Dashing Divas 10k

Hey guys!

It’s been a long time since my last post, and I’m ready to start posting again! I’ve been doing lots of running/working out and fun things so I’m back to blogging about it 😉

This weekend I participated in another race with my family.

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The Allains Run!

The Edmonton FUNd Runners created a triple challenge this year. If you participate in the challenge you run 3 races (Suck it up Buttercup, Dashing Divas and Turkey Trot) and get 4 medals (and you know that the bling is the real reason we run!) so the Allain’s laced up again this weekend for the second run in the challenge the Dashing Divas and Dudes 5k/10k.

Originally when I signed up I chose the 10k not realizing that my family had chosen the 5k so I had to run the race alone, but I wanted to challenge myself to run longer distances. This run was held at Rundle Park and we showed up early to pick up our bibs and take some pre-race photos. I actually got to meet up with an instagram friend Julie (PrincessRunRepeat) who made the trip to Edmonton for this run.

The run started with a zumba warm up and then the 10k participants lined up. Julie and I decided to run together so that we could help push each other along the way. It was actually really nice because our paces are pretty evenly paced. The first 5k of the race Julie wasn’t feeling great so we went my pace. The 10k race starts in one direction and loops back around to meet up with the 5k racers. At the 5k mark I passed by my sisters and brother who were on their way to the finish of the 5k race. The last half of the run Julie really pushed me to go faster than I probably would have done on my own.

As we got closer to the finish line we decided to catch our breaths and then sprint to the finish line, and I was able to finish the run in 1:12:50 which is better than my time for the first run in the challenge the Suck it up Buttercup race which was in April and I finished in 1:17. It felt great to finish the race strong and see the family cheering me on.

Another 10k under my belt! (That’s my fourth) We have quite a few runs coming up in the near future so stay tuned for more fun times.

Cheers,

Allison

Be Happy, Be Active, Be Healthy

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Edmonton Marathon Weekend – My first 10k race

edm marLast December I received an email from the running room letting me know that the price for the Edmonton Marathon was about to be raised, and that I should sign up for the run before that happened to save some money. I decided that I would use the Edmonton Marathon as my first official 10k race, so I signed up to participate. This was a good way to push myself to run further but to give myself lots of time to train.

Well I continued running mostly 5k races and didn’t really train as much I should have for my 10k race, and soon enough August was rolling around and I was hesitantly counting down the amount of days I had left to train before the run. Before I knew it the Marathon weekend was here and it was time run.

Friday August 21st

After work, my friend Cailin, who was running the Half Marathon,  and I decided to meet up at the Shaw Conference Center to pick up our race packages and go through the sports expo.

We showed up around 4pm and the place was already starting to get busy with other runners doing the same. You had to walk through the sports expo to get to the package pickup, so we took our time looking around at all the booths. There were a lot of free goodies being given away like protein bars, gym towel, juice and chicken proteinis just to name a few of the things I got.

When we got to the package pickup the process was very easy. They gave me my bag, I got my chip scanned to make sure that it was working and the information was correct and I was all set to go. They had pictures of the route on display which was nice to be able to see where we were going to run. The ladies shirt this year was black and the material is really nice. The men’s shirt was light blue.

After we picked up our packages we walked back through the expo and spotted John Stanton’s booth. For those of you unfamiliar with him he is the founder of the Running Room which is an Alberta based company that started right here in Edmonton back in 1984, and has now grown to over 115 locations in Canada and the US. They offer training courses from learning how to walk, do 5ks or run a marathon. They also sponsor a lot of running events like the Edmonton Marathon itself.

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Saturday August 22nd

On Saturday the Running Room sponsored a friendship 3k km/walk for the participants of the marathon, so on Saturday Morning Cailin, Marissa and myself made our way back down to the Shaw Conference Center to participate.

I was really glad that I went to the event because before the run we got to listen to John Stanton give us some advice about how to approach the run the following morning. He is such an accomplished runner himself I made sure to soak up all the information that he was giving out. It was also a great opportunity to meet all pace bunnies and find the one that would be running the time that you were hoping to finish.

Then we all exited the conference center and ran/walked down the hill. It was a really path and it was a fun easy run to get out and meet some other runners and get a light workout in the day before the run. We took our time and just walked it, but had fun nonetheless.

After the run we headed back into the Shaw Conference Center and had a great breakfast and stood around chatting for a bit. We decided to walk back through the expo and get some more goodies. We also went by the animal shelter and they had some bunnies that needed to be adopted. I wish I could save all the animals, but I already have two bad bunnies at home.

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Sunday August 23rd

The night before the race I had some difficulty sleeping. I think I was a little nervous as this was my first 10k and therefore the longest distance that I have run. I woke up a few times through the night afraid that I was going to be late. When I actually woke up I got dressed and ready to head out the door.

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My race started at 7:30 so by 6:45 I started walking to the train. For a Sunday morning there were a lot of people on the train because there were a lot of people making their way downtown for the run.

As I was walking to the Conference Center I could hear the national anthem being played and got to see the marathon runners leave. I made my way into the center to gear check and dropped off my bag and went back upstairs to wait for my start. I actually met up with a friend who was running and hung out with her group until it was time to head to the starting line. It was pretty chilly just standing around waiting, but luckily it wasn’t too long.

IMG_8171 IMG_8172 IMG_8174 IMG_8178 It started by listening to the national anthem again and then there was a countdown and we were off. We raced down Jasper Avenue which is one of the main streets in Edmonton. It was nice to see a lot of volunteers, police officers and people around to cheer us on. There were a lot of people who had come out with signs which helped to pass some of the time.

During the Edmonton Marathon the rules state that you aren’t allowed to use headphones since the roads are not completely closed off and you need to be able to hear officials in case an elite runner is trying to pass you. I decided that I would play music from my phone without headphones, but in the end I didn’t even bother turning on my music. There was more than enough to look at and think about on my run that I didn’t find it too bad.

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IMG_8180   IMG_8183I had decided that I wanted to run the race in between 1:10-1:15 minutes, and I was keeping up with my pace bunny really well for the first 5k, but then lost her around the time we switched back. At least I could see that I was well ahead of my other bunny, but unfortunately I wasn’t sure to stop and walk.

On the way back we met up with the Half Marathoners who left 30 minutes after us. I was able to see Cailin and cheer each other on which was nice. It was really inspirational to see some of the elite runners and how fast they were actually going. By this time there were a lot more people who were out to cheer us on. There was an entire block party held by Lululemon and they had some great signs which really helped to push me through the last 2k. As I turned on to Jasper I could see the end in sight, and as I got closer to the finish line I decided to speed up as there was a lady in front of me I wasn’t going to let beat me.

I crossed the finish line in 1:10:55 and got my finisher medal. This is now my personal best time (since it was my first run) I actually didn’t feel very tired and thought I could have run longer. I also knew that I could definitely run faster as well. I grabbed some water and a snack and waited at the finish line to watch as other people finished.

IMG_8184 IMG_8187 IMG_8190 IMG_8186It was incredible to see the elite runners finish. The top half marathon finish time was 1:03 for a man and 1:13 for a woman. Then I watched as the first man finished the marathon in 2:28. It was actually a man from Edmonton who won which was nice to see him accomplish something so spectacular in his hometown. After watching them cross the finish line I went and picked up my stuff at gear check because it was getting cold. I came back just in time to see Cailin finish her race at 1:54 she set her personal best time!

IMG_8196 IMG_8197 IMG_8200 IMG_8201After she finished we went down to the brunch to eat some food. We weren’t exactly thrilled with the food choice since there was not much selection. We sat down and watched some of the awards being passed out to the winners of the different categories. They had a big screen with everyone’s finish time being displayed which was nice. They were taking a long time in between categories so we soon decided to leave. So we decided to head home. It was nice to relax after the run and realize that I had checked off another item on my fitness goals list. I guess the next goal will be to run a half marathon.

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Cheers,

Allison

Be Happy, Be Active, Be Healthy

Resolutions and Runs – Why not mix the two?

It’s that time of year again everyone. Another year is over and a new one’s just begun. If you stick around to the end of the post you will see my top 5 goals of the year.

IMG_2007Yesterday to start the New Year off on the right foot I signed up to participate in the 30th annual Resolution Run 5k Race hosted by the Running Room. When you signed up you got a running room jacket, but when I went to pick up my package they had run out of my size so I had to get a slightly larger one. It was ok I had enough room underneath do wear some layers.IMG_2011 IMG_2012 IMG_2015 IMG_2018On the day of the event the weather was pretty good. It wasn’t very cold, but there was a little bit of rain in the air. I went to pick up my sister and we got to the event pretty early because the venue was close to her house. This year it was held at the William Lutsky YMCA in Edmonton. Mallory hadn’t preregistered so she had to pay there and unfortunately they had run out of all the jackets except the XXL which would not work. After she paid we went to meet up with some Tone it Up Edmonton Girls, but we didn’t have to wait very long for the race to get started.

IMG_2020 IMG_2026 IMG_2028 IMG_2030 IMG_2032 IMG_2033We decided to make our way to the starting line, but unfortunately we had to start pretty far back. Soon we were off but we weren’t moving very quickly. There were a lot of people out to participate a lot of walkers and slower runners just starting out so for the first 500m or so it was a dodging game. It’s great to see people coming out and learning to enjoy running. The pathway was pretty good throughout the run, but there were some areas that had uneven ground or slippery parts. We were running on side streets of a rural area so there were some areas with cars driving through which was kind of annoying.

IMG_2035The course was a giant loop and let me tell you it was really nice to see the finish line. Before the race I had decided to tape my toe as it was still hurting and this was the first time that I would be running since I hurt it. I was able to finish the race in 33:53 definitely not my fastest time but I’m okay with that as it gives me something to work towards for my next race.

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This is a picture of my finish time not this random dude by the finish line.

IMG_2042 IMG_2045 IMG_2048 IMG_2051After everyone was finished we got a few pictures by the finish line and then made our way inside to have pancake breakfast. As I mentioned there were a lot of people so we had a little bit of a wait to get some food but it was actually pretty tasty. We were all in the gym sitting on the floor like elementary students, but it was fun to hang out and chat for a bit. Any food tastes good after a 5k run!

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They announced some door prizes, but none of us won anything, so it was time to head out. It truly was a great time and a great way to start 2015. Can’t wait to do some more races.

What are your resolutions/goals of 2015? (Let me know in the comments what your top 5 goals of the year are) My top 5 goals are:

  1. Reach a “normal” BMI – Even though I think this method of measuring healthy weight isn’t the best I still want to be in the “normal” range for my height.
  2. Run a 10k race – I have signed up for one in August but I might run one before.
  3. Increase flexibility – Do more yoga and pilates!
  4. Get enough sleep – Stop staying up too late wasting time watching televsion!
  5. Be more active on blog – I’m going to try the best I can to stick to a MondayWednesday/Friday posting schedule. It might be days of just a picture or a quote but I’ll do my best to keep with it.

Cheers,

Allison

Be Happy, Be Active, Be Healthy

PS Check out the fitness blogs my sisters have started. I’m so lucky to have them along with me on this journey!

Marissa — http://operationhotgirlfriend.wordpress.com/

Mallory — http://mallorygettingfit.wordpress.com/

Neon Run 2014

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This summer my sisters and I participated in the Color me Rad 5k run and had so much fun that Marissa and I decided to try out the Neon Run. It was a great time, but there were definitely pros and cons about this event. Here’s my experience.

The Neon run is a fun/un-run which means don not expect a typical 5k road race because it is a non-competitive/non-timed event in which you have fun glow zones/color spots and fun music to motivated you. Then when you finish and arrive back at the venue there is a neon festival with music, dancing and giveaways.

We kind of waited till the last minute to register because we weren’t positive we were going to be able to do the run, but in the end we made sure we could attend. The registration process was easy and I was able to find a coupon to get 10 dollars off the fee which at this point was $54. We had to pick up our packages a few days before the race at the West Edmonton Mall Sportchek. In the package we got a bib number, some glow sticks, a neon run head band, and a coupon for sportchek. Unfortunately unlike the Color Me Rad run there wasn’t a t-shirt in the package.

The day of the event Marissa and I went shopping at Value Village to pick up some items for our costumes. It was really fun to go around and find as much neon items as we could. Before we left we went to Subway to get some supper and were getting some funny looks even though we weren’t in our full costumes. So after supper we got ready by putting all our neon gear on.

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Looking all official with my bib number!

Looking all official with my bib number!

Here's Marissa showing off her number :)

Here’s Marissa showing off her number 🙂

I loved my outfit so much. If you know me you know I can't get enough neon so this was right up my alley.

I loved my outfit so much. If you know me you know I can’t get enough neon so this was right up my alley.

My baby FooFoo wanted to participate too, but unfortunately no pets were allowed.

My baby FooFoo wanted to participate too, but unfortunately no pets were allowed.

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We really played up the anime look.

We really played up the anime look.

We decided to walk over to the venue because it is pretty close to my house. We got a few stares and questions on our way to the place.

Aren't our shadows adorable!!

Aren’t our shadows adorable!!

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The email that we got the day before the event told us to arrive 90 minutes before our wave time so since we were to run at 8pm we arrived around 630. At this time people were just starting to arrive so there weren’t a lot of people around yet. It was nice that we were able to get some pictures under the blue lights before it go too busy.

There was a DJ playing dance music which helped to pass the time. We also looked around at the merchandise table, but we decided not to buy anything. (The prices were reasonable $20 for a tshirt and $40 for a hoodie, but they accept only cash so make sure if you want anything when you go you take cash or go to machine)

Under the blue lights we were so bright!

Under the blue lights we were so bright!

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Marissa looking all cute.

Marissa looking all cute.

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I really don’t think there was much need to go 90 minutes early to the event. There was an MC type guy who we couldn’t really understand with all the noise. So we sat around the starting line and waited for the race to begin. As I said we were scheduled to run at 8pm so we all lined up around 7:45pm and waited for the go ahead. The MC dude threw out a bunch of glow sticks to people in line and we caught a few.

The Starting line!

The Starting line!

Just before we started the race. We are pretty nervous in this picture!

Just before we started the race. We are pretty nervous in this picture!

Waiting for the countdown to begin.

Waiting for the countdown to begin.

8pm came and went and we were still at the waiting line. Marissa and I were both a little nervous since we hadn’t been training since our last run (which was in July). About 20 minutes passed our start time we were finally getting a countdown and then we were off.

The first glow zone was very close to the beginning where you ran through and were pelted with neon colored water foam. It was pretty sticky and gross feeling. There weren’t many people around us at this time so we got a lot of it on us! Because I decided to run the whole thing I didn’t stop and take pictures during the run.

Marissa and I had planned ahead that we would run together as much as we could but we did our own thing. We both had playlists and so we actually only stuck together for about the first 1.5 km. Then Marissa decided to walk for a little bit so I was on my own.

The next thing about the run that I didn’t like was that it was quickly becoming dark and we had to run down a hill that was covered by trees which got very dark. At this point I was by myself but luckily there were a few people ahead of me that I could follow otherwise it would have been quite scary. So going down this hill I was thinking man this is easy, but I knew that going down a big hill like this meant that I was going to have to go up another big hill to get back.

At this point people I was around runners only so there weren’t many people around luckily because soon we came to the hill that we had to climb up. We had to go single file because it was so narrow and steep. I must saw that I am quite fit, and I had a tough time going up it. I didn’t run up it at this point because the people ahead of me weren’t running and it wasn’t like I could pass them. The hill was quite dangerous as there was nothing stopping us from going over the side of the hill. When I was going up I thought that it would be quite dangerous for little kids and elderly people. I know that the information online said that it was for all ages, but I wouldn’t agree with it for this track. I would think if they come back next year that they should definitely pick a different route.

So after the hill we got to the water station which was well earned after that climb. At this point we were running on uneven grass. I could still see well because it wasn’t yet completely dark, but I think that there should definitely be better lighting for the event. Shortly after the water there was another color zone where there were people throwing neon powder at us.

We were back on the back roads after this and I almost fell on an uneven sidewalk again better lighting would have been helpful during these parts of the event. Soon back on the main roads there was better lighting which was nice. We were running on the roads and I’m glad that they had police officers posted to help people cross roads in certain areas and make sure that cars were obeying road signs.

Then there were two more colored powder zones pretty close back to back. I got face full each time since there weren’t many people around us. They were also taking pictures during this time. I think they will be posting them on their website (Color me Rad sent out an email when they put the pictures up and you could search your name/bib number and find pictures you were in)

Soon I knew I was coming up to the end of the race as I was approaching the venue. I went through another color zone and then there was a blue light tent which was really neat. They were playing fun music and was great motivation to keep going. Before I knew I was on the last leg and people were cheering me on to the finish line. It was great to get back into the venue and grab a drink.

When I looked at my heart rate monitor I found out the route was actually 6.71km long! I was shocked that it was so long and that I was able to actually run all of it (minus the hill) and I was able to finish in 43 minutes without doing any training. I was very proud of myself for completing another race. Since I was one of the first group of people to arrive back it was nice that I could take some pictures under the blue lights before it became too busy.

Just after I finished the race! So happy to be finished at this point.

Just after I finished the race! So happy to be finished at this point.

Yay I did it!!

Yay I did it!!

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Marissa's Shirt Looked really cool afterward!

Marissa’s Shirt Looked really cool afterward!

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Why not celebrate with a little bit of yoga? Neon Dancer's pose looks awesome!!

Why not celebrate with a little bit of yoga? Neon Dancer’s pose looks awesome!!

Playing with the Neon Powder.

Playing with the Neon Powder.

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Soon Marissa finished and I was able to cheer her on to the finish line, so we took some pictures to celebrate. Then the festival got started they were playing dance music and everyone was dancing and having fun. The MC was throwing out more neon glow sticks and tshirts. It was a pretty fun time, but we were tired and sore and ready to make our way home.

Everyone partying at the Neon Festival

Everyone partying at the Neon Festival

On our walk home we walked along the course for some of the time, and there were a lot of people still going through the course. At this point it was getting really cold and it was very dark. I was so glad that we were already finished. After reading reviews from people I found out that at this point things were starting to shut down. There weren’t any cups at the water station and not much if any color powder at the glow zones. From what I read there was a long wait to get up the hill for all the walkers because everyone was going single file and taking a long time to do the climb.

I know these fun runs are a for profit event, but they at least donate some of the proceeds to a charity. The charity for this particular event was the Keep a Breast Foundation which helps raise money for breast cancer prevention through art, education, awareness and action. Check out their website for more information or to donate money!!

I didn’t have many problems during the run, so I must say that in the end I had a great time. I know that there were problems with the event, but I expected this from reviews that I had read online. This is a very new event (I believe this is the first year) so I hope that they work out all the kinks and come back again next year improved. I would definitely participate again in the future because I had a lot of fun getting dressed up and running the race. These fun runs are a great way to be active and have fun at the same time!!

Walking home we got some pictures of the glow zones

Walking home we got some pictures of the glow zones

FooFoo wanted to take part so we made her a glow stick collar.

FooFoo wanted to take part so we made her a glow stick collar.

The Aftermath; not as bad as the Color me Rad for sure. It didn't take as much scrubbing to get it all off.

The Aftermath; not as bad as the Color me Rad for sure. It didn’t take as much scrubbing to get it all off.

Look how pretty my earphones are now!

Look how pretty my earphones are now!

I never thought I was a runner, but after participating in the Color me Rad and the Neon Run I know that I actually do like running! I can’t wait for my next 5k which is the CIBC Run for the Cure in October. I think that I will have to sign up for a 10k event knowing that I can definitely finish 7k means that I shouldn’t have a problem with an even longer run.

Have you ever participated in a fun run? What did you think?

Be Healthy, Be Active, Be Happy

Cheers,

Allison