners to arrive. One by one they huffed and puffed and sweated their way past me, some with smiles, some with grimaces...but Roger came along with one HUGE grin on his face as he completed his first marathon in the time of 4:11:47 in the men's category of 55 - 59!!

Way to go Roger!!

The general consensus is, although very picturesque it certainly wouldn't be a "must do" race for next fall.

Because I just might be in Grand Rapids with Vickie, Jan and Chia!!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Sunday, 12 October 2008

Bling, Books and being Tagged!

Life has been busy crazy! This is always a good thing, it just makes you know you are alive! Luckily, this being our Thanksgiving weekend, the weather is unbelievably warm, sunny and almost summer like. I've been in shorts all weekend long!!

As most of my friends and some of the faithful blog readers know I suffer terribly from Seasonal Affective Disorder or more commonly referred to as SAD, so I have been really trying very hard not to let it get its grip on me so early in the season. So far I have been incredibly lucky and even luckier with receiving my "winnings" for the virtual weight loss challenge that was managed so impeccably by Quadrathon!!!

You all know I'm all about the....


Way back in July, Mr. "Q" set up a Worth the Weight challenge which was exactly what I needed at that time. I had been training for marathons and half marathons but I also wanted to throw in a Try-a-Tri, gah, who needed to see me in a bathing it was just the best way for me to "start my engines", much to my surprise I ended up in SECOND place in the weight loss challenge!! It was a well fought out challenge but it certainly came at the right time and I'm happy to report I'm still losing weight!

Thursday I received a notice that I "had mail", yes the old fashioned snail mail, not cyberspace mail...well much to my surprise when I went to our rural post office it was my Bling from the gracious sponsor's, via Mr. Q.!!!

Thank You Mr. Q, but also at this point, I'd like to say a big, nay huge, thank you to the sponsors:

Marianne at Headsweats,

Xy at Dirty Girl Gaiters


Julie at Wicked Fast Sports

for the extremely generous prizes!!! Thank you so very, very much! They have found a very happy home here in Canada and I shall wear, install and energise with all of you in mind constantly!!! Thank YOU!


Okay, I'm on a role here.

My buddy Ted at Ted's Running Journal and Logbook had purchased and read Dean Karnazes book, 50 / 50 and decided that while he loves his books, why not share it!!!

What a "novel" idea!!!

So doesn't he set the the library in motion with "the library on wheels" and puts it out there that the first person who responds to his blog gets the copy to read, comment and pass along. Well, aren't I over reading at Mrs. Shop.Jog.Blog and Yup you guessed it, I'm next to get the book, #3!!!

Ted has even gone to the trouble (thank you so much) to identify not only my beautiful country (Canada), but my breathtaking city (Ottawa) with our city's flag and ehmmmm, adult BEvERage and a little trivia as to who our Prime Minister is!! Wow Ted, you are the very BEST!

So now I am really looking forward to receiving, reading and passing this book along to the next lucky reader....stay tuned!


My not so close Canadian neighbour (three provinces over, but we are close at heart), Leana, tagged me with "I *heart* your blog". Thanks Leana, I love your blog too!!!

I'm to tell Six random things about myself, so here goes:

  • I've had multiple knee surgeries to my right knee with the most recent resulting in a portion of my patella (kneecap) being removed...
  • I'm afraid to cycle out on our main roadways....hence a fear I have to overcome to be able to be a competitive triathlete...
  • I've recently become a vegetarian (again) although I do eat fish, eggs and dairy...
  • I know, I know, I've said it before, I'm actually shy...
  • I hate starting a sentence with " I "...
  • My motor skills are for being left handed but way back when I went to school you were not allowed to write with your left I am able to write with both hands which makes me ambidextrous, but with being a Gemini, it is quite a common trait!

  • So, there you go! Play along at will if you wish, I won't tag anyone because most of you have been tagged by someone already!

    Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Monday is our Thanksgiving Holiday!

    Enjoy our bountiful country, bountiful table and give thanks to those who are serving our country so very far away on this Thanksgiving weekend! Thank YOU for keeping our country safe and free from harm...God Bless.

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    Sunday, 5 October 2008

    My first weekend not running...

    ...since January 2008!

    What a great weekend it was not to have to answer to an alarm clock. It felt great to be able to sleep-in until 8am, then sit in my jammies and read the newspaper (well, really other blogs, yes, that is like the newspaper, it is SO!!!).

    I finally got to shovel out weeks worth of newspaper, magazines and yes dirt. Laundry has now been caught up and there is food in the refrigerator. People who thought I'd run off the face of the earth heard from me and I even set up a thingy on Face Book.

