January 2014 – As I already said in my “weight loss journey timeline” post, January 2014 was when I decided to get my shit together. I basically just focused on managing my calories, but I also started doing Bikini Body Mommy workouts on a recommendation from a friend. I didn’t get too far, like less than 2 weeks before it required dumbbells different than the ones I had at home, so I quickly lost interest. I probably did some Wii Fit stuff as well but I can’t remember for sure.
March 3, 2014 – As part of being chosen for the Biggest Loser competition, we were split into teams of 6 and assigned a trainer from the local CrossFit gym, Vo2Max. Ron Turner was our trainer, who I HIGHLY recommend if you’re looking for a personal CF trainer and/or you’re looking at joining Vo2! We had to go to two one hour-long training sessions per week (Tuesday/Thursday) and then a challenge of team vs team on Saturday mornings.
Team Black aka Team Ron aka Weapons of Mass Reduction
May 2014 – Biggest Loser was over, but I regretted not signing up for Zulu Challenge (I had thought about it but thought that I couldn’t handle it). I love CrossFit but ultimately it was too expensive and the classes didn’t fit into my schedule so I didn’t continue it after the competition was over (sad face).
However, I finally got an Eastlink Centre membership!
June 2014 – Last year I had planned on going to Color Me Rad in Edmonton, so I signed up for it. I was posting about doing Tough Mudder in 2015, and a Facebook friend asked me if I had ever heard of Spartan Race. I had not, but one promotional video in and I was already hooked. It turned out that there was a Sprint (5K) in Edmonton the day after Color Me Rad…..I was already going to be in the city, so why not, right? I signed up that night.
July 5, 2014 – Color Me Rad (5K), Edmonton AB. My first 5K. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would but I was still glad that I did it. Considering that less than a year ago I couldn’t walk up the block without getting shin splints, doing a 5K and thinking it was painfully easy was quite the improvement.
July 6, 2014 – Spartan Sprint (5K), Edmonton AB. This would be another day that changed my life. It may have been a spur of the moment decision but one I would be forever thankful that I made, just like Biggest Loser.
I don’t even know how to fully describe the how I felt jumping over the fire and crossing that finish line, but the closest I can come is just raw, unadulterated pride. I didn’t do “well”, I wasn’t fast, I didn’t complete all of the obstacles (in fact I had done 120 penalty burpees)….BUT there was something about crawling around in the mud and climbing over walls and chanting “AROO” at the start line that ignited a fire inside of me. I knew that I wanted to get my Spartan trifecta (finishing all three Spartan races in one calendar year) next year no matter what. I had a big goal and all of the determination and motivation in the world to get me there.
I was already addicted.
July 11, 2014 – Glow Run (5K), Grande Prairie AB. This was the first year for this run and I enjoyed it 1000X more than Color Me Rad, which really surprised me considering that it’s a local race and CMR is huge and across the country.
Lady Gaga was the inspiration behind the lightning bolts.
August 2014 – I was driving and I heard on the radio that the Zulu Challenge (May 2015) early bird registration was open! I signed up as soon as I got home. Only 9 months in advance hahaha!
September 2014 – I convinced Caleb to let me buy some trail shoes. I bought the Inov-8 TrailRoc 245s. I got them just in time for Roots & Ruts!
September 26, 2014 – Roots & Ruts Trail Race (10K), Grande Prairie AB. My first 10K. There were 5 of us former Biggest Losers running this race. Originally Shay (who is in most of these pictures with me, haha) was the only one going to do the 5K and the rest of us were doing the 10K. But the race day arrived and suddenly I was the only one doing the 10K! Terrifying!
The Biggest Loser crew! (I am proudly sporting my Canadian Mudd Queens shirt!)
But in a big way this race was a turning point for me. The previous races I had done I had stuck with my running partner (usually Shay), but with this race I decided to run my own race, right from the start. It’s so difficult to find a running partner who runs the same pace as you, everyone’s bodies are built so differently (I have mile-long legs which makes for a long gait even if I’m slow) and no two people train the same. So breaking out of my comfort zone of having someone right by my side the entire race really helped me gain the confidence to run and workout alone and not depend on other people to do that with me.
I found the first half of the race super annoying, mostly because of all the kids taking up the entire trail (keep to the right except to pass please!!). The weather was damp and it rained at the end. However, once I continued past the 5K turn off, I was all. by. myself. on that trail for a blissful 3K or so and it was absolutely magical. Running a beaten path through the woods without music is something everyone needs to do. Breathe in the life in the trees around you and appreciate the pull of your lungs and the ache in your legs. Just breathe in and be grateful that you’re alive and healthy and able to move your legs in a forward motion over a rutted trail without too much difficulty. I think about that every time I run, how thankful I am to be able to experience that. It’s made me really appreciate the city I was born and raised in, and appreciate the greenspace that the city maintains for its’ citizens to enjoy.
My official time was 1:26:49 (I told you, I’m slow!). I ended up placing 73/76 women, 17/18 in my age category. It wasn’t a good time by any means but for god’s sake, I ran my first 10K!
Crossing the finish line!
October 2014 – I decided that I wanted to run an unofficial half marathon on Noah’s 4th birthday, December 19th. On recommendation, I downloaded the Hal Higdon half marathon training app (the most expensive app I’ve ever bought – $10 – but so so worth it if you’re looking for a great training plan) and started my training.
I also signed up for the Chilly Willy Run half-marathon in February 2015.
