Month: December 2012

Triathlon Gear & Christmas Catch Up

Hi Everyone and Merry Christmas!!

I hope you’ve all had a terrific holidays full of all of the best things in life (you know, sleep, chocolate, family, friends, presents and stuffing; in no particular order). I’ve been off work since December 19th, and it’s been an amazing break.

I spent December 20th – 25th at home with Matt and my family getting ready for Christmas, doing last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking and eating an otherwise totally unacceptable amount of chocolate. We drove 8 hours to Sault Ste. Marie to visit with my grandparents from December 26th – 29th and got home late last night to the sad, sad realization that we only have 3 days left of vacation until we’re back at work for another year. That being said, there’s so many huge events and milestones coming up in 2013 that I’m definitely starting to get excited to ring in the New Year tomorrow night!!

2013

I’ll admit that I may have been a bit tough to buy for this year. Usually I’m pretty vocal about wanting this, that or the other thing (not just at Christmas, I’m talking all the time), but this year I just didn’t really have many ideas when people asked what I wanted for Christmas. Given that I’ve taken on this totally insane goal Half Ironman next September, I guess it was only fitting that I got a whole bunch of triathlon gear from various people for Christmas!

I’m starting to realize that holy crap is there ever a lot of gear that goes along with doing triathlons. It’s not a cheap sport. I got stuff for Christmas that I never even knew existed, but that I totally need, and it got me thinking about what other stuff I may need and not even know about!

Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Watch (in pink!!)

Garmin Forerunner 410 Pink

For my outdoor runs I’ve been doing the totally old school thing and driving my car out to map out a route that’s the length that I wanted to do. Thankfully Matt stopped the madness and got me a GPS watch for Christmas so I can just put on the sneaks and GO! And bonus, it’s pink. Bless his soul.

Oakley Sunglasses (also in pink!!)

Oakley Pink

The equivalent of Tiffanys for runner girls. I’ll admit that there’s no way on earth that I’m cool enough to wear Oakley sunglasses when I run, but maybe I’ll get there eventually. These were also a gift from Matt, they are absolutely wonderful for cutting the winter glare off the snow (yes, we actually have snow in Southern Ontario!) and will be great for the summer months too. I’m hoping mine fare better then Matt’s, the day after he bought his pair back in the summer, he opened the door of my car right into his face and took a huge chip out of the lens. The optimistic view: that lens could have been his eye ball! Now we call them the most expensive safety glasses that he’s ever owned.

Squirt Water Bottle and Bike Water Bottle Holder

Me being the total bike rookie that I am, I thought that bikes came with water bottle holders on them. Turns out that thousands of dollars and you still have to buy the dang thing separately!!!  Matt’s parents bought me the bottle and the holder (and tons of other gear as well), and the bottle has been a God send so far. Ever tried to do a spin class with a screw-off top water bottle? After pouring nearly the entire bottle down my chest in one of the first RPM classes I did back in October, I quickly learned that it was going to be squirt bottle or nothing.

Race Bib Band

Race Bib Belt

I wasn’t 100% sure what this was when I first opened it, I originally thought that it was some sort of water bottle belt or gel belt or something to be worn during races to carry stuff for you, but it turns out that it’s actually a band that you can clip your race bib to so that you don’t have to poke holes in your clothing. Also, for races like triathlons where you’re going to be changing clothes lots or winter races where you may not be exactly sure if you’re going to be running in your over-layer or not until you’re outside at the start line you don’t have to worry about re-pinning your bib to different clothes, you can just clip the band off and put it on again!

Bike Lubricant

One of those things that you would NEVER ever think about, until the chain on your bike sticks when you’re in the middle of a 90km bike ride. It scares me to death to think of all of the other bike maintenance things that I don’t know/haven’t even thought of!!! I’m in desperate need of “Bike Maintenance 101”.

There were lots of other things in my stocking like socks, running hats, lip balm, Lululemon pants, so I’m out of excuses – 2013 is training year!!

I did manage to get in some classes and a couple of triathlon workouts over the holidays as well, so all in all I don’t think my training has fallen too far behind. The Chilly Half Marathon is coming up in about 2 months, and I’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready. I’ll be posting a training plan for this specifically on my Training Logs page, and I’m going to do my absolute darndest to stick to it.

No really, I swear 😉

Happy New Year all!!! Here’s to an incredible year full of sweat, hard work, laughter and fun!! Before you leave, tell me, did Santa leave any triathlon or running gear in your stocking this year!? What are your plans for New Years Eve 2012?!

Grattitude

Hi Everyone (if you’re still out there?!),

I left off many eons ago (okay, last Monday) talking about how last week I was going to get back on track with my Training Log updates, and use all of that motivation from the successful Eggnog Jog to get myself firmly back on that wagon, and buckled in for the long haul.

Little did I know that my body had other plans.

Monday and Tuesday of last week were hectic, hectic days, I was running around like a maniac, trying to cram about 30 tasks more then I should have into tiny little 40 minute windows, neglecting my diet (or forgetting to eat altogether, which NEVER happens with me – I like my food!!) and not getting even close to enough sleep.

You might remember that I came down with a nasty cold shortly after we bought the house about 4 weeks ago. I had finally shaken the cold a couple of days before the Eggnog Jog. I could tell on the Monday after the race that it was starting to come back, but instead of heeding the warning signs, I pumped myself with as many vitamins as I could, and kept powering on.

Tuesday, I woke up feeling quite dizzy and disoriented. The cough that I had had ever since I got my cold had really flared up and I could hardly get a deep breath. More warning signs. I took some more vitamins, and kept on going.

Wednesday, I had finally pushed my body too far, and it had had enough of me. Everything shut down completely. I’m not talking about “feeling kind of lousy”, I’m talking about, “can’t lift your head off the pillow without the whole world spinning, pouring sweat, chest pain, ragged coughing, sinus congestion, wish you were dead lousy”.

I somehow managed to get myself to the doctor, who told me that it looked like I had come down with a nasty case of Bronchitis (I always think of a dinosaur when I see that word), gave me some antibiotics and told me that I needed to rest or I would be flirting with pneumonia.

Sick Dinosaur

From Wednesday until Saturday morning, I literally didn’t move from my bed or the couch, not because I didn’t want to, because I physically wasn’t able to. On top of the whole bronchitis and sinus infection that I was battling, my original cold came back in full force and I was right back to the sneezing, congested wreck that I was before the whole mess even began!

Let’s just say it was not pretty. I think Matt was wondering if his girlfriend had been eaten by a sasquatch or something.

Sasquatch

6 days into the antibiotic cycle and about 1,000 hours of sleep later, I’m feeling better, but still not quite back to normal 100%.

Now that my brain is somewhat working again, I wanted to do a post about gratitude and about health.

Do you ever notice that often it takes something really gut-wrenchingly awful happening to make you truly, truly grateful for what you have?

How many parents around the world do you think desperately held onto their children and thanked God last Friday night, even when that very morning they had wanted to just smack them for talking back or doing something bad?

I find that our health is no exception. We carry on from one day to the next, wishing that we were thinner, or had better skin, or were taller, or maybe were stronger or faster. We take for granted that each day we will wake up, get out of bed and get moving at all.

I was reminded last week that good health is NOT a given and it can be taken away from you at a moment’s notice with no explanation and no apology.

So, now that I am feeling more like myself, I wanted to stop and acknowledge how thankful I am for the miracle of good health. I’ve learned my lesson, and I got the message loud and clear. One of my goals over the upcoming year is going to be to learn to listen to my body when it tells me it needs a break, and I’m not just talking about muscles and joints.

Call it the holiday spirit, but I’ve been feeling very grateful for a lot of things lately, and I thought it would be nice to document them to look back on during those inevitable days when you feel like the whole world is against you and you just can’t catch a break.

I am grateful for….

1.   My good health

2.   The good health of my family and friends

3.   My best friend and partner in crime Matt

4.   My kitty Blake (who I love a weird amount)

My kitty Blake!! :)
My kitty Blake!! 🙂

5.    My secure job (and lots of vacation time!!)

6.   The fact that I’ve found my passion in teaching, and I get to do it almost every day!

7.   My wonderful “non-instructor” friends who put up with me over-scheduling my days and not having as much time to see them as I would like

8.    Matt putting up with me being a basket case 98% of the time and not leaving me

9.   Having the passion and the drive to go after challenging goals that inspire me

10.  My incredible “instructor” friends that totally “get” my obsession (and share it with me!) without me having to apologize or explain

11.  My family being close knit and connected

12.  Lululemon. Without it, we’d all be working out in soaking wet cotton t-shirts.

13. Living in a peaceful and safe part of the world and enjoying basic freedoms that so many around the world do not

14.  Lindor Chocolate Truffles. Because I just ate about 9 of them, and they are so damn delicious.

15.  All of you reading this, for spending a few minutes of your very busy days with me!! 🙂

Today marks my last work day of 2012 before I am off until the New Year on Christmas holidays. It’s been a year of challenge and change as I moved from my comfortable role in advertising into a very uncomfortable role in budgeting. I would be lieing if I said that there hadn’t been ups and downs, but I made it, and I feel very good about moving into 2013 in my new role.

I know Christmas is just around the corner, but I do plan on getting back on the training horse by doing some running, some swimming and maybe even fitting in an RPM class or two over the coming weeks. My Training Logs page has been updated, and I am officially back on the wagon.

Stay tuned for a continuation of my (not forgotten!) Les Mills International Series and some goal-setting tips for the New Year! Enjoy the holiday season!

Happy Holidays

Conserve and Attack Part 2 – Race Day Recap

Now, where were we…

Ah yes, race day! Thankfully the Georgetown Running Group that put this race together set the race start time for 10:30am, so we didn’t have to get up at an ungodly hour. We were out the door by 9am and on our way.

It was kind of funny that we ended up pulling into the conservation area right behind Matt, Neil and Jess although we were leaving from different places at different times. We got to see Matt get yelled at by a parking marshall because he went the wrong way into the lot (he he he), although in Matt’s defence, the parking marshall was wearing a santa suit and seemed a bit confused about what he was doing waving a Canada flag. But I digress.

Anyways, when we finally stepped outside, we realized quickly that it was damn cold. When we had left our house it was about 1 degree, but now the thermometer was reading -3 and the wind had picked up a bit. I hadn’t dressed warmly enough for sure, I was absolutely freezing standing around.

Lesson learned – for winter races, you need to bring extra warm clothes to wear BEFORE the race gets started (and then have a plan to either give them to someone right before you start or stash them in your car or somewhere else).

Thankfully I WAS smart enough to bring a warmer quilted vest to wear, so at least I wouldn’t be cold out on the run. Matt and Neil were smarter and brought some extra clothes to wear before hand. Here we are before the race inside the (heated, thankfully) pavillion:

Outside

I had mentioned before that it was my mom’s very first 10K race, and she was a little nervous on race day morning. It made me reminisce about my first half marathon and the sheer terror that I was going through standing around before the race. When you’ve never done something like this before, you really wonder what the hell is going to happen to you out there?! What if your legs just stop moving? What if you have to go to the bathroom? What if you just don’t want to do it anymore? What if you trip and fall and hurt yourself? And the most crippling fear of all:

What if I’m the very last, lone person out there on the course????

I’m sure all of this (and much, much more) was going through her head, but she sure doesn’t show it does she?!

Sara and Mom

We finally headed down to the starting area, handed over all of our paraphernalia to Jess (HUGE shout out to Jessica for being the pack mule for the day – often the two of us are pack mules together, but she was rockin’ it solo today and was a huge part of the race!!! It makes life SO much easier on the runners to have somebody to help them with all of that stuff so they can just focus on the race!!!)

Jessica

Matt and Neil made their way up to start right on the line (they were hoping for 45 minutes or less for Matt and 50 minutes or less for Neil) and my mom and I stayed put near the back. We were hoping for more modest times (about 1:10 for me, and my mom just wanted to finish and not be last…….).

We started off, and I knew from driving the course yesterday that the first 3km of the race were all down hill. It was like this sick, false sense of security, but I wasn’t biting, and I held WAY back on the down hill. I knew that I would need my legs later in the race, and just let them coast. I saw a lot of people CRUISING down for the first 3K (including Matt and Neil, who told me later that they ran the fastest 3K of their life in about 7 minutes for Matt and 8 something for Neil!!!), but knew that I needed to hold off if I wanted to make it the whole way.

Something very weird happened just before the 1km marker. A lady running in front of me committed the ULTIMATE race sin. She stopped dead in her tracks right on the course. I nearly ran RIGHT into her, but I managed to stop and put my hands on her back to avoid bowling her right over. She apologized, and then limped off the course. I called out to her asking if she was okay, and she said she was, so I continued on. Much later in the morning, I saw her with a splint wrapped around her leg, walking on crutches. It was a harsh reminder that sometimes it doesn’t take much, and just to be grateful that you finished the race in one piece sometimes.

So back on the course, my mom was AHEAD OF ME for the first 3km?! That sand bagger. I did end up passing her around the 3km marker when she stopped to tie her shoes, and never saw her again, but she definitely had a strong start to the race.

Around 3km, things started getting interesting. Remember that elevation graph I showed you? Take another look if you missed it in my last post:

Elevation Graph

It was pretty much straight up hill from the 3km mark onwards. I was mentally ready for that because we had driven it the day before, but those hills still kicked my ass totally. Between about the 3.5 and the 4.5km, my breathing got totally out of control and I was falling into that “gasping” trap. I got myself back on track by focusing on the word “in” for some reason. Not sure where these little voodoo things come from, but they just kind of appear naturally, and I found myself internally repeating “innnnnn”, “innnnn”, maybe in an attempt to get myself to focus on the “in” portion of breathing rather then the out? Whatever voodoo magic it was, it worked, because by the time we were at the 4km hill, my breathing had regulated, I wasn’t gasping anymore and I was feeling great.

Until we hit the 5km hill.

Again – I knew from the previous day that there was an absolute beast of a hill at the 5km marker. They had thankfully put a water station just at the bottom of what they deemd “the big hill”, so I grabbed a quick sip of water, told myself that I was going to run up that entire hill or die trying, and started up.

I very nearly died trying, but I made it.

At the top I was absolutely spent. It was about 3 minutes of just straight vertical running, I passed about a million people walking up the hill, and then they all blew past me on the down hill that followed because I was so exhausted my legs could barely support me anymore. God damnit. I am really really proud of myself for keeping on running at that point anyways. That was a little bit of what I like to call “Matt Crazy” that took over. It’s contagious. I think I missed the whole point of the “conserve up the hill and ATTACK on the downhill”. I ATTACKED up the hill and then DIED on the way down instead 😉

After that hill, everything else kind of paled in comparison. You want me to run up that little speed bump? Sure! No problem! How about I do it twice?! The kilometers started disappearing, and I knew I was getting close to the end.

Around the 8k mark, my shoulder developed a pretty nasty cramp. I’ve gotten them before in races, and I’m really not sure exactly what they are. I need to keep an eye on this and try to get to the bottom of what it may be. The cramp disappeared after about a kilometer, but it was a really really painful, and very long kilometer.

The last kilometer of the race was pretty much all downhill again, and I turned on the jets at that point (or “let the horses out of the barn as Matt’s family says) and finished in 1:07. A little slower time, but I knew it was going to be tough to stay on a normal pace given the hills out there. I was happy.

Matt, Neil and Jess were right there at the finish, and Jess had taken some great pictures of the boys finishing as well!!

Matt absolutely crushed his goal and finished in 42 minutes (coming 7th place overall out of 600 runners and 1st in his age category!) and Neil ALSO totally schooled his goal and came in at 50 minutes right on the dot (coming in 3rd place in his age category!).

Neil had some pretty good race stories about sprinting to the end with some guy ahead of him. Sounds like the guy ahead of him was “conserving” while Neil was “attacking”, and then the guy took off at the very end to just beat him…oh the things that take place at the finish line of a race!!!

Matt Neil Sara 2

My very last race story (I promise, I know this is getting to be long winded), was my mom, who we thought was still out on the course at 1:30. After I came in, we went back to the tent, got some warm soup and some drinks, and came back out to the course, only to hear that only 4 runners were left out there.

I was horrified. I thought my mom was one of them.

A very nice race marshall drove me out in his car to check the course, and I was so relieved to see that she wasn’t one of the 4. She was already in, and we had missed her!! We went back to the tent, and found my mom sipping some coffee, asking where the heck we all had been. She had finished in 1:23!!! Way to go mama!!!

Eggnog

It was an amazing weekend overall, and we got to bask in the “after-race all day glow” for the rest of the day on Sunday. Looking forward to the next one already!!!

Have a terrific week everyone!!

The Jamaican Running Team - Blake Claw, Bolt and Pistols
The Jamaican Running Team – Blake Claw, Bolt and Pistols

 

Conserve and Attack

Baby it’s cold outside. I don’t know about where you are, but here it’s been blustering and cold all day! The white stuff started to come down around 6:30 and hasn’t stopped all evening.

So this weekend was the weekend of the Eggnog Jog 10.8K race! Matt’s brother Neil and girlfriend Jessica came into town from Kingston for the weekend because Neil was running too, so we got to spend some time with them, and had a really really great time.

