Category Archives: Gearin’ up

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Are you starting to wonder how I even manage to keep a job with this stellar ability to keep deadlines?  Magic, I tell ya.

So no.  It doesn’t look like Christmas anywhere around these parts.

Onesie Twinsies!

(Because that’s what Christmas actually looks like around our parts)

BUT! I still want to show off my cool running swag that Santa showered me with a mere, oh, month or so ago.

Without further procrastination ado….Christmas goodies! (…and a whole whack of less-than-professional-quality photos! Of me!)

1) Lobers – Earmuffs with built in speakers so you can plug your iPod right into them!  AKA – brilliant!

Lova-love the Lobers

I saw these once online and, as usual, they didn’t ship to Canada.  (Honestly, we’re not that far…Athleta, I’m mostly looking at you.)  But that crafty big sis‘ of mine managed to snag a pair for me!  (We saw them at a department store in Kingston…I can find out for sure if that’s where she got them if you are interested.)  But long story short…they’re awesome.  Good sound quality, they stay on my head and they’re warm.  Win, win, win.  These beauties are especially great for people like me who LOATHE ear buds (or ear buds loathe me…but I think the feeling is pretty mutual).  It’s pretty tricky to wear a toque and old school headphones and manage to look like a superstar.  I mean, I can pull it off, but it takes some work.

2) Due North Traction Aids – my new favourite piece of gear.

Like a ninja

I’ve been running for a few years now…including training throughout the winter for various races in various years (Around the Bay ’06, Miami Marathon ’07, Peterborough Half 2011) and I have never ever attempted to wear cleats, spikes, yak trax, etc.  And honestly, I have no idea why.  I’m guessing it’s because I’m an idiot, but nevertheless, thank you, thank you Mimded & Eduardo for tossing these magic-makers into my gift pile on a whim!  And outside of running, I’m pumped to try these at bootcamp next week…but that’s a story for another day.  Or month…depending on how awesome I am at blogging in my usual timely fashion.

3) Gloves – because I lost one of my other ones.  Damn you , laundry monster.

Jazz hands!

Just a heads up, these are listed as men’s gloves on the MEC site.  Either I have man-hands or they are a toight, toight glove for most fellas.

4) Lululemon’s Run: Inspire Crop

Another example of my outstanding photography skills

I also like to call these my “buttah pants” because baby, they feel as smooth as butter going on.  I do own or have owned most athletic brands of pants, and NOTHING feels as great as lulu.  Haspansive?  Obs.  Worth it? 100%.  (Thank you Mama McGlone for the splurge!)

5) Chicken Soup for the Runner’s Soul

The Thinker

Truthfully I haven’t started this book yet.  I’ve been busy working my way through a riveting chapter in US magazine about “who wore it best” so that’s been eating up a bunch of my time.  No seriously, I love that I have this and will definitely be pulling it out soon as part of my “return to asphalt plan”.  But for now I’ll just drool over the cover guy’s calves.  Baby steps, people.

6) My one-of-a-kind medal & bib display!

Made with love...and a lotta talent.

Every year the Boot famille draws a name and makes one homemade gift for that person (in addition to real gifts, because unlike my Mom, some of us aren’t crafty enough to create something that would warrant being called an actual gift).  And lucky-ducky me, Mimded picked my name and made me this AH.MAH.ZING. medal display!  And the pockets behind it are to keep random running stuff in…Garmin, charger, ipod, etc.  Genius, no?  And now I’m on my way to having an Uncle Jim wall…only 6000 more medals to go!

brag wall

Bling!

So that’s my new(ish) running stuff…what did you get?  What am I missing?! (e.g. something even better than spikes!?!)

And don’t think that I forgot…I know I mentioned awhile ago that there was BIG NEWS!  So big in fact that I’ve kept it to myself for a couple of months…

…nope, I bet it’s not what you are thinking.  Especially if you are my mother-in-law….

….

These crazy kids are getting hitched!!

The beautiful people

Congrats McKivies!!

I am so, so excited for you both!  I love you and know that you are about to start an even more amazing adventure together!  (Especially when you inevitably become our neighbors.  In Ontario.  Just sayin’…we Bootmans are a good time.)

Even blingey-er. (Totally a word)

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September is the new spring

Little devils

Ugh.  See them? Those sneaky orange tinged leaves peaking out from the big, beautiful summery foliage.  Little devils.   Truthfully, I would fully embrace fall if it wasn’t the gateway to craptastic winter…but it is, hence my love-hate with autumn.

But with the departure of tan lines, bonfires and flip-flops comes the arrival of… BOOTS!  Kidding…sort of.  Boots, but also apple picking, pumpkin flavoured everything and cool, crisp morning runs.  School is back in, workers are back to work, and the mellow days of summer have drifted away.  Let’s face it, fall is the new spring! New beginnings!  So here’s how I’m getting back into the swing of things too…

Making progress…

So how goes the running?  Well, I’m hovering just under 60% complete, which means if I continue to knock off about 50km each week I’ll hit 2011km by the end of the year!  Huzzah!  Hold onto your hats, here comes the math…

808km remaining ÷ 16 weeks remaining = 50.5km weekly

Carry the seven...two to the power of...

And just how am I keeping such accurate records of all of this mileage?  Well I’ve welcomed a new member into my little running entourage…

Helloooo to being tracked by NASA and the like

After the tragic end of Original Garmin and a few months of freeloading Hooles’ Garmin, and don’t forget putting up with annoying eBay shipping headaches, I’ve finally put my shiny new Garmin to work!  Good news because there is no more guesstimating and rounding down (every meter counts people!), but also bad news because now I’m getting a daily reminder of how painfully slow I am.  It’s true what they say, ignorance is bliss.  (But so is Baskin Robbins and that makes me feel much better about myself.  Blissfully ignorant.)

New Garmin is much flashier with all sorts of buttons and beeping and lasers and such, but I think my fave feature is that it’s about half the size.  (That what she…nevermind) Original Garmin was like running with the Zach Morris cell phone of training devices.  New Garmin is so sleek! (Comparatively speaking because it is still quite massive.  But how else can NASA and the FBI track my every move?)

Kelly, grab your leg warmers & meet me at The Max

W.I.N.E. club is back!

After a few “relaxed” months, we are kicking the lid off of WINE club again!  How is a wine club supporting a healthy lifestyle you ask?  Much to my chagrin and most people’s surprise, there is zero alcohol involved.  I know, right?!  Affectionately known as “Fatties in the basement” by my supportive husband, WINE club is a poor, lazy woman’s Weight Watchers.  Weighing In, No Excuses started when Dudes, Red and I decided that we wanted to be accountable for our fitness goals and definitely didn’t want to pay for it.  So after a few months at a different club that just wasn’t working for us (i.e. we didn’t care if 80 year old women judged us for eating extra pie = no motivation to eat less pie), we branched off on our own and started WINE club.  Basically we meet up once a week in Dudes’ basement to weigh in and whine about work, life, other people, etc.  And when the mood strikes us (like in fresh start September!) we set a few personal goals and help each other to stick with them.  So we’re hot to trot and back to WINE…and a new member to boot…welcome Hedgie!  So next time you see one of us, ask how the WINE club goals are going and maybe even about membership!  We’re always open to new people shaming us into exercising! (Maybe…it depends how good you are at it. No one likes a judgey-wudgey bear)

And finally, what else is happening in this springy September?

VACAY!

Muffin and I are heading out to the ol’ west to visit the McKivies…finally!  Just when everyone is back to work, we’re getting out of dodge.  Stupendous…and a classic move by us.

The McKivies!

I can’t wait to spend some QT with some of my very favourite peeps.  So hang on to your underoos for an extra few days and I’ll be back to regale you with tales of our adventures…plus a couple of new things that are in the works for FunnerRunner.  I told ya, September is the new spring…things are happening!

PS – Happy 50th post to me!  And you were all a part of this momentous occasion…lucky duckies!

PPS – I’ll be updating the Kickin’ Asphalt page post-vacation.  I’m just too non-committal whimsical to plan my workouts when I’m supposed to be playing.

Current crushes

Time is marching on and so am I.  Let me tell ya though, it was touch and go there for awhile.  I truly thought that even getting to 50% was a pipe dream.  Having said that, it feels like things have turned a corner and I’ve rejuvenated a passion…well, vague interest…well, not a total hatred and bitterness for running.  So what’s getting me through these days?  Here’s my list of [insert Oprah voice here] “FUNNERRUNNER’S FAAAAAVOURITE THIIIIIINGS!!”

1) Lululemon’s Run: Speed Short and No Show Sock

Clearly not my abs

Just like these but browner and stinkier

Yes, I justify spending moula on haspansive Lululemon because it’s pretty and I work out a bit.  But also very justifiable because, not only does it make your bum look the best it ever will, it’s stellar quality.  So magical bum enhancing power and non-stinking-chafing-pilling fabric  (and did I mention the bum thing?) = worth every penny in my book.  I have running capri’s that I have owned for years and they still show zero evidence of wear and tear.  But my current love affair is with my new (on sale!) Run: Speed Shorts.  If you like running around all ‘neked’ or at least assume that you’d like to run with the same reckless abandon of a toddler, get yourself a pair of these super shorts.  They are light and airy – even when drenched in 35°C sweat.  Running is much more pleasant when you aren’t drowning in swassy shorts.  Ditto for the socks.  The lovely McKivies spoiled me with TWO pairs of these ultra-thin, silky socks (not really silk though, that would be weird.  Pimp, but weird) for my birthday.  Somehow I manage to wear these socks for every workout!  I’ll save you the math on that one…yes, I’m wearing dirty socks repeatedly throughout the week.  Worth it.  But just don’t stand next to me in BodyPump class.

2) Audiobooks on my iPod…or more specifically, The Help.

The Distraction

Boy howdy, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!  I have no idea what that really means, but what I mean is that since downloading this audiobook last week, I crave running.  Kind of.  I’m only allowed to listen to ‘my stories’ while running, so I need to get out and pound the pavement to get my fix.  Tricky huh?  And yes, the story is great and the narration is entertaining, but what I really think that I am in lova-love with is the welcome distraction.  A 90 minute run is over before I know it, and that dear friends, is a beautiful thing.  As I not-so subtly alluded to in a previous post, running is getting a bit monotonous.  Same routes, same songs, same unpredictable geese…kilometre after kilometre.  But the drawbacks of audiobooks are that I’m probably not getting any faster or smarter out there.  But I’m not training for a race or Nobel Prize, so no harm no foul right?  All that matters is that I’m actually looking forward to runs again…even if I’m narrowly escaping getting hit by cars as a trot around happily distracted.

3) Man v Food

You get me, man.

This has nothing to do with running, but I’m loving this show.  But has anyone checked his cholesterol lately?

4) The Smoyce’s

Team Smoyce!

Also nothing to do with running.  But after *ahem* a couple of years, these crazy kids are finally getting hitched!  Long live LOVE!

5) 1005.5km baby!

A very accurate reenactment of my half way moment

Half way Poptarts!!  Nothing feels as good as half way does…except all the way.  That what she said.  (C’mon…you would have said it too…)

And finally…

6) These two cracker jacks.  Because I’m usually crushing on both of them all of the time.

...and because he's the reno king

...and because she is a great helper.

Don’t forget that I’m updating the Kickin’ asphalt page each week with workout wrap ups and plans.  Check it out and keep me accountable…ish.

Yessss!!

Love, love, love waking up to this email!

Baller

Many thanks to the lovely Hooles for loaning me her precious Garmin after the unfortunate demise of mine.

Dear old dumpster Garmin, you’ve been replaced but will not forgotten.  Thanks for the “good times”!

Dear new and improved Garmin, can’t wait to meet you and here’s to many miles ahead!  And you better not be an ebay lemon or it’s the dumpster for you too.

FunnerRunner’s guide to not having to amputate extremities

Instead of just whining about the snow and ice and slush and permafrost and crapola conditions every single day, I thought I might as well shed a little light on the other ways I deal with my hatred for this season.

Enter the “FunnerRunner’s guide to not having to amputate extremities”!!  (Could also be referred to as “What I wear to make winter running tolerable”)

Sadly, I’ve been doing this for a few years now.  I suppose my pea brain forgets how horrid winter running is each year and each year I find myself out there wondering why I do this to myself.  But the good side is that I now have a stellar winter gear wardrobe!

It’s not easy being cheesy.

Here are a few of my fave “snowmaggedon” staples…

  • MEC thermal winter running tights – I have two pairs of these and they feel like butter.  And they keep the wind out like The Bachelor girls keep out self-esteem.  (PS – only abut $45…for THERMAL!  Nike is for suckers)
  • My all-time fave Nike thermal jacket (me = sucker).  I can wear this baby in -30C weather and still be toasty.  It’s thin, waffley and wicking.  The kicker is that I’ve had it so long, you’ll have to do your own shopping to find something similar.  Just so you know, I’m not actually providing helpful information, just rubbing in how awesome mine is.

Not just a shirt, THE shirt.

  • MEC thermal long sleeve – By far, the greatest layer I’ve ever owned.  Thermal and ultra-warm and wicks away to keep you dry. Ahhmazing!  If you are a runner, snowshoer, skiier, person who unrationally sweats in cold weather – buy this shirt.  Like, today.
  • Lululemon brisk run toque – because you need something pretty.  It’s winter, but you are still in public.

Just robbing myself of dignity...and the odd B&E.

  • Facegear – I have two faves in this department – both from MEC.  Shocking, I know.  My balaclava (above) is perfect for windy days – thin, lotsa coverage.  Super gangsta looking too.  The second is even more hard core – for both the Crips street cred’ and unpleasant weather.  It even has special nose holes for breathing – imperative for such a wheezer like me.

Luke, I am your father.

 

Mittens – When I first started running (and was even more of a whiner) my hands were the first things to go all crybaby out there.  So much so, that my very supportive parents bought me a Costco box of hand warmers.  COSTCO!  Of course, there were about 1000 warmers in it.  Big hearts, my folks.  Anyhoo, I did use them all of the time (without making a dent) until I got these bad boys from a generous member at the gym as a Christmas gift.  Sorry Eduardo & Mimded, the Costco box has been demoted to the basement.

Fits like a glove...and a mitten!

  • And lastly, kicks.  The ‘cats are changing my world.

Hopefully this will help you gear up for your next outdoor athletic pursuit.  But truthfully, I just want companies to give me free stuff.  I’m currently looking for sponsorship, MEC.  Or Lulu…?  Anyone?

Tragedy strikes early

It was a bittersweet morning.  But mostly bitter.

First, the good stuff.  The ‘cats are probably the best invention ever.  It snowed on and off all day yesterday, so this morning’s run was good  and gushy.  Perfect for testing out my magical shoes.  And the ‘cats took it like we owned the joint.  If it weren’t for my poor athletic ability and lack of stamina, people would have mistaken me for a Kenyan this morning.  Kicking asphalt and taking names.

But with the very good, comes the very tragic.  Grab Kleenex – this one’ll getcha.

Before each run, for the last 4 years, I put my trusty Garmin outside for a couple minutes to get a GPS signal before starting my run.  (Non-runners…a Garmin keeps track of distance, pace, calories, sanity, etc.) This morning, in a moment of lunacy, I propped it up on top of the sidewalk garbage can, instead of on the building ledge like I always do.  You’re thinking I’m an idiot.  That’s ok…because 99% of the time I am one.  But in this story, you would have done the same (or not, but let’s say you did because I’m already sad). 

So, Garmin’s steadily resting on garbage can gathering signals and waypoints and spy secrets from space.  I walk into the gym – DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE GARBAGE CAN – and stand in the entryway chatting to the Cool Running gals.  This whole process took about 3 minutes.  MINUTES.

The fiasco

Let me paint you a picture...literally.

We leave the gym and saunter over to the garbage to get my sole source of running data for the past 4 years/best friend and what do you know, the garbage is GONE!  GONE!  In the 3 minutes that I left Garmin unattended, the garbage folks came and emptied the can.  At 5:50am!!  Whattha…seriously, what government worker is working before 6am??  I’m government too…so I know that’s not normal, people!

My solution? I’ve put a desperate call into the city public works dept. to see if one of the collectors grabbed it first before scooping it in with the rest of the overflowing trash.  And I’m pouting.  Both don’t seem to be doing much. 

Also, this may force me to simply guesstimate my kilometres for this little challenge.  So I guess I ran, ooh like, 1000k this morning sporting my wicked ‘cats, so I’ll probably reach my goal by the weekend.  I’m really good at guesstimates.  Got an A in it actually.

(PS – Feel free to take up a collection in memory of Garmin.  Proceeds can be made to the “FunnerRunner Garmin Replacement Investment Opportunity Fund”.  Overflow funds will go to the “I really want UGG earmuffs for the hot tub and dog walking adventures Fund”

Wildcat (Felis silvestris)…or (Funneris-Runneris)?

I’m super, super pumped for tomorrow’s run!

Whaaa?  You must be thinking this is a guest blogger or some peppy, optimistic, ILOVEICEANDSNOWANDFREEZINGMYDONKEYSOFF!! runner.  Nope, still bitter ol’ winter-hater me.

And yes, it’s still taking place at 6am…yes, it’s still going to be pitch black….and yes, Mother Nature continues to crap up outdoor surfaces with inordinate and (ironically) unnatural amounts of precipitation.  (Editor’s note: this is not a weather blog, although it seems like one)

So why the excitos?!  Because these bad boys landed on my doorstep last night!

Wildcats! Suck it, ice!

My new kicks…with “superior traction” (to keep me from cracking my tail bone), a “protective…mesh trail cage” (to keep slush, sticks, crap from creeping into my toes) and an outer layer that “provides quick drainage” (to protect from gangrene and amputation). Now that my friends, is a shoe.  Best part?  They’re called “Wildcats”.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more hard core.

Yeah, but is wearing Wildcats?

Photo source