2011 was a year all of its own. To quote Charles Dickens, 2011 “was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. And I chose to pay homage to it by running the Las Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll ½ Marathon dressed as Wonder Woman!
At first glance the whole costume thing may have looked like just a fun way to run a race, but it was really quite deliberate. Although I am slightly shorter in stature, smaller in build, but maybe not when I am wearing my good bra (as I found out when I took the “Which Superhero Are You Quiz” and it asked if I wore a push-up bra), Wonder Woman is an adventurer, a princess, an ambassador and a warrior, which I can relate to. She believes in truth (me too), justice (yes, also) and can psychically communicate with animals (something which I can’t do, but I do have that doggy/kitty voice that we all talk to our animals in), my jet isn’t invisible, it’s blue, but that’s ok I left it at home, but I did wear my star sapphire ring, which has been the object of much speculation and criticism, hey, I like it! Thanks to my crafty Mum, my boomerang tiara was not only practical, it was sweat-proof and my indestructible gauntlets accommodated my Garmin…which of course didn’t work. I opted not to wear the lasso of truth for my trek, and for those of you that know me, you know full well that I would have ended up tangled up or tripping over it no matter how securely it was fastened to me, all part of my charm.
So after a year of ‘undulation’ for lack of a better word and also turning 40, running 21.1km up and back down the Vegas strip in a pair of booty shorts covered with stars paired with a red and gold lamé top, was to say the least liberating and pretty much my highlight of 2011.
Let’s raise our glasses together one last time this year. Here’s to climbing the mountain and enjoying the view!
And to 2012, may it bring peace, good health and happiness. Cheers my friends.
Hey Resolutioners, check out this video. It’s a bit of a longish watch, but very entertaining and informative, and it may even save your life. If you needed another kick in the pants to get yourself moving, consider this your butt kicking.
Now get moving!!!!!!
Spent last night in the big city. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to work off the oysters, Caesar salad, Ahi tuna, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, mushrooms, creme brulee, wonder woman and a lemon drop martini or two, than with an early morning run through Coal Harbor and along the seawall.
T’was the day before Christmas and all through my house,
My running family was stirring and so was my spouse,
Their wet shoes were placed by the backdoor with care,
In hopes that Vanessa’s goodies would soon be there.
The runners were nestled around the table ready to be fed,
While visions of Rae’s mimosas danced in their heads;
And Tony in his Santa hat and I in my cap
Had just settled down to shoot the crap.
When out in the hallway arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my counter to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway I flew like a flash,
To see D’s birthday wine on the floor, thank goodness it didn’t smash.
The mud and the rain on my somewhat clean floor,
Gave luster, who am I kidding, hey, who’s at the door,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a big box of chocolates, and six more runners spreading Christmas cheer.
“Now, Colin! Now, Soraiya! Now, Murray you vixen!
On, Barry! On, Shelley! Oh Conny, is she still Blitzen?
To the top of the stairs! To the top of the wall!
Now eat away! Eat away! Eat away all!
We spoke many words, but not about work,
And filled all our bellies, without worrying about calories, what a perk.
Before I knew it, coffee was drawing to a close,
And giving a hug, to the door they rose.
They sprang to their cars, to my dog gave a whistle,
And away they all drove like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Jingle Bell run! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the morning of my favourite day of the year. Merry Christmas.
Sausage and Egg Casserole
- 6 slices bread, cubed
- 1 pound sausage, browned, drained
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 8 each eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon, salt
- pepper to taste
Cube bread and place evenly in greased 9×13 pan or baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with sausage and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in pan. May cover and chill overnight. (if left overnight, remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking). Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until set. Cut into squares to serve.
Serves 8 to 10.
Mini Cheddar and Bacon Frittatas
- 4 eggs
- 2 T. creamo
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 3 strips finely chopped cooked bacon
- 2 T. salsa
- ½ cup chopped bell peppers
- pepper and chili powder to taste (approx ½ t. each)
Beat eggs and creamo in a medium bowl – add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Grease mini muffin tin. Fill cups with egg mixture almost to the rim. Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes or until centers are set. Makes 12 mini frittatas.
Article post: 5Ktours.com
Our core muscle group is what supports our entire body. Maintaining a strong core is essential for the proper form and strength it takes to perform movement correctly. Without engaging your core muscles we overwork our other muscles and joints in our body, risking possible injury.
Learn why strengthening our core muscle group is so important and try using a few of these exercises from our expert contributors to keep your training effective.
Strong Core, Strong Body
To have a strong core you need to strengthen surrounding and opposing muscle groups including shoulders, back, abdominal muscles as well as the gluteal area. Exercises that I recommend include: planks (side plank as well as prone), bicycle crunches, Pilates exercises, back extension exercises (alternating arm-and-leg superman and superman) push-ups as well as squats and lunges. Focus on quality of the exercises over quantity done.
