Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm like a BRAND NEW CHICK

Confession: I have been in a little bit of funk following my marathon.

It is hard to explain, but I just feel a little lost now that it is all over.

This past year has been a complete whirlwind, and I have been jumping from one race to the next, with a couple surgeries mixed in for good measure. So you would think I would be thankful for the break.

But I have found myself asking, "Now what?!"

No race to prep for? No medical crisis to navigate? Now I can just focus on me, right? But I feel like I don't even know what that means anymore?

It has taken me a couple weeks to regroup and reassess, but I think I am finally getting back to me.


Armed with a new haircut and a crossfit membership I am feeling like a Brand New Chick!

So now I'm singing...


"Don't need your sad face, sorry babe. But I made up mind. I made up mind"
After my less than stellar marathon experience, and a little time to reflect (and mope), I have decided another marathon is definitely in the future. Maybe Spring 2013? Maybe? Maybe?

Lesson have been learned. Mistakes were made. It is time to dry those tears, and move on to the next one.
"Got my red lipstick on. Engines Revving. You're so far behind. And I am taking mine"
But if I want the time and performance I desire, I am gonna have to spend sometime rebuilding and making a full recovery. So crossfit is all about coming back stronger and better than ever.

Surprisingly enough my cardio was good, it was my upper body strength that really did me in on race day. I have decided to make friends with weights, and get myself lean and strong.

I am gonna get that Marathon I have been dreaming of.

Because...

"I'm like a, I'm like a, I'm like a brand new. I'm like a, I'm like a, I'm like a brand brand. Turning up the, turning up the, Turning up the beat so sick. I'm like a brand new chick"

Ready People! Let's Get After It and Do This Thing!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lies, Lance, and LIVESTRONG


Ah Lance! Say it isn't so?!

The jig is up and I am just so sad.

If you spent anytime with me over the past 4-6 months Lance probably came up, and I was the one fiercely defending him, his career, and his achievements. In fact I was more than a little obnoxious about it on several occasions.

So why was I so fiercely loyal to Lance?

It is not because I am a bicycle enthusiast (in fact I don't even own a bike at the moment). It is because as a Darwinian Fail, this man inspired me.

Lance is the original Darwinian Fail. Dire cancer diagnosis, horrible odds, a terrible treatment schedule and then the man comes back to win it all! And to win it all 7 times! There he was a shining example of sheer strength and determination. 

His body challenged him and he challenged it right back! He fought the war against his body and he won! He said "Livestrong", we were all there chanting and cheering it along with him.

I wanted so badly to believe in this man,  his message, and his journey... So reading all that damning evidence last week was a blow.

There is no doubt about it. Lance lied and he cheated.

But his message... "LIVESTRONG" - there is still a whole lot of truth in that.

We Darwinian Fails have not been genetically blessed. We will have to battle our genetic shortcomings, face dire diagnoses, and adapt to complications we never saw coming. But we will adapt! We will persevere! We will challenge our bodies with sheer will and determination, and we will win!

We will beat cancer! Our bodies are stronger than this disease! Our spirits are fierce and unstoppable!

Everything else may have been a lie, but that is the truth!

So LIVESTRONG friends!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail
Krysten

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

#WIAW - Energybits

In the last few months I have found myself experimenting with fuel, supplements, and nutrition while trying to perfect my Marathon routine. I have also talked a lot about importance of real whole foods, especially in the battle against genetics. So I was really excited when EnergyBits contacted me to try their all natural algae tabs.


Energybits describe their tabs as...

"the trifecta of nutrition because they provide your body with glucose, protein and even nitric oxide. All naturally too. Our algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (over 60%), all in amino acid form so it quickly converts to glucose. This gives you an energy boost and mental wake up without chemicals, sugar or caffeine  All for just one calorie per tab. We recommend our ENERGYbits® algae tabs (which are 100% spirulina)  for any athletic or high endurance activity" 

Sounds pretty good right?!

I gave them a whirl, and as someone who struggles to get much down while out running, I found this application pretty easy to handle. I made the inital mistake of trying to chew them, and that is not the ticket. But it is easy to pop a couple of tabs and swallow them with a few swigs of water.

They are all natural and definitely easy on the tummy.

The other reason why I LOVE these fabulous folks is because this product was created by another family who has been touched by breast cancer. The Founder’s younger sister began experimenting with the alkaline diet to help heal after her breast cancer diagnosis. And that is how she discovered the alkaline power of algae. After all this family went through and all they have learned - they decided to make health their mission.

