As November comes to an end, it is time to take stock and see how everyone did with the NO-vember Challenge. The rules were simple, we were to exercise, eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of rest, set a fitness goal as well as a reward, indulge only on occasion and get rid of negativity. Of course there were exceptions to the rules, there had to be, mastering self-control in one month isn’t an easy thing to do (unless of course you are D).
As corny as it sounds, I live by “everything in moderation”, so fitness aspect aside, this challenge was not an easy one for me…I am weak, I admit it. I can say no to dessert but not to Lays barbeque chips. I may not have gone to Starbucks very often, but when I did I was overcome by eggnog lattes. I was even somewhat forced to go to Starbucks on Sunday after a rainy morning on the track, and when the person next to me ordered a steamed eggnog, I caved under the pressure, making it three for the weekend. Grade: FAIL.
I have to say that I have ‘rested’ more this month than I have in quite a long time (Grade: PASS), training will do that to you, as well as getting rid of negative energy, people and of course the leopards in your life. Really who needs them anyway and perhaps they should just worry about themselves, or find a hobby. I wouldn’t say that I completely cleaned house this month, but I was able to let go and/or move on from a few situations, and hey, I even extended a couple of olive branches. Nobody is going to put Baby in a corner again. Grade: PASS
Weekend wine only…I did add the desperate times clause, but any wine that was consumed this month out of the weekend criterion, was not consumed out of desperation, but out of pure enjoyment. I go back to everything in moderation, and the definition of weekend is open for interpretation. Grade: DEBATEABLE.
I have been making a concerted effort for the last few months to cook more from scratch. It really is shocking to see what unpronounceable ingredients as well as the outrageous amounts of sodium that go into short cut and processed products. Although it says it is organic, I cut out my stand by chili seasoning package and used chili powder instead, duh. And there is nothing like the flavor of butter, shallots and garlic simmering in vodka (vodka cream sauce) to impress your weekend dinner guests. Grade: PASS.
The fitness goal was easy and kind of already in the works, it is also serving as my reward and will be addressed in an upcoming post. Grade: PASS.
Four PASSES, one DEBATEABLE, one FAIL…while there are areas that could be improved upon, in accordance with NO-vember, I am choosing to focus on the positives and am giving myself a strong B as my final letter grade as well as giving myself a big hug and a pat on the back, and maybe have a glass of non-weekend wine.
So how did you do with NO-vember?
Despite my warning, this beautiful pair of brand new mighty white runners made their debut on the trail this past weekend.
In less than 5 minutes they had already crossed 2 ankle deep creeks, another 10 minutes later, and then this one at about the 45 minute mark.
And then then there was the mud….
Under all of the dirt and ick, these runners are smiling from toebox to heel counter!
A little something for my cycling and spinning friends…ever wonder what muscle groups you are using during each pedal stroke? Well wonder no more!
When the snow started falling on Thursday night it didn’t make me happy. When I awoke on Friday morning to several inches of it I got a little cranky, it was just too early for winter and all of its debauchery. But after I made my way out of my driveway I found that the snow was exactly where it was supposed to be for once; on the grass, in the schoolyards, on the mountains and not on the roads, which made for a fantastic running weekend.
On Saturday, the ½ Marathon Training Clinic got to pull out their winter woolies and headed out on a beautiful run through Pitt Meadows and across the Golden Ears Bridge. Joining us for our adventure was Kathie from Peninsula Runners who is also the Race Director for the Golden Ears ½ Marathon and 10km, coincidently the race that we are training for. Not only is this a local race (and everyone receives a medal), it supports local programs, giving 100% of net proceeds to the School Meal Program in the Langley School District and Friends in Need Food Bank in Pitt Meadows – I love that!
I think that this run went down in the books as one of those memorable runs (and stretches) that will make us think back and say “ahhhhh”.
Sunday was equally chilly and surprisingly sausage free. The Speed Clinic hit the track for 60 minutes of caterpillar, 400 metre repeats and cadence turnover drills. Not quite “ahhhhh” but still very effective.
How did you spend your weekend?
In preparation for our upcoming night race, a group of us decided to sign up for the Energizer Night Race. We could test out fueling during the day as some of us have never even run at night, it would be a true training run. You know when an idea sounds really good at the time, and then the time comes and it makes absolutely no sense and just becomes ridiculous…that’s how Saturday night felt.
We left Maple Ridge and it was snowing/sleeting/raining and also windy.
It could only get warmer as we headed towards the coast right? It did not. The only thing that changed was that it got darker.
