December 15th, 2010
60 notes ·

GPOYW: Whatever-I’m-Going-To-Milk-This-Marathon-Photo-Business-Like-Crazy

Me and my new lover!

December 10th, 2010
37 notes ·

Ka-POW! Marathon Photo #2 of the day. 

I call this: Look at me kick that guy in green’s ass. BOOM, and *that* is how it’s done. [Side note: I remember seeing the camera, sprinting by, and then slowing after, ya… I’m cool like that]

December 10th, 2010
89 notes ·

Since Las Vegas, my little message box has exploded with questions about me and Ben. See randomly selected ones here:

Thus, Dear tumblr, I’ll show you this…

And then tell you this;

Really Tumblr, really? You honestly think I would lower my standards and date someone who doesn’t just pretend to be a walrus, but truly believes he is one?

No Tumblr, No. :)

December 10th, 2010
83 notes ·

Smile-Friday Twinkle Stars: Las Vegas Full Marathon Edition

[prepare yourself for yodels and yodels of photos today on One Twenty Five, as I just got the official race ones, and some? some are hilarious. Ps look at how SKINNY I look in this one, and Hmmm McDs]

December 9th, 2010
33 notes ·

~ Las Vegas: Part IV ~

I’ll keep the rest of the trip review short, as I go through phases of, ‘sharing my life on the Interwebs is great fun’ and then not so much.  And right now? it’s not so much.  The rest of Vegas was relaxing, my body hurt a fair bit, so I didn’t do much, just took really expensive cabs between different delicious food locations, and my bed, which I must say was just what the Dr. ordered.

Ps In other news, Dear Denny’s, Please come to Canada, Love E

This was my post marathon meal. Twas more than delicious. 

December 9th, 2010
218 notes ·

~ Las Vegas: Part III ~

As soon as this post gets published, I’ll be sharing something that I haven’t yet told a single soul. On December 5th, 2010 at the Las Vegas marathon, I cried between miles 22 and 25, actually no, I absolutely broke down.

My lips quivered, my eyes went red, and salty tears stained my already salty face. I was in the desert, alone, and running to the beat of “just, keep, running. Just, keep, running.”


I woke up the morning of the marathon to Ben’s frantic voice over the phone, “do you have my race bib?” What? No, who is this? Let me sleep. But he insisted I look for it, so I stumbled out of bed and looked, but to no avail. I told him he could use my bib # and race chip as I assured him they could change the linked name (truth be told, I had no idea if this was possible). As I spoke to him, part of me sighed a breath of relief. That meant I wouldn’t have to run today. It would be the perfect excuse. I’d be a good friend. Nobody would judge me, and I could stand on the sidelines, and cheer on the other runners.


But just as my official alarm sounded 15 minutes later, so did my phone. He had found his race bib and that meant that I was running.

I’ll be the first to admit I have an extraordinary ability to block things out. If something happens, I can actually shut that part of my brain down, and not spend a second thinking about it. For the last 17 hours, I had been blocking out the concept of running a full marathon.

But as I tied my hair into a pony tail, attached my time chip, and pinned my bib on, I was forced to consciously realize what was happening.

And then, all alone in my room, I started to freak out.

What was I thinking? WHAT WAS I THINKING? Who did I think I was, that I, Liz, could cheat a marathon? Why the hell did I do this? This is the worst idea of my life. Fuck.

But I boarded the shuttle, and went through the morning race rituals of bag check, porta-potty (eeeewww), and then lined up in my corral waiting to be shuffled across the start line.

I knew the cut off for the Las Vegas marathon was 5 and a half hours (usually marathons are 6 hours) so I had decided that 5 and a half hours was my only goal: to not get kicked off the course.

To survive the next 5+ hours I would have to have a plan, and so I chose the ever-so brilliant, slow and steady method. I simply broke the marathon down into two halves and four 10ks. That seemed a lot more doable than 26.2 miles (42.2k) straight.

I should also note that, as I shuffled towards the starting line, for the first time in my life I spoke out loud to myself. I boldly (and loudly) said, “I can do this,” and then breathed a sigh of relief, because I believed it.

