Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New York - Before the Race

Friday to the Start Line
Sorry I had to break this into sections because there were so many little things I didn't want to skip over.

To start we got into the city on Friday night. We got into Newark and took the airport shuttle the New Jersey train to Penn Station and then got slightly lost on the NYC subway system. Thankfully once we got it figured out the station wasn't that far from our hotel.

Saturday we hit the expo and even though it sounded on FB that security would be crazy it wasn't bad at all and took hardly any real effort to get in. I got my bib and start bag. We then wandered around with first getting an official NY t-shirt(because apparently the one they give us wasn't enough for me LOL). While walking around we found the Garmin booth and found out that they were selling the new Garmin that I was looking at for sale before it hit stores! So that means Christmas came early for me and I got my new FR220. We tried some yummy cheeses, chia seeds, and yogurts. After that we dropped everything off at the hotel and walked over to Central Park and checked out the finish line. I was constantly giddy. We then went out for an early dinner of what else but pasta and then settled in for the night.

My alarm was set for 5am. I woke twice once at 3:30 freaked out that my alarm didn't go off because of the time change. For some reason I was convinced that it was clocks forwards not back in my sleep. I went back to sleep and jumped awake at 4:50 and decided to just stay awake. Hubs woke up with me and I got dressed and he got me to the restaurant around the corner then he went back to bed LOL. They were open earlier than normal for the marathon runners, so I got some oatmeal and headed over to the subway.

While waiting for the train I started talking to two ladies. One was Alabama and the other was from Montana. We stuck together for the 20 min train ride until we got to the ferry. Montana then left to meet up with friends and Alabama and I stayed together. We hit the bathrooms and got on the next ferry boat. (I should point out that there were tons of police there with dogs and big guns. You were only allowed into the waiting area if you showed your see through bag and if you had a regular bag they would look through it.) Once we got our seats and moving, the nerves were starting for both of us. Mostly when we noticed that the US Coast Guard had a small boat on each side of the ferry the whole way. We then got the line up for the bathroom again before heading to the corrals since it was cold outside and it was better to wait in the ferry terminal. LOL. After that crazy long line Alabama left since she was in an earlier wave than me. Not wanting to go out into the cold I stayed another 30 mins or so in the terminal and met some people from Australia and Denmark and another couple from the States. A race person came by and told us the last of the buses would be leaving soon. So reluctantly we all said good bye and good luck.(Good lesson for a very crowded race – unless you plan on staying with someone you probably won't see them again so wish everyone luck) and headed to the buses. In the crowd there I talked to two guys who were from New York and got in with the 9+1 Road Runners thing. On the bus I talked to a girl from San Francisco who was running her first marathon. She was also bundled in a sleeping bag.

After getting off the buses and heading to the corrals. There was insane police presence there. You had to walk down the street and go through metal detectors. Any electronics had to go into your bags or in bins. More sniffing dogs were around and even if any police couldn't see your bib on your person you would get pulled over and scanned again. Thankfully I had no issues and got into the Fort easily and I imagine it was the same for most people. It was set up in the Colours so I went off to the blue section and was happy to see that it wasn't just open space. They did have some tents to protect from the wind. There were lots of bins for garbage and clothing as people were shedding layers. I was tempted to grab a coffee but since I'd never had Dunkin Donuts before I decided to skip it. I wasn't there for more than 15 mins when the final call for the Baggage trucks went. I decided to not use my baggage and just put my clothes in the donation bins. The corrals were packed and you could feel the nerves in the air. When we started moving the lady next to me said “oh shit” she then apologized and I just laughed and told her she said what we were all thinking. The Blue corral started with the toll boothes on our right and buses on our left. You would have heard the announcer over the speakers except for when the helicopters were too close. We heard the National Anthem and then the canon went off and there was no mistaking it. Everyone clapped and cheered. Then the famous Frank Sinatra came over the speakers and as we were walking to the actual start line you could hear sooo many people singing along. I was totally one of them. I loved that they made each wave important. We got almost everything that the leaders got I imagine.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


If you follow me on Twitter or Dailymile you'd see that today I ran 4 hills. My plan had me at 10k Tempo and I had got myself ready for an hour of pushing myself to keep a steady pace rather than go out too fast and burn out at the end. Well I got to the store and met up with everyone and snuck a look at the board where all the clinic post the night's plan.

Marathon: 4 happier hills.

