It’s Do What You Want To Do December

How is it December? I don’t even know – but some how it is…

Now we must rally together to get through holiday parties, friend festivities, and all the events that usually come with end of year. Right?!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I have to do vs. what I want to do.

And you know what I’ve (finally at the age of 32) realized? If you don’t want to to go to the party, you don’t have to go to the party. If you don’t want to buy a gift, you don’t have to buy a gift.

If you (err, I mean, me) need anything, it’s to do more of what you actually want to do. 

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Let’s get sweaty Vancouver!

Seawheeze 2013Today’s the day!

Registration for the Lululemon Seawheeze Half-Marathon went live THIS MORNING! I’ve been waiting for this day… well, since… last August. :)

Last year I participated in the inaugural Seawheeze – my first half marathon! I can’t say enough positive things about Lululemon’s first race series. The event was fantastic from beginning to end. Lululemon is a company that is committed to customer experience {and I’m pretty positive, employee experience, too!}. The weekend started with a race expo – shopping, yoga and pedicures – and ended up with an outdoor concert. They had everything from custom race gear {not tacky like most races btw, all of it was beyond cute} to unique medals to waffles at the post-race brunch!

Seawheeze is a total experience!

Yes there is a half marathon {13.1 miles baby!}. But there’s also a whole lot of fun, laughter, neon and good times in the sunshine. In order to soak it all up, you gotta participate in the whole weekend! Promise it’ll be worth it!

Last year was a blast, but I’m extra excited to be running this year. Almost all of Runcouver’s #RunCrew will be running the half {for half of them, it’ll be their first one!!} – and a whole lot of friends have jumped on board: Reagan, Adriana, Jen, Nikki, KateMiranda, Chelsea – and the list could go on and on!

If you’re interested in getting on board the Seawheeze train, check out the event: http://seawheeze.com

Get sweaty friends. See you at the finish line.

Why Hello Pavement…

15K playlistYesterday afternoon started off perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver and I was set to do a long run. The plan was minimum 15K. I was planning on running Stanley Park, then English Bay to Yaletown, but at the last minute I switched to an adventure in Kits. I was worried I would get caught in Stanley Park in the dark — and we all know I don’t like that park in the dark. :|

I updated my tunes and off I went {pssst… if you have Rdio, you can view and listen to the playlist here!}

I headed over the Granville Bridge as an epic sunset was taking over the sky. My legs were moving and I was excited to tackle new ground. A friend / mentor / ultra running crazy man, Adam Campbell, has been reinforcing to me that I need to switch from counting kilometres to focusing on time and going with the flow. I decided to do just that …. {briefly at least… I had good intentions :)}.

I ran past Burrard Bridge, then Kitsilano Beach and before you knew it I was en route to Jericho Beach. I was feeling great and decide the I would turn around at 10K instead of the planned 7.5K — I felt like I could do 20K and I wanted the challenge. Jericho was new territory for me and I didn’t know the area. I got to the beach (10K mark) just as the sun was setting and pink was taking over the sky. I knew I wanted to get away from the beach area before it was dark, so I booked it back up to the street. A few blocks away from the beach I bailed.

One moment I was running, the next moment I heard my cheek hit the pavement. My right cheek struck first, then my right shoulder. I was immediately in shock, but conscious. My whole body was screaming with pain and I turned over to sit on the pavement. I had torn my Lululemon thermals open and I could taste blood on my mouth and see it on my legs.

At the moment, I realized I was in the middle of no where. Somewhere near Jericho. No idea where I was — and not in the sight of a runner. I started calling all the friends I knew in Kits, someone who could come and pick me up. No one answered and I moved to my downtown friends. Katie {from the #RunCrew} picked up her phone and in tears I told her that I needed her to come get me. {Thank you for the cement rescue darling}.

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We made our way to St. Paul’s Hospital and soon enough we were in emergency. My cheek was swollen up and my legs were angry. I had no idea if anything was broken, but felt like the fall was sketch enough that I should probably get checked out. I was fast tracked to see a nurse and the process began. X-rays of my shoulder and legs — thankfully both banged up, nothing broken. Then a CT scan of my head and face — right cheek bone fracture. Then a EKG, blood work and a whole lot of questions to answer.

The doctors were less concerned about my physical injuries and more concerned about why I fell. They either think I fainted or that something was going on with my heart {irregular heartbeat etc}. No history of fainting or heart issues by the way. I was moved into another unit to meet with the Cardiologist and shortly after 1am, I was admitted to Cardiology for the night. They wanted to monitor my heart and meet with the Head of Cardiology in the morning.

I haven’t been overnight in a hospital since 1999. It’s funny how it all comes flooding back to you. Vitals every hour. Nurses coming in. Machines beeping. Code white. Code blue. They hooked me up to the machines and told me they’d let me sleep for a few hours. Just after 6am, the hospital hustle started. They were back to do more blood work and hook me up to more machines.

Shortly after 9am, the Head of Cardiology arrived to chat. We walked through what happened on the run and the tests that were run in emergency. As I had been stable overnight, he would release me but wanted me to stay attached to the Cardiology unit as an outpatient for the next few weeks. This week I’ll have an echocardiogram {heart ultrasound}, do a cardiac stress test {watching your heart when you run on a treadmill} and pick up a holder monitor {electrodes applied to skin and attached to tape recorder for 1-2 days}.

Fingers crossed, all tests come back good, I get the all clear from the Cardiologist and I’m back to the grind soon. He did confirm that running is good for the heart and he wants me to be back at it as soon as I can.

580556_4836531964636_1570522840_nRight now, I’m sore as hell and it’s the last thing my body feels like doing. My head on the other hand… knows I was on my way to an epic 20K run and can’t wait to get back on the pavement.

Thankful for everyone that has reached out since my tumble — and thank you to Katie for sticking by my side. The team at St. Paul’s was fabulous — I couldn’t have asked for better care.

There are likely lessons that have come from this event — but I’m not far enough removed from the situation to think of them yet. :) For now I will focus on healing my broken face, doing the required cardio tests this week, and getting myself to physio this week to take care of my shoulder and legs.

Running Gear

Since starting Runcouver and launching the #RunCrew, I’ve been asked lots — “So, what do you wear?” … well, well, well I could go on and on about my massive wish list, but instead let’s stick to the basics:

  • Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 3’s for the pavement and the Peregrine for the trails. I love that the Kinvara 3’s are speedy demons.
  • Socks: I’m not that picky as long as they breathe and also have heel coverage {no one likes blisters!}. I generally wear Lululemon’s Padded Run Sock or CEP’s compression socks.
  • Crops: When the weather is chilly I run in Lululemon’s Run Inspire Crop and I race in Lululemon’s Marathon Crop.
  • Shorts: I’m a big fan of wearing as little as possible when I’m running. TNA’s Shorty Shorts do the trick.
  • Jackets: I only wear a jacket when it’s pouring with rain! I have an older Lululemon rain jacket with a hood that works like a charm– or I’ll wear my light Lululemon Nothing But Run jacket.
  • Long Sleeve: The perfect pre-race {and first 4K warm up} is Lululemon’s Swiftly Long Sleeve.
  • Tank: My go-to tank is always Lululemon’s Cool Racerback!
  • Sports Bra: I love Lululemon’s Flow Y Bra — but often switch it out with their Free to Be Bra. Not big busted, so not really an issue. ;)
  • Headbands: In the spring/summer, I wear Lululemon’s super cute Satin Pirouette Headband and in the fall/winter, the Brisk Run Headband {covers your ears!}.
  • Gloves: I was gifted Lululemon’s Brisk Run Gloves from my sister a few years ago {yes, when I wasn’t running}… anyways they are fantastic because you can still use your iPhone with them on and they have a pocket for your keys!
  • Music: iPod Nano {classic}, Snuggbugs {found them at Rock n’ Roll Seattle Race Expo — LOVE} and if I run with my iPhone, I listen to my running playlists on Rdio.com!

I have a lot of Lululemon gear  — because 1) it fits me oh so well, and 2) I love luon. I would love to be able to run in Nike but I don’t fit into their smallest size. If someone wants to make me a custom Nike “Running Sucks” t-shirt, I’d totally love you forever.

Note: No one told me to write this post… no one pays for my running gear… {no, not even a sugar daddy}.

From 28 to 38

Thanks to a nudge from my friend, Michelle, who is a dynamo at Lululemon Athletica, tonight I wrote my 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals (exciting and stressful all at the same time).

1 YEAR

  • I will be dairy free by December 2012.
  • I will yoga it up (power/yin) 3x a week by January 2013.
  • I will complete the UBC Duathlon by March 2013.
  • I will run a sub-2:00 Half Marathon in Vancouver by August 2013.
  • I will write an e-book on career development by September 2013.
  • I will speak at an international conference on rethinking HR by October 2013.

5 YEARS

  • I will pay off my undergraduate student loans by December 2013.
  • I will travel to India to teach youth about entrepreneurship by December 2014.
  • I will take 1 ‘mind-body-soul’ me-cation a year by June 2015.
  • I will attend the global TED conference by March 2016.
  • I will run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with my best friend by October 2016.
  • I will complete my Master of Arts in International Communications by August 2017.

10 YEARS

  • I will teach part-time at Simon Fraser University by December 2017.
  • I will run the Boston Marathon by April 2018.
  • I will devour every ounce of South Africa by March 2019.
  • I will support/mentor Scoliosis patients at BC Childrens Hospital by December 2020.
  • I will write and publish a book by June 2021.
  • I will consult with the UN Foundation on solving global issues by December 2022.

BOOM.

You know what’s scary? I actually think I can do it — and the goal I’m most confident on is the last one. Eeep!

