Colour Me Rad

Another race, another weekend! Color Me Rad is a fun 5K that hit the city of Vancouver this morning. Haley had been organizing a team with JCI Vancouver — and it was set to be the most fun run of the year.

Before we got RAD.

Kittima and I headed out to UBC Thunderbird Stadium to meet the crew and we were swarmed with tons of people in white! The concept? Dress like an angel and get attacked with colour at every kilometre. By the end of the race, you’ll look like a pack of skittles and will have dominated 5k to start your weekend.

Sounds like fun eh?

I knew that this race wasn’t going to be a personal best. ;) The goal was full on colour! And to get that colour… you had to run slow through the colour areas, twirl, grab more cornstarch-filled powder out of the boxes — and laugh along the way!

We quickly lost track of our team and I ended up running with Kate and Meridith. Let me tell you — the time went by fast, because we had something to look forward to at each kilometre. Not only did they throw powdered colour on you, they also sprayed you down with liquid colour. I got a major spray of yellow in my face at 3k.

The more colour, the more fun right?

Anyways the race was a blast. It wasn’t a timed event — but of course I set my Nike+ GPS… gotta keep track of this progress! I forgot to turn it off as we crossed the finish line, but we finished somewhere right under 30 minutes. We were covered in colour and looked like smurfs. Once everyone had finished, the Color Me Rad crew got everyone together for a colour bomb. We threw colour up into the air and it created quite a show. To check out a picture of the colour bomb, click here.

Thanks to everyone who came out. I’ve had two showers and my feet are still blue. Hope you’ve had a bit better luck with colour removal! ;)

Me post-race. Photo Taken by the lovely Kate Wienburg.

Deep Breath… Half Marathon Complete!

In June I blogged about my running journey — and my decision to not run my first half. Shock. Awe. I remember how sad I was… totally distraught.

I spent every week from June to August in physio and massage. It took us ages to figure out what was going on with my adductor and finally we did! Surprise surprise… my Scoliosis is to blame. :) Rotation through my torso is causing a whole bunch of issues and it’s going to take us time to figure it all out. In the meantime, taping has cured all!

My half-marathon ‘re-do’ was booked for this weekend — Lululemon’s Seawheeze. It’s been such a warm fuzzy few days… Lululemon knows how to put on quite the show.

Friday started bright and early. Katie D. and I headed off the Seawheeze Showcase store to see if we could find some loot. We weren’t the only ones… it was absolute chaos. Girls hoarding clothes, fighting over clothes — perhaps to be expected, this is Lululemon after all! ;) I stood in line for a very long time to pay, but ended up with the white polka dot run jacket, coral striped luon racerback, the coral run inspire crop and a few accessories!

I spent the afternoon volunteering at race packages. My job was to get the runners checked in, give them their packages and explain how the weekend was going to go down. It was nice to meet so many people were completing their first half. Everyone was genuinely excited that they were going to be running with Lululemon cheering them on! The day was action packed with seminars, manicures, massages and more.

For whatever reason, I was totally calm the night before the race. Over the last 7 months, Haley and I have been extremely militant with our pre-race activities. We drink water until we pee clear {hydrate baby hydrate}, we pick out our race outfits in advance, we make delicious pre-race carb-filled dinners, we sleep well, we’re organized… we do everything possible to ensure a successful race. I didn’t do anything I was supposed to do before this half marathon. Kittima and I went for french fries {it was a long week}. We had a 10:30pm dinner. I barely drank 1 litre of water. I slept 4 or 5 hours. I didn’t make a music playlist. I wore a new outfit, one I’d never run in before! The only consistent was my shoes and my mind.

I knew I could do it. 

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

The morning came and the calm continued. I put on my new Seawheeze luon tank and white polka dot shorts and it was game time. I had continually told myself it was just about finishing, I just had to finish. Forget about your time and just finish strong.

Kittima and I walked down to Canada Place to check our gear. Everyone was so colourful and decked out in their best Lululemon duds. Reagan and I had planned to run together, so we met up and headed to our corral. Although it was just about finishing… :) … we knew we would be around 2:15.

Before you knew it, we were off! Reagan and I both agreed that we wanted to enjoy the race. We went with the flow for the first 8-9k. Soon enough we checked the time and realized we were running too fast for a half. We hit personal bests for 1K (4:12), 1 mile (7:23) and 5K (27:07) — oopsie daisy. I’m not sure our official 10k time as I messed up my Nike+GPS app when I stopped to go pee, but we figure it was around 55 mins. That would be faster than we usually run a 10k race. ;) So much for taking our time!

We slowed down once we left Kits and headed back over the Burrard Bridge. A few hills to battle and the heat was killer. The crowds didn’t really thin out that much and we ran with a large crew along English Bay and into Stanley Park. Lululemon had organized a few cheer stations and they were super spectacular. I knew a few people who were going to be looking out for us — but the cheer stations were so insane, I didn’t once spot someone we knew!

I felt pretty amazing going into 14k and only had to deal with one cramp. Reagan and I ran really well together — both keeping each other motivated. The shade of the Stanley Park seawall was a nice break from the heat. We didn’t start to fade until about 19k. My ankles started to bother me and soon enough, we were just ready to be done. My Nike+GPS app had said that the distance markers were a bit off from the beginning, so at 20K, it said we’d already dominated almost 22K — with no walk breaks. Cray!

Regan and I separated in the final kilometre. I was on power-hour-lets-do-this and Regan was on my-sugar-levels-are-dropping-please-kill-me-now. :) We finished about 45 seconds apart with an official time of 2:22 and a half marathon under our belt! We were given our finishers medals and we headed off to meet Chris for high fives. I think that we were both a bit delirious, we just kept on talking about how we wanted to sit down. A bottle of water and running shoes off, we felt like a million bucks.

We just ran a half marathon after all. 

We headed off to the runners brunch, which was the fanciest post-race breakfast I’ve ever seen. Waffles with blueberries, quiche, fruit kabobs and more! We soaked up the sunshine and celebrated our success. Finally — a half marathon! Reagan and I headed back to my place for an afternoon at the pool. Starbucks, sunshine, bikinis and good tunes filled our afternoon. We made our own cold/hot immersion baths by alternating between the pool and hot tub too.

Lululemon had planned an entire weekend of fun — so late in the afternoon I headed back to Canada Place for Hey Ocean and FUN — yep, an outdoor concert for all the runners. Katie S. and I ended up meeting with Michelle & Kevin to enjoy the concert — and then ended up drinking our hearts out at the Keefer until the wee hours. Oopsie daisy.

No surprise, this morning I have a bit of a headache. :) I’m booked for reflexology today and the spa tomorrow. Not because I need it, moreso as a well deserved treat. Yesterday was my longest distance and I’m not sore one bit. No injuries. No issues. Funny how life works out. I’m glad that I didn’t push myself any harder — but now I know that I can.

In 7 months I have:

  • Ran: 351.9km
  • Completed: 48 runs
  • Raced: 9 times
  • Burned: 18,879 calories {at least!}
Achieved personal bests:
  • 1K: 4:12 {Seawheeze!}
  • 1 mile: 7:23 {Seawheeze!}
  • 5K: 27:07 {Seawheeze!}
  • 8K: 47:49
  • 10K: 58:41
  • 15K: 1:35:10
  • 23K: 2:20:17

And you know what… that’s pretty fucking crazy.

What’s next?

I have a few 5K and 10K races I’m registered in this fall — and I’ve decided to tackle another half marathon. I’m headed to Europe — Netherlands and Turkey in October. Coincidently Amsterdam’s Mizuno Half Marathon is taking place while I’m there! On October 21st, I’ll be dominating the fastest, flattest course in Europe — and hopefully with a personal best!

Thank you to everyone for all of the support this weekend and throughout the year. I have learned so much about myself, my body and my limits over the past few months. I’m the strongest — both mentally and physically — I’ve ever been.

Running has given me balance.

And for that I am grateful.

Extra little love note: Many have emailed me, messaged me, texted me… saying that my running journey as inspired them to start running, get back into running or keep on running. I’ve been fairly overwhelmed {and amazed} with the responses. I didn’t join a run club. I’m not a coach. I just started running. Yes, feet to pavement. Over and over and over again. It sucked for a very long time, but I just kept on making myself run farther. I kept on telling myself I had to beat my previous time. I just wanted to be better. Set an intention/goal, surround yourself with badass people to support you — and PUSH FORWARD.

I’ll leave you with this…

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

 To read my past posts on running, races and lessons learned along the way, click here.

One Step at a Time

It’s been a tough few days. Actually let’s exchange tough for terrible — and ‘It’s been a terrible few days’ with ‘I’ve been an emotional basketcase since Tuesday.’

Last Friday I had my final race prior to my 1st Half-Marathon. The plan was that I’d do the North Shore Longest Day Race at UBC — and I had two new race friends to do it with, Shea and Melissa! My last long run was last Wednesday. A morning run in Stanley Park, it was slow and steady, somewhat meh. I was registered for the 10K race on Friday, but for whatever reason on Wednesday I downgraded to the 5K. Something in my gut told me I should.

We arrived at the race disorganized {gah, traffic} and pretty much ran to the finish line as the gun went off. I started off the race with a 4:30/km pace {I really really really had to pee} and slowed down to about a 6:30 pace at the 2km mark. The whole race my body wasn’t moving the way it should have been. It was my most difficult 5K to date and I knew that something was wrong.

As I crossed the finish line, I felt my whole body shut down. I was limping and ridiculously stiff. I thought to myself… you’ve been tired and stressed out lately. It’s ok to have a bad race.

The next day I toppled over as I got out of bed in the morning. My left leg filled with pain and I thought — oh no you didn’t. Swore up and down, thinking how on earth will I be able to complete Seek the Peak! Yes I was planning to race the 16km beastly hill hike from Ambleside up Grouse Mountain — don’t ask me what I was thinking when I registered for it… Runners high? Likely because Rethink Breast Cancer is close to my freakin’ heart.

I reluctantly skipped the race and had a low key weekend — generally those words don’t enter my vocabulary. I RICE’d it up. Oh yeah baby, I’ve learned all about the RICE method since I’ve taken up this sport. I took back-to-back anti-inflammatories and stretched out these pretty bones all weekend {which totally reminded me  — and not in a good way — of back in the day Scoliosis issues} seeing absolutely zero improvement.

On Tuesday morning, I limped my way into my physio’s office, Dave at Restore Physiotherapy by the way. He was expecting a super-amped-for-the-Half-Marathon young lady and instead he found a worn down, stressed out, anxious…{and I’ll hesitantly say} runner. We reviewed the past week, he checked me out and continually looked at me with a bleak look. My left adductor longus was VERY unhappy. I had my most painful IMS treatment to date, the tight monster had taken over. My left leg failed all the tests he usually puts me through. Pathetic squat. Pathetic. We talked through the options for the Half-Marathon… run the 21.1k, run/walk, walk, skip out, etc. He gave recommendations and told me that I needed to make the final decision. At lunch, I limped my way to Performance Health Group with my massage therapist, Cynthia {who is absolutely divine and one of the best therapists I have ever been to}. Again, the bleak look. 90 mins of heaven — and hell later, we had talked through every option for the Half-Marathon, the good and bad with my body, electrolyte replacements, support systems and more.

First 5K. First Race. First Medal.

The consensus was that I shouldn’t run the Half-Marathon.

I spent the day onsite with a client, doing everything possible to stay distracted and the moment I walked in the door after work, I burst into tears. Like crazy levels of tears, not like a pansy little girl cry. Melted into a puddle.

So what’s the big deal?

Last December I decided that I would take up running. Not for any particular reason other than I knew it would be good for my head. I set a goal of a Half-Marathon in June. Why? Because I didn’t know that 10K’s existed… for real. :| I registered for some races to keep me on track with my goal and to ensure I wouldn’t fall behind on my distance.

January 17, 2012 was my first run EVER — and on a treadmill, what on earth was I thinking?! Oh and by the way, it was terrible. On January 22, I completed my first race, the Chilly Chase 5K in Vancouver. It POURED with rain — crazy sideways terrible rain. I finished 23/39 with a time of 32:54. I had been reading John Stanton’s book and it reinforced, focus on finishing, don’t focus on time. So I finished! I was passed by what looked like an 8 year old, really wasn’t ok with that. Over the next month, I ran pavement in Vancouver, trails on Salt Spring Island and the beach in Costa Rica. I learned that hill training helps you become a better runner and that beach running is beautiful and terrible all at the same time.

Harry’s Spring Run Off

March 25 was my 2nd race: Harry’s Spring Run Off 8K, a charity run for prostate cancer. Haley joined the Half-Marathon training bandwagon and it was our first run in Stanley Park. Beyond terrified. I never thought I was going to make it past 6k; thankfully I randomly ran into Tory and she coached me to the finish.  8km, 54:06, 329/428 gender, 70/87 age. I also felt TERRIBLE and thought I was going to vomit as I passed the finish line. This was an important race because I learned that I can’t stomach gatorade. Also learned that I love Blue Monkey Coconut Water.

April 3rd marked the FIRST DAY of my life that I’ve EVER seen some sort of muscle definition. Big day. On April 11th I ran my longest distance {in the rain to boot}; 10.66 km, 1:12:07. April 15th was my 3rd race, the Vancouver Sun Run 10K {with 50,000ish other people!}. Finished in #15,732rd place at 1:04:32, 6138/21497 gender, 1447/3594 age. PB!! Learned a lot about crowds that day. On April 23rd, I hit PB 8K, 50 mins and PB 10K, 1:02. On April 24th, I experienced the most stunning sunset run — a red sky that blew my mind.  April 29th marked the Times Colonist 10K in Victoria. On this run I learned the importance of peeing pre-race, dealt with a 4 min potty line up at the 4k mark. Unofficial results {took off the potty line up}, first SUB-60 10K, 59:57. 2706/5924 gender, 378/834 age. Hurrah!

Strong is the new skinny. :)

On May 6th, I volunteered at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. My job was to cheer on the participants in their final 200m towards the finish line. It was AMAZING to watch so many different types of people cross the finish line — there was no consistent… EVERYBODY RUNS. On May 7th, I registered for the Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon in Seattle and the Lululemon Seawheeze Half-Marathon in Vancouver. If thousands of people can do this, I can do this. May 21st I achieved my longest distance to date, 15K, 1:35:10. It was my first “I’m a machine” type of run. I also learned that you shouldn’t run in Stanley Park at night {the only time that Richard has ever given me bad advice}. My 5th race was the Run for Water 10K on May 27th in Abbotsford. We had no idea where Abbotsford was when we registered, FYI. Took gatorade {by accident} instead of water from a volunteer — all shades of grey at the finish line. Ended up with 10k, 58:41! PB! 200/567 gender, 65/151 age.

Soaked to the bone, but stoked I hit my first 10K.

June 5th I hit a total distance of 200km and PB 5K 27:27. Holy freaking cow. 200 kilometres. June 9th was the Starbucks Run for Women 10K and my worst race to date. Disorganized, late and started the race 12 mins after the gun went off. Uh huh… 12 mins. Played catch up which stressed/psyched me out. Trail race which I’d never done. Finish line time was 1:06:25 at 10.8km distance. Passed 339 women to make it to 128th place. As I started late, unofficial results came back at 54ish minutes and FOURTH PLACE in my age group. Eeeep. And that brings us to last week… June 16th, my 7th race, the North Shore Longest Day Race 5K.

No Half-Marathon?

Before last Friday, I felt ready for the Half-Marathon. My distance was close enough to where it should be. I had been killing my races and I knew that the only thing I needed to ensure was that I wasn’t quick out of the gate. I learned the factors that contribute to a good race vs. a bad race. I learned how a negative split can help me. I learned when I run best — in the evening, in the rain. I learned that a 5K is just as important as a 15k. I learned the importance of stretching, strength training and conditioning. I memorized the elevation map, learned about pace bunnies and found an electrolyte replacement that didn’t stir the tummy {Grape Ultima FTW}.

I was nervous — but ready.

On Tuesday, I felt like my world fell apart. Dramatic I know.

I never expected much from running. I hated it for the first 2.5 months. Hated it. Since starting this journey, I have learned so much about myself and my body. Running has been my Eat. Pray. Love. Running is my outlet, a place to escape from the world and have time to myself. Running {and training probably} has made me very aware of what I put in my body. I’ve always been vegetarian-ish, but since starting running I’ve stumbled into the world of vegan, raw food and green smoothies. I sleep better. I feel better.

In 1997, I was diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Two years of bracing and an out of control spine later… I had a Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation at the BC Children’s Hospital. In my university years, I broke the bottom of my rods tobogganing. Up until January 2012, I felt weak. For my entire life, I have felt weak. Growing up, I was the definition of “skinny {ph}at.” I can eat whatever I want and maintain the same weight. I have a slim frame, which people default to strong — so far from true. I regularly wear a pair of pants from Grade 10.

For the first time in my life, I feel strong.

My Spine. Photo Credit: OfStorms Photography

I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason. For whatever reason, I stumbled down the path of running. For whatever reason, I actually stuck with it. When I reflect back on the last few months, I shake my head at what I have achieved. Not in a million years did I think I was capable of running 1km, let alone more than that. Since the beginning I’ve always had it in my head that the Half-Marathon is the end date. On June 23, 2012, I would move onto the next goal.

After a super reflective week and a hell of a lot of support, I now know that I am not done.

This is just the beginning.

My body has decided that it’s not ready for this week’s Half-Marathon and I have accepted that. {Just don’t mention the words race, half, marathon, run, running, lululemon or gatorade for the next 3 days or you may need to give me a hug.} I’m not prepared to be further injured, or god forbid, be out of commission for months on end. I haven’t run in one week and I feel terrible. Sore, stiff, exhausted, anxious and impatient. I can’t wait for my feet to be back on the pavement. I can’t wait till I heal up. I can’t wait to get back out there.

But I will wait till my body tells me it’s ready.

I no longer have to run. I truly want to run.

Surround yourself with who you want to become.

This week I was 100% an emotional disaster. I cried at the mention of the Half-Marathon {many of you likely regret wishing me good luck on the upcoming race ha ha}. I had 3 amazing men reach out to this week and I’m beyond grateful for the advice.

  • Derek – Thank you for talking me off my crazy girl ledge. Thank you for rampaging on me over text, making every attempt to make me realize that I need to be proud of what I have achieved. Thank you for using so many f-bombs, telling me it’s ok to be an emotional psycho case, explaining how running/training/athletics is very much an internal sport — and telling me that I can’t stop running.
  • Jeff – Thank you for being the first person to reach out and ask what was wrong. Thank you for explaining your past injuries to assist me in further understanding training and injury management. Thank you for the positivity, support and for making me realize that running will be a career.  Thank you for teaching me that running is more than a race {music to my ears} and introducing me to the running community.
  • Richard – Thank you for picking up the phone when I pleaded for a friend. Thank you for understanding how Scoliosis fits into my world and for reinforcing that I need to take care of me. Thank you for talking me through every option and hearing me out. Thank you for listening — you were patient, sincere and I feel so lucky to call you my friend.

Big love to Dave at Restore Physiotherapy and Dr. Nielsen & Cynthia at Performance Health Group.

Thank you to the girls {Jen, Reagan, Monique, Katie and Michelle} for your support this week — and always. Thank you to my running cheerleaders: Dawn, Cecilia, Miranda, Mike, Shannon and Jeremy. Thank you to my team at UrtheCast for being understanding and supportive.

And lastly thank you to my running partner in crime, Haley. Proud of you darling and I know that you’re going to kill it at the Half-Marathon this weekend — finish baby finish.

In 5 months I have:

  • Ran: 240km
  • Completed: 37 runs
  • Raced: 7 times
  • Burned: 12,347 calories
Achieved personal bests:
  • 1K: 4:34
  • 1 mile: 8:04
  • 5K: 27:27
  • 8K: 47:49
  • 10K: 58:41
  • 15K: 1:35:10

Kinda crazy.

My name is Jillian Walker and {for the first time ever} I am a runner.

PS – Sometimes you have to move backward, to move forward. Physio rehabilitation begins next week. The hope is that my 1st Half-Marathon will be the Lululemon Seawheeze in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. T-50 days.

Sixth Race Complete!

So this morning was my SIXTH RACE.

Kinda crazy when you think about it.

On January 17th, I ran for the first time in my life. 3.01km in 24:54 with a pace of 8:16/km on the treadmill. I felt like death and it was totally the end of the world.

And today… well, I learned a lot about running, racing and life.

I registered for the Starbucks Run for Women… to keep me on track with my running goals… but also because I am a big supporter of Because I am a Girl Canada {and that’s where the proceeds were heading!}.

Every other race I have done this year… I have done with a partner. Every one except the first one, I did with Haley… my running partner in crime, goal pusher, pavement motivator and all around fab girlfriend. This month though, we’re stretched thin with training and lives — she did a race solo last weekend and I did one solo today.

Let me tell you — friends keep you on track.

The 10K race started at 9:30am, with keynote speaker {and Olympic Gold Medalist!} Jennifer Heil on at 9am.

No big deal right? We’ve had numerous races that started earlier than this one. Well I spent the morning being my usual disorganized self… worked on client requests, cleaned the house — you know, the usual. Before you knew it, 8:50am — and I was still at home.

All of that reading, work and training that I have committed to down the drain. All of a sudden I lost all my running and racing knowledge. No outfit picked out. No thought out breakfast. No HYDRATION. Nothing.

Absolute chaos in fact.

So I arrived at the race a few minutes after 9:30am. I could see all the ladies running out of UBC Thunderbird Stadium and was immediately overwhelmed. I ran around looking for bag check, took off my layers, went pee and raced to the start line. At this point all the 5K racers were lined up {they had a 9:45am start}.

I headed straight to the front and told the Running Room dude that I was late and doing the 10K. He gave me an irritated look and told me it was fine I go. So I went… and went… and went…

Neon on. Tunes on. Everyone kept on staring at me… shouting ’10K? 10K?’… Yes, 10 freaking kilometres. Yes, I’m late. Yes, yes, yes — let me run. I didn’t see walkers till just after 1K and runners until about 1.5K… I figure I started about 9:40am.

I felt like I was playing catch up the entire race. I ran my heart out and at just before 3K, I threw up in my mouth {that may have been too much information… :|}. There were shitloads of women on the trails at this point. I swallowed the nasty in order to save face. I needed water in a really bad way at that point…

I continued to pass more and more and more women. The trails were nasty, mud flying everywhere, people were tripping and sometimes it was so congested, you had to stop so you didn’t tackle someone. I had never trail run before {and I’ve been doing zero hills training}… they were quite the distraction. I kept my eyes focused on the ground, making sure I didn’t slip or trip. Around 6K I was dying, 7K I began to see the light and 8K I knew I would be out of the forest soon. Oh and I did intervals most of 7 to 9K.

I passed the finish line at 1:06:25:59…

But wait, I started about 10ish minutes late…! As soon as I saw the time, I thought shit damn, this horrible race might have been a personal best. I went from dead last to 128th place — which means I {physically} passed 339 women.

Post-race I had a chance to meet Nikki Scott and ran into Lulu and Seawheeze Advocate, Michelle Davies!

I had my fingers crossed for the official results. I was hoping that they would tell me my actual time — and that actual time would be something amazing! Unfortunately the timer got my stats wrong {obviously my gun time and chip time shouldn’t be the same!}. I always always use my Nike+GPS app, but I lost service in the middle of the race and the app went screwy on my time.

Unofficially I figure I came in about 58-59 minutes. I know that I can in under an hour because Mike had text me at 9:40am {I heard it bing just as I crossed the start line} and I text Reagan at 10:41am saying I was done {and I’d already had a banana haha}.

If that’s the case, I actually placed around 30th overall (467 women) and 4th place for my age group (50 women).



So the worst race of my life, was the best race of my life? Correct. I learned a lot on this race. I learned that my body needs to be fuelled. I re-learned that all those ‘training habits’ like knowing what you’re going to wear, picking out your music, being up early, drinking water till you pee clear, etc etc, ACTUALLY MATTER.

I also learned that I’m capable of kicking some serious ass if I put my mind to it. Part of the fun with racing is doing it with another person — getting amped up together, cheering each other on, etc.

One thing I know is that I cannot throw up in my mouth again.

And I also cannot show up late again.

More on the race:

I feel blessed to have participated in a lot of great races. Unfortunately this one was the worst to date. I love Starbucks, love Because I am a Girl Canada, love the Running Room, love many of the sponsors — but the logistics just didn’t work out.

  • The markers were incorrect and the route was substantially more than 10K — some say 10.6K, others say 10.8K.
  • The trails were extremely crowded and 100% unsafe from 2-6K.
  • The course was open to the public — runners, bikers and dogs were coming straight at us from 3-7K.
  • The final water station closed at the 1:00 mark. At 1 hour, only 50 of 467 had completed the race.

I could go on and on about nit picky things, but those are the big things… and in my opinion, they’re pretty major.

On to the next!

Next race is the Longest Day Race on June 15th at UBC. I had planned for a 10K, but I downgraded to the 5K. UBC and I are currently in an ‘it’s complicated’ relationship. :)

PS – These pictures from the race prove my feeling of death at the finish line. Truth.

Runner’s High


What was once this….

Is now THAT plus THIS…

When I first set my running goals… I had full intentions that they would end on June 23rd when Haley and I completed the Half-Marathon in Seattle. Now that I’m running, I’m actually enjoying it. Haley and I have had a number of successful races and we’re continually achieving personal bests. We are making progress — and progress is motivating.

