Winter Runs 2014

Hey guys it’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post, but it’s because I was waiting to finish both of my winter runs so I could make a post about them together. So here it is.

The Great Sweater Run

Marissa and I had so much fun at the Zombie run in October (See my post here) that when it finished and we received an email from the company asking us to participate in the 1st Annual Great Sweater Run in November the idea is easy enough everone finds the ugliest/tackiest Holiday Sweater that they can find and then wear them with pride as they run a 5k. We thought this was a great idea so we quickly signed up.

Prepare yourself for Edmontons first Great Sweater Run!

Embrace the season and come out dressed to impress!

Whether you are dusting off a vintage christmas sweater, or showcasing your latest purchase – we want to see it!

Come out and participate in the Tacky10km run, Festive 5km Run/Walk, or the 2km Shih tZu Sweater dog walk!

Get your family, friends and pet in the spirit and keep warm by participating and wearing one of your tackiest holiday outfits!

great sweater run logoAs the time came closer to the run we kind of started to regret our decision as we started to see the snow pile up and the cold weather front blow through Edmonton. What had we gotten ourselves into? The week of the run we started checking the weather forecast and were not very excited that the day of the race was supposed to be the coldest day of the month (a balmy -30 degrees). That wasn’t going to stop us though I mean we are Canadians don’t forget. We had a plan to layer up and push through.

We were kind of wondering if the race would be cancelled as everyone started to see the forecast. We got emails from the company saying “If Santa can brave all elements….well so should you!  Just make sure you come prepared.  Layering (make sure your GREAT sweater can be displayed), and make sure any bare skin is covered.” It seemed like everything was going to happen as planned. Then a couple days before the race we got an email that the Tacky 10k run was cancelled because of the weather and everyone would have to do the 5k race instead. It was definitely happening!

IMG_0965On race day looking at the weather forecast showed that the weathermen were right it wasn’t going to be any warmer than -30 degrees and with the windchill it was going to feel more like -40. We decided to attend our regular Saturday Gym Classes and then went back to my house to change into our layers and layers of clothing

All bundled up we left for Emily Murphy Park for the run. We hadn’t had time to go and pick up our race packages beforehand so we arrived early to do that. Even though we showed up early all of the parking spots were filled. We drove around and around trying to find somewhere to park until finally someone decided to just park on the side of the parking lot road and so we all followed suit.

We went to the registration tent to pick up our packages. At this point it was quickly approaching the time for the race to start. We got our bib numbers and could barely put them on because our fingers were so numb! We just had time to get our race numbers and making it back to the starting line when everyone was off and running.

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It was very cold and snowy but we started to run up a little hill and were off. At times we had to go single file through pretty deep snow, but then we came to a snowy path and were able to speed up. It was actually a very pretty run along the River Valley. We went across a bridge and then were soon in another snowy pathway going single file. It was chilly but while I was running I was pretty warm. Soon I was peeling off my hats and mitts and scarf. Marissa and I got separated again so it was pretty much me running alone the whole time although I was able to see her when we were going onto the bridge. She said that she was keeping an eye on me throughout the run.

10426912 10426914Towards the end of the race I was able to get a shot of myself running and I was surprised to see that my face was pretty frozen. My eyelashes and all the little hairs on my face were white from my sweat freezing. It actually looked pretty cool. We finished the race running through the parking lot (I wish I could have started my car to get it warmed up) and then a very short run took me through the finish line. I couldn’t take any pictures or check my exact time because my phone decided it was too cold and it didn’t want to work, but I finished the over 6k race in under 40 minutes which I was very happy with.

IMG_0964I waited at the finish line for Marissa to finish. She wasn’t too far behind me. We normally would stick around for a while afterwards to get some pictures at the picture area they had set up but we were both so chilled after we stopped running that we got our Tim Horton’s hot chocolate (which tasted amazing with little marshmallows in it) and started heading back to the car. I somehow lost one of my mittens along the way, but I would say that it was a pretty successful run. I can now check off winter 5k from my bucket list.

IMG_0967 IMG_09681466295_1002255016457799_2029465724864282417_n 10173743_1002252619791372_1042428003464219942_n 10271497_1002252243124743_3233043919130809039_n 10435522_1002251746458126_4282541921153356534_nThe whole thing was great there were a lot of ‘interesting’ shirts and they were all very tacky. They even had Holly Jolly Sweaters on hand selling vintage ugly sweaters, and we had a great time though it would have been a little nicer if the weather would have cooperated. I would love to participate again next year!

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IMG_0973PS the first 200 people to sign up got a really cute toque. I still haven’t gotten mine because there was a mix up but I am picking it up this week. Super excited for it. Also check out the cute t-shirts that we got from the race. They were going around and giving out prizes after the run and Marissa won some shoelaces, but sadly nothing for me. For more information about the company who puts on these great runs check out their website MultisportsCanada.

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The Santa Shuffle

Before we had even completed the Great Sweater Run I saw the Santa Shuffle 5k fun run being advertised by the Running Room and decided to sign up once again for another winter run.

Why the santa shuffle 5K fun run and 1K elf walk?

This merry event helps The Salvation Army to assist families and individuals in need during the Christmas season and throughout the year. Pledges raised for the Santa Shuffle will support people in your community who may be struggling to make ends meet.

The annual 5K Santa Shuffle Fun Run & 1K Elf Walk brings families and friends together. The event is held across North America, so check the city closest to you and sign up!

IMG_1108 Screen-Shot-2013-08-10-at-2.58.21-PMThis event is held annually across North America, and we were lucky enough to have one in our city. Marissa originally didn’t sign up for the run because she had a work conflict, but at the last minute we realized that they didn’t overlap and she would be able to run along with me. Luckily the weather decided to cooperate and was much nicer than the Great Sweater Run. It was only -8 this which was a great temperature to run in.

IMG_1149Once again we hadn’t picked up our registration packages ahead of time so we arrived a little early to get that all done. It was very fast and efficiently done. This race was held at William Hawrelak Park and luckily they have an indoor event room. We were able to stand around inside and wait for the race to start. There was a quick warm up before the event but we were soon shuffled outside to the starting line.

There were a lot of people dressed up in festive wear. Marissa decided to wear her Christmas Sweater again since you don’t get many opportunities to wear them. I was very pink in my Running Room reflective jacket to keep myself warm.

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Before we knew it we were off and running. It was a slow start since there were a lot of people walking as well as people with their kids in sleds or their dogs on leashes. Once we were out of the original tangle of people we were able to speed up a little bit. Again it was pretty early when Marissa and I got separated. I went around a group of people and thought she was following me, but I turn around and find her missing (Later on she told me that I take longer strides than her so she can’t keep up even though we are pretty much the same height). So again I ran this race on my own though I had Taylor Swift to keep me company.

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The run was nice it was a loop which we did twice. The path was snowy, but it was well packed and it wasn’t slippery so I was able to run at pretty much my normal speed. The temperature was great and once again I found myself getting too warm and having to take layers off. I must admit that I felt like stopping pretty much the whole way but pushed myself to finish the race without slowing down. I was able to capture a few sneaky pictures on the run again.

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I always love the last kilometer of a race because you can feel the end approaching. I find at this point I start running with my heart and not my head, and find it much easier to push through. It was nice to see all the volunteers toward the end cheering us on to the end. When I could see the finish line in sight I started to speed up and crossed the finish line at 34:20 (The run was actually 6k in total so I am very proud of this time) When I crossed the finish line Santa Claus himself was there to hand me my finisher medal, and man are they pretty.

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While I was waiting at the finish line for Marissa to cross and older man came up to me and told me that he had been trying to catch up to me while we were running but he wasn’t able to do it. I thought that was nice. It made me feel like I had run quickly. Soon Marissa finished and I was able to get a few pictures of Santa giving her her medal. I guess I am her unofficial finish line photographer.

IMG_1122 IMG_1123  IMG_1125 IMG_1126 IMG_1127 IMG_1128After the race there were lots of things going on. We stopped and got hot chocolate when we finished, and there is something about hot chocolate after you finish a 5k race that makes it taste so good. Then when we went back inside the building there were hotdogs, granola bars, oranges and juice boxes as well as water bottles for everyone.

They had also set up a photo booth for people to take pictures with. Of course we had to get in on that action. When you hit the button it takes four photos and the girl was talking to us so she kind of ruined the first one, but there isn’t any excuse why the others are crazy. We are just weird I guess.

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After we were fed and photo-ed we decided it was time to head home since Marissa had to hurry up and get to work. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to participate again next year! I hope that the weather will cooperate again.

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After completing the Santa Shuffle we have now finished our 6th 5k run since June. We are really looking forward to next year when we will get to do many more. The first one I have planned is the Resolution Run which is happening on January 1st. Going to ring the New Year in right and Welcome 2015 on the right foot.

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Cheers,

Allison

Be Happy, Be Active, Be Healthy

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