Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

This year we traveled to Nipawin, Saskatchewan for our big family Christmas on the farm. My brother, Sarah and the girls were also there which meant we had our whole family together for Christmas for the first time in 5 years. We all stayed with my parents in their not-so-big house. 7 adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs! It was loud and chaotic at times but we really enjoyed ourselves and the time together with everyone. My Grandma also stayed with us Christmas Eve to have Christmas morning and day with us. She, I and D all went to mass on Christmas Day. We usually go Christmas eve but we were all too tired to stay up for it!
Having the kids there made for such a fun time. The anticipation and excitement are only that rich with kids around!
Boxing day we spent the day with the extended family. There were so many of us we rented a hall. It was a great time with lots of food and laughs.
All in all a perfect Christmas holiday. The loooong drive home gave us lots of time to sort out our 2010 goals, race schedule etc. I am pumped! And scared! Bring it on :)

Here is D opening his gift before we left for SK. He convinced me to let him! 
H-dog checking out the Power Lung!

Christmas dog

Christmas Morning


Uncle D playing with the girls

Harley and Uncle Buck

 My Dad

Card Time!
Hike to the river

The Farm
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas season! Cheers to the next decade :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Vegas Highlights

Here are the highlights and of our Vegas adventure.
* The race itself was defintley a highlight. What an amazing event- very well organized, lots of good schwag and a true Vegas style experience with fireworks, showgirls and a live band at the start. There were also bands playing throughout the race course which created some insane energy out there. I almost wished I was racing, it was hard to hold back!

* Being a part of each of the girls' race experience was amazing. Being an athlete in an individual sport can be a bit of a lonely existence. Your highs, lows, successes and failures are pretty much only your own. It is all to easy to get caught up in the times, splits, and results and lose sight of the core of what got you there in the first place. Having this experience allowed me to share in each of the successes of my girls. I felt 10X the joy of crossing the finish line. They had 3 months of anticipation, fear, doubt, hope and excitement wrapped up in that day and I got to be a part of it. It was amazing and it reconnected me with something I have lost sight of recently- the reason I started running in the first place. The feeling I had when I first broke through what I thought were impossible limitations. The anticipation, fear, doubt, hope and excitement that comes with doing something for the first time. Something that at some point seemed impossible. I have been missing that perspective for a while and I needed the reminder.

* Seeing D race to his potential was amazing. I am continually inspired by him, and not just the results he produces, but his attitude about it all. We hardly had an ideal pre race situation. 12hrs of flying, bad food, not enough water, tons of walking, no luggage for 24hrs, etc... All I could think was thank god I'm not racing! But D took it all in stride. He was never upset, anxious, complaining or whining.  He just goes with the flow and takes it all in stride. We had fajitas and beer the night before the race. And not just one beer. He is a better person than I am :) He even shopped with me after the race. For jeans. I had to go to every store before I found some that fit right and he never complained.  He hates shopping on a good day but he never rushed me or complained. Yup...

*Our trip out to Red Rock Canyon was fantastic. First, it was great to just get off the strip and see another side of Vegas. Second, we had the whole day to hang out with our friend Alan. We climbed on rocks, took pictures of snow in the desert and found a Whole Foods to have dinner at. I was dying for some vegetables :)

* I got inked! I have wanted this tattoo for a long time and Vegas just seemed to be a good place to get it. It is the Chinese version of Woman of Strength and I had my Chinese consultant Alan along to make sure they didn't put it in backwards :) Prior to this we walked about 5miles in the pouring rain looking for the tattoo place I wanted to go to. Which turned out to be closed. It would be impossible to describe just how hard it was raining and how miserable it was to walk in it. Yet Alan and D walked along with me and never complained. Seriously, the only one complaining was me and I had an umbrella and hadn't run a marathon the day before!

* The rest of our Vegas adventure was fun, the sights, the sounds the smells...not all my thing but it was cool to see and experience for a couple of days.

So with that adventure over, we are looking ahead to what is next. Nothing has been decided for sure yet but we have penciled in a few events for 2010. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pics from Vegas!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Whats Up?

WoW! Happy December. One post per month is becoming a trend!

As for What is UP? It has been a busy month and things are getting very exciting. 2 sleeps till VEGAS! I am really excited for this trip- for many reasons. Not the least of which is that Husband Extrodinaire and I will get a lovely little get away together. He has been on the road the past 2 weeks and I miss him like crazy! Of course I am also super excited to do the 1/2 marathon with my trainees. I will be running with them, pacing perhaps and most definitely taking pictures. It is the first real race I have not 'raced' and I am going to enjoy it. Don't look for any PRs, I plan to stay out until the last of my crew finishes. Hopefully I will also get to watch my husband fly across the finish line with what I am sure will be a smoking fast time. He is running like an animal lately!

I am almost equally excited to be heading to Calgary the week after Vegas for a Entrepreuner's Bootcamp. This will be different from the bootcamp I teach ;) It is a great opportunity to spend a few days working on my business, and getting ready for the next phase of development.
I have also been mulling over 2010 goals and thoughts. Usually around this time of year I sit and do a review of the year past as well as a plan for the year coming. This year is different than others and it is going to be interesting to try to map out a year that seems so unknown to me.

Until then, here are some photos recapping the last few weeks.

We had a birthday party with my Bro and family...
I put up the Christmas tree (Harley helped)

We ran 22km in -17 weather...

 Brunch with my sweety...

We did our last long run as a group

And then had a party for Crystal. I baked :)

We watched my 4year old niece perform at the Festival of Trees

And Harley killed Gingy. "Not the gumdrop button!!!"

Now I am off to walk H-dog. It is -21. Thank GOD for my Eskimo Princess Jacket!!!

Tis the season! Enjoy :)

OH AND PS What do you think of this???

Friday, November 20, 2009

People Like this...

Are the reason I LOVE what I do.
Here is an article about one of my clients. She is amazing. One of the most determined, willing and committed people I have ever worked with. She has faced some of the toughest obstacles of anyone I've ever coached, and yet she has THE best attitude. She inspires me and makes me want to work harder to reach my goals.
Thanks for writing the fantastic article Crystal, and Melodee- thanks for sharing your story! You are a true Woman of Strength.

Running for the health of it
Crystal Rhyno – Running with Rhyno

If you had any doubts running was a mental challenge, then you haven't met new runner Melodee Luka.
Self-described as queen-sized, Melodee is a thirty-something gal who took up running this past spring.
"I don't run," she says. "I am not built like a runner. When you look at me, runner is not the first word you think of – shot putter maybe, not a runner."
Melodee is getting married this February. When her doctor told her she needed to get on a healthier lifestyle track, Melodee decided to run.
Well, it was either running or ballet, she joked.
"But I don't have the grace for ballet."
Melodee wanted to do something that challenged her mentally, so the physical part wouldn't be so bad.
A tangible goal would be to run a 5K race.
"It was easier to make a lifestyle change by focusing on the 5K race."
After researching and deciding on a training group, she signed up for a learn-to-run program.
"In my head, the hardest part was deciding to go to the class," said Melodee, who is a cost analyst for Conoco Phillips Canada. "And I prepaid the full amount because I am so cheap, I wouldn't want to waste any of my money."
The day before her first class, Melodee was a bucket of nerves. She tossed and turned the entire night.
"I was so nervous about the class," said Melodee. "I am not petite person. I am not a light person. Gravity is not nice to me. I thought I was going to be the worst person in class and I didn't want to die. The whole day I was so nervous."
But as all good stories go, Melodee got over her nerves, and set off on the path leading to her new-found love.
"I am paying a professional," she said. "I will do whatever she tells me to do. And I left everything else at the door. When she said go, I tried. I tried really hard."
At that first class, Melodee knew she had a lot of work ahead of her.
"I couldn't even run for 30 seconds," she said. "I watched the other people break away. I stayed in the back. I had problems with my shins and I had tendinitis in my feet. All I thought was just do what ever you are told."
Through all the ups and painful downs, Melodee pushed through the learn-to-run program.
In June, Melodee entered the Give the Gift of Life Fun Run and Walk for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
"I finished," she said. "I finished. One day, I will be concerned about how fast I go. All I care right now is making it to the finish line."
Next year, Melodee would love to run a 10K and then in a few years do a half-marathon. These days, she's up to running four minutes at a time.
"I'd love to get to the point where I can get to a 20-minute stretch," she said.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Melodee had a running breakthrough while walking her boxer, Presley.
She thought, "I would rather be running."
So she turned around went back into her house and changed into her running gear.
"My limitations are nowhere close to where I thought they were," said Melodee. "I enjoy the outdoors more ever than I have before. I am not going to say I have the 'runner's high' yet. I have the 'oh yeah feeling'. I think the runner's high is coming. It's getting easier. I appreciate more of what it takes to increase your distances and I will get there."
Melodee grew up near Hines Creek and has lived in Grande Prairie for more than 15 years. She's planning on wearing a strapless dress for her wedding in Mexico.
Melodee trained with the Women of Strength ( learn-to-run group.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

So I am the first to admit that I love warm climates, sunshine and heat. But I live in Northern Alberta. And I am not the type to be miserable so I embrace what is and find the beauty.

Yes folks, it is winter again up here in da Nord. The snow is here, the days are mostly dark and the temps are dropping. This year I bought myself a kick ass parka- down filled, to my shins and complete with a fur trimmed hood! This has gone a looong way to upping the happy factor in my winter world. I spend a good chunk of my life walking my dog, and this jacket is like having a wonderful traveling sleeping bag wrapped around me. We had a huge snowfall last week and I was really grateful for my Eskimo princess jacket ;)

This past week I was on the road with D and we had a great time. We finished off the trip in Jasper and Friday night it snowed all night and we woke up to a winter postcard!

I have been love love loving the group running. My Women of Strength training group did 18km on Sunday, and I am continually impressed and inspired with how far they have come! I managed 21.2km with all the back and forth and am also continually amazed at how easy and enjoyable running is when I am well within my comfort zone :)

I am a little worried that I might forget how to run in that 'other' gear...but I'll deal with that when the time comes. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Pain Cave Goes High Tech!

Christmas came early in the Hunter household. Well, technically the anniversary gifts came late, but since it snowed today, we'll call it Christmas :)

Here are some shots of our sweet ass training space. This week we added Computrainers- and of course a new flatscreen and computer to go with it. Gone are the days of the cement walls and 12" screen black and white tv we had in Calgary.

And yes, it is our favorite room in the house!

oops, how did that one get in there... oh well ;)

Happy Training! If you want to join us for a spin, bike or strength session come on by! :)