To honor Breast Cancer Awareness  EnergyBits are offering  a 30% discount on any of their bags of algae bits until the end of October. All you need to do is type the code BREASTCANCER (all one word) into the coupon box on any of their five websites and the 30% discount will instantly be applied.

It is perfect time to give these guys a try! And support your health in the process! Hope you all enjoy!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Crossfit Musings


I completed my very first WOD (*Workout Of the Day*) at my new box Auxiliary Crossfit. (<--- and look at me, so down with all this new crossfit lingo. I am so hardcore?!).

My goal for the coming months is to combine 3 Crossfit class/ week with my regular running/coaching duties, and officially relinquish my title as Cardio Queen. I am gunning for Crossfit Princess? Or maybe, just to try to find a little balance in my routine.

Here is what I have learned so far...

  • Crossfit Musing 1: I have great squat form (who knew?!)
  • Crossfit Musing 2: The warmup is just as tough as the actual workout
  • Crossfit Musing 3: I have no upper body strength. (I already knew that, but today's WOD just confirmed it. *le sigh* )
  • Crossfit Musing 4: I hate having to tell new people about all my medical misadventures. I just sound like a HOT MESS! Luckily all the Crossfit folks are super supportive.
  • Crossfit Musing 5: Pretty sure that Crossfit is going to seriously kick my booty
  • Crossfit Musing 6: I think incorporating strength training is going to make me a better runner (So watch out Marathon #2  I am coming for you!)

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Monday, 22 October 2012

Motivation Monday - Back to Reality

While I was busy writing an epic Marathon recap series last week, I was also busy generally leading a sloth-like existence. I spent the majority of last week alternatively sleeping, reading, and eating. I was very busy behaving like a sluggy-slug and eating copious amounts of Halloween candy. It was delightful!

Last week was Marathon recovery week. I took the whole week off from both work and coaching. And gave myself a free pass to relax, drink wine with my husband, chill with the girls, and just rest.

It was a much needed break. Balance has been restored to my small corner of the world. So now it is time to get back to reality. It is time to get back on track.

I spent Sunday prepping for the week ahead.

I started the day with a few of my favourite girls - JessRobyn, and Sam - at  a restorative hot yoga session. And some necessary girl time and fitness talk over coffee (tea for crazy pants Jess who is on the Clean Restart program right now).

After chatting with my fitness dream team and rehashing some my Marathon stuggles, we have all agreed that Strength Training is a MUST.

During marathon training, and even during the marathon itself, I struggled with my upper body strength. I regularly had swelling and bruising in my chest, pain in my upper and lower back from compensating, and certain amount of discomfort. In short I have a lot of artifical things floating around inside my body, and my body is still trying it figure it all out. We discussed all of these issues at my 6 month follow-up appointment, but alas there is no quick fix. My surgeons have informed me that because of my special circumstances (*cough, cough, cough* robot heart) and my desired activity level, that I should expect the healing process to take up to a full year...

BLAH! And Boourns!

So if I want to help my body rebuild and get back on track, then I am going to have to take a much more active role in regaining the strength/muscle I have lost.


I have decided that my next Great Misadventure will be a Crossfit challenge.
I start tomorrow! Wish this little runner luck!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Friday, 19 October 2012

Marathon Recap - The Real

Okay now that all that mushy-gushy stuff has been said, we can move on to the Real Race stuff.
(you know the stuff all you runners are curious about)

The Course:
The course took your through many of the major neighbourhoods of Toronto. It was filled with great views and lots of unique city landmarks. It is also really flat, one of the reasons this race is loved by elites and first-timers.


That being said, I found the first half of the course a lot better than the second half. The first half of the course was heavily populated with spectators and enthusiasm. But once the half marathon group and the full marathon group split, there was a notable difference in the energy and the route.

The second half of the course goes off a little into no-mans land. The area by the Leslieville spit and down by the water is very industrial and doesn't exactly encourage a lot of spectators. In my opinion the second half is where you need the most encouragement so switching up that route and making it more spectator friendly would be a huge benefit.

I also found the multiple out and backs in the second half rough. There are 3 different out and backs, and mentally that is really tough. By the third one I was definitely cursing the course. I think I may be have even yelled out-loud, "how many out and backs are there?!". Those little loops can really mess with you, especially when your moral is fading.

