100 Day Run Challenge Update – Day 25

So I am a quarter of the way through my 100 day running challenge, and yes it’s a little nuts to even think of going for a run for 100 straight days.  However, barring some kind of injury this is going to happen as it’s a matter of will power, drive and determination moving forward to get it done.  There have been days when I didn’t feel like running at all, when I was extremely tired, days when my legs were incredibly sore from a long run the day before BUT every single time I have dragged my butt to the YMCA I have felt tremendous afterwards.  It may take a KM or two to loosen things up, or perhaps it’s the right tune at the right time to get me moving but so far I have really enjoyed the experience.


I am loosely following a triathlon (which I am training for) training plan which starts with a base week (week #1) and you add a bit more on week #2, a bit more again on week #3 and then an active recovery week, which I am currently in where you take things relatively easy.  So with 11 weeks still to go, I will be ramping it up to another level three more times.  I have learned and listened to my body a lot during the last 25 days, and will be altering the run schedule accordingly.  For example I will NOT be doing any more long runs back to back during the next cycle… in week #2 I did four 10 km over five days, and during week #3 I added distance everyday of the week culminating with an 11.5 km run right before the start of the recovery week.

The plan this cycle is to increase the number of recovery days in between more difficult runs, especially ones of double digit distance.  Most likely there will two recovery runs in between, as I will be creating a plan and training schedule for the remaining 75 days and strategically plan things out.  Training for a TRIATHLON is not just about running, there is a lengthy swim and bike element as well, two kilometers of swimming, and 94 kilometers of hard biking around the Lake of Bays with lots of elevation changes.  It will be very tough indeed but after 100 runs in a row, I should have the leg strength to crush the course.

I have also been doing weight training four times a week, focusing on arms, chest, back/shoulders, and legs on an alternating cycle.  This is new for me this time around during my training plan, as when I did three and half years of triathlons back in 2007 through 2010 there was no strength training to be found.  It was a whole lot of swimming, biking and running and not much else.  The only element that I would really like to incorporate is some abdominal days, some stretch days and even some yoga days.  If I can manage to add these last three elements over the next five months I believe I would be unstoppable on the course.

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100 Day Run Challenge Update…

North West BakerySo for the first time in maybe forever, although I know I did some crazy things while Ironman training a few years ago, today I did my second 10 km run in as many days. I had every intention of doing a nice and easy 30 minutes job on the treadmill at the YMCA while the kids ran around the gym downstairs with there hair on fire (not literally).

Perhaps it was the fact that I actually only ran 9.96 km yesterday and not the full ten that kind of bugged me today. I have OCD and I felt I needed to fix that, or perhaps it was the fact that I was wearing a t-shirt advertising my start up baking company for the first time…

North West Bakery

And I figured that the longer I ran the more advertising I would be getting. Is it wrong for me to have parked myself in front of a few out of shape folks sweating away and working hard? And here comes some in shape triathlete running for an hour advertising a bakery company right in front of them.

I ordered a bunch of items from Vista Print including a banner for the outside of my house, business cards, car magnets for my doors and the aforementioned t-shirts… I have high hopes that this business venture allows me to remain at home longer with my younger kids to continue to enjoy he magic of their childhood.

Tomorrow will definitely be no longer than 30 minutes or 5km, which ever comes first!

Does anyone have any tips for muscle and leg recovery that I might use? After all I still have 89 more runs to go!

100 Day Run Challenge

subaru_ironman_70.3_muskokaSo for the record, I’m slightly nuts.

In preparation for the Ironman 70.3 race this summer, I knew I would have to increase my cardio level to another level.  I have spent the last few months in the gym working on my overall strength but running, well I would always consider it to be the weakest of the three disciplines of triathlon.  Swim, bike and ugh, run…

Today marked day 9 of the challenge and by far the most days in a row that I have every run in my entire life.  Living in Canada, we get a lot on snow in the winter and this year has been no exception, last week we had the coldest recorded temperatures since 1959, getting close to minus 30 and colder with the windchill factor.  This sure didn’t stop me from running outside, it did on several occasions stop my headphones and watch from working.  Ha ha.  Today it wasn’t nearly as cold but the streets were covered in snow and slush and it was tough sledding out there today.

One of the most enjoyable things while running outside in the snow is often the looks that you will get from people that you pass on the street or driving in their car.  I always to my best to either say hello, flash them the peace sign, or have on the biggest smile possible as I am thoroughly enjoying myself with each kilometer that I tack on.  I started off this challenge on fire, racking up over 40km in my first week but I have come to realize that I am in this for the long haul and smaller runs and recovery days are going to be in order.

Afterall, I am training for a triathlon, not a marathon so I will need to do a considerable amount of swimming, cycling and strength/flexibility training along the way.  I have also started to learn about diet and hydration as I need to maintain my energy levels throughout the day as I have four kids to look after and want to play with Daddy.  I had been taking naps but they actually make me more tired when I would wake up afterwards so they have had to go as well.

I will say this, I have no trouble falling asleep at the end of the day allowing my body the time it needs to recover, after all I have tomorrow’s run to look forward to.  Barring some sort of catastrophic injury I will make this happen and continue to update ou lovely readers as I start to hit some of the bigger milestones.

That Girl’s Got Moxie!

I have mentioned my 20 year Keg career a few times, and well that isn’t entirely true.  I had a short six month sabatical from The Keg when I went and worked for Moxie’s restaurant for more money, the promise of a better schedule, much closer to home and as the owner said, the chance to be a Rock Star!  Figuratively speaking of course.

I found the systems in place, and the strict weekly schedule and the additional hours expecting to go above and beyond the required 50 hour work week, I quickly realized that I had been sold a bill of goods.  Meaning I had been promised one thing, and was given something completely different.  I didn’t last long there and quickly returned to The Keg a mere six months later.  Other than learning that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, there was only one good thing that came from my time there, her name was Dani.

Starting a new restaurant and getting to know all the staff isn’t always easy when you have work to do, and the role of the Chef is very hands on.  There was never much time to have any kind of personal conversations, wearing a headset, listening to the chatter, running the kitchen and having a hand on every dish that left the kitchen keep me very busy.  Add to that my usual business first attitude towards work, that professional front I had in place I kept everyone on a professional level.

Dani saw right through that charade immediately.  She could see that there was more than meets the eye and set out on a mission at first just to make me smile, and then beyond that to get to know me on a personal level.  She was determined to get to know the real me. dani

You see Dani had Moxie.  Defined as sass, courage, spunk, determination, attitude and she has all of these attributes along with many others.  I found her to be funny, charming, genuine and very beautiful.

She ended up being the only person during that six month period that I socialized with outside of work.  And in the few months that we worked together we became very close.  She would eventually leave Moxie’s to go on a trip to South America, Brazil if I remember correctly.  I have given her one of Lance Armstrong’s books with lots of notes and messages written to her in the margins.  Notes about living life and chasing your dreams, and she has done that ever since to this day.  We did talk via FaceTime during her trip a few times and kept in touch every once in awhile.

Right before I left Moxie’s I was married to Danielle, has Jennifer shortly thereafter and we lost touch with each other for awhile.  In essence she went her way and I went mine.  One of the good things about social media is the ability to both find and keep in touch  with friends from our past and for many years we would silently and at times not so silently observe each other’s lives.  During these years I watched her grow into a beautiful strong independant woman.


Recently the comments and interactions increased and we keep saying that we needed to get together and see each other again.  Well that finally happened yesterday!  We met in Milton and went hiking at Hilton Falls, one of my favorite places to visit.  What had been forecasted as an overcast potentially rainy day turned into a warm afternoon filled with sunshine.

We spent the next several hours hiking through the woods and not only catching up on old times, reliving some great memories of our past.  There is a fire pit overlooking the falls where we had lunch and talked about the last seven years of our lives, the time that had past seen we last saw each other in person.

We walked about 15 km that afternoon through the woods and got to know each other all over again.  We talked about Emily and she was able to offer me another unique perspective from her own life about the difficult situation that I am dealing with in regards to Emily.  I was also able to listen and offer advice and suggestions with some of the issues that are going on currently in her life.

We have shared similar issues in our past both overcoming similar problems recently, passing through fire and emerging stronger on the other side as a result of these experiences.  We are both clean and clear of the restaurant industry and talked about the pitfalls, and rewards of that line of work.  She has a very bright future in front of her indeed currently working the promotions field and has lengthy trips planned to South Korea and Russia in the new year.  Those are going to be some amazing adventures to experience and I look forward to my silent FaceBook stalking of these adventures.

She is one of my favorite people for this very reason.  She went above and beyond to get to know the real me, to fight through the outer layer of defense that a lot of us have in place to protect ourselves.  She has an ability to opening share and listen at the same time, and has always been there for me with messages of love and support over the years.  I feel fortunate to have as part of my life, even in the small way that she is.  I wish her nothing but peace, love and happiness as both continue to navigate this thing called life.

We both have the month of December off from work and have promised to see each other again before 2018 hits and she is off an another amazing adventure.  We will make that happen.

Thank you for listening to me and sharing just a wonderful walk through the woods.

The Power of Running

As if yesterday wasn’t already a fun filled adventure on it’s own, I decided that I needed to take advantage of the beautiful December day that we had been gifted.  It was warm for December and the sun was shining brightly.  The house was empty this afternoon as Emily was out with her friends and Megan was off during her own thing.  I knew I had an intense evening on deck, developing and drafting a very detailed version of some house rules that I expect all of my children to follow, and hope to help Emily get her life back on track.

I grabbed my trail shoes, layered up with my run gear (breathable yet warm) put in my ear buds and cranked the workout playlist, set my watch and off we went.

Running for me has always allowed me the chance to clear my head and have moments of mindfulness.  It allows my sub conscious mind to do what it needs to do, and in this case it was think about how I wanted to approach this situation with Emily and the recent events stealing and lying directly to my face.

Run Course, Ironman Kentucky


There are a series of trails throughout Barrie, and exist in most towns that I have lived in all throughout Ontario.  None better and more well maintained than the several years that I lived in Mississauga, thank you former Mayor Hazel McCallion who did a fantastic job for so many years maintaining and expanding the trail systems throughout that city.  Often times in the winter these run trails would salted and sanded before I would head out on my early morning runs during my days of training for the Ironman race.

Where I live in Barrie there is only one real trail that snakes in and out of the subdivision near where I live passing by the school my children go and right down to the waterfront and expands from there dependent on which direction that you want to head in.

And of course there is a great trail all the way around the Bay into the old section of town…  I digress as I am a bit off topic.

Running, while great for the cardiovascular condition and overall general health it is something I have enjoyed all my life.  Except maybe during that period where I forgot how to run?!?  Growing up I was an active participant in cross country racing all the way through grade school but lost touch with running until I was into my 30’s and getting involved in the sport of triathlon.

Today running is a big part of my overall fitness plan and today’s run was an out and back through these trails down to the water, with a sharp right for a few kilometers through the woods.  I absolutely love running during the fall/autumn season when the leaves have changed colors or have fallen and covered the ground.

It was great today to see many families out today enjoying the beautiful weather, walking and holding hands, walking dogs and just enjoying nature.  While running these are the things that I like to focus on, the smell in the air, the sights and sounds of the forest, listening to the sound of my breathing, barking dogs, the scampering of squirrels as I run by and the comments of folks that I pass on the trail.


It was my longest run in a good long while, covering 11.97 kilometers when it was all said and done.  I was able to connect and appreciate nature, the waterfront for the second time today, the beauty and feeling of the sun on my face.  It was a euphoric experience sometimes referred to as a runner’s high and boy did I feel it today.  There comes a point during a long run, when your body is all warmed up, your muscles are giving effort, but all of a sudden the breathing becomes just a bit easier and your heart rate drops slightly making the run feel easier.  It’s like setting the cruise control on car…

It’s next to impossible to get that feeling while running on the treadmill at the gym, which I had been doing for the last several weeks and today’s run just felt great.  It’s much easier on your knees and joints than running on roads and sidewalks, there is much more of an elevation change and bends and twists in the trails forcing your body to use more of it’s muscle base to navigate these trails.

My favorite part of the run today was watching a family that included grandma, mom and dad, and three little girls laughing and giggling and having a good time.  They kept calling for the youngest daughter to slow down so the rest of the family could catch up as she kept running ahead of everyone without a care in the world.  It brought a huge smile to my face watching this child just be a child without a care in the world.  I gave her a five high as I was passing by and got a nice big smile from on on my return trip back down the trail on my way back home.

After a good stretch and hot shower I felt amazing.  And that my friends is the power of running.