Weekend fun and Monday morning wake-up on a hil!

It’s Monday – and Abby’s speed this morning is basically how most of us feel about it, right?

Anyway, backing it up a bit…Since I wasn’t able to go up to the cottage this past weekend, it also meant that I was in no rush Saturday morning to get my run done early – not even the forecast heat of the day was going to get me out of bed any sooner than I wanted. But I could still barely believe my eyes when I opened my eyes and saw 7:16am on my bedside clock. That’s like a sleep-in of champions for me (well, mostly for Abby!!).

Ate breakfast, fed Abby, walked her and then got my run gear on – shorts, tank top, calf sleeves, ugly green running shoes (when will they die??!!) and fuel belt…stuffed with this new flavor (for me) gel that I have been SO excited to try!! I’ve heard about this flavor, but I only just found it for sale here. I normally stay away from gels with caffeine (I can barely handle one coffee in the morning!!) and when I picked this up in the store, I didn’t think there was caffeine in it…because I didn’t realize I needed to take out a magnifying glass!! Seriously – WHY is it written so small??!!

Over the years I’ve tried many different brands of gels and flavours and for me, it has come down to GU. It has the right consistency for me and, while a total chocolate fiend, I’ve sadly learned that I do best on the fruit flavored gels – my fav has been GU’s strawberry banana. I use strictly water, gatorade and GU gels when training and racing. But that’s because that’s what works for me – everyone has different needs, preferences and tolerances so I always suggest people try different products and combinations to find out what works best for you! And even if you think the flavor sounds gross, try it – the fruit flavored ones surprised me!

And so what did I think of this flavor? OH. MY. GOD. There are no words. You just need to try it. Next week I’ll be trying GU’s peanut butter flavor. Pretty sure I’ll have the same reaction!! LOL!

So until my next half which is Sept 21, coach has my long runs alternating at 15k and 20k each week. Since I did 17k with Mark last weekend, this weekend was 20k. I set out at around 9:30am, with the sun high in the sky and really heating up the air…and you know I loved it!!!  

My route, as do 99% of them, took me along the Rideau (pronounced Ree-doe) Canal. Us locals refer to it simply as “The Canal”. It is a series of rivers and lakes with connecting locks and canals that form a continuous 125 mile long waterway with 23 lockstations and a total of 45 locks – the reason for the locks is that from its origination in Lake Ontario at Kingston to its end here in Ottawa, the canal rises 166 feet and descends 275 feet along the way.  

A little history lesson – this will help when you come visit me! 🙂 The canal was built between 1826 and 1832 as a Canadian defensive measure as it allowed boats to travel from Montreal to the Great Lakes without having to travel down the St. Lawrence which would have been within gunshot range of the Americans (LOL!). It is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America with most of the locks still being operated by hand using the same mechanisms that were used to operate the locks in 1832.

I think they’re really neat. There are 3 lock stations right in Ottawa and my runs can take me past them all.  Below is the lock station that leads into the Ottawa River and there are 8 locks that boats have to go through to overcome the 79 ft rise and it takes a minimum of 1.5 hrs to go through them all!

Here is a short video where the Parks & Rec staff have just opened this particular lock enough to let some water through and allow the boats to rise to meet the next level. If you look closely, you can see the boats slowly rising.

Yeah, ok, I’m a nerd. But I think it’s really neat!

I took my usual stop, among all the tourists, to snap a pic of the Parliament buildings. Love.

I had a great run, but I was happy to get home and get some fluid into me!

In the afternoon my neighbour, Caroline, and I went to see another neighbour, Marion, perform at her horse show. Let’s be clear, I know little about horses and even less about horse jumping shows and even LESS about Dressage shows…Marion’s was the latter. I’ve known Marion for 8 years and she always talks about her horse, Mateo and their riding adventures. Her husband, Chuck, think it’s the BIGGEST waste of money. BUT, the horse came before Chuck, so he’s out of luck. LOL! I was excited to finally be introduced into this other life of Marion’s.

She looked so elegant!!

This is where her show/test began…

Here’s a short video…you can here me and Caroline whispering in the background as we have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what is going on!! LOL! Seriously, it was lost on us!!

I love Marion…but she has been riding for 15 years…and from what we could understand, she’s still at a very beginner level. She also pays someone to ride/train her horse everyday (she is out 3-4 times a week), groom him, feed him, etc (i.e. $$$$$$). Sooooo, I kinda see what Chuck is bellyaching about!! LOL! But without a doubt, Marion is so incredibly happy when out riding and it’s clear that she and that horse love each other unconditionally…so Chuck can just deal. 🙂

When we came back from the show, Caroline and I grabbed our dogs and walked around the neighbourhood and on our way home, another neighbour saw us and invited us in for a glass of wine…3 hours later Abby and I made it home! Have I told you how much I love my neighbourhood?

Sunday was spent entirely doing chores around the house. I had a list of 23 things I wanted to get done and I got 19 of them done!! WOOHOO!!

This morning was a hill sprint workout. 5.5k warm-up followed by 12 x hill sprint with the recovery being walking back down the hill.  The hill I do them on is quite steep and the portion that I run is 126m. I run it at an all out sprint.

It was killer good and I was happy with my interval times:

30seconds, 29, 29, 27, 29, 28, 26, 26, 26, 26, 25, 25

Happy Monday!!

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