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Monday, December 10, 2012

WOD the hell??

Woke up yesterday, quite surprised that I could move at all, after Saturday's competition.  I looked at the temp outside (-17C with a -26C windchill) and thought I was warm and sleepy, so stayed in bed.

But my mile a day beckoned, so after a quick breakfast and some puttering on the computer, I thought now or never.  And luckily, the Sunday WOD emailed to be by the ever thoughtful Coach E (that was sarcasm, btw) involved some running, so I took off for Talisman, to work out inside.

For time:
  - 25 sit-ups
  - run 800m (1/2 mile)
  - 25 squats (oh, holy heaven!)
  - run 800m
  - 25 squats (are you serious?!?)
  - run 800m
  - 25 squats (crying out loud now)
  - 25 sit-ups

Took me just over 24 minutes to complete this, and I was pleased that I got in my mile and a WOD, and my legs cooperated somewhat.

Today's WOD though was another story...Saturday's workout was slowly settling in to every muscle on my body, and combined with yesterday's squat-a-thon, my quads were not happy!  I don't think my chiro was happy, as he dug at my knee, quad, calf, hamstring and every other tendon and muscle on my left leg for about 15 minutes solid today.  It's going to be such a pretty colour of purple tomorrow...  But after that, I rushed home, changed and dutifully made my way to Crossfit!  I am such a sucker!!

It was a good thing I got there with enough time to run first...seriously don't know if I would have been able to afterwards.  But I squeaked out 1 lone mile (that's all I need!) and went inside just as class was starting.  After a warm-up of lunges, inchworms, bear crawls, crab walks, burpees and ring rows (yes, that was the WARM UP!), we then spent 5 minutes on our hands and heads.  Okay, so everyone else in the class did handstands, and hs push-ups and walked on their hands, blah, blah, blah...I attempted to put my knees on my elbows without blacking out from cutting off my air supply!  I am the only person I know that did not do cartwheels as a child, let alone handstands, flips, etc.  Heck, I could barely do a somersault!  But I'll keep at it...may very well post a pic here one day of me all upside down and all!!!  But back to the WOD...

For time, 3 rounds:
   - 25 push-ups
   - 30 sit-ups
   - 40 squats (oh, all that is holy!!!)
   - 50 double-unders...if you can't do those, then 150 single skips.

Yes, you're reading that correctly...tonight, in 19:21, I managed to do 75 push-ups, 90 sit-ups, 120 squats and jumped rope 450 times!!!  I "may" have completely undone all the hard work Tyler did at chiro today...sad face.

Home to a quick dinner of soup and a sandwich (needed to deal with plumbers (no heat) and burned out lights) but dinner is prepped to plug in tomorrow morning.  Beef stew with carrots and celery, and to which I'll add baby potatoes and peas last minute before I eat.  Smelled good as I was searing the beef.  Can't wait after it burbles all day long.  Yum.

Today I am grateful for my stubborn streak.  It keeps me going long after many would have sulked away.

Smiling,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

PR Competition and meeting Fran

Today was a competition at Crossfit.  We each paid an entry fee, and had our butts handed to us in return!!  No, actually today is to be used as a benchmark, to see how we can improve, whether in time or effort or both.  The day was broken up into two WODs, and there were about 20 or so of us competing.  What's great is I didn't once feel like I didn't belong there.  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE cheered for everyone, whether it was someone doing RX (recommended weights) or modified (like me), and it was encouraging, inspiring and motivating.

WOD 1 was an Intro WOD...basically the core of Crossfit.  Four of us competed in each round, and we were either in RX (so cool to watch the "pros") or modified groups, and each of us had a judge, to ensure we were meeting Crossfit standards (aka, chest touching ground in the push-ups, full squats, etc).  No cheating today, let me tell you.  I was at 10 am with friends J., K., and C.  To start we had to row 500m (LOVE rowing!), then jump off the machine and immediately launch into 40 squats.  After the 40 squats, we dropped down for 30 sit-ups (again, crunches are for crackers...this is a full sit-up from shoulders on the ground to hands to the feet) and then flipped over for 20 push-ups.  Did I mention that chests must touch the ground in order for it to count?!  After that, we took to the bars and did 10 pull-ups.

My modifications involved push-ups from the knees (goal is toes, obviously) and jumping from the box for the pull-ups.  Again, a goal is to get to using the band by February.  Heck, I rather be kipping it (no assistance) but I know to take these things slowly to get them right.  I'll be happy with the band.  All in all my time was 6:48, which I am stoked about.

Cheered on some of the RXers, before deciding I had to get my mile in before I got too wiped out by Crossfit, so I layered up (-15C BEFORE the windchill) and took off down the road of Currie Barracks.  I did my mile (1.11) although my legs tired quickly today, for whatever reason, and came back in to the Box, to cheer on the final athletes.  After clearing up, we all prepared for WOD #2 (yes, TWO today), named Fran.

Now, I don't get why the WOD is referred to as Fran, but according to Coach, it's like how gym-rats refer to "how much do you press?" for cross-fitters.  As in, how long is your Fran?  How much did you Fran?  So, who is this be-otch, and what did she plan for us???  21-15-9...thrusters (oh boy, more squats, WITH weight), followed by pull-ups (again!!).

I decided on 35 lbs, as I wanted to finish this and again, it's important to start somewhere and have goals...I'll RX this by February (75 lbs).  With the lower weight and modified jumping pull-ups, I managed to finish this WOD in 6:17.   I feel so bad-a$$, with chalk all over my hands!


Not going to lie or sugar-coat it...EVERYTHING hurts and is slowly locking up.  Even my fingers, for crying out loud!  Tomorrow's run should be interesting.  Haven't yet decided how far I'll go...I think I'll wait to see the temp in the morning (and if I am even able to get out of bed and stand upright!).  Off to take a whack of vitamin I and crawl into bed.  Today I am very most grateful for ibuprofen!!!

Smiling (and kissing the guns goodnight)...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Going Overhead

It seemed fitting, so I thought I'd blatantly steal the title of today's WOD.

It is, um was, day 2 at work.  In accountant-speak, that means deadlines, pressure and for me, usually a very late night.  I packed all my gear and took it to work with me, with the intention of hitting up Crossfit (there's a  competition of sorts on Saturday, so no regular classes) and returning to the office.  All was going well until someone did something that seems to have messed everything up.  Just happy it wasn't me, and I didn't have to go back to the office, as I would be unable to do anything anyway.  As it was, I still didn't leave till 6 (gotta love 11 hour days) and barely made it to class in time.  Okay, so I missed most of the warm-up, but was there for the WOD.

5 reps...2 minute rest between reps (this is new!!)
 - 3 shoulder press:
   yeah, my arms totally look like this!
 - 2 push press:
  - 1 jerk press:  no photos, but basically a push press with a little "hop" or jerk to get underneath the weight and really push it up.

Sounds simple enough, except that weight gets really heavy by the 5th round...and it doesn't help that Coach is standing there, saying things like "you can handle more weight"...uh-oh!  Started the 1st round with 45 pounds.  After the 2nd round, we upped to 50 lbs...then, for rounds 4 and 5, 55 pounds!  Boo-yah!  I concentrated on form and can really feel it in my shoulders and chest already.  Yikes.  But wait, there's more...didn't think we'd get off that easy, did you??  No, no...after the 5th round, we were to do ME UB pull-ups.  That is maximum effort, unbroken pull-ups.  I am not good at the pull-ups...let's face it...I'm trying to haul up 213 lbs of me on my two little arms!!!  But I did manage (off the box, of course...will try a band next week, but after class...need to practice away from the public glare) to do 14 unbroken.  Just need to work on getting my darn chin OVER the bar, not just gazing up at it!  One day...

