Monday, December 31, 2012

MOMday: Zoolights 2012

I had hoped to post this a week ago, but time got away from me...so here goes!

In mid-December, we braved the cold and headed out to Zoo lights at the Calgary Zoo.  My girls are so entranced by all things Christmas lights that I figured they would find it absolutely magical. Unfortunately, I didn't have a single photo that turned out but this post will feature some of my hubby's fancy dslr pics and he always makes things looks awesome.



Unfortunately, it was the first year I ended up disappointed in Zoolights.  So many of the lights were not working.  Even the tunnel in Lover's Lane was half dark!  That is the highlight for me each year - I look forward to the psychedelic awesomeness.

The girls were uninterested.  They loved the slide that went down one of the hills - though I nearly killed myself on the ice trying to get the three of us up the hill!

totally lacking in interest.
Then there were the blinking cups.  I think a large part of why the girls weren't interested was the sheer volume of people walking around with thermal blinking mugs.  Huge ones.  It was all the girls would talk about.  All they wanted from the entire night.

Luckily the Zoo did that right.  The mugs were only $7.  So we left that night with 2 blinking mugs.  Buggie dropped hers on the way out of the zoo and the lid shattered immediately.  So now I have one thermal mug and one regular mug.  Either can induce seizures in people prone to them.



So - do I recommend visiting zoolights for what is left of the season?   I don't know if it was just an off night and maybe it has been perfect the rest of the time...but given what we saw and experienced that night - I'd say don't bother.   Maybe next year will be better.  I can only hope.

As a side note: I nearly lost my purse when I left it in the Katamba Cafe to make a potty run (thank you Zoo staff for how you handled that and for quickly scooping it up for me!  Thank you so much.  The purse was a special gift and I would have been devastated had I lost it forever).

me and my girlies

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cutting it Close - an Update

I visited my friendly neighbourhood doctor this morning.  Yep - chest infection.

10 days of antibiotics + 10 more days of rest should have me ready to run (really slowly) in 2 weeks time.  

I'm glad I went.   It wasn't earth shattering news, since I already suspected...but it is good to be on the road to healing.  I'm really glad I got that 34k in 2 weeks ago, now.  But whoda thunk it'd be the last run I did before Florida?  I just wish I wasn't running my goofy weekend with nearly a month off running leading up to it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three Things Thursday - the Post-Christmas Edition

how is it thursday again already? I hope you have all had a great holiday!  I've been pretty silent over here because I've been "enjoying" time with my family.

1)  I am still sick.  Too sick to run.  With my flight leaving 2 weeks from this morning, I have decided I need to go to the doctor tomorrow.   I admit, I am very nervous.  I'm h oping we can get me cured in time for me to run a few runs before I go.  Why oh why does it seem like marathon taper means full stop in my world.  I'm pretty sure this happened last year too...

I am starting to go stir crazy from lack of exercise and extreme deep freeze temperatures here.   Being trapped inside for a week with my kids is going to do me in.

2) We had a lovely Christmas - super low key and relaxing.   Hubby spoiled me rotten with knitting stuff and a brand new Kate Spade wallet.  My kids got far too much - as always - and have been driving us bonkers with a couple of remote control cars from gramma.  They flip and whirr and flash and the girls are smitten with them. 

I am close to telling them that they have stopped producing batteries.

3) I do work tomorrow, but with all of this other downtime this week, I have gotten a nice start on a loom knit afghan.  My goal for 2013 is to colour my world a bit more so this one is all kinds of colour!  Our house is a bit too brown..but not for long.

How was your holiday?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Executive Decision...

I can't do it.   I CAN NOT run this weekend.  My chest feels like someone dumped a ton of bricks on it and then started punching me repeatedly.   Today, I am struggling to breathe and may end up at the clinic.

Add to that the -20C that Calgary has decided to rest on for the weekend (hey - where are those giant fireballs when we need them?) - I just can't do it.

So, I am skipping my longest long runs.

I feel like crap about it, but I would rather rest and recover and come back strong for the race...instead of ending up with pneumonia or bronchitis and risk missing the actual event.  Not worth it.

I am really glad I got in a 32k and a 34k and a zillion in the high 20ks.   I wish I had more back to back runs in that list, but it is what it is.  I know I can rock both races at the slow pace I am planning on.   I just need to get better.

Sometimes it is just better to be smart than to follow the plan.

Friday Reads: A Letter to Santa by Gaby Goldsack

A Letter to Santa is about a little boy who writes his annual letter to Santa on Christmas Eve and sends it up the chimney so it will reach the North Pole on time for the big guy to read it.  Then it goes into a dream sequence tour of Santa's workshop.

I picked this one up at Chapters off the bargain books rack (and it belonged there).

OK - a bit of a pessimistic start to the review...but I am truly glad I didn't spend more than $5 on it.

The story itself is OK.  It is the way it is told that is so frustrating.  The rhyme structure is awkward - clumsy, even.  It is hard to get into a rhythm while reading it.

Worse, though, is how detached my girls were from it. I had to keep calling their attention back to the story, only to lose it shortly after.  It didn't engage them and they didn't find it interesting or entertaining..

I had high hopes for it, but I have to say this one was a fail.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Week Before Christmas Edition

1) Still sick.   That headcold I had last week, transformed into a chest cold after my 34k on Saturday.  Ugh.  I am trying to fast track an eviction before my longest back to back long runs this weekend.  Can't. Miss. These.   Resting lots.  Drinking lots of water.  Eating vitamins like candy.  Fingers are crossed.

2) Christmas seems like a mad rush to me this week.  I have gifts I am making for the girlies that I can't seem to find time to finish.  At this rate, Buggie is going to get hers with the knitting needles still in it so I can finish it later...My only consolation is that I am like this every year and, come Christmas eve, I will ditch a couple items from my list and float across the finish line and no body but me is any the wiser on the things I dumped.

3) I've been re-reading the Hobbit.  And am mad at Peter Jackson for the direction he took the movie in.  Still deciding whether this is worth a rant post.  Guess we'll see... (not really related to Christmas except I love the Hobbit and LOTR -  one year we had a Middle Earth Christmas that was filled with lots of yummy mushrooms.  mmmm...mushrooms....)

ok, Cori - out.   Hopefully I'll be back to posting about my perfect long runs this weekend.  I am open to any fast-track cold eviction advice - just post it in the comments :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Resolution Update: December 18

It has been exactly one month since I laid out my 36 resolutions for the year.  Thought it would be a good idea to post a monthly update so y'all can see how I'm doing with them....
  1. Do something interesting with my hair
  2. Rework my home gym
  3. Tune up my bike
  4. Take the girls to Zoolights - DONE!  We went on Saturday night.  You can read all about it next week :)
  5. Make amazing halloween costumes
  6. Plan a monthly date night - December DONE!  Hubby actually did this one and took me out to the Hobbit on Sunday. Still deciding if I want to write a review or not.  I have some pretty strong opinions.
  7. Volunteer at a race
  8. Go thrifting once each month - done!  Went thrifting on my birthday.  Found amazing Elie Tahari jacket for $10! SCORE!  Other finds were a beautiful sweater and some great parenting books
  9. Learn to knit properly - working on itI have been having fun making quick gifts on my knitting looms, but I have also dug out my old needles and bought a book and dvd on technique so I can learn more.
  10. Take a shopping trip to the States
  11. Invest in a perfect black dress
  12. Get another tattoo
  13. Leave Facebook again
  14. Get an instagram poster printed
  15. Stay at the Banff Springs Hotel
  16. Go on an amazing hike
  17. Take my kids camping
  18. Re-learn how to draw and paint
  19. Create an outdoor reading area
  20. Plant a rose garden
  21. Redecorate the master bedroom and bath
  22. Train for a specific goal race
  23. Create an indoor reader's sanctuary Create a creative space for myself - I changed this one after realizing I had somehow added two nearly identical points to the list.   and in progress!  I claimed the area under the stairs and am creating a small crafting room/craft storage area for myself that I adore!!!
  24. Try to have an article published in a magazine
  25. Try standup Paddleboarding
  26. Go snowshoeing with hubby
  27. Go ice skating with my girls
  28. Visit Ontario in the Fall
  29. Self Publish One Book
  30. Run a 2:15 Half
  31. Run a sub-60min 10k
  32. Run a Sub-30min 5k
  33. Run a continuous 10k
  34. Run the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World
  35. Complete a home yoga challenge
  36. Complete 8 weeks of Rip:60

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rockin' it on the River

34k.  Longest long run.  Longest training run ever (I only went to 32 in my first marathon).  and more importantly...DONE!

I met up with JS at Eau Claire at around 8:30 this morning.  She was up for around 20k of my total distance and I was so happy for the company.  It had been over a month since we had run together at the track.  With my being sick this past week and not running at all in abut a week and a half, I wasn't sure how this was going to end up going.

and, of course, the thermometer plummeted overnight so it was stupidly cold.  But we were dressed for it.

We headed out to the east and spent the first 9.5k getting caught up and telling stories of our adventures of the past month.  That brought us to the Calf Robe Bridge


Then we turned back...and despite having our bottles turned upside down - they still froze up.  I am sure it was quite entertaining, watching me unscrew the bottles and slam the caps on the asphalt to break the ice loose so the caps wouldn't freeze on them.

We spent alot of the return trip reminiscing about the adventures we've had on this same path.   The races, the misadventures, the cheerleading.  We've had many great runs out there.  Took a quick pitstop at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to use the facilities and rinse the ice out of the bottles and we were back on our way.

There weren't really any adventures on this run...just great conversation and mileage logged.  It was tough and by 15k, I was battling fatigue and a caffiene withdrawal headache.


Back at Eau Claire, the runners from Run Santa Run were all returning in their Santa Suits, which is always a funny sight.

I bid farewell to JS, bought a gel with caffiene in it, popped an advil and swapped my bottles for thawed ones.   Then, I was back on the pathway for the final 15k solo.  To Edworthy and Back.

It was actually the exact route of the Spring Trio 15k that I ran in the spring.  But I ran strong and I ran good and I didn't suffer.  So it was a great run.   I'll take it.  I hope my back to backs (including another 34k) go as well next week.

The paths were gloriously clear

The sun was my best friend - as long as I was in her glow, I was comfortably warm.  Shade was hell.


Pretty pretty river.

I had downtown in my sights...this was about 4 k to go!

I really must stop furrowing my brow like that.  I can just see the stupid wrinkles setting in now...

When I came to this pedestrian walkway - I had to take it.  When J used to run with us, she would always yell "Bonus points for the roller coaster!" and we'd have to take it.  I miss you, J.  I hope you are healed up soon so you can come back and run with us when we are back to shorter distances (and it isn't below your temperature cut-off :P).


In the end, this is what the run looked like.  With my pitstops at Inglewood and Eau Claire - my total time was around 5:30, but this is what it took when I was running.



It was a good, fairly comfortable run.  My pacing was fairly consistent and I wasn't in pain as I did it.  I am going to hand alot of the credit to advil and caffiene but I actually really enjoyed this.  Gave me a nice mental boost to this training.  I can't believe in just over a week, I will be on taper...

I also think Coach Sheena would be proud to know my ass is really hurting tonight.  Means I'm using those muscles instead of making my legs do all the work.

And never had a coffee tasted so good...mmmmmm.




The Garmin Geekery





Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Reads: The Little Christmas Tree by Dugald Steer

When I was shopping for holiday books for my girls, I stumbled across this one in the Bargain Books at Chapters.

The Little Christmas Tree tells the story of the Christmas Tree at the North Pole.  Every year, the toys (who are magically alive) decorate the little christmas tree and the sing songs aroun dit.  Then, on Christmas eve, the tree becomes sad when all of the toys go off to their new homes.   This Christmas, the tree thinks it will be the same as every year, but the toys have a surprise fo rit.   Toys from all over the world are treking to the north pole to visit the tree.

It is a really sweet story and my girls truly enjoy it each time I read it to them (they also really loved it when Papa read it to them)


For $5, I'd say it was well worth it.  My favourite part is how the story finishes by telling the child that if their favourite teddy goes missing on Christmas eve, it must be because it is heading to the North Pole to be with the little Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Not-Stunned Santa Pic

Hooray - we finally got smiles at Santa!  

Introducing the first not-stunned Santa pic ever.

Buggie (left) and Doodle (right)

The THINGS on their heads were meant to be collars.  Doodle decided they were headbands.   Meh - I'll take it.  They still look cute.

Three Things Thursday - One Month

A month from today, I will be running my marathon.  Goofy will be almost over and well on it's way to becoming a memory.  It is insane that it has snuck up on me so quickly.  Heck - I am only 2 weeks away from taper!

1) I have officially started packing.
Yes - I now.  It seems early,but since I don't need to worry about wearing my summer-weight running clothes for the next month in Alberta - I might as well get them ready for Florida.

Plus, I am toying with the idea of not bringing my toaster and trying to pack 4 days worth of running and sightseeing clothes into a carry-on to save time at the airport.  If I had a more portable toaster, I might try to bring it along, but alas, one has not been inveted yet (though my best friend, Mr. Google, tells me several options are currently in concept mode.   Yeah - I'm a geek).  Now I am on the hunt for hotel room friendly race day breakfasts.

2) We had an early holiday celebration with my family last weekend and my dad gave me a gift card to Sport Chek...so I went and bought my 5k and marathon shoes.  I am all set in the footwear department!  Now to break them in slowly over the next month.

3) and, this one is a bit off the topic of Goofy, but I had to mention it anyway...I found out yesterday that I am the iFitness Runner of the Month.   Very exciting stuff.  I applied months ago so some of my race stats are a bit off in the writeup...but it is still really cool to be featured.  Head on over and check it out here.


And, in closing, I feel I should remind you all about the Virtual Half Goofy fundraiser I am hosting.   Registration closes on SATURDAY!!!!  So, if you've been wanting to sign up - get your registrations in now.  I will be drawing for the prizes on Sunday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

MOMday: Snow Painting

Here's a fun activity that only requires a few supplies and is a ton of fun for the kiddos.  SNOW PAINTING!

Supplies:
  • Snow (supplied for free by nature if you live where it snows)
  • Squeeze and spray bottles (free and up)
  • Water
  • Food colouring (or old washable markers - I'll explain in a bit)
On a recent snow day,  I set to decorating the outside of my house but needed a fun activity that the midgets could do while I worked.   I rounded up an assortment of squeeze and spray bottles, filled them with water and added a few drops of food colouring and told them to go paint.


Tip: fill the bottles BEFORE adding the food colouring.  You only need a few drops and it is easier to gauge strength when adding to water instead of adding too much colouring and needing to dilute later.

They had a ball!




I changed their world forever when I taught them that they could write letters in the snow with the bottles!   The favourite colours seemed to be the richer shades like purple, blue and green and I ended up making many many many bottles of these colours as we went.  Luckily it is really fast to do!



The only downside of this activity happened to be that the food colouring totally stained Buggies skin (Doodle is much cleaner)! It took a few days for the blue and green splatters to fade from her face.   I later read that it is possible, with a little prep time, to turn old "dried up" washable markers into watercolour paint by simply setting them to soak in water until the colour bleeds out into the water.   Gives me a good reason to save our old washable markers for future re-purposing like this.


Another Tip: Wash any clothing right away.  The food colouring will wash out as long as it isn't allowed to dry on the clothing.
So, next time you are looking for a fun activity for a milder winter day - I totally recommend doing this with your kids.   Mine had a blast!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sickie

Sigh. I'm sick. 



It's just a headcold, but I was trying so hard to prevent this from setting in.   I could probably still run the 22k I have on the schedule today, but it is -16C again and after my hypothermia last weekend, I don't think I am going to risk getting chilled again.  and 22k on the treadmill sounds like slow torture right now. 

Sometimes it's just better to rest.   Only 2 - 34k runs to go until taper...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Reads; Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner

Our elf, Libby, delivered this book to the girls as an early holiday gift.  They were quite delighted when they found it, after the elf had finished reading it herself.  It is a board book that is sized perfectly for toddler hands - a little taller than it is wide.

Snowmen at Christmas is a charming story about what the neighbourhood snowmen do after all of the people have gone to bed.  From caroling to sledding to having a party in the town square.

The story is written as a rhyme - something that really drilled itself into my daughters as we read it.  Buggie immediately took the book after and started to "read:" in her own little rhyme - which I thought was impressive for only having read the story once.

My daughters loved this.   They were pointing at the page and trying to figure out what came next.  The illustrations are bright and cheerful.   And very detailed.  This is great because we are trying to encourage imaginative storytelling and this book gives them plenty of ways to tell the story in a new way when they are reading on their own.

I will touch on this, though it may be a bit controversial - I prefer to keep religion our of my blog for this reason.

Our family is not religious and I usually try to stay away from religious references in my children's books, but this had one that slipped past me.   Luckily it was small and easily glossed over.  If you prefer to not have religion in your children's reading as well, you could easily skip over that page without disturbing the story. (I will delete flaming comments to this paragraph.  Your religion, your business.  My spirituality is my own business)

end controversy

Overall, though, this is a wonderful addition to our holiday library that I think has the ability to grow with my girls as the years pass.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lunchtime on the 'Mill

Even though it is beautiful outside, I decided to keep a friend company in the gym today instead. 
Right before I tried to run like an olympian...
 

4k - 33 mins.  Run done for the day.

Three Things Thursday

1) Libby is a HIT!
The girlies are loving their elf.  Everyday, it has been a new adventure to see where Libby is hiding and what she is doing. Doodle, especially, has taken to her and loves to talk to her and tell her all about her day.  Unfortunately, she also loves to tattle to her about Buggie...but I suppose Santa has to find out somehow!   Even hubby has gotten in on the fun of finding places to put her.

2) I may have a mild addiction to Pinterest.  Ok.  maybe not so mild.  I've been crafting up a storm and finding great stuff to do with my kids for weeks.  I'm pretty sure Pinterest is making me into a better mom.  Sad, I know.  It is also refreshing me creatively.  I've been kind of in a creative drought lately so this has been wonderful.

I finally finished the basket weave cowl I was making:







Here's the easy instructions in case you have a loom you are dying to use.  Knit 5, purl 5 for 5 rows and then switch.  This was about 65 rows total.

I also made these fun holiday gift tags out of manilla shipping tags, a rubber stamp and some Washi tape.



Next up - I am making ruffled collars for the girls to wear when they go see Santa for another stunned Santa picture...

3) My craft room under the stairs is coming together nicely.  I love having this space.  It is still a work in progress, but thought I would share a pic of how it is coming together (this was taken before I messed it up - I'll post another when it is all done)

It's small, but it's about perfect for my needs.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Workout Wednesday: Frozen Water Bottles

After my disastrous hypothermic half on Sunday, I started to research ways to keep your water bottles, etc from freezing.  With winter well and truly here - I thought some of you might be able to benefit from my research geek tendencies...after all - hydration isn't optional - no matter how little your thirst is evident, you are still sweating and need to replace the fluids!

Hydration Belt
  • In your waist pack - store the bottles upside down so the valves don't freeze.  The water will then start to freeze from the bottom instead of making the valve useless.  There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a bottle full of liquid, but not being able to access it because the valve is frozen and the cap is frozen on!!!!  (I will so be doing this!!!)
  • Find insulated bottles that will fit your belt
  • Find or make an insulating cozy for your bottles
Hydration Pack
  •  If you are wearing a hydration pack - put it on under your outer shell.  This wouldn't have worked for me last week since my pack is quite large, but for a lower profile pack it might be perfect!  
  • I found it bought be some time to keep the bite valve on my pack tucked behind my running belt so it was warm against my body.  It didn't buy me an entire run, but it did keep me in fluids for a few extra kms. 
  • Invest in insulators or winter-specific bladders for your pack for the winter months.
  • Do a little DIY to rig some insulation.  I found this in my search and thought it was quite clever.
  • Blow the tube out to keep the valve clear and less likely to freeze
 General
  • Start with warm water - it will take longer to freeze 
  • Run smaller loops so you can return to your vehicle to swap out water bottles often (works better if you park in heated underground)

Nutrition
  • Keep them as close to your body as you can.  Gels will be easier to squeeze and you won't break a tooth on a chomp.
Am I missing anything?  Do you have more tips to add?  Please add them in the comments so we can all help each other out over the winter!

Monday, December 3, 2012

MOMday: Toddler Postcards to Santa (Craft)

Obviously, my three year old twins are much too little to actually write to Santa.  They don't even really understand the concept of asking for a specific something because we don't let them watch commercial-filled TV.  This make s it really hard to provide ideas to grandparents and friends when they ask what the girls might like for holiday gifts.

So, I decided to remedy this with a special craft for the girlies this weekend.

Supplies needed:
  • Poster board (we cut one in half and gave each girl a half)
  • Kid-safe scissors
  • glue stick
  • Every holiday flyer you can get your hands on
  • Crayons, markers etc
  • any other embellishments you desire
Then we sat at the table, handed them flyers and scissors and told them to cut out every picture that they liked or would like to play with.

It took them a moment to figure it out (honestly, they really preferred to cut the edges of the flyers into confetti) and eventually, the struggles with the scissors made us take over cutting duties and we enlisted them to point out the things instead and we cut them out.

Then - we handed them the glue sticks and they went to town, making collages of the things they liked and what had drawn their eyes. 


Some of it was about colour.  Some were about the toys.  Some were just holiday pictures they thought Santa would like.  

Then they "decorated" it with some foam sticker things that shed glitter everywhere.   I had saved the scraps so they could cut out something, but they decided they liked the odd, glittery shapes.

The collages are interesting little snapshots into the things the girls like.  And they definitely gave us a bit more direction for our own shopping.  We finished off by having them write their names in the white space.



I'm not sure if they liked the craft because it was a letter to Santa or if it was merely because it was a craft.  Either way - once we got to the gluing part - they loved every moment.  If I'd been brave enough to introduce glitter glue - this might be the only thing they would talk about for the next year.

It was a fun craft to help them get into the spirit, though.   I think if we do it again next year - they will really love it.

Good thing we addressed them so we could send them off to St. Nick ;)  That way the glitter won't continue to shed all over my house!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Own Hypothermic Half

34k.  That was what was supposed to happen today.  Longest long run.  One of two 34k runs in December.  

Last night, my plan to meet up with Team Goofy kinda fell apart as two of the members were really sick and pretty sure they were going to end up walking it.  I decided that, rather than leaving hubby without a vehicle for most of the day, I could maybe run from our house into Calgary and then he could pick me up.

The weather forecast said it would be -5C-ish.   Not bad.  Practically a heatwave in December. 

MapMyRun told me that if I took a certain route from my house - 34k would bring me EXACTLY to my mother in laws condo.  That sealed it.  I would leave at 7am.  Take a low-traffic township road and arrive in McKenzie Towne around noon.   Even hubby agreed to it, and he is pretty hesitant about me running on highways. 

So, this morning, I got up bright and early and because a kiddo woke up early I didn't end up leaving until around a quarter to eight.   The thermometer in our yard said -6C but the Weather Network said -12C.  So, I dressed roughly the same as I had for yesterdays race in that temperature.

I also had a whole arsenal of stuff with me.  A hydration pack to hold all of my water and to carry any thing I might need to shed (if only I'd had foresight to pack extra clothes in it), gloves/mitts, headlamp, garmin, RoadID, iPod.  I also had my ifitness hydration belt to hold nuun and my iphone.


I even brought Goofy along for the ride...


I looked like an ultramarathoner by the time I was suited up.


And off I went.  A couple of blocks later, I paused for a moment.  I was feeling really cold running into the wind, but I ended up shrugging it off because I was going to be running the opposite direction.  With the wind to my back, I'd be warmer.   I'd certainly run in much colder conditions dressed the way I currently was.  I should be fine.

Soon, I was on hwy 797, heading south, and all was going well.  I was warming up and feeling good.

Past Boulder Creek and on to my turn - Township road 232.


It was actually plowed and quiet.   I ran along, just enjoying the beauty.  The photos hardly capture it.  Everything was coated in thick hoarfrost and the peace was astounding.  I watched the birds and just enjoyed my wintery run.  I found myself looking forward to the rest of it.




At around 8k, I could see something in a field ahead that looked like a horse bucking all over the place.  Then, the closer I got, I started to fear it was a coyote.   With not all of the fields being fenced - it made me nervous to be out there.  Then I saw them all...5 or 6 coyotes.  Playing all friskily in the field.  This is blurry and far away, but here is the one I have named Bucky...


I was hesitating between running full-tilt and walking cautiously.  The coyotes had spotted me and were hunkering down on a hill to keep a wary eye on me.

But soon I was past.   Unfortunately, it was around this time that I realized my hydration pack and my nuun had frozen solid.  Not really a big deal yet.  I don't drink as much in the cold and I was still feeling pretty good.

I ran into another lone coyote about  a kilometer later.  Not nearly as nerve wracking though.


A 10k, I crossed over hwy 791and was on the pavement that would take me the rest of the way.  Traffic started to pick up and I started to get cold.  Really cold.  Bone numbingly cold.  I started to text hubby about making a rescue pitstop with some water and a jacket and handwarmers...he assured me he would bring it all.

Then I warmed up again - just like that.   I felt good again.   So I kept going.  I alternated between being that frighteningly cold and then feeling pleasantly warm again.  Walking or running didn't make a difference.

But I was pretty uncomfortable.  I started cursing hubby for taking so long (blaming lollygagging children there - he had trouble getting everyone out of the house).

Frozen eyelashes
I spent time with my hands under my arms to warm them and then using my warmed hands to thaw my face a bit.  It felt like I had a brick of ice banging against my back.  I almost shed my hydration pack but I still needed the fuel I had stored in there. I was trying hard not to cry because the tears would have frozen straight away.

At one point a man in a pickup truck pulled over and commented to me "I thought you were some sort of spaceman coming down to get us all dressed in that get-up!"  To which I responded "Nope - just a stupid marathoner, sir".  I can only imagine what I must have looked like to the farmers on the road...all headlamp and backpack and misery written all over my face.

and soon, I reached the city limits.   The face says it all.


And, shortly after, I reached Shepard.  Still no sign of hubby and I had FORTUNATELY beaten a long freight train

And then crossed over 84th Street. This was where I realized something I had forgotten about while planning my route.

Stony Trail construction.  MUD.  Missing road shoulder.  Constant traffic in both directions.   Wind whipping around me the entire time.  Constant stopping to stay safe from cars trucks.

And then Hubby finally arrived. By this point, I was almost feeling like I had re-run my first leg of the k100.  He tried to get me into the car in the middle of the construction, but I waved him ahead to a parking lot.   He captured the final steps in my fateful run.




I got into the car, hoping to heat my seat on our heated seats while I pulled on my jacket and ditched the ice pack.   I started to shake uncontrollably.  I talked about the mud and construction and Hubby asked if maybe he could drive me past it and through the industrial park and then I could make up the 4k I would miss by darting into Fish creek for a couple of kilometers instead of fighting through traffic on no sidewalks.  Eager to stay on the heated seats until I was warm, I agreed.   Turned out, it wasn't far before I would have been on sidewalks again, but I was shivering and chattering so badly that I told him to just take me to 24th Street and I would stick to the new plan.

When we pulled into the parking lot there - I was going to head into McD's to use the washroom before heading out again...but I was shaking so badly that I couldn't get out of the car.   My lips were blue and I could barely move.

I made the decision to call it.  The run was over.  I had fallen short of 34k by 13k.   21k done.  and I was hypothermic...so it was my own hypothermic half.

We got me a coffee and took me to my MILs place to have a hot shower and warm up.

It took me over an hour to stop shivering and chattering, but I eventually did.

So, what did I learn from all of this? The biggie is that the clothes I wear in a certain temperature at Eau Claire shouldn't be the clothes I wear running cross country. I think it goes without saying that I should have worn an extra shirt...and brought handwarmers.  Both would have been easy to shed into my pack if I didn't need them.  I also should have investigated ways to keep my water from freezing.  I should have learned that one on remembrance day when my bottles froze solid.   I will be figuring that out ASAP.  Who knows - maybe just a few drops of vodka could have saved the day by being in my water.

I've run through two and a half winters and I have learned alot...but I guess I still have a few more things to learn.  

I didn't bother making up the last 13k today.  I am really exhausted and my upper body is quite sore from the pack.   I am just going to let it go and, if the weather is nicer next week, I will replace that 22k with a 34k instead.   Run in the city.

The Garmin Geekery: