Thursday, May 1, 2014

Less than a month till race day!

Yep that's right. Race day is just four and a half weeks away! And unlike my botched attempts to train for a race this fall and winter, this time, I'm on track. I've been keeping to the schedule, which I know works. And I'm looking forward to crossing that start line on June 1st for my first Calgary race!

What's more fun is I've joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Charity Challenge team, and we've all been working to raise funds for NCC while at the same time encouraging each other to get ready for race day. For some team members, this will be their first race of any length - so the energy and excitement is getting palpable.

Yesterday a small group of us headed to the Eau Claire Running Room for a reveal of the race day medals and an inspirational talk by John Stanton. And no many how many times I hear him speak (I've now seen him in Toronto, Halifax and Calgary), John never fails to get me excited and reassure me at the same time.

John Stanton at the Eau Claire Running
Room medal and t-shirt reveal, Apr 30, 2014
"If you've made it this far, then you'll be fine on race day," said John, counselling us even to take it easy these few weeks if we felt like we might be struggling with an injury and fatigue.

John also pointed out that some of us may start getting antsy before race day, particularly on our taper period. I'd always thought of that as a nice break, but as he said - "You've been carbing up, and now people are telling you to take it easy, and you're walking around thinking 'When is this going to start?'"

The mood certainly was festive in the Eau Claire lobby outside the Running Room. To lock off the reveal, John beat a gong and the race day technical tees were displayed, in addition to the 50k beer steins and belt buckle medals and medals for the other race distances (one of which, if I understood correctly, can also serve as a bottle opener, which will come in handy for those recovery drinks!). People crowded around the table, oohing and ahing at the race bling and snapping shots.

Olympian Cheryl Bernard was also present. She's been training for a full, and told the group assembled that she's been finding training for a marathon harder than training for the Olympics, which made many of us present puff up a little bit with pride.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to raise funds for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. I'm now at 48% of my goal and while that's the most I've ever raised for any race, I'd love to get to 100%!

If you're interested in sponsoring me and supporting the important work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, you can do that here.

So tonight is the final round of hills before speed work begins. And while John's counsels to take it easy and not worry seems tempting, I know that I have to get out there and get 'er done - if not for me, then for the generous people who have sponsored me so far and the species and spaces that I'm running for as part of the Charity Challenge.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Did I mention I`m running for a bee?

Yep, that's right. Training is on track (in fact I was a week early) and I'm all systems go for the half at the Calgary Marathon on June 1st. I've joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Charity Challenge team, and we'll be raising funds to help protect landscapes across Canada as well as the species that live in them.

You can sponsor me here >

It's my first time running a race in Calgary, so I'm pretty excited. Not to mention, it's the Calgary Marathon's 50th anniversary. Imagine that: when the marathon started in 1964, women weren't even technically allowed to participate in half or full marathons. How far we've come!

To boot, I'm looking forward to working with our Charity Challenge team to raise awareness about NCC's work and to raise funds for the places where we work, and the species in them.

A little bit about the mason bee
  • Unlike honey bees, mason bees are solitary;
  • Mason bees are non-aggressive and for the most part do not sting;
  • Females lay their eggs in individual chambers or hollow reeds;
  • Once an egg is laid, the female places mud around it rather than wax and honey;
  • In the spring, males emerge from their eggs first;
  • There are more than 130 species of mason bees in North America.
Bees play a huge role in pollinating our food and plants. While they do not succumb to the same mites and parasites as European honeybees, they are still vulnerable to pests and diseases.

So while I'm running my 21 kilometres on June 1st, I'll be thinking about all the pollinators responsible for pollinating up to a third of all food crops. 

My colleagues on the Charity Challenge will all be choosing their own species to represent on their runs.

The bees, and Alberta's species, thank you for your support!