This weekend I volunteered at the BMO Marathon and Half-Marathon in Vancouver. I cheered on thousands of people as they crossed the finish line. I gave thumbs up, high fives and ran beside people to get them moving and push them to finish the last 200m.

Watching all these people of different sizes/shapes, age and degree of training gave me  hope that Haley and I will rock out the Half Marathon in June.

It’s only 21.1 km.

Only 10km x 2 (and a bit).

Only 2 (and a bit) hours of running.

Only 2 (and a bit) albums of good tunes.

Only Stanley Park (and a bit) twice.

It’s not 25km, 42km, 50km. Just 21.1km.

Everyone who completed yesterday’s BMO Marathon and Half-Marathon dominated the pavement. It gave me the motivation {and perhaps inspiration} to continue the journey towards becoming a runner.

Congratulations to everyone who completed the race yesterday. #RunVan was a complete success.


Third Race Complete!

Just as we finish a race, it seems like the next one is already here!

This morning was the Vancouver Sun Run — also known as, the day that 48,000+ people get together in downtown Vancouver and try to run at the same time. :) The Sun Run is Canada’s largest 10K road race and the 2nd largest timed 10K in the WORLD!

There were a lot of people. 

A lot.

At the same time, the Sun Run crew has been doing this for years, so they truly are a well oiled machine. Case in point, the start line map.

Haley and I anticipated finishing in 1:00 to 1:15, so we were giving the color WHITE. The race started at 9am, so we headed down to Howe & Georgia around 8:30am. Little did we know… it actually takes quite some this many people moving! I think we finally started running right around 9:40am.

Oh yes — the potties? Nightmare.

Pee before you leave your house — always.

This was the largest race Haley and I have ever done. This was the first time we had done a timed 10K. It was exciting — and overwhelming. The crowds were frustrating. Walkers were supposed to stay on the right — they didn’t quite get that. People would stop right in front of you and not even think to see if someone was coming behind them. People didn’t shoulder check. The usual — I think. Between 7 and 8k, I tangled up my feet with another guy {a babe of a 45 year old if I do say so myself} and thank gosh he grabbed me before I plummeted to the cement. We smiled at each other and continued on our way.

The worst part of the race was the climb up the hill as we made our way to the Burrard Bridge. As we progressed from 5-9k, the crowds thinned out. Perhaps because we had speedy feet! I felt rather blah throughout the entire race. I was just moving and trying not to side swipe anyone. Once I saw the 9k sign, I took the sidewalk of the Cambie Bridge and motored to the finish line.

First 10K race and a time of 1:04:32.

Not too shabby.

If you raced today, the results are posted here {took me awhile to find them!}. 

It was Haley’s first practice/real 10K and I’m super amped that she hit the distance and felt amazing! We got separated shortly after 5K but both crossed the line within a few minutes of each other. BC Place and the finish line were absolute madness, so we peaced out and headed to Yaletown for a smoothie. We came back for showers, made brunch — and before you know it we were back to our regular day.

We’ve definitely learned quite a bit about running, our bodies and what we are capable of in the last 3 months. When I set this goal, I thought — HA. You can do it, but you won’t enjoy it. It seemed like an impossible challenge and I imagined the Paramedics picking me off the cement at every race post-5K. :) A few months later… I can run, breathe, enjoy the hobby/sport/activity and have ok form {probably need to work on the latter}.

Our next race is 2 weeks from today. We’re running the Times Colonist 10K in Victoria. We’ve been told by my Aunt that the route is a-ok, so fingers crossed we beat or match our time and have a fab race!

This week we’ll both be on the search for new runners. I’m likely going to buy the pretty pair and Haley will buy the logical pair.

Congrats to Kayla, Anja, Teang, Shea, Alex and Shawn for the efforts put in at the Sun Run today too! Well done everyone!

PS – 5am club starts tomorrow. Lordy loo.

The 5am Club

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to hear Robin Sharma speak at The Art of Leadership in Vancouver. Robin spoke about leading without a title, pushing possibilities, daily devotions and so much other goodness.

I have read a few of his books and my expectations were high. He completely blew them out of the water. We’re writing a blog post over at JCI Vancouver on the day; it’ll be posted later this week.

5 Daily Devotions by Robin Sharma:

1. Rise each and every morning at 5 A.M. Those who get up early are those who get the best from life.

2. Set aside the first sixty minutes of your day as you “holy hour.” This is your sacred time to do the inner work that will help you live your highest life.

3. Display a standard care, compassion, and character well beyond what anyone could ever imagine from you.

4. Display a standard of excellence at work far higher than anyone would ever expect from you.

5. Devote yourself to being the most loving person you know and thinking, feeling, and acting, as though you are one of the greatest people on the planet (because you are).

So what is the point of this post?

The 5am club. Yep, 5am.

Robin reinforced that those who get up at 5am rule the world. Immediately I thought that those who are up at 5am can’t sleep because they are stressed out, overworked and/or have bad habits. But nope! There’s a group of people on this planet who have a major success strategy. They get up early to get ahead of their peers, colleagues and friends. They get up early to take a moment to breathe. They get up early to get a good start to their day and be organized for the 8am rush.

The most successful people I know get up at 5am. I don’t define success as ballin’ rich. I more mean that they are highly organized, embrace ‘work/life’ balance, seem to be at peace and are totally superstar entrepreneurial minds.

A few big biz minds who are early to rise:

I’ve never been a morning person. I think that’s because I’ve next to never rested. I don’t allow myself to get a whole lot of sleep and I usually run myself into the wee hours. Take for example it’s currently 4:27am on an early Tuesday morning right now. I love being up at this time of night, because it is quiet… the world is sleeping. I get more done and I enjoy the peace.

A little about me? I’m always late. Generally disorganized. Often overwhelmed by communication channels. Experience death by Inbox a few times a week. I always feel like I don’t have enough time in the day and I’m constantly bogged down in interruptions and conflicting priorities.

By integrating the 5am club into my life, it’ll force me to go to sleep early. I know there is no way I’ll be able to achieve the goal if I don’t go to sleep early. The plan is to adopt the routine/ritual/whatever into my life and see what happens. My goal is 5am on weekdays and give myself flexibility on weekends for a 6am  start. There are definitely people who think it should be 5am everyday, but that seems a little crazy card to me. This isn’t the military!

An early start to my day will allow me to stay on track with my run schedule, work out, go to yoga, enjoy a cup of tea, tackle the task list and increase my productivity. Sharma says that you should have ‘me time’ in the morning; nurture your body. I don’t really care what I do as long as I’m more organized and at peace.

Similar to being up at night… Being up before the masses will allow me to get shit done {in a way that’s probably better on the body — and mind}. When I do work on-site with clients, I usually aim for 9am or 9:30am… that means I’ll have 4 hours of time before I have to be there. FOUR. So much time to utilize in a productive and effective manner.

5am is scary early.

Robin offers these 5 tips for getting on track with 5am:

1. Don’t eat after 7pm.

2. Don’t lounge in bed after your alarm clock goes off. Jump out of bed and start your day.

3. Get into world-class physical condition.

4. Set goals; they breathe life and energy into your days. .

5. Set your alarm clock 30 minutes early.

He also expresses the importance of getting massages, managing your diet, dumping your worries (writing in a journal) and loving what you do. If you learn better visually or audible, check out his video here.

5am club begins on April 16. 

The plan is 5 weeks; ending on May 20th.

From there, we’ll see how it goes. I’d love to be able to implement this tactic long-term, but I don’t want to make any promises to myself yet. I have not booked travel in the next 5 weeks and there is nothing that really conflicts or gets in the way of 5am. So, no excuses right?? I have no doubt there will be days I press snooze and totally fail, but that’s likely part of the lesson.

Wish me and my alarm clock luck. I’m already dreading the beep, beep, beep. :)

Happy Tuesday!

PS – Giving myself a week till I start so that I can get caught up on all my bad habits and maybe catch a few winks of sleep. Think that sounds crazy? It probably is. Cowabunga. 

We are Made of Dreams

One of my dreams is to speak at TEDx.

This weekend I stumbled upon this video of the behind the scenes at the 2010 TED Conference. Sir Ken Robinson has spoken at TED numerous times and Raghava KK is a newbie on the scene. A little look into the TED speaking experience:

Behind the TEDTalk 2010 from m ss ng p eces on Vimeo

“Dreams are what guide us and what help us to become the best thing that we could be. And if you kill dreams, if you squash them, if you kill the capacity for dreaming, then you dehumanize us in a literal sense. Dreams are really what I think make us who we are.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Kudos to Sir Ken Robinson and Raghava KK for letting the world into your lives. The video relates to those considering TED, but also many other local and national speaking opportunities.