Earlier this week, I was nominated for the Liebster award by my lovely bloggy friend (and fellow #littlebloggybluebird) Leana. I think I have been nominated for one of these in the past, but it's definitely been a while so I thought it would be fun to play along again.
The idea of the meme is to answer a series of questions laid out by the nominator and then to come up with a new series of questions for the people I nominate in return. Here goes:
1) What is one piece of gear you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time?
My Fox River socks.
I love them! So cushy and I have NEVER gotten a blister when running as long as I am wearing them (every time I've had a blister it has been because of a sock experiment on a shorter run). I wear the Triathlon socks most of the time and in the winter I have taken to loving the taller ski socks that have some wool in them. My only wish was that I would love it if they would produce them in different colours. All the white gets a little boring and dingy after a while.
2) Do you wear different shoes for different workouts, or do you wear the same shoes all the time?
Mostly all the same - my Saucony Kinvaras. I have 4-6 pairs on rotation at any given time. I also have a pair of Vibram Fivefingers that I bought specifically for strength training. Whenever I remember to put them on before my infrequent strength training sessions.
3) What is your favourite post workout snack?
Usually, I work out on my lunch break so I tend to have a post-workout MEAL instead of a snack...but post long run, I love a gorgeous latte and, if I am near a Good Earth and it is on the menu that day, a lentil stew.
4) Do you listen to music when you run? Why or why not?
Not typically. When I first started running, I listened to music all of the time because I was doing couch to 5k and the music played through the app. Then, I started running my long runs with Team in Training for my first half back in 2010 and I stopped needing the music. Once I turned the music off and started conversing or working through the gibberish in my head - my runs started to be cathartic, If I have music to focus on - I don't tend to really have the therapeutic benefits I have without.
That being said - during both of my marathon training plans - I did run my longest runs with music. Usually because by then I would run out of things to talk to myself about.
5) Do you prefer to run in a loop or run an out and back?
Depends on the length. If I am doing a shorter weekday run, I much prefer a loop. I even have several loops mapped out both from home and from work. For a long run, I have no preference. I did find, however, that when I was training for Goofy in the frigid November temperatures - I liked working the run into two out and backs - one in each direction from my start point so I would be able to turn around sooner and have a pitstop in the middle of the run since most of our usual run washrooms are closed in the winter months.
6) Why do you blog?
This is a question that I have been asking myself more and more lately. I almost stepped away not long ago because I felt like I was abandoning my subscribers by posting my streams of depression and my recent lengthy absences. But then, one day I sat and reread a few posts from 3 years ago. Some of them blew me away and made me realize that I have been slacking for a while now.
Blogging is something that I love to channel myself into. It isn't a personal diary I am putting out there - I don't give everything I have to it. My deepest darkest anythings may never see the light of day here. I truly enjoy the writing and I love lending my own unique voice to the process. I do it to share what I have learned or always known. To document my journey and the many bumps along that road. To give myself an outlet where I can put my life into words and perhaps a few people might stay interested enough to read along. Most importantly, though, it is to connect. I have met so many incredible people in the nearly 4 years I've been blogging. People who I have come to know as dear friends. I couldn't give that up for a moment.
There may come a time when I step away. Perhaps when the weight of being watched a bit too closely starts to wear on me - and I know I have some readers who are watching a bit too closely and giving what I write a bit heavier meaning than it needs to have - but for now I am here and am trying to breathe a bit more life into this place to resuscitate it from its recent dark days.
7) What is your number one goal for this year?
My Number one goal was squashed by my recent stress fracture. I had such high hopes for Banff marathon in June (I wanted to try for Sub-5hr) and now I am not sure I even have time to properly train for the half. I need to assess that this weekend after I try my first run since the fracture.
I have had to re-evaluate and look at RNR Vancouver as my new goal race for this year. I'd love it if I could pull that elusive 2:15 half out of my hat, but I know it will require a lot of work on my part and I have to remember that I may be starting from scratch after I am cleared to run again.
8) Tell me about your favourite race medal.
Good question for a #medalwhore.
This one is a tie, I think. I want to just come right out and say my 20th Anniversary Mickey Mouse Marathon medal. I worked so hard, between training in depressingly cold conditions and trying to fundraise alongside it. I put my heart into Goofy and when the extreme heat kept me from a PR on the marathon - I still walked away so proud of that achievement. Besides...the medal spins...
and then there is the medal for my very first Half Marathon - the 2010 Nike women's Tiffany necklace. I never thought I could be a runner. I never wanted to be, but when my friend, Anna, was diagnosed with Lymphoma - running became my life. Every time I wear that necklace - it brings me back to why I started in the first place.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the two medals I consider my favourites are the ones that came with the greatest emotional commitment. The times I have run with Team in Training have been extremely important and the medals were not the only rewards I personally earned in those events.
9) What motivates you to get outside and train on cold/snowy/rainy days?
This year? Nothing. Kidding - it's just been so long since I ran that I don't remember anymore. I was a total winter wuss and the fact that I likely fractured my leg as a result of running that stupid Hypothermic Half outside in -26C is not going to inspire me want to run outside in the cold. I'm sure as the days become rainier this spring, I will be antsy for the release and need to get out there. Knowing the effect a run has on my well being will motivate me on those days.
10) What is your most memorable run?
I'm not sure I've had it yet. Just kidding - this one is a no brainer. It was BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in 2012. I hadn't planned to run it and then, out of the blue, Vancouver Marathon contacted me and invited me to join their official blogger team. For five months I chronicled my training adventures and connected with other Vancouver bound runners. Some of those connections turned into terrific friendships (Particularly with Nikki, who less than a year later, we met up again in Florida and ran Goofy together). When it came time to head to Vancouver for the race, it was like coming home. My dear friend, JS, came along for the ride and we had an amazing weekend. On race day, we pulled on our sparkle skirts and met up with my friend Heather and had a helluva fun race - taking a million pictures and laughing our asses off.
Terrible cramps ruined my PB that day, but it will still long stand as one of my favourite races of all time.
And the fact that I was handed a misprinted medal at the finish line made it even more memorable...after all, I may have only run the half that day but with my involvement with the race it was almost like I had been running the full since the day I agreed to take it on!
I am completely envious of everyone running it this weekend and will be watching my twitter feed to cheer everyone on!
***Ok - so there you have it - my answers. Now it's time for me to pass it on. It is getting harder and harder to find people to tag on these things :) I've tried to avoid tagging anyone I've seen recently tagged elsewhere. Here goes...
Jen @ Daydreams and Shoestrings
Leigh @ Poonapaloza
Amy @ Amylynn Runs and Bikes and Swims
Courtney @ Courtney Runs
Anna @ Anna's Antidotes
Irina @ Perpetually Moving Target
Kirsten @ Kirky Blogs (as my sneaky way to make her blog more often...)
Kourtney @ faster-fitter-further
and to anyone else I may have missed...if you'd like to play along - simply create a blog post and answer the questions below:
1) What is one training tip you have that has dramatically changed the way you run?
2) If you could run any race in the world, which race would you choose and why?
3) What inspired you to start your blog?
4) Describe your favourite running route in a way that would make me want to run it with you.
5) How did you meet your best running friend?
6) What inspired you to start running?
7) What other hobbies do you have that you might not mention on your blog?
8) Which of your races this year are you most excited about and why?
9) What is your favourite healthy snack that almost feels sinful?
10) What quote or song (or both) inspires you most in your running?