Monday, July 28, 2008

My Day! Fun Day!

What a fun time yesterday was celebrating the day with three very special friends Ms M, Princeton Pal and Lady Bell . I felt like what I think a queen might feel like. I detected a "western water" theme for the day with brunch at The Ranche at Fish Creek and the afternoon at Heritage Park which sits on the bank of the Reservoir.

As we were approaching the entrance to The Ranche, we heard claps and classical music. An exchange of vows had just been performed which to me was unusual for a Sunday but according to our waiter, they fit events like this in when ever they can. It was a nice setting for the couple to begin their union and an even nicer setting to spent a couple of hours with my friends being merry!

It looks like Heritage Park is under going renovations and construction just like everywhere else in Calgary. The main attractions on our agenda were a tour of the Glenmore Reservoir on the SS Moyie (check out my post titled "The Young Lady and the Sea), the bakery and of course, the candy store. We popped into the Wainwright for a glass of wine and to make a toast to the day. We topped of our visit at the Park with a sit down with our feet up, nestled in a garden setting watching squirrels and bunnies.

Thank you for all you did for me and gave me! Thank you for today and making me feel special!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Young Lady and the Sea

It t’was to be, but just a simple Sunday sail! In summer wear of tonka truck yellow T and scholastic plaid shorts, the sun did shine and the beads of sweat did form. Oh, if only a cool breeze would brush past us. (They always say, watch what you ask for, it might come true!) I posed on the deck of the vessel for a quick snapshot before we lifted anchor to head out to sea. Little did I know at the time, I may need the chain that lay beside my feet.
As we reach cruising knots consistent with what is regulatory on these seas, we settle in, feeling the slight breeze and the gentle roll. You can’t help but notice the air is filled with the smells of seafaring. We take in sights as we pass by other vessels and we watch as the land becomes more distant. Off to the western sky, tis now a menacing look . With a flash of lightening, we count the seconds hoping not to hear the thunder too soon! Five seconds, means five miles! Too close! The dark clouds closed in on us as we moved further away from land. The sky lit up with flash after flash after flash! My wish came true! Only now I would rather have done without but the wind whipped up a frenzy! The roll was no longer gentle! The breeze no longer slight!
The wicked wind brought along showers which did not deter us from moving off the deck but in the wink of an eye, the few drops turned on us and we were now being pelted with hail! Golf ball size hail some compared it to! Some said it was pea size, others said soccer ball size! One thing I do know, it was not the hail that splats and turns to mush. This hail bounced off heads and shoulders and off the deck and it danced and it spiraled out of control.
For our own safety, we needed to take shelter! Into the belly of the vessel we went. Swaying back and forth, we no longer had sea legs. We donned slickers and tried to make our way to a place where we were protected and where we could hold on tight and ride out this storm while the Captain brought us safely back to land.
This was our adventure today on the SS Moyie as we paddle wheeled around the Glenmore Reservoir at Heritage Park!

That’s My Prerogative

I wasn’t going to!
I had no one to stop me!
I couldn’t help myself!
So I just did it!
I changed my mind!
I ran!
So much for a two week rest!

Today’s Run

My favourite Canadian Tire route was my destination! I wanted to run in the rain but it stopped as I walked out the door at 5:55 am. The air felt crispy and fresh. The peaking sun was crimson orange. The only sounds were of the odd car, plenty of chirping birds, the slight impact of my soles on the pavement and my steady quiet breaths! This run was a joy! I like em like that! Now I look forward to the whole day ahead of me to share with my friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thankful for Today!

I can’t remember when I last got to sleep in! I did this morning! I even napped after breakfast! It was heaven to have the opportunity to luxuriate!

It was a perfect day to visit with a friend while doing a river walk and hanging out by the cool water watching the puppies and people play. This is the foot wear that got me out the door and going today. It was a good chance for my toes to breath and for my big toes to continue to heal.
I noticed lots of lots today! Lots of dogs, lots of sunshine, lots of bikers, lots of river floaters, lots of blue sky, lots of friendly folks (the nice weather makes us that way) and lots of pink shirts being worn by all the participants walking 35km today in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer!
There just seem to be lots of good about today and I am thankful for that!

Birthday Weekend!

That’s what it has become at this point! Actually, already, it will even be slipping over into next weekend! I take a little time to reflect where I was at this point in my life last year, what I have to show for my life over the year and where I see myself this time next year and what I would like to fill my life with over this coming year! This is like my New Year’s resolution time!

Another year older, another year wiser! This birthday weekend, it’s time to live in the now and share time with friends! That’s my priority!

