And I’m back…

I have a band of brothers who are insisting they run with me during the Donald Half Marathon. Joke’s on them, They will be walking fairly quickly while I sprint my heart out to keep up.

In an effort not to let them down too much, I am doing speed work during the week to get faster. I’m not all that convinced it will work. This year has been such a training clusterfuck. I had surgery and injuries and set backs. All of which have been important learning lessons.

I can get the long distance in, the speed works helps somewhat so now its time to add the other piece of the puzzle.

FOOD INTAKE.

I have been pretty good thus far. I have been careful about what I eat, drink my water and keep sweets to a minimum. I have MAINTAINED….after I gained 10lbs. First I gained 10 then I held it there.

I re-installed Myfitness Pal again today and am in the middle of syncing Mapmyrun and Garmin connect with everything.

Why?

It makes me accountable. I want to lose another 50lbs this year.  (not by 2015 – I mean November 2015). I have the tools, I have the knowledge and I have the ability. I just HAVE TO RIGHT IT DOWN!

That part is the part that I am not consistent with. I started today.

I wrote everything I ate – including the Aero Bar and the Tostito Chips. I was 175 calories OVER my daily goal of 1790. That total will apparently get me to my goal of 2lbs per week for 1 month. Then I will adjust it to 1 lbs per week. It also helps me not go bonkers over Christmas. I didn’t last year and felt awesome. I will do it again this year.

It is interesting how I feel about food journaling. A year ago I would have not wrote the food in, giving myself a clean slate for tomorrow. Yet I wrote the good parts and the bad parts in. I am trying not to think about food in terms of BAD or GOOD. But rather in terms of fuel for running. I need to make sure I have the right amount of protein grams and carbs in so I will feel fab over my long runs.

On FB I have THIS as my profile pic 1375002_10152876402766337_9194937867845132687_nOn the side of the hat it says TRAINING. I have no plans to run the Calgary Half or Full next year because I am planning on really focussing my training on the Dumbo Double Dare. That means I am running ‘just 2’ half marathons. My training pal Liz laughed and said “Just two?”

Just 2. When did I become THAT girl? That girl who can now fit into a running jacket. That girl who explains fartleks to run club members, that girl who can talk about nutrition with beginner, marathoner and ultra runners. That girl who can hear about a foot issue and talk to people about solutions and shoes. That girl who understands clothing tech.

Yet I am still that girl who is scared to run with her band of brothers because she is slow.

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And because one of them looks like this:

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That is pretty much all the motivation I need.

 

No one told me THAT would happen!!

I have a secret that no one talks about.

When you lose a lot of weight, and I mean A LOT, your skin doesn’t spring back into place.

You know all those photos for people in bikinis with tight skin in their ‘after’ photos…yeah, about that…

So we all know what I have been doing since January 1, 2011. I have been living my life in a different manner. I began ‘lifestyle’ change not a diet. This is me before:

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That is over 100lbs ago – about 107.8lbs to be precise.

As I lost weight, it was like my body was melting from the top down. I still have a giant ass and legs, but the weight on top left first. Weird. I noticed things like, rings falling off, my cheeks didn’t obstruct my vision, shoes got too big and underwear would slide down my hips as I walked. I couldn’t visually see me change, except I found my collar bone.

I could sit in theatre seats, I didn’t need seat belt extensions for the airplane, my kids could walk past me in the pantry, I use to have to move out of the way so they could enter.

As the weight continued to disappear, I noticed something else. My skin stayed where it was and didn’t leave. Think about that. Lose a person the size of my 16 year old daughter and the skin doesn’t spring back. Skin is heavy.

I talked to me Nurse about this issue…was there a cream? Was there more time needed? What did I need to do?

She said something very shocking to me.

Plastic Surgery.

Whaaaaaaaaa??????

What the hell man! I do this the hard way, no surgery, no lypo, no bariatric and you expect me to cut off my skin? How is THAT even fair??

I had a preconceived notion that plastic surgery meant vanity.

It does to some people. I talked to my doctor about it. Skin removal would ease the strain on my neck and back. I would be able to move more freely. I would be able to see the change and keep moving forward because honestly, I am only half way in my weight loss goal. He talked to me about a plastics surgeon that only works with people who have lost weight and have been able to maintain the weightless for over 2 years. The candidate cannot be on a fad diet nor can they be yoyoers. They must be healthy and fit to meet these requirements.

I thought about it for a while.

This was a big change. People don’t really understand. I was at the point where I could easily give up and go back to my old ways. Removing skin was for me, a bigger change than I had anticipated. It not only meant physically changing my body, but it mentally implied that I was ready to move forward and keep going. My long term commitment was still not over. I would have a lifetime of thinking of food as a battle. I never could relax for a moment. Kind of like a person with a drug or alcohol addiction. It is always there in the background, never leaving you. Removing skin was going to be me saying to my body – I let you down, but I never will again.

I was asked to be put on the list.

2 years later, the surgeon calls me for a consult.

Took you long enough pal.

I figured a year because I needed to maintain or keep losing…I had done just that. I kept moving forward and waited a really long time for this moment.

I entered his office on clinic morning and an entourage of interns and resident docs paraded behind him. I was asked to remove my clothes and stand in front of the gang while they poked, tugged, lifted, made inappropriate comments.

First I said no – there is too many people here and this is weird. Get out. They all left but the Resident – she was lovely and had great bedside manner, a gift that will be beat out of her as her tenure for surgery continues – and my Doc. He kept saying “these are crazy nipples” I smacked his hand and said “DUDE I am standing RIGHT HERE and can hear everything you say!”

He apologized and from that moment on, we had a good relationship. He agreed to my surgery saying I was an excellent candidate and I needed to get on another wait list….WTF?

Another list?

So I called his office where is staff were lovely, kind and compassionate. I was asked to go on the cancellation list.

Then I waited.

less than one month later I get the call : So….how’s 3 days from now?

Ummmm….yes??? Maybe???

Things that crossed my mind:

  • I can’t leave work, we are short staffed
  • I can’t leave work because I took on the extra to help out my boss
  • I can’t because I am running races this summer
  • I can’t because I am scared

Then I cried.

I went into my bosses office and asked to speak privately. I have this issue with thinking in my brain before getting the entire story out so I began the conversation with, “so I guess I have to say no but…”

He panicked and said “No TO WHAT??”

I told him about the surgery.

At that point I was prepared to quit. I didn’t want to because I respect him too much and I couldn’t do that to the team, but I was willing to.

He told me to do it and not to worry about a thing. He organized everything and I left that weekend feeling relaxed and able to put work behind me.

Step one to a successful surgery : Zero Stress

Step two: be fit

Step three: eat protein

My the third day I was laying in Day Surgery at the Lois Hole Women’s Hospital starving to death. No food or water since 11:30 the night before.

I have this great ability to sleep anytime/anywhere – so I did.

Then they took me up to the operating theatre where they drew all over me in sharpie in (including a happy face for me later) obviously the doc cut along the lines.

I woke up 2 hours later and wanted to eat. They said I would be nauseous  – nope – food please.

Here is what I discovered:

  • my fitness level made my recovery fast and effortless.
  • my core strength made moving in and out of bed a breeze
  • the nurse was worried about my blood pressure and resting heart rate. Apparently it was too low for someone my size (64 people! that is awesome) I told her I just ran a half marathon, I am a runner – suck it.
  • I was also asked about diabetes – I lost 100lbs and I run – suck it
  • My blood work showed my cholesterol was normal – again runner!!! Suck it and I eat healthy.
  • Size discrimination is rampant

Here I sit, 5 days later – I nap frequently because surgery makes me sleepy and they cut off 6.8 lbs of skin people!!! Walking to the car, I noticed my neck and back felt fantastic! The weight was gone. Now if only the potholes would leave I would be a happy camper!

I am glad I did it. I look so different, feel fantastic and really need to run – but that is still 3 weeks away. I feel like I am on a really long taper.

The next phase will be the panelectomy  – the saggy skin that hangs low past my belly – I can’t WAIT for that one!

Meanwhile, I really feel like I am over the hill that was holding me back. Onwards and upwards and did you know that bras come WITHOUT industrial harnesses? AND in pretty colours?? Neither did I!

Me yesterday: My sister and I comparing chest sizes after I go from an I to a D – I still win 🙂

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That day I became became my own hero

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I did some things in the last 30 days that really amazed me.

  1. I took over the primary spot of managing at work, although temporary, I never excepted to be in this position. I have learned more about myself in a few shorts weeks than I thought possible. University was right, I am capable of so much more than I believed. It is a wonderful feeling to have the complete faith of those around you. I never had that in a work situation before. I like it.
  2. I fitness level is at a level that I didn’t believe to be possible and STILL carry around this kind of weight. I didn’t really train for the Calgary Half Marathon. The Trusty Steed tried to talk me out of running the half. saying I need to be careful, I might injure myself, I really need to evaluate the effects of recovery….blah, blah, blah….We have had this conversation before. I now just ignore him and do what I believe I am capable of. It’s not like I had never done a half marathon before. It wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew how far it was, I respected the distance AND I know about the best ways to reach optimum recovery for me. I ran it, and I never felt better during a half marathon. Never – EVER. I recovered right away and went to work the next day and stood on my feet ALL DAMN DAY. You know something? I have the medal to show for my accomplishment. I feel more proud of this medal than any other I have earned.
  3. I have always been afraid a body modification. The thing about weight loss that no one talks about is the extra skin that doesn’t spring back into place. I have people tell me that they had no trouble. Well, I am will to bet they didn’t 100lbs+. If their skin bounced back, I am super excited for them! Way to go! It is AWESOME that you loo and feel great! That didn’t happen for me. I am at the point of no longer seeing my progress. The more weight I loose, the same way I look. It is kind of discouraging. I talked to my Nurse at Weight Wise and she suggested Skin Removal. It isn’t for the feint of heart. I talked to my Doc and he referred me a Plastic Surgeon who specializes in procedures BECAUSE of weight loss. He won’t even talk to you if you are a yoyo dieter or a fad dieter or haven’t kept the weight off for years. I qualified. I had round one of 3 treatments. Let me tell you, after going through the first phase, I CANNOT WAIT for the second phase!!!

There you have it, 3 things that I did that amazed me. Each one will get their own special entry here on The Edmonton Tourist and here on Me and Mo. Stay tuned because we both know how I like to share crappy stuff that happens to me and then I turn it into lemonade – or Dole Whips because Dole Whips are better than Lemonade.

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3 letters no one wants to hear: DNF

This is the most painful post I have ever had to write.

I DNF the Donald Half Marathon and it hurts.

So why do I just not ignore it, but instead tell the world about it?

Well… I have always maintained that this forum is for me. It is a record of my achievements and failures. It keeps me accountable and provides an opportunity for growth.

I woke up half marathon morning scared. I mean TERRIFIED. it is something I have never experienced before. I realize now that anxious, nervous and apprehensive are not fear. Fear is a completely different emotion.

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I felt out of my element. I was not ready and worst of all, I was going it alone. I didn’t let myself rely on my team or friends.

I walked to the bus pick-up at my resort and boarded the bus with 70 other would be half marathon finishers at 3:00AM. We traveled together in the dark and sat in somber silence.

When I arrived at the EPCOT parking lot, I searched out my team and felt sick. Sick from fear, sick from apprehension and sick from aloneness. How can you be in a crowd of people you like and be alone? Good question but we have all been there and I cannot explain it. This was my first major race – I don’t count the local races because the volume of people just was not the same. Never before in my life had I run with 29 000 other people. For a girl who does not like crowds, this was intimidating.

I approached my team and the first person to catch my eye was Mitch. Relief flowed though my veins. I saw  Brian and we hugged like long lost friends…wait… we are. Teammates that I had knew but never meet before came and hugged me or chatted, photos were taken and jokes were told and the fear in my belly eased.

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We stood around for a long while before the long march to the corrals began. I was hot – too hot for a night race, the temperatures were typically what I finish my Sunday morning runs at. The humidity was high and my hair was a mass of curls. The mile walk to my corral (I kid you not – it was FAR) was lonely. I was the only one I knew. Other teams were floating around me, but I knew not a soul, nor was I in the head space to make friends like I did the previous morning.

I stood in corral P, the last one. 80 minutes away from the first corral. I remembered what Happy told me about standing – DON’T. So I sat amongst the thousands of people standing. Slowly we made our way to our start. The runners from the first corral were making their way to the finish by now. Soon there would be a winner and we hadn’t even begun.

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Donald Duck and Rudy Novotny sent us off. The crowd rushed forward. Soon I found myself in the middle of the pack. Not last, which was a surprise for me, but middle. My knee was throbbing from my run the day before when I had slipped on the uneven surface. I figured at this point I would be in agony by mile 12. However, at no point did I think I would get there.

We ran past Jack Sparrow and the Pirate ship out on the highway, We ran past puppets and birds and bands, we ran past first aid spots of chaff fixing stations and then we ran through the gates to the Magic Kingdom Parking lot. I was getting  closer to the Castle, my goal for the first part of this race. I ran for a while with the Team in Training Coach. Her calm quiet words soothed me as we approached the mile 3 water station. 3 miles in and I was on target. I was well ahead of the sweepers and I was feeling good except for the throb of my knee. I knew how to mentally block that feeling so I was good to see this thing to the end. I let myself think about seeing Mitch, Brian and my girl in Magic kingdom. I was excited to hear the cheers of people on Main Street.

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As I approached the water station I was shocked at the amount of cups on the road. I kid you not, it was ankle deep. To make matters worse, it was a Power Aid station. The road was slick with water from rain that night and greasy from spilled power aid, the waxy cups on the ground added to the complicated nature of navigating across. I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. Me, the girl who runs on ice, knew this would be fine.

I was wrong.

Half way through the station I lost my footing and slipped. I turned my knee in such a way I was sure I would puke from pain. I walked through the rest of the station, took a deep breath and kept moving forward – which is after all Walt Disney’s famous quote – KEEP MOVING FORWARD. So I did. I started to run again.

With the water station behind me and the 5k marker ahead, I felt my knee cry out in pain be very step of the way. As I rounded the bend in the road to cross the 5k mark, I heard the words of Mike Scopa from Mickey Miles Podcast come back to me. He had injured himself before and kept running with big regrets. I had a week of work ahead of me and I don’t get to sit – how was I going to manage? 3 more strides and I knew I was done. The pain was getting worse. I crossed the 5k mark and stopped. Shoulders slumped and a defeated air over took me.

I hobbled over the the van at the 5 k and told him I needed medical. He pointed up the road and said its 1 1/2 miles that way. I replied with a “I will never make it. I am sure I blew out me knee”.

He was on the radio and in 5 minutes a brigade of first aid cyclers pulled up. One gal talked so calm and kind to me that I just started to cry. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. The disappointment from pulling yourself out from a race was more than I could bear. Even now writing this I am crying.

They asked me questions and and I told the I had tore my MCL before and knew I had done it again. The pain was the same – only this time I knew what it was. They wrapped my knee and asked if I could walk to the van. I said yes but when I actually began to move – I couldn’t get my leg to cooperate. How did I get from the water station to the 5k mark? I had heavy assistance climbing into the van.

The door shut and there was my journey done.

My dream of “One Day – running the Donald was over”

They drove me back to the finish line where the medical tent was. We had picked up people along the way – people who were swept because they were too slow. They were happy and pleased with their performance and there was me – sitting in pity and trying not to cry.

At the medical tent, everyone piled out before me and then people climbed in to asses my knee. I knew what was wrong, I explained what I was feeling and I told them what I needed. Aside from a hug – I needed ice and help out of the van. Stairs appeared and many hands helped me out and over to the bench where a medical personal assessed  further. He wrapped my knee with ice, taped my knee up and gave me water. As we sat there talking and deciding what to do next, a medal appeared around my neck.

I asked what this was for and the gal whispered into my ear “This medal is not for crossing the finish line, it is for the miles and hard work you put into before you even arrived here. It is for the pain and suffering you endured. You earned this as if you crossed the finish line. Wear it with pride.”

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Then I began to cry like my heart was broken. Pain more sever than the MCL injury. Ego is a tough thing to over come.

I made it back to my room, showered and iced my knee some more, took meds and limped over to meet my team. By the end of the day – I had enough hugs and support to feel better until the last one. We were parting ways until later that night when one member wrapped me up and hugged me hard – once again I cried from disappointment but comforted by his understanding. Mitch let me lean on his shoulder and use it in a way I had never relied on anyone before. I needed that sympathy and understanding. Once that was done, I felt better. It no longer mattered that I didn’t finish. It was over and I could move on.

For the first time I allowed myself to feel the disappointment instead of mask it. Feeling it let me move on quickly and look forward to the rest of the weekend. What a huge difference it made.

A week later with some distance behind me, I find I am feeling a bit scared to run. This tells me my knee isn’t ready. It will be soon and I have registered for the next race. I need to have a run with an excellent outcome, I am ready for some good.

Meanwhile, I love my team. Thanks you guys.

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The Interview

December 16, 2009.

That was the day I sat at a table in my classroom and cried after school. Well…I sobbed like my heart was broken.

It was, but not in the traditional sense. I was crying because I hated my job. I hated my life and I hated the dark path I was spiralling down. Between that day and January 11, 2010 my life is blank. I cannot tell you what happened or who I spoke to or why I did things. I can’t tell you because somehow, I have erased it from my thoughts. I suspect it was to dark and sad to bother remembering.

Why January 11? I started a conversation with someone that day that changed the way I look at things. I didn’t know it then, but January 11th was the first day of a brighter future for me. I learned about running. I didn’t take it serious and still thought it would never be for me. But it interested me.

I began listening. More importantly, I began thinking.

A friend of mine who would become the most influential reason for change, asked me a series of questions one day. They required answers to questions that I had never thought about. Things that made up me. Books I read, movies I liked, favourite foods, activities I enjoy. It sounds inane, but for me I called this the interview.

The interview required me to examine myself. Look at myself in a light that was honest.

I don’t remember doing that before.

Looking at myself this way required me to examine my life and actions and discover why I was loathsome. Why I behaved the way I did and why did I always put myself last. The ironic part of this whole scenario was – my friend who asked me these questions, asked because they thought I had it all going on and wanted to learn from me.

HA!

They soon learned that we were the same except for one small detail: I aspired to change at faster rate to achieve a level that would put me on equal footing with them.

Did it work? No.

I realize now that we were equals. I never saw myself equal to anyone. I saw myself as less than average. Less than normal, and less than what I could possibly every hope to be.

3 years ago I never thought I would be a University graduate. I never thought I would ever run a half marathon, nor would I ever be working at a job I didn’t hate.

2 years ago I never thought I would be starting a foundation that would assist researchers that can find a cure for a disease that changes the lives of children and families in ways that is to painful to imagine it happening to you. I never thought people would stop me on the street because they recognize my face and know my story. I never thought I could do things independently and still be accepted by friends and family.

1 year ago I never thought I would work in the fitness industry. I thought I would always be discriminated against because of my weight. I thought pretty things were never meant for people who looked like me. I thought fitness clothes were just for gazelles and gorillas like me had to wear ill fitting mens clothes. Never did I think I would influence an entire industry and see the change happen in the spring and because I had the courage to speak up and ask for something I think I deserve.

Today I sat and cried just like I did 4 years ago, only this time I am crying because I do not recognize that place where I was. I cry because I turned dreams into goals achieved. Dreams without goals and a plan are just wishes. Wishes are just fireworks that go up in smoke.

A woman came into work the other day because she had heard I was working there now. She wanted to meet me. She wanted to hear my story. 4 years ago I just had a sad story. I still have dreams. Not all of those dreams will get goals and steps to work on. Why? Because I have learned that not every dream comes true because you out grow them. 4 years ago I had different dreams. None of them came true and quite frankly I am happy about that because you never know what is around the corner.

I don’t expect all my dreams to come true, but I have steps in place to make them a possibility.

Possibilities are endless.

This is me 4 years ago.

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This is me 2 weeks ago. My new shirt with the Foundation’s named and my new look never would have happened without a goal with a plan. It made all the difference…and so did the interview.

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So you think I am Dopey?

Yesterday my team-mate Mitch discovered why his foot has been giving him issues. Apparently it has a stress fracture and his doctor told him not to run.

Been there, ran on it and STILL finished a half marathon. I think Mitch is being a wuss, however, he IS being smart and listening to his doctor. It is smart for lots of reasons:

  1. he won’t have a permanent injury
  2. he can rest and mend, then come back stronger than ever
  3. he can get out of chores around the house

All those reasons are good ones.

He asked me yesterday what was the craziest thing I have ever done in the last 30 days. Obviously it was running in a blizzard. That was stupid.

Then he asked me, “What is the craziest thing you will do in the next 30 days?”

Obviously run the Grumpy with very little distance training under my belt.

I was wrong.

He informed me that I was going to run the Dopey. He was giving me his marathon bib and I can run a marathon for fun! WOOT! Now WHO wouldn’t want that for Christmas???

I sat in my chair and looked out my window at this:

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A foot of new snow with more coming and temperatures hovering around -17F. I had asked my other team-mate Joe how many miles did I need to be at this week if I was to consider running the Dopey. He said 15k Saturday and 32k Sunday.

Right.

The furthest I have run to date was in August, I ran 22km. Since then, I struggle in with the snow and cold to make my distances. Today was an hour out there freezing my tushy off and I made it to 6k.

The Dopey is a 4 day back to back race. The first day starts with 5k, next is the 10k, followed by the 21.1k and then finally on the last day you go big with a full marathon. I have never run a marathon in my life. I am not even sure I have walked that far even with all my Disneyland commando type days. 42.2km is FAR. It is the equivalent of walking from Sherwood Park to Spruce Grove (this is for the benefit of my Edmonton peeps). Respect the distance.

As I looked out my window I thought about the possibility. I could toe the line and start. If I get swept, then I get swept. There is no shame in trying. The up side is I am mentally strong enough to finish in 7-8 hours. I know I could do that. This article from Forbes explains me very well.

But do I want to?

Running the Dopey means earning a collection of 6 beautiful medals.

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Running the unofficial Dopey – which is what I would be doing is a collection of 4. I would miss out on the Goofy medal and the Dopey medal. I would have to try to score them on ebay.

My daughter is coming with me that weekend. She is running the 5k with me. She was worried that I would not be able to visit parks after I ran the half because I would be so tired. If I ran the marathon too, I know I would be too tired to be in the parks on Sunday. She is my reason for breathing. Missing out on a full day of park time with her would be devastating for me.

The other thing I thought about was some goals I set for myself.

Recovery is a big part of that. To recover quickly after a race, proper training is part of it. I have NEVER run a marathon and to do so without training is not respecting the distance and doing mean things to my body, then I need to sit on an airplane for 8 hours. I will not be able to move, never mind getting up for work the next day.

I have a dream.

My dream is to prepare to run a marathon. Train to the best of my ability and that includes sleep and nutrition. When I run my first marathon, I want to be in the moment. I want to be prepared and see what my best effort can bring. The days of taking risks because I am mentally strong enough are over.

Go Big or Go home is a motto I will save for different adventures that include training and supporting my physical needs properly. I really do think I could run the Dopey this year. I am in the best physical condition of my life. However, I am not prepared for the physical consequences or the emotional ones where my daughter becomes disappointed. Just thinking about what she means to me brings tears to my eyes. And really, no physical goal is more important than her.

So Thanks for believing in me Mitch and Joe, but I will pass on the unOfficial Dopey and will do the real thing in 2015 when I am ready.

Why Would I Stop Running?

1476023_668049609912757_266164373_nI had a conversation the other day with a person who tries to be kind but after decades of being mean and nasty, words still come out wrong. She had called me to see how I was doing, we speak to each other and ‘catch up’ about once a year….and only if she calls.

She had asked me about my progress on my running and my weight loss because apparently it is how you look that defines you. I had NO IDEA  ← insert a heavy sarcastic tone here. I always thought it was the things you do and they way you treat people that define you.

At any rate, I told her about my weight loss  – it has tapered off but that happens. It leaves in waves and the tapers off. The suggestion was to drink shakes or smoothies to boost something or rather so it will kickstart me again… Um – get ready for more sarcasm – I had no idea she was a nutritionist too!! I ignored her helpful suggestion and told her my Doctor, my dietitian and I had a plan and its working great. (apparently if it was working great I would be thin by now) I also told her of my running life – its hard right now because of the new snow and the windchill makes it disgustingly hard to want to go outside – but I do it.

Then she asked me what will happen to me when I stop running altogether? It would be a shame to get massively fat again. WTF? Why do I have to stop running?

Apparently, it isn’t as awesome as cycling and I should switch now before its too late.

Really? Too late for what? Armageddon? The Zombie Apocalypse? I am pretty sure I don’t have to quit if I don’t want to. In fact, my Doc and I were just talking about up coming races and how I preregister to keep motivated because I always need to know what is coming up next so I don’t fall into the Marathon Blues ever again.

The Marathon Blues is a phenomena where you train super hard for an event and then once it is done, you have nothing to look forward to or train for and life feels like it is missing something. I told my Doc I have 4 half marathons for 2014. That will keep me going in spite of the snow.

I am currently waiting for the sun to come up because I don’t feel like running with my headlamp today. And I am hoping the wind will slow down when the sun is up…at the very least it will look warmer than dark and foreboding out.

As far as I can tell, there is no real good reason why I have to quit running or why I would ever stop. When that day comes, I will deal with it then. Meanwhile, being 46 I have a good 20+ running years ahead of me if I continue to play it smart. Between me, my Coach and my Doc – we have it covered… Thanks.

Now please excuse me, I have a 5k in shin deep fluffy snow to run.

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Body Image

Body Shapes Sketch for blogPart of the Mo Project has been about body image. Not losing weight or looking awesome – that is a massive benefit. More importantly loving how I look.

Starting out on this journey I learned pretty quickly that my emotions around body image had a lot to do with what ex-boyfriends and an ex-husband had to say about my flesh.From them,I heard comments about over weight gals sitting on airplanes and taking up more room than they paid for. I have learned about the horrors of seat extender seat belts and I have HAD a fake hug where it was actually and belly squeeze to see how much weight I was hold on to. I have heard stories about men ACTUALLY ‘losing their chubbie’ at the thought of sex with an over weight gal- sorry to be crude but CRIMENY! Why is it that some men can be just so shallow? Why is it the ones who have weight to lose themselves seem to think its okay to to discuss the flab on their gal or worse…the flab on gals who are NOT THEIR GIRL.

We all know that guy. We also know that guy learned that behavior from somewhere.

After my run on Sunday I saw my photo with the medal around my neck and I was shocked. I have not stepped on a scale in over a month, mostly out of fear that I have gained weight but also out of fear that I have not. My mom pointed out to me that my weight is coming off from head to downwards…my ass is massive and that annoys me because I run to tun my ass OFF…so far it doesn’t look like it…but after seeing my photo, I have to say it’s coming off everywhere, just slower than I had hoped.

I read Plus Model Magazine…not for the articles, for the photos and to be inspired. Curvy girls are beautiful. The secret is to wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful and makes you feel sexy. That is a common truth for everyone. If you feel it – then you are it.

I have turned a few heads this year. Something that hasn’t happened in FOR FREAKING EVER because 1) I am older 2) I stopped taking care of myself and 3) clothing was meaningless for a while.

It’s not that I am looking but it certainly feels great when a stranger checks you out! It makes you feel attractive and that is all part of the body image for self.

Hair, makeup, clothing, jewelry and shoes do not have to be expensive, but there has to be thought put into it.

I am sick of fat shaming. Walk a mile in ANYONE’S shoes before you get to do any shaming. Learn to love yourself in spite of comments from others. Eat food that makes your body feel good, when I say feel good – sugar doesn’t do it. Fresh and natural does.

And coffee… but that is just me.

So today when I got up, I did my hair, my makeup and chose my clothes carefully because who am I seeing today? No one…working at home. But it helps me feel great about how I look, which helps me be careful about what I eat.

Love yourself. Those ex’s didn’t make the cut for a reason.

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Was it Something I said?

133Remember way back when, sometime in January when I declared that the Edmonton Marathon weekend’s 10k race was going to be my big race of the year? Ya…well… Things rarely workout for me as planned.

My sister decided that she was getting married on the 10k race day. Since my Dadeo was going to run it with me, I knew he wouldn’t want to miss her wedding – not that she is his favourite or anything, but he does try to be fair. So we then decided to run the 10k in Calgary for THEIR marathon weekend. I felt like i pushed myself a little hard to be able to run the 10k so soon. I had no base to start from. Yes, it was hard. However, I find anything worthwhile IS hard. I am super proud of that 10k. I even bought a 10k spinner pendant to wear because 10k was such a huge deal for me.

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Well, that was May. I learned a long time ago that having future goals to shoot for are important because I went through the Marathon Blues after my very first half marathon in 2011. I didn’t have anything else planned. I thought a one and done kind of deal was all I was in for…HA!

After rearranging the 10k date, Edmonton Marathon decided to move marathon weekend to the weekend AFTER my sister’s wedding. So, now I had to make a decision. Do I run the 10k and build on becoming faster? OR do I go big and run the half marathon. Well, because I don’t think things through very well, I tend to GO BIG or GO HOME. So I registered for the half marathon along with 2500 other people who run at the speed of light.

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I knew the worse case scenario was I could walk this race if things got to tough for me. I have walked it before – with a stress fracture (I don’t recommend that) and I finished. This time, my goal for training was to have a better recovery time. I wanted to feel great the same day – not a week later.

After the 10k in Calgary, I felt good but the drive home sapped my energy and I was a mess for the rest of the week. I was tired. I talked to my dietician and we worked out a plan for the longer distances. I know I need protein within 30 minutes of ending my workout. Without it, my legs HURT. I also know I need a big glass of electrolyte replacement – or start drinking it at around 14-16k depending on the length of the long run. AND don’t forget to stretch. By the time I made it to my first half marathon of the year (that’s right I planned on TWO half marathons – remember the whole “GO BIG or GO HOME” mantra I have?) I had an excellent afternoon, felt great, slept great, bla bla bla…

But what I really wanted for the Edmonton Marathon Weekend was Companionship.

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I know I prefer not to talk when I run and I get quite rude about it. I say things like “SHHH you are talking too much” or I grunt. I am not the most charming runner. I have participated in enough races to know the training and racing are different. I like the camaraderie of a team around me. I like goofing around with friends before and after the race.

 

So I started to invite people to come do the Half with me. One friend – a new runner – tore his hamstring and was told NO RUNNING – so he bailed, how can you blame him? Then there was another friend who would have to fly here. I never invited him, he said he might come do it…well…that didn’t work out either. Then there is my former coach, she has a major injury and won’t be in this race, and a new friend I made WHO RUNS AT MY PACE – now has to work and I am totally BUMMED!

Seriously, was it something I said?

Obviously, I need to take this as a sign. I am meant to achieve this independently. So I need a plan – because who are we kidding – I am a planner at heart.

My plan is to head to the grounds for 7:15 with the Trusty Steed. He is walking it with his walking team. They are faster than me. I know, hilarious… but they have been at this for a long time with several marathons and half marathons under their belt. I will be mentally focused. I have visualized the course during all my training. I look at my distance and I know where I am on the half course. I know where the water stops are and I know where the hot parts of the course are. I have new socks already to go for this day and I decided on my grey running shirt because I run best in that one.

I don’t need the support of friends along the way because I am mentally strong enough to do it alone and I have – two weeks ago. Yet…I would have been nice.

After the race I have a massage booked because I love those and then I will join The Trusty Steed’s team for breakfast somewhere. They have invited me to join them for other races too, which is lovely of them. So you may see me in Vancouver in the spring. Especially because – well…lets just say you can only support people long enough before your efforts are not wanted then you need to cut them loose and do your own thing.

Meanwhile, I will rock my new pendant and Ryders, wear my new Tiffany coloured Injinjis

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and run my own race at my own pace with a desperate attempt to stay ahead of the very last pace bunny who talks too much. I am not as excited about this race as I should be. Perhaps the lack of friends joining in is a factor. Maybe it WAS something I said.

At any rate, I am as ready as I will ever be. My mental fierceness will be called upon once again to get me through.

Happy Running my friends!

 

Withdrawals are brutal

The moment I plan to get back on track and use the food diary to record my food intake, guess what happens? The site is DOWN for maintenance. Seriously?

I could take this as a sign to skip it, but…

I won’t. I will wait it out.

Meanwhile, I will plan a yummy organic sandwich for lunch, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, havarti, sunflower sprouts, salt and pepper on whole grain bread with a BC peach on the side.

I have been struggling with food lately because I need to remove the sugar ONCE AGAIN from my diet. I splurged on cake over the wedding weeks and over indulged in wine. The withdrawal I experience from sugar overload is nasty. So why do I keep doing this to myself? Perhaps it is because I refuse to be on a diet and wish to not complicate my life during big events. That is not to say that I pigged out – because I did not. I maintained my weight graciously, I just chose food that has an addictive quality for me.

WxVVlf

I think I have the emotional eating under control. I was faced with some unsettling news yesterday and handled it beautifully. That is a win for me. I need to celebrate that success! But how? Hmmm

I will go to my favourite 10k spot today and run with my new Ryders. I lost my old ones about a month ago and mom gave me money for my birthday to buy new ones. Oakleys would be a waste of money because I lose stuff ALL THE TIME. So Ryders are a great quality compromise. AND I look fabulous in them. AND it’s sunny out.
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There you have it, I have become that girl who rewards herself with a long run.

Whodathunk?

Happy Running!