Thursday, 23 December 2010

Three Things Thursday

Woo-hoo!  I remembered to following the T-T-T trend this week!

1.  On Tuesday, I took a solo drive to Buffalo to cross-border shop for some things that are unavailable in Canada (hard to believe it's worth it if not sold here, but I'm not a 12 year old boy) and made my FIRST EVER trip to Target. 

I've heard people raving about it and how it would be so great to have them here.  The wonder of it was lost on me...seemed like I was in Zellers, which is not such a bad thing, I guess.  Maybe Targets in other US cities are more exciting.  Anyway -- I can officially check that adventure off my list.  I am so wild and crazy.

2.  I've been busy preparing for Christmas (hand made crackers and all) and not at all preparing for the little 10 mile race in Hamilton on Sunday.  Luckily, my 10 mile PR sucks big time, so should be easy enough to get a new one.  I think I can walk the whole way!  Totally worth it for the snowman mittens and medal.  Hoping to spot some bloggers I follow who are also running.

Maybe "home-made" is a better descriptor than "hand-made".
I photoshopped (badly) a picture of each person into an appropriate cartoon panel. 26 times. Yes, I did have too much time on my hands this fall.  Why do you ask?

3.  Once the festivities and race are over, we're driving to Vermont for some skiing goodness.  Phil and the boys are speed demons.  I ski about as fast as I run.  We're all happy with our performances though.  I have no desire to try any trail more difficult than a green.  The ski lifts are enough to stress me out, so I'll stay on my tame little mountain and let the others go for the black diamond peaks.
Last year.  Pictures of me will be remarkably similar this year as it's the only time I wear this jacket.  Notice I'm totally in control when I'm standing still.

Next up:  Boxing Day 10 Miler race report and some 2011 goals.  Have a great holiday!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Egg Nog Jog 10.8k Race Report

I was not looking forward to this.  The forecast was crummy; temperature hovering around 0*C (32*F), meaning what fell from the sky would be somewhere between wet snow and freezing rain.  What a time for the weather channel to get it right.

 Huge hills, very slushy and slippery roads (especially on the gravel road section, where most of the hills were) and constant rain. 

And I can't give a single reason why, but I loved this race. 

Pre-race, cleverly holding
the namesake prop.

See how we're still
dry and warm?

Obligatory mascot shot on the way to the start line.

Just the tiny little amount of hillwork I've done in the past month made a huge difference.  There was about 6km of rolling hills, with one big bruiser at the midway point.  I managed to run them all, except the second half of the monster.   I was too chicken to go for broke on the downhills because I was scared I would end up a$$ over tea kettle.  
One of the early rolling hills.

The Lung Buster. The picture does not do it justice.  It hurt to walk it.

At first I was bummed this didn't turn out, but now I call it "artsy".  Can you tell what it is?
Bagpiper among the trees halfway up the big one.  Appropriately funeral-dirgy and very cool.

10.8k finished in 1:16:10, which I'm very happy about considering the conditions.  I expected to be closer to 1:30.  Phil came in at 57:34 and our friend Tim, who made a spectacular appearance two minutes before gun time (who knew how far away Terra Cotta was?), finished in 1:04:55.

I so chicked that dog in the last 800 metres.

The race was extremely well done.  It's the 28th year for this race and the Georgetown Runners, the organizers, have it figured out.  It started and ended in the Terra Cotta Conservation Area, about an hour outside Toronto, and was a loop around some rural roads.  The swag included a long sleeve technical shirt, which I will actually wear this winter, even though it's bright green, and a nice medal with the egg nog carton logo.  There was a huge heated tent for warming up post-race.  Food included the usual bananas and yogurt plus YUMMY vegetable soup courtesy of the local Terra Cotta Inn.  Just the perfect thing when you're soaked to the bone.  Chocolate milk and egg nog rounded out the offerings.  I heard there was coffee too, but I didn't get to that corner of the tent.

Soaked, freezing and heading home.

Summary: Miserable conditions on a tough course that made me feel like a hard core Canadian runner.

Brush with greatness:  Jefferson the Santa giraffe/dog/reindeer and maybe Chris from Suck It Up, but everyone had hats on and I think I'd only recognize him by his hair.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Some things on a Friday

I missed "Three Things Thursday"  and it's not really a "Foto Friday", so I made up my own catchy title.

1.  I have the Egg Nog Jog on Sunday and it's freaking me out.  Hilliness, a possible snowstorm and very little running this week make we want to bail.  And I read that this guy, who runs ultras, thinks this little 10.8k is a REALLY TOUGH RACE!  Confidence booster for sure.  But I will do it anyway, though I may end up last of 600.  The hot chocolate at the end better be good.

2. The pool is being filled as I type.  They finished putting the liner in today since it wasn't snowing. We've been told to leave the hose going all night and they'll be back in the morning.  SWEET!  Swimming tomorrow! 

Pre-liner.  The wrought iron is not as close to the deck as it looks.
Note the beautiful wood fence.  It used to be a 4 foot high chain-link eyesore.

3.  My awesome boy, Charlie, shone brightly in Wednesday night's middle school Christmas concert.  By far the most talented kid there.  And the most handsome.  Luckily, we only missed a few minutes of Survivor.  I have yet to miss an episode since it started.  Seriously.

So stinking cute. The evil Band teacher made him
tuck in his shirt, which he's still complaining about.
I think he should have been more worried about the
possessed kid beside him.

Off to bed soon to try to catch up on some sleep before Sunday.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Happy Birthday to Phil!

He didn't want the waiters in the restaurant to sing, even if it involved spinning the wheel for a fabulous prize, but you can all sing individually!

Just adorable.  Bet you can't sit like that now.

With big brother, Steve, accepting the rule that the oldest kid gets the bucket. 
Note the very cool vintage cars that weren't vintage at the time.

A nice day in 1994

My three favourite guys.

Still as cute as a button.

Happy Birthday!  And a new age group to boot!
Enjoy your day at the DMV and Health Card Office!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Now that's progress!

Unfortunately, not progress of the running kind.  Our new pool is practically done; the liner and decking will be done in the spring.  The company promises we'll be able to fill er up and go for a dip in May.  I'm secretly more excited by the six foot fence all the way around.  We've lived in this house for 14 years and have had only chain link fences, and short ones at that.  We seriously haven't done it sooner because we didn't want to offend the neighbours, who seem quite happy with communal outdoor living.  That's what the front yard is for, I say.  Luckily, strictly enforced by-laws require this wooden piece of heaven.  Woot Woot!

I have done a little running on the treadmill.  I did what I thought was a killer hill workout -- quarter mile hills at 8% with quarter mile jogging in between.  Thought my lungs would explode and managed 4 of them at progressively faster speeds.  We've signed up for the 10.8k (automatic PR for 10.8k!) Egg Nog Jog in Georgetown on December 12, which I know vaguely is northwest of Toronto.  Check out the elevation here.  Yikes.  I think every run til then should be hillwork.

Last weekend Phil and Tim ran the Chilly Willy 10k in Mississauga.  I was a little raced out so cheered for them at the end (then promptly skeedaddled since it was, indeed, Chilly).  The course was apparently a little short, but both guys were super quick and would have had an official PR if it was really 10k.

Tim just before the finish line.

Phil about to finish -- crazy crowd support!