Thursday, May 31, 2012

And The @TommieCopper Compression Shorts Winner Is...

I can hardly believe the end of May has arrived already.  Where is the time going?

I really need to spend some time thinking about my fitness goals for the month of June and I had better do it today!  But it will have to be AFTER my kettlebell workout.  Cannot miss that.

I am pleased to say that The Captain helped me choose the winner of my Tommie Copper compressions shorts giveaway.  I wrote out all the entries on separate bits of paper and put them into a little bowl...

And I asked The Captain to stir them up really well...

And then he drew one out... and showed it to me...

The lucky winner is


who writes a blog called PAMdemonium and is currently training for a marathon.  Good Luck with that and congratulations on your Tommie Copper win - which is your choice of one pair of women's or men's compression shorts.  I have already emailed you at the address your provided with your entry.

Do you have anything special coming up in June? 

What are you going to focus on, fitness-wise?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Running For Fun Again

On Sunday morning we went for our first run post-half marathon... two weeks to the day after it.

I planned a short route around the perimeter of the park across the street from our apartment... 3.61 km to be exact.  Short enough to enoy and have some fun, yet long enough to get out and stretch the legs.

I took Kyria's advice and we kept it slow and fun... chatting all the way and enjoying the flowers and all the different birds and ducks and geese, and the other people who were out, also enjoying the beautiful sunny morning.  Part of the route was on a bark path and part was on asphalt. 

It took 29 minutes so you know it was slow, but it was wonderful to be running again and I am looking forward to getting out just for fun for the next few months, at least.

W1 R29 @12/1 W5
stretch 10 minutes

I am also REALLY enjoying working with this new 10 lb. Reebok kettlebell.  I had always thought I would not really care for kettlebell work because any time I saw it (which was on the Biggest Loser now that I really think about it) they were swinging that thing up over their heads.  It looked like you could really hurt yourself if you don't do it properly, and also put it through the ceiling if you swing it too high!

But since I have been doing the workout on the accompanying DVD, I have had my eyes opened much wider and I have been looking for more and different routines... I found quite a humorous workout on You Tube that I think I may share with you later in the week.

And just to encourage me a little more, I just won a sweet little kettlebell necklace from Wym who is writing a new blog called Crossfit Super Mom, along with A Taller Order.  I can hardly wait to get it!

Are you into Crossfit?  Is it only for the youngsters?

Have you ever tried a kettlebell workout?

I just know you will love them as much as I do so I urge you to follow the link and enter.  Do it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saturday Morning Swiftsure Start

On Saturday morning we walked about a kilometer and a half, through the park to Clover Point where Swiftsure 2012 was set to get underway at 10 a.m.

It was such a warm and beautiful morning… just right to sit outdoors and enjoy a hearty pancake breakast.  But unfortunately, not the desired start to a sailing race!  It was much too calm and the first of the 4 races was delayed by about 20 minutes… waiting for the wind to freshen a bit. 

We could hear mumblings of driftsure and slowsure in the crowd.

There were 4 races in all, of varying lengths… the main race is the longest and takes the yachts out into the Pacific and back… total length about 257 km and it can take 24 hours easily.  They race through the night, in whatever weather and water conditions Mother Nature decides to throw at them.

I took several pictures and put a little movie together if you want to have a look at the start.

Swiftsure start 2012

By early afternoon the wind had picked up considerably and the racers were sure to have had some excitement!  Can’t wait to watch the local news to see how it all finished up.

What are you doing this weekend?

Have you even been sailing?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Freefall

A different kind of post for me, but I am just such so happy that I can hardly keep from jumpin' outta my skin.... here are some things that I am excited about lately....

A package arrived for me today via Fed Ex and it contained this 10 lb. Reebok kettlebell and a DVD that has 2 workouts on it.  I had a quick look at them both... beginner and intermediate, and I think I can do them!  Gonna give it a try tomorrow.

It is Swiftsure weekend here... that means the Inner Harbor marina is full of beautiful sailboats and the city is crawling with professional sailors and American tourists.  The energy is amazing and I love it.   Swiftsure is the biggest race in the Pacific Northwest.  The action relies completely on the weather conditions.

from their web site

We are getting things set up at the new apartment, slowly but surely... and I am loving being able to pick herbs and veggies out of my container garden pots and use them to cook dinner.  So far I have harvested cilantro and bok choy.

I love living across the street from an amazing park with several small lakes, colonies of herons in the trees, Canada geese, mallard ducks, squirrels, peacocks, and fresh water turtles...  It is fun to be able to watch the action from our own windows or wander over to get a closer look.

I am really loving the Titika Activewear Harlem Hoodie which is one of the items I selected with my $200 gift card win on their February Twitter promotion.  Titika is a Canadian company and I love their clothes.  In this picture I have the sleeves rolled back, but there are thumb holes in the very long sleeves and I just think they are soooo cool.  And notice what color it is?

Last night my brother, who lives in CA, called to wish me a Happy Birthday, and I talked with my nephew, who is going to be 16 in a few days, for quite a while.  It was so enjoyable as I haven't seen them for a couple of years and I loved catching up on his news.  He is so grown up, almost through grade 10, and planning an Air Force career.  I am so excited for him and so proud of my baby brother for raising such a great kid. 

And, I saw my doctor this week about the leg swelling and had some blood tests done which rule out blood clots and the possibiltiy of DVT... which is a huge relief.  I am going to be doing some follow up to find out what is causing the edema but that is another story.

On another note, The Captain and I haven't been for a run since I survived we ran our half marathon on May 13th!  Tonight I will be mapping out a new route in the neighborhood for us to run on Sunday.  Looking forward to seeing how the legs work.  Wish me luck!

What are you excited about lately? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Thanks so much to those of you who sent Happy Birthday wishes to me today!

I have had a wonderful birthday... the day started out with breakfast, by The Captain... a smiley face to start things off on a happy note.

Later we walked downtown and enjoyed the sunshine...  had a lovely Chinese lunch and then came back home where I have been spoiled with cards and phone calls.

Here are some images from the day...

The Oriole belongs to the Canadian Navy

The Inner Harbor marina is filling up as a world class sailing race called Swiftsure is taking place here this weekend.

The famous Empress Hotel

The British Columbia Legislature... this is where our provincial government sits.

Don't forget to enter my Tommie Copper giveaway!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thanks @TommieCopper - Compression Shorts Review/Giveaway

I have been in love with Tommie Copper products for some time now.  I was introduced to this wonderful company and their innovative copper-infused compression garments last Fall when I won a calf sleeve and a ladies tee in a Twitter contest.

That tee helped get me through the recovery after some eye surgery where I had to keep my face down and parallel to the floor for 20 hours out of 24, for 3 very long days.  I wore my Tommie Copper tee and it helped stave off back and shoulder soreness.  If you want to read that review, it is here.  Since then I have worn it running on cooler days and also after upper body workouts to help soothe my sore muscles.

And I have worn my calf sleeve many many times to help ward off muscular cramping and also to help recover from long runs while I was training for my first half marathon.  I have edema in my left leg occasionally and the calf sleeve is a wonderful compression garment that helps support my legs.

The Captain is a big fan of Tommie Copper compression gear as well.  He has a tee which he has worn for every run since he got it, and he also wears a Tommie Copper beanie when he heads outdoors in cold weather.  We reviewed them on this post.

Occasionally I suffer from pain in the outer socket of my left hip when I run.  It doesn't happen all the time, and there doesn't seem to be any apparent cause for it.  At first I thought that it happened because I let my stride get too long when I was trying to run faster or when I was getting tired.  But then I started using the Chi Running Technique and have shortened my stride considerably and I still occasionally get that hip pain. 

It comes without warning, and when it strikes it is miserable.  And nothing I do while I am running helps.  The only way to stop it is to quit running.  If I take a walk break it stops, but starts up if Ibegin to  run again.  It is no fun and impossible to ignore.  It doesn't seem to be delibilitating, just painful.  I can keep running, it just hurts... a lot.

And it doesn't seem to happen at any particular distance either.

During my half marathon training, I had hip pain when I did a five mile run, and then not again for several weeks.  No pain at 8 miles, 9 miles 10 miles, or even 11 miles... and then severe pain again at the 5 mile point during an 8 mile run. 

That particular day, after I got out of my epsom salts soak in the tub, I was really wishing I had some Tommie Copper compression shorts to wiggle into... and Someone was smiling on me because they arrived in the mail the next day... along with a new pair of olive green calf sleeves.  Hallelujah!  I was thrilled and so grateful to Jordan at Tommie Copper yet one more time.

I took the shorts out of the package and put them on immediately... and I wore them for most of the next 2 weeks leading up to my half marathon.  I handwashed them, let them air dry, and then put them back on... over and over and over again.

I wore them during the day under jeans and under tights; I wore them to sleep in.  And I wore them while I ran.  They fit so well and are so soft and so comfortable, that I never felt like I just had to take them off... anything but.

I did not wear them to run my half marathon... but you better believe I was wearing them when I finally crawled into bed that night.  During my 13.1 mile run, I never experienced any hip pain, not for a second.  I did end up with leg cramps from dehydration and salt depletion, but not a lick of hip pain or cramping in my quads or hamstrings.  And that race finish was extremely difficult for me.  But I was so thankful to be pain-free for the entire time I was running.

I am a true believer of the healing properties of these Tommie Copper compression garments.  I can certainly attest to the theraupeutic benefits they provide.

Here is what the company has to say about their compression shorts:

Main Image

Tommie Copper compression shorts are ergonomically designed to relieve pain and enhance comfort in the lower torso and upper thighs. Tommie Copper’s Therapeutic Copper Compression provides unmatched comfort and wearability while providing the ultimate in therapeutic pain relief.
  • Highly wickable fabric keeps skin dry
  • Stimulates blood flow, decreases inflammation and increases mobility
  • Gentle effective compression allows for 24 hour use, even while asleep
  • Comfortably and discreetly wear under pant or dress
  • Machine washable. Do not use bleach, fabric softeners or dryer sheets as it masks the copper
  • Sold individually
Featuring Therapeutic Copper Compression.

I love my Tommie Copper compression shorts.

They fit me like they were made for me....

They are soft and snug so comfortable.  And the copper infused fabric makes me feel warm and comforted.   They are not restrictive at all and they don't ride up or chafe.  These seams are very well constructed and lay flat - no irritation or bulk anywhere.

Would you like a pair too?

To help celebrate my birthday on Thursday, May 24th,
Tommie Copper is offering one of my readers a pair of women's or men's compression shorts, your choice.

Here is what you need to do to be entered to win:

FOLLOW Tommie Copper on Twitter


LIKE Tommie Copper on Facebook

Leave me a comment here saying that you have done both of these things and which pair of shorts you would choose if you win, women's or men's.  Make sure you leave me your email address as well.

That takes care of the mandatory entry. 

Then, if you like, you can get 2 more entries.

For 2 bonus entries:
Tweet about this giveaway and link to this blog post, making sure to mention @TommieCopper and @eatrunsail in the tweet. 

So there, you have it... 3 possible entries.  Don't miss out on this wonderful chance to try a pair of these Tommie Copper compression shorts for yourself!  So worth taking few minutes to fulfill the giveaway entry requirements.

I will verify every entry before I select a winner on the evening of Wednesday, May 30th.  I will attempt to contact the winner by email so make sure you leave me an email address in your comment.  If I cannot easily find an email address, I will have to select another winner.

I was provided with a pair of women's compression shorts in order to produce this review, but the opinion expressed is 100% my own. 

Are you already a Tommie Copper fan? I would love to hear your experiences with this wonderful company and their products.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting My Groove Back

It has been a week now since I ran my half marathon.

The people we have been house and kitty sitting for since the middle of December are supposed to be home sometime tomorrow, Sunday.  So, this past week there really has been no rest.

We have been moving things into the apartment every day, and organizing.  We have been shopping and also doing a fair bit of yard work at the house... sweeping, raking, weeding... and I have been up and down the stairs a hundred times while cleaning the house and moving our things to the car.

But other than some planks, and pushups, there hasn't been any working out or formal exericise.  That changes tomorrow!

I am feeling a bit at loose ends just now, with being in transition, not only coming off the major run, but in our living arrangement too.  I need a new focus and have a long list of things I want to do over the summer, activity-wise and nothing has been organized as yet.

But starting with Sunday, I am planning at least one exercise session each day this week, to get back into the groove of doing something every day.  And then once we get settled a bit more, I can take it another step further.

I am committing to doing my own Strength Workout at least 2 times, and also to doing Samantha's Belly Blaster Circuit at least 2 times as well.

Belly Blaster Circuit
If you are looking for a good core workout, check it out.  I have been working on the suicide planks and they are killer!

Any special plans for the week?  Would love to hear all about what you are up to.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Protein Cake

I want to share this cake with you... come on over and have a piece with me!  It is especially good with some yogurt and fruit on top, and now that I have a shipment of Chobani yogurt in the fridge, I will be eating it a lot!

It is a flourless, wheat and sugar free cake that is made with ground oats and protein powder, sweetened with Stevia.. of course you could use Splenda if you prefer.

I first started making it when I was trying to find ways to get more protein into our diets while training for last Sunday's half marathon... but it is a keeper and very good.  I will be making it a lot.

Here is the post I did about it on my food blog,  We can begin to feed -  the recipe and simple instructions and the N.I. are all there. 

Do give it a try and let me know what you think.

Do you like to bake?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And on Monday We Celebrated

On Monday morning, after breakfast, we drove to our marina town and picked up our mail, visited with some boating friends and paid a visit to our neglected sailboat.  I am feeling quite bad that she is not the centre of my universe at present!  And I think she misses me too.

By the time we got back to the house I was ready for another shower and a bit of a celebration.  I decided that my stomach must be made of steel to have survived all the jalapeno and cheddar potato chips, Sun Chips, nuun, and chocolate milk that I had stuffed into in on Sunday.... so bring on the pizza and red wine, too.  I am not saying I wasn't still tired, cause I was, very tired, but pretty happy, too.

After showers, we put on our race shirts and medals and posed for a few pictures...