After class, I still had to get my mile a day done as well (StridesRunStreak), so I took off for a run through Currie Barracks.  It was a little slicker than yesterday, as there was a nice melt today, and then cooled off enough to freeze over. Took it easy, and ended up with a 1.26 mile loop in 17 minutes.  Home to leftover turkey & vegetable chili, and a catch-up of Criminal Minds.  I like to counter-attack the nightmares of the scary stories with the delicious dual hunkiness of Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore.  I am grateful for them both...and with that, good night and very sweet dreams!

Most definitely smiling...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3

Walked 1.92 miles from the office to the bank and back at lunch, in just over 40 minutes.  Extra butt workout, as hardly any of the businesses had cleaned the walks, after the weekend snow.  Boo.

Got to Crossfit early, so ran through the Barracks (crossfit is located at the former Canadian Armed Forces barracks, before they were closed down in Calgary over 10 years ago...) for 1.12 miles, just to make sure I got my mile in.  Not sure if walking counted, so I thought I'd cover my butt.

Then it was inside to crossfit.
   - warm-up: jump rope 50 times, skip feet jump rope, double under jump rope, split lunges jump rope, jogging jump rope.  Basically, I jumped rope...cannot do all the fancy footwork stuff (yet).  Inchworms, stretching lunges, high-kicks, ring rows (hanging back from the rings, feet on ground, now row...ow), push-ups and squats...10.10.15 for 3 rounds.  Now warm, we moved on to the WOD.

   - for time:  4 rounds of 15 each move.  KB (kettlebell) swings (I used 18lbs), goblin squats (hold kb to your chest...now squat),

KTEs (knees to elbows...hang from bar and swing knees up to your elbows...easy-peasy!)...  My KTEs were modified in the fact that I stood on a box before swinging away.

Feeling everything seizing up as I sit here.  Ow.  I think my time as 10:38.  Good benchmark, and one day I'll jump up to the bars and swing away...one day.

Today I am grateful for my new chiropractor dude.  He is very good at the Graston, although I did bruise after last Wednesday's session.  However, the knee is feeling pretty good, and it took punishment at crossfit and running on snow and ice with hardly a whimper.  We may finally be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel...please don't let it be a train!!

Smiling,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Running Streak

Wow...where did November go?  In fact, where did 2012 go?!  I know everyone says it's a sign of ageing  but man, days and weeks just fly by.

Started December in fine style - with a killer WOD at Crossfit.  I hate burpees...have I ever mentioned that??

Anyway, we started the day with 50 seal-jacks (like a jumping jack, but clap like a seal instead of waving your arms), inchworms (with push-up, of course) across the Box and back, high kicks across and butt kicks back, then 10.10.10 push-ups, sit-ups and squats, times 3.  Now that we were all warm, it was time for the actual WOD!!  It was the last day of bring a friend (like I would do this to a friend!) and was another team WOD.  I like team WODs, as you can work off each others strengths and support those weaknesses.  Of course, I haven't really found any of my crossfit pal's "weaknesses"...hmmmm...
Teams of 4, for time, complete:
25 burpees EACH
20 OH (holding a weight over your head - 25 lbs) walking lunges (2 team-members)
20 MB sit-ups (pair up, and throw a medicine ball - 10 lbs - back and forth as you sit up)
20 OH walking lunges (the other 2 team-members)
50 squats EACH
20 OH walking lunges
20 MB slams (pair up, and "bounce" a medicine ball back and forth)
20 OH walking lunges
25 burpees EACH

Burpees, how I loathe thee...but I did all 50 of them.  They may not have been pretty towards the end, but damn it, I did them.  Seriously, what friend would still be talking to me after this??  I was barely talking to me by the end!  LOL!

After stopping for much needed (wanted) caffeine, I came home, ate and then tried to decide what to do next.  You see, it snowed overnight and all morning, so the walks once again needed to be done.  And I had signed up for a challenge in December, to run at least a mile every day, through Strides.  I finally decided to do my run, and then the walks, so I set off.  Did the Elbow Drive, Stanley Park loop, and ended up running 3.71 miles when all was said and done.  Tested out the new Garmin 910 (LOVE the vibrate feature) and thought, man I am running slow...till I realized it was set to miles and not metric! It was chilly (-10C) but once I got going, it was a great day for a run.  And Mr. Knee isn't even acting too upset about the run.  Or the squats...or the lunges, or the burpees.


Came home, grabbed the shovel and got the walks done - more like scraped them, than shovelled, but either way, they are done!  Then, before I ran out of steam, I walked to the drug store to pick up a couple of things, and then the pet shop for food for Mr. Picky-pants.  Eats better than I do!!  Now I'm trying to get my butt in gear to head to a friend's for some Christmas cheer.

Planning on running in the morning out of Eau Claire, but then I have to figure out the miles during the week.
Will let you know what I come up with.

Today I am grateful that Movember is over...nothing against the cause, but it's nice to see my friend's lips and faces again!

Smiling,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rushing through the snow

Winter returned to Calgary today, although it hasn't been gone all that long.  Didn't get quite as much snow as last time, but it certainly got cold.  With a high of -13C, it was a subtle reminder of what is still to come.  The fog, which appears to be a new Calgary thing - don't like it - also added to the morning drive ambiance. I can live without it!

Since I had ART after work again today (oh boy, MORE Graston, please!!!) and I wanted to go to the 5:30 crossfit, I was a little anxious about the drive.  But I took my time, and when I walked in the door here at 5, I knew I wasn't going to make it to the box (see...crossfit lingo...I'm fitting in just fine!) in time.  I still felt the need to sweat, so I decided I did have enough time to go for a run.

So run I did.  Made it down to Eau Claire, and met up with a couple of friends, and told them a "nice, slow" run was on tap for me and my leg/knee.  I was properly layered, wearing my new Skins compression tights with Lulu's Runner-Unders over top.  Would that make them runner-overs?!  I like them, as they have a panel on the bottom to repel water and snow, but the top doesn't have a tie, so they kept sliding down the compression tights.  Will have to work on that, as I hate adjusting clothing while running.  Had on a long-sleeved tech shirt, with a tech t-shirt over top, and my orange Resolution run jacket over that.  Gloves (bright orange, to match the coat) and my runnergirl toque and I was ready for anything.

The paths were snow covered, but not slippery, and the snow had stopped a little earlier.  Ran west to 14th Street, crossed back to Prince's Island, and home.  Round trip was 4.88km, in 44 minutes.  Not bad for someone who hasn't run since November 3rd, although I did walk a bit more than I originally wanted to.  Think I'd still rather do crossfit now, though.  The WOD looked scary but challenging, as I would have learned new things again (knees to elbows and toes to bar) but there is always another day.  Really starting to feel last night's workout...I sneezed and almost blacked out from the abs spasm!!!

Enjoyed my usual pint with chicken lime tacos, at the Barley Mill.  Quite delicious, and they appear healthy.  I don't know what's hidden in the cooking process, but they're soft tacos, not corn, loads of fresh veggies and a chipotle lime mayo to die for.  Yum, yum.

Fading fast, so I'll just finish charging my Nike Fuel+ and hit the hay.  That was my big splurge in San Fran...tracks steps and calories and determines your "fuel" for the day.  I am very happy to report that I am double the average daily fuel earned, than both my age group and the Nike+ community.  Boo-yah!

Today I am grateful for Guinness and wonderful running friends to hoist it with.

Smiling,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning the lingo



The difference between crossfit and bootcamp is more than just the cardio levels...it's learning a whole new language.  Box - the gym.  WOD - workout of the day.  AMRAP - as many reps as possible.  HSPU - handstand push-up.  I said, PARDON?!?!?

Yes, tonight I learned out to do a handstand push-up.  Okay, so I didn't do a real handstand this evening.  After all, I've managed to go the first 49 years of my life without a doing handstand of any kind.  Can't even do a cartwheel...can barely do a somersault!!  Did I mention I have the grass of a young moose stuck in the suburbs??

Anyway, with some modifications, I tackled the challenge of HSPU and did this version:


I did not make it crossfit yesterday, as I had both shock-wave (which I actually felt...not painful, but not a walk through the daisies either) and the dreaded Graston.  Seriously, what did I ever do to my chiropractor that makes him hate me so??  I even pay for this torture!  I decided to give my leg a rest last night, so knew I had to get to the Box tonight.  I supposed I should be happy that the WOD was all upper body.  We'll see if I'm still as happy tomorrow, when things have totally seized up!

Warm-up started with seal-jacks (like jumping jacks, but clap arms like a seal), hanging rows (using the rings), regular push-ups and squats.  That was the "warm-up".  Then we had a mini rowing race, where we each rowed 500m (I HEART the rowing machines!), competing for time with the other classes during the day.  My time was 2:12...  After we were good and warm, and had a demo for the HSPU, we got down to the WOD.  For time:
  - 50 sit-ups...no girly crunches here folks - full flat on your back, sitting all the way up, reaching your arms for your toes.  That's a sit-up!!
  - 5 HSPU (I used a box, and probably 4" of padding to touch my head to)
  - 15 pull-ups (I jump from a box...working my way up to the rubber bands...one day!)
Repeat the HSPU and pull-ups 4 times.
  - 50 sit-ups.  Time.  With my modifications, I finished the WOD in 10:38.  And soaking wet.  I looked like a Reebok's commercial, all splayed out on the floor, gasping for air, covered in sweat.  I'm ready for my close-up!  I am already feeling my abs tightening up.  Tomorrow should be fun!

I actually had today off, as it was another trip to the doctor's for Mom.  Just a script refill, but such a pain.  I think we're good till June now.  I did make sure we both walked out of there with our flu shots, though.  One less thing on the list.  Picked up chocolates, got the refills done, made sure Mom was settled and lunch put away, before heading for home.  Then, at the advise of my hair guy, I was back at the salon today to get Threaded.  All I wanted was some shape to my eyebrows, but he felt my sideburns needed to go as well (damn menopause!)...well, I now have no (or very little) hair on my cheeks, chin, sideburns, neckline, lips and quite the lovely pair of shapely eyebrows.  Didn't hurt too bad...couple of times I jumped, but the girl that did it was wonderful.  And she swears the next time it won't hurt as bad, as the hair grows back finer.  The price we pay for pretty!!

Made an amazing dinner, thanks to Giada, meatball stew.  Mixed x-lean hamburger with half an Italian sausage (uncased) and spices and made meatballs.  Once they were browned, I threw them, a can of diced tomatoes, a quarter cup of barley, some beef stock, zucchini, red pepper, mushroom, carrots and more spices and let it burble all afternoon in the slow-cooker.  Sprinkle with parmesan and WOWZA.  Delicious! According to WW, it's 11 points per serving, but they're counting all the calories from the vegetables in the total.  That's okay...for 11 points, I'm full and I have lunch for tomorrow.

Time for sleep...returning to work tomorrow, and happy to be leaving early.  It was very foggy again in Cowtown, and that means ice on the truck and on the roads.  And snow...yay...more shovelling!

Today I am grateful that I am physically able to do stuff.  May not be picture perfect, or exactly how the pros do it, but I try each and every time.

Smiling,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ow

I joined Crossfit.  Yes, I understand it is yet another reason to have my head examined, but with Trainer Josh "retiring" from bootcamp, I had to find something else to do.

Crossfit is hard work.  Today's class, for example, was short and sweet, but I was still soaked to the skin, as if I had done an hour bootcamp.  I am learning the difference between a hang power clean and a push press. I am learning that I can do pull-ups, with some assistance (for now).  I am learning, that with some practice I can do box jumps.  And I am learning I still hate burpees with every fibre of my being!!!

Monday's WOD (workout of the day) was a 20 minute AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) of 10-10-10.  10 push presses, 10 kb (kettlebell) swings, 10 box jumps.  I pressed 35 lbs, I swung 18 lbs and I jumped 12", a total of 7 times through.  That's 70 reps of each.  That's HUGE.  Sadly, I discovered that I could not sit down without assistance on Tuesday!!!  Actually, I really like that kind of sore...you know you worked hard.  Much better than the stabby "I'm injured" pain, which my left knee wants to toy with.  It's shock-wave for you on Monday, knee.  Be afraid!!

Today, after a warm-up, we did a 10 WOD #1 of DU (double-unders) ladder (5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40 back to 5).  I cannot do double-unders.  I can barely do single-unders.  This is jumping rope, by the way.  So, a DU would involve 2 rotations of the rope under your feet when you jump.  So not happening!!!  It's like the pat your head and rub your belly at the same time...every time I focused on moving the rope faster, my feet sped up, and I couldn't coordinate the double swing.  Or, I'd concentrate on jumping higher, and then slow down with the rope.  Gah!  Basically, I jumped rope, snapped my bare legs and cursed under my breath for 10 minutes.  I could not manage 1 double-under.  But I kept trying.  And there's a goal for next time.

After a quick break, we started WOD #2.  Another AMRAP, this time 10 hang power cleans, followed by 10 lateral over-the-bar burpees.  Yes, it's as hideous as it sounds!!  After the cleans, drop your bar, and then do a burpee, jump over the bar, do another burpee, jump back till done 10.  Have I mentioned that I am not a fan of the burpee?!  The clock started, and with music pounding, we all went at it.  I managed 3 rounds...I am pretty comfortable with my clean (gosh, don't I sound all pro and everything?) but my burpees slow me down.  Still...that's 30 more cleans and 30 more burpees than someone sitting on their couch did, right?

I'm planning on Crossfit 3 times a week, to start, and then some running, just to keep the cardio up.  I am still struggling with the "weight/not walking to work/no where to workout/pissy about working in the NE/eating like crap" chapter of my life right now.  I need routine and a plan.  It'll all come together.

Not sure what I'm grateful for today, other than getting my sweat on.  I do love that when working out, I actually drip.  Good thing Crossfit "gyms" are not all fru-fru.

Later,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And then I was abducted by aliens...

How does a month go by???  My last post was when I was sitting in the Vancouver airport, waiting to go to San Francisco and then...NOTHING!

I blame my smart phone...I hardly sit at my desktop anymore.  The 955 unopened emails that sit in my Outlook are testimony that I have been sucked in the vortex of easy email on the Crackberry.  If only I could blog from it...nah, keyboard too tiny!

So let's see...what has happened since October 12th?

Landed in San Francisco, took the BART into the city, found my hotel (a block and a half from the station), checked into the tiniest room EVER, walked (yes, walked!) the hills of San Fran looking for Beach Blanket Bimbo, only to arrive exactly 1 minute before they closed the doors, and was therefore forced to sit at the stage.  And by at the stage, I mean with my knees firmly squashed against the stage, and having to carefully look up (didn't want to see what I didn't want to see!!!) to watch the show.  After all that, it was just m-eh.  Found an Irish pub after, so I could have a Guinness (okay, two) and then finished the night off with a couple of slices from the pizza joint across the street from the hotel.


Hit the Expo first thing Saturday morning, which was good, since the line-ups wrapped all the way around Union Square most of the rest of the day!  Yikes!!  After breakfast at Sears (not the store, but a diner up the road from Union Square), we wandered into DSW, where, somehow we managed to misplace 2-3 hours and a quite a bit of cash!  I tend to get frustrated shoe shopping, as there's hardly ever my size, and when there is, it's just a hair too tight.  But I still managed to come home with a pair of Reeboks for Crossfit, a pair of red Vans and...crap, can't think of what else I bought there!  That's just sad.  More wandering, dinner at a fabulous Italian place we stumbled upon, before heading back to the hotel for an early night.

Woke up at the crack of stupid, to meet up with 24,999 other insane people at Union Square, for the race start at 7am.  I am so thankful that a) my hotel was a half a block from Union Square, and b) I screwed up and put down my per km pace and not my per mile pace.  I was in corral 2, rather than corral 5 or 6 where I should have been.  Took them over 30 minutes just to get to the start mat...I needed all the help I could get!

The course is a nice one...yes, there are hills.  It is San Francisco, after all, but all in all, nothing too daunting or that bad, really.  Ran from Union Square down towards Pier 1 (is that where the store name came from???), and then along the waterfront past Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghiradelli, before our first hill.  After a little run up, we bobbed and weaved our way to Golden Gate park, and some really big hills.  Sadly (but from a cooling perspective, perfection) it was foggy and misty the whole race, so not a lot of good views, but the run through Presidio was nice, and through the big park, and then off to the Ocean Highway.  I spent the entire race freaking out that I wouldn't make the cut-off (1:30pm - "strictly enforced" if you read all the hype) and therefore all that would be for not.  I felt the blister form early on, but kept forging ahead, and when it blew at mile 20 (and trust me, it blew!), I leaned on the endorphins to make the pain go away and kept going.  6:16, I think was my official time, or a mere 10 minutes before the finish line closed.  But I got my necklace, which I wear every day, and my hug from the fire guy, and even some TLC from a great group of medics ("OMG - you have a baby toe growing on your blister!").  Toured Alcatraz that night (rule #1 - keep moving) and did a 5 stop wine tour on Monday, walked all over San Fran on Tuesday, before flying home (and changing flights to avoid huge layover in Vancouver again) on Wednesday. 



Would I do San Fran again?  Probably, as it was fun, but I'll do the Half next time.  Same bling, half the pain!!!

Marshaled for Halloween Howl and Rogue's Run...let's face it...I just like to dress up.


Back to Banff for Winterstart 2012, my last race of the season.  Sold my Last Chance Half bib, and marshaled instead, and that's it for me until February, and the Hypo Half.  Going to pace for my favourite instructor in January (he's teaching the Half, but I'm registered for Vancouver marathon again, so I'll adapt the training) and while I've committed to a "mile a day" in December, I'm really easing up on the running till then.  Need to get Mr. Left Leg sorted out for good.  And my weight.  Gah.  Next topic...


Crossfit started on Saturday, and it's a good pain.  That's what I keep telling myself.  It's not as much cardio as bootcamp, but twice as much hard work.  Did a ladder WOD (workout of the day) of 21-15-9-15-21, in which we alternated between squat presses (35lb bar) and pull-ups (I used a box), for a total of 81 of each.  Monday was a 20 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) WOD of 10-10-10.  Presses (35lb), kettlebell swings (18lb) and box jumps (12").  Discovered that my left leg is not particularly fond of the box jumps, but it'll just have to learn to love them.  I will not quit!!!

Marshaled again on Sunday (every runner should volunteer once a year, if not more, for a race, whether it's package pick-up, marshaling, handing out the food afterwards...you need to give back) for the Last Chance Half, and had a blast cheering on my friends on a cold November morning.  Good thing I had the world's cutest dog join me for the job.

Such a muffin.  And that's what I'm grateful for today...doggie kisses from a friendly little guy like Joey.  Thank you J, for bringing him along on Sunday.  I know the runners appreciated him too.
A bit rambly, a month late, and missing oh, so much of my life, but here it is.

Smiling,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sitting and staring

Here I sit, pondering life, staring out the window into nothing.  And why nothing, you ask?  Because I'm staring out at the loading zone of the Vancouver airport, waiting for my flight to San Francisco.  How exciting, right?  It would be if  it weren't  for the fact that I landed at 9:35am, and my flight doesn't depart until 3:45pm!!!!  Yes, that's right, folks...6+ hours sitting in the airport.  BORING! 

That got me to thinking though.  I will be here for about the same time it should (please be less) take me to run the Nike Women's marathon in San Fran on Sunday!  That's kind of scary...at least that shouldn't be as boring as sitting  here is.  Marathon #9 for me, and this one will be cool.  Tuxedo-clad  firemen waiting for us to cross the finish line, with little blue Tiffany boxes in hand.  Yes, the finisher's medal is a Tiffany necklace!  And a well earned one, too boot.

Since this year has plagued me with injuries and weight gain and hot flashes and mood swings (oh, yeah...menopause rocks, kids!), I am going into this marathon with the only goal of finishing it.  Upright, smiling and hopefully kissing a fireman in the process!  Granted, firemen in San Fran most likely bat for the other team, but that's profiling right, and a kiss is a kiss!  Going down with a group of ladies, with most running the Half.  I, of course, do not know how to run shorter distances, and feel I must always go big or go home.  Melissa's, for example, has a 10k.  I've never run it, always going for the 22 instead.  I'll have to try it one year, just for the heck of it.  See what all the fuss is about.

Staying at the Stratford right on Union Square.  Looks like a really unique little hotel.  And tonight we're all off to a drag show, Beach Blanket Babylon.  Tomorrow will be casual - the Expo, get our bearings, find carbs for dinner and an early night.  Race Sunday (7am) and then I'm headed to Alcatraz Sunday  night - spooky!  A wine  tour of Napa with the ladies on Monday (limo and all), and then I have Tuesday to wander San Fran, as everyone else heads home then.  Back to Calgary on Wednesday (with another 5 hours to waste in Vancouver airport) but not back to work until Tuesday.  I need this little  holiday.  It's been too long, and I always seem to fill any days off with many things to do, people to see, places to go.  It'll be nice just to sit and chill.

I'll be sure to post pictures of the race (if I can get something big enough to run with a camera/phone/honey stingers/water and inhaler!), otherwise the photos will be from other than the race.  Back to staring out the window.

Today I am grateful to be surrounded by a strong, amazing, supportive, inspiring group of ladies.  Congratulations to L., who qualified for Boston over the long weekend, and looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with J., C., Z, more Cs, O. and new friends I haven't  met yet.

Gratitude,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Banff

I heart Melissa's Road Race...it is, without a doubt, my most favourite race EVER.  I love the mountains, I love this time of year, I love Banff.  Period.
 
 
I actually look like I'm having fun!!  Drove out Friday night, after another incredible dinner at NOtaBLE in Calgary.  Started with a seafood hot pot for appetizer - oh, so freaking good - and moved on to the grilled tuna for supper.  Finish with roasted peach pound cake and huckleberry ice cream.  I had to run 20+ km on Saturday, to work off that feast!!!!
 
Saturday in the mountains was beyond perfection...weather was warm, but not too hot, sunny but not too bright.  Very little breeze.  In fact, this was the first time in years that I didn't get sandblasted on the golf course.  Of course, this means the wrinkles on the right side of my face will now stay! Sad!
 
After the race (2:41 - I am pleased), we ended up at the Rose & Crown in Banff, where copious pints of Guinness were raised and drained.  Then, after a quick soak/shower, it was dinner at Magpie & Stump (TexMex) before collapsing back at the hotel at 11.  Solid 10+ hours sleep (okay, not so solid, but only two episodes of night sweats), a 5.5km wander around Banff, coffee and then home and back to reality.  One day, Banff will be my reality.  Yes it will!!
 
Donated blood tonight - after all, I did my best to up my iron intake on the weekend! - and after finished, and heading over for my cookie, I was reaching for my OJ when one of the volunteers was like "oh, you're dripping"...guess that sounds better than "GUSHER!!!"...I bled everywhere!!!  Weird, because it had stopped...both the nurse and I checked it and I had clotted.  Wrapped the arm tight, cleaned up the mess (I cleaned me, they cleaned everything else), finally had my cookie and OJ, and then after another 5 minutes and confirming no more leaking, I picked up H-woman and took off for Indian buffet.  I am FULL.  Indian buffet good, but too tempting. 
 
Getting ready to hit the hay...trying to get more sleep, as I'm hopeful it makes this whole menopause thing go smoother.  I'm tired of being tired.  I'm tired of waking up soaking wet and I'm very tired of bursting into flames at the drop of a hat!  But it's not new and it won't kill me (gosh, I hope it won't!) so this too shall pass.  Right???  Right!
 
Today I am grateful for Banff...elk trumpeting, deer, coyotes casually watching runners, Guinness, good food, awesome friends, inspirational cancer survivors who make me run better just to keep up, Guinness (needs to be mentioned twice!), fresh mountain air, clear blue streams, BIG rocks, blue skies, warm sunshine...
 
Gratitude, 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mud!

Before...

After!!!

My third obstacle race of the year...it's becoming my favourite thing to do.  I don't do them fast by any stretch (scared of water and respectful of heights!), but I go in trying my best and succeeding at most.  Yesterday's was run with a group of great friends, and we ran it as a team, helping each other up and over when needed:
  - straw mountains - imagine the big straw rolls, on their side, with others piled on top...up and over everyone.
  - walls...no toe or hand holds on these bad boys.  So, whoever gets up first, lean over and help the rest of us.
  - loads of mud...ponds, trenches, slides, rope swings, army crawls.  There was a lot of mud!
  - slanty walls with ropes...short ropes...but made it over!
  - cattle fences (easy-peasy compared to everything else)
We laughed, we ran, we laughed some more, we walked, we swam (okay, others swam...I survived) and we even had a team-member go down (twisted ankle) but no one was left behind.  We just went slower.  A perfect hot, sunny day and most fun had by all.  Can't wait for next year.

Decided that I should actually do some running today, since I have not one but 3 Half marathons in the next 3 weeks, followed by the Nike San Fran marathon in October.  Since this is not the year of the PB for me, I'm not fretting or stressing about it all.  My races will be what they will be.  I just plan on having fun...that has become my mantra this year.  However, met up with a friend, and we did a lovely 10k at a 7:40 pace.  It was overcast and the perfect temperature for a run this morning, and I finished feeling great.  After a morning of coffee and catching up with my fellow runners, I took Mom for her weekly burger and Purdy's supplies.  Can't believe the weekend is over already.  Sad for me.

Not sure which is going to be more painful in the morning...6am bootcamp, my dentist appointment or having to drive to the NE again....I'm going with the drive.  First world problems, huh?  I know...suck it up, buttercup!

Today (and this weekend) I am grateful for my friends that don't care how fast or slow we run, as long as we run together.  Hugs to you all!

Gratitude,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A summer of fun

I have had a great summer!  I've been running, but not in the standard "pathway or roadway" type running.  Nope, I've branched out, wanting to try new things.


The first one was Mud Hero.  THE.MOST.FUN.I.HAVE.EVER.HAD.ON.A.RACE.EVER!!!!!!

Run a 6k trail race and throw in 14 obstacles, from mud puddles, net pyramids, fire poles, tires, parked cars, 4' fences, 10' walls, webbing through trees, straw bales, giant bouncy slides and finish it all with a good crawl through the mud!

Of course, I couldn't just do one...


SPARTAN!!!

I completed (toyed with the words attempted, struggled, tried but truth be told, I started and finished said race...Mama didn't race no quitter!) a Spartan Sprint a couple of weeks ago, and while it wasn't quite the giggle-fest that Mud Hero was, I still had fun, and challenged myself in ways I never knew I had in me.  Such as going down a steep hill and back up, all with a 20lb sandbag on my shoulder.  Or crawling under barbed wire and through the mud.  Ended up doing way more burpees than I wanted (next year, more bacon please) - at every obstacle a fail = 25 burpees!  But I got through, survived and got to get hosed down by our wonderful fire department!

And this past weekend, I finally ran my very first, real trail race.  Moose Mountain.  Had two awesome running buddies sign up last minute, to run it with me, and that really made this the most fun.  We weren't in it to win it, but just to enjoy a gorgeous day in K-country, get a run in, and have fun along the way.  Every km or so was another photo op, and we laughed, skipped, danced and sang our way to the finish line.  We may have been last, but I guarantee we had the most fun!


Next up for me is a new Half just outside Cochrane, AB in 2 weeks.  It will be a hilly one, but it'll just be good training for San Francisco, which I was just reminded today is in 6 weeks!  And in between Cochrane and San Fran is Melissa's 22 (one of my all time favourite runs), Harvest Half (south end of Calgary...new views) and the Alzheimer's 10k, for Mom.  But I'm not freaking out...this is the year I finish.  No PBs for me, as I deal with injuries and stress and weight gain.  As long as I stand up every morning, and can put one leg in front of the other, the PBs will come.  Maybe not this year, maybe not even next, but then again, I will be in a new age bracket then, so who knows.  I may become one of those speedy old ladies we're all so envious of!!

Okay...Melatonin in (again...so grateful for this wonderful little pill of sleepiness!) and I'm ready to sleep.  Time to shut down and go to bed.  Bootcamp at 6am.

Today I am grateful for the wonderful running community I am part of.  There are far too many names to mention here, but each and every one of them has touched my life in the most life-affirming, positive, supportive and funny way.  I smile just thinking about them.  Thank you all for just being there.  Hugs and kisses...mmmwah!

Gratitude,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Confused

I know it's been awhile since I last blogged and even read some posts, but still...this new Blogger design is confusing me.  Where is everything the way I want it?!  Doesn't Blogger know that I don't like change, and that they're just adding to the pile right now?!?

Okay...things I'm grateful for.  Melatonin...it does appear to be helping.  Which is a Godsend.  I was not doing well on no sleep.  I did not make it to bootcamp on Monday (yes, I am still faithfully going at 6am, or the crack of stupid, as I like to call it - only for Trainer Josh) because of zero sleep the night before, but I did make it this morning.  Not feeling like the speedy, super-woman of camps past, but I'll get there again.  Today involved a lot of burpees (just for me...thanks Josh!), deadlifts with rows, jumping jacks, step-ups, leg drivers, mountain climbers, curls with press, squat press, v-sits, full body bike, incline push-ups, regular push-ups, bent over rows and running.  I was a very sweaty mess by the time I climbed in the car 60 minutes later.

Work is...my work location has changed because of a fire in our downtown office, and I'm not overly happy about it.  For the first time in 12.5 years, I have to drive to work.  Yes, I have walked to work, practically every day, for the last 12.5 years.  I miss it.  GREATLY!!  There is no where to walk around the new location, as they failed to install sidewalks in this particular end of town.  I guess they wanted more room for all the semi-trucks and the like.  It's going to be a very long year.  Yes, it will be summer 2013 before we're back downtown.  I do not like change.

I did manage to pack breakfast and lunch all three days this week, which is huge for me.  I have been sitting outside at lunch, to try and get some vitamin D and to shut off the rest of the world.  I plug into my iPod, open my Kobo and ignore.  It's going to be a long year...wait, I said that already.  I also packed my running gear, and drove straight from work to Eau Claire, and went out at 6pm for a 5k run.  Wasn't fast, wasn't perfect, but I was a sweaty mess again when I was done.  Boo-yah.  Dinner consisted of chicken tacos (soft, not fried), a pint of Guinness and a very small piece of cake (many birthdays, going away and racers off to Canada Ironman - lots to celebrate).  I am home, Melatonin is in, and I am preparing to wind down.

So I should shut this down, right?  Right.

I am also grateful that I can run.  I may not be fast, I may not win, but I never give up.

Gratitude,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gratitude

 I am grateful today for:

- for purring kitties, despite their mommies not getting more than a few hours sleep, between hot flashes and hot weather.  They don't care...they purr, therefore they are.

 - Vietnam Fortune.  Best chicken satay pho this side of Vietnam, I dare say.  THE.BEST.  Whatever was tickling and niggling in my throat has gone away since a bowl at dinner.  Ah-ha, take that germs!!!

 - Work.  This one is hard.  I like my job.  I like my coworkers (well...mostly).  So I'm going to pull up the big-girl panties and start the countdown.  Only 325 more sleeps till we're back downtown.

 - Fortitude.  I packed my breakfast (Greek yogurt, oatmeal, blueberries), lunch (quinoa, tuna, cucumber, tomatoes and Greek dressing) and snack (Clif PB protein bar, apple).  And breakfast (yogurt, granola), lunch (noodles, a ton of veggies of all colours and tuna in sesame dressing...ooooo...different) and snack (cherries, fibre 1 bar) are in the fridge, waiting to be loaded up in the morning.  I can...nay, I WILL survive this year.

 - Melatonin.  Well, don't know if I've grateful yet, because I don't know if it's working yet, but I'm about to shut down here, go get ready for bed and with all fingers, toes and legs crossed, will actually sleep tonight.  Think good thoughts.

Gratitude,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bliss

I've lost mine.  Not sure where I saw it last, or if I put it down somewhere and walked away, but I have lost my bliss.  Haven't even been motivated to blog.  No bliss.

Still running, but getting slower.  No bliss.


Trying new things, but they're getting harder (Spartan - got my butt handed to me!).  No bliss.


Paying Weight Watchers to GAIN weight over the summer.  No bliss.

Summer heat wave & menopause.  Definitely no bliss, but kind of out of my control.  I can still whine about it though!

Came full circle at work, trying something new before being put back in the niche I fit best in.  No bliss.  Add to this, a fire earlier this year at the downtown office has me now driving 20+km a day to the NE, where there is NOTHING (crappy restaurants, no sidewalks, no river pathway, no shopping, no NOTHING), thereby eliminating my daily dose of calming vitamin D and adding to my cloud of blah.  No bliss.

Social life...what social life?  No bliss.

Finances.  No bliss.

Home.  No bliss.

Barely been hiking.  No bliss.

Recently went to Victoria for the Epicure conference.  No bliss.


So...what exactly am I going to do about things?  At this particular point, I really have no idea but I do know I need to do something.  So I'm breaking it into small pieces.  Didn't lose it overnight, can't find it overnight, right?  So please bear with me.

I'm starting with a gratitude journal.  I will take what bliss I can from where I can.  A kiss from a puppy, the smell of rain, sunrise, etc..  I will be grateful for every day that I have.  Every day.  I'm also going to map out some plans for the key things I need to get control of...or at least those things I can control - weight, finances, training.  I'll keep you all informed, in order to keep me focused.

Today's gratitude:  Starbuck's Lime Refresher...cool, not too sweet, refreshing and under 100 calories for a vente.  And I am moving somewhat well, even after yesterday's butt-kick Spartan Race.  Heck, I'll even take the fact that I completed yesterday's Spartan race.  It was 5k of humbling moments and I managed to get to the finish line in one piece, albeit after having to get really good at doing burpees!!!

Grateful,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

After, after the marathon

Needless to say, I fell asleep rather quickly, and easily, Sunday night, and hoping for some sort of miracle, woke up thinking, "hey, not so bad".  Then I moved...oh, all that is holy, I am SORE!  Got out of bed and after convincing my legs that standing wouldn't be so bad (I had to promise them that they would never, ever have to run a marathon again...little do they know that my fingers were crossed behind my back when I made the promise!), I gingerly made my way to the bathroom.  Why, oh why, are toilets so dang low to the ground?!  Once the blood started flowing, I was moving well enough to go across the street for some much needed Starbucks.  The one downfall of the Four Seasons is the fact that they don't have a mini coffee-maker in the room.  Mini fridge, yes, mini coffee, no.  Oh well, Starbucks is a mere 3 minute hobble away.

Coffee in hand, I puttered till I heard from my friends, and plans were made to meet up with M. (here from Germany, and such a fast runner, I don't know how much longer we can be friends!), SM and new friend, B.  I ate some breakfast (yogurt and oatmeal, leftover from Sunday), drank the coffee, showered and changed, and then headed out for the day.

Heading straight up Howe to Robson Square, I sat to wait for two of the three.  We were planning on meeting M at an Indian buffet lunch, so I went hungry.  Luckily for me, the sun was shining (weather in Funcouver has been PERFECTION!), and it was Music Monday.  That meant school bands and choirs to entertain the lunchtime crowds.  What it also meant was last minute rehearsing, so I also got to listen to the same two songs three times each!  Oh well...the sun was shining and I wasn't moving, so all was good.  Got the text that the two missed their bus, so I had another hour to wait, and I was getting HUNGRY.  It's bad to be waiting for someone to go for lunch, sitting beside not one but two lunch trucks!  They smelled soooooo good, but I resisted.  Got distracted by the music (excellent drumming group) and finally met up with the two.  We took off up the street and down Drake to the restaurant to meet up with M.

The buffet was fabulous...butter chicken, rice, chickpea curry, a fish dish, two veggie dishes, salads, rice pudding, watermelon and naan.  All for $7.95!!!  What a deal!  Ate to bursting point (probably shouldn't have gone quite so hungry) and then we wandered down towards Stanley Park.  Somehow got talked into renting bikes (um...probably last rode my bike in '95 - '96!) to tour around the park for the afternoon.  After assuring myself I'd be fine, and that we were sticking to the bike paths and not the roads in Vancouver, we took off.

It turned out to be a great idea.  After a quick picnic of cupcakes (Happy Birthday, M!), we rode all the way around the seawall, stopping for photo-ops and reminiscing about Sunday's race.  Both M. (3:18) and SM (4:58) ran, while B was awesome race support.  The quads objected a few times, especially pedalling uphill, but again, kept the blood going, which is important the day after.  At one point, we stopped long enough to run out into the cool ocean, which I so longed to do right after the race yesterday.  This is where SM proved to be a bit of a klutz, falling in the ocean, and totally cutting up her knees!  Who cuts themselves in WATER?!  Did some emergency medical attention (well, the best we could with the tissues we had on hand) and finished the loop of the park back to the bike shop, where they actually had a first-aid kit. Taped her up, and then we were on our way back down the convention centre, to see the Olympic torch and decide if we were hungry enough for dinner.

B had to leave us (good luck of UBC), but J joined up, and the four of us ended  up at Ceili's in town.  Shared some appies and a pint (real Guinness...oh, so tasty!), before making my way back to the hotel.  It was a long day, fun-filled, but suddenly I was TIRED.  After some stretching (legs totally seized up) and some vitamin I, I crawled into bed and CRASHED. 

Up this morning bright and early (crisis back home, but now averted), showered, walked for coffee, breakfast eaten (last of the yogurt/oatmeal) and now packed up, waiting to check out and head to the airport.  I really like the skytrain for this...easy and cheap.  And the station is just across the street from the hotel.  Loved the Four Seasons, and highly recommend it to everyone.  All in all, race weekend in Funcouver was FUN!  My legs will agree with me soon, I'm sure.

Should have pictures from the weekend loaded tonight.  Meanwhile, happy Tuesday, everyone.

Later,

Monday, May 7, 2012

After the marathon

I am nothing if not a wealth of information.  Learn from me, people.  Never, ever...and I mean NEVER attempt to run a marathon after a 2 month taper!  OUCH!  But lesson learned.

Needless to say marathon #7 is done.  Kudos to the BMO Vancouver team...the new course is nothing short of gorgeous.  Not too many nasty hills (there is the one long one up along Spirit Park) but what goes up must come down, right? 

Met up with DO from Calgary, also running the marathon, as we were staying at the same hotel (huge shout out to the Four Seasons for having the MOST.COMFORTABLE.BEDS.EVER!) and made our way to the train to get to the start.  Four stops away from us, and then a good 15-20 minute walk to the start corrals.  What a mob scene.  I'll post the pics later, as I forgot my port at home.  15,000 runners total, with 10,000 doing the half and the rest in the marathon.  Side note:  I refuse to call it the "full".  A marathon is a marathon...26.2 miles or 42.2 km.  Therefore you can run a Half or an Ultra, but if you run a marathon, you're running a marathon...not a full.  Just a quirk I have! 

The start was a bit of a gong show, as it took 4-5 waves to get all the Halfers on their way.  Didn't help that they started later than the 7am gun time, but I think the last wave took off across at the mat at 7:30ish.  Then it was our turn.  Queued up with a group of friends from Calgary, and waited patiently for our turn to start.  Finally we were off...

Ran through gorgeous neighbourhoods, and past some lovely parks.  There was a large group of older Japanese runners that stopped every km or so for a photo op, and one ran with a birthday cake hat, others had tweetie birds on their heads.  They were machines though...I think  they all beat me in!!  My leg eased into things well, and I thought "okay, this will be good".  It was a clear day, but some cloud cover came over at one point, which was welcome.  There was also a bit of a breeze, which I didn't realize how hard it was coming at our backs until we had to run into it for a bit.  But that just kept us cool.

The bald eagles kept an eye on us as we ran through the University grounds, circling overhead and perched atop some very tall trees.  The volunteers and spectators were enthusiastic and friendly.  Did I mention the course was gorgeous?  Headed down towards the water, running past Jericho and Kitsilano beaches, over the dreaded Burrard St bridge and then it was English Bay and the sea wall.  Eleven km of sea wall!  By the time I got there, it was packed with Sunday strollers, cyclists and walkers galore.  Many were respectful of us "crazies" running past, but quite a few gaped at us like we had two heads, and even a few asked "what's going on?"...um, guessing the marathon has been talked about once or twice in the past few weeks! 

By this point, I was mainly walking.  My left leg was cramping all over, mainly quad, but what was really giving me grief were my feet!  My toes felt like I had squeezed them into a pair of shoes 5 times too small!  May be time for new runners.  I kept slogging along, as I am want to do, just praying for that one turn around the point when I could see the convention centre, and therefore the finish.  Finally made it, but there was a still a few km left in Stanley Park to get through, and then a llloooonnnngggg stretch UP the street before we could make the turn to the finish line.  Some random spectators got my spirits up and had me running a bit towards the end (thanks for that) and I crossed at 6:07 chip time.  John Stanton of the Running Room hanged my medal around my neck himself, knowing that I really earned it this time out.  Such a sweet man.

I came into Vancouver knowing I was not going for a PB, due to the injury and told myself that I only had to beat my previous Vancouver time (I was officially the last person in 2009!) which I did.  So, was it a good race?  Yes and no...I need to figure out what was going on with my feet, and get the leg issue settled once and for all.  But I did enjoy the race overall.  Calgary is also a new route at the end of the month, but I don't think anything they do will beat the Vancouver course.  I will most definitely (and defiantly) return to conquer Vancouver!

Now to keep moving...

Later,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Leavin' on a jet plane

I am packed, house tidied, and am just about to dive in the shower before heading to the airport.  Noon flights are just so civilized!

Leg feels good...one last Graston treatment on Wednesday (Therapist Dave's eyes light up a little too much when he gets to use his tools...just sayin'!), and I have been very good and not run since.  I may do the 20 minute friendship run tomorrow morning, or I may just hang at the store and chat with the other runners.

Race Sunday morning (I only have to beat 6:28 - my first Vancouver time), stretching and rest Sunday afternoon, PAR-TAY Sunday night!  Again, flying back on a Tuesday, at noon, is so civilized!

I'm taking my notebook with me, so I'll blog from the scene.

Later peeps,

Monday, April 30, 2012

Peek-a-Boo


How has everyone been??  Can't believe it's been over a month since I've blogged.  Heck, it's been that long since I've even READ any blogs!  What is wrong with me??  Oh yeah...leg injury.

Perhaps injury isn't the right word, but I have been sidelined since about March 15th.  And it's been driving me crazy.  No running, no boot camp, barely any walking for that matter.  Oh, so freaking frustrating!  So, what did I do?  Hard to say, after the loud snapping sound of March 15th, but my therapist's analysis is that my tibialis anterior hadn't quite healed, yet I kept running (didn't hurt that much) and that caused me to shift my gait, and therefore strain my hamstring.  That pulled on the interior of my knee, which is much more vocal about not moving when injured.  Very, very, very vocal!!!  OMG, vocal!  

So, what have I been doing if I haven' been running or boot camping or reading blogs?  Pouting...and eating cookies.  There is, sadly, a strong connection between my exercise levels and my need for sugary comfort food.  I have managed to find 6+ pounds since the beginning of April as a result.  That just made me pout more.  Vicious hamster wheel...

BUT, after many ART treatments and one more whack with the Graston tool of torture, I am moving.  I am squatting, walking, stepping and, joyfully, running.  I managed to do hills last week, although I was punished afterwards with a rather crabby leg, and then 10k on Sunday, which I felt great after.  Boot camp twice last week (and only had to get yelled at once, for trying something I "shouldn't" be doing), and boot camp this morning.  Heaven...okay, so I felt this "" close to barfing (a month off is just bad) but oh, so happy to be back.  Did I mention I have a slightly longer than 10k run scheduled for this Sunday?!  Yes, I fly out to Vancouver on Friday, to meet with Amber, and 14,998 other hardy souls, to complete the marathon.  I will take it slow, trust me, and I will be listening very closely to myself.  Dammit, I've walked Vancouver before, and if I have to, I'll walk it again!  Did I mention Mama raised a slightly stubborn girl!?  I don't want to miss out on the duck route!

Will be spending this week getting all caught up with everyone, and doing my best to get back into blogland.  I'm even debating another blog, about Mom and her struggle with Dementia.  I feel the need to vent...a lot!

Missed you all...

I'm back!!!

Later,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

HAWCS 2

Today was my day to cross yet another first off my list.  I would be riding in a helicopter for the first time.

You all know how much I "love" flying, so I was a bit nervous...okay, a lot nervous.  I took a Gravol with my lunch, and aimed James to the airport.

After filling out the necessary paperwork, and passing (yes, I am that boring) the criminal check with flying colours, we were off.  Had a tour of the hanger, learned about HAWCS 1, met Frasier the pilot and John the officer, and went outside to meet my ride.



It was a lovely day in Calgary, for the first day of spring, but with the warm weather came the wind.  Lots of wind...the Gravol didn't stand a chance!  We did head up, and helped out with tracking a vehicle for the guys below, before heading to the far south end of Calgary, so see the guy with with the fake lawn.  Seriously...neon green stands out amongst all the brown in town.  No fertilizer works that well!!!  But we were buffeted about quite a bit, and I know the guys wanted to show me how the equipment worked, but my tummy did not appreciate the banking to the right and the left.  I was honest and told the guys I had reached my limit, and we headed back.  It was a choppy landing (the wind had really picked up) and well...suffice to say, it's a good thing they pack barf bags.  At least I waited till we were on the ground!!  Although, man, I felt off the entire afternoon.  It was hard driving home, for goodness sake!  Luckily a nap helped, which I enjoyed after I got home, not while driving!
:)

Calf is still tender, but we'll see what tomorrow's ART session does for it.  It's hard to guide my 10k class (which is up to 28 members...yikes!) without being able to run with them.  Rest is hard.

My cutie-patootie photo of the day...George helping his mama with her Epicure business. 


Later,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rest - a four-letter word

rest 1 (rst)

n.
   1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
   2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
   3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
   4. The repose of death: eternal rest.
   5. Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.
   6. Mental or emotional tranquillity.
   7. Termination or absence of motion.

There are times when, despite all you do and precautions you take, that your body decides it has had enough.  Mine did that on Thursday.  Yes, I've had a nagging shin/calf issue that I've been dealing with, with chiropractor and ART and stretching and rolling with my beat-stick, etc.  However, it decided it was in charge on Thursday.  Thursday was my first night of my 10km clinic (2 of my 5k members ran the Diakonos 5k on Saturday, and I'm pretty sure they both got PB's - so proud!), so after the intro talk, we went out for a short, sweet run to ease ourselves back into things.  About 100 m down the path, when SNAP right behind my knee!!!!  I mean, the kind of sound that you should only hear when stepping on a stick.  I stopped immediately, told everyone to continue on and tried to stretch.  OMG it hurt, but I quickly assured myself that I had mobility, could put weight on the leg, and could move my foot up and down (phew...Achilles was fine!).  I hobbled back to the Running Room to wait for everyone, and after much debate about what I did, I headed for home and ice.  Lots of ice.  Mainly for my vodka, but some for my leg!

And straight to my chiro Friday morning (again, I wasn't worried about broken bones, and there wasn't a huge amount of swelling, coldness or bruising) and after some gentle prodding (I hit the roof a couple of times) he determined that my knee was where it was supposed to be, my ACL was good and no ligaments or tendons were torn, so I most likely over strained my calf muscle.  The "snap" could have been the tendon moving over the joint or something...he had me at "nothing torn".  Phew!!!  After some gentle ART, and sitting under the laser for awhile (I think it just Christmas lights on a piece of rubber, but if it works, what do I know?!), I walked out with Olly the Octopus keeping the swelling down.

It's weird, but it worked. 
I am also being forced to rest.  That means no running...no bootcamp...no clinics...no races...ARGH!  SO HARD!!!  Okay, so I can't walk up and down a flight of stairs right now and if I take too big of a stride, my leg quickly reminds me who's in charge, so I guess I have no choice.

But I was supposed to follow this man through his moves on Saturday.
le sigh...  Do you all know how boring it is to WATCH a bootcamp?!  VERY...good thing Tommy isn't so hard on the eyes.  And he was nice enough to make Olly a keepsake. hehehe


I did do too much walking yesterday, and felt it today, but again sat under the laser and let Dave do his magic on my leg.  I will arrange for someone to take my group out on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday (hoping I'm not down too for long) and will now marshal at Saturday's L'Arche Half, rather than running it. 
 
Now I will really be putting my weight watcher's training to to the test, as I won't be earning all those lovely exercise points...will power, here we come!  Asked Tommy for some advice, and bought his Last 10-pounds book for when I'm healed and ready to kick it to the curb.
 
It's going to be a long few weeks...wish me luck.
 
Later,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

MIA Again??

I find when I get really busy are work, staring at computers/spreadsheets all day, the last thing I want to do when I come home is stare at my computer.  Which means it's been almost two weeks since I last blogged.  Guess that much excitement has happened along the way...haven't exactly felt the crushing need to tell you all about it!

Work: Quarter end = uber busy time for me.  Still learning my reports and requirements, and always asking for more.  I want to do well at this job, and I want to be busy.  Busy is good!

Running:  My 5-clinic is winding down, and I am down to 3 devotees.  And one of them is hit or miss, as he is also on the ballroom dancing circuit (yes, seriously) so has to miss clinic nights for either rehearsals or competitions.  I am signed on to head the 10k clinic starting on the 15th, and I do hope for more of a steady turnout.  Or my ego may just take a beating!  I am exciting to be running more than just 10:1's as well, as I am suddenly facing race season head on.  I signed up for more races - a women's only 10K (they had me at Starbucks), and another Spartan type race called Mud Heroes.  Can't wait!

Bootcamp: Was doing well, but my weird leg really acted up this week.  Could be the running, could be the bootcamp, could be I'm 49...we'll never know!  Either way, I had Graston (yes, I actually ASKED for it!) on Wednesday, which promptly made the pain MOVE.TO.A.NEW.SPOT!!!  Needless to say, no running, no bootcamp, no nothin'.  I did go for a walk today while my clinic ran, and while the leg is stiff, it feels better.  I go for another ART session tomorrow (after Friday's emergency ART), so hoping to be back by Thursday for the new clinic.  Getting old(er) sucks.

Weight:  'nuf said.

Okay...I vow to get back into blogging the way I did in the beginning, and will do my best to be entertaining and witty and charming.  Or just honest.  Not sure what sells these days!  Hope everyone had a great weekend (AWESOME weather in Calgary - loved every minute of it) and enjoys the week ahead.  See you all soon.

Later,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In a nutshell

I swear I just sat down at my computer yesterday, and look at that, over a week has gone by.  So, here's my life:

Monday, February 20th:  Frozen Ass 50 Ultra
 - In keeping with my year of firsts, I recorded my very first DNF (did not finish).  I tried, really I did, but the 3" of snow made the first 18km loop (course was an out and back, times 3 - OMG, BORING!) like running on loose sand.  Very physically draining, but then running the 2nd loop by myself (and I mean completely by myself, as everyone else surged ahead) was the most mentally draining thing I have done.  The negative self talk started and try as I might to switch out of it, I was done by the end of the next loop.  I burst into tears (yes, in front of friends and strangers alike), declared defeat and sulked and ate pizza.  Waited for the rest of our gang that did manage to finish, and cried some more.  Thankfully no running clinic tonight, as I seriously don't know how I would have presented a positive spin on running to 5km beginners!

After a few more bouts of tears, I'm better with my decision, and know that one day I will beat this race.  The pictures say it all...


At least we did get a really nice hoodie out of it...I did the Frozen Ass 35.14, if that counts for anything!

Tuesday, Feb 21st:
 - Happy Birthday to me!  I woke up feeling pretty good (took the day off work, as I agree with H-woman that one should never work on their birthday) and spent the day relaxing, eating pancakes (it was also Pancake Tuesday!) and then going out for the most amazing meal at Notable.  I'm not just saying that because that's where Trainer Josh works now - the food was AH-MAZING. 



Wednesday, Feb 22nd;
 - besides being my mother's 76th birthday (Happy B-day, Mama), I also returned to work and to run clinic.   Actually felt good to run a quick 34 minute loop, and then of course Wednesday night Guinness and salmon.  And laughs with good friends who don't care if I did or did not run 50km on Monday (the course revision actually came out to be just under 54km, BTW).

Thursday, Feb 23rd:
 - nothing major here, as I worked on tax forms for work.  My goal is to have all 1,400+ forms completed, printed, signed, copied, filed, stuffed, stamped and in the mail by Feb 29th.  If only the printer and computer I'm using were on the same schedule!  It's going to be a long few days.  Weigh-in was uneventful, as I didn't lose or find anything.  Which is okay, considering the massive amount of delicious lamb, gnocchi, chocolate and wine I enjoyed on my birthday.  Worth every bite.

Friday, Feb 24th:
 - department engagement afternoon, spent at the bowling alley.  My team were the Bowl-leggers, and we had a Hawaii theme  - we don't know why, but we had fun.  My arthritic right hand didn't totally appreciate bowling, especially the 10-pin, but I still had fun.
I know how to rock bowling shoes...

Saturday, Feb 25th and Sunday, Feb 26th:
 - both days were basically spent at the office, trying to get ahead on the tax forms.  At one point I had two computers, two printers and a copier all churning at once.  Once printed, I had to sign each form (someone lost my stamp, so yes, all autographed by me...I feel so Hollywood!), as well as signing an attachment that goes with each.  Copy everything, sort and file the copies, and then fold and stuff the originals.  It was a long weekend.  I did manage to watch the Oscars, which I did enjoy.  Maybe I'm just old and boring, but I love Billy Crystal.  There, I said it.

Monday, Feb 27th:
 - spent the day folding and stuffing envelopes.  I know, I know...Accounting sounds glamorous, but not everyone can handle this kind of fun!  But the good news is everything is done, and I met my timelines.  Return to running clinic, where we talked nutrition before our run.  I think I've got most interested in moving up to the 10km clinic with me mid March, after their goal race, so at least I'll see familiar faces. 

Tuesday, Feb 28th:
 - all of the tax forms are in the mail, and now I can return my attention to cleaning up my desk from the past week.  The good news is my boss is really good about days off in lieu, so I booked a few half days around Christmas (which now means a 5-day weekend followed by a 4-day weekend for me) and taking a day off in March, as I booked my ride-along with HAWCS (the police helicopter squad).  Maybe we can buzz the house-band house, because the idiots appear to have met bail and are back to practicing.  Seriously?!

And that's been me?  How's by you?  I will have to dedicate a few days to catching up on blogs, but not sure when that will be.  Must head to bed, as boot camp beckons.

Later,

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