Some people will read this post and think I’m doomed for a nervous breakdown — or  think yah right, like this will ever happen. Others will read it and think — power to yah girl!

I’m a goal setter. It’s who I am. 

I have no doubt that my goals will change and evolve based on the experiences I have over the next few years. Guess what? I’m ok with that.

Regardless if it’s working towards running the Boston Marathon {god help me} — or raising goats in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan {not in the plan, but you never know}, I’m a big believer in moving forward, learning, challenging myself — and most importantly, being happy with where I’m at and where I’m headed.

Lululemon’s goal setting worksheet was extremely helpful in writing my goals and if you want to jump on the goal setting train, I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Fall Events in Vancouver

Vancouver is a busy city. Like really busy. (!!!) There is absolutely no reason to be bored — and it totally irks me when people whine there is nothing to do. Forget about the mass amount of events, there are also restaurants to check out, a seawall to run, parks to hang out in, coffee shops to lounge in and a huge amount of culture to soak up!

Over the last year, I’ve managed to gain a pulse on events that touch women entrepreneurs, marketing, leadership, small business and health/fitness. Some of that’s been due to being connected online, but the majority has been all about ‘who you know.’ I’ve been blessed to meet a ton of outstanding ‘change the world’ types in this city. Most are hyperactive involved and every day I’m sent, event after event after event. {Exhausted just thinking about it}. This morning I compiled a list of all the events I’ve been sent lately  and sent it off to about 100 movers and shakers.

Thought I would share some of them on my blog as well. So here you go — best of the best events taking place in town this fall:

The scary thing is that — this list will grow — and grow and grow over the coming weeks. Attend them all if you’re looking to turn into a psychocase. Otherwise pick and choose the ones that align with your interests. Another great place to keep on top of events is NetworkingInVan.com and Miss604.com.

Today is a busy day for events that fall under my interests. The day started with Innovating Differently: Women, Entrepreneurship & Technology. This afternoon is Startup Canada’s Grand Finale and the launch of Women 2.0’s Founder Friday. Wishing each of the respective organizations a smooth sailing day!

PS – I have 2 tickets up for grabs to tonight’s Pecha Kucha at 7pm. If you want the tickets send me an email!

What do YOU want out of life?

This weekend is Wanderlust — a yoga, music, heart-filled festival taking place in Whistler. I had been debating attending, but honestly, summer has been full on and it was stressing me to commit to another event.

Thankfully Lululemon used Ustream to live stream a seminar with Susanne Conrad! Susanne is the Director of Possibility on the Lulu team and had a plan to inspire the crew!

I tuned into the session and learned a lot about creating the future you want to live. At one point we were challenged to complete an exercise where we would determine what we want in our life and what we don’t.

From my desk in downtown Vancouver, I took part. I went with my gut and ended up with this:

At my core, I want to be able to give. Give with all my heart. ❤

Very rewarding exercise; thank you to Susanne and the team at Lululemon for including those offsite in the event!

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.

VanLOVER

Vancouver, we love you [the t-shirt project]

I love this city.

Like love it to the moon and back.

I talk about my love for Vancouver all the time {yes I spam the interwebz with the #VanLOVER hashtag}. Every day I am grateful that I have the privilege of living in such a beautiful city.

Last week a Twitter follower sent me a private message asking:

“Are you happy in Vancouver?”

I responded with {in capital letters, please note}:

“The best decision of my life was leaving Calgary. I love this city with all my heart. Never been happier. Even when life is falling apart, I still love it every single day.”

Seems a little emotionally charged — but it’s true.

I love Vancouver.

I love the easy access to both the ocean and the mountains.

I love that I can lay on the beach and do the Grouse Grind in the same day.

I love to get swept up in the sunset while running across the Granville Bridge.

I love that I can train year round and that my local Lululemon has just the right running rain gear.

I love the rain-filled winter and sunshine-filled summer.

I love spending days reading and sipping tea at Cafe Milano.

I love working from the picnic tables at English Bay.

I love big box shopping on Robson Street and boutique shopping in South Granville.

I love  that I can walk everywhere I need to go.

I love Granville Island, the farmers markets and community gardens.

I love brunch at Abigail’s Party, lunch at the Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe and wine nights at Uva.

I love cocktails at Hawksworth, burlesque at the Keefer and late night dancing at the Roxy.

I love tacos at La Taqueria and coconut smoothies from the Juice Truck.

I even love Tsui Hang’s at 5 in the morning.

I love that I can’t think of a single restaurant that I hate.

I love the vast amount of festivals, events and things to do.

I love that Whistler, the Gulf Islands and interior BC is just a quick jaunt away.

I love that people are genuinely excited to visit this spectacular city.

I love the incredible people I’ve met and new friends I’ve made.

I love that Vancouver always leaves me itching for more…

This city oozes with beauty, culture, activity and good vibes.

It’s been 10 months and I’ve barely touched the surface.

There is one thing I know for sure…

Vancouver, I’m proud to call you home.