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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Twenty one is so much fun!

Well, here I am in all my glory. Neither my dad nor my camera-happy housemate have seen fit to send all my wonderful post-race pictures, so I am forced to resort to Action Sports International's oh-so-flattering portrayal. And trust me, this was by far the best shot, the others are classified...!

Well, what can I say about 21 kilometres? (Okay, okay, 13.1 miles)

-It's the farthest distance I have ever run in my life.
-It took me longer to finish it than it did for someone to win the marathon (which took place simultaneously).
-The first female marathoner came in after me, though. Ha.
-Oh, yeah, it was a total blast.

I wish I had some photos of my behind to share with you all. It was really, really sexy. Okay, backtrack, I'll explain that one. I realized the night before the race that I had neglected to consider one important conundrum: where was I to stash my carbo gels? After much scratching of head and gnashing of teeth, I settled on stowing them in a little invisible money belt, the kind you stick under your pants when you don't want your passport snarfed. And then I thought, while I'm at it, why don't I just chuck my key and my phone in there too, so I don't have to check baggage? Brilliant. Except I couldn't wear it as a fanny pack, it bounced too much - so, you guessed it, I wore the belt in its rightful position - under my shorts and on my ass. Like I really needed to look bigger down there. Still, I was happy with the functionality of the arrangement, and I marveled at the poor souls I passed who were running with big galumphing fanny packs, and one guy with a full-sized backpack. Seriously! They have water stations for a reason, hun, what the hell were you carrying? This is all a very long-winded plea for advice, if after the fact: what is a good way to store gels on the go (assuming that I didn't want to bring my bulky torso pack)?

Anyway, my hippo heiny and I plodded our way slowly but surely through the miles. I kept the first one slow, around 11min, which I figured I could reasonably keep up. But lo and behold, from there on in, every time my Garmin beeped I was thoroughly surprised and delighted to see the numbers consistently around 10:30. I even managed a 10:05 for mile 12 - that was the mile where my family came to cheer. Yay! After that it was just an onslaught of uplifting emotions as I fought to the finish with a huge grin on my face (accounting for most of the unflattering pictures - it's hard to grin and gasp for air at the same time without looking like a dying platypus). Energy welled up inside me as I sung an endless refrain of "I've done it, I've done it, I've really done it!" Who would have thought - short little Liv, with her short little legs, and she made it - all the way. 2:19:27 - a very pleasing first time, as I was aiming for 2:30 or so - and happy to be on the faster side of "or so"!

There were times, during my training, when I would lie down on the kitchen floor after a 10 mile run, dehydrated and exhausted, thinking "what ever possessed me to do this? It's ridiculous. After this race I'm never doing distance again. And forget ever bothering with a full marathon, schmarathon - what an illusion."

But running the half changed all that. I know I can do long distance, and I know that I love it. I'm dusting off that illusion again, and turning it back into a dream.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stay tuned

I can't muster up the patience for a full race report just now, and I don't have any photos yet, but it's in the works. For now, I must simply announce to you all that my first half was a total dream, an incredible experience. My first thought when I crossed the finish line was "I did it!", and the second was "when can I do it again?!"

Friday, September 22, 2006


This seems to be a recurring pattern of mine: sign up for race well in advance. Get absurdly excited about race. Train like a maniac. One month before race, lose all interest. Get absorbed in other things. Launch "taper" of extreme proportions. Suddenly wake up one day and realize: "holy shit. I've got a race this weekend."

But my obliviousness does not erase the fact that two days from now, less in fact, I will be running my first-ever half marathon. Yikes, people. I so don't feel ready. Although, I've put a lot of training into this - when I stop to think about it, I'm probably quite well prepared: I have two 10-milers in the bag, several eights and nines, the last of which was about a week and a half ago. I've sprinkled in a few tempo runs, and some easy jogs just for fun. Okay, so this week I did a grand total of two miles, but I'm legitimately tapering - plus, I've had a lot on my mind in terms of work and school. I should be ready, right? Then why do I feel like I haven't been a runner for 10 years?!

Oh well. Sunday shall come, regardless of my preparedness. Here goes nothing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pink ribbon lady

Just a shameless plug here, but it's for a charitable cause so I'm forgiving myself :)

On Sunday, October 1st I will be participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Society's infamous Run for the Cure. Okay, realistically, folks, I may be walking for the cure at that point, having just come off my first half marathon the weekend before. But a friend of mine put together a team and I just couldn't resist.

So, if anyone is interested in sponsoring me, the link to my donation page is here. I will still love each and every one of you regardless of monetary contribution... but if you enjoy supporting such causes, then by all means, please make me your messenger :)

Couple therapy

Okay, so I've never been to couple therapy, actually. But tonight, Michael and I went on a run together, and that was just as good - no, better.

Mostly, I'm a solo runner - although I do enjoy company occasionally, I kind of like my independent pursuit of running, free to go as fast or as slow as I want to, to go where I want to, for as long as I want to - being answerable only to myself. Today though, I invited Michael to jog along beside me, and we had one of those great heart-to-hearts that really cleared some air between us. A lot of issues came up that we had been sort of avoiding, or that we had discussed earlier, with the end result of me winding up emotionally depleted and in tears. Something about running, though, really clears my head, and I was able to discuss all these deep-seated issues in a matter-of-fact, logical, rational manner. It was so refreshing to feel cool and collected amidst all the turmoil we've been going through, to the rhythm of even breathing and steady steps.

Five miles later, neither of us had broken a sweat - obviously, chatting is no race strategy - but both of us were considerably happier. For now, at least, I think we're okay - and for now, at least, that's all that I can ask for. I now think of our relationship the way I now think of my running: yes, there may be some sketchy long term goals - but the important thing is to take things day by day, to commit to making things happen in the present, and trust that by doing so I will gradually sort out the future as it comes. Crossing those bridges, one step at a time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Life and moving

That's my excuse, however legitimate it may be. It's been a crazy week of a) scuba diving b) moving into my new place, and c) moving a friend into his new place. I've run a total of 3 miles, once. Bad Liv, bad. But the one run was a nice tour of my new neighbourhood (okay, so I'm living just south of campus, it's not all that alien) - and I've learned a few good lessons about where NOT to run. For you Torontonians, skip the sidewalk on Dundas. It's all pain, little gain, and a lot of oblivious pedestrians. As if you didn't know that already. But I'm a dumbass, okay? :)

Today I got to show off my darling Garmin to a friend (friend "c" above), who was legitimately impressed with the wonders of nerdy running. He even suggested we should go for a run together sometime. Wheeeeee, running buddy! I have duly warned him about my pace: it'll be an easy jog for him, a hard tempo for me. So the deal is, I'm going to huff and puff like the big bad wolf, and he'll be in charge of telling me stories along the way :)

I have internet in my new apartment now - HIGH SPEED internet, oh the glory - so no further excuses: I am catching up on my blogging from here on in. Hello, strangers - I've missed you.

If only the toilets in our new place worked as smoothly as our computer network... priorities, priorities.