November 1, 2014 – Zulu Midnight Run (5K), Grande Prairie AB. I found this run super unorganized, although the premise was neat. After every mile you had to stop and do an “obstacle”. Mile 1 was 5 pushups, mile 2 was crawling underneath this caution tape (their version of barbed wire) in a horseshoe shape (it was too short to bear crawl through so I just army crawled), and mile 3 was 5 burpees (it might have been 10 pushups and 10 burpees but I can’t remember for sure).
Afterwards they had the pool and hot tub open at Eastlink but I did not partake. Apparently they were supposed to give away a mall gift card but there was nothing really going on and after I asked about it on Instagram (the only place I saw it mentioned) the next morning, they said that they would be doing a draw that day. I have no clue if that actually happened or not. To be honest this little run makes me reeeeeal nervous for how the real Zulu is going to go.
December 7, 2014 – Jingle Bell Fun Run/Walk (12K), Grande Prairie AB. This was a run that I was stoked about. There were prizes for best costume and I have a WICKED ugly Christmas sweater that I could pull out for just this occasion.
I had bought the tutu at Color Me Rad and never used it, so YAY for finally doing something with it.
The route was 4 laps around the reservoir. I did one and hated it. I don’t know why but I can’t stand that route. At this point I considered just hiding in my van for 30 mins and pretending I ran it (there was free hot chocolate and coffee and potential prizes just waiting for me inside!) or just leaving entirely. I had eaten too early and forgotten a snack so at that point I was already hungry and very disheartened. I sat in my van for a few minutes, deciding what I wanted to do.
Well, I got the fuck over it and headed under the bridge to take my favorite route instead (we were allowed to go rogue if we wanted to, it was an unstructured fun run). I was immediately happier and didn’t want to give up anymore. It had been so long since I had ran that route last that the river was completely frozen solid and the dozens of ducks I had come to expect to see were all gone.
I was only 2K or so in that direction when I passed someone coming back and he offered me a high five. Right at that exact moment, his Nike app said that he had done 6 miles. In 40 minutes. I had done 3 in the same amount of time. HA!
When I finished my run, I realized that I had accidentally ran 13.2K instead of 12, due to my one reservoir lap. Oops! I also realized that I was dead dead dead last. It took me about 1:52 (I was so done by the end…..I needed more food!) and by that time, everyone had packed up and left. There was no hot chocolate waiting for me. I was okay with it initially, until I went to leave the park and I got stuck behind another vehicle waiting for the Santa parade to pass…
There is only one exit to the park (and two entrances, but one is a one way). At that point my sweat was cooling so I was getting cold, I was hungry, I had to be at my friend’s house in an hour for a baking day, and as the minutes ticked by I became more and more upset about everyone leaving before I finished. Soon enough I was having a full-blown panic attack because I was trapped there until the parade was over. I considered doing a u-turn and exiting the illegal way but there were 4 vehicles behind me too and it’s a narrow road so I didn’t have any room. I was completely stuck. And hysterically crying. I had to call my husband to talk me down. All I could do was hope that the parade would pass quickly and also hope that no one near the entrance was someone I knew who could see me having this freakout. My friend lives across the street and I saw her and a bunch of other women from my mom group come out to watch the parade. I hoped that they couldn’t see me and/or wouldn’t recognize my vehicle.
After the longest 15 minutes of my life, the parade was mercifully over and I could escape home for a snack, a hot tea, a hot shower, and a hug from my husband. BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.
My amazing winter running shoes that I got from my parents for Christmas! (Salomon Snowcross CS!)
December 19, 2014 – Okay, so this is a non-entry. Noah got sick (a chest and ear infection) so I missed some training days since he had to stay home from school. I did not do a half-marathon on his birthday. I’m a little disappointed with myself but I am okay with it.
January 1, 2015 – Resolution Run (10K), Grande Prairie AB. This run was brutal. I was so hungover (last drop of alcohol until February 1st), I hadn’t gone to bed until 4AM, and the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do was get up and run a fucking 10K.
But I did it.
I was slower than usual (who knew that was possible?). I wanted to give up multiple times. Thank god it was warm (I ended up running in just a t-shirt) because if it was cold I don’t even know if I would have gotten out of bed (okay I probably would have still ran, but I would have bitched about it more). I wore my Canadian Mudd Queens bracelet, my green Spartan bracelet (so it’s a combo of green for Noah and Spartan, in my mind (technically the green is for the Beast but WHATEVER)), and my beloved Spartan Finisher shirt. I needed all of the strength I could get.
This is the best smile I could muster.
I was miserable, I had to give myself a full-on whispered pep talk ALOUD like a crazy person, but I fucking DID THAT SHIT. I started off 2015 with a casual 10K under my belt. At this point I was doing 10Ks for training runs, I wasn’t even worried. Who knew that I would come this far in 3 months? Or even thinking about how out of shape I was coming into 2014, who would have thought that a 10K would be NBD? I couldn’t even handle a 1500m race when I was doing track in junior high!
HOWEVER, my right hip likes to bug me whenever I run over 8K or so (this has been happening for awhile), so I was limping to my van by the end of it. Damn my body, it doesn’t want to cooperate with me at all. I have all of the determination and motivation to get me where I need to go, but my body likes to throw shin splints and hip pain at me just to be an asshole.
“Thank god this race is almost over, FML” – exactly my thoughts at this point. I was roughly half a KM away from the finish.
So that’s it. An entire year in review. Next I will outline all of the races I have on board for 2015, as well as my 2015 resolutions. YOU’RE WELCOME.