Category Archives: Running

Five things

In true FunnerRunner style, I’m supposed to be running right now but my change of clothes is all the way in my car…in the parking lot…versus within reaching distance. So here I am…dreaming* of running instead of actually doing it. (*dreaming is definitely not an accurate verb in this scenario. In case you’re new.)

So five quick things to update you on:

1) The (non)long run

I had big plans to run a 7k last Saturday but instead my merry little family hit up the dog park and stood around while pretending to be outdoorsy.

dog park

But somehow (enter blog-related guilt), at around 2:30pm, I scraped myself off my own ass and headed out for a 5km. Better than nothing, no? It was a balmy 12C and I knew I would be kicking myself for not at least trying to enjoy it. It’s hard to justify complaining about crap weather when you are clinging to the couch on mild days too.

2) Wednesday’s SURPRISE run!

Because we have had the pleasure of having an AHMAHZINGLY lovely and helpful house guest stay with us for the past few weeks, I was able to actually run in the morning – ON A WEEKDAY! – just like old times.

And my-oh-my, it was wonderful. (<– surprisingly, not sarcasm) Brisky, crispy air with fresh morning legs has got everything on afternoon laziness and lunch-time gurgles. I didn’t realize how much I miss starting my day off with a workout, so if anyone has got a hankering to drive out to the boonies at 6am and babysit for an hour, that would be swell.

New stompin' grounds.

New stompin’ grounds.

A special thanks to Shannaners for disrupting her morning routine so that I could check 7km off my training calendar. AlphaVag for life! (Just our attempt to live out a sorority house fantasy. Wait, that sounds way different than it is…we just wear matching sweatshirts and drink a lot wine throughout the week.)

Remember that time we drank six bottles of Apothic Red and wore matching shirts?

Remember that time we drank six bottles of Apothic Red and wore matching shirts..like for a month?

3) Water drinking challenge

Speaking of Shannaners, have I mentioned that we have embarked on a wine water-imbibing journey together? For the month of November, we are committed to drinking two liters of water EVERYDAY or else! (The ‘else’ is that we don’t get to treat ourselves to new boots at the end of the month…) So “everyday” really means everyday. Even days that you are sitting in Toronto traffic for hours – in the morning and afternoon – you still need to down copious amounts of water. So far I’ve met my goal each day, albeit at the expense of some parking garage floors and couch cushions. I’m not proud, just honest. And my skin is no silkier or smoother so we’ll see if I bother to keep this up through December or not.

4) Songza

Seriously, tell me you are running, walking, dinner-cooking, whatever-ing to this. I was introduced to this super app by Ms. Laporte and am in love. My current faves are “Drop-a-beat workout” (for sweating), “The World of The Lumineers” (for porch sitting and dart swinging), “Vodka escapades: Ladies be pre-gaming” (kitchen dance parties, obs), as well as a few others because I’m well-rounded and a super mom. Fellow Songza lovahs, what’s on your list?

Songza

5) Something new in the works

And I’ll leave it at that and update you when I sort it aaaallll out. Cliffhanger, no?

nailed-it-cross-stitch1

Thankfully, it’s not a race

Having ran a whopping six times over the past three weeks, with a “long run” of 6k, I’m not exactly ready to toot my horn as a “runner” again just yet. BUT I feel like I’m getting there…or at least trying to.

Workouts Nov 15

It’s shocking how quickly your body can turn on you. YEARS!, I spent running, stretching (ish, whatever, I know, shut up), training, and just generally loving up on, LEGS, you have betrayed me. Fickle little monsters.

So I’ve been learning the hard way that it’s going to take some time to get over the lumps, er, hump. Not surprisingly, months of Winners wandering, 90210 watching and “Are you a cow?” reading will leave you unequipped to run like the wind. It’s much more likely to have you wondering, “AM I cow?! Why do I feel like a cow?! This must be what cows feel like when they run…”

You can't tell, but I am wearing sneakers in this photo.

You can’t tell, but I am wearing sneakers in this photo.

So that’s where I am…plodding along, painfully and awkwardly, in a race to get back to mediocre. But I’m fairly convinced that if a gun was pointed at me, I could run 5km to escape. And after Saturday, hopefully 7km.

PS – On a somewhat related note, did you notice that I went to the gym on Monday? Shannaners and I tackled a 30 min cycle class followed by BodyPump. And, I shit you not, yesterday was the first day that I could stand upright without feeling like my back/triceps/chest/eyelashes weren’t going to explode. Oh, soggy lumps of deteriorated muscles, why do you hate me?

