Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SATURDAY!!! - Janelle

Wow, the day we have been training for 9 months is finally apon us! I think I can speak for both of us when I say we NEVER thought we could run the whole 21km. In July, we were running only 2 minutes at a time. Now, we are running for 10 with just a minute walk in between!! I'm so proud of Afton; she quit smoking and started running! What a positive life change. I am so happy to be running with one of my long time friends.
I don't think we've ever divulged how we met, so why not now, with the race only days away. It was April 2006 when I first laid eyes on that pale white face, and those piercing eyes. Afton hadn't had much sleep. She was pretty much running an entire motel! We worked together; the 8 hours I worked were the only time she had to rest, but we always managed to laugh a lot and got very close. Once I moved away, we kept in touch. Living in the same city again has been great. What's even better? Living a 5 minute walk from eachother! Afton is one of those everlasting friends, who I am forever grateful that I reconnected with her.
This journey has been tough on both of us. Fundraising, especially in this economic climate, is very challenging. Somehow, we have both kept a smile on our faces (however mine was, at times, crazed and combined with a furrowed brow). I am sitting in France, waiting patiently until the moment I get to see my long lost running partner for the first time in tzo months!!! So to my Affie, thank you for coming on this journey with me. I know mine isn't over yet (2 thousand dollars left to raise!), but I know you will always be there for me :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The last supper - Afton

Hey there everyone!! Can you believe,
this is my last blog post before I take off, only a few more days, I
can hardly stand myself anymore. I will finally get to see Janelle
too! I really hope the weather in Prague is a bit more stable then
Calgary though, yesterday I woke up to beautiful sunshine coming
through my windows and shining bright off of the highrises downtown,
to a winter wonderland today! No surprise,I mean after all yesterday
was the first day of spring. Perhaps I should think about bringing my
winter running gear with me? I think I must have almost everything I
need ready to go, just a few last things; I have bought some currency
for Prague, and for Krakow, gotta make a couple phone calls, and
there is an item or two on the shopping list...hopefully I don't
forget to buy some sort of watch to time ourselves. A major priority
for myself when I get there as well is to find a place to book a
massage post race!! Being a massage therapist myself I was able to
play around with just how often I would go and when, and I know for
sure now that I will REALLY be needing it hopefully that evening but
I'll take the next morning as well. Training this last week has gone
well, on Sunday Jen and I ran around Eau Claire coming in after 97
min covering just under 14 kilometers, which is a bit slower then
usual but it's about getting those kilometers in right now. On
Tuesday John and I took Carol out for a 47 min run around mission
and managed to cover roughly 7.5 kilometers, and as for tonight I'm
sure a few of you know I have dubbed tonights rendezvous at Original
Joes my send off party! So yes I will be running, probably about 6-8
kilometers in 45 minutes or so and then I'll be at OJ's all stinky n
sweaty, ready for a meal and a drink! Hence why I'm blogging this
morning, smart girl... I know ;) So here's to hoping that all the
people that have helped me along my training this past 9 or 10 months
reads this blog today, or that they perhaps come across a bird in
their ear.... psst “Come to OJ's tonight” I hope to see everyone
there, wether you had veteran advice, ran beside me, maybe even
behind me, if perhaps you pushed me or you might have told me to slow
down, I appreciate every bit of it! Come share this night with me.
See you there!! Thanks everyone! Here is a picture of yesterday morning for ya.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweden and Denmark in photos - Janelle

Hello everyone!
Sorry to be such a lazy blogger, but traveling and blogging is proving to be more difficult than I thought! I am settled in the Danish countryside at the moment with my Aunt's friend Pia. She has welcomed us into her home and is being a marvelous host! Yesterday I ran for 1.5hrs, and yes, I ran past a windmill! There is less than two weeks to the race, so it is time to start slowing down and letting our bodies get ready for the big day. March 31st! As you may know, Afton reached her fundraising goal! WOOHOO.
However, I still have a ways to go, so any donations are greatly appreciated. Click here to donate online.
I've decided the only way to really explain my last couple of weeks is to put up some photos!
I'll start with Stockholm:

Blood pudding - sooo good!!

Vasa Museum

After visiting my friends in Karlstad, where I actually got most of my heavy training done, we hit up Copenhagen, Denmark!

Couchsurfing hosts!
Biking in Copenhagen

Kaley and the little mermaid....look at this stuff, isn't it neat!

Hadsten, Denmark, where I have been running :`)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Almost there...- Afton

Hey everyone, this is just going to be short and sweet due to the fact that I am working off my blackberry. Just wanted to update everyone to let you all know I am offically over the hump! On Sunday Jen took me out on my longest run EVER!!! I finished my 18 kilometer run! I have shown up for tuesday and thursdays runs and plan to do so next week as well so come on out to wish me luck! hope to see everyone next week!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Swedish training - Janelle

Sweden is absolutely beautiful! I have never wanted to run this much in my life! Just being outside and breathing the fresh crisp air motivates me to run run run!! In Stockholm, I was fortunate enough to stay with couchsurfers on the University grounds. The University is surrounded by forests and I had the most wonderful run. I am currently staying with my good friend in Karlstad, Sweden. This city is small and quaint, and I have seen some beautiful landscapes on my runs. Yesterday, I did a full 2 hours and 5 minutes!! 18 kilometers, my longest run yet, but my pace was a little bit slow. The race is coming up so quickly. I can't believe Afton and I have been training since July for this one day. It will be so nice to see you Affie! I haven't been experiencing homesickness yet, but I must admit I miss Russia! I never thought I would say that, but it is very true. 
Sorry for the short post, but my internet connection is slow and I am about to go out for breakfast! I will post pictures when I get the chance, because this place is picture perfect ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Did you say lake, or ache?? - Afton

Hello Faithful fans! Well I'm sure I
speak for everyone in Calgary When I say GO AWAY SNOW!!! I have had
about enough, I have decided that yes, I really have had a wonderful
winter to train except it seems as though mother nature is not keen
on my long runs being without that white fluffy stuff! Gotta say it
makes for a tough time when you have to fight the snow for every
stride. So this past Sunday my wonderful long run partner and I did a
97 minute run and it was just shy of 14 kilometers, this was a real
long tough run my legs ached basically from start to finish, this is
when I had the brilliant idea to keep with my massages every week. I
had missed maybe two weeks of massage and my legs definitely knew the
difference. I have found it to really go well the day or two after
the long runs, however I enjoy them before as well in order to loosen
up anything that may decide to tweak itself in that longer distance.
Our next long run will be an 18 kilometer killer, I hope to be in the
best shape possible, so stretching, hydrating, icing, and the foam
roller will be my best friends starting tonight! As for this evenings
run we had a nice small group of runners, and we took our route out
and around the Stampede grounds, which we haven't done since summer,
there was a few spots on the trail that seemed more like a river
rather then a pathway...perhaps thats why we don't run that way in
the winter. I love running around there, I'm not really to sure why.
We took a 45 minute run, and traveled 6.5 kilometers, it felt great,
the air was crisp and inviting. Does anyone have any pointers for
this long run coming up? If you do leave a comment, ANY extra help or
ideas on how to last longer without more fatigue would be awesome!!
Well until next week, keep yourselves dry everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Airpot Fiasco - Janelle

Never, will I ever, cheap out on airfare again. As usual, I bought too much stuff. This isn't the first time in my travels where I have surpassed the weight limit for an airline. In the past, I have just paid for a second bag, which is usually about 50 bucks. With Air Baltic, it is 30 euros for a second bag, plus 30 euros for ever kilogram over the allowed original 20 kilograms (which was already used up on my first bag.) My bag would have cost 480 euros to fly it to Sweden. That is about 620 Canadian dollars...FOR A SECOND BAG! Are you kidding me? I wasn't about to leave it behind either, so I narrowed down the necessities. I got rid of my nice shampoo and contact solution, a couple of liquor bottles, and I layered on about 6 shirts and 4 pairs of pants to reduce the weight in my pack. However, there is a ray of light at the end of this tunnel. Throughout this whole ordeal, Jerry Only and the MISFITS are watching me! That's right, I met Jerry Only. 

He knows Calgary as the home of Brett Hart "who drives his winnibago like a crazy man." Unfortunately Jerry had to be bumped to another flight, so the picture he promised me on the plane never happened... but I do have a consolation prize: a picture with a crew member! Who was the nicest guy! 
I am overly tired, hence the overly happy face
As for all that extra luggage you may ask? I paid a taxi to drive it back to my host family in Saint Petersburg, who will mail it to Canada. Now, I know it won't be cheap, but it definitely won't cost 620 bucks! So long Saint Petersburg, it was a slice!