Monday, 31 December 2012

Yvonne's Will Do 2013!


Sunday, 30 December 2012


Shannon's 2013 Goals


Fitness

Focus on my fitness goals 
Start Beach Body Brazilian Butt Lift and go hard with it!
Get back into my clean eating routine, but allow myself to still enjoy lift
Get back to planning my meals for the week
Keep up with food prep on Sundays
Changes I want to see with my fitness goals. Drop inches off my hips, my tummy and     thighs
Stop worrying about my weight, focus on the inches, they are dress sizes!


Work

Finish my disability course and sign up for my CFP course to finish my CHS designation
Continue to keep up my hard work and build up my client base
Keep true to my ethics and who I am
Learn to communicate better with my co-workers and clients
Build and put in place my career path plan and what I really want and where I see my  career going
Get better organized with my paperwork, commission tracking and keep on top of it
Get out and be more apart of the community, learn to meet others and network


Personal

Continue to love myself for who I am and who I will grow to be as a women 
Tell myself every morning in the mirror that I am strong and beautiful and can do anything I  set my mind too 
I deserve to be happy
Start volunteering, and make a difference in the world
Love my family like there is no tomorrow
Pay off all of my debt!
Love my friends, and start new relationships
Stop living in the past, open my heart to new beginnings
Dream like I have never dreamed before
Find LOVE! I would be so blessed to find love and create beautiful memories.


2013 will be amazing!





Thursday, 27 December 2012

Rules for Learning to Live Beautifully?!



Inspire myself and others to Live Beautifully
 Through adventure, experiences and curiosity!”
     
1.                 1.         Wake up with intention.  Before you get out of bed take a few deep breaths and a minute to give thanks for the day. What do you want to appreciate, acknowledge and communicate in your life? Say out loud “Something wonderful is going to happen today"
  1. Make your bed. The act of making your bed contributes to your overall productiveness and encourages other healthy habits. “The Happiness Project” noted that making the bed was “the number one most impactful change that people brought up over and over.
  2. Simple Abundance.  Daily reflection from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “A Daybook of Comfort and Joy”
  3. Think Positive. This is the ultimate to living a beautiful life – thinking positive and believing in the good will attract other positive things and people into your life. Do not let negativity into your space and do not surround yourself with people that are negative- Energy Vampires.  Assume positive intent.
  4. Challenge Yourself. Get out of that comfort zone, do something unexpected, try something new! Everyone has dreams or wants to accomplish something. No matter how big or small – write it down, get focused and take action. Follow the principles in PUSH! Weekly Top 10 goals for the year, daily task lists and my “Will Do’s”.
  5. Do What You Love. Life is too short to wake up and hate what you do. Live you’re Passion. Even if you don’t get to make a living doing what you love, you should still find ways to fulfill that passion. Join a group, take a lesson, and explore your passions. Always be learning something new.
  6. Be Selfish.  As the Flight Attendant says “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others” You have to be a priority in your own life and you need to do things just for you. Do things for your health, your mind, your body and your soul. Treat yourself with something special?!  We only live once, no regrets
  7. Give a gift to everyone you meet. Smile, a word of thanks, a gesture of politeness, a sense of compassion. Seeking opportunities for Random Acts of kindness. Everyone appreciates getting help and everyone needs a little help. No one can live beautifully on their own, we all need support and help from our friends, peers, family and our community. Practice Sava- giving with no intention of receiving something in return.
  8. Practice Mindful Eating.  Be mindful of what you are eating. Engaging your senses. Eating quality vs quantity. Savoring small bits and chewing. Eating in moderation with awareness. Eating with gratitude. Being fully present with your food and those around you
  9. Being Mindful. Being present with the moment. “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” “When visiting with friends, visit. Taking time mid-day to regroup, daily meditation and practicing yoga min 3/week
  10. Nature Appreciation. Spending time each day with Mother Nature. Walking the pups, taking a break outdoors. Stopping and really taking a look at the scenery around me and using all my senses.
  11. Frugal Consumption.  Cutting back on spending that is not truly servicing ourselves.  Pause to think before purchasing. Creating a list before going to the grocery store. Quality vs. Quantity?! Do I really need another….. Being selective of those “BIG” purchases, bringing back the excitement of when you are getting something as a reward instead of just because you can.
  12. Celebrating Positive Moments.  Celebrating your accomplishments and those of others. Taking time at the end of each month to reflect on goals that have been accomplished. Celebrating them in your gratitude journal. Making my home a gallery of positive moments.
  13. Uncluttered Life. Less is definitely more! Purge and Organize! Everything with a purpose and a place. Follow a yearlong “get organized” program and work our weekly household checklist.
  14. Beauty Sleep. You can’t live a beautiful life tired! Turning all electronics off an hour before bed. Create a bedtime ritual. Aim for 6-7 hours’ sleep. If you have a specific time you have to get up work the clock backwards to figure out your go-to bed time.
  15. End your day with gratitude. Write down one wonderful thing that happened. Be grateful for the day as it will never come again

Monday, 10 December 2012

A New Year for New Challenges....

   We are heading into a New Year and it's time for my favourite topic- "Will Do Lists"

I have always been an anti-new year's resolution person. New Year's resolutions rank right up there with I will start on Monday, it's almost the 1st of the month I will start then?! You know those first few weeks of a New Year at your gym with all the "new" people taking up your space? Gggrrr!



As soon as the temperature starts to cool down my brain automatically starts to go through the files of what I want to accomplish the following year and what will be my "Big" focus for the upcoming year?! Reflection this year is an interesting one..... Some of my goals I aimed a little high right off the start and forgot the baby steps. Baby steps are vital to ensure your success. It's like training for a marathon, yes key word training! A marathon was on my "Will do List" this year and I trained for it and completed it successfully with a smile on my face. Unlike my great adventure of Project 1825 where I decided I was capable of jumping into a 100% healthy eating with only one treat item a week. A little over zealous and surprise I fell flat on my face. Through falling we get back and up recreate.... enter the Art of Conscious Eating which has definitely had an impact on my life. Prior to Project 1825 and Art of Conscious Eating I ate without a lot of thought. You know those moments when you run out of the house at 11:45 and then at 12:30 your out and your hungry so.... yes we all know where we end up! With the Art of Conscious Eating it brought up my game so I would look at the time before I ran out the door. 11:45? mmmmm I'm probably going to get hungry? Should I make a quick shake? Do I have something I can grab and pack for when it hits?! No I did not hit my original target but I did still make an impactful and positive change in my life. 



My BIGGEST tip and lesson learnt from this year, keep your "Will Do List" visible!!! Halfway through the year I moved my work space and I did not bring my framed copy of the my "Will do List" therefore out of sight out of mind.... I did still accomplish most of what was on my to do list but it was no longer a focus it was something being accomplished more out of habit.


Over the next week I am going to play scrapbooking style with my magazines and create a new vision board. I have an idea for my main focus of the year but have not finalized the logistics of it yet?!



How about you?! Care to join in the wonderful world of "Will Do Lists"?! You will be amazed what you can accomplish if you keep it front of you and align your life with your goals! Come on you know you want to....




Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Where Do You Come Up With These Things?!

Yesterday I was asked "How do you pick/find these goals.....

Well it is has been WAY too long since my last blog and having the inspiration to jump onto my soapbox to talk about one of my favourite topics- GOALS!!!

 

It all starts off as inspiration. You know those moments where you hear someone's story, an ad in a magazine for some adventure or perhaps hint, hint get inspired from reading a blog. The "BIG" difference is seeing that inspiration and not saying "I wish I could do something like that" but instead "Hey I could do that" Its all in the attitude and being honest with yourself.

I have changed my mindset when I decide if I am going to do something, anything. Work related, personal! No longer do I start with "Could I" as I know I can do anything. The question is "Do I want to?" and "Would I enjoy it?"  Example:  a yeah for me was deciding to complete a marathon. I was doing well with my running and I enjoyed it. I had a friend who was willing to put in the time with me. I found a place that inspired me.  to complete it. It all fit so it was a "yes". On the flipside I have considered if I wanted to go completely crazy and compete in a figure competition. So the questions start?! The workouts- I'm golden no worries now the flipside the food.... eating all those egg whites, no wine, the carb depletion at the end! It's a total "No" for me at this point. Could I, yes! Does my desire outweigh the process, not today! Be truthful and honest with yourself and don't use the negatives as an excuse to not do something that you really want. Remember big goals are scary.




Lets move ourselves forward to my current "BHAG" - Big Hairy Audacious Goal!


 On a recent trip to Mexico on a day excursion to Playa de Carmen it was mentioned to my friend and I that Sunday was a great day to go to Cozumel. Appears Sunday is the only day that there is no cruise ships and added bonus the Ironman was currently under way.  Insert here- I have watched Ironman since I was a little kid and wondered why couldn't I do something like that?  I have seen the proud owners of the Ironman insignia tattooed on their calves and instantly allocated a location for the future " just in case". Within a month of seeing the Ironman at Cozumel the Hawaii Ironman magically appears on the TV. Considering I am not a TV watcher the chances that I caught this great event was very slim. Are you seeing the stars align?! During the event they showed a flashback of the 1982 Ironman where a 23 year old women was in the lead and within yards of the finish line her body began to betray her. Watching her push herself to the finishline as she repeatedly collapses. As she made her way to the finish line she was passed by another female who then took the winners medal. Still inspired to get it done she dug deep and crawled her way to the finish line. As I watched this flashback I knew I had seen this race when I was a kid. In Cozumel we saw people all shape, sizes and ages. Including a gentleman who was running with his prosthetic  So here I am with two perfectly although well used legs?! The wheels started turning- "I want to compete in an Ironman!" So the big decision is made now the important enticing additional inspiration, picking the location?! Oh yeah! So my good friend "Google" and I got right at. At first I was disappointed as no location really spoke to me and then voilĂ  I saw a picture of an event called the "Vineman Ironman" um hello!! Remember prior comment about fitness competition and not being able to have wine. It is a glorious fit! This Vineman Ironman is known as a beginner triathlon, the course takes you through the Sonoma Valley Wineries. Can you not hear the angels singing.....  Now with all SMART goals we need a timeline. 2013 will be there 23rd year running this event. So that means 2015 will be there "25th" anniversary event!!! Oh yes! That gives me 2 years to get ready!!! and time to possibly recruit a few friends, Mmwwaahhh! 

