Thursday, June 30, 2011

three for a thursday- the jet lagged edition

So I'm finally home (for some reason, it felt like we were gone way longer than a week) and definitely not feeling like I'm back in the right time zone. We took the red eye flight yesterday morning (leaving at 1 am and landing in Montreal at 7am) and despite the fact that we had to sit on the tarmac for 30 minutes before getting off the plane, all went well. Ok- onto the three things:

1- I pushed my snooze alarm for 40 minutes this morning without waking up. What finally woke me up was not my alarm but rather the birds outside the window. I must still be on Island time...
The weather is always best the day you're leaving
Hopefully I can make it through the day with a little bit of alertness and with enough energy to get my butt out the door and run after work- because I definitely didn't have it in me to run yesterday.


2- Despite the fact that I'm now in my 30s (ack, I guess now that I'm practically 31, I have to say "my 30s) and my sister is going to have a baby, I'm glad to see that we haven't really grown up:

Both of those were taken within days of each other...and this weekend. We're oh so mature, and I love it.

3- And in another bout of maturity- this is what I like to do when I'm all dressed up for a wedding:
Tire swings + Dresses = Fun
Luckily I didn't get too dirty because I had to wear that same thing to a funeral a few days later. I stand by the decision to have fun on the swing :)

So- what have you done lately that shows just how mature you aren't?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

snow in june

Happy Tuesday!
No, it isn't snowing where I've been, where I am, or at home- but the Rocky Mountains definitely still have snow. When I flew to Vancouver in April, it was too cloud covered to see them so it was fun to see the Rockies from above on this trip. As I say in my "about me" section on the top right of this blog- I miss the mountains. I do like Montreal, but there's something about those mountains...
Rockies from above
Is there anything about where you live that you'd miss if you moved away? Or is there anything from your "home" that you miss because you moved away?

Monday, June 27, 2011

still on the road

I'm still on the road but wanted to give you all a taste of where I got to spend the weekend:
Quadra Island.
It was lovely. Back with more pictures and stories very soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

more signs

After last week's sign post, I've got more (I know, you were all hoping for more sings weren't you?).
Esso on the corner
This one was notable because this is the lowest gas has been for awhile. Sad that 129.9/L (that's $4.91 per gallon for those of you in the US) feels cheap and exciting! It was in the 140s for awhile and that was NOT fun at all.

My second sign is along the Old Port here in Montreal. I just loved how blue the sky was, plus it is two signs for the price of one:
Quays of the Old Port
Montreal really is scenic in the early summer :)

So- how much is gas where you are? And what his the highest it has been recently?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

three things thursday- the travel edition

Since I'm on the road- three things sort of travel related.

1- Landing in Toronto yesterday was gross. The smog was terrible and it felt like we were landing in Brazil or something like that. It made me glad I don't live there.

2- We were of course delayed leaving Toronto. But there were at least a few interesting incidents: a police officer waiting for a flight and taking statements. Also- as we taxied out, tonnes of airport security and darkened SUVs on the tarmac. Kind of interesting.

3- After a night in Calgary, our 3rd leg starts this morning. Out to the BC coast this morning! It will be nice to see the ocean!

For a second I was worried that today was actually Wednesday... That's just the kind of week it has been.

Any good travel stories?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sigh. blogger strikes again

Well, Blogger woes strike again. Hopefully it will get better soon and I can get my posts up. If not- I have one scheduled for Friday that should work :)

I'm headed out west to go to my cousin's wedding and have no idea what internet access (and time) will be like. So hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures and adventures from the West Coast...but if not- have a great week and weekend!


Any big plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

i recommend- run run revolution

Today, I have a recommendation- watch Run Run Revolution.
(source)
Run Run Revolution follows a group of 12 and 13 year olds as they learn to run and train for a sprint relay and 5K road race as a part of the Boston Marathon weekend. They're 10 kids from all walks of life who get chosen to participate in their school's running program.

As we watched the episodes, they started off saying things like "I can't run" and "I'm not a runner." I actually said "I know that feeling" out loud and remembered my very first running post here. I was a little nervous to announce it to the internet because it meant it was really going to happen- I was training for a 10K. (and if you go back and read that post- please read the last comment from Heather- I LOVE reading that comment and then thinking about the fact that she completed a half Ironman!)

Watching the kids go from non-runners to runners was really kind of awesome. Not only do you get to watch them train through the winter (because MAN do I feel that pain) but it is fun to see their stories. We all have our issues- family issues, self esteem issues, bad attitude issues (and we're talking 12 and 13 year olds, so there is plenty of attitude)- whether we are 13 or 30. We all have things that get in our way and that we overcome.

The Canadian music soundtrack, the familiar locale (Ottawa friends- be on the lookout for places you recognize), and the running theme, all add up to a really good watch. Seeing the kids accomplish their first race reminded me so much of completing my first race. And it made me wish that I had finished that first race at 13 instead of at 26! All the running I could have done! :)

If you're in Canada, you can definitely watch the full episodes at the CBC Run Run Revolution website. If you're somewhere else- give it a try anyway. Maybe the CBC will let you watch online too.

Have you seen Run Run Revolution? If so- what did you think? Have you ever been part of a running program for kids?

Monday, June 20, 2011

a sunday long run- when animals attack

I'm haven't started a new training cycle yet (but will be soon- the Montreal half marathon is but 14 weeks away!) but I'm trying to do a semi-long run every week so that I can stay in decent running shape leading into the training. It's funny- other than some heavy legs of late (which I don't know why I have), it isn't the physical part of running longer that I'm having a hard time with but rather the mental aspect. I think  the most recent training cycle (and race) took more out of my mentally than I realized. I'm finding it harder to stay mentally tough through my runs. I'm hoping that will change once the new "schedule" starts up.

But today was a beautiful day for a run. Sunny but not too hot, slight breeze, and blue skies.
Lachine Canal
I didn't worry too much about time or pace and just tried to enjoy myself. I was definitely having a decent run when I got harassed by a red-winged blackbird. I don't like any birds, but those birds are JERKS. Jordan has had issues with this type of bird, we've seem them attacking other birds, and this morning I was not too excited to feel (and see) one around my head and face. I had to speed up to get the heck out of there and I'm sure I looked a little weird yelling and waving my arms in the air trying to get it to leave me the heck alone.

Once my heart stopped racing from that, I went back to enjoying my run.
Boating on a Sunday
You would think that one animal attack would be enough for one run but no, the animals were out in full force and had other ideas. I was only a few minutes from home and coming up on a house that I know has a large dog behind a small fence. Said dog has startled me before (and for awhile Suz decided she'd rather run in the middle of the road rather than on the sidewalk in order to avoid being startled by the dog) but is relatively harmless. My guard was up, but I wasn't really concerned.

I passed the dog without incident, but then came up on people walking two other dogs. As I passed them, all of a sudden there's a Sheltie lunging at my leg. I was so surprised that I just kept running. Since it didn't bite me (thought it seemed like it was trying), I didn't bother to turn back and give the owners a "hey, control your dog", but I probably should have. It was the first time I'd had a dog lunge at me while running so I was definitely more surprised than anything.

Two animals in one run? How did that happen???

Do you have any animal stories? Any animal attacks while on the run?

Friday, June 17, 2011

one of my favourite things- run: swiftly ss

I thought, why not share one of my favourite things on a Friday- today's favourite is a piece of running gear- the lululemon run: swiftly tech short sleeve.

I have two of them:
pink shirt in action
i love my run swiftly tech (and my sister)
They are light, they are seamless, and they are oh so soft. Any time I have to fold them, I want to rub them up against my face- and any time I walk into a lululemon store, I have to touch them. I've run in the blazing sun, I've layered them and run in the cold...they're versatile and they're the most comfortable shirts I own. In fact, if I could drape myself in this fabric and wear it all of the time, I would.

But there's more! Here's a little Run Swiftly tidbit- they contain hidden messages. Check out the bottom seam:
I am a runner because I run
This one really speaks to me- I hate the treadmill :)
Sure, they have nothing to do with the performance of the shirt, but it is kind of fun to know that they are there.

So what about the price? At $58, that's indeed a "spendy" shirt. The pink shirt was bought at full price, the grey I bought on sale and I've been scouring both the website and the stores for more sales- I love the shirt, but I don't love the price tag. If you think about it in a "price-per-wear" way, there is a lot of value in there. But there's definitely a sticker shock. Is it worth it? If you have the money, absolutely. But if you can find one on sale, even better!

Run: Swiftly Short Sleeve: two thumbs up.
(I know that Amber recently had a problem with one- her shirt ripped. Not fun, but the good news is, Lululemon has great customer service and finds a way to fix problems with their merchandise.)

Do you have a favourite shirt?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

three things thursday

Good morning! I have nothing witty to say right now- so three things:

First: The Stanley Cup Final.
For those of you who were cheering for Vancouver- I know your pain friends. Watching Tampa win in 2004 was not fun. And next year, every time you watch Hockey Night in Canada, you will have to watch Chara hoist the cup in the opening. You might have to look away.

I was cheering for Boston. As a Flames fan, I just couldn't cheer for Vancouver....AND my grandfather was a huge Bruins fan. He and my mum had a bottle of wine riding on the Montreal-Boston series. When we drank that bottle of wine at his memorial service, I silently toasted to the Bruins winning the cup. Then not so silently, my sister and I rooted for the Bruins for the rest of the playoffs. Yeah, it's just hockey- but I smiled for him last night.

Second: Stanley Cup Aftermath
I'm not going to preach about this- but rather try to make a slight joke. Can you imagine calling your insurance company this morning if you're one of those poor Vancouverites who had their car burned? -Hi...I'd like to make an insurance claim...there was a fire in my car.
-Oh dear sir, are you ok? Were you in an accident?"
-Nope...it was parked.
-Parked sir? Where was it parked??

Third: The Race
Thank you for all of your comments. It seems you were all thinking just the same way I was leaning- toward the Montreal race. So it is decided. Night race (yaaaay) and Montreal half-marathon here I come!

And just to make you laugh- here's a picture of my sister and I when we were really young. And yes, I look like a boy.
Sweet shoes Heather :)
Happy Friday Eve! What is your one (or more) thing this Thursday?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

help me choose a race!

As I said in a previous post, I'm having trouble deciding on my September races. So I thought I would put it out there and ask what other people think- can you think of some pros or cons or things that I haven't considered that will help me decide what race(s) to pick?

Race 1:
Date: September 18, 2011
Location: Ottawa
Distances: I'd be running the half-marathon. There is a 5K as well.
Fee: $65 if I register by the end of day June 15th (eek, just realized that) $85 after the 15th.

Pros: Very well organized; I've run a lot in Ottawa so I feel good running there . I've run the race before (though the course has changed, the Army Run was my first sub-2 hour half). Mostly flat. I know the last few kilometers of the race like the back of my hand. If by some crazy scheduling miracle things work out, it is far enough from the Toronto Waterfront race that I could use this as a tune up if I wanted to.

Cons: It is the morning after the Night Race so doing the Army Run means no Night Race. Travel required. I don't know the middle section of the course all that well. I need to decide MUCH sooner in order to get the cheaper price.

Race 2:
Date: September 25, 2011
Location: Montreal
Distances: I'd be running the half, but there is also a full marathon
Fee: $75 before September 14th, $85 after September 14th (I would definitely register before the fee change)

Pros: No travel required. I can train on the course. It is a little later in September so it is less likely to be really hot. I can still do the Night Race. I should really get used to running races here- I do live here after all. Racers receive a "complimentary light lunch."

Cons: I don't know the course very well. The hills might mean less of a chance to PR. Those hills scare me a little. I have no idea if it is well organized. The aforementioned "light lunch" may go uneaten if I really give it my all and feel like ass afterward.

I'm definitely leaning toward one race over the other (I'll let you know which once you've commented) but thought I'd throw this out there- Which race would YOU do? Do you see any pros or cons that I'm missing?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

signs

How's this for a random post? It is about signs. Yes, that's right. A post dedicated to some signage.

Sign 1: My neighbourhood has 2 tattoo parlours. I run and walk by this one a lot and I enjoy the signage. It almost makes me want to go and get a tattoo.

Tattoage anyone?
 Sign 2: When I was in Ottawa last week, these "signs" were in my temporary cubicle at work:
cubicle signs
They were congratulating me for getting into school. (yeah- I have really nice co-workers :) Each sign represents a city that is a part of the program.  My favourite is the second one, which just happens to be Montreal:
p is for poutine
A good poutine sign warms my heart (or perhaps clogs it?).  Just in case you're trying to figure out where this program travels based on the signs (and some are a bit of a stretch), I will be going to: Toronto, Montreal (ok, so I'm already here, but whatever), Rome, and Barcelona. I'm definitely excited about the last two!

So- have you seen any good signs lately? (and maybe I need to post more pictures of signs...looking at iphoto- I've taken a lot of pictures of signs...weird)

Monday, June 13, 2011

montreal grand prix

Here's something I never thought I'd say: I think going to a car race might actually be fun.
Foot races? Yeah, I'm all over watching people go around and around a track or running by on the street...but cars? No thanks.

Until now. There was an F1 race here in Montreal over the weekend and the atmosphere was really kind of exciting. Suz and I ran out to the track on Saturday when the qualifying was going on and you could hear the cars from shockingly far away. Unfortunately our timing was off and we got to the track (or near the track- we couldn't get too close without tickets) right as there was a break. But the atmosphere was pretty exciting and I'm pretty sure I uttered the words "Hey- NASCAR is coming later this year, maybe we should see how much tickets are." Seriously? I suggested that NASCAR might be fun? Who am I?

On Sunday- the day of the actual race- Jordan ran out to the track to check it out. If you were watching the race or if you saw any of the highlights, it started to POUR with rain. So rainy that I put a towel by the front door because I knew that when he got home, he would be dripping wet (his shoes will probably be wet for 2 days). Despite the soaking wet run, the excitement and power of the cars were really all Jordan could talk about. He's not really in to car racing (though he does love Top Gear) but the words "I'm really kicking myself for not getting tickets" came out of his mouth.

So I better get my daisy dukes ready, buy some ear plugs, and do my research- we may be heading to NASCAR just to see what it is all about...Do you think Ricky Bobby will be there?

Have you found yourself fascinated with something completely unexpected? Is there anything you've gotten really excited about that surprised the heck out of you?

Friday, June 10, 2011

a bit of a flashback- june 2008

Here is what I was doing in June 2008:
Before
running my first half marathon...with my sister, yaaaay.

Here are some things I learned from that first race:
  • If you're debating about whether or not you need to wear a hat- wear it! The sun came out blazing after it was threatening rain before the race. I really wished I had taken the hat with me.
  • If the course is hilly, maybe do some hills while training. Even if you just throw some in every so often...I didn't do a lot of hill running and paid the price.
  • Vermont is hilly but it is also very pretty.
  • Bodyglide is a very good thing.
  • There will be a point in the race where you want to give up. You won't regret that you didn't.
  • Coke tastes absolutely delicious after running 13.1 miles.
  • Knowing there are people at the end of the race cheering for you helps get you to the finish line.
  • Finishing your first half marathon makes you feel awesome...no matter how fast or slow your time is.
  • The aftermath might not be so awesome- killer headaches, exhaustion, multiple mentions of "I'm never doing that again."
  • It doesn't take long before you decide to do it again.
After
 What did you learn from your first attempt at a certain distance?
Have a GREAT weekend and good luck to Kirst tomorrow- hope the rain isn't too bad!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

three things thursday- bright colours edition

 Happy Thursday! For me the best part of today is that it is my Friday! Tomorrow is the first of my Summer Fridays off and I'm excited about that. I have a massage booked and the weather looks like it should be fantastic, so it should be a good day.

On to my three things.

1- I've decided I need to find a VERY brightly coloured shirt to wear during races. At the half marathon, I was wearing a pink shirt and white hat. Well, it turns out I was wearing pretty much the same thing as every other girl out on the course. So even though I ran right by Jordan (after discussion afterward, it turns out I probably could have reached out and touched him) at the end of the race, he completely missed me. So I'm on the lookout for something as brightly coloured as the Brooks, Sugoi, or Saucony tops in the pictures
 
I guess I have some shopping to do! (and if you've seen a really brightly coloured running shirt lately, let me know so I can check it out)
2- Have I already complained that every race I want to do seems to be in September? (well, one that I want to do is in October but that timing promises to be bad- so Toronto Waterfront- I'll get you next year! I need a Waterfront redemption...the only time I've run it I hated almost every second of it) I would have to race every weekend (twice for one of the weekends) in order to get in all of the races I thought would be fun to do. While that DOES sound like fun, that's not so friendly on the walled. So I'm going to have to make some decisions. 

I may do a "which would you do" post soon for some opinions. But until then, check out this race I found fairly locally: Tour de Lac Brome. Just in case you don't feel like following the link- there is a post-race meal of a "traditional duck supper".  I kind of wish I had known about it before the entry fee went up to $50! (although $50 for a race, sweat shirt, and duck supper is probably an ok deal) So it is definitely on the to do list for next year!
taken from the race website
3- A bit of a downer- but I read this story the other day and it reminded me of when Jordan hit the moose carcass on the dark highway. Yes- it damaged our car to the point of almost a write-off (I still don't know why the estimate ended up being about half of the actual cost...it probably should have been a write-off) and dealing with all of the insurance stuff was a bit of a pain. But I'm still in awe of the fact that no one got hurt. Our VW golf managed to go OVER the moose and kept both passengers safe and sound. I was much happier to get a call from Jordan telling me the car was broken than from a random emergency worker telling me I needed to get to the hospital. Thank you again little VW. I appreciate your solid construction!

