Well, stuff happens and I’m sorry that I’ve had a bit of a break in my posts, but I’m back now. I had a few health struggles at the same time as some large changes at my daytime workplace and it was really all I could cope with. I was very fortunate because in the end it was just a good scare and a warning to keep working on my health. Someday I may write a post about it, but for now I am just happy to get back to some regular blogging.

I’m working on a few small changes to the blog, including getting a proper recipe finder installed to make it easier to plan for meals. Also, because I lost track of where I am with my mileage counter for the “2013 in 2013” challenge, I will be suspending that challenge for now. However, I will still be fundraising for West Coast Assistance Teams throughout this year, so please check them out. More to come soon!


$2013 in 2013 Update- First 8K Run of the Year

Pre-race bib pick-up.

Sunday (13th) we drove to Saanichton on the peninsula of Vancouver Island for the first run of the year in the Island Race series. It was frosty and clear but the sun was out and the sponsors gave out free gloves to anybody who needed them. And talk about an amazing bunch of runners! The fastest runner came in at 23:49 and the first place women’s finisher did the 8K in a top 25 in the world time of 25:28!

Harriers Saanichton 8K2013
Ready to run. (I’m not there- I took the pic)

In my world, that means she had finished and was already getting her sandwiches and fruit before I was even at the halfway mark. I struggled quite a bit and found I was near the very back of the pack overall. I am used to going in the bigger races with lots more recreational walker/runners like me and I was quite outclassed as the majority of people in this race were serious runners. Still, a group of us had entered as an extended family and others in my group did very well in their age categories. My nephew came in 9th in his category, my sister came in 7th, and my daughter came in 3rd, winning a medal for her efforts! I am a very proud Mom. Considering that most of the people in our family group only started running in the last year or two, I think we all did ace, and I added another 8K onto my $2013 in 2013 tally.

Both Winners in my Book!

And later, when my daughter asked me if I would have been embarassed if I came in last, I told her that yes, part of me would have been embarassed, but I will always keep three things in mind. First, no matter how much I struggle in these races, I know how far I have come since just last year. So, others may see a last place finisher, but I’m ahead of where I was for the last 25 years and I will continue to improve. Second and third, I remember two cool t-shirts I have seen in other races. One said “No matter where I finish, I am still ahead of the people who stayed on the couch”. The second was this photo from weknowmemes:

This reminds me that we all have a story and the last person’s story may in fact represent a greater triumph than the winner’s, we just don’t know. So yes, we tend to compare ourselves to others when we race, but we should not let the fact that others are ahead of us be discouraging, because there are always people ahead of us and behind us. The real competition is against ourselves and we should celebrate every step we take to improve. So if I came in last or even if I didn’t finish, I would still be proud that I had the courage to enter and try. (And after that deep speech, I secretly vowed to up my training before the next race…. Because I don’t want to finish last).

Tally Sheet- 2013 in 2013

So far I haven’t figured out a better way to do this, so I will start with a page here and update it every day or two. Once it moves off my front page, you can always find it in my sidebar in the “$2013 in 2013 Challenge” category. It will give you an outline of my exercise and a running (ha ha get it? “running”) total of my donations and distance so far. A reminder- for exercise that I can’t clock distances for (ie- spinning bikes with no odometer, boxing classes, etc), I will count 10 minutes as equal to 1 kilometer. That’s because I can easily walk/run a kilometer with the same or less physical output in less than 10 minutes. Fair? I hope so, because I want to try lots of different activities, too. I’m just finishing my holidays so this first week has a strong start- I don’t expect to keep this pace up once I’m back working every day. (Just sayin’).

Date Exercise Distance (Km) Distance Total (km) Donations Total ($)
Jan 01 Walk/jog outdoors 7.6 7.6 20.00
Jan 02 Swim 40 lengths 1 8.6
Jan 02 Aquacizes 2-45 min. classes (90 min= 9km) 9 17.6
Jan 02 Spin- 50 minutes 5 22.6
Jan 03 Treadmill walk/run indoors 6 28.6
Jan 04  Aquacizes- 90 min. 9 37.6
Jan 06 Walk-outside 5 42.6
Jan 07 Treadmill- walk/run 7 49.6
Jan 09 Bike 35.5 85.1
Jan 11 Aquacizes- 90 min. 9 94.1
Jan 12 Bike 26.2 120.3
Jan 13 Road Race (Run/Walk) 8 128.3
Jan 17  40.00
Jan 30  Bootcamp- 60 min. 6 134.3
Feb 4  Bike 35.2 169.5
Feb 5  Boxing- 60 min 6 175.5
Feb 12  Bike 45.1 220.6
Feb 18  Walk 5 225.6
Feb 19  Walk 5 230.6
Feb 20  Walk 5 235.6

New Year’s Resolutions: $2013 in 2013 Update

Update- My donation page is here (full explanation below). If it doesn’t work for you to use a direct link, you can also copy this: http://www.canadahelps.org/gp/21903 and paste it into your address bar.

