Friday, November 28, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

Sooo this little "Get To Know You" post has been floating around the blogisphere for the last couple of weeks with various titles and since my brain isn't getting it's regular endorphin related stimulation from running, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and do a no-brainer of a blog post with my answers to these questions.  Given that it's Movember I figured now is as good a time as any....right?

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
  • PK
  • P-Rock
  • P-Dizz
  • Lady G

2. Four jobs I have had:
  • Sales Associate (camera stores x2, clothing stores, Lewiscraft!)
  • Photography sales rep (I was HORRIBLE)
  • Immigration Clerk
  • Telemarketer for Mastercard.  I think I lasted 3 days.
3.  Four movies I've watched more than once:

Sooo...many it's hard to remember....
  • All of the original Star Wars Movies.  I mean come on.  Who hasn't??
  • Sound of Music.  I'm not ashamed to say that I look forward to watching it every Christmas.
  • Good Morning Vietnam
  • Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (what can I say, I love Harrison Ford & Sean Connery)
4. Four Books I recommend:
5.  Four Favourite Musicians / Bands:
  • Rush
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • The Beatles
 6. Four places I have lived:

Um.  Toronto.  So exciting, I know.

7. Four Places I have been:
  • Luxembourg
  • Dominican Republic
  • Barbados
  • Italy
8. Four places I would rather be right now:
  • Running
  • On a beach
  • Lounging on the couch (oh wait, I am....haha)
  • On my bike
9. Four things I won't eat:
  • Liver - DISGUSTING
  • Peas - I pick them out of everything.  Even vegetable soup.  It's a texture thing.
  • Vegemite / Marmite - I don't understand the love some people have for this. 
  • Head cheese.  Honestly.  Even the name makes me gag.
10. Four of my favourite foods:  If you follow me on instagram you'll see evidence of this.
  • Burgers
  • Bacon
  • Pizza
  • Dark chocolate
11. Four TV Shows I watch:
  • Game of Thrones
  • Vikings
  • NCIS - L.A & the original.  Not loving New Orleans
  • Sonic Highways
12. Four things I am looking forward to next year:
  • Running pain free
  • Taking a trip somewhere hot
  • Racing...hopefully
  • Heading to Newfoundland for a friends wedding.
13. Four things I am always saying:
  • "Seriously, WTF?"
  •  "I must be losing my mind." 
  • "G, where did I put that_____ (insert item)."  I really am losing my mind. 
  • “Really??"
14.   I was going to tag 4 people but....I think it would be more fun for people to post links to their answers in the comments.   So post away people! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Here Fishy Fishy Fish....

Another week of workouts down.   A week that had ZERO running miles.  Nada.  Zilch.  After being an idiot last week I figured I should just stop trying to do things my body wasn't ready to do yet.   Lo and behold, I've had a week of pretty much pain free knees.  Go figure.  I did aggravate them a little bit with my hard bike ride on Saturday but the pain didn't last long.  Maybe because I swam in a salt water pool after, who knows.  I did a lot of swimming this week.  In fact, I've done a lot of swimming this month.  I've logged 11 swims for an average of 24,700m and the month isn't even over yet.  I suspect I might actually hit 30,000m which will be the biggest month of swim mileage I've ever logged.  I'm turning into quite the fish.  That's what no running does I suppose. 

I've been incredibly diligent with my physio work, even though the exercises take me about 20-25 minutes to get through.  Sometimes I have to split them up and do half of them in the morning and the other half before I go to bed.  But, I'm getting them done and that's what counts.  I'm seeing progress too.  My left knee finally feels like it's almost tracking properly which is fantastic and there is limited pain on extension now.  Sometimes there's even no pain.  YAY!

Glute Med work:  stay tuned for a blog post!
 Saturday afternoon my friend David and I met up with Leanna again for another technique session in the pool.  This time we got to use fins!  We worked on hand position, reach and entry into the water.  I found this session to be incredibly helpful as well.  I don't have very good reach and my hands do weird things when they enter the water.  They just sort of float until I start to pull.   Now I have a better sense of what proper reach feels like and when I do that, my hands actually enter the water ready to pull.  We spent over an hour in the pool.  I was frozen by the time I got out.  A nice hot shower and a few layers of Icebreaker Merino and I was ready for food.  We hit up Bacon Nation yet again and went a little overboard.

David's burger:  The Pork Star and Bacon Porktine that we shared. 
The poutine was too much.  It was delicious but we just couldn't finish it.  Thankfully we had a decent walk back to the car, ha ha.

I had a nice lazy-ish day yesterday.  I had a really hard swim on Sunday morning and spent most of the afternoon lounging around.  I really needed it, I was exhausted.   3 days of swimming in a row really tired me out.

Anyway, this is how my week broke down:

Monday:  OFF - my knees were still kinda sore so I opted to skip swimming since it was fin day. Did physio work in a.m.
Tuesday:  75 minutes of strength & mobility work in a.m. + 35 minute hard-ish ride on the trainer in p.m.
Wednesday:  1800m swim, then worked a 12 hour day.   Did most of my physio work before swimming.
Thursday:  Slept in - did my physio exercises and that was about it. 
Friday:  Hard 2600m swim , physio work in a.m. and pilates in p.m.
Saturday:  1h 20 minute ride in a.m., 900m technique swim in p.m.
Sunday:  2800m swim, followed by a lot of couch time.  So. Good.

Total time:  8h 22 minutes including all my physio work.  8100m of swimming.  At this rate, I *should* have my swimming mojo back by the new year.  

How was your week of workouts?  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Whoops I Did it Again....

I am an idiot.

I may talk sense on this blog for the most part but I have my moments of stupidity more often than not.   This past week is a perfect example of that.  I had 5 pain free days in a row and I said I wasn't going to go crazy...but....

I did.  And now I've had more painful days vs. pain free days.  If I could smack myself in the back of the head, I would.   I did two short hard-ish runs this week in my beloved Sayonaras and my knees haven't been the same since.  The burning across the top of my kneecaps is back as is the pulling and tightness that I worked so hard to get rid of.  All because I just wanted to run.  I thought riding would be fine and my knees did feel somewhat better after being on the bike but I think the damage already was done.    The funny thing is, I felt like my glutes were firing during both runs.  I was running strong and my form was good.  So this is very frustrating. 

I know I'm not quite back at square one but on a scale of one to ten I've probably set myself back a few squares.  I'd say I was at square six but now I think I'm probably back to square three.   I'm trying not to let myself get into a cranky spiral of despair.  That means I'm trying to find any little bit of positive I can in all this.  The one bright spot is that I do feel like my left kneecap is starting to track properly again.  And I suppose the other bright spot is that the pain isn't as bad as it has been. 

So it looks like this week running is off the table.  And potentially next week too and potentially the week after that.  Cycling will be questionable.  We'll see how things feel.  I have a massage scheduled on Thursday so hopefully that will help.  My legs are starting to feel tired and a little bit tight. 

Despite all that, I still put in a fair amount of work this week.  Maybe too much...

Monday:  2300m swim
Tuesday:  60 minutes strength & mobility work + 7km run in a.m.  Pilates in p.m.
Wednesday:  2200m swim
Thursday:  75 minutes strength & mobility work + 7.5km run.  I ran through High Park on the trails and it was absolutely spectacular.

Friday:  OFF
Saturday:  28km on the bike (60 minutes) + 1 hour of hot yoga
Sunday:  3100m swim + 31km on the bike and then some quality time on the couch.  This is the first weekend in a LONG time that I didn't have to *be* anywhere.  The down time was definitely needed. 

Total:  10h 26 minutes.   I think that's enough.

How was your weekend?  Did you race or has your off season officially started?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five: Cold Weather Running Tips

As much as it absolutely PAINS me to write about this, the time is near.  Yes people, Winter is Coming.  We've already seen a bit of snow in Toronto, which, if you ask me, is far too early.  "They" say we're going to have another brutal winter this year.  Thankfully I'm not training for a spring marathon next year so I'm not going to have to deal with 20 milers in the snow and ice.  Woohoo for small victories. 

I'm linking up with the Friday Five ladies (Cynthia, Mar & Courtney) for another Friday Five post and this one is all about Cold Weather Running.  Something us Canadians know all about.

1.  Gear Up.   Winter running requires a LOT of clothing.   The key to tolerable winter running is layering.  Invest in a good jacket as that will be your go to piece when the going gets frigid.  I have a Zoot Ultra Jacket that I bought a few years ago that has been my savior in really cold temps.  I can wear it with a thin base layer for those days where it's chilly and I can wear it with a heavier fleece lined top for those freeze the the snot in your nose cold days.  My go to base layer is my Mizuno Breathe Thermo top.  It's hands down one of the best pieces of clothing I own.   I also have an amazing pair of Zoot Ultra tights that get me through those really chilly days. 

2.  Warm Up.  This may seem counter intuitive but on those really chilly days, take 10-15 minutes to do a warm up inside.  The cold won't seem so cold once you get outside.  And, your muscles will thank you. 

3. Don't Neglect Your Extremities.   If you want to stay warm, gloves and a hat are a must.  For really cold days, a balaclava might even be necessary.   In terms of footwear, I swear by my Smart Wool socks.  You want something that keeps you warm yet wicks any sweat or moisture away from your feet.  Wet feet = cold feet and that's incredibly unpleasant on a long run. 

4.  Dress for Less.  In the winter the general rule of thumb is that you should dress for 10-20 degrees warmer than it actually is.  That's a big range because it all boils down to personal preference.  You should be a little chilly when you head out the door because you'll warm up during your run and the ultimate goal is to be comfortable on your run.

5.  Learn to Love the 'Mill.  Sometimes the conditions just don't allow you to go outside so this machine becomes a necessary evil for winter training.  I'll admit, I'm no fan but this past winter was BRUTAL in terms of ice so rather than potentially injure myself by doing my speed work outside, I did about 80% of my speed work inside on the treadmill.  I even did one long run on the treadmill (20km of torture).  It didn't make for the best winter of training but the miles got done and I have to admit, by the end of it all, I actually really enjoyed doing my interval work on the treadmill.

Make sure you head over the the link up to check out the other Friday Five posts! 

Is there anything you'd add to this list? 

What are your go to cold weather pieces?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby Steps - Weekly Recap

I'm starting to feel like things with my knees are progressing in the right direction.  Last week I had a total of 5 pain free days in a row.  Then I ran 9km and it all fell apart.  However, it wasn't as bad as it has been.  The pain is different now, it's milder for lack of a better word.  I also knew when I was running that my glutes weren't firing.  I could feel it.  My hamstrings were working but my glutes were not.  This type of awareness is a good thing.  I did a bit of a dynamic warm up but I should have done some of my physio exercises before I went out.  I did that on Saturday's run and it made a big difference. I could feel my glutes and hamstrings working.  My knees hurt after the run but not like they used to.  The pain never sticks around that long any more which is a good thing.  It almost feels like my left knee cap is trying to settle back into where it should be.  It's a strange but good feeling.  Just because I'm starting to feel better, I'm not going to go crazy.  I've been cleared to start doing body weight squats so that's a step in the right direction! 

I'm also getting fitted for new orthotics tonight which should help as well.  That will also mean an easy breaking in period for those so I know these next few weeks will be all about easy little bits of work to get me back on track.  I'm hoping that by December I'll be able to start getting to a regular routine and maybe, just maybe, start thinking about my 2015 season.

I had a pretty good week of workouts this week even with one long day of work.  I even got back on the bike and was completely pain free! WOOHOO! 

Monday:  2700m swim in a.m. Pilates in p.m- I'm totally loving this.  Working with Elyse has done wonders for my shoulders as well as my glutes.
Tuesday:  75 minutes strength and mobility work
Wednesday:  OFF - was up at 3:50 am to get to work for 5:00 am.  So.  GROSS.
Thursday:  9km run in a.m., physio in pm.
Friday:  2350m swim
Saturday:  13.8km run in the a.m. some of it with Michelle and friends.  Love it when I run into people I'd never expect to see in my 'hood!

 Saturday P.M: roughly 600m of drills / stroke correction work with Leanna & David.  Then David and I went and ate these at Bacon Nation.  OMG.  And we can't forget the rules either.

Sunday a.m.:  3350 swim, almost all pull and paddles.  I definitely worked off my bacon sandwich, ha ha.  p.m.:  55 minutes on the computrainer watching the Foo Fighters Sonic Highway.  If I wasn't so darn hungry, I would have watched another hour, it was so good.  I'm sure my legs would have hated me though. 

Total time:  8h 32 minutes with 9000m of swimming!  Heck yes.

I'm riding a good wave right now.  I've been keeping an injury journal which has helped keep my head on straight when I have bad days.  The best part is that the bad days are fewer and far between so I must be doing something right.

How was your weekend?  

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Last Hurrah: Niagara Falls 5km

Normally it never takes me this long to write a race report but life has been incredibly busy as of late that blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.  C'est la vie when you have an unpredictable full time job.

After Barrelman in September, I said I was done for the season.  I was taking a break.  My knees were a mess and I needed to rest and start working on fixing them.  And I did take a break.  I took a whole 19 days off running and cycling.  For a Type A like myself, that is a big freaking deal.  After the 19 days, my knees felt a fair bit better but the minute I pushed myself or maybe did a bit too much, they hurt again.  So I started going to physio.  I needed a routine to work on strengthening all my smaller stabilizing muscles that have pretty much been sleeping for the last couple of years.   The knee pain came and went.  Some days would be great and some days would totally suck.  But that's how rehab goes.  It's never a straight line.  I did what I could when my body would let me.  I managed one run a week, no more than 6km.  I rode my bike from time to time and I swam and lifted weights when I could. 

My run group had been planning their fall trip to Niagara since the summer.  I had decided I was going to go regardless of whether or not I could race.  The closer we got to race weekend, the more I was getting the itch to do something.  Clearly I have a problem.  I contemplated doing the 10km but then figured I didn't want to suffer through that.  A 5km would be a bit more tolerable given my lack of speed and lower pain tolerance.  So a few days out from the trip, I signed up for the 5km.  The field was really small so I hoped that I'd be able to podium at least. 

Saturday morning G and I rode 60km through Caledon, booked it back to Toronto, threw a bunch of stuff in a bag and drove out to Niagara so we could participate in the #PhatAssChallenge.  So glad we did that, what a blast.  The ride really did a number on my knees though and they were quite sore and running around Niagara for an hour didn't help things either.  My physio had taped them on Thursday and I was determined to keep the tape on until after the race on Sunday. 

After the #PhatAssChallenge, the group of us went out to dinner at a local Italian place.  I even had a beer.  Normally I'd never do that the night before a race but it was a 5km and I was just racing it for fun.  I ate a whole lot of white bread and pasta.  Two things I don't normally eat but that's what was for dinner.  After dinner we wandered around the strip a bit then went back to the hotel.  I think I fell asleep sometime around 11 pm.  The hotel was providing us breakfast at 6:30 am so I got up at 6:00 got myself sorted and rolled over to the hotel restaurant for some coffee and blueberry Eggos (I kid you not).  I grabbed an apple and a banana for good measure.  G drove me out to the race start which was about 4km from the hotel.  Had my knees not been killing me, I might have considered running to the start as a warm wouldn't be the first time I've done something like that.  But we drove and I ended up running circles around the parking lot for my warm up.

We parked in the same lot I parked at for Barrelman.  The run course was on part of the Barrelman course so I knew what to expect for most of it.  It was listed as an out and back but reading the course description, it didn't seem to be so there was a bit of confusion as to where it actually started and ended.   We followed the stream of runners making their way through the parking lot and found some fencing lining the road.  We saw some crowds gathered around so we figured that must be the start line.  As we got closer, I saw hand written signs on posts stuck in the grass that said "5km"  "10km" and "2km".  Ok then.  I had opted for shorts, a tank top with my WTP singlet over it + my crazy tattoo Sugoi armwarmers.  Shorts was ambitious.  I was so bloody cold I went back to the car to change into my tights.  There was no way I could stand around in shorts.  I got my tights on and did a few laps around the parking lot along with some drills to activate my glutes.   I ran into Deb, one of the gals from my run group who was also doing the 5km.   We jumped into the crowd and made our way towards the front.  Her hubby Eric was racing the 10km so he snapped this shot of us before we took off.


I'm such a nerd.  

Anyway.  I shuffled up closer to the front and then the next thing I knew, the gun went off.  I was not in an ideal position at all.  I had to dodge a lot of people before we got to the first turn. Once we turned the corner, there was room to spread out and pass people.  I could see a younger girl in front of me with a guy so I focused on reeling them in.  I was pushing hard.  I caught them just before the first km mark.  My Garmin beeped at the km mark and I glanced down to see a 3:58.  Um.  What?!  I didn't think I was capable of seeing those speeds right now.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to maintain that but I was going to try to stick as close to that as possible without barfing. 

I could see another woman and a young girl a fair ways in front of me.  I couldn't tell if I was gaining on them or not.  It wasn't until we got close to the turn around that I felt I was closing in on them.  I prefer to be the chaser.  I find it very motivating to have someone in front of me that I have to catch.  These two girls were running together.  I'm not sure if they were mother daughter or if they knew each other.  Whatever the case, they were the two lead females.  I knew that if I caught them I'd be in the lead.  We hit the turnaround and I got ready to run into the wind.  I knew coming back along through Kings Bridge park was going to be a wind tunnel.  It was the same with Barrelman.  I'm booking it along when all of a sudden I become aware of a very strange feeling in my hamstrings and glutes.  They were slightly burning.  The harder I went, the more they burned.  I could feel them working!!!  OMG.  I'm not sure what excited me more at this point.  The fact that I had actually managed to recruit my glutes or the fact that I was very close to catching these two women. 

I heard someone yell my name (hey Shelley!) so I said "Hey" back and that startled the younger girl.  I was literally right behind them.  She turned around, saw me as I passed and surged to stay with me.  She hung on for a bit and then fell off.  When I say younger girl, I'm talking about 10, maybe 12 years old.  She was YOUNG.  But she had a set of legs, holy smokes.  I had no choice but to keep it pinned.  The finish was down by the Niagara Power Plant right on the Niagara Parkway.  It was a nice gradual downhill from just past the 4km mark.  I let my legs go on that downhill.  I saw G and waved.  As I came around the bend, I saw the tape go up and I started grinning.  I've won a couple of races outright but I've never actually gotten to break the tape.  This was going to be the first time.  I raised my hands in the air and smiled as I crossed the line.  

I glanced down as I stopped my Garmin and saw 20:42.  Uh.  Excuse me?  How the hell did I manage that??? I was fully expecting to be between 21:00-22:00 minutes.  My official race time was actually 20:37.  30 seconds slower than my current 5km PR.  30 seconds is a lot over 5km but given my complete lack of speed work, I'll happily take it.  

And of course I had to buy the race picture because it's not every day that you get to break the tape! 

Trophy Girl!
 I can officially say that's it for my 2014 racing season and what a season it's been! I definitely need a break.  I'm currently in full on rehab mode.  I feel like things are moving in the right direction and I'm having more good days than bad so that's a plus.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to get into a more regular routine come December and then I can start to plan out my 2015 season.  Fingers crossed!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday: Off Season

Oh Heyyyyy.

Guess what's back?  Yup, it's Tri Talk Tuesday!  And, the lovely Courtney and Cynthia have asked if I'd like to co-host.  So of course I said yes!  Instead of a weekly post, we're keeping it to once a month on the first Tuesday of every month.

This months theme?  The Off Season.  Which is totally appropriate for about 90% of the people that read this blog because WINTER IS COMING and that means no more racing.  It also means most of us get relegated to the indoors.  Booooo!

As much as I love to race, I also enjoy the off season.  It gives me a chance to rest and recover.  It also gives me a chance to shift my focus to the little things that I don't always have time to focus on while training and racing.   I know many people are at a loss when their season ends but that doesn't have to be the case.  There are plenty of things to do in the off season.

1.  Lift Heavy and Lift Often:   My favourite things to do in the off season is strength train.  I strength train year round but in the off season I tend to lift heavier.  When you're not racing, your body can take the extra physiological load.  There are so many benefits to lifting and off season is the best time to really get into it.  It's a great way to develop strength and power for all three sports. 

2.  Drills, Drills & More Drills:  Off season is the best time to work on technique.  Your workload is less, you don't need to go hard so take the time to incorporate drills into your workouts.  There are fabulous drills for swimming, cycling and running.  Regular technique work will help improve efficiency and that will help improve performance. 

3.  The Weakest Link:  Most of us age group triathletes have ONE weak link in the three sport chain.  Take the off season to put more time into that sport.  Mine is swimming.  If I could practice open water swim year round, I'd have it made but alas, I am relegated to a pool for 9 months out of the year.  So, I swim 3-4 times a week in my off season.

4.  It's the Little Things:  This almost goes hand in hand with number one.  As much as I love lifting heavy, there has to be a focus on the smaller muscles and range of motion as well.  I've learned this the hard way this year.   Too many dominant large muscle groups can cause a whole lot of problems.   So while I'm still lifting heavy, I've also added pilates into my life.  It focuses on little movements that don't seem like much but add up to a lot.  It takes care of most of the smaller muscles I neglect when lifting and it helps increase my range of motion.  It also helps you become very aware of how your body moves which is something I never really thought about while I was training.  I'm definitely paying much more attention to my form which is never a bad thing.

Is there anything you'd add to this list?

Monday, November 3, 2014

More Cowbell!

Last week was C-R-A-Z-Y.   I really wanted to just lounge around on the couch all weekend but nooooo, that was not to be.  I had another busy weekend lined up.   I swear I think I'm busier now than when I was actually training.  Friday night I got home from work late, again.  That's been the story of my week.  Saturday I got up early and ran 12km!  YAY!  Then it was run errands, do some work, then get ourselves out to Richmond Hill for a family portrait.

My 16 year old niece and I.  Yes, she's WAY taller than me. 
Yesterday I was up early again to go and cheer on two of my athletes as well as a few virtual pals at the Hamilton Marathon.  Christina and Danielle were running their final half marathon of the season and since I couldn't make it last year, I figured no matter what, I was going out this year.  And we were going to hang out and go for food after so I wasn't about to turn that down, ha ha.   It was freezing cold but sunny at least.  I had a blast cheering folks on.  I had my trusty cowbells and was totally bundled up.  I saw Irina who was cheering her hubby on as well as Nicole, Sam and the rest of the Burlington ladies.  He came in at 1:30 on the nose.  I was keeping my eyes peeled for Christina.  I saw the 1:40 pace bunny.  No Christina.  2 minutes later there she was.  Cue the cowbells. loud cheering and lame dance moves.  As she ran by me she said "I'm so tired".   I knew Danielle couldn't be too far behind.  Lo and behold, a few minutes later, there she was.  More cowbell and loud cheering.  I glanced down at my phone and saw the time and thought Holy $#&T, she was going to PR!!   After everything she's been through this training cycle, she was going to PR.  I was so happy.  I ran like a crazy woman to the finish line to wait for her and as soon as I saw her I gave her a big hug.  She was pumped.  We then tracked down Christina and posed for pictures.   Because that's what you do post race, right?  If it's not on Instagram or Facebook, then it didn't happen.  Ha.

I also met Josh, Danielle's fiance as well as Jessica and Annie, who came all the way from Ottawa to race.  We all decided that food was in order and thanks to Jessica's awesome suggestion, we ended up at Naroma for pizza. Best.  Pizza.  Ever.

This is what happens when social media ladies meet for lunch. 
I had a very busy week work wise so I didn't get much in the way of workouts in.  BUT, I did have my first completely pain free day.  Yes, you read that correctly, NO PAIN.  None.  Nada.  And you know what?  I didn't got out and do anything stupid either!!!  I know.  Who am I??

Someone who is slowly learning, that's who.  :)

Anyway.  Let's check out my last week of workouts, shall we?

Monday:  2150m swim in a.m.  Pilates in p.m.
Tuesday:  75 minutes strength & mobility
Wednesday:  1900m super crappy swim in a.m.  6km easy run in p.m.
Thursday:  30 minute ride on computrainer + core and physio work
Friday:  was going to swim but......sleep won out.
Saturday:  12km run + new phsyio routine which is up to almost 30 minutes now.
Sunday:  Super spectator -spent a couple of hours in the cold in Hamilton cheering people on.   That has to count for something, right?

Total time:  6h 48 minutes.  Guess you could say this was an easy week, ha ha.

I'm kind of glad work is going to be nuts this week.  It will keep me from lacing up my shoes and running too much.  I'm hoping I can get out for one short easy run during the week and maybe, just maybe, I'll do another 12km on Saturday.  We'll see how my knees feel this week. 

How was your weekend? 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

WTP Does Niagara Falls: The 2014 #PhatAssChallenge


1:  "Cool"
2.   "Pretty Hot and Tempting"

Not to be confused with Fat, which can be a noun, verb and an adjective.  This brings me to the origins of the #PhatAssChallenge.

The story goes that back in 2012 a few of the WTP Ladies got together to head to Philadelphia to run the Philadelphia Marathon.  Said ladies usually enjoy a good physical challenge and in their exploration of the city, decided it would be fun to race up the Rocky steps....because that's what you do when you're in Philly for the marathon.  Other than maybe eating a cheese steak or two.  Carb loading, you know.


This being the digital age, camera phones were on hand so they thought it would be funny to photograph the "event".    So, the girls run up the stairs and one of the wonderful husbands is on camera duty.  He snaps away from below as the girls run up the steps. 

You know where I'm going with this right?   Let's be real guys, that angle is NEVER flattering.

None of these women had an issue with this.  No, they took it and ran with it.  And that's how the #PhatAssChallenge was born.  So every fall, these ladies take a trip somewhere to run a race.  Last year, they went back to Philly again, this time with a bigger group.  And the addition of the LEGENDARY cat pants, which have now become a #PhatAssChallenge must.

This year, the WTP ladies put a vote out to the club with a few fall destination race options and Niagara Falls won out.  It was close and they offered 5, 10, half marathon and marathon options.  The proximity of the race brought a big turnout.  This year there were 31 people that came out to race or hang out.  Of course the highlight of the weekend was the #PhatAssChallenge.  Because it's not every day you see grown men wearing cat pants.

We all figured that the challenge would be something physical but the organizers and founders, Carm & Karen decided to dice things up a bit.  We had to assemble in the parking lot of our hotel, wearing cat pants (or similar) if we had them and we had to make sure we had a camera or smart phone.  This is part of the motley crew.  Most of us proudly wearing our WTP shirts I might add.

At shortly after 4:30 we were handed this and instructed to pull a lei out of a bag.

The colour of the lei determined the team you were on.  The ladies then walked us through the challenge.   It was a scavenger hunt of sorts.  The majority of things on the list were things we had to do as a group and get of picture of us doing it.  Nothing like running around Niagara Falls dressed in catpants or neon running attire, trying to get pictures of us doing stupid things.  So. Much.  FUN!  The tasks had different point values, some higher than others.  We also had the opportunity to find things and bring them back with us, as well as answer trivia questions.

A few examples:

Your entire #PhatAss Team with a stranger wearing catpants.  Which we did.  The rules didn't specify that the person had to already be wearing the catpants.   We managed to get not one but TWO people into Roger's catpants.

That guy in the front is a random stranger who was only too happy to put on a pair of cat pants!

Random strangers girlfriend also got in on the action!

 With a member of your team upside down with an upside down house (!?!?)

photo courtesy of Peter K
With someone dressed all in black:

Wearing funny hats:

Running Up Stairs (bonus for team member who's ass looks the biggest).  I LOVE the cat on Al's butt (the guy beside me).

People lying down on the ground spelling out WTP.  I wouldn't say they nailed it....

photo courtesy of Gary Kennedy
With a policeman or fireman in uniform.  As you can see, pretty much ANYTHING went as long as it was kind of in the ballpark.  In case you're wondering, that's a moose dressed in a RCMP Uniform.

photo courtesy of Peter K
You get the picture, right?

Needless to say, people thought we were nuts and the boys definitely raised a lot of eyebrows in the catpants.  But man, oh man was it ever fun.  We're already trying to figure out where to go next year.

Have you ever done a scavenger hunt?   What's the craziest thing you've ever worn running?