Tag Archives: Running

new experience: running with a camera!

as you know, aunti wednesday in toronto is sacred and non-negotiable…well, except for this past wednesday. but there is a good explanation for why i stayed in waterloo for the day! today, saturday, i am heading into *the city* to spend mega-time with little e and cutie c as my gift of extended babysitting #2 day for this year’s kiki project.

as a result of the schedule shift (i swapped my saturday hours at the store for wednesday aft/eve), i was able to enjoy a unique social outing on wednesday at the ripe old hour of 7:30 a.m.! my friends and neighbours, stephen and rhonda had extended an open invitation for me to join them for a trail run any wednesday. this was the week to set up our running date!

i decided that it would be fun to snap photos on this outing. i have never run with a camera before (both because why do i need to take pictures as i run and also out of fear of klutzily falling and busting my camera).

at first, it looked like the camera would fit in my handheld’s pouch (where you see those chomps)…but the pocket was about 3 mm too small!

the back pocket of my capris was just perfect!

stephen and rhonda took me to one of their favourite trail areas over in the kiwanis park area of the city. we would do an out-and-back along the grand river.

the weather gods obviously heartily approved of our plan – we could not have ordered up a more gorgeous morning.

stephen and rhonda! our trail run was social outing #17 of this year’s kiki project!

getting more skill’d at the three-person self-portrait taking!

our trail run was so much fun. we ran at a comfortable and relaxed pace, the setting was peaceful and beautiful, and we all chatted non-stop. since we are friends and neighbours, we had a lot of topics to discuss!

heading out

the trail was gravel for the most part, wide open and not too hilly but not perfectly flat, either. i soon remembered how much more forgiving a trail path is on the body than pounding on pavement or cement!

the time flew by. i could not believe when rhonda checked her garmin and said it was time to turn back.

unfortunately, being a newbie action-photographer, i messed up the rest of my photos. i had the setting on VIDEO instead of PHOTO so i have no more pictures to show you, drat the luck. better luck next time, i guess!

i will look forward to joining stephen and rhonda again when our schedules mesh – but, it’s going to be hard to top this week’s fun!


happy mother’s day, mom!

tomorrow is the day when we bestow love and best wishes on the special women in our lives (although i hope we do that every day of the year). happy mother’s day to my mom:

my mom, my dear friend…a most gracious and lovely person with a kind and giving nature

i am fortunate to be able to spend tomorrow with a few moms! mom, grandma, sil ana…we will all be together to celebrate g’ma’s special 90th birthday.

happy mother’s day, grandma!

happy mother’s day, sil ana!

wishing you and the special moms you know a wonderful mother’s day tomorrow!

zoom to the finish

saturday eve found me back in elmira, raring to go for part two of the EndurRace event!

elmira is rightly very proud of its maple syrup festival!

our distance this time was 8k – hallelujah for 3 more km’s to run than last week.

same compression socks, different shoes (brooks ghost 2's), redone racing nails, lucky gloves!

the gel noosas were miffed that they had to stay home this week…but, i wanted to give my brooks ghosts a go! i’ve got ’em broken in just so.

the weather saturday eve was even more perfect than last week for running:

four degrees warmer (11 degrees C) and less windy...

...and more sun!

the course was almost the same as last week’s square, just a bit larger. i give the course designs an A+: they were picturesque, quiet, mostly flat. this week, i smelled bbq hamburgers along with the cow manure as we toured along (not a pleasing combination, trust me).

watch for runners! (all drivers i encountered waited patiently for us to pass)

[true confession: after last week’s results, i was not running solely for FUN, i was out for blood. i am only kinda joking].

my legs found their groove at the 4 k mark. at 5 k, i thought, “hey! last week i was done already!” and i was very glad i was not done already, this week. i really felt good at the 7 k mark.

the field for the 8k was much smaller than for last week’s 5 k – like, there were about 100 less participants. [the waterloo half and full marathons were yesterday morning, that may have taken away some potential 8k participants]. weirdly, from about 6 k on, i had no one within sight. it was a bit lonely!

i finished feeling strong and with a big smile – the way it should be.


time: 38:20 (chip time 38:14)

2/15 in age group

9/102 in females

69/215 overall

funny enough, i felt like i was running slower than last week, but i had an average pace of 4:48 per km which is 3 seconds faster than last week…see, i told you i need more distance!!

top three masters females, overall! me, 1st place, 3rd place

after the race, i hung out with some regular customers from the store (that sounds funny but i can’t really call them “friends,” so what else to say?!)…no photos because i do not know any of these people well enough to say “can i put your photo on my blog?!”

and, i won a draw prize this week! i chose a saucony drawstring bag – it was either that or a water bottle. soooo many people stuck around this week for the prizes and awards – i think the lure of the $250 cash final draw prize and the awards for the 5 + 8 k combined events kept people interested.

numbers for 5 + 8 k combined events!

1:02:34 total time

1/9 in age group

6/64 for females

54/145 participants

after doing two 6 pm races, here are my thoughts on the benefits and negatives of running an early evening race:


~ i felt loose and warmed up after a day of moving around. no tightness or stiffness that you sometimes have first thing in the morning.

~ i had time to gear up mentally, and excitement grew over the hours of the day so that by race time, i was psyched to get the show on the road!

~ the temps were warmer than first thing in the a.m.

~ no, er….potential for gastro-intestinal distress, if you get what i mean, later in the day


~ w.a.i.t.i.n.g until early eve to run – my circadian rhythms like to get out in the early a.m. so i found it tough to wait til later in the day to get running.

~ since i worked at the store for five hours each saturday, my legs were not fresh like they are in the morning.

so, now that BOTH parts of the EndurRace are complete and the work is done, i can wear the tshirt this week!

all of the collectibles: bib, saucony draw prize bag, TSHIRT!!!, and three medals

[all participants in the combined 5 & 8k distances received the finisher’s medal on the black ribbon that you see in the photo, there].

the next race is all picked out. giddy-up!


and just like that, today’s entry concludes our participation in the blogging from a-z challenge. i am so glad i joined in. i genuinely enjoyed the blogging-by-alphabet concept and felt creatively inspired. april zipped right past!

the challenge organizers have invited us to write a final a-z reflections post on monday, may 7th, so i am going to wait for that date to share my conclusions and impressions.

april: did it go fast or slow for you?? just like a marathon, the beginning and end dates sped by while the middle days progressed at a more languid pace.

tshirt! it’s all about the tshirt!

do you remember when canadian supermodel linda evangelista famously sneered, “i don’t get out of bed for less than $10 000 a day?”


well, that has been my sentiment exactly, over the years, when it comes to running a 5k organized event. yawn and yuck.

i have such harsh feelings towards the 5k because it takes me 30 minutes of running to find my rhythm, get in the zone and get those endorphins flowing. well, the 5k race is over before these positive feelings get a chance to kick in. so, in 23 years of running, i think i have completed less than five 5k runs.

i need to retract my scornful words. saturday eve found me in elmira running the 5k EndurRace.

why did i decide to run a distance i dislike, at a time of day that is not enjoyable to me (the race had a 6 pm start time – i am emphatically a first-thing-in-the-morning runner)??


saturday i worked at the store til 4 pm, then came home and got ready for the run:

racing shoes (asics gel noosas), racing socks (the new compression socks!), racing nails (my pre-run ritual) - we're set!

the quaint town of elmira (site of the super-popular maple syrup festival!) is a quick and easy 15 minute drive from home. i arrived early, found parking in a snap, picked up my race bib and TSHIRT, and had time to get organized and socialize, all without being stressed for time.

promptly at 6 pm, the race began. the EndurRace is part of the runwaterloo series, and race director lloyd has been at this game for so many years that things tick along like a well-oiled machine at his events.

the race course was great – pancake flat, and we wound through a scenic and lovely neighbourhood in elmira. nothing like running along and breathing in the fresh scent of cow manure. the course was a loop shape which is my favourite type because you don’t pass the same sights twice! conditions were practically perfect for running: about 7 degrees C, overcast skies, and while there was a bit of a cool wind, it wasn’t hideous.

now, i had NO CLUE as to what time i could expect to get. my goals were to 1) finish smiling 2) run comfortably with purpose yet within myself 3) finish smiling. i train sans timing devices, and run by how i feel, so i was interested to see what would unfold over the 5k distance.

