Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Morning Meander

Today's Run

On the verge of summer!

I felt swift and light!
A runner's delight!

Out and Back to Edworthy
+12 Degrees Celcius at Start
Blue Sky and Sunshine

My new shirt feels like no shirt, it's a keeper!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Women's World

This morning was all about us! Us females from 20 month old children to 70 something year old women and girls and ladies of every age in between. This race showed what we gals are made off!

The weather Goddess was not on our side but it didn’t keep us home. We braved it, and faced the elements..wind, rain, cold! The roadway God did not support us either! We veered around rain filled potholes, we jumped over curbs and we hopped by bumps and humps and stomped through wet fields.

We took the cards we were dealt with and rose above those Gods and Goddesses. We reached within to find our optimistic spirit and positive outlook to make a gloomy morning bright! We ladies do this very well! It always brightens the day when you can spent part of it with good friends!

...if I have to...I can do anything!
...I am strong!
...I am invincible!
...I am woman!
Helen Reddy

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We’re Worthy Women

...of having our own race! Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of this city’s race just for women.

The name has changed over the years from Bonnie Bell Women’s Run to Brooks Women’s Run now it stands as Calgary Women’s Run and Walk.

This will be a fun run for me! The choices were either 5.5km or 10km, I opted for the 5.5km this time around. It will be a morning to share with a few hundred of my runnings sisters. It has been eight years since I’ve done this race and I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, even the men who are the volunteers and supporters for our run!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Refreshing Run

That it t’was, in more ways then one!

This was to be my first run since the Half on Sunday! I felt ready, had game, but it was pouring rain! I himmmed and hawwwed, my left side of the brain was trying to live up to what it is best known for! I heard the wind blow, I just didn’t want to go! When I saw the trees bend, I thought my feet still need to mend! On the window the rain hit, I felt maybe I should just sit!

Come on girl, you’re stronger than that! Walk out that door, get those feet in motion, just do it!

With the rain and wind at my back to start, I sailed was a breeze, floating along everything felt good and the run was quite smooth. The return trip wasn’t bad either, even going into the rain and wind. I tipped the brim of my cap, pushed forward, it wasn’t a float or a sail along, didn’t feel like a rogue wave or choppy seas either, but more like a ripple or a gentle tide rolling in! Wooo, where did I just go!

It was a refreshing run! Rain-wise and Spirit-wise!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Top of the World

...just kind of sums up how I feel these days! I’m milking it for all it’s worth because I know in life this doesn’t last forever! I contribute these feelings to being away from work and having the time to fill my days with what I find most enjoyable.

Here I am, in Banff, feeling on top of the world when I look at what surrounds me from the top of Sulphur Mountain. It was a day packed with what Banff means to me. A lunch on the bench by the river, taking in the sight of the turquoise water. My treat of a visit to Lush and coming out with a paper bag of products. Aaaahh sweet treats too, jelly beans from the candy store and bear claws from the chocolate shop. I enjoyed seeing Bow Falls at this time of year, the falls tumbling thunderously over the rocks creating a haze of mist. The trip up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola was the hi-lite of my day. Feeling high, on top, up....there you go, how else can you feel then on top of the world when you are on top of the world!

To have days like these, I realize I have to put in my time at work. I’m already looking forward to my next away from work time, and I already know what that time will look like and consist off!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Red Deer...Oh Dear!

Oh the possibilities!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Emerson This is the saying on the back of the Red Deer Half Marathon race shirt. What lies within us lets us broaden our horizons on what the possibilities are and gives us the courage to confront them, this is how I decipher that phrase!

I put added pressure on myself to make sure I completed this half marathon by buying my reward once I arrived in Red Deer on Saturday. I had to cross the finish line because the store was not open Sunday to return the items if I was not successful with the task ahead of me and I would be returning to Calgary shortly after the race.

Standing with 1400 of my extended family members at the start, I drifted off. To where, I don’t know (maybe to the finish line)! The gun went off, I jumped, I yelled and then I ran! That’s how I was brought back to reality!

The route was so scenic, I paid particular attention this time. I ran around lakes, up and down hills, over bridges, through tree lined pathways, by upscale neighborhoods and past boat docks and boats. The volunteers were plentiful and of all ages as were the enthusiastic supporters! I heard rock music and country to boot. I heard cow bells, hoots and hollers, and saw numerous motivational home made signs being held by children. All this support came at the most trying times! These folks knew where and when they were needed the most! There was no escaping photographers, they seemed to be around every corner, catching us off guard. If I drank at every water station, I would float to the finish line. What tremendous support and organization from beginning to end. Thank you all for that!

She’s called Mother Nature for a reason, not Father Nature! Today she could not make up her mind. With high humidity and cloud to start, she shortly thereafter sprinkled on us. She offered strong breezes which we accepted. Her skies opened to sunshine to tease us, to heat us, then for a few minutes she poured her rain down on us which we were appreciative off. A strong wind blew the clouds away and presented us with a clear blue sky and by now scorching sun and this is what she followed us to the finish line with. What would Father Nature’s weather report have been?

With about three minutes to go, we were faced with the toughest hill of all! I remember this from five years ago and I hoped the little cheerleaders would be there again. They were not there, probably because they are old enough now to be running the race themselves! But something even better was there, a loud, thundering, heart rattling sound system belting out "Eye of the Tiger"! "Face to face...out in the heat...hanging tough...staying hungry...they stack the odds still we take to the street...for the kill and the skill to survive..."
Between that song and the crowd support, that hill was a walk in the park.

It was all downhill from there and on to the finish. With a wide open lane, my endorphins hitting the roof, I lengthened my stride and put the pedal to the metal. I jubilantly raised my arms high in the air, smiled big and as I crossed the finish line I thought to myself, " I am the finisher of two half marathons in three weeks! I proved it! It’s possible! Oh dear...what’s next!" Now I need a race where I can wear my well deserved reward!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2003 Half...2008 Half

Time to reminisce! Five years ago, three running friends and I completed the Red Deer Half Marathon! It was the 5th anniversary of the race, this year it’s the 10th!

Running it in 2003 was an experience to remember and I hope this one will be too but for more of the right reasons. The circumstances this time so far, are different in many ways. I hope the pattern continues and the circumstances remain different and it’s looking like that could be a possibility!

In 2003, three of us set out to conquer! We trained together, we drove to Red Deer together, we shared a room together! We had our dinner at a local restaurant, we toasted with a glass of wine and then enjoyed a tea at Starbucks afterwards and before heading to our room, spent time at Chapters. Two of us not brave enough to buy the books we choose, the third more brave, did it for us! On not the greatest night sleep, we had cold and wind to face us on race morning. None of us were feeling 100%. One friend was still recovering from the flu, one friend was nursing a not so happy knee after completing a half just three weeks prior. And me, I woke with a migraine headache! We did conquer though! Not the most fun time, not the fastest time! But we have the medals to prove we showed courage, guts, fortitude, perseverance and that we were not quitters!

This time around, I trained by myself! I am motoring up on my own and will have the room to myself! Not always the favourite way for these things to go, but that’s life! I have spaghetti to pop in the microwave, there will be no wine and I do not feel the onset of a migraine. So far so good. The forecast is much different with a race start temperature predicted to be +15 and sunny.

My hopes are I can share a positive report in about 26 hours!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Civilized Run

No need to be on my toes this morning! For this morning's shorter run, I went with the road less traveled! Without incident, my shorter run was done and I was home before I knew it. Way to go, it was a great shorter run!

Now I’m ready for the longer one, the Red Deer Half Marathon on Sunday. Once again, I am experiencing another first when it comes to my running. This first is a second half marathon in three weeks. Is this possible? For many I am sure but is it for me? I will know in less than 45 hours.

I feel fine! I feel ready! I feel excited! I feel apprehensive!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cold As Slow Molasses

...picnic table, cooler of cold foods, plastic plates and cutlery, picnic basket, table cloth...

Package all these together and allow your mind to paint a picture! What does it look like? Possibly a picnic taking place on a nice warm sunny day!

Today the molasses would not pour! The butter hardened and the salads got chillier as they sat mid table. All this leads me to believe that inside the cooler was warmer then the cooler air outside the cooler where we thought it should be warmer!

The picnic table nestled in the midst of new fallen snow which fell on top of inches of old snow. Picnickers self-cuddling on the folded thrice quilt covered bench. Bundled in four layers, cotton-fleece-leather- windbreaker. This is not a painted picture but a shot of the actual site. Today’s picnic with my very good friend was wonderful! It was cold but yet it was still wonderful!

To say "nothing comes between me and my finger food" would be a lie! We have gloves to prove it! Our gloves are now sporting chicken, molasses, butter and timbits. Our crib tournament will take place at another time when we can play with bare hands.

The extra time on our hands (not on our gloves) due to no crib tourney was put towards a few "down-road adventures"! We’re not into those off-road adventures! You probably wonder lots of times what’s down those roads you always just pass on by. Today we did lots of curiosity satisfying! Just look at my car, you can tell from that we were up to something!

It is always a pleasure to share a day with my very good friend, and today was a pleasure even though it was cold. Still yet, I have to admit it is good to be back home where the molasses will now pour!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Runner On Her Toes!

This morning’s run was a first of a kind for me. It was a longer run done early in the morning on a weekday. I choose to do a neighborhood run from home around 6:30 am. I could have my coffee and a bite to eat and it would be light and off I could go!

I was surprised at the level of bustle already in my neck of the woods that early in the morning. Well, we are a growing city with over 1,000,000 folks now. It was a good thing this runner was bustling on her toes because the driving bustlers were not. I saw it all with this mornings drivers! Map reading, coffee drinking, banana peeling, makeup applying, phone chatting, even phone texting! I am lucky to have completed my run and made it home in one piece.

