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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sweet Tempo run

Got up and headed into the office at normal time. As I was crossing through the park, I noticed a rather young homeless couple sitting on the bench, deep in conversation. It went something like this:
Him - this sucks.
Her - this doesn't suck.
Him - yes, it does.
Her - but we're livin' the dream!
Seriously?? I can't speak for everyone else out there, but I did not dream about sleeping on park benches and wondering where my next meal may come from when I was growing up. Just sayin'.
Work was...plowed through stuff, which means I may be rather bored on Friday when I go in. Yes, I realize most of Canada is enjoying a 4-day weekend right now, but I will be back in the office at 7am on Friday. But I am looking forward to a nice lay in tomorrow and for the office to be rather tomb like on Friday. Bliss.
I went to Weight Watchers today, as of course I switch to Thursdays in time for a stat! OMG! Okay...maybe I'm over thinking this, BUT...let's say I run a company in the downtown core of a large city. And I provide a service, but will be closed on a Thursday. However, as an office in the downtown core of a large city, I am listening to the rumours that most of the employees in said downtown core will be taking Friday off as well. So, what does that mean for my business?? Perhaps I "may" be a tad busier than normal on Wednesday. Perhaps...perhaps then I should staff with more than THREE PEOPLE!!!! THREE!!!! And one was the group leader!!!!!!! There were a good 30 of us in line to weigh in when I got there, and one person weighing. Oh, and if you're short-staffed, don't go on and on and on and on about the special coupon promotion, because then everyone gets to stand in yet another line, to wait on that ONE person to process your order. AND when I tell you that I've used coupons since day 1, and I don't really need the "here's the rules for using the coupons" speech, DON'T GIVE IT TO ME ANYWAY... I really was just trying to get the hell out of there! I did remove another 1.4lbs this week, which feels awesome, as I have been struggling of late. I appear to be heading in the desired direction again.
Because the meeting (good thing I was only popping in to weigh-in - haha!) took almost my whole lunch hour, I stopped at a new Japanese place in the new building across from work, and ordered a Sashimi Bento box. Too bad it was late, because I got the choice of salmon or salmon! Good thing I like salmon. It also came with a small salmon roll, salad and tempura. Not bad, although I was still most hungry after inhaling it. I still can't make myself eat before weigh-in, so did skip breakfast this morning.
Managed to hold off till I came home, when I inhaled some whole wheat tortillas with artichoke and red pepper dip. I wanted fast and easy! Made it to run club tonight, where we were doing another 10km Tempo run. Good news is it was a tad cooler this evening, with a lovely breezze blowing the whole night. No heat stroke for me tonight! Goal was warm-up for 3km, tempo pace of 7:07 for 4km and cool down for the last 3. Coolio! My group was a little smaller than usual, but there were still 4 eager beavers ready to run. One is a 5:45 finish, so she lagged back but still managed to have a good run (checked up on her when she was done). Because our routes tend to be "-ish", I set my Garmin for 12km and we took off. However, I can't appear to do math in my head, as we ran warm-up for 4km! Oops...however, we totally rocked the Tempo pace!!! Everyone hit the 7:07 and maintained for the full 3km, before we slowed it back down. Well done team!!!
Went for our usual beers after the run, and somehow I managed to slurp down 3 pints of glorious Guinness. Huh??? Must have been a tad parched!!! Now I am sitting here, typing very poorly (thank goodness for spell check!) and feeling oh so mellow. I'm in my jammies, and ready to hit the couch.
Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Running in the heat

There have been many posts about running in the heat...check out Caitlin's post on warm weather running. She knows these things...she's from Florida!
Our guest speaker for clinic tonight couldn't make it, so Garrath discussed warm weather running, as it was yet another hot day out there, and we were scheduled to run a tempo. We discussed hats, sunglasses, water, what to do when we started feeling poorly, how to recognize if someone was struggling with the heat, etc. Then we got up, went out and ran.
Our route today was cross the river, follow the path west till 10th Street, cross Memorial and go up the hill. Yes, UP THE HILL! It was still 25C out there, and this particular hill sits and bakes in the sun all day. Rather than just run 1km to warm up, we took it slow right to the top of this hill (just over 2km) before pulling up the pace to tempo, for the ridge across the top. It's a beautiful run - panoramic views of the river, downtown Calgary, mountains to the west, etc, capped by gorgeous old homes on the other side of the street. Oh, to win the lottery! Anyway, our goal for this stretch (again, about 2km) was to maintain tempo pace of 7:07, but with the heat and the hill, we were all lucky to hit 7:30. But that's okay...I didn't want anyone hurting themselves or getting sick. The wind really picked up on the ridge, and was blowing right into us...that really added some serious resistance! And we got sand-blasted coming down Centre St, but I'll just think of it as nature exfoliating us. No more wrinkles for me!! We finished up (must remember to enter more than the projected distance in my Garmin, as it was done at 6km, although I'm guessing we did closer to 6.5 or 7) and got back in to stretch. Everyone seemed okay (I am such a mother hen) and then it was time to come home, change out of very, very wet running clothes!
I ate at the market before the clinic (a 6" roast chicken sub on whole wheat with cheese, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato and hot pickled peppers), and 1 c 1% chocolate milk. I left the other cup for after the run (oh, so good!). And lots and lots and lots of water!! I think I sweat out a good 2 or 3 pounds on the run.
I'm going to weigh in tomorrow, since my Thursday meeting will be closed due the holiday. Just found out today that if we wanted to, we can take Friday off as well, despite it being the first business day of the month. Turns out the powers that be decided to make Monday "day 1", so we can also enjoy a long weekend. However, I have most of my vacation time booked up with runs and conferences, so I'll work it. It'll be like a morgue around there on Friday and that usually means getting a ton of work done!
Okay...I need to take my contacts out, wash all the sunscreen off my arms and face and start to wind down for the night.
Hope everyone had a great Tuesday.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby, it's hot outside!

Whew...hit 28C (83F) today. May not seem hot to some, but remember, it was snowing at the beginning of the month!! I like a nice, moderate 22-23C myself...this is just crazy hot. But I still hauled my butt to boot camp, heat and all.
Breakfast was Liberte Coconut Crack yogurt, 1/2 c oatmeal and some diced peaches. Cool and refreshing and a great way to start the day. Lunch was leftovers...a burger, the potato salad and some green salad, to up the veggie quotient. I ended the afternoon with a banana, before heading home from work.
Met up with everyone in the park, with all of us desperately hugging any shade we could find. Trainer Josh was kind and sent us out to the Douglas Fir, which is a lovely, shaded trail run through the forest. I'd guess the temperature was a good 10 degrees cooler. After our warm-up, we came back and did killer circuits in the sunshine. Jumping hurdles, push-ups, ladder work, lunges, squats, sprints, shuffles, full body bike, squat presses and extensions. Repeat 3 times! We did all listen to ourselves though, and often stopped for water or even just to stand in the shade for a minute to cool down. After the circuit (and a couple of minute break) we worked on our core with v-sit, drop-downs, toe touches, bench presses, plank, bird-dog and superman. I love what half of these are called, but they really do describe the move. My butt is feeling today's workout already. It's a good pain!
Picked up Mom for our usual Monday night visit with Dad. He seemed out of sorts tonight, and even started talking about my uncle, right out of the blue. Odd, as my Dad doesn't mention my uncle that often - he passed away probably 35 years ago now and left a very large gaping hole in my Dad's life as a result. It is rare for Dad to talk about him at all, so today was just off. and then he was going on about Mom and air conditioner and how she bought it and moved it herself. We were talking about how nice his fan is...anyway, I'm waiting on scheduling a meeting with the doctor next weekend, so we can discuss his "progress". I'd love to be a fly on the wall, and see how he is with the medical staff. Does he act differently, so they don't see him as weak? Would be good to know.
I finally began to feel faint, so said our goodnights, dropped Mom off and came home to whip up a very simple but tasty dinner. Scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese, avocado and tomatoes with evoo, lime juice and Epicure Guacamole dip blend.

