Wednesday, June 21, 2017

" We must have awful homes!"

You are probably wondering where I'm going with a title like that. Well, I have ran in some horrible running conditions from time to time. I won't ever tell you though that when I am sick with a cold that I got it from running outside in the rain, hail, snow, minus 20 temps etc. I don't blame running for anything EVER. I usually blame any pain or sickness on work! I Don't think my Husband believes me most of the time but that's my story and I'm sticking to it! LOL 

Seeing as how we had a really bad winter and sprinter that we all thought would never end, I find this story quite fitting. I have to push myself out the door most week days when it's cold and raining or snowing (or both). Sometimes I just go back to my old faithful treadmill that is always there waiting for me. At least on the treadmill you don't need 3 layers of clothes and two pairs of gloves! On the weekends however running buddies help get me out the door. Everyone is counting on each other to show up so we can all get it done together. 

One run always comes to mind from a long while ago. I remember it was very cold that morning. It had lightly snowed the night before and the wind was also a little high which of course was blowing the snow around. Off I went to meet up with a few girls at Topsail Pond. It was my first time going there for a run. That morning it was the four of us: myself, Tara, Jennifer, and Diane. We were all bundled up kinda like that kid from the Christmas Story movie. As we ran we all chatted about different things. It kind of helps take your mind off the fact that you are running in the freezing cold! A car drove by us that morning and that's when Diane jokingly said, "People must think we have awful homes to be out running in this!" I think of her saying that almost every time I'm out in nasty weather. The people passing by probably do think we are a little insane, maybe they do think we have awful homes! Especially when we are out on days when your eyelashes and hair turn white! LOL 

So, here we are, the first day of summer! I'm very happy that the weather is finally turning nice again. It's so much easier to get out the door when the sun is shining. I had a lovely run down around the park and back this evening. There were so many people out enjoying the nice evening. People passing me tonight probably didn't think I had an awful home for a change. Actually, our homes are the most supportive, truth be told. My alarm clock goes off sometimes on Saturday and Sunday mornings earlier than when I have to work. So, guess who else gets to wake up at that hour on the days he could be sleeping longer. Not to mention mornings I have needed to be dropped off early for races because I have been nervous that I wouldn't get a parking spot. oh, and also understanding of how much time goes into training for races, especially Marathon training when the really long runs mean you are gone most of the morning. The list goes on and on but the support always remains the same... 


"We have the best homes!"

Tonia Kennedy 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I Just Love To Run!

USR half marathon finisher! It was such a beautiful morning for a race. The only slight problem with that was... "WHAT DO I WEAR?" It really is the most difficult decision I make the morning of a race. Especially when we have a temperature of minus 20 one day and plus 20 the next! I may have exaggerated a little there but most understand where I'm coming from. I had a few options ready the night before and made the final decision that morning. Knowing Gina would be at the 4K mark helped a lot as I was planning to leave my sleeves with her. Thanks again Gina! 

One of my favorite parts of a race is seeing everyone at the start line and wishing each other good luck before the gun goes off. The USR start is very nice and well organized. While at the start line I always wonder how the run will go. I had never ran this course before which was why I signed up for the half. I had done the relay two years ago and the 10K last year so I figured I would give it a try. I knew going up the trail towards Mount Pearl was going to be a little tough but I also reminded myself that I would eventually get to turn around and run back to the park. Let me tell you, by the time I got to turn around I was very grateful! LOL

The cool thing I liked about the USR half was once I passed through the park going towards Mount Pearl, I saw other runners heading back to the park to finish. For one split second I was probably shoulder to shoulder with the winner! It doesn't matter that we were going in different directions right? LOL All of the encouragement from other runners while passing each other in that section of the race was pretty great. You kind of need that sometimes and for me it helped a lot.  All in all, it could have been a lot worse. I kept reminding myself about the Hypo Half race I ran this year and how I thought I would freeze to death and then this run didn't seem so hard. 

I try not to put too much pressure on myself to get a specific time in a race. I do give it all I got and try my very best but I never want to cross a finish line and feel disappointed in myself. I never want running to be all about the clock because I'm afraid that if I start to feel like I didn't perform good enough, I won't enjoy it anymore. I know my PB's and quite proud of them but not every race I run will be faster than the last and that's OK with me. I just love to run. I love how much progress I've made and how much stronger I am. I run because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.

Congratulations to everyone who ran this past Sunday! The beautiful medal at the finish made the race totally worth it! The reception after was also very nice and there was CAKE! I love cake and there is no better time to eat it than after running a half marathon. Hmmm... maybe I just love to run so I can eat cake! ;)

Tonia Kennedy


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Where do I "fit in"?

When I joined PRC I had no clue about pace as such. I didn't even own a running watch but I was using a running app on my phone to track my runs. I guess one great benefit of the Learn To Run program is it makes it a little easier to find people to run with at a pace you are comfortable with. Me? I followed some of the fastest people in PRC on my second Saturday coffee run!  Let's go back shall we?

When I showed up for my second run with the PRC gang, I was expecting to see the girls from the first week. When I got there I realized that they weren't there. I was a little disappointed but still looking forward to my run. I remember hoping the route would be the same as the week before because I wasn't familiar with the area. I started out behind some runners and they seemed to be taking the same route as the week before, or so I thought. The runners ahead of me were FAST! I began to realize that I should have probably followed the other group that went another route. Too late for that, I just kept going. 

One thing I noticed as I ran behind them was that they kept looking back. One of them always seemed to be checking on me. I knew I wouldn't be lost in Paradise and I was very happy about that LOL. Someone would even run back to check on me from time to time which was nice. When they reached where I had turned around the week before, they kept going! Oh no, I was not prepared for this new route. I had no clue where I was going! I kept following along and when they took a left to run up Paradise Road, I thought that was the end of me! OMG that hill is something else. Up I went, more of a walk than a run and there they were at the top waiting. By the time we ended back at coffee matters, I had another 8K with the group under my belt. They all told me I had done great and I felt great that I didn't quit.

I haven't forgotten that run and how even though I was much slower, I got it done! We all have different paces and abilities and like everything else in life, we can't be afraid to try and find our place. One thing though is that even though most of us run with people who are around the same pace as ourselves, everyone is welcomed on every run in PRC. Don't be afraid of joining in with other runners from time to time. Step outside your comfort zone or take it back a little. You never know what you may be missing out on. I had no idea that on my second run with the club that I was following behind Craig, Tanya and gang. I don't think I've done it since! LOL But one thing is for sure, they all got me through it. 

The Learn To Run group had their 5K Graduation run this weekend past. I want to take this opportunity to say that you all ROCK! This year so far has not been great weather wise for running. To be quite honest, it has really sucked but you did it! Whatever your next goal is, I wish you luck. Keep at it and don't give up if it's something you really want. I've learned a lot from other runners in this club and you will too. Get out there and join in on the different runs. You never know where the roads and trails will take you and what you will accomplish with the help of your PRC running buddies. To quote Helen Keller,  "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."


I "fit in" just fine, you will too!

Tonia Kennedy

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Paradise Running Club... Should I join?

I know, I know. Silly question right? Yes, of course it is now. Three years ago though I had no idea what I was doing. I remember it was the middle of December and I was sitting in the living room looking at the website on my laptop. I asked my Husband Jim what he thought of the idea. You see, I live in Kilbride, the Club is in Paradise and I can only make weekend runs. "If you want to try it, go for it." He told me. I still had doubts. let me take you back for a second...

Five years ago, I was at my heaviest of 200 lbs and I felt like I was dying, no joke. After a doctors appointment and blood work, I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid. Once on medication, I also had my weight issue to deal with. It's not easy to start exercising when you don't feel well but I purchased a treadmill and started using it 6 days a week. This is where my running started and over time, the weight came off and I started thinking about running the Tely 10. Most of the time though when I talked of my running people said things like, "But you just run on a treadmill." ( to a lot of people treadmill running doesn't count I guess) Well, problem solved when my treadmill broke and I finally had to hit the streets until it could be fixed. Not running wasn't an option. It took a little getting use to at first and I was nervous running alone but once I had a taste of what I was missing...I needed more.

With doubts about my ability to run with the club members (because I mostly used a treadmill for running), I joined a wonderful group of people for a run one cold Saturday morning in February. I didn't even wait for nice spring or summer weather! I had no idea what I was in for but I tagged along with a great group of girls for 8K that morning. Everyone was welcoming and I loved every minute of it!

I have ran a number of 5K and 10K races to date. 3 Tely 10's, 4 Half Marathons, 2 Cape to Cabot's and l finished my first Marathon almost two years ago! Let me tell you, I would not have done it without the support of the club and the wonderful friends I have found by joining. They sometimes believe in me more than I believe in myself. Fist bumps after runs, cheers as you cross finish lines, and let's not forget the chats over coffee after a run are things that make PRC great!

As I blog this month I may have to take you all back in time with me at least once more. Some of my very first runs with PRC were memorable and I remember them like it was yesterday. I would also like to think that maybe there is someone out there on the fence like I was who may read this and finally join a running club. We all have to start somewhere right? 

PRC... "Should YOU join?"... ABSOLUTELY!!!!

Tonia Kennedy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My legs are tired from running in my dreams all night



So I had a strange dream last night and since there was no blogger for Ma (and some encouragement from Tanya), I decided I would share.

So it all started at Boston Pizza with several runners from PRC eating spaghetti, there were 4 or 5 different tables filled with us. That’s as much as I remember of that part. 

Next it flashes to myself and Tanya driving to the USR race with her youngest son Noah in the back, still covered in spaghetti and sauce from the night before.  Noah was apparently running the 10k with Tanya. I thought that was really cool that he was running 10 whole kilometres at such a young age!
Then I remember us running in the URS: Myself, Tanya, Janice, Tonia, and Noah. I started calling Noah Arron for some reason, saying I was going to stick with him for my first 10k and then boot it on my last 11 so Tanya didn’t have to worry about him and could try to PB. Tonia kept laughing at me and whispering to Janice because I was calling him Arron instead of Noah.  Then I got embarrassed and ran in front of Tonia and she put her hand on my shoulder to console me, I then said “hey your hand is warm, you got to keep running like that” So Tonia put her other hand on my other shoulder and we ran like that for a while with Janice beside her.  Eventually she asked if she could let go and I said yes and her and Janice went off and were out of site in seconds. 

Looking back now I’m not sure what happened to Tanya and Noah but hopefully they made out ok.  So I continued to run, and I noticed that my shoes were on the wrong feet, when I changed them I noticed that I was wearing the wrong pair of sneakers, I was wearing my white pair which weren’t my last pair but my pair before that. Then Andrew Power caught up to me (apparently I’m pretty fast in my dreams) and I told him I wore the wrong shoes, he said I just saw you change them and I said no they were on the wrong feet and I passed him. Then I noticed that the shoe laces weren’t right at all so I stopped and fixed them and Andrew Power caught back up. I complained about my shoes again and we started to run together. Then I looked at my watch and noticed I never had the displays set up correctly. Andrew told me that we were at 1:08 so it looked good for us to get a sub 2 hours if we kept going at this pace (again much fast in my dreams) and then I woke up.

So while this dream was really weird, it was also telling me something. I told the dream to my wife this morning and she said (sarcastically) “I don’t know why but something tells me that you’re nervous about your half coming up”. And it’s very true. I am terrified about it.  For one I don’t have a good track records with halfs, my first one was the Huffin Puffin in 2015 and I started off great but by the second half I was struggling and due to auto pause on my watch and a bathroom break I missed reaching a goal, not because I didn’t have it in my but because I thought I had some extra time than I did so I didn’t start sprinting when I should have, that was the most disappointing, I didn’t reach it because I was being lazy.  My second half was supposed to be November 2015 in Disney world but due to a lighting storm that turned out to be 11k.  I was bitter towards halfs after that and haven’t done once since. 

Second thing that’s making me nervous is my training. I decided to do the USR because 1. I haven’t done any of the USR before and 2. To get me back into the running routine as I was struggling getting back into it since mom passed. So while it worked to a degree I still didn’t get in as many runs as I wanted to. After I completed the Mundy Pond 5k, I said ok I really need to buckle down and train now, so I looked at the training program and went “oh we are in week 5 of 12, well this should kick my butt”, and it certainly has. Since starting in week 5 I’ve been doing ok with it but have missed some runs due to work and life, usually it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I missed for 4 weeks of regular training before that, so I’m not in the condition I would have liked to be in. 

 Third thing and probably freaking me out the most is my injury. I have been having trouble with my leg after running. I have no problem usually during the run but after I cool down I start limping. I’ve been trying stretching and the foam roller with little affect. I’ve been having this issue for a while but it’s only now that I’m finding it annoying. I was trying to think when it started but I’m not sure, I know it’s been at least since I put my orthotics in so I thought that removing them might work. However, either I misplaced or threw out the pair of soles that belonged with the shoes. Thursday night I tried my insoles from my last pair and while I still had some problems afterwards it didn’t seem like it was as bad. So for my long run Sunday I thought I’d try the in soles from my older pair of shoes (the white ones, probably why I dreamt of them). I was thinking that since I haven’t wore them in a while maybe the cushion would have gone back up in them. Long story short I was wrong and I now have a blister on the back of my foot, my legs were also terrible after the run, so it’s back to the orthotics. The run on Sunday was also daunting, I went to do 18km, and I ended up only doing 16k. I couldn’t get my speed up at all and when I got to 14k my legs were really tight. When we got to 16k, I was I was good to stop because I felt if I made the wrong move for the last two k that my muscle would just go *ping* and I would have been in way worse shape.

However there is some hope. I asked for suggestion and coach Kiley came through! He recommended some compression socks to wear after running, so Friday night I went out and got a pair. They certainly have increased recovery. On Sunday I went from a couple of days of limping to a couple of hours after I put them on. I am going to try to wear them on a run this week. I thought about it Sunday but didn’t want to risk it for the first time on such a long run. Hopefully that will help. I also have a massage booked next week so I am optimistic that’ll at least make it more bearable, where foam rolling will work. 

All in all I just want to finish the USR half, I am going to be smart about this one and listen to my body. If I need to walk I’m going to walk but the main thing is to finish. After that we’ll see what’s going on and assess the next challenge from there. But whatever happens I’m going to do my best to enjoy the race, because what’s the since of doing it, if you don’t enjoy it!

Monday, March 27, 2017

PB


For most of you , “PB” means personal best and something to always strive for.  It may mean that we hit our fastest pace or maybe our quickest time in a distance run . I am proud when I have a PB and like to share my accomplishment with others .
 
Except , for me ,”PB” has another meaning ....
 
When I read about the Tele10 predictions last year , someone said that 10 PRC members would have a PB at the tele10.  I thought this meant they would stop for a “pee break” so as I was running the tele10 , I passed a port a potty and saw a PRC t-shirt and though “there’s one” . Why someone would tell everyone if they had to pee puzzled me? I soon realized my mistake but every time I see PB, I chuckle . But the more I thought about it, what does one do for the OTHER “PB” ?

I found myself on a LTR run one evening last fall up at PBD Park and I really had to have a “PB” .  We were only about 2K into a 5K run and I wasn’t going to make it the whole way . ( I know some of you can all relate to this? ) It was very dark and we were on the long stretch by the pond so I hung in the back and scoped out the bushes along the road . I waited until I saw my chance and then ducked into the woods. Well it only took  seconds for someone to notice me missing . I heard my name being called out and saw the headlamps turn around and start running back towards me.  It was dark and I could see those dozen tiny lights bobbing in the dark- getting closer by the second!  Panic set in...this was NOT GOOD !  I managed to pop back out onto the road in time before the search lights descended on me in all my squatted glory but it was a close call. 
 
Runners guide to having a “PB- pee break”  (Guys don’t seem to have these same challenges, so this is geared mostly for the ladies )
 

 1.   Pee before you leave the house. (I know this may seem like a given but if you are rushing , it can be forgotten )
        2.    Don’t drink too much before you run.
        3.    IF you have to pee, it’s OK but tell your buddy .
       

 
Best of luck to you all achieving ALL your "PB's" this year !

 
Robyn

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Your First Time

You always remember your first time

Some of us thought about our first time for years- planning and thinking about how “it “would feel. For some of us, it just happened quickly without a lot of thought or prep.

You probably discussed it at great lengths with your friends- especially the ones that had already done it. Everyone had advice to give – all the different ways to do it- I had no idea? When the day came, you were excited and probably a bit nervous not truly knowing what to expect.

For some it was so quick, you barely stopped to breathe …but for some, you took your time and went slow- savouring every minute. Some of you bragged after it was all over and some of us just kept it to ourselves, quietly basking in the afterglow.

MY first time was special. I remember the music pumping around me and I could barely hear my partner next to me.  They looked at me and smiled and our hearts raced with excitement. THIS WAS IT! WE were really going to do IT! We had been talking about it and planning it for a few months and that moment was finally here. We had taken all the precautions to be safe.  They had more experience and had done it before, but for me- it was all new. I knew in my heart it was MY time.

We started off slow and my pulse began to quicken and my breathing became heavy.  I felt my body resist at first as I tried to keep up.  It wasn’t long before I was hot and sweaty and wanted to peel off the clothes already sticking to my body. We took our time and enjoyed the moment- we had to pace ourselves but there was no going back once we started.

When it was all over, we were so happy and that experience bonded us! I knew we would do it again someday and I couldn’t wait!


That was how I felt when I ran my first Tele10 race last year!! J

I remember standing behind the starting line in a sea of 4000 + people. The opening riff to Guns’& Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” was booming through the loud speakers and you could feel the excitement in the crowd. Everyone was ready to go. An air gun sounded and we were off!!  The large crowd all moving together, some running fast out of the gate and some swiftly walking behind the runners.

I ran it with my LTR buddy (she had walked it the year before) and we had trained for a few months with the LTR. I really didn’t know what to expect – the weather was sunny, then flash rain and then sunny again but that didn’t matter to us.
 Along the route we spoke to many people. There was an older lady whose family was pushing her in a wheelchair. There was a firefighter running with an oxygen tank on his back. There was a newly married couple running their first race together. EVERYONE had a story and I was blessed to hear some of them. On the sides of the road there was tremendous support- strangers cheering us all on! Signs of positive encouragement everywhere! The sense of community was overwhelming! Topsail road,the road that I drove down every single day to get to work was transformed - everything had a different perspective and I felt that tele10 wonder. PRC had a table set up along the route like a VIP lounge and someone passed me a small baggy of candy. I can tell you that nothing ever tasted as sweet as those few gummy bears and I greedily gobbled them in seconds!!


We did walk / run intervals and it took us over 2 hours. Not record breaking times but definitely proud to finish it! Crossing the finish line, we held hands and jumped like 2 fools! We had both worked so very hard, to lose almost 300 lbs between us-and learn to run… this was our victory lap!!

So as you start to think about goals for 2017, think about training and signing up for the 90th anniversary race of the Tele10  (July 23, 2017) If it will be your first time, I promise it will be special!  For most of you that have run it multiple times over the years, you are rock stars and are really “GOOD AT IT “by now so smile to yourself as you look back and remember your “first time.”

I will be “doing it “again this year J

-Robyn


***Now if you thought I was talking about something else in the beginning, go back and read it againJ