#blogtober14: My Biggest Fear

For the next month (eep!) I’ll be linking up with Taylor and Helene for Blogtober. Missed a day? Never fear, just jump in, include the image and link up with one of these lovely lassies!

The Daily Tay
 
 
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My biggest fear used to be failure.

I was convinced that if I failed at something then my life would be over. Obviously, I learned that wasn’t quite true, even if I did keep it a secret for, oh, about 15 years.

For a long time I’ve had this underlying feeling of not being good enough, of never being cool/nice/fun/funny/smart/pretty/whatever enough. Let me tell you, that’s totally not a fun way to live – at all. It’s all-consuming and I spent many years constantly judging myself and my actions. I’m pretty dang sure I was judging myself far more harshly than anyone else ever was.

I’m finally now in a place where I’ve realized I am good enough (if you’ve been around for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard me say this a ton!) and I love it.

So, what’s my fear?

(I’ll warn you, this is a super personal one and yet, for some reason, I’m sharing it….)

Being a single cat lady.

cowgirlruns biggest fear

I mean, yes, I love Merlin and think he’s pretty darn cool, but I also think I’m pretty awesome and would make an awesome girlfriend (and maybe wife).

On a related note, I’m pretty scared to put myself out there and date, because I’m an introvert and I have this assumption that I’ll hate dating.

I…..don’t really know where to go with the rest of this post because it’s pretty personal and, yeah. 

Ha! :)

Ummm, does anyone know if Matthew Iman (aka – The Oatmeal) is single? Because, yeah….Heh.

What’s your biggest fear?

blogtober14 prompts




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Marathon Monday: 10/20

Happy Monday, friends! <– I know I probably say that most every Monday, and no, I don’t see that changing :)

Can you believe there are only 11 days left in October?! I think October may have flown by faster than September, how is that even possible?!

This weekend I finished my third of four half marathons for the month :D

Ragnar Las Vegas training schedule

Monday – driving home
Tuesday – rest day
Wednesday - rain :(
Thursday – packed wrong run gear :(
Friday – off
SaturdayRobert Hamilton 5 Miler
Sunday – Mec Race 7 Half Marathon

Total mileage: 18.1 miles / 29km

Mileage-wise it could maybe have been higher, but after racing the previous weekend, I really wanted to make sure my body was able to recover. Add in weather issues (I picked up a rain jacket this weekend!) and brain issues (it is not warm enough to run in a tank top right now!) it just wasn’t in the cards.

I’m hoping to fit in runs on Tuesday and Thursday both at lunch and after work to get my leggies prepared for back-to-back runs during Ragnar.

This weekend I’ll be flying to Vancouver for the Rock ‘n Roll Half and the trip will also include a trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up some fun goodies for myself!

How was your training this week?

More Marathon Monday.




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#blogtober14: Because I’m Happy

For the next month (eep!) I’ll be linking up with Taylor and Helene for Blogtober. Missed a day? Never fear, just jump in, include the image and link up with one of these lovely lassies!

The Daily Tay
 
 
Want to read more? Click for more #blogtober14 posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two years ago if you had asked me to come up with a list of things that made me happy, I probably would have thrown a sarcastic remark your way. I wasn’t happy, so it pretty difficult to come up with a list of things that make you happy when you aren’t happy with you.

Now? I could probably come up with a pretty extensive list because I’ve learned to find joy in the little moments throughout the day. What a difference that makes!

The list of what makes me happy changes from day to day, so here’s what’s made me happy this weekend.

Merlin

This should be pretty obvious. This guy is my shadow and I’ve also been known to call him my best friend on occasion. He’s the sweetest and snuggliest cat ever (even if that means he doesn’t “cat” very well).

 

My view while writing this post <3

My view while writing this post <3

A beautiful sky

I saw this on my way to my third October half marathon this morning. I even pulled over to fish my phone out of my purse because it was so gorgeous I couldn’t not take a picture of it.

 

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Unbelievable sunrise in my way to the MEC half this morning. 3 October halfs done, one more to go!

Naps

Bonus points if those naps are after a race!

Running with friends

I’ve been lucky enough this weekend to meet up with friends at both races. Running friends truly are awesome!

3 Calgary Flockies at the start of the MEC race

3 Calgary Flockies at the start of the MEC race

What’s making you happy today?