What races do you have planned for the summer and fall? Any that involve getting fed at the end?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

perfection

those tree bits make me sneeze
Lunchtime run. New Shoes. Life is good.

So, what is making you smile in the last few days?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

we all scream for poutine

I'll interrupt the usual blogging about healthier habits to talk about another of my favourite things: food.

I've blogged about my latest food obsession before- here and here...but trust me, that's not the only poutine I've been eating. I don't always order it myself, but Jordan seems hell bent on trying as many poutines as he can here in Montreal. Therefore, I've sampled more than my fair share.  Still, despite all the different ones we've tried when it comes to consistency, availability ('cause you can't just walk into Au Pied de Cochon on a whim), and "yum-factor", we keep going back to La Banquise.

This is especially true when we have out of town guests so since Jordan's parents were in town this weekend, we saw it as the perfect opportunity for yet another trip to La Banquise for some fatty goodness. While most of us stayed with Poutine Classique (fries, cheese curds, poutine sauce), Jordan's dad decided to go all out and get something called the T-Rex.  The T-Rex is fries, cheese curds, poutine sauce, ground beef, pepperoni, bacon, and smoked sausage. Just read that list of ingredients again....yup, that's a serious plate of poutine.
T-Rex before
It was a little crazy just to look at and to even think about eating. But Randy was a trooper and managed to polish off most of it. It was pretty darn impressive actually.
T-Rex after
Not sure I will be trying it out any time soon (not nearly enough cheese for my liking ;-) but I thought it was pretty noteworthy. And I'm pretty sure Randy's liver is still working overtime trying to process all that fat.

So to you- poutine: thumbs up or thumbs down? (and I'm not talking about the fries, gravy and cheese that certain fast food restaurants call poutine)

Monday, June 06, 2011

back on the bike

After a busy week of recovery and family visits, both of us did a short run on Friday but decided that was enough running for the weekend. So instead of running, we got out the bikes for the first time since the fall.

Thanks for getting my bike ready!
Confession: riding on Montreal roads scares the crap out of me. Luckily, there's plenty of non-road riding (that involves only a little road riding to get to) around these parts and we were able to get out and ride for a couple of hours without worrying about traffic. Our only worries were Jordan's evil nemesis  birds (seriously...those things hate him) and the bugs that tried to get in our helmets and who flew right into us. As far as  hazards go, not too bad :)

Next time I'll take pictures- but until then, I will try to figure out the best way to sit on my sore butt! No saddle sores, but I'm definitely a little tender after a long winter of no riding...ouch.

So- did the first weekend in June bring any summer activities? Did you do anything that you hadn't done in awhile?

Regardless, hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, June 03, 2011

ryders winner

Just for transparency, here's how I picked the winner of the Ryders:
Here are the entries
Names go into the Ryders sunglasses bag
Here's the winner (and too much detail of my hand)
And the winner!
Congratulations Derek! After sending an email to the wrong email address, I've finally managed to get in touch with Derek about winning and he's excited about his sunglasses. Don't forget to send me your information Derek and you'll get those sunglasses soon.

And thanks Ryders and Outside PR for the sunnies and the opportunity to give a pair away!

I hope it is sunny wherever you are this weekend.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

three things thursday- good things come in threes

I've never been one of those people who figured good or bad things come in threes, but these three "good things" seemed appropriate for three things Thursday:

First good thing: The race. I won't say anything more because I was pretty long-winded in my race report. But by race is my first good thing of the week!

Second good thing: I got my final mark in Calculus this week. I got 91%! Hooray. I genuinely had no idea how things would go when I started the class. I hadn't done math in a long time and even then, it has never been my strong suit. But I worked really hard and I'm so glad it paid off.
aah the remainder theorem.
Third good thing: Remember that post in April when I talked about dealing with disappointment? Well, I found that open window. I applied for another master's program in May and found out earlier this week that I got in! This one has some definite bonuses too: I can still work and I get to travel! Definitely a silver lining to that disappointment. Things are coming up ME!

So- do you believe that good or bad things come in threes? Any excitement in your life?


**I should be posting the winner of the Sunglasses either later today or tomorrow morning. I want to make sure I can get in touch with the winner first.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

race report: ottawa half marathon

I was really terrible about pictures this weekend. I think I was nervous and trying not to freak out about the weather and trying to make sure I managed to both see people, eat enough, and rest enough. Normally I'm snap happy at these events, but I think I was thrown off by all those factors so this race report will be text heavy (and probably wordy...I can be that way).

I woke up on race day feeling better than I had all week. I had been feeling tired and run down leading up to the race but felt really quite refreshed despite the pre-5am wake-up! Since the marathon started 2 hours before the half, I packed my breakfast to eat once I got there after seeing Jordan off. Our last words to each other: We will NOT end up in the med tent....Good Luck!

The two hours of waiting involved about a million trips to the bathroom and me deciding that I would have a good day despite the humid conditions (oh, and me thanking my lucky stars that the sun wasn't supposed to make an appearance). Before I knew it I was checking my bag, warming up, and making my way to the corral.
Movin' my way up in corrals. Though I think I'll be stuck in Orange for good. The corral up is sub 1:30
The Ottawa Half Marathon is a fairly big one- more than 9,000 people- so it is fairly congested at first. I tried not to get caught up in the excitement and go out too fast, but I definitely got caught up in the congestion and was a little slow for my first mile. It then opened up a bit, headed down hill, and I made up that time. Yay. Right on track....

...but, within those first few kilometers I was already feeling hot. I could already taste the salt on my face and I was guzzling from my hand-held water bottle already. I'm not going to lie- I freaked out a bit a that point.  Especially as the course narrowed and I got caught in congestion once again. But eventually it opened up again and I had more room to run.

As the kilometers were ticking by, I was still drinking a lot and by the time I was approaching the water station around the 10K mark, I decided that I needed to refill. So as I ran, I managed to take out another Nuun tablet, open my bottle and have it ready to fill at the station (and I managed to dump water on my head to boot). Success! But about 30 seconds wasted. Ah well.

It took me forever to figure out how to put that damn chip on. I'm no good at laces- I need the zip tag!
It was after the halfway point that I knew the course got tougher. Some rolling hills, bridges, and the toughest hill of the course. At that point I also knew that I had time to make up. As I tried to speed up, I was greeted with some lovely nausea. I was tasting my gu again, I was seriously thirsty, and a little concerned. So instead of speeding up, I just aimed to maintain, not slow down too much, and not panic until the nausea went away.

It was at that point that mother nature smiled upon me and the rain started. I know- rain doesn't really sound like something to enjoy during a race. But in this case, it meant that all of a sudden I was being cooled down. As it kept raining, I just felt better and better. The nausea went away, I was cooler...things were looking up. I had done it! I kept my wits about me and the badness DID pass.

As I tackled the hardest hill of the course, my legs were tired, but I felt good. I hit the top (after passing people along the hill) thinking "well that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be" and did some math. I was a little more than 2 miles from the end and had about 3 minutes to make up in order to hit my goal time.

Even though I knew from 5K to go that I would definitely PR, I was looking for a 1:55. I trained last year for a 1:55 and got injured...so this year I wanted that 1:55. When I had more than 2 minutes to make up in 2 miles, I was a little upset. It felt like 2 years of work and recovering from an injury were going out the window.

That's when I remembered my mum's words- that I like running. So I thought to myself- "I like running!" I wasn't going to make it in 1:54.59 or in 1:55.XX...but dammit, I was going to finish it up as quickly as I could. So I sped up and just ran.

Thanks for the Team Awesome photo Mags!
The last 2K was completely lined with people and signs. So it wasn't hard to keep up the energy despite my tired legs. I fed off the cheers, the signs, and the noise and I passed people left and right. I looked at my watch, noticed it was coming up on the 1:57 mark and decided that I would do everything in my power to get myself over the line before it hit 1:57. My top speed along that final stretch was a 6:25 minute mile....and I squeaked in at 1:56.52! I finished feeling tired but strong and happy with putting an exclamation point on a sub-2 hour finish.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wish I had hit that 1:55 "A" goal. But I'm also really pleased with how I DID do and what I learned from the race. I think I learned a lot more about how to think (or rather, not think) during a race. I learned that I can tame those bad voices in my head telling me to give up, that I'm just not good enough, and that I can't do it. I learned to push through feeling physically bad and to come out the other end feeling strong. All in all- it was a good race.  I feel that I conquered both the weather and my head. I can't wait to run another race to put this learning into action!
I guess I should try that shirt on at some point to make sure it fits...
Congratulations if you made it through this marathon-length half-marathon recap! Thank you for all your well wishes before and after the race. It meant a lot to me know know there were people rooting for me.