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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mountain Retreat, day 3

Happy, shining faces, despite the early hour (that's me behind the flash...hehehe).
Our goal, after last year of almost not finding a parking spot and then feeling rushed, rushed, rushed, was to get to Banff by 8:30am. We both thought the race started at 10am, but M. thought it started at 10:30. Either way, we wanted to get there with enough time to park, grab a Starbuck's, chill, use a nice indoor bathroom, walk calmly to the start area and get our shirts in our size! The last few years, H. has always lost out to all the other mediums out there...what's the point of picking your size if they never have enough!?
I got up at 6:45, after not a bad night's sleep, but not the best. I can't quite describe it as tossing and turning, but I did not sleep the night through either. But I didn't feel too bad, so I must have rested at some point. After a breakfast of oatmeal cooked in milk with nutella and a banana, a glass of OJ and a quick cup of coffee, we gathered all our gear together and headed out. Takes about 20-25 minutes to get into Banff from where we were, and that's without having to wait at the park gates to pay for a day pass. Thank goodness for the annual pass!! We parked in my favourite place to park in Banff, a free 12-hour parkade. There was still plenty of room when we got there, just after 8:30.

We decided to walk over to the fairgrounds to get our shirts first. It was very busy, as many people leave picking up their packages till the very last minute. And here I thought it was crazy waiting till Friday night in Banff, which H. and I did, and got the hell out of there!! Anyway, we all got the shirts we wanted, which even though they aren't technical shirts, they are nice ones to wear on a crisp, fall day. And silk-screened with original, local artwork. Very nice.

2009 on the right, with the new one on the left.

After getting our shirts, we wandered back into Banff and braved the crowds at Starbucks to get a much needed dose of caffeine. And I do enjoy using an indoor bathroom at events like this. I don't do the porta-potty thing very well! Very weak stomach!!

Back to the grounds, stored our gear and waited...and waited...and waited. Yup...start time was 10:30.
And that was for the 10km group...all 2,879 of them! After the last straggler (many still lined up at the potties when the gun went off...good thing it's a chipped event!), we (1,125) queued up for our turn. This race is capped at 4,000 and sells out literally in hours. But really...running in this?! Can you blame us???
Since H. and M. were treating this as a training run (their marathon is in December) and I wanted to test my racing skills, we split up almost immediately at the start.
I can honestly say, and still say that today, that this was my BEST.RACE.EVER!!! I felt awesome...I felt strong...I felt like I could run all day. I placed myself between the 2:30 and 2:45 bunnies, which I lost sight of almost immediately, and just hit a stride. I decided that I would walk when I needed to, and only for 1 minute at most. Ran past the first water station, and down past Bow Falls to the golf course. It is a glorious hill down, and darn it, I love running down hill! Grabbed a water and a quick 30 second walk at the next water station, and watched as the front runners were looping OUT of the golf course towards the second half of the race. Yes, by the time I hit the 5km mark, the boys who won it were done over 11km and on their way to the finish line. I am still in awe...the guy who won it did it in 1:20. And he had to endure the same gale force winds the rest of us did. Who knows what his time would have been without the wind.
Oh, the wind...this is the third year I've done Melissa's 22km, and I don't recall there not being wind. But this year was downright nasty! There is nothing more unpleasant than running your hardest and being sand-blasted as you run past the sand traps on the golf course! Add pine needles and cones, and your patience is really being tested. But at least I no longer need microderm abrasion on that side of my face!
Once out of the golf course, you hit the first real hill (the one we ran down to get there, Bow Falls). It is quite steep, and again, I decided early on that I wouldn't kill myself on the hills and walked it, knowing I could do that faster than running it, while saving my energy. That seemed to really work for me this time around. After the hill, we then "run the gauntlet" so to speak...we have to double back to the fairgrounds and run past, up to the Cave & Basin area. But timing sucks, as most of the 10km runners are done, have had their munchies and are heading back into town, so it's like being a salmon swimming upstream! But this year the volunteers were quite awesome about getting everyone out of the way. Even had a cute guy give me a shout out but as usual, we were headed in opposite directions at the time! The other sucky part about this section of the race is you really run past the finish line, knowing you have another 7km to go! It is a mental kick in the pants!!
Walked up the hill into Cave & Basin, and then enjoyed the long sloping hill down, really picking up my speed again. Walked through another water station, hit the turn-around point, and told myself "only 4km to go!"...walked and ran a bit at this point, got over the last big hill and then opened 'er up for the end. Twenty-two full minutes off my time from last year. Ya-freaking-woo!!!!
Can you see the wind pushing the trees down behind them? The lady holding this tent in place actually broke her thumb with the force of the wind!!! That's what we got to run into most of the race! But with scenery like this...who cares?!

Did some stretching, cheered some others across the finish line and waited for H. and M., who came across looking as strong as they started. I wonder if M. ever stopped smiling!!

After some more stretching, a little food and watching the final runners come in, we grabbed our gear, threw it in our cars and headed to the Rose and Crown for lunch. Enjoyed an awesome lunch on the rooftop (yes, we climbed a whole bunch of stairs!), hoisted a couple of pints (well, I did anyway), and reveled in the sunshine. It was a glorious afternoon after a glorious run. A little wander around and some shopping (must.keep.moving), we got back in the car and went back to the condo to make dinner.
Tandoori chicken, ala Gobi (oh, please forgive my spelling!), a lentil curry, a chick-pea curry, naan, spinach and bulgar. H. is a good cooker!!!! After dinner, we drove back into Banff and enjoyed a well deserved soak in the hot springs. Ahhhhhh...
All in all, a great day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mountain Retreat, day 2

I woke up without an alarm, and without a furry face sticking his cold nose into my eye, wondering if I was up yet.
Granted, I did miss that part, but waking up nice and slow when I wanted to was glorious.
After a pot of coffee for breakfast and leftover pizza (nothing better), I decided to go for a walk while I waited for H-woman to show up. I didn't get all gussied up, just heading out with my birkenstocks and the camera.
First place was a wander down the road to check out the new Bistro (a tad disappointing...don't advertise yourself as a food store unless you have cool food to sell!), before crossing over the road to get to the top of this grassy knoll overlooking Highway 1.
Birkenstocks + barefoot + grassy hill dotted with tons of elk droppings = difficult walk! A glance back at how far I had come. I turned back when I saw a "pile" that most definitely did not belong to an elk, but a larger, fur-bearing creature! While I told myself "large dog", I hoofed it back to the road in a hurry!!! How does one tell they are in bear country?? They look for the piles of poop with bells in 'em. Sorry...bad mountain joke!

Went the other way past the condo, and onto the pathway system. This route connects Three Sisters and all the outlying communities with the town of Canmore and is phenomenal.

Loads of beautiful scenery to walk by.
Canmore was a mining town before people realized they could sell their land/homes for millions of dollars!! Apparently the sport/acting elite from the States love Canmore because it's not as build up as areas to the south.
The only wildlife that would sit still long enough for me to take a shot. No elk on the walk, although did see some later when driving into town with H-woman. And the cheekiest of chipmunks, but he wouldn't stop long enough, just enough to chatter at me for interrupting him!
The mighty Bow River, which flows east into and through Calgary. Still considered one of the top 10 fly-fishing rivers in the world.
Wandered back to the condo, where I had lunch (the rest of the pizza) and waited for H. Who, it turns out was shopping, so she didn't get there till almost 4. Which is fine, except I was at risk of falling asleep on the couch!
We trucked into town to pick up what H. needed for the curry feast she was making us Saturday night, post Melissa's, and then back where I made our pre-run fuel-up meal of Mediterranean Tuna Toss. That's what I call it. Sorry, still hadn't quite figured out the lighting and indoor shots, so they suck.
In a frying pan, heat evoo and saute garlic, sliced onions, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives sliced up, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes. I usually add spinach as well, but forgot it Friday. Once the veggies are soft, add a can or two of tuna, some red wine, fresh basil and parsley. Heat through. Top with feta and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy over whole wheat pasta of your choosing. Enjoy with said wine. Only one glass though, since the race was in the morning.
After going and rescuing M. from downtown Canmore (she misread the directions), we all settled down for an early night. Only a few hours till Melissa's!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mountain Retreat, day 1

After much running around during the day (I always leave way too much till way too late!): tidy house, arrange food for cats, load car (with too much stuff for 5 days!), fill tank in car, weigh in (down 1.4 this week!), plug Together is Amazing to Weight Watcher's group, visit Mom, take Mom for groceries, drop Mom off, pick up key from friends for condo, eat lunch (way, way, way too late in day!) and then get horribly stuck in traffic (damn construction!!) and finally make it out to Canmore around 5pm.

"Home" for the next 5 days.

This is the view from home...

All together now. Inhale...slowly exhale. Stress begone.

After running into town and spending WAY too much at the grocery store (one that isn't convenient to me at home, so I have to stop and look at everything and bought practically everything I looked at!!), I returned to the condo, popped the fresh Greek pizza into the oven, poured a glass of my favourite Meritage (just in case, 3 more bottles came along for the ride!), settled into the couch and just chilled the rest of the night.

Peace was with me.

More to follow.


Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm back...

So didn't want to leave the condo today...this I vow. I will live in Canmore. Yes, I will!

Meanwhile, had a lovely, relaxing weekend: part alone, part with H-woman and another friend M., ran a little 22k in the middle, and spent the last day and a half on my own again. was serious bliss. There was good food, good laughs, good wine, good coffee, good walks, good hikes, freaking.awesome.runs, and the most beautiful backdrop ever to enjoy it all in. Pictures to follow...I managed to take 138 over the weekend, but I was also playing with what will soon be my new camera, a Canon Powershot S3 IS. There'll be a good recap too, I hope!

But what I'm really excited about...Melissa's 22km was on Saturday.

2008: 3:12:53
2009: 3:04:08
2010: 2:42:45

Yeah Baby!!! That was on a very hilly course (elevation starts at 4,418 ft, and we climbed and declined another 592! ) into a blustery head wind that the winners (yes, the guys that did it in just over an hour!) described as "hurricaine, tornado" type wind. All I know is that it almost blew me over a couple of times, blew my running leg into my other leg (looked like I was kicking myself) and running past the sand-traps of the golf course was an extra special treat!! At least I don't have to worry about a face peel any time soon!

That's it...I'll provide more deets later. I'm trying to get my butt to bed, since it's back to work tomorrow.

Sad for me...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

See ya...!!!

I need to finish packing, haul some stuff to the recycle place, load the car, get gas, weigh-in, pick up keys for condo, visit with Mom, get last minute groceries (wine!) and hit the highway. Good thing I'm not in a hurry, and Canmore is only an hour away. But still!

So, hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm sure I'll have stories to tell on Monday.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Catch up

Seems like every time I sat down to blog, suddenly it was after 11 and I was tired. Not sure why, but I ended up not writing anything, instead deciding sleep was more important. Even today's blog about Together is Amazing was written on my lunch hour. I just really wanted to start spreading that message!

So here's the week (thus far) in review.
Monday: I swear tonight was the closest I have come to actually losing my lunch at Boot Camp. Seriously! It was close...had to grit my teeth several times, and just sucked it up. Once again it was an all over body circuit, but Trainer Josh also threw in sprints up the little hill. Okay, by little, I mean probably 100-150 feet, up, on loose dirt/gravel. Good times!!
We did the full circuit starting with drop-leg flies, up to shoulder press, over to the benches for dips, over to the mats for push-ups, up the hill, back down the hill, squats, 50 jump ropes, leg drives, curls, lat pulls, lunge walk, high-knees and finally butt kicks. All of these stations are a good 100-150 feet from each other, by the way. Once we passed the "finish" line, Josh told us our time. Next circuit (in reverse order) had a goal of finishing faster. I am proud to say I shaved 15 seconds off my time! Then we split into two groups and did half the circuit, each going in opposite directions...half did the 'west' side while the others did the 'east'. We met up at squats, but returned the way we came. Back at the mats (where we all started), we then switched sides and did both half circles. This is where what I had for lunch came back to haunt me a little!! Finally we were all done, and we could collapse on the mats for some core work. Once again, an awesome class...I may curse and hate how I feel during, but I LOVE how I feel afterwards.

Tuesday was running clinic, but a tricky one. You see, our leader is hanging up his runners. Oh, not to quit running, but to quit teaching. He has taught these clinics for 5 years now, and has decided the time commitment is taking him away from his wife and child too much. Granted, I know how much time I spend running, so I can understand if his wife would like him to actually be home on a Sunday morning...Tuesday night...Wednesday night, etc. We had hoped to surprise him (we're pretty sure he was on to us though) with a farewell pint, although he seemed to do his best to drag out clinic - talking about setting race goals (set 3 - one you'll be happy with, one you'll really like and one you'd jump over the moon over), positive thinking (don't let the negative thoughts take over, because once they do, you're done!), getting your mantras ready (I like "release my inner Kenyon", "I run like a girl - just call me Uta!", and if need be..."Left, Right, repeat!"), and stuff like that. I think he got suspicious when none of us asked him any questions! But we had arranged to be at the local pub at 7:15, and most of us knew we wouldn't (couldn't) beat Speedy back! We were instructed to run a 6km tempo, with him stressing we had to run up Centre Street...most of us were trying to fake him out with a run out to 10th street and then doubling back. But off to Centre Street we went, not knowing that the 3 hour group had planned on taking him out to Crowchild (a nice little 10km jaunt!!). We cut back down Curling Club hill, ending our run at 2.36km, changing and rushing into the pub. While I don't think he was surprised about the actual party (when he finally managed to get there for his "meeting" with the local race director), I think what did catch him off guard was how many of us were there to say goodbye. He really has quite the following, and most of us are quite saddened by the news that he is taking time off. Although rumours have started that he's going to teach a "personal best" clinic...sign me up!

That leaves tonight...we had a choice. Speed work (1.6km repeats tonight) or race-pace tempo, if you had a run this weekend. Since I have Melissa's on Saturday, and I am treating it as a race and not a training run, I decided to tempo it. The route was out to Crowchild and back, roughly 8km. So race pace for a 5 hour marathon finish is 7:07...add in walk breaks (10:1's) and that needs to pick up to 6:52. I started my warm-up km at 7:04...uh-oh! But I hit a stride, I felt great and I went for it. My fastest km was 6:24, my slowest was the warm-up of 7:04. Average pace overall...6:44!!! I will most definitely hit my goal of 2:30-2:45 finish for the 22km on Saturday (last year I did it in 3:05). Most importantly, I feel awesome.

