Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

I chose last Saturday for my return to running because it was the anniversary of when I started a Couch to 5K program to train for my first race (2011). It felt amazing to run after being off pretty much since summer, even though the reality is that I have to rebuild my running base from the beginning again. As much as my lacing up again is good news, it isn’t all of the news I have to write about today. In my last post I mentioned that I had something to share about an opportunity to make a difference that is tied in with a Spring Race.

Back in mid-October I wrote a blog entry that illustrated how very important it is for people, especially women, to advocate for health care when it comes to matters of the heart. I often share the link on twitter and, a few days after, I received a direct twitter message from Seanna at Running Well. She told me how moved she was by my experience at the hospital and asked me if I would consider being a Run Ambassador for a new running event being held alongside the Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart on June 5, 2016. It is a Run/Walk along the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto. As far as I know this is the only run to ever be held on this particular street. There are 5K and 10K runs as well as a 5K walk. Even better, it’s a family friendly event.
I didn’t even have to think about it.

YES!

RFH_F16_Ambassador_Facebook_1200x1200_v1I didn’t take this decision lightly as I have a tough road ahead when it comes to rebuilding my fitness. There are so many positive reasons to take this on that saying “no” was not an option. This run is for an organization that is close to my heart because I am a survivor and because of my family’s history with heart disease. I would love to have my story inspire more people to take the first step and do something to change their lives. While I hope that I have been able to do that already, I’m always game for other opportunities to help people find their fit side. Of course there is that message that my experiences send about the need for all of us to be proactive in our own health care whether that be with heart disease, diabetes, or any other health challenges we face. Running has been such a big part of my healthier life and being able to share that motivates me to keep moving forward.

I will be running the 10K. My goal is to run strong so I’m starting with a 5K program and then I will jump into a 10K program once my 5K base is solid. With the event being in late Spring it gives ample time to do this well.

It is my hope that people will choose to train alongside me using social media. I would love to have you share your efforts with me too because I find it very inspiring. You will find me on twitter and instagram as @innerpossible plus on DailyMile. I will be posting all of the fit things I am doing to work back up to the 10K distance and using the hashtags #RideforHeart, #CreateSurvivors, and #RunforHeart. You may also want to follow @TheHSF on twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.

If you’ve never run before, seriously consider this race as your first event. Running is a wonderful way to get active and events, such as this one, are fun. If you decide to do this, please send me a note. I would love to offer my support and encouragement. If I can do this, you can too!

Registration for the event opens December 3rd, however, I will be sharing a discount code soon. Stay tuned!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I have never been so happy to have put a year in the rear-view mirror as I have been with 2014. What a year! It started out with broken toes that weren’t quite healed and the roller coaster continued from there with the heart issues, bronchitis verging on pneumonia, and this last few weeks… the bloody flu. On top of that I was still grieving the loss of my Mom and there was quite a bit of anxiety that came to light after the heart procedure. Despite all of this, it was a good year with many firsts including my daughter’s first time at school and joining a gym.

As I have mentioned in years past, I don’t believe in doing the whole New Year’s resolution bit. I came to this conclusion several years ago. I feel that it sets me up for failure and when something I had resolved to do wasn’t realized I would beat myself up emotionally. Instead I like to look at the year as a book consisting of 365 blank pages for me to fill with the things that keep me healthy, happy, and fulfilled.  I prefer to choose milestones and make general plans with no set timelines punctuated with events such as running and camping trips. This year is no different and here are some of the things I’d like to accomplish throughout the year.

I’m committed to  spending less time online, plugged in and on the phone especially with social media. Those of you who follow me here and on twitter may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet since October and lately I’ve been less active on Facebook as well. Yes, I am ignoring you.  Instead of being consumed with social media, I’m spending more time with my children, husband and friends. I have been teaching my four year old little girl how to knit, sew, and cook. Next up… snowshoeing (if we ever get any snow). I will continue to walk back and forth to the school twice a day with the children. I could simply let my son walk his little sister as he is very responsible, but I choose to add the 15K to my fitness every week. I’m fortunate that being a writer allows that freedom and it is a great time to chat with my teenage boy. In the Fall he is off to high school and walking with Mom would just be uncool.

