Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Boss {and running sick sucks}

Friday night I went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert for the first time.  I have almost all of his Cds and he was my dream concert.  We went to Los Angeles in the Friday afternoon times.  Got to the LA Memorial Coliseum where the arena is.  It is there that the 1984 Los Angeles game were held and it is there that that Joan Benoit made her entrance in the stadium on her way to Olympic Gold.  The Coliseum is the only stadium to have hosted the Games twice in 1932 ans 1984.

So OK back to BRUUUUUUUUCE.   We went in to find our seats and the crew was still setting the stage and then without any announcement or anything there he was, Bruce Springsteen!  All the lights were on and he just came on the stage with some relatives.  Then, he grabbed an acoustic guitar and started singing a song!  I had never seen this!  The main artist coming out 45 min before the show to say hello and sing a tune!  I thought it was awesome!  This is when he came out.  He sang "For you" from his very first album.

There is a reason he is THE BOSS.  He played 3h25!  He is a beast.  He played 25 songs, old and new ones.  He went in the crowd a few times, he even did some "crowd bodysurfing".  He is in top shape you could never tell he is 62 years old.  He has a band of 16 musicians with him on stage.  It was a GREAT concert.  I waited over 25 yrs to see him and it was worth the wait.
This gives an idea of the concert

What is your dream concert?

Well this was a crappy week.  I have been sick and I am still sick.  I cannot get rid of this cold.  Now it is in my chest.  I am not coughing A LOT but I always feel like I have to cough.  Today I had 9 miles on the plan but I only did 6.   I know about the neck rule.  This cold has moved below the neck line.  I have a 10K race on Sunday so I am hoping to be much better by then.
Do you follow the neck rule?  Honestly do you? Or do you cheat a little until it gets really bad like coughing all night bad?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Numéro UN:
I want to say huge thank you to all of you kind people who read my blog, for the nice messages on my last post. You are all the best.  I feel like you share my joy of being selected for the NUUN team for HTC, you know. like you GET it.   Most of my non running friends are happy for me but they don't really know what that relay is.  My husband, who saw the movie with me when it came out 1-11-11  (on my birthday!), does get it and he is very happy for me and very supportive  also.  My boys...I told them "Remember when we took the pictures for Mommy's video? Well I got it!"  Jonathan "So you are going to do that race in the mountain? So cool! Does it mean WE get to stay in a hotel?" So I said no that it would be just me this time.  His response to that "What? Worst race EVER!".  Then I called my parents to tell them.  My Mom's reaction: "Why do you do this to yourself?"  Cannot wait for the in person talk.  I am bringing the DVD with me to Quebec to show them how fantastic it is and that if Kathy from the movie can do it...I should be fine :)

Numéro DEUX:
I saw my Doctor.  The one from that post.  So the verdict is that I have Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, means the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The resulting inflammation often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).   I will see the specialist on May 17.  It is likely that I will end up taking meds to regulate my thyroid.   Not the end of the world but a little pain in the behind.  I did tell my Dr that I think it is not acceptable that I never got a call from her office regarding my abnornal results and that I know about all this ONLY because I called to ask about the results.

Numéro TROIS:
I am still fighting this stupid cold.  Today I went for 5 miles in the rain.  It went OK but I am starting to have a cough so I did not push it.  Yesterday was rest day and I spent 4 hours cleaning my yard.  That is more exhausting than running 8 miles!  My yard is fairly big and we don't have enough time to take care of it so at times it can become a jungle.  We have about 100 rose bushes and just that is a full time job to keep clean!

This is on the side of the house.  Around the planters, we had weeds that went up to my knees!  When we bought our house the yard was just dirt.  We did everything ourselves on this side and it was a lot of work.  Back then we were stupid and did not know what it is to have 2 sons.  We should have put just plain grass there!!!

This is the jungle part...I need to clean that "REST" day!!!  This should count as Cross Training!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I cannot believe it but it is true, I am on the Nuun's Hood to Coast Relay Team for 2012: AfterNuun Delight!