It was quick, cool and delicious. I had a bagel wrap (one of those frozen Philly things...they're all right) for "dessert" and then an ice cream bar to cool down.
Gulping down water as well, and I've got the fan cooling the bedroom even as we speak. This is the part of heat that I hate. Calgary is supposed to be cool at night (everyone bitches about it all the time!) and I can sleep in cool...I cannot sleep in hot. Blech!
But I am tired tonight, so I'm going to shut down and go to bed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Where did the weekend go?

Can't believe it's Sunday night and time to wind down for the work week ahead. Just like that...

Friday: Boot Camp in the sun - we did do some hill work and my quads are still paying for it this morning. Alternated some circuit work with hiding in the shade trying to cool down. Survived, and did my usual swing by Mom's, visit with Dad, drop Mom off, come home and eat. As I didn't want to overheat the house, I just heated up some beef samosas in the toaster oven, and called them dinner. It was too hot to eat too much.

Saturday: slept till I wanted to wake up. Granted, the furbabies did wake me up at 5 for breakfast, but I managed to fall back asleep and stayed there till 8. Normal time, really, but it was without the alarm, which is huge. No one to meet for coffee though, so I walked over to Starbuck's and grabbed my latte and an egg sandwich to go and came home to eat. Puttered around, doing nothing really (work avoidance, as the lawn desperately needed to be cut), which resulted in an accidental 2-hour nap! Felt awesome. After swinging down to get Mom, visit Dad and back, I made a quick potato and egg salad with both regular and sweet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, celery, mayo and Epicure's Cheese, Chive & Bacon dip as seasoning. Yum. Grilled up a couple of sausages on my grill pan, and that was dinner. As close to a BBQ as I can get without a balcony or yard.

Today: Up and at 'em bright and early for run club. Official first Long Slow of the new training season. I am pacing the 5 hour group, although I do have one person who is 5:45-finish (where I was a mere 6 months, how things have changed!), so our 13km pace today was 8:00/km. We weren't doing too bad, given the diversity of the group, and I think I'm getting the hang of this pacer thing...good thing I have a loud voice, as I was always warning of bikes, impending runners, walk breaks, etc. Good group as I think everyone gets along well. I hope they all last and meet their specific targets. Myself included, of course. Goodlife is only 112 sleeps away (I know...I am a geek!). After the run, there was a brief panic as I couldn't find my car keys! Normally I stuff them into my run pack, but they weren't there, and I was terrified that I was going to have to go out and walk the 13km we just finished running! Crap!! However, the building security was just walking by, and luckily someone had turned them in. I think I left them in the loo, actually. But breathing easier, I went outside, took off my shoes and socks and soaked my feet in the nice, cold wading pool outside Eau Claire. In fact, quite a few of us runners were doing that...felt awesome! We sat and sunned ourselves, chatting (more work avoidance) until the place really started to fill up with kids, before heading for home. I had a quick bite to eat, went and got Mom and did a grocery run with her. She's really starting to pass these little things off on me (you get what you think I'll like), so I'm finding I literally have to drag her around the store, asking what to get. Not liking this at all. Visited Dad, dropped off some stuff for him (Pepsi and ice cream sandwiches), dropped Mom off and unpacked her groceries, chatted with her lawn guy about the weed crop out back and what to do (he's going in!!! Brave man!!!!)...turns out our families have known each other for over 40 years! I didn't know that until today. We grew up on the same street, my older brother would have gone to school with him, our dad's worked together...the list went on. Very small world. Came home, made dinner of burgers I had in the freezer (with Epicure Burger blend) and some baked sweet potato fries. I have a leftover patty and the potato salad set aside for lunch tomorrow. After procrastinating as much as I could, I finally went out after supper and got the grass cut. Had a nice with with H-woman, as she was walking home from work, and then an interesting chat with a pair of Calgary's finest. Turns out one of my tenants called them on Friday to complain about another tenant, and they were just following up with me to see what was wrong with the first tenant. Turns out he was belligerent with the police, slammed doors on them, etc...not sure if I should be scared yet, but I will be keeping an eye on the guy. It was nice of the police to follow up with me though, as they didn't feel right about the situation on Friday. And they were hot! Just sayin...

That was my weekend...exciting stuff. Usual work week ahead, with Thursday off for Canada Day, and back to work on Friday. Can't even book Friday off, as it's day 1 of month end. At least next year, it'll be a 3-day weekend.

That's it for me...hope everyone had a great weekend.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Down is down

Today marked my return to Thursday weigh-ins. Being a longtime Weight Watcher's member, I am slightly (okay, so more than slightly) superstitious, and therefore don't eat before weigh-in. I forgot how long it is between waking up and noon! So I may allow for a latte next week, which will get me some protein and calories long before my lunch.
Was down .4 this week (FINALLY!) which I will take. I was much better about packing breakfast and lunch and walking away from the emotional eating. Running clinic started again on Tuesday and that is going to help A LOT! Settling back into a routine is a good thing...I am a routine girl. Talk today was our report card for the year to date...can not believe almost half of the year is gone already. Anyway, we rated ourselves for journalling, measuring, filling foods, healthy choices, etc. I am proud to say that for the most part I rate myself an A - I just let the emotions get in the way. Tackle that, and I'll be at goal in no time.
Since I didn't have breakfast, I did eat my lunch rather quickly. Good thing it was delish! I made a turkey wrap (whole wheat tortilla, roast turkey, light mayo, chipotle chili powder, some shredded cheese and cilantro) and a salad with lime/evoo dressing over greens, tomato and avocado. My work mate decided she was emotionally eating today though, and suddenly I found a nanaimo square on my desk. Of course, didn't stop myself from eating it! But again, I didn't have breakfast, so had the points. I do eat them with a fork, in little tiny bites, to make it last!! Good thing I had a run planned regardless.
Met up with C. from clinic to do our steady run today. It's the first week of clinic, so we were scheduled to run a 6km (3.73 miles) steady, wanting to aim for a pace of 8:37-8:59 (5:30 to finish pace) for the whole 6km. One thing we didn't count on was how warm it was outside. Granted, not as hot as Florida, but 25C (77F) and bright and sunny is hot, especially for how Calgary's spring has been thus far (snow at the beginning of June!). We did an out and back (my usual tempo route) and we started strong, but C. was way overdressed for the heat and we slowed down a lot. But we finished, with a pace of 8:45, which is right in the middle of what we were aiming for. I'm pleased...just have to learn to adjust for the heat. Since we started and finished at work, I just went back upstairs and grabbed my stuff and then walked home in the sunshine.
After a brief nap on the couch (somehow missed 15 minutes of the news), I made supper. It is too hot to cook, so I thought a pasta salad would be good. I had beef tortellini in the freezer, so thought a taco pasta salad would be good (I bought 4 avocados this week!). While the pasta cooked, I mixed sour cream, salsa, lime juice and Epicure Taco seasoning in a bowl. Added ripped up cilantro, a diced tomato, the rest of today's avocado and some green pepper. Cooled the pasta under cold water and tossed that in with some shredded cheese. Again, not the prettiest meal, but it was good and I am satisfied.
Going to try not to melt, drink some more water and make it to bed at a decent time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First time Pacer

Tonight was our "first" run-club run of the session, and my official first as a pacer/group leader. Eeek! I so want to do a good job!! I printed off the training schedule (granted, for my race of October 17th) and calculated all the paces for 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 and 5:45/finish. I made copies for everyone...and proceeded to leave them in my car! D-oh!
Garrath sent me and my flock out, and when I asked him our pace, he said 7:07. I heard the collective "gulp" from the group. Most are returnees, with one new girl, and new to running period. It was a Tempo run night, with the goal of running 10km. We warm up the first 3, run tempo pace (7:07) for the next 4 and then cool down the last 3. Easy enough...except the 7:07 pace is for a 5 hour finish, and I had members struggling right from the get-go. And debates as to what exactly the warm-up pace should be. My old pacer ran with us, and added her wisdom to the debate. She decided we were going too fast, but again, she's used to us running at 5:45. I've sped up over the last 6 months! If I stuck to last night's trial run pace, I would finish a marathon in 5:08 (I love all the little gadgets within the Running Room online training site!). I need to clarify with Garrath how to handle the different paces, and how to settle on one pace that will meet every one's needs, including my own. After all, my goal for Toronto is sub-5.
Started the run with 5 of us, and finished with 3. After some stretching, and talks about chiros and physios and injuries, I went out looking for the other two. Leave no one behind...that is our credo. Finally figured out that they must have cut back early, as their bags were gone from the clinic, and I went looking for them in the bar.
Sadly, it appears I broke someone the first night! K. (my former pacer) was having serious back spasms, and she figured it's because she ran too fast too soon (also hasn't really run since the marathon May 31st). And C. came back with her, as she didn't want to push herself too much. We're meeting up for our steady run tomorrow (C. only), and she specifically told me to push her a little harder. 'kay! Our deets tonight, in the meantime, worked out to a 7:55 overall pace, with our tempo portion working out to a 7:22. Not bad for the first night out.
Had a couple of Irish Meal Replacement pints (aka Guinness) and am now home and am very mellow! In my jammies and ready for bed. Tomorrow is the first attempt at switching my weigh-ins to Thursdays, so we'll see how running club (running, then drinking!) affects things. I try not to radically change too much, as our leader says "are you willing to give that up for the rest of your live?" I willing to give up a pint (or two) on a Wednesday forever??? Nope!
Nothing too exciting with food...egg and hash browns for brekkie, a nice chicken salad at lunch and a turkey/avocado wrap (kind of a variation of my salad last night) for dinner before the run. Oh, and there was that Nanaimo square this afternoon...I was hungry, I held off as long as I could, and I then I caved. And I thoroughly enjoyed every last decadent morsel!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marathon training, Part Deux

It was a triumphant return to marathon clinic tonight, but first the day. Typical Tuesday, actually. I had some sunburn on my neck and shoulders from yesterday, but not sure if it was from the walk at lunch or boot camp, so this morning I layered on some sunscreen just in case. Of course, that was while listening to the thunder rumbling outside at 6:00am...don't usually have thunderstorms that early in the day. And walked outside with my cute little short-sleeved hoodie into the rain. I turn around and get my raincoat, or do I just keep walking. I kept walking. It stopped by the time I hit the end of the block. I was a very good girl again today and packed both breakfast and lunch. Two days and counting! Yay me!!
Breakfast was Kashi cinnamon squares with UVAB, blueberries and strawberries. Yummo way to start the day. As we are winding down the healthy snacks at work (they don't run them over the summer for some reason), I did take advantage of the free yogurt and light cheese being offered. Those became my afternoon snack. Lunch was the last of the leftover Chinese and brown rice (thank goodness...I was getting bored of it!) which I ate before wandering out for a walk. Happened to pass a Running Room in Kensington, which just happened to have sale signs out front. how on earth did that ultra cute top end up in my hands?! I may not run fast, but darn it, I look good!
Puttered away the afternoon, and then got involved in an awesome focus group for work. Can't say a lot at this time, but damn, I am EXCITED to be working where I work right now. Goosebump excited...just sayin'. Finished work, walked home (in the rain), swinging by Safeway to grab just a couple more things I forgot last night, and came home to whip up a 'tex-mex' salad. Into the bowl went mixed greens, a diced tomato, half an avocado and some yellow pepper. Top that with roast turkey (just bought some at the deli), toasted whole wheat tortilla chunks and cilantro. Mixed it all together, and added my dressing of sour cream, salsa, Epicure Chipotle Chili powder and lime juice. Once tossed, added some shredded cheese. It looked messy, but it was durn tasty! And quite filling...although I realized my bowl was a tad on the large side.
But I needed all the energy I could muster, as it was the first class of marathon clinic tonight, and that means pace race night. After introductions (I am a "group leader" now...oooooo) and general what-to's and where-for's, we head out for the 5km race. We all wore bibs, so that they could track our time, and therefore figure out which pace group we belong in. I am the "5:00-to finish" leader, so we'll see who ends up with me. I flash back to last clinic, and the first run of the class. First off, I had NEVER run 5km without stopping before, or if I had, it was a very long time ago. I made it to the halfway mark, and then had to be run-in with Garrath. Not that it was a bad thing, because I was able to talk to Garrath one-on-one (okay, gasp with Garrath!) as well as testing my abilities at that time. My time was 39:26, and I was just so proud that I managed to run it without stopping. Tonight I ran it, after not doing a steady pace run since clinic ended at the beginning of May, and not really running since the Calgary marathon. I pushed myself but not, didn't want to burn out, but didn't want to hold back either...just let my legs go, and managed to pull off my best 5k time ever...32:11.20!! I even managed to catch up and pass a couple of ladies, which helps my quiet competitive streak! hehe...
After stretching and gabbing with some of the ladies and Garrath, came home to start some laundry. My workout gear walked itself downstairs, so it was time! Just waiting for the last load from the dryer, before going to bed. Must rest up for tomorrow's 8km Tempo run. I'm so happy to be back!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, Monday

The sun is shining and it is darn HOT in my little 3rd floor walk-up! Wishing for a good cross breeze...I do need to invest in a new fan. Would love one like my Dad has in the hospice, as it is whisper quiet.
I actually went to bed at 9:15 last night...and proceeded to toss and turn for about 2 hours. People in the street, people in my building, planes, trains and all conspired to keep me awake. But I still woke up this morning feeling better rested than I have in a while. Maybe it was the run yesterday.
Packed up breakfast and lunch (Kashi, UVAB, apple & leftover Chinese on brown rice) and headed in to work, sans jacket! I am a rebel, but man it felt so nice to walk to work in just capris and a blouse.
Plugged away at the usual reports at work, and went for a walk at lunch with my friend M., who just completed his first Olympic Tri on Saturday. Finished in 2:51, which was only 50 minutes slower than the winner...for his first, I think that's wicked awesome! He's also lined up to do a Half Ironman in August, and I expect great results for that. Thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather at lunch, as did practically every other Calgarian! I did run into "Hot Boy S.", who is not a boy, but is a massively handsome, hot, cut, lean, mean machine of mature male hunkness (albeit married hunkness), who is in his mid 50's and puts men half his age to shame. Funny thing is I was just commenting that I hadn't seen him in ages (we used to run and do the stairs together) and suddenly there he was. And even funnier, he said he was just thinking that he hadn't seen ME for ages! Ah, fate...why must you shove a married guy at me like that?! Especially a nice, sweaty, shirtless one! Mmmmm...I did get an awesome hug though. It's the little things really that keep me going day by day.
Went to Boot Camp in the SUNSHINE this afternoon! OMG, what ever will we do?! Actually, Trainer Josh was a little worried that some of us were overheating, not being used to sweating in the sun like that. We did great though...after climbing the BA hill, we ran the ridge and down the road, like normal. At one point downhill, I was running at 4:59!!! Ya, baby! We did squats and lunges galore (we had newbies, and he likes to do heavy legs to break 'em in), shoulder work and core. Finished on our mats in the shade, but I'm certain I sweat off a good 10 lbs! And note to self - ditch the black workout gear till fall!
Off to get Mom, over to visit Dad, drop Mom off. Typical Monday night. That was after phone calls from Dad as he "couldn't get a hold of Mom all afternoon". That would be because she was out getting what you asked for at the grocery store, turkey!! I think he wants me to microchip her one day, so he can always find out where she is! Sitting around all day alone is just bad for that man.
Came home and threw together a quick, cool dinner. I couldn't face Chinese yet again, so I grabbed a bag of salad (Pacifico, with carrots, sugar snap pea (it said peas, but it was pea), spring greens, baked soy nuts and poppy seed dressing), added some blueberries and a fillet of salmon. I then pan-fried the salmon in evoo and maple butter, browning till just cooked through. I hate over-cooked fish. It was just what the stomach ordered. And some mini ice cream sandwiches. Not really worth the 2 points each, but they were a nice cool treat on a hot night like tonight.

All right...time to start winding down and getting ready for bed.
Hope everyone is enjoying the weather, wherever you are and hope it is not raining in south Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba. They've had more than enough already!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

M-eh Weekend

It's been a so-so weekend. I think the stress of my parents is catching up with me. I haven't done a lot, but I haven't been a hermit either.

Friday: Work was normal, nothing too exciting happening at all. Then I came home, changed and headed off to Boot Camp in the "sort of" sunshine. At least it wasn't raining anymore! We did a run to warm-up and then a nice circuit that involved everything from squats to shoulder work to abs and core. I left feeling nicely worked over. Pick up Mom, visited Dad, drop off Mom, came home and stood looking in my fridge for food (it's past 8pm by this point). I did polish off some more TimTams (why I bought them, I'll never know!) before deciding on the meal that everyone in blogger land goes on and on about. Sweet potato and baked beans. And my thoughts?? M-eh. Now, I love sweet potatoes, and while I don't love them, I do like baked beans. But together? M-eh is all I could muster. I did roast my potato first, so that it could get a little browned and caramelized, but the combo just seemed dry and blah when I was eating it.
Stayed up way too late (past 1am), as I got sucked in to International Househunters (just had to see which house some random dude from the States bought...was it the old winehouse in the French countryside, the newer home at the edge of a small village, or the 6-bedroom townhome in the heart of the small French town...OMG...I was on the edge of my seat (wasn't really, but it still didn't stop me from shutting off the TV!). Oh, and it was the townhome, in case you were wondering.
Saturday: Got up bright and early and headed down to Weight Watchers. While on the drive, I asked myself why am I still getting up at the crack of stupid on a Saturday and driving to a meeting that is oh, so far away from my house, by myself. No one to go with, or even meet up for coffee, as we have all suddenly developed very busy lives. So on the way there I decided I was switching back to Thursdays at noon downtown. Still with my beloved Faye, and much more convenient. And this way, if I want to volunteer for a race, or go away for a weekend or what have you, I can guilt free. Oh, and I can start eating out and drinking on a Friday night! Woo-hoo! Weigh-in went exactly as I predicted, gaining another 1.8 this week. So, just so everyone knows, chocolate biscuits, fast food and eating at random hours of the day do not make for a healthy weight loss journey!! In case you were wondering... Came home, sulked, ate the rest of the damn TimTams (there, solved one problem!), had a nap and then lunch (scrambled eggs with Epicure 3-Onion stirred in and a little cheese, toast and jam), and then went and collected Mom.
Got to the Hospice and while visiting with Dad, mentioned my recent weeks of weight gain, and how disappointed I was with how I was dealing with life's stresses. Completely missing the mark, my Dad commented "yeah, your gut is getting pretty big again". Deep breath in, count to 10, resist urge to tie oxygen tubing into good solid knot, and comment back through gritted teeth "I'm working on it". We then went on to discuss how he and my mom just can't seem to gain weight, despite eating all the chocolate, cookies, cakes, ice cream and other crap they want. Yeah, heart is breaking for you both!!! Luckily his dinner was delivered and we left, before I said something that would haunt me later. I'm still sitting here shaking my head in wonderment. Dropped off Mom (who did ask, very sarcastically "what stress are you under, dear?!") before deciding I was having Chinese for supper. Maybe a last meal of sorts for me...I don't know. I wanted it, so I stopped at John Wong's on the way home and walked out with way too much food for one person! Good thing I love leftover Chinese. I brought home Ginger Chicken, Shanghai noodles (yes, the fat worm ones!), Salt & Pepper Squid, Palace Shrimp (in a spicy plum sauce), mixed veggies and free dumplings. Ate till I was full, and then packed it all away in the fridge. Hit the sack after the news at 11 (wow...feel so bad for everyone in the southern prairies...I will not complain about our rain again.) as I knew I was getting up for run club in the morning.
Today: Alarm went off at 7:30, got up and ate a couple of slices of rye toast with PB & Jam, leftover latte from yesterday and a big glass of milk. We were running a 10k LSD today, so I skipped the OJ/water combo until we get into the bigger runs. Packed up, put on a pair of shorts and a tee (OMG, what is that bright ball of fire in the sky?!) and drove down to Eau Claire. Met up with a group from the last marathon clinic, and we headed out. None of us were scheduled for a run today, as class doesn't start till Tuesday, but it was nice to see how many just showed up anyway. We went east this morning, as the Prostate Cancer run was just setting up, and we wanted to be sure we wouldn't get in the way of the other runners/walkers. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and it was good practice for me, as I will be pacing this clinic. I have got to learn to watch my pace and put my arm up when we're walking/running. After our run, we stretched and then went into Eau Claire for some breakfast and gabbing. This is really why we run! I had a chocolate milk, egg wrap (eggs, cheese, green peppers and bacon) and the freshest fruit salad ever. Came home, puttered around, although I couldn't get motivated to do much of anything. I did fall asleep on the couch (after having some leftovers) before getting up to go get Mom and visit Dad. I see one my brothers was there nice of him to go get Mom for me...oh, sorry...was that out loud?! Anyway, we had our visit, listened to him and Mom spat over nothing (53 years married, people) and then dropped Mom off. Came home, heated up all the veggies and chicken (I ate the dumplings and noodles earlier) and had a little plate of that. Now I'm cooking up some brown rice, so I can pack up some lunches/fast dinners for the week.'s 8:48pm and I'm heading to bed. After all, with this as my motivator, how can I resist?? Except an alarm has gone off in one of the neighbouring buildings (it is LOUD), so I figure the fire trucks will come blaring up any minute, making falling asleep difficult at best. But again, how can I resist these cuddlers?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I heart Epicure...sometimes...

Furbabies say "hello everyone"...
As some of you know, I am a consultant with Epicure Selections, a Canadian company that sells high quality spices, dip blends, other food stuff and kitchenware. And H-woman had a party last week, that arrived earlier this week. I had loaded it from my Mom's to my car, but hadn't quite got it home yet. I was just too cold, tired and wet last night to care, but knew I had to get the job done tonight.
Walking home, I realized that my ankle did not like last night's jump rope fun, so decided to give it the night off and not go to Boot Camp. Of course, this was while it was STILL raining, so the decision was that much easier to make. However, I still got a good workout, trust me!! The order is in these three boxes, which were in my car, parked behind my building. Have I mentioned that I live on the 3rd floor? Of a building that does NOT have an elevator?? Top level??? Down side of me selling this stuff.
Check out the weight of this one! The other two came in at 29 lbs and 9 lbs, for a total of 116 lbs! I did say I worked out tonight!! Makes me wonder why I didn't choose something light like candles or scrapbooking to sell. Darn my love of all things food!

The only other bad part of selling delicious spices and dips in glass jars! Lots and lots and lots and lots of paper and boxes. This came out of the three above...

As did this...

And this! Okay, not the cat, but she was there to supervise!

I use my bed, as it's the biggest surface I have to spread everything out. Everything gets a little "Carol Whyte" label on it, so that everyone knows who (and how) to order more from. Then it gets sorted into the appropriate order baggy.

Not everyone does the labels and ribbons but I think they look much nicer all done up.
H-woman's own private bag and score for being Hostess!

Now all I have to do is all this back down to the car, after leaving probably 20 lbs of it here, in the form of catalogues, order forms and my own orders...yet another downside. Spend my commission as fast as I earn it! LOL!!!
Before heading over to H-woman's, I did wolf down some dinner. Found this soup at London Drugs, as I just didn't have anything planned and was hungry. Not bad, but needed salt. Sad really, since one of it's selling features is the fact that it's low sodium!!
I sprinkled some freshly grated Parmesan on top, which helped a lot. That's something my family always did, growing up. Parm cheese on homemade soup, which my Dad always made. And he made wicked good soup! Mom was in charge of ham-bone/split pea, which was also most awesome, even after I ended up with an entire pot on my leg and had to spend 4 days in the hospital. Still have a teeny little scar, am shy around large pots of hot liquids being moved around but still love the soup! But that's another posting for another day!
Had a nice visit with H., and am now back home, having a wicked sneezing attack. Maybe I'm allergic to rain?! Must go tear down those small boxes and paper, so that I can go to bed! Work beckons. But the good news is it's Friday!!!
Hope the rain stops and everyone has an awesome weekend.

CHECK IT OUT!'s official now.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soggy Boot Camp

It wasn't raining that hard on the walk home...heck, couldn't even call it a drizzle. Changed and started my drive to Edworthy for Boot Camp and noticed it appeared to be picking up a bit. the time I got to the park and parked, it was officially a downpour. It was raining so hard, I was drenched by the time I walked from my car to the picnic shelter, where we hole up when it's raining. Wondering if Trainer Josh had cancelled or not, suddenly I wasn't alone. Five more silly souls showed up for class, and along came Josh. But what to do with us diehards - after all it's only rain, and none us will actually melt. Darn it. Anyway, we couldn't run the Douglas Fir or Goat Trail, as they were way too muddy and slippery, aka dangerous. And it was raining even harder now, so running on the paths was also out. So we skipped rope (a lot), did step-ups (even more) and many, many, many, many rounds of Tabata (squats, lunges, curls, rows, etc) until suddenly the hour was gone. The rain eased up a bit, but we are all soaked anyway...this time from sweat. Or at least that was my case...can't speak for everyone else. Still happy I went, as bailing would have been far too easy.
Back at work today, to a rather dull one at that. Working on my most monotonous of reports, which I find I get really bored, really quickly. Still haven't heard from anyone at the Hospice (guessing it wasn't that important then, was it?!) although Dad said now the Dr. wants to talk to me. So JUST FREAKING CALL ME!!!! Seriously, what is wrong with these people?!
After Boot Camp, mom and visit with Dad, I came home and heated up leftovers from last night. Salsa rice (brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and Epicure Poco Picante salsa mix), tilapia that was coated with spices (bought it that way at the store...tasty), and some pan fried onion and peppers, which I then topped with some cheddar cheese. Baked it all till bubbly and brown. Yummo topped with a scoop of sour cream. Sorry, no pics...I was HUNGRY!
And now I am tired, so I am going to bed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day wasting, part deux

O.M.G!!!! Seriously?!? Are these people kidding me????? No one has called. NO ONE! WTF???? I just checked my work phone (no messages), my cell phone (no messages) and my home phone...wait, is that? Nope! No messages!!
And again, when Mom and I were there yesterday, Dad was in a mild state of crisis...moaning, trying to get comfortable to breathe, the whole bit. But it's just not fast enough or severe enough for those people, I suppose. Grrrrr!!! I can't wait till I get back to work tomorrow, as I foresee getting a call saying "we can meet at xxx time", to which I will reply a resounding NO. My time is just as precious as theirs, and they can learn to respect that.
Rant over...
Drove to Mom's to collect Red Cross stuff we borrowed for when Dad was coming home, to return it finally. It was taking up space on the couch. While there, I picked up the Epicure order I had put in last week (Mom's is my drop point, thanks to Epicure only using FedEx to deliver now), so I'll sort that out later tonight and drop it off at H-woman's. Why is FedEx a poor choice for delivery options? I live exactly 2 blocks away from my local Canada Post outlet. Today, I drove 48km round trip to collect a ball cap that I had "won" for sales in May. FORTY-EIGHT kilometres (almost 30 miles) for a $5 ball cap. It's a good thing I can write off the $6 worth of gas!!
Eating KD and wieners straight out of the pot! Good thing I'm heading to Boot Camp again tonight, as I feel I'll need to blow off some steam.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A day wasted

And here I sit...waiting to hear from the be-otch (as she will forever be known to me) from the hospice that wants to move Dad. I have spoken to someone there ("we didn't tell you to take time off, we just said that we had to meet immediately") who is "getting back to me" about the situation. I did rip her a new one over the phone, and think I managed to fully articulate how frustrated I was with this recent development and the potential turmoil this is causing both of my parents. Yet still I wait. The Dr. from the hospital did call me (twice) and we talked at length about her initial decision, what the hospice was doing now, how she spoke with them, and how badly she feels for putting my Dad through this. She's upset that her decision was made in error, and now she feels badly. I don't blame her at all, because we did talk at length before all of this happened, and she fully supported her decision. Which just made me madder at the hospice, who till haven't called!! Grrrrr!!!!!
Flashback to yesterday...I did get up at 8 (after going to bed after 1) and met up with E. for coffee. The other ladies didn't make it, but we had a nice visit anyway. And in a beautiful morning to boot...the sun was shining, we were on the rooftop patio enjoying our coffees and gabbing like crazy. After a couple of hours, we headed for home. I had some lunch (beef samosas, chutney and Greek yogurt with lime for dippin') and a nap, before heading out to tackle the front 40, or what others may refer to as my lawn! Man, did it grow!!! Got it cut and bagged, and came back in for some more lunch (I was hungry - could be that I was a touch hungover from the many vodkas and shooters the previous evening) and another little lay down. And it was HOT yesterday (for Calgary in June, that is) and I just don't do well with heat. Hence why I live in Calgary and not Florida, for example.
After walking to Safeway for some dinner (I settled on chicken wings (m-eh), macaroni salad (double m-eh) and a Caesar salad) I ate and then met up with H-woman for an evening walk. The weather was perfect, so we walked the Elbow River loop, which is roughly 4km, talking the whole way. It's awesome to have someone to vent to, and she had her own venting to do. I think we both felt better for it. We ended the evening with a cool drink (I had a frappe at the Purple Perk...Starbucks was closed for the night) and then home. Watched a little TV, the start of the 11 o'clock news (I like to stay informed) and then I hit the sack. I fell asleep with little effort, despite all my mini-naps during the day and the coffee in my frappe at 9. Slept till I felt like waking up (no alarm was glorious) and have spent the day puttering, waiting to hear from people. In other words, a totally wasted day.
I am about to change and head to Boot Camp...I can actually move my arms today, but still not without pain. Chin-up Friday almost did me in! Can't wait to do it again!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where have all the men gone?

Okay, let me admit to something here. I am 47 and single. I have been single for most of my adult life. In fact, I have never been engaged, married nor lived with a man, and it's been roughly 12 years since the last time I was in anything even remotely resembling a relationship. So, I "may" have some issues with 'getting out there' and diving into the dating pool. I've tried the Internet (don't trust it...people lie to my face, why give them a computer to hide behind?), speed-dating (took a YEAR for one guy to call me...seriously, not kidding year, almost to the day...I'm thinking prison myself), wine-tastings, and singles dances. My list of expectations has been whittled down by life over the years, and now I just pretty much look for someone with a personality and teeth. Teeth are important to me. If you are missing some, buy fake ones. They make them look really good these days. And if you already have the fake ones, WEAR them. Just sayin...
I went to a singles dance tonight that was "for my age group". Okay...went with a friend who is a few years younger than I, having just turned 40. We were meeting up with some people that she met at the last dance. We walked into the room, and all I could think was "who the hell are all these old people??" And then I realized I was one of those "old" people!! Is this what late 40's looks like!? I mean, I know I won't (and don't really want to) be dating a 20 year old, but come on!!! That's what I get?! I don't want to date my Dad!
At least dinner was good! It was at the Austrian club, so there were salads (Caesar, pasta, coleslaw, green, tomato and potato) as well as steamed veggies, spaetzle (so not sure on the spelling), roasted baby potatoes, chicken schnitzel and roast beef and gravy. Dessert was cheesecake (classic, and quite tasty) with strawberry sauce and tons of fresh fruit and cheese. I had probably too many drinks (not sure who started buying the shooters and why), and although my friend drove us there, I just came home in a cab. She was staying to party on with her group of friends (all single guys that came in from out of town for this...that makes dating easy) and was wisely leaving her car for the night. Man, it's been a long time since I had to pay $22 for cab ride anywhere...ouch! I am too used to being a downtown girl.
Suffice to say I did not leave with any phone numbers, nor was mine requested. In fact, dances weren't even requested. A weaker person might wonder what was wrong with them, but I just decided that I was far too hot and therefore intimidating. And I stood very tall over most of the men there tonight...I like heels, what can I say? All in all, it was fun, and the group of guys that we sat with were a hoot. Hope they show up during Stampede (they are all farmers) and we can get together again...I just don't think me and my liver can keep up with them!
Okay, it's now 1am and I've just committed to meeting the ladies for coffee at 9am. Must go to bed immediately.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Ripped off 30 full chin-ups today at Boot Camp!! And that was after a push-up/bicep curl drill! Granted, I'm already seizing horribly and will not be able to lift my coffee to my lips tomorrow, but WOOT-WHOO!! I freaking ROCK!
Back to the day...
Left many messages with Hospice ("oh, it's blah-blah's day today...can she call you back next week??" Um, I'm taking VACATION to meet with you people because blah-blah is insisting on it! She can damn well call me back TODAY!). No call. Boo blah-blah...this will seriously affect how I am going to speak with you next week. No respect for me or my time means absolutely no respect for you, period.
Left messages with call back. Again, trying to book appointment for when I have booked time off. Grrr...
Left messages with palliative team at hospital (to see what crack pipe the hospice people are smoking from!)...finally got a call back, but of course, it's the Dr's day off. Seriously, am I the only person who works on Fridays now-a-days?! However, the woman who called me back was seriously concerned with how the hospice was reacting, and is going to get the Dr to call me first thing Monday. And she'll most likely deal with the hospice as well. Hope she brings a big stick!! I feel the need for a smack-down in my future!
Left work at 3:30, came home and changed and headed off to boot camp, in the sunshine!!! What a treat! We ran the bike path to warm up, as everything else is covered in mud and puddles, so a klick out and a klick back. It's so interesting...everyone takes off, and of course, I'm bringing up the rear of the group. Yet, when I look at Mr. Garmin, I'm clipping along at 6:30/km! How am I still LAST?! back to the mats, where we grabbed our stuff and ran over to the other side of the park to do "chin-up Fridays". Breaking into groups, we started with 10 decline push-ups (facing down a hill), swap with partner and do 10 bicep curls (my partner was hating me, as I carried over my 10 lb weights...I don't think she weighed 10 lbs!!), and continued to swap out while the other group did their chin-ups (5 minutes total). After that, it was our turn at the bar. Pulling ourselves up, we then place our feet on our partner's quads to stabilize (we switched partners - Trainer Josh didn't want me squishing the little one like a bug!) and pull up till we can't anymore. We each did 3 sets of 10! Boo-yeah!! There were these teens, shirtless (because it was sunny, and it's "cool") who needed to come over and see what a set of pipes should look like! LOL!!
After that, we returned to our mats, and then moved off to the set of picnic tables where we did three rounds of dips, narrow grip incline push-ups and overhead extensions. After that, we did bent-over rows, kick-backs, sprint, lunges, leg drives, sprint, add shoulder presses, repeat, add bicep curls, repeat. I was feeling the burn, I tells ya! Finished on the mats with plank, side-plank, full sit-ups, and negatives. I was drenched by the time we were done. And seriously, am totally seizing up while I type...I will need to do some more stretches before I go to bed tonight.
Off to get Mom, and off to visit Dad, but had to take a different route as the cops had the main road by Mom's closed off. She thought she heard that there was a water main break, but then again, she doesn't remember seeing Dad last night, so who knows what actually happened. Anyway, finally got to the hospice, where Dad seemed to not be feeling well. Said he had a hard day...well, what he said was "he died". Considering he was still speaking, I'm going to guess it wasn't that serious, but then again, why is the hospice questioning why he's there if that's how he feels?? I am so freaking confused! He didn't say anything about moving, so I don't think they've even discussed it with him. Nice...again, the lack of respect is astounding.
Home now (there was an offer of BBQ by H-woman, but I was running late, so I came home and let her go to bed), and made/ate dinner quickly. Spinach and cheese ravioli with lemon egg sauce. My usual 'go-to' Friday night dinner, although I am fully expecting an increase at tomorrow's weigh-in. I've still been far too sporadic with my exercise and food. But next week I am committing to boot camp every night (oh, yeah, baby!) and packing breakfast/lunch for the days I am back at work. I will get myself into a routine and I will stick to it.
Okay...need to hydrate and hit the couch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back to boot camp

I really have got to get back into my routine...Boot Camp was HARD tonight!! And in the rain, to boot, although that did ease up as the class went on. Running was limited, due to the mud and slippery grass, but we worked our legs with many, many, many, many squats/lunges/jumping jacks and sprints up the trail. Add the shoulder work, core and abs, and I am one tired girl.
Came home and had some dinner...rather uninspired, but it was orzo, Epicure Italian dressing, fresh tomato and parm, Epicure Bread & Butter pickles and some wieners with Epicure Sweet & Spicy mustard. See, I do eat the product too!!
Got a call today from the hospice that they now feel Dad doesn't belong there...seriously?! What was all that before he got there??? It's only been 10 days and now we have to meet again (oh, I'm have a "job" that keeps you from dropping everything and jumping to our every whim and command?!?!) and discuss where to move him this time. GRRRRRR!!! So, two more days vacation booked for next week, at which (hopefully) I can finally get everything settled and organized so that Dad is happy, Mom is happy, lawyers are happy, financial people are happy, the Alberta medical community is happy and what does that leave?? Oh, me...but that's right, I don't count. I can't wait till I actually use a vacation day and take a vacation...intriguing...what is this "vacation" you speak of?!
You have no idea of how badly I want a package of chocolate Timtams right now! Almost swung by a store on the way home, but I'm busy trying to convince myself that water is exactly as good! It's not really working, BTW.
Okay...I'm heading for bed. Someone wake me when all this is over, will ya?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What a freaking day

ARGH!! Don't you just hate "one of those days"?? I do! Had to drive again this morning...yes, I know full well how spoiled I am by my walk to work, and I miss it so! I truly hate driving in traffic. Which is sad, because I love to drive. I just don't like the faces and multiple f-bombs I drop all over the place simply trying to get to work. Getting there this morning took 30 minutes...oh, and I'm LEAVING downtown, so one would think going against the flow would make it easier...oh, no. I did not get up and go to Boot Camp this morning (or yesterday) and I have no reason other than I just didn't want to go work out at 6 am. I am just not a morning person...there, I said it.
Day 2 of course was good, as it was a little more lively and interaction than yesterday. I was seriously crashing about 3pm yesterday, which is bad since it went till 4:30. But I am all smart now, knowing how to handle people. Kind of ironic since I really don't like a lot of people...I think they are whiners who need to grow a pair and walk it off. Probably why I haven't chosen a career in HR!! Anyway, it took an hour to get to my Mom's yesterday from the Barlow location and I was not impressed by the time I got there. I went because I asked Mom if my brother was picking her up. Conversation went like this:
me - "Is J. taking you over tonight?"
Mom - "Don't know - haven't heard from anyone."
m - "okay, I'm on my way"
once at the house:
M - "Didn't J. want to come with us tonight?"
m - "Don't know, I haven't talked to him. Have you?"
M - "I don't know."
m - "Where is your phone?" Pull up call display, and hit redial when I find my brother's number (about the same time I called, as a matter of fact)
m to J. - "You coming for Mom tonight?"
J. - "Um, yeah - just talked to her...on my way, 5 minutes out".
m - "Guess we're all heading over together".
The good news is I now know that I can fit in the back seat of a mini Cooper should the need ever present itself again! Once home, I did clarify that he was getting Mom tomorrow and I was getting her Friday and tonight (Wednesday). I then made Mom write it down. That is my mantra now with!
Only took 50 minutes to get to my house after course tonight (have I mentioned ARGH?!), and I decided to eat before I headed down, since I am growing weary of eating at 8 or 9 pm. I missed Boot Camp tonight, and I'm also getting crabby about that. I'm looking forward to going tomorrow night and I don't care if it's still raining! However, my cursed day continued as I watched my freshly cooked salmon hit the floor, rather than my plate! 5-second rule!!! Could have cried though. Then it was another 30+ minutes to drive to Mom's. And again, this is past 6:30, there is no hockey/football/sporting event of any kind, so where is all this freaking traffic coming from and why does no one know how to actually drive?!?!?! Serenity now is not even working!!!
Had a nice visit with Dad (although the first 20 minutes were spent listening to him in the bathroom...quality time!) and then dropped Mom off. Stopped into Community Foods to pick up some Greek yogurt (still can't find the vanilla) and some of the Liberte Coconut crack yogurt. However, I made a discovery...there is the coconut yogurt at 17g of fat, or the coconut 'dessert' at only 8g of fat. And less calories, equal fibre. I heart Liberte. Came home and had some as a late night snack.
Was getting gas on the way home, and almost filled my little girl with diesel...they really need to mark those more clearly!! Bad, freaking bad day. Oy!
Back to my regular programming tomorrow, which includes walking and Boot Camp. Same with Friday. And I think I'm going to go for a nice long run on Sunday (at least 10km) to blow some stink off me. My chafing injury is healing, so I should be okay. Will just leave the fishnet at home!
On a side note: I submitted my bhag (big, hairy, audacious goal of qualifying for Boston) to Lululemon, and was told it should be posted next week (OMG!) AND then Garrath, my clinic instructor, asked if I would be a pacer for the next marathon group, for the 5+ to finish (depending on the need of the class). I feel so honoured and he said just the nicest things about me. Blushing now... Oh, and I'm "scheduled" to be his 4-hour pacer in 2.5 years, coincidentally the same year I'm planning on running in Boston! He makes me smile!
Yay Chicago - thanks for spanking Philly after they ruined my bold prediction of a Montreal/Chicago Stanley Cup. And now hockey is finally over...or at least till August when training camps begin! LOL!
Hope everyone has/had a great week,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fun times

Just returned from a great Epicure party at H-woman's house. She is the best kind of hostess, because she has so much of our stuff, if someone asks, and I didn't bring it, she'll have it! It was tag-team hostessing at it's finest!!
On the menu tonight were: Montreal Steak, Montreal Chicken, beef sliders, zucchini relish, bread & butter pickles, mango chutney, Sweet & Spicy mustard, Honey mustard, Smoky Ranch dip, Tropical Fruit dip, Summer Berry dip, Poco Picante Salsa, Fruit Salsa, Italian dressing roasted vegetables and an outstanding fruit crumble that H. made which had the Crystallized Ginger in it. We are all very full, and yet I couldn't stop eating. Had to leave her house just to slow down the chewing process!! Oh, so good! You know where to find me if you want something.
I do have to wrap it up quickly tonight, as I am getting up at 5, so I can check out the 6am Boot Camp. Seriously, I can't believe I just typed that... Anyway, I'm on course for the next two days, which is up in the northeast, so if I want to camp, I either have to go in the morning (course doesn't start till 8:30) or at 6pm, meaning I miss a visit with Dad. It was supposed to rain all night, and it hasn't started, so hopefully it holds off till at least 7am. I don't mind the rain after work, just don't like it first thing. I know, weird.
That's if for me...not much exciting today, other than the party.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Update to FYI

Using the TransCanada Map as a guide, if I started in Victoria, ran up to Nanaimo, caught the ferry over the Vancouver and kept on running, I've just passed Lake Louise (with last night's 10km), heading east to Banff right now. All since January 1st.


Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.
Lululemon is promoting June as BHAG month. Every day they're going to post someones bhag. That inspired me to send in mine...I WILL run Boston before I am 50 (and not have to buy my way in like a certain 70's TV star!!!). That's 2 years and 8 months for me to push out a sub-4 marathon. I did have a 12% improvement over Vancouver last year, so WHEN I continue with the same level of improvement in Toronto in the fall and complete a sub-5, I've got all next year to improve that last hour.
Me with my game face on!

Last night was the Underwear Affair with H-woman, and the weather held out for us this year. In fact, it was a lovely evening for a crazy 10km run in your underwear! Although the costumes just weren't as good as in years past...oh, there was the team of very hot young men running in their briefs and bowties, and nothing else (thank you, God), and the usual band of Super heroes, angels, tutus (the camouflage tutus worn by team At your Cervix were awesome), and some blue/purple people that we think were the Avatars...haven't seen the movie so don't really know. I once again reprised Madame Chemo, although I did suffer through some serious chafing issues this year...never run in fishnet! Ever!!! Unless you are one of the lucky ones who's inner thighs have never met each other...mine, sadly, are conjoined!!!! I'll put some tea tree oil on it later, and try to keep it covered up. Ouch...

Checking in online this year made the whole thing so much faster, although it appears that the organizing staff listened to feedback last year, as the whole event seemed much better planned and laid out. Spectators had a place to sit and wait for runners, it wasn't the chaos of checking in here, paying your money there, getting your shirt at the third spot, etc of last year. We arrived, we ran, we cried, we collected our shirts, we left.
H-woman's man S. was waiting for us outside (guess we ran right past him) and the four of us headed off to Salt & Pepper for a late dinner. I haven't eaten there in years, and H. and her mom started talking about the fish tacos and I was sold! Sadly, the service left a little to be desired...they are Mexican and I don't think anything happens quickly down there, so I guess we had to be patient. I sipped a Corona (which is odd, since I only drink Guinness and my rule is "if you can see through it, it's not beer") and munched on some nachos with the group. Finally our dinners arrived (after the waiter dumped a glass of water on H.'s mom...) and the fish tacos were worth the wait. Still, we didn't get home till about 11, so it was a long evening.
Woke up without the alarm this morning (GLORIOUS!), and am going to putter around here after my coffee and breakfast of Kashi squares, banana, strawberries and UVAB, before heading down to Mom's.
My nephew and his girlfriend are heading down as well, so we can all go visit Dad together. And they're going to clean Mom's place for her, which is a nice thing to do for your if I could just get them to swing by here!!! LOL!
Enjoy your Sundays, where ever you are.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Interesting FYI

Since January 1st, I have run/walked/boot camped my way over 940 kms. And that does not include my 18.5 km weekly commute to and from work (that would be another 388 km).

I know...I'm a geek.

Argh! Wrong way!!!

This is really starting to get to me!! The stress of Dad and trying to quiet the hunger beast after the marathon have caught up. Granted, it was only 1 pound, but dammit, I pay Weight Watchers to REMOVE weight, not find it! I need to sit down this weekend and plan out the week...everything from food to exercise to my evening schedule of shuttling Mom back and forth to the Hospice. Although, looking back, I suppose I should...okay, I WILL take some pride in the fact that I have really only gained .6 since Dad first went into the hospital 8 weeks ago...yes, it's been a very long 8 weeks.
Boot Camp last night was a good, old-fashioned body burn. We started up the BA hill, which I managed to get all the way up without stopping, and even beat a couple of ladies up (I'm almost always last!). The cotton poplars have started to explode in Calgary, so there is fluff everywhere these days, and it was rather humid, but I beat my lungs into submission, although I did have to take a hit of Ventolin to do so. After the hill, we run the ridge, although there is one spot that is really rocky that I walk (don't want to turn an ankle) before reaching the top of the park and roadway in. Ran down this gloriously fact, across the ridge I was average 8:00/km and down the hill 5:45! Woo-woo!! Back at base, we started with sprints/side shuffles (3 laps) and then 25 push-ups. Up to the ladder, which we ran through high-knees or quick-steps, and then over the hurdles, either jumping or high knees (which I did most awesomely!!!), and then 25 squat presses (have I mentioned that we did ALL shoulders yesterday and I could barely lift my coffee this morning, let alone my 10lb weights?!). Lastly it was off to the races! We wrap a band around a partner, who then pulls us down the field and return, then switch up. Return to the start. We did two rounds of this before breaking for water, and then returned to the start, switching the side shuffles to lunge walking, the push-ups to full body bike and the squat presses to bicep curls. The 'horse-races' were switched up to side squat walks. OW!!!!! Did as much as we could in 5 minutes.!!!!
After all of that, we did core work to settle down. V-sit (which I am getting really good at...couldn't hold my balance before, without my legs being they are straight and long and I'm sitting pretty...practice makes perfect), long banana (arms, head, shoulders and legs are off the ground, with just the base of your back a banana) to toe touches. Repeat 3 times. Then it was plide sank (no, not a spelling's just what we call them), oblique crunches and then weighted roof-tops (full sit-up, lifting your weight) and then negatives (holding weight, sitting up, then laying down to a count of 12). Poor Trainer Josh...when I left at 6, there were only 2 people for the next class there. That sucks that he's out there for two people. Wonder how many showed up for the 7pm class, since the skies looked threatening. We didn't get any rain though.
Drove to Mom's and headed off to the Hospice. Dad seems to be settling in good, although he says he's had to yell at the cleaning staff and his little helper today already. Oy vay... "Had" to yell at them, did you?! Crabbed out at Mom too, for bringing the wrong batteries...him and his freaking batteries!!! Got that settled down and had a nice visit. Then it was time for me to come home and EAT! Had beef tortellini in a tomato sauce and some sliced cucumber as a side. I really need to figure out a fast, healthy menu for next week, as I'm tired of throwing something together and then paying the price at Saturday weigh-in.
Busy making pickles for Monday's Epicure party at H-woman's. Then I have to start putting together my outfit for tonight's Underwear Affair 10km. It's already rained today (wasn't in the forecast, as far as I recall!), so I hope that's it for the day. It'll be nice to run this in sunshine, instead of the rain/snow/hail of past years. Tomorrow will be spent chilling, I think. I need a chill day!
Highlights from the race to follow.
Have a great Saturday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No rest for the wicked

I returned to Boot Camp tonight, all fired up and ready to go. This was after I had fallen asleep on my couch (I hate the 6pm's just that much too late, ya know?) and was a minute late getting there. Pile of mats and weights but no people. It had rained all morning (we can't have Mother Nature blessing us with sunshine two whole days in a row now, can we?!) so the paths were muddy, and I figured I had a 50/50 shot of which way the group went. The BA hill was out (didn't see anyone), so it was either Douglas Fir to the east or the goat trail to the west. I went west. I was wrong... So I went up the goat trail and the stairs (giving someone some encouragement as she was gasping for air and saying "I can't do this"...I said "you ARE doing this and you're going to kick butt!"), ran across the top of the ridge to the crest of the BA hill, and came down said BA hill. No one was back yet, so I ran the 1/2k loop back to the base of the goat trail, and then back into the mats, and finally started to head down to the Douglas Fir, before spying the group on it's way back in.
Back at the mats, we did a ton of shoulder work today. I don't know if Trainer Josh was being nice on the legs because of me, or if he killed them out at Douglas Fir, but it was mainly shoulder and upper body work today. Although there were the obligatory lunges and sumo squats. Many of those. Finished down on the mats for some good solid core work (banana, toe touches, plank) and then wrapped up the class with a good booty burn. Donkey kicks to hold to pulse, pee on the fence to hold to pulse and straight leg kicks to hold to pulse. I love what Trainer Josh calls half these moves! I will feel this tomorrow, that is for sure, but my legs held up great. I thanked him for making me stronger, as it really did help on Sunday too.
Met up with a bunch of the running gang last night, and I am surprised by how well I am doing versus some of the more seasoned runners of the group. One lady can barely move, and I'm thinking...why do I feel so good? And she does boot camp too (just not with me). Wonder what the difference was, because I really couldn't do a good, proper stretch at the race, since the ground was so muddy and wet. You'd think that would be working against me right now, but everything is still running smooth as silk.
I am tired though...I think life is starting to catch up to me, as I really did zonk out on the couch for about 20 minutes. I would have been pissed if I slept through the whole class!! This is my sanity check, after all.
Last day of work tomorrow for the week, and not much planned other than the Underwear Affair with H-woman. Told everyone at the group last night that I was sleeping in on Sunday and going to enjoy every glorious minute of it...if they wanted to run, they could, but I was doing mine Saturday night. Depending on the weather, I will work on the flower beds and cut the grass, and then decide what to plant this year.
That's it for me...boot camp was the bright spot in an otherwise dull day. Hope everyone had a great one.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1st of the month

Today was Day 1 of month end...what that means is many a harried accountant, running around, copying things, making spreadsheets, adding machines ablaze. For me, it means doing my best to NOT do my coworkers job, so that she can figure out how to get everything that needs to be done finished on time and right the first time. You have no idea how difficult it is for me!! Tad bit of a control freak when it comes to month end...shocking, I know.
I am also an awesome boss...I'll say it - I rock. Her eldest had her convocation today, of all days, and after reviewing her work and deciding she was in a good position to finish on time, she could go to the event, as long as she came back and got the work done. We shall see in the morning. I even picked up flowers for her daughter, while her mom worked through lunch. Yup, I'm pretty awesome!
Got a call from Mom early in the day...rambling about Dad moving. Nothing from the hospital, so now I'm trying to contact people and figure out what's going on. Finally, after leaving several messages and then hunting down someone to talk to, I found out that a bed opened up at our preferred hospice (sad, I know) and that Dad was being moved at 4. Called Mom back, only to find out my brother was scheduled to pick her up at 6. Called Dad, who complained that we weren't going to be there early enough to help him unpack...OMG...called my brother, cancelled him for 6 (he can't come earlier) and called Mom to say I would be there between 4:30-5. "Okay, see you at 6", Mom, 4:430-5. "Oh, okay, so normal time of 6, right?"...O.M.G!!!! Mom...write this down - Got it?! Okay, got it. She was, of course, surprised to see me so early, since she had down that I was coming at 6. Oh, and this also doesn't even begin to explain the 5 voice mails I had at home from Mom, over a 2 hour period. Most repeating what she had already said before. I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry now. One parental crisis at a time, please. I just don't have the strength...
We did head to the hospice, which I hope to get Mom comfortable enough to drive on her own, but after today's phone conversation fiasco, I don't think it's happening. Found Dad's room, unpacked him, decided what we could bring for his little fridge that he has, and other little things. Watched him and his nurse go head-to-head (yes, they just met today!), but I have confidence that she'll keep Dad in line! Have I mentioned that I am growing weary of being a grown-up and I just want to go back to bed with my bankie now?!
Missed Boot Camp due to the unpack-a-thon, and will miss tomorrows so H-woman and I can go pick up our Underwear Affair race kits. Did we mention we're running a 10km on Saturday? I have to dig out and dust off the Madam Chemo outfit again...good news is the weather looks promising for Saturday, so I won't have to worry about running in vinyl through the snow!!

Dinner was a hodge-podge, as I chose to once again acknowledge my emotions and stuff them back down my throat followed closely by chicken wings! That'll fix everything. But, since I'm missing Boot Camp, and my legs feel good, I'm going to go for a short, slow run at lunch tomorrow, just to burn some energy. And the aforementioned wings!
I'm shutting down and going to bed...someone wake me when life gets easier, please.

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