As we approached Stanley Park I vocalized that I would be ok with not running the race at all, Soraiya immediately agreed. Why on earth would we want to get out of the toasty warm vehicle? Really, heated seats, great tunes, heated seats. Our driver got a little snappy setting the record straight that he would not drive all this way for us not to run. I guess we were running.
Part of our registration fee included an Energizer 4 LED Headlight (and a Brooks running shirt, nice but a little small fitting), so with our headlights assembled and strapped to our heads our driver dropped us off near the start line and we went in search of shelter.
I have run quite a few crappy weather races, but the weather on Saturday had to be the worst I have experienced. I can take the rain, I can take the snow but the one degree slush that was being blown sideways at us just made me miserable. Fortunately for us we found an unmanned tent just behind the start line and were able to take cover while we waited for the race to start.
Soraiya and Conny were running the sold out 10km race, the rest of us waited too long to register and were running the 5km race. At this point the $13.32/km race entry fee seemed like a much better deal after all, my race would be over that much sooner.
Somehow our motorcade split up during our drive in, but as Soraiya left to line up for the start of the 10km race she found Conny, Colin and Chris and directed them to where I was hiding. Their timing was perfect, just as they arrived we watched the sea of headlights go out along the seawall while singing “Blinded By The Light”. Our race was to start 15 minutes later.
It seemed like no time at all until it was our turn to line up. Chris and Colin were both wearing garbage bags (I didn’t get the memo) I was jealous, but they assured me that they only looked warmer than they really were, LIARS!
Our race started precisely at 5:15pm, and thank goodness because I don’t think that I could have stood there a moment longer. My legs were still fairly fatigued from my long run the day before, so the only time goal I had was to get it done as fast as I could as I knew that my warm and dry down jacket would be waiting for me at the finish line.
We started at the front of the group so although it was fairly dark it was easy to start at a good pace. I lost Colin and Chris almost immediately ahead of me, but quickly found my own rhythm and mastered the placement of my headlight so that I could see where I was running. I was surprised how much light came out of my headlight, I was also surprised how the darkness affected my depth perception as I seemed to find every ankle deep puddle.
The run itself was pretty surreal, although I was running with 1632 others, the seawall was so quiet you could hear the waves hitting the shore.
As I approached the 5km turnaround point I could see the frontrunners coming toward me. Even with the headlights it was pretty hard to see faces, the only reason I recognized Colin was because of his glow in the dark jacket.
My Garmin screen was completely blank (a new feature that now happens when it gets wet) as I hit the turnaround point and I had no idea what my time was (oooo look at me running naked). I was feeling great and surprisingly warm so I continued to keep my same pace, that was until the 10km front runners passed me. They seemed to run so effortlessly and served as just the motivation that I needed to get me to the finish line.
Somehow, the group of runners that I was following veered off the seawall and ended up on the sidewalk on Beach Ave which was covered in wet leaves making for slippery conditions. One of the volunteers had to guide us down a grassy embankment and back onto the seawall. We runners can be so stupid.
Coming into the finish shute was fantastic, I had just enough kick to come in strong. As I rounded the last corner I could see my fam (and my down jacket) cheering me in and as I crossed the finish line Colin and Chris were there with big high fives.
Because of the staggered starts, it wasn’t long before Soraiya and Conny crossed the finish line. Soraiya’s face was so cold from the weather that when she started talk it was like she had been to the dentist and her mouth was frozen, oh we all enjoyed that! Conny came in feeling fabulous and was all smiles, but her celebration had to be put on hold until we got back to the hot tub because we were all too freaking cold!
Looking back now (warm and dry) it was a great event and this whole milestone birthday worked for me as I placed first in my age category!
Thanks to the event organizers for a one of a kind race and to wonderful volunteers for keeping us safe…we arrived alive.
Article post: TypeF.com
If you’re a die-hard runner, nothing can ruin your trailblazing workout like not being prepared for the weather. Come rain, snow or shine, a waterproof jacket can keep you moving forward. Keep up your game and focus on your fitness and serenity by rocking the best running jacket that keeps you protected without trapping heat.
For a flattering fit that’s as fashionable as it is protective in any type of weather, look at Lululemon running jackets like the Inspire Jacket, says Keri Cawthorne, owner of Iron Mountain Movement in Maple Ridge, Vancouver, Canada. “The design is well thought-out, with little pockets for iPod, keys, etc., and they are reflective,” Cawthorne says. Water resistant, ventilated to keep you from overheating and made with a stow-away hood, this jacket has everything you need to kick your running game into gear.
We celebrate birthdays and holidays and last night at spin class we celebrated the marriage of Stu and Cheryl with a very formal black and white gala!
Wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness and laughter together.
Just added Certified Weight Trainer to my credentials!
And worth every step!
What did you run for this morning?
I recently came across this lost transcript of an interview that Conny and I did earlier this year. And with exactly one month to go before the 2011 Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll Marathon, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to re-live and post our experience!
Anderson: What made you decide that you were going to run a marathon?
Conny: Keri did, of course. If she was training for a marathon on our Tuesday morning runs that essentially meant that I was training as well.
Keri: I have always known that I would run a marathon, just a matter of when (visions of Ironman dance in my head …one day). While having dinner with some good friends early in 2010 we started talking bucket list and I verbalized it – damn that second glass of wine!
Conny’s lesson: Choose your running partner carefully, you never know what she will talk you into.
Anderson: Why Vegas?
Conny: After running in San Francisco last year we decided that we would do a destination run every year. Why Vegas? Are you kidding, why not? May as well make it fun! I had never been to Vegas and was itching to go.
Conny’s lesson: Vegas is a flat course. Hey, let’s not make it any harder than it needs to be.
Keri’s lesson: You know you are a runner when you plan your vacations around races.
Anderson: Tell me about your training
Keri: Giving up 4-5 hours on an already busy weekend wasn’t something that I was willing to do. I take Tuesday mornings off, so why not do the training then? After all, it was a run day anyway, but would I be able to talk my fabulous running partner Conny into training with me? We had a solid ½ marathon base to start with (this is me convincing)… although she agreed to train with me, it wasn’t until the bitter end that she committed and registered for Vegas.
Conny: It never rained on Tuesday mornings when we marathon trained, it is a rule, not sure why, it just IS.
Keri: We trained predominantly on the trails as they are so much kinder, we also stacked our training, incorporating our Tuesday night run clinic as well as my Tuesday night spin class. Our training program was unconventional, but it worked.
Keri: Although our training was the same, fueling was another monster of its own.
Conny: This was the first time I planned to fuel during a race. I decided I would try gels. If you aren’t familiar with gels they are of thick liquid goo, think the inside of a Caramilk bar. I would use them on my training runs so my body (stomach) would become accustomed to them. Keri has always described consuming a gel pack as ‘choking it back’, makes it sound easy, right?
Keri: I am unable to “choke back” gels; most carb/electrolyte replacement drinks are too sweet and make me feel nauseous. I am a princess. Knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to get by on water alone, I chose cranberry Refresh and cranberry Cliff Shots, a lot of cranberry. I had to start out with it very watered down, but by the end of my training I was able to drink it as recommended…who’s the princess now?
The Lesson: Experiment with fuel and hydration while you are training, NEVER try anything new on race day.
Anderson: Any special preparations for the trip?
Keri: Every race requires something new, socks, hat, its tradition. As a supporter and alumni Ambassador, my preference is always something from Lululemon. When we ran San Francisco we all wore matching tank tops, Vegas would be no different. The tank was selected during an in-store yoga class,I know that I am not supposed to be shopping while in triangle pose, I couldn’t help myself.
Keri: Turns out I didn’t just persuade Conny into running the marathon, Chris and Soraiya were also up for the challenge, and Conny’s husband Colin was going to rip up the ½ marathon.
Conny: We chose a hotel that was close to the start/finish line, the MGM Grand. It was so grand in fact that we managed to get lost daily in the maze of corridors, shops, slot machines and backgammon tables. It’s a good thing race courses are well marked.
Conny: If you are in Vegas and especially for the first time you want to have fun, right? Sunday was race day, so Friday was fun night, clubs and dancing.
Conny’s lesson: Choose your footwear carefully. It may not be the best idea to dance till 3:00am in high heels.
We had said we would stay off of our feet as much as possible before the run. Then we walked the strip, checked out Old Vegas, meandered through casinos and luxurious hotel lobbies
Keri’s lesson: Staying off your feet in Vegas is impossible.
Anderson: What was your race day running plan?
Conny: The goal for any first time marathoner is of course simple, to finish. But of course there is always a secret goal time you have in your head. The running strategy was simple. Pacing, don’t go out too fast and keep the pace steady. Stick to the 10-1 strategy of running ten minutes walking one throughout. Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate: drink on every 1 minute walk break and at every water station and a gel pack every hour.
We dressed in layers. We wore long sleeve tops and gloves for the 7:00am start. By 8:00am it was warm enough for the top layer to come off and run in just our Lulu tanks. (Race organizers collect racers’ discarded clothing for charity.)
Keri: Run 10/1 for the entire race. Walk and drink at each of the water stations because I am unable to carry enough fluid in my pack.
- Eat ½ Cliff Shot every second set.
- Run a 10 minute mile, with the goal of finishing in 4 hours 22 minutes
- Finish the race in 24 sets – 4 hours 24 minutes.
- To make the noon last call at the MGD tent for my free beer and to see Bret Michaels play at the Finish Line Festival
The lesson: Check the weather online leading up to the run so that you have temperature appropriate running gear.
Anderson: Tell me about waking up in Vegas on race day.
Conny: Race day breakfast was a very (VERY) overpriced room service at 4:30am (way too early but all other times were booked up) of coffee and toast and fruit salad.
Conny’s lesson – Book your room service time early, when you check in.
Keri: Princesses are so much smarter! I booked early and my race morning started at 4:55am. Breakfast and coffee, which plays a key roll in my pre-race routine was delivered at 5:00am giving me ample time to successfully execute the most important part of the routine. At 6:00am our group gathered in the hotel lobby and we were ready to rock and roll!
Conny: The start line was a sea of 28,000 people. There was the excess of the Vegas Strip, a run through wedding chapel, costumes, running Elvi, high school cheerleaders and spectators along the route shouting encouragement. Being a Rock and Roll Marathon, 23 rock bands were playing all along the route.
Keri: The ½ marathon route was an out and back along Las Vegas Blvd (the strip), the full included the ½ route plus 21.1km out and back through a very un-Vegas industrial warehouse area….BORING
Conny: It was the Anti-Vegas, from rhinestones and glitz to concrete!
Anderson: Tell me about your best moment and worst moments of the run.
Conny: I think that I smiled the entire first half of the race taking in the sites, the people and the energy. My best moments on the run: seeing Keri at mile 15(that’s why we wear matching tanks) and running over to each other for a big sweaty hug of encouragement, of course crossing the finish line and having my friends there to hug. When I saw my husband I hugged him, and then the tears came. I did it! I didn’t have a worst moment. The last 3 miles were hard work, very, very hard work, but I never doubted I would finish.
Keri: Apparently it sucks to be me. Worst moment: The 23-mile marker: At this point the 23-mile marker is on the left hand side of the road and the 25-mile mark is on the right hand side. I knew that it was a 2-mile out and back, but there just seemed to be no end in sight, my body hurt, I was tired and feeling completely done. All I wanted to do was walk but I had made it clear that I would only walk during scheduled walk breaks or through the water stations. With 4 minutes until my next walk I pushed through, it was the toughest 4 minutes of my life. That may sound so pathetic, it was only 4 minutes, but it was my wall and I hit it hard.
Second best moment: The 25-mile marker: I saw my friend Tanya; she was on the other side of the road at the 23-mile marker. We met in the middle of the road and hugged. Hearing her say “you’re almost done”, that was all I needed to hear to get me through the next 1.1 mile. Best moment: The finish line: Colin waving me in, Bret Michaels singing me in to “Unskinny Bop” getting my medal, Chris and Soraiya jumping on me, getting the text from my family that they saw me cross on the online feed, seeing Conny come in, finding out that Soraiya qualified for Boston…such proud moments, I still tear up just thinking about it.
Anderson: Let’s talk celebration!
Keri: I am not sure if we walked or floated back to our hotel after the race. However we got back definitely helped ease our stiffness…sort of.
Conny: After a quick clean-up, it was time for some post race nourishment, power nap and then the celebrations began.
Keri: This marathon was more than just a run for me. In June of 2009, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands and feet and was told to change professions and stop running. Yeah, right. 5 hours after finishing my marathon, I hobbled down the strip to Vince Neil Ink to pay tribute to my accomplishment. Oh, it hurt, not as much as the run, but it hurt.
Conny: That evening we all met up for our celebratory dinner, which included many, many toasts to our success. I am quite sure we bored the non-runners in our group by reliving our glorious day, over and over and over. Colin decided he needed to complete his Vegas experience with a ride on the mechanical bull.
Colin’s Lesson – Alcohol and Bull Riding is not for amateurs, it is best left to the professionals.
Keri: The rest will remain an urban legend, what happens in Vegas, shall stay in Vegas.
Anderson: So what’s next?
Conny: I think a second marathon (It really wasn’t that bad). It was already in the works before we even left Vegas.
Keri: Definitely some trail racing and we also have our eye on a summer adventure race Stay tuned!