I learned a new lesson on my morning run! Road rules are different at 6:30 am then they are at 6:30 pm. A walk light does not mean it is safe to walk! A stop light does not mean stop! A yellow flashing pedestrian crossing does not mean, stop cars and let the lady cross! Pedestrians do not have the right to be in cross walks!

I have heard stories about drivers despising runners! Was that the reason for today’s happenings? If I were walking would it have been different? Was it because the bustling drivers were still half asleep? Or maybe they were more attentive to their morning in the car routines!

I felt like a cat with nine lives this morning! I like to think I live on the edge sometimes but this mornings events brought a whole new meaning to the term!

That’s my rant!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mileage for Mother

The numbers are guesstimates but here goes!

7000 x 10km = 70000
7000 x 5km = 35000

There you go, roughly 105,000 kilometers were run this morning in Calgary for Mothers and that’s wonderful support for the Calgary Health Trust!

What a great way to spend this Sunday morning! With two good running friends and a 20 month old and by the way, this was her 3rd race already! Way to go K! On Mother’s Day, Mother Nature did what she does well! She shone sunshine on us for the entire race. Not deemed to be a race to get your fastest time (unless you are one of those elites who have earned the right to line up at the 4 min/km marker) but most definitely, a race to have your most fun time at!

We each had our own personal plan of attack for today’s run and before heading our separate ways, we designated a special spot to converge upon once our attack was conquered. The after attack is always an enjoyable time, with endorphins brimming over we share our attack stories, savour a cup du cafĂ©, take fun photos and collect goodies that are there for the taking. Beautiful roses for all the ladies is an added touch that’s special!

It was nice to share today with my good friends especially with my friend running the Mother’s Day Race for the first time as a Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thinking of Mom!

The Sport Check Mother’s Day Run & Walk is one of the largest races in the city of Calgary! That alone says something about Mothers and Women!

Tomorrow, many folks will be running and walking with their Mom, running for their Mom and running as a Mom. One of my good friends will be participating in this event for the first time as a Mom with her sweet little girl. I will be running this race with the thousands who will be doing so in dedication to the memory of their Mom.

I look into my inmost mind,
And here her inspiration find!
In all I am and hear and see,
My precious Mother is with me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Runner’s Rainy Run

In shirt, shorts, sneakers (old ones), sunglasses I step out my front door, squint my eyes behind my shades, the sun is shining!

Two minutes into my run, a gust of wind surrounds me, black clouds appear in the blink of an eye and, just like that, a few droplets turn to a down pour. The rain keeps pace with me all the way to my turn around point and even turns around with me and accompanies me on my run home.

With my shades in hand, I bow my head so I can see where I’m heading. My sneakers now squishing, my wicking cloths can wick no more, I struggle to get this run over with, to get home to dry out.

Two minutes before the end of my run, a gust of wind surrounds me, black clouds disappear in the blink of an eye, and just like that, the down pour turns to a few droplets. In soaked shorts, shirt and sneakers, I arrive at the step to my front door, squinting my eyes, the sun is shining!

That was today’s run! It’s Calgary! What can you expect!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bounce is Back

New Socks, New Runners
Spongy and Springy
Today's Run
Edworthy and Return
15 km
Sunny, Blue Sky, Light Breeze
+3 C at Start; +13 C at Finish
My new New Balance 858 Sneakers are Keepers

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stars Shine

...and they certainly did tonight! Myself, friends and friends of friends were bedazzled by the stars (on winning tickets at that)!

It was a night full of music ranging from hard rock to classical and some stuff in between like country and blues all bellowed out in sync with flips and dips, swirls and twirls.

So many stars, unique in their own way, each with something special to offer. They entertained us with their talent and their brightness. The smooth, flat, glistening, cold surface is their canvas to artistically paint us a story. These stars shine brightly when they lace up the boots, sharpen the blades and step onto the ice to perform in the "Stars on Ice" show!

What a wonderful show it was and a fun time with friends!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My First Run Since...

This evening was my first run since the big one last Sunday, and it felt wonderful! Aaahh! All parts were in working order and felt fine.

I can’t ever remember running on a Friday evening before but the stars were aligned to do so. The sky was partly sunny, included was a bit of a breeze and the temperature was up there enough to sport shorts again. It was the first day too that I was able to get around with out any reminder that I had completed 21km just a few short days ago. Those running gurus say be smart and listen to your body and don’t push it by doing too much too soon. I heeded their advice and the five day wait was a tall order to fill but I abided by that running rule and now I am good to go!

I look forward to sharing the morning of May 11th with two of my close running friends and about 12,000 of my extended family members as we hit the downtown streets to run the 10km Mother's Day Race. The countdown is on!