Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random and 1, 2, 3!

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." Sylvia Plath

Today I ran 10K...I started off with uber hubby, but he turned around after 20 minutes because he was feeling too tired. So off I went by myself...
...right after he took a picture :)
Do not be misled, the roads were hardly ever this nice.
There were a lot of walkers out, but I only saw one runner, who whizzed past me and said "keep it up"...sweet eh :) (I'm canadian remember). I was supposed to have a pace of between 7:19 and 8:12/K, I did 8:8/K...not bad, but no cigar! I'm a little annoyed because my hamstring was giving me grief. Every time I felt a little twinge I would make sure to straighten up and look ahead (not down) and it seemed to help, but I was babying it and it led to mild pain in the front of my thigh and on the left of my knee (all of these came and went). As you know, I unofficially started my program last week...the official program starts this Thursday and I really don't want to be injured. So, I will get Iz to give me an acupuncture treatment if we can organize our busy schedules to meet up. Also, I will not run until the official start of the program next Thursday. I'll ice daily and stretch...and go to my yoga class.

Speaking of yoga, I think I need to clarify something. I've got two very different yoga classes and my feelings about yoga vary depending on the class I am attending. My Wednesday class is with an instructor I've had for two years who made me love yoga...she is SO zen and her class, though we certainly work hard, is very relaxing. My Friday class is with my spin instructor, whom I also really like, but she is of the very athletic variety, no candles or relaxing music in this class. Had I started with the Friday yoga class, I'm not sure I would have ever said I like yoga. Having said that, I really appreciate the workout I get in this class, but I'm not enjoying myself as much. I guess I'm pointing this out because if you've ever tried yoga and didn't like it, try another class, they are all very different!

Time to go take my warm, relaxing bath...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Odds and ends...

"So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be"
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Today was a fun run, I met up with my very close friend Miglena and because of her healing achilles tendon, we took it very easy and just chatted as we ran. We ran 5K at a 13:20 pace, plus some walking before and after for a total of 6.5K. There were thick snowflakes falling and the weather was really nice. This is the first time that we run together as Miglena only started running again about a month ago (and she injured her tendon almost right away). So we were quite excited!

There were a few hills on this run and after we completed the first one, I was pointing out that it was so nice to be able to talk and run at the same time. Miglena reminded me that last year at about this time, we had gone for a walk (not even a power walk, just a normal walk), and after going up that same hill I had to stop to catch my breath. That was a time when my asthma was really bad, and I hadn't started running yet. Miglena remembered that I was extremely pissed off about having to stop...I used to get so angry with this illness. Well, I didn't have to stop today, on the contrary, I gabbed all the way up that hill and beyond :)

Little anecdote that happened on my way home. I'm at Costco and I'm next in line at the cash. There's a nice looking couple in front of me, probably about my age...the woman points out to her husband the popcorn in my basket (sort of, look, they do have popcorn)...
Man: Yeah, but that's the microwave kind, I don't want to die young.
Me: smile
Man (to me): I don't ever boil water in the microwave or cook anything in it.
Me: smile
Man: I read all the scientific research about this and what it does is it breaks down the molecules and makes the food indigestible for your stomach.
Me: smile
Man then moves ahead as I finish putting my things on the counter. I then move up and am again next to him.
Man (smiles kindly at me - seems to realize he may have been sounding a BIT preachy, then adds): I just think it's best to throw those microwaves out the window.
Me: Well, I choose my...
Man: battles
Me: yeah
Man: smiles
What I actually wanted to say was, I choose my poison...the thing is I'm sure there's some truth to what he said, and I do try and do the healthy thing, but there are just so many things to consider that...
Let me just say here that this man actually seemed really nice.
That's it for today!

p.s. I really like this giveaway - My Yoga bag ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...(I like this idea...can I steal it?)

"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition" Samuel Johnson

Yoga tonight...

A very good friend of mine is a writer and just started a running blog towards her first check it out: Running from...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pacing? ...and did I say regression?

"Our aspirations are our possibilities" Samuel Johnson

My plan for the half is to TRY and finish in less than 2h30m...the program I am following is for a 2h15m pace. I would be SO happy with this time. At this point in my training, that is not all...but, that's my goal. There I've said it, it's out there!

For those of you who asked....I'm registered for the Ottawa Half-Marathon on May 30.

Today I was to do a 3K tempo run, which means a 6:36/K pace (according to my RR plan). Now, because I do not have a Garmin...YET (hint hint on a future birthday gift my dear uber hubby) I chose to run this indoors for today. I needed to try and gage what this type of pace felt like. Ha! For some reason, I made this naive comment on my last post, " week I start the real program and it almost seems like a regression." Puhlease, may I take that back!!!

I realized today that for some reason, I thought that since my goal was to run longer distances, that I should focus (ONLY) on long, slow runs.  I learned today that running a 3K (which, didn't seem like a lot to me) 6mph, felt like forever!!! Actually, I didn't manage to do it all at once. I ran 1.5K at 6mph, so in 9m18s and then I walked for .1 mile and did the next 1.5K at 5.7mph, so in 9m54s. That's 6.37/K :) I have never done this, a regression...NOT! Sure the longer runs on the weekends start off shorter than where I was at, but I can see why, considering I may barely be able to walk by then (okay, I may be exaggerating a bit here). Overall, I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes and did 4K (including the walking and warm-up running).

I then VERY SLOWLY made my way over to the other end of the gym to do my strength training. I did everything on my list, but the muscle in the back of my thigh is still not loving some of these exercises, so I was cautious. Otherwise, a good workout overall!

Thanks for your amazing support everyone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Plan, the plan

Oh my, I can't believe I'm actually using this line for my age is so showing :) Fantasy Island anyone?

Moving on...
"I've always believed that one woman's success can only help another woman's success" Gloria Vanderbilt

I'm loving the support from all you bloggy runners :)

Okay, I am unofficially starting my half-marathon program this week...the official program starts next week, but I'm impatient, I want a plan! So because Mondays are OFF days and busy at work days, I will merely post my weekly plan on Mondays...unless something interesting happens, you know I'll be all about spreading the news. Not the case today though, unless you consider the fact that a few chips (50% less salt) mysteriously appeared next to my sandwich at lunch today...woah! They were those talking chips too, the one's that beg you to eat them :)

Week of January 25th, 2010

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 3K tempo run + strength training
Wednesday: OFF + Yoga
Thursday: 5K steady run
Friday: Yoga + 5K slow run
Saturday: strength training + 4K steady run
Sunday: 10K long run (run/walk)

Okay, I'm actually increasing the number of Ks suggested for this week I start the real program and it almost seems like a regression.

I guess that's how the process goes right? I've never followed a pre-race program before, so I'm guessing that it's normal to take it slow the first few weeks. Right? I see that as the weeks go by though, I will be expected to do things that hurt just to read!! 9 X 400m hills!!!!! Are you joking!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

1/23 10K modified!

I don't usually post on Saturdays, but today is an exception as I had "registered" to participate in Casey's virtual 10K. Now if you checked out yesterday's post, you know that I ran 13K (yay me!). Considering I had never run 13K before, that is considered a long run for me...I was still hoping to run 10K today, but after spending a good 3 hours (and probably at least 4K) walking around the mall shopping with my daughter (home from University for one day)...well, I just didn't know how it would go. I was so thrilled to see that a few participants had decided to use their Friday run for the virtual 10K...phew! So my 10K was the wonderful run I did on Friday. I'm sure it was already the 23rd somewhere in the world!

Here I am with my running buddy around half way through our run.
Oh yeah, total time for 10K was 81 minutes...yes I know, you're all jealous of my ability to hold back ;)

Now, the good thing about registering for the 10K, was that I wanted to at least try and run today. So after we got home from shopping...I took a nap and then uber hubby and I went out for a run. We ended up doing a 5K and I am very proud of myself. Let me remind new readers that I ran 5K for the first time in my life, on September 12, 2009 (that's about 4 months ago)...and it was HARD! So 18K in two days...happy :)

I am starting to trust my body know my "runner" self better and to be less afraid to push a little further. Had it not been for Casey's 10K, I know that I would have chosen to rest today...but now I know that I can go that extra step and the cool thing is, I still have a lot of improvability (probably not a word) in me. Tomorrow, I rest...


Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh yeah!

"Sometimes you do what you HAVE to do, to do what you WANT to do" (not sure who said this).

Holy can not moving be so painful! I took my first Energy Yoga class this morning and we did most positions in static...that was tough! Again I have a feeling I ended up stretching brand new muscles...very humbling experience. The things I am willing to put myself through in order to be able to run pain-free :)

So, we did it! Ju and I ran 13K today...the sun was out when we started and it was dark when we finished...1h45m...I'm totally pleased!
There was uber hubby (not in the picture as he had gone ahead), my super sister-in-law and partner in crime, as well as my handsome son...I love having my crew with me!
Celebrating our 13K...yay us!

So here's what I learned lungs are still not great...actually, my doctor has decided to put me back on the stronger inhaler :( ...and I was a bit sore from the yoga and I felt tired. Three good reasons to reschedule our 13K. Now, if all I got from blogging was enhanced motivation, it would already be worth it...because knowing that I would be able to write about it...and that my ticker lady would take a nice little jump forward...and that my dailymile counter would show a nice increase...well, it certainly weighed in my decision to go ahead. Also, I've read about some of the things many of you have had to overcome in order to get your runs in and that kicked my butt a little too. The only thing was the lungs...would it be okay to do this. Well, I figured I could always walk if I started coughing uncontrollably. Finally, having made plans with my super sis-in-law, well I figured I should at least give it a try...such a great idea to make plans to run with someone. Deep down I was feeling confident and I knew that I was going to learn more about my true limits by going ahead.
I haven't reached them yet! :)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

All in good time...

"Live each day as if it were your last, but learn each day as if you will live forever" can't find the author

Today was a rest day, although I will be going to yoga this evening. Well, yoga didn't happen finally...uber hubby needed my help and we wasted a good hour trying to figure out how to use this new computer program...grrrr! I have such a love/hate relationship with computers and technology.

The fun thing I did today was have lunch with my amazing friend Miglena from Run again  I commiserated with her over her achilles tendonitis...she was limping today :( Well, we didn't just talk about her injury, as usual when we get together, we had a wonderful time!

I hate to say what I have planned for tomorrow, because I seem to be jinxing myself. So far everything I've made sort of official by writing it on my blog beforehand doesn't seem to pan you'll have to wait and see ;) 

On another note, I seem to make a habit of starting things later in life than most...the way I see it (everyone can take care of themselves now...yay!!)...and I'm done with school (which as some of you know was only 6 years ago) I run and yoga and run and train and run and oh yeah work at a job I love and spend time with my family and meet with friends (who run :)). So all in good time...I have it all!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Learning curve getting steeper...

First of all, thanks so much everyone for your amazing and encouraging comments...I so appreciate it!

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional" not sure who said this,
Mike Young (?)

Okay,'s a tough thing to figure out and I'm hearing I'm not the only one who had a bit of trouble figuring it out as a beginner. Today, I ran a 4K, that's 2.5 miles, and although I really don't worry about my pace for comparison's sake, I do know that I don't want to be running all day when I do my half marathon. So I really want to improve my time at least a, I like how I feel when I know I pushed a little harder...and survived! These days, as you all know, my lungs are not happy and this makes my cardio rise faster...but, I've decided it doesn't mean I can't push a little...and I'm good! Yes, I'm a little bit more tired when I initially finish my run, but within a short time I'm feeling the rush of endorphins and I recuperate extremely well. So I'm starting to get a feel for how much I can push myself and my brain seems to think I've got even more to give :)

By the way I crossed a group of moms doing what looks like a "stroller workout"...they were all walking along doing leg lifts and lunges while pushing their strollers in front of them. Very cool!

Gotta go...I have yoga tonight...totally looking forward to that!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Ego...

"I learned something new about myself again today!"

You know how it's not that we don't know this "thing" about ourselves, but sometimes, something happens and we just see it more clearly. Well, that happened to me today. Ever since I started running I have been telling anyone who would listen :) that my goal was to go the distance, but that I really don't care about the time at all. So I run a 13 minute mile, whatever...and I meant it uh mean it! But I hadn't factored in the ego...that part of our psyche that is sometimes hard to satisfy...ha! Now, I would consider today's run a relatively good one...7K (4.4 miles) and no pain, plus the weather was nice at 0°C/32°F. My lungs are still not 100% and I got a pain in my side for a couple of Ks, but overall, a good run. Who cares about my time right? Well, it seems that I do a little bit now that I'm on Dailymile :) ...ah yes, now I've chosen to advertise not only my distance, but also my pace. So guess who pushed it up a notch for the last couple of Ks. That would be me, the girl who doesn't give a beep about her pace :) know what, I'm gonna see this as a good thing. I think it may help me to push myself a little more...I was taking it easy today because of my lungs and then the pain in my side, but then I pushed it up a notch and I was totally fine! Balance, that's what it's all about, that's what it's always about...push a little more (enough to improve), but not too much (avoid injury). Lesson learned...haha! Sure...

I then had lunch, ran a few errands and then headed to the gym. I only work evenings on Tuesdays and I had planned on starting my strength training again today. I took it very easy, less weights and less repetitions for today, but all out on arms and abs. Ugh! It was hard today and I was tired after. Balance?! How can I know when it's too much or not enough...this is complicated...sigh.

OK :) Happy with my 7K though!
And I start a program for my half in two weeks, that should help.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

So much to learn...

This one's for all you moms of young kids (it was on my fridge for ages): "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing"
Phyllis Diller

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Myself, I finally noticed the "link" button...I now know how to lead you to other pages without having to put in the whole URL :) I'm trying to figure out how to put my dailymile counter on my blog! (Anyone?)

Today didn't start off too great lung-wise and my cough was worse this morning. Before I go on, let me mention that I am a very rational person. However, I have been blessed with sisters and a close friend who have opened me up to the other, more spiritual and less rational, side. I am extremely grateful for that. My sister Cee is not only an author, but she's also a naturotherapist and she works with our Energy. According to Cee, when we experience stressors or strong emotions our Energy tends to shift. So...Cee recentered my Energy this morning...

Later in the morning, me, uber hubby, my bro and my super sister-in-law, who is my partner for the half, went for a 10K run!

It was so much fun to run together and I DID NOT cough once :)

You can't catch us!
The weather was a "relatively" nice -5°C/23°F and the sun even came out during the last 2 kilometers.

Going up a hill at approximately kilometer 7 ...hmmm my head is down, gotta work on that.
My theory is that the Energy centering and the endorphins have both contributed to me feeling much better this afternoon. I am not coughing! Fingers crossed everyone and we'll hope that things stay this way...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful blogger award and stretching!

"How quickly we forget" :)

I was in a rush when I went running on Wednesday and although I thought I'd learned my lesson, I barely stretched before heading out the door and I DIDN'T stretch when I got back. I was late and had to rush and justified it with the fact that it was a short 3K run...but I mean, really, smarten up girl!! Thank goodness I feel no pain and all is good, but when oh when will I know better. From now on I hope...

7K run today with uber was mild (slightly above freezing) and the roads were relatively better, though we had to run around puddles.

I DID stretch both before and after today's run...partly because I was feeling some pain in my thigh after the run. The pain didn't linger though. My lungs are still a bit congested and I have a light cough today, so it was tough. I was tiring faster and I had to walk sometimes (not too much).

This wasn't a very structured week, lots of restaurants, later nights and some beautiful, but emotional moments...which seems to have impacted my health. So, deep breath and let's get back on track...


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cee's book

I can't find who wrote this quotation, but I agree: "Winners do things that losers won't" 

The book launch yesterday was extremely emotional and beautiful.

Me and my tall boys holding Cee's book.
It was an emotional evening because the book is about the relationship between my sister and our father and their healing journey through communication. My father passed away 6 days after the book was completed and so his presence was definitely felt last night.

My sister Cee signing her book entitle "Marcher dans ce sentier - une histoire père-fille"
Yes, it's in French, which is my maternal language.

Just wanted to show you my beautiful mom, here with Iz and I.
No running today and my lungs are feeling less clear (high emotions do that to me sometimes) so I took out the ventolin inhaler. That's not why I didn't run though, just no time. Work, lunch with my princess and now I'm off to meet my friend J for dinner...she's a blast and she just registered for the full marathon in Ottawa. Go J!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Here's an old quote, to which I've added a twist :
"Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be." Jeremy Schwartz
"Live every day as if it were your last, but remember, it might not be" Anne

Indoor run today and I did an 8K...YES! I'm very happy. I felt a little bit of pain here and there, but I have a feeling I was being hyper vigilant. My thigh was feeling a little tight by the end, but I'm good. Does everyone wait until they have their first injury before they start to get serious about stretching before and after a run? (or was it just me...)

That's it for today...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bob Loblaw :)

Not much to report today, thus the title (just say it aloud to yourself a few times) ;)

Quotation of the day (this one has been on my fridge since my daughter turned 14 I think): "Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It's much sexier than any body part" Aimee Mullins

Caught myself running up the stairs this afternoon...woohoo! Thanks Iz.

Extremely busy with work today, so no time for anything else.
Well, except that I booked our vacation south for March break (happy dance)!

 You'll note that I decided to reduce my font and see how that looks (let me add here, that after posting my blog, I see that the font size seems larger?! Hmmmm). As is the case with many new bloggers I'm sure, I'm still trying to figure out how to make it more appealing. Perhaps some of you have a few tricks to share (for example, I wish my blog wasn't so narrow on the page, is it because of the choice of template?)  Opinions welcome - I take constructive criticism well. Becoming both a new runner and a new blogger in 2010 is bound to keep me on my toes (not literally). It's also bound to keep me busy as both are pretty addictive activities!

But they're healthy addictions :)
À demain...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Acupuncture, 500+ miles, cross-country skiing, and more!

What a weekend! It's Sunday evening, I have some time and I have so much to share with you all. Where to begin. How about with my quotation for the day (I find this one very clever):
"The way we do anything, is the way we do everything" T Harv Eker

So Saturday, I went to the gym and I was feeling good. I signed up for Casey's virtual 10K on January 23rd! Yay Casey :) and I had just joined Robin's Pay it Forward 500 Mile Club and I was quite excited with the challenge. Yay Robin :)

My thigh was still sore, but it didn't seem worse after Friday's run, so I figured I'd go ahead and run instead of bike (I will stop predicting what I plan on doing the next day, because so far I'm 0 for 3). I'm running along and as I near 4K I'm thinking I could maybe go for 8K this morning (la dee da)...and then as I near 5K I feel little jabs of sharp pain in my "injured" thigh and think sh*&? I guess I have to stop. At this point, I'm satisfied with the 5K, but I'm not thrilled with the fact that I seem to have worsened my injury.

Fast forward to later in the day, we're at my sister's for dinner (we'll call her Cee) and I'm talking with my little sister (we'll call her Iz) and berating myself for pushing a little too hard today and worsening my injury. As I'm talking, my sister and I look at each other and we have the same thought. You see, Iz is a licensed acupuncturist (aka the miracle worker). Let me just mention here that Iz graduated in April and so, she had never treated me for any injuries before (considering I started running more regularly in September). You can imagine how curious and excited I was. 

First, she places the needles at specific points along the muscle, from the upper thigh (aka the butt) down to the foot (near the toes).

She then rotates the needles until I go "ouch" or "f*&%$#" depending on the degree of surprise, Iz prefers "f&%$#@" because that's when she knows it really worked. Before I go on, I only swore once, most of the time a little "aah" or "aah ee ooh" was all I said. Now, about how it works: She starts at the top of the leg and works her way down, stopping to rotate each needle. Iz explained that when she loosens the inflamed knot in the upper thigh, she then must help the Chi (pronounced chee) circulate all the way down my leg. She does this 3 or 4 times, until it's relatively painless when she does, which Iz says means that the knot has come undone. She then removes the needles and actually makes a small pinprick in the toe that was in line with the series of needles, to get a drop of blood and help the flow. Was the process painful? I'd be lying if I said not at all, but it was bearable. Was it worth it? Hell yeah!  Iz says it can take up to 24 hours before the healing process is complete. I was shocked to realize that as I went up the stairs after my treatment, I felt no pull in my thigh. 24 hours later, my thigh definitely feels better and although I still feel as though I have a mild bruise on my thigh (not from the needles, but where the actual injury is/was :)), I feel NO pain going up and down stairs (which is where I felt it the most). The way I see it, acupuncture seems to speed the healing process.
Still, I didn't run today, I didn't want to push my luck.
BUT, we went cross-country skiing behind our house. We are lucky enough to have a farmer's field in our backyard.

I was diligent with the stretching both before and after skiing.

I felt good. No pain where I received my acupuncture treatment. But, I did have a little pull in the groin (it wasn't hurting on Saturday, so I forgot to mention it to Iz...oops).

It was -9°C/15.8°F, but with the windchill factor, it was -17°C/1°F
With the right clothes (and I'm not new to cross-country skiing so I know how to dress), it was beautiful and I felt good after, only a slight lingering pain in the groin (very litty itty bitty pain)!

I then spent Sunday afternoon preparing meals that I could eat for lunch (I am so sick of always eating the same things for lunch). I always eat at home, because my office is only 1K from home. So, I decided to make a few easy to fix lunches (butternut squash soup and chicken for sandwiches).

Not that you don't know what butternut squash soup looks like, but you don't know what MY butternut squash soup looks like! Delicious :)
Oh yeah. I wanted to mention that as I was transfering the vegetables into the blender, something broke and I got some boiling broth on my hand...ouch! The first thought that crossed my mind was, "Thank goodness I don't run on my hands" (did you say addicted)!
That's it for today...hope you had a great weekend.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Mostly, an excellent day!

First of all, thank you all so much for your concern, advice and encouragement...and I'm grateful no one outright told me to stop running :)  

Quotation for today (another of my favs): "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C.S. Lewis
It's official (Yikes! I mean Yay!) :)

 Ottawa Half Marathon: May 30, 2010 - Registration confirmed

Dr.'s appointment today: So, the bad news is I have a fungus infection in my oesophagus (it's the lesser of two evils - side-effect of Advair). But, it doesn't affect my energy level much or my cardio, so no big deal. The good news is, I did my breathing  test and my lungs kicked butt! So, my doctor has decided to reduce Advair 500 to Advair 250. Yes! Keep your fingers crossed, because around 3-4 months ago, we had tried this and it didn't work. I can feel it though, this time, all this cardio is doin' my lungs a world of good!

Finally, I ran 5K today. I started out feeling really good, but after about 1K I was, get this, too WARM!! I know! It was -6° C (21° F), granted there was no wind, but I mean, too warm!?
But why? ask.

It's because of this cute Peak Performance undergarment (I went to buy long johns and know how it goes). I never wore an undergarment before and didn't know how well they worked. I would have been fine with just this top and my jacket, but I had on an extra polar fleece layer. Now I know! So much to learn...

As for the legs, they were nice and cozy, because I now own long johns!

So, why just 5K you ask. Okay you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyways. First of all, life took over (work, dr's apt., library, get it). So, we (because I ran with uber hubby) only got out there at 4pm and we had dinner plans.

It's actually dusk out (I lightened the picture)...note my fluorescent fuel belt all lit up!

Second of all, my thigh wasn't pain free, so since I couldn't run any slower without walking, I figured I'd cut down on the length. Finally, I was too WARM! But, I'm good with 5K, we'll try again in a few days (don't despair ticker lady)...tomorrow, I'll bike.

For those of you who are wondering (i.e., family members who read my blog), dinner was at our favorite bring your own wine Indian restaurant in the Park Extension area of Montreal, called Punjab Palace. Mmmmmm...we were with two other couples and it was a wonderful evening.
So, overall, a pretty full day, but mostly a very good day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Now I see what they mean!

Quotation for the day: "We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction." Malcolm Gladwell

Even if those verbal instructions come from your best friend ;)

No running again today and no yoga and no bike and well, maybe just a little stretching. Actually, my thigh is feeling better today and I am SO tempted to get out there and run just a little bit or at least do some cross-training on the stationary bike. But, I know that it would be much better to just give myself the extra day so that I am less likely to really injure myself. See, I know this, and I very confidently told anybody who warned me to "be careful not to hurt yourself", that I would know better than to run if I was hurt...only to be told "I know you, once you start something, you can be very hard headed" (who me?!). Well, here's the truth, my thigh's been sore for quite a while least a couple of weeks...sigh. I don't think I have ever gone two days in a row without doing any cardio since some time in early September and making the decision to not run today was actually tough. I was sure that I would just listen to my body and that would be it, but I can see now how tempting it is to just push things a little more. Plus, it's kind of frustrating that my little ticker lady hasn't moved an inch for two days. I'm guessing this is a normal learning process for all new runners...right?

The plan is to run 8K tomorrow, which is my consolation for not running that ticker lady go!

I promise not to overdo it if I feel pain, but it's a strength training injury, not a running injury, so I'm good right?...right?!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Healing Wednesdays

Thought for the day: " Listen to your doctor, but remember that he is not living your life, so be your own case manager " Anne

I will name one thing each Wednesday, that I tried, did, or do, to improve my health. Healing is as much a process as preparing for my first half-marathon. If you read my first post, you will notice that I still take lots of medications for my asthma, and my ultimate goal is to eliminate (or reduce as much as possible) the number of presciption meds I must take.

One of the first things I did was:

**Eliminate dairy products (when I am doing really well, I allow myself a few treats, but even then, I always go easy on the dairy)
So today is a day off from running. I started a new weight training program a few weeks ago, and I may have tried to push it a little too much. I have been going to the gym for over two years now, so I'm not as new to weight training, but I had been focusing on endurance. Lower weights and more repetitions. But, now that I am running for longer stretches we decided to switch to strength training. Higher weights and less repetitions. I had never done leg curls and I think that's what did it. After a few times with the new program I started to feel pain in the upper left thigh area (groin and back) and it seemed to fluctuate. I hadn't made the link immediately, but when I went to the gym last Sunday, I realized that the pain was back and that's when it clicked. Luckily, it doesn't hurt when I run or walk, and it doesn't affect my gait, so I'll just go easy, but I won't stop completely.

Another reason I chose today as a rest day is that I worked both this morning and this evening. Rushed home at 7pm, ate a light dinner and then back out the door to my yoga class.

I love yoga, especially since I found the perfect teacher, she's amazing. Today was a new class called Stretch Yoga, which is perfect for me and was good for my "injured" thigh.

Regardless of the pain, scheduling is a bit complicated for me during this transition from being a non-runner to a "gulp" runner! I haven't started working with a running group yet, so I'm never really sure when I should take breaks, do my muscle training, my short runs, my long(ish) runs and I haven't started hills yet. I start my half-marathon clinic on February 11th, so I should have a better idea by then. Until then, I read as much as I can on the subject. According to the Complete Book of Women's Running...

"You don't get faster or fitter on the days that you push yourself. Improvement comes during your rest after the days when you run hard. On off days, your body can repair muscle damage, fortify your immune system, and prepare for the next onslaught." (page 36)

Okay, granted it's not like 12K in the last 5 days is much of an "onslaught", especially considering the mileage put in by most of the women who's blogs I've been stalking, but I'm coming along!

Thanks to those of you who've sent me words of encouragement, it's MUCH appreciated.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Get back to work...but keep on training!!

Quotation for the day (another of my favorites): "It's never too late to be who you might have been" George Eliot

Me, graduating with my PhD in clinical psychology at the age of the above quotation.

Okay...Today has been a full one indeed. I do wonder how I'll manage to include those longer training runs more than once a week into my schedule. I only work in the evening today, so I had all day, or so I thought. But then I realized I had yet one more report to write (I had forgotten about that one), so I did that this morning. When that was done it was almost lunch time, but I decided to go for my run first.

No outdoor run today, I'm off to the gym
Don't forget the water!

And a banana, which I ate in the car on my way there. The gym is about 5 minutes from my house, which makes it an easy option if an outdoor run is not ideal.

It's on days like today that I am reminded of my novice level as a runner. The guy next to me had already been on the treadmill a while (or so it seemed by the look of his t-shirt) and his pace was, well, it was much faster than mine. You'll notice that I haven't mentioned my times yet...I am trying not to worry about my time for now and focus on just being able to run for a long time without too much pain (physical and psychological).

But if you must know, I run a 12 minute mile...when I run for half an hour, that's 2.5 miles (that would be 4K for me, which at least sounds longer).

So, I'm a beginner! I know I've made lots of progress since I started less than six months ago, but as I was running my 4K today it didn't feel easy and I was thinking that I really wished that I could just float along without effort when I run (especially short distances). I always feel better on long runs (cause I'm so proud of myself maybe), but also because it's like I reach a point where I feel like I could go on forever...I love that!

I don't have time to reach that point on my shorter runs, so I find them more effortful.

But most importantly, after every run I feel great. I used to take a short 30 minute nap in the afternoons when I was working in the evening, but these days, I go for a run, and somehow, I feel just as refreshed. Now THAT is wonderful!

Daily training log

4K run on the treadmill
10 minutes of stretching after

Monday, January 4, 2010

Last minute rush before going back to work tomorrow!!

Thought for the day:
"If you want to do it; Fear is never a good enough reason not to!"  Anne

Yikes! Four reports to write and I had two full weeks to write them, but I'm doing it all in the last two days. I finished two yesterday and have just finished a third. One more and I'll be done. But first, I'm gonna go for a run.

Currently -7° celcius (around 19° Farenheit) and cloudy. There was a snow storm yesterday, but the roads have been cleared (so I thought), so I'm aiming for an outdoor run (4K/2.5 miles). Being canadian, you'll notice that I run in kilometers, not miles...but I'll include both. Okay, time to get going...

As you can see, the roads were pretty crappy...I felt like I was running in thick wet sand.

And it was windy, so, colder than I expected...yes, those are my eyes.

My thoughts as I was running today went something like this:

This is a lot harder than I expected and it's colder than I thought too. As usual, the first km is the toughest, I know that. My legs feel heavy, my fingertips are cold, and it's hard to breath smoothly. My legs seem to be getting pretty cold, I may not be dressed warmly enough. I'm feeling weighed down and heavy, beginning to wonder if I'll get to that point of feeling great that I'm addicted to. Then it starts to happen, as I'm nearing the end of my run, things start to get easier, despite the crappy roads, and I've warmed up. But, the best feeling is when it's all over and I did it once again! The endorphins kick in and I just love how I feel. I'm ready to take on that last report...after writing today's post that is :)

Two things I learned today:
1) I need long johns!
2) When the water in your water bottle freezes the opening, you need to place your mouth over the opening to heat it up so that you can pull it open and drink.

There's definitely a good thing about today's run:

Having trained in these conditions...Imagine how great it'll feel and how much easier it'll be to get out there and run this spring, no winter gear and clear roads!!

Okay! Back to that last report!

Daily Training Log

4 km (2.5 miles) run outside
5 minutes of stretching before and after

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My First Post!

Being a psychologist, I'd like to start each blog with a thought or an inspiring quotation.

Today's quotation is one of my favorites:
"Think you can, think you can't - either way you're right!" Henry Ford

Now, let me start by telling you a bit about myself and the things I hope to accomplish in 2010.

1) I would love to run my first half-marathon in Ottawa on May 30th, 2010.

 This is me running my first 10K. To give you a little background, I ran my first full minute non-stop some time around July 2009. By September I was running 3 times 10 minutes interspersed with 2 minutes of walking. On September 12th I ran my first 5K and I was freaking proud of myself! On November 18th I ran 7K. Slowly but surely, as they say. Then last Thursday, December 31st, I ended 2009 with a 10K! And I felt amazing!! Now the goal is to run a half-marathon in May and to try and stay injury-free. When I run longer distances, I use the Running Room technique (run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute). It doesn't affect the time much and it's the best way to avoid injuries (let's be honest, especially at my age).

2) I would love to stay off prednisone (an oral corticosteroid with horrid side-effects - for those who are lucky enough not to know this).

Me, on prednisone in April 2008 (By then I had been taking a minimum of 5 to 10mg of prednisone daily for approximately 3 years).

SO, I improved my eating habits significantly

I reduced stress - that's me in Bologna, Italy in June 2009

And I started running

Oh and I changed my hair colour :)

Finally, in July 2009 I was completely weaned from prednisone (note the lack of swelling in my face). But, it's not over yet. Since then, I've had to take prednisone four times (usually around 25mg for 7 to 10 days). The longest I've been prednisone-free is about 56 days. So the countdown far it's been 46 days since the last dose. You can follow my prednisone progress on the top right side of this page.

For those of you who have asthma and are wondering if running is a possibility for you. Of course, first you need to talk with your doctor, but let me tell you what other meds I take, just so you get the full picture. Although I am "pretty much" off prednisone, I still take 1 puff of Advair, 2 puffs of Alvesco and I do the sinus rinse with a nebule of Pulmicort added (all this twice a day, morning and night). PLUS, once every 4 weeks I get two injections of Xolair. There you have it for the meds. Of course, due to the side-effects of corticosteroids, I take calcium every day (the more natural liquid kind cause the other causes major constipation) and 10,000iu of vitamine D once a week. Okay, I think that's really it. 

Now here's a quick summary of my other life.

This is my uber husband of 28 years

My princess

My handsome boy and his lovely girlfriend

My eldest, the passionate artist (at the mike doing slam poetry)

That's it for today - there's still lots to cover, but we've got time!

Daily training log
15 minutes on the bike

15 minutes on treadmill walking with weights in hands (5 lbs - arms at 90 degree angle)
30 minutes of Muscle training
10 minutes of Stretching