So easy to do, and so easy not to do: MEC Rust Buster 10k race recap!

So yeah this race….

Going in, I had planned to run it at a slower pace and use it as an appropriate training run. I wanted more ‘go button’ at the end, I wanted to be able to breathe/not feel like dying during it, and I wanted to save myself for my bigger race this upcoming weekend.

Newsflash: Basically none of those things happened. It was a huge struggle bus, I let my ego get the best of me, and I kind of hated the whole race.

I was planning for an avg. of 4:45/km, but that started feeling really hard? What exactly was going on? Why was I struggling so badly? It was FREEZING out. Frost covered everything, I was absolutely dying in the cold, and my hamstrings- which don’t normally bother me- were tight as hell and twinging with every step. My legs were exhausted, my breathing sucked out loud- every breath I took in, I choked on phlegm. In short, I was miserable.

A few mistakes I can identify off the top- while I wasn’t overly pleased with my race strategy last weekend at the 8k- it overall wasn’t a bad race and I got my best 8k time yet. That was a tough effort, and I shouldn’t have expected the 10k to go that smoothly…

I expected the pace to feel easier and when it didn’t, I beat myself up.

I was struggling mightily with the cold and never warmed up.

I stayed up late-ish drinking wine with a friend (it was a great time! So sue me haha)

I felt like I was getting run off my feet even at a slower pace- and my ego dictated that I keep trying, instead of just…oh, slowing down? dummy!

I wanted to give up, give up, give up.

And so ends the saga of my worst 10k time in two years- 47:14? Ah…running is very humbling. But, I would like to shout out to my friends who ran VERY good races. One of them is even back to racing after a life-threatening battle against cancer. I’m so impressed by their sheer force of will and tenacity.

It reminds me that any day I can run is a good day! And any race is kind of gamble- either you have it that day, or you don’t. Either way, I get to run 🙂

And thanks to the volunteers who make the MEC race run so smoothly. I’m always so pleased with the coordination, the ease of bag check/pickup, course is always safe & well-timed and good post-run snacks. Yes, more please!

Better luck next time.

My review: Reese’s Big Cups (King Size) stuffed with Reese’s Pieces

New Reese’s Big Cup (King Size) stuffed with Reese’s Pieces: Too decadent? Read more and find out!

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Looks tasty

My friend bought this for me, because she knows I am 100% obsessed with Reese’s. Were they as good as the packaging promised?

They were! The cups were large, so there were only two of them. The Reese’s bits add a really nice textural crunch to the famous Reese’s peanut butter filling. Visually they look like chunky Reese’s, and taste just a little bit more interesting than the traditional cups. The only quibble I had was that the Reese’s pieces tended to be more like ‘shards’ rather than full pieces. Towards the back of the cup a few full-sized pieces showed up, so I guess it’s not completely false advertising. I am definitely a fan of the filling, and I liked it even more than the traditional cups because per cup, you got a lot more peanut butter.

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The inside- as you can see, shards of Reese’s Pieces.

To sum up, if you’re the type of person that can easily eat the half pound Reese’s cup in one sitting, this is the BEST THING EVER. Even if you’re not, it’s still really great. I would definitely eat these again! (and yes I can easily eat a half pound cup in one sitting). I am unsure if they also come in ‘regular size’ as the packaging indicates ‘King Size’ at this point.

Summer of high hopes

Weekend update, and as typical of my weekends- I did a LOT~ And really enjoyed myself for the most part.

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Great day out with the girls!

Friday night was a quiet one in, I had a residual bitter-hangover from the week and it was freezing. I felt antisocial and kind of isolated. It was fine though, because I had a lot to look forward to- Saturday my in-laws came for a visit and we went for lunch after I was out riding  Oats. Oats was great, we had a lovely little ride (it was freezing out), and my lunch was good- mac’n’ cheese at The Bent Mast. It was a very chilly walk out though!

Later in the afternoon we had a bunch of errands to run (Old Navy, groceries, hardware store), and I invited a girlfriend over for wine in the evening. We caught up for hours! I missed her so much, I was really happy to share time with her. I truly love visiting with my buddies, and I feel so much happier when I can. 🙂

Wine until 11am sounds like a great idea, until…The alarm goes off at 7:30 am and we were up and out for our race at 9am. It was FREEZING. I felt horrible – not hungover at all, but just tired and frozen, and stiff.

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Good food, good cider and great company.

My race recap is coming tomorrow, but let’s just say it was an extremely disappointing race.

But I did get the chance to see some more buddies at the race and they enjoyed their races, so whoop! Way to go! Afterwards I zipped home, showered at light speed, and put on my nicer clothes because we were off to Sea Cider for their annual Wassail party! I love it out there, it’s a great opportunity to try some ciders, sample some great snacks and just chill out and talk. I had a lovely time with my friends and time just flew by. The sample tix are $2/ea, and you can have 1 cider sample with 1 ticket, and many of the food varieties are 1/ea, some of the bigger options are 2/ea but I didn’t end up having those. So I had a great chance to try veggie curry, chicken curry, puff pastry with goat cheese X2, date-bread sticky pudding,  YUM!

We got back to the barn, and I changed clothes again and rode Oats. I realized I was very tired so our ride was quite short, but decent enough. Got home around 4-ish and was bone tired and chilled thoroughly. It was NOT warm out yesterday or the whole weekend.

That is about to change though- warming starting today! I already feel more hopeful. That being said, I hope this week doesn’t bash my good spirits into the ground…It might.

All my demons greeting me as a friend

(song title courtesy of my new obsession- Radio 2 Drive playlogs. From the artist Aurora).

Try try try.

After my grouch-fest on Thursday, I proceeded to have a very bitter day. I’ve had to be flexible this week, and I apparently do not do well with it.

I missed the gym and instead spent my lunch hour at the Dr’s (for good reasons, and I was really pleased how the appt went and glad I have such a positive and supportive specialist). But that meant my physical release of fitness wasn’t happening, and I had to stay a touch late to deal with some last-minute things.

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Cute AF

Important people weren’t happy with some of my work. Other important people I disappointed. I disappointed myself. I was bitter. Everything seemed to harass and annoy me. There was no way out.

I came home later than I hoped, and was then late to take out Gidget (who peed on my carpet, I guess serves me right for being late!) and was able to play fetch with her at the park, before getting dressed to go riding & then pick up my husband.

Go-go-go-go it felt like!

My ride was super blah and uninspiring, not because of Oats, but because *I* was in a snit fit for the day. He was moving out really nicely and quite forward, for him, and I couldn’t get my head in the game. Instead, I futzed around and watched my friend have a lesson. We chatted, hung out, and that was it. And it was totally what I needed that day.

My harassed, put upon feeling lasted all the way through picking my husband up (I was late, of course I hit every single red light). Couldn’t I catch a break? Eff.

I wanted to shop like crazy, drink everything in sight, eat Smarties until my teeth sting, run until my legs hurt, eat too much, feel something. Oh well, Friday today is a new day and I am hoping my weird funk lifts. I have things to look forward to! And I want to look forward to them.

(and actually I am feeling more hopeful today too!) Much better than this week.

What are you doing with your whole life? How about forever?

Oh man, this winter is just dragging for me. In excruciating detail: the wind is insane, it’s been unseasonably COLD for about six weeks now?! It’s dark. Work is insane. I miss my friend who moved away. My family is…a work in progress…shall we say?

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This is about the third time I have used this photo to illustrate how awful the wind has been. I was scared for my life!

Needless to say, I’m so over it. I have been struggling over the past oh six weeks or so with feelings of intense unhappiness. It isn’t really every day, but it’s been frequent enough to make me seriously wonder- why can’t I find joy in things I love? In the everyday? Is is seasonal affective disorder?

I have been taking vitamin D, and making sure to get outside, but still…It’s honestly super difficult.

Anyways, that whine preamble was to start my ride week in a nutshell:

Fell off Oats on Sunday after my race when he spooked lightly at something.

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At least Oats has his best horse friend to play with every day!

Tried riding Tuesday because I was too stiff and sore Monday to ride. There was a windstorm on Tuesday with wind gusting up to 90km/hr. It was TERRIFYING. Thank god I was on Oats,  who allows me to do the dumbest things with him. I wouldn’t trust any other horse. Still, I was scared out of my mind and ended up riding for 15 very tense minutes and I jumped off and thanked god I was still alive. NOT doing that again. Just terrifying, 100% alone in the pitch black with hurricane winds. Nope…

Wed: Actually a good jump lesson. I was in a bad mood all week, and so wasn’t expecting greatness or anything. I thought Oats was going to feel stiff but he was moving out quite nicely! We worked on a gymnastic- my nemesis- to a small course with a skinny on a circle, and another skinny on a straight approach. Oats was a very good boy, and I quite enjoyed my ride!

Today: Planning on riding. It is -5 and feels like -9. To give context, it’s usually around 8 deg Celsius and rainy here in the winter. I am so sick of it.

Is this the part where I get all I ever wanted? Who said that? Weekend update!

Yes, a weekend of so many updates- chiefly because SO much happened!

Friday night my husband and I finally went out to use our gift certificate to a fancy restaurant- Il Terrazo, and it was amazing! We had been meaning to go there since September, can you believe it? I had bread, tapenade, we shared an appetizer of grilled scallops, tuna, seaweed and cucumber salad. For my main, I enjoyed a very fulsome ciopinno. I couldn’t finish it!

I remember Friday night as the first night all week I felt like I actually slept.

Saturday was the big day. I was a ball of anxiety. I ended up dragging my poor husband around with me for the whole day (this would also be true for Sunday as well…). We first got gas, I went riding, we went to the feed store to buy grain, then he provided moral support for me as I went and had coffee with my parents, launching what was probably the most difficult discussion I have ever had with another person in my entire life.

It was hard. It was unpleasant. It was important. It was cathartic. It was necessary.

Telling your parents, firmly and honestly, that you are not having children and therefore they do not get grandchildren is so hard, but I needed to be heard, and they deserved my honesty- not to get ignored, get swept under the rug again, put off for another time. No. This time it’s for real.

They were sad, and cried. I wasn’t. I finally felt free.

I went home and bailed out on my friend’s birthday party- it was just going to be too draining, and I also had my VIRA 8k race the next morning even! I needed some time to recover (oh, and drink wine…oops). My nutrition that day consisted of pancakes for breakfast, pancakes with smarties and peanut butter for lunch, and wine. Oh and chocolate too. Dinner was better, a stir-fry…with two peanut-butter cupcakes for dessert. Whoops!

Emotional eating for the win!

At least I had a stir fry?

And on Sunday, after racing, enjoying a beer at Category 12, falling unceremoniously off my horse, I went with my husband to go see La La Land. I liked it, and enjoyed watching it more than I thought (I have a notoriously difficult time watching movies. I can’t sit still for that long, get fidgety, need many breaks, etc) so getting me out to a movie is kind of a big deal, haha.

It was still about 15 minutes too long, in my opinion.

And that wraps up my insanely busy wknd! I sometimes feel as if I live enough on weekends for most peoples weeks 😉

Rust buster for real: Prairie Inn Harriers 8k race recap

First off, thanks to the volunteers and race organizers. This is a VERY smoothly run race, and I absolutely loved the post-race food options (great soup, hot dogs! pizza?! wow!!). A super effort by all involved and made my recovery that much more fun.

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7th place!! Photo is courtesy of the Prairie Inn Harriers.

Now for the race recap: Wow, this was a lot harder than I felt it should have been, and it was 100% my fault- I went out FAST in the beginning (first downhill km at 3:55? No way can I run that fast, and I was just getting caught up and silly). It was then a strugglefest for the rest of the race, thanks to my poor planning.

My next km was still very fast for me- 4:16. Then I dropped rapidly and started losing my will to live…

4:46, 4:35, 4:39…eeeeek.

Basically my race was a textbook example of poor pacing efforts, combined with another perfect positive split. So, don’t do what I did- ha. I honestly felt like I would have paid someone to let me quit midway through, it felt that rough.

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Well deserved (until I fell off Oats shortly after).

I wanted to puke, pass out and collapse. I had the distinct pleasure of getting passed right left and centre all throughout the race, which made it tough to ‘run my race’ instead of feeling like I was getting caught up and passed constantly. The ‘hurry scurry’ feeling just never left and I couldn’t achieve that ‘flow’ that I try to during races.

Maybe it’s because I’m out of practice for taking a few months off racing, and the 8k, while a fine distance, is just not my distance.

It was a very chilly day and it actually started snowing like crazy when we finished. Thank god we missed that though- a stroke of good luck. I was happy with my time (36:06 net, 36:11 gun time) which is a slight improvement from last year (36:20), but I do still feel like if I ran a better, more competent race I would have fared wayyyy better. hahah.

At the finish, I wasn’t sprinting, I was struggling. I was huffing and puffing and trying to catch my breath, reeling and staggering at the end. I sat down on a retaining wall and felt dizzy. Yuck!

I was coughing heavily for the rest of the day, thanks to my incompetent lungs being slightly damaged- yuck again.

With my time I received 7th place AG, which is fine for a fairly competitive race.

And after the run, my husband and I enjoyed a very nice beer taster at Category 12, which is nearby, and then we headed to the barn so I could get a quick ride in on Oats. He spooked during my ride, and I promptly tumbled off. Not my day I guess? I was fine, landed on my feet and hopped back on and continued but yeeesh, I guess I was just tired, and not ‘with it’ haha.

Oh well, a lesson to learn for that day.

I am stiff as heck today though!