So tell me what is your BHAG?! What is it that you know deep inside that you have always wanted to try?! What makes you nervous, scared and excited all at the same time?! That should be your BHAG! If you honestly don't feel one deep down in your core. Stop and look around?! There are opportunities everywhere its just a matter of not being so busy that you can't see them. Then believing in yourself that "I can indeed make it happen!"


Need a little further inspiration?! Here is the video of  Julie Moss completing the 1982 Ironman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbWsQMabczM


Friday, 29 June 2012

100 Mile Relay!

You know those events that sound like a great idea 6 months before they are going to happen.....






Enter in the Waterton Glacier Relay affectionately known as the WG2. You have your option of a 4, 8 or 12 person team that each completes their leg of an overall 100 mile relay. We went with the 8 person team so each runner completes 3 legs of the race.  Now the fun begins..... team meet up time was 1:30 "am" yep "am"! Loading up the vehicles in a torrential downpour.




Then we are off to the race start. Registration at the lovely hour of 3am and then the race begins at 4am! Sounds like fun so far doesn't it?! Now this is no normal 100 miles its WG2 after all,  so we have to throw in some extras. This race begins in Cardston, Alberta Canada and ends in East Glacier Park, Montana US. How cool is that?! You are running through the mountains of the Canadian/US border. Running mountains therefore means the favourite pastime of all runners- Hills! and man there were a few hills...... I was running number 8 and my first leg was a wonderful "hill"! As I trucked along the hill wondering " I thought my friends liked me?" "they obviously think you can do it! So go...." as I continued my climb I came across another female runner making her way and my thoughts as I passed her "I guess her friends don't like her either" The funny s%#t we think when running, LOL!!!


Despite the 1:30 am wake up call for those who actually went to sleep, followed by a very early start time this was an incredible experience! 2 vehicle loads of your friends taking turns passing on the baton to take on their own next personal challenge. Running your leg not wanting to let down your other team mates. God forbid if you slowed up the team.... the abuse we put ourselves through, LOL!!



 A truly great bonding experience..... 


WG2 is an excellent "team" event! So many times with running its really just you and only you at the end of the day. With WG2 its all about the team.... living each mile thinking of your friend pounding the pavement or trail.  Watching your friends put it all out there on those hills. New runners pushing themselves to new levels. Encouraging your friends "you got this!" High 5's and lots of mini celebrations through the route. 

There is a catch to my blog today.... I know I love sharing my adventures with you but I am hoping this one may intrigue you to give WG2 a spot on your bucket list!  The WG2 team does an excellent job with this event, you can see their passion and general desire for this to be a successful event. WG2 needs their registration numbers to increase for this event to continue so I am reaching out to you crazy adventurous spirits and asking you to seriously consider getting a group of friends together to complete this event! Come on I know you want too..... 

If that isn't enough for you how about a little race swag to entice you further?! 


Bear Bait's race swag! 


Thank you to my amazing friends for inviting me to participate in team "Bear Bait" 
Ivan for all his organization as the team Captain! 
Joe and Mason for being our team photographer but more importantly our cheerleaders while on the road! 

Thank you to the WG2 team for putting together this event! Thanks to you I have a memory to last a lifetime of a great weekend spent with even greater friends!




For more info check out the Waterton Glacier Relay website

You can also like their facebook page










Sunday, 17 June 2012

Living Fit.....



Yes! I have been quiet but don't think for a moment that the adventures have not been happening?!

   During my marathon training I stumbled across a training program created by one of my favourite fitness peeps, Jamie Eason. I was dying to start the program as soon as I checked into it and watched a few of the video's. Now the catch for those of us self proclaimed "Cardio junkies" there is no cardio for the first month! Needless to say training for a marathon and not completing any cardio for four weeks didn't really fit into the plan of the moment.  The program was shelved until my marathon was completed. There were many occasions where knowing that once my marathon was complete that I had a "reason" to not run or do any cardio for a full month seem like such an amazing reward. For one full month when asked if I would like to go for a run my response was "Sorry! I'm not allowed!" with a coy smirk on my face.


    Exactly a week after my marathon was completed I started the Live Fit program. Instantly I fell in love with the workouts. Way, way, way back when I first initially started working out the weight room was my domain. I loved the sense of power, watching your muscles grow and kicking it with the big boys! Oh those days when you can out lift the guy beside you, Mwah!!! Sorry my competitive Type A coming out again.....




  First couple weeks in seem a bit strange! Your workouts are 5 days a week and approx 30-40 mins. That's it!! I can tell you "leg" day, I actually did a few extra sets because my legs were confused. They were yelling "hey we can't leave yet! We have only warmed up! Seriously, this is all you want from us?" Then....you hit Phase 2! Phase 2 amps up your game. 6 days a week with your weight workout and 4 of those days include a half hour session of cardio. Yeah to the return of cardio, although I must say you do become a complacent about the cardio. Some days you affectionately reflect on the month of "no cardio" but alas that dream is over and lets get going....




  Currently I am almost at the halfway point and can not believe the changes that I have seen in my body already. This last week with my arm and shoulder workout I was able to amp up some of weights. Triceps? that allusive muscle hiding behind those batwings. They exist and you can find them with this program! I promise!!  Triceps have been my opportunity and no program has worked them like this one! I can't wait too see what my arms will look like in another 6 weeks! ooooo yea bring on the tank tops!

Mid Program!!

If your looking for something new, check it out!!!





I also found this wicked site that has the best printouts for the workouts etc!!! I love this person for creating this page and freely sharing it with everyone. 

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Have I peeked your interest?! The best part the program is "FREE"! oh yeah! Gotta love that!






Sunday, 6 May 2012

Big Sur- My personal celebration to a successful marathon!!!

 As I sit down to type my celebratory blog  of my completion of the Big Sur International Marathon reality hits me as it was this day last week that it all happened. Already a week ago, wow!

Race Expo


  Big Sur - Yowzer! What an event?! Amazing!!! If you have ever considered a marathon to be in your future or your looking for another to add to your repertoire this baby needs to go on your bucket list! This is post event Yvonne speaking! Pre event Yvonne arrived at the race expo with grave concerns that I might actually throw up upon picking up my race package! Thankfully as we toured around the race expo and I got all my pre/post tickets and shuttle bus tickets my pre-race jitters started to disappear and instead I was filled with excitement and a sense of calm! This was the place where I was going to prove to myself how good I could be. 

Its Official!

Bring on race day and this baby starts up early. Your race starts at Big Sur itself so all race participants need to be shuttled to the start line. By 3:45am I was sitting on a big yellow school bus heading up to Big Sur and the race start.  With the bus ride being during the wee hours of the morning the drive is completed in darkness. In my case this is a bonus as I like to go into my races oblivious. I don't want to know after this corner is this hill, after that hill is the really big hill etc. Reality is regardless of what the course looks like I have to run it so I would rather be surprised vs knowing what is coming up. 


Finally its time to start the race..... while waiting for our tiered start to happen a flock of doves flew out of the valley beside us. That had to be a good omen for a great day or at least that is what the group around me determined. Anchoring the good omen we saw doves again around the 5 mile mark.Oh yes, mile 5 where the beautiful scenery begins......

First view of the Ocean




As the miles clicked along I heard everyone's advice of "enjoy the experience"! You will all be glad to know that I actually listened. I stopped to take pictures and made a point to look at the scenery not only in front of me but at some points to stop and take a look at it from behind me. As we neared the famous bridge with the pianist the fog was strong, winds were blowing and it was cold. With the thick blanket of fog you were running along the road hearing the piano and knowing the famous landmark is somewhere just up the road. The bridge was a monumental moment for me as it is the picture on my vision board.  As you come up to the bridge initially I was shocked with the reality of  "that's it! are you freakin kidding me" - my inside voice! Regardless it was still an amazing moment and yes a photo op!!! Upon running across the bridge I heeded the advice received by many and looked behind me and voilĂ  that image of the bridge was much more impressive!

My celebratory self portrait on the famous bridge

Looking back on the bridge! 


















  Upon running through Hurricane Point! Gotta love the name.... 2 miles of uphill with an elevation increase of over 400 feet. Winds hitting upwards of over 30 miles an hour.  Due to my enjoyment of being oblivious I did not know about the hills on the course into late into my training. I had game planned to walk the hills and run the rest. Race day someone must have lent me their legs because I have never met the legs that I was running with that day. My legs were unfazed by the hills and just wanted to keep going. I had to consciously focus on my plan and was actually picking spots on the hill where I would force myself to go from a run to a walk. Stick with the plan! Stick with the plan would ring through my mind but still I would near the summit and would be off and running again. At one point I actually looked down at my legs and flat out asked "who's legs are you?!" very promptly followed with a "thank you legs".



 As I knew going into this race I was much more mentally prepared than I had been in my previous marathon. Believe it or not I "never" mentally hit the wall during this entire race. On the 20 mile marker was a picture of a person running into a brick wall. At this point I realized not only was I not hitting the wall but I had never even looked for my second wind. At mile 23 I was figuring out where my next marathon should be and how I was going to find anywhere to compete with this one. As in all marathons everything was not perfect. There is too many miles to cover without something going wrong! I had been warned the night before about the camber of the roads. I attempted to run in any flat spots I could find but my ankles were not strong enough for the unevenness of the roads which led to very tight muscles in my ankles, shins and legs! Upon hitting mile 22 my brain was raring to go and wanted to run sssooo bad but my legs were working very hard to not cramp up. The last 4.2 miles went like this..... stretch, walk, run- repeat! As I neared the 24 mile marker I was wanting to run but not willing to risk the chance of fully cramping up that close to the finish line.  I kept with the tried and true- stretch,walk and run! Then woo hoo there it was the finish line. With a strong race finish and most importantly a "HUGE" smile on my face I accomplished what I started out to do!!

Officially I was already a marathoner but due to the difficulty of my finish I personally did not consider myself a marathoner. I was a person who managed to complete a marathon but now I am officially a "Marathoner"


Thank you! Thank you! to everyone involved in the Big Sur Marathon! I have never seen so many volunteers at an event. Everywhere you went from the race expo, pre/post events and the actual events themselves. The people living on the highway that came out to show their support! What a great community to live in. Thank you! Thank you!


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Big Sur this time next week!!!

Wow!! Can you believe by this time next week I will be a proud finisher of Big Sur Marathon?! Oh yes and I will be wearing new hardware in the form of a finisher's medal.... oooo yeah!!!


It feels like forever ago that I came up with this great idea to run another marathon. Then I made my idea even greater by picking one of the top marathons in the world to run in.  Seriously! Lil ole me is going to be running in Big Sur, California. Taking in the amazing smells of the ocean and even more incredible views. Traditionally when I run I tune out and don't see the sights while I am running. Every once in awhile something will catch my eye but otherwise I am pretty focussed on the forward motion and getting 'er done. This marathon is going to bring a whole new experience to running. Please, oh please, tell me that the beautiful scenery is going to distract me from my screaming muscles and my brain asking me repeatedly "Why are we doing this?" "What were you thinking?" "What made you think this marathon would be more fun than the last one?" Yes there will be lots of self talk. 


This last week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I have gone from moments of seriously wanting to throw up. Full on anxiety of "What have I done?" I even had a moment where I wondered if it was too late to change to the half vs the full. Don't worry that thought didn't last long enough to even fully develop in my brain before it was tossed aside. At least for my first marathon I was naive and didn't know what to expect. This time I know the marathon deserves my full respect! It is one of the toughest challenges I have ever done in my life and I am bound and determined that this one will be a much more positive experience. In my first marathon I was a faster runner but this time I mentally stronger and at the end of the day that is what gets you to the finish line!




At the beginning of this year I created a vision board. The month leading up to new year's I started collecting pictures and sayings that inspired me. When I started pulling out my collection these two clippings came out together exactly how they are posted on my board- yes I do believe in signs....


This week I eagerly accept a rest week and next Sunday will bring what next Sunday is going to bring but I have some game of my own to show! After all "this is the place where I'm going to find out how good I can be" 




Sunday, 15 April 2012

Reflections on running and life.....

Hi my name is Yvonne and I am 40 years old and about to complete my second marathon!! How cool is that?!

On my long run this week I realized that here I am ready to take on the challenge of "The Marathon" again in a couple short weeks. Never would I have imagined when I was younger that I would have had the ability to do this. As long runs give you "lots" of time to ponder I thought about the younger self vs the older self. Imagine if in my 20's I introduced myself to a pair of runners and a learn to run clinic. I can not tell you how much of a difference it would have made in my life.  I honestly believe if I had become the runner I am today in my younger years that I would not be where I am today. Not necessarily a bad thing as I am very happy where I am but I do believe that it would have opened an entire world to me. The crossover of challenging yourself physically and the power you receive back from it is amazing.

As a young Mom of two kids I basically hid in my house other than when I was working. I think back to the life that I led and have no idea how I did it. Why?! did I not pick up my runners and toss the kids into the stroller and hit the streets?! Randomly drop to the floor in my living room and do push ups?! I know I "thought" about it but that was it?! As time went on I did start to hit the streets walking and getting out there so please do not think I was a couch potato but everything was limited to what I "knew" I could do. I am so appreciative of the day that I decided I was going to challenge myself to something that I honestly had no idea if I could do it- Run!

Running was only the beginning. Learning to run leads to races, leads to marathons, leads to finding adventures around every corner. Never would I have imagined in my younger years that I would be living this amazing life. Climbing mountains, getting my yoga certification, mixed martial arts training, running an obstacle course in the mud. There is always the idea of the Ironman out there- how amazing would that be?! Fitness competitions? Who knows?! Now when I hear stories of high adventure it is always with a thought of mmmm maybe that it something I should try?! Ice climbing?! Mt Kilimanjaro?!

 With an amazing life comes amazing friendships that only encourage you to grow more and find new things to try.... I see it on a daily basis when I am asked how my training is going or what my new adventure is?  Comments of "Wow, good for you but I could never do that" "I would love to be able to do that but..... "  Forget the "but" and get out there!!! Stop watching reality TV shows and become your own reality.  There is so many amazing adventures to be had and each time I turn around I see another possibility! If I can do it, you can do it!!! You will be amazed how your leap of faith in yourself will encourage others to try as well.

Big Sur- 2 Weeks!

So hard to believe that only a few months ago I was out enjoying a ridiculously short 3K and thought up the fantastic idea of running in another marathon. Now here I am 2 weeks away today!!! Wow!

Thankfully last week was the end of the long crazy runs and this weeks was much shorter. As I headed out the door yesterday talking myself into what a "great idea" going for a run was. I encouraged myself with the fact that my run was only 22K, yep only 22K. In the very next breathe reality hits as I realize that is longer than a half freakin' marathon. Funny how you can get a skewed perception of distance.

I am very excited to report out that the first few K's were rough the body wasn't too happy about running and then woo hoo! Everything came together. At 10K I ran into a different perky pony-tailed girl and there was no way that this one was going to pass me! Thank you to whomever you are as you were the motivation I needed. Thank you to all the young, pony tailed girls out on the streets whom I was NOT willing to have pass me therefore I rocked the last half of my run actually completing the last half at a faster average pace than the first half!! Another great sign that my body is ready and it should rock "Big Sur" Oh yeah baby!!!




Sunday, 8 April 2012

Ramp Up to Big Sur- Week 3

 Yesterday was a "vital" day for my mental preparedness for Big Sur! With the never ending hurdles of the last few weeks I needed mentally to have a good run so I could with confidence say "You are ready"! 

Going to bed the night before I did a short mediation and focussed on getting a great night's sleep and thinking of how successful the next day would be. Regardless of the hurdles I was going to finish successfully! Upon opening my eyes after an amazing nights sleep I realized all my "technical" socks were in the washing machine. For those of you who are not runners; you can create work arounds on most anything EXCEPT your shoes and your socks! I was determined that everything was going to go well and thank you to Nike DriFit those babies were dry in time to hit the pavement. First hurdle averted.

I was met for the beginning of my run with two of my many amazing friends. Thanks to Audie who came out to run the first portion of my training run. A "huge" special thank you to my friend Devan. You can not find a more true cheerleader of the human spirit than Devan. Although Devan's big (LOL) next race is an easy peasy 10K he was out there to run with me. I never expected anyone to volunteer to run the ridiculous amount of distance that I was intending to run. After all who volunteers to do that unless you have a race coming up. Well it appears my amazing friend does. 

The run itself  had an great start. The weather was beautiful. A little on the chilly side which is a good thing, and no wind! Yep you heard no wind! Amazing!!!! and beautiful sunshine! Off and literally running we go.... things were pretty uneventful until about 22-24K when the brain starts to kick in and play tricks.  It amazes me that in a 30 second time period you can tell yourself: "You got this!", "oh my god this is horrible", "feeling strong, feeling strong" " okay this sucks"! 


A mission was needed to be accomplished and there was no stopping! We continued on..... my pace was getting much slower but thankfully the legs were still moving. At 28/29K Devan and I separated. I was desperately waiting for my I Pod to tell me "6K left". I have no idea why but I needed to hear that number and knew when I heard all would be okay. The announcement came through the head phones and up went my pace. Don't get too excited it here, it probably increased by a 1/10th of  a second- LOL! At 30K I had this young girl with her bouncy ponytail fly past me. At first this got my "ggrrr" on and my brain instantly thought " really she is not running that fast we should catch her", my legs on the hand thought was hilarious and refused to work with my brain. So off went bouncy ponytail most likely proud of herself for having past said runner. My saving grace- I have determined that she was probably 3K into her run while I on the other hand was "30k" in! Today I will give her, her victory but next time..... the game is on!!!! 31.4K the dreaded happens. I out ran the life of my fully charged I Phone! Panic- how do I know my distance now?! Quickly the brain triggers into thoughts of prior runs and what the distances were.... I added a few side roads in and actually enjoyed the peace and quiet of no music. Although I still have not determined what my exact mileage was I am confident that I hit 35 and would have be close to 36K+. 


Yesterday I proved to myself that I am not only one step closer but 
"I GOT THIS BABY"!!! 



Sunday, 1 April 2012

4 Weeks or O EM GEE.... 28 days

Hyperventilating here......4 Weeks or O EM GEE....who's kidding who?!  28  freakin days before I am running 26.2 freaking miles!!



I knew going in this would be the month where my dedication would need to show through. Its the busiest time of year for my work with multiple "important' things and season coming into play and my mileage should be through the roof! Insert panic here.... the last few weeks have been horrible for my training. Nothing like an injury here, a flu here and then a nice smash to the face (another story). Add in a complete lack of sleep and you have an under trained individual heading into the month prior to her marathon. See I am even typing in third person. Denial is an amazing thing... one problem?! Denial will not be running TWENTY SIX POINT FREAKING TWO MILES!!! No I will be the under trained athlete doing that crazy feat! Haaaaaaa!! 


The great thing about SMART goals when it comes to fitness is the ever important "A"= adaptable! Well adapt and adapt I have done. I altered my training to include riding my bike to get in my long distances. Although my legs fully believe that running and then bike riding are completely equal to running the full distance, mentally I am just not buying it. With each of these hurdles that have been thrown at me I "need" mentally to have a real tried and true long run and it is going to happen hell or high water! I am voting for the hell vs the high water, LOL! So whatever you are doing this upcoming Saturday morning please think of me as I will be putting on my kicks and running 34-36K regardless of weather, illness, injury whatever.... 

As little engine said "I think I can!" "I think I can"


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Ramp Up to Big Sur Week 7

 Oh yeah! Oh yeah! the body is finally coming back together and more importantly my week of fake it till you make it has also kicked in!!! 

After a tad bit of anxiety last week for missing a few weeks of training and then reviewing my training calendar to see that I did not have a run higher than 32K on my agenda?! With the instant feeling of "oh my! That's not good" Time to call in the support troops.... my awesome friend Devan was very kind to point out to me that half marathon training is only 12 weeks and here I was at that time 8 weeks still left of my training. Plenty of time to change up the program and make the adjustments needed. Yeah! 

While reorganizing my training plans I had an epiphany- it appears I can be quite delusional?! I know shocking!! During one of my many internal marathon conversations with myself I clicked into my lack of reality and training. As I was re-piecing my training calendar back together my internal voice clicked in "what was I thinking?! Did I honestly think that I could come up with a training calendar that would lead to this marathon being easy?! Its a marathon its not intended to be easy"  An Etch a Sketch moment later and I am back in the real world. A Marathon is hard! and its intended that way that's why it is called a "marathon"! 




Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ramp Up to Big Sur Week 8



Week 9 and 8 is where the cold reality of marathon training really begins. It has been a really rough few weeks for me. Week 10 I hinted in my blog about my body not recovering fast enough and the mileage taking its toll. I was smart and listened to my body and took my week of recover. Usually during a week of recover I will still do some time of exercise-not this time! Full on out of commission for the entire week! 

  First training run back was one of those much loved long steady runs: 29-30K.  The night before I was filled with dread. Full on "why are you doing this? What are you thinking?" Friends of mine had a birthday party that night and everyone was having a blast. The thought of being irresponsible, joining into the fun and sabotaging my run was very much up, front and center in my mind. Well nope I held strong, had my 2 drinks, lots of water, watched the fights and went home immediately afterward to get some much needed sleep. Thankfully I made the ever important "run date". Upon waking up that morning it was the "only" reason I made it out the door. My speedy ever enthusiastic friends were ready to go..... I was on the fake till you make it plan! Early in the run my biggest cheerleader does his usual check in- "how you doing?' my response on that lovely morning. "I'm just going to smile and nod" So smile I did until approx 3-4K in, my knee felt like someone stuck a knife into it. As I knew my mental game was off I told myself " really?! you will look for any excuse to not run today" I continued to focus on the run and see if it got better or worse. Well worse it got! I called her quits at 6K with my entire left side in pain from hip to ankle. My friends continued off on their run and I  took the 1.5K short-cut back. That was one brutal kilometre and an half. I am still not sure if the pain throbbing through the entire of my body was the worst part or the mental abuse I was putting myself through. I started that run with such negative emotions that although my pain was very genuine I kept telling myself it was because "I didn't want to do it"" The mind is powerful and you were looking for an excuse to stop!"  Damn Type "A" personality. Needless to say the rest of that day was a right off. I spent the day stretching, medicating myself, bonding with my ice pack and tennis ball. Although I was quite happy to justify the ruin of that run as a mental undoing I spent the next 5 days in pain. Needless to say my body created an additional recovery week for itself.

  Well sometimes you just can't win!!! Now I bring you to this past Sunday. I know you are on the edge of your seat to find out how this run went.... well ha! ha! ha! It appears that the world and my body were not done. Physical injury aside this Sunday was spent mostly in bed yep! a cold! Originally I thought I could ride my bike, go to bed, ride my back, go to bed. Yes I know that Type "A" thing again! So I took the neck test. Neck test you ask?!- if you are sick from the neck up you can train, neck down you need to take it easy or not all! Well my cold was definitely in my chest and energy was non existent! Another long training run down. 

Which finally brings me to today! I have spent the last few days having a pity party while making plans on my action battle to get my training back in order. The one side of my brain is all over it! I know all the right things to say but the other side of my brain is not buying in. Thankfully it is a beautiful sunny day here and I took a look at my lovely fur babies and asked them the question "Girls, wanna run? Go run with Mom?!" Their excitement and enthusiasm was way too funny. I think if they could have peed their pants in excitement they would have. So off we went..... a short 6K that thankfully felt pretty good. I know I have to be very aware of my left side as it is still very sore and feeling weak but at least I got out there.... 

The mileage is on the calendar, I know the words to say and think?! I just have to find a way to make myself really believe it!!! So here is to a new page, grabbing my fitness by the horns and getting a move on..... and more importantly proving they are not just words!


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Will Do Check in......

Will do 2012!!! and the list is flying along! 

I have been sitting at my computer the last couple of days with my "Will do List for  2012" staring right back at me. I have it framed and its sitting directly to the right of my computer- hard to not make eye contact! Which would be the point!


Here is my updates

Project 1825- if you want to know about that baby you have to join the group.  Project 1825 is on facebook and is open for anyone to join.

Big Sur- I just posted a new blog and we are only 10 weeks away! Cali here we come.....

Sub 2 hour half- Finalizing of the when and where.... I am aiming for a fall half marathon. I am leaning to Kelowna?! Road trip, half marathon and getting to visit friends and family sounds like winner to me. Oh but a fast and flat course sounds so good! Mmmm

Now the challenging part- this specific group of goals on my list has me working! 

Growing my blog! - I have made little steps but honestly any success has been more of luck. A real plan needs be created for this goal, Mmmm! insert> thinking cap here!

Organize a fundraiser a quarter for UA- the ideas are rolling but action is now required!

Once a month Random Act of Kindness- I look at this one and think "oh my how did I not get this one done" Then I think back of different things that I have done. RAK's are a strange one.... I don't know if you are like me but I am doing my RAK's but for some reason I question are they good enough. It is a goal so should that require them to be grander or just a conscious thought?!

Gain Financial control- I have made leaps and bounds on this baby! This whole ability to travel has been a huge attitude adjustment to me and my spending willy nilly. Nothing like wanting to purchase something for a $100 and you think to yourself  "hey that's partway to another trip"

Now the fun goals- Woo Hoo! with our recent trip to Mexico I kicked the whole wearing a dress once a month out of the park. I believe there was approximately 7 dresses worn that week- oh yeah! Heels only one day as not really appropriate for the area and yowzer did I end up with some pretty blisters after wearing those  :-( . Weekly date night who are you kidding I just finished a week of date nights!



and yes Mexico that was on the "Will do List" and with Mexico came a few items on my bucket list

Not only 1 but 2 stamps on my passport! This is a big thing as a kid they never stamped my passport when I travelled to and from England. Not sure if it was because I am British and a Canadian Resident or?! I did a little hop and skip at the Customs in Mexico! Remember its important to appreciate the little things in life!

My baby tiger- for as long as I can remember any-time I have seen a tiger or lion I have always had this desire to pet their paws. Although a huge cat is still on my list I have at least lived getting to cuddle a baby Bengal Tiger! It was so awesome and a moment that I will not forget.


Oh the bucket list doesn't stop there..... also since being a kid and an avid horse rider back in the day! What girl has not dreamt about riding a horse on the beach and in the ocean?! This one definitely did and oh yeah it happened too.....


Maybe it's time to dream even bigger- mmmmm?!



Ramping Up to Big Sur Week 10!

Boy oh boy did I count that correctly- 10 weeks away?! Initial thought is scary but my runs have gotten longer so its good to know that time is getting near.

I apologize for my lack of blogging but do know that the runs have been happening. Weather has been a lot kinder the last few weeks. Running in plus temps in Feb?! Unbelievable. First week of February I went out with my friends and it was minus temps and we were layered up. Partway through it started to warm up and off went the jacket. By the end of my 26K training run I was cruising down the main strip in my tank top- yes you read that right a tank top in the beginning of Feb! The following week I headed out for a short 10K training run. It was one of those push yourself out the door minus 18 and snowing. Before the hour was up it was 0 degrees and the sun was shining. On another 10K run it was the exact opposite, I headed out the door with beautiful sunshine plus temps, part way through I started to see white stuff coming down. Looked to the sky and it was black- hail was coming! I was still about 2km's from home and kicked it up as that hail could potentially hurt. I wasn't in the house for 5 minutes when down she came. Mother Nature has definitely let me experience the weather during this training session. There is rumours that we might have a wet spring, well if Mother Nature is going to continue participating in my training runs I would say that would be a pretty safe bet- LOL!!!



The mileage itself has really ramped up the last few weeks. My first long run was horrible then the next one was amazingly easy at least until the last 2km. In my last 2 long runs I have reached a personal best for the half marathon distance while training this session. This last Saturday I ran in the Hypo Half and managed a PB for the 5,10 and half for this year! Super exciting considering I was running less than 12 hours of returning home from Mexico. No pre-race planning here :-0

With the distances overall going well I am suffering with my body not wanting to recover. The last couple runs have taken more than their usual toll on my body. Forgotten were the days of pounding back Ibuprofen and being afraid to move from your couch, oh and stairs! Before my next one I think we will need to invest in a rancher- no stairs :-)



I have decided to take a rest week this week and get myself a much needed massage! Make friends with my foam roller and tennis ball and get ready for the next big run!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Top 10 Marathons Worth Travelling For....

Forbes magazine just posted their Top 10 marathons worth travelling for and no big surprise that Big Sur is on the list!!! Funny enough this last Sunday I clicked in that I should maybe take a look at the route to see how hilly it is?! My other thought while completing this training is how I am ready for pretty much anything Mother Nature can send my way except a major rainfall but I think my years on the Island I can survive that. Well ha ha ha ha!! kick me in the ass if this is the description they post on the site

"California’s most beautiful drive is the route for this foot race. You’ll hug the coast on Highway One from Big Sur all the way down to Carmel. The hills and the headwinds are difficult, but the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean serve as inspiration to keep going. The point-to-point course tends to sell out year after year, so if you’re looking to conquer the hilly terrain, book early."

All I can say is "seriously" - I guess I better start getting some hills in there too! LOL!!! California Headwinds have nothing on this Lethbridgian!!



Monday, 23 January 2012

Friendship!!



Ramp Up to Big Sur Week 14 brings to me "Friendship"


   I have been reading a lot of posts on facebook on friendship and where people currently are in their lives! Big surprise with the beginning of a new year and those who elected to take on a challenge of changing themselves are feeling the pressure. I have seen posts on friends trying to deliberate sabotage their friends successes. Friends that are falling quietly to the wayside as they do not share their "old" friends passions anymore. People worrying that they will no longer have friends but are excited about the new passion that they have found! 


   For the people out there that are making a change of life for the positive and feel like you are alone.... hold on for the ride because there is a mountain of crazy people out there just like you! Keep living your passion and you will find them and they will find you, I guarantee it!!!


There is nothing like having friends who will:


  • Run in ridiculous temperatures, wind and weather with you so you can get your training distance in.
  • Give up a chance for their own personal best to pace you in a race
  • Stay up all weekend to participate in a crazy adventure race with you
  • See a crazy climb in front of them and say "okay, lets go"
  • Spot you at the gym as you push your limit
  • Message you a list of songs to upload as they know you have a race coming up
  • Travel to race destinations
  • Encourage you do what you thought you couldn't
  • Inspire you to try new things
  • Be your cheerleader!!!!
  • If all else fails yell at you until you push out that last rep! Then give you a high five after :-)

   I consider myself a very wealthy person when it comes to friendships! Majority of these great friends that I have made all happened when I decided to recreate myself and live a life with great adventure. I have an amazing group of cheerleaders who celebrate my crazy ideas and quite often volunteer to join me. We are all learning from each other that the limits we thought we had- well they just don't exist!  


  If your one of those people that is out there making that change.... keep your eyes open as there is an "Awesome" group of people out there participating with you that would love for you to be part of their crowd. Join in new activities that excite you and meet the people that share those interests. In a short time you will have a wealth of amazing fit, crazy friends - I promise! 




To all my friends out there..... you know who you are!! Thank you so much for what you bring into my life.... you all rock!