Sunday, December 30, 2012


Do you ever write reviews on the website of the products you buy?
Do you read the reviews before you buy something?
Do you ever wonder if someone working for the company actually reads them?

I rarely write reviews myself but I do read reviews before buying something new.
I usually look for the ones that have 1 or 2 stars not the ones who only say "this is the best thing ever" with no reason as to why it is.

I know that everyone has different taste and reviews are not always useful but when I shop for running apparel I look for reviews posted by women who are tall.  At 5'11" I am on the taller end of the spectrum and some clothes are made way too short for me. 

For the answer to "Is someone working at those companies reading the comments?"...well I cannot say for all the companies but I can say that at LULULEMON someone DOES read them.

I don't know if some of you remember this but my brother got me a really nice Lululemon shirt.  It was my first piece of clothing from that store.  I was so impressed that he actually went to the store to get this for me and that it was the right size!  This was the first time he got me something to wear since I had lost all the weight I lost, the first gift that had to do with running also.  I loved the shirt! I was the perfect color and it was really pretty.  Also it is made long and for me that is a huge +.

I hand washed it (no dryer) and waited for cooler days to wear it.  Finally the weather got "normal" around here for this time of year and I wore my new top.

I hand washed it again.
Well that was it for the shirt. 
Washed twice and 1 run and this is what it looked like after

I was so disappointed.  That is a pretty expensive shirt to be worn just once!  I did not want to tell my brother about it, this was a special gift that meant a lot to me.

I decided to post a review on the Lululemon website.  My reason was to help/warn others of what could happen with these shirts.   For sure don't put in the washing machine!  (On the tag it said it was OK to wash in the machine).  It was a gift and when I got it I told my brother it fitted perfect and no need to keep the receipt.  I had also remove the tag before wearing it for a run because their tags are really long and I knew it would bother me.  My review was just explaining the facts like I just did here but much shorter of course and I attached the picture showing the holes.  I wanted to share because this is something I would like to know before spending my money on this pretty but also expensive shirt.  I did not think I would get any feedback from Lululemon, I did not ask for an explanation of anything else.

Well I got a response the next day from their A+ customer services called Guest Education Centre.    They offered to help me with this by sending me a return form for the item and have the value of the shirt put onto a gift card so I can get something else I like.  I could not believe this.  How great is that?  Made my day, that is for sure.  I worked in retails for 6 yrs when I was in school and I can appreciate good customer service.  Lululemon has showed me outstanding customer services!  Yes their products are more expensive then other brands but to know that they offer good care to their customers counts in my book.  

So I wanted to share this positive experience with you.

***Lululemon did not ask me to write this post.  My blog is not mentionned in my review so they did not know about it before contacting me.***

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

I hope you all had a great Christmas.
If you read my last posts post you already know that I was not feeling the Holiday Joy this year but for my kids I did my ultra best.

They had a great Christmas.   I always start the Christmas shopping early and so I had most of their presents bought before we got the bad news about Bill's job.  The boys were spoiled by my parents and Bill's dad.  We are healthy, just that is a big gift.

Duke Duke Duke!!!
Happy boys!  Thank you Grandpa!
 Jonathan said he would marry the box !!

I have a hard time to just relax and not worry even during the Holidays.  I actually worry more, if that is possible, because not much is happening in the job search during the Holiday break.

I have been running every day.  We have the perfect weather right now.  Sunny and cool.  It is so nice!  I hope this will last a long time!

Look what came to visit my backyard:  A hawk!

Christmas was complete with the annual.... "Now what do you want for your birthday?" question from my mom....  My birthday is in 2 weeks from today.  I used to hate having my birthday so soon after the Holidays because well,  nobody cares.  Everyone is tired of gifts and celebrations by then.  For a kid it matters of course but now I don't really care..this year a new job would be nice for my birthday!!! :)

Yesterday I got a great news!  I won a $125 gift card giveaway to Road Runner Sports from Just a Colorado Gal!  I am going to get new shoes!  

***I am watching ROOTS as a type this.  Have you ever seen it?  I remember when it was on TV for the first time.  I was just 8 and my parents would not let me watch it.   On Christmas Eve there was a ROOTS marathon on TV and I taped it all.  ROOTS was the first book I read in English.  I am watching the TV series for the first time.  Of course I know the history and what happened during that time but still makes me angry and sad to watch it.   The first 3 hours are hard to watch.  I can only imagine how hard it was for the actors to play these roles...ALL of them....***

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two Thousand and Twelve

The year review post.
I ran 16 races this year:
  • 3 5K
  • 5 10K
  • 8 Half Marathons
 2012 Races (16):
01-15-12 13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Recap
02-05-12 Surf City Half Marathon **Completed Beach Cities Challenge Race Recap
02-19-12 Rock N Roll Pasadena Half Marathon Race Recap
03-03-12 Chino Dairy Ayre 5K **PR Race Recap
03-24-12 Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K Race Recap
04-07-12 Hollywood Half Marathon Race Recap
04-22-12 Run Through Redlands 10K Race Recap
05-06-12 PCRF Cinco de Mayo 10K Race Recap
06-02-12 Fontana Days Run Half Marathon *** PR Race Recap
07-28-12 Cypress 10 K Race Recap
08-04-12 Pride of the Valley Race Recap
09-01-12 80' Awesome 10K run Race Recap
10-07-12 Long Beach Half Marathon Race Recap
10-30-12 Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Recap
11-1-12 Mission Inn 10k Race Recap
12-08-12 Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap
- Ok so best and worst.
I got injured.   Adductor tendinitis.  It happened in June and it is not 100% healed yet.  I did PT and it got better...but I was not good at resting and keeping up with my exercises at home and this is why I am still not 100% OK.  This meant no speedwork and reducing the mileage and showing up at races not ready.

Because of family situation I had to skip on my dream race for this year: Big Sur.  My husband lost his job in September and it was not a good time for us to go to Big Sur.  Next year I hope.

- The worst race:
It was the 80s Awesome Race 10K run.  It was the worst race I have ever been a part of.   It was poorly organized, everything went wrong,  very late start, it was extremely hot, no water on the course or at the finish line, Race Director not in control of his event, it was a huge mess.  I will not run any event from this company (superhero event) in the future.  I ran another one of their race this year and they had ran out of cups at aid stations and for the last few miles they had no cups and no volunteers...I thought they would learn from this event but no.

- Worst Race Picture:

Pasadena RnR Half Marathon...I had a few issues at the end....


I got a couple PR this year, twice for the half marathon..went under 2:20 for the first time in June.  I also got a 5K PR  with 27:14.

I did not PR at any of the 10K races.  I am still chasing a sub 1 hour time for that distance.

I completed the Beach Cities Challenge and 2 RnR races in 2012 and got 2 huge medals

-Best Race

My favorite race was Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon.  This was an inaugural race and they did everything right.  The course was great.  It was well organized.  The medal and shirt were nice.  I loved it.  Oh and I got a PR that day.
- Best Running Picture
That is EASY
 That brings me to THE BEST running event of my 2012:
April 24: I got the best email.....
Congratulations you are a member of team AfterNUUN Delight for Hood to Coast 2012!
I was so happy!  I could not believe it.  I read the email a few times to make was for real...I was going to be a part of this crazy adventure.
August 22nd..I left for Seattle.  This was the first time I left my kids since they were born.  That is 8.5 yrs.  That is a long time.
Hood to Coast was THE best running experience of my life.  I feel so lucky to have been there and to have met so many fantastic people. 

 I had the best team: team night van 1
Thank you NUUN for making my 2012 magical!
I met some pretty fantastic people this year:
Finally this happened: My Arizona friend came to California!!!!

 and I had a lucky layover in Arizona on my way home from HTC and she came to see me at the her!
 I also had an awesome coffee date in Pasadena with my good pal Terzah.
I met this fabulous gals at the Disney Half Marathon Expo
I also met Michael that day!
I finally met Sandy who lives in my town!
Also in the best section..............
I went back home to Quebec this summer
The nice thing about writing these kind of posts is that I see that the best portion is longer than the worst one.  The end of 2012 has/is not easy but I did have really amazing moments during the year and I am thankful for all of them.
Thank you for being a part of my journey, for reading, for your support and comments and for your friendship.
Merry Christmas!
Joyeux Noel!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spirit of the Holiday

I am not in a Jolly Holiday Spirit this year.
Yes I decorated the house.
And I put on a tree.

That should do it..but it does not.  It works for the kids so that is a really good thing.  I did it all for them.  Me I am in a funk...I was already in it before Friday because I had hope that our family situation with Bill's job would be in a better more hopeful place by Christmas.  We are getting close to the 3 months mark.  I worry a lot.  The Holidays are here.  It is now.   People are busy with planning, shopping, parties and they are not busy with hiring.  So things are now dragging....He has a few things in the works but the next steps will not be until after Christmas. It is the waiting game.  I hate it.  Wondering if the next step will come and when.   But I think about all those families in CT who are going through hell right now and I know I cannot complain.   I don't complain...but I worry.   One of the possibilities that are in the works is out of state in a really small town called Sparks Nevada....I looked it up.  I don't want to live there.  Bill went there last week for an interview.  Now we wait.  He does not want to move there either.   I worry....if he gets it...should we take it...and risk being unhappy...should we pass and risk not finding anything else in the near is a gamble either way and I am not a risk taker... 
Thank God for running.  I have taken more rest days lately to try to let my groin heal.  FOR REAL.  I have not gone over 5 miles since the last race.
I need to get back on a training plan soon because I have 2 half marathons in February.
This came in the mail and made me happy
And I saw the official pictures from the Holiday race and I love them!  Will has the best one! (middle)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I was supposed to post the winners of my giveaway yesterday but it did not seem right to do that kind of post yesterday.

Still does not feel right today but I guess I have to post the winners...

I have to say that like everyone I was so heartbroken by what happened in Newtown.  I am so sad for the families of all these little kids..and the grown-ups who lost their lives in such violence.  I cannot imagine their pain.  What a sad scary place this world can be at times.  To think that women cannot be safe running a few miles in the morning, that it is not safe to go see a movie with your friends or to be 5 yrs old and go to your kindergarten class on a Friday morning....

I know there's good.  I know there's more good than evil.  I know that.  

OK so the winners are:

(Chosen by don't have the pictures because I reached my limit on blogger...again and I did not upload them somewhere else sorry)

1. Amanda from Run to the Finish.  You get to pick red or green first.

2. Elizabeth from Runnng for Bling!

Congrats to both of you!

Please email me !


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap

Sunday was my last race of 2012.
This was my 16th race of the year and that is without counting Hood to Coast.  I did not realized I had done so many this year.

This race is like Long Beach, a weekend race.  We have the kids race on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday.

I love Run Racing events.  Super well organized, FREE kids race with bibs and medals.  REALLY nice medals!

We had to be at Will's soccer game at 11:15 so I made the kids run in the first wave with the bigger kids.  I told them to just line up at the very back and go.  There were other smaller kids in that wave running with their siblings so it was no big deal.

Kids did great! It was a mile run.  Jonathan came in first beating big brother in 9:04!


Starting at the back of the wave!


When the MC said "here comes a Santa Hat" I did not expect to see this little guy!! He beat a bunch of older kids and he started dead last!!!


He has side ache....poor Will.



Sunday was my turn.
It was a cool the high 40s at the start with the sun out,  no complain.
I was not prepared for this one,  I did not put the miles to be ready and I was very tired.
I just wanted to run and participate and not go over 2:30.
I had acid reflux before the start...that is always bad news...
This course is not easy.  It is very HILLY.
I knew I would walk part of it and that is OK.

At the start I saw my friend Sandy who blogs here

I did not do my homework and did not notice in the emails that the course changed a little.  That meant seeing Bill 2 miles later than last year and then just at the finish line.  I thought the changes made the course even harder.

The race:  Well I had no plan other than LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT for 13 miles the best I could that day.  I tried to "bank" time on the flat and down parts.  It was mostly hills though....and some were just a killer.

Mile 4 something exiting the race track.  Will came running to catch my gloves and arm warmers!

2012 12 09_0010_edited-1.JPG2012 12 09_0012_edited-1.JPG

I felt tired during the race but I was happy to be there.  I was fun to see the people in festive outfits.

I had not done any double digit run since my last half and when I hit mile 10 I had to dig deep.

I started to get dry heaves at 11.5.  Merry Christmas to me.  It was not the worst I had so I was able to run after a little walk break.  I knew I would get them again after I finish and I did....those just suck...they hurt, they are embarrassing, they suck.

Getting to the finish line, Will ran for a high 5!

2012 12 09_0022_edited-1.JPG

Pretty snowflake medal!

2012 12 09_0040.JPG

So I finished.
And I finished under 2:30.
Not great but it is OK.

I have ran 3 half marathons this fall.  All while I was still recovering from a groin injury.
Running post or during injury is a lesson of humility for sure.
In June I ran my PR Half Marathon in 2:19:xx.  I got injured that day.
This fall my times were much slower: 2:33, 2:25 and 2:27.   It is frustrating on paper to see this but it is what it is.  It could be worst.  I could have had 3 DNF or I will take these 3 slower times and count my blessings.

After Sunday's race I felt so tired and like I had been hit by a truck.   Time to rest I think.
I rested Monday and Tuesday and today I went for 3 miles.

2012 race calendar is closed! I will do a year recap post soon.

Did you enter my Holiday Giveaway?
See previous post for that!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Before posting my last race recap of 2012 I have a Milestones Sports Jewelry and Apparel  Giveaway for you!

Milestones Sports Jewelry offers a huge selection of jewelry and apparel for the runners and triathletes, perfect place to visit for the Holiday shopping !

Melody, the CEO of Milestones Sports Jewelry, is once again very generous  and is offering not 1 but 2 BEAUTIFUL CHRITSMAS ORNAMENTS to my followers!  One green and one red ornaments to win!

Right now Milestones Jewely has huge promotion on Facebook and Twitter : "The 12 Days of Christmas". Today is the 6th day of the promotion so you still have plenty of time to participate. All you  have to do is Like Milestones Jewelry on Facebook and/or make a post on FB and/ or Twitter about the product of the day.  You can get an entry for each step you do. 

Also Milestones is offering a 10% discount code for my followers that you can start using now: CANADIAN RUNNER.

How you can win:

Mandatory: please leave a comment for each

1. Be a follower of this blog. 1 entry
2. Like Milestones Jewelry on Facebook here : 1 entry
3. Share with Facebook or Twitter or your blog. 1 entry

Bonus entry for each of these step: please leave a comment

1. Follow Milestones Jewelry on Twitter here 1 entry
2. Follow me on twitter here 1 entry
3. Like my Facebook page here for 2 extra chances

You have until Friday to enter!
Winners will be choosen with

Good luck!

*** I was not paid for this post.  I will not receive any money for the use of the coupon CANADIAN RUNNER.  I did not receive any item to review for this post.***


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When it pours...

Probably not going to be the most upbeat I apologize....
So if you read my posts you know my husband lost his job in September and I have been pretty stressed out and worried because of this.

I am exhausted..I am ready for good news.....
Well I am not getting that this week....

First: PF is back...what PF?  Peter Fonda? No....Peter Faccillini? No again...
And of course it is race week.  To make it just perfect.

I am already not well prepared.  I am tired.  I have not been doing the long runs I should have done.  Not one in the double digit since RnR Los Angeles.  My groin is still bothering me and that is why I have kept the mileage lower.

The course is not easy.  It is hilly.  But I liked that race last year and I am looking forward to running it again.  I remember telling Bill that I would probably do terrible and I ended up with a PR.   Now I am pretty sure I will not PR this Sunday but that is OK.

Today the bad news continued....I had a dentist appointment for a CLEANING..that was supposed to take 40 minutes max....
So I was in the dentist's chair for almost 4 hours.....
4 freaking hours....
Turns out my x-rays showed 3 broken teeth.  All at the very back of my mouth. (I have all 32 of my teeth) and 2 of them next to each other.  Dentist, who is so so nice, told me that those 2 HAD to be fixed.  I thought it meant to fix the filling I already had but when the $$ lady came in to explain the choices and the cost she said I needed CROWNS. 
CROWNS are over $600 a piece expensive.... I told the dentist I would have to wait and I asked how long I had before it got really bad and she said days....
So not a good time to have a $1200 dentist bill right now...
So I did what all normal adult would do.  I cried.  At the Dentist.  Yep.
And I got 2 crowns and that is SO fun....
Aouchy..I am in a lot of  pain now...and because of my awesome stomach I cannot take Motrin the help with that.

When it rains, it is so true.

On the brighter side..I did find some Holiday Socks for my Half Marathon...


What do you do when you wear non running socks for a special you double on the socks? Do you cut the feet part of these and wear your usual running socks?  Those are thin and I am afraid I will end up with nice blisters...

Also on the brighter side...we also went to see THE MAN in the red suit.
No Santa took his time and he read everything that was on the list; LEGO, LEGO and more LEGO.



8 yrs in a row going to the same one....well I mean the REAL one of course.
This is where he hangs out in case you need to see him


And this is Will looking at the beautiful tree we have at our mall:



And I leave you with these pictures taken at last Saturday soccer game because after this crappy day it made me smile to find them on my camera when I uploaded the pictures earlier.