And then kicked back and enjoyed the evening...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh Yeah, I Ran a Half Marathon on Sunday

I am finally sitting down to write my recap of the half marathon that I ran with my husband, whom I call The Captain, this past Sunday morning.

I decided to divide this story into 3 separate parts - simply:
  • Before
  • During
  • After

We started training for this race on January 1st.  I had a very experienced coach and distance runner help me with the training schedule - 19 weeks in all, with our race being at the end of the 19th week.  The longest run we did in training was 11 miles and that was at the end of week 16.  We had another planned for the end of week 17 but we were feeling a bit run-down at that point so only did 8 miles that weekend and then began a 2 week taper.

On Saturday night before the race we set the alarm to ring at 5:30 a.m. and hit the hay at about 10 p.m.  I was really tired and fell asleep almost immediately.

I woke up at 4:26 and tried to lay as quiet as I could in case The Captain was still sleeping, and finally at about 5:25 I let him know I was awake and we got up.

I had laid out our clothing and mostly prepared our breakfast the night before, along with our water/nuun bottles and a snack for afterward.  I had no idea what to expect at the race conclusion so wanted to have something we would want to eat.

We shared a water with nuun, ate our breakfasts, got dressed, and were out of the house by 6:05 a.m.

It was a beautiful sunny and cool morning.  I decided to start out with my light jacket in case it was breezy along the waterfront. I knew I could comfortably run with it tied around my waist when I wanted to take it off.

We arrived at the race site, and found a parking space a few steps away from the finish line.  We strapped on our water/fuel belts and headed to start line, a couple of blocks up the street... wandered around a bit to warm up our legs, chatted to a few other racers and got ready for the 7 a.m. EARLY start. The official race start would be at 8 a.m.

The starter warned everyone that there would be no official times for anyone who completed the race in less than 2-1/2 hours.  If we would finish sooner than that, he told us we needed to wait till the official 8 a.m. start.  He gave out small course maps to anyone that wanted them but told us the volunteers would be out to give directions.

And he also told us he thought the elite runners would pass us at around the 8 km mark.  I would guess there were about 200 early starters... perhaps a few less.

He counted us down and off we went.


It was such a neat feeling to be running with so many other people around.  And I fought the urge to try to keep up with them as so many passed us.  I made a point of telling myself to just try to maintain a comfortable pace and ignore the people going by.

Because it was a Canadian race, the distance markers were in kilometers instead of miles.  I looked at my watch at the 1 km mark and we had only been running for 6 minutes. I knew I would never keep up that pace and told The Captain that I needed to slow down a bit.

At the 3 km mark we had a drink from our water bottles and I took my jacket off and tied it around my waist.

It was eerie to hear so many pounding feet running down the streets of this quiet beautiful old neighborhood.  No one was out on the street but us and the volunteers... all in bright yellow tee shirts.  They would stand in the middle of the street at every intersection to make sure we didn't go the wrong way and to warn/turn away the odd approaching vehicle.

A couple of blocks later there was the first water station and we both had a few sips from a small paper cup.  It was neat to see how the volunteers stood with cups in their hands, arms outstretched, and I remember making eye contact with a girl and telling her I would take her water... I drank it as I ran and was quite pleased with how easy it seemed.  It seems to me that was the only station where the only choice was water.

We ran around a few more residential street corners and finally came to the waterfront at about km 5.  I told The Captain it would be just a 9 mile run up and back and it was in the bag... and he laughed.

There was another water station at km 6 and there was also Gatorade... which I took by mistake.  I did drink a few sips of it but was worried that I shouldn't drink it because I hadn't trained with it so I set the cup down on the curb and we kept going.

At some point we each ate a Gu gel.

There was another water/Gatorade station at about the 9th km and also washrooms. I took more water. We ran up a hill and away from the waterfront at that point and through another old stately neighborhood.  There were more people out by this time, on the street and in their yards... clapping and cheering, which was pretty neat.

At the 10th km I checked my watch and we had been running for about 72 or minutes.  I was really pleased with that time and I was feeling pretty good.

Then we passed over a timing mat at km 11.  I was surprised as I hadn't realized that would happen.

Official 1st half time was 1:20:30

At km 12 there was another water/Gatorade station and young guys giving out Gu packets.  I took water and I also took one Gu and The Captain ended up with 3... we shared one and just about then we saw the first 2 men who had started at 8 a.m. running toward us. There was a car in front and then a couple of guys on bicycles clearing the way for them. 

It seemed like only a few minutes later that they had made the turn and were lapping us from behind!

A few mintutes later a couple more of the lead men lapped us and finally the first woman, who was running with a couple more men. 

About then we got back to the waterfront and the Olympic Mountains in WA state across the Strait looked close enough to reach out and touch... so beautiful and the sun was brilliant and warm.

I took a couple of cups of water at the 14 km station and then we did walk a bit up a hill before the golf course... at about km 16.  I remember telling The Captain that we had now gone 10 miles and I checked my watch again.  We had been running about 2 hours at that point and I thought that we might be able to finish in 2:45 easily if we could run that last 5 km in 45 minutes.

It started to get harder after that point.  I was pretty happy for the downhill through the golf course and smiled when I saw the 17km sign because I had noticed it when heading up that hill on the first part and wondering how I would be feeling when I came back to it...  then we had another uphill and we did a bit more walking.

At the top of the hill there were 3 people in the middle of the road - 2 women and a man, dressed like sheep and they had a huge sign that said 'Hugs here if you want one'.  It was so cute and really gave me a lift.

I was happy to see my favorite little beachfront and then we turned back into the neighborhood we had started in and I heard one spectator saying that there was only 2 and a half kilometers to go.  My calves were starting to cramp a bit and I finished my water/nuun then.

I was running so slow that The Captain was walking alongside me but I just couldn't go any faster for more than a few seconds at a time... then I would slow again.

When I saw the 19 km sign I was overcome with surge of emotion. I could feel tears well and my throat close and then I shook it off and we carried on. 

Then the hill... the last 1-1/2 km was all uphill to the finish.   I walked for a bit and so many people streamed past us and that spurred me on to run a bit more and as we approached the top of the hill, The Captain pointed out the finish line which was decorated with a huge blue archway.... we ran towards it and held hands in a victory cheer as we crossed... I remember a huge twinge in my right calf and for a fleeting moment being afraid it was going to seize up and I would fall... but it didn't happen and I was so excited when I heard them announce our names as we crossed and the announcer saying 'and they ran every step of it side by side'.

And then someone was putting a beautiful silver colored medal around my neck and I was grinning from ear to ear.

Offficial 2nd half time was 1:32:07

Official Total time was 2:52:36


We walked a short way to the car, drank a bottle of water each while we stretched.  Then we put on dry socks and shoes and shared some coconut water with fruit juice.  We each took a banana out of our bags to munch on the way to the food tent.

Just as we arrived there, a young woman handed us each a bottle of water and my right calf seized up.  It hurt so bad and I couldn't straighten my leg.  I tried to relax hoping that would help, but it didn't so The Captain helped me hobble across the street to the physiotherapy station and a lovely young therapist started to give me some aid.

I continued to drink water while she asked me a few questions and suggested that I likely needed some salt so The Captain got me a bag of potato chips to munch on while Fawn started massaging my left foot, which had started to cramp worse than my right calf at that point.  

My left leg was quite swollen around the ankle and she asked if that had happened prior and I said yes that it does happen off and on and asked if I had ever had an ultrasound and I replied that I had not.  She massaged my foot and leg and stretched the hamstring and then the whole leg cramped.  It was horrible and I sat up like a shot... and she was said she thought she should get the doctor.

A couple of minutes later a nice young doc arrived and shook my hand.. he asked me lots of questions about the training, and the swelling and took my pulse which was a bit high and my blood pressure which was normal and looked in my mouth.  He said I was dehydrated and likely needed salt and that I should probably have an ultrasound on the leg cause there may be blood vessel blockage. 

He said that if it had never happened before he would be taking me to emergency to see if there was a clot but because it was not new that there was no danger, but that I should have it checked.  I thanked him and he left.  By then the cramping had all let up for the most part so I told Fawn I didn't think I should be taking her table as perhaps someone else might need it more... so she told me I should go home, keep drinking, keep eating salty things and take an ice bath.

All righty... we walked back across the street to the food tent where I was finally able to see the assortment of goodies that were there.  There was water, orange juice, apple juice, coffee, and electrolyte drink,  bananas, apples, burritos/wraps, chips of all kinds, pretzels, cookies, and popsicles.

We took a few things and I got some coffee and we went and sat down on a nice bench and relaxed and munched a bit.  The Captain also went to the car and got a couple of bagels with peanut butter that we had brought along.  I really wasn't feeling great at this point so I only ate chips.  I had drank so much water and so much electrolyte drink and eaten a banana and some chips in such a short amount of time that my stomach was rebelling.

Things were quieting down and I wanted to go home... so we got in the car and drove around the corner and I had to get out.  My thighs were cramping at that point so we walked a bit, drank yet more water, used the race portable washrooms and stretched some more. 

I decided to get in the car and just bear it... I set the seat back down so I could sorta stretch out and keep my legs as straight as possible and tried to zone out for the 15 minute drive back to the house.  When we got inside I undressed and ran some cold water in the tub.  Determined to do the cold bath horror, I stood in it, and splashed the cold water over my legs and hips for about 10 minutes.

Then I got dressed and put on my Tommie Copper gear and told The Captain I needed a nap. Fawn, the physiotherapist, had told me I should keep moving around but I was just so tired.  After being in bed for about 15 minutes, I started to cramp up again, so I got up and had a steaming hot bath with epsom salts.