Core training can be done 4-5x/week as either a complete workout or added to the end of an cardio or strength training session. I also recommend clients work to work on their posture hourly; standing tall with a neutral spine and practice engaging abdominal muscles (imagine you are zipping up a snug pair of jeans and as you are fastening the button pull your abdominal muscles in and up). Work on core stability while you work and sit on a stability ball instead of a chair.
Keri Cawthorne, Owner, Iron Mountain Movement
Some mornings were just meant for running…
…and then hot tubbing!
I guess I must have been a good girl this year, Santa left this for me on my spin bike last night!
Thank you Santa.
Due to traffic, the flu and a baby due in just days (not one of the runners, the wife of) the graduation run of the Beginner Running Clinic was small in numbers but HUGE in spirit.
Congratulations everyone on taking that 3 minute run at the end of September and turning it into a 30 minute run last night! I am so proud of you all.
Article Post: National Post.com November 23, 2011
The Energizer Night Race (5K and 10K) held on Nov. 12 in Vancouver’s Stanley Park was the final race in Canada’s first series of these popular evening races. Top finishers and their times from both distances are below, and we salute you!
Male Top 3 Overall
1. Brent Limbeek, 18:27.92
2. Matt Meffan, 18:50.19
3. Laurent De Weck, 19:01.58
Female Top 3 Overall
1. Chantal Mathieu, 18:58.25
2. Angela Hammond, 18:58.88
3. Daisy Laforce, 20:26.09
Male Under 20
1. Duncan Grainger, 19:26.02
2. Jonah Smith, 25:45.33
3. Sean Vanderluit, 28:01.18
Female Under 20
1. Kate Pickering, 23:18.03
2. Kiah Wheeler, 25:23.89
3. Courtney Milligan, 25:24.66
1. Sean Wheeler, 21:58.42
2. Rafal Matuszewski, 22:23.03
3. Marvin Ng, 22:26.89
1. Sue Safadi, 20:47.50
2. Danielle Jarvis, 26:05.84
3. Glorianna Anderson, 26:53.49
1. Andy Bienefeld, 19:01.65
2. Dave Stirling, 19:37.72
3. Michael Geary, 20:24.26
1. Jill MacKinnon, 22:29.44
2. Nicole Housley, 25:04.62
3. Christine Smith, 27:22.61
1. Duncan Wood, 19:40.50
2. Brendan Farrelly, 21:44.60
3. Martin Cross, 22:10.36
1. Keri Cawthorne, 25:26.15
2. Sandra Verschuur, 25:59.59
3. Beverley O’Neil, 26:26.91
1. Gordon Flett, 20:49.70
2. Colin McLean, 20:54.31
3. Bill Chang, 22:25.17
1. Darcey Dalzell Wood, 29:02.95
2. Sybil Henteleff, 29:09.23
3. Anne Vanidour, 30:05.27
1. Dave Reid, 31:23.34
2. Pete Emmett, 31:42.20
3. John Lowe, 32:37.15
1. Edna Mathews, 30:42.79
2. Marnie Mitchell, 33:42.85
3. Kelli Buchanan, 34:28.03
It was decided that we would be running this year’s Las Vegas Rock and Roll event before we left the race last year. And when it was announced that it would be a night run, it was just a matter of booking the flights, but with one minor change, this year for the pure enjoyment factor, I would run the ½ marathon instead of the full. The countdown seemed to last months, which included many “this time next month, we will…” , “this time next week, we will…”, and before we knew it was Vegas time baby!
We checked into the MGM Grande and dropped our gear and headed down for the infamous BLT at Wolfgang Puck. As Chris and Soraiya were missing from this year’s trip we decided to have a little fun, of course at their expense. We are so funny.
Retracing our steps from last year seemed to be a theme on Friday afternoon as we headed to race package pick-up, we said hello to Toby Keith and got lost trying to find the convention centre. Once we were there, pick-up and last minute corral changes went smoothly, and again had some fun with Chris and Soraiya.
There were no celebrity sightings this year, but a definite highlight was the Barefoot Winery sampling booth. Why do they not have one of these at every race event?
Friday evening was supposed to be a quiet evening singing along with songs we knew at the Paris Piano bar…Friday evening as with the wee hours of Saturday morning will remain in Vegas.
Although we were up and at ‘em relatively early, Saturday morning was a hat and sunglasses type of morning. The girls shopped, the boys looked at old cars. On our way to the outlet mall, we saw the sea of Santas leaving the Great Santa Run, even for Vegas, it was a weird sight. Our group reconvened over lunch at Cabo Wabo, tested the waters (they were calm) and ate what may have been the greatest bowl of chips and guac EVER.
Saturday night was not only carb loading night, it was Vegas dress night! Dinner was at Lombardi Romagna Mia, other than a slight food mix up which lead to a near force feeding and a stare down with risotto girl, we had a really great time and had plenty to talk about. That was until we got to the cab line up. Ahead of us was a very intoxicated fellow (Vegas, go figure) who was waiting for a limo, because due to his lack of kids and wife that evening, he was doing him (his words not mine) until he saw D’s pink athletic tape running up the outside of her calf, which ensued him to ask in a very loud voice “what is thaaat in your stockin’?” Which then became the line of the night.
You should never do anything new on race day, I would also like to extend this rule to the evening before race day. Note to self: as hot as they may look, as well as they go with the dress; new heels are never a good idea the evening before a big race. I also learned that sequins irritate your skin.
Race day came very quickly and without the solution to the dilemma, when and what do you eat for a 5:30pm race? I opted for a late morning breakfast of toast, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and fresh salsa (don’t knock it ‘til you try it), my meal did come with sausage but I thought that the salsa might be pushing the envelope a bit so settled at just a little nibble of one. With still a few items that I wanted to pick up, I did a little leisurely shopping and was back at the room and even had time for a 7 minute power nap before my transformation began.
With this whole turning 40 thing and just wanting to do something a little different (me doing me) I decided that I was going to run this race dressed as Wonder Woman. As my Mum is a master seamstress she was able to transform my red Lulu Power Y tank and my blue Speed Shorts into something Diana Prince worthy.
Our group met in the hotel lobby at 3:00pm and began our trek to Mandalay Bay. This year Colin was the only one running the full marathon and we certainly weren’t going to let him start his race alone. Although the sold out ½ marathon didn’t start until 5:30pm, the streets were extremely crowded, and a bit pushy at times. The start of the marathon was very exciting, the sun was setting and the energy was intense! We wished Colin well and away he went….run like hell Colin!
With 90 minutes before our race started, we went in search of gear check. It was inside, no it was outside, no it was inside, and finding it was nearly impossible. So many people you could hardly move and when you did it was at a snails pace. If you had any kind of anxiety about close quarters or claustrophobia this was not a place you would have enjoyed being. My highlight was meeting San Diego Wonder Woman while in line for the washroom!
Eventually we found gear check and started to make our way back to the start line amongst the crowds of people. As we were nearing race time people were starting to get a bit panicky so I was glad when we got outside.
By now it was dark, the wind had picked up and it was chilly…not shorts and tank top weather. Fortunately for us, we had the best support crew/sweatshirt holders we could ask for. They stood with us until moments before the race started and kindly took our belongings.
The race started at 5:30 and corral 7 made its way across the start line 8 minutes later (I found out later). Only a few moments into the race I heard what sounded like a massive water balloon hitting the pavement…it wasn’t a water balloon…poor guy.
I knew that the first few miles were going to be congested, until the crowds thinned out, but that never seemed to happen. I was really disappointed by the runner etiquette displayed by some, walkers 3 and 4 abreast chatting, unwilling to move or let others through. I am a big believer, on the trails or on the road SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT, I do it myself. Not to mention that the corral seating for where I was placed was 1:55, why am I passing walkers?
The marathoners had their own separate lane, and why shouldn’t they? By the time they hit this part of the course they would have already run over 13 miles and this race was also a Boston Marathon qualifier race. There were so many ½ marathoners using their lane, I witnessed one lady who was asked and then told by several marathoners to move over, I don’t know if she was oblivious or just rude, because she never did.
I chose to run this race without music because I wanted to hear and feel the energy and as well as the bands. I was a little disappointed in the bands or what may have been my poor timing, it seemed that whenever I approached a band they were just finishing a song, with exception of the band playing Adele’s “Someone Like You”, not the most driving beat or motivating song. I do highly recommend running in costume though, you are not being cheered “go random runner” I felt and heard plenty of Wonder Woman love while on the course, which made up for the lack of rock and roll and of course running along the Strip was absolutely fantastic!
I also chose to carry only a small bottle of water with me and use the water stations. Just after the ½ way point I found them to be too hectic and not manned as well as they should have been, so decided to use my own water. I am thinking I made the right choice especially after the numerous reports of “tainted” water.
One choice that I did not make was for my Garmin screen to go blank, yet again. And without knowing exactly what time we crossed the start line, I had no idea of what my time was. Although I never felt like I could completely stride out due to the congestion and constant weaving in and out of other runners, I felt really strong (it may have had a lot to do with the costume). I was so sure that I my pace was good that I did not stop for the free beer being handed out in front of one of the pubs.