They made the announcement at noon today.
I was so nervous.
I opened my emails and there it was: THE email from NUUN.
I opened it and first word I saw: Congratulations.....
Wow..I could not believe it..went to check on the official list and my name is really there...second is ME.  You can see it right HERE.

I am so happy and grateful to have this opportunity.

I will represent Canadians!
I will also represent the 40+ gals!  I think only 2 of us are over 40 :)

So let the training begin!!!!
I have the whole summer to get ready and HTC will be my focus for the summer.

If you have done Hood to Coast and you have advices for me please do share!!!

Thank you for all the nice txt, emails, tweet and FB messages!

Oregon, here I come!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Redlands 10K Race

I ran a 10k race this morning.
I think for the first time since I started running I should have sat this one out.
I am sick.
I have a really bad cold; congestion, coughing, sore throat, all the good stuff.
I went for 3 miles yesterday and I had a hard time to breath.
I slept really bad last night. was not good today.
I did not race.  I just ran. I also had to walk some of it. No PR and no PW.
It sucked but it's OK.
It happens.  I have been pretty lucky to not be sick for most of my races.  I had some where the allergies were acting up but today was the worst I have felt.

This was a nice race.  Really well organized
I have zero complain.
They had plenty of porta potty.
They started right on time.
They had lots of volunteers on the course.  Everyone was really nice.
Plenty of water AND cups.
No medal but for a 10K I don't expect medals.
They had a little Expo at the Finish line with some vendors and also free massages. I went to get one and I got the one gal who looked like she was having the worst day of her life.  She was terrible also.   It was free so no big deal, it is pretty nice that they offered this.

It was not as hot as I thought it would be but it was still warm and sunny.
I carried my new handheld bottle to test it during a race.  I will need to get used to it.  It felt a little heavy at times.  I usually change hands when I carry a regular water bottle and with this it is not as easy to change hand.  Here at mile 2 right before going uphill for an eternity!

Thumbs up only for the kids...I was not close to feeling thumbs up

The course  had one long hill in the middle.  I think I am an expert at signing up for races that have hills.  It was not as bad as the one in Hollywood but it was a tough one.  Good thing we had a downhill after that :)

Here getting to the finish.  I was happy to be done.

I got another 10k in a couple weeks.  I am hoping to get rid of this cold by then and also for NO HILLS.  I need a hills break!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Waiting Game

I got 4 more days of waiting before finding out if I will get to run Hood to Coast.  I am a very patient person but for this kind of waiting not so much.   It is kind of like waiting to know if you got the job or if you got accepted to College.

I got one more week of waiting before I go see Bruce Springsteen!!!  That I am good at waiting for because I know it will happen!

2 weeks ago I had an ultrasound for my thyroid.  I heard nothing from my Dr.  I thought it meant for sure that the results were normal.  They don't call you when it is normal. I think it is crap that they don't but that's just me.  Today I decided to call my Dr just to be sure...listening to the little voice inside that says...just call it will take a minute.   So I called.  I asked if they had my results.  "Hold please."  They hung up on me.  GREAT!  I call again...and they tell me that the Dr said that I will need to go see an endocrinologist!  WHAT?  When were they going to call me to let me know?  I asked why and does this mean my results are NOT normal?  "No they are not normal, your thyroid is enlarged but you have no tumors".  WTH?  I am so mad.  I cannot believe that I am the one who had to call the office to find out about this.  So now I have to go see a specialist, that is always fun.  Start over with all the medical history.  Find a good Dr.  WAIT  to get an appointment.  I don't know about where you live, but here to get an appt with a specialist can take weeks.   That kind of waiting I am also not good at because now I need answers and I want to fix what is not working.

I now have a huge migraine.  Of course I Googled "enlarged thyroid" and is not the end of the world but it does explain some stuff.


