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Friday, July 30, 2010

Long weekend

Thank God it's Friday and thank Him even more for the one extra day off work!! I am running myself ragged, and need a day to recoup.

Went to a new Vietnamese place for lunch, and while it wasn't our absolute favourite Vietnam Fortune, it is a close second. The shrimp salad rolls were totally fresh, and the chicken satay pho (with extra veggies) was good, albeit on the slightly spicier side than I'm used to. Still not the broth of Fortune, but it was very good.

Had a bit of a meltdown with our payroll department...not over my pay, but over our work. See, what I do is reconcile and balance certain departments where I work, and in order to do that, I need a report from payroll that lists all the pay for the period. Normally we get this report a few days before month end but today, at 8 am, we were still asking for it. I was calm, and just pointed out that if we didn't get the report soon, we would most likely be working the long weekend and asked who from payroll would be joining us. After all, we can't balance if we can't get questions answered from them. Lo and behold the report finally showed up, along with phone, email and in-person apologies, and finally, whatever we asked for was dealt with faster than it has been in months! Guessing a couple of heads rolled in their morning meeting!! Whatever...when I left at 3:30, only 2 of the 17 areas were left to balance, and that places us in great position to move on to the next phase on Tuesday. Enjoyable weekend, here I come.

No great plans...also have some tenants moving this weekend, so I'll have some walk-through/showings to do. Long run on Sunday (23km!) and will try to get to the medical supply store tomorrow to price out beds and other essentials for Dad. To quote Mom tonight..."I really don't like this place". Think she now wants Dad home too, although she has been living as a single lady for 4 months now. That's going to be a hard adjustment!!

Dinner was leftover salmon from last night, along with some spinach dip and flax chips. Very high in fibre (10gr) but also in salt. I can feel my lips shriveling as I type.

Going to shut 'er down for the night, and try to catch up on some sleep over the weekend. Hope everyone has a grand one, regardless of where they are and what they're doing. And watch for some revisions to this blog...I want to focus some more on running (I'm not very good/consistent at the food pictures) and working out, as well as trying to live life as a healthy 47-yr-old. Think I may have a thing or two to say about that.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

A new plan

Took Mom over to see Dad in the new room, hoping that they had finally got him moved. I mean, seriously...he was coming from the 3rd floor to the 1st of the same building, and when I was there at noon, they hadn't moved him yet ("we'll be moving him after breakfast")...when I left at 2, they still hadn't moved him!!!! Left hand calling right hand, asking what was going on, where he is, etc....this does not bode well, nor did I leave feeling confident with the decisions made.

So what I'm working on is private home care, renting and setting up a medical bed at home, adjusting the bathroom so it works for him, and even looking at meals on wheels to make sure they're both fed well. Mom was initially sceptical, scared that she would worry herself to death about Dad, but after being there, I think she's changed her mind. So I'll be making a bunch of phone calls tomorrow, and try to get things rolling on bringing him home. He looked so miserable tonight...said no one would talk to him (crap...can you imagine being the "new kid" at 77 years old?!?!), his roommate is basically in a coma (haven't actually seen the man move) and when we left Dad was just sitting there, staring at the wall. I can actually feel my heart breaking in two. And it didn't help that as we left, others were asking where they were, saying hello, wanting takes a special person to work in a place like that and I'm so not it! I would be a useless pile of goo the first day.

Food was very erratic today. I was up at 5:30, at work by 6:15, walked to WW at 7 (up another 1.2 - is it really selfish of me that I want Dad home so that I can get a bit of my life/routine back?! Don't answer that...I already know), and on the walk back to work (couldn't stay for meeting), I grabbed a 5-shot latte and a scone. Worked the morning, and headed down to meet with admissions at 11:30. Finally left there close to 2, drove home, parked the car and walked back to work...realizing that it has now been roughly 7 hours since the scone!!! I grabbed an obscenely long hot dog from a street vendor, but only ate about half (didn't sit well), and then munched on a tomato that I had at my desk. That held me over till I left work at 3:30 and walked to Safeway to pick up some fish for supper, a bag of salad and oddly enough, two packages of cookies found their way into my bag! I've only had 3 thus far, and one package is going in the freezer immediately.

I did not run tonight...mainly because I knew I hadn't eaten nearly enough through the day to fuel an 8k steady run, and because I'm tired, the skies were threatening to rain and I just plain wasn't feeling it. I give myself permission to miss a run every now and then. It will not derail marathon training in the long run.

Okay, going to bed. My brain is tired.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where to start

Oh, the difference a day makes. After much back and forth about my dad, the decision was made and it was final. He gets moved, tomorrow morning, into the long term care facility of the hospice he's in. Which is good, as that's the building we wanted. But it's also bad, as we go from quiet, dignified individual hospital room to utter chaos, screaming, dishes clanging and a shared room that's smaller than the room he's in now. It's only temporary...that will become our mantra. We will immediately request a private room, and one in the newer wing, not the old, rundown, sad wing. I was in tears when I left there yesterday and I'm sure I'll be in tears tomorrow when I have to "whip down" (they're very big on me "whipping down" to have a look, fill out paperwork, meeting with meaningless individuals - have I mentioned to these people that I have a full time job that I would love to keep?!) and fill out the admission papers. The lady tonight says "it's such good news that your dad recovered, huh?", that depends on what you call "recovered" and who you ask. "Oh, soooooo...this wasn't your decision??"...Um, no. "Oh, that's explains a lot..." I'm trying not to take my frustration out on these people, as they weren't involved, and the one nurse has been lovely and is as upset as we are. The rest of the yahoos there though...don't even freaking speak to me! Mom is upset, I spent almost 2 hours just sobbing at 3 this morning (reset the alarm and went into work late), and Dad doesn't seem too pleased (although he's very quiet and doesn't spew as easily as his daughter does!). But he's stable and that's all that seems to matter to these people. I am looking into other options, which I'll discuss with the parents tomorrow. Hoping to figure out something that makes everyone happy...soon.

So, not only do we have to fill out the admission papers, pay for July and August, leave a void cheque for future months (oh, hospice is free, this costs $47 a day), we also have to bring our own TV. And phone...and hook up the phone. And hook up the TV. Oh, and a paper, if he wants that, pay for laundry labels, pay for the photo ID FOR THEIR FILES! I get so mad...luckily my parents are in a good financial position, but what happens to the poor old folks that don't have a nest egg? Will be picking up a TV for Dad on the way over tomorrow (good thing London Drugs is close) but I have to get Mom to give Shaw permission for me to call and set up the phone, etc. Despite working for the company, I can't just update their files without it. Sucks...

At least I did okay food wise...again, coulda/shoulda been a food-a-palooza all week. I stuck with salads and soup, even managing to bring a lunch to work yesterday. And I've kept up the running, although my running buddies would like me to slow down a bit!! I run much faster when I'm mad!!! Oops...

After some seriously hot hill training tonight (+27C), I chilled with a pint (Guinness - pint for pint less calories than 1% milk or OJ, by the way) and tried the mussels at the pub. I love, love, love mussels, and these were really good in a Frank's Red Hot lime sauce. Just spicy enough, with a slice of bread for dipping. Nom, nom, nom. Next time I'll order a salad or something to make it more of a meal, but still quite satisfied. Enjoyed the lovely evening, and great laughs (which I so need) until the mosquitos moved in. I am seriously down a pint right now!

Home now, and getting everything organized for tomorrow. I will drive in the morning, walk to weigh-in first thing (will miss my lunchtime meeting), drive to the admissions, drive home, and walk back to work. Then I'll run after work, which I am already anticipating to be a very, very fast 8k!!!

That's it for me. Hope your hump day was grand. I do hope to get back to the blog being about running and food, and less about bitching about the current state of health care for the chronically ill...I'm sure you all hope for that too!


Monday, July 26, 2010


Whew...not sure where I got so tired from, but it's all I can do to keep my eyes open.

Day in review:
Work - can't believe it's already the end of July. One final report due for June payroll analysis, and then it gets to start over from scratch for July. The good times never stop!

Food - all right. I didn't have my act together today, so no packed meal, but I did have an egg & sausage burrito with salsa for breakfast, and a really good chicken fajita for lunch. It was a theme today, apparently. Dinner, which I ate later on was KD, but I like it, so it's fine.

Boot Camp - Trainer Josh is back!!! And we worked HARD today. Think I sweat out about 6 pounds before the class was over.

Parents - all is well with them. Am playing phone tag with the Dr., but the nurse and I are both for Dad staying put. Let's see how much pull we have.

Home - angered homeless couple last night. I know I'm picky, but still, I should be able to tell people that I don't know, who don't live here, that they shouldn't really have sex on someones car in the parking lot. I believe my exact words were "please take your party elsewhere". She screamed and ranted on for about 20 minutes (could hear her from my 3rd floor apartment!) about how SHE was going to call the cops, and on and on. I was more worried about the fact that they saw me get out of my car, and how my poor, unprotected baby was doing! Checked her out once last night (phew, fine...) and again this morning. Either they forgot which building they were at, or...nope, think that's it! She didn't strike me as the type of person to forgive and move on. I did plant some flowers yesterday, finally. The sales are great, but the choices are slim for annuals at the end of July! But the place looks a little brighter, it rained on them tonight, and that makes me smile in the end.

With that, I'm heading for bed.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Retro 10 deets

Was looking at Mr. Garmin and found it interesting that I could tell which km was hilly vs downhill vs flat, all based on my average pace. Makes me think that if this were a flatter course, that I could have killed it, pace wise!

km 1: 7:15 - flat, heading west, and just warming up
km 2: 9:06 - enter the switchbacks, long uphill climb
km 3: 6:28 - running down said switchbacks...I LOVE running downhill!
km 4: 7:13 - back to flat, running east
km 5: 7:21 - still flat
km 6: 8:50 - BIG hill!
km 7: 7:22 - some rolling hills, mainly down though
km 8: 6:41 - all downhill at this point...wee!
km 9: 7:37 - a slight climb up to the turnaround point
km 10: 7:58 - still a small hill up to the turnaround (was told I did the best turn ever - I may not run fast, but I look good doing it!)
km 11: 7:28 - back down to the flats
km 12: 7:38 - the climb back up is just starting. While I can't smell the bacon, I am imagining it waiting for me at the finish line!
km 13: 9:27 - back into the rolling hills, but this time all up.
km 14: 8:03 - still hilly, but am almost at the ridge, which is mainly flat. Bacon, here I come!
km 15: 6:39 - down the big hill of km 6! WEEE!!!
km 16: 6:58 - held the pace from the downhill, and refused to let myself walk and rest up - the finish line (literally, a big red thing) was in sight and I was heading for home.
Sadly, to no bacon.

Hit the sack last night around midnight and slept like the dead, despite my afternoon nap, finally waking up around 9 (okay, I was prompted awake at 5 by two hungry furbabies). Had to sleep with the fan running, as the heat stuck around last night (so unlike Calgary), but it is much cooler already this morning. That will make the yard work I'm about to do easier.

Legs feel great after yesterday's run (I did dip the feet/calves into the icy cold Bow river for a bit yesterday - ahhhhh...can you say glacier-fed?!), but I am feeling my abs from Friday's boot camp session. Guess she knew what to do about abs...she just needs to figure out the rest and then I think she'll make a good trainer. Thank goodness Trainer Josh will be back tomorrow!

Plans for the day include hauling some recyclables, cut the grass and pull some weeds, visit with Mom and Dad (and that probably means a grocery run) and then home to plan the week's menu. I need to sit down and map out a plan, since this floopy "eat whatever is quick and easy and available when I finally get home from running around all day" thing isn't working so well!!! I used to follow menus from Weight Watchers with great success, and I need to dig them out and post them up again.

Oh, goodness...hurts to cough!! Just thought I'd share that!! LOL!!

Happy Sunday, people. Have a great one.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Retro 10

I was a little worried after last night's clouds blowing in, but this morning dawned bright and clear. Literally not a single cloud in the sky. Again, as much as I hate mornings, thank goodness our race started bright and early.

I was up just after 6, and had a pre-race breakfast of bagel, PB and Croft Superfruit (North America). I decided to give them a try, since everyone in blog land seem to really like them. I do have problems with store-bought, since I've had home-made jam my whole life, but this was pretty good. Not my Mama's, but pretty good. Topped off with a cup of milk and I was ready to run.
Drove to the far north west end of Calgary, getting to the park about 30 minutes before the race. It was nice and cool (almost too cold for the tank and shorts I was wearing) but that was fine, as I knew it was only going to get hotter as the day progressed. Sadly there were only about 40 of us that showed up for this run (needs to advertise better!) and it wasn't a timed event. But it was a good distance to practice race day techniques and challenges, and it means I get to sleep in tomorrow!
We started at 8am, and headed west through the park, crossing the river under Stoney Trail, and that's where the first of the hills really started. A full km of switchbacks, up into Valley Ridge, to the golf course. I decided it was really stupid to burn out in the first few klicks, so I walked up this section, and then enjoyed a good run back down. Cross back over the river, and now we're headed east, up and into Blood & Guts! Going east isn't so bad, as after you get over the first hill (which is a steep SOB!), it's pretty much rolling downhill to the next turnaround point at 10km. You can really see it in my pace times...turned around at the church (10km mark) and now it's time to head back home. A few kilometers through the trees and fields before the hills start again. Remember the rolling downhill?? Now it's all rolling UPHILL! Again, I walked when I had to, and ran the other times. I also walked at the water stations - which for such a small run, there were quite a few! Four in total, I think, which is more than the Half I ran through there in the spring. Finally back at the top of the big hill, and started booking it. I felt strong, and kept driving forward, thinking 'bacon'...that was supposed to be waiting for us at the finish line! I crossed through, getting a high-five from Garrath and his son (cutey-patootie!), finishing at (my Garmin time) of 2:01:56. I was aiming for under 2 hours, but I am still pleased with the run today. I feel great still, and know what I need to work on for Toronto. Of course, if I can run these hills, Toronto is going to be a freaking breeze! I think where this will really make the difference is in Banff in September (Melissa's 22km) as that has it's far share of hills to climb.
Did some stretching, grabbed the last of the bacon (one tiny little piece) and some pancakes, and a cup of the worst coffee, ever. Seriously, have none of these people heard of a filter?! I've had camping coffee that was better!!! And it was Starbucks! They should be arrested for caffeine abuse. The "winners" were announced (which for a non-timed event was odd), and then some door prizes, which I won one. And it's like they knew me! Cool Starbucks Moose mug, the fudge popcorn (so gone already), coffee coated almonds and some Pike's Peak coffee beans. Can't wait to grind them up for a cup in my new mug. George was checking everything out, and tried to claim (kitty face rub) the cup for his very own. Too bad he doesn't drink coffee. I do apolgize for the blurry pictures...when I have my contacts in (for distance) I can't really see close up that well and didn't realize they were so out of focus. Growing older sucks...just saying.
Had something a little more substantial to eat, baking up some samosas and dipping them in Greek yogurt blended with a bit of lime juice. Then enjoyed some of the Liberte "Crack" Coconut yogurt dessert...I lurve this stuff!!!
Then I needed to lay down. I was fading quickly at this point, and enjoyed a nice little nap until the heat woke me up. Puttered around, before walking to Safeway to look for something raw for dinner. I did not want to turn anything on, so ended up with some dip, high-fibre corn chips (10 grams!), a 7-layer dip, baby carrots and sugar snap peas. Enjoyed a drumstick cone for dessert (I did manage to burn off over 1400 calories this morning) and am now praying for the predicted cold front to hurry up and arrive. I truly hate being hot! Off to find my lightest outfit to wear to bed, and then I think it's time to settle down for the night. I'm going to cut the grass early tomorrow morning, before it gets too hot, and then do some more puttering around. I think I'll try to find a dishwasher tomorrow, as mine is dead and I hate hand-washing dishes.
Hope everyone had a great Saturday. I know I did.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Female trainers

So far, as far as Boot Camp goes, the female trainers are batting zero! Trainer Josh had another commitment tonight, so he sent in a sub. I knew it wasn't going to be a stellar class when we started us warming up with high knees, butt kicks and jumping jacks. One guy was so choked, he actually left! It did improve slightly with the circuit, except she took way too long to explain what to do and kept getting herself confused about what move was next. Once we got started though (bicep to press, drop legs, v-sit (although not a v-sit, but a leg lift), squats, push-ups, extensions, lat flies, mountain climbers, lunge walking, suicide drills, and back to the start. We did each drill for a minute, so even by the time this was done, the class was barely half over! She then took us to the BA hill (why we didn't start there, I don't know), and had us run up and down it for 5 minutes. Did I mention that it was probably in the high +20's (Celsius, not Fahrenheit) and totally sunny? Yikes! After that, we returned to the mats, where she did have us do a pretty good ab routine (she said she used to work for Bikini boot-camp) before we stretched and finished for the day. I heart Josh...I did not heart her. Boo.

Got Mom, and saw Dad, who was doing much better today. Still a little slow and seemed tired, but at least he made sense and was responsive. I had ordered him some Humbug candies from a place in Ontario, and they made it to work today. He said they weren't quite what he remembered from his youth, but at over $30 just for the shipping, he's eating every single one of those bad boys!!!! Never did hear from the doctor (she was at the hospital this morning, apparently) but the nurse and I had a very long face to face conversation. She pretty much said that moving Dad is never going to happen, given this week's events. That made me feel much better, and then we discussed making sure Dad was comfortable above all, and cared for. I left there feeling more reassured then I have in a while.

Home, carb-loading. Stopped in at Community Foods to get some Greek yogurt, and came home with some whole wheat pita, hummus and a tuna sandwich on a really good grainy bread. Dinner was a mish-mash (hummus, the sandwich, a bowl of cheerios) but once again, it's late and I didn't want to turn the oven or stove on! I'm also getting loads of water in, so should be ready for the run in the morning. It's supposed to be a hot day tomorrow (feel rather bad for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer walkers tomorrow!) so I am happy that the race starts as early as it does (8am). Of course, I'm not happy about the 16km through the hilliest area of Calgary...twice! Deets on the run to follow.

By the way, thanks to you all for letting me rant here...I do feel better after spewing it all out.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Greet it and eat it...

Emotions, that is. Tonight turned out to be a real roller-coaster, but we'll get into that soon enough.

Slept in a bit this morning (oops) and then about 3 blocks from home I remembered that I left my Garmin plugged in at home. Crap! I wanted it for the steady run this afternoon, so after a moment's hesitation (I was already late, technically), I turned around and grabbed it. I am not a bright bulb first thing in the morning! I decided then and there that I also needed 5 shots today, so swung into Starbucks and filled up. Much better. No scone today though, as I am heading to weigh-in at lunch. I am such a nilly about these things!

The day at work was it's usual mess, which I spent the better part of the day trying to figure out and straighten out. I am an accountant - well, not really, but I analyse data and play with spreadsheets and work in the accounting's easier to say accountant then to say Accounting Coordinator, Installation Services. Anyway, after some hits and misses, and even walking away at lunch before I figured out the piece of the puzzle that was eluding me, I wrapped up the day, happy with everything being in its proper place. I was to meet up with C. from running clinic for our Thursday steady, but she had an appointment that obviously went long. I did wait till 3:50, but then decided to head out (looked and felt like rain). It was far too humid for my liking, but that's good training for Toronto - or at least that's what I tell myself to get it done!

The goal today was an 8km steady, and usually with C., we run quite slow - more for her 'to finish' pace. Today I was on my own, and ran at my pace...which turned into a 7:13/km pace. That's what someone running a 4:35 marathon pace would run. Mmmmmm...interesting! I felt strong at the end, and did get quite a few compliments this week about how strong I look while running (5k race pace on Tuesday and hills yesterday). Met up with H-woman right at the end of my run, as she was on her way to Folk Fest (the island was CRAZY to run through - good thing I'm avoiding it for the rest of the weekend). Quick catch-up session, before I went back into work, grabbed my purse and gear and headed for home.

Dinner was fast and simple - beef and veggie samosas...period. Told you it was simple. But tasty - the shop that makes them is awesome. This is where the evening heads down the track to the loop-de-loop! Picked up Mom and got the hospice where Dad greeted us like this - sideways across his bed, feet on the floor, food on his table, mouth wide open, dead to the world asleep. When we woke him up, his first words were "the book is at the publishers now". Asked if he wanted to sit up, and then tried to move him. For a skinny, skinny man, he is darn heavy! I had to put my back in it, just to get him upright, and he kept slowly sinking back down to the prone position. More confusion out of him - his cell phone was charging, it's Monday night, he ate all his dinner (um, not a bite Dad, sorry, the plate is still full), etc. After about the 5th attempt to sit him up, I finally hunted down the nurse, who was immediately concerned when we also discovered that he hadn't taken his meds, eaten and kept popping in and out of consciousness. Unfortunately, she had another, more serious crisis to run off and deal with (it is a hospice, after all), but the nice, strong, male attendant came in and got Dad into bed properly, and helped him get settled down. We sat a little longer, trying to get him to talk (he would mutter something and then fall asleep again), before we left to get Mom home.

This is where my history of emotional eating jumped right to the front of the line!!! I avoided the fast-food heavy McLeod Trail route home, but I did pull into Safeway near the house. I really did need milk and OJ! After talking myself out of dips, chips, cookies, more baked items, more deli items, I finally "cracked" and brought home a box of Cheerios and some cream. Yes, cream (milk on cereal is gross!). That's not so bad for me, considering I could have inhaled a box of cookies or worse. Of course, it helps that this Safeway is so small (NO Starbucks!!) that they offer a choice of one! So the cookie aisle sucked. God was looking out for me. I had a bowl, and am now satisfied. Still dazed and confused, but satisfied.

I called the hospice to get an update, and although Dad has a fever, the nurse got him talking, and said he was coming around much better and more lucid. Turns out it could be mini-strokes (again, thanks for the phone call weeks ago, when he had one of these "episodes" but it was another nurse that night - sigh), but the doctor will check him out more thoroughly tomorrow. Now, where on earth were the 'transition specialists' tonight??? Think they'd still be so anxious to get rid of him, or is this sick enough for their liking?! But I digress... Assured Mom that he's doing much better now, and we'll go back tomorrow to see what's up.

So despite being up a tad today (.2) at weigh-in (and talking about plateaus the whole meeting) and really wanting to lose myself in sugar, fat and salt, I think I'll survive. Thanks for letting me rant.

Hug your family.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hill training, day 1

And let the good times begin! Tonight was the first night of hills training for this session, but I don't mind them. In fact, I think I'm getting quite good at them. You just have to listen to all the voices in your head, telling you what to do, and then run. Simple, right?

We did a quick warm-up loop of just over 1.5km, before tackling good old Centre Street. While it's not really far enough away from the Running Room to get a good solid warm-up in, it is the perfect hill to train on. There are these beautiful Lion arches greeting you at the base of the bridge and at the top, which we runners use as our start/finish points. Starting at the bottom of the hill, you start to run up, at a decent pace. Hit the first lion, and increase to tempo effort - not pace, but you should be pushing as hard as you do during a tempo run - once you hit the second lion, you can slow down and turn around, repeating the same pacing to the first lion, and then back to the bottom to get the heart rate down. We started with 4 repeats tonight, and I'll say they all felt good. I didn't eat before running tonight, but I didn't feel like I couldn't make it to the end, which is good.

Had another meeting at the Hospice today (I decided to go down, last minute) which was, once again, a total waste of time. Seriously, how many times and different ways are we going to say the same thing??? Oh, and I love the "thanks for meeting with us today, we'll be sure to get right on the transfer when we RETURN TO WORK ON MONDAY"!! W.T.F?!?! These people have been on me to move Dad since June 10th, and now it'll wait till Monday (that would be July 26th, in case anyone is following along)? And that's just to file the paperwork. That doesn't mean anything is really happening, and nothing could happen for weeks...months...argh!!! Had a nice visit with Dad, as we filled out some questionnaire about his past history (although his memory and mine appear to be remembering different things...). I then drove home, parked the car and walked back into work.

Came home and was so tired (really musttry to go to bed at a decent time one of these nights) I set the alarm on my cell and fell asleep on the couch till 5. Got up, changed for running and came down to the Running Room. It was the 20-minute challenge tonight, but pretty much anyone who showed up for a clinic run (which is most groups) got the 20-minute hat. Yay, a free hat and a 15% coupon. Cool!

After hills, we returned, stretched and a few of us headed over to the Barley Mill for a brew. Need to replenish fluids and calories...I had my usual pint (just one) and tried a new sandwich avocado and tomato melt. It was quite tasty...whole grain bread, toasted with tomato, avocado, Dijon mustard, mozzarella cheese and sprouts, with a side fruit salad (mainly huge pineapple chunks, which is fine by me). It was filling but not overly and quite satisfying. We'll see how it does at weigh in tomorrow! I usually don't eat at the pub, but I was just too tired to eat at home tonight.

Well that's it for me. Nothing too exciting coming up...usual Thursday steady run, visit with Dad, work and boot camp on Friday, visit with Dad, retro 10-mile run on Saturday, through the hilliest area of Calgary (oh boy!), visit with Dad, sleep in on Sunday (no LSD, thanks to 10-miler) and finally a visit with Dad. I'm sensing a pattern!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pace race, part deux

Sorry for no post yesterday, but I was out with H-woman, hoisting a pint and discussing boys. We were not overly kind, but I'll let her 'splain more, if she so wishes. Next thing I knew it was 11:05pm, and I still had to walk home from the pub and get to bed. No computer last night, as it was still after midnight before I got to bed. The alarm at 5:30 was just plain nasty!

