I guess it had to happen eventually. But why yesterday? For the last 12 weeks I have been running at the front of my run clinic group. I have been working my butt off to do it, but I've been there, at the front, consistently for the last three months. Last week I was the first of my group to finish the mock race. And this week?

Right from the start my legs felt like lead. I tried to push hard but the more I pushed, the slower I went. I went backwards through the group, and by the time we hit this heinous (yet short) hill, I had to walk up to survive. The group waited for me at the top, while memories of previous weeks hit me where the group leader would make those of us who crested the hill first run back down to the rest of the group. I was in the group running back down, and now here was everyone waiting for me.

Luckily it was a shorter run last night, but even still, I was almost a block behind by the time we got back to the Sportsplex. Ouch. And to make matters worse, last night was the final night of the clinic, so that's how I get to end it off. Bummer. I guess there's always next year to make a comeback.

L'il Hooter

We have a resident barred owl in our neighbourhood, and even though I know it's around, it's always a treat to see it. I'm not sure if it's a he or she, as both genders of owls generally look the same. Females tend to be a bit bigger, but that's not exactly helpful unless you see the two side by side.

Anyway, we've named it L'il Hooter (even though it's actually pretty big). It mostly likes to hang out on the fence posts of the community farm down the road. Sometimes I stop and call to it - the human version of the barred owl call goes "who cooks food, cooks food for youuuuu". It generally just looks at me with no response. I guess I haven't crossed that inter-species bridge yet; Dr. Doolittle where are you when I need you?

We went by the other night and it was in mid-hunt, wings back and intensely staring at something in the brush. We didn't stop as we didn't want to disturb it and ruin it's hunt mojo, but it would have been really cool to see. It always makes my day when L'il Hooter is out.

Look on top of the fence post.

Monday Runday; Ba-da, ba-da-da-da

Yesterday my run clinic had a mock race - you could choose a 5k or a 10k distance. I thought I'd do the 5, since the clinic culminates in a 10k road race (the Victoria TC10K) next weekend, and why spoil the fun of racing a 10k beforehand?

The course was a cruel one, starting off downhill, veering sharply uphill, then flat, then down, then flat, then a loooonnng up, and finishing off with a false flat. I started fast and pulled ahead of the group I usually run with. Right away I could feel the 3.5 hour ride I did the day before in my legs... mental note to not do that the day before the real 10k! But I decided that since it was only a 5k, I'd practice visiting the "pain cave" that I usually avoid while running.

I was immediately out of my comfort zone as the road pitched uphill, but I remembered Kiki's advice of just saying "tick tick tick tick" in my head, and that kept my feet going and leg speed up as I went uphill. I was also wearing Jason's garmin, and I could see my pace dropping... so as I rounded the corner and the road leveled out I made sure I increased my effort again to up my pace.

I was doing a good job of running a faster pace than I usually do, and was by myself ahead of my clinic group (granted, some chose the 10k distance so should be running a bit slower anyway). When I hit the long uphill I really had to dig, but again Kiki's advice came back - I work above threshold in the pool with no problems, so why am I afraid to do that running? True dat. So I ran above my threshold, and really there were no problems.

I crossed the finish line in 32:16 (should I really admit how slow I am?), and 32 was my goal so I was happy. Besides the heavy quads from riding both Saturday and Sunday, I felt pretty good. Several minutes off my PR time from about 13 years ago, but I think I'll get there again within a year. That's right, I'm throwing down the hammer and saying that in one year's time, I'll be running as fast as I ever have. Gak! Next up, the real 10k on May 1st.


For the last couple of months, I have been pretending to be a runner. At the clinic last night, I hit the fastest pace per kilometre that I have ran in well over a decade. It was just for a couple of hundred meters though, and slightly downhill. I'll take it anyway.

Today I signed up for a local sprint tri next month. I'm already dreading the alarm clock waking me up at dark-thirty. I am not a morning person! I need to do Boise 70.3 someday with it's afternoon start. How civilized.

I just learned that I can buy vegan whipped cream - made from cashews and almonds. Next time I make these little numbers, they will be completely vegan. Besides the fact that they're frogs; just simulated frogs of course so they will still count as vegan.

Those who know Tim will know why I made frog
cupcakes when he was over for dinner.

Spring is just not coming quickly enough. There is still quite a cold bite in the air. I am not enjoying it. Yesterday was the first day I ran in short sleeves for the year, and it's practically mid April. Gawd.

I'd really like to be on the tv show Wipeout, it looks like so much fun! However, everyone who knows me have assured me that I would be the biggest disaster and would get unbelievably injured. Moi??? The girl who ended up with a hospital stay and emergency surgery after goofing around on the sidewalk?? I guess I'll just stick with my original plan to be on Jeopardy.

I love my job, but I do wish I worked a 4-day week and had 3-day weekends. Whomever (or is it whoever - I never know) came up with this 5 and 2 thing, thanks a lot. I'd be happy to make 20% less to work for 4 days a week. Not a problem.

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone. My view all day was blue skies and blooming trees:



Here are some questions that arose from my ride yesterday:

Doesn't this look like a perfect day to enjoy being on the bike?

Don't you just love spring?

Again, who doesn't love spring?

Doesn't this look like a cool place to ride?

And this?

Isn't this a great solution to graffiti?

How many massage therapists does it take to fix a seatpost?

How many lambs can you count?

Can we make it back without getting rained on?

Doesn't this seem like a scene from a novel?

Is there a better way to spend the afternoon than riding
with some cool peeps (even if you do get wet by the end)?

I've Got The Beat

I love running with music. Music used to be a big part of my life. Not that it's not anymore, but I find that I have less time to sit around and just listen these days. Correction, I guess I don't make time for it, as I firmly believe we all make time for what we want to do the most. The "I'm too busy..." excuse for me really means "it's not my priority".

So I find some of the best time for me to really listen to music is on a run. I load up my ipod shuffle and head out the door. Not only do I love being immersed in the sounds, but it also helps me keep my mind off any nagging criticisms about my form, my speed (or really, my lack thereof), my butt jiggling... and just allows me to run freely.

Today I had a great mix that had me smiling down the road. Arcade Fire, MGMT, U2, David Bowie, and more. I also like to close my eyes in iTunes and drag some surprise songs onto the shuffle playlist. Today I was immediately transported back to being a "tween" - only of course we didn't call it that back then - when Duran Duran came on. I love how familiar songs remind me of specific places and times. After last year, Cee Lo's "F You" and MGMT's "Kids" will forever remind me of my long training runs around Quamichan Lake in preparation for Ironman Arizona.

I'd love to hear any suggestions for great songs to run to. Run on and rock on everyone!