As we rounded back around from Freemont Street to Las Vegas Blvd and the Stratosphere, I knew that it would only be a matter of minutes before I would be able to see the lights of the Mandalay Bay in the distance. The funny thing about Vegas is that things look so close because they are so big, but in reality the Stratosphere is 4 miles away from the finish line!
Over the course of the last few miles the crowds of runners did start to thin out, and the crowds of spectators now nearly lined the sides of the street. Passing the Venetion Hotel was a big deal, because I knew that I had walked to my hotel from there only two days before, and the MGM was only a mile from the finish line. It’s funny how we rationalize the distance during a run.
It was during this stretch that the 3:30 marathon pace bunny ran by me as if I was standing still! But it didn’t matter, because the Wonder Woman fan club seemed to be out in full force. As a runner you always appreciate spectator support along a course, but as you come into the final stretch of a race, especially one of this magnitude it becomes electric! I love reading the signs people bring. Worst sign I saw was something about running into hell care of a religious group, which is something that I am sure that the marathoners could relate to (although it may have not been meant to be taken that way). Best sign along the course and it made me think of my Thursday morning Studio class, “Don’t stop…that’s what she said!”
With the finish line in sight and still feeling really strong, I wiped the sweat off my face, made sure that my crown was still in tact, chin up, chest out and shirt down I started my kick. As I got closer I realized I may not be able cross the finish line as the ½ marathon finish line was completely jammed with people.
What a complete disappointment, there were no arms in the air/horns up crossing of the mat, instead I put one foot on the mat and came to a complete standstill. I have never experienced anything like this before. The line-up to receive the finishing medal was insane, there were volunteers screaming at us to keep moving as there were other spots to receive medals. I stayed to the middle and managed to have mine tossed to me (I heard reports later that they ran out of ½ marathon finisher medals), the same was done with a bottle of water and my space blanket. By this time I had cooled enough and was absolutely freezing (the temp was only several degrees) so decided against waiting in another ridiculous line-up to have my post race picture taken (you know I must be cold if I forfeit a photo op) and slowly made my way out of the secure zone in search of section S (for SMF), where we had all agreed to meet once we were done, and the location of my hoodie.
Within a few minutes I was reunited with a very tired support crew (but they did manage to have a drink and share a tuna sandwich while we were running…poor things) and not long after that D and Conny. It wasn’t long after that when I received a congratulatory call from my baby and she filled us in on all of our times as well as the predicted finishing times for Colin and Barry (you have got to love a tech savy teen). We were all a little surprised at our times, and not pleasantly either, all of us felt like we had much quicker runs. Hell, I didn’t stop for the free beer because I didn’t want to mess with my pace, kinda wish I had now.
Even with a hoodie I was still freezing so the ladies and I decided to head back into the bedlam of the Mandalay Bay and get the rest of our gear. The crowds didn’t even bother me this time, because it was warm. Finding gear check wasn’t nearly as difficult this time and the line-ups for the bathroom at that moment were almost non-existent, we even managed to find a central spot on the hotel floor (it was so much better than being outside) to call our own as we waited for the rest of the group to join us.
As Barry’s predicted finishing time approached, we headed back into the cold, and now rainy night to give him a bit of love. All I can say is thank goodness for our cell phones as we may have never found him because he had been directed into the hotel after he came out of the secure zone.
Once we were together, it was a mad dash or as quick as you could possibly move after a run like that back to the hotel so that we could shower and make our 11:00pm, yes 11:00pm, dinner reservations at PF Changs.
And what a meal…two orders of lettuce wraps, nine other dishes, plus a bowl of white rice and a bowl of brown rice. We started out so polite and then it just became an all out feeding frenzy, there may have only been a morsel or two left over! In true PF Changs fashion, we were totally taken care of, really, where else would we go to eat after an event like that?
We moved fairly slowly back to the hotel, but I still had enough in me for a wind sprint across the casino. I know that I totally had an unfair advantage (like running 13.1 miles less than Colin), but I was wearing heels.
So would I run this event again? No. The ½ marathon route was fantastic and I was fortunate enough to start early enough so didn’t encounter many of the issues (no water, no food, no space blankets, no medals, etc) that thousands of others did, but there were just too many people. And after hearing that the race organizers have plans to up registration to 60,000 participants next year before rectifying this year’s problems, I may not run another Rock N’ Roll event, but given my late night annihilation of Colin across the casino floor, a stiletto dash may be in my future.
Will I return to Vegas? Abso-freaking-lutely, but on a different weekend.
Thanks to my fam, my running fam, Las Vegas, coke finger, Fat Burger, the guy from Langley, Miss M’s sparkly spectator cup, D’s gang signs, 867530ni-ee-ine, gingerbeard, cut-out Soraiya and Chris, maraschino cherry stems and even risotto girl for a 90th birthday weekend (that I think we actually forgot to celebrate) that I won’t soon forget.