Fangirl Running

Fort Edmonton Bridge

I have come to the conclusion that I am a faster runner when I don’t stop.

No brainer right?

Well, a fact is a fact. Today was such a beautiful day, I went out and ran the River Valley Loop over by Fort Edmonton Park. It was humid but the sun was out and after yesterdays funnel clouds, hail and thunderstorms, I will take this kind of day! I chose this route because there are hills incorporated into the 5k, I need to keep on running them so one day hills will feel easy (FYI, it hasn’t happened yet). Hills don’t help the speed either. I am still that fatgirl who gives her all as she trudges up those hills.

Today was special though. This fatgirl became the fangirl. I was headed towards the river when what do my wondering eyes should see but Kelly Buchberger!

Insert fangirl squeal here -> fangirl_squeal_by_goddessofdarkness777-d32n5ja

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am a big time hockey fan. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that I can spot a hockey player at 100 paces. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that I know every bit of stupid Oiler trivia from 1980-1994 (I defected in 1994 and became a NY Ranger Fan, now I split my allegiance. I could give you a lengthy explanation but the bottom line is Messier, MacTavish, Lowe and Kurri defected). At that time, Kelly Buchberger became the Oiler’s Captain. He was never a superstar, but her worked hard. He was the guy in the corners, in front of the net, beating the crap out of the opposing team and losing. He is now the Edmonton Oiler’s Assistant coach. The last time I saw Bucky out in public was Family Day weekend about 10 years ago in Banff. He was with the family and was pleading with his eyes for me not to approach him because his wife would kill him. The dude needed family time, not fan time. So I respected that.

Karma rewarded me today.

buchberger2

He ran up a hill with me and encouraged me to keep moving.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

He bid me farewell and I followed him (because I was going the same way) and ran off into the distance. Sigh……

Bucky has great physique for a 46 year old. Often athletes retire and stop working out. Hello Dave Hunter! The dude ran like a gazelle leaping over things, yet it looked like he wasn’t putting any effort into it.

Obviously I thought about him the rest of my run. Who wouldn’t? I did stop to take picture because it was a newish route for me. Now that I know he runs there, I may go more frequently in hopes he brings his little head coach friend Dallas Eakins, the new coach looks like David Tennant, the 10th Doctor. That would be ANOTHER huge fan girl moment. 100412ahl

Meanwhile, I need to get faster so I can catch them.

 

Motivational Monday: Judge me – I dare you

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Motivational Monday: Preparing for Calgary

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Calgary

So Mo, we have a tumor…now what?

It actually sounds worse than it is. I was diagnosed with Acoustic Neuroma. Basically is is a tumor that grows on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. Mine is the size

English: benign tumour: acoustic neuroma (also...

English: benign tumour: acoustic neuroma (also known as schwannoma or neurinoma)right size:20x22x25mm Deutsch: gutartiger Tumor: Akustikusneurinom rechts (auch Vestibularisschwannom oder Kleinhirnbrückenwinkeltumor) der Größe 20x22x25mm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

of a grape. Apparently it is a medium sized one. There is a lot of good news surrounding this, so lets be clear: THIS IS NOT A PITY PARTY!!

First of all, it isn’t cancer. PHEW!

The worst side effect is hearing loss in my left ear. Hearing aids won’t help. I like this because if I am bored I can say “What? I can’t hear you!” and walk away.

The worst case scenario is surgery. The best case scenario is it stops growing and we leave it in.

Why am I writing about this on Me and Mo? For a couple of reasons:

  1. It affects my emotional eating.
  2. I get dizzy and workouts aren’t functional.
  3. It is part of the obstacles I need to deal with for my health and that is what this blog is about.

So where does that leave me?

Yesterday I signed up for the WDW Marathon weekend run events. My kiddo and I are both running the 5k, I am also running the 10k and the half marathon. Today I feel like I won’t make it to the finish line of the 5k never mind run for 3 straight days. Why? I did something stupid yesterday.

I ran on the treadmill. I have a hate/hate relationship with the treadmill. It was really windy and I didn’t feel like struggling during my run. So I went to my dad’s and hopped on his treadmill of boredom. His TV isn’t hooked up and it’s in the basement where you can’t even look out the window. So me and my ipod listened to the Mickey Miles podcast for about 20 minutes…then it happened.

I began to feel nauseous and I couldn’t hold myself upright. Grabbing onto the bars I slowed the machine down so  could walk. It felt like a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl only without the laughing and fun part. Then I sat.

I needed to sit for about 45 minutes before I could I get myself home. Dad was already to drive me home after he ate his dinner – he said he had none to share so too bad so sad for me! My family is so loving and awesome. No special treatment here! I really like that!

I was fine, so I got myself home safe and sound, but WOW was I tired. The kind of tired that goes with a half-marathon tired. I don’t remember closing my eyes for sleep, I just remember waking up this morning. A few more nights of those kinds of sleeps would be fantastic!

Today it was raining! This thrilled me because I am SICK AND TIRED OF WINTER! Rain means the snow melts faster and the air smells fresh. It was cold in the rain but not snow cold – I loved it…except wow I was still tired. It took me forever to finish 6k. But that’s okay – I will call it my recovery run. Tomorrow is only 3k so I am pretty sure I am good for that one. I think I have to dig out my dizzy meds for the next little while which is disappointing, because I thought I was done with those.

Note to self, swimming, bikes and treadmills make you dizzy. So much for my dream of Ironman Kona! HA! My only dream about that was the Kona part. A long lie on the beach in Hawaii sound really good about now, but for now I will dream about my runDisney race instead.

Motivational Monday : This is still my reality

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Well isn’t THAT just craptasitc! Glacier Fed Puddles suck Mo.

Typically when I am having a bad day I can strap on my shoes, go for a run and my day is that much brighter by the end.

Today was the first time that has never happened. What I did gain from the run was ice cold feet, muck splashed body and a head ache. Not quite what I had in mind when I left the comfort of my home.

The sun was shining and the snow was melting in streams. I dressed too warm. I had a light pull-over and t-shirt. I should have just worn a long sleeve tee. What a difference a week makes! The weather is STUNNING! +8C and blue sky with zero wind. My kind of running day!

The plows had been out so I expected the path to be snow free. And it was…sort of. Half of the run was through snow-ish slush. Snow isn’t suppose to squirt when you run through it. It was like Slurpees, a Coke and Sprite mix. Cars aimed for the giant puddles and sprayed me with Tsunami sized waves of spring run off. The smell AND the spray is unpleasant.

But then there was the ankle deep glacier fed puddles. When I go to the Rocky Mountains, I expect to see glacier fed streams. It’s a bit fun to dip your finger in to see if the cold gives you a brain freeze. But no one, and I mean NO ONE runs through glacier fed streams for fun. Glacier fed puddles are fun either. Wet shoes, wet socks make me cranky.

Tell me if you think sticking your feet in this would be fun:

Athabasca_Glacier_Runoff CC-iceburg-thumb-380x251

 

Trust me when I say NO WAY JOSE! It is the kind of cold that painful. The kind of cold that hurts your brain. The kind of cold that turns your lips blue. No put THAT puddle of burg candy on the sidewalk, the cover up all the drains with 5 feet of snow so there is no where for the water to go, then fill the water up with snow so it will melt and that = and unpleasant run.

Water squished through my toes and my shoes made that squelching sound. Needless to say I was pretty grumpy and could let the days events go. They kept circling around in my brain making me want to pounce on some poor unsuspecting citizen. But then a car pulled up next to me when I was about half a block from home.

My baby sister rolled down her window and high-fived me. She gave me an invitation to her Wedding and loaf of Easter Bread. I told her I found the perfect dress and it WASN’T the prom dress disaster I had been threatening her with. It was actually a Jones of New York, tasteful, elegant and flattering. I also told her it was 6 sizes smaller than the dress size I needed 2 years ago.

6 sizes smaller.

6!

Suddenly her support made me cry. After the day I had, it was nice to cry for a good reason.

Love you sister!

Why Run Mo?

There is something very freeing about being outside in the fresh air with the sun shining. Maybe the word is energizing.

After 2 long years of University, with only 2 classes left to complete, I nearly quit today. Why? Because it’s hard and I am stuck and I am frustrated and I can’t think.

I sat most of the day at my laptop critically analyzing something that I support whole heartily. I am finding this process to be difficult. At that precise moment when I was going to call my Prof. and tell him to stick this class you know where, I decided it was time to go for a run. I needed to infuse my brain with oxygen, the fresh kind, from outside.

Instead of crying, wailing and throwing a temper tantrum, I strapped on my shoes and went outside. Today was the kind of February day that makes me love where I live. The blue sky, the +2 temperatures, the melty snow and people outside smiling suddenly lifted that dark cloudy funk I had been sitting in all day. I walked to the trail and began my rhythmic run.

It felt so good.

Suddenly my mind was blank. I was listening to the thump, thump, thump of my feet as they crunch along the snow. My breath evened out and I just ran.

I ran past the two pups that looked like floor mops.

I ran past a kid who used his snowboard to drag his school bag home.

I ran past my niece who waved at me while she was walking to my parents house for an after school snack.

I ran past a house that was cooking curry for dinner…mmmm

I ran past a giant puddle that had me run into a deep snow bank to avoid it.

I ran past a bush filled with birds getting inebriated on the fermented berries left from last fall.

I ran up the hill that over looked the creek.

I ran back down the hill that would lead me home.

I ran under the blue sky that reminded me of winter picnics.

Then I stopped running.

The Bench

My 30 minutes was up and I felt better than I had in FOREVER. At the end of my running trail was a bench that was half buried in snow. I decided to take a moment and just sit in the sun and enjoy its warmth.

My foot rest

 

The snow was deep enough I would use it as a foot rest. I listened to the drunk birds beaking off at each other, I petted my pal Pongo as he ran by to say hi and I thought about how lucky I am to stop work when I need to rather then when the clock says to. Working from home is a true blessing and I am grateful.

Perhaps I will finish my degree after all. Maybe I need to get outside more and run to shed the tension.

Today was a perfect running day.

When do you run best?

-18C feels like Spring! If that doesn’t increase your Mo, nothing will.

In case you didn’t know, when the temperature warms up to -18C – it feels like SPRING! YAY for spring! Not that I have any hope of seeing Spring until May, I still appreciate the warmer temperatures! It kind of reminded me of of when I lived in Canada’s Arctic. We lived in Yellowknife when I was in Elementary School. Yellowknife is located on the North shores of Great Slave Lake. This lake had waves. When it was frozen solid, an ice bridge (road) was created for the long-haul truckers to get supplies up north. It was a short cut. With winter brought wind. January in Yellowknife was typically around -30C. Don’t get me wrong, THAT IS COLD! Add the wind off the lake and you are dealing with -65C windchill. That’s right, -65C! When it warmed up to -35C, it felt like spring!!!

Most people don’t know how that feels. Let me clarify. Imagine sitting in your deep freezer, it’s colder than that. Your freezer should be -15C. I guess you cannot imagine how cold that is unless you have lived it. Our car wouldn’t start, so we walked to school. There was no such thing as a cold or snow day – just weather warnings as to how long before your exposed skin freezes and dies.  In case you are wondering, it happens in seconds. My mom was awesome at making sure we were bundled. Fur on the INSIDE of our hoods surrounded our face and kept it from freezing. Layering was the key – so was keeping dry. Long dark cold days, never again, thanks. I’m relatively happy here in Edmonton. When I am not, I remember what Yellowknife was like and I am GOOD!

So, back to my spring time January run. I learned from Thursday, I needed two layers on the legs. That was the most BRILLIANT idea I had ever had! My legs were perfect! I felt almost too warm running south, but then I turned north and HOLY FROZEN FREAKING CHEEKS BATMAN! I was then glad I had layers AND a hood. When I zip my hood, only my eyes are visible and they are covered by my Oakleys. I was well protected.

The Sun over Wildrose Park 

Wildrose Park Show some love to the Snow Plow Dude

Show some love to the Snow Plow Dude!

According my schedule, I am suppose to increase my distance tomorrow. I am not going to. Why you ask? Well, first of all I ran today and I felt great. I have been on a recovery from an illness/injury thing. I know I want to increase my running workouts to 4 times a week. I am at the point where my distance and time feels good. Adding too many variables are a recipe for disaster when it comes to me. I have learned this lesson from experience. Adding an extra run to my week should help me increase my stamina. I need endurance AND stamina to reach my long-term running goals.

I was looking longingly at my friends from the WDW Radio Running team. They are all in Florida this weekend running the Goofy (a Half Marathon today, and the Full Marathon tomorrow) some are running the Dopey (add a 5k on Friday to that total). I am watching and hearing about their fun and I must admit, I want to be apart of that too! I am not jealous, I know the work and training that needs to go into it. I am envious. I support them, cheer for them, excited and happy for them…but I want that too.