Investing time with friends has taken priority over any kind of activity of any sort! I haven’t felt like being active since running last Sunday. My bike sits at my front door, with the helmet hanging on the handle bar. A running outfit and all the other gear sits on a chair in my bedroom ready to be thrown on. That’s all they are doing, just sitting there!

I know a good rest is needed at times. I’ve been there before and the rest has always paid off in the long run. My next planned race is the Canmore Rocky Mountain Half Marathon (even though I have not entered yet). It’s six weeks from tomorrow. I am trying to convince myself that taking two weeks off will be O.K. I have a good strong base built up since January, that a two week break should not be much of a detriment. Building back up again, I hope will come easily.

I wonder about my laziness at times! Is it even considered being lazy! Is it lack of motivation! Is it legitimate to feel this way! Am I using my birthday weekend (and extension) as an excuse! Would actually putting my money down on the race get me out the door! Do I want to get out the door! Well, I am getting out the door, just not exercising when I do so! I feel like I am looking for confirmation that what I am experiencing right now is normal and O.K.

For now, it’s time to celebrate with friends, to pamper, to throw caution to the wind, to splurge, to self indulge!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meaning of Medals!

What do your medals mean to you?

These are mine!

My medals are draped over the hooks of a coat tree that sits in a spare bedroom. The tree stands along side finishers plaques on my wall and a book shelf of running books, pictures, bibs and journals. This is my own little shrine!

I pass by this room numerous times a day and more often then not, the shiny medals and colorful ribbons catch my eye. The majority of the time, that is all they do, catch my eye. But the odd time I pay my medals a visit. The ones I have collected over eight years of running range from finishers medals from marathons, half marathons, 10kms, trail runs and in amongst them you will find a 2nd place medal for my age category in a St. Patrick’s Day Race.

Each medal tells a story and each race has its own sense of being special. Some of the medals came easier then others but I feel each is well deserved because of the honest effort put forth to achieve. At times they are my inspiration and motivation. They remind me of my accomplishments. I believe they show fortitude, depth and strength both physically and mentally.

For me my medals stand for so much more than just a reward for crossing the finish line of a race! What do your medals mean to you? Do they hold significance? Are they proudly displayed, maybe on a wall or framed behind glass? Or do you tuck yours away in a drawer, out of sight out of mind, never to be seen again? Do you have your times engraved on the back? I wonder, do Triathletes receive finishers medals?

I’m always curious to know what others say their medals mean to them! So, now I turn this over to you! Runner Leana Solo Running Chick Running Potter-Running Kelly's Running A Whole Lot of Soles

Best of Both Worlds

I had the best of both kinds of running today!

Today’s Run

3 km of solitude
8 km of socializing
out and back
further out and back
hot and sunny to start
hotter and sunnier at finish

It’s always fun to run with D & J Mo! These kinds of runs, I wish could go on for ever but they are the ones that seem to go by so quickly. It has been awhile since this trio ran together, so we had lots of catching up to do. This could not be accomplished in 8 kms of running. We included time for a coffee and a muffin after the run to get caught all the way up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Day In The Life Of...

...the luckiest girl on earth! That’s who I think I am when I get to experience a day like today!

Fantastic Friend...Magnificent Mountains...Sensational Sunshine...all the right ingredients to paint a day to remember!

Myself, along with Ms M planned a perfect package of pleasure. The destination turned out being somewhere other than expected but things happen for a reason and we realized that today and welcomed it with all our senses to thoroughly enjoy all there was.

There’s never a dull moment when we share one of our days! Today’s eight hours holds testament to that. The simplest things bring smiles and laughs and we can experience all that just two hours west of our city in beautiful Kananaskis. We set up for the day at a scenic quiet place on the edge of a lake with mountains as the backdrop. With an abundance of food to create our picnic, we savored every morsel and filled up for the energy needed to participate in the long awaited crib tournament!

With a gentle breeze, under steaming sunshine, the cards were dealt and the game was on. The mind games began, the competitiveness within brought out the fierceness in each of us. The sporadic launch of a boat or a canoe or a kayak, the chirps of ground hogs and the buzzes of bees could not deter us from deep concentration. Both wanting to become the champion, we played hard. When it all came down to it, Ms M was on top of her game today! She shone brighter and walked away the winner! I need redemption and hold you to a rematch one day!

Our day was filled with walks and talks, flower scents, the touch of cool water, others playful laughs, heart shaking low flying aircraft, friendly taste of beef, and a feast for our eyes! Something pleasing to all the senses!

All this is why I consider myself to be the luckiest girl on earth today! I treasure days like these!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zoom! Zoom!

Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Zoom Zoom

That was this evenings run!

Quick! Effortless! Painless!

If only they could all be like that!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sailing? Not Quite!

Today’s Run

...more like trying to row in rogue waves!
10 km
at 8:00 am
from Eau Claire
+19 Degrees to start, +14 Degrees at finish
what’s with that board at CBC, yesterday it said +29 Degrees at 10:00 am

It was a rough go this morning! Nothing was hurting, just my legs and feet felt heavy, almost like I was wearing cowboy boots. My calves felt wrapped up together just like the calf in the calf-roping down at the grounds. I wasn’t going anywhere fast! I didn’t have an ounce of energy to spend! Last evening’s dinner probably didn’t help much, it wasn’t pancakes but I sure felt pancaked today! Part of the problem could have been yesterday’s long bike ride, and still feeling it in my butt. Good thing I had on my biker shorts, just imagine if I didn’t...I’d feel like those saddle bronc boys after their ride!

Well, that’s today’s roundup! What do you expect when it’s Stampede Sunday Showdown! Boy, I’m glad Stampede is coming to a wind-down for another year so my "riddin n runnin" can get back to normal!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shebeest Sails

Today’s bike ride was my first bit of exercise, other than walking, since the Half Marathon last Sunday! The plan was to take Stampede Week off, enjoy the festivities plus give the body a break.

With a healthy balance between break and festivities, I woke feeling well rested and not too pancaked. Today’s ride was wickedly wonderful with the feeling I could go forever. This shebeest sailed today! The reality of it is, I do have to bike back home so on the out trip, I only go to a point where I know the return will be manageable.

I’ve done this route to Edworthy and back before. This time it was a quicker trek, I had more power to push up the hills and the walk was shorter on the last long hill just before home. My biking is just for pleasure so I tend to take it easy. I like the cloths and the gadgets but all that just makes it more pleasurable. When it comes to my running, I can be competitive within myself. Today I noticed it creeping into my biking. I wanted to push a little harder! That guy in front of me needed to be passed! That other lady was not going to reach the top of the hill before me! Yes! My biking is just for pleasure!

The route was filled with bikers, bladers, walkers and runners! I saw cops on the beat, low flying sign pulling aircraft, geese full of tom-foolery, a 75 year old gent sporting nothing but a speedo, received free mango Jugo Juice, I even noticed some of the runners decked out in last weekend’s shirt. Here's hoping this shebeest will have that sailing feeling tomorrow when I christen last weekend's shirt on the first run back after my break.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mixing Business With Pleasure

I like to keep my work life separate from my personal life and try to maintain that the best I can. Today I failed! Could it be I have a one track mind? Am I consumed?

A couple of times a year at work we re-evaluate our price forecast. We review many sources of information and numerous factors are taken into consideration to come up with a proposal to present that reflects the current situation and what is perceived to be the future situation. One of the things we check out are the historical AECO and Nymex gas prices.

Today I was collecting information and compiling it to be part of the proposal.

A list of the AECO prices should have appeared as such:
and so on and so on
(those into oil and gas know what I’m talking about here)

The list of AECO prices I prepared looked like this:
and so on and so on
(those into running know what I’m talking about here)

I looked at my list! It looked O.K. but a little off! There was something not quite right with the gas prices. I had a space cadet few seconds where I could not grasp what was going on. Something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it! Then in the blink of an eye, it all fell into place and I thought good thing I didn’t pass this on before checking through it.

I haven’t run since the race on Sunday! The plan was to take a nice rest of about a week. Obviously, physically I’m not running but it appears that mentally I am!

I failed today and got my work all mixed up with my pleasure!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Stampede RunDown

A year older than last years half!
A new age category than last years half!
Yet two minutes faster!

An appropriate theme for today’s race would have to be "forgetting"! This could be due to the "year older, new age category" thing but I would rather liken it to "due to not needing".

Our Mayor B was the race starter, horn blower today! The last time I saw him he was struggling along the Police Half Marathon route. It appears he makes a better starter then finisher!

Off we go!

I noticed the 1 km marker and saw I was on track even though with all the hustling and jostling. The next km marker I noticed was the 7 km one. I forgot to check for the others to see if I was on pace. Where did those 6 km go? That must have been when we ran through the Stampede Grounds. What I did notice there was the smell of pancakes cooking. I even detected they were smeared with a hint of syrup, butter and there was a cup of coffee on the side.

