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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Little girl lost...and good-byes

First, let me apologize for taking so long to put this post together.  Every time I sat down to start, I just couldn't seem to get the jumbled thoughts from my brain to magically flow out of my fingers to the keyboard.  But here goes...

This may be my last post for RunnerGirl48, as I really haven't felt like one lately...a runner, that is.  In fact, I have not run, at all, since Winterstart in Banff, back in November.  I've barely even been a Crossfit Chick, as between my back, wrist, shoulder and ever present ankle issues, my body seems determined to keep me grounded.  Add the chaos that is life to that as well...suffice to say 2014 has not started the way I thought it would.

1. Fitness - or lack thereof.  I have managed to make it back a few times to Crossfit, but am still not able to       do push-ups or burpees (dang!), as my wrist cannot handle any weight on it.  It is getting better, as
    Dr. Dave pulled out the laser, and it's responding well, but it has also determined what I can/can't do in a       class, so that has kept me home many times.  I need to come to grips (pun intended) with my "injury" and       move forward.  It has to be better than not moving at all, as the pounds have slowly but surely found their     way back onto my thighs, butt and gut.

2. Running - I have registered for the 5-Peak series this year, comprising of 5 shorter (6-9k) trail races,             taking     place in and around Calgary.  Depending on how the first one feels, that will be my running focus     for 2014.   No marathons, no half marathons.  Maybe a 5 or 10k street race, but I think I'll stick as much     to the trails as I can.  Easier on the joints.

3. House hunt - it continues.  Calgary is in a very strange place right now, with homes literally flying off the         shelves.  Case in point: sat outside a property two Sundays ago, offering $11K OVER list price (it had         just come on the market that Friday) and I still lost a lot.  Or the two properties that I couldn't           even get in to see, because as they were posting the listing on MLS, they were also accepting offers               written.  That broke me on Friday, as I went home (was supposed to see a place), crawled into bed at         5pm and cried myself to sleep.  Granted, that's not the only sad thing in my life.

4. Family - Mom passed a few weeks ago.  Sudden, and shockingly so, as we kept hoping she was settling       into her new home, getting used to the people and routine.  In fact, I was on my way for a visit when I          got the call. At least she is now at peace, no longer in pain or frustrated by the fact that she couldn't              remember anything.  But I miss my Mommy.  I am little girl lost right now.  She would be the first to say        get up and get moving, as life goes on.  I am happy for the new group of guys I work with, as I've put them    through a lot since I started Dec 15th, and they have been a huge support.  And all my friends at Crossfit       and running have my back too.  In fact, I am truly blessed with all the love surrounding me.  Even the kitties    have been extra cuddly lately.  They know.

So, what does this mean for the blog and me?  Don't quite know yet...I was thinking of adding a page about dealing with a parent with dementia, but no need there.  Could talk about the joys of house-hunting (side note:  don't watch House Hunters when you can't find a 750 sq ft home for under $400K in Calgary, and watch couples complain about "how small 2600 sq ft are, and wow, they want $170K for it" will make you burst a vein) but that would just consist of a lot of swear words.  Could blog about Crossfit, and I want to, but I should really make the effort of actually going to a class every now and then!

While I still believe in "yay for fitness" and love reading your blogs, I'm going to sign off for bit.  Once I figure out what I want to talk about, and share with the world, I'll be back.  After all, my 17 faithful readers will miss me...right?

Don't forget to tell the people you love how much you love them, and often, as you never know when you can't say it any more.  Love and hugs to you all.

Yay for fitness,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What the frack is with my back?

Two steps forward, fall right back down.  That seems to be my training of late, and it's getting downright annoying.

After some sporadic returns to Crossfit, namely because Ms. Wrist or Shoulder didn't want to play, I was back Monday for a night of cleans and thrusters.  Or so I thought...the wrist really didn't like the movement it takes to get the bar from the clean (shoulder rack) to overhead, so I switched it up to front squats.  Clean the bar from the ground to the shoulders, and then with it firmly racked across your chest, squat down.  I even picked a "light" weight of 45 lbs.  Seemed simple enough, until after 5 or 6, my lower back started to hurt.  I immediately dropped the bar, pulled myself from the WOD and grabbed the lacrosse ball and roller to work the kinks out.  WTF?!

Got up Tuesday morning and immediately knew something was wrong...very, very, very wrong.  Crap.  Luckily I already had an appointment with Dr. Dave, and the day off, as we finally got word that Mom was being moved (story on that later in post).  I medicated (Advil, super extra strength) and moving gingerly, got Mom settled into her new home, and then off to see Dave.

Sprained Lumbar is the official diagnosis.  All I know is nothing, and I mean NOTHING is moving very well across my lower back and around the sides to the hips and hip-flexers.  Not sure if there's going to be enough Advil for this!!  I've seen Dr. Dave twice this week already, and will be back on his table on Monday.  Hoping by then that things have started to loosen up.  I am to start some minor glut exercises on the weekend (bridges, brisk walking), and will see my family doctor tomorrow to discuss blood results and this refusal of my body to behave!

I am wondering if my attempt to "girl it up" on Friday for the company Christmas party had anything to do with this.  Not that my heels were insane (2"?) but I did immediately remember how much I hate "girly" shoes.  My feet were killing me all night.

But the party was fun.  We had a new venue this year, as the company tries to ensure everyone (and a guest) can attend over the two nights.  Yes, our company party, in Calgary, is held over two nights, as there are approximately 2,500+ at each night.  Yowza!  Excellent venue, with loads of comfy sitting ares to chat, good food (buffet), a hot-dog "stand" area for a late night snack, live band from Chicago...they go all out.  And this is just Calgary...there are parties going on across the country, right up until December 21st.  Would be fun to go to a few of them, just to see how different they are.

Didn't really house shop on the weekend, as I am still obsessed with "my" home.

However, my unbiased friend H-woman came along for a peek, and had some observations to make that has had me sit back and be a little more realistic about it.  So back on MLS and sent a list to my realtor to try and see this weekend.

So we moved Mom out of the hospital into Bow View Manor.  It has a great reputation in Alberta for long term care, and is right by the river (I don't think they flooded in June) in Montgomery.  Nice building, recently renovated and they are currently expanding.  Which is a good thing, because Mom is stuffed into a room with another lady, that is smaller than the standard bedroom in a house.  And they're to have two TVs, two dressers, two beds, etc.  Really AHS?!?!  This is a little appalling.  Add to that, in the less than 48 hours that she's been there, she's already fallen and cut herself and has herself quarantined because she ate too much chocolate, and know what happens when you eat too much chocolate.  Not sure, in hindsight, if this actually is better than the hospital.  But we'll see how she settles in, and gets used to a new routine.  At least everyone there has been very nice, and I did get a phone call today about the fall, flu shot, etc.

That's it for me so far this week.  Can't believe it's almost the end of November, and Christmas is just around the corner.  Guess I need to start making some lists and checking them twice.  Or I can just sit here with my bag of ice on my back...yeah, that's what I'll do for now!

Yay for fitness...yes, really!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Once again, I ask the question...where the hell did the last month and a half go?!?!  Every time I think to sit down and catch up on the blog, the day gets away from me.

So here goes:

Sold Mom's house, and spent most of October sorting, packing, tossing and storing 45 years worth of stuff.  Held it together right up until I got the call that the keys had officially changed hands.  Then I lost it.  Lots of memories made at that address.

Went to Chicago for the marathon.  Mixed emotions about this trip, as while I started, I did not finish.  By mile 11 I realized that I did not have another 15 miles in me, and walked over to the medic and handed him my bib.  Swallowed my pride (and several tears) and got back to Grant Park to cheer for my friends that did indeed finish...some with wicked impressive times, such as Brian (2:35), Brett (2:48), Garrath (3:24) and Heather (4:24).  Came to the realization (and acceptance) that my distance running days are long behind me. may with reluctant acceptance.  It's a good thing I love CrossFit even more than I love running.  However, Chicago is AWESOMESAUCE!!!!  Rode a Segway for the first time (OMG, I want one soooooo bad!), stepped out into nothing at Willis Tower, enjoyed a fabulous, albeit wet, canal tour, ate our way through Old Chicago on a food tour, found the Bean and the face wall.  Loved this place...I'll return for sure.

Did return to CrossFit, but it's been sporadic at best as I wait for Mr. Ankle (yes, my body parts are referred to as separate entities...) to decide to play again.  Actually managed some skipping the other night, and my squats are doing really well...nice and deep.  Mr. Ankle seems to be okay with all this action, and I've even run small distances.  However, Miss Elbow (bursitis) has been swollen for over a month, my left shoulder is achy ("just" tendons) and now Ms. Right Wrist is swelling and seizing up as we speak.  Frack.  Did have my physical at the end of the month, and just had the blood work done on the weekend, to try and find a point of time without swelling (for the Rheumatoid test).  I meet with the Doc to discuss the results next Wednesday.  Meanwhile Dr. Dave (osteopath) is thrilled that I'm putting his children through college...heck, at this rate, Ivy League!!

Did run Winterstart in Banff, through all the ice, snow and bear.  Yes, bear.  A last minute change to the route (said bear was enjoying his lunch right in the middle of our race route, and it was felt that he may not appreciate a bunch of spandex-clad and glow-lit-up humans trodding past him) resulted in the race being shorter (4.15 miles vs. 5) but way hillier!!  I mean HILLY!  If I had my choice, I would have stuck with the bear...only have to run faster than 1 other person!!!  Still had a lovely time in Banff, as I always do.  One day, that will be my home.  This I say out loud.  It truly is my favourite place on the planet.

As a result of the home sale, and a very kind Mama, I am now debt free for the first time in my adult life.  And home shopping.  So much for debt free, but this kind of debt I welcome.  Armed with a pre-approval and a very kind Realtor, we set off to see some century homes on the weekend.  Some were in all right shape, but thanks to the renters, would need far too much in the way of upgrades.  And some we didn't even get past the "HELL NO" and right back out again!!!  One place did sit well with much so that I can't stop thinking about it.  Made an offer, which was immediately rejected (sniff) but I am being patient and relying on my Realtor to break the ice and open some dialogue.  I expected a counter offer, not an outright NO.  That hurt a little.  So, I am employing the power of the Secret.  I have photos, screen shots, etc of "MY" house EVERYWHERE.  Work, phone, iPad, home...  I repeat often that I am so happy that I was able to buy my dream house in Ramsay...stuff like that.  It is a perfect house for me and the furbabies...let's make this happen!

While it doesn't officially start till the middle of December, I am changing jobs here at Shaw.  After 13.5 years of doing the same thing, I am quite bored and ready for change/challenge.  So I'll be moving out of finance (by the way, the only thing I know...banking and accounting) for the Technical Operations team.  Title is Coordinator, but other than some basic analysis, I have no idea what I'll be doing all day, and I'm quite all right with that.  Can't wait to learn new things and view this company from a different perspective. Scary but good. job, new house and new attitude for 2014.  The proper way to end a year.

Yay for fitness,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let the freak-out begin

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Sunday, October 13, 2013
02 : 19 : 48 : 45
Countdown (Central Daylight Time) say my training has been spotty is saying a lot.  Non-existent is more accurate.  However, what I do have going for me is an incredible stubborn streak.  I will finish.  It will hurt, I do not doubt that.  It will take a long time.  I do not doubt that.  But I.WILL.FINISH.  Period.

Starting laundry and the packing list.  I like that I don't have to fly out until 4pm, which means no early morning freak-out to the airport for me.  Picking up Miss Jenny from her office, and heading up tomorrow afternoon.  I always drive to the airport.  A) it's cheaper for me to park AT the airport for a week than it is to take a taxi both ways.  Go figure.  B) there is nothing I need more at the end of a trip is the ability to walk to MY car, get in and drive away.  Please do not make me wait for a taxi.  Please do not make me wait for a bus to take me to my car.  Please do not make me wait any more for anything.  While I love the destinations when I'm there, I truly wish I could just drive, as I HATE (with a passion) the whole "hurry up and wait" part that is air travel.  I honestly do not understand people that love air travel.  You are all delusional.  There...I said it.

Confirmed a mini-fridge for the hotel, and have figured out where our tours are, in relation.  Also excited that we should be able to go stand in the lake at the end of the race, which will be an awesome way to cool down the legs.  Weather looks like it's cooperating...not too hot, not too cold.

It's going to be an epic weekend...travelling with a group of running friends, and also know about a dozen more from run club heading down.  I think some are gunning for BQs, but many, like me, are just going to say they did it.  This could very well be my last marathon (tear), so I'm going to make sure I enjoy the experience.  Will be taking my camera and notebook, so hope to post some updates about our adventure.

Yay for fitness,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh, my aching body

A funny thing has happened to me this year.  Not funny ha-ha but funny peculiar.  Okay, so maybe not so funny at all.  I turned 50.  Doesn't seem like much...people do it all the time.  Unlike Logan's Run, we are not hunted down and exterminated for surpassing the ripe old age of 35 (that's what it was in the book,'s been a few years!).  However, given events of the past spring and summer, being hunted down may not be all that bad after all!!

Finally content with the official diagnosis of Osteoarthritis, the swelling and pain in my right ankle has almost disappeared.  Still twinges every now and then, and while Chicago looms large (crap...9 sleeps!!), I am still determined to cross that finish line, regardless of the time and method (aka crawling).  However, Friday morning I woke up with this...

Really?!?  Did I hit it, you ask?  No.  Did I get a scratch, and therefore an infection you ask?  No.  Did I turn 50 in the last 12 months you ask?  YES!!!  Seriously getting tired of all the crap my body it throwing at me these days.  Really, really tired of it.  Granted, the swelling has gone done, and is almost back to normal.  I did go to see Dr. Stacy (who is wondering where the "I don't seek medical attention unless it's lopped off, spurting or blue" girl has gone), who also decided it's not an infection or rheumatoid.  Yet.  I'll pick up some anti-inflammatory meds later today and then hopefully by the end of the month can get a "clean" (no swelling anywhere) rheumatoid test and see if it's lurking inside me somewhere, like a pesky roommate that won't move out.  Poor Dr. Dave though...he starts on one part of my body and works his way around (right ankle, left IT and knee, left interior shoulder tendons...).  He did refuse to tough the elbow until we know what it is though.  The good news is while it is unsightly, and somewhat awkward to rest upon, it doesn't hurt and hasn't restricted movement in the arm.

Which is a good thing, since I refuse to give up on Crossfit again.  I'm still not jumping (no double-unders or box jumps) or running, but I am getting to be a champ at the rower!  I am doing step ups, and managed two PRs in the past week, both at back squat (125#) and deadlift (155#).  I've had a love/hate relationship with the WODs this week, as Tuesday was Karen (150 wallballs...yes, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY...IN.A.ROW!!) and last night was a chipper that had even more squats in it.

  1. 70 KBS (26#)
  2. 60 double-unders (I rowed 500m)
  3. 50 air squats (OUCH)
  4. 40 sit-ups (love these...truthfully!)
  5. 30 push-ups (from the toes, with band assistance...thanks coach Ty.  I'll get someone to take a photo to explain, as I don't think I can articulate it properly.  But it's awesome!)
  6. 20 pull-ups (rainbow bands...big blue, little red and teeny-tiny purple for the last 5 or so!)
My time for Karen was 10:55 (8#) and my time last night was 13:54 - considering there was a 15 minute cut-off, I'm happy I finished before that.  Got all cocky and pointed out that I love chippers, because you chip away at everything.  Guess what tonight's WOD is?  Yes, another chipper, except this one goes the other way.
  1. 10 HSPU (yuck)
  2. 20 hang power snatches (hate these)
  3. 30 burpees over the bar (seriously?!)
  4. 40 T2B (are you trying to kill my shoulders, coach?)
  5. 50 walking lunges (these I can actually do...)
Yes, I know I can just not go to Crossfit, but then that would make me sad.  Very, very, very sad.  So I shall go, grumble, maybe even drop an F-bomb (or twenty) and then walk out, sweaty, gasping for air and feeling awesome for doing it.  

Off to marshal for the Harvest Half in the morning.  I went to Banff this past weekend to watch all my friends run in Melissa's and I've decided just watching absolutely sucks.  Bad.  At least marshaling, I can dance around, ring a cowbell and feel that I have an actual purpose for being there.  My goal right now is to get past Chicago and reassess my running career and make some decisions for the winter/spring and summer next year.  I think Crossfit will play a HUGE role in my physical life, and that's not a bad thing.  Think of all the money I'll save on race fees, hotels, airfare, shirts and runners alone.  A nice offset to what I spend on Crossfit, Paleo treats, Oly shoes, Reebok socks, etc...  A nice trade off!!

Ending on a very happy note, Mom's house sold, she's doing much better medically and we can now look at moving her on to somewhere permanent.  The stars are all lining up.  

Yay for fitness,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back to it

It's been an interesting, albeit stressful, two weeks.  I've thrown myself back into crossfit with a vengence.  Trying to do all I can, with as few modifications as possible.  Still not jumping or running, so me and the rower are becoming good friends.  I think one Sunday I'm going to see how long it takes me to row a Half.  It was one of the challenges at the Crossfit Games earlier this year, and it would be interesting to see if I could beat my running PR.  Anyway, I ramble.

We've been concentrating on back squats, and since starting back I started at 45#.  On Monday I not only broke triple digits, but I squatted 105#!  Tonight we are going for our ME (maximum effort) weight in each the back squat, shoulder press and deadlift.  I am aiming for at least 125# for the squat and the lift, and will attempt 60# for the shoulders.  The ankle has actually been enjoying crossfit, rarely swelling and relatively pain free.  In fact, I'm pretty much limp free.  Chicago will still be interesting, but I'll take what race day hands me.  I'm not afraid of the distance, nor is the time an issue.  It's just been a while since I've run or walked any distance (21.1 in Vancouver at the beginning of May and 19 in Blackfoot at the end of May).

Getting very excited about Chicago.  Have a food tour (includes deep dish pizza), a Segway tour and a canal tour all booked.  Dinner reservations are booked for Saturday night right a the hotel, and we're already figuring what to do after the race Sunday afternoon.  I think Wednesday will be a "do what you want" day, as I know a couple of friends that are excited to shop on the Mile.  Kill me now.  I have also located the nearest crossfit box (yes, I chugged the kool-aid) to the hotel, a mere 10 minute walk away.  I WILL be there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The stressful part of the last two weeks has been dealing with Mom and the house.  It has been listed for a month now, which is nothing, but while we've have plenty of showings we have yet to receive an offer.  Of anything...crap, at this point, low-ball me just so I know there's some interest in it!  We've dropped the price four times now, creeping closer to the range my agent suggested.  Guess being older really is wiser, since we went with the young upstart with dollar signs in her eyes.  Oh well, lessons learned.  Having an open house this weekend, so hoping that spurs someone on.

Meanwhile, Mom waits ever so (not) patiently in the Rockyview Hospital transitions unit for a placement in assisted living.  She's been in the hospital since April (fall, heart attack, pneumonia, dementia) and now feels that she's "been bad and being punished" and that's why she's in this place.  We play the same game every time I long have I been here, where is this place, why am I here, when do I leave, where are my babies...etc.  Thursday afternoon last week though, got a call from the unit saying Mom had a fall.  Can't quite get a clear answer as to whether it was by her bed, in the bathroom or the hallway, but regardless, she broke her shoulder.  Now, explain to a 77 year old dementia patient why her shoulder hurts and why she has to keep it still.  Such fun.  Saturday night receive a voice message that states "we've moved your mother to unit 74 as there was an incident".  Hmmmm...of course got this while I was at the movies (The Butler...very good, but boy you sure have to remember your American history!), so nothing I could do until Sunday.  Went to the hospital Sunday morning and to the new unit (which is acute care) to find out Mom actually had another heart attack.  Again, chicken and the egg...which came first??  But, if you're going to have a heart attack, have one while already at a hospital!!  She had to have a blood transfusion on Monday, and really did not look or feel good.  She was delirious and talking to ghosts.  I was getting scared.  Tuesday saw the return of Mom.  She ate, she was making sense and while still on oxygen and IV, was feeling better.  Granted, she still doesn't have a clue as to where she is or why, but getting better every day.  But now, assisted living is out the window and we'll be looking at long term care.  Wonder how long THAT will take?

That's been my September thus far.  It is my favourite time of year, as I love the colours, smells and change in the weather that fall brings.  I hope it ushers in even more change, all for the good.

Yay for fitness,

Friday, September 6, 2013

A new year begins

Yes, seems odd that I am "celebrating" New Year's in September, but it's the beginning of another fiscal year here at Shaw, so I am taking the opportunity to reflect and set some new goals. 

The arthritic ankle (or "It", as I refer to it now) has actually been behaving.  I have been back doing squats at CrossFit, including back squats.  While I'm not back to triple digits, I am thrilled with the 70# I cranked out 35 times on Monday.  Tonight's goal is to add 10#, so we'll see if I can do 80#.  At this rate, I'll be back up over 100 in no time.  Goal for back squats - goal body weight. 

Other CrossFit goals include push-ups from my toes, one-band pull-ups, actually touching my toes to the bar and/or knees to my elbows and possibly a double-under.  Can't wait to try jumping rope, to see how "It" takes it. 

I think I've quite punished myself enough over the summer, regarding the whole "I can't run anymore so I'm going to turn into a giant blob of bitter regrets", and have once again paid Weight Watchers to gain weight.  I'd like to say that stops now, but I'm also being realistic.  One day at a time...heck one meal at a time!  Celebrate the small victories, like walking out of the deli today WITHOUT a Hazelnut Crunch croissant!!!  Win!!!  I have signed up for another round of Get Ripped at CFCB (CrossFit Currie Barracks), which starts on the 21st.  It's really just a tune-up, as they discuss nutrition, making healthy choices at the grocery stores, incorporating exercise, etc, and Coaches are great at inspiring and motivating everyone to reach their goals.  And it doesn't have to be losing weight...some people sign up to gain.  I said I would teach that group, since I have that down to a fine art!!!

Spend another wedding as a solo guest, but I'm the only one standing in my way, as far as that goes.  I did sing up for the singles over 40 through Facebook, but am now too chicken to actually respond to anyone!!!  Defeats the purpose, I know.  So, pull up the big girl panties and bite the bullet.  Gulp...maybe tomorrow!  Okay, goal is to respond/wink to at least one person a week for the rest of September.  Eek!

Mom's house is on the market, so hoping it sells soon.  Hard to say goodbye to the family home, but now it can start memories for someone new.  Just have to pack up 45 years worth of life stored in it.  I just got tired thinking about it!  Oh boy...

Work is a bit crazy this week, so I for one am thrilled it's Friday already.  I was here till midnight on Wednesday, but that should be all for me and crazy hours.  I can actually do my job during normal hours, and still meet deadlines.  I don't understand those that feel 12+ hour days are "normal", regardless of year or month end.  I am starting to poke around the website, to see if anything else catches my eye (job wise).  Not really unhappy...just a little bored with it all.  There was a Change Management position that looked intriguing, but since I don't like change, I thought it would be silly to be in charge of that!  Hehehe...

That's it for me...still contemplating an update of the blog, to reflect my new passion and move away from it being about running.  Just have to sit still long enough to do that.
Yay for fitness!