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Robert Hamilton 5 Miler – October 2014

For a few days this week I felt a cold coming on, and it finally came to a head on Friday. My voice was croaky and my were crazy stuffed up. After staring at my computer for 30 minutes and not knowing what I was doing, I decided to head home on Friday and rest.

When it comes to sick, I’m a big fan of resting and not pushing my body, but I also didn’t want to not run my races.

I decided to play Saturday morning by ear and when I woke up and thought about running 10 miles I just felt dread……5 miles it was then!

Leana was kind enough to pick up my race package for me on Friday, so I met her just before the start and we grabbed a picture before setting out. (All pictures are stolen from Leana’s Facebook because she was awesome at pictures!)

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My goal for this race was basically not to die. I knew my head wasn’t feeling great and I just wanted to get some mileage under my belt for Rangar prep.

Leana is obviously WAY better at pictures than I am!

Leana is obviously WAY better at pictures than I am!

I felt great at the start and wanted to run anywhere between 6:05-6:15/km.

At the turnaround I could really feel my cold catching up with me. My legs felt fine, but I started to have some trouble breathing, so I just wanted to keep a consistent pace and make it to the finish in one piece :)

Gingerbread medals are always a great idea!!

Gingerbread medals are always a great idea!!

Garmin time: 49.24 or 6:03/km average pace.

I’m extremely pleased with my pace since I didn’t feel so hot for the last half of the run.

Saturday was an absolutely perfect day for a run! I thought it would be cooler at the start and just slightly over-dressed, but I got to wear my favourite flyte shirt, so I won’t complain!

Sunday is also looking like a fabulous day for a half marathon :)




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#blogtober14: My Secret

For the next month (eep!) I’ll be linking up with Taylor and Helene for Blogtober. Missed a day? Never fear, just jump in, include the image and link up with one of these lovely lassies!

The Daily Tay
 
 
Want to read more? Click for more #blogtober14 posts.

When asked to share a secret on the internet, what do you share?

Do you share some silly little thing you do, like a weird superstition? Or do you go with the big guns and share some juicy tidbit that will get the internet talking?

This secret is 15 years old and while it was something that I was ashamed of at the time, I’m over it and it’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

Before I share, I feel like some background is a good idea. I was a bit of a goody-goody in high school. I was the straight-A, a B means your life is over student. I’d throw crying fits before exams and big projects, only to pass with flying colours and keep that GPA up.

I can’t recall if it was the day of my 16th birthday or the day after, but my mom drove me down so I could get my learner’s permit. I’d already gone through the required in-classroom course in preparation for my practical lessons, so I felt like I knew what I was doing.

And?

I failed.

Miss 4.0 GPA failed her learner’s test.

I was completely and utterly heartbroken.

I didn’t fail things, like ever. And I failed the biggest test toward becoming an adult. Or, so I thought at the time.

I can’t recall the specifics of what happened after, but I’m pretty sure my mom told me I didn’t have to tell anyone (I didn’t…..until now) and we went there the following day and I passed with 100%.

Even now, just thinking back on that moment, I can remember the heartbreak and utter shame at failing such a simple test.

Thankfully, 15 years later I can look back and realize it was just a blip in the road of growing up.

Have you ever failed anything?

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Link Love: 10/18

And Saturday rolls around again!

One of my favourite things about weekends is sleeping in. Sleeping in is the freaking best thing in the world. Naps are a close second.

This weekend I’ll be napping instead of sleeping in as I have two races on tap. The first is a 10 miler at 10am today. I registered on a whim on Tuesday (not following my “wait 2 weeks after a race to register for a race” rule) thinking it would be a good way to force myself to get some back to back runs in. I’m declaring this weekend my “peak” week, as it’s three weeks from Ragnar, so it seems like a good time to peak.

Or something.

Tomorrow I’m running the MEC Half Marathon in Calgary. No, I will not be attempting a PR in any way this weekend. This is all about logging the miles so I (hopefully) don’t die in three weeks. Having to run 34 miles (or more if someone gets injured) is a tad bit terrifying y’all.

LL October 18

Images

Since I failed to post any winery pictures in my weekend recap (#lazy) I got off my duff to prove that I actually did manage to visit a winery last weekend :)

Not often you get to try wine from the barrel.

Not often you get to try wine from the barrel.

Look! A picture of me!

Look! A picture of me!