With 2012 nearly over, I have been thinking about how to make 2013 even better. As a result, I’ve resolved to push my limits a bit and I am challenging myself (and anyone else who wants to join in- any takers?) to exercise, run, walk, swim or bike the equivalent of 2013 kilometres in 2013, and in the process I want to earn $2013.00 for charity (credit and thanks to Marc Hemmingway for the original idea). 2013 kilometres is a tad more than 5.5 km. per day throughout the year, which could be quite do-able if I only wanted to focus on distance-type sports like running or walking. However, with careful scheduling, I can still only fit in about an hour a day for exercise and I want to try other challenges, too. So I have calculated how to use other exercise in my resolution. I will count every 10 minutes of hard exercise as 1 km. (for example, if I do a 50 minute “cardio/core” circuit class, I will count that as 5 km). I usually average one km. in about 8.5 minutes when I walk/run races, so I think that is a reasonable equivalent.

I lost my last dog this fall, and the love and happiness all of my animals provided over the years meant that the choice of an animal charity was inevitable. There are many I could have gone with, but I’m really pleased with my final choice- West Coast Assistance Teams, because they work with dogs to help people with disabilities, and also work with at-risk youth, teaching them how to get involved in training assistance dogs. These are both projects that are near and dear to my heart, and they are the type of programs I researched and wrote about in my Master’s thesis.

Presently I am asking for any kind of donation at all directed through the CanadaHelps page (links in bold at top of page), and they will also give tax receipts to those who are eligible. They do take a fee out of the donation (3.9% to 4.9%) but they also take care of lots of the legwork for the charities (giving out the tax receipts, etc), and they also offer things like ecards and donor gift cards if you’d like to send a donation in someone’s name. Check out this FAQ page to see what else you can do about your donation and what they can do for you.

I visualized that perhaps people might want to pledge a small amount of money for each kilometre that I log. At only 1 cent per kilometre, people would only have to donate $20.13, and one hundred people would get me to my goal. I will also try and sort out other ideas over the year to get money into the pot, perhaps by taking on challenges and events to get sponsorship in other ways. I will keep you updated, and it would be great to hear from readers- all creative ideas wil be considered.

I have set up a new category on the right sidebar of my page, labelled “$2103 in 2013”, and I will keep this post there along with a running total of how many kilometres (or equivalent) I have achieved, and how many funds have been raised so far. You can also check back any time to the CanadaHelps page where they have a thermometer thingy with the amount raised.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. I’m very excited to have this new adventure starting just one day from now!

Memories of an Old Partner

Memories of an Old Partner- Barkley (2006)

Getting Back on Track- New Year’s Resolutions: $2013 in 2013


I have not forgotten the resolution posts that I started several weeks ago, but I’ve been wrestling with technology. With the clock ticking down, I decided to go ahead and post anyway. I already mentioned one of my resolutions for next year (lose the weight that found me again this fall), but that is the narrowest part of an overall plan I have been working on for a while (my “Fork in the Road”).

So, here is the entire resolution articulated: In 2013 I will continue improving my own life physically, mentally, and emotionally/spiritually, and I will extend that holistic wellness outwards toward others and the planet.

Sounds like I’ve gone straight from narcissism to grandiosity, but let me explain what this looks like: In 2013 I plan to continue having just as much fun exploring healthy eating and new physical challenges, but I am now going to consciously strive to extend the good feelings in any way I can. I follow Marc Hemmingway’s hilarious blog, and I will be starting the year by taking him up on his challenge with a few modifications:

I will exercise, run, walk or bike the equivalent of 2013 kilometres in 2013, and in the process I want to earn $2013.00 for my chosen charity, West Coast Assistance Teams. (The technology I am wrestling with is the fundraising platform giving page that I am trying to set up to take any pledges or donations- I’ll get it sorted before Jan. 1st, though). Update: I have my donation page up and running here. Read my full update here. 2013 kilometres is a tad more than 5.5 km per day throughout the year, which could be quite “do-able” if I only wanted to focus on running or walking. However, I want to try other challenges, too, so I have also allowed other exercise in my challenge. I will count every 10 minutes of hard exercise as 1 km. (for example, if I do a 50 minute “cardio/core” circuit class, I will count that as 5 km). I usually average one km. in about 8.5 minutes when I walk/run races, so I think that is a reasonable equivalent.

So here is the challenge I offer to you: for 2013, do one (or both) of these things:
1) Donate to someone else’s challenge (if 100 people sponsored me for 1 cent per km., they would only need to donate $20.13 and I would reach my goal!)
2) Set up your own 2013 challenge like Marc Hemmingway and I have done, and collect your own funds for the charity of your choice.

Once I’ve sorted out the giving page, I will link to it, and I will also create a page here on my blog that I will update to keep track of my progress. Check back to see how I am doing and also to let me know how you are doing on your resolutions- if I get really clever, maybe I can create an interactive page where we can all share our progress. Also, check out “Run Hemmingway Run” to see how he is doing with his challenge.

Three more days to go (two for some of you!), so get your resolutions out there!

Update: I have my donation page up and running here.
Read my full update here.