Next January is the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in California. I want to do that one. My daughter wants to run the 5k the day before, so I will run with her. There is nothing that sounds as much fun as running a race with my girl! I need to increase my endurance and stay healthy this year and meet my short-term running goals first.

My nutrition target is on track. I am using MyFitnessPal to keep track of intake, feel free to add me as a friend if you need encouragement! Contact me for info 🙂  I meet with my Nutritionist once a month. I am seeking help for the emotional eating issues. I think I have those well on their way to being in control. When I feel vulnerable, I found my self on Pinterest looking at Channel and Vogue, and then skipped over to my running boards for inspiration. I also find myself visualizing running long distances. I know I am going to do it. I feel the same tenacious determination as I did when I trained for the Half Marathon. I am fitter and healthier than I was then, and 80lbs lighter.

The thing about running in the snow and cold, it is kind of like running through tires – like football players do for training. It can only make me stronger and make summer running a breeze.

 

Estoy Listo Mo

I have a great facebook friend who hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He serenaded me on my birthday and tags in in goofy pictures. We share a love of insane and vintage animation. Today he tagged me in a picture of a pup focusing on the ball. It said Estoy Listo. That’s right, Spanish. I have very poor Spanish and I realize by putting an O on the end of English words does not make Spanish folk understand me better (Take note Amazing Race participants!). Estoy Listo translates – or I hope it translates to “I’m Ready”.

I am ready.

Ready for what? Lots of things! I crave change in a big way. I put my money where my mouth is. I want change so I make it happen.

  1. I wanted to run – so I now run
  2. I wanted my degree – so now I am enrolled for my final year
  3. I wanted a new job – I had 8, count them 8! job interviews and 2 of them called me back for multiple interviews just to tease me and get my hopes up. Yet here I am, back at the same old same old…I am making an attempt to move forward and change. Yet I made some changes in the work place already. People heard NO an awful lot from my mouth this week.
  4. I wanted to quit diet coke – and did it.
  5. I want the outside me to match the awesome and fabulous inside me, so I eat less and move more. I have a team of professionals that help me move in that direction.

Speaking of my team, we decided it was time to take the next step. I was refereed to Weight Wise. I will likely undergo surgery if I am a good candidate. Lap-band – or something similar. I have hit a major wall since last fall. I have not met my weight-loss goal and am frustrated about it. They asked for blood work. I had just had a ton of work done and we discovered a few things. I am not a good candidate for this program. I do not have high blood pressure. I do not have diabetes. I do not have high or bad cholesterol. I am healthy AND fit. You can’t tell by looking at me which PISSES ME OFF…stupid metabolism that has been destroyed from years of abuse. Yet one of the reasons I am in is because I suffer from on again off again depression, and I think I was discriminated against for a job due to my weight. If they had done a fitness test, I would have got it. But judgy people look at the outside. You know who you are you judgy people. I am looking at YOU and judging right back – only I am judging your character… far worse on my books to have lack strength of character.

Steve from Central services called me and booked me in for November 7th. The Alberta Government is footing the bill because apparently this will save them money in the long run. Thank you health care system! I feel renewed and not alone. I would like to offer some tips for those of you who have always been thin-ish and don’t workout to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You people don’t understand the struggle with food, yet that is ironic because you completely understand struggle with SOMETHING, you just lack empathy.

Things that are not helpful

  1. Do not tell someone they shouldn’t eat something. That just gets us mad. Guilt doesn’t work. Put your superior nose somewhere else because we just judged you right back for being a douche bag.
  2. offering to share our dessert and then eating most of it is selfish, it is not helping. Ordering no dessert and looking at us with disapproval makes us want to stab you in the eye with a fork.
  3. Hugging us and sneaking in a measure with your hands..not cool
  4. offering a cash incentive to lose weight, makes us feel like you don’t love and care about us. We figure you just want someone to look good next to you. AGAIN  – that makes me judge your character.
  5. Doing these things to a child or teen will set them up to be an emotional eater for LIFE with the side benefits of weight struggle FOREVER. Now how do you feel that you have discovered you are a contributor?

What you can do:

  1. show unconditional love – hard when you are a judgy person. Do the work, learn how and stop kicking puppies.
  2. make a lifestyle change yourself. Quit something hard. Start working out. Eat better – you need to. The inside you also doesn’t match the outside you – check your blood work.
  3. Never say or imply that a goal cannot be met. This happened to my while I was training for the half marathon. I still harbor ill feelings and can’t trust that person. I don’t share my goals nor my success with them. This hurts them more than me. I needed to for protection. So THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

Now what do I need to do before my big appointment? Well… I need to keep doing what I am doing! Run every other day, swim every other day, eat more vegetables and less starch. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Journal my food – HATE THIS but it is a necessary evil.

Lastly, cut mean and un-supportive people out of my daily life. I wish I didn’t have to because for some reason I really like you in it even though your actions are judgy and mean.

This next journey is for me and Mo, not you. Estoy Listo. Later Mater…

 

I use to eat that? What were we thinking Mo?

I am part of an online all female support group who help each other through everything from planting gardens, getting through divorces to exercising and eating clean.  It has been a fantastic ride and I have made new friends. In fact, if I ever get their way I would definitely want to meet them!

One of the things the group has been doing lately is the Clean Eat challenge. I had been practicing this for the most part for better part of this year. I am not strict enough with myself to follow it to the letter, but I think that is part of my growth this year. I have never once felt like I have been on a diet. I make better choices, eat regularly, and move WAY more than I use to. I eventually became more conscious of healthy food choices and learned what foods work for me when I need more fuel. We all need to remember Food is Fuel not your Friend! That emotional battle is being won my me. I eat when I am hungry and  try to eat before the starvation point which is a danger point for me. I am 65lbs down, 3 clothing sizes, 1 shoe size and 3 bra sizes. WOW is all I have to say about that! I did this by learning how to sit in my emotions and fell them, not numb them. Sounds easier than it was. I cried A LOT! It even got me off antidepressants and life continues to tick along at a rate that is good for me. I feel like me once again – only better. I am fitter, stronger and smarter.

This is not to say I don’t make mistakes with food, because WOW I have made some doosies lately.

My entire focus on this journey was not to deprive myself but learning the balance of when its okay to indulge and when to tell myself NO. Sadly, this lessons often comes after the fact, like last Thursday night for example.

I went to celebrate the end of the school year with my fellow teaching comrades. We went to a Karaoke Biker Bar, drank and ate deep fried pickles in between the singing and solid gold dancer dancing. Oh ya…it was an epic night. So Epic in fact I just finished paying for it. I had consumed so much salt that my lips have finally felt normal for the first time in a week. A WEEK! In the olden days I would be fine and carry on. Now that I am aware of how my body feels, all that salt intake was cruel and unusual punishment. All I wanted was water and lots of it for one week. Then I celebrated Canada Day by attending a BBQ. I had deep fried Chicken and was paying for it in a big way. My lips once again felt like they belonged on one of those fish face models who can’t smile. THEN I ate not just 1 but 3 of Granny’s beloved Crack Squares. No they aren’t made with crack but they are addictive like crack. homemade marshmallows rolled in caramel rolled in rice-crispy treats. DEADLY but oh so freaking awesome.

I hit myself with a double whammy. Salt AND sugar. I have been off sugar for quite some time and clearly the gianormous salt intake is just not good for human consumption. I had a MASSIVE hangover the next day and not a drop of alcohol did I have. Sugar addiction is brutal. I am happy to say I survived!

Here is the kicker, the real test that shows me how far I have come and where I am heading. After swimming for an hour on Monday, I went to Costco to pick up groceries. I was STARVING when I got the the car. I use to rip open a bag of something crunchy and salty to satisfy the dragon that roared within. Not this time, I grabbed grapes. The sweetest grapes to ever be considered fast food. I munched on a handful and I did not feel any shakes – no sugar crashing, I was completely satisfied, no post food cravings and They were grapes! hardly any calories! 110 for the cup I had as opposed to 200+ I would have eaten in something salty and less satisfying. This has be come not only habit for me but natural in the way I know what kind of fuel my body is needing.

If you want more information on Clean Eating go here. I cannot believe how drastic my life is from 1 1/2 years ago. I don’t drink coffee on running days because I just don’t want any. I avoid sugar because it gives me a hangover and that feels gross. I am 1 week off of Diet Coke – my arch nemesis. This has been my hardest challenge but quite honestly with all the salt my body has ingested this week, Diet Coke turns me off. Water has been my craving. So far So good Mo! We can keep this up easily because it is being aware of what you eat and how it feels – not the other way around.