Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It was a great game but the Bombers went down 9-6 to the Grey Houndz.

As for my running......not so much. I have been going into the Mud Run thinking that it is really only for fun....even though they are timing it LOL!

My butt will have to get back into gear on June 9th though. That is the OFFICIAL day I begin to train for the Scotia Half, and I am more than a little nervous!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Let's Go Bombers


Yes sports fans, softball starts this weekend! Good times. I am very excited about this season, as it seems I don't suck as much as I thought. And with the help of my team mate Simon I may even hit a few balls this year. No one hit wonder award this year baby!

I do need a pair of cleats though. It would seem that I am finding it difficult to swing without turning almost 180 degrees around!

I want to wish some very great people good luck this weekend! Here is hoping Candice can keep her leg in check, Pete makes sure Bev DOESN'T cross the finish line, and Chris.....well, I am hoping he doesn't kill himself!

Enjoy Ottawa this weekend! The weather will be great.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In A Word......

Sylvia was amazing!

Silvia is an Olympic athlete, who competed in the first ever women's marathon event in 1984 in Los Angeles, and placed 8th despite it being only her second time running a marathon!

Her talk was, in a word, FANTASTIC! Very heartfelt, with lots of good advice and personal stories on her road to the Olympics.

She also brought an 8 minute video of her Olympic run.

As much of what she writes frequently was in her talk, and because I enjoyed it so much, I've included it here.

In 1976, the Olympic Games were held in Montreal. As I was watching these games on our small black and white TV set, I was impressed by the level of excellence the athletes had achieved. I was particularly interested in athletics (the middle distance track events), and took note of the Canadian athletes competing in them. I was a young teenager at the time and had run cross-country and track in my first year of high school. However, I had a sporadic approach to training at the time. Watching these athletes caused me to ask myself some questions. What did I hope to achieve with my running? Did I just want to continue on as I had been or did I want to set some goals? I too decided that one day I wanted to represent Canada at the Olympic Games.

After the games were over, I found a scrap piece of paper in my room, wrote the date on it September 11th, 1976 and then a note indicating my intention to one day represent Canada at the Olympic Games. I didn't want to tell anyone about that goal, because I was afraid that if I failed to achieve it, I would have to explain my reason for failure to others. I did however want to keep the note as a commitment to myself. I grew up in an old farmhouse, and had floorboards in my room. I found a space between two of these floorboards, hid the note in the floor, covered it with tape (colouring it the same colour as the floor) and pulled my carpet over top of the note.From that day on I had a dream/goal, and began to work towards achieving it.

In those early years, I didn't know a lot about training, but I did know I had to be more committed and consistent. I started to get up early before school to run. However, because I grew up on a farm in the country, the absence of street lights meant that it was very dark. My mom, though not knowing about my dream, knew that I wanted to run. She would drive behind me in the car for 5 or 6 miles with the headlights on, so that I had a lit path to run in.

Running in the mid to late 70's even into the early 80's was not encouraged for girls. We had very few girls at our high school who ran, but we did have a guys cross-country team. I was able to go to high school competitions with them. The training began to pay off, and I saw encouraging results. By the end of high school I was winning provincial championships in the middle distance events and placing well in national events. Athletic Scholarship offers to American Universities, competing nationally and internationally and sponsorship by Adidas all were encouraging signs that perhaps one day that Olympic Dream would become reality. I stayed in Canada, went to U of Guelph and had a tremendous freshman year before becoming plagued with injuries. I would spend the next 2 1/2 years injured and unable to run.I finally overcame the injuries in 1983, and realized that the Olympic Games were the following year. I had maintained my fitness level with cross training activities but had to get my running legs back. By the end of 1983, I knew I was back to my pre-injury level of fitness.

It was then that I heard that for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, a women's marathon would be offered for women. I felt that all of the cross training I had done had built incredible strength and endurance and that I had missed two years of track experience. It was then that I decided to move up to the marathon distance and try to make the Olympic Games in an event I had never done before. Four months before the Olympic Trials, in January of 1984, I got in touch with a marathon coach that I had heard about, and asked if he would help me prepare for the Olympic trials.The months leading up to the trials were grueling. I had to make major adjustments in my training which now included 115-120 miles per week and among other things 26 mile training runs. There were many days and weeks when I wondered if I could go on. God's strength and the assurance of his presence with me in this journey sustained me.

I won the Olympic Trials in 2 hours 30 minutes 37 seconds which at the time was the fastest debut marathon by a woman in the world. Winning the trials gave me the incredible honour and privilege of representing Canada at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, 2 months later, in the historic first ever Olympic Women's Marathon.I

Although it was an incredible honour and the realization of a dream to be at the Olympic Games, the intensity of what lay before me culminated two nights before my event. Darkness had settled over the Olympic village, I was sitting at a pay phone in front of my dorm having just said goodbye to my family for the last time before I would compete in two days. The swimming stadium lay silent before me. Earlier in the day we had heard our anthem and seen our flag raised numerous times as our teammates, Alex Bauman, Vistor Davis, Anne Ottenbrite and others had competed. I was suddenly overcome with great fear. I started to question my readiness, I had seen the names of the 50 women I would be competing against. They included World Champions, World Record holders, Olympians, women I had read about. Was I good enough to be here? What if I didn't get my water? We knew the heat in Los Angeles would be severe, and dehydration was a real possibility. What if I disappointed my country, my family, my coach, my community? What if I disappointed myself? what if after all the training and sacrifices and work, I didn't do what I had prepared to do?When the fear and doubt became almost too much to bear, and I wondered if I would even have the courage to get to the starting line, I knew I needed to get my bible, find a quiet place somewhere in the busy Olympic Village to pray. God was so faithful. He came. Through his word and through my time with him in prayer, He brought a peace and assurance to my heart that only he could bring. I reflected on Psalm 33 verses 11" But the plans of the lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations."

The race was one of the most difficult events I have ever experienced. The intensity of the competition, the heat, the experience of running with the best in the world in only my second marathon. I reached a very difficult point in the race when 4 runners I was running with decided to pick up the pace at about the 21 mile mark, and I was left alone to wage the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual battle of whether I could go on. I found strength in the level of preparation I had done, but even more in God's word. I knew that the thoughts of "Quit, Quit, Quit" "You can't go on!" were not words from God.

I finished 8th setting a new Canadian record, and knew when I crossed the finish line, that I had given everything I had to give; there was absolutely nothing left. I was so grateful.

There was a part B on my note in the floor. Part A was to represent Canada at the Olympic Games, Part B was to win a medal for Canada. In 1984, I was the second youngest in the field, it was only my second marathon. I had hopes of going back to an Olympic Games and believed that with more experience and more training, a medal could be possible.I set the still existing Canadian women's Marathon record 6 months after the Olympic Games . The time of my third marathon, run in Houston was 2:28:36.

Two weeks after setting this record, I was involved in a very serious car accident. I was traveling back to Guelph from a training session in Toronto. It was a stormy January 24th night. My car hit a patch of ice, I lost control of my car, and the last thing I remember, was seeing the headlights of the oncoming car. I was impacted on the driver side door, was not wearing my seat belt, and got ejected from the car. When I regained consciousness, I was lying in a snowdrift in a ditch, and then was being rushed by Ambulance to the Hospital. It is a miracle that I survived the accident. a gentleman who was shoveling the snow at the end of his driveway witnessed the accident. He read about it in the newspaper, and several days later came to visit me in the hospital. He said that he saw my body bounce off the pavement twice, before I came to rest in the ditch. My injuries, given the serious nature of the accident were not that serious, however I would miss much of the following two years of running from various complications.I did return to running and competed, however I missed the 1988 and 1992 Olympics because of injuries. In 1994, I had to make a decision as to whether to continue and try to compete in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, or whether to retire.

I remember reading a quote at the time that said "How few of us are as brave as our dreams?" I knew that one of the things hindering my decision was the fear of it not working out. Making major sacrifices and "what if..." it didn't work. I made the decision to move to the states to train in the 2 years leading up to the games, to access excellent physical therapy and acclimatize to Atlanta weather. The plan didn't work as I had thought or hoped an after a series of setbacks I retired in the spring of 1996, without having achieved one of the main goals I had pursued since 1984.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sylvia Ruegger

One of the HUGH bonuses of working with The Running Room is the people that you get to meet. Tonight we are so fortunate to have Sylvia Ruegger come to speak with us!

In the spring of 1984, Silvia Ruegger ran her first-ever marathon. She chose a favorite race for marathon newbies: the flat, fast course of the National Capital Marathon in Ottawa. However, unlike the rest of the first-timers who toed the line that spring morning, Silvia didn't just celebrate crossing the finish line- she celebrated getting there first, winning the women's race, qualifying for the Olympic team, and posting the fastest marathon debut by a woman, ever (2:30:37). So how did she top that? Well she set a new Canadian women's record (2:29:09) in the 1984 summer Olympics - the first games to hold a women's marathon. Not to be happy with that Silvia ran another Canadian record in Houston less that six months after the Olympics with a record to this day still stands (2:28:36).

I am really excited to hear her story and to meet such an extraordinary person. Tonight is going to be REALLY special!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 2-4

Well the weather has been sufficiently crappy this weekend.

Colin and I have both been battling this cold that has been going around. And of course, BOTH the kids have it. They seem to be fairing well, but it makes getting out to run a bit of a struggle.

Colin and I went out yesterday together (!) and ran a strong 8+ k before we had to head home due to the heavens opening on us! It was a great run until then. We were up at Mom and Dad Francis' so it makes for a real hilly time. And we would have done the 11k we had planned if ti wasn't for the weather. But running in these conditions is something you should try to do if you can, because you are training for a race day that may or may not have the same conditions.

So Mudrun is less than three weeks away! Again, this isn't going to be a run that we run for a PB. This one is only for fun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not Meant To Be

Well my babysitting fell through and baring a major miracle, it doesn't look like I will be able to take the position after all.

But that is ok. There is a lot of time left and it also gives me the oppourtunity to spend time with the kids, which I love! And summer is here. We got our Wonderland passes and we are ready to go!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A New Beginning

Spring is here and new beginnings are happening all around us. Trees are blossoming, birds are setting up their new homes and Sarah has a new job!

Don't worry, I am still with the Running Room. It is so funny how things just seem to fall into place all at once.

We have been open and going strong for over seven weeks now and we love it! It is a great store and we have some great people coming out and running with us everyday. Our run clubs are packed and our practice sessions never have less than 20 people showing up.

I had called Bev, my manager, a few weeks ago asking that if I found someone to look after the kids, would I possibly be able to work some more hours. I can already hear what most of you are thinking. I would not look into this if it meant I would only be working to pay for the childcare. She asked me if I would be interested in taking on the Assistant Managers position instead. I was floored!

So after much soul searching I decided that I would take the position and I know that I have made the right decision. The reasoning behind why it was so hard is simply that I will now have to work on Sunday's. That was never in the plan, and it takes me away from Softball for half of the season. But I am more sure than ever that this will be the right decision in the future.

It is going to keep me accountable and keep my body accountable. I am now a major representative for this company and I need to make sure that I make a good impression. So running will become even more important in the future!

And who knows. If I do as good a job as I know I am going to do, someday I may become the manager of the store. And that would just become a dream come true.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Aftermath

Well that was fun. When can I do it again?

I was feeling pretty good on Monday morning. A little stiff. But good. And like I said before, I know that I can do better, and I plan on it soon.

Next up is the Mud Run which will only be for fun, not for breaking any PB's. But I did choose a race that I thought would be perfect for trying to get a new PB for 10K.

On Sunday, July 27th Colin and I will be running The Beaches Jazz Tune Up 10k. This will be fun!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sporting Life 10k Report

Bright and early yesterday morning I embarked with Colin and M&M down to Toronto for the Sporting Life 10K! It was my first race and it was so excited.

Except for some cold and cloud first thing, the day turned beautiful. The gun went off at eight and six minutes later I crossed the start line and off I went.

The first 5k was tough. The first 2K always suck, but my leg began acting up pretty bad. By the time I hit 5 I had to start walking. It was disappointing, but the last thing that I wanted was to risk and injury. It loosened up and I was able to start running again. I actually ran the last 2.5k continuously, although slow.

My official time was 1:36 minutes, but my chip time was 1:28 minutes (8288 overall). I was 8 minutes off my goal. But I finished and I was just so pleased!

Colin (4134) and Mark (4135) both finished at 1:00.6 minutes, but their chip time was 57:10. Good job guys!
Marlene was aiming for a 55 minute finish and kicked its butt! Her official time was 50:34 but her chip time was 49:09. She placed 75th in her age category and 1714 overall. VERY IMPRESSIVE.

So now that I know I can do it, and because this damn leg acted up, I am going to be doing another 10k soon in the future. And I am going to aim to beat my time. I know that I am capable and this is now becoming a huge part of who I am.

Some Pictures:

Colin and I at the finish

Mark and Marlene all smiles!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sporting Life 10k

Well tomorrow is THE day. My first "official" race. And I am so excited I may puke LOL!

I am aiming to finish at around 1:20. For me, I think that might be a bit fast, but to finish with a smile is absolutley my FIRST goal. Bib 3825. Looking good!

Good luck tomorrow everyone!