Picked up more Emergen-C at London Drugs, as it was on sale (2 boxes for $30!) as well as some Creatine. I was looking at the Glutamine, but the Creatine said it was for more endurance and recovery, so we'll give it a try. Also picked up some odds and ends for the weekend away, including the book Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I plan on chilling a lot this weekend, as I'm heading out to the condo in Canmore tomorrow and not returning until Monday sometime. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend, and I am looking forward to just getting away from all the stress and demands of the last few months.

So this could be the last post from me for a few days, as I do not own a laptop...not even sure if the condo is wifi friendly or not, for that matter. I may see if there's an Internet cafe in town, but then again, a few days cut-off from the world may not be a bad thing!

Hope everyone has a great weekend, where ever you are and whatever you're doing.


Together is Amazing


into or in one gathering, company, mass, place, or body: to call the people together.
into or in union, proximity, contact, or collision, as two or more things: to sew things together.
into or in relationship, association, business, or agreement, etc., as two or more persons: to bring strangers together.
taken or considered collectively or conjointly: This one cost more than all the others together.
(of a single thing) into or in a condition of unity, compactness, or coherence: to squeeze a thing together; The argument does not hold together well.
at the same time; simultaneously: You cannot have both together.
without intermission or interruption; continuously; uninterruptedly: for days together.
in cooperation; with united action; conjointly: to undertake a task together.

with mutual action; mutually; reciprocally: to confer together; to multiply two numbers together.


causing great surprise or sudden wonder.

The phrase says it all. To quote our VP of Marketing: "Together is Amazing is about sharing who we really are with an entire country, the idea that when we work together, we can achieve greatness." We, by the way, is the company I work for and love, Shaw Communications.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are committed to raising 1,000,000 pounds of food for Canada's food banks. One mill-eon (be sure to raise eyebrow and point pinky at mouth when saying this!) pounds!!! That's a lot of food...just imagine it. Families not having to make the decision between the light bill and groceries! Children not having to go to school hungry. Seniors eating the way they should, after raising us and guiding our country through-out history. Everyone working together...

Once the food is weighed and measured, Shaw will then match up to another 350,000 pounds. Campbell's Soup caught wind of this idea and immediately jumped on board, vowing to match ANOTHER 300,000 pounds! Knowing my coworkers (10,700 strong) and the company I work for, I see us delivering 1,650,000 pounds come November. That would truly be AMAZING...Astonishing, Astounding, Remarkable, Wonderful, Incredible, Marvellous, Surprising, Mind-blowing, Mind-boggling, Staggering (playing with the thesaurus)!
Again...just imagine it.

We are, in a word, pumped!! All the staff have been introduced to the initiative and you can feel the energy in the air...people are gathering to figure out how to raise even more food, where to store it, fund-raising and spreading the word. The national campaign began last night on TV, and you may see billboards and bus shelter ads popping up. Keep in mind that this is not just for some big city's food banks but CANADA'S food banks! I have vowed to donate my total pounds lost by November 15th in food (right now 41 and counting). Someone else on my team will donate her body weight. Others have vowed to match. We have an empty office that we are filling to roof, an empty water cooler jug to fill with spare change (the food banks usually have a 3:1 spending ratio, so the amount of food they can purchase with the cash will be even greater), 50/50 draws...the ideas keep pouring in and the list continues to grow. Employee by employee, department by department, this is a snowball racing down a steep, long hill!!

So, what am I asking of all of you (okay, right now there's only 9 of you, but I am hopeful for more followers!) is to turn to someone next to you and tell them about Together is Amazing. Visit the website, drop off a can of food at one of our retail locations, hand a can to the cable guy/gal when they're at your house installing services, but most importantly, spread the word!



Sunday, September 19, 2010


This is the second Cirque du Soleil show that I have seen, and it took my breath away as much as the first. Trouble is, there is so much going on, you don't know where to look and I was constantly afraid of missing something! I may try to go again before the show closes in October. Beyond amazing. I would pay just to watch the Wheel of Death again, and again, and again. Wow! How drunk does someone have to be to get up one day and say "hey, you know what will be fun?!?! Running around in a wheel, while you run around in another wheel, attached to a big wheel thing that spins both of us at once, and then we can jump rope, and hop from one to another and go upside down and everything! Won't that be cool?!" I have never figured out how most of these people got into their said professions. But the level of trust in each other and their own abilities is awe-inspiring. Above all, they are human...we witnessed a few slip-ups today, but they get up and do it again, till they got it right. Didn't even miss a beat.

The show starting at 1 this afternoon was why I went for my long run yesterday. That means I got to sleep in (on purpose today), do a load of laundry and make a proper breakfast of dippy eggs and bagel before walking down to the Cirque site. Since they set up in the Stampede Park this year, rather than the Curry Barracks of past years, it meant I could walk over, as it's only 10 blocks from my house. Sad part...the freaking rain. There is a reason why I don't live in Vancouver, as pretty as it is, and that reason is RAIN! I HATE RAIN! I hate the grey...I hate the dull...I really hate the humidity...and I hate the fact that the sun has been missing in forever. At least when it snows, the sun shines! Grrrr...

Anyway, rather than pout in the rain, I decided to stop into the new Sunterra Market on the way home, and while I needed milk, I didn't need the other $40 worth of groceries that somehow managed to follow me home! But I do love walking through grocery stores, literally meandering up and down every aisle, picking things up, reading labels, wondering "what would I do with that"... I also brought home a box of UVAB to take to work (for cereal and such), clams (for a quickie chowder), the most amazing cheese scone (to eat with said chowder, spread with real buttah), Emergen-C (a health and energy booster), and some pre-diced bacon. Okay, this is just brilliance!!! I hate, as a single person, opening a package of bacon. I do try to separate the strips, and freeze them, and then remember to take them out in time to thaw and dice and just get mad. This was beautifully thick cut bacon, in perfect little dices, which I tossed into a pot with some diced celery and onion. Packaged up the rest, ready for future meals. Once the bacon was cooked, I added the juice from the can of clams, and let that reduce down. Once reduced, I added a can of cream of potato soup, the clams and a can of fat-free evaporated milk. A touch of Bay Spice, S&P and parsley, and dinner was done. Yum!
Just winding down for the evening, thinking about the week ahead. I'll be off on Thursday, heading up to the mountains. I get the condo in Canmore then, so will be enjoying a mini-vacation, as H-woman and M. will show up on Friday. Then it's Melissa's on Saturday (aiming for a PB), chilling on Sunday, returning on Monday. It will be loverly. And very much needed. I heart my mountains and miss just breathing in their crisp, cool air. And if the weather holds out, it'll actually be nice and sunny. Not overly hot, but a good fall day of +10C. Fingers crossed!
Going to enjoy a glass of wine, and think about heading to bed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Heavy legs

I must have been tired...okay, so I was still up past midnight blogging (seriously?!) but I set that alarm for 8am, thinking I would run out the door at nine. I shut the alarm off at some point (don't really remember) and woke up at 9:45! Oops!!

But I still wasn't going to bail on the run, so had a cup of coffee, a bagel with Nutella and a banana and a glass of milk. Filled the camel back with OJ/water/sea salt and off I went, finally at 10:45am. I decided I was going to run basically from home (started on the corner of 17th Ave and 5th St SW), out to Glenmore, loop the reservoir and come back home. Not sure if it was going to be 32km, but I was hopeful that it would be close. It turned out to be 30.6km, but that's okay. Close enough!

I did decide, while on the run, that I needed to return with my camera and take some shots for you all. It really was a lovely run, despite the cooler than normal weather. It was dry, at least. When I got up, it was +2C, but felt like -3C. I'm not ready for - numbers yet...really, I'm not! My legs were heavy today, and I also decided to try a new interval pace of 3km/1 minute walk. Figured I should get used to running up to the water stations, and walking while drinking said water. I did start strong, but there were also a lot of hills...A LOT! Sandy Bitch, oops, sorry Beach. Made it almost to the top on that one, and after looping the lake and going down a lovely, steep hill, you realize that you have to climb back out. Up a "lovely, steep hill"...Weaslehead...the mere name strikes fear into many a runner's heart. It is steep and it is long...crap. Walked about a third of it, but the screaming child (whining about having to walk it with Mommy) spurred me on!! Last hill is coming off the Glenmore route, up to the overpass. It is quite steep, and my legs just said "hell no!". But I was very successful with the new interval pace, and am feeling quite confident going into Melissa's next week (aiming for a PB) and then the marathon after that (again, another PB). Today's run, which was an LSD, so not about the speed, took me about 4 hours and 15 minutes, at a pace of roughly 8:15/km.

Got home, finished up my water (joy of cooler don't tend to drink as much water while running) and did some serious stretching. I am feeling it in my legs today, but I think that yesterday's boot camp squat/lunge/leg lifts-a-thon may have had something to do with that!

Just getting cleaned up and then meeting up with H-woman to go check out a new Persian restaurant in town. Since I love pretty much anything from the Mediterranean area, I am all over that! Should be good.

Okay, time to roll some legs and then get changed. Look the recap about dinner tomorrow.


Pause for Thought

As I sit here, thinking "go to bed" and "I really don't want to run 32km by myself tomorrow", this was in my blog roll tonight.
Terry Fox

Damn...If he could run, on one leg, with cancer basically coursing through his veins, and manage to run a MARATHON (yes, 42.2km) a DAY, EVERY day, covering over 5,300 km in under 5 months, I can bloody well set my alarm and get my sorry butt outside, regardless of the weather!!!

This will be the 30th year since we started hearing about this kid running across Canada...I remember seeing the coin boxes in the local Shopper's Drug Mart, and thinking "who is this lunatic?!"...since his passing, his Foundation, through annual runs (Sunday, September 19th this year) have raised over $550,000,000 for cancer research. Holy crap! That will be my mantra tomorrow...if Terry could do it (on ONE leg), then I can do it on two.

Today, the company I work for (and love) announced that we are embarking on an amazing journey. You see, today we launched TOGETHER IS AMAZING - a way to unite everyone in our organization and prove that together, anything is possible. Our first goal?? To raise 1,000,000 POUNDS of food for Canada's Food Banks. We WILL fill Canada's Food Banks by November 19th (I think that's the goal date) but what makes this even more incredible is that once the food is weighed, our company will match another 350,000 pounds and when Campbell's Soup caught wind of this, they immediately stepped up to the plate and declared that they will add ANOTHER 300,000 pounds of food!!! Can you freaking believe this?!?! Watch for the ads to start next week...we're not "selling" anything other than a belief that this can and will be done. One can, one bag, one employee at a time, and then two and then three and so on and so on...I still get goose-bumby thinking about it. I will share more details as I get them, but this just blows my mind.

I did make a challenge and put it out to my team today, declaring that I will donate my total pounds lost at Weight Watchers by November 18th (last weigh-in before the campaign ends). I don't mean the pounds I lose between now and then, but the total I have lost since walking in their doors. Right now, that number is 41 (really nasty week!) BUT my real goal is for 60 by then. Will I do it?? Don't know, but I do know that everyone at work suddenly has my back, as several others vowed they would match whatever I end up donating. See...all it takes is one, then two, then the world! Anyway, they're going to keep me on the straight and narrow at work, so that I continue to lose weight, and we help the cause that much more. Between them at work and you guys here...success all the way around!



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday off

Not from work, but from exercise or doing anything scheduled. It was a nice night. I was to donate blood, but thought my nose was a little too stuffy today, and then realized that with all the runs coming up, I should hold on to my precious oxygen carrying red blood cells until after Toronto and rescheduled till the end of October.

Just when I was wondering what to do, H-woman called needing noodles. Decision made! Off to Vietnam Fortune for noodles and salad rolls, and enjoyable conversation. After dinner, I dropped in on Mom to see how she was doing (and what she was doing). She is doing just fine. She is a tough old bird!

Have some legal documents to send in for Dad's estate, but everything seems to be going smoothly. I drop off what I can at lunch (the investment people are really close to work) and then boot camp after work. I am looking forward to getting my sweat on, even though it may be in the...wait for's coming...hard to type here...snow. Oh, so not ready for that yet. But I do need to sweat, as weigh-in today, while expected was still just gross. Gross, gross, gross...
I "found" 5 whole pounds!! In one week...holy crap! Okay, so the pan of Nanaimo squares "may" have had something to do with it. Big sigh...

So that's if for me. One more day of work and then the weekend. Hopefully the weather holds out on Saturday, as running 32km on your own is bad enough...on your own in the rain/snow. Sucks. But then it's Kooza on Sunday, which should be awesome. They brought back the Wheel of Death for this show. Cool!!

Hope everyone had a great Thursday and an even better Friday.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whoa, where'd the night go?

Would you look at the time?! Okay, despite my usual claims, this will be a short post.

Tuesday: Another day back at work, all goes well. Return to running clinic, where we had most excellent nutrition talk, except she bad-mouthed chocolate milk and I know think she has to die. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh, but come's chocolate milk! What can be wrong with that after a 4+ hour run?! Because the talk ran late and we were scheduled for speed work on Wednesday, Sir Garrath let us run a nice, slower steady. It was awesome...7:33 average pace, which is faster than our predicted 7:52 but still felt slow and even. We are a machine!

Wednesday: Feeling sluggish, but I'm sure that has to do with the pan of Nanaimo squares that mysteriously entered my house and therefore had to be destroyed. Guessing I'm more stressed out then I let on. But they are gone now, and this too shall pass. Weigh-in tomorrow could be brutal, but I'm ready for it. Bring it!

Speed work: what can I say, other than I LOVE speed work. Even more then I love hills...and why, you ask?! Because it's honestly the only time running where I actually feel comfortable and like I was built to do this. You see, I have long legs and big feet and they get all tangled up when we do the short turn-over to increase pace. When I can stretch these bad-boys out and hit my stride...oh boy! Our speed pace to hit was 6:14. I had to pull us back a couple of times because we were up around 5:45 at a few points!!! Overall pace, including the 2km warm up worked out to 6:46, but I did check at the end of each km (we do repeats, similar to the hills training) and we averaged 6:12 for all 4 repeats. Yay us! Afterwards enjoyed a pint (okay, two) and some Guinness Crab Asparagus soup (it was good, but not stellar) and some major laughs with the group that showed up tonight. My stomach hurts from all the's a good pain. Oh, and I now have a race scheduled for September 25th (22km), October 3rd (5km), October 10th (10km) and then the 17th (42.2km)'s all training, right???

On that note, good night and happy thoughts. To quote my friend H-woman's recent Facebook post:

"There are days that I don't know if I can do a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing that I have."

I like that...a lot. Thank you , H-woman.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Starting back is hard

I know it was only a week off, but you'd think it had been 10 years since I last exercised! Granted, I probably pushed a little harder than I should have yesterday - maybe I shouldn't have run all 29 or kept the pace I did, but I did. So deal with it hips and calves!!!

