Liv to run

Lots of random ranting, whining, and attempts at being humourous as I run, run, run in pursuit of higher mileage and better races.

Friday, July 28, 2006


So the trail run didn't exactly happen, by virtue of me becoming violently ill for all of Saturday. Have I ever mentioned that I hate viruses? I probably have. And I do. It was soooo awful, but mercifully short.

There has been some redemption this week - a lovely nighttime 5-miler, and a gruelling 3 mile tempo run today in the nasty nasty heat. Blaaaaaaah. I wish humidity would die.

Ah well, we must soldier on. I apologize for not visiting everyone's blogs much these days - I just don't have time, and I miss you all. Booo hooo hoo hoooo! But I will catch up in the future, I haven't forgotten about you!!! Much love, and run on.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stroke my ego, thaaaaaaat's right....

Tonight I chatted with my buddy the security guard for the first time in a long while (it's been many a week since I worked a Friday night), and do you know what he asked me? A woman's favourite question. "Hey, did you lose weight?"

Hell, yes, I did - 11 pounds and counting - and thank you thank you thank you my most favouritest security guard ever for noticing! My vanity adores you.

Okay, it's not just about vanity - it's really about health. I feel so much fitter, stronger - dare I say it, maybe even faster, since losing the wintertime pudge. And that six-pack? I'm digging it out, slowly but surely - and no, before you even make the joke, not the beer kind. This is the real thing, baby :)

All my newfound lightness (okay, fitness) will be needed tomorrow if I do the run I am hoping for - 10km on trails, in the wilds of Mississauga. I will make like the deer (of which I have seen several in those parts!), because I will have to keep up with Michael. Well, let's be realistic - he will have to slow down for me :)

Michael doesn't actually know about this plan of mine yet. Ah, ignorance is bliss. But that's okay - I'm going ALL THE WAY to Mississauga to keep him company. He can be persuaded. Guilted. Whatever. We've walked the trails on UTM campus a couple of times now, and they are so lovely, I am just dying to run them. The city is so nasty these days, with the heat and all, it would be wonderful to get off the toads LOL I just realized my typo but I had to leave that it's too funny. I mean roads of course, roads... I don't make a ribbit habit of running on toads ;)

So here's hoping it works out. Happy running!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Special delivery

Running is running - and it makes me happy even if I'm mindlessly looping a track. Still, it's nice to have somewhere particular in mind when you set out - a run with a goal is definitely the best kind. But be careful what you wish for. Because today, my dear runners, I boldy went where few have gone before: on a run. To the vet. With a vial of poo in my pocket.

Don't look again, you read that right. Perhaps I had better explain!

One of the joys of having a dog is having him get sick, which inevitably happens from time to time. Quincy, the canine in question, visited the vet yesterday with my mum, coming home with $125 worth of medication and an empty sterile vial. What to put in it? You guessed it.

Mum did the really dirty work (sample collection... eeew!), but SOMEONE had to be responsible for turning in the foul specimen. And SOMEONE just happened to want to go for a run today. SOMEONE's evil, lazy brother put two and two together - and thus yours truly became a messenger of stool.

Really, in practice, it wasn't so bad - the sample was hermetically sealed, and I put it in a brand new ziploc for good measure. And in my torso pack it travelled, from point A to B. The heroic delivery was made. The vet's aides probably got a good laugh.

I had a great run - an easy four miles in the rain. It felt great after all the heat we've been getting lately. It felt good to run AND be useful.

All the same, I'm going to wash out that torso pack before I put anything edible in it again. You know. Just for good measure.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Where have all the bloggers gone?

PSBowe aka Bella and Jenn aka Pinaypower, why have you disappeared? Come back, come back to bloggerland!

I'd rather run there

Or bike. Or hell, even swim. I'd rather do anything but that which I did today... drive!

Okay, to be fair, I like driving itself. I really don't mind it. Up at my cottage, where the roads are clear and I can cruise the highway for miles? No problemo.

But put me in a big honkin' minivan (my family's one and only car) in the middle of Toronto traffic, and my legs start to turn into jelly. Make me find a parking spot, and parallel park in the midst of crazy downtown, and you might as well just shoot me now, it would be less painful.

Despite the near heart attack, I did manage to do all of the above today without causing bodily harm to myself, anyone else, or any vehicles, but it wasn't pretty. It did involve being coached into a parking spot by a friendly guy standing by. Good thing I was wearing a cute dress. I gotta play up the ditz when I'm driving. It's the only way I get away with being on the road.

But I decided, as I turned safely into my driveway and heaved a huge sigh of relief, that while I know driving in traffic is a necessary skill and I need to learn to deal with it, I would really rather just run to wherever I need to go. If I could do that, my life would be so much more productive: gotta commute? Run!

Too bad there are such things as insurmountable distances and heavy objects to carry. Otherwise, I'd be all over this plan.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Garmin is broken! She's dying! She needs help!

I don't understand what on earth could have happened to her - she worked beautifully during the race, dutifully recording my (amazing!) splits, and ended up clocking 3.14 miles for a 5k race - I was totally impressed with her accuracy.

And then... and then... as I blogged later that night, I turned her on to share my wonderful split times with all of you - and the "mode" button would not work! I pressed it - nothing. I pressed harder - still nothing. I turned her off and on again. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Other than that, however, she seemed to be working fine, so yesterday I took her out for a run. I plotted out a mile-long loop, and ran it five times (a little boring, but it was after dark, so I thought I had better be a responsible little girl and not stray too far from home). Miles 1 & 2? No problemo. Mile 3 - she was starting the counting backwards thing. Arg! I stopped and started the timer, which always worked before, but apparently she was in quite the mood, and told me I ran mile 3 in 15 min. I'm sorry, hun, I'm slow, but I'm not THAT slow.

After that it was all over - I'm really glad I recorded the loop, and knew how far I was going, because as far as Garmin is concerned I ran about 3.08 miles or some such thing. And I know, I know we shouldn't rely on technology, but dammit! I love my Garmin running - I love knowing my splits and my pace and my distance and my intervals and all that wonderful information. I'm a little obsessive about these things when it comes to running. It's nerdy, but it's true.

I have emailed tech support at Garmin, but no one has responded to me yet. *sigh*. I hope they can fix her, I really hope so, or I am going to be one unhappy camper - with a big hole in her wallet that is no longer justified.

Has this ever happened to any of you before? What did you do????

Friday, July 14, 2006

He can't be beaten, except by violence

Sorry to disappoint, ladies, but the boy remains undefeated - at least by me. However, after we had both (separately!) crossed the finish line, I firmly planted my foot on his posterior, thus effectively, as promised, "kicking Michael's ass".

The day began inauspiciously for me, as I woke up in the middle of the "night" (2pm, for us shiftworkers) to a screaming Charley horse in my right calf. I have NO idea how it could have happened - I have been exercising moderately - and that's a generous statement - and I consumed plenty of water last night, as well as several salty foods. Really, I'm at a loss - but it happened nonetheless, there was no denying it. Ouchie ouch ouch!

Next, there were bus issues: we were being shuttled from Union station to the start of the race, as the area cannot support heavy traffic. The buses, however, got themselves mired in their own downtown Toronto mayhem, and it was 6:40 by the time we finally got to board one - race start time 7pm, and us with our numbers still to pick up! I was pretty antsy, but the race staff on board assured us that the gun would wait, if need be. In the end, the race was pushed back to 7:10, Michael and I dashed around pinning on our numbers, collecting our timing chips, and taking a lightning-fast pee break - then bam! with barely a moment to gather my thoughts, we were off!

It was hot and muggy, the air was putrid, and we had fabulous views of Toronto's waterfront smokestacks. Charming, altogether. But the day got decidedly better from there. I went out strong, managing the first kilometer in 5:10 - phew, smoking! I tried to keep it up, but had to settle into a slightly slower rhythm before long in order to avoid complete meltdown. No ambulance for me - I had checked out the paramedics staffing the race, and sad to say, they were not up to par. Normally, I would be totally okay with being carted off by a hot paramedic. I am all over them. But alas, they were very plain, and I was forced to run my race to the end :)

I did nearly lose it in the fourth km - always the hardest one for me, as you are so close to needing that final kick, but not close enough to believe it. By the time the finish line finally drew into sight, I didn't have much left. My legs could probably have picked it up a notch, but my stomach was twisted in knots. It's always the thing that holds me back! Grrr. But I have my priorities clearly defined: giving up a few seconds on a race time is, in my books, well worth saving the nastiness and embarrassment of hurling my lunch all over the finish line. Still, I cruised in steadily, and after a bit of a cooldown was able to muster up appearances enough to look appropriately post-race glamorous (blogger, why don't you let me post photos? grrr...)

The results? Sorry everyone, I know you're disappointed, but there will be no naked dancing in the rain. Yet there is plenty of joy: taking a whopping 1min 25sec off my previous PR, I squeaked in with a very satisfactory 27:20 chip time (27:39 by the gun - but who cares about that, really?). Michael and I got to exchange a high-five on the out-and-back course as he zoomed past the halfway point and I struggled towards it, but that was all we saw of each other: he whumped me soundly in 22:15 (22:34). His first 5k!!! Ah, c'est la vie. He was very gracious about it, though :) And don't we look super cool, reunited at the end?

Here are the rest of the vitals, because I love my stats:

Overall place: 548/1113
Gender place: 171/581
Category place: 24/64
Pace per km: 5:32 (8:54 per mile - wheee! SO lovin' the sub-9!!! I would give you my exact splits, but Garmin is being funky right now. I don't know why - she was so good for the whole race. Must be PMS. Garmin and Blogger are riding the same wave.)

After the race, we did inventory of the "post-race party" - aka some random band is singing, some brave souls are drinking beer, and most of us are just shuffling around with wide eyes, trying to score as much free food as possible. We got schwag. And we love it!

Then, a true treat: for the first time in my (albeit short) racing career, I actually got to have a post-race massage! Usually there are such crazy lineups for those, but I guess everyone was enjoying the beer out back. WONDERFUL! I did consider asking the massage therapist to marry me. But she might have been weirded out by that. Still, it probably happens to her often :)

Another great day, another great race, and Liv to run is a happy camper. And a tired one. I think it's time to pack it in. Time. For. Some. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........................

5k, you say?

Marty left this comment on my previous entry: "Oh yeah, I almost forgot, good luck in your race tomorrow." Thanks, Marty, and here's the funny thing - I almost forgot too. Seriously.

It's sooooo weird - for all my previous races, I have been so psyched up, giddy with anticipation, raring to go. And I was like that for this one too - about two weeks ago. Then, somehow, life began to swirl around me so fast that I lost my running focus. I lost my blogging focus too! Not in a bad way at all - I've just been so crazy busy, that my usual obsession with running took a backseat for a while to other aspects of my life. And they say this is my summer vacation? I swear I have more free time while I'm in school :)

Nevertheless, I DID remember that I have a race tomorrow, and that I will also have to pick up my packet before start time, because I don't even have my number yet. Yeesh - maybe that's why I feel out of the loop - there's no little paper bib up on my bulletin board as there normally would be the night before race day, beckoning to me, counting down the hours with me.

Am I ready? I don't feel like I am. I trained really hard for a solid four weeks, but then let the rest of the plan slide into the dumpster. I told Michael I was "tapering" - but who ever heard of a two-week taper for a 5k?! That's just pushing the boundaries of laziness. But there you have it - I am so well-rested it hurts :)

Here are my goals, because hell, I might as well have some:

doable - PR (less than 28:45)
possible - under 28 min
I would do a victory dance of joy naked in the rain and I can say that because it's unlikely to happen- 27 min

I do confess that, beyond a PR, there is one thing I would really love to do during this race, and that is kick Michael's ass. In a friendly, I-wanna-run-faster-than-you way, of course :) Michael, to fill you in, is he formerly known as "the bf" formerly known as "the ex" currently known as "I-don't-know-what-the-hell-the-status-of-our-relationship-is-but-it's-good-so-I'll-take-it"... so, since that is awfully complicated, he will henceforth be blessed with the privilege of being referred to by name in my interminable ramblings. To wit, Michael is a boy, blessed with boy genes, and even though he has run about once in the past two months and gets 4 hours of sleep a night because he rows at the crack of dawn and will be biking for over an hour just to GET to the race, he will no doubt leave me eating his dust.

But that won't stop me from chasing, as fast as I possibly can.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Okay, so I am a girl, I hope that much is obvious. But how girly a girl, exactly? I ask as I ponder the following issues.

#1: I am a girl who ran in a skirt. Eek. That's pretty girly. But I've been so intrigued by all the (mostly female) bloggers raving about running skirts, that I became just too curious and had to try it out. Being too much of a cheapo to buy one of those admittedly expensive running skirts without a - excuse the pun - trial run, I decided to test the waters by wearing the closest thing I own, a cute little mesh skirt which more or less fits the bill, and although is by no means technical wear, looks the part. Shamefully, it comes from the U of T bookstore - oh woe is me for supporting that monstrous institution, but the skirt is just too cute!

The verdict? With lots of Bodyglide (my new best friend) to make up for the shortcomings of both the fabric and the shape of my thighs, I have to say, the experience was a good one. I may buy into this phenomena yet. So ladies... any recommendations on good brands?

While we're on the subject, I have a recommendation of my own: do NOT attempt sprint repeats while wearing a skirt. It is not a pretty sight. Unless you are wearing very pretty panties. Which I, unfortunately, was not, during a very risque set of 100m intervals! ACK! Let's just say, Marilyn did it with more class.

#2: This has nothing to do with running, but everything to do with the definition of "girly". My name is Olivia, and I am an Amazon junkie. There, I said it - *applause*. My latest order came in the mail this week, much to my delight. The contents? "The complete book of sewing" and "Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance".

I looked at the two of them lying there in the same package and burst out laughing. Am I a little seamstress? Am I a harcore cycling chick? Am I... could I be... both? Is THAT girly?

So be it. I am learning to sew. To repair my bike. To run - in all sorts of apparel. To be an athletic undomesticated multitalented girly girl - whatever that really means.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Something to talk about

As I continue to (slowly) catch up on my much-neglected blog reading, I'm noticing an interesting trend among the RBF-ers. Everyone's talking about it, it seems. Poo, that is.

How many horrible running misadventures stem from that bane of human existance, the intestinal tract? Far worse than sore muscles or humid weather, the call of nature can detract from the enjoyment of a run like nothing else can. When you've gotta go, as they say, you've gotta go.

I thought it was just me who's had to waddle through a final mile, cursing my anatomy and doing clenching exercises which were decidedly not on the workout program. Or who's considered (but never conceded to) bagging a run because of - ahem - the runs (okay, I know, we all do this joke!) But that was very egotistical of me. Now I see that we all share in this woeful of woes. Kinda gives you a weird sense of community, doesn't it?

No, in case you're wondering, I don't have a dramatic poo story to share with you today. Nothing beyond ordinary grumblings and rumblings. I hope I haven't cursed myself by saying that... knock on wood and all. I just wanted to be one of the cool kids, and talk about *it* too.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Two triumphs

Triumph #1: I ran! Fi-nuh-lee, it's the 5th of the month, and I make it out for my first run. Tsk, tsk, and only two miles, too. I didn't have time for more - I had to get to work! But at least I got out there, and it was a good two miles, dammit, and my counter gets to climb by that much more. Liv to run is on the radar again.

Triumph #2: Weight milestone! As of this evening, I am officially 10 pounds lighter than I was at the peak of my winter dumpiness, some four months ago. Seeing that number made me grin from ear to ear. And then, to celebrate, I ate a bowl of pierogies. No sour cream involved - but still, I did not get back on the scale when they were done :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm still alive

Yes, it's true. I just haven't been a very good blogger. The only running I've done in the past 5 days - or maybe more, I've lost count - is "running" around the city (and its outskirts!) being a social maniac. Which, I have to say, has been fun. But. No run=no good, despite the large quantities of biking I've fit in (commuting) - it just isn't the same. Oh my dear feet, I know you long to pound the pavement again. We will, we will. We will run hard and we will run long. My dear thighs, I know you are dying to try out this Bodyglide business that I finally invested in today. We will do that too. My dear ego, you know a girl's gotta train if she's going to kick ass at the 5k in - oh my! - only 10 days. So much to do, so little time.........