100 Mo

img_1091Life gets in the way and suddenly you are not where you thought you might be. That is the problem with expectations. You think and plan for one thing and another thing pops up. As did with my life this week.

I went to my my post MRI follow up and discussed events. Things are progressing nicely – and by progressing I mean my Acoustic Neuroma is behaving itself. Swelling has changed and so my new normal plan is working out just fine. Stress free is my goal but seriously when has anyone ever lived through a stress free existence? I practice mindful meditation as a way to combat the anxiety I feel towards my AN and life in general. This has resulted in a positive change in outlook. For that I am thankful.

My Mo goals have not been as successful but all things considered, I am pretty happy about that.

Let’s recap; 2 weeks ago I set 3 goals for myself.

  1. Increase flexibility to be able to touch toes (again).
  2. Increase endurance by walking consistently.
  3. Strengthen core to improve posture.

TOES! I became another inch close this week! I am 2 inches away from success. My body has begun to rebel and groans a bit but I insist we need to continue practicing.

Goal 1= Progressing.

Walking! Well…. It is super icy and I just got cleats screwed to the bottom of my shoes. Falling is not helpful in my new normal life so safety first people! Perhaps this will help me achieve that goal. The winter weather feels like it is back so I missed warm and melty walking opportunities. Cool crisp evenings are something I look forward to.

Goal 2= Stagnant

Core! WOOT! I see the most progress in this goal. I have increased to 100 crunches and feel pretty great about it. When I finish and I am lying on my floor, I can feel a waistline indent, take THAT wine from Friday night! Everything is tightening up nicely. 40 more as an increase felt really great. I am pleased to discover that it doesn’t take long to get back into fight shape. I obviously wasn’t starting from scratch. This pleases me.

Goal 3=knocking it out of the park!

For February I have been thinking about adding something to my morning routine. I think it will be small weights for my arms and shoulders, but I am still thinking about that.

Getting back into fighting shape will be a slow process for me, but my goal of the Canada Road Race is still clear and in sight. I will make it. Having a goal where I am seeing major success has been motivating. Ultimately that is where I am at, finding the motivation to keep progressing.

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One Week of Mo

I stand before you with one week after the new Mo goals of 2017 were set.

So Robyn, how did you do?

Great! kinda…. sorta… but I am pretty happy about it.

Let’s recap, last week I set 3 goals for myself.

  1. Increase flexibility to be able to touch toes (again).
  2. Increase endurance by walking consistently.
  3. Strengthen core to improve posture.

My first goal to touch toes went pretty well. I was 6″ away from my toes on Monday. By Friday I was 3″ away. This impressed me. I thought progress wouldn’t be as quick and when I was doing some yoga poses with my legs outstretched, I was able to reach my toes one leg at a time by Friday. In a standing position it hasn’t happened yet. But so far I am pleased. I spend about 5 minutes every morning doing this.

The plan was for me to walk 30 minutes ever day after work with my dog and an hour on the weekend for a long walk. This did not happen. I have an excuse although its lame, It was -30 all week. Whatever, I’ll catch up. But I did go for a super long walk at Elk Island National Park! I saw a Bison and a wolf track. I trudged in a foot of snow. Next time I am renting snowshoes. If you want to hear about that adventure, visit here.

Strengthen my core. That was hard but I did it. The worst of it is getting off the floor but that too with add strength. I started with 20 crunches and 10 crunches on each side for a total of 40. By Friday I was easily doing 30, 15 and 15 for a total of 60. That takes me about 5 minutes in the morning as well. But then I am done and it quickly has become a habit. I forgot on Monday, but remembered Monday night. Then I jumped right in on Tuesday morning and boom – easy peasy.

My plan is to walk 30 minutes tomorrow, although my legs are pretty cranky today because the snow was deep. It was a large effort at Elk Island today. I also visit my Neurologist tomorrow and get my results from my last MRI. This is an event that I find very stressful. I am sure I will get good news but having an Acoustic Neuroma is stressful for me. People tell me to just stop worrying about it. ITs not that I worry, I am concerned. That is a big difference. I make sure I do all the right things because living a full life is important to me. Its not like you can just forget about it. I have symptoms that remind me everyday. I usually leave his office and cry for a bit in my car. The big stress relief. I do this even if its good news. I cannot help it so I just let it happen. No point fighting. Then I am able to move past it and focus on the goals and tasks at hand.

So Wish me luck!

Wake up Mo

Remember me?

It has been 18 months since I have posted here. Let’s catch up.

  • You last saw me in Ireland running across the country from Dublin to Kinvara. That was Epic.
  • Then I helped my friend run from San Fransisco to Los Angeles for fun and we raised $10000 for Do Away with SMA.
  • I race the Wine and Dine that year and then in 2016 I went to the Star Wars Rebel something something in Disneyland. That is when the wheels fell off.

I have a little condition called an Acoustic Neuroma. Long story short, it is a brain tumour that took up residence on my vestibulocochlear nerve. Mine is close to the brain stem but not pushing into it. If that happens then it’s surgery to remove. But so far, it’s behaving itself. I have single sided deafness, balance/dizzy issues, pressure headaches but all things considering, I’m doing pretty good! I walk slow now because I have to be super mindful of falling. More women die from falling complications than heart disease according to my doc- I fall a lot and it’s not glamorous so I have slowed down. Fatigue is a big issue that’s not mentioned here but my doc says it’s one very common symptom. Naps are my super power. If you need medical information about it, the Mayo Clinic explains it quite nicely here 

I tried running as this progressed but certain symptoms were more than I could handle. I took all of 2016 off and worked on figuring out what my new normal was going be. Let me tell you, it broke my heart because my physical progress from Fat to Less Fat was pretty damn important to me. I had an aunt say to me, ‘you better watch it – you’ll be fat again in no time.” I know people mean well but sometimes I think ‘Do they really?’ I haven’t really spoken with her now since….2015? I think? I cut out negative and mean people from my life. I made the choice to simplify everything. I found a pretty good balance but felt myself getting squishy… I still wear the same size but when you don’t use your muscles like you used to your shape changes.

I am not likening that much.

I gave up pop and artificial sugars. I gave up sugars for the most part, Christmas 2016 I went over board but, I can curtail that again easily. My eating habits are still pretty great but my exercise is not. Going for a walk once a week with my dog is good, but I need more.

So I signed up for a Race.

2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, My 50th birthday and Edmonton Marathon’s 25th birthday.

While my dream of NYC Marathon is now a faded memory, I can still walk. Sure I have to walk slow and less far but I am still upright and not dead yet so all is well. I signed up for the Canada Day Road Race 2.5km.

IT’s shocking to me that I am okay with 2.5k and not the 15 km or relay of even 5km. It has taken me a year to get over the fact that I do not run anymore.

People say, well you will bounce back. That isn’t helpful. 1 year of getting used to the fact that everything in my life is different is not the same as bouncing back, because I had to find a new normal. I also do not want to undo all the hard work I have put into myself. I am worth the effort so here I am back with Mo trying to figure out what fitness level I am and how I am going to move and advance through new levels. So I made a few goals.

  1. Increase flexibility to be able to touch toes (again).
    1. I will engage with yoga stretches every morning for 5 mornings a week.
    2. Primarily focusing on my hamstrings.
  2. Increase endurance by walking consistently.
    1. Walk for 30 minutes every day after work with my dog.
    2. 1 Long walk on the weekend for a minimum of 1 hour.
    3. focus on time not distance yet.
  3. Strengthen core to improve posture.
    1. planks every morning starting with as long as I can go, I suspect it will be 30 seconds but we will soon see. Record how long and increase over one month.

3 small goals is good for January. I will update my progress and reassess the goal in February. My long term goal is Canada Day 150 2.5km race.

I plan to be in the creek a lot this month because its my happy place and I really need it.

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Health can sure change your life in a moments notice.

 

 

My Summer Adventure

Last week I announced over at the Edmonton Tourist that I am running the Race to Kinvara. You can read about it here.

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It has given me the proper motivation to get my body moving more aggressively than I was before. I just haven’t felt all that keen on running even though I have the Dumbo Double Dare scheduled for September in Disneyland. I just don’t get all that exceeded about Disney Races. For someone who loves Disney and running as much as I do, you’d think it would be a match made in heaven.

Its not.

I get excited about going, I get excited about see my pals, I get excited about the expo. But the race? Meh.

I don’t run fast enough to make it fun. I think that is the large part of it. I don’t have time to stop and meet characters or goof around with pals. I need to go and I cannot slowdown or I get swept.

And I do not need a lecture on increasing my pace. I have knocked 2 minutes per kilometre off since I began running… so just keep those comments to yourself thanks. I am doing the best I can.

Races that are much more forgiving, let me enjoy them for what they are. My favourite race is the Calgary Marathon Weekend. LOVE the atmosphere, the crowd support, the entertainment on the course and you know what? The course itself is pretty. I love the Bow river, I love seeing the Rockies in the distance and I love that it is mostly flat. Not Disney flat. That is FLAT, but Calgary is Prairie/Foothills flat. The perfect flat because running downhill is awesome fun for me.

I know, I know…You can walk a disney race and still finish. Well, maybe YOU can, but not everyone can. I have had 2 sucktastic Disney experiences in a row. I am determined to make my next experience a better one. I loved my first race – the Minnie 10km.

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Crossing the finish line and having Rudy Novotny say hey to me was awesome. This next race has my mental game shaken. Friends have already asked if I am running with them…HELL NO. Go have fun. Enjoy your race. I have to work my ass off to finish and I’d rather do it my own way. Stay focused. Stay Happy and STAY ALONE.

We talked about this before. To me there is nothing I love more than running alone, by myself as in SOLO. It is awesome to hang out before and after with friends but during…get lost. My pal said to me the other day, you don’t know if you like running with people because you have never done it.

Not true.

I have and do run with people for Run Club. I ran today with these awesome people!

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It’s sometimes my job to be a pace leader for the Learn to Run Group. I like it because I set the rules and I think because I am the leader its just different. I like it better when I set the pace and then need to slow down for others. I do not like having to make people slow down for me. I just don’t. I don’t want to talk when I run. I will listen, but don’t expect an answer. A) I am deaf in my left ear and can’t hear you. B) I daydream when I run so talking makes me have to pay attention. BOOOOO that just makes running hard.

When I daydream – or get in the zone – I am aware of cars and the vibration on my wrist for intervals. Thats it. I think about  all kinds of things that I don’t want to share because its about Me sorting out MY thoughts. I love being alone with my thoughts. I don’t get to do that very often. So when I get to…wow…pure bliss.

Anyways…. Ireland.

I have felt then need to up my game because I am on a TEAM. I don’t want to let my team down. Sure it isn’t supposed to be serious. Sure its supposed to be for fun. I still feel the need to be the best I can be. That means I need to run hills, practice pacing, try out clothing and get a feel for what will work.

The best part about the Race to Kinvara is….I get to run alone without my team.

It is a relay. Everyone will be on the bus when I run. I will have been left in the dust by the other teams, so that means I will have the road to Kinvara to myself. I am pretty sure I will weep with joy. Me and my shoes running along the road alone. Honestly? Nothing sounds like a better vacation than that. Apparently I will have a Porter who will drive a scooter to keep an eye on me, hand me water when I need it and basically take care of my needs. Thats as close to being a process as I will ever be and that really appeals to me.

I will do my leg of the run and someone will feel the need to make up for my slow time. Do I care? I did a week ago. I don’t now. This is going to be MY Irish experience. How they choose to experience theirs is up to them.

I did add an element to my training that I had not done before.

I have started wearing my HRM on my training runs. I want to make sure I am running at my best. This is what I learned: I go too fast on my LSD days, but I run within my target for maximum on speed work days. So when I tell someone I am trying my best…I really am.

I have also added my footpod. It gives me my cadence (steps per minute) I am not sure what to do with that information yet. I will keep collecting it and I hope to see it increase by the end of summer.

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I have also started back with My Fitness Pal because I am worried I will gain back what I have lost. I am NEVER GOING DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN! My jeans are a touch too tight…so its time to become aware again. So far? I have noticed that I was doing okay! I just indulged into many libatious moments over my vacation. But, I always said that I am not on a diet, I am changing my life, but with that, I need to live. Drinks with  friends is part of that. However, now that training has begun in earnest for my Summer Adventure, the beverages need to stop too – the occasional cool one at a BBQ will be fine because I will adjust my intake to accommodate.

So thats it in a nut shell! Aside from my awesome runner’s tan… I am just the same.

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Suck it Up Buttercup

Zoinks Scoob! It’s been a while.

Remember how we talked about me increasing my speed? Did you know to do that, you actually need to run and train? Mental willingness just won’t do it. So here is what happened thus far.

I have hurdles. They are 6″ off the ground and I step over them to make my knees rise higher. They make my butt hurt. Ergo, they must be working.

I need a stronger core to hold me up when I run. I do planks and was forced into some crazy cult on Facebook called Challenge Crazy. Yeah… I do planks and I do not like them, but I love not having a sore back when I run, so I keep it up.

I walk a lot. by a lot I mean I don’t sit during the day and I walk my pooch so my Garmin steps say between 9-10 000 a day, more if I run. This helps my over-all fitness.

Running…say what now? I did two races. St. Paddy’s Day and Suck it Up Butter Cup 5kms. I ran a  block the other day when Cap, my pooch pulled me fast to get to the dog park… but thats about it.

Why? Ummmmmm…. I only have excuses with no real reason that qualifies. Yesterday felt really great. I ran a 9 min/ km pace for the first 2km. That is fast for me. That was no stopping. So for a girl who didn’t train or run or practice, I have to say that I am pretty happy with my result.

What did I learn? Well, I learned that if I put effort into my running, I have only up to go! I haven’t lost any endurance or speed, in fact I am a little bit faster. Being lighter has something to do with that, but what would happen if I ran 3 times a week? Or throw caution to the wind and run 4 times! I have a feeling a couple of things will happen:

1: I will get stronger

2: I will get faster

3: I will sleep better.

I need all of those things. I have some pretty big goals to reach this year. Now that the weather has turned to spring, I cannot blame that. Tomorrow begins my 3 day run week.

5km Monday, speed work Wednesday and Saturday 5km again.

3 days….simple plan.

So Suck it up Buttercup and get the work done.

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#WhyIRun

I was challenged this morning by my coach Brian

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at Running Down a Dream23 to post a video about #whyIRun.

That was easy.

I run for all sorts of reasons, but I started because someone told me I couldn’t. Nothing gets my dander up more than being told I am not capable.  I narrow my eyes, focus on the goal and say in the dreaded whisper I give my staff “Watch me”.

I also run because I believe in being kind. You may be asking yourself, “What has that got to do with running?” I figure, if I have to work anyways…work to make a difference.

If I am going to run, I might as well raise money for a great cause. Check!

My cause is simple. I run to support children and their families who cannot help themselves and are in need of support. That is also a big reason why I am proud to say I help start a charitable foundation from the ground up. We are still little but I have a vision and just like the reason why I run, don’t tell me I can’t do it. I will drag you, Mount Robson and part the Red Sea to make it happen. People who are nay sayers have tunnel vision, are somehow misguided as to my reason for the charity and think I am in competition. Let’s get one thing straight right now. Any charity that helps children and their families who cannot help themselves is not in competition with me, they are in PARTNERSHIP with me. It will take a boatload of kindness to change the world. If we all work together we can change the world. I believe it to be true and it will happen. It just might take longer than expected.

Giving of self for others is a HUGE reason why I run…HUGE.

The other reason of course…this is a no brainer, is COOKIES

ba70b2e156ac36981dff4a301bddedbbchocolate-chip-cookiesjammie_dodgers_2655228bDamn I love cookies. They are a ritual in my #CivilizedSaturdays and are that special treat for me where they used to be my daily/hourly food of choice.

I lost 5lbs in January. Total over three years 117lbs. Think about that for a moment.

I have a lot of extra skin now. I am not ready to have it removed because it will interfere with my goals this year. Next year I will take care of the that. But I look back at photos of me, old clothes I used to wear. I got rid of everything except one pair of pants, and they kinda look like circus pants. They don’t have a fly because they didn’t put zippers in pants that big. But then someone says something to me about how heavy I am and I think…. you small minded F#$%T%#$

It sure doesn’t take long for someone to be mean.

JUST BE NICE PEOPLE! Jeeze… it isn’t hard! Okay, it takes practice to be nice, but it IS doable!!

Meanwhile….back to #WhyIRun

I am going to challenge YOU all of YOU who read this blog to do 3 things:

1. go friend me on Facebook because its fun and then I can see your video a little easier

2. Record a video and challenge 3 friends to comment on why they run. Tag me in it so I can see it.

3. Use Hashtag #WhyIRun #whyIWalk

Here is ME challenging YOU. I feel like Romper Room, I see Karen and Sharon and Tiffany and Scootadoot and Chef, I see Jenny and Ebone and Barbara and Cristina and Patty, I see Tammy and Mer and Charlotte and Kathy, well, I see all of you.

Let’s inspire the world to move more.

What Day is it?

Okay, wait a minute.

I have a my January goals to get through and suddenly its FEBRUARY?

I have been trying to find my mojo lately and I figured I would write up some goals, set up a game plan and BOOM, all done.

All I have done in January is go to Walt Disney World, Got sick and by sick I mean I was considering death as an option for recovery, and Work. All of the above kept me otherwise occupied. I have been doing physio for my knee, planks and some other routinely horrible ‘healthy’ things for my muscles. Its not as bad as it sounds tho, I never regret doing them, the starting is just the hard part.

So that left me with needing a game plan for the rest of the year.

And by game plan, I mean race commitments.

I thought about what I really want to do to enhance my running.

I want to become a faster 5k runner.

To achieve this I need to stop signing up for so many 21.1km distances. That’s hard. Races are fun and medals are shiny.

I sat down and thought very carefully about what I need and what I want and what is doable.

Goal #1: Run a faster 5km distance

If I am being honest here, I could run a faster 5k distance today. What holds me back are, waiting for my dog to sniff stuff. Stopping to take photos. Stopping to drink water.

Okay… all those are excuses.

Here is my plan: 2 days a week, I will do speed work, Hills or stairs one day and sprints another. I will ride my bike a third day, this will increase my turnover rate and is a good cross train option). Sundays will be my LSD run with me actually doing it the correct way, checking my heart rate, keeping in my zone that will be the optimal for increasing my capillaries and targeting cardio strength. My first 5K distance will be the St. Patrick’s Day 5k down at Fort Edmonton. It comes with a medal, breakfast AND an ugly shirt! We all know how I run for medals, some people need Beer/Coffee/Coke as their carrot at the finish line, I need a medal.

My second one is a Virtual Run that I will use as a race, It is the Enchanted Tiki Run and My goal race for April 11, 2015. I will run my second 5k and compare time with the St. Patrick 5k. 10924638_321521864711506_5210149559015274914_n

The next Race for May will be the May the Fourth be with you series from DAWS. DAWS is a charitable foundation that me and my pals have founded/created. It is something that I am HUGELY proud of and we raise money to directly support families with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can read all about it here. Part of our Fundraising efforts are virtual runs. Currently there is a Royal Guard Run happening, but May the 4th (get it? May the fourth (force) be with you? Haaaa? Haaaaa?) That will be the Yavin Run. All Star Wars fans know what the Yavin medal is. Where Chewy gets snubbed because it is a racist moment and Han and Luke get the great honour bestowed upon them by Princess Leia.

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I hope to be faster than my St. Pat’s Run! I will use the same course for both virtuals, Hawerlak Park, fast, flat and 2 loops is 5km.

Then my head turns to my next Goal

Goal #2: Keep Momentum going and run a PR a 10km.

By April, I will be adding distance to my LSD days so I can run a decent 10km. The Goal Race for my 10k is the Edmonton Run for Pie 10k Trail run because HELLO? A PIE RUN! There will be PIE at the finish…so hellsya! who needs more motivation than that?

Goal #3: Build a 18km base.

Why? Because I want to run a half marathon whenever I damn well fell like it. If my base is 18km, I am ALWAYS ready! To do this, I will increase my LSD distances as well as my weekly totals. Keep up will hills/stairs and sprints. Keep up with core and weights. Likely lose more weight a long the way.

Goal # 4: Run Disney’s Dumbo Double Dare

I had to defer this race from last year because of surgery. Lets face it, last year blew and I am glad it is over. I will run a 10km on Saturday of the September long weekend and then on Sunday, run the Disneyland 10th Anniversary Half Marathon. PR will not be on for this weekend because I want to have a good time and stop for #runfies and say hey to Sean Astin because I have secretly loved him since Goonies.

Goal #5: Run Disney’s Wine and Dine

Why? I like wine and I like dine! Simple math. Plus you run through 3 parks without it being a marathon. I am not quite ready for a Marathon. I am saving that for when I can run a 1/2 marathon in 2:30. I’m okay with a 5:30/6 marathon but on my feet longer than that and just shoot me now. My first marathon wants to be a major, like Chicago, New York or Berlin. I’ll save it for something moments like my 50th birthday.

There you have it.

My goals, my plan and my vision. It starts now.