Posts Tagged ‘training’

Forerunners Half Marathon

With the cancellation of the First Half Half Marathon due to inclement weather (snow and ice, to be exact – read the whole story!), many folks felt they didn’t have the chance to ‘earn’ their medal. But two weeks later, the folks at Forerunners made it possible!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Thanks to Karen & Peter Butler – the fantastic owners of Forerunners Vancouver for 30 years – and Coach Carey Nelson, the Forerunners Half Marathon became a reality!

Social Run – the Forerunners Half Marathon

The run was promoted to the local running community – a free supported half marathon to ‘make-up’ for the First Half. It coincided with our usual Saturday training run, so it was a great opportunity for us to see familiar faces, as well as some new ones!

In order to get in my full training distance, I started out by running from home – a 4km training run. As such, I got in a full 25km!

Forerunners Half Marathon

We gathered, as usual, at Forerunners on Fourth Avenue. The store is not used to seeing such huge crowds, so everyone was crammed in prior to the beginning of the run. Fortunately, the owners of Double DD Pizza – next door to Forerunners – opened their space (and bathrooms!) to accommodate the masses of runners!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Karen Butler

Forerunners Half Marathon

Mayling aka I *Heart* Running!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Coach Carey provided an overview of the running course, and then we gathered across the street before heading out on our 21.1km jaunt.

Forerunners Half Marathon

The course is a familiar one, since many of our training runs take us in the same direction. We ran west along 4th Avenue, before cutting down to Jericho Beach. We ran along the water, taking in the views of the mountains in the distance, and the cloudy skies. The snow and ice which had frustrated our running in the past few weeks was no more – back to the usual Vancouver, a few puddles, and a little bit of rain.

Our first stop was at the 5km water station, set up just as the road started sloping upwards toward UBC. Some Gatorade, and some music to pump up our energy.

Forerunners Half Marathon

Upwards and onwards until we reached UBC – and then proceeded to loop around campus. But not before reaching our second water stop (and bathroom break) at the halfway point. Thanks to Christoph, fighting an injury, for stepping up to support us en route, along with Coach Carey.

Forerunners Half Marathon

Ben Kotanen / Peter Butler

We completed the loop back at the top of the hill, and started back downwards. Anyone familiar with the Scotiabank Half Marathon will know this part of the course well! Our first water stop doubled as our third water stop, and we were again greeted by smiling faces and some much needed refreshment – thanks to Peter Butler and special guest, Ben Kotanen!

Retracing our steps, we ended up back where we started…at Forerunners! Special shout-out to our group leader, Kristin, and to Laurel…who kept me motivated to finish this run!

Forerunners Half Marathon Forerunners Half Marathon

Post-race refreshments were provided at Double DD – juice boxes, brownies, bananas, and chocolate milk – all thanks to Forerunners! And with that, the Forerunners Half Marathon was complete!



Another year has passed, and the summer is fast approaching…and it’s hard to believe that in just three weeks I’ll be running another Scotiabank Half Marathon <– click on that link to sign up!

I’m excited about this year’s #ScotiaHalf for a few reason:

  1. I have the honour of representing the race as a Digital Champion
  2. My dad will be in town to see me finish the race (read more about my dad here)
  3. This will be my silver anniversary half marathon – yep, my 25th half marathon ever!

So, what have I been doing to prepare for my next half marathon? Well, probably not as much as I should be…but I’m doing my best!

At the beginning of May, I finished the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon – it wasn’t a PB, but it turned out to be in the TOP 3 of my half marathons, so that’s not too shabby.

Unfortunately, my ‘training’ was impacted by the very burdensome task of taking an overseas vacation…(in case you missed it, that statement is dripping with sarcasm…)

During my vacation, I continued with my runs – although I admit that they were not long or especially speedy, and involved a few stops along the way for scenic photos. (Read more about Running England, should you care to see a few pics from London and Yorkshire – in total, I ran about 42km in the UK!)

Back home in Vancouver, I started out running 17km with the Forerunners gang – in torrential rain. Seriously, we had perfect weather in England and Scotland, and this is what I came back to! Never been so wet in my life. It took three days for my shoes to dry out.