So I know I’ve totally neglected my Training Logs page lately (I’m totally getting back on the horse this week – scouts honour), but I did manage to get in two decent runs in preparation for the race this weekend. I ran for 30 sweaty minutes on Wednesday before my Pump class and I did another 45 minute run on Friday night. Both were traditional treadmill runs, but I felt really strong in both of them, and it gave me a bit of confidence going into the weekend.

One kind of weird thing that I’ve been dealing with ever since the Quarterly Workshop a couple of weekends ago is this strange tingly numbness in my right foot whenever I do any type of high impact activity for more then half an hour or so. It’s so bizarre, and not painful at all, but I’ve been finding that towards the end of my high impact classes (or my few and far between runs), my second toe has started getting numb and slowly spreading out towards the rest of my foot. As soon as I stop the high impact stuff, it goes away, and I’m fine…until the next time I workout for longer then about 30 minutes…….it’s been weird, and I’m trying not to get too freaked out about it, but it’s been in the back of my mind for sure.

Anyways, numb right foot aside (who needs the right foot anyways, that’s why we’ve got two right?), my two runs were really good. It was hard on Wednesday night to be at the gym and watching the BodyStep class start from the treadmill. It’s so strange to be at the gym when a class is going on and not be in it. But me and my treadmill got along just fine, and I was proud of myself for sticking it out and getting my run done (even though I would have rather been hopping around a bench!!).

Saturday morning (the day before the race) I was scheduled to sub a BodyPump class, and also run a dryland training session for a friend of mine’s AA ringette team. I’ve been helping out for the past little while with some of their dryland training, and they had asked me weeks ago to do a session on Saturday after their game. Ideal to be doing two hours of working out the day before a distance race? Hell no. Do-able? Hell yes. It’s all about perspective really.

With Pump and the dryland workout out of the way, Matt, Neil, Jess and I drove out to Georgetown (the host town for our Eggnog Jog) to pick up our race kits and drive the course so we had a heads up for what to expect. My mom and I had googled the Eggnog Jog race course ahead of time to get an idea of what we were up against, and were absolutely horrified to find this elevation graph:

Elevation Graph

The words your looking for are “Holy Crap”. Or something more vulgar if you’re the type.

My mom gave me a good smack upside the head when she saw this graph because I had coaxed her into doing her very first 10K (didn’t mention that it was really 10.8K but that’s beside the point), and this was far from a “beginners” course.

Anyways – point being, we wanted to drive the course and get a feel for these nasty hills that we were going to be negotiating the following day.

We had a crazy time in the car trying to figure out the winding country roads, we were all over the place!! Probably the highlight of the drive was when Matt crested this absolutely ENORMOUS 90 degree hill that we thought we had to run up the following day, and we all just completely lost it and started howling laughing (not quite sure what was so funny, besides our impending doom of course, but we were just howling). Anyways, we finally found the run course and were very relieved to find out that we didn’t have to run up that monstrosity of a hill, although we did have to run by it. I made a mental note to take a look at it as we ran by the next day and thank my lucky stars that they hadn’t made the course a left turn instead of a right turn, or we would have been running straight up it.

The course looked ugly, from about 3km onwards it was pretty much all up hill, except for about a kilometre and a half at the end of the race that was down hill. It was here that the boys decided that the race strategy would be to conserve energy on the uphills, and then ATTACK on the downhills.

And I’m not talking about BodyAttack.

We went back to Matt’s house and ate enough spaghetti and garlic bread to choke a horse (nothing like carb loading before a race – it’s like permission to eat as much bread and pasta as you’ve ever dreamed of with only minimal guilt because you know you’ll be running your butt off in about 12 hours anyways) and then called it a night.

When I got home, I found my mom in a bit of a state of panic. She had gotten a phone call saying that family was coming in from out of town to stay at our house because someone in our extended family was going to be at Toronto General Hospital for an unplanned surgery. Our family member was going to be okay, but my mom was beside herself at the idea of having to get our house ready for family showing up at a moments notice during the busiest time of the entire year. I was really proud of her for sticking to her guns and insisting that she was going to do the race, even when it would have been easy to bail on it.

Sometimes I think it’s easier to do for others then it is to do for ourselves. And my mom really deserved to do this for herself, I’m so glad that she stuck it out.

We went to bed with the typical pre-race day jitters, with our bibs laid out at the front door and running clothes picked out. The forecast was caling for -3 degrees the following morning, and we knew it was going to be C-O-L-D.

I’ll leave it here for tonight – and stay tuned tomorrow morning for race day recap!!

Sleep tight!!

Falling Off The Wagon

Hi There!

No, I haven’t fallen off a ledge into a dark cavern, I’m still here!

The last 2 weeks have been an incredible flurry of activity for me, and I have so much to update you on. Although I may not have fallen off a ledge into a dark cavern, I most certainly have fallen off the wagon when it comes to my triathlon training and am in desperate need of a hand back up into the wagon.

Wagon

My last post finished up a recap of the Quarterly Workshop that I attended not this past Saturday, but the Saturday before. What I didn’t mention in that post was that in between 8 hours of group fitness, I was back and forth to my Blackberry checking messages from my real estate agent because I had put in an offer on my first house on the Friday night!

Matt and I have been looking at houses for a long time now; we took a bit of a break from the whole debaucle in the summer because the market was so hot that we were just getting eaten alive.

People are animals I tell you, animals.

It turns out that the buying market really cools down in November, and we felt much more relaxed looking at houses this time around. There was no competition, we didn’t get caught in any bidding wars, and everything was just much simpler.

Anyways, I’ll save you the long story: we found out on Saturday night that they had accepted our offer (after the appropriate amount of bargaining of course) and we had bought our first house!

This of course brought on a massive wave of anxiety for me (in addition to the excitement) because change scares the CRAP out of me. I get really jittery and uptight when they change the hour of my freaking TV show from 9pm to 8pm (I’m serious). So you can only imagine how an impending change like this one must have made me feel.

Are you wondering if I may have an undiagnosed case of OCD? Me too.

Anyways, it turns out that when you buy a house, your entire life becomes consumed with bureaucracy and paperwork and phone calls and emails, and so for the next 5 days I pretty much got totally slammed with all of that stuff, and ended up flat on my back with a nasty cold that I’m still kind of fighting off 8 days later.

Sick Giraffe

I’ll go right ahead and give myself credit for being tough as nails when it comes to teaching when I’m sick. I pretty much have to be on my death bead or have lost my voice entirely (which happened on Thursday) before I’ll sub out one of my classes because I’m sick. When it comes to triathlon workouts on the other hand, apparently I’m a huge baby, and prefer to curl up on the couch with a blanket and feel sorry for myself then drag my butt out the door and workout.

Wah wah wah.

Anyways, excuse or not, the fact of the matter is I didn’t get ONE triathlon workout in last week. Not one single one.

And once again, I find myself in the ever familiar position of being one week out from a race and not having trained properly for it.

Doh

The Eggnog Jog 10.8K race is this coming Sunday up at Terra Cotta conservation area; I haven’t run since my epic race with the pizza delivery guy, but I’m still hopeful for a decent race. I’m planning on getting out for 2 really good runs this week, one tomorrow morning before work, and one on Friday night.

Aside from getting in those 2 runs, I’m planning to start doing some of the little things right this week. Things like drinking lots of water during the day, getting 8 hours of sleep, eating healthy carbs with every meal and using my foam roller at night.

Another thing that I want to do this week before the race is to sit down a couple of days out and make a race plan. I know that this one is only a 10K, but I’m getting kind of famous for just going out and “seeing what happens” in distance races. Although I’ve been lucky and everything has worked out to this point, it really is a dangerous, dangerous game to play.

So hopefully this one will get me in the habit of setting out roughly how fast I want to be, when (if at all) I’ll slow up for a drink or small snack, and basically the mind-set that I want to approach the race with.This race is kicking off my “official” training plan for Around the Bay in March, so it’s really important to me that it goes well!

The best piece of advice that anyone ever gave to me about running was from the Running God himself, John Stanton (otherwise known as “the founder of The Running Room”). We stumbled across John at The Running Room location in Winnipeg while we were there for the Manitoba Marathon/Half Marathon. I just so happened to be carrying around his book (aptly titled “Running”), and he was so kind as to sign it for me!

I politely waited until he handed back over the book and we got out of his sight before I ripped open the cover to see what he had written.

Winnipeg-20120616-00033

“Finish smiling”.

A reminder that while we may take all of this stuff so seriously, at the end of the day the reason that we do it is because it makes us happier then we would have been if we didn’t do it at all.

I did finish smiling that day John, and I plan to in every race I do for the rest of my life. Thanks for the words of wisdom!!

Have a great week and stay tuned for my “official” race plan coming up later on this week!! 🙂