Meeting Our “Phew” Landen!

Last night was a night for Ashley and I that was 2 months in the making; we finally got to meet our first niece or nephew, our nephew Landen!  Last night Landen and his parents (my sister Kate, and my brother-in-law Mike) arrived at their new home in Crossfield, AB, about a 30 minute drive north of Ashley and I and the rest of my family in Calgary instead of where they lived before (13 hour drive northwest of Calgary).

As ecstatic as I am to have my sister and brother-in-law back in the Calgary area, I was slightly more excited to have my 2 month old nephew live so close and to get to meet him finally.  This blog post I am dedicating to my precious nephew “phew” Landen.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from me and Ashley’s first two meeting with this precious young man we call our “phew” Landen.

a quick first picture of my sister Kate and I.

Landen and his Uncle Ben.

 

Landen and his Aunt Ashley.

Aunt and Uncle with our “phew”

 

Landen and his lovely Aunt on day 2 of knowing each other.

Day 2 of Uncle Ben and Landen.

 

He is sooooo LOVABLE!

This weekend also marked another milestone for Ashley and I as we visited the first “Menchie’s” frozen yogurt shop in the Calgary area in Airdrie, AB.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post about our weekend with my sister and brother-in-law, and our precious nephew “phew” Landen.

I hope you all had a terrific weekend, and all have a great start to the week tomorrow!

-Ben-

We’re Half Marathoners Now!!

I think this picture pretty much is self-explanatory, but in case you havent made the connection yet… Ashley and I are now both Half Marathoners!!!  This past Sunday we ran together (side by side) in Edmonton, AB for 21.1km/13.1 miles to complete the 2012 Edmonton Marathon’s Half Marathon race.  This was my second ever half and second in 6 weeks, while this was Ashley’s first ever half.

We completed the half marathon doing a run/walk combination in a time of 3:14:52 and had an absolute blast doing it 110% together and at points even hand-in-hand. As this was Ashley’s first ever half marathon I felt it very important to be with her the whole way to keep her both company, and encouraged on this long 21.1km, and the feeling I felt doing this was one of extreme happiness for her and her accomplishment, and also a sense of pride in myself for getting her ready and keeping her motivated to complete such an at times daunting task as this.

photo courtesy of marathon-photos.com

Me along the race route in one of the many paparazzi-esq photos that were taken of me.

Upon completion of the race; both the half and full marathon participants were treated to a post race brunch buffet with all sorts of yummies including: scrambled eggs, ham, pancakes, fruit, juices, coffee, pastries and more.  What better way to re-fuel and relax after a gruelling 21.1 or 42.2 KM run then with a free brunch buffet?

This race marked the end of my race (not my running, just my race) season for 2012.  I completed 4 races: 5KM/3.11mile, 10KM/6.2 mile, and two half marathons this spring and summer, as well as countless training runs.  This was not only my biggest running year in terms of how many races I completed but also just in terms of my level of training and number of practice runs done.

So with my biggest running year completed I’m certainly looking forward to a somewhat restful and relaxing fall and winter, but just as much looking forward to a hopefully as big if not bigger and even better 2013 running and racing season.

Me with my 3 “finishers medals”: 10KM and two Half Marathons, from this race season.

 

I hope you all have had a great week and are all looking forward to the upcoming weekend, and to all you runners out there I hope you had at least one great run this week, and also have been able to inspire at least one other runner this year to push themselves Further, Harder, and Faster.  I know many runners have done this for me this year!

-Ben-

 

 

30 Hours of Edmonton.

This past weekend Ashley and I embarked on the 2.5 hour drive from Calgary to Edmonton for the 2012 Edmonton Marathon Weekend.  We were both registered in the 13.1mile/21.1KM Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  However rather than just going up later in the day on Saturday, we left bright and early at 6:30am as so we would have as much time as possible to shop (West Edmonton Mall), eat, rest, and of course pick up our race packages for the next morning.

Here are some pictures that showcase some of what our trip entailed aside from the half marathon Sunday morning.

most important thing to pack: Running Shoes!

Saturday August 18 was when “The Hunger Games” came out on Blue-Ray and DVD, so I had to make a quick 5 minute stop midway on the drive to Edmonton in Red Deer at a Wal-mart to pick up my copy right when the store opened at 8am.

Once in Edmonton it was off to pick up our race packs.

 

View out of our hotel room window of the beautiful Edmonton river valley.

A little lunch time drinking with the wife. We both had “Dirty Vegas” martini’s.

 

Lunch at the Cactus Club Cafe at West Edmonton Mall.

 

For dessert: Pinkberry

 

Mmmm.. Fro-yo at Pinkberry!!

 

After all those eats it was time for some shopping. We both bought a new pair of running shoes, as well as clothes shopping.

 

Time for a “Carb chow-down” for dinner at: The Old Spaghetti Factory at West Edmonton Mall.

 

Finishing off our day in Edmonton was me getting my picture taken in-front of the world-famous “Edmonton City of Champions” sign as you enter the city. This slogan is a reference to all the championships Edmonton sports teams have won over the years, in particular the Edmonton Oilers hockey teams of the 80’s with their 5 Stanley Cups won in the 80’s and early 90’s, 4 of which were won with the greatest hockey player of all time, #99 Wayne Gretzky.

 

My next blog post will include the post race recap of our 2012 Edmonton Marathon Weekend’s half marathon.

-Ben-

Swim, Run, Bourne, but No Bike.

Happy Sunday night or Monday morning lovely readers, I hope we all had a fabulous weekend!  I had a wonderful weekend from the get go starting with seeing the latest Jason Bourne flick “The Bourne Legacy” starring Academy Award Nominee from the “Hurt Locker” Jeremy Renner.  Now as someone who was a huge fan of the original I admit I didn’t go into this movie with the highest of expectations.  I however have to say now the movie definitely exceeded my expectations.  I don’t want to say anything more really and end up spoiling it for you, just go see it for yourself.

Now to update you all on my left ankle injury; I have with the exception of last Friday and my 7 hour workout, and swim session spent the last 14 days doing minimal physical activity involving my left leg and foot as to give it as much rest as possible in preparation for me and Ashley’s half marathon in Edmonton next Sunday.  With all this rest my left foot and ankle have had the opportunity to fully heal from it’s “hyper-extension”.

Last night I went to really test out my healed ankle in the pool with a 90 minute swim.  With last lights swim I swam 3 of the common strokes (freestyle, back stroke, and butterfly).  I have all my life been a very strong freestyle, and butterfly swimmer but not so much on the back stroke, but to my surprise I have definitely been improving on that stroke.  Last night for my swim I went back to the Talisman Center here in Calgary to take advantage of their discount night rates for the last 90 minutes of the night where adults can have full access to the entire facility for 50% off, plus it was a great chance for me to try out my new “SPEEDO endurance” swim racing shorts, and Speedo swim cap.  Also I took Ashley with me to the pool for some hardcore swimming last night, and it was so much fun to have a swim training buddy. 

After a hardcore all-out 90 minute swim nothing satisfies a ravenous hunger quite like “pizza by the slice” and Powerade, haha!

 

This morning we started the day off watching the final major event of the “London 2012 Summer Olympics”: Men’s Basketball gold medal game between USA and Spain.  This game was a real nail biter right to the end with the USA winning in the end.  Along with the basketball gold medal game I made a delicious batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes along with black coffee and half a grapefruit for breakfast.

Later this afternoon we went for a light 4 mile run for me to test out my ankle running before next Sunday’s half marathon in Edmonton.  I have to again say while I eased off the gas somewhat on todays run from where I’m normally at I feel very confident in me and my ankles ability to complete the race and complete it in a respectable time.  Also  I’m really looking forward to running this half marathon with my lovely wife.

The only thing I missed doing this weekend was biking, but that was ok since I’m really not a big biking fan, haha!

I hope you all had a wonderful fun and fitness filled weekend!

Thanks for taking the time to read about mine, I hope you weren’t bored or at least not too bored.

-Ben-

Dog-sitting Diesel.

This past Friday night Ashley and I embarked on a bit of an adventure for us: we dog-sat her mom’s Maltese Pomeranian cross: Diesel.

Ashley and Diesel.

Now this was the first time in the year that we have lived in our current condo, or even in the three years we lived in our previous condo that we have had any pet in our place mainly due to the difficulty of being a full-time working couple living in a condo building.

The reasons Ashley and I decided to try out dog-sitting this little cutie was to see how he enjoyed being away from his home, and adjusted to being in our place for a night.  I have to say it was a perfect overnight visit for all.  Also we want to be able to have Diesel be able to come and stay with us potentially if Ashley’s mom ever is away on vacation, or business, as well as just for a little puppy vacation every month or two.

I know this post really may not have been the most entertaining or pertinent but I just enjoyed this puppy visit so much I really wanted to share it and the pictures with all of you.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

-Ben-

 

Healing the Ankle Injury.

Last Monday my left ankle was hurting so badly that I had to go to a medical clinic to have it looked at.  I was thinking actually before going to the clinic that either the ankle or foot, or possibly both were broken, or at very least severely sprained.  As it turned out I was suffering only a mild “hyper-extension” of the ligaments in my left ankle.  I was instructed that I was to do NO RUNNING for 10-14 days to ensure it’s healed and ready to run my upcoming half marathon in Edmonton, AB on August 19.

After 4 full days of light weight barring at work and much rest and ice at home, I had a day off this past Friday.  With my day off I went to the “Talisman Centre” (a world-class fitness, and aquatic centre) here in Calgary.  I started the day off with a mild but good 30 minute ride on the stationary bike, followed by a strength training session.  I then pushed the envelope arguably a bit, but luckily not too much by doing a five-mile walk on the indoor walking and running track.

I survived a 5 mile walk on my ankle. Yay Me!!

Following the 5 mile walk, I did a 70 minute walk on the elliptical trainer.  From there it was time for a quick and nutritious lunch before hitting the 50 meter olympic size swimming pool for some lengths.  Lunch was a: Copa Banana smoothie, and Honey Stinger waffle cake. 

After my lunch it was off to the pool for a combined 2 hour swim and hot tub session.  Now swimming was something that as a kid and in my teens I excelled at especially in the freestyle, and butterfly strokes.  However over the past 10ish years I had kind of fallen out of swimming somewhat, but I am determined to get back into form and with the dedication I have shown to getting back into lean running form I am positive I will be able to achieve this goal as well.

Now after a 7+ hour workout and swim and a 1940 calorie burn day, what better way to  get the calories I need to consume for the day than with a whole pizza for dinner? Haha!! 

I have to say after that workout and swim, and a whole week of for me anyway taking it easy or at least kind of taking it easy my left ankle is well on its way to a full and speedy recovery, and already feeling much much much better, and am looking forward to it getting even better throughout this upcoming week.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post!

-Ben-