Imaginary run to PEI – week 3

Okay, I do not think it is at all recommended that of three runs in a week they be divided as follows:

Run 1 – 5.1 km
Run 2 – 4.8 km
Run 3 – 21.1 km

So 31 km on the week and about 82 km away from downtown Toronto. I’m past Newcastle and almost right in Newtonville. North of me right now is the Town of Orono (I just like all the Os). Orono is the hometown of Jim Cuddy. I thought I was doing well till I saw a website describe Orono as 45 minutes east of Toronto. … How many days have I been doing this again? lol

But the more interesting part, this week at least, isn’t the imaginary run part but rather part of the real running. Those 21.1km in the third run? That was actually measured as 13.1 miles in Cleveland Ohio. I ran the half-marathon at the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon. Toby and I woke up Saturday morning, dropped Q off at my parents’ condo and headed to the border. The plan? Drive to Buffalo then turn right. Follow the lake to Cleveland. Well, google maps was a bit more precise than that. What google maps failed to remind us was how long the border can take; at about noon on the Saturday of a long weekend. If you didn’t know the Niagara crossing took about 2 hours. That wasn’t so much fun.

So add in that we slept in a little later than anticipated and then the border fun, well we got to the expo in Cleveland at 4:40 pm (it closed at 6 so we were fine that way) instead of by 1 or 2 as we had originally hoped. We found our way to the hotel and I unpacked all my running stuff in advance of the 5:30 am wake up on Sunday.

And then Toby tried to make reservations at a restaurant he wanted to try. The next ones were at 9:30. The restaurant wasn’t open on Sunday. And I couldn’t say no so off we went for supper at 9:30 at night. Yea, don’t worry, lesson learned.

The morning of the race was uneventful. I remembered to post a picture of my “flat runner.”

flat runner missing my pink cap
flat runner missing my pink cap

The race started at the Cleveland Browns’ stadium


No one does football quite like Americans I think. The stadium was great and the whole ground floor was opened to the participants so there were TONS of bathrooms that weren’t portapotties! Woohoo!

I always start towards the back of the pack. I have another 21.1km scheduled for May 26 so I promised myself to treat this like a long training run and not to push it too hard. Plus there was something like 12,000 people running the half and the full marathon. So anyway, towards the back I went.

It was wonderful to start with – a little cool and grey and overcast. The only wind was a nice side breeze, which I find doesn’t bug me hardly at all. Toby and I have been eating keto for almost three weeks now so I added a little bit of carbs on Saturday (burger with a bun at lunch and, uhm, well, dessert on Saturday night. And two beers 🙂 so maybe not the best choices but some carbs nonetheless) and was going to be sure to drink the sports drink on offer at the water tables and slowly eat my honey stinger chew things.

The sports drink on offer is one of the many reasons I’ll have fond memories of the Cleveland race – blue powerade. Seriously. My favourite sports drink! Wheeeee And the other reasons in brief: lots of music on the course – some just music out of speakers but there was a guy playing the electric guitar, a group playing spanish music outside of their church, a lady singing on one stretch and a band (with a guitar player wearing a Red Wings t-shirt) near the end. That was cool. We also went through some lovely neighbourhoods and lots of people were out on their lawns or front steps cheering us on.

I managed the first 10k in 1:23:39 which would have had me over the finish at 2:56:29. But then the humidity set in. And then it got hotter. I just have to start working more in the heat to get used to it I guess but I generally don’t do well in the heat. And then a hill came. Wheeee

The other thing I learned is that I cannot do “random” walk breaks yet. I work well with a plan. Even if it’s 10:1s, or 5:1s (which I originally thought I would do) I should stick with that for now. Instead I learned that no beep from my watch means I don’t push myself to continue until the beep. Instead, I cave. Part of me is still that lazy chick after all 😉 Sometimes I ran for 14 minutes sometimes – and honestly far more often – I ran for 3 or 5.

A friend flew (seriously!) from Detroit to see me finish (I really do have the bestest friends). And I saw her at around 12.9 miles. Turns out I was good to have posted the flat runner. She almost didn’t recognize me because I was wearing my new cap. The clothes helped her know it was me! She yelled and cheered and showed me a beer she’d brought for me from Michigan. I yelled and smiled and ran down that hill faster than I think I have ever run before. That was kinda fun but then I died and pushed the last few yards thinking “I think I can I think I can….” and I did – and then I heard Toby! That was also a surprise as we had planned on meeting up at the hotel afterwards. We found my friend, found a shady spot and I had my beer. I had hoped to finish in 3 hours and I managed it in 3:01:32. Man, that minute 32 is gonna annoy me for a while I have no doubt.

Now I’m not sure how the above reads to anyone else but just so there’s no doubt – I loved it. I run slowly but I love running. I love knowing it’s something I can do. There might be a bazillion people who can run faster than I can but you know what, that doesn’t matter one whit. I’m 40 years old and I spent way too many years not really caring about my health. So now I’m happy I’m out there. Not everyone can run a half-marathon; not every one who can bothers to. I may be slow and pokey but I’m also kinda awesome.

Fitness Friday (May 17/13) – Happy Birthday Bob Saget

So the thing I tried to tell myself over and over again this week was that I shouldn’t be disappointed by not losing as much as I did those first 10 days. It wasn’t gonna repeat itself – there was the race, the big meals in Montreal and so on. But still, I am a bit disappointed if I am gonna be honest.

We did pretty well. I’ve gotten into the habit of tracking on every day. We went out for dinner and a show last Friday (we saw The Book of Mormon – holy smokes was it good!). Dinner was at Benihana. And we both did pretty good I thought. I had a piece of meat, Toby had meat and lobster, neither of us ate rice. We had some veggies. I had a couple of scotch and sodas.

hunks of meat
hunks of meat

At the beginning of the meal the waitress asked if we were there for mother’s day. I said no, it was our anniversary. She said “happy anniversary” and then took our drink order. That was it. Nothing more about it until they brought out a piece of white chocolate cheesecake at the end. Completely unexpected. And we had already decided we were gonna have cake so I wasn’t at all upset at getting my choice as a present 🙂

IMG_4103_0014 Needless to say, many carbs were consumed on Friday. Then there was the much alcohol consumed as the Leafs blew a 4-1 lead on Monday.

So I knew it wasn’t gonna be great this week. But still, I should be happy I’m going down at all right? It’s even better I think that we’re eating far less processed food – no packaged snacks, no chips, no cookies. So that’s still a win. Oh and ’cause I promised to keep track – I lost 2.5 pounds since last Friday or 12.5 since May 1.

Some good food things for the week (to end on a happier note): My favourite keto snack has turned out to be: 1/4 cup almonds, a slice of bacon and an ounce of cheese. Toby made this awesome chicken salad last night with left-over chicken, mayo, almonds and celery. I ate it all wrapped up in a large romaine lettuce leaf. No more left-overs though!


Imaginary run to PEI – week 2

I had hoped to get four runs in this week but am pretty happy with the three I managed. Last Sunday’s run was so hot I developed a heat rash. Heat rashes suck. Try and avoid them.

So the week in running:
May 7: 7.8km – 6am run which was good 🙂 I need to do more of those. And yea, if I had realised how close I was to 8km I’d have kept going for a couple more minutes.
May 10: 5.25km – slept in a little but knew I should still get out and run so I ran 5 instead of 8.
May 12: 13.5km – ran in the afternoon but it was less than 5C anyway. Yikes. Quite a difference from last week. I ran out on Gerrard East so I got a nice bit of hill work in east of Coxwell. Came back along Danforth and remembered I still haven’t gone to the new Target yet.
Total: 26.5 km

The amusing part for me is that I am pretty much at the intersection of Highway 2 and Stevenson Road in Oshawa – the automotive capital of Canada, thanks to the presence of GM Canada. The guy who formed the original company that became GM Canada was Samuel McLaughlin. You can go visit his house. It looks pretty cool:

you can tell it’s been in a ton of movies and tv shows

The Mississauga tribe used the habour to trade beaver and other pelts. Go forward in time a little bit (about 200 years) and a lot of Cornish people (yes, separate from English, just ask Toby and his dad!) helped to settle the area following the United Empire Loyalists leaving the US.

Oh and the requisite hockey reference: Bobby Orr played for the Oshawa Generals. So did Alex Delvecchio and twice in Oshawa General history they lost their arena to fire.

Weird Toronto connection: Both Toronto and Oshawa have a Kingsway Village.


Fitness Friday (May 10/13) – happy anniversary

Yea, I like alliteration. And today happens to be our 16th wedding anniversary. Think about that for a second. Wow. We’re going to go see The Book of Mormon tonight. I cannot wait!

So we introduced the keto way of eating on May 1, 2013. That’s it, cold turkey, no bread or beer since then. And, perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve been missing the beer more than the bread. mmmm beer.

March 2011 but still a great picture

I am including the following information in no way to diminish the improvements I’ve had this week but to keep it all in a realistic manner. When I weighed myself Wednesday May 1 in the morning, I had: (a) run a half marathon 3 days before (Sunday morning) and there’s some effect there for retaining water in muscles or something like that. I don’t know how much that would impact my weight three days later but I mention it just in case;
(b) we had several fantastic meals in Montreal. Several. We went to Garde Manger and Le Comptoir. I had fabulous post-run margaritas at a nice little Mexican place. (careful it plays music loudly!)
(c) uhm, I had just started my period. Is there a nicer way to write that? Some euphemism I should use in future?

All that to say that I might have weighed a little high on that morning. So with all of that out of the way, from May 1 to May 10 I lost 10 pounds. Not too shabby eh?

Eating keto has been easier has been easier than expected. I track my food at and there are days when I find it hard to eat the 1600 calories it has me pegged at. Toby’s made an awesome keto-friendly stew (beef and cabbage so it appeals to my Polish background) and lots of sauteed veggies too. And yes, I do miss not opening a bottle of wine mid-afternoon on Saturday and having it empty by bedtime, I figure the… uhm… the losses make up for the losses if you know what I mean. I’ll be honest and say I’m looking forward to being closer to my goal weight and seeing how adding back things like beer will turn out.



On April 15, 2013, I had the joy of refreshing my screen a hundred times watching for the finishing times of friends who were running in Boston. As soon as I saw the last of my friend’s pass with a time of 4:06:30, I smiled and went and ran my errands. So it wasn’t until a little while later that I heard about the bombs. And then spent the rest of the afternoon frantically searching online for our friends. Right before I left work for the day, we got word from the last person we hadn’t heard from. Sigh.

I cannot imagine what it was like for those who were there, who were injured (physically, mentally) or who lost someone.

My first response was to dig out my donor card and go online to Canadian Blood Services to get the number to call and make an appointment. Turns out they have a new online service now. You can register and then make your own appointments online! I find this very convenient; I can have my calendar open and chose any available time slot at my local permanent clinic. 

Some terminology: a permanent clinic is just a clinic that is in a fixed location. In Toronto there are a few: 163 King St West (at King and University; this is where I usually go); 67 College Street (at College and Bay I think) and 55 Bloor Street West (in the Manulife Centre). The 55 Bloor one is nice because it’s open on Saturdays.

A mobile clinic is when Canadian Blood Services sets up shop in an office tower, or a school or church hall. Usually it’s there for a day or two and people can often just walk in to donate (although appointments are preferred).

They usually take whole blood although they also have appointments for donating plasma and platelets. And if you’re worried about the whole idea of giving blood you can find a “what’s your type?” appointment – they prick you and tell you your blood type. I guess the idea being that you’ll see it’s not so bad after all. And there’s always juice and cookies afterwards.

Anyway, if you’ve never given blood, please give it a try; and if it’s been a while since you have, go check out the online appointment booking. I made three appointments, the first the week after the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon.