Hi There!

It’s been over six months since I’ve written, so I owe you a few greetings: Happy 4th of July; Happy Halloween; Happy Thanksgiving [Canadian & American]; Merry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah; and Happy New Year!

Sean and I had some lovely adventures in Summer 2016 — Vancouver, California, Cape Cod, and savoring our last days in NYC. We’re now all nice and settled in Northern California and doing some true nesting; we’re expecting Baby Bourne at the end of May!

Vancouver in the summer: a food tour with my mother-in-law, snuggles with Winston the Schnauzer, a get-together with family, and quality time with friends

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Cape Cod: hydrangeas galore, Cameron’s family estate, Cameron’s pride and joy (the ’86 Lincoln), and chillin’ in Provincetown

In the fall, we got to go up to Vancouver again to announce our big news to the Bourne side of the family. In addition to having two amazing Thanksgiving dinners, I ran a 10K Turkey Trot with some yoga friends. At seven weeks pregnant I really wasn’t feeling well, but I managed! Sean and I also ran a 5K Turkey Trot in November with my sister, Aly, and our future brother-in-law, Ryan.

Canadian Thanksgiving:

American Thanksgiving:

And since then, we’ve been able to escape to Bodega Bay, hang out in San Francisco, relax in Petaluma, explore Sacramento, see old friends in San Jose, and generally enjoy our California livin’.

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Turning 30 in NYC

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This week marks the close of both my third decade of life and my first year living in Manhattan!

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As I look ahead at my life as a 30-year-old person, a few goals/resolutions have come to mind:

  1. Write. I miss blogging. It’s such a great way to document life events and to share my experiences with friends and family whom I don’t have the fortune of living near. And I’ve got a lot to tell you all about — family and friends visiting us here in NYC; visiting people in California, Colorado, and Vancouver; sight-seeing in New York, Philadelphia, the Hudson River Valley, Asheville NC, Washington DC, and Mystic CT…and more!
  2. Photograph. Sean bought me a camera for Christmas so that I can take better photos and also learn a new skill. I know very little about photography, but this year I’d like to learn more.
  3. Run, Stretch, Strengthen, Meditate. New York has made me a serious walker, but I have lost sight of my identity as a runner and yogini. I have no regrets about taking a break from two activities that have always been part of my routine, but I’m ready to get back into the groove. Alison and I are planning to run a half-marathon in the spring, and strategically placing my yoga mat in the middle of my tiny living room has been encouraging me to practice more yoga (i.e., I trip on the mat, fall down, and figure I may as well do a chaturanga…you’ve got to start somewhere!).
  4. Cook. There is something about Manhattan that has made me less of a home cook. Could it be the long work hours? Could it be the lack of AC (at least in the summer)? Could it be the extreme availability of every food known to mankind within a five-block radius? Yes, yes, and yes. But Sean and I both miss the fun, creativity, and cash-saving that goes along with cooking at home. We’re making it a priority to cook at home more frequently, but of course we still have a checklist of New York restaurants to try! (It’s all about balance.)
  5. See. Sean and I won’t be on the East Coast forever, so we’re trying to see as much of it as we can while we’re here. Our next official escape from the city will be Montauk next month; we are looking forward to borrowing Alison and Cameron’s awesome car and driving to the very far East End of Long Island.

I just wanted to formally announce to the blogosphere that I’m back! Stay tuned!

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Marathon Number Three

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The results are in from yesterday’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. The winner was Daniel Kipkoech with a time of 2:20:04. I was just 595 people and 1:38:36 behind him! I finished in three hours, 58 minutes, and 40 seconds, and I couldn’t be happier! Mr. Kipkoech may be twice as fast as me, but I beat my previous marathon time by 23 minutes and my first marathon time by a whopping 69 minutes!

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My 10K split time was 54:45; my halfway time was 1:57:38, and my 30K time was 2:47:29. My average kilometre time was 5:41 (which is 9:08 per mile).

I really didn’t think I could run that fast for 26.2 straight miles (42.2 kilometres)! I attribute my personal success to:

1. Experience: This being my third marathon, I knew what to expect in terms of both physical and mental exertion.

2. Consistent training: Except for a couple weeks off in June (beginning of my training with a lot of walking around European cities), a couple skipped runs around my wedding, and a week off for healing an injury, I faithfully followed my training schedule for five and a half months.

3. Yoga: I may have overdone it a bit on Friday, so my hip flexors were a little more sore than I would have liked them to have been for the race, but overall yoga is magical for strengthening and lengthening the leg muscles. I cannot overemphasize the importance, for me, of yoga for cross-training, healing, and mental training.

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Sirsasana I

4. Mindfulness: I truly believe that all this meditating I’ve been doing lately helped me run yesterday. I felt present, grateful, and focused. The toughest points in the race for me were between 24K and 38K. There is something about the 20-mile point that makes me cry like a baby. There’s a sense of panic that arises in the thick of the race, before I can start imagining the finish line. I needed something memorized to repeat as a I ran. Song lyrics get boring, and I often can only remember the chorus anyway. So I chanted a mantra that I learned in yoga teacher training. I probably repeated it to myself 25 times, and it made a huge difference in my resolve to keep my pace. I’m not saying that the mantra itself had powers to keep me going, but I can see a comparison between sages and monks meditating for four hours straight and me running for four hours straight; mantra can keep you going!

5. Carbohydrates: I think I may have underestimated the power of carbo-loading the week of a race. It’s not that I didn’t eat a lot of carbs before marathons 1 and 2, but this week, I made it a (very enjoyable) priority: a few more croissants than might typically be socially acceptable, pizza with my girlfriends, two pieces of toast instead of one for breakfast, and a serious amount of beans, potatoes, whole wheat bread and tortillas, rice, and dessert the day before! (My next post will be about the food we enjoyed in Victoria.)

6. Hydration: I carried water with me, and I drank either water or sports drink at every aid station. I only had to pee once and I only got a tiny little stitch in my side for a bit. Water matters! Electrolytes matter!

7. A Beautiful Course: Wow, seriously gorgeous. If you want a destination race, put this one high on your list. Victoria is quaint and surrounded by natural beauty. Having this race in mid-October is risky for rain, but luckily it held off yesterday. Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is something to savour for sure; the leaves are vibrant, the air is crisp, and the ocean breeze is fresh as ever.

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The Empress (photo by Sean)

Next up: A Weekend in Victoria — because I did more than run; I also ate and spent time with my husband and his mom and sister! Jenny ran her first half-marathon yesterday and kicked butt!

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me & my sister-in-law on the ferry back to Vancouver

What A Week!

My first week of yoga teacher training was fantastic!

*twenty-six new friends
*lots of asana (physical yoga postures)
*lots of kriya (cleansing practices, like kapalbahti breath)
*lots of breathing and conscious breathing
*anatomy lessons
*philosophy & history
*Sanskrit
*opportunities to teach
*a loving and peaceful space where it is expected of us all to develop our own personal yoga practices

I am SO excited to be able to teach my own yoga students; it’s a little overwhelming, however, that I’ll be able to do that in just five weeks! Want to be my first student?!

This wonderful week ended with… 
*a birthday celebration for my cousin-in-law

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Happy Birthday, Tori!

*a lovely day running and eating and bicycle-shopping with my husband (no bike for me yet, but I’m in the market!)

*a romantic date night on the False Creek Ferries and dinner at a fabulous restaurant…all thanks to my new aunt, uncle, & cousin-in-law! (Taste Test below)
*a very successful 36-kilometre/22-mile run through Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, and UBC (marathon in four weeks!)

photo*an educational hour at Williams Sonoma with my mother-in-law and a friend from yoga teacher training; we learned about using a VitaMix. The free classes over the next few weeks will be all about Thanksgiving foods!

*spending Sunday afternoon lounging around (OK, homework and laundry too), eating a lot, and drinking coconut water for the electrolytes!

*watching The Princess Bride and eating sushi with Sean

*remembering that I can/should/want to do yoga at home now…especially after such a long run!

TASTE TEST
Provence Marinaside
1177 Marinaside Crescent

What a lovely place! The staff, the food, the wine, the bread (and free tapenade!) were all fantastic. I had halibut, Sean had seafood linguini; our appetizers were roasted eggplant with tomato and goat cheese and caprese salad. It’s the perfect place for a romantic date night, especially on a nice night like we had last night. It’s very easily accessible from the marina at Yaletown. Sean and I took a False Creek Ferry (tiny boat would be a better descriptor…which made it much more fun and quaint!) from Granville Island, and we cruised around False Creek after dinner, just for fun. Thanks so much to the Miles family for our gift certificate and ferry passes! 

The Culprits

My messed up ankle (that’s a technical medical term) can likely be attributed to:

– the wrong insoles (which worked for me last time, but really don’t this time)

– worn-out running shoes (It’s usually my hips that tell me it’s time for new shoes; this time around my hips are fine. Go figure.)

– driving a manual transmission (It’s my left foot, the clutch foot. I still love Finn the Fit, but I’ll go back to driving him post-race.)

– switching back from barefoot shoes to regular cushy running shoes (I’ve now found a happy medium with some Saucony runners that allow me to use a mid-foot strike but also provide more support than minimal/barefoot shoes.)

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– not rolling my IT bands/achilles/calves (That one is big. While I had been doing yoga while training, I was neglecting the ever important act of releasing lactic acid.)
Here’s a little infographic about some basic rolling exercises.

Yesterday I ran 16K/10 miles in beautiful late summer Vancouver, and I was OK. I ran slower than usual (7-minute kilometres instead of 5:45), and there’s still a certain spot that’s quite tender when I put weight on it, but overall it was a successful training run.

The big race is just 40 days away, and for the first time in a couple weeks, I’m feeling like I can complete it. Maybe I won’t improve my time, but at least I’ll cross that finish line.

I’m thankful for the website I use for my training schedule — marathontraining.com — which gave good advice about dealing with an injury.

And I’m thankful for my friends who commented on my blog and Facebook wall, giving great advice too!

Perhaps I’ve learned to pay attention to the billions of resources that are out there for running a marathon. I’m certainly not the first one to be doing this! I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the subject and have barely perused it; time to get serious!

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OK Fine, I Admit It.

I’m an injured runner. As I sit here with an elevated foot and an ice pack on my ankle, I am contemplating what this means for my race. Will it be OK by October 12? Will it be OK by tomorrow — because that’s when I really need it better by so I can train?!

I’m not entirely sure what caused this kink in my left ankle, but I can safely assume that this injury is a result of a combination of running a whole heck of a lot, dancing in heels at my wedding, driving with a clutch for the first time in my life, and doing a challenging yoga class thinking that it would help (yes, Kate, put more stress on an injury — that’s always the way to go…).

I think it’s on the mend at least. I haven’t run since Wednesday. I walked quite a bit this weekend, and it was mostly fine; it only really hurts when I step in a certain way. Then yesterday I kayaked all day, so my ankle got a lot of rest. (More on that later…good times.)

I really don’t want to go to a doctor because he/she will tell me to ice it and rest, and I already know that. If it gets worse or doesn’t heal soon, I guess I’ll break down and go. But for now, I will ask the interwebs…how long will this take? When can I run again? Will I be able to do the marathon in seven weeks? Help! 

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YogaRunYoga Brainstorm

If all goes according to plan (i.e., I pass my teacher training), I’ll be a certified yoga instructor on October 17 of this year. I am super excited to combine two of my favourite things: teaching and yoga. And I’m plotting how I might throw in another of my favourite things: running.

Perhaps by pairing up with a running store, a community centre, or yoga studio (or just doing holding private sessions), I’d like to start a class called YogaRunYoga. Here’s how it would go:

Yoga: 20 minutes of yoga to warm up (breath, asana, and setting intentions)

Run: Run 5K (maintaining mindful breathing)

Yoga: 15 minutes of yoga to cool down (breath, asana, seated meditation) + savasana

What do you think? Any tips or other ideas?

Because I’m not certified and therefore you can’t take a class from me YET, I recommend these free videos from Do Yoga With Me!