I mentioned in earlier posts that I am rebuilding my running base. I’m still working on that although I’ve been slightly sidelined by the flu. While progress has been slow, I’m still moving forward. My goal race is the Toronto Yonge Street 10K on April 19th. I’m very excited and I’m hoping to make it a personal record for 10K. Of course, I’ll be training smart and coupling that with workouts at the gym. The goal is to run another half marathon too. I’m not sure which one yet but I’m leaning towards the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June or the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the Fall… or both. I would like to do another trail race too. That reminds me, I need to do some running shoe shopping.

I hope to cross a few things off my list this year such as the climbing lesson and belay certification that was put on the back burner when I first broke my toes. It didn’t end up being in the cards for 2014 but perhaps I’ll tackle it in 2015. And… I still want to try zip lining. Did I mention I am terrified of gravity? Boxing is still on my milestone list, as are many other things. What I tackle will depend on time. Our family plans to return to Le P’tit Train du Nord for a cycling and camping trip. Unfortunately between what was going on with me and Bryan’s travel with work, we didn’t make it back to the trail in 2014 but I’d love to revisit the area this year… without the rain.

Over the holidays I had the chance to spend some time with one of my dearest friends, Sandi. It’s hard to believe we’ve been friends for over 25 years (where did the time go?) and the last few years we haven’t been able to see each other as much as we would have liked. The weekend before Christmas we talked about making a point of seeing each other more often. Our boys (and husbands) get along famously plus we have similar interests which is great. We both love cycling so there will likely be some bike rides together in the Spring and Summer. Who knows, maybe I can even talk her into running a race with me or maybe not… lol.

While I still want to lose a bit more weight, I haven’t set an actual number because I’m more about the complete picture… body, mind, and spirit. I haven’t let the scale define me in years and will continue with that mindset. I’m more focused on being active, hydrating properly, and eating healthy. Speaking of food… my goals with nutrition remain the same as in previous years— I will continue to eat foods that are kind to my body in order to keep the side effects of diabetes and heart issues at bay. I appreciate being able to use nutrition and fitness in place of diabetes medications. I don’t diet, I simply eat according to my goals and to ensure I have balanced intake of nutrients. This is important for our whole family. Children, as you know, learn by example.

Eating fresh and local whenever possible is something I strive to continue although it’s nearly impossible at this time of year. In 2014 I started relying on our local farmers’ market and farm stands for produce. I would venture out on Friday and our menu for the week would revolve around what I came home with that afternoon. I plan to continue that throughout 2015 as I found the quality was often better than the grocery store and the produce seemed to last longer before spoiling. It’s a great for the children to learn more about where our food comes from and I like to support our local farms. I’m going to get back into growing sprouts and making my own yogurt. Both are really easy to do and will be good skills to pass onto the children. I have even done both on wilderness camping trips. I also love that this way of eating means avoiding some of the unnecessary things that are added to our food. Sure, it takes a bit more effort but that is nominal in comparison to the benefits.

Hobbies have come to the forefront lately. I’ve been teaching myself to knit plus I’ve started to do needlework and sketching again. I find that activities like this help me reduce stress and give me a way to unwind. Hobbies are much like running or the gym in that regard—being immersed in the task at hand takes the focus off whatever stress there is.

Work-wise, I completed my last client website and redefined my business. I’m still in the process of finishing my third cookbook manuscript. It’s due in March but I’m in good shape with it other than needing to take some more photos. My fourth cookbook proposal is on the table too. I’ll tell you more about that once I sign a publishing contract. I can tell you that it is going to be an amazing project and I am very excited about it. I’m also working on telling the story of my personal journey and, although I feel somewhat vulnerable, look forward to sharing that with my readers. Once again, I’ll be writing some freelance articles for a variety of publications. The outdoorsy project for families and kids that was to launch in 2014 should come to fruition later in the year.

2015 is all about forward momentum. It will be interesting to see how this year unfolds and what adventures my family and I get up to. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy New Year!

Read Full Post »

The new year is well under way and everyone in our family is back to the typical routines; school, work, and play. This morning the house was unusually quiet giving me the perfect opportunity to share my plans for 2014 with you.

It is always tempting with the promise and energy that comes with ringing in a new year to make the typical resolutions but I’ve learned over the years that being goal-oriented throughout the year works so much better for me. My plans are not entirely unlike what they have been in past years and I’ve already alluded to some of them over the last month.

"gotcha, Mom"

“gotcha, Mom”

Tobias will be 13 this year. Egads! I will be Mom to a teenager. It’s so hard for me to believe that the little guy in this photo has grown so quickly. It seems like yesterday that he was drenching me with that water gun. Kaia will turn 4 and she’ll be starting school in the Fall. That went fast too!  I enjoy motherhood immensely and I love passing on wisdom and life skills to my darlings. I am always learning new things from my children too. I believe that being able to learn from the those around me also makes me a good teacher. We’ll be participating in loads of outside stuff with the kids including the usual running, hiking, cycling, and camping.

I’m working towards running the Mississauga Marathon. I am running the half distance in that race as well and my intention is to knock a great deal off last year’s pace (21 minutes to be exact). Then, three weeks later, I will run the 25K at the arduous Sulphur Springs event. 25K will be a new personal distance record for me and my goal is simply to finish with a smile. Of course, there is also the race ambassador role that I have taken on—Digital Champion with CRS for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K. I’m having lots of fun with that and can’t wait until race day on April 13th, 2014. It is wonderful to be involved with such a great group of runners and the support from the other Digital Champions has been incredible.

I’ve started boxing and kick-boxing inspired workouts for cross-training and Bryan suggested that I could use a heavy bag as part of my workouts. I don’t want to be in the basement as the space is uninspiring, to say the least, so he suggested setting up a little training area in our backyard once things dry up in the late Spring. This way Kaia could play in the fresh air while I pound it out. I did a bit of yoga out there last summer and it was wonderful. We’ve also been talking about ropes and tires and other things that could be used outside to add some intensity to our training.

Living a healthy lifestyle which includes being active and eating a whole foods based diet will continue to be a big part of our lives. Being as healthy as we can is important to Bryan and I. We also strive to continue being positive role models for our children. This isn’t just about physical health but about the mind and the spirit too.  We make an effort to unplug the whole family from electronics and spend time together without that sort of distraction. 2014 will be no different in that regard. Speaking of which, we will be camping again this year. Last year we invested in bike-packing equipment and camped along Le P’tit Train du Nord in Quebec. The trip was a bit of an adventure but we learned so much from it and will return that region to explore some more. It will be interesting this year because Kaia will be on a Trail-A-Bike rather than in a child trailer. With that in mind, we will plan shorter days. We are also going to be camping and cycling with our dear friends Sandi and Phil as well as their son Tyrel. Funny I’ve known Sandi for decades and we have lived together but never camped together. We even have a spooky Halloween camping adventure planned.

I will be taking that climbing lesson and belay certification that I had planned for my last birthday. Sadly I had to cancel it because I broke my toes a few weeks before the date. I was much more disappointed than I expected to be. I’m considering a few other activities that I swore I’d never do, including zip lining. Did I mention that I am utterly terrified of gravity? Time to get over that!

From a business perspective, I finally closed GJ Studios and started a new company called Outdoor Adventure Press. The new identity suits the direction I am headed in career wise. I’m currently finishing up the manuscript for my third camping related cookbook after having to extend the project when my Mom passed away. It should hit shelves in early 2015 and I will be happy to share it with the world. The other two books continue to be fairly popular titles in their genre. I’m also launching a new outdoorsy related project that has an emphasis on children and families. This has been in the works for some time but writing the book took more time than anticipated. I will continue my freelance writing for outdoor publications and there will also be a few running related articles as the year progresses.

I’m curious to see what else this year has in store for my family and me. I love the fact that a new year is like a blank book just waiting for the pages to fill and the story to unfold.

Hello 2014!

So, tell me, what are your plans for this year?

Read Full Post »

2013 began with a jolt. On January 2nd, a year ago today, my Mom passed away. She was my closest confident, my best friend, and my strongest supporter. Over the course of the year I would pick up the phone to call her about her grandchildren or to share some of the exciting things that were going on with me. As the phone would start to ring on the other end I would burst into tears and quickly hang-up. It wasn’t surprising as her and I talked practically every day. I was devastated without her in my life but I knew she’d want me to pull up my big girl panties and move forward. After all, that’s what she always did and I learned at a very young age that sometimes we just have to suck it up and get on with life. As time went on the tears made way for smiles about some of the amazing times we shared together.

The previous fall I had taken Mom’s advice and distanced myself from two emotionally draining people who took great pleasure in putting me down. The biggest lesson in this is to not change the loving and giving person that I am to suit someone else’s idea of who they think I should be. I have a saying about how our life is like a garden and friendships are like plants. We have to pull the weeds to make room for the flowers because if we don’t then the garden just doesn’t flourish. I did quite the weeding and with that I became open to new relationships and some great adventures. Creating a chasm of distance when it came to certain relationships meant starting the year free of outside negativity. In hindsight, I am so thankful for my mother’s insight and guidance.  Despite missing my mother more than words can express, the rest of my life was quite positive in 2013 and my year included many wonderful moments.

