Leeanne’s Race

Leeanne and I met briefly years ago, at various horse events. My Dad had been a teacher of hers, so she was added to the long list of people I recognized as “someone Dad taught,” but didn’t really know. We got to know each other better at some horse things one summer, and our kids really hit it off and became friends too.

About a year ago, Leeanne decided to make her health a priority. As someone who had struggled with her weight for a long time, her initial journey was about weight loss. She worked with a trainer and increased her strength and fitness significantly. She ran a mini triathlon and a 5K foam race, and began to take another look at running. In November, we both ran Brainsport’s Gingerbread Run, a fun 5K kick-off to the Christmas season. After this accomplishment, Leeanne decided to run a 10K next. She soon changed her mind and registered for the half marathon in the Saskatchewan Marathon at the end of May. Her focus on weight loss faded, and a movement towards improved general health, that had nothing to do with weight, took over.

Leeanne signed up with a beginner half marathon running group at Brainsport, and updated me many Monday evenings after her group run. She was at times frustrated and disheartened by being slower than her teammates, but she didn’t quit. Others did – quit some workouts partway through or even quit the group entirely. Leeanne’s perseverance and determination was truly inspiring to me, and motivated me to keep going at a time when I wasn’t sure I could complete my own training program.

The day before race day, we met at the Saskatchewan Marathon race expo to pick up our race kits and browse through the merchant booths. We attended the pasta dinner and heard an amazing speech from a Boston Marathon bombing survivor.  Leeanne shared her time goal with me, and I tried my best to support it but also remind her that in the end it didn’t matter – your first half marathon is a physical and emotional journey that isn’t affected by time.


The next morning we met at the start/finish area bright and early. Leeanne left to go warm up with her running clinic group and I stood in line at the bathrooms and chatted with Glenda, who was also running the half marathon after not training quite to her full ability. We tried to laugh off our mutual feeling of being slightly undertrained and decided to just have fun. We eventually gave up on the long bathroom line up and found a good bluff of shrubs a ways away from the crowd, before heading to the start line.


My Dad greeted me at the finish line and hung out while I ate a cheese bun and a cookie, and drank some chocolate milk. We stood by the finish chute and chatted with Glenda and her Uncle Blair, and wished her boys luck in the MaraFun (kids run a total of 40 km throughout the month of May, and finish their final 2.2 at the Saskatchewan Marathon. There were about a thousand kids running this year!). Dad waited with me, as he was also proud of Leeanne for accomplishing what she had set out to do and wanted to see her finish. I was torn – should I run back along the course and find her, or just leave her alone to finish her journey by herself? After going back and forth a few times, I said to Dad, “there’s a long, steady incline a few kilometers back. She’s been worried about that being so close to the finish throughout this whole training process. I think I’m going to go back and see where she is and if she needs some help on that hill.” He took my bag and I began to run the course in reverse, off to the side.

I cheered for runners as I met them, and told volunteers and spectators, “there’s a woman with pink hair coming. It’s her first half marathon, so cheer loud for her when she gets here!” About two kilometers back, I could see Leeanne’s orange tank top and pink hair starting up the hill she’d been so worried about. Her running coach was on the sidelines there, and we got to her at the same time, falling in step on either side of her. He stopped after 100m or so to cheer on other runners, and I kept going. I let her lead the conversation, as I know sometimes runners want to chat and sometimes they don’t. I do this in my massage therapy practice as well, if my client initiates a conversation I’ll chat with them, but if they just want to be quiet then I’ll be quiet too. Leeanne started telling me things that were completely unrelated to running, so we talked about her goats, her kids, and whether her hair dye was running. Whether this was intentional on her part to distract herself or not, I’m not sure, but it worked. Every step we took got us closer to her finish line, until we could see the inflatable arch and hear the music. She started running again after a walk break and I said “this time you’re not going to stop. You’re going to just run the whole way.”

We got to the beginning of the long finish chute and I stepped off the road, behind the barricades. “Go get it,” I told her, and ran back to where my Dad was waiting. This was Leeanne’s race, and it was her finish. I’d already had my finish that day, and I wanted her to finish the race the same way she’d trained for it – by herself, with her own determination to push her through. She’d more than earned it.

Leeanne’s very supportive husband and kids were there to see her finish. Leeanne had a lot of people scoff at her when she told them she was running a half marathon. People told her she couldn’t do it, that she shouldn’t do it. People in her life who should have supported her and been there for her, instead told her to stop. Ian never wavered in his support of his wife, and knew she could do anything she put her mind to.  Leeanne proved that he was right, and finished her first half marathon in 3:13.


I had ordered Leeanne a wrap from Momentum Jewelry with the inscription “She believed she could, so she did.” I just felt it was so fitting for her. I gave it to her at the finish line and was so happy to see her ring that personal best bell. When we parted ways to go home, she was already planning her half marathon in 2017, so I’d say she’s hooked. Who knows, maybe a full marathon is somewhere in her future!

Leeanne, I am so proud of you and everything you have accomplished. You have inspired me many times over the past year, and I can’t wait to see what you decide to do next!

You can follow Leeanne’s journey at http://www.farmfitma.wordpress.com.

Find me on Twitter: @RunMommyRun3 and Instagram: @RunMommyRun33


Spring Training Ups and Downs

In my last post, I wrote about having some mojo issues. I was having trouble finding the motivation I needed to complete my training requirements. I thought I’d overcome that and was ready to rock, but I was wrong.

My training schedule for the Saskatchewan Marathon started out enthusiastically enough, and I completed all my prescribed runs for the first couple of weeks. Then they started getting longer and more difficult to fit into my schedule. Juggling my three children, our farm, my part time work off the farm, my horses and my household and yardwork jobs was just becoming impossible. I was volunteering on two different boards in addition to being a 4-H leader and it was just too much. I had no breathing room and the things I loved were being cut back. I took a step back and rearranged my priorities and the one thing that I honestly wasn’t getting excited about was running.

I was already registered for the half marathon in the Saskatchewan Marathon, and I thought several times about changing my distance to something shorter. However, my friend Leeanne was running this event as her first half marathon and her determination inspired me enough to make me want to complete what I’d committed to. It was the long runs that I found very difficult to make time for, to the point where I resented them a lot. It was on these runs that I decided to cut back my distance for the remainder of the summer, and focus on the 5K. I was a sprinter in my high school days, and I often joke that I’m a barrel racer because my attention span only lasts eighteen seconds anyway. The 5K distance is painful, but short and fast, and this just feels like a better fit for me right now.

I continued to get in the critical work outs that I needed to in order to finish my eleventh half marathon, but when my free time was limited in a day and I had to choose between running shoes or cowboy boots, I chose boots and saddled a horse every single time. My good mare is starting to really run barrels this year, and my other one will be for sale in just a few weeks, so they really needed my time. The order of my priorities is showing in my horses – Lux ran right up there with the top horses at a recent jackpot, placing me fourth overall. She has made money at four out of her last five jackpots, and is really loving her job. Wynn and I ride through the pasture and check cows and fences and she just never quits. She’s a tough, quick horse who will make someone a fantastic all-around partner, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made this spring.

Michyla2 May 16, 2016

The Saskatchewan Marathon felt different to me this year. I lined up at the start line a ways behind the two hour pace bunny with zero expectations other than finishing. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but that was where my training and level of fitness was at. I still teared up during the national anthem (I always do when everyone sings along), and I still followed my usual fueling plan. My pace was slower, but still decent, and this was honestly the first half I’ve run where I felt comfortable for most of the race. Nothing hurt until the 18 km mark, and every time I checked my watch I was farther along than I thought I was. By the time it got hard at 18 km it was fairly easy to motivate myself to keep going – after all, I only had 3 km left!

I crossed the finish line in 2:02, a full seven minutes slower than 2015, when I ran my personal best. I was okay with that, and even though the race had been easier than I thought it would be, I’m sticking with the shorter distance plan. I can put my kids to bed, run 5K and then also ride a horse before it gets too dark. I think for me, for now, shorter runs is the key to putting the fun back in running.

Mojo Is Hard To Find

Confession time. It’s the middle of March and my 2016 mileage is at a whopping total of 166.5 km. Cough.

After training and racing harder in 2015 than ever before, I found myself 100% burnt out come October. I knew I needed to take a break or risk quitting running for good.

I didn’t have any big races through the winter, so I felt alright about only running twice a week from October until New Year’s. I ran the Gingerbread Run 5K with my friend Leeanne in November and the Santa Shuffle 5K with my friend Glenda at the beginning of December. Both runs were fun runs, and were very casual. Despite finishing just over 30 minutes at the Gingerbread Run, the results show me as the first female. That made me chuckle, as my PR is well over five minutes faster than I ran that day. After those runs I thought I had my mojo back, I thought I was ready to start training for real again. I printed calendars and wrote out training plans, and I stuck with it. For a week or two. Then I came crashing down and realized I hadn’t taken enough time off yet. Running was no longer fun, wasn’t something I was enjoying or looking forward to. I run because I love it, and if I don’t love it, I’m not doing it.

We had a very mild winter in Saskatchewan, and I was able to get out and ride my horses a lot more than I usually do in the winter. I have high hopes for my young mare this year, and am working with another one as a training project. There were many days this winter where I only had time to ride or run, and riding won every single time. I don’t regret this decision at all, as the progress in both my mares has been fantastic, and they’re heading into their competitive season more fit than usual as a result.

By the beginning of February I realized that the Easter weekend half marathon I had on my calendar was just eight weeks away and I had better get my rear in gear. I trained hard for two weeks, then sat back and looked at things realistically. It’s pretty hard to safely go from 5K to 21.1K in eight weeks. The schedule I had to follow also demanded a 20km long run while I was on holidays in Las Vegas. I love running in Vegas, but I knew that run wouldn’t happen. There was no way around it though, if I didn’t run long that weekend there was nowhere in my schedule to make it up. After an agonizing 14km long run several weeks prior, I sighed and gave up the notion of running the Good Friday half.

Right now, I’m six weeks away from a 10K and ten away from the Saskatchewan Marathon, our biggest race of the year, where I’m registered for the half. I have admitted to myself that these will both be slow races for me this year, that there’s no way I can get to the point where I’d like to be in such a short amount of time. My fitness has suffered, but my love for running is returning. I’ve accepted the upcoming slow times, but I’m not sure how I’ll truly feel about seeing them on race day, about seeing runners pass me who shouldn’t be.

After taking yet another week off for a chest cold, I ran 7 km today. The run felt fantastic, and I didn’t cough up a lung until I stopped. Now it’s time to print out another calendar and pen another training plan and see if I can salvage my spring racing season!

Twitter: @RunMommyRun3

Instagram: @RunMommyRun33

Have you every over-trained to the point of complete burn out? How have you come back from a running lay-off? Did you have a false start or go right back to it?

Go Take a Shower Pill!

I keep my Instagram account fairly private. I post a lot of pictures of my kids, and that’s something I don’t really like out there for public viewing. However, that doesn’t stop me from following some pretty cool running people who I don’t actually know in real life! A lot of my Twitter running people are also on my Instagram and I love to see the places they’re running and the neat races they choose.

For months now, I’ve followed a guy who is a brand ambassador for Shower Pill. What a cool concept – a thick, large, disposable cloth that is like a shower in a package. So often I have to go somewhere immediately after a run with no time for a shower first. Or after a race I have to stop and get groceries, or run other errands before going home. I’m always worried about smelling… well… like a runner when I’m out on these post-run excursions.

I kept my eyes peeled for Shower Pills at the running stores I frequent in our area. I found some crummy knock-off packet of wipes at Walmart which were barely bigger than the palm of my hand and the thickness of tissue paper. I gave them a shot, but I needed about ten to actually accomplish anything. Then I saw that Shower Pill was looking for more ambassadors. Just regular runners who wouldn’t mind trying their products out and sharing their thoughts. Me please!!! I filled in the application form and received my acceptance as a brand ambassador within a week or so.


I got more and more mad at Canada Post every day waited patiently for our not-so-speedy mail service to bring my box of Shower Pills, and they arrived just as I was on the way to  my kids’ gymnastics class. My seven year old daughter had informed me that they were fine to stay at their class alone, and suggested “you should just go running.” They’ve been with this gym coach for three years now, so I felt comfortable doing just that.

It was late September, but we can still get some very warm weather. That Friday afternoon the temperature was still 25 Celcius, which is usually far too hot to run for me. However, I knew it would be dark by the time we got home, and that nice days would soon turn to snow (shudder), so I sucked it up and went for a short 5km run.

When I got back I grabbed my change of clothes and a Shower Pill out of my truck and headed in to change before the kids’ class ended. I’m a sweaty runner at the best of times, but in 25 degree heat… let’s just say this thing had its work cut out for it.  It was amazing! It was huge, it smelled fresh and clean, it didn’t leave me sticky, and it actually had enough moisture in it to be good for one adult. Another ambassador remarked that she found she didn’t even need it all, she cut hers in half and saved the other half for next time. Other than my hair (and isn’t that what hats and buffs are for?), I truly felt like I had had a shower and was presentable enough to put on my clean clothes and join the rest of the parents waiting for their kids.

You can kind of see my hand under this Shower Pill - giving an idea of size and thickness!

You can kind of see my hand under this Shower Pill – giving an idea of size and thickness!

I am hooked. I now have several Shower Pills stashed in my running bag, and one in my purse for emergencies. Another ambassador also said how well they worked on her mechanic husband’s greasy hands. The possibilities are endless!

You can order your Shower Pills online at www.showerpill.com. Be sure to use the code “wipedown” to save 15%! You can also follow Shower Pill on social media to stay updated on the latest offers.

As a Shower Pill ambassador, I am provided with product to use and share with fellow runners. I am not compensated financially, and all opinions expressed are my own.

The Saskatchewan Marathon 2015

Ah, the Saskatchewan Marathon. Well, half marathon for me. This was The One for 2015 for me. It was my third half of the year, but had been my target race all along, and the one I had trained for and focused on, using the others mainly as long training runs.

The Saskatchewan Marathon is the Saskatoon running community’s main event every year. Hosted by the Saskatoon Road Runners Association and sponsored by Potash Corp, it attracts more runners than any other race. People from all over the province come to run.

This run came just one week after a very challenging half marathon in Canmore. I can only imagine the words my coach muttered when he saw my race schedule, but I had followed his strict instructions to take it easy in Canmore in the interest of saving my legs for Saskatoon. I was rested, I was hydrated, I dined on pasta with a friend the night before (after spending the whole day hauling cows to our summer pasture! Thankfully my Dad was able to pick up my race package for me). I was ready.

The weather in Saskatchewan at the end of May is usually cool-ish, warm-ish, dry-ish, rainy-ish. You really have no idea what you’re going to get. This year, it was perfect. Sunny, but not too hot, and no rain. In fact, we hadn’t seen any moisture since the huge snowfall that cancelled the Saskatoon Police Run over a month prior. With the driest May in recent memory occurring this year, farmers were starting to stress just a bit. So although the weather was perfect for running, I would have been thrilled to run through a rain storm at that point! (It’s mid-August now, I’m just a tad late writing this report. Our summer continued on just like spring. We have had a few life-saving rains, but this growing season has been the driest we’ve had in a very long time.)

I ran in to several friends before the race began, and found more through text message. When I started running five years ago, I knew no one and always felt awkward waiting around alone before a race. Now it seems so many friends from other areas of my life have started running that the pre-race wait is like a reunion every time! I love it.

We sang the national anthem and were off. Within a couple of kilometres, a man in a red shirt fell in step beside me. He asked my goal for the race and I said I’d really like to run a 1:54. He shared that his goal was sub-2 hours, and we continued visiting as we ran. I don’t know where this man had lived before coming to Canada, but he expressed how amazing it was to live in a country where the only thing holding us back from going out for a run was ourselves. He was so genuinely thrilled with the whole experience and it was contagious. To be here in Canada, on a beautiful day, with a gorgeous river backdrop, cheering spectators – he was right. What a place we live. We take it for granted, and I am grateful to him for reminding me to appreciate my country and the privileges I enjoy every day.

Red Shirt and I ran together off and on throughout the entire race. We each fell back a couple of times, but always seemed to end up side by side again. He waved enthusiastically to my loudly cheering kids along the way, and remarked on the view numerous times.

I had paced myself properly for perhaps the first time ever and felt strong through the last five kilometres – something that my coach had been addressing. The last 5 km is my weakness, so he had had me do several long runs that were longer than a half marathon by a few km, trying to make me stronger at the end of a race. It worked. I was in pain for the last 3 km, but knew I could handle it and pushed my pace. Red Shirt fell back, and I began to pass the 5km runners, whose route joined ours for the last mile or so. (Once again – race etiquette: if you’re walking a 5K, that’s great! I’m thrilled to see people getting out and being active. BUT DON’T walk three abreast in the middle of the road! You’re very difficult to pass. Pull over and walk at the side!)

I took off for the last quarter mile and finished in 1:55:04. I was five seconds slower than my goal, but I really didn’t care. I knew I had run the best race I could have, and it was still a personal best by 1:20. This was the strongest I’d ever felt in a half marathon, and my six months of hard work had paid off.

Red Shirt finished a couple of minutes behind me. I cheered him in, then waited for my friends Glenda, Blair, Chelsea, Mel and Traci to finish. I also saw Dan, who I had gone to high school with, get his ass whooped by his fiancée, which we both had to tease him about a little bit (Jaimes is a tiny little woman, well over a foot shorter than tall, long legged Dan). Red Shirt came to give me a hug and apologize – he thought I’d been being polite and staying with him longer than I should have and missed my goal as a result. I assured him that no, his more consistent pace had helped me a lot, and we were both happy with our new PB’s. He had his friend snap a picture of us, and off he went. He’s not from Saskatoon, but I have a feeling we may end up running side by side at races again in the future. I often wish for someone close by who runs the same pace I do to have someone to train with, but I guess I’ll keep looking.

Glenda and I

Glenda and I

Traci, Mel, and me

Traci, Mel, and me

Red Shirt loves chocolate milk too!

Red Shirt loves chocolate milk too!

My fifth Saskatchewan Marathon saw me finish 324/957 overall, 113/577 women, and 23/91 in my F30-34 age group. I love that the medal was changed this year, after identical medals the past three years it was overdue for an update (I ran the 10K the first time I ran the SK Marathon, and they didn’t give medals for shorter distances until this year). The shirt graphic also changed this year, which was nice to see. The downfall for me every year at this race is the finish line food. This year it was cookies, bagels (or was it cheese buns? Something like that. Hazards of blogging nearly three months late!) and chocolate milk. A friend’s friend is lactose and gluten intolerant, so wasn’t able to eat anything. She inquired about some bananas she saw tucked away in a corner and was told that only full marathoners could have bananas. Even after explaining her dietary restrictions she was denied a banana. People need to re-fuel after a half marathon too, give the girl a damn banana! I did love the cookies and chocolate milk, but was glad to have brunch plans with some good friends (one of whom had walked the 5K. She had originally planned to run the half, but a pregnancy had changed that idea!).


Good race, good friends, good fun! See you in 2016.

The Rocky Mountain Soap Women’s Walk/Run

One of the items on my 40 Things To Do Before I Turn 40 list is to cross off three more provinces in my long-term “run a half marathon in every Canadian province” goal. I got British Columbia and of course Saskatchewan done before I turned 30, and I think that three more is reasonable in the next ten years. This is a goal that obviously will take some time and planning to accomplish, and I decided that getting Saskatchewan’s two neighbouring provinces, Alberta and Manitoba, done while my kids are still fairly young was the best plan. Once they’re older and able to stay on their own I can plan to travel more for other races.

I decided 2015 would be my Alberta year. I started to investigate Alberta half marathons and found several that I deemed “worth travelling for.” Each one had a scheduling issue for me – too close to the end of the school year (I knew the kids would come with me and would have to miss a couple days of school, but didn’t want to chance them having to miss their year-end field trip or other activities), during the heat of the summer, same weekend as my hometown Saskatchewan Marathon, during seeding, during harvest, etc. After discussions with my husband, we decided that seeding was the easiest time for me to disappear for a couple days.  I don’t do field work on the farm, and I could pre-make some meals to leave for him while I’d be gone. The Rocky Mountain Soap Company Women’s Walk/Run in Canmore, Alberta became my race of choice. I talked to my husband about it at least three more times before I registered, in fact I hesitated so long the race almost sold out before I reserved my spot. It’s a big deal for a farm wife to leave during seeding! He assured me he’d be fine and said “GO!” Okay!

I registered for the race and my Mom agreed to come with me to help with the kids, especially while I was running. We found a hotel with a loft apartment style room that could sleep five people plus a room in Calgary for one night (we planned a zoo trip for the kids the day after the race). I asked my prairie children if they wanted to go on a trip to see the mountains and they were thrilled!

The Rocky Mountain Soap Company is a small business turned big time. They believe that products you use on your body shouldn’t have any chemicals in them, and so make 100% natural soap, lotion, lip gloss, deodorant and every other bath and body product under the sun. Of course their products are mostly targeted at women, so creating this women’s running event was a no-brainer.

We headed off on the highway towards Calgary bright and early Friday morning. The kids were thrilled to see their 7:45 a.m. school bus speed past our house and felt quite smug that they were going on an adventure instead of going to school. At ages 5, 5 and 7, real life experiences are just as important as school, in my opinion. A couple days away to see the breath taking Rocky Mountains was well worth it.

After a quick stop in Drumheller (the area of Canada where the most dinosaur remains have been found) to look at some dinosaurs and fossils, we carried on towards Calgary. My Mom had printed off maps of our journey for each kid, and they loved following along as we drove. One of my twins especially became quite the navigator and loved telling us which highway to take.

In the mouth of the world's largest dinosaur in Drumheller

In the mouth of the world’s largest dinosaur in Drumheller

IMG_1091 (1)

We made it through Calgary just before rush hour and were in Canmore in time for supper. The kids’ reaction to seeing mountains for the first time made the long drive well worth it! They were completely in awe.

We checked in to the hotel, picked up my race package, ate, and then drove to the start/finish line to check it out. The course route description was fairly vague and a lot of the run would be done on paved trails, so I couldn’t really drive the course like I wanted to. It was still good to check out the start area though, so Mom could figure out her strategy for dropping me off in the morning and getting back to the hotel afterwards. It also allowed me to realize that the start/finish was halfway up a mountain…. Obviously I knew a race in the Rocky Mountains wouldn’t be flat, but I guess the “moderate hills” description on the website and the fact that this was presented as a walk/run for people of all abilities made me think the course might be a bit easier than it was! I guess a prairie girl’s idea of moderate hills is different than those who live in the mountains!

Ready to run!

Ready to run!

The  next morning we got up and Mom and the kids dropped me off at the start area. The race expo/festival was setting up and I wandered around looking at the various booths (all women’s products – jewelry, clothing, handmade home décor, etc.). The pink porta-potties each had a bottle of RMSC de-stress mist in them, and the scent of tea tree and lavender was in the air all around us. This definitely was a women’s event!

What a beautiful place for  race expo!

What a beautiful place for race expo!

Welcome to Canmore!

Welcome to Canmore!

A woman led an enthusiastic warm up, which included a humorous bit about self-breast exams, and then we were off. We spent the first five kilometres running a twisting downhill route through paved trails near the Canmore Nordic Centre. With my target race being just a week later, I had strict instructions from my coach to run this race VERY slowly. I was allowed a quicker 5 km in the middle, so after slowly warming up through the first 5 it was fun to pass some people in the second 5. I gawked at the mountains, the river, and the huge houses along the riverfront – what amazing views they have!

For my last 10km, I was to slow down again, which was difficult at first. Runners I’d passed passed me back, and then we started up and up and up. Oh my goodness. The last 5km especially almost killed me! I was glad that this wasn’t a goal race, that I was simply there to have the experience. I walked and looked at the scenery, ran some more, walked some more and finally finished in 2:06:47. I was actually pretty happy with that, considering how tough the course was, and the fact that I hadn’t pushed my pace at all, being very conscious of the target race I had coming in just eight days. Mom and the kids were at the finish line cheering, and I accepted my medal and finisher’s bag of RMSC goodies – what a great race perk! There were also cool, wet aromatherapy towels available to runners.


Finisher's goody bag: over $50 worth of Rocky Mountain Soap Company products

Finisher’s goody bag: over $50 worth of Rocky Mountain Soap Company products

A full lunch of pasta, with meat and vegetarian sauce options and salad awaited runners. One of the race’s goals was to have zero waste, so someone was carefully monitoring the recycling bins, educating us that our plates were compostable, and utensils were recyclable.

We headed back to the hotel so everyone else could have lunch while I showered, and then we headed out on a hike. Mom and I discovered that giving three kids three choices of hiking trails and instructing them to choose one wasn’t the best plan. Another time we’ll choose one and not give them options to argue over! The hike was enjoyed by all, and I was impressed by how well the kids did.


Mountain climbers were busy on this day, and helped the kids understand why I kept saying NO when they asked if they could climb a mountain!

Mountain climbers were busy on this day, and helped the kids understand why I kept saying NO when they asked if they could climb a mountain!

The next morning we headed out early towards Calgary and took in the zoo, then headed home on Monday after a quick trip to IKEA (Saskatchewan doesn’t have an IKEA location, so this really is a novelty for anyone heading to Alberta!).

The penguins were our favourite at the Calgary Zoo!

The penguins were our favourite at the Calgary Zoo!

Overall, I really enjoyed this race. The experience was great (scenery, expo, Rocky Mountain Soap Company finish line goody bag, cool towels, finish line food, a bright pink medal, and overall female focus).  The cons for me were the difficulty of the course, late start time (9:00 gun = hot by the time we finished), and the size of the medal. Yes, I’m one of those. I like a big medal! I would really recommend this race for someone looking for a trip with some girlfriends, or as an experience event. If you’re chasing a PR, don’t plan to get it at this one! (I actually ended up crossing several items off my list on this trip: #18: Calgary Zoo and #26: Take the kids to the mountains, as well as being one third done #8: Run half marathons in three more provinces.)


The 2015 Saskatoon Police Run

Yes, this race was April 26. Yes, I’m that far behind. Yes, I’ve run two other races since then, and yes I will try to catch up here soon!

I’ve run the Saskatoon Police Run three times now. I have always chosen the 10K event as I find it to be a nice warm-up for the Saskatchewan Marathon’s half marathon a month later. I have set a PB at this race every single time, and was looking forward to seeing if I could accomplish this for a fourth time in 2015.

Race day had quite the forecast. Spring in Saskatchewan always has a bit of a split personality, but the snow coming down during package pick-up wasn’t quite what we’d bargained for. Another reason I always choose the 10K for this race is that the weather has been awful every single year I’ve run it, and being out racing for an hour is plenty for me!

I took the kids to Subway for lunch and then we walked next door to Brainsport to get my race package. The guys working the pick-up gave them each a Saskatoon Police Service lanyard with key chain on it, which they all thought was a medal. They were thrilled!

We watched the snow continue all afternoon. The kids and my Dad were all convinced the race would be cancelled, which I rolled my eyes at. Races are like rodeos, they don’t get cancelled! Rain or shine or snow, we run. In Saskatchewan it will take more than a couple inches of snow to stop us!

I went for supper with some friends and the snow kept falling. The temperatures hovered right around the freezing mark, which made the snow wet and heavy. The power went out for a large portion of downtown, as well as other parts of the city. We were relieved to still have power where we were meeting for supper! The race director sent several emails about the weather, with the final one stating that a final decision would be made about the race at 5:00 the next morning.


In the end, most of the volunteers for this run are Saskatoon Police Service employees and City of Saskatoon employees. These crews were suddenly needed for more important things like directing traffic and restoring power, so the race was called off.


I was disappointed, but it’s totally understandable. The roads and paved trails we were to run on were a foot deep with snow, and weren’t high on the priority list for plows since it would all melt by the next day anyway. I had stayed in the city overnight, so went back to bed for a while (a huge treat since we were calving at home and I’d been up at 6:00 to check cows every morning for a month!). Our highways home weren’t recommended for travel, so the kids and I hung out until lunchtime, then made a couple quick stops before heading out.

Snow on Mom and Dad's deck. I guess I'm glad I didn't have to run through that after all!

Snow on Mom and Dad’s deck. I guess I’m glad I didn’t have to run through that after all!

Quickly melting parking lot that afternoon.

Quickly melting parking lot that afternoon.

That evening, I found myself in a dilemma. I had the race shirt, and it was a shirt I actually liked and would like to wear. But.. I hadn’t run the race… so how could I wear the shirt? My husband looked at me like I was crazy and said, “just wear the damn shirt, who cares?” I care! It’s false advertising! You can’t wear a shirt from a race you didn’t even run! In the end, I said screw it, I trained for this race, I tapered for this race, I arranged child care for this race, I’m running the damn race! I went downstairs, ran a warm-up on my treadmill, stretched a bit, then got back on and ran a fast 10K. I know it wasn’t exactly the same, but it was as close as I could get, and it satisfied my race itch and justifies me wearing the shirt, in my opinion. And you know what? I was only 21 seconds slower than my PB! I’ll take that.