The gun went off, and I was running. Unlike every other run (ever), I didn’t hate the first 5 - 8k. There was so much going on as I headed down the Las Vegas strip and, dare I say it? I quite enjoyed it.

I ran past all the grand hotels, slabs of marble, and thousands of bulbs that had shone bright only hours before. I passed the on-route wedding chapel and saw two runners getting married, I passed the Bellagio where I was staying, and at mile 4, I saw Carolyn cheering me on . Now that? that was awesome!

I watched the leaders coming back up the strip, and occasionally glanced at my Garmin watch, I just had to make it to 13.1 miles within 2 hours 45 to make sure I was on track to finish. And then before I knew it? I was there: “Half marathoners to the left, full to the right.”

I didn’t think, I just went right, and kept running. If I had thought about it, I don’t know what would have happened… but luckily I was feeling really good so I rounded the right angle, and headed out to the desert.

And so, I just kept running. At mile 14, I saw Ben (he was at his mile 19), and then suddenly (after a washroom break, a few photos, and a stop to get Vaseline for my chub-rub) I was at mile 22. Up until this point, I had felt good. My legs were loose, my breathing was even, and I was walking for 1 minute every 10 minutes (as we do in Canada), but then mile 22 hit, and everything changed. Everything.

I had a wave of utter exhaustion fall upon my body. I stopped to stretch and watched as both my legs visibly quivered. Suddenly there was an intense, sharp pain in my left ankle, and the spot where my butt meets my thighs tingled (and not in the good way). It was awful especially as I was now heading into the sun. I closed my eyes for a few moments and ran in the dark, but I knew that if I did that I’d literally fall asleep running.

I saw a medical tent, and stumbled towards it, but at the last second decided against it, and plodded on. I managed to form a slow jog, but what I couldn’t manage was to hold off the tears. I fought my lip trembles for a good 15 minutes before I couldn’t fight any longer, and then the water works came.

I’m not sure it’s possible to describe why I was crying. I’m sure it was a combination of factors all mixed together. I was still physically tired from missing Friday night’s sleep, I was processing the fact I was running a marathon, I was physically in pain, and I was over joyed that somehow I might actually pull this marathon off.

I tasted the salt of my tears, and blew my nose into my hand. I was exhausted, but at the same time elated. I kept thinking about how this wasn’t the person I am, how I loved food, sitting, and all things sleep related, but there I was, alone in the Nevada desert, now at mile 24 of my second full marathon.

I was alone, with myself, and forced to deal with who I was, and who I want to be going forward, and I think the tears also poured down my cheeks because it was the first time in my life that I loved and supported the person I was.

I really, really did. And so I kept running to the beat of, “just, keep, running. Just, keep, running.”

I finally headed over the bridge, and got to the end of mile 25 where I could see lots of people lining the road up ahead. And so I picked up my pace, and smiled, a huge, wide smile. And through that smile, I refound my legs and my heart, and trudged forward.

Running up the chute was epic. I knew I was right on the border of 5 and a half hours, and was so ready for it to all be over. I didn’t care about my time, but I cared about finishing (and I had seen they had started kicking people off the course). About 50 meters from the finish line, I heard my name and saw Ben, Jed and Pa waving at me to which, they can attest, I did a little jig of joy, and then (somehow) sprinted (sprinted!) to the finish line.

It was over. I was done. I had just run my second marathon, somehow taken 14 minutes off my previous time, and suddenly I was on top of the world, and all my physical pain disappeared.

Running the Las Vegas marathon was one of the hardest and most challenging things of my life, but also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At mile 22, the marathon broke me down to my core, and then it built me back up. Since I stepped across its finishing line, my motivation and drive to be a better person, health wise, has been amazing. I have set (omygosh I’m going public with this) a goal to bring home a sub 5 hour marathon next spring, and to continue to push myself places I never thought possible.

I smile just thinking about the whole spontaneous marathon experience. It’s certainly something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Me running a marathon at all, let alone on a whim? Who’d ever have thought? Not me, that’s for sure.

[I’m sorry this is so long, I never read things this long, but I found it hard to shorten]

December 8th, 2010
75 notes ·

~ Las Vegas: Part II ~

I woke up very early, too early, on Saturday morning, with little thought towards the next day’s half marathon.  The plan was to head to the running expo with Ben, Jed, and Pa, pick up my race packet, explore the city, maybe even gamble a little, and just have an easy going day, before dinner that evening.


Who wakes up at 6am on vacation? Seriously? 

Naturally I was nervous to meet Jed and Pa, but quickly felt comfortable around them, especially after I picked up on their Ben-is-always-wrong thought process.

Ben, Pa and Jed

Pa: What are you running tomorrow?
Me: The half
Pa and Jed: Why wouldn’t you run the full?
Me: I donno, I haven’t trained
Ben: Just do it
Me: Ummm, yea… no.
Pa: I don’t get why you wouldn’t
Me: Again, no training, because I’m lazy, because it’s a FULL marathon, as in far. 
Pa and Jed: just do it, you’ll be fine

And then that was that. We walked around the expo looking for food (win! concession burgers), nipple protectors for Mr. Ben (epic fail on this one), and body-glide (fail here too, as they were sold out).

I met up with my other friends, spoke to them for a while, and was in the middle of texting Ben, to find out where he was, when in a moment of utter spontaneity, I walked back to the front of the expo, and boldly told some lady, “Could I please switch from the half to the full?” and without a word, she took my race package, got me a new bib, entered something into a computer, and sent me on my way.


I quickly found Ben, Pa and Jed and showed him what I had just done.  What had I just done? I had no idea…

Moments after I told Ben. Shocked, excited, scared, nervous, you name it, I was it.

With the exception of Ben, and his family, and the blog post I made (which I greatly debated making, but figured it would help keep me motivated), I told no one in real life, including my running room friends, and family (my mom would have freaked out).

After the expo, I headed back to my hotel room, for a much needed nap, which just may have been the best nap my body’s ever received (true story, staying up till 4am, waking up at 6am will result in this).  I put together a race outfit, which I hadn’t thought about at all,  

 My shorts look HUGE here.

And then got ready for the evening’s festivities, where I was heading to dinner, with Ben (ps I feel like I keep mentioning his name), Jed, and Pa, which Active.Com was hosting.

Side note: I LOVE having a proper camera. It’s a Sony Alpha 55, which I highly recommend (so far).  

Dinner that night falls into my #2 spot of best dinners of my life.  It was held at the Encore-Wynn hotel, and I couldn’t even tell you much about the conversation because I was so lost in the deliciousness of the food. 

Obviously I didn’t take the Wynn photo, and no photo of my main course, because taking photos got embarrassing, but all the food was incredible. The bottom, right would be the amazing Mr. Jim Garfield, from with the most delicious cake ever, who was our gracious host for the evening. We toasted to scoial-media, which I thought was quite fitting.

The entire evening was topped off with backstage passes, for the four of us, to see Garth Brooks(!!), who was so funny, and made my heart swoon, seriously guys if ‘tomorrow never comes,’ I’d die satisfied .

So yes, as you can see, no thinking about the marathon the next day, just living in the glorious moments of life, but little did I know, the best moment of the trip, was yet to come.

December 8th, 2010
84 notes ·

~ Las Vegas: Part I ~

Usually, one finds their expectations exceed an anticipated event, or their expectations are blown away; Las Vegas was the latter one.

When I wrote the post about not being able to head to LV due to work, I wasn’t lying. I couldn’t get the time off, so I gave up on my goal of running a 2nd full in 2010 and the idea of a mini birthday vacation to Sin City.

However, two weeks ago, and after extensive emails with HR, I got 1 day off (pulled from my 2011 vacation), which meant Vegas Baby! A few girls from my running group were already going, as well as a couple of bloggers (oh.em.gee Internet friendz!), and as it fell on my 26th birthday weekend? It was a done deal.

Except there was one problem; I hadn’t been training for a full marathon. Actually, I had hardly even run since my full marathon on October 10th.  The max distance my legs had carried me was 10 miles (or 16k) a couple of times, so I decided to run the half marathon (13.1 miles / 21.1k), and run it as a ‘fun run’ (i.e. take it slow, enjoy the scenery, take photos).

So I booked my flights, booked my hotel, emailed friends, and signed up for the 2010 Rock n’ Roll, Las Vegas Half Marathon.  Half’ being the key word.

The day (my birthday!) finally arrived, and after work I headed to the airport to board a plane, with my friends, and head west to Las Vegas. To be honest, I’ve never had any desire to go to Las Vegas, as I just assumed it would end up being a feel-bad-about-yourself-trip-because-look-at-all-the-skinny-hot-girls-everywhere, one of which I’m not.



But oh how wrong I was.  Vegas was one of the first times in my life, I can honestly say I felt really good about myself, my life and my body. (WHA? Who’da thought?)

I checked into my hotel, The Bellagio, and as fate would have it, the guy who checked me in thought a single girl, alone on her birthday, deserved an upgraded room (and who am I to say no?) so I ventured up to the 28th floor to an absolutely gorgeous suite, equipped with Las Vegas view, soaker tub, Belgium chocolates, slippers, etc.  So far, it had been an excellent birthday.


Ben and I had planned to meet that Friday evening, and to say I was nervous would be a huge understatement.  I made the poor guy wait 20 minutes for me, as I stared at myself in the mirror from several different angles making sure I looked good (whatever, I know all girls do this) I never liked what I saw, but eventually I had to go and meet him.


Firstly, if you don’t know who Ben is, see this video, or his blog, or google his name.  And secondly, despite being in contact with each other over the last 2 years, he was still somebody from the Internet abyss, which scares me (a lot), more so because I sincerely believe my blog makes me seem way cooler than I am, as well as better looking and skinnier, so I was slightly freaking out that Ben would meet me, and not like me at all. (I know the thought about whether I’d like him should have crossed my mind, but it honestly didn’t, which is kind of pretty sad on my part).

But obviously, because Ben is not an asshole, and because I am an idiot, I was wrong (I think, or at least Ben is a good actor)…


I was super nervous, you can tell from my stance, and Ben kept calling me out on it. But for reals, I was literally shaking.


We both liked this one, because we looked “skinny,” we’re shallow like that. And let it be known, I told Ben to hold the camera up high to get rid of my extra chin, because apparently, “guys don’t do that.”

 My fav.

The rest of the night was a little surreal.  Super cool to be in Las Vegas, on my birthday, and finally meet Ben.

December 5th, 2010
138 notes ·

As Ben pointed out, this is a super “nerd” comment, but….

2 days after my 26th birthday I ran 26.2 miles.   Get it? Because the 26 miles represented my life, and then 0.2 were the 2 days? O.k, whatever that *is* lame, but…

You guys, I RAN A *FULL* MARATHON TODAY!! Unofficially 5:30 - which, if you were wondering, is a new PR. Score!!!! Pretty sure I won’t be able to move tonight, tomorrow, or the next day, but I’m seriously glowing from it! (ps yes, yes it was spontaneous - I only trained for 1/2, I’ll explain this later).

Anywho, I am on cloud 10 (which I heard beats cloud 9)!!!! Such a wonderful Sunday. Huge thanks to Carolyn who cheered me on!! I was glowing when I saw her! And a big congrats to Ben, who also got a new PR with a speedy marathon time of 4:05!! 


December 4th, 2010
151 notes ·

This self portrait (whatever, deal.) is brought to you by Las Vegas.  

I’m wearing a party dress, have my hair curled and am about to head out on the town. My 26th birthday was perfect, but tomorrow, at 7am Vegas Time, I’ll officially be celebrating it with 26.2 miles. 

As in a full marathon (mind = blown. At least mine is).  

Welcome! I'm Liz, the girl relieved the Internet has 0 calories. South African by birth; Canadian on paper. A marathoner. CrossFitter. Paleo (somewhat) eater. Traveler. Cheese lover. And I think you're great!

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