5k goes fast!

the start/finish banner (taken after the race, not as i approached!).

i ran old-school with my car key laced onto my shoe!

as i neared the finish line, i looked at the timing display, and was extremely surprised to see 24:00 on the clock! well, ok, then!

all in all, it was a really fun time. i saw a lot of familiar faces from the store, the community, and my old racing days, and enjoyed the social aspect of the event thoroughly.

post-race, with becky!

with race director lloyd!

[(blog reader) ali, i missed you after the race – i was going to ask you for a photo!! i hope you had fun!]

here are my results (you can find the total race results here):

time – 24:14 with a chip time of 24:08

2/17 in age group, 12/133 females

i’ll take it!

i stuck around and enjoyed the post-race food and music. lloyd did some draw prizes (i did not win, too bad), and then the awards were presented. i ended up getting 2nd masters female!

(L to R) - 1st, 2nd, 3rd place masters females!

hardware to go with my tshirt memento!

oh – and what of the tshirt that was the whole intent and purpose of doing this event?


well, i am laughing because it has got to be the most butt-ugly one of the most…uniquely coloured race tshirts i have ever seen. at least it is made of tech fabric! and i have no other maroon race tees!…but good golly, give me a plain old white-based shirt any day.


what did you do saturday eve? i’m about ready for another “saturday night at the movies” outing!

socks that compress

arm warmers, minimalist footwear, the paleo diet, ice baths…the running community is quick to embrace the next! big! thing! that is espoused in the media as the must-do/must-have item to improve! your! running!

over the last year or so, compression socks have soared in popularity among professional and recreational runners:

see meb run! in his CEP compression socks! (ad in the latest runner's world mag)

well, i am not one to let a bandwagon go by without jumping on (except for ice baths – ick) so, after hearing a clinic guest speaker at the store describe, in detail, the many benefits of wearing compression socks, and after hearing friends rave on about the joy of wearing these special socks, i purchased a pair:

my box o' sox

you’re probably familiar with the concept of compression socks from seeing old people wearing the hideous flesh-coloured ones on airplanes. well, believe it or not, the running versions follow the same type of design, and provide similar benefits to the medical socks (improved circulation, for example) – they just look more fun!

the "compression section" of our sock wall...

...and a close up of the brands (i forgot our house brand - oops!).

as you can see in that photoS (^^), we carry a few different brands of compression socks at the store, ranging in price from $25.99 to $79.99. mine are the CEP brand (yup, the $79.99 ones!). just click on the link, there, to read all about the socks. [i am not going to go into great descriptive detail, here – i don’t know about you, but whenever i see product info on other blogs, i just skip over those paragraphs. it’s much more interesting to read personal accounts!].

in order to give my socks a fair assessment, i wore them for three consecutive days, this past week. [aren’tcha glad this isn’t a scratch ‘n’ sniff blog?! haha!]. here is what i found…

day one: monday april 16th (BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY!)

details: an eleven hour work day, hours split between the storeS.

a warm day! let's show these babies off! i chose muted shoes so as not to distract from the socks!

ready for work!


  • i gave myself an extra 5 minutes to get dressed – good call! the socks were quite the challenge to pull on because they are so tight (which is how they are supposed to fit). i also put one on way crooked and had to complete a do-over.
  • the socks are super comfortable! i can tell i am wearing them, but they just feel supportive, not constrictive. i most notice the feel of the fabric on my calves.
  • the test: after many hours on my feet, my left ankle has a tendency to get a little puffy; i was interested to see whether the socks would make a difference. when i pulled the socks off at night…yes! my left ankle was completely normal! i am impressed.
  • conclusion after day one: i’m a fan (both of the feel and of the look – rockin’ the retro 70’s style!). i would wear these all day, every day, no hesitation (however, i do not think i could sleep in them because they are just noticeable enough that i don’t think i could fall asleep with them on).

day two: tuesday april 17th

details: a morning run; errands completed on foot in uptown; a shorter late aft/evening shift at the store.

i pair the socks with my (canary feet) adidas adistar boston 2's for the run...if nothing else, this get-up will help me be more visible to traffic!

off to do my errands; no daffodils were harmed in the snapping of this photo! let's match our shoes to our socks, today!


  • during my run: awesome! like yesterday, i can notice i have socks on up to my knees, but it’s a good, supportive feeling, not annoying. i pretend i am an elite – wheeee!
  • did the socks quicken post-run recovery? i honestly couldn’t tell ya.
  • i pretty much don’t notice the socks during the day and evening. i like that the fabric is not itchy.
  • i laugh because i feel like i am back in grade school when i wore knee socks practically every day!

see?! these are my "first day of school" photos for grades 1-4 - note the knee socks in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE!

day three: wednesday april 18th

details: aunti day in toronto!

ready for playtime!

the socks visit the playground with little e!


  • the socks were easier to put on this morning (likely because this was their third day of wear!)
  • today was about 9 degrees; i wonder if the socks feel too hot when it’s july temps??

final thoughts:

  • i bet the placebo effect is a factor for those who choose to wear compression socks.
  • i would love another pair of CEP socks (ok, i’ll take every colour available, thanks) and i’d also like to try another brand.
  • i would not purchase these socks if i had to pay the regular retail price of $79.99. they are very enjoyable…but so are my $9.99 nike socks. i just cannot fathom paying over $80 (with tax) for socks.
  • do you dare me…

...to pair the socks with my silver lame shorts?!

now all the socks need is to be tested in a race! wait…oh, yea! they’re going to get that opportunity….tonight!

disclaimer: i purchased my CEP socks with my very own money, although i did receive them at a nicely discounted price, thanks to an employee purchase program through the store. CEP did not ask me to review these socks, i am not being compensated for sharing my impressions, and all thoughts expressed in today’s blog post are my very own. [haha! i love when i can insert a clause like this to a blog post – it makes me feel like a professional blogger!].

would you be willing to try compression socks, either for sport or for travel? i will wear these on my next plane flight!

what’s the most you would be willing to pay for compression socks? they may be a christmas list item for many people!

running – duh

whoa! we’re going to stop short


right here.

if we get going on such an all-encompassing topic like running, this post could be record-setting in length! similar to knitting, running has so many directions (memories! products! shoes! trainingmotivationmovieselites!) which we could debate and explore…it is best to not even begin.

one area not ever discussed is a running bucket list. i know i’ve shared some items from my LIFE bucket list (all together now: see madonna live, in concert; dye my hair platinum blond; ride on a float in a parade…) but i also have a subcategory on that list that specifically relates to races and events i would one day like to complete.

here, then, is the kiki running bucket list (twelve dreams, in no particular order):

~ run the nyc marathon (i have never been to new york city, and my dream would be to see all five boroughs for the first time by running through them)

~ requalify for and go back to boston

~ complete the endurrun series (this is a tour de france-style eight day, seven stage, 160 km running event held right in my own backyard, here in waterloo)

~ finish a 100 mile event (an ez one [oxymoronic??!] would be fine! i have no desire to do a hardcore trail event like western states, or even sulphur springs…i am thinking something like umstead would be nice)

~ do the jfk 50 miler (i was registered for this one back in the early 2000’s but a groin injury gave me a dns)

~ meet gina and jeff somewhere (vegas?!) and do a race (jeff can scoot ahead and me and gina can run + laugh)

~ break 40:00 minutes again in a 10k (only accomplished a couple of times in my life, thus far)

~ cross a finish line, hand-in-hand with dad, again!

~ run a half marathon every month for a year

~ do a streak year of running at least three miles every single day

~ run a 5 k every weekend for a year (there are enough races in southern ontario that this endeavour would be entirely possible…although maybe i should be retired, given the travel time that would be needed?).

~ run in a costume (be a princess at disney?!)

none of the events on this list are of such paramount importance that i will obsess and fret over them and think that life is not complete if they never come to fruition. it’s just fun to daydream and then see what comes to pass! years ago, i never would have dreamed that i would run an ultra, run boston, or run in moab, utah…these are all examples of really neat experiences that have been accomplished.

we’ve already shared bucket list items before, so let’s simply look at this topic from another angle:

what’s one life bucket list item that you have already completed? i’ll go with getting a tattoo (ok, i got two, and have at least one more planned!).

officially goofy

do you remember seeing those ads that used to run on tv where a hyper, unseen announcer would thrust a microphone in front of an ecstatic, celebrity athlete and bellow, “troy aikman! you just won the super bowl! what are you going to do next??!!” and the practically incoherent mega-superstar would yell, bug-eyed, “I’M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!” before continuing on with his victory arm-pumps and man-hugs with his equally-frenzied team-mates?

well, my current level of excitement is right on par with these guys. cuz…guess who is going to celebrate her birthday next january in disney? me, yes, me!!


here’s the backstory:

the first time i ever heard of goofy’s race and a half challenge was the first winter i worked at the store. janice came in to the wednesday eve run club one cold, winter night with three rockin’ huge medals dangling from her neck – she was freshly returned from completing the goofy. we all ooh-ed and aah-ed over the super-cute hardware, and i was all ears as janice described her weekend of fun down at disney. i made a note to self: add this travel adventure to my life bucket list.

fast-forward to this past november, or so. various friends at the store started discussing disney 2013 and how a group trip was in the making. a facebook page was established, and i joined, just to stay in the loop as i debated whether i could make a visit to disney a reality for january 2013.

[tangent: typing this post, i sometimes feel like i am composing another april fool’s joke -> but, trust me, this plan is for real!]

i debated the pros and cons, my mind veering from YIPPEE thoughts to the YIKES. on the plus side:

  • a travel opportunity that is not too expensive nor too long in duration
  • a travel opportunity with a group of people i know and like
  • a travel opportunity to florida, my natural habitat, a state i love and adore
  • a travel opportunity that involves running
  • a travel opportunity on the weekend after my birthday
  • a quick get-away escape from january in canada
  • a chance to see all of disney’s parks
  • a chance to train for a specific event: disney is also about the journey, not just the destination
  • MEDALS!! a TSHIRT!!! LAUGHTER-FILLED FUN TIMES!!! (i am not joking when i say these are my three primary goals of completing the goofy)

the potential downsides all included hypothetical what if’s:

  • what if training doesn’t go as planned?
  • what if the weather is horrible that weekend?
  • what if there are flight delays, hotel snafus, race kit pickup blunders??…
  • etc

as you can see, the negatives are largely things beyond my control. (for training, i plan to be smart and do my best). still, i wasn’t 100% sure about disney…i askedvarious friends and family members for their input (thumbs up!), then decided to wait for karma to work its magic (after all, isn’t magic a major disney theme?!) and wait for *a sign.*

easter sunday eve, i got home from our family celebration and found an email:

“time to sign up there girl. come aboard. you can room with c and me.”

bingo. right then and there i made up my mind to just do it. life is too short to be worried by what if’s.

disney registration opened last week, and last monday eve (monday april 9th -> 9th day of the month = birthday date = good karma), i signed myself up.


i’m going to disney and i’m going to be goofy!!

show me the bliiiiiinnnnggg!!!


have you ever been to disney (in florida)? my one and only visit was our family vacation when i was nine/in grade three. this was pre-epcot, even!

photos from my album - we hit disney during a cold spell, back in 1979!

i am appreciative of any tips, websites, must-see disney places that you can recommend! at this point, i most want to see cinderella’s castle, again – haha!!

[sidenote: i have planned a number of running-related blog posts for the remaining days of the blogging from a-z april challenge; however, this blog is not about to turn into a training log book – that’s not my style! for example, you may or may not hear about disney again until i do up the race report next january!].

no stopping monday

IT’S BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY!!!! (yes, it is necessary to yell – boston marathon monday makes me very hyper and giddy!).


today, i have a fun boston memento to show you:

this poster was stapled to just about every hydro pole along the race route

i keep that sign upstairs in the walk-in closet, and it is one of my most treasured keepsakes of participating in the boston marathon [i don’t remember which year it came into my possession].

all three years, what would happen is that brian and brad (my travel companions) would drive me into hopkinton and we would hang out (i lucked out with great weather, all three years) until the start of the race at 12 noon (today, they have wave starts; when i ran, we all started at noon). while i ran, brian and brad would drive back into boston, have lunch, goof around, and meet up with me when i was done.

one year, the guys decided to steal “help themselves” to a “no stopping monday” sign – they presented it to me at the end of the race, and we all got a good chuckle out of now owning a *hot* sign.

i love the double-meaning of “no stopping monday” – yes, the intent is to keep the race course free of vehicular traffic, but i’d rather apply the slogan to motivate the runners. just go, go, go, people!!

so, while i treasure my race jacket…

wish i had thought to purchase the jacket all three years!

the official tshirts:

long sleeve, 100% cotton!

and the medals…

they hang in the closet upstairs, too!

…”no stopping monday” fills my heart with joy in a special way.


i would like to wish the very, very best of race experiences to my friends from the store who are running boston today. donna, dexter, robert, teresa, jen, val…may the force be with you! may the wind be at your back! may you enjoy every painful after 20 miles powerful step of this historic and amazing course. i want to take each of you out for coffee asap upon your return so that you can share every gory detail with great depth about your race – you each will have a unique story, and i want to hear it all!

[on purpose, i have not delved into boston marathon history or any race day specifics, today – that is what google is for! but i have talked about boston each year on this blog – here is the 2010 post, here is the 2011 post. and, it appears that i have shown you a pic of my boston tattoo each year. let’s not mess with tradition!].

another unique treasure!


do you know anyone running boston today? yes! i will look up the results online, tonight!

have you run boston? yes! it is the world series of marathoning, without a doubt.

does marathon-talk bore you to tears? no way! luckily, talking about running is all in day’s work!


ETA: it’s supposed to hit 88 degrees F in boston today! the BAA has offered a deferral to next year for anyone wishing to take advantage of that option. if it was me, i would still run – that’s all a part of racing -> you take the conditions you are dealt, and you adjust accordingly.

movie review

when i found out that our half-marathon instructor at the store would be showing this movie…


…to his clinic members, i couldn’t believe my lucky ears! i’ve been itching to see this running-themed documentary since it first came out in 2007. unfortunately, i was working the night of their movie-watching or i would have totally crashed their party, but luckily, derek owns the spirit of the marathon, and even MORE wonderful is that he was very willing to lend me his dvd over easter weekend.

good friday evening, after a hard day of organizing and cleansing [um, ok….i actually did not start cleaning until 3 pm. i got about 2/5 of what i had anticipated doing, done. what can i say? among other diversions (coffee with kate!), my creative powers were on HIGH, and blog ideas were oozing from my fingertips – i couldn’t let that momentum slip away. and i DID make noticeable cleaning progress…now i’ll just have more *fun* for another day] i rewarded myself with a movie night.

i love running stories. i don’t think i have watched a running documentary since january 2011 when i watched the dvd the long green line, lent to me by gina. [here is my blog entry about that film. tangent – wordpress is really cool -> did you know that it has an inner google system – i can just type in key words, like “running, movie, gina” and it will deliver the blog post i am looking for. genius! after 600+ blog posts, i am very grateful for this feature].

back to spirit of the marathon…oh, what a touching and exciting movie! if you are a runner, you will be inspired by the training aspect (the film follows 5-6 marathoners as they prep for the chicago ‘thon; a couple are first-timers, two are elites – deena kastor seems like such a sweet person). if running is not your *thang,* you will appreciate the life lessons of perseverance, goal-setting, and benefits of group support. i dare you to finish the movie with dry eyes! (and it was the back-of-the-pack finishers who choked me up rather than the elites – their stunning finishes will send shivers down your spine). dad – there is even a father-daughter combo older than us who finish hand-in-hand!

movie rating: ***1/2 (three point five stars) out of a possible four.

i can see why derek has this dvd in his library. it’d be great viewing for the night before a big race. might this be a christmas list item for next december???!

final thought: spirit of the marathon is the perfect name for this documentary. watching it reminds us of just how running is a metaphor for life, and how completing a marathon is not purely a physical feat.

what’s your favourite type of documentary? i like anything involving people. wordplay was neat, as was mad hot ballroom. i avoid any animal kingdom or military/war stuff, though.

any other running-themed movie recommendations? run fatboy run was pretty amusing; believe it or not, i am not that huge a fan of “run, forrest, run.”


today marks the half way point of the blogging from a-z challenge! hey, this is a cool coincidence: the blogging challenge includes writing 26 blog posts; running a marathon involves finishing 26 miles!

a very treasured photo

this is the story of the special project that i have been working on as a surprise gift to dad!

to begin, we must go back to june, 1990 – yes, almost 22 years ago!

at this time, i was just starting to dabble in running. semi-regularly, i would invite myself out to run with dad [dad’s been a dedicated runner since the ’70’s, during the running boom of that era]. we’d go maybe 30 minutes or so around our chicopee neighbourhood. i only ever ran with dad, and right from day one, we’d have the best talks during our outings.

i don’t remember how the decision was made, but somehow i ended up on the start line, with dad, of the waterloo 10k classic road race, held on father’s day. i had never run that distance before! the furthest i had gone was maybe 5-6k?? but when you’re young and foolish and don’t know any better, you don’t set limits on yourself! [sidenote: dad and i last participated in this very same race on father’s day, 2010. that race recap is here!].

anyway, all was well and good in that very first race experience until just after the 9k mark. at that point, i kinda hit the wall. i was tired and did not want to run anymore! (locals: we were on seagram drive, by the railway track, nearing the stadium – all we had to do was continue a few hundred metres up the road, go around the seagram track, and cross the finish line)!

as i was saying i thought i needed to walk, dad grabbed my hand and kindly yet firmly guided me to keep running. we ran a few steps hand-in-hand, and my urge to walk disappeared. i finished my first 10k with zero walk breaks (back in 1990, race participants were pretty hardcore; the run/walk method of running was unheard of). that race and dad’s encouragement to keep running was a defining life moment, and cemented my lifelong attitude towards running: you are stronger than you think you are. don’t give up when the going gets tough.

now: unbeknownst to dad and i, during the few steps that we held hands and kept on running at that 9 k mark, someone snapped our photo!

"the photo"

[apart from the race circumstances, you know why i cherish this photo? 1) the expressions on our faces – we are not posed and smiling; you can see effort and concentration! 2) notice how our legs and feet are in symmetry! we were running as a partnership! 3) my shoes: that was my first pair of “real running shoes” – they were the adidas peachtree model, purchased at webco sports, and i loved them for years. 4) look at what we’re wearing: cotton tshirts! ’80’s styling! and those shorts were my mom’s! 5) how serendipitous that the photographer happened to be at the right place at the right moment – pretty amazing timing. add up all of these elements, and this is one precious photograph].

so, that is part one of our story.

part two: dad and i were frequent participants over the next several years in many of race director lloyd s.’s runwaterloo races – we ran the father’s day classic every year, and also enjoyed the oktoberfest 10k, the fridgee 8er, etc. at each of these races, lloyd would put out a photo display – and every year he included that photo of dad and me. i would be so embarrassed! dad and i always searched out our photo, though, and enjoyed a good chuckle, esp as our times got faster, and we improved as competitive runners. what a benchmark of how far we had progressed.

fast forward to about a year ago or so. one day, the idea popped into my head that it would be a great father’s day gift to get a copy of the “holding hands” photo and give it to dad as a surprise. i’ve gotten to know lloyd quite well over the years…

file photo: lloyd and me, father's day classic, june 2010

…so, i emailed him and asked if i could borrow the photo to copy. lloyd replied that he would dig out the photo and let me know when it was available.

well, i didn’t hear back from lloyd! and i kind of forgot about my request!

now, let’s jump ahead to the beginning of february/last month – out of the blue, i got an email from lloyd stating that he had found the photo i was looking for as he was prepping for the fridgee 8er. he’d leave it at runner’s choice [ooo, i had to go into our competitor’s store!] and i could make a copy and return it at my leisure. let me tell you, i was on cloud nine the rest of the day! what a fun surprise to arrange for dad!

i debated organizing the reprint now, but waiting til father’s day to give the photo to dad…but, i was too impatient and excited to wait that long! i decided to give dad the reprint as a just because random giftie!

first, it took lloyd’s original photo to black’s photography at fairview park mall (theOTHERstore is just down the street, so i went over one day after work) and had two copies made (i wanted one, too!). now, look what i found on the back of the original photo:

our picture was an entry in the photo contest!

the reprints turned out so well – i am super impressed with photo technology nowadays. no film negative, remember!

hard to tell original from reprint, eh?! on the L is the reprint; on the R is the original

i got a frame at michael’s and wrapped up dad’s surprise:

project complete - a few weeks from start to finish!

last eve, i went over to mom and dad’s for dinner. time to present dad with the surprise!

what could this be?!

dad was super-touched and pleased by the photo surprise! we reminisced for a bit about the fun races and places we have gone to, over the years.

then and now!

note to self: frame and display MY copy!

please tell me about a photo that is very special to you! it is very cool that we have blogs, digital cameras, computer files for our photos in this day and age; however, there is something to be said about the sentimental factor of hardcopy prints. all of my photo albums are prized possessions.

new experience #41: volunteer at the resolution run

well, here it is – the very last new experience of this year’s 1970kikiproject. wow. it feels a little emotional! happily, we launch next year’s kiki project on monday!

i had decided wayyyy back in the fall to volunteer at our new year’s day resolution run for a new experience. as we got closer to the date/the end of the kiki project, i thought i would make this event project #40, and then i’d have one more project to complete between january 2nd and 8th. however, the vibe just wasn’t coming together for what to do for that last new experience. so, i ratified my plans and decided to see a movie as new experience #40, and volunteer at the run to wrap up the project.

the more i thought on it, the more i liked the concept. this final kikiproject would include philanthropy; it was on new year’s day; it is a fitness-focussed event; it would be an opportunity to hang out and be social with my friends from the store…what a 100% winning combination!

the resolution run is an annual event held at many locations across canada. for the kitchener-waterloo chapter, we hold a 10k run (at 10:00 a.m.) and a 5k run or walk. (over 400 people participated, this year). the race site is the kitchener ymca, the race director is manager paul. [sidenote: the kitchener ymca holds a special place in my heart: from about 1990 – 2002, it was my gym, and that’s where i got introduced to aerobics, taught aerobics, made close running friendships…i spent a lot of happy hours there].

anyway, i told paul i was happy to help out…but could i please volunteer indoors?! i did not relish the thought of being a course marshal, outdoors in january. good call on my part! while we enjoyed above-freezing temps this new year’s day, it poured rain during the 10k and rained steadily for the 5k. our poor outdoor volunteers were soaked and chilled [it’s one thing to be active running or walking in wet conditions, and quite another to be standing still!].

so, i got to handle the food/refreshments table!

the following is a pictorial description of my new year’s day volunteer experience:

when i arrived at the y at 9 a.m., it was just overcast - too bad THAT was not the start time for our events!

i'm dreaming of a...green new year's?!

my y gum: old stomping grounds...i mean jumping jacks and high kicks grounds!

manager paul has organized numerous resolution runs, and by now has streamlined the process:

the course: 4 loops for the 10k and 2 loops for the 5k

manager nicole from theOTHERstore co-ordinated the food supply!

pylons to help mark the route!

nicole and me - hope people will be hungry for clementines!

friends and familiar, friendly faces. i so enjoyed seeing everyone! people were so willing to pose “for the blog!”

alan and becky!

derek and cindy (nicole's mom!)

annette and will!

david and meredith with mom, sue!

ken! (the shrinking - or streaking - tortoise!)

michael, brenda, and paul!

when you registered for the resolution run, you received a free jacket with your entry:

nico, kaylene, sandy, and steve model their jackets!

and a blast from the past! a friend from my y days just happened to be at the y!

what a serendipitous encounter to see selena! we enjoyed a wonderful catch-up chat!

and guess what! a new experience within a new experience: TWO blog readers came up and introduced themselves – i’ve never had that happen before!


ali and me!

it was SO cool to meet both dawn and ali, in person!

oh yea – i did fulfill my volunteer duties, too!

with meredith and annette!

our refreshment table offered water; granola bars; juice boxes; bananas; clementines. given the rain, i think soup, coffee and hot chocolate would have made welcome additions!

guess what else – i realized i never showed you who the orange mittens were for (my last christmas knitting project):

the mitts made an appearance at the res run...

...and as seen on paul, the recipient!

being the shoe professional that i am, of course, i subconsciously tend to look at people’s feet. check these out…

i guessed that those were nike air pegasus shoes - yup! never seen those groovy colours, though! (the wearer bought them in tennessee - that figures!)

i've mentioned these NB shoes before on the blog!

all in all, i could not have asked for a better way to end off my 41 new experiences. all participants seemed to have a great time, and it was much fun to celebrate the arrival of 2012 at the resolution run event.

do you have any new year’s day traditions? in order to volunteer, i unfortunately had to skip my annual viewing of the rose bowl parade with dad. i did get to clean the condo casa – love to start the new year with an organized home! and i chilled out by painting my nails and watching a movie!).