At this point is was only about 1 pm.  I got dressed and really spent the next 4 hours just milling around the house... I would stretch a bit, wander a bit, drink some more water, more nuun, eat more chips and sit for no more than 5 or 6 minutes at a time.  I also took some Ibuprofen and I am sure my stomach has never hated me more! All this fluid and salt and I just kept it coming, a bit at a time.

I told The Captain that was the worst I have ever felt.. and I told him that at some point I knew I was going to feel better and forget how awful I felt at that moment, and suggest that I could run another half marathon... and that when that happened he was to renind me of that moment and never let me do it.

I called my older sister and talked to her for a few minutes because I had promised I would, but I couldn't bear to turn on the computer... I was so tired and just wanted to lay down... I stood at the kitchen counter, bent over with my head in my hands and almost fell asleep standing up!

At about 6 p.m. I drank a couple of glasses of chocolate milk and was starting to feel almost human.  And at about 7 p.m. I sat down with The Captain and watched some tv for a couple of hours, getting up every 10 or 15 minutes just to make sure I still could.

Finally about 9:30 I thought I might be able to go to bed... and got up about 15 minutes later, to wander a bit, drink some dill pickle juice,  and then came back to bed and at last, to sleep.

I got up 4 times to use the washroom and drank more water each time.  I was able to go back to sleep immediately and never did have a cramp during the night.

Monday morning when I got up and hobbled out to the dining room on my stiff legs, I found my laptop turned on, my race bib sitting laying on the keyboard, my I RUN 13.1 sign leaned against the monitor, with my race medal draped over it all... what a Sweetheart!  I should have taken a picture.

It brought a lovely smile to my face and I have been feeling better and stronger every hour since.

I am so happy that my husband didn't suffer at all after the race.  I know that he could have run it so much faster than me, but his goal was to run and finish with me, and he did.  He was so encouraging and so positive and has hardly stopped telling me how proud he is of me to have stuck with the training and got it done.

And I guess I really have inherited my Father's poor circulation system and will be off to see my GP next week to see about setting up that ultrasound for my left leg.

I am so thankful for all of the great advice and encouragement and support that I have received from so many of my blogging friends - I cannot express how much it has meant to me and how grateful I am for all of the cheering and good wishes that have come my way.  Such a generous outpouring of goodwill - just incredible and I know it helped get me through those last 2 km that were so hard.

Thank YOU

 I am not sure why but I have looked at the web site a couple of times now and have seen the official time at 2:52:36 and also at 2:52:37 - why would it change?

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Half Marathon is Really Gonna Happen

The reality of this race on Sunday just hit me like a ton of bricks...  Gob-smacked me, in fact.

Just after lunch we drove to the running store that is the major sponsor of the race, to pick up our bibs and goodie packets.

There was a beautiful Asics shirt and a pair of cool little Asics socks for each of us... along with our race bibs and some pins. 

There are 2 strips on the back of the bib that have timing chips in them... apparently makes for easier and more accurate splits and results, so as long as I wear it, and don't lose it, I will get an official race time when it is all over with.

The shirts are lovely.  The women's shirt is a slim fitting style with curvy lines in a beautiful aqua, which is my favorite color, you must know by now... and the men's is a lovely bright blue... boxy style, longer in the back.  Very nice.  (Don't worry, we will not embarrass ourselves and wear them on Sunday, at least till we get home and have showered.  We MAY wear them to our own private little Sunday night celebration... and so not to jinx anything, I haven't even tried it on or taken the tags off yet.)

So, we found out about parking and some other details... like water stations, washrooms, and the like.

This is the 8th year for this event and they have added a 5k race to it this year.  They are going to start the 5k runners and the half marathon runners at the same time, and the routes start out the same and then the 5k veers off.  It sounds confusing to me and I have looked at the maps... and I have decided that we are going to use the early start option.

Instead of starting at 8 a.m. with the masses, we are going to start at 7 a.m. with the slower runners and walkers.  I had been keeping this option open in the back of my mind since we first registered for this race last October.  They suggest you can avail yourself of the early start if you will take longer than 2-1/2 hours to complete the half.... and I likely will, so we will start at 7 a.m. and see how it all goes. 

I will be more comfortable in a start with fewer people as this is my first real race and that 'crowd' thing intimidates me.   For the first time, this will be better.

So, today I am making lists... breakfast before the race, items for the race: fuel/hydration, clothing from head to toe, extras - camera, sunglasses, sunblock for lips, kleenex... and items for after: clothing, towels, recovery fuel/hydration, keys, money, drivers licence.

It is going to happen!  I am going to run a half marathon on Sunday morning and earn my beautiful sea blue shirt.  Hurray!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taste of Nature Review - a Healthy and Delicious Snack

Most of the time I like to make our own treats. And most of the time they are pretty healthy, with the occasional indulgence in sugary cookies, or even cake, mostly for The Captain...

But once in a while I come across a ready-made product that is so good and so delicious that I have to share it with you.

These Taste of Nature Organic Fruit and Nut Bars are one of those very special products.

Everything you see comes straight from nature. Nothing artificial, no fillers and no chemicals with hard to pronounce names!

Certified Organic - Gluten Free - Vegan -  Kosher
Non GMO - Low Glycemic Index

Just take a look at a few of these gorgeous bars:

Canadian Maple Forest
and you can smell the maple syrup as soon as you open the package

Pecans, apricots, Brazil nuts, honey, brown rice syrup, raisins, whole grain brown rice crisps, agave nectar, maple syrup flavor, vanilla flavor, sea salt.
Himalayan Goji Summit and Persian Pomegranate Garden

Himalayan Goji Summit
Peanuts, raisins sunflower seeds, agave surup, almonds, goji berries, brown rice syrup, raspberries.

Persian Pomegranate Garden
Cashews, walnuts, apples, agave nectar, figs, cranberries, apple juice concentrate, sunflower oil, pomegranate juice concentrate, whole grain crisp rice, brown rice syrup, raspberries.

Taste of Nature bars are sweetened with agave syrup which ranks very low in the glycemic index. As a result six of the eleven Taste of Nature bars were clinically tested and attained GI scores ranging from 38.2 to 51.7, well below the low GI target of 55. This makes them a particularly good choice for a snack between meals that will satisfy hunger and maintain blood sugar levels... no highs and lows.

Whether you are watching sodium, dairy, wheat, cholesterol or are vegan or vegetarian, Taste of Nature meets the most stringent nutritional requirements with outstanding, satisfying taste.
  • No additives
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No animal products
  • No dairy
  • No preservatives
  • No quasi natural sweeteners
  • No simple sugars
  • No Sulphur Dioxide
  • No cholesterol
  • No wheat
  • No gluten
  • Low sodium
There are 11 different combinations in the line up, and they are all mouth-wateringly tempting and absolutely satisfying and delicious. They are very simply packaged in a clear cello wrapper so that you can see exactly what you are getting.... and I bet you will not be able to choose just one or two!
It is so nice to find a really healthy pre-packaged snack that travels well. Stash one in your purse,your glovebox, your desk, your pocket, or your gym bag, and you have a nutritious snack that will easily take you to your next meal or give you the energy you need to carry on with your busy day.

The Captain and I have been enjoying them immensely... usually we open one and share it, savoring every little bite!
You can buy them in several different retail outlets or online at - Check out their contests and community initiatives while you are there.

Thanks to Taste of Nature for supplying me with a bar in every flavor in order to write this review.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Last Training Run - Done!

    We ran our last training run this morning.

    It was a 5km loop through this hilly neighborhood where we have been house and kitty sitting since the middle of December.  We ran quite slowly as I really didn't want it to end.

    I felt a few twinges of sadness as we ran this morning.  I have such mixed feelings about this race coming up on Sunday.  I am nervous. I am excited.  I am dreading it.  And I cannot wait for it to arrive.

    Including today, we have run 226 miles since January 1st in preparation for our first half marathon.  I say first because that implies there may be more.  Right now I cannot imagine that is true, but it might be.

    But what I do know for sure is that this is my last run ever in this neighborhood, and it is is my last run before the race on Sunday, and I am so thankful to have had my supportive and wonderful husband alongside, every step of the way.


    Cheers to you, Captain.  Thanks for your love and encouragement and support.  Enjoy that smoothie.

    See that sign over his right elbow? I can hardly wait for it to be true.  It says I run 13.1 and has been a steady source of motivation for me since it arrived in my mail box in November.  It was made for me as a giveaway win from Joanna Runs and I am so thankful for it.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    10km Run Today, Easy Peasy

    We headed out for our weekend 'long' run this morning at about 9:30. It seems odd to me now to think of 10km (6.2 miles) as a long run when only a short time ago were were running 9, 10, and 11 miles on the the weekends.

    After my speedy 4 mile run on Friday, I wanted to go out easy and slow today, just get it done and enjoy it.  We settled into a really comfortable pace almost right away and I told The Captain that was about the pace I want to run our half marathon at, next Sunday morning.  I felt like I could run forever at that pace and it was very rhythmic and easy. 

    I have marked out a 5 km route around the neighborhood, and we ran it once, then turned around and ran it back in the opposite direction for a total of 10 km... and even with a couple of walk breaks to drink some water and nuun, we finished it in 75 minutes. 

    W2 R75 W4
    stretch 15 minutes

    It is hard for me to believe that by this time next Sunday, we will have run our half marathon and will have finished our dinner and be relaxing with our feet up!  Today as we ran, I was already thinking about some things I want to do when it is over,  and writing a 'what I learned while training' post in my head.... but that is getting too far ahead of myself.

    We still have one more run to do, likely on Wednesday.

    Right now I just want a cup of tea, and a mindless but entertaining tv show to watch.... and a good night's sleep.

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Why Do You Assume I am Training for Something?

    The Captain and I were out on a 4 mile training run a couple of weeks ago, about 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.  It was on a quiet trail that meanders for many miles through the city, and the particular section we were using that morning was through an agricultural area... lots of market gardens, smallish hobby farms, small lakes and forested areas.  Very pretty, and during the week, very quiet.

    When we entered the trail there was a couple, a bit older than us I think, stopped and looking up a tree, watching a woodpecker at work.  We greeted them and kept going.  Immediately they fell in behind us and the man asked us what we were training for and I answered him without hesitation and without giving it any thought.

    Then, assuming it would be rude not to return the question, I did.... and he spent several minutes outlining his race schedule for the next few months... and then the woman took off past us, and so he did too and off they went.  He looked back several times to make sure we were not coming up too close behind them and I made sure we didn't... I actually convinced The Captain to slow down a bit to let them get well ahead.  I recall reading on of Mizz Zippy's posts about people not liking you to pass them after they have passed you.

    I wonder why that fellow assumed we were training for something.  Couldn't we just go out and run for the love of running?  I did that for over 20 years, with never a thought to entering a race. 

    Or was it just that he wanted to tell us about the training he was doing himself, and his way of introding the topic was to ask first, so he could tell later?

    Quite amusing, I think.  And perhaps next time someone asks me what I am training for, I won't be quite so quick to return the question!

    Are you always training for something?

    Do you ever spend weeks or months or even years, just running for the love of the run itself?

    What do you think of the term JUNK MILES?

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    My First Protein Sludge - I am Hooked!

    It is unheard of for me to post twice on this blog in one day, but here goes...

    I am trying to limit my starchy carbs for a few days, but needed a little something.  I recalled this post I saw a while ago from This Fit Chick and tweeted at the time, cause I think the idea is so terrific.

    So a few minutes ago, I decided to try it.

    I got out a bowl and put into it:

    1/2 banana, and then mashed it
    1 Tbs natural chunky peanut butter
    1 scoop NeoCell Collagen Sport French Vanilla protein powder
    1 tsp chia seeds
    1 tsp agave nectar


    and mixed it altogether.


    And ate it, savoring every little spoonful!  It is sorta like breakfast without the oats... you can imagine the unlimited possibilities for variations and add-ins...  cocoa, nuts, dried fruit, other fresh fruit, coconut, nut butters...    ooooooh!

    Are Runners Ever Satisfied?

    We did an 8 mile run on Sunday and have been doing our best to ward off the sniffles and rest the legs since then.  I even had The Captain try out my Recovery socks and he quite liked them.  I am making sure we are both getting lots of sleep and limiting yard work and work at the apartment and on the boat, for the next 2 weeks, till our half marathon is run and done!

    This morning I was anxious and ready to head out for a run.

    We planned an easy 5 km around the neighborhood and the route I chose starts out with a nice long downhill stretch.  I was really moving and I could tell that The Captain was pleased with the faster-than-usual pace. 

    We completed the first 'section' in 9 minutes, when it normally takes 10... and I kept up the pace through the first 3 kms.  I actually felt sick to my stomach!  I was pretty thankful for the walk breaks after every 10 minutes of running today.

    And then I slowed down a bit during the 4th km and then a lot during that last km, which is up a hill almost as steep as that hill ... but I was cruising... and then, from out of nowhere, this lovely little older woman was on the street and moving toward me, obviously trying to make eye contact with me and get my attention.

    Would I be horrible if I confess for the tiniest of split seconds I thought of running right past her?

    But, of course I didn't.  I stopped and smiled at her,  and she wanted to know the way to the closest grocery store in the area...  I quickly gave her precise directions, and off we went again.

    We completed the 5 km in the same time as my current 5 km PR in this neighborhood, just under 35 minutes.   Last year at this time I would have been thrilled with this time, but today I was a bit disappointed. 

    W2 R35 @10/1 W4
    stretch 15 minutes

    We came in and drank lots of water, changed into dry clothes and then I made some smoothies for us to drink while we stretched.

    GNC Beyond Raw RE-BUILT MASS chocolate brownie  protein powder with frozen berries, half a banana, and chia seeds for The Captain....

    And NeoCell Collagen Sport French Vanilla protein powder with frozen berries, half a banana and ground flax seeds for me. 

    I wonder if I am ever going to be satisfied with my speed.  Is there ever an end to the struggle to get faster? 

    Are you in the same boat?