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You May Have Missed / Popular This Week

Just stopping in? Missed a few days? Check some posts out below!

Things I’m an Expert At

BMO Okanagan Half Marathon Recap

My Thoughts on Fitness Trackers

My Favourite Quote

Link Love

An Open Letter To The Food Police via The Balanced Blonde <– I love this so much. Jordan is awfully brave and inspiring for not being scared to share her story, even with the backlash she receives.

Marathon: From A Different Perspective via Lake Shore Runner <– Sara volunteered at the Chicago Marathon this past weekend and wrote a very insightful volunteer recap

On being nice to your body: The postpartum side via The Life of Bon <– this is so beautifully written

9 Things I Didn’t Know Before Blogging via The Athletarian <– if you aren’t following Christina…WHY?! She’s adorable, her dog’s adorable and she’s a runner. That’s all you need to know :)

Trust Me, I’m An Expert via The Daily Tay

Dear Fit Fam via Thought Catalog <– thanks Suze for sharing!!

5 Bad Habits to Ditch Today via She’s Wicked Healthy

#FitBlogNYC 2014 via Lindsay Weighs In

FYI Friday – Preventing Weight Gain During Marathon Training via Pretty Little Grub <– Jen has started an FYI Friday link up so come on and join in (unlike me who continually forgets. Whoops!)

Vegan Pumpkin Hot Chocolate via Running With Spoons <– ummm, YES!

Could a 5k make you a better distance runner? via Run To The Finish

Public Health and Getting Vaccinations to Help Others via 50 by 25 <– my company has a flu shot clinic next week and I’ll be getting one for sure!

What links did you love this week?

 I’ll be spending the rest of my day watching Blog Well Summit sessions. If you haven’t signed up – you still can and it’s free! You can also click here to buy a pass for lifetime access to the videos and materials :)

 




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#blogtober14: I’m an expert

For the next month (eep!) I’ll be linking up with Taylor and Helene for Blogtober. Missed a day? Never fear, just jump in, include the image and link up with one of these lovely lassies!

The Daily Tay
 
 
Want to read more? Click for more #blogtober14 posts.

Full disclosure: I don’t really consider myself an expert at anything. 

However, I do think I have some pretty mad skillz that I shall share with you in list form, because that’s what bloggers do, we make lists and put them on pretty backgrounds and then upload them to Pinterest.

There you have it, blogging in a nutshell :P

cowgirlruns expert

Without further ado, I am an expert at:

  1. Hitting snooze 5 times each morning. It’s not like I have to be on time to work or anything, right?!
  2. Snuggling on the couch. As soon as it gets dark out, I’m on the couch with Merlin and it’s perfect.
  3. Finding deals without really trying. Seriously, I try not to pay full price for things, but I’m not a coupon cutter at all. They just, find me, I suppose.
  4. Napping.
  5. Procrastinating.
  6. Rationalizing procrastinating.
  7. Shopping.
  8. Rationalizing shopping, especially when they’re running-related purchases.
  9. Finding acceptable bananas.
  10. Packing the wrong gear for runs. So far this month I’ve forgotten socks and brough only a tank top when I most definitely needed a long sleeve. <– this resulted in a missed run yesterday #fail
  11. Bringing my camera everywhere and taking all of zero pictures.
  12. Forgetting to Tweet or read blogs on weekends.
  13. Thinking about things and not actually doing them (see #5 and #6 above).
  14. Screwing up package pickup dates. So far I’m at #3 for the year. A big thanks to Victoria and Leana for saving my bacon :) I swear, I used to be organized!
  15. Being awesome, because obviously!
 

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Best @stridebox sticker yet!!

View on Instagram

What are you an expert at?

blogtober14 prompts




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BMO Okanagan Half Marathon – October 2014

aka – a training race wherein I decided to attempt a PR because I’m crazy.

This was my fourth time (third year in a row) running the BMO Okanagan race. After last year I had some mixed feelings about the race, probably because while my marathon went well, it didn’t go great. I wasn’t even going to run this half this year until I managed to convince my sister to run the 10k (her first race ever!!).

I’m damn glad I ended up running it.

I’ve said multiple times, my goal for October was to run four half marathons as training for Ragnar, so I wasn’t planning on pushing myself for any of them.