I had totally forgotten that the clinic group that I run with sometimes is the training clinic for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Which is on October 20th. Two weeks before my race. So they are two weeks ahead of me. And it meant that tonight was the start of hill training.

We got a total of 7.75k in and ended up doing the hill behind the water plant down at the lake. I didn't even know there was a path/road behind it. It worked out really well because we managed to get a bit of a talk about hills and I don't get to go to the talks since I work the day they do those. There was some nice talk about posture and even a trick for doing your laces that work well for hills. It's called the Butterfly. I tried looking for pictures about it and am coming up short. In any case I'm guessing it helped since I didn't even register my shoes while powering up the hills.

The only other big question I guess would be how to handle my training for hills and such. Since in training we start at 4 hills and go to 10 hill and then move on to speedwork. I'll have to think about whether I want to stay with my plan more or make some changes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sadly we had to say Goodbye

I haven't been posting much this month.

The main reason is that we had to put a lot of KMs on our car as we drove down to visit Dad(Hub's dad). This past winter he was diagnosed with Gastric Cancer and it was in the later stages when we finally knew what it was. We were taking every chance we could to drive down and visit with him and Mom. He was admitted to Hospice in mid May and he passed away July 16th at 63 years.

Him and Hubs at our wedding
I knew him since high school. Dad was a teacher there, so I've known him for half my life. Actually when dating Hubs it took me almost a year to stop calling him Sir all the time. :)
Mema and Grandad with the Grandchild just before it started.

He was a truly wonderful man who clearly loved his family and his life. He taught us a lot about being a good parent and role model. I just hope to continue to make him proud.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


And its only week 2 of training.

I have another 18 weeks to go. I've always had lots of admiration for those that train for marathon in general. I mean its tiring and you're hungry a lot. and adding in training on top of a full time job. I mean that's why for my first Marathon I chose to do it before I went back into work. And now I'm doing it too.

I'm sure the heat isn't helping but man I'm tired. This whole working full time on my feet then add the running and the family stuff....whew.. Its enough to make me want to crawl back into bed.

Actually one of my biggest challenges is that since I'm feeling tired and run down a bit is that I first reach for a coffee. I need to make sure I'm grabbing a big cup of water first then the coffee because I notice that its really easy to miss out on getting enough water. Thankfully the work schedule is going to change a bit and I'll be doing more middle shifts where I won't be by myself for long stretches so it means I won't have to worry about having to close the store to hit the bathroom.

Now if I could just get my chocolate addiction under wraps a bit....

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Officially starting to Train

So this week was the official start to my New York training. 

Tuesday- 6k Tempo
Wednesday-10k Tempo
Thursday- 6k Steady
Friday- Rest!(It's also delivery day at work so I count it as cross training)
Saturday- 6k Steady
Sunday -10k LSD

So far I'm doing good. Both my Tempo runs have me hitting my targets. Thought starting this week as well I'll be back at the Running Room with the Marathon clinic for Wednesdays and Sundays. I went tonight and it was great. I realized how much I missed everyone.  I actually ran most of the route on my own, but I figured Sundays will be the day to be social during the runs and Wednesday its more for keeping on target. It kinda sucks how my schedule doesn't allow for me to do the full clinic with everyone but I did sign up for the online version and will bug the heck out of my instructor Steve. I'm pretty sure come November he'll be happy that the clinic and my questions will end. 

It was really hot and sadly not the hottest I've run in. I actually got panicked for a bit while running when I realized I wasn't sweaty as much as I had been earlier in the run. Of course I was running INTO the bit of wind at this point and as soon as I stopped at a light I felt it all come back but now I'm loading up on water and a bit of Gatorade just to make sure I'm hydrated enough. Don't want any bonking during tomorrow's run. It'll probably be a bit slow since I've been pushing it at the Tempo paces this round. 

P.S I have a new vintage of an awesome red to try this weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Who said they could grow up?

Bug had his First Communion two weeks ago. Things got busy(and distracted by some race) and I totally forgot to post about it here. Bad Mama. The church was a little crazy since 64 kids were partaking. But here are some pics of the day. 

But really? Who told him he was allowed to grow looking so handsome? (clearly takes after his mother LOL)

The Nice Family Pic

And the silly one!
with Grandpa and cousin added in for fun.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting in the mood

for running a marathon.

Training hasn't even officially started(That'll come June 30) and I'm a bunch of nerves. I know I can complete the race. But I have heard that New York is hilly and definitely not PR course.

Granted I've also heard its a once in a lifetime experience for some. I really needed to hear more about that side of it. So off I went looking for blog posts about it. In my searching I found out that Liz Robbins wrote a book about the 2007 NYC Marathon.

The library near work even had a copy so I went and got it.
You know what? Two thumbs up. It covers a lot of the background stuff that I would have had no clue on, but it also covered the journey on race day of a couple people. Of course it covers the top elites who placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd in that year's race.

I loved how it covered parts of the race by chapter. Would you be surprise to learn there is 26 chapters in the book? It goes over the course mile by mile and the different parts of each mile. Like how in the 8th mile the Emmanuel Baptist Church comes out and sings because parishioners weren't making it to mass on Marathon Sunday? So they brought it to the race that passed by their church?
Or in Mile 20 Pat Duffy snuck onto the Willis Avenue Bridge(spectators are not allowed on  bridges) with his bagpipes to play starting in 2002 since he knew this is where it got hard?

Definitely a recommended read. We all know how much of a sap I am and I was getting teary-eyed at points, and cheering on people in others. Never mind that this particular race was 6 years ago.

I'm already getting excited for my chance to be on those streets and to experience the crowds and support from whole city because this book showed how amazing it is when the whole city embraces such an event.

Dude! Go read it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekend Wine

Inniskillin Pinot Grigio

As I mentioned before I picked up this new wine that my store now carries.

It a 2012 wine from the Niagara Region here in Ontario. What makes this Pinot special is that the Winemaker left the skins on before pressing allowing the colour of the skins to be in the final product. 

Ever seen what Pinot Grigio grapes look like? Most would assume that the grapes would be yellow or green like the grapes in the grocery store and they'd be wrong. This is the Pinot Grigio grape

So it makes perfect sense to see that there is a slightly pink-ish ting to the wine. 
Now this wine is said to be dry but I found it more off dry and it was nice and fruity and had a fantastic finish. Nice and crisp with a more tropical fruit taste. I was really worried with the dry rating and crisp description that it would be leaning towards a sauvignon blanc kind of taste but it wasn't and that made me incredibly happy.

This one definitely it  in my top picks from Inniskillin right now. Beating out even my beloved Late Autumn Riesling. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why not?

So everyone has things they do on a whim right?

You know how hundreds of people pay the $11 fee(or donation as I like to call it) to the NYRR in the spring to apply for a lottery spot for the NYC Marathon?

I did it last year, just in a why not kind of thing. I didn't get in. Thought nothing of it. I mean there was that moment when you get the email where you go "awwww", then "oh well" and continue on.

So I decided to do it again this year. Mostly thinking that (and here comes another big news thing) that I was thinking of doing another Marathon next year(2014) and that more than likely I wouldn't get into New York but with that 3 tries and they let you in thing it could mean that I could be in New York for 2015. Right? Planning things out. Getting ahead of the game.

Until I got this message yesterday

Looks like I have a big fall race!
November 3rd I'll be running the streets of New York!!

Why not!

So get ready for at least 18 weeks of me training for a Marathon again!
Now off to research anything and everything I can. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mid Week Mind Rambles

That's an awesome title huh?

So my schedule keeps having to change. Its apparently really hard to keep things steady and consistent when you are the boss lady. Thankfully it doesn't mess up to much with my running plans.

But in good news we got a new wine in store!

Its a Pinot Grigio from Inniskillin and yes it does have a slight pink-ish colour to it. The Winemaker, Bruce decided to keep the skins on before pressing and that's where the colour comes from. It looks interesting and of course I got a bottle and will be trying it out sometime this week (Review to come!)

Today's 5k was good. I managed to keep a good pace. Thought to honest part of that was because I knew my ipod didn't have the best charge and then my garmin gave me a low battery sign. Nothing like the chance of losing your technology to make you keep up the pace when it gets hard.

The weather is getting warmer and I'm debating how I plan to deal with the heat since I can't always do 5am runs this summer. Not getting home till after midnight and up at 5 doesn't sound like the funniest thing to do. The idea of a treadmill keeps looking better but I'm really trying to not give in.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sporting Life 10k Report

Well what can I say about a race I didn't train for?
I ran a couple times a week but never over 6k. The week of the race I ran once.
So at least this time I just had a goal of running the course and seeing what happened. I didn't expect anything other than a fun time since I always enjoy running this race.

Though maybe not so much this year.

This year they added more runners, and I'm not sure they were fully prepared for it. The race was crowded the whole way. Sure there was points where it was a bit less crowded but there was lots of having to weave throughout the whole course. The first water station had hardly any cups out and people were taking them as the water was pouring at some times(Though the gateroade one had a good amount of cups available). And everyone knows about this issues with the finish line.
(Curious? Read THIS blog here)

All that aside it was a good run. The start was cold and I found a great guy named Conor standing next to me in the corrals who was radiating heat. It took me everything I had to not just start cuddling him. Of course  being a mid pack runner I didn't hear any of the start stuff and only noticed the race started because our corral moved up. But then we were off.

The first couple of KMs were just about warming up and taking it easy.
km1- 5:59
km2- 5:55
km3- 6:07
km4- 6:04

One of my favourite parts was that the bands for the first bit were classical bands (is that how you would describe them?) Nothing like seeing a Cello and a couple Violins playing what sounded like a top 40 song.

I hit the first water station that was around 4k. The first two tables were a mess but if you went back a couple tables it was ok. And by this point all of me was warm. But there was still some gusts of wind that was crazy so I kept my homemade (knee socks from the dollarstore cut up) arm sleeves on.
I was a bit worried about how I would feel in the last half of the race since I never went over 6km in the weeks prior.

km5- 5:43
km6- 5:39
km7- 6:11

Hit the second water station around Km7 and grabbed some Gatorade. Actually felt pretty good still and just starting to feel the race. Though I do expect most of that is because the race is net downhill to this point really. Now it got flat and required a bit more effort to keep it up. Took a bit more of walk break just after the water station so I could get rid of my arm warmers. They did a great job and I had them around my wrists but they felt tight so I tossed them next to a garbage bin. At some point I believe in this section I saw a camera



km9- 5:51
km10- 5:34

In the last two Kms it was great seeing lots of people on the side lines cheering. The worst was going along Richmond and all you could smell was bacon. I believe there were a couple of us moaning and drooling at this. Crossing that last bridge just before the last turn was great. Even though at this point my legs were tired I just pushed it and kept it up. Mostly thinking I'll see my boys and be done.

I had told Hubs to be on the left side since its usually less crowded but I couldn't see them. They were on the right side and so we missed each other for the second year in a row.

But of course that didn't matter since I had to come to halt even before the first timing mat. I also stopped my watch at this point. Packed in like sardines we had to walk over the finish line(I was very thankful I wasn't attempting a PB this year). I won't get into the mess of the finishing area, but there wasn't much directions on where to get medals or post race food. I did manage to get both and head back to find my family. Of course the little men stole my medal on the ride out of parking lot.

All in all, I still like this race. Though I am tempted to jump over the Yonge st 10k next year I'll continue to see if they (Jay Glassman mostly) plan on addressing and doing what they can to fix the issues of this years race.

Unofficial time (by my watch) 

According to my bib

Gun Time: 1:05:51 
Chip time:1:00:26 
SF30-34 1082/2099
Gender: 6406    

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back to the Crazies!

Yeap! I'm joining the crazy again. You know not that I think any of you are crazy..... Well ok some of you I do but whatever I'm apparently crazy too.

I will be running the Quebec City Half Marathon on August 25th. Hubs and I are making it a trip out of it for just us two! It was easy to decide that since our 5th Wedding Anniversary is the 23rd of August so what better way for us to celebrate our love than me running an half and him meeting me at the finish line?  Oh and there will be a couple days of sight seeing and yummy foods afterwards.

Thankfully Hubs knows way more french that I do. But hey I can introduce myself, ask where the bathroom is AND order french fries so its a start. 

Now why this particular race you ask?
I blame one of my best friends who I call Batman(long story) wanted to hit last years Scotia Marathon's expo. Not one to pass up deals I went with her. We got some great deals, Met John Stanton

and fell in love with some blinking medals. 

That's right. The Quebec City race's medals have LED lights that blink. I went home and mentioned how cool the medal was and Hubs said that if I wanted to try for that race I could and we could turn the trip into our Anniversary trip. 

So sign up I did a while ago and today is the first official start of training for it.  I need to post about it to keep accountable to myself because as cute as my children are they are not the best at pushing me out the door to get my runs in.

Care to join me? Check out the website here :Run Quebec