Wednesday, 31 December 2008
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
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
This should have been an easy task, but for some reason I found it tricky. Here's what I came up with...
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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...
- 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!
- 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.
- 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... http://keithsodyssey.blogspot.com/
Peace out my trivia hungry friends!
Sunday, 7 December 2008
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 eyelashes...ice. 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
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!