2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Road2Hope Half Marathon Results

I’m a couple days late, but what can I say? I’ve been resting!

IMG_4122Man, Road2Hope was such an amazing race! Andy and I completed the half marathon in 2:03:39 and I couldn’t be happier! That’s my best half marathon time yet 🙂 Happiness all around.

This race became more important to me as a few weeks prior as I decided to dedicate this race to someone; something I had never done before. I’ve trained, fundraised, and trained some more for many races, however I wasn’t sure anyone would really care if I ran for them. After some reflection I came to realize that a commitment to exert your body, practice a skill and run your ass off for someone does mean something. It shows your love, appreciation and dedication to your skill and the person you are performing for. The Road2Hope Half Marathon was run for my Uncle who had recently been diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia. A scary thing for a big guy like him. More recently my uncle has undergone his second round of treatment and has been responding well. Heck, he even made Thanksgiving dinner for his family and is going fishing this weekend! Hard work, patience and strength has paid off for this guy. I told him I would continue to run for him and as he likes to put it, “Jimmy, run another 10k for me, I need to loose 5lbs!”. Anything for you 🙂

I’m no doctor, I’m no saint and I’m not a professional athlete – I’m a woman, a niece and a runner.

IMG_4120Now onto the race details… The best thing about this race was that a large portion of it happened to be down hill. Completely opposite from the agonizing hills that were in the Around the Bay 30k. With that said, I did find this to be hard on my knees… something I didn’t notice until after the race. Andy and I were able to run consistently for 13k, at this point I needed a minute or two walking break to catch my breath and then we were off!
Prior to this race I had created a training plan for myself that I followed quite loosely – Andy hadn’t trained in awhile so he was having some knee problems, but managed to finish the race in a spectacular time! Plus, when he did need to rest he was fully capable to catch up to me along the way; superhero like, don’t you think?
Then we come to the finish line. You’re up to your eyeballs in adrenaline, your clothes drenched in sweat and the pure satisfaction of seeing the word, “FINISH”. As we ran up to this point a volunteer was in the middle of the track advising runners to slow down… someone had collapsed at the finish line. There was a back log of runners all waiting to cross the finish line. In a blur of confusion and still without a running watch, I asked a bystander for the time, 10:26am. I looked to Andy, so what is our time? How will we get our time? A moment or two later I took in my surroundings, there was an ambulance present and talk of emergency responders performing CPR on the casualty. The race volunteers came to realize that this backlog of runners would not help the emergency responders and they diverted the finishers around the fallen runner and out the way. I was extremely impressed by the organization, collected manner taken by the organizers/volunteers and the hard work that the emergency responders put forth to try and save this runner’s life.
Unfortunately, this runner did not make it and I wish to further my condolences to his family and friends. This type of incident is common in the running world, however you never expect to see it first hand. It has opened my eyes to the necessity of being aware of my body, runners around me and thankful that I have my CPR/AED certification so that in such a situation I will not be useless; I will be prepared.

Congrats to those who participated in Road2Hope and I can’t wait to run this race again next year!


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Race Training

Alright, after some reading, some planning and coordination of calendars I’ve created a training plan for my upcoming Road to Hope, Half Marathon. Race day is November 2nd and I can honestly say I am NOT going to pressure myself into intense training. Reason I say that is because I found that while I was disciplined whilst training previously, I found that I left little time for other things… such as sitting inside and typing a blog on a rainy day. I am going to training when I can, when I want and try not to stress about not performing as well because at the end of the day I’m already two half marathons and one 30k in! 🙂

Here it is boys and girls…
Road to Hope training planTo catch you up to speed of what I have done already – which isn’t much- I’ll go through last week.

Sunday – I would have LOVED to run today, it was gorgeous! However this weekend Andy and I headed up to Ottawa for a wedding. Dancing counts as cardio right? So, today, we had to drive back to Toronto after grabbing breakfast with friends. A long car ride on a beauty of a day is always depressing.

Monday – I finally got Andy to come for a run with me!! We explored our new neighbourhood and discovered that York actually has a lot of running trails. Score! We ran 6.47k.

Tuesday – Today I was solo but ready to just rack up the kms. When we first moved to our new apartment I went on Google Maps to see what was in the area. There is this huge park with a dog park, soccer fields, tennis courts and an awesome trail – Cedarvale Park. This route is nice on a hot day because there is a lot of tree cover and if you love trail running and live in the city, this could you for you. This route is about 6.47k as well.

Wednesday – As hard as it was I made myself stretch, nap and eat today. It felt gooood.

Thursday – Today was a funny day… I won’t get into specifics, but I will say that I was supposed to go running… but didn’t go running.

Friday – Today was supposed to be a 9k endurance run, however like most important things… there is never enough time in the day ! Tonight we were heading to Hamilton for Supercrawl – this is a huge street festival in Hamilton that showcases local art, music, shops, food, you name it! Tonight the Arkells were playing, so I took a 6.47k run through Cedarvale to make it in time for these guys. It was an awesome night 🙂

Saturday – Rest day… aka Jazz goes crazy because she’s not supposed to work out but she wants to. It can become a problem haha!

Well, this plan is tailored to me – However feel free to use it as a model for yourself and I’ve also posted a few links below to help out anyone looking for a training plan!


GarminConnect: jasminleigh
Twitter: @jasminleigh
Instagram: jasminleigh
Tumblr: runit24

Related Links




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Runspiration: Rob Krar

While drinking my fresh OJ this morning I stumbled across this article on CBC about a Hamilton native, ultramarathoner named Rob Krar. In the article I’ve posted below, Krar tells us how he’s always been a runner since growing up in Hamilton. He actually ENJOYED track and field! I dreaded track and field day… My nine year old self would have strongly disliked this guy, haha! But the other thing that I liked about this article is the stubborn dedication he has shown through out his running career. He’s suffered injuries, defeat, self-doubt… yet he still continues to run the Grand Canyon on a regular basis.
I can confidently say, if I were working 12hour nights every other week I would cocoon into my bed for the week that I’d have off and run in my dreams.

Rob-Krar-TransRockies-Run Krar at TransRockies. Photo: Hunter Imagery

We all work, play, eat run… being able to balance it all is the trick. It sounds like this guy knows what’s he is doing thus far.

Here is the link for the article written by Kelly Bennet on the CBC site.



How to run 160 km really fast: Hamilton’s ultramarathon man

Hamilton man won two 160 km races so far this year and set records running the Grand Canyon

By Kelly Bennett, CBC News Posted: Aug 27, 2014 4:38 PM ETLast Updated: Aug 28, 2014 8:32 AM ET

Rob Krar competes in the Leadville 100 ultra-marathon (Courtesy of Matt Trappe)

Want to know how to run 160 kilometres really fast? Step one: Don’t listen to the voices in your head.

Rob Krar spent his childhood running and cross-country skiing on the local trails around Ancaster and Dundas.

But the races he’s been running – and winning – most recently are 160 kilometres. That’s longer than the distance from downtown Hamilton to Barrie.

Rob Krar lines up to start the Leadville 100 “Race Across the Sky” on Aug. 16. (Courtesy of Matt Trappe)

Krar, 37, who now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, won one “ultra-marathon” in June, the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run. He ran that race in 14 hours and 53 minutes, the second-fastest finish in the race’s history.

And then last week Krar picked up another win, the notoriously tough 100-mile Leadville 100 “Race Across the Sky” in Colorado. He crossed that finish line at the 16 hour, 9 minute and 32 second mark.

You can see how tough the race is, in terms of the thousands of feet of elevation gains and losses, in the data recorded by the GPS watch he was wearing. Krar outlasted even the watch, whose battery pooped out after 97 miles.

‘You’re not going to finish’

How it feels to put your body and mind through something like that is not exactly predictable. After the 100-miler in June, Krar said he felt like he’d had the “greatest race of my life.” Confidence and energy followed him all the way.

But, Krar said, the Leadville race was the toughest 100-mile he’d had. He wasn’t feeling well from the start, during line-up at 3 a.m.

One voice in his head would root for his continued success: “Rob, you’re doing great.”

Just as soon, another would tempt: “Just lay down, take a nap on the side of the trail. You’re not going to finish.”

But ultimately, he did finish, in the second-fastest time in race history.

Training in the Grand Canyon

Krar grew up on the Mountain and started running in grade 6, at Westview Elementary School. Throughout elementary and high school at Westmount Secondary he ran indoor and outdoor track and trained for triathlons.

He posted a photo recently of his final high school race, where he and his 4×400 metre relay team set personal bests in the Ontario championships:

He got a track scholarship to Butler University, where in between competitions he trained to be a pharmacist.

He has left and come back to running several times in his life.

“Deep down I don’t think I was running for the right reasons,” he said. “Reflecting upon it now I think was too concerned with running certain times and impressing certain people.”

He moved to Arizona after university, and as his trail runs for fun stretched longer and longer, he started entering trail races: 25 kilometres, 50 kilometres, 50 miles, 100 miles.

‘Deep down I don’t think I was running for the right reasons. Reflecting upon it now I think was too concerned with running certain times and impressing certain people.’– Ultra-marathoner Rob Krar

After several major injuries requiring him to take breaks from the sport, Krar’s found a few training regimens he counts on.

One involves a feature in his backyard: The Grand Canyon. Krar has set records there for running its rim-to-rim trails – he holds the fastest known time for a double-crossing of the giant crater.

Now, he runs 30 miles there before a big 100-mile race. Even such a majestic landmark sparks some of those bifurcated feelings about long-distance running.

“The canyon is magical; the canyon for me is so amazing,” he said. “But I literally have had some of my most desperate, darkest [moments]” there, he said.

And more practically, a race like the one he just won in Colorado requires some training for descents that can beat up runners’ quad muscles. Running the Grand Canyon’s 5,000-foot descent helps him train.

‘What I’m doing currently is unsustainable’

He didn’t really plan to be here, and this summer he’s trying to figure out what’s next. He works seven night shifts in a row as a pharmacist, taking the next seven days to train. He learned discipline and time management as a student athlete, which comes into play nearly daily now.

Krar is grateful for having such steady pharmacist work for the past decade. But it’s hard to balance that with his sport.

After the Western States run in June, the “biggest win of my life,” Krar rode a wave of euphoria. But he’s realized since that he “wasn’t terribly happy.”

“It was a slap in the face for me,” he said. “What I’m doing currently is unsustainable.”

The North Face offered him a professional running contract last year, and now his career is highlighted on the brand’s website. It’s yet another part of his life he never could have predicted, when he was growing up in Hamilton.

“I feel like I have this amazing opportunity that I wasn’t expecting my running to be,” Krar said.

But even as he wrestles with fitting it all in, at a basic level, Krar loves to run.

“Some days I’m out there and my mind’s racing. Sometimes I’m not thinking about anything,” he said. “It’s the one time in the day where I can think my clearest. I love all the days.”

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The end of the world! Well, my world…

It’s the end of the world as I know it… it’s been too quiet. Eerrie.

This summer I’ve slacked at running and took up being a busy bee. From weddings, to double dates, napping, working, traveling and going to the gym… my laces have been loose! On top of that I’ve lost my Garmin Forerunner 110. Never to be found again. Loosing an item is already an irritating situation, but as a runner loosing your watch is like rolling your ankle. It hurts, you don’t understand exactly how it happened, but you know you’re at a set back. I wore my watch all across Peru, back to Canada and I have no clue where it’s gone. Maybe during this interim I can try to become more self reliant and confident – rather than Garmin reliant.

Another thing on my brain is coming up with a less than two running schedule for my next race in Novermber; Hamilton’s Road to Hope Half Marathon. The Around the Bay 30km was back in March, so I am hoping my endurance has melted away with the summer sun. I’m going to do some research today… some key words to use while searching: half marathon training, condensed training schedule, two month running guide, endurance training. I’m sure I will think of a few more colourful keywords to use!

Well, time to go shopping so I go running! Bon Voyage Garmin!


Related Links
Strength Running – http://strengthrunning.com/2014/03/running-by-feel/

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Runners Tips via Runners World

“If you’re hydrating with a sports drink, you’re getting carbs and electrolytes, so you don’t need to also eat an energy gel. Ingesting too many carbs can lead to GI distress. If you prefer both, use one the first hour, the other in the second.”

-Runners World Daily Calendar Tip

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Traveling through culture – Peru Video

For those of you who liked my previous post, Over the equator and back – my trip to Peru, then I’m sure that you will love this video put together by Andy Wood.

Peru Video

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