It was a typical Monday, nothing too exciting, other than a very soggy Boot Camp. The rain started as a light drizzle, which sadly turned into a torrential downpour in no time. We moved to the shelter, but since there were 16 of us, Trainer Josh had to resort to tabatas to keep up moving. It meant way more squat and shoulder work...wait, didn't we do this on Friday?!?! But the hour was finally up, and I got my sweat on just fine. Visit with Mom & Dad, and just as I was heating up some leftover KFC, H. called. Had fish & chips and 2 pints instead. The KFC became lunch today, supplemented by a green salad, so I didn't feel totally unhealthy!

Our clinic tonight was about hills training, which starts tomorrow. Shockingly enough, I actually enjoy hills training, because you feel it everywhere (GREAT for the butt!). It also helps improve your overall pace, posture and running enjoyment. And I've got a very hilly 10 mile race coming up on Saturday, so it's just all good. After the talk, we went out for a 5km trial run (again). The route was slightly different this time, which the obsessive in me doesn't like. How am I supposed to compare if the route is different? Oh well, I was only 1 minute off my pace from 4 weeks ago (flat out and back, compared to loop with a set of traffic lights and some hills), so still feeling very good about my overall training. Discussed the 5-hour pace group dilemma with Garrath, and by the sounds of it, I'll be "sweeping" the 4:40 group (with anyone from the 5 that wants to keep up), leaving the rest to slow down to the "to finish" pace. That is where I started last clinic, and look what it did for me!

Home, after a coffee with some of the group, and now am trying to mellow down to hit the sack. I should be exhausted, but I did sneak in a mini-nap before clinic tonight, which helped. But it is still time for me to get to bed, as sleep is something that I don't get enough of, and that affects my weight and running. Something I am trying to get better about. On that note...'night kids.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Heat stroke or heat wave?

For a day that was supposed to be cool and wet, our run this morning was hot, hot, hot. Based on the weather predictions and the temp this morning (13C or about 56F) I decided to run in capris and a sleeveless T. Should have gone with the shorts. Our run today was for 19km, out to the Children's Hospital and back. It was sunny the whole way, and felt far warmer than the 13 listed. There was a breeze, and I had water, but by the last km (luckily, we were just coming back in) I was officially done. One of my cohorts mentioned that I went beet red instantly, even my arms, so either it was heat stroke or a hot flash! After stretching (in the shade) I knew I needed water and lots of it, so I went into the Running Room to start hydrating. Then I felt a little light-headed and woozy, so food was the next thing on the agenda. I got a chocolate milk (best recovery drink, ever!) and a very large, very fresh fruit salad. I sat with the group (inside) and slowly drank my milk and ate the salad, and quietly recovered from whatever it was that I was suffering from.

We were much slower today than last Sunday but still had a good run. Turns out most of the 5-hour group is suffering from some sort of injury, and all slowed down to run with our slowest of the group (who's running a "to finish" pace). Kind of silly to be a 5-hour pacer with no 5-hour pacees, so I have to talk with Garrath next week to get some guidance on what to do next. I do want to help everyone, but I also have my own goal, and it is not just to finish. I did that in Vancouver, improved in Calgary and have a number for Toronto that I want to reach. No, scratch that...I WILL reach. But what to do about my little group...time will tell.

After feeling much better, I did go back outside to soak my feet in the cool wading pool. That felt great! Got home and took advantage of the empty laundry room, to wash up my running gear. It was getting pretty rank! However, I wasn't completely over my heat mishap, as I ended up fast asleep, not once, but twice on the couch, waiting for the laundry to finish.

That had me running a little late to pick up Mom and visit Dad. He seemed a little off today, coughing and wheezing quite a bit, but overall in good spirits. After our visit, I dropped Mom off, clipped her cats claws, swung into KFC for some chicken and sides, which I found to be actually good tonight. KFC can be hit or miss, I find, but tonight it just sounded like what I wanted. Ate, met up with H-woman while on her break, and then back home to settle in for the night. I still have remnants of the "heat" headache, so it's time to Advil up and get ready for bed.

Just a typical week ahead, with a 10-mile run booked for next Saturday (which is nice, because then I get to skip the 23km LSD on Sunday). It will be a really hilly run, as it's through good old Blood & Guts, but that will only make me faster in the end. Couldn't convince anyone else from the group to sign up for it, so I'll run it alone. Quite a few runners I know will be enjoying Folk Fest, so the Sunday run could be low attendance anyway.

Last night of Stampede, so the fireworks may go on a little longer than normal tonight (I think they just use them all up!), but hopefully I'll already be asleep by the time they hit.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday ramblings

I wasn't out late last night, just didn't have it in me to write. It was a typical Friday, after, boot camp (holy killer one, though!), visit with the folks, home. Sat up way too late, as usual, so didn't really get a full nights sleep.

I'm actually surprised that I can move my arms today, or my legs for that matter, as boot camp really was a killer one. We started with a very muddy Douglas Fir run, which added to the leg work, as you had to maintain your balance on some slippery parts. And very humid, which my asthmatic lungs do not like at all. There is a reason I live in Calgary! But I made it to the top, where we did some drills (up and down a set of stairs, bookin' it the whole time) before running down half way, before turning around and firing back up again. My goal is to one day RUN the whole trail, stairs and all, without having to stop and walk. One day!! Back at our mats we did a 105 squat drill - 15 squats/sprint/15 squats/sprint, till we hit 105. Ow! We then did some push-ups and lunges, lots of bicep and shoulders work, more lunges, then we laid off the legs and concentrated on the upper body, before finishing with good old plank, rooftops and banana (all awesome core work). I am feeling it in my upper back right now, and figure by tomorrow I should be good and stiff all over. Just in time for a 19km LSD.

Woke up to just the sunniest day - thought it was supposed to be wet and cloudy, but it's gorgeous out there. Met up with H-woman and C. for coffee, which was nice since we haven't really seen each other for probably 4 months now! Granted, H. and I see each other more often, but we keep missing C. Chatted and sunned ourselves on the rooftop patio of the local Starbucks (no pics - left my camera at work), where I had my usual 5 shot latte and the ham & egg on chabaitta. Just left there not too long ago (takes a long time to catch up 4 months worth of life!), before walking home and phoning my salon, begging my stylist to fit me in. T-89 minutes and counting!!! After that, I should cut the grass and do some weeding in the yard. I have yet to put flowers in (just lazy and a little broke this year), so I may head off to a garden place tomorrow and see if there's anything I can plant that will spruce the place up a bit (and should be dirt (ha!) cheap, since it's way past the season). I do have lilies that bloom every year, as well as this lovely purple thing I planted and have no idea what it is, but other than that, it's looking a little bare. I like the colour of flowers, so I'll see what I can find to put in to make me happy.

That's it for me...some house puttering to do, as my place is beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders (and that scares me just a little!) and then off to get some pampering at the salon.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slow and steady Steady

Day started bright and early, as usual, but I wasn't moving very quickly. My breakfast was a glass of milk, as I just can't bring myself to eat before weigh-in, even if that isn't till noon. Trust me, I have enough in storage to keep me going for that long!

Walked to weigh-in (about 8 blocks away) and marveled at all the people downtown. Just wish most of them would learn how to walk in public (slow to the right, single file if the sidewalk is skinny, and really...must you smoke while you walk?!) - made it to the meeting without totally losing it. I DID however manage to lose or remove 1.2 pounds this week, despite deep-fried Oreos on Tuesday. Yay me.

Back to the office (didn't stay for meeting, as leader Faye was no where to be seen), stopping at Opa on the way for a wee Greek feast. It's been awhile since I had Opa, and now I think I know why. Holy salt-fest, man!! I'm still sucking back water!!! I mean, how do you make Felafel's too salty?!?!

Work hosted the pie bake-off and eating contest this afternoon. Our winner from last week came in 2nd overall, and won an iPod Touch for his troubles, while the pie eater from our floor (yes, full contest - no hands and eat the entire pie, crust and all, to win) ended up winning that contest, face down. It was hilarious to watch, and he also walked away with a Touch. Very fun.

Met up with C. from running clinic, to head out for our Thursday 8km steady run. The temperature was about 26C (80F) and sunny, so it was going to be a warm one. And we were right! We didn't get above the average pace of 8:38, which is fine for a 5:30 finish, but I'm training for a 5 hour finish. I should have been running at a 7:52 pace. But that's okay...I'll make up for these runs with killer tempo and hills training. I will run a sub-5 in Toronto in October.

After the run, I raced home, changed, ate a little and rushed out (yet again) to donate blood. The place was sadly dead tonight (donors too busy with Stampede, I suppose), and I was in and out in about 45 minutes. The funny part is the actual bleeding portion of the visit takes all of 4 minutes for me. After that, I jumped in my car and went and got Mom. Had a good visit with Dad, and his nurse (who DOESN'T want him to move from the hospice - oy!) before dropping Mom off and meeting up with H-woman for a quick, late dinner. Note to restaurant owners...simply seating someone at a table and then totally ignoring them does not make for happy clients. We will get up and leave...oh, and look at that...we did! Ended up with an okay Vietnamese meal, which hit the spot just fine. Not our fave place, but it'll do in a pinch (our place was already closed for the night...sad).

Now I am at home, and trying to wind down to go to bed. So why am I still typing at 11:45pm??? Because I am a knob sometimes!!

Hope everyone has a great Friday.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I got nuthin...

Really can't think of anything witty today. Had a great sleep, but still hit snooze way to many times. Made it to work and spent half the day taking pictures of everyone dressed western (to win tickets to the Grandstand show on Friday) and the other half puttering about. Lunch was a tasty chicken and strawberry spinach salad, although it had a tad too much feta, which over-powered the strawberries. Came home, puttered some more, fed the cats (had to swing into Safeway to pick up a couple of cans of food...I'm a horrible mommy!) and then had a WW frozen pasta dinner to tide me over for running tonight.
Last of the 10k tempo runs, as hills start next week. Our goal tonight was 3k warm-up (check), 5k tempo (not too bad) and 2k cool-down (done). It was definitely warmer tonight, almost a touch too hot and very humid still. I just keep telling myself this will help when I run in Toronto in October...anyway, we warmed up nicely, increasing our speed each klick, and then maintained a steady 7:07 pace for the 5 in the middle. Cool-down was partly walking and then a slow jog, although we did speed up a bit at the end...I must learn to rein some of these ladies in!
Met up with a few for beers, although given the fact that it's Stampede, there were far less than our usual numbers. Only one pint for me tonight. Although I am an idiot and hurt my Baby Girl leaving the parkade. Damn poles!! Don't know what I was thinking (obviously not about driving!), but I bruised her pretty bad...took out a turn light and scraped her along the side. Good thing she's 20 years old and a little rough around the edges anyway! Grrr...I'll try and clean up the "wound" and see about getting a replacement light cover. Was planning on donating her to a high school anyway, when the time finally comes, so I guess the more bodywork they have to do, the better.
Okay...I'm going to hit the sack, as it's another long day ahead tomorrow, with a nice steady run after work and then blood donation after that. Not sure if I'll make it down to see Dad - depends on how long the donating takes. Although I'm thinking the clinics aren't too busy these days.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Soggy Day

Sorry...I didn't get home from meeting the ladies for drinks until after 11pm, and the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the computer. It would have been 1am before I hit the sack! As it was I didn't make it there much before midnight.

Monday recap:
breakfast - oats/Greek yogurt/peaches/almond slices
lunch - leftover Mexican rice & beans, nectarine
snack - cauliflower soup (I was hungry and cold!)
Went to boot camp, after the rain, but not the cold. We did have a wicked hail storm blow through Calgary in the afternoon (there are blown out windows, downed trees and damaged cars everywhere, and downtown looked like a bomb went off - the storm went through in about 15 minutes!). Trainer Josh made sure we worked hard enough to stay warm, which I for one did. Feeling it in my arms today.
Visit with the parents went well, and then met up with the ladies for drinks/dinner. I used to live with C. (for about 4 years) and met the other ladies through her. Since then, they have all married and had kids and I am the only reminder of their "single lives". Not sure how good I'm doing, or if I'm making each one say "thank god it's not me!", but what ever. We have fun at our get-togethers, which do not happen often enough. C. though really misses adult conversation (3 kids under 10 years old) so she likes to stay out as long as possible. It took forever for me to get her to leave my car so I could go home and go to bed!!! My dinner was Butter Chicken tacos (with a yogurt sauce and mango salsa) which were very interesting and quite tasty. I did not partake in drinks through, sticking to water. Got home past 11pm and to bed after midnight, by the time I putter, feed the cats, floss, etc, so I am really dragging today.

Slept through my alarm, and really needed a latte today. Those 5 shots of espresso were a God send. I also enjoyed a scrambled egg burrito for breakfast. Since we had tickets to the rodeo today, which included drink and food tickets, I knew I would be eating at the grounds. I and one other guy had to hunt down the special item booth this year though...every year, there's some new "food" that catches everyones eye and is the hit of the Stampede. This year it's Deep-Fried Oreos. Yes, you read that right. There's also deep-dried strawberry shortcake, Cola and dill pickles, but the Oreos intrigued us more. It was just too bad our samples had been sitting for a bit. If they were fresh out of the fryer, I think they would have been orgasmic! However, they were soggy, greasy and too doughy. Kept me from eating much else deep fried though. I did have a burger for lunch, with potato chips (not a vast selection) and two Caesars for drinks (vodka and clamato, for those south of the border). It rained all afternoon, but our seats were under the overhang, so we were dry. Cold, due to a constant north wind, but dry. Can't say the same for the cowboys. By the end of the afternoon, there had to be a foot of water on top of the foot of mud in the infield. Made for some fun rodeo though!!! Nothing like hot cowboys all wet and muddy to catch your eye!! And the bulls won today...I am a HUGE fan of bull riding, and I like it when the bulls kick butt. That they did today. I think 2 of the 8 cowboys managed to stay on for the full 8 seconds. No injuries (other than a cowboy ripping tendons off his ribcage...that has got to hurt!!!!) or other horrible moments to contend with, so I left the rodeo with a smile on my face. Heard that the Stampede actually cancelled the chuckwagon races and Grandstand show due to the poor conditions...OMG, just realized that means NO FIREWORKS...I can sleep tonight! Of course, the weather is to dramatically improve tomorrow, just in time for the other people on my team to go to the rodeo. Typical.
Came home, ate the last of the Mexican Rice & Beans and went to running clinic. Our speaker was a physio who discussed heart rate, training levels and injuries. And foam rollers. I like my stick better and will use it before I go to bed tonight. Luckily the rain slowed to a drizzle in time for our 6km Tempo, although the wind did not. But we rocked it again, despite the strong headwind. Only two others from my team showed up, so the three of us managed a tempo pace for 3km of 7:02. That's faster than our goal of 7:07. Wicked.
Got home FREEZING and I now sit here with a long sleeved shirt and a huge sweatshirt/hoodie on top, drinking hot chocolate! I am finally feeling warm, and with the warm milk, am so ready for bed. So I think it's time to shut down for the night, and take advantage of a solid evening of shut eye without the booms of fireworks to wake me up.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Good run and full belly

In that order...

Woke up to a slightly cooler, cloudy morning. No rain, which I hoped if forecast would hold off till after our run. The schedule had us doing 16km again today, and the same route as last week. Cross the river, west to Edworthy, cross back, through the park, up the road (1km hill) to Wildwood, east to the pathway link, down through Douglas Fir and east to Eau Claire, on the south side of the river. I decided to mix it up a bit for our group, as we ran the route backwards from last week. The hill, while still long and steep, isn't as bad as the roadway, and much nicer on knees and ankles, as it's packed gravel. Our group was a little spread out today, with two bringing up the rear, two sticking to the middle, and one sticking up with me in front. Our overall pace was faster at 8:17 this week (last week was 8:27), and everyone said they felt better today. We got back, did some serious stretching (my hip felt great this morning, and held up fine all day...I'll "stick" it again before I go to bed) and then wandered off to see the local Turkish Festival taking place. All I wanted was a coffee, so I got a Turkish coffee, complete with free cup (it's so cute). However, I forgot that Turkish coffee is sweet, while I do not put anything in my coffee, other than milk in a latte. It was good and strong, but way too sugary for my taste. I did, however, absolutely savour the two pieces of baklava I purchased along with the coffee. Yum, yum! We then wandered back to the wading pools (I had already changed runners for flip-flops) and soaked the tootsies for a while. The pools are nice and cool, and because of the clouds, relatively kid free till after noon.

After my soak, I came home and dove in the shower to really clean up, before heading off to get Mom. We did a "grocery" run - I use the term loosely, as I seriously don't remember ice cream, cookies, jelly beans, chocolates and the likes on the grocery lists growing up!!! Stopped in and had a visit with Dad (3 more names on the Angel's table this morning...that would be at least a dozen since Dad went in on June 1st) who even got out of bed and came and sat with us, for a good face to face visit. One of the volunteers was around and brought us coffee and some seriously day-old cookies. But they were good, and the coffee really hit the spot. Took Mom home, unpacked her groceries, then popped into the store to pick up what I needed. Milk, cilantro, sour cream...not quite as tempting as her list!

I decided I wanted to make a Mexican version of my Jamaican friend's Rice & Peas. Instead of the bacon, hot sauce, thyme and black-eyed peas, I used cumin, tomatoes, red & green peppers, oregano and black beans. Topped it with some melty cheese, sour cream and salsa. I am FULL! And I made enough so that I have lunch for tomorrow.

I'm really overbooked tomorrow night, with boot camp after work, Mom and Dad visit and then a late drink with the ladies. Normally that would be dinner, but since parents take priority right now, I'll meet up with everyone later for a glass of wine. Save me some dollars too!

My butt is dragging here, and darn it if it isn't hot again (super nice rain storm blew through earlier, but it is long gone now)...I'm going to clean up from dinner, floss, wash the face and go to bed. Don't care if it's 9pm on a Sunday.

Hope the weekend was fun for all.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rainy day

Even though it's much cooler today, I still had to sleep with the fan on all night long. I must have been tired though, as the drone barely kept me awake. And I do love waking up without the alarm. Up once at 5 to feed the kids (they do love their schedules!) and then back to sleep till 9. It was cloudy all day, with the rain finally arriving about 3. No great downpours, just a nice steady rain to wash things down and keep it cool.

Woke up nice and slowly, puttering around in my jammies, sipping an iced coffee (homemade with 1% milk and espresso) and munching on toast. Finally decided to get dressed and go get Mom, as we were meeting with the Hospice care doctor today, to discuss Dad and his care.

Got to the Hospice just past 1:30, and watched the remainder of the football game (yay, Stamps!) with Dad, only to find out that the doctor was dealing with another family. Our "appointment" was at 2, but she didn't make it in till at least 3. But after a long talk, with Dad as well (after all, this is all about him), it was decided that he is best suited for Long Term Care, as opposed to Hospice. This way, he can get some rehabilitation and actually get out and leave his room every now and then. Not that he's recovered, nor will he ever be, but he's just not as sick as first thought. Once I was assured that he would receive the same level of care, and that he wouldn't be treated like a piece of meat and tossed about between facilities and the hospital, I/we all decided to go forward with placing him. The downside is we are now at the whim of Alberta Heath Services, as we have to take whatever room they put him in and THEN we can try to get him moved to a place closer to home. That is to say, he could end up somewhere in the far northeast, while Mom lives in the southwest. Could mean even more mileage on my poor old car and late nights...and people wonder why I run! The doctor even pointed out that I looked a tad surprise there.

After the meeting, I dropped Mom off, came home, polished off the remainder of last night's supper (dips, whole wheat tortillas and a pasta salad) and then fell asleep on the couch for a good 2 hours. The only thing that really woke me up was my hip aching. And not the one giving me grief the last couple of days. I don't have the most comfy couch!

My left hip has been "out" since Friday morning. Feels like if I could just pop it, it would feel so much better. I've been taking ibuprofen, and stretching, twisting and working on it with the stick, and it is finally feeling better. At least I can stand up now! I just hope it feels better for tomorrow, as I really do hate missing a run (did I just type that?!) and feel responsible for showing up, since I'm a pace leader. We're doing the same route we did last week, which is nice, and I'll put it out to the ladies if we want to approach it from the other direction (go clockwise this time), just to mix it up a bit. We'll see in the morning.

Supper was a simple frozen dinner (where are the vegetables, by the way?) and then some toast with cream cheese, as those dinners really are pathetically small. A big glass of chocolate moo, and an ice cream sandwich, and I'm good for the evening.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Waiting for change

Walk to work - hot.
Walk at lunch - hot.
Walk home - OMG hot!
Boot Camp - OMG, take me now, HOT!!!
Visit with Dad - hot.
Trying to eat something with some nutritional value at all - hot.

I do not know how people live in the tropics. I do not like all. There is a change coming tomorrow, where the high will only be 19C (or about 50F). That will be much better! And some rain would be nice too. And then if it could stay cool for Sunday's 16km, that would be most awesome. I don't ask for much.

Going to bed now, where it's hot.

Have I mentioned that I am miserable?!


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Whew, it was a warm run tonight. Met up with C. from running clinic, and let her set the pace. A) because I remembered everything BUT my Garmin, and B) she's a bit of a turtle, and I didn't want to push her too hard. She is in my running pace group, but at the 5:45-finish side, not the 5 hour the rest of us are training at. During the clinics, I push the group as a whole, but when it's one on one, I slow myself down. And it was HOT out there tonight...we started just before 4pm, and ran the loop by the river. Not much shade or breeze tonight, but we kept our pace slow, around 8:10-8:30, and sucked back the water.

Once we finished the run (8km), we parted ways, and I grabbed my gear from upstairs and walked home. Dinner consisted of 2 pieces of naan and artichoke pesto dip (light sour cream, light mayo, artichokes and Epicure Pesto Artichoke dip mix). After that, I picked up Mom and we had a nice visit with Dad. He seemed much perkier than earlier this week, and we had a lively debate about city politics, the weather, etc.

We had a Pie Bake-off at work today, and as floor champion, I was responsible for set-up, handing out ballots, organizing the bakers, and clean up. Why then was I compelled to wear my LBD and heels?!? My feet are killing me!! But good (good combo), a strawberry ginger (can't wait for the good!), a BluRhuPle (blueberry, rhubarb, apple..OMG good and the winner!), a cheeseburger pie (interesting, and tasty), a brownie pie (basically brownie in a pie crust...meh), a jello pie (seriously...) and finally a carmel peach pecan. I made sure I ate lunch (chicken quesadilla, rice) before, so I only sampled little bites of each. Next week will be the big bake-off for building winner, so I don't have to do as much, but will still help out with handing out treats to everyone and with the pie eating contest (so much fun!). I'll just remember not to wear heels that day!

It is Stampede again, and although I am a 3rd generation Calgarian, and my grandmother is a reigning rodeo queen, I do not go all out in the western wear category. I think everyone goes way too overboard, and really, it's all about subtly. I've got a couple of shirts, and should pick up a new pair of jeans, but other than that, it's more about comfort for me. I just do not, and never have, found jeans comfortable. Especially in July heat!!! Blech! And don't even get me going on jean skirts...nasty!! I am working as usual tomorrow, despite the parade. Many companies downtown close down till noon, or even for the day (let the drinking begin) but our company does not partake. It is work as usual...if you want to watch the parade, take a vacation day.
Got the fan going in the bedroom (pity those bloggers down east, because at least it's not humid out here) so I can get some sleep, but just heard the first blast of the Stampede fireworks going (10:42pm)...that usually means the second ones will hit about 11:15 or so. Can't see them from here, but boy, can I hear them every year. After all, the grounds are just 8-10 blocks away from my house. I am looking forward to the rodeo next week (love, love, love the rodeo!!) and especially hoping to see Cord (the cowboys from Oklahoma) from the Amazing Race ride.

Here's hoping everyone gets some sleep tonight, regardless of where they are.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Totally rocked the tempo run tonight. We were a little intimidated when it was announced that we would be running 5k at tempo pace, after a 3k warm-up, but I told the ladies if anyone could do it, we could!! After some argument with Mr. Garmin, we got going, and did our the first 2k at a nice 7:53 pace. We then picked it up a bit for #3, averaging a steady 7:40. Then the tempo portion of the evening began. After last night's killer 7:07 dead-on pace, I was hopeful for a repeat run tonight. Looked like this:
#4 - 7:18
#5 - 7:02
#6 - 7:17
#7 - 7:17
#8 - 7:18
That's not so bad. Only 10 seconds off our pace, and for the 2nd night in a row of tempo pace, that's okay. We basically walked in our last 2 km, finishing the night in 1:20:57.

Then I went for beer. I heart Guinness. I heart the way it looks, the way it smells and most especially the way it tastes!! One lady beside me was having fish & chips (I was totally drooling, by the way) and I just stayed true to my plan, sticking with the Irish Meal Replacement drink instead! Put a couple pints away, and now I am home, cozy and mellow. This is mainly why I want to run Dublin one day...just to spend my recovery time at the Guinness factory!! Iron is good for you after a run!!

Don't really have anything else for tonight. Food was merely sustenance today...I did have a fruit salad and veggie sandwich from the shop we usually get breakfast at after our long Sunday runs, which was very nice, and sat on a bench on the island watching life go by. A very pleasant way to spend a lunch hour, really. Dinner was a bit of a hodge-podge, with some cottage cheese, a sliced tomato and little cucumber sandwiches (cucumber, miracle whip and light cream cheese on rye...very dainty!). It was enough to fuel me for the run, and keep me satisfied all night. Gotta love the protein power of cottage cheese!

Pie baking contest tomorrow (I bowed out, as there just isn't enough time or me in a day!), so lunch will be interesting to say the least. Oh, but of course, this is over lunch hour at work, and as a floor champion, my presence is required, not requested. So I will go to weigh-in on my walk in tomorrow, and skip the meeting. Not that the meeting is on my way to work, but I gotta do what I gotta do. I will do my best not to sample too much pie!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yoga and Tempo

We had Jeff Mah from the Bohdi Tree Yoga Centre came to talk/teach us at running clinic tonight, but instead of learning downward dogs and all these moves that just hurt (me, at least), he taught us moves to wake things up. And he was funny, which helps with everything, as far as I'm concerned. I don't even recall if he named everything we were doing. The Half and Marathon groups were combined tonight (Garrath, our fearless leader is in England right now), so it was a very large group trying to do yoga moves in a very small space. We didn't use the store, as usual, but one of the empty spaces in the mall where the Running Room is located. It was still pretty tight.

After that we went outside to do our 6km tempo run. I was worried that we would be walking out to rain, but whatever blew in kept on blowing. The skies were blue and clear and hot. Regretted wearing carpis instead of shorts, but I did at least wear a tank, so I didn't completely overheat. We started off nice and slow for kilometres # 1 and 2, but we did build up the speed a bit with the 2nd, as the group thought it would be easier to hit the tempo pace faster. I'll bounce it off Garrath next time we talk, but it did seem to work well. We hit the 7:07 goal pace on km #3 and held it consistently for #'s 4 and 5, finally slowing down to a brisk walk cool down for the last one home. Some more stretching and then home for the evening, after wishing several of the ladies good luck with the Sinister Seven run they are tackling on the weekend. I don't know if I'll ever be ready for something like this! A race that starts at 7am on Saturday morning, finishes at 10 am on Sunday morning, and where you are your own aid station. Teams of 7 tackle the 146km trail run UP mountains and if you don't meet the time limits of your leg, then your team is out. Way too much pressure for me!! I think everyone will do great and can't wait to hear the stories. Fingers crossed no bear encounters! That could cut into their time.

Entered my final data for the X-Weighted Challenge tonight. While I entered my data every week, I really felt like this whole thing just fizzled. Besides, it's just to inspiring to see "oops, you're a little off track" week after week, because I wasn't losing the weight fast enough for them. Whatever! I did lose almost 10 pounds since the start, ran a marathon within 13 minutes of my goal time, lost a total of 4.5 inches, quite frankly on my own. There really wasn't any kind of support or encouragement from the X-weighted group (at least not that I saw), and just felt like I was filling in blanks to fill them in. Guess that's why I prefer Last 10 Pounds! And Tommy could take Paul any day!! Just sayin'!

My dinner tonight was the last of my Indian "feast" the other night. I mixed the rice, chicken, some lime juice, cilantro and a red pepper and heated that through. It was more eatable than the other night, that's for sure. Also stopped and stocked up on some groceries, to get me through the week. Tried to pick up fast but not fast food or over processed, as I really need to hunker down and stick to an eating schedule as routine as my exercise schedule. I am a schedule girl. Snacked on a necturine when I got home...not quite ripe yet, but still very yummy. I heart necturines.

Okay, eyes are drooping, so I'm heading to bed. Happy Hump Day tomorrow, everyone.


Monday, July 5, 2010

So tired

Why, oh why did I feel the need to sit up till midnight watching Independence Day, when I've seen it a hundred times and the ending never changes?!?! Oh, Will Smith is hot. And Jeff Goldblume is pretty cut too!!! Right, now I remember...

Good day at work, got lots done. Eats weren't so great (I didn't make lunch or brekkie after only 5 hours sleep) and the Chinese I got on a whim was in a word...bleh. Too salty, too oily, too spicy and unidentifiable meat! Shudder... I was still hungry, so I ended up with a bowl of tomato vegetable soup and an oatmeal raisin cookie from the guys downstairs.

Excellent boot camp, once again. We ran the Douglas Fir (almost got all the way through before I had to walk...quads still gassed from yesterday's hill), and then did a ton of alternating between legs and upper body. We really got our sweat on!

Picked up Mom, and visited an awake Dad tonight. Still seemed a little out of things, but he did manage to stay awake and talking the whole time we were there. And most of it made sense. Meet with the Doctor this weekend, so it'll be interesting to hear their analysis, given the past week.

Came home and made a very fast dinner of salmon salad (salmon, celery, capers, miracle whip, dill, S&P) on a naan, toasted and then topped with cheese, which I browned. It was fast, easy and good enough to eat. Of course, after it's all said and done, I then pick up my message from H-woman about meeting for dinner! D-oh!

Since I am beat, I am heading for bed now, but want to flip through the latest edition of Canadian Running magazine. There appears to be a couple of articles about losing weight running, which is a lot harder then it sounds. Can't wait to see what they have to say.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Great 10 Miler

Again, I wonder at what the trigger was that makes me now say "awesome run". I hated running, really I did. And now, I love it...the zen or the the rhythm of it.
Got up at 7:30, and ate breakfast of Liberte Coconut yogurt mixed with oatmeal and peachs, as well as a glass of chocolate milk. Since I slept it (sort of), I did end up driving down today, but I think this week I will start walking down for all the clinics. Save some money on parking and gas.

We were scheduled for 16km or 10 miles today, and the route had a lovely, long (1 km, to be exact) hill in it, at about the 9km mark. Headed out with a rather large group, and did my best to keep everyone to an 8/km pace. However, one girl likes to run ahead, and that seemed to pull me, and then I had the person at the back yelling "Carol, we're going to fast!". Argh! Pacing is hard!!! We tackled the hill, with only one person walking, and me stopping to go back and get her...leave no one behind!! Our resident events coordinator (works out of our shop) was at the top of the hill with the Running Room truck, and therefore water, Gatorade and Kleenex! She is a Godsend. That and she plays Chariots of Fire when you come upon the truck! Classic!! Finished the route, and only got us lost once...should have gone right when we went left...all it meant was some more trail type running, instead of the gravel path we hooked back up with. Finished the 16km in 2:15, and a pace of 8:27, which includes the hill. So, not so bad at all.
After a nice breakfast of an egg wrap (egg, bacon, green peppers and cheese in a wrap) and fresh, fresh, fresh fruit salad and a much needed coffee, I came home. Somehow, even though we ran for over 2 hours, I lost a bunch of time, as I didn't get home till after 1. How did that happen???

Had a wee lay down - I was sleepy, as were my furbabies. Then off to collect Mom and visit Dad. He was really out of it today, as we could barely get him to stay awake long enough to say hi. Decided we'd let him sleep, and I took Mom home, where I finally watered some of her plants. Poor things were seriously parched. Home, after a swing into McDonald's (fillet o' fish and fries...yum) and am now waiting for my running gear to come out of the dryer. Decided I should wash it before it crawled downstairs on it's own.

Have a bit of a headache, so I think I'll take it easy the rest of the night. After all, it's back to the grind tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a great Canada Day/Independence Day weekend.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It seemed like a good idea

I've had a chicken breast marinating in my fridge for a few days now, in a mix of Epicure Honey Mustard and Curry dip mix. Thought I should cook it up finally tonight, before it turned into a science project and marched itself right out the front door! I then thought some rice and some curried roasted veggies would be good along side.
I thought wrong. The chicken was all right, but I did end up cooking it a little too long. I grilled it, but then it wasn't cooked enough, so I put it in the oven to roast up a bit. Left it a touch too long, so it came out on the dry side. I mixed Liberte Greek yogurt with some lime juice and salt and dipped the chicken in that. The rice was a pre-made rice and green pea concoction, which was good (you boil the bag) but nothing to rave about. It did have some nice seasoning, but again, a bit on the dry side. The veggies were my biggest disappointment. I tossed cauliflower and carrots together with evoo and Epicure's Curry dip mix and roasted it in a hot oven. I did not like the flavour at all, and ended up tossing them. Boo... I did eat the naan I had on the side, and only about half the chicken. I'll make a curried chicken salad with the leftovers and have a naan wrap tomorrow with it. We'll see if that experiment works out better.
Met up with H-woman and E. for coffee this morning. The day dawned bright and sunny, but on the cooler side, so I really didn't think about sunscreen (this was before coffee!). Turns out that I got a little pink...okay, reddish pink on my chest. And in typical Carol fashion, it's not even. Somehow my shirt was twisted, so I'm sunburned lopsided.
And yet, my legs are as pale as the day they were born. You can tell I get sun on them, as you can see the sock line from the running (looks like I don't wash my ankles) and I have many freckles, but other than that, no colour whatsoever.
After coffee (we chatted for almost 3 hours), headed for home, trying to beat what looked to be a wicked rain storm. Nothin'. It was a trick cloud. Went and picked up the groceries for Mom and Dad, had a quick visit with Dad (we discussed puzzles tonight and what I did with mine...not a clue what he was talking about!) before letting him eat his supper. That's when I came home, cooked up my disappointment of a dinner and ate.
Spent the evening watching Russell Peters on the Comedy Network - he is so freaking funny. Big Saturday night for the single chick! I've got 16km to cover tomorrow, including the road leading out of Edworthy Park, so I think it'll be an early one anyway. Yes, we're running UP the hill leading out of Edworthy. Garrath does love his hilly Sunday runs!! Then it's back to tidy up the building, haul some recyclables and a visit with the folks.
I'm feeling really draggy (could have been too much sun this morning), so I think I'll take advantage of that and go to bed. Going to make my oatmeal/yogurt mix now so that it's ready to eat, as I want to walk down to clinic (and grab a coffee), rather than take the car. What's another couple of klicks on top of the run, huh? It's all good!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Odd day

It was hard to wake up with the alarm this morning, after sleeping in yesterday and again tomorrow. I am pretty certain I was the only person walking into work at 7am, although I was relieved to see my Starbucks open as usual. Thank goodness! I needed my 5 shots this morning.
Today started out cooler than it's been for awhile, and that was a little hard to adjust to. In fact, it was a rather dull, overcast day out there. Thought it was going to rain all day, and was a little worried about boot camp this afternoon. And the clouds didn't help my mood. Today is the first anniversary of D.'s passing. He was my first (and only, thus far) love, and his passing was totally shocking, as he was my age. I didn't find out until well after the funeral, and have felt at odds with that ever since. Granted, we hadn't spoken for years, but still... So today, walking the lonely streets, under grey skies, listening to k.d. Lang sing Hallelujah - I'm lucky I made it into work with mascara still on! By the way, if you haven't heard k.d Lang's version of this incredible song, be sure to check it out. It is haunting and breathtaking, to say the least. She sang it at the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, and I've been a fan every since.
Work was very quiet! Pretty sure of the 12 people working in downtown Calgary today, 8 were at my office!! Okay, so maybe a few more than that, but it was still pretty durn quiet 'round there. But I did get a lot done, even though today was a "non-day" in the accounting world I exist. It'll just make Monday that much easier to deal with. I did take a few minutes to register for Winterstart in Banff in November. It's a 5-miler that we (H-woman and I) tried to do last year, but I had my bad ankle and she had the flu...neither of us made it to the start line! This year, I want to rock it!!
The bosses (those working, that is) come around about 1:30 to say "you can leave at 2:30"...that's awesome, for those who work till 5. What about those of us that were there at 7am?! Oooo...a whole hour early. Wow! Oh well, I meandered out about 3, came home, changed and got to boot camp way earlier than normal, also in part to no traffic on the roads.
I was totally surprised by how many people showed up for class though - there had to be 16-20 of us. We tackled the BA hill, ran the ridge back to the goat trail/stairs, ran down and did some lunges & uphill sprints to keep the cardio up. We did move closer to shelter as the clouds were threatening, but then that just gave Trainer Josh more stuff for us to play with. He worked us HARD tonight...maybe he knew we all indulged in hot dogs or something yesterday, but there were more than a few of us ready to hurl by the end! Sadly for him, only 1 person showed up for the 6pm class, although 1 brave soul from ours stayed for the double workout. I don't know where she got the strength was all I could to walk to my car!!!
Collected Mom, visited Dad (who was rather dopey tonight...he's been having a few rough nights, it appears) and left with a list of groceries to pick up for them tomorrow. I wish my grocery list looked like cream, cookies, chocolates, whipping cream...nary a fruit or vegetable to be seen! But hell, I make it to 77, I'm eating whatever I want to as well!
Sitting here trying to decide if I'm cold or just tired, although the temperature has dropped a little more, and it did rain a bit. Hope it clears for tomorrow. I would like to enjoy my day outside.
Hope this finds everyone enjoying their weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada Day eats

Grilled my dogs in my Epicure Grill Pan, as well as toasted the bun. I am a purist when it comes to dogs...just mustard and a little shredded cheese. On the side was coleslaw (Miracle Whip with some Epicure Sweet & Spicy Mustard). 3-bean salad (thanks, Safeway deli!) and Epicure Bread & Butter pickles, handmade by moi.

Was supposed to be strawberry shortcake, but I forgot the shortcake and wasn't going back just for that. So I sliced the strawberries, mixed in some raspberries and tossed them all with some Epicure (sensing a theme here??) White Balsamic vinegar and vanilla sugar (simply take whole vanilla beans, that you could order from, say Epicure?? and insert them into some sugar no time, tasty sugar!) and topped with hand-whipped cream.
Now I have a full belly, but must get in the car and get moving to Mom's.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

And what a beautiful day to celebrate a 143rd birthday...doesn't look a day over a hundred!!
Here in Calgary, a cold front has moved in, so the temperature has "plummeted" to 17C (63F) from the high 20's (80+) it was all week. Combined with the breeze and slight cloud cover, it made for a PERFECT day for a steady run.
After a late breakfast (I slept till 9am) of a non-fat latte and a lemon cranberry scone, I puttered with my Garmin, fussed around the house and generally did anything to put off my run. It's not that I didn't want to go, I just didn't have the oomph at that particular time. I finally got my mojo, and went out, wearing a bright red shirt to celebrate the day.
I was scheduled to run an 8km Steady today. The goal of a steady is to run the distance, maintaining a steady, consistent pace for the duration of the run. No walk breaks. It amazes me that even a year ago, the thought of running for more than 10 minutes without stopping was crazy, let alone 10km! Now, I struggle to slow down to my steady pace, without even thinking about stopping.
Anyway, I walked to the starting point, at the corner of Elbow and 4th St (right by the river), which is about a km away from the house. Good warm up walk...started running, with the goal of maintaining a good 7:52 pace for the 8km. Except, I thought it was a 10km run today, so that's what I was aiming for...oh well, what's a km or two these days, huh? I decided that I didn't want to do an 'out and back', so mapped out in my head to run up to the dog park, on top of Sandy Bitch - oops, "Beach" - Hill, across the ridge back to Sifton Blvd, down the hill back to Elbow Drive and back to the starting point. I quickly settled into a pace, and held it up for the whole run! The only time I stopped was waiting for the stupid cyclists crossing the one know the one...where it clearly states "cyclists dismount" at the front, in BIG, BOLD LETTERS! And you know, don't thank me for waiting for you dumb asses to make it across...I didn't stop FOR you - I stopped BECAUSE of you. Big difference!!! That got my mad on, so I did speed up for bit, till I calmed down again. I did have to walk up Sandy Beach a bit, where I almost got killed by another cyclist (wheee....downhill is FUN!), before safely making it to the top. Ran through the dog park (man, there are a lot of dogs in this city) and down the big hill back to Elbow. There, my pace increased to 6:45! That guy was right...downhill is fun!
Finished my route, which clocked in at 8:92km - remember I was aiming for 10. However, my pace of 7:15 was much faster than the 7:52 goal (oops), and I did have a nice km walk to and from the start, to warm up and cool down, making the total outing just under 11km.
After running through two parks filled with families picnicing, my plans for dinner changed drastically enroute, so I popped into Safeway to pick up hot dogs, buns, 3-bean salad, coleslaw and finally, strawberries and cream for dessert. Also bought a small chocolate milk to replenish with, before heading back home.
Changed again, and am going to chill for a bit before I eat and then go get Mom for a visit with Dad. Then it's back home, to get ready for work tomorrow. Boo...
Hope everyone is enjoying their day.

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