Being a 10&1 runner (for you non runners that’s run 10 minutes walk 1 minute, then repeat, repeat, repeat...and so on) my 1 is when I hydrate. I forgot to on the first two 1s but remembered on the 3rd 1. Part of the lost 6 km must have been when I was paying attention to the Rocky Mountain Goats when we raced through our Zoo. Why were they running! Imitating us? Maybe they are morning goats and have energy to burn around 7:30 am just like me.

The 54 minute time passed and I realized I forgot to gobble down my gel, so I had to take it on the run instead of on the walk. The next thing I realize 2/3rds of the race was behind me. As we approached the water station, a volunteer shouted out to us "take water". I needed that reminder to hydrate. I was forgetting to! I breeze by the station and take a drink of my own concoction instead.

Where were the kms going? I seemed to have lost a few more! I was distracted by the salsa dancers, the drummers in black, the encouraging volunteers, the motivating signs and then meeting up with the 10 km race folks and maneuvering around them. Before I knew it, I saw the "1 mile to go" sign. At that point my memory was restored. Just in time to remember all I was suppose to do from this point forward.

I remembered I could pick up the pace and I would still be O.K. I remembered to lengthen my stride. I remembered to pick of runners ahead of me one by one and leave them in the dust. I remembered to listen to the spectators roar down the home stretch, they would reel me in to the finish. I remembered to savour the last few seconds, to smile wide and I remembered to jubilantly raise both arms up high in the air in victory as I stepped on the "finish" mat underneath the "finish" sign!

The medal was placed around my neck. I looked at it only to see it blazoned with a bucking bronco. Yippie! Yeehaw! Yahoo!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Sunday of Stampede

After picking up my race pack for tomorrow’s race, I returned home and rummaged through the big heavy swag bag. In that bag was where I found my reminder of how important it is to enjoy every minute of a race and that this year’s race that will be more relevant!

On the very last page of the Race Guide Booklet, I found this...

I felt sad! This will no longer be my Stampede Run. Officially, the only thing the race now has to do with Stampede is that it’s run on the first Sunday of "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth"! The title, the sponsors, the race names are no longer Stampede related. To me, it is still the Stampede Run! I checked the 63 pages of the race guide and you would never guess a Stampede is happening other than for two small ads and a couple of coloring contest picture winners.

When I look back, many Stampede Run moments stand out.

  • Running the 10km one year with John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister of Canada at the time) and his bodyguards. He beat me!
  • Hitting the wall at the 32km marker of the marathon then digging deep to conquer it and carrying on to finish upright with a smile on my face and healthy.
  • 4 of us in a small vehicle, stripped down to our skivvies, changing cloths after running 10km in pouring rain. Good thing the windows fogged up to hide us from passer-byers.
  • Having all my friends cheering me on near the finish line of my very first marathon, not seeing them but recognizing their voices.
  • Having my picture taken with Mark Sutherland (chuckwagon driver) with my marathon finisher medal around my neck, surround by hay bails, chuckwagons and friends.

This event has been veering away from the Stampede theme and next year will make the final break. So tomorrow, I will enjoy every minute of my last Stampede Run and then look forward in anticipation of what May 31, 2009 will bring!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Shirt Shot

The verdict is in!
Blue/green this year!
My favourite colors!
They match my blog!
How cool is that!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Run Canada Run!

Thank you Canada for inviting us to your party! What a unique way to celebrate your birthday by running a 10km race with 400+ invitees. Myself, having a summer birthday, I know you always take a chance having an outside party. No worries today, we celebrated in sun! You picked an appropriate place for us all to hang out, Fort Calgary. The Fort originally built in 1875 holds a wealth of history, as you do.

My friend J Mo and I did the usual pre-race routine of potty, pictures and promos before congregating to sing "Oh Canada" a few minutes before the gun was to go off.

A few Olympic Athletes ran with us. They stood out in their tan/red colored shirts, us in our grey/red. How clever to have our race numbers printed directly onto our shirts. A sea of grey/red filled the pathway. Being an out and back course, I got to see the leaders well before I even reached the halfway turn-around mark. Well, I did see the leader, I missed the guy on his tail because I blinked!

Our Olympic Athletes were out of their environment at the finish. Instead of being on the receiving end of medals, they surrounded the finish line to present us party goers with our well deserved finishers medals.

J Mo and I met at the finish line and then did the post-race routine of food, fotos and fraternizing. Muffins, drinks, apples, bananas were not enough so we lined up for sausages and pancakes too. Ms Volunteer M joined us in line while on her break.

Happy Birthday Canada, we declared, as we departed beaming brightly with our medals around our necks!