Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Long 2008....

The last window of opportunity for a run in 2008 closed successfully! I hit the path at 9:40am as the sun began to shine brightly and the temperature started to slowly rise above -15C. My distance today brings my total for the year to 828 km. I am proud of that and very pleased with today's run which was:

Time: 1:07:04
Distance: 10.33 km
Pace: 6.33 min/km

Feeling motivated and rejuvenated, I signed up for the lottery to be a 2010 Olympic Torchbearer! I picked my first choice as being Day 82 January 19, 2010 and my second choice as being Day 83 January 20, 2010. Now I just have to wait for the phone call and email on either April 17, 2009 or July 22, 2009 for the first and second draws! What an experience this would be!

I have a new book to start tomorrow! I saw it on Rachel's blog and knew I had to have this one so placed my order and it was in my mailbox when I got home from this mornings run. I will post my review once I have completed it cover to cover. I'm looking forward to the New Year being filled with consistent running and fun cross training times out ice hiking and snowshoeing. Once spring buds, I hope to be in great shape to run some races, bike lots and start climbing big mountains again! I have yet to make a list of my "for sure 2009 races" but will work on that over the next few days.

2008 Was a banner year for me, activity-wise! Once I got going I couldn't stop and I know now, I never want to stop! The picture and caption on the very bottom of my blog sums it up " I will get there one way or another!" Check it out at the very bottom!

The past couple of weeks were spent trying to avoid icy conditions for running, walking and driving! Tomorrow, we are going in search of ice! Stay tuned!

Wishing all of you a healthy, fun and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

One Window Closed, One Left To Go

I'm not going to be including graphs in my posts unless it turns out to be a spectacular one, but I am having so much fun with my new Garmin and this is today's discovery! I can graph my run! You are probably thinking "she is such a Garmin virgin!" Hey, you were there once too! Today's run was the second last window of opportunity to run this year! Work finished early so as soon as I got home, I changed and was out the door again. I got quite the knee and ankle workout fighting my way along that hard, bumpy, packed, snow. The two dips in pace are when I hit the stop light at the major intersection. I even figured out how to program the 305 to stop when I stop! It's like letting it know whose boss! When I made my final stop, this was the tally:

Time: 33:56 min
Distance: 5:14 km
Pace: 6:36 min/km

The last window will open sometime on the 31st!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spiky to the Rescue

I was out the door a half hour before sunrise this morning! It seemed bright because of the snow that fell in the wee hours of the morning and was continuing to fall. What I thought were called "Icers" for my hiking boots are actually called "Spiky" and they fit my runners perfectly and were perfect for today's conditions. Spiky is a more fun name, I think! I was happy to see that my favourite little Canadian Tire route had been plowed except for two big snow banks I had to maneuver over but not happy to realize it is not 5km in distance, thanks to my brand new Garmin! Because it came up short, I ran around a bit once I got closer to home just to bring it up over 5km and this is what I came up with:

Time: 35:20
Distance: 5.12km
Pace: 6:54 min/km

There will be two more windows of opportunity to run before calling 2008 a wrap!

Today's run is done, now it's time to celebrate with Ms M and Lady Bell. Today will be a Christmas celebration, a New Year's celebration but the best reason to celebrate will be because on December 22nd Lady Bell was declared cancer free! WooHoo! Yippie! Yeehaw! Yahoo!

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's A Keeper!

My new Garmin Forerunner 305 that is! I took it for a test drive this morning. I only touched on a tiny portion of its potential for my run which was the tracking of time/distance/pace. I have so much to figure out yet, like why was it making those swirlie noises every now and then and how to program it to do 10&1 alerts. I'm amazed at how it picked up the satellites immediately and continued to perform even when I run underneath the Crowchild overpass. I like knowing exact details and today's are:

Time: 51:40 min
Distance: 8.18 km
Pace: 6:19 min/km

My friends and family acknowledge my passion for lighthouses! More wonderful gifts! Adventure Seeker hosts her weekly T.G.I.F. Photo Friday post and this is my contribution today!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Greetings & Great Gifts

Today I am introducing myself as a new member of "Runners' Lounge" by participating in their weekly event called "Take It and Run Thursday"! This week's theme is "Holiday Greetings and Great Gifts." I was a lucky girl this Christmas, receiving many nice things, I guess that's because I was good! One of my favourite things is shown in the photo! Yes, I love my new Garmin, but it's the personalized running journal that takes the prize! I received the journal from my friend J Mo who is also a runner. She ordered it from personallogs, check it out! Her choice of photo is one she had that I took at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, B.C. when we ran the 2006 Royal Victoria Half Marathon. I remember the beautiful autumn day we strolled through the park admiring the scenery, talking about our hopes and dreams for the future, and trying to get the perfect shot! This journal's cover reflects the months of running with J Mo and our trip to Victoria. On January 1, 2009 when I open it to make my first entry, it will be the beginning of a brand new journey!

While the gifts where you get to untie ribbons and rip off paper to open up are fun and great to receive, there is also a great gift to open up and that is your heart! I spent seven hours with my sister today, both of us with our hearts wide open and I tell you, that has to be the greatest gift of all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Yes I can count! That stands for another 8km on Christmas Eve! I drove down to the Curling Club and ran the Crowchild Loop from there. I'm glad I ran when I did at 10:00am, because as I type this now, the winds have picked up and are whipping the snow around! My run was quicker and smoother today, it was warmer so not as many layers were needed. Yet, it was cold enough to make my cheeks pink. I like when that happens!

I have been putting together a plan to attack that will get me into fine form to run the Calgary Marathon on May 31st, 2009. Two races I am considering along that journey are the Calgary Police Half Marathon and Woody's Red Deer Half Marathon. Both of those fall on weekends where my proposed plan calls for 19km and 23km training runs. Once the new year arrives, I'll firm up my attack plan!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry in the Mountains

...and the winner is! Both Ms M and I came away from today winners! Our stars were aligned for a fabulous day and that is exactly what we had!

After an eight minute ride up the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, this is where we landed, 2281 meters (5194 feet) above sea level, the place where the battle would be begin! We enjoyed a feast first, for our bellies and then our eyes. Ms M choose to stick closer to home base. (I wondered if her reason was to sneak inside and tamper with the deck!)
I ventured out along the walkway along with a few others who braved the cold and the wind.
Then it was time for the game to begin. This was our view as we set up the crib board and shuffled the cards, we were looking down onto the townsite of Banff. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see the Banff Springs Hotel in the bottom right corner. I had a difficult time staying focused on the game. The scenery was distracting as was my thermos full of a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate. One hour later, the match ended in my favour. Ms M's competitiveness came out, she wanted the rematch, then and there! We had more sightseeing to do so the duel will carry on, on another date at another place!
On our list to see was the Vermillion Lakes area. It's a wetlands where about 250 species of birds migrate to. So many people have never been down this road, they just drive by not even knowing this beautiful area exists.
Then it was on to Bow Falls! No falls to see today but the sun on the mountains off in the distance caught my eye. We knew now, with the light getting low, it was time to head on back to Calgary.
Banff is always beautiful and today, I felt merry to be in the mountains. We could not have asked for a more perfect day. Thank you Ms M for sharing the day with me. Thank you for the Christmas Tree decoration, another story to add to my autobiography tree, a remembrance of our Gondola adventure.

Revenge on a MountainTop

Ms M wants her revenge! I told her she would have to meet me on a mountaintop for the showdown! This will involve no physical activity but a sharp mind and luck of the draw! The car is equipped to get us safely to the base of the mountain. Essentials for the afternoon duel are packed! Let the game begin! And the winner is........! Stayed tuned!

Monday, December 22, 2008

8 km of Scrunchie

Scrunchie was the sound heard every time my foot landed during my 8km run this morning. I am off work all week so making the best of my time and getting some runs in. Today seemed easier then Saturday. The groove happened pretty quick and I motored in the sunshine and -24 degrees which the forecasters said felt like -32 because of the windchill. I got the layers right this time so it made for a comfortable run too.

This morning's run took me 50:22! This is something new for me, to post my time on my blog. I have kept my times pretty much under cover all along. It feels strange to post this information, like I am revealing something very private and personal. I know my race times are available to the world on the results sites but that doesn't bother me.

I am now a member of the Runners' Lounge. I was wondering where everyone was hanging out, so went looking, and I found you! I know this will be a place I can frequent when it gets down to the nitty gritty of marathon training and if by any chance the going gets tough, I will be able to reach out for motivation and support.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Can't Snowshoe! Then Run!

Here we go again! Oh no we don't! The body doesn't have a cold but the forecast does! So what does one do when it's too cold to snowshoe! Well, run, of course! Instead of moving at a slow pace for 10km in the mountains, I choose to move at a quicker pace for the 8km Crowchild Loop around the river. That distance was perfect for today's weather of sunshine and -28 degrees Celsius. The pathway was clear and for most of the 8km I was able to find clear dry pavement to run on. Even though it was bitterly cold, it was quite pretty. The scenery never ceases to amaze me.
This run was exactly what the doctor ordered, my cabin fever has cleared for the time being.

Now I can relax inside where it's cozy and warm.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Greeting To You!

For those of you who drop in to visit me here, this is my greeting to you! I hope to catch you before you head away for the holidays. I have done many cross-stitch and needle point projects in my life. Many projects hang on my walls and lots more have been gifts to others. This is one I did for my Mom and Dad many years ago and they use to hang it up in their home every Christmas. Now it hangs near my front door in my home at Christmas time. It makes me think of all the words that would be on a greeting card! This is my card to you:

Here's to great times with family and friends!
May you find joy in all that you do!
Sending wishes for peace in your world around you!
I hope your holidays are filled with everything you love!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Another plan is in place to get that first snowshoe of the season in on Saturday! I'm ready this time just like I was the last time but wimped out because I caught a cold! This time I am fine but the weather will be cold! My boots are good for -45 Degrees Celsius but the forecast is for a mere -22C, so this should be smooth sailing. I have all the other warm gear including HEAT FACTORY Hand Warmers which are good for 10 hours. Our plan is to snowshoe for 4 hours, so once again, this should be smooth sailing. Our destination is Chester Lake which is close to two hours (driving time this time of year) west of Calgary along the Smith Dorien Highway.

PS: I just realized that when I look at "All The Buzz" on the right of my blog to check out your latest post, what should be listed as your latest post is not necessarily your last post! I will have to pay more attention so as not to miss what you have to share!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Could Have...

...but I won't be, and that makes me feel disappointed!

At the first of the year when I added the Ticker Factory Counter to my blog, my goal was to have it read 1000 kilometers by the end of this year. I am no where near there and here it is December 16th! There is no way it is going to happen!

I was doing so well the first half of the year and came up 4 kilometers short of reaching 500 by June 30th but at that time I knew I would have this in the bag come December 31st. Even though I did three half marathons in the second half of the year, my training was not as consistent and as often. After the Kelowna Half in October I changed my goal to cut back on running, to take a rest and enjoy other activities. Deep down inside I still really wanted that Ticker Factory Counter to read 1000kms on December 31st. There would be only one way that would happen, I had to run and I didn't.

I read NikeMom this morning and she posed a question, "what is the single biggest thing holding you back from your goal?", this got me thinking about not reaching my goal! I read the mileage accumulated for the year so far on others' blogs and the distances are amazing and I admire you for that! I know I could do it but I won't be and this disappoints me that I gave up on a goal I set for myself!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What could it be....!

It doesn't jingle when I shake it!
There is no aroma when I smell it!
It isn't soft but a hard square box!
It's 6 x 6 x 6 inches!
Hmmm! What could it be!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Layers, Layers & Layers

When it's minus 29C with a windchill of minus 39C, it's all about many layers and making it a short and quick run! I think I look pretty scary in this shot! Sometimes I even wear sunglasses, then I look really scary. If you look closely, you will see the polar bear on the front of my hat and one of the side of my gaitor. J Mo's and D Mo's Mom made this set for me a few years back and it is perfect for conditions like today! It's made of fleece, it allows me to breathe through the material plus keeps me warm.

Three layers were enough for what I think was about a 4 km run. I ended up sticking to residential roads that were paved and sidewalks that were clear so it was a round-about run and not my normal from home run. Going from the sidewalks to the roadways was quite an ankle workout and that slowed me down a bit. Boy, I wish I knew exactly how far I ran. If I had a Garmin, I would know for sure!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Autobiography Tree

My Christmas Tree is up! After running yesterday's Santa Shuffle, I truly got into the spirit! My tree doesn't have a theme or a color scheme but as I finished hanging each decoration and stood back to look at it, I realized it told a lot about me. My Christmas Tree is my Autobiography Tree!I enjoy travelling and these are two of the many places I have been.
I even sailed on the Bluenose out of it's home port of Lunenburg!

I use to be a figure skater and liked to roller skate too!

Now I run and snowshoe!

I love anything and everything that has to do with lighthouses!

I will always remain true to my roots!

Along with the enjoyment I get from sitting by my Christmas Tree today, it also brings back memories of wonderful, fun times I have had over the years.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Little More Than A Shuffle

This little fun run sure has grown since I last participated in it! It's nice to see the turn out for a great cause! The air had that maritime feel to it...foggy, damp and it chilled you to the bone! The atmosphere, on the other hand, was warm, cheery and it filled your heart with that Christmas spirit. Just like about 75% of the runners, I wore my Santa hat. It felt warm half way through but I kept it on just to keep in the festive mood! This was just what I needed to get me out the door this morning. I'm not 100% health-wise yet but getting there. I was glad it was just 5km. Even though it was a fun run, I had fun but still tried to go for a respectable clock time which I did get and to get that I had to do a little more than just a shuffle. It was rough going the last couple of minutes.
We were entertained by the Heebee Geebees. They looked the part in their hats and instead of Santa suits, they donned their Calgary Flames Jerseys while they sang a string of holiday songs.
Subway was a sponsor and donated the food. I devoured one of their ham and cheese foot long subs and chips. A couple of the big boys were there to support the cause. Here they are, two members of the 2008 Grey Cup Champions, Derek Armstrong and Sandro DeAngelis.
Running gets serious at times, but participating in today's fun run reminded me why I enjoy it so much and what got me into it in the first place. For me it's important to throw one of these into the mix every now and then!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shuffle Like Santa

It's fun!
It's a run!
It's a good cause!

I entered the 5km Santa Shuffle being held at Eau Claire tomorrow morning at 10:00. It's been a few years since I did this one and I thought it's about time I shuffle like Santa again. By entering the race and buying a shirt, I can help feed a family this Christmas. The Salvation Army is a good charity to support any time of year. To really get into the festive spirit, I bought a Santa hat to wear! I wonder will we have a dusting of snow for the fun run! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sporty Christmas Wishes

With the colder weather and the dusting of snow, my thoughts are turning to joys of Christmas! Although I don't believe the gifts are the true joy, I am a child at heart and love toys! Runner Leana posted her wish list and asked her fellow bloggers what was on their wish list! This Christmas I will be picking and buying for myself, from the list I made for Santa. I should know this Thursday how much I can spend!

I would like to have a GPS for running. In checking out the different kinds and peoples' opinions, Garmin is the way to go. I am leaning towards the Forerunner 205 but not exactly positive on that just yet. I need to investigate a tiny bit more.

I would like to have a brand new helmet for biking! The one I have been wearing is about 18 years old and drives me nuts! It's itchy it's hot it's ugly! I would like a nice breezy one that somewhat matches the color of my bike.

When I hit the snowshoe trails and hiking trails, I would absolutely love to have one of these. It's a Garmin 60CSX with lots of bells and whistles! I like knowing elevation, direction, distance, being able to look at maps, all that kind of stuff when I'm out there in the wilderness. I would never have to worry about getting lost and would feel safer going off the beaten tracks!

Now I just have to make sure I am on my best behavior and not naughty!
What is on your wish list for Christmas this year!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Clearing Congestion

One more day is what I need before facing my work desk! From past experience, I know a good way to clear congestion is to lace up the runners and hit the road for a short one. I just got back from a short one! I wore my favourite Royal Victoria Half Marathon shirt which is so comfy and cozy and it was perfect for the conditions of sunshine and +5 C. I went for 32 minutes and needed two short walk breaks. In addition to clearing the congestion, it cleared the cobwebs and soul too! There was only one issue! No tissue! So......well, what's a runner to do! Now I need a nap!