Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's official! We have both registered for Boston Marathon 2009. Now that it's January -oops - almost February - it's time to get back into the marathon training. All the fun stuff that has been long gone....but not forgotten ( Yasso 800s, mile repeats and hill workouts!) For some of us (Christy) it's gonna be a bit easier to carry on with training in mild San Diego temperatures. Others of us (me) are faced with running in insane sub zero temperatures & freezing slippery surfaces Ugh! Luckily, I've talked my sister in law Val into registering also and Arma's been on board ever since she qualified in Columbus in the fall.

Val and I have been making the drive down to the indoor track at York University to work with coach Ken each week and test drive all the new spring running skirts. It's about a 45 minute drive (just to run - I know - crazy but true). We have been doing most of our other mid-week mileage on the treadmill. As for the long runs...aye aye aye - there lies the challenge! It's either pound away outside in -35c temperatures (why is it always 10 degrees colder on the weekends anyway?) or plod along on a treadmill (snore). I cannot tell you how much I miss our trail runs or even running on any surface that isn't coated with the icy white stuff.

Something I am enjoying is the countdown of days until Christy & family travel up for a visit to the great white north. Finally, she will get to experience training in my winter wonderland (don't worry I'll post photos). Actually - it is really beautiful up here once you learn to embrace the winter and when you have proper warm clothing. Speaking of embracing the winter - I am trying something new this evening: Snowshoeing! I'm actually really looking forward to it. Did you read the article about the snowshoe race in colorado in Runner's World - it sounds like a blast. They even make "running snowshoes" now - I've already added them to my Christmas list for next year. I've heard cross-country skiing is how a lot of triathletes up here keep their cardio conditioning through the winter. I have yet to try that also, but it's on my "embracing the winter list" .

This weekend is the Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon event - be sure to stop by our booth and say hi if your running. Hopefully it will better weather than the torrential downpour on race day last year. Good luck & Happy Running!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's a New Year! Our annual Hawaiian holiday of Mai Tais & chocolate covered mac nuts gluttony, as all great things, must also come to an end. That, and the countdown to Boston Marathon has now started. We just booked our hotel - hooray! This will be Christy's first Boston (she was pregnant when I went before) and we are running it together with my sister-in law-Val and good friend Arma.

Despite the extreme cold temps and snow up here, I've dived right back into winter training this week. I have been doing my mid week shorter runs on the treadmill and did one hill workout outside and a long run. With all the snow & freezing cold, it's better for me to do my quality workouts on a treadmill. I even started a great new evening yoga class that I think is going to be awesome for core strength and some much needed stretching in my injury-prone areas.

Today, being Saturday, is long run day for me. Val and I planned to meet at my house at 6:30 a.m. and run the lakeshore trail and back (it's about 9 miles or so round trip from my place). When she suggested the time, I shuddered knowing it was going to be cuh-cuh-cold at that time (my run the day before in the afternoon was -15 or so and it was sunny!). I agreed to the ungodly early running time quickly accepting the fact that it would be better to be freezing in the company of Val than almost as freezing a bit later......alone. Well 6:30 a.m. came and went and no Val, than 6:35...6:40 - still no Val. I could hear baby bear stirring upstairs in his crib so I figured I had better make my getaway while the getting was good. I sent Val a quick (where the heck are you) text message & told her that I was sticking to our original plans and out the door I went.

It was peaceful out, there was a huge golden full moon in the sky that illuminated the snowy surroundings almost as bright as if it were daylight. It was FREEZING - luckily there wasn't a lot of wind, it was a still morning (no wind chill thankfully). I realized after I had started out, that I forgot to position my headphones in my ears under my beanie and turn on my ipod. I decided it would be better not to take my hands out of the mittens at that time to put my headphones on since it was that cold. I made a mental note that I'd wait until I warmed up to bare the little paws for a second and turn on my ipod. Off I went toward the frozen lakeshore to the sound of only my breath and the extra crunchy sound of my footfalls on the snow covered road. I could tell by the oddly crunchier sound my feet made on the snow/ground that I was in for an extra cold run today. As I arrived on the lakeshore trail a few miles into the run I was surprised by a full view of a huge gold full moon still hanging low over the sky - it was so picturesque I was cursing myself for not bringing along my bberry so I could have snapped a photo. It was out of this world - a huge orange (harvest-like) full moon hanging what seemed like inches over the frozen lake - a sea of nothing but white snow covered ice. I was the only person out there (not even the ice fisherman were out this morning that early!). I soaked up the sight and trudged along catching myself from slipping in a huge ice patch...whew - close call.
I realized I didn't seem to be warming up as I normally do by this point in a wintery run. I kept wiggling my fingers in my mittens to make sure they were unfrozen. I passed another crazy runner and then another - I wasn't the only die hard out there! I made it to the turnaround point at the end of the plowed lakeshore path and stopped just long enough to quickly pull my ipod out of my pocket, position the earbuds and be back on my way. I was now sweat soaked and feeling even colder and slightly worried about the return trek home. I passed the same 3 die hard runners on the way back and was alarmed at their ice covered eyebrows, eyes, etc. Wow - I wonder if I look like that I feeling even colder...I looked down to find my garmin had frozen and was no longer working. For some reason the return trip around the lake was colder running in this direction. As I approached the last mile from home, I recognized a silver suv that pulled up next to me - it was the hubby & baby bear! He was worried about my running in the sub zero temps alone and went out looking for me. I gave him the thumbs up as he drove by. He stopped to snap a few snapshots of me and then trolled along next to me the rest of the way home. I climbed in the car as we rounded the corner to our driveway and off to Timmy's we went. I've never been so happy to see a Tim Horton's large milk & sugar! Check out the photos from this morning - take note of the 'ice mascara" and the white fluffy stuff on either side of my head - that's my hair FROZEN! I was worried that it might snap! Could you imagine?! All of a sudden the treadmill's not looking so bad now....oh yeah - it was 27 below (c).

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year to you all!

Baby's been standing and taking one or two steps over the last couple of weeks, but he finally put it all together and took the leap of faith (look mum, no hands!). What a great way to start the New Year!

A child after my own heart! I always say I run to equalize my chocolate consumption!
Hope this brings a smile to your day: