Friday, December 30, 2011

Thank You 2011!

December 30th, the day before New Year's Eve, seems like the perfect day to reflect on 2011. In fact I've been really looking forward to this post and having the time to finally dedicate time to writing it down. This blog post is going to be a bit more personal, as it is reflective of a year in my life's journey. It will allow you to know more about me, and thus, my personal philosophy that relates to who I am as a runner. 2011 was a really tough year. In ways, it was one of the hardest years I've had in a while. But at the same time, despite the challenges, it was one of my best years yet. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Job!

Today I started my first day of work with the Running Room. I'm currently at the new Cambie Street store and expect to be moving elsewhere after my first month, depending on company needs. It was such a great day, meeting the staff whom I'll be working with, and learning more about how things work there. It's going to be a steep learning curve for a bit, but I'm so excited to have even more of an excuse to research and sample products. It will allow me to advise customers and fellow runners better, as well as inform me and my passion for the sport.

So just wanted to say that I'm still here, despite it being a few days since I've written. We had a lovely Christmas in Victoria with our family there. I also got to squeeze in two awesome runs on the Galloping Goose trail there - so awesome. Now that I'm back, I'm allowing myself to get used to the routine again of working and running after work. This weekend I'll be blogging. I have written it down in my calendar a reminder to myself to do so. It's important that I give 2011 the tribute it deserves before I close that chapter of my life's book and move onto chapter 2012. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brrrr....It's Cold Outside! Perfect for a Run!

Today is December 21st. I don't know what the official winter solstice is this year, but it's normally roughly around today - the first day of winter. As a runner, this is good news. It means that the shortest of days is happening right now, and going forward, days are just going to get longer for a while. Yes, nothing like a few added minutes of daylight running moving forward, meaning better visibility and safety, and increased motivation to be out there. It also means though that it's going to remain cold outside for a while longer. And those of us here in Vancouver know that it is often it's coldest here after Christmas rather than before. I like the cold we have right now, and can certainly put up with a little colder yet. So I say, "Winter, you're here now? Bring it on!"

So I'm sitting on the couch this morning, snuggled up warm, sipping my cuppa joe, and looking ahead to today's 10km run I've planned. I see it's nice and clear outside and the rooftops are covered with a morning frost  - simply beautiful. Weather reports are saying it's currently 2 degrees and it's not going to get much warmer today, although the sun will be shining - yay! Admittedly, 2 degrees is actually kind of warm, as winter running conditions have been here a while. But I'm excited now that the official season is here. Winter is an awesome time to go running, I mean, you never overheat like in the summer. It can be some of the most comfortable and pleasant running of the year but it requires a bit of additional thought and precaution for that to be so.  For me, there are 3 major considerations for winter running: (1) Visibility and safety (2) Hydration (3) Staying warm. I'll talk a little about each, and will try to keep my rant short today (I'm itching to get outside!) 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Know You're a Runner When...

Many of these are my own ideas, the silly things I've noticed about myself since embodying the life of a dedicated runner. But I've seen similar ideas from other runners online and discussed some of these with runners I know. So if you happen to have seen some of these ideas before, I confess, they are not purely my own ideas. But they are certainly true about me and things that automatically come to mind when I think of my quirks as a runner. We, the members of the running community, really do have a lot in common and are certainly a quirky bunch! Thought it might be fun to make my own list. So, in no particular order, you know you're a runner when:
  • You get excited over GU announcing new flavours and you rush to your nearest running store to see if they have it available to try (BTW, have you tried the new peanut butter flavour? It's delish!).
  • It's laundry day and the overwhelming majority of your dirty laundry is sweaty running gear.
  • You have a designated place in your home for displaying your finisher medals.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pre-Run Coffee. What's your take?

As I was enjoying my morning cuppa joe before heading out for my run I decided that I'd write a blog entry about it. I've mentioned on Facebook, Twitter, and DailyMile about my pre-run coffee and how it helps me, and I've had mixed reactions from those who follow my social media musings. So I figured it deserves some attention.

Coffee has a mixed reputation. It often seems like from moment to moment, the world view shifts on whether regularly consuming coffee is beneficial or harmful to one's health. I believe that with just about anything that is beneficial, it's only if it's consumed in moderation. When one goes over and above moderation, that's when it reaches the harmful category. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. So if you drink two small cups a day like me, then there's no harm. But those who have 4 or more - too much of a good thing. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My 2012 of No Resolutions, But 100% Commitment

It might sound odd that someone like me doesn't make New Year's Resolutions. It's that one day of year where many set goals for themselves and look ahead at the coming year and what they'd like to accomplish. I don't roll that way. It simply doesn't work for me.

Clearly, it's not that I'm not a goal-setter: quite the opposite, in fact. I guess it's that I make commitments to myself 365 days/year, and set goals that are realistic to those commitments. I have goals for 2012. What makes that different than a New Year's Resolution? I've declared these goals months ago - I'm not waiting until January 1st.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Want to Run With Zahida in 2012?

Do you have a fitness goal for 2012? Do you want to run a race and need some support getting there?

I'm just putting out feelers as I'd like to offer my services to one (or two) runners or aspiring runners in 2012. I would offer you personalized training advice, encouragement, but most importantly, be there to run with you, side-by-side, your pace, at a race of your choice in 2012*. I'll be there to help you pace to reach your goal time, offering you encouragement and high fives along the way. There would be no cost to you but I would want to blog about our experience together.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Boosting Your Strength as a Runner Through Hill Training

I have been brainstorming for a blog post on winter running, but have decided to put that off a bit longer. It is, afterall, not officially winter yet! One of my readers has asked me about boosting speed and strength, and so I thought I'd address those questions with this blog post. Before I do, I have to reiterate that I'm not an expert in the sense of having studied sports medicine or personal training. But I have done a lot of reading and, more importantly, a lot of running, and have learned a thing or two that makes me a bit more expert than I once used to be. I hope you'll find what I have to say helpful! And any of you with alternate or opinions, please feel free to chime in with comments and suggestions.