The Young Avengers (My Concrete Hero Experience)

Several months ago my lovely friend Haley told me I should do Concrete Hero. The only reason I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea was the fact that it involved obstacles. But she assured me it would be fun and I could do it (something something you run half marathons something something)

It also helped that Concrete Hero is a fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation. In this day and age you are pretty hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been affected by Cancer. Although there many diseases out there in which we do not have cures, Cancer is just one of them.

My Grandfather Ivo passed away from Brain Cancer, it happened within weeks. I can still recall the memory of visiting him in the hospital . Had he not had a seizure we never would have discovered the tumour.

One of my favourite photos..besides some baby pictures
One of my favourite photos..besides some baby pictures

My best friend Kayla survived cancer. Bone cancer to specific. She has been in remission for 6 years and that’s simply amazing. It’s not easy losing your leg, but she’s done it so gracefully (and has even managed to make it on televison !)

Kayla and I at a concert, so basically our natural habitat
Kayla and I at a concert, so basically our natural habitat

I fund-raised for them. I ran with them in mind.

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And after the experience I had , I will most certainly be doing it again.

The race starts at a rather civilized time 10am. Check in beginning at 9. Warm starts at 940. So if you show up early you have plenty of time to get your bib , take some photos and hit the washroom before the race even starts. So this worked for me. They had parking space very close to the race start/finish so that was great too! Tristan was concerned about trying to leave afterwards but there were no issues there.

Now let me introduce you to my team…in which I only knew my Captain ..and the rest were just people on a facebook group..until race day!

Some of us are DC characters....either way we're super!
Some of us are DC characters….either way we’re super!

Also I would like to personally thank Jason Romein for these amazing photos! Starting from the left we have Ashley, Erica (or Airwrecka on Facebook) who would be my buddy for most of the event, Nicolyn, Haley our fearless leader, myself as Captain America, Brian !

Bib pickup was smooth, they had an on-line check in process prior making life a lot of easier! The race also had an amazing warm up lead by the amazing Karin! (Thank you for pumping all of us up!)

The obstacles were well spaced , there was a slight line whilst waiting to run through the school buses. Yes you read that right. I even got to honk the horn. Haley did require a band aid at one point, and the mugginess was pretty brutal. But we hopped over fire, ran through bubbles, I even fell off monkey bars into refreshing water! But still I kept trucking along!

The hardest obstacle was right at the end, aplty titled the Chief , here’s a couple shots to show you how brutal it was!

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I did require help climbing…as I was rather wet from the water causing me the slip when trying to climb. Note to self, don’t fall into water , stuff to work on next year. But check out this amazing jump shot !

Seriously Jason thank you so much for this picture
Seriously Jason thank you so much for this picture

This event was way too much fun. I love the medal, I love the cause, the atmosphere was amazing as everyone around was supportive. You can definitely count me in for next year . I hope to have some wicked arm muscles then so I can claim those monkey bars…and not fall! As well my team was number 5 for top 10 fundraisers, with our grand total amount being 3,480 dollars, which I think is pretty amazing. I am determined to beat that next year.

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Until then, this avenger is resting..but not for long as Beat the Blerch is getting close! Stay tuned for updates internet !

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The Grind & Cypress 5 Peaks

12 days. That’s how many days I have left before Concrete Hero. I’m so excited now and am feeling confident and ready!

The last few weeks have been consistent running and fitness . As well as no dairy for 2 weeks! Lactose intolerance is truly a lame allergy but it’s one I have and I need to manage better.

So what have I been up to? Well let’s start with Cypress!

I love the cup! It's cute orange and used it a lot already!
I love the cup! It’s cute orange and used it a lot already!

I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it out to any of the orientation runs but I had chosen the sport course because Brittany was running! As well trail running is still very new to me so I chose the course with less elevation.

It was a beautiful day and despite the heatwave I didn’t overheat. Luckily a good chunk of the sport course was in the shade !

Package pickup went smoothly and Brittany and I found ourselves with enough time to put our stuff away, get our bibs on and get to the start line! I found myself running into a lot of people as well. As I’ve been told I am the Kevin Bacon of my generation

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I enjoy the sport course immesnely. I found my workouts have been paying off as I ran the entire race almost non stop and clocked in at 1 hour , 10 minutes. The scenery was beautiful and I even managed to rock the technical parts as well! I will definitely be running this race again next year ! There was a ton off awesome food and drink afterwards and I even got myself a Salomon shirt too!

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As well that week my Bib Rave shirt had arrived in the mail that I won off twitter! If you aren’t familiar with the website it’s a site in which you search and write Race reviews. I look forward to completing more races and reviewing them on there!

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Shoutout to Brittany for being an excellent race buddy and winning herself an entry! After the race we proceeded to hit up the Salomon store so she could get herself a pair of proper trail shoes!

The other fun part of my training (besides running and weight workouts) has been the grind. It’s full as I’ve worked at Grouse for almost 3 years and I’ve made a point of not doing it….until now!

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Friday after a day at camp I pushed myself up the trail alone. In the heat too. I learned that I would not be doing anymore evening grinds but I was glad I did it none the less ! (Also I decided to do this before the cypress race….plus a 10k run ….I enjoy punishing myself!)

The following friday I managed to convince some friends with me. I found myself slower mostly due to tight muscles but I’m hoping to get another few grinds in before the end of the summer. It’s a tough trail but very rewarding!

For those who are not familiar, The Grouse Grind is a hiking trail on the Northshore. It is often referred to as “Nature’s stairmaster” . Despite being just shy of 3km , it is the elevation gain that really trips you up when hiking. A lot of people choose to hike it as you can take the tram down versus hiking down which is prohibited. I would not reccomend it to someone who isn’t already active as I’ve heard enough calls and stories of people getting injured or going into cardiac arrest. Make sure to read up on it and be prepared before heading up!

The grind is always better when you have friends!
The grind is always better when you have friends!

I’m starting to plan a costume for Concrete Hero, stay tuned for updates on that! I’ve got 3 runs to fit in this week plus some gym/body weight workouts!

Also I know we just got into august but school is just around the corner and that means Beat the Blerch is less then 50 days away! We’re in the midst of hill training (I share a love hate relationship with that) .

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Training Update

Internet. I am so pleased to report that I’ve made progress.

Where to begin?

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Well this past weekend I completed The Dirty Dash. a 5k obstacle course mud race in langley. It also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year so far…so the mud was not only sunscreen it was also refreshing. During the race I found this familiar thought running through my head.

“You should be so proud right now!”

Because as of late I haven’t felt that way but I think something finally clicked once I saw on my countdown that I’m currently at the one month mark until Concrete Hero. The Dirty Dash actually showed me that my cardio is strong and I can climb some obstacles but I still need some work! Hello pushups and more weight lifting.

Back to the Dirty Dash, I definitely wouldn’t have done had it not been for Dallas selling her registration to me (Thank you again!) But it was a great experience none the less. Despite the heat I finished the course in under an hour and half and plan to purchase photos later!

I also enjoyed the tshirt hoodie and neat phone carrying case I purchased. Also my fitbit held up! So expect a product review on that later this week !

I hiked the Chief Sunday. The last time I did that was highschool. Although i struggled with the elevation change I pushed through and managed to climb up and down in under 4 hours. I’m determined to get to the 3rd peak before the summer is over. Hopefully post concrete hero I will be able to achieve that.

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I’m somewhat on track for my Beat the Blerch training I’ve got a long run to make up this week but the cross training has been paying off.

I’m seriously loving jumping class. CJ found the place at Social shopper in which you get 10 classes for a certain price . It’s an hour of jumping on an individual trampoline and holding your core whilst performing certain moves!

Action shot!
Action shot!

I’ve actually been going to the gym . I’m proud to say. It’s slowly getting easier to walk in there and not feel as awkward as before! My gym aversion is silly considering how strange I can look whilst running.

Only 30 days left….but I’m feeling confident!

What’s next? I’m on the fence about signing up for another trail race . Cypress is coming up and I’d love to get some trail swag and to get off the road more. As well 5peaks has added a 6th race which would be a nice taper before my back to back half marathons!

I’m looking forward to the rain this weekend and things cooling off. I do not thrive in the heat that’s for sure..but alas the sunshine is nice and vitamin D is important!

I’ve done two runs this week. One was horrible and one was wonderful. Looking forward to 10k for the next few Sundays.

I’m not seeing the dramatic weight loss I want but I know with dedication it’ll happen!

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Making a Concrete Hero

So a bit of an update!

I’ve been a little quiet on here since well to be honest I’m embarrassed! But then again I have just spent the past 7 weeks completing Magazine Publishing so I haven’t really been lazy So I guess it all balances out.That being said I’m still struggling with parts of my life. I won’t get into it too much but it’s definitely  a mind over matter when it comes to my confidence and my goals.

I keep trying to start goals and challenges but am finding myself struggling with motivation (also allergies!) . But with that in mind, I think I’m finally getting back into my regular routine. Here’s hoping at least.

I am pleased to report that I am officially in Concrete Hero training mode

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What does this mean? It means seriously watching my food and actually getting myself to the gym. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how I need to crosstrain . It’s funny with the motivation issues I struggle with, I can still push myself to walk or go for a quick run. Getting to the gym however, seems near impossible.

So I’ve got a plan

I’ve got the Half Marathon clinic on Sunday morning, Tuesday and Wednesday evening. I need to be hitting the gym at least twice a week on the days I am not running. I’m hoping after a couple consistent weeks I’ll be able to make it 3 days a week! I know I can run the distance for sure. It’s the climbing that makes me nervous. My gym routine is going to consist of lifting weights, burpees and kettlebells.

I’m not saying I’ll be a beefcake but I’d love to have some muscle to show off in my arms come August 17th

Concrete Hero means altering my diet. More water, less trips to starbucks. With school wrapping up I’ll be home more with more time to prepare food.

What else have I got planned?

  • A potential 10k
  • A potential Disney Trip in the works for 2015
  • Another trail race
  • The Turkey Trot (of course!)
  • My back to back Halfs , plus Rock & Roll

I’m hoping with Concrete Hero forcing me to go to the gym I’ll be better trained come Beat the Blerch. I want to get back to my BMO time (sub 3 hours yes I’m slow speed comes with training !) It’s funny with my motivation and the gym. I can get myself to run, even if it’s 3 k it’s better then nothing. But there something’s about being in the gym and seeing other people I get rather nervous.

 

At least moving forward I no longer have the doubt that I won’t finish. I’ve done it 4 times now . I’m now more determined then ever to get faster.

Today I’m proud to report that I actually managed to get out and swim! I spent many a summer taking swimming lessons. I like swimming since it’s cardio but it’s a little less strenuous.

Plus I enjoy pretending to be a mermaid and I have triathlete aspirations (one day..need to over my fears of cycling)

I’m excited internet. I’m determined to make this summer amazing with keeping active.

Stay tuned for an update on how the gym plays out!

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