Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Gym Rats...

Yesterday my Pop walked in the front door, after having been at the gym, and stated the following, 'They gave me shite for not bringing you to the gym today, so you are coming with me tomorrow!'

I assume the 'they' in that statement were his cronies from the gym. I thought that was quite sweet so accpeted the invitation to go.

So today I went to the gym.

My plan for the workout was to do four sets of 20 for each bodypart. Considering I haven't been in the gym, but for the one workout last week, perhaps this wasn't the wisest of workouts, but I stuck with it.

I actually didn't feel too bad. I did some leg press, extensions, curls, pushups (not 4 x 20), bicep curls, and pulldowns. I did attempt some lunges today, but again my hammies would have nothing to do with them. I think I'll have to build those up slowly.

In between a couple of sets, the cronies and I hung out at the leg extension machine and discussed how icy the roads were this morning. I swear, I felt like a retired 68 year old man hanging out with his buds!

After doing weights we headed to the pool. My swim today was much better. I find it amazing how quickly the body can remember how to do something. Last week my swimming was ok, but I could tell I didn't have the endurance in me. Today, however, I was able to go and go, at least until Dad told me it was time to get out of the water. For a split second I was once again a little girl swimming at the beach.

We met the 'gym gang' at the mall for a tea/coffee and chat. There were seven of us there. Two of the fellows even came for coffee on their 'off' gym day just so they could see me. To say I was flattered is an understatement! Todays topics were snow removal, the icy roads, my new company, overhead powerlines, and excavation. Oh, and I got to meet the Les who just had his leg removed because of diabetes AND his wife who is allegedly trying to kill him with her Hungarian non-diabetic friendly food. She left us with him while she shopped. Really, I thought she was quite nice and not the type to try to off her hubby.

I had such a blast today with the boys. I look forward to coming back here in the new year and meeting up with them for a workout and tea/coffee again!

Damn, I feel like I need a nap again.

Peace out my friends, I wish you all a year filled with peace, love and happiness in 2009!

Monday, 29 December 2008

A Run In Pictures...

I borrowed me Mum's teeny camera to take with me for my run. I must say, it's hard to keep the camera from moving when you first stop running to take the shot! The little shaky symbol kept showing up and it kept asking me if I wanted to save the picture. Ah well. Some of the photos may be a wee bit blurry, but I hope you enjoy the new path I found!

The snowy path I followed in the trees.

The canopy of trees to run under.

The lookout point.

The run behind the townhouses.

The mighty Fraser River! Including the new bridge they are building in the Pitt.

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new running path! It's getting soggier by the day so I think I'll be reduced to running on the road for a bit. Oh well.

Peace out my friends!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

A New Path...

I wasn't sure how today's run was going to go. There was a lot of rain yesterday so that cleared some of the snow from the streets, but also compacted the snow in areas that hadn't been plowed or shovelled.

The grippy thingys for my shoes work well in ice and snow, but aren't very comfortable on bare pavement - for obvious reasons. The little spikes are grouped just behind the toes and on the heel. So when my foot strikes I have this little 2x1 inch patch of spikes that hits the pavement and nothing else. My plantar fascia was feeling it the other day when I had to run on bare pavement for a while, so I was trying to figure out where I could go today that was either almost all snow/ice or bare pavement.

Snow/ice won out. I didn't want to run on the roads because they were narrow from the snow piles around driveways and, well, who wants to run on the road?! I decided I'd run back towards the river, try and find the road I ended up on last time, and run along the dike.

The first part of my run I stayed in the snow banks along the road - what little pavement running I did was pulling on my plantar fascia due to the spikey thingys so I thought it best just to stay in the snow as much as I could. At times I felt like a short, squat deer trying to lift my feet high enough to take a running step! It was less than graceful, but I got the job done.

The snow was pretty compact, once you took a step in the deep top layer, and had the consistency of the hard ice slush that is leftover on the bottom of your slurpee after you suck all the grape/orange/lime soda out. (I like layering my flavours...) My ankles and stabilizers were getting a heck of a workout in the deep snow!

After meandering somewhat lost through the neighborhood I finally found the road I needed to get to the dike pathway. More running on pavement, urgh, until I hit the path, then it was snow, snow and more snow!

Running along the dike is quite nice because on one side you have this row of trees which you can peek through and see the mighty Fraser river. On the other side are farmers fields, which in the summer is quite nice. Now, however, it is just one big blanket of white stuff.

I was getting glimpses of the river through the trees and wondered if I could get down there. I didn't see a break in the trees and wasn't sure what was beneath the snow so figured I'd stick to the path. Then I spotted it - a sign that had the universal symbol for a lookout point! Well now, what is this?!

I hoped off the dike pathway and onto a very narrow trail. I quickly found myself in amongst the trees and heading toward the river. It didn't take me long to get to the river, which was iced up and covered in snow. The sun was just starting to peak through the clouds, which made the entire scene rather picturesque.

I then noticed that the trail I had followed to the lookout point actually went off in the left and right direction. Hmmm... I think I need to follow this trail and see where it goes!

I headed right. I ran and ran until the trail took me back up to the dike pathway. Then I spotted the map. It showed me that the path I just came off of would take me right back to the street that would take me all the way back to the parental units! I could avoid more pavement AND stay in the trees. How cool was this?!

I turned around and headed back on the wee pathway in the direction I'd come from. It was glorious in there. The pathway was lined with evergreens whose branches and leaves formed a canopy along the trail. I could see no sign of civilization so I could pretend I was the might running explorer!

As I ran I could hear the ravens cawing to each other as they hid in the trees, along with the little chipmunks that were merrily chatting with each other. A train was rumbling along on the other side of the river and would blow it's horn every once in a while. The only other sounds I could hear were my feet crunching along the snow and the 'swish-swish' my braids were making on my jacket.

I think I found a little piece of heaven there!

I continued along my merry way. My grippy shoe thingys were working wonders. My ankles were working hard trying not to roll, but I wasn't slipping anywhere. Eventually I was out of the trees and running in behind some townhouses. What a view they have of the river! The path finally ended at the road.

I decided for the last part of my run to take off my grippy thingys and just run in my shoes. The road was wet here but not too slippery. It was actually very ackward running on the pavement with just my sneakers! I had been using so many stabilizing muscles that when I had to run 'normally' they didn't know what to do! I almost felt as if I couldn't get my balance, which is rather ironic.

Knock on wood I made it home safe and sound without slipping on some of the ice I encountered on our road.

What a great run - I can't wait to go back in there. Next time I might even carry my camera along so I can take some photos!!

Peace out my lovely friends.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Father-Daughter Time...

Our second attempt to go to the gym was much more successful this time. All that shovelling of the snow off the driveway worked and we made it out to the road without getting stuck!

On the way to the gym we chit chatted about building bridges and cars. You know, the usual father-daughter stuff. (Yesterday it was theorizing the Whistler Gondola failure mechanisms...)

My Dad has been going to this gym, at least three times a week, for over 20 years now. I'm pretty sure they haven't changed the decor since that time, but they have everything you need and that's all that matters.

First things first, I was introduced to Dad's workout buddies. I believe the oldest fellow is about 79 years old. They are pretty serious about their work outs and spend just the minimal amount of time chatting. That's saved for later.

I figured I'd do a light total body workout then hit the pool for a swim. I started out with a five minute bike spin to warm up my legs. Next up were lunges using the Bosu ball. I LOVE the bosu ball. Turns any exercise into a stability workout.

I did well for the first 10 lunges, then I felt my left hamstring pull. Ow. Nuts, I hate when that happens. Needless to say, I pressed on. I got to 12 reps and zap! my right hamstring went. Mother Trucker! I rested for a short moment then tried to do another set. The searing pain I felt told me that that was all the lunges this gal was going to do for today. I get this sometimes when I do lunges or squats. Or rather it happens when I've had a long hiatus from weights. I don't worry about it. The next time I do it I know everything will be fine - provided I don't wait for 3 months before the next set!

I elected to do some leg extensions and leg press next. These worked out just fine so at least I got a little bit of a leg workout in. I did a few upper body exercises then Dad and I headed for the pool.

That's one cool thing about this place, it may be old but they have an indoor pool and it isn't busy. I was a little lost by the fact that there were no lane ropes... just the black lane paint. What's the protocol in here?!

I figured I was supposed to swim between the black lines, so I did. It's amazing how lost one can be when there aren't little ropes to guide one along. I swam a few laps and was happy I wasn't completely out of breath. My form was less than desirable though.

I got to the one end and rather than attempting a flip turn I reached up to grab the edge so I could turn. There was only one problem...there was no edge. So basically I put my hand up, reached a little higher, felt nothing and promptly sunk. Glub! I came up for a gasp of air and awkwardly kicked my legs till I was turned around. Rats, I was going to have to practice my flipturns again.

I got to the other end and stopped to say something to Dad, this is when I was informed that I was to swim directly over the black line. 'See, it's posted on the sign on the wall,' he said pointing. I looked to where he was pointing. Oh, that sign up there that is paper encased in plastic that is all bubbled and warped so the text is illegible? Yup, I can see that...

I just took his word for it and started swimming over the line. I realized I needed to focus on my technique and worry not about speed. Not that I was actually worrying about speed, of course. I got to the end and did an awkward flip - at least I ended up pointing in the right direction even if it was just my tippy toes pushing off from the wall.

This went on for a bit of time. In between swimming laps I did a few drills to remind myself how to do a proper catch and such. During one of these drills I found myself staring at the bottom of pool. This can be a scary thing at times. There are icky things that lurk on the bottom of a pool. I was thankful I didn't see any hair balls or snot stringers lurking around, just one lonely hair band lay at the bottom of the pool. Phew.

One curiousity was that at the corners of the pool it looked like rust. Hmm...what is rusting down there? Of all the laps I did I never did figure it out so it will remain a mystery.

I was slowly reaquainting myself with the flipturn technique. I was feeling pretty good with them and managing to make it closer to the edge of the pool each time. Of course that meant I wasn't paying close attention to my breathing so eventually the inevitable happened...a brain enema. UGH.

I thought I had got enough air in to keep blowing as I flipped, but mid turn the realization that I was out of air and still flipping hit me like chinese water torture. AAAAGH. As I came out of the turn and pushed off the wall the burn going through my nose and sinuses gradually became more pronounced. Ow, ow, ow.

You'd think that would teach me to keep blowing in the turn, but nope. Not this gal. I did it again the next turn. I'm happy to say my sinuses are nice and clear now.

By the end of my swim I felt pretty good - sinuses aside. I felt like I could swim again. Now it'll just be a matter of slowly building up the endurance...then maybe getting a bit more speed. Lots of time for that to happen.

After our workout, Dad and I met his buds at the mall for a tea. This is what they do after their workouts. Sit and chat. Today's topics were boxing, martial arts and one of the guys they work out with. Apparantly he has diabetes and a kidney issue that requires dialysis. His diabetes just required the amputation of his leg. They were joking that this guys wife was trying to kill him slowly as she feeds him food that isn't quite diabetes friendly. He also has a funny way of looking at dialysis - apprantly he figures it's like an internal flush that gives him fresh start to have beers and whatnot. Personally, I thought this was hilarious.

I had a blast hanging with my Dad today and got a glimpse of what retired life is like. I've seen my future and I think I'm going to like it! Of course, I've got another 30 years before that can happen. Sigh.

I think it's time for a nap now...

Peace out my friends!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Christmas Run...

My pre-run warm up consisted of shovelling snow...again. We did our driveway and the neighbors. There wasn't a lot that fell overnight so it wasn't too bad. I am reminded of how wet the snow is out here by the weight of it! Holy hannah it's heavy! At this rate my biceps are going to be like Ahnolds! Definitely a good core workout as well.
If I forgot to use good form in moving all the snow, my mother was right there to remind me! 'Watch your back! Bend your knees!' It was hilarious. All excellent family bonding though!
As you can see by the picture below, we got a LOT of snow out here. The piles that were created from all the shovelling were almost as tall as I am. Also illustrated in the picture is my wonderful new lion toque, which I got as a stocking stuffer from the Parental Unit. Oh, I mean, uh, Santa... Proof that my parents/Santa are as wacky as I am. Or rather, I have inherited their wackiness and love of fun toques!
In order to be able to run in all this white stuff, I purchased some "high tech" gadgets called 'Stabil-icers' from MEC before I left for BC. I thought they'd be great for here and for back home so I wouldn't slip-slide all over the place. They are pretty straight forward actually. Rubber thingys that stretch over the bottom of your shoe with metal bits that stick into the snow or ice. At least that's my engineering description of them.
The toughest thing about these suckers were slipping them on my shoe. At one point I managed to 'sling shot' my shoe up towards my face as I tried to stretch the rubber over the sole. Whoops! Dad was ready to step in at that point, but I assured him I could figure it out... The next attempt I made sure i had my head tilted out of the way in case of flying shoe. See. Told ya I could do it!
Once outside I was in fine form. The parental units street was covered in packed snow from all the cars so they worked great there. I wasn't slipping or sliding anywhere!
They weren't as fun once I got onto the bare pavement though. The sound the metal spikes made on the pavement was like fingernails going down a chalkboard for me. The fillings in my teeth were vibrating! Gack. Therefore, I stayed on slushy bits and snow as much as I could.
Actually, this wasn't a difficult task. Although some of the 'busier' roads I was running on were bare with slush, most of my route was either packed snow or snow higher than my knees. I like to think of today's run as interval training!
I wasn't exactly sure where I was running to, but I started out on the roads near the house. I ended up on another road that seemed to actually go somewhere, rather than winding around the neighborhood. I met up with a fellow who commented that I didn't look like I was sliding too much. That's when I showed him my nifty new gadgets. We chatted for a short while, then I asked him where the road went. He said it met up with Hammond Rd. Hmmm...Hammond Rd. That sounds familiar.
Running around here is always an adventure for me. My parents moved to Pitt Meadows long after I had moved out of the house - I grew up in North Vancouver. So although they've been here for a while, and I've visted many times, I really don't know the area very well.
It was super warm out, by my standards, so I figured it'd be fun to keep running in this direction and see where Hammond Road was.
For a good portion of this section I was on slushy bare road. I was dying to get on some snow so I wouldn't have to deal with the chalkboard squeak.
Finally I was near houses again and got onto the sidewalk that had shovelled bits and not shovelled bits. This is where my interval training came in. On some sections I was running through snow that was at least two inches higher than my knees. I had to really lift my legs to keep moving. Then I came to packed snow so I could run 'normally'.
When I got to Hammond Rd I realized where I was and headed right. The trees along this road are amazing. They are evergreens and some of them are at least the height of a 6 storey building! I got to run under the limbs that were bowed by the snow and wondered if I'd have a dump of snow fall on me.
I was having a blast out there. It was so incredibly warm! Well, warm for someone that just spent the last two weeks in weather that 'feels like' minus a kagillion! I swear, I could have run in shorts and a t-shirt and been comfortable.
Instead of turning right when I got to the road that I know we turn down for the parental units, I decided to keep going straight. I remembered that there was another road I could run down that would take me to a pathway that would get me back to the cul-de-sac. At least I was pretty sure this was the case. Worst case scenario I could retrace my steps back!
The road, that I thought led me back to the parental unit, was bliss to run on. It was hard packed snow and my 'Stabil-icers' were working brilliantly. As I ran along I came across a set of stairs. Hmmm, now does this take me back or do I run straight.... For some reason I could remember going either way and having it work. I decided to go for the stairs.
They were covered in snow too and I was about to grab the nice cold metal handrail with my warm sweaty hand...but then thought there may be the possibility of getting stuck there. So instead I just walked carefully up the stairs. For whatever reason I actually had the urge to stick my tongue to the rail to see if it would stick! I think I've been watching too much 'A Christmas Story!'
When I reached the road at the top of the stairs, I turned left and found myself back on the road I had just taken the stairs from. What the....? Okay, this must mean that if I go right again I will get to where I need to be?
I ran along here for a while looking for the pathway that I knew would take me to the cul-de-sac. As there was snow piles everywhere I started to wonder if I'd missed it because someone had blocked it? Finally I found a little gate that sort of looked like a snow covered path.
Again I was in thigh high snow so did my now perfected act of stumble running through the snow. I found if I leaned slightly forward the momentum would keep me going through the slightly resistant snow, but not enough to fall. I swear the whole time I was running through the snow I had my usual goofy 'I love this!' grin on my face. Who needs snowshoes?!
Eventually I made it back to the parental units street. I looked down at my watch and saw that the time was 59:03 minutes. Perfect! I just had to run past the house and back again and I will have gotten a good hour in. I will refrain from stating the distance I ran as it was hilariously short. Considering the running conditions though, I guess it wasn't a bad effort.
The weather report is calling for another 15-20 cm of snow tonight, but we'll see. I think it'll be more likely we'll get rain, which is the usual for this part of the country. So tomorrow I will either be running in a big slurpie, or in more of the fun white stuff! Whatever it is I look foward to it.
Peace out my winter wonderland friends!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Winter Wonderland...

I made it! With all the issues with weather and flights I wasn't sure if I was going to make it the see the parental unit in BC. A huge thank you to WestJet! The flight was two hours late, but thankfully not cancelled. They were also smart in that there were WestJet people handing out chocolates and such to appease the masses. Excellent tactic.

The weather wasn't too bad when I arrived, but this morning was another story...

I had told dad that I would go to the gym with him in the morning if I was awake. As it was my first vacation morning I didn't want to set an alarm, but just get up whenever. I did manage to wake up in time to hear dad getting ready to go to the gym. I had a short debate in my head whether or not to get up. I was still tired from yesterday, but if I did get up I could spend some quality father-daughter time with my Pop. So I dragged my sorry butt out of bed, rummaged through my bags for all my workout and swim gear, and got dressed.

When I finally took a look outside I was met with a heaping amount of snow! I looked at my dad and said 'Uh, you still wanna go to the gym in this??' 'Oh ya,' he says. 'We'll at least go and see if the main roads are clear.'

The first task would be to find the car in the snow - there was that much of the white stuff. Dad brought out his scraper brush and I started to just plow it off with my arms and hands. I swear there was at least 6 inches of snow! Good thing I brought out my Sorels!

Oh, I should probably point out that my parental unit live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. If there is a skiff of snow around here, the entire area shuts down. They just don't get snow here! Yet there was at least a foot on the ground from the previous snowfalls, and another 6" had fallen overnight. It was still coming down hard too.

By the time we got the deep snow off the car it was covered again from the new snow. I checked with dad again as to whether or not this idea of driving to the gym, which was at least a half hour away in good weather. I was giggling to myself when he said we'd still give it a try. When it comes to going to the gym, there is very little that will stop my dad! Hmmm, perhaps that's partly where I got my determination from in certain areas of my life...

So with the car all cleared off, we shook the snow off ourselves, got in, buckled up, Dad put the car in reverse, we went backwards down the driveway....and got stuck. I held in my giggle. Well, I guess that settles that! Dad did the old reverse/forward, reverse/forward method of trying to get back up the driveway. Finally he did.

I went back in the house and found Mom. I told her 'I was out with Dad for a little father-daughter time at the gym, but we got stuck in the driveway so now you and I will have a little mother-daughter time shovelling the snow! My mom LOVES the snow. (That's where I got my love of the snow too...)
I didn't get to the gym to go for a run or swim, but I did get a good workout in shovelling all that snow. It was a family affair - Mom, Dad and I all out there scraping and shovelling the driveway and walk. Then we shovelled the neighbors driveway who weren't home.

Well, time to get back out there shovelling as another 3 inches has fallen. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!
Peace out my snow friends!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Well Hello Endorphins...

I'm not sure what got into me, but I actually went down to the dungeon for the second time in 6 days to go sit on my bike. Oh, and not just sit on it, but peddle too! I think Eleanor, my bike, was in a bit of shock!

Last Sunday I managed an hour on the bike. Not without a wee bit of help from my buddy IronGreg who was on the phone with me, providing encouragement, for a whole 20 minutes. Eventually I had to hang up for fear of 'death by sweaty phone electricution'. I somehow survived the next 40 minutes by taking breaks and doing crunches and pushups just to break the monotony.

This morning I had placed a call to my cat's vetrinarian, Dr. Phil, before I got on the bike. He said he'd call me back with the results of Mr. Cringely's test in a bit so I figured I'd hop on the bike in the meantime.

I did an easy warm up for 10 minutes then out of the blue was inspired to do some 2 x 2 minute MAPS. I figured for the hard 2 minutes I'd push myself as much as I could. If I was huffing and puffing then I was doing a good job.

During my third hard set of peddling the phone rang. It was Dr. Phil. Thankfully he's not only my cats vet, but a fellow triathlete in town. I didn't want to stop my workout because I was in a groove so I answered the phone gasping for air and said, 'Hey! I swear I'm not breathing heavy because of you, I'm working out on the bike.' Thankfully he found this rather amusing!

As I continued with my sets Dr. Phil filled me on Mr. Cringely's health. As I'd expected, and feared, my furry little buddies kidney's aren't working all that well. This is what I lost my other beautiful cat, Milo, to at the end of May this year. As Dr. Phil said, we've been down this path before so you know the score.

As he was going through the technical information and giving me numbers representing all the tests that were done, I would pedal madly through my 2 minute hard sets. "The numbers aren't as high as Milo's were" Pedal pedal PEDAL. "We can do a couple more tests to see if it's due to an infection." Pedal PEDAL PEDAL. "It comes down to quality of life and when we need to make 'that decision'". PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL.

We hung up after about 15 minutes. I continued on with my sets with renewed vigour after the phone call. I'm doing okay with this information - at least for now. The Cringmeister is over 16 years old now, so I kind of new this day would be upon me at some point. Thankfully, I think he'll be around for a while as I monitor his 'quality of life'.

Even with the phone call, I had a really great workout. True, part of it was spurred on by the news I was getting, but I managed to hold that for another 20 minutes afterwards. I hadn't pushed myself like that in a very long time and it felt amazing.

When I finished my workout and was getting cleaned up I realized I had this incredible feeling coursing through my body. It took me a second before I realized it....well hello endorphins! It's been soooo long since the last time you visited I had totally forgot what you feel like!

As the new year slowly creeps closer I feel more and more ready to get back into a regular training routine. Today's workout emphasized that.

I am heading for the wet, or rather the presently white, coast next week and plan on running a ton out there. I'm happy to run in the snow they have out there because at least the temperatures are reasonable - unlike out here! Perhaps I'll find a pool nearby to get some swims in too.

Oh, and I do have one exciting post-New Years event that I may be participating in too - that story will have to wait though.

Peace out my friends.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I've Been Tagged...

Okay, so somewhere, someone started this tagging game. Once tagged the person is to reveal 7 random facts about themselves. My sweet friend Julie tagged me, so for the last while I've been racking my noggin for seven random facts.

This should have been an easy task, but for some reason I found it tricky. Here's what I came up with...
  1. When I was 25 years old I earned my black belt in Taekwondo. My claim to fame in martial arts came during a demonstration. I had to do a flying sidekick over two people, who were bent at the waist, and break a board that was being held on the other side of them. I was successful and managed not to land on the guys I was jumping over! Phew.
  2. Keeping with the martial arts theme - I could never break a board with a hand chop. One time when practicing I managed to pop all the blood vessels in my hand. It made it very hard to drive my manual car home that night. However, I was given a chance to attempt this feat a couple of months ago, at a yoga retreat of all places. After 13 years I got a chance to overcome my fear of not being able to do it. I'm happy to report I shattered the board like it was glass. Aiyeee!
  3. When I run I'm like a one girl brass band. I burp a great bass beat and toot a wicked trumpet melody. Toot, toot, toot! I sometimes even manage to toot to the beat of my footfall!
  4. Hands down, the best date I have EVER been on occured last year a little while before IMC. My date and I rode for 210 km in one day, the farthest I've ever ridden before or since. Then we did a 20 minute brick run, where he flashed me his buns. After all that, we cleaned up and had a sushi feast. Mmmm. I'm still waiting for someone to top that date...
  5. I have no aspirations to race in Kona. Nope. I want to do Ironman Lanzarote. I refuse to go there to just do the race though. If I go, I'm going to Chrissy Wellington the bike course - in other words, slay it. It's one of the toughest bike courses on an Ironman course. Mega hills and mega wind. That is my dream. Boy, do I have a lot of work to get there!
  6. I have yet to pee on my bike, but I really want to. After having to stop four times, during Ironman Coeur d'Alene, to get off my bike and use a porta-potty I realized something had to be done about this. Now I just have to figure out a) how to relax enough to do this and b) do I have to practice this on long rides?! Hmmm.
  7. I eat two bunches of bananas a week. I expect to fall victim of spontaneous human internal combustion due to an overabundance of potassium in my system...

So those are my seven random facts. Now it's my turn to tag someone....

Keith, my wonderful inspiration for never giving up, TAG! YOU ARE IT BUDDY!

Go check it out...

Peace out my trivia hungry friends!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Let It Snow...

There is not much better than waking up and finding a fresh layer of snow outside...

I had to get back home this morning so couldn't go for a ski, but that didn't mean I couldn't go play in the snow for a while!

I bounded upstairs like a littel kid on Christmas morning. I wanted to see if Trudy was up and if she wanted to go for a run in the snow with me. Ah yes, I really do fit in with Canmore living! Trudy was in too, so we changed and grabbed our mitts and ear warmers and out the door we went.

My shoes squished down the snow with every footfall and made a wee squeaking sound...squeak, squeak, squeak.

We meandered around the neighborhood until we hit the path along the river. It was so peaceful out. How is it that everything gets so quiet in the snow?

Another runner was coming towards us. Trudy commented on how fluid her running style was. I watched her for a while then realized she was running on her toes, or rather the ball of her foot. I pointed that out to Trudy along wth the girls footprints in the snow. There was no heel imprint to be found. No wonder she had the grace of a gazelle!

Trudy was being mindful of her back so I took the lead through the trails. I was impressed she trusted me as the last time I took the lead I got us happily lost in the woods! I did make sure that I stopped at any fork in the trail and waited for instruction on the direction to proceed. Good thing too - the way my instinct thought we should go was the opposite to where we were supposed to be going! I think my subconscious wanted me to get lost so I could stay out there and play!

Running through the trees was pure bliss. Everything was covered in a few inches of snow...including the roots in the ground. Luckily I managed to avoid tripping over any. Actually, I had decided to try running on my forefoot for fun, just like I had seen the girl doing. It felt pretty comfortable and I noticed I could maneouver around the roots easily! I might just keep trying this method. It is certainly less jarring.

The creeks that lead into the river were only partially frozen over so I could hear the trickle of the water as it made it's way through the ice paths. Nice.

At one of the forks in the path, while I was waiting for Trudy, I practiced catching snowflakes on my tongue. This is actually quite a hard task when they are teeny tiny little flakes. Unlike the big flake standing there trying to eat them!

As we ran back I noticed something on my The snowflakes that fell were melting on my face and eyelashes and had frozen to make little ice balls on the end of them. I could just imagine what I must have looked like! Unfortunately, I couldn't see because as soon as I walked into the house they were gone - poof!

My run today felt great. I had lots of energy and really enjoyed being one with Mother Nature. I celebrated the run with some yummy pancakes then headed out for what would turn out to be six hours of driving in a snow storm.

Oh well, at least the start of my day was peaceful!

Peace out my little snowfriends!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Stop And Smell The Pine Trees...

I was getting antsy. Life was full. Very full. More full than I'm comfortable with. I had resigned from my job, was in the process of looking for a new car, had to train a new employee, was working overtime at work, had contracts to sign, a new business to start and lawyers to meet. Oh, and someone threw a Christmas party into the mix.

I hadn't worked out all week. I'd love to say I was a couch potato, but there was no time to sit on a couch. I got home late every night, had enough time to eat a bit, get ready for the nexgt day, then collapse.

I am not a happy girl when I feel like my life is go-go-go all the time in activites that don't involve, well, activity! I was going to retreat to my happy place. The mountains.

Actually, the morning I was to leave I was so exhausted I actually considered just hiding underneath my covers until Monday arrived. I knew that I needed to touch base with Mother Nature though. She always lifts my spirits, so off I headed to Canmore to meet up with my buddy Trudy.

When I got to Canmore I told Trudy that I needed to vent for a moment about all that was going on in life. These were exciting times, but I hadn't even had a chance to take it all in and really savour it. I did this as we made our way out to Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise, where we were going cross country skiing.

By the time we'd gotten to the parking lot I was much more relaxed. I'd never been here so was excited to go for a ski and explore. I was hoping that my arms and legs would remember the movement!

Before we'd left her house, Trudy had inspected my skis. What do you have on your skis?? she asked. Uh, wax? And dirt? Apprantly she didn't buy it. When we got to the parking lot she took the skis out of the back then whipped open this little metal case. It was about 7 inches long, by 4 inches thick and 2 inches high and it contained the most ski waxes I'd ever seen in my life. Well, except in a store. She was like a wax dealer! It was awesome.

She put my skis on the bumper then proceed to sift through the choices of wax, pick a few, and apply them to my skis. It all happened so fast I didn't get a chance to see what ones she'd used! Then we were off!

It was a slow gradual climb according to Trudy. I hoped I could handle it - it had been since last February that I'd been out. She took off after a while as her life was very full lately too and she needed to burn off some steam. I was more than happy to toodle along at my own pace.

It was so nice to be out there. With every glide of my ski, my body remembered what it was supposed to do. The snow was perfect - soft and fast.

As I was skiing along I caught a whiff of pine. I inhaled deeply. Aaaah. This is what I needed. I needed to stop and smell the pine trees. All was well now.

I had a great time making my way to...uh...well to I don't know where. I hadn't been to Moraine Lake before. In fact, it took me quite a while to realize that were I was skiing was the road to the lake, but it was closed for skiing. Hmm, wonder how far I had to go. In fact, I wonder how long I'd been skiing?!

After who knows how long I spotted Trudy heading back. We'd been skiing for just over an hour, she said. Wow! My arms were definitely feeling it, but I was having fun just being outside so it didn't really feel like that long.

We turned around and headed back. Thankfully it was now downhill - I was starting to lose a bit of energy so had to mow down on some gorp. My arms were heavier now too. I loved the sound the skis were making though. Swoosh, swooosh. Although I wasn't as fast as last year, I knew that with a few skis under my belt I'd be kicking some snow butt in no time.

Although I was tired from the ski, my spirit had been energized by being out there. It was so peaceful.

To top off my day, I learned how to clean off the goop from my skis, apply wax properly AND I was going to get to see Stuart McLean and the CBC Vinyl Cafe's Christmas Show at the Banff Centre. This day truly could not have been better.


Peace out my friends!