Returned to work today as well, which was good. I needed other things to keep my mind and hands busy, and nothing like a whole bunch of year-end priority reports and spreadsheets to keep me occupied! The day literally flew by. Helped along with my merit increase (maximum allowed) and a bonus cheque! Think I'm going to tuck that away and price out some cameras...something a little fancier than my point 'n shoot! I was thinking that would be my "I ran another marathon" gift to myself this time, so we'll see what happens.

Woke up to rain...such a surprise for Calgary these days. Seriously, I don't recall moving to Vancouver this year, and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it! But it was also the first day of a new Boot Camp session, so dressed appropriately, off I went. There were quite a few of us hardy souls, at least 15 of us showed up, rain and all. During the class the rain slowed to a drizzle, which made the workout bearable. We started with a run (some newbies had to go through their fit tests) and then did a killer circuit, as Trainer Josh wanted us to keep moving and keep warm.

We started (reps of 10) with squat presses, moving on to leg drives, dips, seated rows, bicep curls, sprint to far benches, step-ups, return to start. We then moved on to reps of 15 of everything, added jumping jacks on the return from the step-ups. After a quick drink, we moved everything up to 20 reps, except the legs, leaving at 15. He didn't stop the clock till we all finished, and then challenged us to do 25 reps of everything (20 reps for the legs) and beat the clock back, or we do it again. Holy-flash-back-to-High-School, Batgirl!!! He even gave us an additional 30 seconds, so we were aiming for everyone to finish everything in 6:07. We managed to do it all in 5:32!!! Think several of us were close to hurling at the end, but dang it, we did it!!! Finished up with some core work, and then a little bit of stretching for me before home to dinner.

Dinner became a red pepper night...I had purchased a stuffed pepper at Co-op the other day, and only ate half (it was HUGE!), so I topped it with a little more tomato sauce with Epicure's Roasted Red Pepper dip stirred in and set it in the oven to reheat. Then I made crab cakes, complete with red pepper diced in, and served with Epicure Red Pepper Jelly. Round out the meal with a sliced mini-cucumber and tomato and I am full.

Freezing though, so now I'm enjoying a cup of Vanilla coffee and huddling in two shirts and long pants. Starting to feel warmer, but it may take another mug!

That's it for me. Clinic and run tomorrow night, group run on Wednesday (speed training! Yay!!!), boot camp on Friday and 32km solo run on Saturday. Oh well, I figure that's how you end up running most races, so it helps to train that way too.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blowin' some stink off...

For very obvious reasons, I've been a slug all week. No runs, no boot camp, heck, I've barely even walked. So today, I really did jump out of bed when the alarm went off at 7am, looking forward (seriously...who the heck have I become?!) today's 29km LSD run. Toronto is in 5 short weeks, and I want to be in the best form I can be in for it. I WILL see a finish number that starts with a 4.

Breakfast was my good old standby for quick, easy and filling before a long run: multigrain bagel, toasted, PB and a banana. 1 glass of milk with chocolate syrup (caffeine substitute) and mixed up my run fuel of water (3.5c), OJ (2.5c) and sea salt (about a tsp). Checked the weather on TV to see how to dress...we had a frost warning here in Calgary last night, and the temperature this morning verified that. It was +2C at 8am...that is a mere 36F (I rounded up). However, as a very warm runner who sweats watching others run, I have to be careful as to what I choose, lest I overheat. Heatstroke and running do not me, I have tried. I failed. Lesson learned. I settled on a pair of capris, a long-sleeved technical t, with a short-sleeved technical T over top. That worked just did surprise me to see all the people out running today with their ear muffs, toques, mitts, gloves, scarves and coats. Full on pants, double socks...honestly, it wasn't THAT cold!

Our loop today had us going the same route as a few weeks back, only this time in reverse. So, instead of running west into the neighbourhood of Bowness, and the up Blood & Guts hill, into Bowfort Park and back east to Eau Claire, we went up 53rd Ave (or was that Street?), through the park, down Blood & Guts and back through Bowness to Eau Claire. I have to say, I prefer coming at B&G (let's shorten it, shall we?) from the west. Yes, it is a big, steep, long hill, but once you are at the top, you are basically done hills, with just a few rolling to follow to 53rd. And the good news about them, is that while they are rolling, they are generally in a downward direction. However, come at them from the east, and you are faced with a long series of rolling hills that continue to climb until you think your heart is going to burst out of your chest. You reach a crest, and oh, look, there's another hill!! It's rather maddening, actually. But for those that dread running downhill (which I love, love, love), B&G can be hard on the knees. After all, it's just as steep going down as it is going up.

I basically ran alone today, as the faster of my group was away. One is having IT issues, and since her race is only 4 weeks away, she thought she should rest and deal with it. The other two, also running Chicago, decided they wanted to switch from 10:1's to distance and walking, to get used to running the marathon and only walking at water stations. I left them to it, and just went out, aiming for my usual 8/km Sunday pace.

I started nice and strong, and even managed to keep the 4:20 and 4:40 groups in my sight for most of the run, until a) one group took a different route (why, I don't know) and the other stopped for pee breaks. I am a camel on Sundays and literally do not stop unless someone I'm running with begs me to. So, plow ahead I go. The first 10km go very smoothly, and I'm actually clipping along at a rather decent pace, considering I haven't been moving for a week now. Then I reach the first hill, which I proudly run the entire way up! Yay me!! I did have a brief issue with hyper-ventilating at the top, so I walked a bit to get the breathing back under control and into a good rhythm. At this point, you get to run down a bit and into a valley of sorts, which is a lovely area to run through. Although, man, fall is here...there were leaves all over the path and yellow trees...kind of sad, considering Calgary really didn't get a summer this year. But I also prefer Fall (everything I'm allergic to is dying, hibernating or flying south!) over summer, and am looking forward to winter's chill. Okay...I really am Canadian! I decided to tackle the hills as best I could, and not get upset if I had to walk a few. I will say I managed to run probably 85% of them, and when I did walk, it was for no more than 30 seconds or a few meters, as I gave myself markers to reach. B&G down was a breeze, and I managed to resume a good, steady pace on the return.

Overall, it took me 3:54:41 to run 29.03km, at an average pace of 8:05/km and 2307 calories eliminated. That includes walk breaks and all those hills, so I am pleased with the end result. Got back to Eau Claire (it's Calgary's Aids Walk today, so it was busy and crowded and chaotic), did some stretching, got some hugs (a few of the runners know about Dad) and then time for lunch. The name of the game after a good long run like that is protein, so I went for my usual breakfast wrap. Two eggs, some bacon, cheese and green peppers (although today I think it was tomatoes instead) cooked and rolled in a wrap. Outstanding! Add a small chocolate milk, a much needed cup of coffee and some fruit salad, and my tummy is happy and full.

We were sitting around visiting, before someone mentioned it was 2pm already! Wow, the day flies when you do long runs. So now I am home and trying to get ready to return to work tomorrow. Sorry for rambling on, but it really was a good run, and I just feel better for having gone out there and getting 'er done.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday follies

Not sure if it was the burger at A&W, or the dips at home or the crap I ended up buying for supper last night (the experts are right. Don't go to the store hungry!) but something is not sitting right today. So, bad news is I overindulged in salt again yesterday (Pringle potato chips) and junk for supper (sausage rolls and the worst chicken wings, ever!) but the good news is my body is doing everything it can to GET IT OUT!! Get out NOW!

Did manage to have some brunch with H-woman (great restaurant called Overeasy Breakfast, right up the street from Diner Deluxe, where we first tried to eat - owned and run by the same people). Both of these places are a "first-come, first-seated" kind of joint and are always lined up. At least Diner Deluxe is, so we quickly hoofed it up the block to check out Overeasy. It isn't as big as Diner, but they've made up for that with a long, community table running down the centre. We didn't have to wait very long for a spot to open up. While Diner is very 50's chic, this place is a little more modern, and is bright and airy. And good quality food for low prices...that is the mantra of these restaurants. I had the Open Ocean Benny, eggs benny (eggs to order - love that) with homemade hollendaise, smoked salmon and spinach. What they call hash browns were actually deep-fried potato wedges, but I inhaled mine all the same. And a huge wedge of watermelon, slice of cantaloupe and an orange slice to round out the meal. Service was fast, and we were in, fed and out in no time.

Decided I wanted to bolster the Canadian economy a little, and went to Reitman's to see what they had for fall. Honestly...not much. Kind of disappointed actually. I did come home with a new pair of jeans, a brown pair of slacks (nice to see brown again) and some long-sleeved shirts. I have always liked their long-sleeved t's, so bought a rainbow of colours to hold me through the fall and winter. Wandered the rest of the mall, but nothing leaped out screaming "buy me", so I came home.

Just had a visit with the younger bro and SIL, as they deliver another bit of furniture to their daughter, who moved into my building last week. Now to decide what to do with the rest of my day. I really should do some vacuuming in the hallways, and haul some recyclables to the dumpsters. Okay...decision made! That's what I'm doing.


Friday, September 10, 2010


I now know why I cannot get my mother's wedding dress waist around my thigh. After spending about 3 hours between 2 banks (banking all organized and ready to roll) and getting some groceries, I sat and listened to Mom's stomach protesting it's lack of lunch quite loudly. So off to A&W (it was right across from the last bank) we went, where Mom had TWO bites of her Mama burger and 4 french fries, declared herself "totally stuffed" and watched as she packaged everything up to take it home for "supper". Didn't know how to tell her I was still hungry and she stole all the fries!! I did make her take two more bites! Really!!

I came home and ate some dip and whole wheat mini pitas and am now sitting here wondering what on earth to have to for supper. It may involve getting back in my car.

Really not much going on, except H-woman and I went for noodles last night. Turns out they were in Vietnam again, but have since reopened and it was the BEST noodle soup EVER! OMG, how I love, love, love them. The scale this morning was not kind (tad bit of salt intake) but that's okay. I still love them!

Other than the running around today (vet, bank, bank, groceries, lunch, home), I haven't done much of anything. I did sign up for the next 6 weeks of Boot Camp, which starts on Monday, and I am looking forward (egad, did I just say that?!) to the 29km run on Sunday. I feel like a slug and need to get moving again.

It's a chilly Friday night, so I'm thinking of something warm and comforting for supper tonight. Just not sure what that is yet. I'm off to be inspired.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

My parents were CUTE!

June 8, 1957
O.M.Gee...aren't they cute?!?! Their marriage lasted 53 years and in that time they raised three children (both of my brothers were natural, I was adopted at birth - they were foster parents and Mom said it was too hard to give the babies back...I assume my adoption was all legal like and everything!), who went on to raise their own babies. Well, except for me, but furbabies count too!
Mom still has the dress, and I remember looking at it years ago (it's a Ballerina cut, mid-calf length and still gorgeous) and cursing how tiny my Mom was. I could not get the waist around one of my thighs!!!! Probably still can't.
I cannot pull off hats...I would not have done well in the 50's it seems. Getting ready to head out for the honeymoon. I think they drove to Vancouver, but I also seem to remember Dad saying the car broke down, it was pouring rain and basically the trip was a comedy of errors. Still managed to hold on to each other all those years, through thick and thin and sickness and health.

Who knew my parents were "hip"?? And again...could my mother be thinner?!? Wowsers!
I was searching for some documents for the funeral home and came across the big suitcase of photos and such. I will have to go back, with Rubbermaid totes in hand, and sort through the stuff and make certain it is all packaged with care. And I will try to get Mom to remember at least some of the faces in the photos, before it's too late. As an adopted person, I admit that I don't feel the "hole in the heart", "who's my family?", blah, blah rhetoric that many aspire to. I know who my family is, and that is that. But as a member of a very small, rather disjointed clan, I would love to be able to trace a tree or at least know who some of the people of my youth were. For example, I always thought Mom's father passed from tuberculosis in the war, but some paperwork I came across today seemed to indicate it was mustard gas poisoning. This kind of history intrigues me and now I want to know more. It will definitely be a weekend(s) project - probably wait till after Toronto, so that I can head down and settle in for the day(s) without worrying about a run or training.
Didn't do much today, but did decide that I will return to work on Monday. Have some bank appointments tomorrow and am starting to get all the paperwork flowing in from everywhere. But this is right up my alley...reminiscent of my banking days, although things have changed (for the better). I did walk down for Weight Watchers, and it felt good just to go outside and move the legs, even if it was all of 8C out there. At least the rain had stopped by this time. The meeting was about getting back on track, and that's what I'm feeling right now. Get back on track. See the light at the end of the tunnel, and pray that it's not another train! I didn't gain or lose this week, which is a bit of a pleasant surprise, given the week I've had. After all, until H-woman took me for dinner Monday, I had forgotten to eat. That does not make for a healthy Carol.
Mom has received some of the most beautiful floral arrangements this week, including one from their financial advisor that had lilies in it the size of dinner plates. Ironic that such beauty has to come at such a sad time, and just reminded me that I want to start "gifting" myself flowers, at least once a month. Nothing big, maybe even just a single bloom, but why wait for something bad to happen before enjoying something so lovely? I do have to keep a close eye on the arrangement that I received, as it has some grasses and such that both children were eye-balling quite closely. I do put the vase back into the box every night, to aid in keeping it "pull down free", but so far we've survived okay. It's a horrible sound to wake up to (trust me...I've heard it before!) and you're stuck cleaning up water, broken glass and flowers at 3am, with an innocent faced cat looking at you with the expression of "What?? I was just smelling them..." It's a good thing they're cute!
Think that's it for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Now what?

It's Wednesday morning. Dad has been gone for two whole days now, and quite frankly, I'm done everything I can do. The banks have been notified, appointments set to change up the accounts, life insurance company notified and paperwork on it's way, Dad's investment companies notified and paperwork on it's way, lawyer called, obituary written, funeral home arranged (older brother took this task), oxygen supply company notified to come and collect canisters and generator, medical supply house notified to come and collect bed, family and close friends what do I do?

I am a list person, and I made my lists and crossed things off. Now what?? I guess there's the inevitable packing up of Dad's stuff, but I'll wait on that till Mom is ready for that. There won't be an actual funeral or service, as my Dad very sternly stressed he "didn't want everyone blubbering over him"...too late. But we will honour his wishes. After his cremation, we will take him to a favourite fishing hole from years ago and let him go. My brothers and I are thinking a memorial/wake/get-together (what ever you want to call it) is in order, if for nothing else so everyone can say good-bye. And tell us their favourite story of me, there will be a few! There will be laughter and tears and as much as Dad never wanted to be the center of attention, he will be for a few hours at least.

So, again I ask, now what? I'm going to go over my list to see if I missed anything, and then start organizing. It's a very cool, rainy day here in Calgary today, so it's perfect to focus on cleaning up crap. I've got so much stuff to go through and purge, so I'm just going to pick a corner and get started. Think I'll need sustenance first, so I may head out into the rain for some Starbuck's. Good thing they're close by.

I do want to say thank you for all the kind words and support I've been getting over the last few days. Some of you may only be virtual friends but I am feeling the waves of love all the same. Thank you again.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Day of mourning

As much as I expected it, I was still not ready for the phone call when it came. At 9:28 this morning, the hospital called with the inevitable news...Dad had passed on.

I know he's in a better place. I know he's no longer feeling pain and struggling for each breathe, but I still want to go back in time and make this all go away. I just want to be 9 again. Nine was a good year...played with my friends, laughed at life and probably spent the weekends fishing with Dad. That's where all little girls should be with their fathers.

'nuff said.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dryer Sunday afternoon

The rain has stopped...sort of. And the sun even tried to come out, but it didn't do much in the way of warming things up. Think it got to all of 10C (50F) and is still pretty cloudy out there.

H-woman and I headed off for the Farmer's Market, to which I almost forgot how to get there! It has been way too long since we were last there, and man, it was crowded! I thought I didn't really need anything, yet I somehow managed to spend all the cash I had on me, including one debit transaction. Hmmmm...but who can pass up such beautiful, fresh vegetables and fruit?
I came home with nectarines, tomatoes, wicked cool tiger cherry tomatoes (George was marking them as his own), mini cucumbers, mozzarella cheese, black bean and cheese empanadas and some quick cooking barley (10 minutes, cooks like rice, 8 gr of fibre and 7 gr of protein per serving - can't wait to try it). I read about the barley in the City Palate magazine, as they wrote about the finds of the season. Sounds really good, and I do love barley.
Finished the last of my chowder and am sitting here cream. I may have to indulge. While it is not an excuse to over do it, I did run for 3 hours today and burned off 1918 calories. I can have a spoonful (or two) of ice cream!
That's it for me...don't know how long I'll last tonight, as I feel myself fading quickly. Thank goodness tomorrow is a day off for Labour Day, as I feel I've laboured more than enough over the last few months. It'll also be my Dad's 78th birthday tomorrow, so will most certainly be swinging by the hospital for a visit.

Rainy day run

I knew it was going to be a damp one, listening to the rain all night. Now, before you ask, I am not on the East coast, bracing for Earl to come to visit. I'm on the prairies, by the mountains, and we're bracing for the sun to actually arrive. Been waiting all would be nice, just one day. But oh well, what do you do??

After an early dinner of Epicure Selections Seafood Chowder (which isn't bad at all - I added fresh salmon and shrimp to it) and crackers, I lazed the evening away with some ice cream (Hagan Daaz Pralines and Cream...O.M.G!) and then off to bed after the first few minutes of the 11pm news. I like to make sure the world hasn't ended or something before I go to's a quirk, I know. Set the alarm for 7am and immediately crashed.

Alarm went off - ick - and I finally crawled out after only two snoozes. Breakfast of coffee and oatmeal (steel-cut oats, apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, powdered milk - I'm out of the real stuff) and got my OJ/water mix ready for the camel back.

Got down to Eau Claire, only to discover most of the roads closed due to some kind of event going on today. It's too early for the Terry Fox run, so I'm not sure what was going on, but I managed to find some street parking nearby and rushed over to the Running Room. As I was exiting the building (it's now 8:32am, and groups head out at 8:30) I ran into Garrath, who said my group "went with the 4:40's". I interpret that to mean they have left already, and after finding out where we were running today (east to long zoo, west to Edworthy Park, east to home), I took off like a bat out of you-know-where to catch up with them. After about a kilometer or so, I realize that I don't see anyone in front of me, and then suddenly pace groups are passing me...hmmmm...did they go west first? Or were they standing around, waiting for me before heading out?? Uh-oh...looks like it's a solo run today. Which is fine, because, let's face it, most of us end up running our races alone anyway, so it's just good training for being alone with your thoughts for extended periods of time. I had started a little fast (7:07ish, which is tempo pace) to try and catch the group, but when I figured out we weren't connecting today, I slowed it down to a respectable 7:48ish for the bulk of the run. Despite the constant rain/drizzle and cooler temps, it was a great day for a run. At least the paths weren't crowded! Got to Edworthy in what felt like no time (and with 13 km already passed by) and crossed the river to head up the hill. Funny thing (and someone else said the exact same thing) is crossing the parking lot, both of my legs turned to lead. They had no energy, and suddenly, neither did I. I did my best, but I see no shame in walking hills, so when my legs (and heart, which was pounding out of my throat!) said slow down, I did. The rest of the run was fabulous at this point, and I breezed through the last 8 km. Who knew I would ever say anything like that.

Got back to Eau Claire, where I ran into the rest of my group (they ended up going a different route) and after some stretching, I enjoyed a late breakfast/early lunch of egg wrap (eggs, bacon, cheese, green peppers), fruit salad, chocolate milk and much needed coffee, before turning to ice! Sitting in wet through running clothes is not good! Came home (via a different route due to the BBQ on the Bow (event at Eau Claire) and some sort of parade/protest going through downtown), changed, dried off, and inhaled another cup of coffee. Just wanted warm! Heated up some of the soup, before getting a call from H-woman to head over to the farmer's market. Since I haven't been in for-ever, I'm going!

We'll see what kind of haul I end up with.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday morning

Hmmmm...or that should be Saturday "Almost Afternoon"...granted, I slept till 10:15 this morning (and still feel groggy), but still, where has the morning gone?

Moved my car in anticipation of my brother and step-niece showing up with moving van. She's moving into my little building today. I do need to go down and do some last minute fix-ups in the suite before she gets here. Just spoke with my SIL and they're not even in Calgary yet to pick up the furniture and stuff, so I've got time.

My goals for me today are:
dishes (really gotta buy a new dishwasher)
haul recyclables to drop off point

I love selling Epicure, but man I have a LOT of waste leftover after an order. It's like those stacking Russian open a box and remove a box, which has a box in it to reveal another box, before you finally get to the product!!! And since I live in an apartment with more than 5 units, the City, in it's infinite wisdom, has deemed that we do not qualify for the mandatory recycling program everyone else in the city gets. Seriously?! So now I get to haul all this crap down 3 flights of stairs, to go to one of the ickiest drop areas (street people "live" there and harass everyone who stops by) or drive a fair distance to the burbs to find a place. Good times. But I'm also teetering on the edge of being on Hoarders, so I must do something! And I've got 3 days to do it, and no excuses otherwise.

Going to make the Epicure Seafood Chowder today, to try it out, although it's a rather nice looking day out there...too hot for soup. Maybe I'll make it (the salmon needs to be used up today) and then have it for tomorrow, when it's supposed to be cooler.

Only (hmph "only"!) 23km to run tomorrow morning. I love the fall back runs, after the longer distances. It is a nice mental break, as well as physical. When we're done a few hours earlier than normal, what ever will we do with our time?! Probably brunch! Yum.