ScotiaHalf ScotiaHalf

A few days later, I happily joined my dear friend Debra and fellow Digital Champion, along with other Scotiabank Half supporters, for a Pizza Training Run sponsored by Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria! Numbers were down slightly due to the threat of rain, which we laughed off…only to be drenched during our 5km loop in East Van. (On the flip side, I got to #fanboi on one of my running heroes, Rob Watson!)

ScotiaHalf ScotiaHalf ScotiaHalf

This weekend, I ran the Ambleside Mile – part of the West Van Run family of races! I tacked on an extra 14.5km to make sure I was keeping up the distance because, you know, the Scotia Half is just three weeks away!

ScotiaHalf ScotiaHalf

I’m also very pleased to report that fundraising on behalf of BC Cancer Foundation is going well. At $2,664, I’m just over $300 shy of my $3,000 goal for 2016 in memory of my Mom. Should you be able to support this cause, please donate here.


Mom & me – I’m running in her memory!

Look forward to seeing you at the Scotiabank Half Marathon on June 26!

I’m also going to jump back in and join the Weekly Wrap-Up with MissSippiPiddlin and HoHoRuns!


Lucy Chi

Lucy Chi is a social worker by profession, and one of the inspiring athletes I have the amazing opportunity to run with at Forerunners. I’ve always been curious about Lucy’s background, and how she got into running. Lucy has previously written two guest posts for my blog:  sharing her experiences from the L.A. Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. I recently sat down with Lucy at my local Starbucks before one of our Monday night speed clinics to learn more!

This post is the second in a regular series profiling local Vancouver runners and their accomplishments. Stay tuned for more! The interview has been edited for clarity, and slightly condensed for greatest impact!

Lucy Chi

Lucy running Fairhaven, WA in 2014

QUESTION: How did you get into running?

I got into running when I was 12 or 13 – and to be honest I got into running because I wanted to lose weight. Looking back, I wasn’t seriously overweight, but I was a teenage girl and I thought I was a little overweight. So I thought, “What should I do?” and I started running!

I started running in preparation for the mini-Sun Run, about 2k…and I thought I had to train for months and months for it. That was my first race, and ever since then I’ve been trying to run on a regular basis. I ran throughout high school, I did cross-country and track – I was no star athlete but that carried over. I took a break during university because of all the schoolwork, but I got into marathon running around 2010.

Q: Do you remember that first race? How did it go?

Yes, my sister came with me – Vivian – she took me to the race and waited for me at the end. I thought it went by really fast. I remember getting to the end and there was no one there, and there were so many goodies – I stocked up on water bottles – it was my first post-race experience!

Q: What happened in 2010 to change you direction, to get you into marathon running?

I think one of the things was that my friend did a marathon the year before. I was like, “Oh, I should try doing it, but it seems like a different ballgame”. I did a half in 2006, but I didn’t do much between 2006 and 2010 – I don’t think I was running any races. But in 2010 I thought I’d try doing a marathon. I’d been running for a while and I just needed a new goal. So that’s when I joined Forerunners and we had the program working toward the marathon – it was sort of perfect. And that’s how I got started.

I wanted to go somewhere where people showed up consistently, I didn’t want to look around wondering if the run was going to start or not – something about this group made it seem like people were consistently committed to it. And that really turned out to be the case.

Q: Tell me about the training for your first marathon, and your first marathon experience.

I think I just had a goal like, “Oh it would be nice to get under 4 [hours]”. So I ran with the group and I don’t think I had any expectations. I think I ran in the same [pace] group as I do now – I’m pretty consistent. It was fun, it was social – and I was just getting to know people then. People were super-duper nice at the run group. That was 7 years ago and I’m still coming back to the same place. I feel like I’m getting something out of it…

My first marathon was Vancouver and it was a good experience. My sister did it too – we both trained together, she came to the clinic with me. She actually sold me out on the first day, she was supposed to come to the first session and she didn’t show up so I was really mad about that!

We both ran the race and my dad actually came out and watched us which was really neat, because he doesn’t usually come out and do things like that. We saw him along where the Roundhouse is, which is about 2k from the finish line…and I know my sister was all emotional about it. I was OK, but she was all, “Oh, it was so good seeing Dad out there cheering us on!”

About the race itself…I don’t remember it being a terrible experience, I don’t remember suffering or anything. Whenever I say that it makes me think I should be running harder [laughs]…it was good! I knew that you’re never going to have your first time again, so I knew I’d PB so I was going to enjoy the race. I looked around and took it all in.

Q: Did you reach your goal?

I think I got 4:04 – not under four, but I was OK with that…I tend to give myself a lot of leeway. I should probably push myself a little harder!

Q: What has kept you running? What motivates you?

The group is definitely a big part of it, there’s a social aspect to it. More so now than before, especially in the last year. We’ve gone on running related trips.

It’s a health thing as well…I feel like many runners are internally a little bit obsessive in a way – I want to be healthy, keep my same weight, eat what I want…and it’s a good balance to what I do for work…when I ran my first marathon it was a good divider between work and weekend life.

When I came out to the run Thursday night speed work I’d be all stressed, but once I did the run I’d forget all about it because you really couldn’t think about anything else when you’re running, and working out really hard, and breathing really hard. So I think those are the main reasons because the work can get really challenging at times.

Lucy Chi

Lucy and me at a Monday night workout

Q: Can you tell me about your training regimen?

My regimen? I’m trying something new… prior to this year I’ve been doing three or four runs a week, I don’t really do more than that. Speed work, tempo and a long run…Carey’s schedule [ed. Coach Carey Nelson, who manages the Forerunners run clinic].

I just got tested at Peak Performance – threshold testing…what I learned from it, and what they tell a lot of runners, is that you need to do more training at your Zone 1, which is doing your easy runs. What ends up happening is a lot of people end up running at their Zone 2, and they call that ‘junk miles’. You’re running faster than you need to for a training, an easy run. Their advice to me was to do four runs a week, and do three of those runs at a very easy pace – and one tempo run once a week. And that would result in showing improvement.

[Tweet “Lucy’s injury prevention tip: “Definitely roll!” #running @candyaficionado”]

Q: Is it making a difference yet?

I think it’s too early to tell. The first week it felt amazing, I felt super well-rested. The only thing I can attribute it to is running in accordance with that program….I’m hoping it will pay off by May or June. Is it worth it? I’m only going to know when I see the results, but it’s nice to change things up. I’ve been doing the same thing for 3 or 4 years, I feel like I’ve plateaued…just mixing it up has been kind of fun.

Q: What’s the most unique race you’ve ever run?

The Hood to Coast Relay! We’re doing it again this year – we did it for the first time in August 2013 and basically it’s 200 miles [ed: it’s 198 miles!], from the top of Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. You’re with a team of 12, and you basically alternate legs that range from 7 to 10 kilometres, continuously, until you reach Seaside. So that means running during the day, running at night…you run three legs, and you’re stuck in the van with 5 other people so it made for an interesting experience overall.

Lucy Chi

Lucy at the Hood to Coast Start Line

One of my legs last time was running at 1 o’clock in the morning, and I think we fell behind because we missed one of our exchanges….so I was essentially running alone in the middle of Oregon…it was kind of scary, but looking back now that I’ve survived it it was kind of neat, it’s that layer of nostalgia that happens when you look back on things. The person who put the team together in 2013 is putting the team together again this year, so I want to take another stab at it. I would recommend that!

Q: What’s your favourite race ever?

We did the Big Sur in 2012, and that was really fun. Since then, it’s been impossible to get into that race… It’s a marathon in California that takes place in April and you don’t do it for time. It’s a point-to-point along the Central California Coast from Big Sur to Carmel – you run along the Pacific Coast Highway. You reach Hurricane Point and there’s a piano player on the top – it’s super scenic, really hilly, rolling hills, but super amazing in terms of the scenery when you get to the halfway point…the piano player playing Chariots of Fire or whatever inspirational song he’s chosen. And that was really cool because my sister came and we had a lot of fun.

Lucy Chi

Big Sur Marathon – amazing scenery!

Lucy Chi

Lucy and her sister, Vivian – Big Sur finish line!

Q: Would you do it again?

Ya, if i can get in!

Q: Do you have a bucket list race?

It’s going to sound kind of cliché, but probably New York or Boston because, like with Boston, you want what you can’t have. It’s not easy to get into…and plus I’ve been to Boston and it’s a nice city and I’d like to go back, and I’d know that I’ve earned a spot in the race, which I haven’t yet. New York would just be kind of cool – I haven’t been there in over 10 years so I’d like to make a trip out of it with my husband. It would be nice to see the city from the perspective of a runner, through the five boroughs!

Q: Do you have tips for when you travel for a race?

I think the biggest thing is making sure you bring your food with you…I try to make sure we’re situated by a supermarket so we’re not eating out, we can find healthier food. It saves money, and ensures you’re getting good, nutritious food beforehand. I try not to walk around too much, but it’s hard because you want to sightsee. And I try not to arrive on the Saturday, but arrive on the Friday so I don’t feel like I have to rush.

A hard thing to get down is the bathroom routine…is this OK for an interview? [laughs]…you go at a certain time and when you travel it kind of throws it off. There’s been times in races where I’m like, “What do I do?” but…mind over matter! I try to make sure I go beforehand…it happened to me in Chicago and a bit in L.A. but…what do you do, right? I can’t be slowed down by a porta-potty! It’s a real distraction…

Lucy Chi

Don’t let this slow you down!

Q: Have you ever experienced injury?

I’ve been pretty lucky. In the first couple of years I had runner’s knee, and I’d have to stop during a training run. I used to pack Advil in my hydration belt, but I don’t have to anymore. But one thing is that I make sure I roll on a regular basis, use trigger point rollers – I’m pretty religious about that because when I had runners knee I’d literally have to stop. And it really seems to help….that’s my tip, definitely roll!

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve had from another runner?

Probably just making sure the runs are about quality, not about running fast all the time for all the runs, because that doesn’t necessarily translate into faster times or great race results. That’s just recent advice…it’s a hard thing to wrap your head around…but being disciplined pays off.

[Tweet “Lucy on #running: “Make it a habit – a healthy obsession!” @candyaficionado “]

Q: What’s advice you’d give to a runner just getting started?

Don’t miss your workouts. Go for a run even if you don’t want to. You have to make it a habit – if you make it a habit, you don’t even have to think about it. That’s what the Saturday run has become for me. It feels weird not going on a  Saturday morning. You feel guilty not going. You have to go when you don’t want to go…you can’t think about it, you just have to go. It’s easier said than done, but it can be done! Make it a habit, even if it means being a bit obsessed…a healthy obsession!

Q: Looking back, what advice would you give to a younger Lucy?

I should have tackled doing the marathon much earlier. I was put off because I thought I’d be training 5 or 6 times a week, “Oh I can’t do it I’m so busy,” like I’m so special. Doing it now, it’s like a habit…it’s not earth-shattering difficult, you just have to make time for it. I would like to tell me to tackle the marathon earlier so I could have had a longer time to qualify for Boston! I’d like to qualify before I make it into the next [age] category…but if I don’t get it this year, I’ll aim for it when I’m older.

Q: What’s your marathon PB?

3:38 – in Skagit. And the qualifying time [for Boston, for Lucy’s age category] is 3:35.

Q: What races are you looking forward to in 2016?

A few of us from the clinic are going to Berlin, that’s in September. Maybe I’ll try to qualify then!

Thank you for asking me to do the interview – I feel very honoured – and hopefully some of the information I shared will be helpful to somebody out there!

Lucy Chi

Lucy and me – West Van Run 2016!

You can follow Lucy on Twitter: @candyaficionado

Weekly Wrap Dissatisfaction

Participating in the Weekly Wrap with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin, I generally like to keep things positive and upbeat (because they both are!). This week, though, has trended a bit downward – resulting in today’s theme of dissatisfaction. This is NOT one of my Themes for 2016 – quite the contrary, in fact – but in the interests of transparency (which is one of my themes), bear with me as I walk through my week. NOTE: I realize my complaints are very much first world, and that things could certainly be worse.  Heck – the boat in my title photo could be mine!


I woke up feeling worse than I had on the weekend. No doubt the sopping wet Steveston 8k the day before didn’t help. My exercise for the day consisted of walking 20 minutes to the office, picking up my computer, and plodding home again. Went through nearly an entire box of tissue, alternating between work and naps. Of course, I didn’t end up attending Coach Carey’s speed clinic, either.


Back at work, still feeling a bit under the weather, I managed to make it through a hectic day.

Have I mentioned I’m in a choir? We’re a local community choir called Simple Gifts – and I’ve been singing with them for a few years. Each season, we perform at two seniors’ homes – and tonight was our first sing-out. There were far more of us in the choir than in the audience, since 30-40 of the residents were sick! Struggled through, and was pretty worn out afterward.


One and only visit to the gym this week. Jill and I did a bit of cardio, and a quick set of body weight exercises. Our philosophy of “something is better than nothing” came into play. Would eventually like to move beyond that and give more, but it wasn’t happening today.

Reported to the chiropractor after work, who said things had improved – a single ray of hope!


Knowing that it might be my only run of the week, I forced myself out of bed (just) in time to join the #RunVan crew for 8k along the Seawall. Flashbacks of Steveston, since it was pouring throughout – thankfully without the wind!

Weekly Wrap #RunVan Weekly Wrap Selfie

Felt invigorated for most of the day, including the four hours of (work-related, not athletic) training that occupied me for the morning. Finally had a restful evening.


Having promised a colleague weeks ago to attend a networking event, I was suited up and on site by 7:15am – followed by 2 hours of (productive but exhausting) standing and chatting and smiling and representing my employer to the best of my ability. The rest of the day was solidly busy.

Sadly, I had to decline my friend’s invite to Pilates, since our final dress rehearsal for choir started at 7pm – and another 2 hours of standing and singing. Utterly wrecked by the time we got home.


Despite texts from two of my dearest running buddies the night before, I didn’t have it in me to get up and participate in the long run with Forerunners. Truly unfortunate, since the weather was flawless – clear, dry and cool. I slept late, woke up feeling morose and dejected, and ended up going back to bed and sleeping for a few more hours. Clearly, my body was trying to tell me something. My mood improved, especially after squeezing in another brief nap in the afternoon.

Naps are good.

My only nod to exercise was a walk to the shop to buy some treats to share at Sunday’s concert.

Weekly Wrap

Tim Tam – one of Australia’s best exports!


I actually dreamed about running – getting out and joining one of my groups for a 16k. Although it was truly just a dream – I forced myself to commit to at least 5k or 30 minutes, whichever came first. In the end, they pretty much coincided.

Weekly Wrap

The afternoon was spent doing some last-minute rehearsing before our concert performance. The show itself went reasonably well – only ‘crashed and burned’ on one song, which we stopped and started again. Overall, though, pretty pleased.

Weekly Wrap Choir

Thanks to Susan for the photo!

Now, I’m home again in my pyjamas, glad that this week has finally come to an end. And believing that next week can only be better!

How do you manage THOSE weeks – the ones that just don’t go right?


Don’t forget to stop by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin to join their Weekly Wrap, or visit others in the linkup!

Weekend Update

Vancouver is choking under skies that elude to the apocalypse…

But that’s not where I should be starting.

The big national holidays of North America – Canada Day and Independence Day – have come and gone. It’s a long stretch before the next long weekend. But I’ve committed to some solid training and this is what the past week looked like, following last Sunday’s Scotiabank Half Marathon:


Met up with Lisa for training at the YMCA. We were both suffering a bit from the previous day’s race, but since we had committed to each other to be there – there we were. She gave me a refresher on some of the exercises learned in our last training session, and I left with more confidence in what I was going to be doing at the gym.

I also convinced Lisa to sign up for next weekend’s Fort Langley Half Marathon!

Tuesday – 5.8km

Lana and I headed out for our Lost Lagoon loop, joined today by Diane. While very fit, Diane hasn’t done a lot of running, but she soldiered through and completed the whole 5.8km route, with just a few walking breaks. Very proud of her!

Wednesday– 3km

Canada Day! I took advantage of the mid-week holiday and slept in. We attended the festivities on Granville Island, and enjoyed lazing around for much of the day.

Canada flag

We still had choir practice, so I showed up for that. And since I had committed to #JulyRunStreak (3km per day), I got home from choir and headed out for 3km along English Bay at sunset.


Honestly – I don’t think I’ve ever been so hot during a run. By the end of those excruciating 15 or so minutes, I was drenched in sweat. Practically melting. But I had started the month out right!

Thursday – 4km

Before all of the learning slipped from my sieve-like brain, I thought I’d better get to the gym. Squats and dead lifts, plus a bunch of arm exercises. I am going to build my strength! And then, in the spirit of July, I headed out the door for 4km along the Seawall. As I reached the end, I spotted Brie doing her stair workout! We chatted briefly and agreed to run the next day.

Friday – 6.8km

Lana and I had already planned a Friday run. So Brie joined us and one other coworker for our run around Lost Lagoon.

Lana, Brie and me

Nearly 7km later, Brie and I enjoyed Justin’s peanut butter & dark chocolate cups as our post-run ‘fuel’. I only just learned about them at our weekly #BibChat on Tuesday – and discovered that they’re available at Starbucks!


And, for the first time in I’m not sure how many weeks, I went to Pilates! Great to be back in the painful swing of things, along with one of my best friends!

Finally – since Friday was the last day for earlybird registration (and I’m a sucker for earlybird registration…), I signed up for the Summerfast 10K – it will be held 2 weeks from  now in Stanley Park. Wish me luck!

Saturday – 16.5km

For the 2016 West Van Run, Kirill has invited me to be part of the promo team! I’ve very excited about this opportunity to talk more about one of my favourite races!

Kirill has also started a #WestVanRun team run on Saturday mornings. Forerunners was taking a break between clinics, so I was free to join in, requiring me to run nearly 10km through Stanley Park and over Lion’s Gate Bridge to reach the meeting spot! I did this, and then ran an additional 7km with Kirill and 8 others. We ended up running halfway back across Lion’s Gate! But for the views and the chance to meet new running friends, it was totally worth it!

WestVanRunWest Van

I took the bus home.

Sunday – 9.1km

Have I mentioned Van Race? It’s a new local race – both 15km and 30km distances – around False Creek and Stanley Park. It will be held on Sunday, September 6 (Labour Day long weekend). I’ve decided to run the 15km, in line with my ongoing half marathon training.

Anyway, last night Van Race tweeted:

VanRace tweet

So I got up (a bit late) and stepped out onto the balcony. I was greeted with this sight:

Forest fire sky

Due to wildfires raging around the province, the skies were hazy and eerily orange. Nevertheless, I made a beeline for Third Beach, met up with some of the Van Race crew.

Alison and me

Happy to once again team up with Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading for the Weekend Update linkup!


How was your weekend?

How is your training going?

Have you signed up for any new races?

Mid-month Check-in

Happy Monday! Joining Tara (Running ‘n’ Reading) and the gang again for Weekend Update (with a nice new icon)!

Running 'n' Reading

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of June! So far, things haven’t gone exactly as planned, particularly in terms of: blogging, and going to the gym. I blame the awesome weather.

Since my monthly update, I’ve really only had the chance to tell you about my Ambleside Mile experience – which was awesome! In the days following, it was one of those ‘something every night’ type of scenarios. We wrapped up the season of one choir, and started the new summer choir. I had a season wrap-up event with our HR association – a night a TheatreSports that was an absolute blast! Snapped these photos on the return journey that evening:

Granvile Bridge Burrard Bridge

A couple of family things and a BBQ with friends and bam! Another week has gone by.

Running Updates and other stuff

At least I managed to get in some runs!

On Monday, Lana and I went for our first run in almost two weeks, and did our usual Lost Lagoon/Second Beach loop. It was to be our only run during the week, since Lana was taking a bit of time off.

I got a comment on my Ambleside Mile post asking when we were finally going to get in a run…a comment from my BibRave Pro buddy Brie (Like the Cheese).


Have I told you about the BibRave Pro program? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but let me digress and provide a bit more insight.

BibRave is an awesome website that allows folks to rate races across the world –  you can even read my reviews. Somewhere along the way, I saw info on becoming a BibRave Pro, and decided to apply. The program is primarily seeking those with a solid, active social media presence who can commit to engagement with BibRave throughout the year. It involves:

  • Rating all races on BibRave
  • Participating in the weekly #BibChat – one of my favourite things!
  • Getting discounts and free entries to races across North America
  • Receiving and reviewing running products (I haven’t had this opportunity yet)
  • A fabulous BibRave t-shirt!

If you’re interested in applying to be a BibRave Pro – click here. Tell them Bradley sent you!

Anyway, back to the story. So Brie reaches out – she and I are the only BibRave Pros in Vancouver. And I suggested we meet up the next day at lunch! We kept to my familiar route, and had a great time getting to know each other beyond what we’d learned via blog and Twitter!

Olympics and FIFA Brie and me

Brie wants me to join the #NovemberChallenge at 6:29am on Wednesday. I have given my verbal commitment for this week, but I’m still a bit resistant…

Work dominated the next couple of days because gotta pay for life! On Friday, I was finally able to squeeze in a gym/kettle bell workout with Jill from my office. It hurt.

But not as much as Saturday morning! Man, those squats take a toll! But friend accountability meant that my long run on Saturday could not be skipped. It was a tough slog, particularly since Friday had also included #TGIGNT at the local distillery (plus Mama’s Fish & Chips food cart):

TGIGNT Long Table Distillery

Still, it was a flawless morning and 19km sailed by. OK, maybe it didn’t sail…but at least good conversation made it seem a bit less taxing than it might have been otherwise!

IMG_7531 FullSizeRender

Another highlight of the day was our first CSA share pickup from Klippers Organics at the farmers market. If you’re not familiar, Community Supported Agriculture is a program where you pay in advance for a season of produce – allowing the farmers cash flow and security to buy seeds, and do all the legwork involved. Every week for 18 weeks you get a bag of whatever is in season!


This week, our share included a whole lot of yumminess:

  • garlic scapes
  • strawberries
  • snap peas
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • Swiss chard
  • kohlrabi
  • salad mix

On that note, I can’t believe June is half over! I’ve got some catching up to do before Canada Day rolls around! See you on the road, and at the gym!

How has your June been so far? Do you like gin & tonic? Do you go to your local farmers’ market? Have you ever participated in a CSA? 

Weekend Update Barrie
It’s Victoria Day here in Canada – celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was reigning when Canada became a country in 1867. It’s the ‘official’ start of summer in most of the country. And summer has definitely arrived in Ontario!

Yep, I’m back in Ontario for another visit – taking a bit more time than our 4 days back in April when I did two very short TravelRuns.

But before I get to the weekend – retracing steps and bringing back memories in Barrie – let’s recap the past week!


The weather was cool and a teeny bit rainy when Lana and I went out for our lunchtime run – the usual route including Stanley Park, Second Beach Pool and Lost Lagoon. Lana snapped a pic for me:
Second Beach

Jill and I conquered the gym – another kettlebell workout, baby! Here’s proof of the kettlebell in action  (sort of)! Plus, I’m wearing my Sun Run t-shirt!

Interval training! Lana wasn’t available, so I went out on my own. After a 2km warmup, I set my Garmin to do 10x 45 seconds, with 30 second rest breaks. The goose family was watching me running back and forth:

And when I finished I felt like this:
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Despite that face, I somehow managed the 2km return trip.

We did it again – Jill and I motivated each other back to the gym, and included a few deadlifts in the routine. Last workout before my holiday!

I had intended to go to Pilates, per my usual routine. However, being a long weekend, I had too much to do before leaving the office. Then we had to pack, and take the cat to our friends’ place.

On top of that, the scratchy feeling I had in my throat yesterday had blossomed into a nagging cough. And I honestly don’t find Pilates all that effective if I’m coughing through it.

Had a terrible sleep. Got up early and flew from Vancouver to Toronto, where my dad met us at the airport. The only exercise today was walking back and forth to the buffet that my dad treated us to. Plus, I was still not feeling 100%.

One week to Ottawa! And although I’m tapering a bit (does it count as tapering when I did a race 2 weeks ago?), I wanted to get a run in. Also, I thought it would be good to acclimatize to this weather – and take my brand new BibRave t-shirt on its inaugural run!
Barrie weatherFullSizeRender_4

I headed out and straight north (maybe slightly northwest) out of town. Beyond where the sidewalk ends (literally).

It’s a lonely stretch of road, out past the small local airport. Fields on either side. The last time I ran this route is firmly fixed in my mind.


It was just over 2 years ago. I was running to escape from my own thoughts and the reality of losing my mom. She had passed away 3 days before. I remember running this empty road, nothing but the fields and the sky and the sun and the occasional car, and bawling my eyes out. Just running and crying. Trying to come to terms with the reality of our lives at that point in time. It was an important moment – I hesitate to call it a pivotal one – but I think it was then that I realized then how essential running was to me. That it brought me some peace in the midst of anguish.

The road ends, and there is a trail just beyond. This time, I ran that trail. Not far, but just far enough

A lot of water under the bridge. I’m happy to be running here again. A bit nostalgic, to be sure, but not filled with sadness like I was that day 2 years ago.

On a lighter note, at the trail head this is this insane tree (yep – those are shoes nailed to the tree):

As I headed back into town, I was feeling happy and refreshed – at least emotionally (I was really, really hot).
Barrie sign

It’s springtime here in Barrie. The flowers growing wild in the park make me smile.
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Thanks to Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading, I’ve been inspired to do this weekend update – and join her weekly linkup! Join in, or drop by and see what other bloggers have been up to!

Running 'N' Reading


What route did you run this weekend? Do any of your running routes bring back memories? Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized what running meant to you?

Weekend Update

Happy Monday!

I spent some time this week looking into linkups, after collaborating with Erica Finds and her weekly Wednesday Giveaway, where I was promoting my Ambleside Mile race entry giveaway (you can enter to win until midnight on May 12!).

Today, I’m excited to participate in the Weekend Update linkup with Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading. Click on the link to see what everyone else has been up to – and join in!

Running 'N' Reading

Week in Review

Last week should have been spent on recovery from the BMO Half Marathon, which was such a personal success. I took a couple of days – Monday in particular, since I celebrated the race results with a wee bit too much wine (wine has ‘win’ in it, right?).

Then the week went like this:


Took advantage of the weather, and went for a 7km run at lunch. Headed out along the Seawall, detoured briefly through the trails of Stanley Park, looped around the pool at Second Beach, and back via Lost Lagoon. It was a perfect day for a run.



I had actually brought my gear to work on Monday, but in my condition I ended up doing nothing. On Thursday, however, I committed to my coworker Jill that we’d hit the gym.

Our workout included:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Goblet squats
  • Kettlebell snatches
  • Weighted lunges
  • Stork rows (i.e. standing on one leg, leaning forward, and doing rows)
  • Deadlifts (using a bar with no weights…we’re still noobs)
  • Stretching

Quick but effective. Because…


Oh SO. MUCH. PAIN. Aching everywhere…but particularly back muscles. Boy did I do a number on them. When I arrived at the office first thing Friday morning, I ran into Jill and we both grimaced and practically in union said how much we hurt!

Despite this, I had promised Lana that we’d do a run. I took her on the same route I had done on Wednesday.

After work, I made a beeline for the YMCA, to my regular Pilates class with Christie (check out her blog).

And then it was the weekend (the real focus of this post…)!


Got up bright and early, and headed to Forerunners. Our numbers had dwindled drastically, since most people were either in recovery from the BMO, or we in Oregon for the Eugene Marathon! But there was a good core group, and we headed out for our Burrard Bridge/Cambie Bridge loop. In the end, 16km by the time I got home.


Followed by a phenomenal brunch (rosemary potatoes, and there’s veggie bacon on that croissant!):


Thankfully, I had a massage booked – because boy did I need it! When I told the RMT that I ‘overdid’ it on the kettlebells, he said, “Yes, you did.”

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in my blog before, but I belong to a community choir called Simple Gifts. We have our spring concert on June 7, which isn’t that far away! Per usual, the bass section got together at Frank’s place, and went through every song, ironing out the odd rough spot, gabbing and chatting, and wrapping up with bread & cheese and some amazing banana bread!

We wrapped up a beautiful day with a lovely bottle of BC Chardonnay!


This is the third Mother’s Day without my mom. They come in quick succession – her birthday in March, the anniversary of her passing in April, Mother’s Day in May. None of them are easy. But I reflect on who she was, think of the moms who are, those who want to be…and move on with the day.

Off to our regular Sunday morning Flow Yoga class with Rika. It actually felt really good, but it was hard work with a lot of balance poses. It wasn’t hot yoga, but I was sweating anyway!

Spent the afternoon cleaning the closest, switching over from winter to summer clothes. Sadly, the moths were working hard this year, and a lot of my sweaters now have holes in them. I need to figure out a solution to combat this. Then I took a nap.

Quiet evening at home, putting finishing touches on the blog. Oh, and I signed up for another race – the Longest Day Road Race 10K in June.

And in two weeks, I’ll be running the Ottawa Half Marathon – and I cannot wait!

How was your weekend? Share your news!

How do you keep moths from eating your wool sweaters?