I have a confession to make.

I got comfortable, folks.

Which could easily be translated to “lazy”, however I think there’s a lot more to it than just that.

I got to like not being inconvenienced. Not having to run a certain distance or be at the gym at a certain time. Or shower. Or put on non-elastic waist pants. It was easy and lovely and, well, a bit lazy. If I wanted to spend an entire afternoon canoodling a certain little bundle of joy – I did it. I had nowhere to be and nothing to prove. Bliss.

But, if you know me at all, that fancy-free kind of schedule just doesn’t do it for me in the long run. I’m a planner. A list-maker. A goal-setter (not goal-achiever per se, but sweet peas, I’ll make a spreadsheet to map it out). So I’m back. WITH A PLAN!

I can’t even begin to go over all of the things that I should have blogged about during my year at home with Mini-Muffin (for example, her chubby little cheeks and the way she looks when she’s just dozing off and…gahhhh, so much cuteness), so I’ll just stick to a few running related highlights:

  • I did actually run. Not well or far, but on January 7, 2013 I headed out and braved my first run since being 30 weeks preggo in August.
  • I did actually sign-up for a half-marathon and gave a pseudo-training plan a go. Until early May when the race was around the corner and I was still red-faced wheezing through my one and only 15km run. That’s when I decided I was done.
  • Mini-Muffin and I got used to using the jogging stroller and it was good. But I typically maxed out between 5-7km. And I was ok with that. (See above re: lazy)
  • We moved…to the boonies. And I haven’t quite wrapped my head around running there…by my lonesome. (Ahem, Shannaners.)

So that brings you up to speed. (Heh.)

Now that I’m back at work and FORCED to be wearing pants and on a schedule, I’m trying to work in a few midday runs a week while at the office. (Because no one cared to remind me how crazy short your days are when you’re confined to a desk for 8ish hours. Barf.) So, to avoid cutting into precious evening family snuggle time, I’m maximizing my “work” day. Look at me! Super inconvenienced! And kind of smelly at work!

Next post, where I’m at in my fitness. (Is there a succinct/non-humiliating way to say, “I can weeble-wobble along for about 16 minutes before realizing that my lungs and legs are on fire and I’m 99% sure that I am going to have a stroke/seizure/heart attack in the parking lot because, oh right, after 16 minutes of “running” I’m still in a parking lot”?)

Welcome back, readers!

Ah shoot.

I really didn’t mean to take a TWO MONTH hiatus from blogging…it’s just kind of happened…without me even realizing it.

Let me explain.

You know that friend you have…the one you really like but you just haven’t called in a really long time?  And the more time that passes the more awkward it will be when you finally get off your lazy ace and call them?  So you don’t.  And then it becomes even more horrible in your mind and and you really start to miss them but can’t figure out how to re-connect without it being achingly awful and embarrassing?

For you literary geniuses, no need to explain that this metaphor (I think.  Clearly not a genius here.) is about me and my blog and our fading relationship.  Again, it wasn’t intentional…just awkward.  So let’s hug it out and move on, shall we?

But before we do, it wouldn’t be an apology without some lame excuses to go along with it!

Totally appropriate excuse numero uno: This is a running blog.  And sweet potato fries, it’s hard to write about running when you are barely trucking along with zero training or race goals in mind.  Not a lot of blog fodder in the same 7k  route when subjects like achy pelvic bones, peeing in the woods and bouncy fetuses are frowned upon.  That said, I am happy that I managed to run until 30 weeks (about 7.5 months) preggo.  And truthfully, the actual running didn’t feel too bad and I probably could have kept going a little longer, but feeling like you have to pee for 45 minutes and then waddling around the office all day because your crotch is sore was just getting a little annoying.

Last run done! (AKA – I can’t feel my legs!)

So no more running for this gal for a few months at least.  I’m still cycling and doing Body Pump a few times a week and have switched to “power walks” with Piper instead of running.   (Tip: power walks are really just walks but with a pully dog)

Ruining walks since 2008

Totally appropriate excuse #2: I broke my camera.  And we all know people just want to look at adorable pictures of dogs (see exhibit A above), food and self-portraits on blogs.  It’s ok to admit it.  So if anyone knows how to get river water out of a camera – AFTER trying the rice trick – lemme know.  Or, even better, if anyone would like to buy a clumsy cheapskate a water-free / water-proof camera, lemme know.

Totally appropriate excuse #3: I’m lazy and it’s summer so get off my back.  Pretty self-explanatory that one.
But seriously, I do have some updates for you, such as “2012 goals: yeah, how’s that going?” and “Recipe round-up…the good, the bad and the tragically ugly”.  But until then, one more gratuitous shot of my lovely little family.

You’re welcome!

Just a prediction…

….buuut, I’m guessing this might turn out to be the longest summer for me EVER.

So yeah, I’ll start.

Dear Summer….Really?  Already?!

You’d think that running between 6-7am would be the responsible, smart thing to do in these kinds of temperatures.  Get out while the getting is good.  Guess what?  It wasn’t even remotely good then.

Totally accurate weather forecast.

Actually here is the ACTUAL FREAKING WEATHER from this morning…right about the time I was wheezing my way back up my driveway from a sluggish 6k run.  Yes SIX.  That’s it.  (And yet somehow I still lived to tell.)

I really thought it would be my increasingly gargantuan belly that would do me in on the running scene…not you, dear summer.  Old friend.  I already hate winter….it just doesn’t feel right to begrudge my beloved warmth and sunshine too.  But c’mon, at least give me the early mornings before the blinding heat sets in, mkay?

Great.  Good talk.

BUT all of this heat is making me even more excited for my next little attempt at staying upright (when all I really want to do is curl up on top of the AC vent).  Hello deep water running classes!

I’ve signed up to VOLUNTARILY squeeze myself into a one-piece in public (OMFG) to take part in an oh-so awesome deep water running course running throughout July and August.  Fries n’gravy, if I’m going to look like a whale, I might as well go balls to the wall and make it authentic by flapping around in a semi-large body of water too.

Actually, because my cycling instruction days are now on the decline and the angry sun is going to make it next to impossible to run outdoors sooner than later, I really wanted something that would be active, fun and totally manageable EVEN if you are smuggling a watermelon under your swim suit.  I did the same class years ago with Hooles and then recently tried it again for the Exercise Diaries and really liked it both times.  So if you are wondering what the deuce it’s all about, pop over to read my recap here.  And if morbid curiosity is calling to you about what a 30-something year old woman would look like when stuffed into sausage casing, join the class!  It’ll be like a wave pool once I get flailing around in there.  FUN!

Warning: front row may get wet.

In running news…

In case anyone is keeping track, you may have noticed that the Smiths Falls Spring Fling Running Thing has come and gone…with ne’er a word from yours truly.  (PS – Thank omgoodness because I am so sick of googling the name of that freaking race because I can never freaking remember what freaking order the rhymes go in)

Try spelling it

Yes, I wimped out.  Took the chicken’s route.  Declared myself in a delicate state and begged for a refund.  Which, much to my delight, I actually received.  Thank you race organizers! (…even though the name of your race is highly irritating for lazy, forgetful people like me)  I’m a bit sad however about the whole thing.  I would have liked to get one more training season and big race under my belt before giving it up for awhile.  But honestly, I just couldn’t wrap my head around pushing my body really hard at the moment.   A half-marathon is still a challenging distance for me and I really didn’t want to tarnish my outstanding race resultsAhem.  (Of course I’m kidding…all of my impressive-ish times were lost when I changed to my married name and started racing with the additional newlywed 15lbs.  The good stuff is under “Boot“).

Ack, I’m way off topic.

Moral of the story – I wimped out of my half-marathon because of the fetal beetle and am kind of regretting it.  Because really, I could have trained and just puttered along, yelling “I’m running for two, JACKASS!” as elderly women ran by me.  Maybe another time.  Pity party for one, please.

Suck it, fatso.

But in happy running news, I’ve managed to coerce not one, but TWO lucky duckies to run with me on a weekly basis.  The first is Hooles, who you may recall as my original running-partner-in-crime.  After I hurt my IT band a few years ago, followed up by Hooles’ no return policy on the carrying and birthing of awesome little B-rock, our goals really didn’t line up so we were forced to hang out over wine and camping vs. running dates.  But we’re back baby!  With neither of us really wanting (or capable of ) more than just some company and to get a few kilometers in, we’re the perfect pair again.  That is until I balloon up and she leaves me in the dust.  But for now, I’m loving our Thursday evening run/gab/wheeze sessions.

