Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Half Marathon #7 – Complete!

Given my complete absence from the blog since the day before the half marathon, you are probably thinking that I collapse in a giant heap along the route. Well, I am happy to report that this was not the case1! I did, in fact, complete the Victoria half marathon on Sunday, the seventh time I have accomplished such a feat2!

Victoria Half Marathon 2012

Given my limited amount of training3, I went into the race with a goal of just finishing, rather than trying to have a really stellar time. And so I wasn’t close to my personal best or anything, I did manage to finish in 2:18:01, which is respectable enough, if not anything to write home about.

Also, despite it not being my best race every performance-wise, it was one of the best races I’ve had enjoyment-wise. The day was sunny and warm – which is pretty much a miracle for Victoria in October – and the route of the Victoria half is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, it’s been gorgeous the two times I’ve run it in the rain, but running it in the sun was out of this world. I spent pretty much the entire race with a giant grin. My legs had a mind of their own for the first ~14 km – they just ran and ran and ran without me thinking twice about it. After that point, they kind of felt like lead, but I didn’t care. By that point, my brain was in full “let’s get this thing done!” mode and anytime I noticed myself slowing down, I just concentrated on my stride and kept on going. I didn’t have as much left in the tank at the end of the run as I usually do, but I managed a sprint for the last 100m or so.

Victoria Half Marathon 2012

Devon also ran the race, and he would have easily beat me if not for his pesky IT band, which decided at ~the 16 km that it didn’t want him to run anymore, so he limped the last 5 km. I’d seen him earlier in the run at a place where the route doubles back on itself, so you see some of the runners who are ahead of you4 and he had a giant grin on his face and looked like he was having a blast. Then I passed him at ~19 km where he was sadly limping along and looking much more grumpy. But he still managed to finish in 2:22:14, so I’m sure the next race he’ll kick my butt. In my defence, he is almost an entire foot taller than me.

Two other things of note from this race:

  • before the race, I saw a women who was about 8 months pregnant getting ready to run the half. She had a headband that said, “Suck it up, cupcake!” When my legs started to feel like lead, I just reminded me self of exactly that!
  • some lawyer from Victoria set the world’s record for the fastest marathon run in a business suit, finishing the full marathon in 2:35! I saw him running at a point where the marathon route and the half marathon route merge and he was in about 6th place at that time, which is where he ended up. 6th freaking place running in a business suit! I may have started cheering for him as he ran by. I really need to learn how to do a wolf whistle for exactly this type of occasion.

Victoria Half Marathon 2012
I’m addicted to race medals!

  1. You are probably sick of hearing me whine about being too busy to blog, so I’m only putting the whining here in the footnote. Footnotes are smaller and, thus, less annoying! []
  2. Well, technically it’s the 8th time I’ve run a distance of 21.1 km, because one time when Alicia and I were training and set out to run our 20 km run, we got lost and ended up running 22 km! But it was the 7th time I’d done it in an actual race. []
  3. And the extra 15 lbs that I’m carrying around with me and just can’t seem to lose. []
  4. And then later you see the runners who are behind you. []

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Birthday Cake = Carb Loading, Right?

Spent this afternoon at a birthday party for Devon’s 6-year-old niece. Devon’s sister made some very cool things, which I totally want to steal for future parties – such as fruit kabobs served by sticking the kabobs into a “stand” made from half of a watermelon and individual servings of veggies and dip made using little plastic shot glasses with dip in the bottom and little slices of veggies in them1.

And, of course, birthday cake. Which totally counts as carb loading, right?

  1. Eliminating the worry about kids – or grown ups – double dipping into a communal dip bowl! []

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Train For It!

Today I ran my last long run before the Victoria half marathon. It was 20 km, which required me to run from the New West Quay, which is near my place, all the way to Vancouver and back!

2012-09-23 20 km run

20 km is a lot of kms.

As you may recall, I decided back in June that I was sick of my rampant weight gain1 resulting from not doing any sort of physical activity whatsoever, and so I therefore decided that I would train for the Victoria half marathon. For me, races seem to be the only way to get me motivated to hit the pavement. If I’m just like “I should go for a run,” I rarely do. But if I have a race I’m training for and, more importantly, a training plan to tell me when to run and how far to run2, I tend to get out there. I originally vowed “I will at least do all the long runs in my training program and at least another run or two per week.” The first part of that statement turned out to be true, but the second part – not so much. But no matter – deciding to do the Victoria half resulting in me doing 21 runs during which I ran 205 km since the time I made that decision. And that’s 21 runs and 205 km that I’m pretty sure I would not have run otherwise. And I’ve managed to keep up with my school work, because I really do think more clearly and work more efficiently when I’m well exercised! The bathroom scale remains stubbornly on the same number as it did before I started my training, but happily (a) I have at least halted the weight gain, and (b) I’m getting more toned3.

Not wanting to lose the keeping-exercise-in-my-life momentum, I’m contemplating whether I should look for a fall race to train for4 or if I should activate the Groupon I got for the yoga place that is about a 30 second walk from my building. I also have the hockey seasons having started, so that will help keep me fit too!

  1. Not to mention how bad it is for my health to be highly stressed with no exercise. []
  2. Because I am indecisive and need someone to just tell me what to do. []
  3. So I think that the bit of fat weight I’ve lost is being balanced out by the muscle that I’m building. []
  4. Not another half marathon, but maybe a nice 8 or 10 km race. []

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Run, Dr. Beth, Run

When I started my MBA, I decided that there were certain things that I would have to give up in order to make time for school. One of those things that I said I was going to sacrifice was training for half marathons. As it turns out, I’m a filthy, filthy liar!

The thing is, at first I did give up on my running ways. Which resulted in my gaining 10+ lbs and feeling like a big pile of crappity crap. And then, a few weeks ago while out on one of the few runs I’d allowed myself to go on this year, I remembered how good it felt to run. How much my body loves to move. How refreshed my brain feels after working out my body. And I came to the realization that I just can’t afford to keep putting off my health. I mean, I have two years left in this program1 – can I really just say, “I’ll worry about being healthy two years from now!”? I’m too old for that.

Now, I know that there are only so many hours in the day. But I ca,e to the recognition that I’d truly rather be fit-and-B-student than fat-and-an-A-student2. I’m learning a hellava lot in school and they give us a hellava lot to do, but with a little bit of organization, I can get what I need to get done  – remembering that I don’t have to have the top mark in the class – and still make time for running. I *have* to make time for running. Plus, my brain works a lot more efficiently when I’m exercising regularly, so if I can fit in an hour of running after work and then do my homework after that in a much more focused way, I’m golden.

A short while later, while out on another run, I came to another important realization3. The Victoria Half Marathon is in the beginning of October, which means the lion’s share of the training for it occurs during the summer. As in when I don’t have classes4. And I know from past experience that if I don’t have a race that I’m training for, I just don’t get out running. So I came home from that run an announced to Devon, “We should run the Victoria Half Marathon!” To which he immediately agreed5.

And that’s how this happened:

Registered!

Well, actually, that’s an oversimplification. I went online to register for the race, but I got hung up for a while on the question “What would you like mentioned about you when you cross the finish line?” You see, when you run in these races, you have a timing chip on your shoe that records your race time. But it also means that the race announcers see a list of people’s names as they cross the finish line. So it appears that they are giving you the option to write in a little something so that instead of just announcing your name and city, they can add some excitement to the announcing by saying a little something about you. Of course, there’s so many people running the race that they won’t be able to say everyone’s name, so I figured I wanted to put something catchy in the hopes that the announcer actually says mine. But what to say?

Of course, I asked some friends, and Dr. Dan came up with:

zombies! run!

Because how hilarious would it be for the announcer to yell out to all the runners that the undead are hot on their heels?

Then I thought maybe this one would be funny:

SH eats kittens

But I figured that there would be 0% chance that they announcers would go for that. So I finally settled on an eternal truth after all races:

post-race beer

And while we are on the topic of running, did you know that yesterday was National Running Day (NRD)? Naturally, I celebrated by going for a run6. Happily, the running gods decided to bless us on NRD with the only day of not-raining we are going to get this week. But they also made it threaten to rain, with a few sprinkles here and there, to motivate me to run faster in hopes of avoiding the potential-rain. The running gods are nice like that. In the end, when I got home from my run, I checked my trusty Runkeeper App, which I use to track all my runs, and found that I had, in fact, run a better pace than I had been of late, and also that I’d run an awesome distance of awesomeness:
NRD

6.66 km! Tee hee7!

Anyhoo, all that to say that I’m back on the running bandwagon – though I don’t expect to be running as much as I did in the carefree days when I wasn’t a student. But I will at least do all the long runs in my training program and at least another run or two per week. Training officially starts on Sunday! Squee!

  1. Oh dear god, 2 years??? []
  2. To be more accurate, I’m only speaking of my own individual marks when it comes to this. For group work, I understand that other people are more concerned with marks, so group work always comes first and I’m always willing to go the extra mile for group work, at the expense of my individual work. And, so far, I’m firmly in the A range for both group and individual work despite having spent some time on being active, so I think this is something that I can manage. []
  3. See. I told you running makes me think better! []
  4. I do have a big group project to work on, but I’ll have much more flexibility over my schedule than when I have classes every third weekend. []
  5. See. I told you Devon is made of awesome! []
  6. After my teleconference with my project group from school and before coming home and reading about Business Ethics. See, I told you I could do all the things! []
  7. Don’t look at the “current pace”. It’s slow because it takes a minute for me to take my iPhone out of my arm band, unlock the screen, and stop the timer []

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Half Marathon #5 – COMPLETE!!

So, remember how I was aiming for 2 hr 15 mins half marathon?  I finished today’s half marathon in 2:07:23!!

My previous best time was 2:19:03, which means I managed to shave off 12 minutes and 20 seconds from my best time (and 16 minutes and 30 seconds off the time of the half marathon I ran just three months ago). A-mazing!  And it was a most enjoyable run too – I was in the zone for much of the run and while I was vaguely aware of the fact that my body was getting tired, I was in such a positive mood and knew that I could keep up the extra fast pace I was running, even though my body was telling me otherwise. I usually run my long runs around a 6:30-7:00 mins per km, and I ran this race at a 6:03 mins per km pace, so by the time I got about 12 km, my body was saying “I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up!” and my brain said, “Shut up, body! No one asked you! We can do this!!”  When I hit the 1/2 way mark, I checked my watch and I’d only been running for 1 hr and 2 minutes, and I was totally shocked! I mean, I was aiming for a 2:15 finish and here I was on pace for a 2:04! I knew I was pushing it and there was a stretch near the end where you were running by the water and there was a very strong headwind that was tough, but I kept telling myself, “I know you can do this!!” When I’ve run half marathons in the past, where I’ve not been trying to achieve a certain time, I’ve always had some fuel left in the tank and managed to speed up for the last 1-2 km. This time, it took everything I had to keep up the pace I was running, until I was a few hundred metres from the finish line, and once I saw that word “FINISH” in big white letters, I dug down and found the energy to make a final sprint to the end!  And it felt sooo good!  Also really good, the chocolate milk that we grabbed at the food tent. Best. Chocolate Milk. Ever!

Post race!

Alicia and I after the Victoria Half Marathon! We are teh awesome!

Special props to my running buddy, Alicia! She also ran a personal best today, obliterating her previous record as well.  She’s the one who suggested we challenge ourselves with a goal this time and she inspired me to push to my limit! This is her second half marathon since her baby was born and her baby is only eight months old! You rock, Alicia!

Thanks also to Simmi & Rummi, who drove us from the ferry to Victoria, put us up at their house last night, and then drove us to the race this morning! You guys are awesome!  Also, props to my parents, my sister, and Kalev who all watched the live stream of the race hoping to see me cross the finish line. I’m sorry that they kept moving the camera so that all your watching was for naught! But it’s the thought that counts and I very much appreciate it!

And thanks to Danielle, who came out to cheer us on, picked us up after the race, let us use her shower, drove us to the ferry, joined us for the ferry ride and with whom I then spent an enjoyable afternoon hanging out in the sunshine at the ferry terminal until she headed back on the ferry with another friend who was doing some holiday weekend traveling. You are an amazing friend, Dani!