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Posts Tagged ‘BMO Okanagan Marathon’

The one thing that I love the most about running is that it does not discriminate.

Young or old, male or female, short or tall, fast or slow, fit or “fat”, etc. running is for EVERYONE.

This was made even more apparent to me at my race on Sunday.

I went into the race with a horrible mindset thinking I was going to stick out like a sore thumb because I do not look like a *typical* runner. I just had a baby so I’m carrying around a lot of extra weight and as much as I try to not let it bother me it still does. But the truth of the matter is there is no *typical* look that a runner should or must have.

If you run then you are a runner.

We do not have to fit into a cookie cutter mould of what a runner should look like. We are all out there for our own personal reasons. Some of us have been running longer and are out to PR. Some of us are just starting and merely want to finish. Some of us are in the middle looking for the next big challenge.

On Sunday I saw many different runners all of whom were inspiring.

There was the older couple who ran the half-marathon together.

There was the group of girlfriends who ran the 10K together and only went as fast as the slowest friend.

There was the father running with his eight or nine-year-old son. As they passed me for the second time I mentioned how awesome it was and that one day I hope my own kids will share my love of running.

There was the lady who just had shoulder surgey 8 weeks ago who was supposed to run the half-marathon but decided it was best to run the 10K instead of not running at all.

There were the two friends, dressed in pink, walking the half-marathon. The one woman was a larger lady who wasn’t letting her physical shape stop her from participating.

There was theΒ  lady I saw breastfeeding her baby on the grass after the race with her medal dangling over her cover-up.

There was my friend Leanne who despite rolling her ankle the weekend before got a PR in the half-marathon.

There was my friend Krista who has the best attitude towards running than anyone else I have ever met.

Then there was me who, in an attempt to make excuses for my own physical shape, made sure to let people know I just had a baby two-months ago. I didn’t do it to brag and realizse I was using it as a kind of defense mechanism. But in the process I discovered that no one was judging me negatively and I like to think I inspired a few people of my own that day the same way the above runners inspired me.

It’s difficult not to compare ourselves to other runners at times or to get caught-up in what we think a runner should be.

Because the beautiful thing about running is that, even though it is such an idividual sport, we are all in it together and the support can truly be amazing and inspiring.

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Well, I did it.

I ran my first race since having the girl two-months ago and despite sore legs I feel great.

I didn’t have any specific time goals for myself except I wanted to beat my six-month pregnant self (I ran the Vancouver Sun Run in 1:18) and I am happy to report that I beat that time by 5 minutes – yep, very happy about this.

My two friends that I went with also had amazing times and both ran the half-marathon.

We arrived in Kelowna Saturday afternoon and after some shopping we checked into the hotel and then headed to the expo to pick-up our race packages.

The Okanagan Marathon is relatively small so there were no lines, and since the expo itself was also small we were not there for very long. I did buy a new pair of CEP Compression Socks and have been living in them since I got home.

We had an early supper and we’re in bed by 8:00 pm – party animals I tell ya!

Unfortunately we were woken-up around midnight by a strange beeping sound. It took us all a few minutes to realize it was the fire alarm but fortunately it was a false alarm. Unfortunately, the hotel staff seemed to have had difficult time turning it off because it went on for a while. We all had a difficult time getting back to sleep but at least we didn’t have to leave the comfort of our beds.

The half-marathon started a half-hour before the 10K but I went to the start line with Krista and Leanne and saw them cross the starting line.

Thinking back I realize I didn’t feel nervous at all waiting for the race to start. I was just happy to be there. Everything started on time and the weather was cool with blue skies and sun. I got caught up in the excitement of the race and went out too fast but I settled in with a 5:1 run:walk ratio – the run portion was longer at times depending on how I felt and where I was on the course.

All three distances run the same 10K route so Krista and I got to see each other as I was headed out and she was heading to the second part of the half-marathon route. The first portion of the 10K is kind of boring as it is through part of downtown and a residential area but the end is along the water and beautiful.

My only complaint about the course is that there seemed to be different km makers for the different distances. I passed two 3K, two 4K, and two 5K markers along the way and it was really toying with my emotions πŸ™‚

The best part of the race for me were the variety of people running but I’m saving that for another post.

As I entered the finishing chute I saw Leanne on the sidelines cheering me on and I mustered up all my remaining energy to finish strong.

I definitely left everything on the course.

I may not be in my best physical shape, I may not like looking at my race photos, and I may not be as speedy as some other new moms out there but you know what?

I did it.

I’m proud.

And things can only get better from here.

Marathon training is about to start and this may be my official marathon training song*:

*warning, he uses a bad word.

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One week from today (Sunday) I will be running a 10K at the BMO Okanagan Marathon.

There are a couple of reasons why this race will be a special day:

1. This is the same event where I ran my first half-marathon last year. I will be retracing the first 10K of that race and I’m sure it will bring back some memories.

2. This is my first race since having Teagan. I ran one 10K when I was pregnant and although I have no time expectations for myself I would like to beat my pregnant-self’s time.

I’m not in the same shape I was a year ago but I am excited to surround myself with other runners, and to cheer on my two friends who are both running the half.

Even though I am not in the same shape as a year ago I am happy with the progress I have made with my running in a short time. The mere fact that I am running 4-5 times a week makes me happy and feel strong.

I ran 5 miles on the weekend and felt great. My pace is improving with every run (my pace on my Thursday night run was a full minute faster than my pace on my Tuesday night run) and I love being able to push myself again.

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I have been doing a run/walk ratio since I started back into running but my goal for Sunday’s race is to run the entire 10K. I know that being surrounded by other runners will inspire me to achieve this goal.

Even though the number on the scale did not change this week I am feeling stronger and more toned. My muscles are sore and remind me that I am moving in the right direction.

I am trying not to look at the big picture of how much weight I have to lose and this next big milestone is going to help me focus on the small things:

I have officially registered for my first FULL marathon!

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I am running the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon and just like it would be silly and discouraging for me to think of the end goal ( to run 26.2 miles) I can’t focus on the overall weight-loss I want to achieve.

I have to start small to end big.

Expect to hear a lot more about the marathon once training begins.

Oh, and I won’t be doing it alone. My friend Krista is joining me on the marathon journey. We live over 2 hours from each other but have set out a game plan that will see us running the same pace during our training. Theoretically, this means we will be on the same level come race day because we have decided to cross both the start and finish line together πŸ™‚

A big thanks to Tara for sending me the marathon training plan she followed for her first marathon and for being such a big inspiration. The plan brought her great success and I know it will do the same for us.

Any tips for a first-time marathoner in training?

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It’s Friday.

I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by and if I’m being honest here (and that’s exactly why I’m here) I did not run at all this week.

It turns out that trying to follow a schedule, running or other wise, just doesn’t work for me right now. I had all the intentions in the world to go for a few runs in the evenings this week but little Teagan had other plans in the form of crazy long cluster feeds.

I was initially bummed out about it and felt like I was failing at being able to do it all. My motivation to run was there but I was having a hard time physically getting out the door.

Then my husband said something to me with respect to sleep that helped put it all into perspective.

You see, I haven’t had a real sleep schedule since Teagan was born either. I sleep when I can and if that means going to bed at 8:00 pm instead of the usual, and what I consider normal, time of 10:00 pm than that’s what has to happen right now.

Similarly I have to forget about following any sort of strict plan with respect to running and exercise. I simply must fit it in when I can.

And that’s ok because that’s what works for me right now.

I fully expect it to change as we all settle in to a routine and as Teagan gets older.

Yesterday that meant completing a 20 minute workout while the kids both napped. Maybe I should have slept too but in reality I was either going to work out or waste time on social media.

I think I chose the better option.

It’s tough to not compare myself to other new moms who seem to be able to fit in daily exercise. But then I remind myself that I also have a 3-year-old who demands my time and attention too making it that more difficult to fit it all in.

In a perfect world our whole family would follow the same schedule but that’s never going to happen.

Not now and not in the future.

So instead of beating myself up over it I’ve decided to just go with the flow.

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Yes, I am still pregnant.

35 weeks to be exact.

And no, I’m still not running but that doesn’t mean I’m not making plans for after the baby arrives.

I have officially registered for my first race post-baby and to be honest, I’m pretty excited.

I decide to run the Okanagan Marathon 10K in Kelowna on October 7, 2012.

This is the same event where I ran my first half-marathon last year. It’s close (ish) to home and will give me time for some postpartum recovery before I lace up my running shoes again. After that I have set a goal for myself that includes the numbers 2, 6 and 2 (but more on that later, you know, after I actually start running again).

All is well on the baby front. We are still prepping for the baby’s arrival but have all the necessities for the first few weeks in order: diapers, clothing, a place to sleep, and a food source. The baby’s room is still Lincoln’s room for now. In the process of moving Lincoln downstairs to his new room we discovered that it wasn’t insulated so walls have been ripped down and new ones, plus new flooring, have to go in before he can move down there. It’s all good though because the baby will be in our room for the first while anyways.

Lincoln is already practicing for the baby’s arrival too with a stuffed rat he received for his birthday (he turned 3 on June 27!)

It has a bed. He feeds it with a bottle, and I even made it a diaper. Who needs a baby doll when a pet rat will do just fine!

Lincoln and I will be temporarily relocating to Nelson, BC in a couple of weeks so I am closer to the hospital and my midwives. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the fact that because we live in a rural area, without a hospital that delivers babies, I have to travel over 2 hours for each midwife appointment and to the hospital. I had three options but because I wanted a midwife Nelson was the best choice for us. It also helps that we have good friends who live there (we used to live there as well) who are willing to let us park our trailer at their house until the baby is born. Lincoln will also stay with them while we are at the hospital. Andrew will be staying in Midway during the week for work but will join us on the weekends.

Even though the drive can suck I really don’t mind. I had Lincoln in Nelson with the same midwives and it was a great experience. Nelson is what you would refer to as a hippie town so the hospital is very laid back and the midwives have hospital privileges. Lincoln was born almost two weeks early and really fast, hence the reason we are headed there early just incase.

I still can’t believe the baby could arrive at any point. I admit that this time around I am a bit more anxious and nervous about what’s to come. Last time I was so oblivious about what to expect that I didn’t worry too much. This time though, I’m trying to find a balance between worrying too much and not worrying enough when the time comes.

I also can’t believe I thought I had a baby bump at 22 weeks.

*flashback*

Because it’s nothing compared to what I am carrying around these days.

35 weeks.

For now, we play the waiting game.

And I try to fit in as many naps as I can each week.

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This running at lunch thing is definitely working out for me. It’s only been a few times but it sure beats what I used to do on my lunch break: catch up on TV and snack too much.

Except now I am way behind on my shows.

Lucky for me my husband started playing hockey on Friday nights so now that is my TV night πŸ™‚

The weather has been typical for this time of year.

My Monday run looked like this:

The river was frozen and the trail was covered in snow.

Enough people had been on the trail though for it to be packed down enough that I wasn’t breaking trail. But there was still a fresh dusting of snow that made it feel extra adventureous.

I actually really enjoy running in the snow. In addition to the Yak Trax (which I highly recommend) I also don’t leave the house without these when it is cold outside:

When I was first given these gloves at the expo for the BMO Okanagan Marathon I thought to myself “There is no way I will ever use these.”

But I took them anyways and I haven’t regretted it since.

The best part is they were free.

Except I didn’t need them today because today’s run looked like this:

The snow is gone, it was 11 degrees C and lightly raining.

I did get a lot more sweaty today.

But I’m confident the snow will be back soon and I’ll have this for a background again.

I ran another 3 miles today and happy I can leave the treadmill for someone else for the time being.

 

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Yesterday, I went on my first run since the half-marathon last week. I didn’t mean, or want, to wait so long before running again but sometimes life gets in the way.

But the opportunity presented itself for me to get out of the house and I took it.

I took it easy and ran the almost 3 mile loop from my house on the trail I love.

It was tough!

The whole time I kept thinking “Did I really run a half-marathon last week?!” because my legs felt like lead for the first mile. I eventually worked out the kinks, settled in and enjoyed the fresh, albeit, brisk air.

Fall is officially here.

This means it is going to be significantly more difficult for me to leave my warm house, and also means I am going to have to figure out what to wear for Fall running.

My next half-marathon is not until May 2012 so I am not following a training plan yet. Instead I am going to run for fun (yes fun) and exercise for the next couple of months.

For now, let’s look back to my first half-marathon (the pictures are finally available online!)

Here I am crossing the finish line.

I felt the way I look – wiped out! Maybe I should have smiled πŸ™‚

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