Day 6/100 (1st Run of 2017)

For a few days I’ve been saying “I should run” over and over again in my head. Today I finally did.

It was short 30 minutes (well 27 minutes followed my 3 minutes of stretching because my hip flexors are tight too much sitting!) but it’s done and it’s the beginning of being my happy running self again.

It’s also a painful reminder to please shovel your sidewalks. I wore my New Balance Summit shoes which although they are trail shoes they are rigid and have better grip then the saucony guide’s that I am currently sporting.

It was hard. I felt out of breathe and found myself wanting to go faster but just couldn’t . But I didn’t feel sore , my shoes were great and I didn’t fall. So I’d call that a success. Not to mention Bluetooth headphones are amazing and if you are debating buying a pair I highly suggest you do so asap. Talk about freedom! #nomoretangling

I feel good. Tired but good . My mood was instantly lifted post run and it’s a very important reminder as to why I run in the first place. Also the snow managed to hold off so although it was cold it was cloudy and not too windy

Tomorrow?

It’s my first saturday off in 2017 who knew I’d get so lucky in the new year?

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The Race to Kinvara

And so begins my recollection of my adventure in Ireland. I kept meaning to post this sooner but I kept having thoughts of OOO I forgot that…so here is my summary!

 

I packed the night before   and was given a lift to the airport by my gracious parents. (love you Boo Mum and Dad) I had attempted to pack everything in a carry on but ended up checking in luggage . I got through security quite quick and proceeded to acquire a starbucks dinner/lunch as I knew I would not be fed on this flight. The joys of flying within Canada

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The first flight was shorter or at least i felt short for 4 hours, I proceeded to race to the bathroom and then attempt to find my second gate. I quickly began recognising people as they were rocking the Kit shirts we all received in the mail. They were a lovely poly cotton and super comfy for travel! I met Jenny who was not only on my team but was my roomie for the duration of the trip!

The second flight? was pretty glorious for me I had a WHOLE row to myself. So I took all 3 pillows, john bear and two blankets and made myself a little bed. I managed to get a few hours of sleep and was also surprised by how short the flight was…..I always forget that flying from the centre of the universe is quicker then Vancouver.

We arrived 10:40 local time and proceeded to customers. the Response “wow that’s a short trip” “Yes I am aware” was funny…but also quite old as everyone had been making that joke when I had first mentioned the trip.

I got my luggage right away (others did not) and we proceeded to head to the bus! We all received our kits. This is where I felt like an Olympic athlete. All of the gear was in my size and put together for us! I loved the yellow colour . In particular my favourite item is the jacket .I felt so beautiful as I tried the gear on. We then got settled freshened up and then had a delicious late lunch

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A few of us then wandered into Dublin. We came across a running store and hit a pub. I forget that when you order a cider…they really mean a BIG glass of cider….at this point I hadn’t really slept so I was probably pushing almost 20 hours of being awake despite my sleeping on the plane.

After some more wandering and photos we then proceeded to the Guinness storehouse tour. You may not know this internet but I am in fact allergic to beer! But this was now my second time in Dublin and dammit I was going to try some! Luckily as part of the tour..you get a small taster glass in which you are given specific instructions on how to properly drink Guinness. Word to the wise Guinness is a very dark beer and is essentially a meal. So I couldn’t even finish the taster…but I can see the appeal (and had no major skin reaction..I know It’s really sexy isn’t it) and proceeded to share my remaining taster with Trey from the states…who was really stoked. We became besties after that.

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I will say the Guinness tour is really fun even if you aren’t into the beer since you learn all about the advertising the company has done and the history on how it’s made. Not to mention the amazing 360 view at the end from over top of the city!

 

With that we were rushed off to our fancy dinner..where Team Canada White would begin to plot our legs of the race. So at this point my mileage was quite low so I opted to run 2 shorter legs which worked out well since some of my teammates only wanted to run once! We were strategic in picking because we all agreed at the end of the day we wanted to enjoy the race.

The food was delicious, we all got a beer stein glass (I gave mine to Mr Tall!) and proceeded to get to know each other as well as our driver Paul.

DAY 1

I got up at 530am. I am a morning person internet. But anything before 6am I considering quite gross. I proceeded to apply all the body glide and then perfect my lipstick as Jenny and I geared up to check out and eat. Breakfast at the hotel was perfect. Lots of variety and loads of time before the race started. We checked out and then procceeded to our shuttles….when I say shuttles I mean then :

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There were tables and proper seats. There was food and drinks and CUPCAKES. I could not believe this was all for us. OH and wifi because tweeting is important. Least in my world anyway . We drove to the start took photos and then geared for the first runners to leave. I kept finding myself just shaking my head. We hadn’t even started running it and I couldn’t believe my surroundings.

I agreed to run twice that day on the shorter distances. I ran 3rd after Shelby who is a wicked amazing trail runner and just seemed to breeze past the other runners on some serious hills. I waited at the transition zone. My nerves started to hit me. Next thing I knew Shelby was coming around the corner with the wristband . I initially ran the wrong way but then got back on track and started my trek. There were some seriously steep hills but I kept pushing myself along. I found myself in awe of how many sheep there are ….like whose taking care of all these sheep?

Next thing I know I see Marc come up beside me…he ran everyone in all day. What a guy. He was such an encouragement because I found the last hill quite taxing…but turns out I ran my fastest 5k in quite sometime. Given everything…I was so shocked..and I had major runners high going on.

We did have some slip ups. Shelby got lost on his 2nd leg and we lost some time with it. And poor Alex was having some stomach issues. But my god what an amazing support system this team was.  Oh and 3 of my team mates jumped into a river…so that’s the thing! We had so much fun as each of us took turns running. Shannon was definitely the mum of our team and is my inspiration of what I hope to be running like as I get older. Seriously shes a beast.

Jenny and I also bonded a lot! She was an excellent roommate and I could not have lucked out better with her. So cheers to her for being such a great buddy!

Marc ran everyone in as I mentioned. Tyler was such a great captain and sprinter. I don’t think I can speak highly enough of my teammates. As well our driver and motorcycle driver.

The 2nd leg was quite flat. I felt stiffer just from sitting in the van but again I found a good stride and pace. I was alone at one point running alongside a river and just enjoying the quiet. Strange thought but my usual running places are quite crowded so it was nice to enjoy the serenity of the run.

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Also life goal achieved. I made it onto the Saucony snapchat story TWICE.

After my 2nd leg I enjoyed this cupcake and we finished in Kilkenny. We got massages drinks….i felt so pampered! (Also slightly in pain as you can see in this photo….)

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We enjoyed an amazing dinner at our hotel and went around all the tables and talked about the highlights of our day. I went to bed that night after some drinks and relaxation .

DAY 2

Another early wake up call. But before we ran we played Tourist! I finally can say I’ve been to the Cliffs of Moher and my god are they stunning. Even the drive there seemed beautiful. About 10 minutes of taking photos the rain started to roll in a bit…but Ireland in July is quite mild .

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We then began our start from Doolin. Today I would be running the very last stage of the race. Meaning I had to wait all day but I was ok with that! The landscape on this run was quite different compared to the countryside the day prior. We were right by the ocean..and the sun was out!

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We cheered . We laughed. And then it came time to my run. I was running in not quite a back alley but that’s what it felt like…and eventually I made it on to a main road (don’t worry people were directing traffic)

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I honestly found myself getting nervous every time cars came by simply because I was seeing them on the other side of the road. I came down a slight hill and there was my team! We had a Canada flag and all sorts of stuff alongside our team sign. Tyler made it clear that we crossed as a team ! Marc even ran in cowboy boots. I’d like to give a special shout out to Alex who was an excellent cheerleader as I found myself wanting to slow down but I was so close to the finish.

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We then could see the finish line, we linked arms and crossed together. I could have cried and just about did. Massages drinks. We were done. The race was over.

Next thing you know we head to our hotel get changed and we head out to a traditional Irish dinner at bunratty castle which I would 100% recommend.  The food was excellent the dancing and singing were amazing and the staff just a riot to interact with. Everyone got finishers medal and the winners got plaques !

Some of my team partied. Some of us didn’t. But all of us toasted at dinner to our success and how much fun we had ! Also I believe almost every single person asked me in some variation “So do you just like live in red lipstick…because you had it on this entire time?” I was also asked on how I manage to keep it on so cleanly post run . What can I say? I like to run pretty!

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I woke up the next day, finished packing and we then bussed back to the Dublin Airport. Shawn made for an excellent bus buddy as I attempted to nap on his shoulder. I honestly felt like a sponsored athlete as I walked through the Airport in all my saucony gear.  The flights home were decent and my parents were there waiting for me as I waited for my bags.

REFLECTION

It’s been almost a month since the trip…and honestly it still doesn’t feel real. I have a lucky penny charm on my Pandora bracelet because I honestly had a lot of luck on my side going into this trip. 2016 has been an odd year and it really felt like things weren’t going my way. I met so many interesting people. I felt like the biggest nerd talking about running non stop but that’s why we all work in running retail. Because we have a passion and maybe even an obsession with the sport. Running enriches my life in so many ways and this trip is just one more reason. Not many people can say I’ve run across Ireland. Or parts of it anyway. The majority of people we spoke do locally were quite shocked that any person would attempt to do such a thing even in relay format.

Not to mention I’ve been consistently running every week since I’ve been home and still speed focused..! So huzzah!

 

But this trip couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thank you Saucony

Thank you Forerunners North Vancouver

Thank you Team Canada White

And thanks to all my friends who continue to support my running online and offline

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The Next Adventure

So a thing happened…and with that I have some updates to share!

I won a trip! Turns out I made enough sales through a contest at work that I have the pleasure of representing Forerunners in the Race to Kinvara.  I plan to if I have time and wifi to share the trip through here. I leave on July 19th and fly home July 23rd. It’s short but it’s going to the experience of a life time!

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How am I feeling? Anxious excited and just overall ridiculously lucky.

My running ? Not as a frequent (averaging 2 runs a week ) but the runs have been strong. Been focusing on my form a lot more.

I hope to blog more…I dislike how quiet I am on this platform…!

Oh and looks like I’ll get to bring the #buffbridesmaid project again . Come August 2017 I’ll be standing alongside long time high school friend Kayla as she and Mikey tie the knot!

Similar goals but it’ll be different this time! I get to pick my own dress and I plan on breaking down the months differently with different goals.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this summer now. I’ve got Beat the Blerch on the brain. I’ve now got steady employment so I can commit to some fall races and really start training on a semi regular basis.

I’m also planning on committing myself more to the fitgirl challenge . I hope this will help with #buffbridesmaid goals as well as my overall fitness!.

Until this I must pack! Despite the trip being so short…I still need to decide which lipstick I’m wearing..!

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Defining Success

This is going to be a reflective post so please bare with me.

We are currently 5 months into 2016 and although this is a running blog this blog is also a platform for me to share my voice. Be it in the running world or otherwise. So please allow me to ramble about some of my challenges.

I’ve alluded to my job hunting on here which hasn’t been going as I anticipated. I’ve also been sick twice in the last month. I normally never get sick and I even had to miss work which I dislike doing but sharing germs is not part of the Beaver Scout motto!

With all this I was trying to use running as an escape to clear my head and really focus on the positive things in my life. Because lately it has felt like the universe was really testing me

My only major brag is I’ve had more gym sessions this year even with my #buffbridesmaid project last year. A special shoutout to Nick Gill for all the hard work he has put in to lose weight and finish the sun run ! So I already feel stronger this year and I plan to gym even more and work on dead lifts….wish me luck!

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I started out this year with strong hopes for the Sun Run but I wasn’t any faster . However i wasn’t the slowest I’ve ever been. In fact I just managed to have fun running the first 1k with Mr Tall and then meeting him at the end amongst the thousands of people running.

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Leading up to BMO I seriously considered deferring to next year. But something inside of me said not to. I had a lot of conversations the next few days about how personal running is and doing your best. And of course most of all judgement. With sport there is competition. One of the things I love about running is how you can compete against yourself. The sport is really what you make it and I don’t think running is unique in that respect.

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So why was I getting so hung up on how I didn’t train? It was my own fault so instead of dwelling on it..I worked on the mantra of finishing strong and injury free. As long as I could do that then I could focus on the next race and what that looks like for me. Yes I want to be faster of course but what is faster to me? I need to properly define these goals and form routine. At the end of the day this is my running journey and I have to remind myself of this when trying to overcome hurdles. Be it speed or otherwise.

With the word routine I noticed that was my intial challenge. I have a fair amount of free time with only one part time job no schooling and only some Scouting commitments. So I could have planned better..as someone or normally thrives on time management my mental health over job hunting seemed to take over my life. Something that I need to stop from happening this summer.

So BMO happened. I woke up early ran when I could. Walked when I had to. I admired how beautiful Vancouver is and had fun just watching the people around me. I was over 3 hours but I finished strong, upright, injury free…and best of all. NO SUNBURN! That in itself is worth so much! #teamporcelain. And I realised that I wasn’t the only one struggling I ended up chatting with a lot of people around me who also struggled this training cycle leading up to the race. So this was a nice reminder that we all wish we could do better but ultimately you can learn from each race and what you would do differently.

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This summer isn’t just about speed. It’s about the mental side of running and breaking through that blerch . But don’t worry…I’ll beat it again in September.

Today I went for my 1st run post race and I felt so springy in my new shoes. I’m already trying to figure out regular run days and gym days and most of all just trying to enjoy the experience. Gotta sort out some 5ks and 10ks to build with but once that’s set out I should be ready by September.

I will run strong. I will run faster. Most of all I will run happy and beat the blerch that is my slow steady running.

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New Year , Similar Goals

In 2013 I ran the Sun Run then BMO. I had only run 1 10k prior but already I was addicted to training for events and running them. I think that’s honestly what I love about running so much is the individuality of the sport.

You run your own race. You compete against yourself. If that’s what interests you.

So it’s now 2016. I’m running again and it’s not perfect but I’m pushing myself more. The mental block of speed work.

Hill repeats along with tempo runs with friends shall really help. Also hoping to run with my partner more who is a foot taller then me..therefore forcing me to quicken my pace. I’m also trying to commit to speed workouts with the Forerunners Running Clinic. Been to a couple sessions so far and so far so good. I managed to survive the Fartlek style workout last week !

I plan to repeat 2013 in some ways. I want to try and break an hour at the Sun Run. It’s a massive event..but in some ways that adds a lot of pressure. The Sun Run is also a good training run before BMO since I’ll be tapering anyway. (Or pretty close to it)

So I’ve got that plus the Modo8k a race I ran last year and would love to beat my time. If I can do that in under 50 minutes that’d be amazing.

I’m trying very hard this year to do less races and focus more on quality events.

Rock and Roll Vancouver I will definitely run the half I’m just debating the 10k as well the day before. A new challenge plus extra bling. And of course since I was away I will be running the Turkey Trot again. I would like a 3rd half this year. I’m hoping the Blerch race is happening again. If not I can find another smaller local event but I’d like to make RnR my last half of this year. I’m even looking at the 10k for Run for Water as a fun way to change things up.

I’m having some challenges. Part of it is finding that routine. But I’ve been gyming twice a week using the app Stronglifts and am really enjoying the structure it’s giving me!

Long runs are coming. Gotta start upping my mileage!

Stay tuned as always!

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Back to Basics

Not long after #buffbridesmaid goals wrapped up. I let my fitness slide. I then went backpacking through the UK for two months!

In some ways I was a little disappointed in myself and letting my running take the back-seat . But the trip allowed to reflect on a lot of aspects of my life including fitness and health.

I’ve been home a few days now and have been writing down dates of races, looking at training plans and trying to get myself sorted.

I need to start over. For a couple years I keep saying I’ll run faster and then start training as such and then it just stops. It won’t happen overnight and I need to just keep pushing myself.

When I first started running in 2012 I could barely run 5 minutes without coughing. I need to go back to that point and build up. Instead of trying to run faster all in one go. Much like training for a marathon or 10k you need to build up to it.

Things are different now. I’m out of school. I currently only work part time and so I should take advantage of the extra time I have before things change!

So before I run a half marathon faster, I need to work on my shorter distances . Much like my bridesmaid goals I want a clever tag to keep my going and check in points. My hope is to stagger some races with one of my big end goals being the BMO half. That was my first half marathon in 2013 it was slow hot but I finished. I am more determined then ever to run it faster..if only by a few minutes!

I’m looking forward to this reboot of my running. Especially what comes of it!

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The Final Stretch

An update on how things have been since June. (Fun fact I was at Jamboree for July!)

  • I’ve lost 2 more pounds
  • I haven’t measured inches yet but my clothes are telling me good things!
  • Packed lunches and my nalgene are my new best friend
  • I fell off track with my 100 day challenge but am determined to try and remain active leading up to the wedding

I am hoping in the next 28 days I can prove myself that I can stay on track when motivated. It’s so easy to cave. The bachlorette is coming up and there is always temptation. But it’s about making the right choices

With that I need to redirect my focus back to running.

I recently ran the Squamish Loggers Days 10k. It was a good run. Minus the blister . I ran with Emilie and even managed to convince Jeremy (or Mr Tall #teammrtall ) to run it.

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I completed the race in 1 hour 16 minutes. Compared to the West Van 10k I’m 2 minutes slower. I’m a lot of talk about getting faster and I do hope that I can push through that mental block.

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I’ve managed to get over it when it comes to my aversions to the gym. I need to really (and I do mean REALLY) embrace speed training and fighting past the doubt.

I have a 5k on the Horizon but otherwise I’m not running any more races till 2016. With that I hope to run 3 more half marathons next year. Not sure which ones yet but I really plan to sit down and figure out proper training and making sure i stick to it compared to last year.

This #buffbridesmaid isn’t done yet. Progress is progress. I will remain focused. I will not give up.

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Also I will blog more before the wedding! I can’t wait to see how the dresses turn out! 🙂

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The Next Phase

Since beginning my #buffbridesmaid goals back in January I’ve broken it down into stages

January – April was embracing the gym and exercise again

May- July is going to be diet

August leading up the wedding will be sticking to a rigid schedule

I’ve gone to the gym more in the past few months then I did all of last year. Even on days when I don’t feel like going I still manage to go and lift weights and remind myself why I’m doing this.

With this I ran the Modo 8k.

I arrived rather early since I wasn’t able to pick up my package the day before. However it was a really smooth process so that was awesome!

I waited around, warmed up a bit, chatted with friends I saw and seeded myself. I also used gear check for the first time since I didn’t have anyone waiting for me.

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I told myself I wanted to be under an hour. I ran without music and just focused on my form and the person ahead of me.

Prior to this race I had been running more with Scott .Running with a friend definitely helps me focus on holding a better pace.  As well running with Jeremy (who by the way is a foot taller then me which forces me to run faster…even if he does shorten his stride).

It’s paid off I ran it is 58 minutes. My one complaint is the fact that the race ends on an up hill…a little mean but otherwise I love my medal. The post race food was amazing and I eventually wandered over to get picked up by my mother

My progress

Since January I’m at 172 pounds. 6 pounds down which is interesting considering I’ve only been focused on excersise. I definitely need to embrace a meal plan. To me that means eating smaller portions and more water.

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I can comfortably lift 15 pounds. I’m hoping to hit 20 by the end of May.

If I’m being totally honest I wish I had more progress (breaking 10 pounds) but I do know that I need to keep pushing myself more and staying focused.

With that I need to refocus my love of running. I would love to run another trail race this summer, a zombie race and the Squamish 10k. I’m hoping with shorter distances (no more half marathons till 2016) I can get faster and eventually beat my half time as well as my 10k time.

What I am most proud of is my determination. Last year as soon as I got off track I’d beat myself up and just give up all together.

Next photo I take will be 20 pound weights!
Next photo I take will be 20 pound weights!

I’m only human. This is a slow process and I have to take it a day at a time.

I just need to keep repeating that as the summer goes on.

Know of any races I should check out this summer? Keep in mind I’ll have PJ in July (Yay jamboree! can’t wait to run whilst at camp!)

Either way once I get back from NYC I look forward to embracing my new free time with classes being over. As well as looking at proper nutrition

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275 Days

It’s a strange title but stick with me .

Somewhere between Rock & Roll and now I stopped running. I kept coming up with excuses and found myself unmotivated. In fact I had a run streak going in November until I managed to catch a cold. I don’t sick often internet but when I do..I end up missing work (which i despise doing!)

But I’m back now. Currently in exam season so this blogging is nice reprive from that. What have I been doing? Goal setting. Re evaluating my goals and what I want from running. I keep talking track, speed and that’s not happening! So I’m making a plan. I like plans. The whole reason I completed my first half marathon in 2013 was my timeline and plan . I had date to train to. Regular days to run. And it all seemed to fall into place! I have found that since then..it’s been a struggle.

I’ve got 275 days.

What does that mean? It’s a bit of an odd number I realize that .

This past year for me has been the rise of the #weddingpocalypse . Yes I did make that word up. I’m going to not one..but two weddings in 2015 (not to mention I’ve seen a plethora of engagements on facebook …even a couple running blogs I follow mentioned engagements!)

I’m not saying I’m old. But I’m not “young” either. I’m 22 and I definitely still feel too young to be in this “Let’s getting married and have children” phase. That being said the two weddings next year are couples in Scouting! And they are both a bit older then me..so that does play into that!

With one wedding in particular I am a bridesmaid! Check out the invitation I recieved

She made them herself because she's so talented!
She made them herself because she’s so talented!

I’ve known Nicholle since we first met at PJ 2007….can’t believe that was almost 8 years ago. And now I get to be in her wedding party.

This leads to me to my new fitness challenge

Becoming a Buff Bridesmaid.

The idea of #buffbridesmaid came into me when looking at my gym membership. I have one that has been used a bit this year but I really have an aversion to the gym. I can run by myself no problem but something about the gym alone is a bit of a struggle. I did manage to do more body weight and gym workouts when I was in Concrete Hero mode so I know I can get over this “fear” of the gym!

I should also say that I’m all for being body positive. Since running I have learned to appreciate my body more and what it can do. But I would love to improve certain things and feel more comfortable in my own skin.

So being a buff bridesmaid means. Running and lifting weights and just working on my whole body.

With this in mind I hope to see a steady improvement in running. I’m officially in training mode for running now.

In fact I’ve already signed up for my first race..you may have seen these images floating around the twitterverse!

Kinda love my pony tail in this!
Kinda love my pony tail in this!
Shout out to Kirill for sharing these shots with me!
Shout out to Kirill for sharing these shots with me!
Sprinting!
Sprinting!

I am proud to pronounce that I’m part of the Running Blog team for the annual West Van Run 5k/10k ! Also a huge thank you to Jennifer Strang . I don’t usually enjoy having my photo taken but you made it a very enjoyable experience!

I had such a fun time running that race in the snow that I was happy to jump at the opportunity to promote and support the event! Plus March is nice time of year to run. Even if it did snow on the course this year! The theme is We are Canucks so I’m hoping to try and coordinate a themed outfit!

Stay tuned for future blog posts on training for that as I am determined to PR again on that course!

I’m hoping after breaking the hour mark on my 10k I can finally tackle improving my half marathon time. I want to run 3 more half marathons before pushing the distance further. I also hope with this I will reward myself with a running tattoo!

I’m struggling with motivation internet I won’t lie..but I know that I can get back into a running groove. Especially once finals are over! Until then I’m working on getting over my gym fears!

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