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Thursday, November 28, 2013

What the frack is with my back?

Two steps forward, fall right back down.  That seems to be my training of late, and it's getting downright annoying.

After some sporadic returns to Crossfit, namely because Ms. Wrist or Shoulder didn't want to play, I was back Monday for a night of cleans and thrusters.  Or so I thought...the wrist really didn't like the movement it takes to get the bar from the clean (shoulder rack) to overhead, so I switched it up to front squats.  Clean the bar from the ground to the shoulders, and then with it firmly racked across your chest, squat down.  I even picked a "light" weight of 45 lbs.  Seemed simple enough, until after 5 or 6, my lower back started to hurt.  I immediately dropped the bar, pulled myself from the WOD and grabbed the lacrosse ball and roller to work the kinks out.  WTF?!

Got up Tuesday morning and immediately knew something was wrong...very, very, very wrong.  Crap.  Luckily I already had an appointment with Dr. Dave, and the day off, as we finally got word that Mom was being moved (story on that later in post).  I medicated (Advil, super extra strength) and moving gingerly, got Mom settled into her new home, and then off to see Dave.

Sprained Lumbar is the official diagnosis.  All I know is nothing, and I mean NOTHING is moving very well across my lower back and around the sides to the hips and hip-flexers.  Not sure if there's going to be enough Advil for this!!  I've seen Dr. Dave twice this week already, and will be back on his table on Monday.  Hoping by then that things have started to loosen up.  I am to start some minor glut exercises on the weekend (bridges, brisk walking), and will see my family doctor tomorrow to discuss blood results and this refusal of my body to behave!

I am wondering if my attempt to "girl it up" on Friday for the company Christmas party had anything to do with this.  Not that my heels were insane (2"?) but I did immediately remember how much I hate "girly" shoes.  My feet were killing me all night.

But the party was fun.  We had a new venue this year, as the company tries to ensure everyone (and a guest) can attend over the two nights.  Yes, our company party, in Calgary, is held over two nights, as there are approximately 2,500+ at each night.  Yowza!  Excellent venue, with loads of comfy sitting ares to chat, good food (buffet), a hot-dog "stand" area for a late night snack, live band from Chicago...they go all out.  And this is just Calgary...there are parties going on across the country, right up until December 21st.  Would be fun to go to a few of them, just to see how different they are.

Didn't really house shop on the weekend, as I am still obsessed with "my" home.

However, my unbiased friend H-woman came along for a peek, and had some observations to make that has had me sit back and be a little more realistic about it.  So back on MLS and sent a list to my realtor to try and see this weekend.

So we moved Mom out of the hospital into Bow View Manor.  It has a great reputation in Alberta for long term care, and is right by the river (I don't think they flooded in June) in Montgomery.  Nice building, recently renovated and they are currently expanding.  Which is a good thing, because Mom is stuffed into a room with another lady, that is smaller than the standard bedroom in a house.  And they're to have two TVs, two dressers, two beds, etc.  Really AHS?!?!  This is a little appalling.  Add to that, in the less than 48 hours that she's been there, she's already fallen and cut herself and has herself quarantined because she ate too much chocolate, and know what happens when you eat too much chocolate.  Not sure, in hindsight, if this actually is better than the hospital.  But we'll see how she settles in, and gets used to a new routine.  At least everyone there has been very nice, and I did get a phone call today about the fall, flu shot, etc.

That's it for me so far this week.  Can't believe it's almost the end of November, and Christmas is just around the corner.  Guess I need to start making some lists and checking them twice.  Or I can just sit here with my bag of ice on my back...yeah, that's what I'll do for now!

Yay for fitness...yes, really!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Once again, I ask the question...where the hell did the last month and a half go?!?!  Every time I think to sit down and catch up on the blog, the day gets away from me.

So here goes:

Sold Mom's house, and spent most of October sorting, packing, tossing and storing 45 years worth of stuff.  Held it together right up until I got the call that the keys had officially changed hands.  Then I lost it.  Lots of memories made at that address.

Went to Chicago for the marathon.  Mixed emotions about this trip, as while I started, I did not finish.  By mile 11 I realized that I did not have another 15 miles in me, and walked over to the medic and handed him my bib.  Swallowed my pride (and several tears) and got back to Grant Park to cheer for my friends that did indeed finish...some with wicked impressive times, such as Brian (2:35), Brett (2:48), Garrath (3:24) and Heather (4:24).  Came to the realization (and acceptance) that my distance running days are long behind me. may with reluctant acceptance.  It's a good thing I love CrossFit even more than I love running.  However, Chicago is AWESOMESAUCE!!!!  Rode a Segway for the first time (OMG, I want one soooooo bad!), stepped out into nothing at Willis Tower, enjoyed a fabulous, albeit wet, canal tour, ate our way through Old Chicago on a food tour, found the Bean and the face wall.  Loved this place...I'll return for sure.

Did return to CrossFit, but it's been sporadic at best as I wait for Mr. Ankle (yes, my body parts are referred to as separate entities...) to decide to play again.  Actually managed some skipping the other night, and my squats are doing really well...nice and deep.  Mr. Ankle seems to be okay with all this action, and I've even run small distances.  However, Miss Elbow (bursitis) has been swollen for over a month, my left shoulder is achy ("just" tendons) and now Ms. Right Wrist is swelling and seizing up as we speak.  Frack.  Did have my physical at the end of the month, and just had the blood work done on the weekend, to try and find a point of time without swelling (for the Rheumatoid test).  I meet with the Doc to discuss the results next Wednesday.  Meanwhile Dr. Dave (osteopath) is thrilled that I'm putting his children through college...heck, at this rate, Ivy League!!

Did run Winterstart in Banff, through all the ice, snow and bear.  Yes, bear.  A last minute change to the route (said bear was enjoying his lunch right in the middle of our race route, and it was felt that he may not appreciate a bunch of spandex-clad and glow-lit-up humans trodding past him) resulted in the race being shorter (4.15 miles vs. 5) but way hillier!!  I mean HILLY!  If I had my choice, I would have stuck with the bear...only have to run faster than 1 other person!!!  Still had a lovely time in Banff, as I always do.  One day, that will be my home.  This I say out loud.  It truly is my favourite place on the planet.

As a result of the home sale, and a very kind Mama, I am now debt free for the first time in my adult life.  And home shopping.  So much for debt free, but this kind of debt I welcome.  Armed with a pre-approval and a very kind Realtor, we set off to see some century homes on the weekend.  Some were in all right shape, but thanks to the renters, would need far too much in the way of upgrades.  And some we didn't even get past the "HELL NO" and right back out again!!!  One place did sit well with much so that I can't stop thinking about it.  Made an offer, which was immediately rejected (sniff) but I am being patient and relying on my Realtor to break the ice and open some dialogue.  I expected a counter offer, not an outright NO.  That hurt a little.  So, I am employing the power of the Secret.  I have photos, screen shots, etc of "MY" house EVERYWHERE.  Work, phone, iPad, home...  I repeat often that I am so happy that I was able to buy my dream house in Ramsay...stuff like that.  It is a perfect house for me and the furbabies...let's make this happen!

While it doesn't officially start till the middle of December, I am changing jobs here at Shaw.  After 13.5 years of doing the same thing, I am quite bored and ready for change/challenge.  So I'll be moving out of finance (by the way, the only thing I know...banking and accounting) for the Technical Operations team.  Title is Coordinator, but other than some basic analysis, I have no idea what I'll be doing all day, and I'm quite all right with that.  Can't wait to learn new things and view this company from a different perspective. Scary but good. job, new house and new attitude for 2014.  The proper way to end a year.

Yay for fitness,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let the freak-out begin

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Sunday, October 13, 2013
02 : 19 : 48 : 45
Countdown (Central Daylight Time) say my training has been spotty is saying a lot.  Non-existent is more accurate.  However, what I do have going for me is an incredible stubborn streak.  I will finish.  It will hurt, I do not doubt that.  It will take a long time.  I do not doubt that.  But I.WILL.FINISH.  Period.

Starting laundry and the packing list.  I like that I don't have to fly out until 4pm, which means no early morning freak-out to the airport for me.  Picking up Miss Jenny from her office, and heading up tomorrow afternoon.  I always drive to the airport.  A) it's cheaper for me to park AT the airport for a week than it is to take a taxi both ways.  Go figure.  B) there is nothing I need more at the end of a trip is the ability to walk to MY car, get in and drive away.  Please do not make me wait for a taxi.  Please do not make me wait for a bus to take me to my car.  Please do not make me wait any more for anything.  While I love the destinations when I'm there, I truly wish I could just drive, as I HATE (with a passion) the whole "hurry up and wait" part that is air travel.  I honestly do not understand people that love air travel.  You are all delusional.  There...I said it.

Confirmed a mini-fridge for the hotel, and have figured out where our tours are, in relation.  Also excited that we should be able to go stand in the lake at the end of the race, which will be an awesome way to cool down the legs.  Weather looks like it's cooperating...not too hot, not too cold.

It's going to be an epic weekend...travelling with a group of running friends, and also know about a dozen more from run club heading down.  I think some are gunning for BQs, but many, like me, are just going to say they did it.  This could very well be my last marathon (tear), so I'm going to make sure I enjoy the experience.  Will be taking my camera and notebook, so hope to post some updates about our adventure.

Yay for fitness,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh, my aching body

A funny thing has happened to me this year.  Not funny ha-ha but funny peculiar.  Okay, so maybe not so funny at all.  I turned 50.  Doesn't seem like much...people do it all the time.  Unlike Logan's Run, we are not hunted down and exterminated for surpassing the ripe old age of 35 (that's what it was in the book,'s been a few years!).  However, given events of the past spring and summer, being hunted down may not be all that bad after all!!

Finally content with the official diagnosis of Osteoarthritis, the swelling and pain in my right ankle has almost disappeared.  Still twinges every now and then, and while Chicago looms large (crap...9 sleeps!!), I am still determined to cross that finish line, regardless of the time and method (aka crawling).  However, Friday morning I woke up with this...

Really?!?  Did I hit it, you ask?  No.  Did I get a scratch, and therefore an infection you ask?  No.  Did I turn 50 in the last 12 months you ask?  YES!!!  Seriously getting tired of all the crap my body it throwing at me these days.  Really, really tired of it.  Granted, the swelling has gone done, and is almost back to normal.  I did go to see Dr. Stacy (who is wondering where the "I don't seek medical attention unless it's lopped off, spurting or blue" girl has gone), who also decided it's not an infection or rheumatoid.  Yet.  I'll pick up some anti-inflammatory meds later today and then hopefully by the end of the month can get a "clean" (no swelling anywhere) rheumatoid test and see if it's lurking inside me somewhere, like a pesky roommate that won't move out.  Poor Dr. Dave though...he starts on one part of my body and works his way around (right ankle, left IT and knee, left interior shoulder tendons...).  He did refuse to tough the elbow until we know what it is though.  The good news is while it is unsightly, and somewhat awkward to rest upon, it doesn't hurt and hasn't restricted movement in the arm.

Which is a good thing, since I refuse to give up on Crossfit again.  I'm still not jumping (no double-unders or box jumps) or running, but I am getting to be a champ at the rower!  I am doing step ups, and managed two PRs in the past week, both at back squat (125#) and deadlift (155#).  I've had a love/hate relationship with the WODs this week, as Tuesday was Karen (150 wallballs...yes, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY...IN.A.ROW!!) and last night was a chipper that had even more squats in it.

  1. 70 KBS (26#)
  2. 60 double-unders (I rowed 500m)
  3. 50 air squats (OUCH)
  4. 40 sit-ups (love these...truthfully!)
  5. 30 push-ups (from the toes, with band assistance...thanks coach Ty.  I'll get someone to take a photo to explain, as I don't think I can articulate it properly.  But it's awesome!)
  6. 20 pull-ups (rainbow bands...big blue, little red and teeny-tiny purple for the last 5 or so!)
My time for Karen was 10:55 (8#) and my time last night was 13:54 - considering there was a 15 minute cut-off, I'm happy I finished before that.  Got all cocky and pointed out that I love chippers, because you chip away at everything.  Guess what tonight's WOD is?  Yes, another chipper, except this one goes the other way.
  1. 10 HSPU (yuck)
  2. 20 hang power snatches (hate these)
  3. 30 burpees over the bar (seriously?!)
  4. 40 T2B (are you trying to kill my shoulders, coach?)
  5. 50 walking lunges (these I can actually do...)
Yes, I know I can just not go to Crossfit, but then that would make me sad.  Very, very, very sad.  So I shall go, grumble, maybe even drop an F-bomb (or twenty) and then walk out, sweaty, gasping for air and feeling awesome for doing it.  

Off to marshal for the Harvest Half in the morning.  I went to Banff this past weekend to watch all my friends run in Melissa's and I've decided just watching absolutely sucks.  Bad.  At least marshaling, I can dance around, ring a cowbell and feel that I have an actual purpose for being there.  My goal right now is to get past Chicago and reassess my running career and make some decisions for the winter/spring and summer next year.  I think Crossfit will play a HUGE role in my physical life, and that's not a bad thing.  Think of all the money I'll save on race fees, hotels, airfare, shirts and runners alone.  A nice offset to what I spend on Crossfit, Paleo treats, Oly shoes, Reebok socks, etc...  A nice trade off!!

Ending on a very happy note, Mom's house sold, she's doing much better medically and we can now look at moving her on to somewhere permanent.  The stars are all lining up.  

Yay for fitness,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back to it

It's been an interesting, albeit stressful, two weeks.  I've thrown myself back into crossfit with a vengence.  Trying to do all I can, with as few modifications as possible.  Still not jumping or running, so me and the rower are becoming good friends.  I think one Sunday I'm going to see how long it takes me to row a Half.  It was one of the challenges at the Crossfit Games earlier this year, and it would be interesting to see if I could beat my running PR.  Anyway, I ramble.

We've been concentrating on back squats, and since starting back I started at 45#.  On Monday I not only broke triple digits, but I squatted 105#!  Tonight we are going for our ME (maximum effort) weight in each the back squat, shoulder press and deadlift.  I am aiming for at least 125# for the squat and the lift, and will attempt 60# for the shoulders.  The ankle has actually been enjoying crossfit, rarely swelling and relatively pain free.  In fact, I'm pretty much limp free.  Chicago will still be interesting, but I'll take what race day hands me.  I'm not afraid of the distance, nor is the time an issue.  It's just been a while since I've run or walked any distance (21.1 in Vancouver at the beginning of May and 19 in Blackfoot at the end of May).

Getting very excited about Chicago.  Have a food tour (includes deep dish pizza), a Segway tour and a canal tour all booked.  Dinner reservations are booked for Saturday night right a the hotel, and we're already figuring what to do after the race Sunday afternoon.  I think Wednesday will be a "do what you want" day, as I know a couple of friends that are excited to shop on the Mile.  Kill me now.  I have also located the nearest crossfit box (yes, I chugged the kool-aid) to the hotel, a mere 10 minute walk away.  I WILL be there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The stressful part of the last two weeks has been dealing with Mom and the house.  It has been listed for a month now, which is nothing, but while we've have plenty of showings we have yet to receive an offer.  Of anything...crap, at this point, low-ball me just so I know there's some interest in it!  We've dropped the price four times now, creeping closer to the range my agent suggested.  Guess being older really is wiser, since we went with the young upstart with dollar signs in her eyes.  Oh well, lessons learned.  Having an open house this weekend, so hoping that spurs someone on.

Meanwhile, Mom waits ever so (not) patiently in the Rockyview Hospital transitions unit for a placement in assisted living.  She's been in the hospital since April (fall, heart attack, pneumonia, dementia) and now feels that she's "been bad and being punished" and that's why she's in this place.  We play the same game every time I long have I been here, where is this place, why am I here, when do I leave, where are my babies...etc.  Thursday afternoon last week though, got a call from the unit saying Mom had a fall.  Can't quite get a clear answer as to whether it was by her bed, in the bathroom or the hallway, but regardless, she broke her shoulder.  Now, explain to a 77 year old dementia patient why her shoulder hurts and why she has to keep it still.  Such fun.  Saturday night receive a voice message that states "we've moved your mother to unit 74 as there was an incident".  Hmmmm...of course got this while I was at the movies (The Butler...very good, but boy you sure have to remember your American history!), so nothing I could do until Sunday.  Went to the hospital Sunday morning and to the new unit (which is acute care) to find out Mom actually had another heart attack.  Again, chicken and the egg...which came first??  But, if you're going to have a heart attack, have one while already at a hospital!!  She had to have a blood transfusion on Monday, and really did not look or feel good.  She was delirious and talking to ghosts.  I was getting scared.  Tuesday saw the return of Mom.  She ate, she was making sense and while still on oxygen and IV, was feeling better.  Granted, she still doesn't have a clue as to where she is or why, but getting better every day.  But now, assisted living is out the window and we'll be looking at long term care.  Wonder how long THAT will take?

That's been my September thus far.  It is my favourite time of year, as I love the colours, smells and change in the weather that fall brings.  I hope it ushers in even more change, all for the good.

Yay for fitness,

Friday, September 6, 2013

A new year begins

Yes, seems odd that I am "celebrating" New Year's in September, but it's the beginning of another fiscal year here at Shaw, so I am taking the opportunity to reflect and set some new goals. 

The arthritic ankle (or "It", as I refer to it now) has actually been behaving.  I have been back doing squats at CrossFit, including back squats.  While I'm not back to triple digits, I am thrilled with the 70# I cranked out 35 times on Monday.  Tonight's goal is to add 10#, so we'll see if I can do 80#.  At this rate, I'll be back up over 100 in no time.  Goal for back squats - goal body weight. 

Other CrossFit goals include push-ups from my toes, one-band pull-ups, actually touching my toes to the bar and/or knees to my elbows and possibly a double-under.  Can't wait to try jumping rope, to see how "It" takes it. 

I think I've quite punished myself enough over the summer, regarding the whole "I can't run anymore so I'm going to turn into a giant blob of bitter regrets", and have once again paid Weight Watchers to gain weight.  I'd like to say that stops now, but I'm also being realistic.  One day at a time...heck one meal at a time!  Celebrate the small victories, like walking out of the deli today WITHOUT a Hazelnut Crunch croissant!!!  Win!!!  I have signed up for another round of Get Ripped at CFCB (CrossFit Currie Barracks), which starts on the 21st.  It's really just a tune-up, as they discuss nutrition, making healthy choices at the grocery stores, incorporating exercise, etc, and Coaches are great at inspiring and motivating everyone to reach their goals.  And it doesn't have to be losing weight...some people sign up to gain.  I said I would teach that group, since I have that down to a fine art!!!

Spend another wedding as a solo guest, but I'm the only one standing in my way, as far as that goes.  I did sing up for the singles over 40 through Facebook, but am now too chicken to actually respond to anyone!!!  Defeats the purpose, I know.  So, pull up the big girl panties and bite the bullet.  Gulp...maybe tomorrow!  Okay, goal is to respond/wink to at least one person a week for the rest of September.  Eek!

Mom's house is on the market, so hoping it sells soon.  Hard to say goodbye to the family home, but now it can start memories for someone new.  Just have to pack up 45 years worth of life stored in it.  I just got tired thinking about it!  Oh boy...

Work is a bit crazy this week, so I for one am thrilled it's Friday already.  I was here till midnight on Wednesday, but that should be all for me and crazy hours.  I can actually do my job during normal hours, and still meet deadlines.  I don't understand those that feel 12+ hour days are "normal", regardless of year or month end.  I am starting to poke around the website, to see if anything else catches my eye (job wise).  Not really unhappy...just a little bored with it all.  There was a Change Management position that looked intriguing, but since I don't like change, I thought it would be silly to be in charge of that!  Hehehe...

That's it for me...still contemplating an update of the blog, to reflect my new passion and move away from it being about running.  Just have to sit still long enough to do that.
Yay for fitness!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Time for some reflection

Good news is my ankle/foot/shin is not broken, nor are there stress fractures.  The bad news is I'll be living with this for the rest of my life. 

"Moderate Osteoarthritis"

Two words that add up to a big impact.  I mean, we all get it, right?  To some degree, and considering the last 15 years of pounding the pavement, pathways and trails, part of me is surprised it's not worse.  However, I am now forced to sit down and take a long, hard look at my running future.  As in, do I have one??

At least with the firm diagnosis, I can move forward with treatment and plans.  Dave, my sports guy, is now able to work on the area without fear of breaking me further, and I have made a triumphant (albeit small) return to CrossFit.  I was THRILLED with doing back squats on Monday.  You have no idea how happy I was!!!  All of 45#, but I don't's a start and I did 35 of them!  Still can't run or jump, so when the others warm up with double-unders or sprints, I jump on the rower.  Prefer that anyway (I sooooo want one for Christmas!!).  I have still been sitting with shoulder presses and the likes, but I also did pull ups on Wednesday, dropping to the use of two thinner bands, rather than my big blue and friend.  I just have to remain careful with my dismount.  I look like such a princess with my step up to my step up to the bar!!  :)

Last night the Running Room had a grand re-opening of their Shawnessy store in Calgary, and coordinated it with a fund-raiser for our Zoo, which got hit HARD by the floods in June, to the tune of $50 million and growing daily.  Decided I would walk the 2.5k, which I did!  Ankle was a little sore, but I think it had more to do with my shoes than the arthritis.  Doesn't feel bad today, and it's no more swollen than it's usual "I've been stuck sitting at a desk all day" swelling. 

Still heading to Chicago...after all, air and hotel are already paid for, and I'll make a game-day decision as to whether I walk it or not.  At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll walk it, but will check to see if the walkers leave earlier than everyone else.  If I do walk it, I want my bling and don't want some silly "you took too long" rule to get in my way!  Really looking forward to Chicago actually.  Arrive Friday night and leave the following Wednesday, so have booked a Segway tour on Saturday, after the Expo and a food tour on Monday, followed by a canal tour on Tuesday.  A day for shopping, and wandering about and I think I'll really enjoy this small vacation.  It will be odd to plan future trips that DON'T involve racing.  Or not!

That's it for me for for some changes to the Blog, as I won't be Runnergirl anymore...thinking more like XfitChick!!  Release my inner warrior and all that.  A little arthritis won't slow me'll just make me go in a different direction.

Yay for fitness!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Planning an Unplanned Emergency Day

That is what I get at work, instead of "sick" days.  They are now called Unplanned Emergency Days, and are to be used for things like being sick, doctor's appointments, family issues, etc.  We still only get 7 to use through the year, but since I very rarely get sick (enough to actually stay home), I find I've been planning my UED usage this year.

It was to start with an appointment with the pulmonary specialist that Mom has, as she was to have a CT scan of her chest done on Tuesday.  It was scheduled back in April, when she was first hospitalized, and imagine my delight, knowing she was still in the hospital, so they could handle the arrangements getting her down the hall to the CT lab, and back.  A couple of phone calls to both her transitions nurse and the unit confirmed it was noted in her chart, and all was good to go.  So imagine my surprise when the specialist's office phoned to say Mom missed her CT scan, so we would have to cancel today's follow-up and reschedule the whole thing.  "Missed it?!?!"  Phone the unit, only to have them say there was a breakdown in communication, but they were taking Mom to CT that morning (yesterday)...well, that doesn't help with today's appointment, does it now?  Arghh!!!!  After talking further with the nurses of the specialist, we determined that Mom's dementia is so advanced that telling her she has to do all this other stuff for COPD is going to be a waste of effort and time.  Still have trouble convincing her to keep her oxygen in now, let alone giving her exercises and more meds to take.  Unless the CT reveals something horrid, I think we're done with this chapter in Mom's medical file.

MY CT scan is this afternoon.  Different lab and different body part!  Hoping to finally get some answers about my ankle.  Last week, it was so swollen that I was banned from doing squats.  Quite frankly the only leg exercises I was doing, and now not allowed.  Insert sad face here.  BUT I did get through the weekend with some light stuff (cutting the grass, cleaning at Mom's) and went back to Crossfit last night, where Coach had me doing my own version of Chief.
(AMRAP for 3 mins, rest 1 min, 5 rounds in total)
3 Power Cleans 135#/95
6 Pushups
9  Squats

While everyone else grunted through that, I did an EM2M (every minute on the 2 minutes) session of 5 bench-presses (as heavy as possible) and 5 strict pull-ups (no kipping), with as light a band as possible.  I started out with 55# and tried the 1 big-bertha blue band.  Settled on two thinner green bands, and was happy just to be doing pull-ups!  It's been awhile, as we were more concerned about my dismount from said bands, but I was extra specially careful, and didn't aggravate the foot at all.  After a couple of rounds of 55# (damn shaky by #5), and a round of 52.5#, I settled down at 50#.  Ended up with 10 rounds in the 20 minutes, and followed it with some mobility (stretching, ball use, rolling, etc) on both the legs and shoulders.  Feel pretty good this morning, truth be told.

Got up at the usual time to go to Weight Watchers (yes, I am that much of a geek).  Oddly enough, last week's meeting was about slip-ups and how to get past one, and this week is about being tired.  I chose to combine the two topics on Tuesday, when I was fall down tired (had to start work at 6am, to get month end done) and "paid" for it by consuming an entire bag of Lay's Garlic Caesar chips (m-eh) as well as a very large bowl of marinated seafood salad.  I was close to being sick, I was so full yet I continued to eat until everything was all gone!  The logical "WW" side of my brain kept saying "stop, you're full!" but the out-of-control, sleepy side went full steam ahead.  Paid for it this morning, but at least I got up and I went to face the music.  Many would have rolled over and gone back to sleep.  I'll take a Bravo for that!  However, I must get control of this exercise/eating/life in chaos train before I totally go off the rails.  Been finding and losing the same 2 pounds for weeks now, and that has to stop.  NOW!

This weekend was to be Mud Hero.  Sold my bib to a friend, and now I will be a Finish Line Ambassador, whatever the heck that is!  It is out of town (Red Deer, AB), and is it sad that I am actually looking forward to the weekend away??  It's only an hour or so outside of Calgary, but I need a break from reality for awhile.  Leaving tomorrow night, and returning Sunday afternoon.  Pretty much doing the same thing at Spartan next week, although I haven't heard from the volunteer coordinator.  They wouldn't let me sell my bib, but I am already registered and paid for 2014.  That was nice of them.

Heading down to Mom's shortly to continue the purge/clean.  Hoping to have her place listed by the middle of next week.  It's odd and very weird to be packing up 45 years of life and saying good-bye.  So far, I haven't had a melt-down (well...maybe some chips earlier this week???) about it, but I'm sure that's coming.  I'm trying to be the calm, level-headed one, relying on my numbers oriented right brain.  The uber-emotional left brain can just take a wee break, at least until we have an offer.  Then we can melt-down when it's really sold.  Mom is being really good about the whole thing, knowing the house is too big for just her, and that it's silly to be sitting there empty.  But again, I know one day she'll randomly ask where the house is, and why she isn't in it. 

Okay - time to finish up my latte and get on with the day.  Those cupboards aren't going to empty themselves!

Yay for fitness, 

Monday, July 29, 2013

A difference of opinion

Two weeks down, four weeks to go.  Or so I thought.

My doctor, feeling terrible for missing the stress fracture diagnosis, referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.  Not that she thinks I need surgery, but just so she knows that we're doing everything we can to get me healed and running again.  Imagine my surprise when I got the call on Tuesday that my appointment was Thursday morning at 7am.  I love that...not, "are you able to come at 7am?" but "your appointment is 7am".

I understand that specialists are busy in this very large city.  What I didn't expect was a 7am appointment, at a clinic that opens at 7am, with a half dozen other people already there to see the same doctor. about multitasking!  I was handed an x-ray req, and pointed down the hall to radiology.  Again...  Surprised I'm not glowing in the dark these days!!  And, I don't know why we're bothering with all the x-rays, because they don't show anything, as proven by the last set.  But, I am the patient not the doctor, so off I limp.  Wait at x-ray for about a half hour (1 a hospital radiology lab...seriously?!?!), then back to the doctor's waiting area, to sit for another 15-20 minutes, then into the clinic to sit for another 15-20 minutes.  Finally was seen by the Dr's resident, before the Dr herself came to see me.  To announce, rather bluntly, "you are not built for running, so stop".  Period.  Um...okay...but what about my foot/ankle, which is STILL SWOLLEN DESPITE NOT RUNNING FOR TWO MONTHS NOW!  Inside voice, inside voice...  She looked at my new x-rays, and the bone scan, and sent me off for more x-rays.  Seriously...I'm at risk of turning into a super-hero!  Shuffled back to the clinic, where she announced I had flat feet...yup, knew that...they've been flat for my entire 50 years.  And you pronate...yup, hence orthotics.  And your arches have fallen...again, I didn't go to medical school, but I know that.   According to her, there are no fractures, stress or otherwise.  So once more...why is my ankle/foot swollen after two months of inactivity??  Told me to get rid of the boot, stop ART (expensive rub-down aka waste of money...she hasn't seen my guy...I'd pay extra!) and go to physio long enough to get home exercises.  Don't actually pay them for treatment.  Yeah...because we all know physios around the world don't actually want to get paid for their services.  And her prescription for me...walk heel to toe.  Crap...I've been doing it wrong all these years.  AND MY FOOT AND ANKLE ARE STILL SWOLLEN.  Sigh...  My favourite part of this two and half hours of happy good times???  Please come back and see me in 4 weeks.  For what, pray tell?!?!  I am so cancelling that appointment.

I went for my expense rub-down that afternoon (made Dave's day!), and was back at my doctor's on Friday.  Blood-work ordered (rule out Gout and (hopefully) Rheumatoid Arthritis), as is a CT scan.  We will get to the bottom of this.  Although I am happy to be out of the boot, I must admit.  Still have it (I do own it, after all), so if the foot gets bad, I'll slip it back on.

Returned to Crossfit this week as well...Coaches were great at implementing WODs just for me.  Even got my name back on the whiteboard - 45 sit-ups in two minutes.  Went to open gym yesterday and practiced some bench presses (50# max, so far) and will continue to work on that.  Then Mobility, where we really stretched out the hamstrings and calves.  Felt good.  And I went swimming twice...yes...IN THE WATER!  Actually, I hung out at the side, did some pedaling, "running" and other leg things.  Going to continue that two or three times a week, until I'm back in action.

In the meantime...

Yay for fitness,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Six weeks is 41 days too long

To be away from all activity, that is.  I had my "triumphant" return to the Box (Crossfit Currie Barracks) on Friday night, after meeting both coaches earlier in the week, to discuss my options and abilities.  While everyone else did The Bear Complex (20min EMOM: 1 power clean, 1 front squat, 1 shoulder to overhead, 1 back squat, 1 shoulder to overhead), I attempted my own EMOM of 5 ring pulls, 10 push-ups and 15 air squats.  Sadly, with the boot, it took longer to get up/down for the push-ups and squats that my 20 minutes turned into an AMRAP.  I ended up with 11 rounds completed in the 20 minutes, and was one very sweaty, happy mess.

By the way: EMOM = every minute, on the minute, AMRAP = as many reps/rounds as possible

I was pleased with my efforts and just the fact that I showed up.  People were quite amused/amazed to see me hobbling around the box with one Oly lifting shoe and the boot.

However, I soon learned that 6 weeks off ALL activity means pain.  Not broken bone pain, but "OMG, why does it hurt so much to move my arms?" pain!  I could barely lift the sheet off myself in the morning, and then standing up...well, that was a whole other ball game!!!!  Let's just say Advil and Voltarin cream were my best friends all weekend!

Of course, I'll be back tonight!  Shoulder press (seated), air squats and sit-ups.  Twelve minute AMRAP.  I can do anything for 12 minutes.  Shouldn't hurt...much.  Tomorrow I will head to the pool.  I will, I swear.  Apparently just buying the pass isn't considered actually swimming.  Who knew?!

Yay for fitness,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lost miles

I was looking for a notepad here at my desk, and came across the listing of races I was signed up for in 2013.  In all, I was looking at 16 races, in distances ranging from 5k all the way to 50k, with a total of 3 Marathons, 5 Halfs, 1 Ultra, 1 Trail and 2 obstacle races.  Of the 9 that I should have completed to date, I have completed 2.  Of the remaining 7, there are only 3 that I am not yet willing to bow out of, and even then there is really only one that I am holding on to dearly, vowing to crawl it, if I must.

So, how did I go from planning on running over 200 miles in races through the year to managing about an eighth of that?  Yes, we can all go on and on about the whole overuse thing, but I'm personally blaming turning 50.  Yup...that's it.  I was rocking things out in my 40's and then I turned 50 and it all went to the crapper.  Let this be a lesson to you all.  For years I said "it's only a number" and "you're as old as you feel"...well, today I feel about a hundred.  Okay, so maybe not that old, but nowhere as young as I felt earlier this year.  I don't care about the wrinkles (I've earned each and every one) and grey hair can be me, I've been colouring those bad boys since I was 16.  Nope, when I attempt to stand in the morning and my feet, knees and hips all scream NO at once, or my shoulder mysteriously pops out of it's socket overnight, there's something afoot.  No pun intended.

I'm off for my annual asthma assessment.  Without all the running this year, it'll be interesting to see what my lung function is.  Of course, the addition of two more fur babies (who both shed like mad!) may contribute to my problem.  Have I mentioned I'm actually allergic?  Have I further mentioned that the allergies are to anything I inhale, so what's the fuss??  Anyway, combine the low cardio, additional fur-babies, extra humidity in Calgary (WTF is that all about??) and the loss of my daily walk to and from work (it's been a year...only 14 more months to go...big BOO), and I think my discussion with my doctor should be interesting, to say the least.

Getting used to das foot swells a bit in one spot, but I iced it last night and that seemed to help.  Follow up with my doctor tomorrow and Dr. Dave next week.  I am counting the days...6 weeks seems very long, but I'll focus on one day at a time.  I replenished all my food lost to the flood, and nothing sugary came into the house.  I'm going to focus on Paleo (save for Greek yogurt) as much as possible, and have packed breakfast and lunch this week (so far...the week is young!).  Today was flatiron steak that I cooked last night, with spices, and sliced thin over salad greens, some avocado, green pepper and cilantro.  My dressing was salsa mixed with a little sour cream and lime juice.  I am a good cooker!!  Tonight I will make a kale, honeydew and blueberry salad, with either the remainder of the steak or maybe some salmon as my protein.  When I cut the grains last time, I felt so much better, which I need during my "no running or jumping or walking or standing" phase!  I am meeting with the Coaches tonight at Crossfit, to come up with a plan I can follow, as I need to get back to a routine and break a sweat.  DESPERATELY!  Feeling very blue, and I don't like it. 

Nothing a little retail therapy couldn't help!

Yay for fitness!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Das boot

It took longer than I wanted, and really wasn't the answer I wanted, but I finally received some news on my pesky ankle foot.

"Nonspecific changes involving the Anterior Right Talus, Talonavicular joint as well as Cuneiforms worrisome for overuse injury/stress fracture."


My Osteo/Sports therapist (after saying "see?  I told you to get a bone scan!") says he's seen many people with stress fractures in their shins, but never at the joint where the leg and foot meet.  I do like to be different from everyone else.

I shall be wearing this 18/7 (I get to take it off at night to sleep, shower), so it's going to take some getting used to.  At least it's an air cast and not a fibreglass one.  That would totally suck.  As it is, my friend P, who lives across the hall and who I drive to work daily (works in the same department) is doing the driving.  If I have to go somewhere without him (he didn't want the chauffeur cap - odd), I've left a pair of birks in the car, and will take the cast off, drive, put cast on.  Has fun written all over it, doesn't it?!  In the meantime, I see my doctor again on Wednesday (to make sure I'm being good, I suppose), am waiting to hear from a sports therapy clinic (I'm an "athlete", and my crossfit coaches, to come up with a plan to do ANYTHING to break a sweat for the next 6 weeks.  I can do upper body, and possibly squats, as long as my hips are even (the shoe I wear on the left will have to level me out).  I may (gagging even as I type) have to look at going to a pool.  For those who don't know, despite being a Pisces, I am not a water baby!  Fear is a great word used to describe what I think of water.  Intense fear.  But I'll work on it.  So, goodbye to Shopper's Women's 10k at the end of July, Mud Hero and Spartan in August, Moose Mountain trail race at the end of August (although it was just cancelled due to the floods).  I "should" be out of the boot by the end of August, so will test the 10k in Banff (Melissa's - I'll drop the distance from the 22) and then Chicago in October.  To quote my beloved Stampede (Hell or High Water), I'm doing Chicago in October.  Don't care if I have to crawl.  I'll walk it.  I'm doing it!!!  After all, I registered 12 times during the fiasco that was sign up day...I've got to compete at least once!  LOL!

It's Stampede week here in Calgary, and for the most part it's been pretty good.  The fact that the City managed to clean up and host it's usual 10-day party, on time, is nothing short of a miracle, and makes me beyond proud to say that I am a Calgarian.   Strangers helping strangers, almost $19 million (last I heard) raised in basically 3 weeks and while there are still some odd pockets of destruction (our poor zoo is facing a $50 mill clean-up and had to ship away 35 animals and permanently close an exhibit), for the most part, Calgary looks like Calgary again.  Okay, so there are now running paths to nowhere, as they end at a cliff over the river, and some restaurants are likely to not reopen for a year or more, if ever.  And High River is having entire neighbourhoods plowed to the ground...but we've still got each other's backs.  Busloads of people are going to High River every day, just to haul garbage and help where they can.  I dare say Calgary and High River will be back to "normal" long before New Orleans...and Katrina was in 2005.  

But back to Stampede week...went the rodeo on Wednesday, although I had to leave before my favourite bull-riding for the doctor's appointment.  Tonight I'll go to my one and only party, fittingly enough a Hell or High Water party at a friend's.  My "yahoo, drink all night and function the next day" days are long behind me now.  So a couple of beers, meet some new people, visit with friends...that's my kind of party.  Listening to all the "yahoos" stumbling around downtown all night is as close as I want to get.  There were a lot last night...till the rain, at least.  I think that washed most away.

My apartment is a little more crowded these days.  Yes, it's official.

I am a "crazy cat lady" - kind of excited by this, as now it means I get to chase children with a stick, right?  Right?!?

Anyway, Simon (tongue out) and Myles have come to live with George and I.  It's been an adjustment, but for the most part everyone is getting along.  Myles suddenly thinks he's an outside cat, so sits at my apartment door and meows to be let out (not going to happen!) and Simon is not overly fond of George, but so far just hisses and growls.  Poor George is "WTF???  Who are these kids???  I'm old, leave me alone" but still purrs and cuddles, so I know he's doing all right.  We'll see how long it takes for me tripping over 3 cats, before I go on the hunt for a larger place!  In the meantime, here's hoping I don't come home to this one day.

We're still waiting on a permanent place for Mom, but she's being looked after well at the hospital, in the transitions ward.  She asks every night (usually 3-4 times) where she is, how long she's been there, how long till she leaves, where is she going and what's wrong with her....every.single.time.  But she laughs about it when I say "you have to go to a care facility because you don't remember that we just had this conversation 4 times tonight".  Always been in good spirits, which is awesome.  There was a new patient there last night that cried the whole time I was visiting Mom.  That makes me sad for her and her family.

That's news for me.
Yay for fitness,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Am I glowing yet?

Sitting outside Starbucks, sucking off their wifi, sipping a coffee in the sunshine.  A perfect way to spend a
Sunday morning, if it weren't for the fact that I am currently radioactive!  Okay, so I exaggerate a little (okay, a lot!), but I am finally getting a bone scan done on my foot/ankle today.  I was injected at 9:30, had one scan and now must sit and wait 3 hours before heading back for scan #2.  I really hope this finally answers some questions.  I am getting very tired of doing NOTHING and watching my foot swell daily.  Yesterday, for example, was sore and stiff and locked up after STANDING.  Yes, that's right.  I stood, making salads for the Stampede BBQ at the Box.  I didn't run, I didn't jump, I didn't walk...I stood.  And I was wearing ropers, which I thought should have stabilized the foot.  But no...crap.

Got up at the crack of stupid this morning to marshal the Stampede Half.  Yet another race in which I was forced to sell my bib.  It's been a long, frustrating running season for me this year.  Hell or High Water (Yes, Calgary Stampede, I'm using your catch-phrase) I am running in Chicago in October.  Don't care if I have to drag the leg or crawl.  It's getting done!  Needless to say, I marshal with mixed emotions.  I love helping out, and cheering everyone on.  Cowbell firmly in hand and big smile on my face.  But I am also very sad and a tad angry that I'm not running with everyone.  I have never run this Half.  The first year, I missed package pick-up (refused to ghost it) and last year I was support for the Sinister 7 race in southern Alberta.  Next year I keep telling myself that I am going to cut back on racing, so maybe I'll do this one in 2015.  Maybe.

Speaking of Crossfit - man, I miss it.  I did go last Saturday and tried some rowing.  Ankle didn't really hurt, but it didn't really like it either.  So I can add rowing to the list of "don't do" as well.  Oh joy.  The lack of cardio and the increased cravings for sugar (getting my endorphins somehow, I suppose) has resulted in a nearly 10 pound weight gain in June, but I was down this week, and feeling a bit more in control.  I managed to pack breakfast and lunch for most of the week (which is key), and I'll sit down with a Paleo menu for the next few weeks to really get myself back on track.  If I can't sweat it out, I'll at least eat properly and drop some weight that way.  I do have a company pancake breakfast on Wednesday (first.time.ever!) and then we (the accounting team) are heading to the grounds for the rodeo that afternoon.  So, basically Wednesday in a write-off in both productivity and food!  And weigh-in is Thursday morning.  Could be interesting!!  But I love the rodeo, and I love beer!  So it'll be what it'll be!

Still haven't moved Simon and Myles (I've decided it's spelled with a y) to my place yet.  Not sure why, but I really must do that.  The fuel savings alone should inspire  me to do it sooner, but  I keep putting it off.  I think I'm afraid they're really going to freak out in the smaller space and without all of their "stuff".  George is settled back down, and again, I'm worried how he'll handle these two invading his domain.  But it has to be done, so I just have to pull up the big-girl panties and get 'er done.  Then get the house cleaned up, get some quotes and sell it.  The market is strong right now, so our timing is good.  Will miss that house and yard though.  Too bad it's so far  out for me.  I just don't like the "burbs" and the commute to work would be a bitch.

Got back into my building the Thursday before the long weekend.  Mind you, there was some confusion as we initially didn't have power, but after throwing some switches and pushing some buttons, the lights came on.  I had to empty my fridge and stand-alone freezer, and I learned something about myself.  Hello, my name is Carol, and I am a food hoarder.  There is no other explanation why a single woman, who lives alone, should throw away 6 (yes SIX) green garbage bags of food.  Luckily I went in on Tuesday, and emptied them then, rather than waiting till the power came back.  Most, while melted, hadn't started to stink yet.  I always said I had to clean out my it's a good thing, right?  Now to refill it.  The government is handing out debit cards for those of us displaced by the floods, but I just can't make myself get one.  My costs were minimal and more of an inconvenience than anything.  I had a safe place to go, and all my stuff is fine.  I know people who lost everything, so I'd rather they get the cards.  Made sammies and treats and handed them out to those standing in line over the weekend.  Doesn't feel like enough, but my foot just won't let me slog through the basements and haul crap.

Well, that's it for me.  Another hour to kill before heading back to the clinic for my scan, and then off to a friend's new place to help her make some decorating decisions.  Then down to Mom's to pick up two cats and all their stuff and bring them home.  There...let it written, so let it be done.

Yay for fitness,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Calgary Strong and Proud

In case some of you haven't heard (I don't know where you're all from), much of my beloved city is under water right now.  This is something out of the movies, or a monsoon/hurricane zone...not my Calgary.

I have been evacuated, forced out yesterday, not because of water but because the power was shut off.  As far as I know, my building is still dry (we are a good 12 blocks from the Elbow, and over 15 from the Bow, so it'll just be the stinky rotten food to throw away when we do get to return.  Yes, George is with me, getting to know his uncles better.  At least when I left the house, they were all just staring at each other.  Now that I'm gone, who knows what I'll come home too!

I'm at Mom's.  She is in a neighbourhood far from any water source, and on top of a hill, too boot.  I'll stay there until we get the all clear to head home.  Again, I hope that we are going home to nothing more than spoiled food.  I have friends that have homes under water right now.  I will never complain.

Needless to say, I am still not running or even going to the Box, since I forgot (subconsciously??) to pack any exercise gear.  Heck, in my haste, I forgot make-up!  Will head to Walmart shortly, since I don't know how long I'll be hanging at Mom's.

She is doing better, but still in the hospital. We're playing the waiting game right now, as we wait for a room in a facility to open up, but then again, there are other priorities now.  She's where she needs to be, and is getting the care she needs, so none of us are in a big hurry.

Pray for my city and for Canmore, Banff, High River, Okotoks, Medicine Hat and every other community touched by this chaos.  We will come out the other side stronger for it.

If this works, here's a link to a shot of the flooding.  If not, go to Global TV and follow the #abfloods links.

In the meantime...stay dry and safe.  Hug your family.
Yay for fitness,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Anyone out there??

Oddly enough, that's the exact song I'm listening to right now!!  How weird is that??

Anyway, I realize that I have been a bad, bad blogger.  Boston threw me for a loop.  I knew people there, as I suppose many of us did, but some of my friends were close.  Scary close, like in between both bombs when they went off, close.  Took awhile for the runner in me to absorb and deal with all that.  Didn't seem right to post about an awesome crossfit challenge when people lost lives.

So what's been happening since April?  Well, the aforementioned PR challenge, which was darn hard and worth every drop of sweat.  I dropped to the Half in Vancouver, and was very happy with that decision, since the weather was HOT, and my ankle and I had a disagreement for most of the 21.1km.  I thought it should run just fine and it thought "hell to the no".  Needless to say, my worst Half ever (3:09) and while I finished, I can't honestly say it was upright or smiling.  Okay, it was upright...just with a little lean to the left!

Took a break, got ART and Graston, and (with permission!) prepared for the Blackfoot Ultra at the end of May.  After all, I could walk 50km in 10 hours, right?  Easy-peasy.  Er...not so much!!  Decided about 5km in that doing a 25km walk that day would be fine (the Ultra was two loops).  Determined by 10km that my ankle was not going to "just get into a rhythm" and feel better.  By 12.5km, I was done.  Finished, pause the Garmin and let me stop, kaput, done.  Sadly though, the aid stations were at the 5km markers, so I had another 2.5km for salvation.  Wrong.  At the 15km marker, in the pouring rain (did I mention it poured BUCKETS all week, and again on race day and we were slogging through mud?!), I discovered the only unmanned aid station.  That's right...what a sight to behold.  Me, soaked to the skin, in my orange plastic poncho (put on too late), gut-wrenching sobs wracking my body, beside the water bottles stacked up, realizing there was no one there to rescue me.  After my little hissy-fit, I determined I had one choice and that was to keep walking.  My friend caught up with me, and all the other runners said they would send help, but still, I was a km shy of the last aid station before the sweet sound of a gater coming down the pathway reached us.  Edmonton races are two for two now...not sure if I'll give them a 3rd crack.

Needless to say, I've been banned from doing ANYTHING since the end of May.  No running, walking, standing (yikes), crossfit, bootcamp...NOTHING!!  I am going insane.  X-rays didn't reveal anything, but my Dr. didn't jump on the bone scan bandwagon (yet) thinking it's more tissue than bone.  All I know is I'm now on daily anti-inflammatory, heat treatment and ART before I head back at the end of the month for a follow-up.  Just standing at Saturday's PR challenge was painful, and I am one unhappy camper.  Sold my Half bibs for Millerville and Stampede and I won't be running in Banff next weekend.

Did I mention I am unhappy??  Oh, and let the pity-parties begin as I've already managed to fine 3 pounds in the last two weeks...but then again, my cravings for sugar always increase when I don't work out.

I am headed to the Box tonight, so that I can do pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and rowing (that is all I'm allowed to do) as I desperately need to break a sweat and soon!

And that is it...I am dealing with family stuff, but that's a rant for another post.  In the meantime, I'm back.

Yay for fitness!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

End to a great week

It's been a good great week.  I've run almost 30k since Sunday pain-free, including some uphill and sweet downhill sections and (my favourite) speedwork (800m sprints).  I PR'd a back squat with 95#, and cranked out 20 in a row at 75#.  I push-pressed 75# last night, but couldn't seem to break through to 80#.  Soon...that will happen soon.  I've finally passed under the 200# mark on the digital devil, and have solid prove (physiograph) that I have lost 21.1 POUNDS OF FAT since January 15th.  I'll say that again...-21.1 POUNDS OF FAT!!!  I went from 44.7% body fat to 38.7% in 12 weeks.  Boo-fricken-yah!!!

Last night's WOD was a fun mix of challenging push press to find our max weight, and then a 21-15-9 round of OH walking lunges (holding a weight plate overhead, arms straight, while lunging...each leg) followed by T2B (toes to bar).  My toes are definitely moving higher up the body, so who knows...I may surprise the nuggets out of myself and find those touching the bar any old day now.  Think I'll aim for KTE (knees to elbows) first.  I started out with the 35# plate, but quickly dropped to 25#.  I could do it, just not sure if I could for a total of 90 steps.  After class I had my physiograph.

This is my third since January, when I did the Get Ripped challenge through CFCB.  While I'm not doing the next round of challenge, I and a few of the other ladies are having our own private challenge.  I would have rather to weigh in before class on Saturday, but sadly Coach is busy with expansion, the PR challenge and trying to juggle a whole bunch of enthusiastic crossfitters/coaches.  Turned out not too bad, with only a .8 gain through the day (from weigh-in at WW).  What I loved most of all was the fat number though.  While my muscle pounds haven't changed, my body percentage has, just based on the final number, moving from 26% to 28%.  Danced out of the office with a great big grin on my face!!  Doesn't take much to make me happy!

Quick trip to the grocery afterwards for some diced chicken and bags of salad, and dinner was served.  Totally resisted the urge to treat myself with something ooey and gooey, or even a "quick fix" supper of dip and some kind of dipper.  Considering Calgary's version of a "spring day" begged for comfort food (read: hot, ooey and gooey), I stuck with the cold salad and was fine.  Had it for lunch today too.

Thursday, April 11th

Friday, April 12th

Getting ready for the second PR challenge at CrossFit tomorrow.  Don't even know what it is, as Coach is going to announce it in the morning, aka Open style.  Think there's at least 25 of us competing tomorrow, and again in June.  Should be fun!  Then 18k on Sunday in the snow, yet again.  I'd love to try a Sunday run in nice weather, just to see what it's like, but guess that may have to wait for Funcouver at the beginning of May.  As a lifelong Calgarian, even I am getting weary of Sprinter.  Come on, Mama Nature...what did we do to you?!?  Oh yeah...all the Global Warming crap.  Right.  Sorry 'bout that.

Yay for fitness,

Monday, April 8, 2013


This is it...the last week of the 5-week CrossFit Open.  When I saw 13.5, I thought maybe Coach was psychic, because this was almost identical to what we did on April 1st...our version of Fran (thrusters, with pull-ups, 21-15-9) which he called Narf...9-15-21 thrusters, with chest to bar.

Then the announcement comes out...say what??

4 minute AMRAP of:
15 Thrusters (100 / 65 lbs)
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
*4 minute bonus for every 90 reps (3 rounds) completed. (this is where I laughed and laughed and laughed!!)

I knew I was getting no where near doing chest to bars (unassisted, that is), so I only focused on cleaning, squatting and thrusting 65 pounds.  Mission accomplished!  I did three, before my shoulder acted up, so I dropped the bar, and cheered on others.  I was happy.  I got a score, and that's all that matters.

So, 5 weeks, 5 workouts.  I pushed myself to places I didn't know I could.  I lifted weights I didn't know I had in me, but most of all, I tried.  Wait till Open 2014.  I'm going to own it!!!

Ran yesterday, and in typical Calgary fashion, it was on a beautiful Sprinter morning.  That just means that it was foggy and rained Saturday night, in time for the temps to drop below zero, covering everything with a lovely layer of ice.  Made for some interesting footing, and the stabilizers were called into overdrive, but I managed to complete the 17.42k loop.  It was slower than normal, but I was not pushing my group and risking hurting ourselves further.  It wasn't a bad day and for the most part, we ran on the grass when we could.  And after running on the road for part of the loop and down the gravel trail, most of the paths had warmed up enough just to be wet for our return to Eau Claire.  Felt good to do the long run, and I'm feeling very comfortable about running a few km further on May 5th in Vancouver.  Easy-peasy lemon squeezie!!

After running I returned to the Box for the Open wrap-up BBQ, but sadly missed out on everyone competing.  Then a visit with Mom and home briefly before heading out for supper with H-woman.  Probably the best meatloaf I have ever had.  Ever.  So good...

Crossfit tonight was a challenging one.  I think I've actually met a move that I hate even more than burpees.  That would be the dreaded double-under.  Since I ran last week and on the weekend, I decided to give the jumping thing a try.  Sadly, I cannot time my feet and hands (yet) so I spend the whole time whipping myself with my very snappy jump cord, and if you can't do a DU, then you triple the regular skips.  Oh boy!!!  That meant instead of 50-40-30-20-10, I was jumping 150-120-90-20 (attempts = 60 jumps) and 10 attempts (=30!)  Add to that 150 kettlebell swings (50-40-30-20-10) at 26#, AFTER 20 back squats (75#) and you have a very tired girl on your hands.  Happy with her results, but tired!

Really feeling yesterday's run and tonight's lifting, so I think it's time to hit the hay.  In the meantime, I think I've found my new screen saver.

Yay for fitness!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


It's rather fitting that on the eve of Easter Sunday, that was my score for 13.4 was a big goose-egg.  But I tried.  And tried.  And tried.  Could not clean 95# to save my life.  Hell, I couldn't clean 75# earlier today.  Tried to get the timing of the hips, arms and dropping beneath the bar all right, but was a no go.  That didn't stop me from cheering on the others who competed today, and to be totally inspired by their dedication and strength.  Not one made me feel bad for fact, no one even used that word.  We all talked about how far I have come, how much I have done and how I'm going to kill it next year.

Went for a long walk with H-woman, after enjoying some salmon and nicose salad that she made.  She is a very good cooker!!  Then dealt with some tenant issues (I am getting far too old for this!), and just now got a text to go for a beer.  So, rather than sitting here, feeling "tired" and "I have to run in the morning", I'm cleaning myself up and I'm going out.  Hmmmm....being 50 is fun!

Yay for fitness!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Workout 13.4

7 minute AMRAP of:
3 Clean and jerk
3 Toes-to-bar
6 Clean and jerk
6 Toes-to-bar
9 Clean and jerk
9 Toes-to-bar
12 Clean and jerk
12 Toes-to-bar
15 Clean and jerk
15 Toes-to-bar
18 Clean and jerk
18 Toes-to-bar...
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

Just when I was proud (and amazed) that 75# was the heaviest I had lifted, they go and add TWENTY POUNDS!!!  Yes, that's right...tomorrow I will attempt to clean (lift the bar from the ground to my shoulders and rest) and jerk (push the bar up above my head, till my whole body is extended and in line) NINTY-FIVE EFFING POUNDS, repeatedly.  And THEN, for kicks (pun intended), I will jump on the rack and attempt to get my toes to touch it at the same time (as per photo attached).  Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah...sorry, but my T2B look more like toes to hip.  I'll be thrilled with one rep in this round.  I was going to try last night, but my left shoulder was having none of it.  So home to ice and rest, and I'll keep stretching, icing and moving, and working my way up to 95# over today and tomorrow.  BUT I did finally get my special lifting shoes this week (yeah, yeah, yeah...drank the koolaid...okay, "chugged" is probably a better description!).  We'll be putting them to the test for sure.

And, by the way, how do you catch a cat?  Put a box out.  Anywhere.  Period.  Giorgio says hi.

I did run this week, twice.  That's an improvement.  Ran about 2.5k on Tuesday, while the group did a 5k time trial (aka race pace).  I ran unbroken, and even got my pace up a bit as I ran back in with Garrath, aka Speed Demon Instructor.  Then Wednesday, I wanted to run hills.  Not a lot, but I wanted to see if I remembered how!  Ran the 3k to said training hill unbroken, and then managed to do 3 hills.  Not bad, since those are the first hills for me this clinic.  I then ran the 3k back to Eau Claire unbroken.  Well, I did stop to watch the seagulls (they know they are no where near the ocean, right?!  One would think the ice flow in the middle of the river would have tipped them off) and a gorgeous Golden Eagle taking in the late day sun.  The eagle was perched on a log in the river, and two seagulls decided it would be fun to buzz him (her?).  I was waiting for the moment that the eagle, patiently tucking his head every time, was going to jump up and BAMMO seagulls.  Nature is harsh but cool.  But then I cooled off pretty quick and wanted to get back.  Don't know how this particular story ended.

I am within .5 pounds of the promised land, people.  Okay, so not THE promised land, but weighing in with a number that starts with a ONE again.  It's been a long year, but I have to say since January and between Paleo and CrossFit, I'm down 20ish pounds.  TWENTY!!  And I'm old(er) and menopausal, so it can be done.  Just like lifting 95#.

Yay for fitness!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Third week of the Open.  Past the halfway point.  I continue to scare and challenge myself, pushing past the "I can't" to the "look at me now!".  I am fearless.  Okay, so may "fearless" isn't correct, but I'm trying.  That's all I can ask of myself, after only 6 months of CrossFit training.

Workout 13.3

12 minute AMRAP of:
150 Wall balls (20# / 14#)
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups

Wall Balls...what can I say about wall balls, other than...ack.  And I have never attempted to throw 14#, trying 10# a few times, but basically settling comfortably with 8#.  It's "only" 6 lbs heavier, but my word, those are some heavy 6 pounds!  At least we (women) can aim for the 9' mark, not the 10' like the boys.  NINE FEET!!!!  Movement standards also insist that your hip crease drop BELOW your knees in the squat, and the ball has to connect at 9' or higher on the wall.  I am not known for my squats...just saying.  I had no worries about attempting the dreaded DUs, as I was going to be thrilled with just getting through all 150 WBs before the 12 minutes slipped away.  So muscle-ups were also no where on my radar.  Yet.  Wait till next year, folks!!

I struggled, and it was either a no-rep because my hips weren't low enough (Coach came around several times to remind me to get my butt down) or the ball would land just shy of 9'.  We have the argument going around as to whether WBs are easier for tall people or shorties, but I think it's a draw.  A. cranked out 150 of them (she is strong like ox!) but was exhausted from having to jump each time to launch the ball, while I had trouble folding up 3' of legs to meet the standards.  And because I'm not as strong (yet), I was also jumping to get the ball up there.  So, while I probably did 150 attempts, my final score was 54.  I'll take it!!!

Not running in tomorrow's Half or 8k (had dropped down, and now decided I'd rather not run at all) and I officially dropped to the Half in Vancouver, while they still had spots.  Cost me another $14, but there's no way I can push out a marathon after no training these past couple of months.  I'll focus on a PR in Chicago in October.  Still doing the 50k ultra at the end of May, but since I have 10 hours, and it's basically a trail race, I'll be hiking the whole thing.  No worries there.  Besides, I'm still working on getting my legs stronger with CrossFit, and therefore preventing future injuries.  Is it weird that I am totally looking forward to tonight's workout ladder??  10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of hang power snatches/burpees, following by 2 minutes of goblin squats??? Or weirder still that I hope to RX (do the prescribed weight) for all?  Who am I?!?!

Yay for fitness!


Sunday, March 17, 2013


I admit I was frustrated when I left the Box Thursday night.  I'll also admit some tears were shed.  I continued that rant/hissy-fit right through to my appointment with Therapist Dave, who is also a Crossfit Coach along with his wife.  She was immediately brought into the room, and after my rather painful Graston session (oh, how I've missed that...NOT), Coach Swags was determined that I was not leaving until I had successfully pressed 75# above my head.

She started me with lower weights, and after watching me press a few, decided I was going to do best with a split jerk.  Slowly and surely, with patience and gentle guidance, I managed to push out FIVE lifts!  Now to remember everything on Sunday.

I had a super fun weekend.  Crossfit Friday and Saturday morning were both challenging and fun.  In fact, still feeling Saturday's thrusters in the tuckus.  Then the Box went out to a local beer hall Saturday night...yes, Crossfitters drink beer...and had a blast.  So much to see everyone outside the gym.  The guys represented during the beer stein holding contest (Props to Tim, who won with over 7 minutes!), and the night was filled with laughs and good conversations.  Learned tons about the people that I just work out with.  Such an amazing group.  Of course, that did make this morning a little harder to face, but I had a WOD to kill.

I was also supposed to run the St. Patrick's Day 10k this morning.  I picked up my bib on Thursday and dropped to the 5k at the time, due to my knee.  On further talks/reflection, I decided even running/walking 5k before the Open would be foolish, so I gave my bib to a friend.  Probably for the better, since we woke to snow, wind and cold temps.  It would not have been pretty if I fell along the way.

Got to the box, and watched the "pros" slam out their 13.2, with some amazing results.  Struggled with the damn weight again, to which so many people came over to help me with stance, where the weight rested, how to "get out of my head" and so on.  Two of the guys even "tricked" me into pressing 75#, by pretending to lower/increase the weights.  Finally it was my turn to compete.  I just had to do 5...that's all I wanted...just get through the first 5, so I could move on to the deadlifts and box jumps (step-ups).  So...THAT'S WHAT I DID!!!!  In fact, with some struggles, I managed to get through two full rounds, for a score of 60.  Not the 420 that the leading woman slammed out (Holy Eff!!) but I earned every single one of those 60 reps.  So proud of myself, and not backing down.

Ended up down at the Mill, meeting up with the various running groups, for St. Patrick's Day.  Got all swagged out by the staff, and came home with a t-shirt, a fedora, glasses (although I think I may have left my there), key-chain and suspenders.  And truly enjoyed the pint of the black elixir that is Guinness.  I earned it today!

Yay for fitness!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Ben Affleck said it at the Oscars.  "You're going to get knocked down...we all do.  It's how you get back up that counts"...or something along that line.

Tonight I was beaten by a bar of steel and some rubber bumpers.  I wasn't injured, but it hurt.  It didn't insult me, but I was close to tears.  You see, I couldn't press the 75# bar above my head.  Everyone else made it look easy, and that's frustrating for me.  "If they can do it, why can't I??"  Yes, many are half my age, and several more come from a history of fitness.  I sat on my butt for the first 35 or so years, and have some catching up to do.  But I am, admittedly, my own worst critic.  I am harsh on myself, when I would give anyone else a break, a hug and words of encouragement.  It was all I could do to get to my truck before I burst into huge crocodile pity tears.  I was knocked down, deflated and downright poopy about the whole thing!

BUT...I have clawed my way back up.  I am already planning on practising push press and jerk press till I master them both (or I puke...whichever comes first), and yes, at 75#.  And then Sunday...well, me and that bar are going to have ourselves a little rematch.

And I'm making it my bitch!!

Yay for fitness.

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