Hooles and FunnerRunner = * N SYNC

Secondly, I have a brand spanking new Wednesday morning running partner.  We’ve known each other from the gym for a few years but we just never put it together that “hey, I like running! And you like running! Shall we?”.  So for the past two weeks we’ve headed out for 6am runs and it’s great.  You never know what it’ll be like running with someone new…will we have stuff to talk about?  Are we similar in pace/goals/distance?  Will she look better than me in spandex? Does this mean I have to brush my teeth first?  (Answers: yes, yes, yes, and yes)  There are so many things that need to come together to make a good running pair.  Like an onion really…the layers, the depth, the tears.  So the next time you see two people running together, feel free to give ’em the old slow clap just to let them know that you know it’s not as easy as it looks.

My hope is that these two ladies will keep me accountable and motivated, because cheese n’ rice, we all know I need something other than willpower to get me out the door.

PS – I really did tackle trifle.  This building up business doesn’t mean that it’s an awesome story.  But guess what, you’ll get to hear it anyway!

Did you run in the Smiths Falls Springy Flingy Stupid Wordy race?  How did it go?

Have you ever registered for a race, and then faked a pregnancy to get out of it?  (KIDDING MOM! Pick Eduardo up off the floor…)

Shamrock shaken? Check!

Two pieces of surprising information…one, I actually ran 13k when I said I was going to run 13k.  A 2012 miracle!  And two, it felt ah.mah.zing.  Shocking, I know.

Thanks NatalieDee.com

After committing to the Shake Your Shamrock virtual race last week, I immediately starting planning out my runs for the week so that my 13k “race” on St. Paddy’s Day wouldn’t leave me feeling like a wee bag o’shite!  (That’s Irish speak for “all of my runs lately”).  Not surprisingly, I eeked out 10k on Tuesday and that was all she wrote for the remainder of the week.  Classic me.

But for some reason when I woke up on Saturday, I was feeling ready to go.  Like actually really looking forward to this run.  I think it may have been the sunny, mild weather or the anticipation of Dairy Queen post-run, but I’m not one question my motivation – I just went with it.

Ready to rock the sham...rock.

And lemme tell ya, it was a fan-Lucky Charm-tastic little run.  My hometown is pretty and clean and FLAT.  Hooray for a lazy leprechaun like me!  It wasn’t my fastest run ever (about a 5:43 pace according to Garmin) but I don’t really care.  I’m just happy that my legs felt decent and that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.  Having taken a little hiatus from running, it seems like it’s been harder to get back in the groove.  You know, not having to force myself out the door…and down the sidewalk…without turning back home…and reaching for the Doritos…and hosting a little pity party (for one)…sniff.

*Not an exact portrayal...but pretty friggin' close.

So first “race” of the season = success!  “Official” time of 1:14:15.  My elusive runner’s high? = Welcome back, old friend!  Dairy Queen caramel sundae reward = dangerously motivating.

Official results

Thanks Aneta and Linz for hosting the Shake Your Shamrock

Shake Your Shamrock VIRTUAL run

It won’t be pretty, but I’m in.

2nd Annual Shake Your Shamrock Virtual Run

The lovely Aneta, a fellow Ontario blogger (fist-pump/ninja kick!), is co-planning a virtual run for this weekend.

I’m not going to lie….my training for the Smiths Falls half marathon next month isn’t going too swimmingly.  In fact, it hasn’t really started.  I’ve been happily plodding around the 7-9k mark for a few weeks now with very little ambition to crack the whip any time soon.

Enter brilliant Aneta and her brilliant little tactic to push me into double digits…or face looking like a virtual idiot (more than this blog already does).  So I’m signed up for the 13k run and have BIG plans to get it done this upcoming (forecasted as balmy, balmy, balmy) Saturday in the land of fear and death trapsMimded and Eduardo’s house!

Just another run in Lanark County

However, I’m also a little brilliant myself (*knuckle buff*) because I’ve mapped out what should be a Cujo-free route in town vs. the terrifying terrain of country roads.  So wish me luck…like Irish luck, the good stuff…as I move on into the world of double digit running for the first time in 2.5 months.  Gahhh.

So who else is in?  C’mon…someone else must want to drink extra green beer extra guilt free…??  Details and sign up info here!

Let's make some memories!

Bootcamping and, surprise, RUNNING!

Although I have been a little MIA on the running scene these last few weeks, I have managed to keep my ever-loving-expanding booty on the move.  By pumping my own gas?  Taking out the trash? Walking into Baskin Robbins vs. waiting in the car while Muffin fetches me a double scoop? Nope. Nope. And definitely nope. (He refuses to take the blame when ordering freakish amounts of dessert on my behalf.  SO selfish.)

Bootcamp, y’all.

For the past 3.5 weeks I’ve been sucked in the the cult that is Soldiers of Fitness.  I won’t liken them to Nazis or anything because that would be too accurate inappropriate, but let’s just say I find myself doing things under their instruction that I wouldn’t normally even fathom doing (e.g. drag an 110lb tire through the slush at 6am…).  Whether you call it brainwashing or fear or whatever…it seems to be motivating me.  Because I’m a sucker…and it was free.

Anyhoo, I haven’t mentioned it much because I’m actually being paid to write about it over here (and here), so yeah…my little brain can only muster up so many words to describe the ruthless and relentless experience that is Soldiers of Fitness.  (But c’mon over for a visit with a bottle of wine and I could be schnapped into telling you exactly what I think of endless chin ups, squat thrusts, sandbags and PRONE FREAKING PLANK POSITION!!)

However, much to my annoyance, I like it.

When my body wants to just roll over in bed and mentally flip the bird to instructors Dimacakos & Suurd (because I’m a gutless baby in real life), my head reminds me that it’s actually kind of fun.  And that I actually enjoy being kicked in the arse (metaphorically – they’re not that mean).  And that I haven’t challenged my physical limits like this in a long time.  Then my throbbing quads quickly respond with “you’re an idiot” and I find myself layering up for another wet and dark morning at the park.

Not exactly as depicted.

That said, I did hit the pavement this weekend for a little 9k jaunt and it felt goooood.  (Likely because I wasn’t dragging three tires from my waist while doing it.  Ahem, SOF.)  It seems like this love affair with that hussy bootcamp is wrapping up just when I need it. After December, I needed a break from running.  I checked out the other side of the green grass.  Now I’m ready to be reunited with my true love.  It’s all very Ross and Rachel but I think you get me.  Running, I’ve missed you.

So what’s on tap?  This weekend’s Peterborough Half?  Not quite.  But Dudes and I will be out there bringing MORE COWBELL as we refresh and replenish folks at a water station.  I’m pumped to be cheering at a local race – especially because I know how important it can be to hear a few rah-rahs! when your legs feel like they are made of wet paper towel.  So fill me in…who’s running this bad boy? Whaddaya need…gatorade or water?  Jujubes or licorice?  I’ll be watching for you, but I doubt you’ll miss us…we’re the two crappy volunteers accidentally passing over our mimosas while buried face first in a tub of Big Feet.  Best.race.ever.

Because it's what matters.

But as you know, being the best cheerleader ever just isn’t enough to motivate me.  I have to pay cold hard cash for a race bib in hopes of keeping up any training plan.  So really, what is on the race agenda for me? (Meaning that I’m actually running and not just bellowing “You call that running?!” in a hot chocolate/Baileys fueled rant.)

No turning back

Ta-da!  On April 22, if everything goes according to plan (evil finger tap), I’ll be heading to the Smiths Falls Spring Fling Running Thing! So I’ve got exactly two months to remind my legs that we likey running…and maybe even convince them that we likey not coming in dead last in a teeny-tiny inaugural race.

Best cheerleader ever.

Home stretch!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m down to just FIVE running days and 42km left before the end of this challenge.  It was touch and go there for awhile (read: the first 9 months of the year) but *fingers crossed, DONOTJINXTHIS!!* things are looking pretty good.

So for the next few days, I’m on a mission.  Mother nature…yeah, you…I’m watching you like a hawk.

Outta my way

The forecast is a bit sketchy this week, but thankfully, it’s really the only foreseeable things that will stand in the way of me reaching 2011km by Saturday.

Hoping for a better ending than this

But who knows, I could come down with food poisoning and a complete case of the lazy’s…you just never know.

Failure.

But seeing as though I am planning on treating myself to something awfully special, like a car or Vespa so that I never have to even consider running again once this challenge is over, I am highly motivated.

Wish me luck and stay tuned!  (Or instead of just useless wishing, you could fly me somewhere with dry pavement and sunny rays for the next 40-ish kms…B-Mac, I’m looking at you…)