Tuesday, May 31, 2011

not a race report

Not that I have a lot of pictures from race weekend (which will be explained in the post) but for some reason Blogger is not letting me add pictures. Therefore, the race-report may be delayed. So here are a few updates about how I feel after race day.

Things that hurt: 
- The second toe on my left foot is maybe what hurts the most. It is red, inflamed, every time I move it it hurts, and I'm a little concerned about the toenail. Just in time for sandal season- yay.

- My left ankle and arch. Not sure what's going on there...but they aren't very happy.  Perhaps the result of running a half marathon on shoes at the end of their life? Or maybe just tiredness? They're a little tender today.

-My quads are slightly sore but not too bad.

- A lot of Jordan. He's definitely got the post-marathon hobble going. Not quite as bad as after some of his other races, but it is kind of funny to watch. Kind of like this:

Things that don't hurt:
- Now that I've rehydrated, eaten, had a rest, and a day of not running- my head! I had a splitting headache for the rest of the day yesterday and hooray- the headache is gone.

-Pretty much the rest of my body other than the parts mentioned in the "things that hurt" section. Yay!

-My pride. Extra yay. I was very worried I'd be beat up by the weather and therefore the half marathon and wasn't sure how I would deal with that. But I did NOT get beat up. It was still a humid day and I didn't love that part- but I worked hard to do my best despite that.

As a little preview to the race report: a little thank you to my mother for reminding me the day before the race that I LIKE RUNNING. And that's why I run. When I was taking myself a little too seriously out on the course and getting a little discouraged that I was a little behind on my desired pace, I thought of what she told me. And then I started to have fun. Why? Because I LIKE RUNNING!

So for those of you who were racing or putting in some training over the weekend: what hurts?

*don't forget to enter the Ryders giveaway! You have until Wednesday to enter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

race day success!

Just a quick post now that I'm back from Ottawa and have had a celebratory beer.

Team Awesome (the lot of us from Montreal who did the race) had a pretty successful day. We had PRs, successful first races, and some roughness as well (my training partner is now feeling the effects of an all out effort- FEEL BETTER SUZ!). But all in all a fairly successful day.

Two PRs in my household so we're happy campers :) Thank you for all your well wishes and support!

Race report to come and congrats to everyone who ran today! (I know Kirst ran pain free, and I hope Leigh's first half went well! And hopefully Nicole had a great 10K too.)

Edited to add: In my exhaustion yesterday I forgot to mention a congrats to Jordan's dad for a gutsy marathon on a very sore foot. Way to go!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Well, tomorrow is race day. The weather is looking a little better than it was earlier in the week, so I'm cautiously optimistic about it.
The sun is supposed to be hidden by clouds- which is exactly what I was hoping for all week and although it is supposed to be warmer than what I would consider to be ideal temperatures,  it shouldn't be in the 30s. So life is better!

I've trained hard for this (I've been training for a PR and I'm ready to break my current one!)- so I need to run the race believing in myself, owning it, and doing the best I have in me tomorrow. I'm not sure why, but I'm not as excited as I feel like I should be. But maybe that will come tomorrow!

Regardless, I'll be ready to give it all I have tomorrow.
Good luck to anyone racing tomorrow (I'm lookin' at you Calgary folks)! Have fun and rock it!

(and don't forget to check out my Ryders Sunglasses review and giveaway)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

three things thursday- wow, it is almost june

Where did May go? It is the last week of May, this weekend is race weekend, and it is now almost summer! It is hard to believe that the month has gone so quickly.  But it has- and here are three things this Thursday:

1- I'm not so excited about how the weather forecast is looking for Sunday. There's a humidex in the air and that's a little scary to me. But, the race must go on and all I can do is adjust my goals if necessary.

2- Speaking of the race- we've been watching the following movies this weekend/week to pump us up:
Spirit of the Marathon, Nova Marathon Challenge, and Run Fat Boy Run. Ok, so the first two are to pump us up, the third is to make us laugh.

3. And since it is race week and it isn't surprising that my entire list would be about running or the race- I really need to make my play list. I'm not normally an ipod racer, but recently I've found that the music helps me stop thinking a bit- which is often very helpful when I'm racing. I think I have most of my songs chosen, but I'm definitely up for suggestions.

So my question for you today: Any race-day play list suggestions? What song really pumps you up?

And don't forget to check out my last post and enter to win some Ryders Sunglasses! You have until next Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ryders eyewear- a review and giveaway

I am definitely a sunglasses person (unlike another blogger I 'know'). I wear sunglasses when I run, when I walk, when I bike...maybe it is because I wear contacts and so my eyes are a little more sensitive to the sun, but I've always been a sunglasses person. So when I was given the opportunity to try out a new pair, I jumped at the chance. I was especially excited because the glasses were Ryders- a Canadian company.

When I was offered a pair, I had no idea what style I'd get, so initially I thought that I'd try them, I'd let Jordan try them and we could both give them a review. When I opened the envelope and saw the Solace, I was excited for me, but quickly realized this would be a solo review. He did, however, let me take a rock-star picture of him in the glasses:
Ryders in action at the Saint Henri coffee house
Although these glasses are not specifically designed to run in (I think they are classified as "chill" instead of "performance") I decided to see how they'd stand up to both running and general wear. After all- everyone likes versatile gear!

So what do I think? I'm a big fan.  You've already seen them in action during my trip to Vancouver:
Ryders in their home town.
But since I was also using them for running- it was nice to be able to take just ONE pair of sunglasses on the trip instead of my usual two (one for every day and one for running). This means they've also come with me to Calgary, to Ottawa, and on my recent trip to Vermont.

In fact, I ran 14 (very hilly) miles in them while in Vermont and this is where I discovered that they also fit under my running hat. This was a huge surprise to me as I figured that pairing with a hat was one thing they wouldn't be able to do. But it worked out and I was thrilled to have sun protection for both my eyes and face!

Some specifics-
Things I love:
-they are big- so they protect more of me from the sun (and as someone with a small head- they are big without being too big)
-love the tortoise shell
-comfortable (no bouncing when I run, comfortable in every day life too)
-very reasonably priced (even though I didn't pay for them- I would)

Things I don't love:
-I have to admit- when I'm running they don't make me feel very "bad ass", which is something that a sportier frame might do.
-the way they fit my face means that the top of the frame hits my forehead a bit- so if I'm really sweating and wearing a lot of sunscreen, I end up with a nasty combination of sweat and sunscreen on the top the lenses
-I don't mind it- but when my mum tried them on, she didn't like the colour of the lenses- the brown was a little weird for her

All in all- thumbs way up for the Ryders Solace and for Ryders in general- I actually own a pair that have made an appearance on the blog before (on this post). Comfortable, versatile, and good looking. While they won't become my every day running glasses, they have quickly become my every day sunglasses that have the added bonus of being run-friendly.

So- would you like to win a pair of Ryders? Here's what to do:
1 entry- go visit Ryders online and let me know what you think. What style do you like best? Where would you take your Ryders this summer?
+1 entry- check out Ryders on Facebook and "like" them (then let me know in the comments)
+1 entry- follow Ryders on Twitter and tweet something like "I like sunglasses- and I want a pair of @RydersEyewear. Good thing @moultgard is giving a pair away!" (so maybe follow me- @moultgard while you're at it!)

Edited to add: You don't have to be a blogger or have a login account to enter- just make sure you leave some identifying information in your comment like "Hi, I'm Jessica from Whitehorse, and I'd wear my Ryders all summer long- longer than all you southerners because we get more summer sun"

You have until 10 pm EST on June 1st to enter. Good Luck!

**Full disclosure- I was given these sunglasses free of charge in exchange for my review. The review is my opinion and I will always give my true opinion of any product I review.**

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

race week obsessions

Race week can get a little...well...obsessive. While I don't continuously check the "countdown clock" on the website, there are a few things I definitely obsess over.

1- The Weather. The weather network website becomes my first and last website of the day. I absolutely wilt in the heat and it is NOT my friend (see this post from 2006 for details- MAN that was a long time ago). So I constantly hope for cool weather. Will the weekend forecast change? Will it stay the same? Right now it is calling for a high of 22 C. Will it be humid? What time will it hit 22? Will it be sunny? Will it be cloudy? What's the low- will the low be low enough so that 22 doesn't feel hot?  You get the idea- it gets a little crazy. While I know there is nothing I can actually do about the weather, it is something I think about a lot.

2- Water. I try to drink as much water race week as I can. I pretty much always have water with me and if I feel even a little parched, I race for the tap. (Which also means that I am peeing constantly...but that's not all that abnormal- I was just talking about that medical test this weekend actually)
That's a lot of water (at last year's race weekend water station)
3- What will I wear? I usually have several options of what I'm going to wear race day. Since I'll be travelling for the race, I try to keep the options to as few as possible so that I have to pack less, but I still need options for different weather conditions. I'm always pretty sure about what I'm going to wear, but I like to have back-ups...just in case.

4- GERMS! I'm not usually a germaphobe...but when race day approaches, I get a little creeped out by germs. I don't want your germs, I don't want to hear you cough or sneeze (even if it is allergy season), I don't want to hear about your sore throat, and if you have even a hint of a stomach bug- don't even email me...I'm pretty sure stuff like the norovirus can be transmitted through the internets.
So yeah- expect a little bit of crazy emanating from these parts this week! Good news though- it won't be all crazy, I do have a review to post this week and will be giving away the product I'm reviewing (yaaaay). I won't tell you exactly what it is, but my hint is that it is a product from a Canadian company and I've been using the product in multiple aspects of my life.

Do you get obsessive about anything during race week?

Friday, May 20, 2011

done and DONE

It is with great relief that I say that my calculus class is now OVER! It was hard, it was painful at times, and I won't be rushing out to buy this t-shirt any time soon:
(source) oh geek humour and i get along so well
but I will admit that it was an interesting change of pace. I hadn't taken a math class since 1998, hadn't taken a course that "meant something" since 2003, and hadn't hung out with high school kids since...well, high school I guess.

While the exam didn't go quite as well as I had hoped (I looked at one of the questions and saw exactly what I had thought would not be on the test), I am confident that I passed the test and thus passed the course. Since I was going into the final (which was worth 50% of the final grade- YIKES- that's another first since high school) with a pretty good mark, I know it will all work out just fine.

So thanks for all your encouragement and for at least pretending to laugh at my calculus jokes throughout the semester. Hopefully this is one of the last mentions of calculus EVER on this blog.

Have you ever taken a course that was well out of your comfort zone? Are you a secret math wizard? Or maybe some other kind of wizard?

(Oh, and in case you missed yesterday's post- I'll say it again- aren't those potatoes the purplest you've ever seen? They still make me smile every time I look at the picture.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

three things thursday- the final exam edition

On this rainy and grey Thursday, here are three things:

1. So my final exam is today. At 9:30 pm, my calculus nonsense is finally OVER. I am not even remotely excited about the exam and don't really feel as prepared as I'd like to but the most important part is that it will be over. No more calculus. Hopefully no more calculus ever again...

2. In fun news, check out how purple these potatoes are:
Salad for dinner.
Seriously- I did nothing to enhance the colours in that picture. The potatoes were just that purple. It made my dinner feel so cheery! And since we've had nothing but rain for the last week, the cheer was very much needed.

3. As you may have noticed from my Tuesday post, I'm feeling a little burned out. Therefore, I'm so very happy that this will be a long weekend. Holiday Monday? YES PLEASE! Normally I'd say I was looking forward to sitting around and drinking beer, but since I'm trying to limit my alcohol (and since I'll be having a drink or two tonight to celebrate the end of calculus) until after the race, I'm looking forward to some sun and some sparkling water :)

Have you ever had potatoes that purple? Any plans for the long weekend?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Overwhelming is the word I'd use to describe May so far. This is not what was in my "plan." My plan for May was that it was going to be a somewhat relaxed but focused month. It was going to be a month of clean eating, no drinking, focus on keeping my head in the right place during my runs (and just in the right place in general), and on finishing my calculus class with gusto. My thoughts were to be calm but focused and the goal was to stay well rested and feeling great. Unfortunately, the best laid plans don't always work out how you expect them to and sometimes life just gets in the way.

Here are the words that describe May so far: sad, crazy, all over the place, exhausting, out of control. Not exactly focused, calm, or restful. The no drinking? Well, the fact that I managed to spend 4 days with my extended family while only having a few drinks is practically 100% success in my books, (and not because I don't like being around them, but rather because we tend to drink together- quite a bit) but alcohol has been consumed. The clean eating? Not so much either. I've been doing my best and all things considered- I've done pretty well. But again- not what I envisioned.
This is what I feel like doing.
Well rested? Nope. Feeling great? Again, not so much. Instead, I'm exhausted and kind of worried I'll end up getting sick. Oh and that calculus final I have on Thursday? Yeah- I'm starting to go into panic mode. I definitely did not keep up with my studying during the first part of May (and probably didn't do enough at the end of April either- I had a lot going on then too).  Not exactly ideal.

So now what? Well, May is half over, but there's still time. It has felt a little out of control, but I know that it hasn't actually been as crazy and out of control it has felt. I've still slept, I've eaten vegetables, and I've kept up with my training (I think I've managed to only miss a few miles in the training plan- not too shabby!). All is not lost and I know with the right focus, I can keep going in the right direction and still get to the race feeling rested and prepared.

So I just need to keep breathing, get through the math test, and then keep on trucking :)

Some of the best propaganda ever written
How do you deal with the unexpected? Have you had things go crazy just when you were hoping they'd calm down?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

two weeks out- training cycle thoughts

I love running- don't get me wrong...but I find that sometimes before a race, I get a bit burned out and I'm ready for the race to be over already. While sticking to a training plan is very good for me (as in, I probably wouldn't run longer than about 8 miles without one), by the end of a training cycle, I am usually sick of having a schedule.  As someone who is easily injured, I have to build sloooowly, which means my training schedules end up being extra long so I'm extra sick of looking at that calendar and having it tell me what to do.

This training cycle has felt even longer because of weather (man I ran in a lot of snow and wind) and because I haven't been able to do much else in the way of non-running training due to my math class sucking up two evenings (plus study time) a week. In honour if it almost being over- here are a few things that I'm looking forward to doing once the race is over:
 YOGA. I haven't been to a yoga class in months and I miss it. I've been doing some on my own- in my hallway with a podcast, but it just isn't the same. I miss the long stretches, I miss the environment of the yoga studio. My body also misses all that stretching. I don't think I've ever felt this tight during a training cycle and I think that's due to my lack of yoga. Not sure I'll be hitting up the antigravity yoga, but I'll be doing some sort of yoga.

hello old friend
CYCLING. I haven't been on my bike since the fall. I meant to do more trainer rides in the winter but it just didn't happen and really I only have myself (and can I blame calculus too?) to blame for that. I think my legs will be happy do do something other than just running once the bike comes out.

cold swimming?
SWIMMING I haven't been swimming at all. The pools here are confusing as to when the open swims are and I just haven't bothered to figure them out yet. Again- that's a little bit of laziness on my part, but it is also hard to want to go swimming when it is cold out. Now that it is warm out though, no excuses. Gotta get back on the swim train.

And of course I'll still be running- just not 5 times a week. I'm looking forward to fewer runs a week ESPECIALLY because the heat of the summer is coming and the heat and I don't get along so well. I'll still be training for something, but I'll also be doing some fun runs- like the Energizer Night Race!

The end is near- (of both this training cycle AND the calculus class- final exam is on the 19th...YAY) so I'll be making the most of the next two weeks of training but I'm also clearly looking forward to something a little different.

How do you usually feel at the end of a training cycle- burned out or ready for more?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

three things thursday- the "three" edition

I hope you enjoyed the picture a day. I know it wasn't much, but it was something I could throw together quickly while I was away. Now I'm playing catch-up with all your posts! On to three things Thursday- this one will be inspired by what else? THREE!

1- I only have three speed (or tempo) sessions left in this training cycle. THREE! (wow- the word three has lost all meaning after writing it six times) That means we're three weeks out from the race. I guess now's the time to plan wardrobe and think about the race plan. (step one, have fun?) Only two more long runs...EEK!

2- My long run on Sunday (done in Vermont) involved THREE very hilly loops. The road I was running on was called something like "Over the Mountain Rd". Now, while I wouldn't call the hill a mountain, it was a pretty good hill- and I did it THREE times. Sure, the third time was a slow loop with my preggers sister (she runs based on heart rate), but it was a lot of work! Good news though- the 14 miles felt pretty good and made me feel good about my training!

3- Even though I am only working THREE days this week, it already feels like a long one. I got back from Vermont yesterday and had to go to class after having only a couple of hours to chill out. It was a long few days out there, but it was really nice to have some family time despite the sadness. Usually I take lots of pictures in Vermont, but somehow I didn't take any this trip- even of my little sister's ever growing belly! I guess I just wasn't in the mood. The camera was always with me, it just wasn't ever out. I'm glad other people were taking pictures- we definitely got a couple of good group shots.

There you have it, this week's three things Thursday, inspired by three. Anything "three" that you'd like to share?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

picture a day- crazy clouds

As you may have guessed from my masthead, I love big skies. There's something about the sky and the clouds that I love and could take picture after picture of:
Clouds (shoulda cropped out that tree)
This should be the last of the picture a days...I'll be back to normal posts in a day or so!

Monday, May 09, 2011

picture a day- country roads

Just in case you missed it, I'm away spending time with my family and celebrating the life of my grandfather. So I'm posting a picture a day.

Hopefully, today I'm able to get out and run on some Vermont country roads:
Southern Vermont country road

Sunday, May 08, 2011

picture a day- operation beautiful

If you haven't ever made the trip over to Operation Beautiful, do. You might just leave feeling a little better about yourself and maybe about others too.

Operation Beautiful at Lululemon in Ottawa

Saturday, May 07, 2011

a picture a day- trouble

This is Trouble. He lived upstairs in our most recent apartment in Ottawa and liked to hang out on our deck. He's one of the only cats that Jordan has ever liked:

Friday, May 06, 2011

a picture a day- spring

I've decided to post a picture a day while I'm gone- just to keep things interesting. Here is today's picture. Proof spring is here- they're running in shorts!
Lachine canal runners

Thursday, May 05, 2011

three things thursday- a grey and rainy edition

Thank you for all your kind words regarding my grandfather. It will be nice to have my family together this weekend so that we can all remember together :)

On to three things thursday:

I managed to pretty much nail my speedwork yesterday despite the rain and almost bailing on some wet cobblestones (sure, they look nice, but they aren't ideal to run across). Before I left, I tweeted that it had the potential to be pretty craptastic. But you know what? It wasn't. It was rainy but it was a good temperature (I had gloves ad short sleeves- I needed the gloves for most of it and then was too lazy to take them off). The paths were pretty clear of people (due to the rain), so I could just do my own thing and get it done. As I was warming up, I set in my mind that I was going to nail it and I did (well pretty much- I was a few seconds slow for the mile that I almost bailed but it evened up since as usual my first mile was too fast). Keys to good speedwork: a good attitude and some great music!

It has been raining for 2 or three days and it is supposed to keep raining...boo! We've had rainfall warnings for the last 2 days- though I think it is supposed to be a little lighter today. I would really like to see the sun soon! The greyness brings me down and seems to suck the energy out of me. Do you think if I sing the old "Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun....Please shine down on me....." song it will listen? On that song note- who was that who sang it- Raffi? Sharon, Lois and Bram? I just can't remember. (edited to add- it was Raffi. and now I have "Baby Beluga" in my head)

And to complete the cycle of absolute complete randomness, I will show you a picture I took of a sign in the bathroom of a coffee shop. For those of you who don't speak French, the text says "Play with your instrument, make money." And well, I just think the picture they chose was a little unfortunate. Maybe they should have put a real guitar in his hands? Maybe they should have questioned the placement of his right hand? Now, perhaps it doesn't come across quite the same in the picture as it did at eye level in the bathroom, but it made me laugh (and no I wasn't drunk at the time).
questionable advertising?
So- have you seen any advertising lately that made you go "whaaat???" Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

to my grandfather

Sunday morning my phone rang too early for it to be a social call- especially because it was my dad, who lives two time zones "earlier" than me. He told me that my grandfather had died. He wasn't sick but he was 85. I think my dad was in shock. As I've been processing the news and finding it weird that not only did the Governor release a statement, but that there was an entire story about him in the paper this morning, I've also been thinking about him.

I'm the dork in the glasses ;-)
He loved the Red Sox and could talk your ear off about almost anything. No matter where we went, he always seemed to know somebody. He had stories about wars, about politicians, about getting himself into some serious binds, and most importantly for this Sound of Music loving girl- he had stories about the Von Trapps (for real!).

He (and my aunt) took my sister and me to our first major league baseball game and many many years later, my sister returned the favour and took him to one of his last games- last June. His laughter was distinctive and infectious.
we're all laughing so hard because he was laughing...
Apparently he did things like bring business to Vermont and prevent billboards from being allowed in the state. He was known as a key player in economic development and apparently the taxpayers loved him.  But I knew him as the person who is responsible for the "family pour" that causes those of us with weaker constitutions to ask for a little more tonic to go with our gin, who called my sister "Old Tough Feet" and who taught me it is pronounced "Bah Habah" not "Bar Harbour." While he was definitely a man of his era, I think near the end of his life, he adapted to this one quite well.
September 2010
"They" may have called him Mr. Vermont, but I called him Grampy.

Monday, May 02, 2011

lightness on a heavy day

I'm going to keep it light today- there are some heavy things going on in the world and there's some heaviness in the hearts of my family today too. So because of that, some things that are smiley and happy and that don't require me to write much:

  • Hey look- I'm not the only one who thought today needed some lightness. Go check out Michelle's post about funny running signs here: link. Reminds me a little of the sign we put on the marathon route last year for Suz- just to remind her that she needed to suck it up and run:

Sign for Suz- at around the 40K mark at the Ottawa Marathon 201
  • Speaking of running signs- look who was on Run Eat Repeat last week: link (it is me just in case you can't tell) Yeah, I do love a good running sign.
  • And for something completely different, a story that manages to include nudity AND Mormon missionaries: link I'm not sure it can get much better than that.
  • Ok, maybe it gets slightly better if you picture someone rubbing Steve's butt/tutti frutti shorts for luck: link.
  • And because yellow flowers always make me happy:

Daffodils on the last day of April

There you go- some lightness on a Monday. Any light posts or stories that have kept you from thinking about heavy things today?