Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Police Half Marathon Race Review

On Sunday, April 28th, I ran in the Calgary Police Half Marathon.  I was scheduled to run 29K as prep for the marathon, and ho hummed about doing the half marathon as part of the distance.  The indecision was due to cost.  As a late registrant, they were asking $95.  Wow.  And if I had registered "early" it would have been $85.  I just couldn't stomach that cost.

But as race day approached, I started trolling Kijiji, and I found an ad posted by a gentleman asking $45 for his bib.  Yes!  I was pleased to see only one person had viewed the ad, and even more pleased when he responded it was still available.  $45 was a price I could accept for a distance of 21.1.  We met up on Friday to exchange the race number at package pick up.  And I can say, I'm really glad I didn't pay any more for this race.

It was great to run through the Weaslehead, and in a part of the city I normally don't see.  There were three aid stations for support offering water or gatorade, as well as the Police mascot, cops on horseback, and the highlight for me, bag pipers as we came up a steep hill out of the Weaslehead and into Lakeview.

Heading out over the reservoir.
BUT, for $95, runners received a nice, but small, medal, a technical race shirt, and THAT'S it.  My opinion, is it is NOT worth nearly $100.  That's just craziness.  I think I paid the same for my full marathon and will be getting much much more out of it (meaning obviously more course support due to distance, music on course etc.).

The back of the medal.  The front says FINISHER and the race distance.
I wouldn't sign up to do this race again, unless I found it for cheap.  The price simply doesn't make it worth it.  I have heard it has a loyal following though, and usually sells out.  Not this year.  Perhaps (and hopefully) price has something to do with that.

Heading into the Weaselhead.
Run wise, I arrived at the race start at 7 am, switched my race shirt to a new size, and managed to squeeze in 4.7K prior to the race start.  I looped the University where it started, which was awesome as I was able to figure out prior to the race, just what I should be wearing.  Loop 1 I added gloves.  Loop 2 I took off one jacket, and by loop 3 I was down to what I was comfortable in.

I finished the race in 2:13:07, holding a pace of 6:18 min/k.  The finish line, marked a total distance for me of about 26K.  I still had 3 more to go.  I just kept running after the finish line, knowing if I stopped I may not want to start back up.  I got 29.07k nailed yesterday, and I finished feeling GREAT.  I was really happy with shaving two minutes off my finish time from February, and happy I finished fast and strong.

I'm into the heavy miles now of training.  Next week 32, then 36 on Mothers Day weekend, then the taper will start as the marathon approaches.  As of today, 33 days to go!

Monday, April 28, 2014


Can you believe that as I type this it is SNOWING?  We have lived in our city for 11 years now, and I'm starting to agree with my husband.  Why do we live here?  The grass is starting to turn green though, so Spring is on the horizon.  It just has to be!

Despite my April blog silence, there has been some baking going on (of course there is what with it being my middle's favorite activity!).

My eldest turns seven in one weeks time (holy cripes!), and a few weeks ago I got busy planning for her birthday cake.  She is on a princess tangent.  It started at her 5th birthday (Ariel), her 6th (Cinderella), and this year she has asked for Snow White.  I have a few awesome cupcake books, and decided to check there knowing that there was one to make a red apple.  (I will share more on her cake next week after it's come to fruition!).  In the cupcake book, my middle spotted a robot cupcake.  And boy does he love his robots.  I decided that what the heck, why do we need an occasion to make a cake?  To make it faster (and for him to be more involved), after preschool one day, we stopped at the Wal-mart and picked up a box cake mix, and frosting.  On a side note, frostings have gotten fancy.  I usually make them from scratch, but I guess when you buy them now you also buy flavoring?  Who knew.  Not me, so no flavoring was added to ours, but trust me, "plain" store bought icing is plenty sweet.

We set to work.

What do you think?  I think ours/his turned out much better than the one in the book ;)  And my son was SO excited to show it to his sisters and his Dad.  They were also more than happy to indulge :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Her big move!

Did you have a good Easter weekend?  Ours was full, but also quiet which was really nice.  Since coming home from our holidays, it has felt "go, go go" for us.  Other than a few outings, our Easter weekend was spent primarily around the house.

It's been a little while since I posted here, and still alot I haven't shared about our trip to the US.  Twice while in the US, our littlest climbed out of her playpen.  I thought it was just that she was using the mesh to push into with her toes.  But last weekend while I was away for my first night away from her, she climbed OUT of the crib.  My husband thankfully caught her before she fell out head first.  A move was in order.

Our littlest has slept with, or beside me in her crib since she was born.  We have a three bedroom home, and the big two don't sleep well together.  This meant when the littlest was ready to move, she would be moving in with her big sister.  This past week I purchased a bunk bed and a second mattress.  The bed building happened on Friday, with the mattress arriving yesterday.  It was a big weekend for my kids!

Our littlest is only 20 months so I wasn't sure how the move would go.  My other two didn't move to a big bed until they were over 2.  Friday and Saturday night she slept in the playpen in her new bedroom and did great (even sleeping through the night the second night!).  Yesterday was the big move and she did AMAZING.  Looks like she is ready to show me she is just like her brother and sister.  As I type this she is having a successful first nap in her new bunk.  (Don't get me wrong... she hasn't realized yet she can leave the bed.  Once this happens - say in two or three days - sleeping may get harder).  But for now, I'm really impressed.

And the new found freedom for me of having the master bedroom back.  It's little things like being able to go into the room after she's in bed, and clean, organize (there has been a baby in the room for almost two years.  Things need to be re-arranged).  But knitting or watching a show in bed before going to bed - what a luxury!  I also just finished folding and sorting laundry upstairs during her nap.  Bliss!  No longer does laundry need to cover our couch in the front room.  I thought I would miss her, but it's actually been quite nice for her and I to both have some space back.

Today is the running of the Boston Marathon.  I'm excited for the US that an American has won the race!  I got out with the kids this morning for a nice 4K walk with my Mom while the race was on, a recovery from the 23K I ran yesterday.  The Calgary Marathon is happening in just over 40 days from now.  My last big run (36K I hope), will happen on Mothers Day weekend.  Not long now!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lavaman 5K Race Review

My family is home from a most wonderful time away in Kona Hawaii.  It was so good for our souls to get some much needed sunshine (and quiet time together to relax and play).  But the warm days of almost all 26 Celcius were amazing after such a long spell of cold winter.  We managed to get in alot of beach and pool time, and for myself, some wonderful runs.  I did two long runs while I was away which I'll do a post about in a little while, but I also did a 5K race in Waikoloa!

There are only wonderful things to say about this run.  It was well organized, alot of fun, and great support.  For a 5K there were two water stations!  We ran over lava, and down some beautiful palm tree lined streets.
Check out those hot pink shoes!
Even though it was at sunset, it was still really hot.  My first kilometer I ran at a pace of 5:40min/k.  I was pleased with this and hoped to maintain the pace.  I kept pushing and was surprised when I saw kilometer markings (my watch buzzes as each k passes) of 5:15min/k.  It has been a long time since I saw those numbers on my runs.  I felt good and after the 3K mark worked at maintaining that pace.  The hard work paid off.  I finished with an amazing finish time of 26:51.  Nine seconds under my hope of a 27 minute finish!

A wonderful bonus to this run was having my family there to support me.  Not only did I have my hubby and the kids, but also my parents at the finish line.  My eldest daughters face in the photo captures exactly how I felt post run!

We went to grab a bite to eat and watch some Hawaiian dancers.  On the way out we noticed alot of other runners wearing medals.  I asked a woman if they had been awarding age group medals and they were!  Prompting by my family had me ask the race director if I had placed.  I was astonished that I had!  2nd place!!!!!  At that point many of the remaining medals had been given out to the kids, but they had one in the box with a surfboard keychain on it which I happily took in lieu of the original medal :)  

My son holding my medal on our drive home.
This was a fantastic run.  If you ever end up in Kona and have a chance to do this race, or the Lavaman Triathlon that this is apart of, I would highly recommend it.  Now to find a race for April!