Support:
The volunteers and spectators along the way were outstanding! I cannot gush enough about them. Everyone was so encouraging! I loved having my name on my bib, because it felt like you had your own little cheering section all the way along. Everyone is shouting "Go Krysten! Looking Good!", and it seems silly but that honestly helps so much. It was so fun to see all of these different groups out there out  along the course to support all of the runners. 
Note my Bib
The highlights for me were probably - the sexy drag queens rocking out at Church and Wellsley and the belly dancers at the first turn around point - both unexpected and so fun. I also loved the signs about Dinosaurs from ROM - Run like a Coelophysis is chasing you - definitely got a chuckle out of me.

Race Organization:
This is a big event and it takes a lot of hard work and coordination to organize - so I give a lot of credit to everyone at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Closing off all these streets in a major city is in itself a huge feat. And I would guess that planning an event like this is probably a logistical nightmare, so BRAVO for making it happen!

I though the number of volunteers and medics they had patrolling the course was amazing. They water stations and aid stations were well-organized and always fully stocked.


The only problem area was the start/corrals. I found them very difficult to find and get into. Everything was fenced off, and there were only a few openings along the way. That meant that people were scrambling to find their place and to get to their corral on time. People were climbing fences, jumping over planters, running shoving, it was panic central. The start definitely felt a little chaotic, and could be improved upon.

Big Race means Big Names:
So most of the races I have done have been on the smaller side, but the Toronto Waterfront Marathon is a big deal. 25 500 people run this event each year, and there is large number of elites that sign up to compete for the win.

My heart skipped a beat when I bumped into Reid Coolsaet on my way to my corral. My inner running geek was squealing with excitement as I quickly apologized and scurried away. Watching the elites warm up and take on the course was very cool and so inspiring. The winner of this year's race Betona Warga ran the Marathon in 2:10:35 - holy cow! I wasn't even at the half way point yet?! And it is definitely cool to be a part of something like that.



Overall, it was a great event.
And if any of my American buddies are looking for an excuse to come visit their favourite Darwinian Fail and our fair city of Toronto, I would say this is a pretty great option!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Marathon Recap - The Bad

A huge part of me wrestled with writing this post. And a huge part of me wrestled with sharing it.

I wanted to do my best to ignore my inner negative voice, and to celebrate this year, this achievement, and this milestone. But I would be a liar if I said that I loved every minute of Sunday, and that I left my marathon experience feeling amazing...

So here it is, The Bad...

Anyone who has read even a snippet of this blog, knows that I don't run just to run.

Running is always much more emotional than that. I always run to prove something - to me, to my body, to the world - I don't know...

Christopher McDougall wrote in Born To Run that "when things look worst, we run the most." That "there's a trigger in the human psyche, a coded response that actives our first and greatest survival skills when we sense the raptors approaching".

Well this year they were coming for me, and I literally tried to run away.

Running became my outlet. When times got tough - and they did - I ran. When I needed something to look forward to, it was a race. When need something to drive my recovery, it was running. When I needed to prove to myself that I was stronger and badder than anything my body could throw at me - I ran. Running has become an essential part of me and my go-to coping mechanism.

So running my Marathon, was never about running a Marathon.

It was everything.


I spent months visualizing it. And even longer training for it. I would cross that finish line strong at 4:30, rocking out to girlie-pop music, high on endorphins, all while proving that I am so much stronger than everything life threw at me this year.

But that is not exactly how it all went down.

I dragged my butt across the finish line at 5:20 feeling tired, so very sore, and sad. And then promptly lay down on the sidewalk clutching my medal and cried.

I cried with joy because it was over. I cried because I was disappointed in my time. I cried because I was so mad at my body. I cried because I was damn exhausted. 

I finished my Marathon, but I felt beaten.

Those last 10km brought out everything I HATE about my body. I felt weak. And that weakness was a reminder of all my genetic shortcomings. The pain was a reminder of all the reasons why my body will just never be good enough. All the things I hate about my body were literally screaming at me. And I could not shut them up.

My arms and chest are swollen here
My chest and arms were swollen. My pacemaker was brusing me from the inside out. My legs were on fire. My knees ached. My heart rate was all over the place. And I was just so angry at my body.

As I watched one pace bunny after another pass me, I knew my dream of finishing strong at 4:30 was dead.

My body was aching. I was miserable. And I wanted to quit.


I felt all those things, but I kept going.

In the last 7 months there have been a lot of moments where I have wanted to give up. The frustration, the sadness, and this fight has defined 2012. The medical appointments, the surgeries, the setbacks - there were many moments where I tried to wish it all away.

But in the last 7 months I have run 2 half marathons, 2 adventure/mud races, a 15km race, a 5 km, and now finally a full marathon. I crossed the finish line of my my very first marathon almost exactly 7 months after undergoing a double prophylatic mastectomy and receiving my third cyborg ticker. (they say 3rd times a charm)

And that is what this marathon was all about. Genetics has held my body hostage for almost a decade now, but it cannot crush my spirit. Those last 10km sucked. I wanted to give up, but I didn't. 5:20 was not my ideal time - but that still pretty darn good for all this year has thrown at me.

My body is never going to be all that I dreamed - I got the scars and the shiny robot heart to prove it.

But I am healthy. I worked damn hard for that. And no one can take that away from me. I am a Marathoner.

I will get knocked down a 1000 more times before this life is over, and I will always get back up.
I will always keep going.

This marathon was not exactly everything I dreamed, but I am not finished yet.
I will get that marathon I dreamed about - next time... (*sorry Mom there is gonna be a next time*)

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

#WIAW - Marathon Edition

So this week's What I Ate Wednesday (a fun and fabulous concept brought to us by Jenn), is actually What I Ate Sunday. This is how Marathon Day went down food-wise.

I woke up at 5:30 am, feeling excited and restless. An article in the most recent issue of Runner's World said that you should try to eat 1000 calories before you run a Marathon, and I was willing to try, even though I knew it would be a struggle. My stomach is usually a bit of mess on race day, so I tried to eat as much as could before I had to head downtown.

Breakfast:
I made a batch of protein pancakes - which I promptly covered in Canadian Maple Syrup and blackberries. I also struggled through a small cup of coffee and a glass of apple cider before I ran off to catch the bus to the start line. 



Pre-Race:
While waiting in the rain I drank a bottle of Grape Gatorade and ate a Honey Stinger Waffle. We then shuffled along into our corral and got ready to start this thing.

Race Fuel: 
Race Fuel (or aka my lunch) was mostly an assortment of gels, sport beans, Gatorade, and lots of water. I tried to refuel with something every 45 minutes and I found the gels easiest to get down. My polar heart rate monitor said I burned 4564 calories while I was out on the course, so clearly snacking is a MUST!




Post Race:
I drank more Gatorade and Gatorade Recovery on my way home. And thought longingly about sitting still and having a nice hot shower.



Dinner:
My family all came over to celebrate after the race. We had an assortment of my favourite cheeses (including my favourite Stilton blue cheese - heavenly) and champagne, before we headed out for dinner.

There were 2 things I cut back on drastically while training for my marathon - wine and diary. I found my stomach struggled to handle either when running long distances. So what did I want the most when my marathon was finally complete? Booze and Cheese! It is kind of the theme for the night. 
 
(*Please try your best to ignore how exhausted I look in all of these photos, and please note that one glass of champagne was all it took to make me tipsy after all my running*)

For Dinner I had a Caprese salad with Buffalo Mozzarella to start (not pictured), and seafood Fettuccine Alfredo as my main. I drank a couple glasses of wine. And finished off my meal with Tarimisu and a cappuccino.

It was a great way to cap off this journey and celebrate with my always amazing and always supportive family! LOVE YOU GUYS! Cheers! I ran a marathon people!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten 



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Marathon Recap - The Good

On Sunday morning I was up and ready to rock at 5:30am. I had been thinking about this day and this race for months. I was so ready. I wanted to run.

I lined up at the start line feeling strong and loving life. The gun went off at 8:30am. Albeit in an anti-climatic fashion because the elites were in the first corral, so the rest of us were just left milling around in the rain, in a giant line, waiting for our start time.

Once the race actually started for me though, probably 10-15 minutes later, it was exciting. All I could think was "This is it! This is what you have been waiting for. You are running a Marathon today. You are running a Marathon right now"

I was buzzing along through the neighbourhoods of Toronto just generally feeling like a rock star. I was running strong and feeling so good. I was loving the crowd, the energy, and the excitement. And I was comfortably keeping ahead of the 4:30 hour marathon bunny. I was having the time of my life.

yay that guy thinks I am a werido
My lovely and always amazing friends Morgan, Robyn, Brad, and Sam were waiting for me at the Princess Gates (aka 9km) with signs in hand. I was so happy to see them.


I was feeling great! And seeing these girls gave me an extra boost of energy, as I kept plugging along to the first turning point. There were bands, dance troops, cheerleaders, and a ton of volunteers keeping us hydrated and up beat along the way. I felt like I could run all day long.

We turned around and heading back toward the downtown core. And there were my lovely girls again, this time at kilometer 17. There were highfives and cheers as I powered on ahead.


Just a few more kilometers down the road, and this is where things got really real. Half marathoners to the left, and Marathoners to the right. I past under the Marathon chute and said to the guy next to me "guess we are really doing this, eh?". "Yes, we sure are" he replied as we plugged along past the half way point.

I took a moment to reflect at kilometer 22, because that is the farthest I have ever raced. I was feeling proud and excited for all that was to come as ran past that distance marker.

Things started the get a little lonely after about kilometer 25. The pack had really spread out. And the spectators were few and far between for the next few kilometers. The seriousness of running this type of distance began to set in. My legs were feeling tight, but I was still on point. I was happily running at the 4:35
pace, and generally feeling happy and well hydrated.

Things began to change dramatically around kilometer 33. My knees were aching. My chest and my back started spazzaming. I could feel the bruises forming around my ankles, and the blisters taking shape on my feet. My legs were on fire and screaming at me to stop. Oh and I wanted to. I wanted to stop so badly.

Tears were streaming down my face on and off for the last 9 km of the race, as I willed myself to keep running. My pace was getting slower and slower as my legs locked up tighter and tighter. I sadly watched the 4:55 pace bunny and his crew pass me at kilometer 35.


And then like little marathon angels, my rubber boot clad cheering section appeared beside me. "I am dying" I cried. "I don't think I can do this".

"YES YOU CAN!!" they said.

"Think about the finish line. Think about dinner and wine. Think about how far you have come. Just keep going". They kept chanting their positivity at me as I cried and kept shuffling for 4 kilometers.


At kilometer 39 they left me to carry on to finish this beast of race by myself. I could see the downtown and I wanted this race to be over.

I saw my family cheering section at kilometer 41 and I could not even muster a proper smile at this point. I wanted to see the finish line and sit down.


I dragged my sad, tired, sore booty across the finish line with an official chip time of 5:20:03. (yep, that is almost a full hour longer than my ideal goal time of 4:30) I then promptly found a patch of sidewalk to sit down on and sobbed.

So, the Good...Where is the good in all of this blood, sweat, and tears?

The fact of the matter is I said I would run a Marathon this year and I did. I said genetics, a few measly surgeries, a shiny robot heart, and several setbacks would not hold me back from achieving this goal - and they did not.

I can say with all honesty that running a Marathon is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. But even with my less than ideal time, I can still say that I did it. I am a marathoner. A slow marathoner, but a marathoner.

It wasn't easy, but I did it.

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Monday, 15 October 2012

Marathon Glory!

It was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I am drained mentally and physically.
But I can say with all sincerity that I am now officially a Marathoner. 



Marathon Glory is officially mine! I can barely move now, and I think those exhausted looking pictures sum up how I felt when it was all over.

So I have been thinking about this post all night. I was dreaming about it in fact. What will I say about this race and about my Marathon experience? Because I gotta be honest with you, it wasn't all rainbows, cheering, and strong finishes like I had envisioned. It was freakin' hard. And it was painful. And tears were definitely shed along the way - both of joy and pain

So this week is officially Marathon Week over here on The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail. I will be writing several posts trying to come to terms with the 5:20 I spent trudging along the Toronto Waterfront course. There will be 3 posts - the good, the bad, and the real - because that is the only way I wrap my head around it. So Stay Tuned.

Tuesday - Marathon - The Good 
(aka the first 31km)

Wednesday - WIAW - Marathon Edition  
(because I know you want to know what I ate)
Thursday - Marathon - The Bad 
(aka kilometer 33-42)

Friday - Marathon - The Real  
(all the stuff you runners want to know - how was the course, how was it organized, etc.)


Thank you so much to everyone for all of your love, support, and encouragement along the way. I cannot tell you all how much it means to me. It definitely helped keep me going out there. And a very special thank you to my cheering section yesterday - my hubby, my family, Lindsay, Morgan, Robyn, and Sam. I can honestly say that I could not have crossed the finish line without you!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Thursday, 11 October 2012

What's in your Gym Bag - Marathon Edition

Oh goodness gracious! My very first Marathon is just right around the corner. So this week is all about prepping for the BIG DAY! And I am sure you are all wondering... What's a gal to wear to her Marathon debute?!

Here is what I have in mind. Here is my Outfit of the Day.

My Marathon Gym Bag?


The Race Day forecast is not looking so great...Right now they are calling for rain and cooler temperatures. Running 42.2 km is tough enough, so I don't want to add feeling cold and wet into the mix. My wardrobe choices are all about layering.

On my Body: Indigo Melange Arm Warmers, Big Run Long Sleeve Tee, and Oiselle Zip-Up
On my Head: I have a toque packed just in case, but I am planning to rock my Sparkly Soul Headband

I have also packed a whole bunch of water, gels, and fuel. Running this kind of distance means that snacks are necessary along the way. The last thing I need is to bonk or to DNF, so being prepared is key. I plan to refuel every 45 minutes to keep my energy levels high, and hopefully hit my goal time.


My bags are pack. And it is Race Kit pickup tomorrow. We are almost there friends!

Am I missing anything?!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

#WIAW - Black Bean and Squash Stew

With my Big Race right around the corner (just 4 measly days in fact), there is no room for error.

It is even more important than ever to make sure that my body is getting lots of rest, love, and nourishment. So to take some of the guess work out of meal time, I spent Monday night prepping my food for this week.

I prepped a huge portion of this delicious stew to ensure that my lunch is full of nutrient dense veggies, protein, and carbs. I LOVE this meal, and it is perfect for a fall day. The squash provides your carbs, the beans give you a protein boost, and the tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C. The training trifecta is represented!


**Serves 6**

Ingredients:
1 cup dired black beans
2 tbsp EVO
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 onion (diced)
2 cups of canned diced tomatoes
2 acorn squash
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp of crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 celery stalks (diced)
cilantro sprigs, chopped

1. I use the crock pot to cook my black beans, while I am out during the day. 1 cup of dried black beans with 3 cups of water and cook on low heat for 6 hours.
2. Half the acorn squash drizzle with EVO and roast for 45 min at 350. Cube and set aside,
3. Add EVO, garlic, onion, crushed red-pepper flakes to large stewing pot and cook on high heat until soft.
4. Stir in the cooked beans, diced tomates, cube squash, salt, cumin, chilli powder, and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a boil.
5. Once mixture is heated all the way through, top with celery and cilantro
6. Portion and Serve.
I like to eat mine with a Spelt Crackers topped with a bit of hummus. Delicious!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Monday, 8 October 2012

Motivation Monday - One Day

This is it! This time next Monday I will officially be a Marathoner! GAH! T-minus just 6 days until Marathon Glory! This week is all about tapering, rest, carbs, and hydration!


So let's get PUMPED! In everyone's favourite musical fashion! I realize that LMFAO's One Day is likely about hooking up with some chick, but bear with me here, I think it works....


Sipping on this drink, have some time to think. About where I was, and where I'm at today.
So the drink I am sipping on, is...Water. I am all about Hydration this week.

But it is crazy to think that just a few months ago I was running my first half marathon and was getting ready to go under the knife. And now here we are just over 6 months later gearing up for my first Full Marathon. It has been a pretty epic 6 months. I toasted the ta-tas, got a shiny new robot heart, recovered from surgery, ran 5 races, PRed my second half marathon, and trained for my first full.

I have come a long way.

I got everything I want, but you. I might get you one day, I might get you one day

It has been a tough year. But we are almost out the other side. I have everything I have ever wanted. A great life, an amazing and supportive family, and my health. So this is it. I just need that Marathon Glory. And I am going get you! Sunday is the day!

And when it get ya, imma celebrate. Imma celebrate! imma celebrate! I'm gonna celebrate, cuz I'mma get you one day


And Sunday when I cross that finish line - after I am done crying tears of joy and collapsing with sheer exhaustion- I am gonna CELEBRATE! I am going to celebrate my life, my health, my body, and this year!
Genetics has an iron clad grip on my body, but not my spark. And crossing that finish line on Sunday means that genetics is no longer my definition. I will be a Marathoner - defined my strength, determination, and perseverance. I will reclaim my body and my life.

So Let's Do This People! Let's run 42.2km and say a good an final F**k You to Genetics! Ready?
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten



Thursday, 4 October 2012

Marathon Training Thursday - I am tired...

We are in the home stretch here folk. Literally, just 10 days away from Marathon Glory.

And I must confess, I am tired.


I am tried of training. Tired of running. Tired of the anticipation. I just want to get out there and say I ran the dang thing!

I have also never been so happy to see the word "taper" boldly printed across my calendar in my whole life. To be honest, I have really asked a lot of myself and my body over the last 6 months. So it should really come as no surprise that I am starting to feel worn down at this point.

My expectation was that my body bounce back at quick as possible from major surgery. And then that I would just seamlessly jump back into running, racing, and long distances. Oh and that I would do all that while returning to school full-time, working part-time, and coaching 3x a week.

Was this plan a little bananas?! Perhaps...

But marathon training has also helped give my recovery focus.

Running my Marathon is going to mean that I made it. I will literally run out of the darkness and into the light. 42.2 km will become my new definition. 2012 will no longer be known as the year that "I toasted the ta-tas", it will be the year "I started distance running". It is going to be the year I ran both my first Half and my first Full Marathon. And running will be how I reclaimed my body and my life.

So I am tired. But...No Limits! Let's Do This!


How do you stay focused during the home stretch?

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WIAW - Fall Squash + Corn Soup

It's What I Ate Wednesday courtesy of the lovely Peas and Crayons, and since we've been talking about "Falling Into Good Habits", I decided that a savory Fall Soup was on tap for this week.

I love coming home to a fresh pot of soup and a slice of crusty bread, after a cold day. And this meal is ideal for warming up after a chilly autumn run.

Savory Fall Squah + Corn Soup


Ingredients:
4 slices of Bacon, finely chopped
1 white onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed
3 cobs of corn, remove kenerals from the cob
1.5 cups of veg. stock
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp, red pepper flakes

1. Put a dollop of EVO in the bottom of your stewing pot with the bacon, onion, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 7 minutes at high heat
2. Add the rest of the veg, along with the stock and rosemary to the pot, cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer
3. Allow all the ingredients to simmer for 35 minutes, or until squash is tender
4. Blend contents until smooth, and plate, top with fresh group pepper

Hope you all Enjoy!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Monday, 1 October 2012

Boobie Tuesday - Finale and Race Recap


This past weekend was amazing, overwhelming, emotional, and completely exceeded all my expections. I knew this weekend was going to be a HUGE part of my journey, but I was not prepared for response that I received.

I went up to Collingwood on Saturday afternoon to stay with the lovely Sarah and Bill Pain (of Team Insane Pain MetCon Blue fame). We had a great night chatting and catching up with dinner and drinks. And then we all turned in early to prepare for race day.
The lovely Pain's - Sarah, Bill, + Betty

I woke up on race day having raised a whopping
$1460 for Breast Cancer Research.
Almost a full $500 more than my initial fundraising goal. To see friends, family, and even complete strangers rally around this cause and my journey was amazing. Your support and encouragement this year has given me the strength to face this year's challenges. And I cannot thank you all enough.

Standing in front of sea of pink on race day, really brought everything full circle me. I know all of the stastics. But to see the impact this disease has, staring back at you in the form of families, was startling. Everyone who raced on Sunday had been touched by this disease, and being chosen to speak about it's impact was an honour and huge responsibility.


I was shaking as I approached the stage to speak to the crowd. And my eyes were filled with tears before I even be got started. As I shared my story with the crowd I was greeted mid-speech with cheers and appaulse. And that where I really lost my cool. Here I was trying to thank them for making my beautiful life possible, and there they were continuing to support me. I walked off the stage into a sea of hugs, acceptance, and love.

If you have 3 minutes and you want to hear a bumbly, emotional, tear-filled Krysten fumble her way through her survivor address you can click the link below. (confession I was a bit of a hot mess)

http://soundcloud.com/darwinianfail/krystens-speech

After pulling myself together (slightly), we all lined up at the start, and off we went. The course was set up through the trails, and out along the waterfront. It was meant to be 5km, but a group of us got a little turn around and did an extra 2km. I finished my 7km in 38:21 and was able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the day.


Being able to give back to a cause that has given me and family so much, is probably one of the most important things that I have ever done. And I am so glad I had the chance to be a part this awesome event. I also want to thank Jen (and her whole team) for all of their hard work coordinating Sunday and for asking me to share in this experience.


This is not an experience I will soon forget!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten