Monday, January 31, 2011

In running news

Just wanted to do a quick update on my 'training'.

Coach Kelly has started me on a great plan to get me up and 'running' a 10 miler in April...that's right it says 10MILES not 10kms...I'm a whole other level of crazy now!! I managed to sucker convince my friend Britt that she should do this race with me. She is training for a half marathon is May and the 10 miler will be part of her training. You can follow Britt here on her training journey.

CK has developed a schedule for me that  pared everything down so I'll be focusing on running for the first few weeks. She also insists that I take rest days...honest. I've done really well on those days.

She also managed to get me to run 20kms last week in a few short and very easy runs. My biggest challenge was on Saturday as I did my first long run of 9kms. Because of the slower pace, I managed to do it all with only one walk break. It was a true 'ah-ha' moment for me. I really only walked because my left knee has been bothering me and it had something to say at around 5km.  After a 1 minute walk I was back at it and finished just fine.

Part of the knee issue (I believe) is my procrastination in purchasing some new shoes. So I made a date with my sister-in-law (who is new to running) and we met at the local Running Room. We left there very informed about running shoes...probably more informed than we needed to be. I did learn that I am a mid-foot striker and I don't pronate, under or over...I'm Switzerland.

I did walk out with these babies:
The are not the most super-funky, flashy runners, but they fit and that's what's most important (or I keep telling myself that). I have yet to try them out on the pavement cause I don't want them to get all dirty yet.

This week should be a challenge for my running:

The weather people are saying we are getting 15-20cm on Tuesday night and they are predicting another
10-15cm on Wednesday....the storm of the year! And winds of 40-45km/h!


What's your challenge this week?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Allow me to introduce....

I've realized that majority (okay, all) of my posts have been about my running. I do have a life outside of running, really I do. I just get consumed with the challenges of the sport and I like to use this outlet to work through it all.

As much as I like to run, I have to make time for it and that, my friends, is no easy task. Why? Because I am a mother!

Mothers have different schedules than other people, we have to run on 'mommy time' which is very limited time. We mothers are masters of multi-tasking, experts in efficiency, and divas of delegating.

This blog is to let all you out there know (and commiserate) that yes...I can have it all....or hurt myself trying. I am very fortunate to have a loving, supporting husband and two beautiful healthy children.

In order for me to fully enjoy my family...I run...away from them!

One reason I started running was to be a healthy role model for my children. I have two girls that watch me very closely and I want them to know that a healthy lifestyle is important and making time for yourself is important, especially as a woman.

'Dee' is my oldest and she is eight. She is up for anything and a couple summers ago she did her first race.
I was sooooo proud.
She was all smiles the whole way even though it rained through her race.

My youngest is 'Kay' and she is five. She has been my biggest cheerleader. She gives me a hug (or three) whenever I leave the house for a run. She always says..."Have a good run momma"

And of course Mr. B....

The truth is that I wouldn't be the person I am without my family. They are the reason that I want to set goals and work hard to reach them. They encourage and support me and they make me accountable for my actions. They also frustrate, annoy, irritate and stress me out, so I have no choice but to to get away.

Good or bad...they are the reason I run.

I hope to post more about my family, they make me laugh and cry and they are around me alll the really I have a lot of material from them.

What is your reason to run (or run away)?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lighter Side of Running

Today on the Run Like a Mother facebook page they posted a link to More Magazine's listing of the funniest running t-shirts.
I thought these were hilarious...because they are true!

I am not one for flashy clothes, especially anything with phrases, cartoons or pictures of animals on the front, or on the back or anywhere...oh, no thank you, no graphics for me.

My running clothes are no exception, I have about four really great tech shirts and not one of them has anything on them. Not even a tiny check mark over my heart.  I guess I'm a little boring added with being a little self conscious. I prefer to not draw attention to myself as I'm sweating and panting.

But these shirts just might change all that....

The caption under this said you could pick from: margaritas, beer, chocolate, wine. 
I say: Yes, yes, yes, and  yes...please!
Oh, and can you run an iron over it before you ship it out...seriously, who crawled outta bed with this on before the photo shoot??

This one says...If your Relationship is Still Working....You Could be Training Harder.
Sad....but true.....

This says: "I thought they said 'RUM' "
Bahahhaha...that just makes me laugh. And I love Rum too..

This one made me laugh...on the inside.
This is sooooo what I think of when I'm lining up for a race....what was I thinking??? Why do I want to run my ass off for 10K (or more). 
Oh, right...because I set goals for myself and make myself go through with dare I!!!

I like when I can laugh at myself...and all you other runners out there. I'm sure you gave a chuckle, or two, when you read these...c'mon admit it!

What piece of clothing made you smile today?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Put me in Coach

As most of you know, since I announced it to the world last week, I won some free running coaching via the wonderful blog world.

Last night I filled out the first of two very detailed questionnaires that Coach Kelly (CK) sent me through email. I thought long and hard about the things that I would want to share with CK before we began and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the questions listed matched my a tee.

For example:

I thought: I really want to learn how to fuel during a run, I should ask her that. And, I have no idea what to eat after a run, I should ask her that too.

CK asked (paraphrased of course):
Are in interested in learning what to eat before, during and after your runs? 

Heck YES!

The other similarities go on. Such as adding strength training and doing proper stretches. She covered it all. That was just the first section. I still have to finish the second section, which is a more detailed history of my exercise routines. I have to actually do a little research for that.

On a similar note, all this running has left me hungry! Seriously...I could eat every 1/2 hour. I think this is part of why I was wondering if I should be eating better (or something) before, during, after my runs/workouts. I don't think I'm re-fueling properly and it's leaving me hungry for the rest of the day (into the next).

I have just discovered nuun.

It's non-carbonated, non-sugary, non-carb loaded hydration. I'm thrilled with this concept. This is a tablet that you add to your water, to make it super-hydrating. These are my words, check out the company site for more scientific description.
I've only experimented with Gatorade or the like in race preparation. I could never justify the calories. In the low or no calorie versions, I could never justify all the artificial sweeteners. Also, I found them too sweet for my stomach, which was never pretty.
 I usually ended up watering it down. Which I've recently learned means you don't get the benefits of hydrating.
Now that I've done the sales pitch, I admit I've only had this a couple times. Not enough to do a full review. But I will comment when I have more to say. For now, I'm just happy to try something new that seems give me what I want without the nasty side effects.

What fun running/fitness product have you tried lately? What did you think? Would you recommend it to friends, or slyly sneak it into your enemy's water bottle?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Won!!

I'm so excited...I won something!

With special thanks to Kelly over at Secrets of a Running Mom I am the winner of her coaching giveaway.
That's right...she's just giving coaching away...for free (one of my favourite words).

I will be getting personal online coaching for my running goals for three months!!! I've never had a coach before, I've never had someone tell me what to do and when to do it (running related that is...get your mind outta the gutter).
I'm so excited...can you tell? What a week. Besides the crazy snow, I've managed to run three times this week and got in 20kms.
Also, the whole newspaper article thing..which is just crazy.

And....Mr. B came home yesterday and surprised me with these bad boys.

Now I have super, snow running power...kinda. My long run today was completely non-slip.

Me: 1
Snow and Ice: 0

I'm excited to share with you my coaching experience. If you are new here and learned about me through Kelly's site...welcome! Please leave a comment letting me know you found me.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Enough is Enough

I get it, I live in Canada. We get four seasons here. We get snow here, a lot of snow.
After last Saturday's crazy snow run I know that I can run through just about everything. But that doesn't mean I want to run through everything.

This morning I woke up to light flurries and -4 degrees with wind. Blah. I had planned at least 8k run. Considering my last snowy run I really had no excuse to at least try.

Me: What should I do? Run now or later?
Mr. B: Just ride the bike inside, it's warmer.
Me: But that won't give me kilometers.
Mr. B: Then go, worse case, you get a walk out of it.

I went. It was cold, windy and sting-y...if that's a word. The snow was a little icy and hitting my face on the way home. I cut it short and managed a shy 6k.
Better than nothin'.

I'm considering making myself some screw shoes. Mr. B. laughed at me. But I told him I wasn't making them up. They are a real running thing.

I've just about had enough of this's getting in the way of my goals, darn it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What's Black and White and Read All Over?

My New Year's Resolution...that's what!

Last week I was contacted by the local newspaper about talking to them about my new year's resolutions/goals. Apparently, they had heard that I had some interesting fitness goals through a friend, through Facebook. That's right, the power of social media has smacked me on the a$$!

The article came out yesterday and although it's exciting to see your name (and face) in the newspaper, I'm a little worried that now that it's out in public that I will have the added pressure of sticking to my goal.

For those interested here is the article:

Grimsby woman sets goal to run 1,011 kilometres in 2011

Posted 2 days ago
Cathy Bouwers plans to run 1,011 kilometres in 2011.
The Grimsby resident started running with the Grimsby running club three years ago and has been slowly pushing herself further and further. She began with a learn to run program, and enjoyed it so much that she continued to run regularly on her own. Running offered her a great way to get in shape.
"I don't have to go to a gym. I can just leap out my front door," she said.
Her New Year's resolution is to take running further. She plans to push herself to run further distances, and by the end of the year she hopes to have racked up 1,011 kilometres.
"That's my goal," she said. "It's going to be a challenge, but it's a tangible goal."
She will be tracking her progress on her blog, which she recently started. You can follow her at
When Bouwers sets a goal, she tries hard to stick to it. On December 1, she set a goal to exercise 30 minutes a day for 30 days. She knew December would be a hectic month and didn't want to lose the progress she made in the months prior.
"I didn't want to get to January and have to start all over," she said. "I ran every day... even Christmas day."
Since she has been sharing her goals and successes through her blog and on Facebook, she said many of her friends have set similar goals for themselves.
"I think it's encouraging for other people," she said.
She said she feels stronger since she started running.
"I was one of those people that saw runners and thought that I could never do that," she said, adding that she feels great now that she actually gave it a shot and has kept up with it.
She also does strength training, coming in to the Town of Grimsby's recreation centre for the drop-in fitness program. She said it's not always easy to find time, but her children and husband are great support.
You can follow Bouwers progress on her blog!

Yup! There it is in black and white and had been read all over (well, over West Niagara anyway). There are a couple of errors in this article I have to address. If not for the integrity of the article, then at least to ease my mind.
1) I do not live in Grimsby (I did for 5 years) but I still reside in West Niagara.
2) I did not 'run' everyday in December. I did exercise everyday in December (which you know if you read this blog) and it did include Christmas Day. And on that note...I am still keeping this going every day.
3) I don't remember saying "leap" out my front door. My point being that running allows me the quickest way to get in shape as all I have to do is go out the front door. This is opposed to going to the gym, it's just faster.

Other than that I'm okay with this article. My point was made...kinda. However, the picture was great so check out the article here.

Further on the running front I have only managed 5.5 K this week so far. It seems that I can really only get a run in on the weekends, but that means two long runs, and I'm afraid I'll hurt myself. That, coupled with the crazy snowy weather, icy sidewalks and -15 degree temperatures...I don't think Mother Nature likes runners.

So hopefully there are some new readers that learned about me through the article. Welcome, stay a while. I love comments, even just to say you are there. I have a few plans for this blog and I'd like some feedback along the way, so don't be shy...just be nice :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Can you choke on a Snowflake?

I've never given much thought this this question until today...when it happened to me.

Let me start from the started as an almost perfect Saturday. After sleeping in late I discussed the possibility of getting a run before noon. Mr. B thought we should take the kids tobogganing, as it snowed last night and we haven't had snow the entire Christmas break.

Me: I should go for a run this morning.
Mr. B:  Wait til later when people have shovelled their sidewalks

Seemed the hills we went.
It was gorgeous winter day...perfect really. Fresh snow, no wind, clear blue sky and the sun getting brighter by the minute. I was actually looking forward to my run in the new snow.

After the hills we headed home for cookies and hot chocolate, which lead to a late lunch. I am a bit of a procrastinator, so after doing laundry, making homemade soup and wasting time on the computer, I thought I was ready for my run.
By the time I gathered all my clothes, ipod, watch and warm socks my perfect winter day turned to this....

I was ready to go, so I couldn't back out now. Plus...I'm waaaayyy behind on my weekly mileage goals, so it was my last chance.

Me: Oh...why didn't I run this morning?
Mr. B: It will be cool to run in the snow...besides, they weren't calling for much snow today, it should stop soon.

What the picture doesn't show is the size of the snowflakes...huge cotton balls falling from the sky, added with a bit of wind from the North and it was almost a blizzard...well I guess it was a blizzard.

About halfway home I actually choked on a couple I had my mouth open and really the snow was non-stop the whole time. In fact, most of my footprints had been covered by the time I doubled back.

This is by far the craziest run I have ever done. I was actually laughing to myself throughout, just at the sheer 'silly-ness' of it all. I'm not that serious of a runner, I don't even consider myself a runner...but who else would go out to get a run  in the middle of a blizzard?

I felt great! The weather slowed me down so my breathing and legs felt strong the whole time. I managed to get in 7.8kms done. In fact I would have even gone further had my pants not slowed me down. Let me say I have learned my lesson...never wear yoga pants running in the snow!
Snow Shoes

When I came home I was almost giddy...I can't believe I just ran in that.

Mr. B: How'd that go?
Me: That was fun!!

I think that's the first time I've ever said that about a run. Oh...I've found my run-love again. Tear.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh boy!

I have a new understanding of the power of social media. These fun time wasters called Facebook and Twitter and even blogs, have so much power to influence, educate, connect and get people in trouble!

Now, before you start thinking there is some really juicy gossip coming, I hate to disappoint you. I only mention that I am realizing the power of connecting people from all over the world, or in your own town, and where that could lead to.

If you read my last blog entry I made a pretty firm running goal for 2011. It was a step for me to put that on the blog...another step to put the blog on Facebook. I now have a handful of friends and family members that know about this goal which will help keep me honest and keep me motivated.

That handful is about to overflow! I won't give details yet, you will have to come back next week to see what I'm droning on about...but.... boy oh boy....I really have put it all out there!

In the meantime, all this talk of goals and running and I have yet to get out more than once this week!! I really need to come up with a scheduling strategy. Right now the kids have been off of school, but once they are back, things get pretty busy. I'm hoping to start making use of my friends offers to go for a run at night some time ...don't be surprised if you get a call from me soon!

Heading into the weekend I'm hoping to chase down a few kms and come up with a solid plan for the coming week.
But as all moms know, the best laid plans...usually gets squashed by someone puking in the middle of the night.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Another year over, a new one just begun!

How did you survive 2010? Are you looking forward to 2011 with new goals, ambitions and accomplishments? I am!

I have to update on the close of my 2010. I technically ended the 30 day challenge on Dec. 30. Working out 30mins (minimum) each day for 30 days, right through the holidays. And yes, I did work out on Christmas day.

I admit that most days I did the minimum of 30 mins., but those were the days that I would normally not do anything at all...something is always better than nothing. Not only do I end 2010 with a sense of accomplishment, I feel healthy and fit and the best part....5 lbs lighter!!
I didn't intend on losing weight, but I guess that would be a side effect of exercising every day. I really thought all the cookies and wine would have counteracted the weight loss. Bonus!
I've managed to continue the daily exercise because I really don't have a good reason to stop! I feel great and I'm glad I've stuck to something so long. Hopefully it will continue and become a good habit for life.

Now on to bigger and better things. I have big plans for 2011, mostly to do with running and organizing my life. The running part is easier.

My goal for 2011 is to run 1,011 kms! There...I said it, it's out in cyberspace and now I have to stick to it. I plan to use this blog and the dailymile website to help keep track. I'm sure there will be times (days, weeks, months) that I will struggle. I hope you can lend support and motivation. If I know someone is reading this, it will help keep me honest!

I figure it would be about 20kms a week, which is were I peaked last summer. If I can maintain that and possibly increase my mileage (as I have other ambitions to be mentioned at a later date), I should be able to reach that target.
I started my new year off great:
  • slept in until 11am (unheard of since I was in my teens)
  • lounged around in my pj's way into the afternoon
  • went for a run in the rare +9 degree weather
I admit, it was hard to get out the door, but Mr. B encouraged "you'll feel better once you do it" and that was all I needed. In fact, once I walked down my driveway I was grateful to be out, it was soooo warm! Then when I started running, I kinda had a stupid smile on my face. Why? Cause I really like to run and I was so grateful to be able to do it.

The whole 6kms was my time to reflect on me and my goals. I felt strong, healthy and very happy. I hope you enjoyed your first day as much as I have. Did you set yourself up for any goals/resolutions? How are you going to keep them? Please share!

Here's to a great year....Cheers!