    But what I really want to know is how did I ever accumulate so many pair of Saucony's over this running season. I now have a pair to cut the lawn with, a pair for working in the unfinished basement, my running pair and I just put three pair into the trunk of my car for donation to the local running store, who collects them and sends them to needy people. Poor person who gets my hand-me-downs. I don't have any weird nor wonderful things growing on my feet but still, after all the miles and miles and kilometers I have on those things, well, let's just say I wouldn't wear them if they were given to me!

    Weather wise it was a gorgeous weekend, although a little cold and windy for my liking. The fall colours will be at their peak for next weekend's Canadian Thanksgiving.

    To get ready for next season's triathlons (why didn't I start doing them when I was younger?), I start my swimming programme tomorrow night. My calendar is taking shape and looking something like this:

    Monday & Wednesday ~ Swimming 5:30 - 7:00pm

    Tuesday & Thursday ~ biking at the gym right after work

    Saturday & Sunday ~ running...(well just enough to keep me going for a Half Marathon in January called the Hypothermic Half, Half Marathon, Ottawa)

    (if any of you really, real triathletes have a better plan, please let me know!).

    In the middle of all that I'll be busy with my new Silpada Jewellery business and of course work work.

    So, there you go, all is quiet on the home front, Lily and I relaxed, played cat games and generally tidied up....


    Life's fun if you don't weaken


    Thursday, 2 October 2008

    When the stars align... makes for the best weekend ever!

    After many harried emails and phone calls the stars were beginning to align for the Toronto Scotiabank Half Marathon.

    Friday morning Anne and I headed west to Toronto. We were excited to be on our way and the weather was holding its own, no rain and no blazing sun. Nice and comfortable, even with the five and a half hour drive nothing would dampen our spirits. We made our way in to Toronto before the looming rush hour traffic and were well ensconced in our hotel room by 3:30pm.

    There were so many plans for the weekend, what with meeting Vickie and Jan, meeting with other blogger's, swimming, shopping, eating and oh, of course running, we decided to head out to the Sports Expo that was being held at the Toronto Convention Centre. Luckily we were able to walk down to the expo while taking in all the sights of a "booming metropolis". I even found a large pothole to fall into as I was walking down Bay Street just north of Dundas! My foot twisted just enough to cause me to almost fall to the ground plus there was immediate swelling and pain, "crap, I just got here and I'm already on the disabled list"....well, trust me, what I said wasn't quite that polite!!! Nothing was going to stop me from having an amazing weekend so we continued along our way as I hobbled and bobbled my way. In hindsight, all the walking was probably the best thing I could have done.

    The Expo was not to disappoint, however, my favourite CWX brand of running wear was a no show! An empty booth, no where to be seen, Darn, I really wanted to get a couple of pair of running pants, one a capri style now that the cooler temperatures are headed our way and the other pair of winter running pants. Double DARN.

    I did settle on a capri style of Saugoi pant which will be handy on the cooler fall days...CWX, you lost OUT! Anne and I completed the circuit (several times over) and were laden with free bee's, samples and purchases when we checked our watches and it was already after 7pm. We'd been there for hours!!

    Toronto is such a busy city and with it being Friday night, a hockey game was on and Celine Dion was in town, the restaurants had over 40 minute wait lines. Luckily we scooted our way into Lone Star in no time flat for some fajitas and the mandatory Margarita's, a true athlete's meal!!!

    We made it back to the Delta Chelsea Hotel and proceeded to go through our race bags. For being such a big race there really wasn't anything that stands out in my mind, which boils down to "it was a ho hum race bag". The rest of the evening was spent in the hot tub and pool while we waited for Vickie and Jan to arrive from the airport. We finally got to meet up after 10pm when they called and came to our room. Nothing like making a great first impression having just come out of the shower and being in our jammies....but we all hit it off immediately and chatted up a storm until after midnight.

    Saturday was extremely busy right from the get go. My dad was eagerly awaiting our visit plus a highschool friend of mine whom I haven't seen in about 34 years was meeting us for lunch.

    It was great to share stories, laughs, tears and we made a promise that we won't wait that long for our next visit!

    We had to kickass to get back to downtown T.O. so we could meet up with the fellow blogger's.
    As we arrived back at our hotel we had less than thirty minutes to spare. Vickie and Jan had just come back from their afternoon at the Sports Expo and were resting comfortably with their heating pads and their feet up. So Anne and I hoofed it down to the Toronto Convention Centre and we were right on time to meet with Marlene, Marci and Emily.

    It was awesome to catch up with them and to be able to sit and chat face to face. How amazing is it when four virtual strangers can sit and talk non-stop for almost a full hour without a break in the conversation! We all had previous commitments, otherwise I'm sure we'd still be sitting there talking! Congratulations on your races ladies, you are ALL AMAZING and you are now MARATHONER'S!!!

    You girls ROCK!

    Thanks you guys, you are totally amazing!!

    If you want to see how much fun we had trying to take this picture, just go to Marci's blog! Oh, thanks, I like my sandals too!

    Anne and I left the Expo and headed off to meet with Vickie and Jan at Little Anthony's Italian Restaurant. It was exactly what we all needed to relax and catch up over a fabulous dinner and glass of wine. Open elegance is how this restaurant is described and the meal was out of this world.

    Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to catch some shuteye so we'd be nice and fresh for the mornings race.

    Sunday morning arrived and it was dark but not too cold. Rather balmy! Anne had brought two throw away sweatshirts which we had on, but doffed even before the start of the race.

    We walked our way to the start mats, there were so many runner's, walkers and spectators it certainly took on a festive mood. Anne and Vickie were dancing to the music while Jan said her well wishes and dropped back so she wouldn't get too jostled in the crush of runner's as we hit the mats.

    Have you ever taken three steps into a race and knew it was YOURS?

    All I could think of was what one of the Wooo Hooo's said, "see what's in the tank" for this race and TNTCoach Ken said "What's in that tank? Just go balls out until you see stars."

    Thanks guys, that is exactly what I needed to hear! When we hit the turn to go under the Gardiner Expressway and head to Lakeshore Blvd., my legs and feet were on their own, my brain was thinking back to all the memories I have of growing up in Toronto.

    Memories of all the friends and family that have passed away, all the memories of being a kid and going to the Canadian National Exhibition, all the fun we had as young adults down by the Toronto waterfront.

    Time flies when you're having fun! Next thing I know I'm running towards my marathon friend Henk (who was running the marathon in Toronto) and we were able to cross the 10K mat together! We had a quick exchange of "good luck" and I zoomed off (well as fast as I get, more like a thundering herd of turtles).

    The race route is an out and back along the Lakeshore for the Half marathon runner's, so as I was headed back on the other side of the boulevard I got to see Henk again, Anne, Vickie and Jan who was totally hoofing it.

    The bands that were set up along the run route were amazing! The spectators were out in droves and there was even a group of Canadian War Veteran's in full dress uniform out to cheer us on! They just lit a fire in me, those courageous men who so bravely fought for my freedom to be able to run as a free woman in the country I love! Another burst of energy and I flew along heading back towards the downtown core. There was a young man struggling his way along when I caught up to him, he was a new Canadian and was running without hydration nor gels. He was really struggling, so I walked with him for a little way and made sure he had the gel and water I gave him. I made him promise that at the next water stop he would get two cups of water and drink one and toss the other over the back of his neck. He promised me he would! (He probably told me that just to get the crazy old woman away from him LOL).

    Running under the Gardiner Express threw my Garmin coordinates right out of the window, so I was running with my instincts, I knew where I was, but I was starting to get a little tired. When we turned up Bay Street you could hear the roar of the spectators and the race route at the end was marked with increments of 100 meters, so you knew you only had to go 500, 400, 300 until you came down to the final 100 meters! The official time clock read 2:33:46, but I knew that it had taken me over ten minutes to get to the start mat. Yes, I ran a personal best!! Toronto was my best Half Marathon ever!

    When I crossed the mats I let out a huge sigh and thought to myself, wow, what a way to end the racing year!! 2:23:05, Not too bad for an old chick!!

    We were channelled through an area to have our chips removed and I wanted to head back to see Anne and Vickie and Jan finish, but there were too many people, so I picked a nice spot in the sun to wait for them. One by one we were reunited with laughs and stories and aches and pains!

    Navigating our way back to the hotel was a half marathon in itself. Jan had a huge icepack on her shoulder, we were in our mylar blankets still trying to get oranges and apples into us along with water! It was quite the parade!

    Once we got back to the hotel after manipulating our way through closed streets and more potholes, Jan and Anne headed off (still with their mylar blankets) to find an Adult BEvERage store, more commonly known as the LCBO. They came back with red and white wine, which we poured into plastic cups and headed to the kiddie pool! (The adult pool facility was being serviced, silly hotel).

    After our much enjoyed and needed time in the whirlpool, we made our way back to the room for more chit chat and plans for dinner at the exclusively expensive Hy's Steakhouse. Very old, very chichi, with a lot of Toronto Stock Exchange secrets!

    We couldn't give up the evening so we headed back for one last cocktail of the evening and our last goodbyes. Jan and Vickie were up at the crack of dawn to catch their flight back to Grand Rapids and Anne and I were on the road heading back home on Monday morning.

    What an amazing weekend! Thank you Emily, Marlene, Marci! It was a treat to meet you and congratulations on your AWESOME RACES!! You guys ROCK and you are MARATHONERS !!!

    Jan and Vickie, what can I say other than you feel like I've known you both forever!!!

    I can hardly wait until we spend another fantastic weekend partying and racing again!

    Ottawa Marathon Weekend 2009, here we come!!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    **sorry the report is so late, it has been one *beotch* of a week, reality bites!!!

    ***blogger actually kick this post out of the web yesterday afternoon, so I had to re-write it!