Obviously, I changed my mind at some point :)

My sister and I got to the race start  around 7:10 on Sunday morning. The half doesn’t start until 8am, but I love watching the marathoners start. We lined up along the fence to cheer them on and then I scurried over to the porta-potties to take care of business before dropping my gear and bag check and heading over to the chute.

At some point while watching the marathoners take off, I had a brief thought of, “I wonder if I can run a PR” then I quickly pushed that away because I ran a half last weekend and still had two more to go after this. Pushing myself might be bad news bears.

Somehow I ended up lining up with the 2 hour pace group, even at the time, thinking “this is a bad idea” because my plan was to run a 2:10 or so half as a training run, not a race.

Obviously that all changed.

I started off quickly and kept trying to tell myself to slow down, but, the pace felt comfortable. I told myself so long as I felt comfortable, I’d keep up the pace.

And so I did.

I peeked at my watch at the 5k mark and messaged Ann my split. Then again at the 10k mark. For the first half I was playing leap-frog with the 2-hour pace bunny and then somehow managed to pull ahead.

I was only stopping briefly at the water stations to grab a sip, catch my breath and then I was running again.

I hit 10k in 56 minutes and knew I was on pace for a pretty freaking good race – so long as I didn’t fall apart in the last half.

I was keeping my eye out for Terry as I knew I’d likely see her once I moved on to the second part of the course as the marathoners would be passing us as they went on for their second loop. Right at the 12k water station I heard Lindsay yell Terry’s name as she passed us looking great with the 3:45 pace bunny.

I jogged up to Lindsay and we chatted for a bit before she went off ahead because she’s a speedy little thing!

Good cheer stations are the best!

Good cheer stations are the best!

I could tell the pace was starting to catch up to me a bit at this point, but I also knew I was over half way there and told myself to just keep going. It wasn’t a struggle, but it definitely hurt a bit. I knew I’d be really disappointed if I dropped the pace too much because I was sure I had a sub-2 in me.

The last time I ran sub-2 was in August 2013 at SeaWheeze and my fastest race of 2013 was a 2:07 at the Calgary Police Half, so I really wanted at minimum a seasonal PR and that became my C-goal. A-goal was an overall PR, B-goal was a sub-2 and C-goal was a seasonal best.

Right before the 14km water station I took my second gel because I could feel like I was struggling a bit and I took a longer break at this station to drink a cup and dump a cup because it was starting to get warm.

I struggled with the middle section of the second loop in my marathon and I wanted to run it strong for the half. I flipped my watch over so I’d stop checking my pace and doing race math, and focused on feeling strong and keeping a consistent pace. At this point, I just wanted to go, so I skipped the last two water stations. 

More than once I wanted to stop for a walk break, but I forced myself to keep going. I felt my left IT band rubbing (the same thing happened in the 50k) and stopped to give it a quick massage before starting back up. I had 2ish km left at that point and kept telling myself that was 12 minutes. I could do anything for just 12 minutes. 

I was also checking behind me to see where the pace bunny was. I knew if I kept ahead then I’d definitely be sub-2 for the race. Well, damnit if the stupid bunny didn’t pass me with 500m left.

I tried to push as much as I could, but there wasn’t much left in the tank to push. My legs were tight and I just wasn’t able to get them to turnover enough to pick up the pace. I pushed as much as I could and I knew it was going to be tight if I made it sub-2 or not. 

Crossed the finish.

1:59.42 Garmin time.

BAM.

Seasonal best and a course PR for me.

Sweaty sisters

Sweaty sisters

I’m thrilled with how this race went for me. In the past I’ve really struggled come the 15k mark and that didn’t happen, even though I was pushing really hard the whole race. I also haven’t done speedwork in who knows how long.

I’m pretty confident if I have a good training cycle for 2015 I’ll be able to PR in both the half and the full, which would be amazing.

Now it’s time to log some more miles (I have a 10 miler on Saturday and a half on Sunday) in preparation for Ragnar.




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#blogtober14: Fall Fashion

For the next month (eep!) I’ll be linking up with Taylor and Helene for Blogtober. Missed a day? Never fear, just jump in, include the image and link up with one of these lovely lassies!

The Daily Tay
 
 
Want to read more? Click for more #blogtober14 posts.

I need to confess something that might surprise you.

I’m a much bigger fan of spring/summer fashion than I am of fall fashion.

I know! Given my love of all things pumpkin, you totally had me pegged for a fall gal, didn’t you?

