Posts Tagged ‘halifax

How to Stay Focused Like Pan Am Gold Medal Winner Ellie Black

Yesterday. after months of writing and talking about her, I finally had the chance to meet Ellie Black!


Ellie’s performances at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games in Artistic Gymnastics were nothing if not impressive. Winning three gold medals, one silver, and one bronze over a four-day period made her the most decorated Canadian athlete at the games.


they are even more impressive in-person than on camera!
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Run or Dye Halifax 2013

This past Saturday I got to participate in my first colour run!!  Well walk actually, as I’ve got a pulled muscle in my back I didn’t dare run.  The race was at Martock – so not actually in Halifax at all, which was great for us since it meant we had a shorter drive Saturday morning.

A bunch of my peeps had signed up to do it too so Friday afternoon Lisa and I went to Martock to pick up a few race kits – 18 in all!

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oh and a case of Red Bull, obviously 😉  I’ve actually neve had Red Bull, but they were giving it out and gave me an entire case since I had so many kits!

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and then of course we had to check out the store

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new headband?  don’t mind if I do :p

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I was pretty excited about this run, I had made a new white tutu, bought some fancy over the knee socks and was ready to get coloured!

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We headed out early Saturday morning so we would be sure to get a parking spot in the Martock parking lot and not the over flow parking lot (where you had to be bused to the site).  When I picked up race kits I had also bought 7 parking permits thinking that meant we were sure to have parking at the parking lot.

Apparently not.

Friends in front of us got to go to the Martock lot, we got diverted to the overflow even though we knew the Martock lot wasn’t full and we already had a parking permit.  Then to add insult to injury, Lisa who was probably 15 minutes behind us got sent up to the Martock parking lot no questions asked.  What the heck?  What was the point of pre-purchasing our parking permit if we were going to be treated like everyone else that DIDN’T have one?

We were fowl.

Here is Claire and I looking sad on the bus.

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But go figure, once we got there and had some coloured powder thrown on us we cheered up 😀

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They were suppose to let 500 people at a time start but I think it was more like 100-200.  We waited a good 35 minutes before we actually got to start.  Here are the people behind us still waiting to go (meanwhile we had more friends still down on the road waiting to get parked and bused up!)

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Before we knew it, it was over!  Even walking it seemed pretty short, I heard someone say their tracker said it was only  3.3k and I believe it!  BUt it was 3.3K of colourful fun!

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We grabbed the next bus back to the car and arrived around 11am, and there were STILL people waiting to get bused over!  They had planned for 10:30 to be the very last wave of runners/walkers.  Clearly that didn’t happen.

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A before and after side by side

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I registered the day registration opened and had a coupon code so I only paid like $18 for the race.  Had I paid full price I would have been really annoyed.  If they return next year I hope they make a few changes like

1) People who pre-purchase parking permits get first dibs at the on-site parking

2) They get people to sign up in waves (like Mud Hero) so everyone (like 7000 people) aren’t all trying to get to a certain place for a certain time.  It was a bit crazy, and Mud Hero seemed to run much more smoothly in that regard.

I did really enjoy it though, and was super bummed when my skin and hair didn’t get tinted even for a day!  I showered when I got home and it all came right out!  I’m sure most people would be glad for that, but I sorta liked my bright pink arm 😉

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I Did It!

It’s official!



I’m not going to lie and say this way easy, there were a lot (a LOT) of sleepless nights wondering if and how I would be able  to reach $3900, and I cannot thank all of you enough for helping reach this amazing goal.  

The day I met the goal it was like my brain finally had time to breath.  I didn’t have to spend every moment trying to figure out what I was going to do next to raise money, hoping that those who said they would donate would come through, and worrying about the sheer volume of what I was trying to do.  I know there are so many people that do and raise so much more than I had/did, but at the same time there are way more who never attempt to do what I did so I am incredibly proud to have accomplished it.

And now, there is just a small matter of running a half marathon with a bad lung.  No problem….right?  Eep.

Since I ran 10K last weekend, I had planned to run 14K this week as I worked on bringing my mileage back up for the half next month (a month from today it’ll all be over and I’ll already be home from San Fran!) but my body had other plans.  I spent yesterday sleeping, and moaning on the couch feeling like I was going to die.  It was a super fun day, and since I could barely stand up there was no way I was running.

And all I could think about was, “what if this happens when I get there?” and I said to myself, “Suzanne.  You’ll do what you always do, you’ll suck it up and do the race and not tell anyone you feel like dying.”  And I know it’s true, if my fibromyalgia is acting up I’ll still go out and do it, but I really (really, really) hope that isn’t the case.  I really want to enjoy the race and not spend the time counting down the seconds until I can crawl in a bed an pass out.

Only time will tell what happens there, but in the meantime I’m going to try to stay optimistic.  

So while I didn’t run on the weekend, I did teach a full week of classes, and went out with Emma this afternoon to earn our Gimme S’More medals.

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And this weekend I most definitely must run.  I’m planning for 14K, 18K the following week and either 16 or 20 the week after (depending on how I feel) then it’s taper week!

I can’t believe the race is less than a month away!  Yikes!

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Maritime Race Weekend: Tartan Twosome 2013

Normally I post my training re-cap on Mondays, but since this weekend my training was held at the Tartan Twosome, you can count this as my re-cap from last week 😉

Way back in February I signed up for the Maritime Race Weekend Tartan Twosome which consisted of a Sunset 5K on Friday night, and a Sunrise 10k (there were also 5K, Half and Full Marathon options as well) Saturday morning.  The races are run in Eastern Passage right along the shore which would make for a beautiful run at both sunset and sunrise, you know, if we hadn’t been in the middle of a tropical storm…

All week long we were threatened with Tropical Storm Gabrielle trying to ruin our fun, and I was concerned the Friday run would even be cancelled.  Thankfully it wasn’t so Friday afternoon J and I headed into the city to our hotel.  We stayed at the Ramada in Burnside (which was the official hotel for the race).  It was my first time staying there and it was a lovely hotel.

But back to the races.  Maritime Race Weekend is a pirate themed race so of course I had to get a couple pirate costumes together for the weekend.  Pirate tutus are the best!

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and my attempt at a pirate pose.  #fail

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It was raining, but only really drizzle when I left the hotel but I didn’t want to get any wetter than necessary before the race (what a joke that turned out to be!) so I wore my jacket

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oddly enough even though I was wearing a tutu in public, I was more self conscious about the fact that I was wandering around with that jacket on (which was totally out of place).

Anyway, I made it to Eastern Passage and parked about 1km from the start line.  I had friends who had got there early and I knew I could leave my jacket and stuff in their car so I wore it down to the race site.

In true Suzi fashion, I had barely started the walk when it started raining.  Hard.  By the time I made it there I was drenched and couldn’t even see straight because there was so much water in my eyes.  And my poor tutu.  She was looking pretty sad.  When I met up with Debbie she was totally dry and took one look at me a burst out laughing.  Who could blame her?  I looked like a drowned rat!

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Luckily the rain died down before the race started so I didn’t get a second drowning!

Laura was so kind as to pick up my race kit for me Thursday night so I met up with her for our traditional pre-race photo and to get my kit.  Aren’t we cute??

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And then…we were off!

Debbie and I joked about the beautiful ocean sunset view as we ran because it was dark and rainy and foggy and we could barely even see the water!  I don’t think it was super windy, but when we turned at the halfway mark you could certainly feel a change not having rain beating on you.  The rain did stop and I found it got pretty humid, but that could have just been me in my waterlogged clothes getting hot 😉  The route was pretty flat but for while a while was pretty packed so it was hard to get passed people.  Near the end it thinned out enough to be comfortable which was nice.

Debbie’s husband managed to get this shot of us nearing the finish line.  We look pretty happy, but that’s mostly because we thought we were only seconds from being done.  In actuality we had to run a loop around to the finish line so we were probably another minute or so from being done. 

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and we’re done! Chip time: 31:58.  Not a PR but I wasn’t expecting one in a tropical storm!

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A better shot of Friday’s hardware

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and an “after” shot of my tutu.  It didn’t look too bad considering how soaked it got!

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I was so glad I brought two pairs of sneakers with me.  I would have been foul if I had, had to wear an already wet pair Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we got up much too early for my liking (5:45am) and had breakfast before heading back for round two.  

New day, new tutu 😉

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It wasn’t raining but it was pretty dang foggy. 

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such a shame, it would have been beautiful if not for the fog

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And of course another pre-race shot with Laura!

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As for the 10K, it was mostly flat except for one l-o-n-g gradual hill that was killer.  I much prefer steep hills that I can just sprint up, but this sucker was too long for that nonsense.  Ugh.  And then I think time stopped completely.  It felt like we’d been running forever when at the last water stop they said, “Only 2km to go!!!” Wait, what?  Two more kilometres?  It felt like we’d already run at least 9!  Of course the fog didn’t help because you couldn’t really tell where you were.  

I was getting tired.

I took a couple extra walking breaks and then told myself to just suck it up and run the rest of the way.  My clock time was 1:06:0X (not sure of the second) and my 10K PR was 1:05:59 from the BLuenose.  I knew right then that I had PR’d because we were at least 30 second back from the start when the clock started.  

Chip time: 1:05:18.  Say what?  A PR of 41 seconds?  I’ll take it!  

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And a shot of all my blingtastic pirate gold! 😀

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The one on the far left is actually a belt buckle 😉

I celebrated my new PR later that afternoon with a super delicious ice cream from Laura Secord.  Fantastic.

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So there you have it!  I went, I tartan twosomed and then came home.  All in all it was a pretty fun weekend {if of course you block out all the complaining I did during the actual races 😉 }

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Mud Hero Halifax 2013


Hi everyone!  I’ve been on a semi-vacation for the past couple weeks so my regular blogging schedule has been a bit “off” but now I’m getting back on schedule, and thought I’d start off with a re-cap of my Mud Hero run from a week ago!

As you all know I live in rural Nova Scotia, so I generally live vicariously through all of my big city friends as they go off to do mud runs/obstacle courses, colour runs, etc. so when I found out Mud Hero was coming I was super excited and quickly recruited a bunch of people to go with me.

One thing I really liked about the Mud Hero website was that the focus was on fun, instead of hard core obstacles.  There is no way I’ll ever participate in a Tough Mudder race, ice baths, and shocking really are not high on my list of to-do’s.  Ropes, wading through mud, and climbing over things – that is more my speed!

None the less, come the Friday night before I think we were all wondering what we’d (I’d) gotten us into.  The race took place at Ski Martock, so we knew there would be a ski hill involved, we knew at least part of it would be in the woods (which was one of my biggest fears.  I’m scared to death of ticks!), and we had an idea of what most of the obstacles would be.  I wasn’t worried about my ability to complete the obstacles, I was worried about my ability to complete them without killing myself (remember, I’m a walking disaster).

Unlike the previous weekend when I ran a 10K in a monsoon, It was super hot (with a heat advisory) for Mud Hero.  I’m glad the weather was the way it was (wet for the 10K, hot for the Mud Hero), I wouldn’t have wanted it the other way around, but I gotta say it was HOT.  At some point over the weekend the humidex was 45 C, I’m not sure what it was while we were on the course, but it felt like about 65C 😉

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pre-race, you could say the calm before the storm because we never saw this area empty again

Anyway, I had chosen the 10am wave because I wanted to go through the course before it got too “used” and muddy, and before the mid-day sun hit us, and I’m glad I did.  I don’t envy the people that did it Saturday afternoon at all, as hot as it was in the morning, it was certainly hotter that afternoon.

In pure Suzi form I spent a good few days worrying about what I was going to wear.  I wanted to wear a pair of compression socks since I knew I could run in those with wet feet without worrying about blisters, and for their added tick protection 😉 and decided to go with my NAYAD shorts since they would be quick drying and an old Nike Pro shirt I found in my car truck in the “emergency fitness wardrobe” bag.  It too would be quick drying and I wanted a t-shirt to protect my shoulders from the sun (there’s a lot to worry about when you’re as pale as I am, lol).  As for my sneakers, I knew I’d wear my old Nike running shoes.

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Another worry of mine was losing my sneaker in a mud pit so you can see how crazy tightly I tied them!  

I’m really happy with the outfit I chose, I didn’t have to spend any time adjusting my shirt or shorts, they stayed in place and didn’t ever feel heavy.  If mud hero comes back next year I will probably wear the exact same outfit (shoes included – I took a garden hose to those babies and I think they look cleaner now than before the run!).  I can’t say enough good things about my NAYAD shorts.  For realz.

Back to the race.  There were 16 obstacles over 6km of terrain (you can check out the map here, but the obstacles aren’t in the correct order, and I’m still not sure what the mystery obstacle was.).

Obviously I didn’t take my phone or the camera on course with me, but thanks to Arlene and Nora who took photos of us as we went around, I do have some action shots 😉 these are out of order, but they’ll give you an idea of some of the things we did.

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I’m in there somewhere, we had to crawl in the mud under a cargo net, and then up through a tunnel.  I did not like that tunnel.  I tried to crawl through/up it but you really needed to slither on your belly.  I nearly slipped back down into the mud but grabbed the edge of the tunnel with my finger tips and somehow shimmed my way up.  

It was after this that we had to climb the frigging ski hill.  That hill went on and on forever.  Cripes.  That’s all I have to say about that. Here I am getting ready to go down a water slide after making it back down the hill




Nothing better than a water slide that launches you into a mud pit.  


Did I mention all the “mud: smelled like manure?  Because it did.  They claim it’s made with top soil, but top soil doesn’t smell like that.  Keep your mouth closed and get through as quickly as possible.


Happy to be off that dang ski hill!

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And one of the obsacles I was most worried about, simply because I was sure I’d slip on a car hood and injure myself.  I was quite happy when neither occurred!

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I’m not in this picture but this was our rope climb.  I loved that obstacle.  I was up and over that baby in a flash!


We are almost done!  Just one more hill to go (thankfully this was a cinch compared to the ski hill.  Yes, I mentioned it again.  That thing was a beast!)

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I look like I’m moving much faster than I actually was 😉

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Just a trip down a bouncy slide and another trip through a mud pit and I was done!  (I’m not in the below pic, but Lisa is 😀 )


I sent this picture to J once I was done

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His reply?  “You’re a mess.”

Indeed I was.  But I was in good company!


The whole muddy crew

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Would I do it again?  Absolutely.  It was way too hot to run much of it, so it would be nice to do it again on a slightly cooler day to see how quickly I really could do it, but I’m pretty happy with my time (it was like 1:22:58 or something). It was really fun!  

If Mud Hero (or another muddy course!) comes near you, you should check it out!  If they come back next summer I’ll definitely be doing it again!

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