Boot Camp was awesome, yet again, last night. Ran the Douglas Fir (I picture us doing that every night until snowfall, when they close the trail) although my legs seized up really early and I had to walk a lot of it. My goal (and I'll try to run it as much as I can over the winter - on nice days) is to finally be able to run the whole thing, bottom to top. It's about a kilometer, but it's all trails, with rocks, roots and mud puddles, and "steps" that go up and down. There's a bridge to cross, and hills to climb, but it's such an awesome feeling when you push off one rock to land on another and really feel the strength come from your legs. I heart it a lot! I will conquer Douglas Fir!!! Once at the top, there's a set of stairs - okay, platforms - that lead to the pathway above, that we run reps on till everyone (okay, me) gets there. While everyone else headed down, I did make myself do one more rep, just to feel like I was part of the group.

Got back to the mats (not too far behind everyone, as I picked up the pace on the bike path back), where Trainer Josh had his evil little orange cones set up. I do not heart the cones!!!!
Went something like this:
1st round - 10 reps of everything
On the mats:
- full body bikes
- toe touches
- squeegees

run to cone 1:
- jumping jacks
- high knees
- mountain climbers (I despise shirt falls over my mouth (I know, crazy) and I can't breathe! Freaks me out every time!!!)

run to cone 2 (where our weights are waiting):
- shoulder presses
- biceps curls
- overhead extensions

run to cone 3:
- lunges, each leg
- squats or jump squats

run to cone 4:
- extra wide push-ups
- regular push-ups
- narrow grip push-ups

Return to the mats, doing the exact same things on the way back. Sip some water upon return and start over, only this time...15 reps of everything. Return to mats (same as above), sip water, try to keep it down and repeat everything...this time 20 reps!!! Return to mats (see above), sip water, really, really try to keep it down and then collapse on said mat. Wait, no, get back up again for some upper body work, because there's still 15 minutes of class left!!! WTF?!?!?! I kind of blank out here, because I seriously can't remember what we did next! Oh wait, it's coming back to me now! Tabatas!!!!
First 2 minutes (20 seconds on, 10 second rest):
- bent over rows
Next 2 minutes:
- drop leg flies (at least we're lying down at this point!)
Final 2 minutes:
- bridge to bench press (you don't know how hard it was to keep my 10 lb weights from falling onto my face at this point!!)

We then flipped over for some plank hold, side plank, banana hold (on your back with legs and upper body off the mat - you look a banana!), and back to side plank. Then we did some ab work...can you hear the evil chuckle coming from Trainer Josh?? I still can! We did full body sit-ups with weights, and then negatives. But for fun, we did drop leg negatives too!! That was new and extra special!!!

Finished, did some stretching and then off to get Mom to visit Dad. He was out of bed last night, sitting in a chair by the window (he has a lovely view of roofs, with the reservoir peaking through the parking garage) but he was all hunched over, almost in the fetal position. Asked if he was asleep (mumbled no), did he feel all right (mumbled no), did he want to get back into bed (mumbled no). Okay, so we sat and visited, although he wasn't very talkative. At least his one hand was looking better (not nearly as black/purple as it was earlier this week) but he is not fighting this round as well as he has in the past. I think Rocky is getting tired of the fight. Will head off later today, and see how things are. I did get yet another call from yet another doctor who wants to discuss his long term care with yet another family meeting. Do these people not go back in the files and read what we've already discussed a thousand times already?!?! And do they think I just sit at home, waiting for them to call for me to drop everything and rush over?!?! Anyway, she couldn't be bothered to leave her phone number for me to call her back, and quite frankly, I can't be bothered to try that hard to locate her. She can call me back. Grrrrr!!!

That's it for me. Coffee is finished, scone is eaten, so I guess it's time to get moving.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy September

Wow...8 months down, only 4 more to go till the end of the year. I used to scoff when the "old" people told me to enjoy every day, because it just got I know they weren't old...they were wise!

Took the night off from everything tonight! Feeling a little frazzled these days (why on earth, I have no idea...) so I swung by the liquor store and picked up a bottle of my favourite wine. It may be a bad thing that I know the store sells this specific bottle, because of it's rather steep price tag, but it is just so.freaking.good! And because I felt like it, I thought I would have some cheese and crackers and fruit with it. It's almost a "complete" meal! I picked up some fig goat cheese, black seedless grapes, Raincoast fig & olive and cranberry & hazelnut crisps, Boursin Herb & Garlic cheese and a triple cream brie that was so good that I didn't want to"ruin" it with any of the wine jellies or even the crackers, just eating it straight, a little bite at a time. Oh, man, I have one happy tummy right now!!!

Weigh-in today was a more successful number than last week, but I appear to be lobbing these couple of pounds back and forth. Need to decide if I'm staying on a downward trend and just stick with it. One lady reached lifetime today, and apologized for being emotional about it. Later, when I was congratulating her and talking with our leader, both Faye and I told her that she should be there when I hit goal, if she wants to see emotional. I will be certain to bring boxes of Kleenex with me, because this journey has been one long haul, and Faye has been with me since the beginning! Have I mentioned that she was my very first leader on my very first day, oh so long ago? Don't judge the is a tough haul, as most of you know, and I am a slow...okay, stubborn learner. I have been a Weight Watchers member, consistently, without quitting (physically...mentally is another story) since September 1998. Yes, it will be 12 years for me at the end of this month. Okay, so I'm a really slow...stubborn learner!! But I shudder to think of where I would be if I had quit the so many times I wanted to, or didn't feel like going or knew I was going to be up at the scale, etc. I am nothing if not tenacious. Okay...stubborn!!

Going to finish up my 2nd glass (hey, how did that get there) of the Meritage and then head to bed. I know it's early still (for me) but I am feeling the strains of the week, and I want to have a strong boot camp tomorrow night. And it's day 3 of year end, so I'll be starting all my reporting and analysis and want to get a good crack on it, to meet all the deadlines. I don't like being the reason some data is held up.

That's all I've got...sounds like Dad is the same as last night, or as well as I could ascertain from Mom. It's kind of like playing charades or pictionary, without the white-board! Very much a guessing game, but at least Mom retains her sense of humour. Laugh or cry...which would you rather do? I'd rather be laughing...


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where did Tuesday go?

Year end at work, so we had a wine & cheese to celebrate. I then went to run clinic, and did a great 6k tempo run with the group. After that, went to Mom's and over to the hospital to check in on Dad.

Got the "full Monty" as he wanted to show me where the infection is...there are just some things daughters should not see!!! That is one!!!! Lord... He's not doing great this time around, really laboured with the breathing and hallucinating again with the infection. Could be a long stay this time around.

Today was Day 1 at work, and while it is a crazy day, it's really no different for my team. Although my coworker would beg to differ. Because I knew I'd be on hospital patrol again, I ran my hills at lunch. In the wind...and the rain...and the cold...and on very few hours of sleep! But I cranked out 6. They weren't the prettiest I've ever done, but I did them and feel great.
Dad finally got moved to a room today (he went into emergency at 5:30am Monday, moved in the Medical Assessment Unit (holding area) Tuesday morning and got into his room this afternoon around 4:00. That's a long time in holding with no TV, phone, radio or anything. Just walls and medical equipment to stare at! Still doesn't seem great, but he wasn't talking crazy tonight, so maybe the antibiotics are starting to kick in.

I was going to meet up with the group for beer, but then decided I am just tired and came home. Got the rents ready for the building, and handed out the receipts. Had dinner of mini-wheats (straight out of the box, thank you very much!) and the last of the soups from Mom. A lentil (not bad) and a turkey vegetable (just all right). That should fill the hole till tomorrow.

That's it for me tonight. I'm done.


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