Guess who is back?  The freaking HEAT.   I hate it with a passion.
For me it means that "racing" season is coming to an end.  I still participate in races during the summer but I don't chase PRs.  The only exception is my next half marathon.  It is on June 2nd and I want to PR there.  This will be my last half until the cooler temperatures come back in the fall.  The heat means I need to carry water for every run.  I don't always like to wear my belt..when it gets hot it gets to be really annoying.  So I decided to buy a handheld bottle and give it a try.  I figured it would be better than to carry a plastic water bottle like I do now.
I went to Dicks and got the blue one on the picture.  I was not 100% convinced.  I went to Sports Authority and I got the pink one.

 Tag on them is the same

But there are not the same.
See: Phone does not fit in the blue one

Phone does fit in the pink one

Means also Waffle Stinger would fit with or without the phone during a half marathon if I don't feel like wearing the belt.  So the blue one is going back to Dicks tomorrow.

I got a 1ok Sunday.  I wanted to go for PR.  It may not happend.  I am sick.   Sinus are still plugged and I have a nasty sore throat that I cannot get rid of.   To add to this the forecast is SUNNY and 90 degrees.  Seriously...this sucks.

Monday, April 16, 2012


First I need to give HUGE congrats to the ladies who were featured on this post here.  They ran Boston today and I am pleased to report they all finished what looked to be a very hard race.  Looking forward to all your race recaps!

The conditions were brutal for the Boston Marathon this year.  They knew what to expect but really how do you prepare for this at the last minute.

When race day comes things can surprise us...crazy weather, sickness, running on a trail instead of road..(that happened to me once), hills when the race website has this "Fast flat course" as their header.

Then there's the things you do expect will be part of the race:

I expect to see these guys somewhere along the course and at the finish line.

Well OK, not Maggie..just wanted to use this cute picture from Easter day!

Most of the time we can expect to get one of these

 If you come race a 5K with me here in Southern California you can expect to see this fast guy  dressed like this; rain or shine:

I don't know maybe it is a SoCal thing...see my first Half Marathon finisher picture, I had to share the spotlight with Magnum PI:

Because I still have not figure out how to race and not have dry heaves, sadly I still expect this to happen at every race:

No, I have no ego that is why I am ok with posting this again.

And if you come to Southern California to run a half marathon with me or a full marathon with me as your cheerleader, you can expect to see The Jester.

He is at all the races. He is there with his colorful outfits and with his signs that his wife makes for him.  You will see him at the start:

on the course:

and at the finish Emz did you see him in Catalina?

He encourages all the runners.  He makes me smile every time I see him.  It is always nice to see him on the course.  Here he is bringing in the LAST runner, who is legally blind,  at the PETCO San Diego half marathon. 

The Jester is not just a colorful runner at the SoCal races.  He is also one of those crazy know the ULTRA know the BADWATER kind.
I found a video of him on Youtube running Badwater 2011:

He is getting ready to go at this again this July and you can follow his journey on his FACEBOOK page called RunJesterRun HERE.

So how about a race in Southern California with moi?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Caro and Terzah!

This morning I drove to beautiful Pasadena to meet one of my blogger friend! 
I met Terzah!
She blogs over at BQby40.

I am so happy we were able to meet in person!
We met at a great Coffee place in Old Town Pasadena. (Thank you Terzah's brother for the suggestion!)

My kind of place, reminded me of Quebec!
They make good AND pretty coffee there.  This was my cup:

Terzah is fantastic!  She is just like I thought she would be.  I knew I would like her and I do.  We stayed at the coffee place for over 2 hours and we talked about everything.  To me it felt like I had known her for a long time!  She is so nice and really interesting.   I sure wish she lived closer! 

I have to say that this blog thing is pretty great.  I think of several of you guys as my friends.  For real.  To meet in person is so nice!  Thank you Terzah for including me in your California weekend!   It was lovely to meet you! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running HERO

April 12 1980.
I was 11 years old.