As a Mom, I proudly watched my children grow and flourish. Tobias switched school boards and felt right at home in his new school community. I started volunteering with his school as well and I will likely become even more involved when Kaia starts school. Tobias is taller than his Dad now and has learned the art of sarcasm. He excelled on the cross country running team and at volleyball. Kaia finally learned to use the potty which was pretty high up on my accomplishment list too. I learned humility and patience during that experience plus Kaia learned that her Mom is much more stubborn than she is. Of course, I could just hear my Mom laughing at the power struggles over the potty. My children reminded me about the simple pleasures in life and through them I understood how Mom was able to always move forward. Children have a way of making you see the world from a different perspective.

I trained for and ran my first half-marathon without injury. Carla, who has become a wonderful friend, ran alongside me and I crossed the finish line smiling. It wasn’t a stunning finishing time but I was so proud of accomplishing 21.1K and I was rather amazed that I actually did it. It meant the world to me that I had such a super support system during training and on race day. Training was full of milestones as well. Running, as you know, continues to be a big part of my life.

One of the things I like to do is give back. In 2013 I organized a virtual 5K race for Team Tyrel. Tyrel is my friend Sandi’s 13 year old son. Her I go way back… decades actually. Tobias is nearly the same age as Tyrel so this hit me hard both as a friend and as a Mom. We have always been there for each other and this time their family needed our support. You see, this brave young man had been on dialysis and was waiting to be put on a transplant list because his kidneys were failing. It was a rough go and it was very stressful as you can imagine. The financial burden was difficult for the family too. So, with some help from the running community, I set up an event and the fundraising began. It was amazing to see runners from all over the world come forward to help. What was really inspiring was people sending in their run photos for Tyrel. People who didn’t run chose to walk or cycle. One lady even did a pilgrimage in Spain. Then there was Kate. She is a runner and nurse from Ottawa. She sent Tyrel the medal from her first marathon with a lovely letter. Amazing! He went on to get his transplant and is on the mend. He’s one of my heroes.

During the organization of the virtual race I went on a small vacation to Quebec where I bike-packed a portion of Le P’tit Train du Nord with Bryan, the kids, and my dear friend Mandi. The ride was scenic and uphill for much of the ride. The area near the Laurentiens was stunning and we even got to see part of the Ironman Mont Tremblant. Talk about inspiring. After returning from the trip I received great news about my health and I was over the moon about it.

My friend Kristin rekindled my love of canning and preserving foods. She invited us over to pick up some peaches and have coffee. I was expecting a small basket of the delectable fruit but I think my friend and I have a different idea about what a small amount is. I spent most of the next few days making jam, canning, and freezing peaches. I discovered that I need a bigger canning pot and was rescued with the last minute loan of one from my sweet neighbour. Did I mention that I love peaches? It’s totally wonderful to have the peaches at this time of year and they are so much yummier than anything from the grocery store. I think I will invest in a mid-sized freezer soon in anticipation for the 2014 crops.

I took up yoga again and was striving to do 20 minutes a day every day. What started as something to loosen up my tight muscles became very cleansing mentally too. Some mornings Kaia would grab her little mat and do the asanas with me. Totally cute. It was great that she wanted to be just like Mommy because it made it easier for me to fit in the sessions.

During the late summer and early fall I participated in a few more races. The Toronto ZooRun 10K was amazing despite the pouring rain and I set a personal record. At Run for the Toad I had some severe calf issues due to low sodium levels. I had to walk that last few kilometres and was disappointed that I could barely walk across the finish line … but the important thing was that I finished. My friend Mandi stayed right by my side and I will never forget that. I did have to walk off the course at another event a few weeks later and that hit me hard. I had the wrong footwear and was worried that I would slip and break my ankle or worse. It was a wise decision given the conditions of the trail. Ironically, about two weeks later, I kicked a five pound hand weight and broke two of the toes on my left foot. Yes, I was being a bit of a dumbbell. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. Sadly, it came with a few setbacks and I missed out on the climbing lessons I had planned for my birthday. It also gave me time to knit scarves for the kids and work on some writing projects.

In November I was contacted by the Canada Running Series, as you can read about in my previous post, to be a race ambassador, also known as a Digital Champion for the 2014 Toronto Yonge Street 10K. I feel quite honoured but I am also excited because it allows me to inspire others. The group of Digital Champions has already shown me so much support and they are an awesome bunch. Just before Christmas my toes finally had healed enough to start running and I was back to 5K a few days before New Year’s Eve. I was a little emotional and shed a few tears of happiness.

2013 was a year for change and growth. I made some wonderful new friends and strengthened many existing relationships. I did things that I never thought I could do. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

What’s in store for 2014? You’ll just have to wait a few days to read what I have in mind for this year.

Read Full Post »

It seems like I haven’t posted in quite some time, much to my surprise. I didn’t realize that it had been so long but I have had an adventurous summer and time to blog has been scarce. So many things have happened since July 16th and here is a little bit about what I’ve been doing with myself…

The Family Adventure

chutes aux iroquois - Labelle, QC

chutes aux iroquois – Labelle, QC

In mid-August, my husband Bryan, the kids, and I embarked on a cycling adventure in the Laurentiens with our dear friend Mandi. We biked with gear trailers from campground to campground. Well, I had my daughter in a child trailer behind me but everyone else towed gear. Around the 120K mark, after two days of cycling in a lot of rain, we decided to switch things up and we camped next to a gorgeous waterfall for the remainder of the trip. Mandi left on schedule via a shuttle back to the start of the trail. Bryan went back to the start with her and then returned to the campground with our Jeep.  We even played on the beach at Chutes aux Iroquois.

The trip was beautiful, despite the rain and we will return to explore the region a little more next year.  I have fond memories of peddling past Mont Tremblant in the downpour and riding along Lac Mercier.  There was one spot, past Tremblant, where there were horses in a field which was dotted with big hay bales. The hills were in the background and the mist was dancing near their rounded tops. It was almost magical in some strange way. If it hadn’t been so rainy I would have loved to have taken some photos. We had some delicious meals at little bistros along the trail. In all, our Quebec adventure was a wonderful one and although it didn’t turn out quite the we had anticipated, we learned a few lessons that will be applied to future bike-packing excursions.

Giving Back

Team Tyrel

Team Tyrel

Bryan and I have friends, Sandi and Phil, who have helped us through so many difficult times including our house fire. I’ve been friends with Sandi for a very long time—since my days at university and before I even met Bryan. Sandi and I have been there for each other over the years but this has been the toughest thing Phil and her have had to deal with. You see, their 13-year old little boy, Tyrel, was in renal failure. This required hemodialysis 3 times a week and being put on a transplant list. He wasn’t on that list long and the transplant happened shortly after we returned from camping in Quebec.  Everything transpired very quickly. Sadly, even though much of the expense is covered in Ontario, there are some things that aren’t and it is starting to mount for the family. These include loss of work, transportation, fuel, modifications to the home and such. Once he is home there are medications that aren’t covered by the family’s prescription benefits. I don’t have the means to help as much as I is needed and I felt helpless. However…

There were a few things I could do. I could be a friend and offer emotional support but I wanted to do more than that. I thought about how I could raise money in a way that people could afford and that would make it interesting for Tyrel—something that could make him smile. Thanks to some inspiration from a fellow runner named Laura Ingalls, who is founder of the Happy Races, I came up with a great idea to host a virtual 5K run/walk!! With Laura’s help I made our event a reality and now runners and walkers all over the globe are helping out. You can find out more at www.racemenu.com/teamtyrel and if you could sign up, that would be great! It’s fun for Tyrel and his family to see runners, from countries around the world, sending in their photos.

Health

In August I went back to the cardiologist, Dr. J., for another set of tests including an echocardiogram. In February 2012 I was diagnosed with LVH or Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (enlargement of the left side of the heart). That has been reversed and the mild aortic stenosis I’ve been dealing with is vastly improved. This just shows the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle. In the words of Dr. J., “Laurie, I’m pleased to tell you that your heart is very happy!” He gave me the go ahead to train for a full-marathon or any other distance as long as I keep it under 50K. Yay!

Training & Fitness

While I’ve kept my fitness up, I haven’t been training as hard as I probably needed to. That’s okay; I’m on track for my next race that takes place later this month. It’s the 10K ZooRun in Toronto and I’m participating with friends so it will be great fun. In October I’m also running in a 50K relay named Run for the Toad, the 5K Colours of Hope, and finally 5K at Horror Hill. That will be it for races until the New Year. I think.

Last year at this time I was extremely excited because I was anticipating training for my first half marathon. I’m going to run the same half marathon in 2014 but my big goal race for next year is the Sulphur Springs 25K trail run. I loved running in that area during training for the TREAD relay in 2012 so it will be a beautiful place to participate in an event.

I’m tossing around the idea of taking my first climbing lesson and becoming certified to belay at the Guelph Grotto. Bryan and I have also been discussing the possibility of joining a local boxing gym. Both would be quite fun although I might have to get over my extreme and irrational fear of gravity if I am to even consider climbing.

Career

I finally ditched the business name GJ Studios. I’ve never been keen on the name since it was first registered in the nineties. It was time for a change and one that suited the direction in which I’ve been working. My company is now named Outdoor Adventure Press and I couldn’t be happier with this new business identity. The new brand will better reflect the adventure related publications, camping cookbooks, and my other freelance writing projects. It’s exciting and there are a few new things in the works.

I’m still working on that third manuscript and having great fun with it. The book should be complete by the New Year and then I’ll embark on the tedious task of the final round of editing. I’ve been having issues getting great photos for the work because it always seems to rain when I am cooking at camp.

The Big Basket of Peaches

Remind me next time my darling friend, Kristin, sends out an open invitation to come over with a basket and take home some peaches, that it will be a crap-load of peaches! I had expected the typical quart basket worth of yummy deliciousness. It was practically a bushel! I happily took her up on the offer and spent an enjoyable morning in her kitchen before I went home to embark on the process of preserving what she had given me. I ended up with several large Ziplocs of frozen peach slices, three 1L jars of canned peach slices, four 500ml jars of freezer jam, and days of heavenly fresh peach eating. I had never canned peaches before so it was a learning experience. It was also the first time I had ever made freezer jam. Kristin canned a considerable amount and I was quite inspired by her dedication to the project. Thanks Kristin!!

So, that is where life has taken me since I last wrote on my little blog.

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Read Full Post »

it wasn't a finish line

it wasn’t a finish line after all

With all that was going on in my life I needed to take some time for myself especially after losing my Mom. I tend to retreat a little when grief strikes but life moves forward whether we want it to or not. And it is moving forward around here. With that I figured it was time to return to blogging.

Of course, this time of year always brings about lots of planning. There was a time when the only planning was for wilderness camping trips but now there is so much more. I’ll be doing my usual camping, canoeing and hiking but this year we are venturing out on a 9-day bike-packing adventure in Quebec that will cover almost 460K. There are also lots of running events in my future and three of those cover consecutive weekends. Part of me wonders what I was thinking but I am committed enough to conquer these goals and have fun at the same time.

Here is this year’s race schedule…

Happy 5K (5K Run)
Brantford, Ontario
March 17, 2103
Status: Registered

The Ford Race to End Diabetes (5K Run)
Oakville, Ontario
April 27, 2103
Status: Registered

Mississauga Marathon (Half Marathon)
Mississauga, Ontario
May 5, 2013
Status: Registered

TREAD 6 Hour Trail Run Relay (4.2K per loop)
Mansfield, Ontario
May 12, 2013
Status: Registered

Brantford Grand Trail Run (10K Run)
Brantford, Ontario
July 27, 2013
Status: Leaning towards registration

Oasis ZooRun (10K Run)
Scarborough, Ontario
September 21, 2013
Status: Registered

Run for the Toad 50K Relay (12.5K loop)
Paris, Ontario
October 5, 2013
Status: Registered

Colours of Hope (5K Fun)
Hamilton, Ontario
October 6, 2013
Status: Waiting for Registration to Open

Some of these events are about fun and others are about achieving new milestones.

It’s going to be a year full of adventure… so bring it on!

Read Full Post »

This year was a tumultuous one that was full of contrasts.

2012 was a time to re-evaluate friendships and remove negative influences from my life. We had friends whose focus became solidly rooted in materialism and competitiveness at every turn, to the point where what is really important was left to the wayside. Bryan and I felt it best for our family to distance ourselves entirely. We found that stepping back also opened up space for new and wonderful connections to be forged with other people who are on the same page we are—people who embrace that the most important things in life can’t be purchased. Time and love are at the top of that list.

On the subject of time and love… there has been sadness this year. There is never enough time to spend with the ones we love. My brother passed away in February. He wasn’t exactly a big part of my life, but I still miss and love him. Around the same time I had a serious heath scare and that brought up a lot of memories of my Dad’s battle with heart disease. Then the worst of 2012, for me, was a mere week ago… on Christmas Eve. My Mom was admitted to hospital and we were called to say goodbye. She is still hanging on and while the outlook is not very favorable, I still hold onto hope. Mom is, by leaps and bounds, the strongest and most determined person I know.

Being Scottish, Hogmanay (New Years) has always been a big deal for Mom. She always told us stories of first footing, breaking shortbread, and other celebratory tales from her homeland. On this New Years Eve I am thinking of her while reflecting on the good that came this past year. It’s a year that I am thankful is coming to a close, yet it also had some really terrific moments. Mom always reminds me to focus on what is positive in life so here we go…

Tobias turned 11. He has come into a sarcastic sense of wit that is typical of his age group and very much like his Dad. He is very charitable and asked me for extra snacks in his school lunch because there are a few in his class that don’t get enough to eat. Some days you could find him running to catch the neighbor’s little dog that escapes under their fence and onto the road. Speaking of running, he ran his first races this year. He ran his first 5K and helped me raise money for the JDRF. The next day he ran another 5K race with his schoolmates. Despite not having a lot of training he did extremely well on a trail relay in May. He placed first in his age group at a 10K event in October. Even if he hadn’t won a medal, I am so very proud of him.

Kaia turned 2. Ah, the trials and tribulations of being the Mommy of a toddler. Yet, I find her inquisitive thirst for learning contagious. She keeps big brother on his toes and drives him a little bit batty. She is smart and precocious and simply adorable. She has Daddy and the Grandparents wrapped around her little finger. We bought her a first trike and she adored going for bike rides on it. Kaia also spent a lot of time in a bike trailer going on rides around the local trails. She loved camping this summer and wanted to help with everything.

I finally bought a new bike and learned how to use the gears on it. I rode up hills that normally would have me hopping off halfway up. We went cycling several times a week as a family and it was wonderful.

I ran my first 5K race in April and received and award for collecting over $1500 in donations for the JDRF. My friends came and ran with me. It wasn’t a finish line but a starting line and I went on to complete an arduous trail relay a month later. I even ran a few times when we were on a family vacation in Algonquin Provincial Park. This fall I ran my first 10K race—a nighttime trail event in mid-October. I was last but I did it and was very proud of that. I even booked my first half-marathon which I will run in 2013. It has been amazing—who knew I’d adore running.

We went camping, as we do most summers. As usual, Bryan brought the rain. It actually came down so hard on the way into the Barron Canyon area that we turned around and drove back to the permit office to book a car-camping site. Although the wilderness portion of our trip was changed, we had a blast hanging out at camp together in the rain. The weather even let up long enough that we sat on our private little beach to watch the Perseids.

I decided to pursue writing a third cookbook. After being rejected and having a good cry, I picked myself up and got on with things. I approached another publisher and a deal was struck. I’m still working on the manuscript and it will go to the publisher on April 1, 2013.

At midnight we welcome in 2013. I will leave the negative side of 2012 behind and I won’t be making any resolutions again this year. For me the New Year is a book consisting entirely of blank pages that I will fill as the year progresses. Resolutions, I feel, set one up for failure. Sometimes this is because the goal seems too big or the timeframe isn’t realistic.

So instead, here is my outlook for 2013.

My darling children will have many wonderful moments—I will embrace that as they are the light that gets me through the rough stuff. Bryan and I will continue on our journey of wellness which includes being active and taking on new adventures. Part of this will be a 460 km journey on a cycling path in Quebec called Le P’tit Train du Nord. I will move closer toward my goal weight and likely achieve that in mid-2013. I will be training with a great coach and then completing my first half marathon in May. Some friends and my darling, supportive husband are running in that event as well. I am very excited. The week after the half marathon I’m running the TREAD trail relay with some of the same friends that where there with us last year. Good thing we are doing it for the simple fun of it. There will be Trek or Treat again in October and perhaps some other races as time permits. Of course, I’ll be camping and such too. Who knows what else I will get up to. I’ll have to get back to you on that. 🙂

With this I leave you until next year, my dear readers…

May you look back on all the positive things that 2012 has brought you and may 2013 bring you peace, happiness, and health.

Happy New Year!

(B)e Positive!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: