Monday, October 20, 2014

The post with a bunch of collages

My runs from Sunday to Sunday...

  • So this is going to be a mostly picture post with a bullet point to explain the collages. This was my week. Above are my runs from Sunday to Sunday. Sixty five kilometers in total. I'm running exclusively again and loving it. My pace sucked this week, but I'm just rolling with it and enjoying running in this much cooler fall weather. My aches and pains are being dealt with at physio and bottom line is, I need to strengthen my core to be a more efficient runner. That is where the gym comes in. Once my neck and rotator cuff are sorted, I'm going to start taking yoga and pilates classes. Should be fun, and comical if nothing else.

Sunroof selfies.

  • Still in therapy. Going pretty well. Talking about your self image and how much you love yourself can be boring shit sometimes. I still heed the advice of my first therapist and take a lot of pictures. Once in a while I get negative comments via Twitter or my blog. Very few, but they always centre around me being in love with myself. Truth is, I'm trying real hard to love myself the way I should and unless you've been morbidly obese your entire adult life then lost a ton of weight, it's hard to understand. I don't take the comments too much to heart and I know that the people who leave them truly don't understand what the mind goes through when you lose the equivalent of an adult woman. I also need to take the pictures to keep myself in check. And as Sarah, loser of 200 pounds and maintainer of 10 years said, pictures help us maintain. The brain can better process a body it gets to see! One hundred percent truth! And I've mastered the selfie. An important skill to have.


  • On Twitter I do a little feature called #winetime. It's something fun I started back in the spring. I don't do #winetime everyday because I don't drink everyday. Usually Friday to Sunday and maybe once or twice during the week. Usually once. Got an extra day in last week due to Thanksgiving. I get pictures back and #cheers from around the world. And I love my red wine. One of the extras I allow myself on Paleo because I still have to live.  And wine comes from grapes...which are Paleo. Reaching? Nah:-)

Food from the week

  • This week in food was not great. I did make some awesome curried chicken and some delicious turkey soup. I also broke my rule of not eating in my car and got pepperoni sticks and cashews (which was my lunch) during a long driving day because I didn't plan ahead and pack healthy snacks. And I ate out for lunch when I wasn't with a client which is something I try to avoid as well. I have to eat out with clients as part of my job, but when I don't have client meetings, I should be bringing my lunch. And I'm not eating enough. I'm going long stretches of not eating and skipping meals which is counter productive. I need fuel to run and perhaps this is why I'm struggling a lot? I vow to have a better eating week and to eat more frequently throughout the day.

Shopping and a party.

  • Julien had his friend's party on the weekend. He was so excited. We did a halloween theme and four of his guests were from the neighborhood. I'm just so happy he has friends that he can play with on our street. Makes me know that even though my house is a decorator's nightmare right now, we definitely made the right choice by moving. And I found a pair of Tommy Hilfiger boots at Winners I love. But $145? Goes against all my thrifty shopping rules. It's all good, I have the photo to lust after. 
  • That's all I got for you right now. I have some correspondence I am behind in...again, and blog reading to catch up on as well. I leave you with my Transformation Tuesday post from last week. Have a blessed and safe week:-)

Transformation Tuesday

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The post about racing, a blogiversary, my boy's special day and giving thanks

Favorite thing about fall besides the pretty leaves? I get to
wear my leather again. Every leather jacket I own I bought
at Value Village for under $25...

  • Busy time of year. And my favorite time of year. All my favorite fall veggies are in season. And cheap. Eating is good in the fall. Starchier veggies which means running has got to be on point! And it has been. I'm on my 3rd week of running 5 days per week. And just for fun, I may run 6 days this week because Monday is a holiday. Why not? A short recovery run after I do my long run later this morning.
  • I have been running exclusively. No gym. No cycling. Although I'll head back to the gym once my aches are worked out (namely my neck and rotator cuff), I'm probably done with cycling for the time being. It's too dark for me to ride in the morning, and get's dark too early for me to ride in the evening. And it's fecken cold during those times. I could go on Saturdays, but I get tied up with family stuff and by the time both hubby and I run, the day's half over. 
  • And I'm signing up for a couple more races. I've already registered for the Around the Bay 30K the last Sunday in March. I'm also going to do the Chilly Half Marathon on March 1st. It was my first 1/2 and I'm going to attempt to better my time. Not only was it my first half, but it was also my best time for a half. So game on! And for the 1st time ever, I'm going to run the Boxing Day 10 miler. It's a Christmas tradition for runners here in Hamilton so I am going to start making it a tradition for me too. It was almost cancelled this year due to residential complaints, but it's a 93 year old race for Pete's sake. A shame if it would have been cancelled.

My runs from this week. Still have today's 14K and tomorrow's
6K to add onto the mix. 

  • So I am officially back in physio. I had an assessment with Graham at Meadowlands Physio on Wednesday. Graham was my physio guy from when I had my hamstring injury (1.5 years ago) and then my broken fibula from this time last year. He moved clinics, but I tracked him down and he's saddled with me once again. He has confirmed what I already suspected. I'm a bit of a mess right now. I don't have good neck mobility on my right side which is also affecting my rotator cuff. My vertebrae are actually out of whack, so he's working on my once again. Even with initial supervision and instruction at the gym, he suspects that I have lifted wrong and that is where this injury stems from. I need adult supervision all the time:-(
  • Friday was my 3rd blogiversary. I cannot believe I've been writing this blog for 3 years...or that anyone still finds my day to day life interesting. It's not, and sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just pack it in. But then I get emails from people telling me how much my blog helps them so I continue to write. Not as much as I used to, because truth be told, I am a creature of habit. I eat the same stuff I always have, I still run, and I stick to my eating plan 85% of the time. When I mess up (ie: the cheese incident in Europe), I need to own it. I still have no idea how much I gained over that debacle, but everything is zen again. It took a few weeks of running hard and eating like I know I should to get myself back to my happy place, but everything fits properly once again. Life is good and every once in a while I shake my head in disbelief. What a long way I have come. My former self would have taken that weight gain and rolled with it, likely adding what ever I gained x2 or three. My how times have changed.
  • Not only is this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, but it was also Julien's 7th birthday yesterday. We celebrated as a family and let Jules dictate the day. He wanted to check out the toy department at Target where he picked out a few things he wanted. Then we headed to Wacky Wings in Brantford for dinner. Next Saturday is his party with friends. It will be a Halloween themed party. And we'll have pizza and cake. I let him pick where he wanted his party and he picked at home. Surprised me. Figured he would have picked and arcade or bowling alley.
  • It's getting light out and it's freaking cold this morning. I gotta choke down my sportive and get running. My family's coming by for Thanksgiving dinner later and I still have to get to the store and try to hit a pumpkin patch. I'm making pork roast and ham for today, and roasting a turkey tomorrow. I cannot wait. I LOVE turkey, and turkey soup! Enjoy your Thanksgiving if you're celebrating. I have spent the weekend reflecting on what I am thankful for. My family, my friends, my life...

Pics of Jules and I from yesterday. Rocked my Johnny Cash shirt in observation
of Universal Music Day. And Julien and me 7 years ago...I think we've both
changed a lot!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The post about some injuries, some accolades and a busy month

Pictures taken this past week. I like the way I look in all of them. I'm curvy and I think
I look strong. Strong and healthy is my goal. Big giant head in top left pic:-)

  • So I touched on not feeling 100% in my last post. It's true. I have been ignoring...avoiding...pretending like they're not really there, some pains I've been having. You know, hoping they'll just go away on their own. They haven't. I go for my physio assessment on Wednesday. My physio guy Graham is no longer at Highland Physio in Dundas. But I did track him down to Meadowlands Physio in Ancaster, so I booked my assessment with him. I got discharged from physio in December 2013. I've almost gone a year pain free. But running and gym stuff does wear and tear on your body. It was only a matter of time before I had to go back. Physio is not a bad thing, it will keep me running. 
  • New and improved pains include neck (can't comfortably check my blind spot) and right rotator cuff. My old left hamstring injury is back too. I can feel it quite pronounced when I run long distance. So I'm basically a mess. And even rest (2 weeks off exercise while in Europe) did not help. So I'm getting real and getting this stuff dealt with. I need to run, bottom line.
  • I am still in therapy for my self esteem issues. Haven't talked about this in a while. Although I am still a work in progress and y'all may have gotten sick of hearing how much I love myself, I still struggle day to day about how I feel about me and how I see myself. Shocking, right? That after almost 2 years on maintenance, I am still struggling with the same shit. But that's my reality and the reality of anyone who has dealt with a big weight loss. It takes a lot of time for my inner self to see what you all see. And I so appreciate all your kind words. They help tremendously. But this is not something that is fixable overnight. I wish it was that easy, and I'm holding out hope that one day, my mind will catch up with what I see in the mirror.
  • So this week I took some pictures of myself as per my therapists advice. Not daily like she wants me to but enough so that I can appreciate how I look. I never give myself enough credit. And I rarely know how to respond when I get credit from others. 
  • One of the best compliments I can get is from a total stranger who has no idea where I've been and is shocked to find out I weighed 300+ pounds at one time. It happened on the plane ride home from London. A couple I was sitting beside and chatting with questioned why I wouldn't eat the pasta dinner or the chicken wrap option offered.  I can hide my flaws well and when I explained a bit about my journey, they were truly shocked. And the wife actually refused to believe me until I showed her my before picture from my phone (always keep one handy in case I think of eating off plan). That kind of response makes me realize that I need to give myself credit where credit is due. I should be proud of my accomplishments. There are so many others in my life who are, and I never give myself accolades when I should.
  • This means I am going to work on appreciating my appearance much more than I have been. Whether I post a picture on Instagram or Tweet something I like about myself, it's important that I feel love and appreciation for me. I can see beauty in everyone...unless you have an ugly heart, but I need to appreciate the beauty in myself too. Weight loss isn't as cut and dry as I expected. Not only is maintenance a lot of hard work, but so is body acceptance. This is so different than what I envisioned in my mind when I started my weight loss journey 3 years ago. I never prepared myself for the emotional repercussions of weight loss. 
  • My body is finally back to it's happy place. I've no idea what I weigh right now...still, but I can say this with 100% conviction. I feel right once again in my skin and my clothes. Two weeks of running 5 days a week has gotten me back to where I am most comfortable. That and cutting out my weaknesses...nuts and fruit. I ate nuts today, and still eat one fruit serving a day, but more importantly, my metabolism has kicked itself into high gear again and my pace is even improving. Running is what works best for me. And even though I still bike and will get back to the gym once I address my injuries, running has to be my 5-day a week activity. I can't duplicate the cardio or calorie burn in any other activity. Running is my maintenance saviour.
  • October is a busy month for me. It's Thanksgiving, Julien's birthday (7 on the 11th), and of course, Halloween. Not sure what's going on with family celebrations for next weekend, but I will plan a fun time for Julien. His party won't be until the 18th but he'll still get a special day on the 11th. Time has flown by. In another month I have to start thinking about Christmas again. And, although we're moved into the new house since July, I still need to paint it from top to bottom. This is when it would pay to be Samantha from Bewitched. Wish I could just snap my fingers and twitch my nose:-)

My runs from this week. It's been a while since I had a 40K week.

Friday, October 3, 2014

No grains, no gains - Dealing with body shape and body size changes

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is dealing with body shape and body size changes. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It's no secret that last winter I had a bit of an emotional breakdown due to my self esteem issues. I got myself into therapy and I'm still attending therapy in regards to this. I'm going to let you in on a secret. Just because you lose the body weight equivalent of another adult woman does not mean you automatically feel good about yourself. That is the honest to God truth. Confidence is a lot of work. Just like maintenance. And it's something I struggle with everyday...just like maintenance.

I have been following the Paleo lifestyle since March 2013. I find Paleo the best option for me for maintenance. While I was still in active "weight-loss mode" I was somewhat leaner. I can tell the difference even if others couldn't. I was leaner but not necessarily stronger. I don't count portion size or calories on Paleo, but if I notice undesirable changes in my body, I cut out nuts, cut way down on fruit and stick to mostly protein and less starchy vegetables. Just making those changes will cause my body to return to what is my normal within a week. It's a foolproof system for me. 

I am slightly bigger following Paleo than I was when I first reached maintenance. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. My legs are muscular and I feel strong. I feel that even though I'm curvier, I'm stronger. As long as I keep up with my running and exercise regime and am on point with my eating, my body stays the way it should. Funny that for the first time in my life I do not own a scale. I was obsessed with the scale my entire life. It had the ability to make or break my day. I haven't been on a scale since July when I got weighed during my fitness assessment at the gym. Prior to that, I hadn't been on one since early spring of 2014. Crazy you say? Maybe, but I'm in pretty good tune with my body and I can tell when things are off. 

I was doing strength training at the gym. This was definitely a good thing for me because I have zero upper body strength. I found that the gym made me super hungry and I was eating all the time. I also started running less which was not such a good thing for me. Running lots and eating Paleo works best for my body. The running keeps my metabolism up so I can eat without worrying about counting calories or portions. I haven't been to the gym in a month. I definitely need to go back, but I've had to booked an appointment with my family doctor to have my right rotator cuff checked out. I'm not sure if I damaged or tore it at the gym, but it has been aching me since before I went to Stockholm/London. To the point that it bothers me at night and causes my entire arm to ache. Right now I'm focusing solely on running again and I'm back to running 5 days per week. Although I considered going to the gym in the interim to do some yoga and pilates, I'm hesitant to do anything that will require I use my arms/shoulders because I don't want to do further damage.

So do I accept my body the way it is now? There is always room for improvement. I'm still a work in progress. I have definitely come a long way, but my self perception is still trying to catch up with how everyone else sees me. I do like what I see when look in the mirror, but the way I envision myself in my mind is completely different than how others see me. It's hard to understand unless you have lost the body weight equivalent to 2 Irish Setters (140 pounds). It's a constant struggle but one that I will continue to tackle because the alternative is not an option. I have said it before and I'll say it again. Nothing tastes better than missing out on my son's life or my good health. I've worked hard to get where I am and I'll be damned if I go back to where I started. Nothing I could eat is worth that!

Check out my blogging peeps. They're going to share their views on their personal body changes/issues/acceptance. Everyone has different experiences. Looking forward to seeing their take on this subject.

For Life
Garden Girl

Picture on left taken the summer of 2011. Picture on the right taken one week ago.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The post about a London adventure, feeling shite and getting back to reality

Flight from Stockholm to London...then at my lodging in London!

  • Thanks to Lynda over at Living the Life, I was able to recreate my lost blog from last week. If you've already read this, skip over it. If not, you can still skip over it. I re-entered it for me to be honest:-) Thanks all the same Lynda. You rock!!!!
  • What an adventure I have had. Time to return to reality:-) And trust me, I'm so happy to be home with my family. It was definitely hard being away from Julien. Especially since he was cast a few days before I left. He is no longer in a cast. Turned out his broken fibula was just a sprain. Thank goodness!!!!
  • I traveled from Stockholm to London on the 16th. I had a hard time that day. I was missing my family. And I was nervous to be traveling to London alone. Getting from Heathrow to Central London seemed a daunting task. And it was. I landed at the most inopportune time. Five pm. That's right. I got into London during rush hour. I was stuck in a subway car with no escape at 6:30pm. Luckily some Londoner in a suit took pity on me and got me out of the Tube at my stop. I think crying uncontrollably helped!
  • I stayed in Camden in Central London. Which was awesome. Walking distance to everywhere. And surprisingly enough I knew about a lot of places in London from the historic romance novels I read. Hangs head in shame...

  • Sites seen around London:-)

    • I was blessed to meet some really awesome people in London. I was treated like a Queen. I met up with Frank whom I follow on Twitter. He took me around London on foot. I honestly have no idea how far we walked, but we walked a lot. Such a gentleman Frank was. We've been friends on Twitter for a while and it was a pleasure to finally meet him.
    • I also met with my best friend's cousin. We haven't seen each other since the "wedding party" seven years ago, so it was super great to catch up! Val took me to Cafe Rouge at Hays Galleria for salad and wine. Lots of laughing an a fun evening!
    • I also had the very humbling privilege of meeting with a couple of my favorite bloggers Tanvee and Ayesha. Such an awesome experience and such beautiful women inside and out. And I got to meet Tanvee's extremely lovely husband Terrence. Such a great person and they are so incredibly cute together! 

    Clockwise: Ayesha, Tanvee and Terrence, Val, Frank

  • Something that was not on point during my vacation? My exercise and food consumption. I ran the half marathon with Tanya on the 13th...and that's it. Yes I walked a lot, but didn't run again until yesterday morning. I ran a pretty brutal 6K. I knew it wasn't going to be fun, but I sucked it up and did it. I felt better for having gotten out there. This evening I'm cycling 21K up the escarpment and back down. Need to just get right back into doing what I need to do. 
  • While away I definitely over indulged. In wine and cheese. No grains, but wine, cheese and sauces. In Sweden the cheese is ridiculously delicious. Cheese and dates and wine. And in London, the blue cheese is equally delicious. I have eaten more cheese in the past couple of weeks than I have in the last year before that! So how did my digestive system do with all this cheese? It got used to it. Dairy no longer bothers me. This is not good! So starting yesterday...No more dairy! And wine only on the weekend again. And only protein and veggies grown above ground for the next month. I feel bloated and ugh! My clothing still fits, but doesn't feel right. I don't have a scale since we moved but I will be weighing in at the gym. I need to detoxify.
  • And I need to start running regularly again. Running is my favorite exercise. It's what works me the hardest and I felt best physically and emotionally when I ran 5 days a week. So starting yesterday, I'm going back to my 5-day running schedule. Mondays and Fridays are my running rest days. Today I'm going to cycle, but in the future those are the days I'll be going to the gym. So I aim to be active everyday of the week. 
  • Next month I find out if I'm going to be heading back over the pond in April to run the London Marathon. If I get a lottery spot, it will be my first and likely only marathon. My Morton's Neuroma makes it very difficult for me to run long distance. The half marathon and 30K is doable for me. Doable but painful. Adding another 12K onto that could be torturous. But if given the opportunity, I'd have to do it. It will be a challenge and I won't back down from a challenge.
  • So here I am. Back in reality. It's great to be home with my family again. I missed them loads. And Skype is an awesome thing. Even when you're far away, you don't feel like it. Back to work today. A crisp fall day it's going to be. My favorite time of year for the clothing options. And I'm bringing my lunch. Two cans of salmon, broccoli and lots of cucumber. Today is day 2 of Operation Detoxify European Vacation. I'm not even going to remotely whine or complain. I could have done things differently and chose not to. So now it's time to pay the piper. And I need to just do it:-)

  • Drank cappuccino every day here in London. Apparently I am the nations favorite coffee place:-)

    Monday, September 29, 2014

    The post about some wicked jet-lag, runnapalooza and thoughts on maintenance

    Starting to feel normal again.

    The past few weeks has been chaotic. Between events leading up to my European trip, to the actual trip, to the aftermath of coming home and dealing with the jet-lag...oh the jet-lag:-( It took me a full week to get back on my normal sleeping schedule. Funny, I didn't feel the jet-lag going to Europe, just coming home. Was in bed most nights by 8pm and up super early all week. Finally starting to feel like myself again. Back on my regular eating and exercise schedule.

    In a jet-lag haze during the week, I did something I have never done before. I deleted my last blog. Don't ask how it happened. I'm not sure myself. It happened from my phone. With the push of a button, it was gone. I don't even have it in my to try and recreate it. It was about my London trip. In a nutshell, I met people, I walked a lot, I saw a ton of stuff and almost got killed by the fast moving vehicles that drive on the wrong side of the road. And I missed my family...a lot!

    When I got back from my European adventure, I hadn't run since the half in Stockholm on the 13th. I started running regularly again last Sunday. And I'm back to running 5 days per week. It's what works best for me. I haven't been back to the gym in weeks. And I will go back. But I think I'm going to look at the classes. I felt bigger going to the gym. I like the way I feel and look when I run. Just running this past week has made me feel a difference in my jeans. They are getting looser once again. That and I've had little dairy and  fruit and no nuts. It would be awesome if I could have a trainer all the time, but I can't afford that. And the yoga and spin classes will do me well and make me work on the areas I need work on. My core especially with the yoga. I'll still do the machines for my shoulders and arms, but all the leg work I was doing? I don't think it's as important. I get lots of leg work through running.

    My runs over the last week. I'll add 2K to my Sunday run till I get to 20K.

    I've had conversations with several  people over the past few weeks about weight-loss versus maintenance. I've been asked a few times what I think is harder. Losing weight is hard work for sure. And mentally, it's more rewarding. When I was obese, I thought that all my troubles would go away if I was just normal size. And I had no lofty ideas about what my final weight would be. Initially, my goal was to be able to shop in regular size clothing stores. That meant fitting into a size 14. Sounded good to me. I wore size 24+ when I started. I never thought that I'd be wearing a size 8 and fitting into (M) clothing.

    I'm not even sure how getting down to the size I am now happened. It just did with running and eventually, no matter if I ate less and exercised more, my size stopped changing. I just stayed the same. I guess this is where my body naturally wants to be. And that's fine. When I was losing weight, it was exciting. My body changed fairly frequently and it was so motivating to see the results. Kept me on plan. I had a goal I wanted to reach, which was to just keep seeing changes.

    Once you hit maintenance, that stops. I work just as hard as ever, but I see minimal change right now. And to get any change, I have to work twice as hard. I'm not complaining mind you. My options are very limited right now. I either keep working as hard as I ever have to maintain my results, or I don't and start a steady weight gain again. My European vacation was a great lesson for me. Showed me that I cannot slack off even for a couple weeks without it affecting my body in a negative way.

    I exercise daily. I eat a fairly regimented diet and have had to let go of a lot of foods I love for good (ie: grains, refined sugar). As much as I'd love to just eat whatever I want, I can't. And if I ever start doing that, it means I have given up on my health and I pray to God that never happens. Because no matter how much work I have to do now and have been doing over the past 3 years since I began my lifestyle change, it is worth it. The life I have right now is worth it. My family is worth it, and so am I.

    Being back to work means eating out again. There's always something on the menu for me.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    The post about an epic run and a bra jobbat at the Stockholm Halv

    Before, during and after the race.

    • Ran an epic race with my gal Tanya yesterday. What made this race epic? The fact that it was Tanya's first half marathon, and my first international race. I wore a Canada shirt that I bought at the Running Room. I had to represent!
    • It was a strange start time for me. Four o'clock in the afternoon! I have never done a long run late in the day. I am a morning runner. I'm not sure it worked out well for me. I wasn't sure what I should eat. I didn't want to have any stomach issues during the race. Running for 2+ hours can really suck if you have indigestion. 
    • I came to Stockholm to run with Tanya so the plan was that we would stay together and take our time. We had fun. That was the whole point. I don't even know what our time was. We crossed the start line together and crossed the finish line together. We probably did a 2.5 hour half. That is a great time for a first half and truth be told, I was not in my best running form.
    • I took scale back week to the extreme. I ran 18K on the Sunday before the half...then didn't run again until I ran the half. NOT A GOOD PLAN and an important lesson learned. My hammies were so tight by around 15K it wasn't funny. My toes were also cramped up real good by this time. The last 6K was pretty painful with the  Morton's Neuroma. I could feel the neuroma pressing down into my shoe every step I took.
    • Some interesting observations during this race. There were lots of spectators. We ran through very touristy areas of Stockholm. The people were an excited and high energy group. But no one makes poster board signs. Not a sign to be seen anywhere. Everyone yelled "bra jobbat" pronounced bra yobbit which means "good job".
    • Stockholm is a very hilly city. We ran up and down so may hills. We walked around all day Friday and I didn't really take note of the hills until I had to run them. Hilly but beautiful.
    • We started the race by running through a tunnel for about 700m. I've decided that I do not like running through tunnels. It was freaking hot in there! No air flow and boy did I sweat...then got immediately chilled once we ran outdoors again.
    • The refreshment stations served water, sports drinks, Pepsi, bananas, energy bars and some candies that reminded me of Sweet Tarts. I'm sure they had electrolites in them but they were powdery. It seemed strange to not get any gels. I can't eat food while I run because if anyone's gonna expire during a run, it will be me trying to choke down an energy bar. I did take a bite and they were yummy peanut butter flavor, but I couldn't have more than a small nibble.
    • There was a station near the end of the race where they sprayed your legs with a special muscle spray. It made my calves tingle and the jury's still out on whether or not I liked it.Throughout the course were live bands set up on stages with different genres of music. The Garmin Power Station had a metal band which made me immediately think of Linda:-)
    • After the race we got a bag of goodies which included a banana, cashews, raisins, Pepsi, a Swedish chocolate bar and cooling muscle gel. We also got water and sweet buns (which I declined). 
    • All in all the race was well organized. They did staggered starts. The elites started at 3:30 pm, I was supposed to start at 3:55 pm, but started at 4:05 pm with Tanya. When I tried to go into her corral, they kept telling me I had to go to F. Strict! But I got to stay with Tanya. There were lots of water stations and toilets. And baggage check was a dream.
    • This was an awesome experience. I am so proud of Tanya for completing her first half marathon upright and smiling...which was our ultimate goal. Stockholm is a beautiful city to run through and the weather was perfect fall weather to run in. Once we got home, we opened a Red California Zinfandel to celebrate and ate a couple squares  of dark chocolate each with it. Well deserved treats for an awesome run and a bra jobbat:-)

    Medals and California zinfandel. A winning combination!