There a few days I remember really well from my youth, I remember the day John Lennon was shot that same year.  I remember sitting on the kitchen floor and looking at the newspaper after it was delivered.  Back in those days we used to get the paper around dinner time.  I remember when we heard on the radio that Gilles Villeneuve, a French Canadian formula 1 racing driver, died during the qualification for the Belgium Grand Prix.  The four of us were in the car on our way to the mall and my dad burned a red light when they announced that there had been a terrible accident in Zolder.

And then April 12 1980.
That is the day the great and brave Terry Fox started his MARATHON OF HOPE in St-John, Newfoundland, Canada.

I admired him so much as a young girl.  He was the first person I witnessed doing something GREAT.  Something EXTRAORDINARY.  I would read every article in the paper about him.  I wanted to go meet him on the road when he pass through Quebec (sadly Quebec was NOT a highlight on his journey across the country) but my parents said no because I had school. 

As an adult and now as an adult who runs I admire him even more. 
Sometimes when I read blog and people ask who is your running idol or hero.  Lot's of gals say Joan Benoit Samuelson or other Olympians some say Dean Karnazes.  For me there is only one and it is Terry Fox.   Back home he is a National Hero.

April 12 , 1980, he started his journey across my beautiful country.
143 days.
3339 miles.
On September 1st  Cancer put an end to his Marathon of Hope.
June 28, 1981, Terry Fox passed away, exactly 1 month before turning 23 years old.
I remember watching his funeral on TV.  I was heartbroken.

Last Saturday, as I cussed, running up that nasty hill in Hollywood, I thought about him.

Here is a video from ESPN about his story.

April 12, 2012 I got 5 miles on the program. 
5 miles for you Terry Fox!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Boston post

The Boston Marathon is almost here.
Last year I wrote a post in honor of some of the blogger-runner friends that were headed to Boston.  It is here.

I want to continue in this tradition and wish some of the people I follow all the best for this iconic race.  I know some of you are leaving soon so here I go:

Super mom Erin! This fantastic gal has 12 kids.  She is also featured in this month's Runner's World.  Her BQ story here. Well I should say her first BQ.  She managed to do that 3 more times after that !!!  Go Erin!!!

Amanda: You will do great.  I know you will.  Stop worrying... right now.  No I mean it! You did all the work now you need to let go and enjoy your race!  Wishing you 26.2 happy miles!

Miss Zippy
Last year my warrior Boston runner was Beth.  This year it is Amanda.  The Comeback runner.  Amanda: You have all my admiration and I am so happy you made it through your training and that Monday you will be at the starting line in Boston!

A fellow Canadian.  This may be my favorite running picture.  Look at her face.  I want to cross the finish line looking like that just once!  This is the day she got her BQ!  You can read about it here.  Marlene I hope you get to live the FULL Boston experience!  Enjoy it!

Super crazy talented!  Look at these muscles!!!  She has a super interesting section on her blog about how she trains, it is all there in 6 detailed sections.  I predict a sub 3:05 maybe even sub 3:00 for this speedy lady!

I want to wish all of you all the best for the Boston Marathon.  I hope that you will all be smiling as you cross that finish line!  Looking forward to read all the stories you will bring back from Boston!

These come from an interesting article I found online:
26.2 Fun Facts About Marathons

*** For those of you who asked about my last race and the "celebrities"...well I did not see any! Turns out we did not need to be lectured about "Celebrity Etiquette" after all!! :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hollywood Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday I ran the Inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon.
This was Half Marathon #9 for me.
It was my 2nd Inaugural Half Marathon, the first one was RnR Pasadena.
I have to say...Hollywood has a few things to learn from Pasadena.
It was not terrible but it was not GREAT.

First the Expo.
It was only open on Friday and it closed at 7 pm!  People work on Fridays, kids go to school on Fridays.. this is a major pain.  I was so glad that I had paid to have my race packet mailed to me.   I only heard bad things about the Expo; long lines to get bibs and that parking was a nightmare.  I wanted to go and check out the vendors but after reading all the comments on Facebook I decided to skip it and save the $ they were charging for parking.

Race Day.
I got up at 4:15 after sleeping maybe 2 hours.  Sinus infection is pretty bad.  I took a Claritin D, I should have taken 4.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 1 mile from the start so I just walk to get there.   I was expecting to see a bunch of others walking but I only saw 2 other runners and I just followed them.

We had to go up a long steep hill to get to the start.  The start was at Universal Studios.  One good thing is they had REAL bathrooms and the lines were short!

The corals were a MESS.  It was not clear what pace started where and people were confused.  The 1:40 pacer was behind the 2:00 one..or at least it looked like he was.  People holding Starbucks cups were in the 5:00 coral in the front near where I was standing.  It was a mess.  I decided not to go in the back.

They started on time at 6 am.  The mat got messed up before I crossed I am sure some runners tripped on it at some point.

We ran through Universal Studios City Walk, that was pretty cool. I started too fast but that was my plan to I did not try to slow down.  First 5 miles went by pretty fast.  My 5k split was 29:xx.  Started downhill, then up and down again to Hollywood Blvd (Hollywood Walk of Fame).  At mile 5 I saw these 2:

That made me happy.  I decided to toss my gloves and arm sleeves because the sun was up already and I could tell it would get hot.

Then the sun came up and was right in my face and it did get warm really fast.   At mile 6 they ran out of cups at the water stations...NOT GOOD.  What was good is that they used gallons of water not the fire hydrants.  But no cups is not OK.  I had a bottle so I just had them fill it up.  At the mile 9 station there were zero volunteers.  We had to stop and open cases of water gallons and poor the water in.  I was not looking for sports drink but I read they ran out of that as well.  I did pass the gels station and they had plenty but I did not take any.

The course was not 100% flat in that was mostly flat with some incline, what I call California Flat because there is no FLAT here.  At mile 8 I was really struggling with breathing, I was really plugged.   At mile 9 I saw Bill and the kids again and I decided to let go of my belt and keep my bottle and my bag of Honey Stinger.

I was on pace to get a huge PR until mile 10.
I knew the end would be tough.
I did not know it would this hard.
I was HELL.
3 miles of hell that felt like 15.
I cuss the whole time (in French).
The headwind decided to join the party.  STRONG headwind.
I hated every step of it.
And I walked.
And I lost my PR somewhere in that hill.
(Dear PR it is OK we have a date June 2nd, I WILL get you then)

It was really hard.
To face this in the end is difficult on the moral.  Well for me it was.
It kind of broke me and my spirit.
After walking I tried to run and my legs felt so heavy it was very hard.  I had a lot of cramps also in my calves.
At the top of the hill I could see the finish line and there was a short downhill section and I wanted to sprint so bad.  I kept saying out loud "Don't panic, Don't puke"
Well the sprinting part was just in my head because my legs were having no part of that plan.
My family barely missed me crossing so I got not picture of the finish :(

So the finish was not walking and not sprinting but I did not puke on the mat or anywhere else.  I went in dry heave mode for a few minutes and scared of couple of girls but that's it.
I had a lot of pain and cramps in my legs. 
I got this when I crossed the line:
I love this medal.
After the race they had these party bus to get the runners up the last hill back to Universal Studios.  I heard that some people did not get to use them but I did.  I waited 5 minutes and I got on.  It was fun, I had never been on one of those.

Walking back to the car through Universal City Walk.  I was hurting pretty bad.

Of all the 35 races I have done so far the hardest course was this one.  Before that the hardest were the Universal Studio Back lot 5K and the Holiday Half in Pomona.  This one beats those 2.  I think I should have pushed more in the first half of the course and also drink Nuun instead of water.

It would not be a REAL Southern California Race without my favorite runner to see on the course: Ed!    I think have seen him at all 9 of my half marathons!  He runs with his signs and he is the best!

Today I am really sore.  I don't remember being in that much pain after a race before. 
I have yet to put my shoes on to go for a recovery run and it is 4 pm.