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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Really?? It's only Tuesday???

Day 3 of Bootcamp and all I have to say is OW!!! Was a little concerned that I was going to be the only one there today (H. had to work nights), and trainer looked a little too excited at the prospect of whipping one of us into shape! Uh-oh...but some others showed up and we had a nice little group of five. I won't bore you all with the gory details, but suffice to say it was "cardio day". I shall remember from this point out that on "cardio day", DO NOT RUN THE CRESCENT HEIGHTS STAIRS AT LUNCH (for those not from Calgary, it's a staircase up the side of a rather steep hill, 167 steps bottom to top, although I don't know off hand the distance or climb, but this is what I found when I googled it: "Note: If you climb the Crescent Heights stairs 130 times you will have climbed the same level as the elevation of Everest!")...apparently I am a bit of a masochist! I did not do 130 laps (and to me, a lap is up AND down) but I did manage to push out 3, which is great, since I haven't climbed them since before Christmas, save for one time with the Saturday morning coffee ladies. But the Underwear Affair 10k is in just over a week, and I did want to beat my 10k BP. Of course, right now, I'll be happy if I can walk upright tomorrow!!!

While if feels much longer, it's also only been two days that I've been getting up early enough to get to work by 7. I do have to say I kind of like the leaving at 3:30 part but still not so fond of the waking up part. I was, by all accounts, a cat in a past life, and trust me, we felines like our sleep! But it's all part of forming a habit, good or bad. I have not missed flossing a single night since I decided to jump on the whole "flossing is good for you" train, and it's been 134 days and counting - only takes 21 to form said habit.

Gave blood tonight, after Bootcamp. Must say, I shocked a few of the nurses with how quickly I filled the pint. I've always been a fast bleed, but tonight was super quick due to the extra fluids drank during the day and the fact that my heart rate was slightly elevated from "cardio day". And I'm sure they were all watching for me to drop like a stone when I stood up, but sorry emergency for you tonight.

Eating some pasta to round out the bowl of soup and PB cookie (that's why I donate...really, really, really good Cookies by George) that I ate at the clinic. Then I think it's contacts out, jammies on and prepare for an early night.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday evening deep thoughts

Here I sit, ready to return to the normalcy of work, after this week off. My lunch and breakfast are ready and waiting in the fridge, my running gear for the week is packed and ready to take in, and I just have to make my bed and turn in. After all, tomorrow starts my new shift, so I have to get up much earlier than normal. And good thing someone mentioned the hot water, or lack thereof, to me, so that I could get a plumber in tonight to look at it. Something fishy is going on, almost like someone tampered with it, but plumber dude showed me what to look for and some quick fixes I could do, in case of a next time. At least I'll have hot water to shower in tomorrow.

Must have felt the effects of the wine with C. & T. on Friday night yesterday. Granted, I got home at 2 am, into bed around3 and finally asleep well after 4, and with only a couple of hours sleep, met up with the girls for coffee at 9. Dropped H. off and came home and promptly went to bed for a nap. Tossed and turned a bit, but finally caught some z's and slept till 2. Got up, had something to eat (only a latte so far) and then somehow fell asleep on the couch again, for a few more hours. Then got up, made and ate dinner and still managed to fall asleep for an hour!! Went to bed at 11:30 and if it weren't for the heartburn at 4, probably would have slept through till 9 this morning, when I finally got out of bed!! Crazy!! Guess I'm getting old.

Today was a tad more up and managed to do 5 loads of laundry (I live in a 3 floor walk up, on the top floor and the laundry is in the basement...yay, bonus exercise points!!!), ran a load of dishes (this all before said water heater mishap) and made a nice dinner of roasted veggies tossed with an Asian dressing, brown & wild rice and teriyaki chicken. Saved some of the chicken and veggies and tossed them with more dressing and some rice noodles, celery and green onion yo round it out. That's lunch for tomorrow.

That's it for me...back to routine (that means running!) which will be a good thing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2nd last day of stay-cation

And what have I done? Not a lot really, but that's what a vacation is for, right? Take today, for example...I had dinner and wine at a friend's house last night. Someone who I've seen out, but for whatever reasons, haven't been over to their house. In fact, it's been so long, last night was the first time I've met their 3rd child, and she's close to 2 years old!! Anyway, dinner was lovely, the children running around acting like children reminded me why I prefer cats, and then it was time to settle down and have grown-up chats. I got home at 2 am!!! I don't stay out till 2 anymore, darn it! And I was meeting the girls for coffee at 9. No problem, right? Wrong!!! By the time I flossed (120 days and counting, without missing a day!) and brushed and got settled, it was after 3...up at 3:30 to piddle, then I tossed and turned, hot and cold, more tossing and turning, cats waking up and then it's this is what 2 hours of sleep feels like...

Got home from coffee - it was awesome to see C. & E. (it's been since mid-April, and we used to meet every Saturday morning) and we got in a nice 3k walk as well (really feeling quads from bootcamp on Thursday) as our usual visit. Then dropped H. off and I came home and crawled right back into bed with the cats. Got back up at 2! Much better...

Now to decide what to have for supper...I'm thinking Asian, but haven't fully decided...and then maybe what movie to watch. I need to do some laundry as well, and get stuff ready for weekday working out and bootcamp working out. As well, I need to pull and prepare a menu for the week, so I can have everything easy and portable, and lose some pounds this week. I was down 1 on Thursday, so now I need to build on that momentum.

Going to cash in my winning 649 ($10, I think) and then home to tidy up and plan dinner.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So that's where my abs went!

58 crunches in a minute will help you find them, in case you wonder where your abs have gone. I've never had a 6-pack, more like a 2-4 (Canadians will understand this...) but the ab muscles are there...who knew??? In fact, I've discovered a lot of muscles that have been contently hiding under my cozy layer of fat cells - arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs, quads and hips are all telling me off right now!! And the 2nd bootcamp class is in less than 7 hours. Good news...trainer said he was going to "amp things up today"...uh-oh...that does not bode well for me gracefully moving the next few days!! I want to run on Sunday though (Underwear is in 2 weeks), and I may walk to the zoo tomorrow. I have an annual membership, which I really need to use one day. And the walk to & from would be a good one, probably a good 5k each way. Tried to map it on but we got into an argument over the route, so I shut it down. I hate it when computers do what I'm doing and not what I want!!!

Time to think about some breakfast and what to do with my day before camp.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stay-cation half over...

And haven't really done much! Granted, the weather since Monday has...well sucked really! But we didn't get the snow forecast, so I guess it's not all bad.
Starting to feel some of the workout from Bootcamp yesterday. Quads are a tad tight (held my squat for a full minute) and chest/shoulders & back are feeling the 18 - yes, 18 push-ups I managed to do. I have always been very weak in the upper body, so I am proud that I managed to do that many. And must return to running. The Underwear Affair is just 17 days away, and I wanted to hit a PB in the 10k. Felt the run yesterday for the fitness test, but that's mainly because I forgot to use my inhaler right before the run, and the lungs did not enjoy that at all!!
Just sitting around, watching the electrician do what he can to fix my intercom buzzer. Weirdest day it just died. I can hear people, talk to people and buzz them into the building, but I can't hear the actual buzzer to let me know someone is here. Granted, it's been a peaceful 3 weeks, but since I am the caretaker, it's probably important that people can get a hold of me! Dude's been here since 8:45 and I don't think we're any closer to the solution. He's tried replacing the unit, followed the wiring right through the building, rewired at the source and still no buzzer. I think he's getting very frustrated. At least it made me clean out my linen closet...something I've been meaning to do for months. Cross that off the list!
Had a coffee, but I need something more substantial. Time for some brekkie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 1 and still alive...

That wasn't sooooo bad...although our leader says he'll be kicking things up on Thursday. I've got some body parts starting to notice that I asked them to work a little today, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow! Did not too bad on the fitness test either...not nearly as poorly as I could have (core) and was able to see where I need to concentrate (arms & upper body). So...six weeks and I WILL to see quite a few pounds and inches eliminated. Then I will decide what to do: whether to sign up for another 6 weeks or try something new again. I want to run at least 3 times a week, stairs twice a week and Latin aerobics at least once. Add bootcamp and some weights/toning at home, and there's no reason why I won't reach goal by Melissa's (end of September).

Off to enjoy supper (whole wheat bowties, red pepper, diced chicken tossed in a pesto 'cream' (evaporated milk) sauce, with a salad of sliced tomato, evoo & fresh basil) and then see what I've got on my PVR to entertain me.

Tuesday musings...

Bootcamp in just over an hour. I am excited, but I am also scared! I am looking forward to meeting my goal this year...I have been a faithful WW member for a very long time now, and would really like to go for free!! I have proven I am really good at maintaining my I need to prove I can lose it just as well. The Bootcamp will be good for shaking things up. It also means I'll be shaking things up at work, as I'll change from 8:30-5 to 7-3:30. It doesn't sound like much, but I am not a morning person. I think mornings should be banned around the globe. There is nothing wrong with starting work at noon and figuring out how to fit in a nap!! But I digress...I am changing my shift so that I can get home (I walk to/from work), change, grab the gear needed for bootcamp and get to the park before 4:30 start time. And who knows?? Maybe I'll enjoy leaving work early...

I need to go back to the Roger's store tomorrow. Bought a memory stick and port so that I can get pictures off my phone and onto my computer, but the port doesn't fit anywhere. Frustrating as I have the cutest gosling picture on there, of the baby I sort of rescued on Saturday. I say sort of, because the other ladies that stop took the baby back up to it's mama, on the top of their building which is about 7 or 8 stories up. I don't know if they called Fish & Wildlife to come and rescue the family though, or if by taking him back, we just sentenced him to death. I need to get ahold of the ladies and ask her to call me with what happened. It's all I can think about now...and I find myself going on baby patrol...checking the alley and parking areas for little baby geese.

Okay...going to get ready for Bootcamp. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday morning

Technically it still is...I have another 44 minutes of it to enjoy actually! Slept in (no coffee with the girls as no one is around this weekend) so I decided to stay in bed. The cats had other ideas though, as they tag-teamed their purring, pawing, knocking things off the dresser and generally trying their best to get me up and at it! I won!!! And now they're both sleeping. Sigh...

The sun is shining though, so I am going to get out there shortly. Hoping everying dries up today, so I can cut the grass (before I have to buy a goat!) and get the flower beds all dug up and ready for some flowers...which will wait till June, as we're expecting snow on Monday! It is Calgary, and if I learned anything from my parents, it's we don't plant until well after the May long.

Kind of stuck to the apartment this weekend, as I have two suites to rent out for June. Although I just got off the phone with someone and one may be taken. Yay! And if the other renter is true on his word, and his friend wants his place, they'll both be rented. Which is awesome, because the rental market in Calgary has opened right up, and I'd rather not have empty suites.

Going to finish my latte and figure out what to do with the rest of the day. Enjoy yours wherever you are.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Search for Pho...the story continues

We may have found the suitable replacement for our Thursday night pho! Granted, it was a tad spicier than our usual place, but it was good! So, now we know. Yay! The Vietnamese Noodle place on 16th Ave & 2nd St NW...very good.

It's been a lazy week, as I try to decide when to get back into running. I've been walking at lunch, but sadly not enough to compensate for eating like I'm still running 40+k a week! And I noticed it on the scale tonight at weigh-in. Not a lot, but enough of a wake up. Will get back into running this week, since the Underwear Affair 10k is also in 3 weeks.

Joined a Boot Camp, which starts next week...I scoff at them at lunch, but that's mainly because they take over EVERYTHING and act like they own it and appear shocked that some of us have figured out how to run up stairs all on our own for free!! But this one is after work (when I enjoy working out) and is away from the main, busy parks/pathways of downtown. Joined with H., which is good, because I find it easier to commit to something when I've got someone else to be accountable to/for. I am looking forward to it, as I am also looking for something to shake things up a bit.

That's all I've got...been quiet at work. My cohort is away, so I've just been sitting down and plugging away, getting all of my stuff caught up and now hers as well. Which is good, because I've taken off next week. Do some chillaxin, work in the yard (providing Mother Nature cooperates), sleep in, stay up late and putter around. My idea of heaven.

That's it for me. Off to the couch...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday morning

Ahhh...I remember this...waking up without an alarm clock...making a latte and sipping it while seeing what's new in the world of food on FoodTV. Maybe grabbing a paper and seeing what happened in the city and the world...lazy Sunday mornings. Trouble with training for any long run, especially a marathon, is you totally lose your lazy Sunday mornings. I missed this terribly...

Stocked up at the Farmer's Market yesterday, but to our horror, the cheese place was closed by the Health board!!! ARGH!!! How am I supposed to get my Edam or old Grizzly Gouda fix?!?!?! Not to worry though....H's mom lives near the actual farm, so she's going to swing by on her way into town to pick us up our supply. And hopefully the horrible misunderstanding (and I'm sure that's all it is...there were a lot of shocked patrons yesterday) will be cleared up soon and the gang will be back with all their glorious cheese.

Going to sit down with a menu today, and plan out my whole week. I am determined to reach goal this year and I need to shake things up. I'm not training for a marathon anymore, so I need to stop eating like I'm training for one. And I've joined a bootcamp, starting in a week. It means I'll have to change my shift at work, and start at 7 (OMG!!) so that I can get to training in time, as it starts at 4:30. Obviously I am one of the last people in Calgary who actually works "9 to 5", since everything else seems to like to start at 4:30. So I'd have to get home, change and get to the park where we're working out, all before 4:30. I think what I'll do is change at work and run down. The extra mileage won't hurt, and it'll be some added cardio before all the weights and such.

Enjoying a brekkie of oatmeal with my latte - 1/2 oats, 1 c milk, 1 tbsp almond butter (I heart almond butter!!), 1 c of strawberries, splash of vanilla and 1 tbsp milk chocolate chips. It's most delicious. Once that's done, I'll go out and tidy up my front yard (the joys of downtown living...all the 'burb people who come down to shop and eat think it's okay to just toss their crap, since it's downtown and we heart garbage...grrrr...), run out and get Mom some scratchies and then head down to spend the afternoon.

Happy Mother's Day to those who have children, whether they be of the human or short, furry and four-legged variety. We're all Mommies!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In search of pho...

Sadly, didn't find it tonight either. As you know, our favorite Vietnamese place is temporarily closed while they return home for a long visit. It's been 2 weeks now and I'm officially going into withdrawel. We did try a place they recommended, but it just wasn't the same. I thought the broth tasted fishy (not suspicious...fishy), which was odd as I was having chicken satay pho, but it was still okay. Not stellar though, so I may have to choose something else from the menu until our friends at Fortune return on the 26th. Only 22 more sleeps!!

Stayed the same at weigh-in tonight, which started to bum me out...after all, I ran a freaking marathon on Sunday, shouldn't that count for some calories burned?! But then I recall all the food and liquids (grown up varieties) consumed over the weekend and I realized that not finding any more pounds was a good thing!

A couple more days of rest/recovery and I'll be back on the running paths next week. Have the Underwear Affair run in 30 days, and I'd like to beat my standard 10k time. Also going to start training on the stairs (Crescent Heights staircase: 167 steps bottom to top) twice a week, and hope to return to Latin aerobics a couple times of week again. I need to shake things up and shock this old bod into submission! Maybe I can scare the inches and pounds away!!

Just got off the phone with an old roommate, after a nice hour long chat - haven't talked in ages, and she and her family just got the cutest kitten ever! Won't go visit her kids, but show me a cat, and I'm all friends know me so well. I was planning on catching up on Hell's Kitchen, but that can wait till tomorrow. Need to clean off the PVR, as I have way too much recorded, but then again I have some awesome marathons coming up, as I have the entire season of House and Criminal Minds recorded, along with some odd episodes of Medium, Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, and other assorted goodies. I have no idea how I watched TV before the PVR came's a good thing!

Well, I'm going to head to bed. I've been bad, reverting to my late night habits, and I've felt it the last couple of days at work (almost fell asleep this afternoon), so I need to get up, turn the computer off and go to bed. It sounds so simple...

'night all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Doesn't hurt...

Much! Actually I'm quite surprised by how much I was able to move today. Granted, it's a tad slower than normal, and sitting and stairs still are cause for quiet grunts, but I'm doing way better than I expected by this point. Guess there is something to all this training talk that people like John Stanton (The Running Room) go on about. Met him at the end of the marathon on Sunday, and while I thanked him for inspiring me to take on the challenge, I also told him I didn't know if I'd do another. He said give it a week...figured I'd be hooked. We'll see.

While my time didn't register on the Vancouver site (they take the clock time, not the chip time, and I was over the clock time by 1:31...yes, that's one minute and 31 seconds!) but my official time is posted on the Running Room under my athlete dashboard (who knew...I'm an "athlete"), so here it is...and I wasn't dead last!

Carol Whyte
My Results
BMO Vancouver Marathon - 2009 - Full Marathon -6 hours
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Rank: 2805
Clock Time: 6:31:28
Chip Time: 6:28:45
Pace: 9:17 /km
Distance: 42.2 km
Bib: 3816
Gender Rank: 1183/1209
Division: Female 45-49
Division Rank: 143/147

For those who run, the youtube link below is the funniest thing ever...and for those who don't run...well, it may keep you from doing so, but probably not.

Remember...left, right, repeat.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Upright and smiling!

There...I can cross it off my list. Run a marathon...done.

Vancouver was was perfect when we arrived on Thursday. The entire city was awash in greens and pinks. Imagine, trees with leaves and flowers in full bloom. How odd coming from cool, dry, brown Calgary. Anyway, Thursday was spent exploring the seawall and general Yaletown area, clocking about 8 km in the process. Friday, we walked over to the pavillion to get our race packages (H. was running the Half), and spent some time in the expo checking out the latest gear and such. Then we walked over to Granville Island, wandered around there, walked back along the seawall and over to our hotel...over 10km on Friday. For Saturday we decided not to push it that much and rode the Big Red Bus...scariest bus driver EVER! He yelled at people on the street, he yelled at parked cars and he had a thing for corners and curbs...couldn't take one without hitting the other! Finally got off on Robson and decided it would be safer to walk back! Had our carbo load at Zefferellis (most awesome pasta, EVER) and then back to the hotel to wake up bright and early. Fear starting to settle in...

Got up at 5:30 (yes...AM) and after a brekkie of oatmeal, yogurt, some OJ and Cola (no fridge or microwave in our room, so we had to improvise), we headed down to the start line. Almost 13,000 people running this, with just over 3,800 doing the marathon. The walkers have already left at this point (their start time was 6 am) and by the time we got there, the Half runners were queing up. A quick good luck the H. and A. and they were both off. Took forever for 8,000+ people to cross the start line, and then it was our turn. I found a spot near the back (I was not going to set any records!) and waited nervously...would I even be able to do this? I mean really...what the heck was I thinking?! Then the horn sounded and we were off. Swept up with the crowd, I had a good start and did my best to stick to a 10:1 schedule. Totally forgot to turn my GPS on, so didn't know what my pace was, but I did watch my heart rate, and did my best to keep in under 100% of max. The crowd thinned quickly as people settled into strides and soon the elite runners were passing us by (there were a lot of double backs and mini-loops). While you cheer for them, and are in complete awe (the winner did the marathon in 2 hours and 15 minutes), you're also a wee bit jealous. Heck, they weren't even sweating for goodness sake and I looked close to having a stroke!

Anyway, ran through Chinatown and along False Creek and back, through downtown (very scary part but not East Hastings), and then into Stanley Park. Here is where the meltdown started...see, by now I had completely lost sight of everyone! Didn't help that most of the water stations and gel stations all looked like they were packing up by the time I got there or that the course marshalls in the park all appeared to have gone home! In fact, once in the park, I had no idea where to signs, no arrows, no nothing! Bring on the meltdown...turning around, I finally spied a yellow jacket (course marshall) and ran back to find out where the heck I was supposed to go..."follow the path"...WHICH FREAKING PATH?!?!?! It's Stanley Park for cripe's's full of freaking paths!!!!! Turned around again, and started around, finally seeing an elusive sign pointing the way, and watching the course marshall sitting there pack up his stuff and leave before I even got there. Now I'm just beat. Marathon running is about the physical, obviously, but a whole lot of it is mental. Physically I was doing okay...feet hurt a bit (tried new arch supports) and my legs were tired, but mentally I was done, finished, kaput. Could have sat down and cried like a little girl until someone came to find me. And I almost did...except H. phoned right then to see how I was, and that spurred me on (dang it...I started this, I was finishing it) and I also at the halfway point.

A course marshall on bike came along and announced to me that I was last. Whatever breeze had blown into my sail was gone just as quickly...and I had this jerk riding along beside me. Then a lovely lady named Diana took over (I think dude was disgusted that I was "so slow") and she rode with me right out of the park to English Bay, chatting the whole way, doing her best to raise my spirits. And she did a good job...then an even nicer guy took over, when they found out I wasn't last. There was one more lost soul out there!! Kevin (I think that was his name) was determined that I would finish proud and strong and he kept up the encouragement and compliments the whole way around English Bay and over Burrard bridge into Kitsilano.

Suddenly complete strangers were cheering and calling out my name (printed on my bib)...water stations were making sure that I had gateraid and water and whatever else they had to offer. I still felt like I was a part of this. One of the marshalls on foot joined me on the return out of Kits to Burrard bridge again, and between the two of us, we kept up the pace (I was walking quite a bit by this point). Finally, all the other bike marshalls showed up, and I was running with an entourage! I had till 2 pm to hit the finish line in order for my time to count, and the bike gang were all determined that I was going to do it. H. even met up with us, and tried to run in with me (she had changed into her birks by now, so she had to walk and meet up later), and the bike gang was stopping traffic (roads were open by now) to make sure that I was going to make it. They even radioed ahead and told them I was coming in and to not tear everything down.

This part is hard to type, as I am crying thinking about it. Here I am, running as hard as I've ever run, surrounded by a circle of cyclists, horns honking and complete strangers cheering and clapping for me...rounding the corner and there it is...the finish line...I did it!!!! Took me almost 6 and a half hours, but I did it! Betcha the guy that won didn't get the response that I did. Even Kevin was crying at the end - that I will remember forever!

I have my finishers medal, and I'm proudly wearing my 42.2k choker. Will I ever run another??? Not sure, as I'm not moving very well today and everything hurts except my hair but I can say I have run a marathon. To quote one the papers in Vancouver today: "over 13,000 people ran at least 8 km before most of you even got out of bed yesterday"...I have done something many people haven't and I am proud of myself for completing it. Sadly, despite everyone's efforts, I didn't make the official time, as my results are not recorded. But my Garmin time is 6:28:47. I'll take it.

Now, if you'll all excuse me...there's a bottle painkillers with my name on it waiting by my bed!!!

Cheers! Oh, and congrats to the Biggest Loser winners...great job. I look foward to the next challenge.