Clearly, he takes his day job very seriously
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Nate with a bucket on his head

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Music in my veins
by Karla ° Friday, July 25, 2008
My trusty running companion died. He’s been with me since the very beginning of my running days and to be honest, I don’t know how I could go on without him. He never failed to motivate and inspire with his pace-enhancing beats and when his screen came up blank after I had snugly strapped him to my body last night, a little piece of my heart died with him. And little piece of my wallet, too. Because after about 3.2 seconds of grieving the loss of my MP3 player, I buckled my Lululemon-embellished ass into the car to go and buy a new one – stat!

I can’t run without the steady rhythm of music flowing through my veins. Mark on the other hand, can’t stand running with earphones firmly planted in his ears. He says working out has become a meditative state and that music just messes with his Zen-like running concentration. This is coming from the same man who likes to pump iron while watching TMZ and insists that his hard-earned biceps grow more rapidly when I kiss them.

Tomorrow, my parents are coming to visit and I plan on taking full advantage of having some free childcare to get in a long run sans jogging stroller. I’m currently loading songs onto my new pearlescent pink MP3 player with songs to enliven and carry me through a planned 17km (10.5mi) run and would love to hear your most heart-pumping, energy-inciting recommendations.

And, um, any information you are aware of that correlates summer evening alcohol consumption on a sun-warmed lounge chair to increased aerobic performance would be great, too.

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Faithful Pillow Warmer
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Mark is sick. And by sick, I don’t mean he’s sick as in a totally rad husband kind of sick, even though he is; I mean honest to goodness sick. And this is a man who never gets sick. The whole time I’ve known him, which is over half of my 28 years of existence on this planet, I have never seen him like this. Except maybe for the thousand zillion hangovers we’ve nursed together over the years, but technically those don’t count because they’re self inflicted.

Mark, the hardest working work-life balance man that I know, never takes time off work unless it is for a well planned and executed holiday from the office that will ensure freedom from a perpetually vibrating BlackBerry. But last Thursday night a fever worked its way into his fiendishly fit man body that just kept escalating higher and higher.

Planning to spend a quiet day fighting his fever-induced grogginess in bed, Mark rose early on Friday morning to wrap up some work related business that needed to be handled in his absence. While he was busy in the home office, Nate and I ate breakfast at his pint-sized toddler table, brushed our teeth and then headed to daycare.

Once home, I put on a much needed pot of focus-enhancing coffee and before getting started on a new freelance writing project, I went to check on Mark in bed only to be greeted by our faithful four-legged companion keeping Mark’s pillow warm while he soaked in tepid bath water and tried to lower his soaring temperature.

Shortly after sitting down to write the entire house filled with the disgruntled swearing of an overheated man with only half a voice.

Samson, never wanting to be left out of whatever the humans are doing, had left on Mark's pillow the most giant pile of previously eaten chicken by-product breakfast that I have ever seen. And while we scrambled to clean up the mess, Samson just layed there and gazed at us with his penetrating chocolate brown eyes, as if to say, “Oh hai. I has a sick too. Please to give cuddles now?”

Samson on bed

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Blog Interruptus
by Karla ° Thursday, July 17, 2008
We interrupt this already interrupted blogging schedule which has been interrupted due to some insane long distance running earlier this week which perpetuated this interruption due to the resulting insane tiredness to bring you this very important announcement.


The curls! The gorgeously shaggy but treasured curls! Are gone!

I am weeping inside. My boy looks like such a…boy.

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Godforsaken applesauce
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 9, 2008
For being so brave at his 18 month well-child checkup, I covered Nate's hand with stickers. This innocent act of bribery has created a sticker crazy toddler who will not stop insisting that I reapply his happy faces whenever they fall off.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point along the way his body turned into a perpetual motion machine that is so industriously busy it actually emits a low-pitched hum. And because he is a perpetually humming in-motion toddler with no ability whatsoever to control his emotions, I keep sticking those blasted stickers back on his hand lest I face the wrath of a perpetually never-ending toddler tantrum.

I'm thinking I should just wrap him in duck tape and call it a day.




Nate is 31.5” tall and barely tips the scales at 20.5 lbs. Which means he is still, well, super skinny. Like, still fits in the same clothes he was wearing nine months ago, skinny. But his pattern of growth continues to be steady and consistent, which I wish I could also say about his moods. Because seriously, this kid needs to learn that it is not the Second Coming of Christ if someone offers him applesauce. And even if it was, not even Jesus would understand what he finds so godforsaken horrible about it.

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Half Marathon Training Schedule
by Karla ° Monday, July 7, 2008

Skip to Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14


Yesterday, on track with our training for a half marathon, Mark and I ran 12km. With a jogging stroller.

Having a jogging stroller is great because not only does Nate get to come along for the ride, but the stroller has enough storage compartments to bring along everything you need that doesn’t fit in your pocket, like a big bottle of water, a cell phone or a coffin, you know, just in case you need to stop and die. What the stroller is not great for, however, is long distance running. Because pushing a coffin uphill is not something I would not recommend to anyone.

Running 12 consecutive kilometres (7.46 miles) is the furthest distance I’ve ever run, and aside from wanting to stop and eat a full course pasta dinner mid-way through, because that’s how much energy had just dripped off my forehead in the form of sweat, I finished the run feeling pretty darn good. I’ll just be sure to pack a bagel in my panties next time for some mid-run refuelling.

I’ve had a few readers write to me wondering what half marathon I’ll be running and what my training schedule in like. I had originally planned to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon this September, and put together a 14 week training schedule to get me there, but then I realized that my training schedule did not take into account all of the various things that a woman must deal with that could get in the way of her training. Like PMS. Or bloaty days. Or period days. Oh and let’s not forget the, I have a headache how I can possibly run, or have sex, so sorry Mark, days. And then there are the days that I train up the biggest and tallest in hill in town, which kind of feels like a boulder is being slammed into my chest, repeatedly, but a little insanity never hurt anyone, right? So if you take all that into account, and pepper in the occassional summer weekend getaway, technically, there are only about two days in a month left for running. And those are the days I usually just want to sit on my sun-drenched deck after Nate goes to bed and have adult drinks and conversations with Mark.

So, to build in some contingency, I’m still continuing to train for the flat and festive run along Toronto’s waterfront in September, but may end up deciding to run either the scenic downhill course of the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon in October, or, the first ever half marathon in this quiet little suburban community along the Ajax Waterfront, also in late October, to give myself more time to train.

And because a little motivation goes a long way, I've decided to post my running schedule (also found as a side item on this website). At the end of every run, I’ll update the schedule with the actual distance I’ve ran, how long it took me and my average pace. This way, if I start to waver from my goals and fail miserably, I’ll just hold the entire Internet accountable and then I'll throw a pity party and we'll all mourn my failure by drowning our sorrows in alcohol-infused drinks on my sunny party-sized deck.

Anyone care to join me?

Week 1
Mon: REST

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Wed: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 28min \\ Pace/km: 05:36 (Pace/mi: 09:02)

Thu: REST

Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)

Sat: REST

Sun: 10km (6.1mi) - Actual distance: 9km (5.6mi) \\ Time: 1hr 30min \\ Pace/km: 08:07 (Pace/mi: 16:04)

Note: This was our time pushing a jogging stroller for this distance. Mark pushed most of the way, but god, the lack of fluid arm swinging mobility really slows you down.

Goal Total: 25km (15.5mi) \\ Actual Total: 24km (14.9mi)

Week 2
Mon: REST

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 4.5km (2.8mi) \\ Time: 35min \\ Pace/km: 07:47 (Pace/mi: 12:30)

Note: On this run, a certain someone was full of buffoonish anti-running antics. Not to name names or anything, but his penchant for sniffing urine-soaked street lamps really slowed me down.

Wed: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)

Thu: REST

Fri: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7km (4.3mi) \\ Time: 43min \\ Pace/km: 06:09 (Pace/mi: 09:46)

Sat: REST

Sun: 11km (6.8mi) (Actual distance: 11km (6.8mi) \\ Time: 1hr 08min \\ Pace/km: 06:07 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Goal Total: 28km (17.4mi) \\ Actual Total: 27.5km (17.1mi)

Week 3
Mon: REST

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 32min \\ Pace/km: 06:24 (Pace/mi: 09:58)

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7.5km (4.7mi) \\ Time: 45min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)

Thu: REST

Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5.25km (3.3mi) \\ Time: 38min \\ Pace/km: 07:14 (Pace/mi: 11:38)

Note: Samson had his own ideas on running today. Most of them included feigning doggy fatigue and demands for several rests and full body rubdowns along the way.

Sat: REST

Sun: 12km (7.5mi) - Actual distance: 12km (7.5mi) \\ Time: 1hr 15min \\ Pace/km: 06:15 (Pace/mi: 10:03)

Note: Mark pushed the jogging stroller about ¾ of the way, and I finished the run with it. Am seriouly considering finding a babysitter for Nate
on these long runs. Damn pushing that stroller on limited energy stores is hard.

Goal Total: 29km (18mi) \\ Actual Total: 29.75 km (18.5mi)

Week 4
Mon: REST

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 27min \\ Pace/km: 05:24 (Pace/mi: 08:41)
Note: Despite it being a sweltering humidity-soaked day, I still tried to hotdog my way up a giant hill and pass a clearly accomplished hill runner. I not only failed, but probably looked like an asshat doing it, too.

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7.4km (4.6mi) \\ Time: 48min \\ Pace/km: 06:29 (Pace/mi: 10:26)
Note: This is the furthest I've gone pushing the jogging stroller on my own and by the end of the run, I was beat. Not an out of breath or tired legs kind of beat, but the kind of beat that feels like you've hit that 3:00 pm mid-day brick wall of fatigue. I thought about kicking Nate out of his stroller and taking a nap in it right then and there, but he'd pooped his pants and the smell made my eyes sting. But not as bad as the dripping sweat. I don't care how lame it looks, next time I'm totally wearing a side ponytail just so I can break out an 80's inspired sweatband.

Thu: REST

Fri: 5km (3.1mi) Intermission
Note: Despite best intentions, the combination of a shining sun, a handsome man taking a holiday from the office and a bevy of sip-worthy cocktails prevented any running from happening tonight.

Sat: REST 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 29min \\ Pace/km: 05:48 (Pace/mi: 09:20)

Sun: 13km (8mi) REST
Note: Since Mark is off work for a couple of days, we decided to send Nate to Daycare for two hours on Monday so that we can do our long run without the jogging stroller.

Goal Total: 30km (18.6mi) \\ Actual Total: 17.4km (10.8mi)

Week 5
Mon: REST 13km (8mi) \\ Actual distance: 15km (9.3mi) \\ Time:1hr 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:39)

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) REST

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)

Thu: REST

Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)
Note: I had yet to experience any sort of running related injury or pain other than some slight soreness in my legs after a long run, so never in a million years did I think a blister could prevent me from running like the one I got on the back of my foot after running 15km in a new pair of too-low ankle socks.

I tried to run this week, I really did, but not even the most careful of bandaging prevented the inevitable and I only got about a half a mile from home when I noticed murderous red blood seeping all over my shoe. All I could do to ease the prickly pain of my shoes rubbing against the open wound was to take it off, along with my sock, and then turn around and limp home on my sole remaining shoe-clad foot.

Sat: REST

Sun: 14km (8.7mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)

Goal Total: 31km (19.3mi) \\ Actual Total: 0km (0mi)

Week 6
Mon: REST

Tues: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)
Note: OOPS! Should have checked the schedule. I thought today was just a 5K.

Wed: 8km (5mi) - Actual distance: 8km (5mi) \\ Time: 49min \\ Pace/km: 06:08 (Pace/mi: 9:51)

Thu: REST Actual distance: 7.5km (4.7mi) \\ Time: 45min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)

Fri: 7km (4.3mi) REST

Sat: REST Actual distance: 15.5km (9.6mi)
Note: My parents were in town and I took advantage of having some free childcare to get in a long run sans jogging stroller. I was actually planning to run 17km (10.5mi) and I was having a steady and strong run, but all of a sudden I got caught in a wicked thunderstorm, and I am not even kidding, lightening struck a mere few feet from me and I was forced to high-tail my ass to safety. Luckily I had my cell phone with me and Mark, still feeling under the weather and unable to join me, was able to come and pick me up.

Sun: 15km (9.3mi) REST

Goal Total: 37km (23mi) \\ Actual Total: 36km (22.4mi)

Week 7
Mon: REST

Tues: 7km (4.3mi)

Wed: 8km (5mi)

Thu: REST

Fri: 7km (4.3mi)

Sat: REST

Sun: 16km (10mi)
Note: This entire week was a write off with Mark being on holidays, and all plans to run child free through woody trails were squashed when I forgot to bring my running shoes on our trip North.


Goal Total: 38km (23.6mi) \\ Actual Total: 0km (0mi)

Week 8
Mon: REST

Tues: 7km (4.3mi)- Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Wed: 8km (5mi) REST

Thu: 8km (5mi)\\ Time: 46min \\ Pace/km: 05:53 (Pace/mi: 09:27)

Fri: 7km (4.3mi) REST

Sat: REST

Sun: 17km (10.6mi)

Goal Total: 39km (24.2mi)


Week 9
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 8km (5mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sat: REST
Sun: 18km (11.2mi)
Goal Total: 38km (23.6mi)

Week 10
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 10km (6.2mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sat: REST
Sun: 19km (11.8mi)
Goal Total: 41km (25.5mi)

Week 11
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 10km (6.2mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sat: REST
Sun: 21.1km (13.1mi)
Goal Total: 43km (26.7mi)

Week 12
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 8km (5mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: 7km (4.1mi)
Sat: REST
Sun: 16km (10mi)
Goal Total: 36km (22.7mi)

Week 13
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 7km (4.3mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: 5km (3.1mi)
Sat: REST
Sun: 14km (8.7mi)
Goal Total: 31km (19.3mi)

Week 14
Mon: REST
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 5km (3.1mi)
Thu: REST
Fri: Walk 3.5km (2.2mi)
Sat: REST
Sun (RACE DAY!): 21.1km
Goal Total: 34.5km (21.4mi)

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Resolve
by Karla ° Thursday, July 3, 2008
It was a sweltering afternoon in Las Vegas and Mark and I were lazily soaking up the warmth of a sun-filled desert while sipping ice cold beer when I suddenly turned to him and blurted out that we should run a half marathon. And since we were both intoxicated with alcohol inflicted vacation vertigo, Mark paused for a brief moment while pondering my words and then suggested we begin training immediately and ordered us two more drinks filled with barley and hops and carbohydrate-packed fuel for our thirsty bodies.

And that was the last of that conversation until we got home and Mark asked if I was actually serious about running a half marathon. It occurred to me to renege on my promise, but friends, I am a woman of my word and not fulfilling a promise is just not an option. Except, apparently, when it comes to blowjobs. Because according to Mark, I’m years behind on fulfilling those obligations.

Growing up, I was never much of the athletic type and spent much of my awkward childhood trying not end up the last person picked for the team while simultaneously trying to shrink and shyly fade into the background. It wasn’t until I had a deeper purpose that I discovered the vitality of an untapped inner strength; Ava. Her memory, softly illuminating this path I walk in life, lives on in all that I do. Shortly after she passed away I desperately wanted to make her proud of me and set out on a training mission like nothing I had ever done before. Running quickly became my escape. My means to cope. And with your support, we raised $1100 for charity in her honour. Seriously, the sheer power of this united online collective never fails to amaze me, and I’m still in awe over the astonishing outpouring of generosity from that run.

It’s so empowering and inspiring to know that the boundaries of human resolve are endless and I will never forget the day that I ran 10 kilometers in Ava's memory. I felt authentically vibrant. Alive. Strong.

As I continue this journey of life down a path softly aglow by the memory of my first born and guided by ever-evolving spirit of my son, my never-ending search for the things that fulfill my expanding soul continues. And so, here I stand, nervous to fail but ambitious to succeed, or at the very least, complete an entire half marathon without falling flat on my face.

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