Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last day of 2008

When I look back at my workout log, I see I have done the following activities this year.

Bike (road and trainer)
Drill (bootcamp style class)
Grind (hike/run up the side of a mountain)
Physio/Chiro exercises
Run (road and trail)

Not as many different things as 2007, but not bad! And I have averaged an extra hour per week of working out over 2007.

For 2009 I'd like to do at least as many different activities and I'd like to try something new as well. Most of all I want to be consistent and continue to build a good base. I will post again with some more specific goals for the year.

I had hoped to run today but it is just too icy out. I did swim again and had a great swim to end the year with. But that's just not the same as a run.

Happy New Year! I hope 09 brings good fun for everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Before tonight the last time I did was yoga was probably early August. And I pulled my hamstring. Honestly, the hamstring still is not 100%. It has better and worse days, but it is manageable. I love how yoga makes me feel, but somehow always mange to forget that, especially this time with it causing an injury. Yes, I can barely touch my toes. My hamstrings are permanently tight. But I want them not to be. I can balance on one leg and do backbends, so at least all is not lost.

This is my favourite video.

The 2 DVDs allow for many different lengths of practice, each with a slightly different focus. Of course you can do the full length version on either DVD too. I am not quite up to that yet though. It was way harder then it should have been. I hope to do some form of yoga 1-2x a week again. I really need to do some classes as well to work on my form. I would like to start that now, but don't want to be the new girl right at the new year. Hopefully I can just get over myself and go now instead of putting it off.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boxing day and beyond

Well running hasn't been going very well. The melt has started but the nighttime temperatures are still dropping below freezing, meaning everywhere is a sheet of ice. I ran from work on Monday in the middle of a windstorm, following a sleet/freezing rain/snowstorm. The seawall was too icy and the crosswalks too flooded. I cut it short before 6k.

But, I have been swimming. Twice more in the pool and the 3rd time felt way better then the Christmas Eve swim. I am not going to make my previous goal of continuous distance by the end of this year, but I am definitely on my way to becoming a better swimmer.

I gave Graeme some stroke analysis/swim instruction as part of his Christmas present. If he finds it really useful, I may buy it for myself as well. In the meantime I think I am going to sign up or a "triathlon swimming" program at a pool nearby. It's a 4 lesson set focusing on stroke correction. I meet all the minimum requirements, so outside of stepping outside of my comfort zone, there is no reason not to. And stepping out of my comfort zone may be the most important part of signing up. Someone hold me to that...

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I wanted to continue with the good exercise habits over Christmas even as my eating and drinking were more than a little overboard. After getting off work on the 23rd, Graeme swam and I ran from the pool. A snowy icy run along the seawall. I have run that route more then any other, but I have never run it looking like that. There were people snowshoeing on the beach and cross country skiing down the side of the path!

In Victoria on the 24th, we went to Commonwealth Pool. It is a nice pool and the competition pool was set up for 50m. Of course it was also set up for competition temperature wise and I had a hard time catching my breathe for the first few laps and I never got properly warmed up. Still, I hadn't been in the pool in a while and it was good to at least get back in.

Even though Christmas Eve night meant a lot of drinking with Graeme and my brothers (and my mom was there of course, but she doesn't drink), Graeme and I both headed out for a run before anyone else was up on Christmas morning. That doesn't mean it was early though. The rest of my family are night owls and late risers.

It was a nice 8K run. Mostly on the road itself as the sidewalks were ice in most locations. It felt really good to be out there and again reminded me how happy I am to be running injury free. The smoked salmon eggs benny and champagne and orange juice breakfast was a very nice post run treat. Of course more water in there probably would have helped!

Christmas morning in Victoria

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And the snow continues

Well the last couple weeks have had many firsts for me. Mostly related to the snow. A run on snow packed trails and then in a foot of snow and a full snowstorm on the city streets. Both felt more like core and strength workouts and calling them "runs" may be pushing it considering the pace I was going. My quads were thrashed after those back to back snowy runs. I felt like I was using my glutes way more as well, which is something I have been trying, not very successfully, to do in my normal running. It seems that a lot of my injury issues over the last few years have to do with my stride and the fact that I do not engage my glutes when I run. I do have exercises to strengthen them, though lately I have not been very consistent doing them.

Some of the snowiness.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tools of the trade

This morning as I made my way into the office, I wondered how people who live where its really cold all winter continue to run outside. It's not just the cold, although that is bad enough, but the ice as well.

Well today's run took place at the dark, cold, snowy track. This was not a "track workout", but rather a run that could only take place because the track is flat. There were some icy sections, but they're easier to deal with when you are not on a hill. Today also marked my first run with a headlamp. I needed to see where the ice was.

I couldn't put the run off. The forecast only has it getting colder later this week. The temperature at the time of the run was -3/26 or -8/17 with the windchill. I had thin long johns under my tights and my legs were the perfect temperature. My upper body could have been warmer. I had on a wicking long sleeve base layer under a Lululemon fitted running hoodie that is fleecy inside, really warm gloves and socks, and of course a hat. My ears would have preferred a warmer hat, but the headlamp seems to work best with a baseball cap.

Now, it wasn't all bad. I did feel a bit badass. And dedicated. And running on the crunchy snow is fun in a way. Really with another layer on top and less ice I could probably even do a longer colder run. Of course when you dislike the treadmill as much as I do, you'll find any way to avoid it.

Shiny with vaseline.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Walking in a winter wonderland

I have been waiting for the first mountain snowfall. Of course last night it snowed in the city as well, but I digress. With having a calf injury for the first few months of this year which meant not only running, but no walking recommended, I have been waiting a long time to use last years Christmas present - snowshoes.

We headed up to Cypress this morning. Over 20cms of fresh powder overnight. And light fluffy snow at that, as its colder then normal here. My snowshoes are really meant for running/racing, but with the new snow, the trails were not yet packed. Still, I did not have any problems. Of course the fact that Graeme broke trail the whole time helped. There were definitely some woohoos as I ran down the hills. I think both the ups and downs were my favourite. I can't wait to go again.

My new Smartwool socks worked well. My feet were damp by the end, but they stayed warm.

Below is a view of where we were from the other side of the water. This was taken this afternoon once the sun started to come out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lime green socks? (and winter has arrived)

I picked up a couple pairs of socks at the sample sale yesterday. One heavier winter pair and a lighter low ankle pair. When I got home I realized in the last 2 weeks I seem to have developed a lime green sock obsession.

At least they all serve different purposes. And the Sugoi socks seem to have saved my legs. I could barely walk yesterday and after wearing them overnight (yes I am a geek) I was not only able to run today, but ran a fast for me 10kms. And it was hilly.

1 - 9:13
2 - 8:54
3 - 9:32
4 - 9:32
5 - 10:13
6 - 9:39

Can you tell which mile was straight up hill? The elevation profile looked like this.

The local mountains had their first big snowfall of the year yesterday.

The Lions from my run.

Out my window.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Yesterday evening's run felt great. I felt slightly overdressed on the way out, but when I turned around and headed back into the wind, I was glad I had worn the warmer jacket. The run was unfortunately shortened as I came across an old man who had fallen. He didn't have his full faculties and I'm sure the shock of the fall didn't help. He wasn't sure where he lived, though he knew it was at "an old people's home". We were only a few blocks from the hospital so I convinced him to walk down there with me, as he had quite a bit of blood coming from his mouth due to the fall. Eventually we met his friend whom he had set out to meet, and the friend took over. I was still a mile from home and ran straight home as I knew Graeme would be wondering where I was if I stayed out much longer. Still the run itself was good at 6.65 mi or 10.65 km.

I ran again this morning in order to beat the snow. It was probably some of the coldest rain I have run in. Just above freezing and driving rain. 3.5 mi/5.6km was all I had in me. Just as I was getting home, it started to turn to snow. It snowed for a few hours and is now back to rain. But I am pretty sure we haven't seen the end of the snow for today.

I'm not sure what it was about the runs, but my calves are really really sore now. I'm hoping it will dissipate and not require treatment. I wish I had my "R&R" socks to put on over my nylons. I've had these ones for a few weeks and really like putting them on after a run.

I'd likely get a few funny looks from coworkers though.

I am headed to an Atlas Snowshoe and Smartwool sample sale after work. I hope they have some good stuff.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ok, I was wrong.

I don't love everything about this time of year. It is currently "party season" at work and I am tired. I would love nothing more than to head home straight after work and get a good workout in, but instead it is party after party after party. They are fun for a while, but they do get tiring, especially when you have to be "on" all the time. If you have a corporate job, you probably know what I mean. I have been good to not over drink at any of the events, but between the later nights, a few drinks and my back not feeling great, there has been no running to talk about.

I am looking forward to this evening though. There is an event tonight (actually there are 3), but I will make a very brief appearance at one and then head home and outside for a dry but cool run. After today it gets cold. I'm sure many people will laugh at our "cold" but for Vancouver, its going to be very cold. There is even snow in the forecast for the city!

I'm not sure my "cold weather" running gear is good enough. Maybe its time to go shopping...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That time of year

Yes, I am talking about Christmas. I love it. All of it. The music (no, not all of it is good), the lights (yes some houses are overdone) and the presents, both giving and receiving. I love coming up with gift ideas. I know a lot of people say men are hard to shop for, but my husband it not one of theose. My problem is of the other variety - trying to narrow down the gifts. An no, this is not a post about what I am thinking about giving him. That would ruin the surprise! These are some of the things I'd like to see under the tree.

A CHI flat iron. I have been using a cheapy one for a long time and my hair already gets enough abuse from chlorine and showers.

An Illuminite running hoody/jacket. I know my mom would be happy that I am more visible to traffic during these long dark days.

Wallaroo socks. To prevent blisters on wet trail runs.

And of course this giftcard is always welcome.

(yes it's Lululemon)

Monday, December 8, 2008


There was a woman in the pool on Saturday and to say she was a poor swimmer would be an understatement. She was demonstrating her "butterfly" to a couple of her friends, who laughed at her the entire way down the pool. However, one said to the other, "well you know what, no matter what, she never gives up". She even asked me if I knew how to do the butterfly (which I don't). Now, I don't think I'd a. have the guts to try something I have no idea how to do in such a busy atmosphere, or b. ask people in the next lane who are better swimmers for tips. But at the same time, had I known how to do it, I would have had no issue giving her tips. I guess that is part of the lesson - don't give up and don't be afraid to ask for help. This is definitely something for me to work on. I have a fear that people are going to laugh at me in their head for not knowing how to do something or for not being good at something. And yes, I know logically that is unlikely to be the case.

Another trail run yesterday. This was more frustrating then Saturday's. I could not find the entrance to the trail and spent 40 or so minutes running around just trying to figure it out. Eventually I did and was so happy to be running on it. Of course, a few minutes in, I came across a sign saying the trail was closed due to high water damage. So the run was cut short. Of course when I got home I was able to find the detour which allows you to continue on the trail. So now all I have to do is wait until next weekend when I'll be able to run trails again, as running them alone in the dark just isn't for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Trail running is one of those things that when I do it, I wonder why I don't do it more often. Like most days in December here in North Vancouver, today was wet, and I really didn't feel like leaving the house. But once I got out there I was so glad I had. Jumping over, and through puddles, avoiding tree roots, running over bridges, mud splashing everywhere, somehow makes me feel like a big kid. I'm sure if anyone had seen me laughing as I landed in a big muddy puddle, they may have though something was wrong with me.

Today's run on Mosquito Creek Trail.

The trail/creek

Under the highway

After crossing the creek

Brand new trail shoes after their inaugural run