Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Gold star to me :)

They literally gave me a gold star ;)
I am neither kidding nor exaggerating -- somebody actually gave me a physical gold star!   That might, in fact, be a first :)   

So at the performance awards at work tonight  -- you know, the event I originally wasn't going to be able to attend due to the jury duty selection -- I won a gold performance award!   And was simultaneously: 
A - super excited 
B - stunned 
C - super excited 
D - slightly overwhelmed 
E - super excited 
Followed about 15 mins later with disappointed I hadn't been quite impressive enough to make it on the cruise (one step higher than gold) ;-P.  What can I say, a bit of a perfectionist :). But even so, still grinning ear to ear so we're going with super excited ;). Haven't been here two years yet, but that's going to be hard to top! 

Also super exciting when people I work with win as well in the "I know them!" variety :). Was pretty thrilled by the number of people I work with regularly who won. Okay so I realize that may read oddly, but keep in mind the size of the organization -- I only know a comparative handful of people and I feel a disproportionate number of them got awards, so thinking I work with some pretty excellent people. To put in perspective, there were about 1500 people there tonight (and I have no idea how many absent).  Of the five of us who report to my boss, two received awards. Similarly, of the eight people on one of my project teams, three received awards. There are not that many awards (maybe 90 over 4 levels?).  So yeah - pretty excited. As I may have mentioned ;)

Now the tricky part is going to be falling asleep after combined sugar high and excited high in a reasonable timeframe to enable my stupidly-early start tomorrow.  Right.

High School Flashbacks

I live across the street from a high school; this is a complete non-issue in our daily lives -- we're at work while school is on, and conveniently there's a track I can use to run on and a pool to swim in both within a sixty second walk.  Awesome.

Today, however, I was working from home.  Still actually a non-issue, but what amused me was the deeply instinctive reaction generated by the school bells ringing.  In equal parts:
- omg I must be late!
- ugh, do I really have to go?
- What class do I have next?
- Frig, I didn't do the assignment
and as the bells chimed about 3:00ish,
- Sweet, time to go home!

Now we're not even going to discuss the multiple decades it's been since I was in highschool, and while some of the school associated thoughts may have been drilled in during uni, uni didn't have bells.  I'm sitting in my home office, working on the kinds of stuff they never taught us in high school, and every time one of those bells rings, I'm back to being 16 again.  I didn't love being 16, so the overwhelming feeling I'm getting after my brain runs rapidfire through the above list of questions is "Woohoo!  I don't have to go!"

Anyways, just sort of amused me.   As to *why* I'm working from home and not in the office today?  Well that would be because when Chris went to let the dogs out this am, he found a dead raccoon on our deck.  Awesome.  All curled up right next to the glass door.  So since he has *just* started a new job, combined with the fact that I was expecting to be doing the jury-duty thing today and had rescheduled most of my meetings to later in the week, I got to be the one to deal with it.   Called the humane society -- closed on Mondays.  Fail.  Except in a rather large win, they have a redirect in their voice mail to Animal Control.   Very quick conversation with them and they assured me they'd send somebody out.

In the meantime, Tucker eventually woke up and realized there was a GIANT RACCOON sleeping Right. Outside. His. Window.   Growling and clawing at the window endlessly, fairly horrified by this situation.  Which in turn terrified Sasha who was upstairs with me and promptly tried to turn into a lapdog.  Lol suffice to say this did not work terribly well, esp as I was trying to type!

Fortunately for all involved, the woman to deal with the raccoon made it out fairly early.  Tucker's "giant raccoon" estimate wasn't all that far off, she said it was one of the biggest she'd seen.   She bagged it and took it away and I washed the deck off (yeah for torrential rain shortly after) and we're good to go.  Why said random giant raccoon dropped dead on our deck?   Well that is a mystery I sincerely doubt we'll ever know the answer to.   When I did eventually let the dogs out several hours later, they didn't even pretend to hesitate there -- ran straight to their usual areas of the yard.   So I'm not too concerned about lingering scent or any issue there.

This is the second rather rude early morning in three days (Tucker had another run-in with a skunk on Sat); we've ordered one of the ultra-sonic pest-repellents for the garden.  We'll have to see how that goes. 

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia...

Was going through the excessive amount of stuff I still had in my parents' basement, deciding what to move, what to donate, what to garbage etc.  Opened a box that had stuffed toys, which were mostly being purged, but some are important.  Made a comment Toy Story style about "okay, which of you are coming home with me?" and got an answer!  Hahaha I'm not even kidding -- AG was in the box and apparently his batteries still work.   For those who have never had the honour of meeting an AG, I'm sorry.  The epitomic toy of the 80s, AG is voice activated and responds in bear growls, apparently even thirty years later.  Suffice to say, AG is now comfortably settled into his new home :)

So I've been missing writing and was considering Nanowrimo this year and trying to figure if there was any way possible to fit it into my schedule -- pretty much decided not.  Booo.   But then flipped through and realized I didn't even write any flash in 2015 and only one in 2016.  Ugh, the worst. Challenging as I write best late a night and well, late night is sadly spent sleeping these days. Adulting at its finest ;-P  So thinking the goal instead might be one flash a week through Nano?  Will decide closer to.

Also looking through I realized that one of my favourite flashes - the one with the sticky notes - had disappeared.  So sad :(   Found the script of it in my old notes, so thinking I'll recreate that one at some point.  Started to, but it's a tedious process...

So work announcement from a few weeks ago -- Chris got a new job with amazing opportunities and I got a promotion :)   Woohoo!   Gold star to us :)

Was supposed to go for jury duty selection this week but it got cancelled.  Divided on that -- I've never done it before, so I was sort of curious for a new experience.  But that being said, busy at work and definitely easier to not randomly disappear for three days ;)

Happy birthday to superpuppy!  Officially 5 years old :)

So much cute!

Slow runners make fast runners look good. You're welcome.

Last weekend I finished week four of my training plan.  And I was pretty stoked about it.  The long run was no problem, the short runs were getting faster.  I was sleeping as though I'd been drugged (for she who usually doesn't sleep well, this is awesome!)  And my body is starting to show the results, so pretty excited about that.  Only at the minuscule enough that only I can tell phase, but that's where it always starts right?  Month one, you notice; month two, others close to you notice; month three, random acquaintances notice.  Awesome, right?

Okay, now who amongst my fine readers noticed that the vast majority of that paragraph is in past tense?  Why is that?   Well because I never got around to writing my very excited "yeah I finished week four" post and then week five hit.

Yes, Week Five.  The iniquitous Week Five.  Otherwise known as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, Week Five.  *sigh*  All of a sudden my times dropped significantly and I was so tired I couldn't sleep.  This is not fun.   Only saving moment is that looking at the schedule -- evidently Week Five treats everybody this way; the reason I say that is that the training plan, which thus far had been gaining in mileage every week, suddenly dropped noticeably.  So feeling particularly wiped this week, I've decided to group my two rest days together and give my body a recovery period.   Chill today and tomorrow, regular workout Sat/Sun, chill Mon/Tues (this is more life inspired than anything but fits well with the recovery idea), and then back to our regularly scheduled program.

And to ensure that return, I have actually registered.  Committed now ;)   And now I'm taking my commitment in search of a bubble bath.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time...

Just got my Fitbit report from last week, 99,374 steps.  I feel like if they'd sent any kind of "you're close to breaking 100k" message I'd have taken advantage of it.  They send me a ton of other ones, let's just add this to the list, shall we?   Sheesh.

On the plus side - they have a new program I'm quite enjoying called Adventures which puts your steps towards a trail somewhere (I'm in Yosemite Valley right now) and shows you pretty pictures along the way.  There are also treasures to be found; this could be a snipit of information (one about Ansel Adams this am) or a suggested activity (one last night was to skip for one minute - did that ever drive the dogs crazy!).  Only down side is you have to sync to get the "treasures" so I miss at least %80 of them.  Boo.  I also have realized that with all this running my step count is way elevated, so I will be in trouble when I stop and suddenly all my averages are way off.  On running days, 20k is not unusual.  On non running days, especially if I don't teach, I have to make a concerted effort to break 10.

In completely unrelated news, one of the barns I'm teaching at now has a penned dog area for if you want your dog somewhere safe while you ride.  I just thought that was a brilliant idea :).  Save loose dogs running around while owners are mounted but still lets said owners bring their dog to the barn.  Little things in life.

Poor life choices

Let's chat about poor life choices.  Mine today was randomly deciding to run before work.  To be fair to me, as with so many, my poor life choice started out with good intentions.  I knew that my team was going to the Jays game this afternoon so I was likely to not feel like doing much after, and it was supposed to rain most of the day.  So I figured I'd run before work and be good to go.

So I gamely set my alarm accordingly, and indeed all started out well -- I actually obeyed the alarm and was actually out of the house within about 2 mins of when I'd determined I'd need to be to get my run in and still be at work on time for my first meeting. 

Sash and I stepped out the door to discover not only was it still dark (expected) but it was also raining.  Ugh.  Admittedly had I discovered that before leaving the wonderful cocoon of sleep, that would've been the immediate end to today's ambition.  But by this point we were already outside.  Okay fine.

I realized my favourite "from the house" route wasn't going to work as it involves trails by the lake and, well, I don't see all that well in the light -- not thinking I should try it in the dark.

Mentally determined a new route and away we went.  And tbh, it felt really good.  Strong and fast.  Have you ever experienced a time when your feelings did not reflect reality?  Such was the case with me.  Turns out I'm slow in the morning.  Really slow.  Again, logically I know this - there's a reason I go into work so early: I need time to adjust before I have to interact with people.  But somehow my little brain didn't interpret that to mean I'd be physically slow too :(.  Seriously demoralizing.

Ah well, felt like a good run even if the data doesn't reflect that.  I finished the route I'd invented only to be almost 2k short *sigh*.  Decided I'd solution that by going to the high school track across the street.   A few laps of that (which had Sasha very puzzled I might add, although she gamely went along with it) and we made up our distance.

But now I was soaking wet and significantly later than planned.  Fail.  Quick shower and dress and good to go.  Except it turns out I wanted to wear the same shoes for the ball game.  Which were now soaking wet.  First world problems eh?   Get to the train station and they're having the same kind of day - everything is red.  Frig.   

Ah well - eventually get on a train, sign into work, and am caught up by the time I get there.  Not enough time for breakfast, but otherwise good to go.

So in the spirit of optimism, we're going to call that a win.  In the spirit of realism, Sasha and I will return to sleeping in until the last possible moment.

No matter how slowly you're going, you're faster than everybody on the couch.

Gold star to me!
Okay the graphic needs some work, but the text made me laugh and it seemed about right.  A valiant effort indeed.  And what do I get the gold star for?  Getting off the couch.  I am not even kidding.

To put this in perspective, my calendar said I needed to run 6k today.  And had I been diligently following said calendar, this probably would've been a non issue.  But you see, I had to go and get all ambitious.  So Sat, I rode my bike for half hour or so.  This in itself is impressive as it was dinner time by the time I got around to it and I was feeling less than ambitious.  Usually half hour is about 10k, but once I got going, I was feeling good so it was a little further.  All good.  Sunday I felt fine, since Saturday's ride wasn't terribly intense.  This is key as that's the long run day this week.  Long being all of 8k (hey - it's only week 2 remember!).  And I did it, and felt fine after.  Awesome.

Then I got ambitious.  Monday was a long weekend.  With perfect weather.  And I now know where the start of the rail trail is.  So I took my bike and away I went...  At about 5k I was ready to cry, my quads were *not* happy with me (did I mention the rail trail from this point is up hill?)  But I was determined to do at least 20k, and really kinda wanted 40.  So I pushed past 5, at 8 I was regretting it, but somehow by 10 I was starting to feel okay...  Sweet.  So I kept going, aiming for the 15k marker -- but the 15k marker wasn't anywhere convenient to turn around so I figured I'd go to the next road, which was at 18k...  Here was a cruel and unusual tease of ice cream and cold  drinks -- sadly I carry no cash or cards with me when I ride.  And well, 18k was so close to 20, I figured I may as well go for it.  So I rode the extra couple kms and then randomly turned around in the middle of the trail.  At about 25k I was really regretting my current life choices.  But then, remember how I said it started uphill?  Well that goes to about the 15k mark.  Which meant the rest of the ride was downhill.  And FAST!
Wheeeeeee!
 So yeah, that was all kinds of fun.  Except those silly guard rails that you practically have to stop to get through (and yes, I realize that is the point, to keep me from zoom zooming into traffic, but still!)  At one point one of my quads seized and I had a moment of suspicion I might pay for this later, but then it relaxed again and I was good to go.

Went home, showered, slept, and then went for a 5k walk.  Not even kidding.  Sadly this does not in fact earn a gold star because the walk was to Dairy Queen ;-P   But at least I did something to prevent my quads from completely transforming to lead.

And that brings us to today.  Where the first time I had to go from the 12th floor to the 18th floor at work I actually stared at the stairwell door for a good 30 seconds before sighing and stepping through.  The elevator *almost* won.  Add that to starting work early and ending work late (short week, of which I'm on course two days -- that means the two days in the office are somewhat crazy) and I end up getting home shortly after Chris and I usually eat dinner.  Which means he's starving and would prefer we eat first and then I run.   Except who wants to run right after eating?  Ugh.

But I dragged myself off the couch and "run" I did.  If by run, you accept a slightly faster than a walk shuffly thing.  My running loop of choice has a steep downhill and a very long slow uphill -- at least the way I usually do it.  Today I decided to reverse it -- started out well with the long slow downhill, that then got randomly very steep.  As I got to the bottom I realized I'd taken a wrong turn, so I did a figure 8 thing that resulted in me running up the very hill I'd been avoiding running up, back down the steep one, and then finally pointing the right direction.  Sweet.  So next time around I manage it, going down the right hill this time, only to meet a nice woman at the bottom who warned me with a glance at Sasha that there was a pretty black and white kitty guarding the trail further on.

Guard Cat
*sigh* Turn around and shuffle back UP the hill I'd been trying to avoid -- for the second time.  Decide that loop isn't going to work in either direction and head back home, but am still only slightly over 5k at this point.  Conveniently the high school across the street from me has a really nice track that was deserted.  A loop around the track and the long way home and I hit my 6k.  It was possibly the slowest 6k on record, although I have to say my last km was my strongest.  And I am forever grateful to the stupidly expensive running socks I bought since they cushioned all the latest blisters nicely ;)

In other news, this week was super exciting as both Chris and I earned a *real* gold star in our professional lives.  Sadly, I cannot say more for a coupe weeks. But suffice to leave with WOOHOO!!!




What do cows, university, and running have to do with one another?

So today the elevator told me that tomorrow it will have been 19 years exactly since Mum and I drove me to my first day at university.  WTF?!?!?!  How is that even possible?  I swear it was like 5 yrs ago.  Sheesh.
It also told me that in New Zealand somebody stole 500 milk cows.  Let’s just contemplate this for a moment – how, exactly, does one steal 500 cows???   And once one has 500 cows, what does one do with them?   They’re not even food cows, they’re drink cows. 

Given my inability to wrap my head around that, it can’t possibly have been 19 years since the day I drove to Fredericton for the first time.  But then I started to think of all the things that hadn't happened yet at that point:
  • Experiencing the alternate reality that is university
  • Australia, New Zealand
  • My first apartment
  • Sherlock
  • Finally receiving two undergrad degrees from UNB
  • Backpacking and riding in Europe
  • First non-co-op “grown-up” job at BrandIntel
  • Bilbo
  • MA from UofT
  • The life experience that was Myrddin
  • Visiting Lissa in Scotland
  • Zel
  • Equine Science from UoG
  • My working student adventure in the US (another alternate reality)
  • A whole lot of writing
  • Banff vacation with Mum
  • Learning to appreciate how artists think at Overdrive
  • Cuba with Kerri
  • The highs and lows of GRS
  • My closest friends all randomly deciding to have children
  • Sasha
  • My first book
  • Cuba with Chris
  • Starting work at the bank
  • Costa Rica with EVERYbody – almost ;)
  • Our wedding!   Still not really real to me…  Didn’t I just leave for frosh week like a year ago?
  • Surviving a completely gutted house renovation
  • ALL the eye surgeries
  • Dominican disaster – there had to be a negative trip eventually!
  • Buying a house
Okay maybe it has been a while.  But it doesn’t feel that long ago till I work through everything that’s happened since then.  Which then partially makes me feel really old and partially makes me glad at least interesting things *have* happened in that time ;)   And sort of excited to see what will happen next...
Anyways – random running update…  I’m still following the schedule, although tired *all* the time since my body is a little in shock.  I'm hoping it acclimatizes soon, because the times I'm posting right now are pretty sad :(   There’s a path not far from the house that I have a love/hate relationship with.  It’s just a little over a km to run the full circle, it’s by the waterfront and gorgeous, but includes wicked hills that are completely unreasonable.  Anyways – it’s conveniently just shy of a km away, so I run there, do a few laps, run home.   However, in doing my laps, I may pass the same people a few times (esp if they’re going the opposite direction).   And since I have the cutest running partner in the world, people notice her, and thus me.   The other day an older gentleman and his lady friend were fairly amused by this and started counting.   I got “that’s two, how many more to go?”, and then on the next round, “great job!” lol.  It’s the little things in life, but it made me smile.

Sasha thinks our current schedule is a great improvement over her recent life -- but then she gets every-other day off since she doesn’t come with me when I bike ;)   She also thinks that being able to come with me while I teach again is exactly as life should be too, so I have a mostly happy puppy these days  :)   I’m sure nearly as good as being at the farm all day, or even having Bailey to play with all the time, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Very tired puppy after our weekend run

Making all the mistakes so you don't have to ;-P

I managed two days in a row ;)  Gold star to me!  Perfect weather probably helped that.   Decided I wasn't up to hills again, so went in search of the rail trail entrance I'd found when I was on my bike.  Failed horribly at finding that, but did end up on top of the escarpment and there was a great running trail there, so parked on the side of the road and decided that would work.   Right where I was starting there was a steep flight of stairs that I was curious about, but I couldn't see where they went and, well, I was already standing on a flat trail.  So I followed my trail for a bit and then it changed and went very steeply downhill.  Argh.  All I could think was about the run back *up* the trail.   The base of that trail connected to a rail trail though!  Win!  Not at all the one I was aiming for, but same basic concept of wide, flat, occupied by friendly athletic people.  So figured I'd run that to the half way point then go back and deal with the hill.  But at about the 3 km mark, I found myself at the base of what I assumed were the same stairs.  Sweet!  Instead of turning around, I'd keep running another 1.5km along the trail, turn around and run back, then climbing the stairs could be cool down.  So that was all good.  Trail was fairly gorgeous, which was nice.  The problem came when we got to the stairs and Sasha didn't want to step on them :(  Oops.  She gave it a solid go and climbed with me -- it turned out there were a lot more flights than I could see from the bottom and she was super tired, not to mention *really* didn't like the metal see-through footing.  I felt more than moderately guilty about that one :(   We did eventually make it to the top and there was a doggy water fountain there though, so that was good :)   AND although I felt snail-slow, my avg time was actually slightly faster than yesterday.  Win.

Newbie Running Lessons Learned so far:

- Do not carry your phone in a belt at the small of your back.  It will seem like an ingenious idea, and be almost unnoticed during the run.  But the extreme tenderness resulting from the constant pounding is so very not worth it.   Somehow when I consider running, I've never expected my lower back to be the sorest part ;-P

- When your running buddy is a canine, consider the terrain from their point of view.  I'm used to planning a route with horses in mind, and even for my bike I make definite concessions, but this is the first time Sasha has needed an alternate route.  Puppy owner fail :(

- Puppy water fountains are an awesome invention.   This was actually the best one I've seen yet in that the water flowed into an attached basin as opposed to just a low tap to the ground.  Very civilized.

- Shorts that are fitted enough to not rub are critical.  Just trust me on that one.

- Average time lost by running hills is greater than average time lost to exhaustion.  As in, I was faster today than yesterday, but I'm putting that down to the fact that the route was downhill or flat.  Win.

- If you drive to your run, a towel or something to sit on on the drive home might be a civilized idea.  As would a large bottle of water.

- After the run, do not sit down for any length of time.  Ugh.  I swear my legs turned into bricks on the way home and *screamed* when I tried to reanimate them to get out of the car.   I did stretch, I swear.  But apparently did not cool out quite enough to dissipate the lactic acid.  Fail.  Sasha, otoh, seems smarter than I, for though she too was clearly tired, she's been wandering around the house and the yard since we got back with only short breaks ;)

The 12 minute mile is just as far as the 6 minute mile...

So on Monday I randomly decided I should run a half marathon.  Cause, you know, I haven't taken on any ridiculous goals lately.   I wanted to do it in the spring but surgery got in the way.  And it turns out I hate winter and strongly dislike running so the combination of unfit Laur attempting to run in miserable weather was less than successful.  I think my plan lasted about three days.   Mostly this is about the fact that I'm not nearly as fit as I'd like to be, not riding regularly or working the barn ever, and don't have enough money to pay for a personal trainer.  Running I know to be effective, does not require a trainer (although Dana's helping me long distance via FB -- woohoo!), and is *almost* free.  Almost cause, well, she who hates shopping will require new running clothes.  Of course.  Also a bunch of the guys I work run so I can join the conversation ;)   At the time I was thinking also this would contribute to beach body for winter trip, but thinking now a trip this winter may not be happening.  What a waste of a half marathon.  Clearly should wait and do this next fall ;-P

Right, we're going to pretend I still get to go to a beach this winter.  So if I'm going to run a half marathon, I need a race to run.  And since budget is a problem, it can't be anywhere fun like Hawaii.  Okay, well I know the Waterfront Marathon is in the fall in Toronto and is billed as being the second-fastest in Canada -- this being because basically, it's flat.  And to a newbie taking on a ridiculous goal, flat is good.  Sweet.  Challenge: it's in 8 weeks (minus a couple days).   Hmmmm did some Googling and, well, nowhere did I find any sign that nothing-to-half-marathon training was even remotely feasible in 8 weeks.  Not that that necessarily will stop me, but well, I'd like to be able to walk the day after the race.

Okay so pause on that idea.  Except I really liked the idea, mostly because I want to be fit again and if I don't have a ridiculous goal to chase it probably won't happen.  So do a little more googling -- and guess what, there's another race in Hamilton a couple weeks later.   And it's billed as the *fastest* in Canada.  Sweet!  Map suggests about two blocks of uphill right at the start and the rest is downhill or flat.  This seems entirely reasonable.  Note, "the fastest" means nothing to me beyond my brain translating to "the easiest".  I am not doing this remotely for speed.  My entire goal will be finishing before the course closes ;-P   I am reasonable after all.  Stop laughing.

So it's just shy of 11 weeks away.  And I've found lots of 12 week training plans.  I'm willfully ignoring the more reasonable 16 week or even 6 month training plans in acknowledging my limited attention and dedication span.  I found several "beginner" plans that are 12 weeks.   Picked the one I liked best and modified slightly to include some details from second choice plan.  A couple things I was looking for -- most important is that I didn't want one that built all the way to race day.  I want to build and then come down for a week or two before the grand finale.  I also wanted one that included cross training and strength training and at least one or two rest days / week.  This I found, the only down side was it was in miles instead of KM, but google was quick to help me update that.  It also conveniently had a really good option of a skip week, to bring it down to 11 in that in only one instance, two weeks were nearly identical.  I chose to remove the lighter of the two.

So it being about 11:00 on Monday night when I finalized the plan, day 1 was a complete write off.  I crossed it out and labeled it NA.  Plan to start with Tuesday -- rest day.  Awesome.  Conveniently timed as I usually teach late on Tuesdays.  Since that's changing to Mondays the plan might have to change slightly, but for this week it's all good.

Wednesday was a cross-train day, which basically meant I got to go play on my bike ;)   I put in exactly the right time and used it to measure off some routes.  Ummm 10k is *really* far.   I was less thrilled by that.  And that'd be a half half marathon.  Now to be fair, I have done 15k before, and the summer before I started at the bank was running decent distances and times (for me - I'll never be fast) regularly.  However since then, nada.  Lol, just went to find the blog post from the 15k...   Fun times.  This one I'm actually going to try and train for, but I'm not starting remotely near as fit as I was then.

Alright so Wednesday was good.  Check.  Thursday.  Thursday was torrential rain.  And it took me more than two hours to get home.  Thursday, lets be honest, didn't happen.  Thursday, the first actual *running* day, didn't happen.  This is not a good start.

And Friday, today, was supposed to be another cross train day (this schedule doesn't have running two days in a row anywhere) but I really feel that if I'm going to run a half marathon, I should at least attempt running ;-P   So run I did, not any of the routes I'd cycled, but found a better one that goes on trails and is thus more fun.  Hills though.  Ugh evil monstrous hills.  But I figure if I train with hills, my nice flat race should seem easier.  Right? ;-P   Sasha came with me -- turns out she's not particularly fit either.   We stopped for one water break, but other than that was a run/walk combo (which I'm targeting for race day too -- my attempt at realistic goals) that did just over 4.5km in 35 mins (with a 1 min puppy water break).  Slow, but not nearly as slow as I'd feared.   However, now I've thrown off the system and tomorrow when my legs are like lead, I'll have the long run of the week (all of 6km -- week 1 people!).  Should be an interesting experience.

Fun moment of the run, as I'm almost home and Sash and I are barely jogging at this point, run past a fenced yard where the dog on the other side runs at the fence, holding his toy, barking and growling. Dog's male person is in the yard with him telling him to be quiet.  After we pass I hear "Don't growl at other dogs.  Especially when they're with a hot girl like that."   Have to admit it made me smile, although at that moment it could well have been literal -- I was a sweaty mess!  Ugh.

So while I've cancelled my gym membership due to lack of attendance, I am seriously considering getting one at the gym at work so that A -- I can run early am or at lunch as I can go in there to shower after, and B -- gives me an alternative for rainy miserable days.   Would also like to state right now, if it's miserable weather come race day, I'm just not that dedicated.  It's early November, so my odds are iffy at best.