I’m sure you’re wondering why is it that I don’t love boots and scarves and cozy sweaters.

But I do. I do love them.

It’s just….I have big calves and sometimes I can’t find boots to fit over them, or if I do they squeeze and squeeze and squeeze on my calves.

The struggle is real y’all.

When I do decide to break out my fall boots, leggings are my pants of choice. 

“blah blah, leggings aren’t pants, blah blah” whatever. When you have calves the size of mine (which look killer in heels, by the way) jeans + boots isn’t always a great idea. Leggings ensure I’ll be able to slide those suckers on and won’t lose feeling in my lower limbs by the end of the day ;)

And so, I give you my outfit of choice this fall:

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Bathroom selfies, so, so classy.

There’s a reason I currently have 10 of these tops and am always looking to buy more :)

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Winter arrives fast and furious around here, so our fall is rarely longer than a month, and that’s if we’re blessed with a stellar fall that doesn’t involve snow storms at the beginning of September, Calgary! ahem

As such, I don’t have much in the way of fall wardrobe items. Now I do have numerous toques and mittens and warm winter jackets to keep me from freezing on my walk into work when it hits -40C during the winters.

What’s your go to fall outfit?

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Let’s Talk Fitness Trackers

Back in April I decided I wanted a FitBit. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that when I decide something, rather than just ponder about something, I do it.

And so, a FitBit was procured. <– have one? Add me as a friend!

I even managed to pick it up the day before a half marathon, so I could test the sucker out – and you’d better believe I wore it during my ultra marathon.

Then I moved.

I lost (then found) my charger.

I regularly forgot to charge it (by far the most pain in the butt part of owning one, which, really, isn’t a pain at all, I’m just forgetful) and so it would sit on my bathroom counter for weeks at a time.

Then I bought my iPhone 6 and installed the Breeze app which automatically counts my steps. So of course I charged my FitBit because I had to see if Breeze was accurate. Since they’re both within a few hundred steps each day, they’re either both horribly wrong, or pretty okay :)

I’ve been using Breeze/wearing my FitBit consistently for the past two weeks.

What have I learned?

IMG_9440

Dolphins are cool.

When I plan to exercise, I’m great!

I have no issues getting in my 10,000 (FitBit) steps or the recommended Breeze steps. (Breeze uses a weekly average, so you’re always competing when yourself. Love it!).

That white marker is where I should have been at 4:21 yesterday in order to meet my goal. Obviously, I was not there.

That white marker is where I should have been at 4:21 yesterday in order to meet my goal. Obviously, I was not there.

When I don’t run, I’m lazy.

If I’m not running, I’m basically a couch potato. There were a few days last week when I thought about going for a walk to get more steps in but it was cold / I was tired / I was lazy / there was beer in my fridge / whatever and the walk didn’t happen.

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Beer. Because beer.

Basically, I need to do better.

As I was editing this last night, I saw Becky wrote a similar post about trackers so check it out!

Yesterday I went for a walk through the mall at lunch (without my wallet!) since it was cool and rainy and although I brought my running gear, I did not want to be cold and wet for the rest of the day.

So, walks at lunch are a good idea :)

The biggest challenge I’m facing is….gulp….winter.

Running or walking on a treadmill isn’t all that appealing to me. I mean, I’ll do it if there’s no other option, but I don’t like treadmills and I also don’t like being cold.

Translation: I’m a spoiled brat.

Is it too much to ask for nice weather year round? I think not.

Is it too much to ask for nice weather year round? I think not.

I don’t think planning a daily run is the best of ideas since I’ll just get burned out / tired / slip and fall on the ice (since breaking my elbow I’m basically terrified of falling in the winter) and cry.

I’m able to walk to and from work (yes, even in the winter!) and that will help my step count. So will running at lunch or going for a walk around the mall at lunch. The biggest issue(s) I’m facing are 1) the cold (it’s not even really cold yet, I’m just anticipating and being a wimp) and 2) it’s getting dark early already.

I ran in the dark last year, but there are a few…..unsavoury individuals in my area that I’d need to walk by to go for a walk, so maybe I need to find a buddy? I do have pepper spray I can carry with me, but I really don’t like the feeling of needing something like that to feel safe – I’d much rather a dog or a friend, or both!

Do you use a fitness tracker? Any tricks for getting those steps in when forced to hibernate?

thinking-out-loud-cowgirl-runs

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud.




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