Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saying goodbye is never easy...

Saying goodbye to my beautiful boy.

My heart has been broken into a million pieces. Yesterday started out like any other. I left the house just after 8am. Julien was getting dressed for school and I gave Finn his medication. Finn had had a great day on Thursday. He was almost back to his old self. He was happy, eating, and running in the back yard. When I left yesterday morning, he looked fine. by 11am, my husband texted me and said Finn did not look well. He was just standing in the back yard staring into space and his stomach was heaving in and out.

This has happened before, so I said we should wait it out for a couple of hours to see how he is then. He called me just after 1pm to tell me that Finn was now lying down and unresponsive. I was on my way home, so I told him to call the vet and let them know that we were bringing Finn back. When I got home, Finn was in the back yard and unable to stand on his own or walk. My husband carried him to the car and we headed off to the vet in two cars because one of us would have to pick up Julien from school.

What we thought was a severe intestinal infection, actually turned out to be an aggressive form of cancer. I have been down this road before. Our last dog Elsa, had mast cell tumors. This was pre-Julien and we did all kinds of heroic things to keep her alive. And I know we did that because we couldn't let go of her. I swore I would never do that to another animal I loved.

The vet explained to us that Finn's cancer would spread to his brain very quickly and I think it was already doing that. During the week, he would do strange things (ie: face a wall and stare at it for a long time, walk around in circles). He was definitely not himself. He had internal bleeding and when he was down and incapacitated, that's when the bleeding was happening. When he was up and looking normal again, the bleeding would stop on it's own momentarily.

The vet said that we could take Finn to the Oakville animal hospital and have him ultra-sounded and have surgery performed, but even with intervention, we would not be buying him a lot of time. And he was in pain, a lot of pain. My husband and I decided it was in Finn's best interest to say goodbye to him. Julien was still in school, and I felt it was important to give him the option of coming to see Finn again if he wanted to.

I was so scared driving to the school to get Julien. This would be his first death experience. Although my husband was on the fence about this decision, I knew that we needed to give Julien the opportunity to say goodbye. Finn's been in his life since birth. When I told Julien that Finn was very sick and not coming home again, he started to laugh. He asked me if I was joking. I told him I would not joke about something like this. I started to cry and he burst into tears.  I asked if he wanted to go see Finn so he could say goodbye to him and he said he did. All the way to the vet's he kept asking me if I was kidding him. When we pulled into the parking lot, he said, "mommy I am going to be a brave boy for Finn".

The plan was that Julien would say goodbye to Finn and I would take him out of the room while my husband stayed with Finn when he went to sleep. When it was time to leave, Julien begged to stay. So we decided to let him. I'm glad we made that decision because Finn's passing was so peaceful and Julien won't have questions about what happened when he went to sleep. We are having Finn's ashes returned to us and I will spread some along my favorite running trail. It was also Finn's favorite place to walk. That way, when I'm there, I'll know he is close to me.

My house is quiet right now. Everyone's asleep. Whenever I'm on the computer, Finn would normally be sitting at my feet. It's incredible how much animals touch our lives. I have a brand new emptiness in my heart that will be filled with his memories. My beautiful boy would have been 8 this January. He was still way too young to die. He loved life and he loved us. He was an exceptional friend and a very good boy. Finn, we love you, and we will miss you. You brought lots of happiness to our family and you will live on forever in my heart.

Finn this past summer. Loving life.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The post about Nutreats, a sick pup and a cold Sunday run

My Nutreats profile.

  • Last week I was approached by Nutreats, a South African sports nutrition company, to be featured on their website as their weekly profile.  What an honor!  It was a lot of fun to put together my profile and I was just so surprised that they wanted me! Their weekly profiles are of athletes. Real athletes. I guess I have to bite the bullet and start thinking of myself as an athlete. Such a strange way for me to think!
  • I have not been eating well over the past week or so. And by not well, I mean not enough. I just have not felt very hungry. I know I have lost weight because my pants are getting very loose on me. I can't be bothered to weigh myself, and I keep forgetting to anyway. I don't really care what my weight is right now. I just need to focus on eating more so I have the energy to run!
  • My poor Finn is a sick pup. I noticed he wasn't himself on Friday. He was sleeping a lot and not as energetic as he normally is.  Saturday was a good day for him. He played in the back yard a lot with Julien. Sunday morning he seemed in good spirits. I went to visit a girlfriend for the day and my hubby called me in the middle of the afternoon to tell me that Finn went downhill fast.  He was not responding when he called him and wasn't getting up. This was very worrisome because Finn has never been sick a day in his life. He has been the epitome of health for his 7 years.  I was in Toronto with Julien at the time, and my hubby ended up having to take Finn to the emergency vet before I even got home. Forty-five minutes and $600 later we learned that Finn has a severe intestinal infection. He was given antibiotics and sent home. It's Wednesday now. Hubby had him back at the vet this morning because he's not eating and has not had a bowel movement in four days. They gave him more medication and sent him home. I feel so bad for him. He's on pain killers and antibiotics and laxatives. And he's not moving around a lot. And seems dazed. If he doesn't come out of this, the vet thinks he may have disease of the spleen.  Needless to say, it's tense around here and I'm pretty anxious. I have no money!

Finn on Tuesday, Finn on Wednesday.

  • Around the Bay 30K training started yesterday. I'm following the Half Marathon (to finish) training schedule from the Running Room to the "T" for a few weeks.  It's strange for me because in my normal running life, I'd never run less than 6K for a run. I'm still doing 3K as per the training schedule. It's all good though. In a few weeks, I'll add more K's to the schedule. Then I'll be back to running the way I did before the broken ankle.
  • My run on Sunday was freaking cold. It was -11C when I headed out. I only ran 5K so by the time I got good and warmed up, I was done. I ran on my favorite trail near my house which was awesome. My ankle feels good. No discomfort, no pain. 
  • My quads are on fire. Graham has me doing some hops on the Pilates machine. It looks like fun, but hurts like the devil when you've been doing it for 10 minutes. Feel the burn baby! I just realized that the Pilates machine is the reason Mark found the muscle knots in my calf and my quad last week. 

I just woke up in the picture on the left. That's why I look so angry...

  • The above picture is for my hubby. He has asked me a few times if I'd cut my hair. The man is daft! It took me forever to grow my hair. I mean I will cut it off eventually, but not right now. Anyway, he was wondering what I would look like with short hair. See exhibit "A" on the left. I'm still partial to the long hair and will definitely be keeping longer locks for now. I also have 5 bottles of Moroccan Oil to get through. Not cutting my hair until I've used them all up. This will take a couple of years at least!
  • I am beat. Besides not eating well, I have not been sleeping well either.  I sometimes get up in the night to check on Finn, then can't get back to sleep. On Sunday night, I only got 3 hours of sleep the entire night. Monday was a fun time at work! Regardless of what time I go to bed, I still get up at 5am. That sucks! especially on the weekend.
  • I went to the doctor today. I do not have a bacterial infection in my throat, so antibiotics will not work on me. What I do have is a cough that could last up to three months. WTF? No rhyme or reason. Just because.  I may have had a minor cold about a month ago and irritated my throat which continues to linger. I'm going to live. I was prescribed two puffers, one of which is steroids. I asked if this would make me run faster...sadly it will not.
  • I'm off to bed. I'm actually nodding off as I type this. I leave you with the 10th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos. This one is entitled Figured out how to use the radio. And the title is pretty self explanatory. It truly took me over two hours to learn how to use the radio in our borrowed Lexus. And hubby does his best Billy Idol impression. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The post about Nokomis, my first post-injury 5K and confirmed Morton's Neuroma

Trying to get a good mother/son picture. Julien was VERY
goofy! I finally gave up. We laughed till we cried:)

  • I have been a horrible blog friend. I have no defense. I have just been consumed with work and stuff in my life that I have paid little mind to the blogs I follow. I apologize and strive to be better in a couple of weeks.
  • Tomorrow morning my plan is to go to urgent care when it opens at 9am. I have had a hacking cough for almost a month now. I am sure that I have bronchitis, but I have done nothing to get it treated. I know, I am a complete loser! I actually don't feel sick, just the nagging cough that gets out of hand sometimes...And my voice is still quite husky sounding. Which wouldn't be so bad if I was a jazz lounge singer, but I am not.
  • Last night I went to see my girlfriend Nokomis. Now Nokomis and I have been friends since birth. She is Cree from Manitoba. She grew up across the street from me and was also adopted by a white family.  I haven't seen her since she came to the recording of the Steven and Chris Show back in January 2013. It was a much overdue reunion! I had a blast catching up with her. No matter how much time we spend apart, when I see her again, it's like time has stood still.
  • Today was time for one of the most dreaded chores of the year.  I had to go the local laundromat and wash the winter duvets. Why I stored unwashed winter duvets is beyond my comprehension, but I did. Don't judge me. 
  • I get hit on a lot. I'm not saying that to sound all full of myself or anything. The men who hit on me are either from my neighborhood (ie: drug addicts and alcoholics), or from the area I work in downtown Toronto (ie: drug addicts and alcoholics). Today a lovely gentleman came up to me in the laundromat and said, "I can see that you are married. Are you Native? I just wanted to tell you that you are very beautiful and I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." Then he left. No uncomfortable leers, no awkward come ons. How incredibly sweet was that? Made my day.

My Friday in pictures. My first Tom Horton's Christmas cup. I got to hold a
three week old baby which made my womb clench for a nano second. Me and
my best  gal Nokomis! Love her:) Original Life magazines from 50 years ago...

  • I ran just shy of 5K yesterday. 4.85K to be exact.  It went well. I didn't put too much effort into my run, but I still felt like I accomplished something afterwards.  I dressed waaaaay too warmly and was a hot mess afterwards. I drank coffee immediately after my run...with sweat dripping down my face. Yeah, I really needed a coffee.
  • I had, what I thought would be a relaxing massage after my run on Friday. Turns out that my message therapist found not one, but two muscle knots. My left calf, and my right quad.  He hurt me yet again. What gets me is that while he's making me scream and swear, he laughs. Yep. He just laughs at me. That sort of pisses me off. After he strips me, I always feel better though, so I forgive him.
  • I spoke to Dr. Pitt on the phone on Thursday. He got the results of my x-rays and ultrasound on my feet. Looks like I have medically confirmed Morton's Neuroma.  It's no longer a guess. So I am waiting for an appointment for an MRI in the next month. Hopefully that  happens before I see the orthopedic surgeon on December 16th. I am not letting anyone cut open my feet. Just say'in...
  • It was hard for me to hear that. It means that long distance running is always going to be painful. I may not be able to complete a marathon. That hurts my heart for sure. But I would rather be a half marathon runner, than no runner at all...
  • I am ready for bed. I only got 4 hours of sleep last night because I got back from Nokomis' place close to 1am. I still woke up at 5am...Damn internal clock!
  • Here is the next installment of the Anniversary Series of videos. This one is entitled Lexus Gas Guzzler.  Hubby and I find a Tim Horton's in Fort Erie and we discuss how bad the Lexus is on gas. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The post about being unrecognizable, a happy day at physio and Rock'in Soul Wednesday

A cold run this morning!

  • I have been in the office for TWO days in a row! You all know how much I hate being in the office. And I had back to back to back meetings Tuesday, and back to back meetings today. I enjoy the people I work with, I just don't like being behind a desk all day...or in a boardroom. Tomorrow I'm in the community so that makes me happy.
  • I saw two people on Tuesday who should have recognized me but didn't. The first time was during a conference in a boardroom. I have sat in many conferences over the years with this woman.  She came in late, nodded at me and sat down. I could tell from the way she looked at me, she didn't know who I was. Once I was called on by name to speak, her head bolted up quickly and she stared at me for a good long while.  Later she came up behind me and told me I looked fabulous. Always nice to hear. 
  • The second time I was getting myself some lunch and I was walking along the street.  I saw a male colleague walking towards me and he was smiling real big at me, so I smiled back at him. I have known him since I was a student back in 1994. I assumed he knew who I was because he was smiling at me and had full on eye contact with me the whole time. As he got closer to me, I greeted him and he looked completely shocked that I was talking to him. I just kept walking because I realized he was actually checking me out.  When I got back to the office, I told my friend who is also friends with him and she called him up. When he answered the phone she just said my name and he started laughing. He admitted he didn't recognize me and said that I looked great.
  • Shit like this always gives me a boost of confidence. It's odd though too. I walk around work and see people in the halls and elevators who know me, but don't.  I forget that I look so different to others. Or people that have only met me a couple of times may say that they confused me with someone else. I know that there is no confusion. They just associate my name with my former self.

Graham is looking more and more like a 70's
porn star each week that I see him...

  • Today was a happy day at physio.  Graham did a bunch of strength tests on my ankle and he said that it is much stronger. He gave me the go ahead to run 5K on Friday morning.  So very excited. Only running 3K was getting very frustrating. I felt strong and good to go longer, but had to stop because I promised. I'm running 5K Friday and Sunday, then begin training for the Around the Bay 30K the week of the 25th. I'm just relieved that things are getting back to normal again.
  • Guess who I saw at 5:45am this morning? That's right, the little old lady and her dog (AKA the reason I broke my ankle). I was running down the middle of the road, so we didn't cross paths.  But it's dark and cold at 5:45am. Isn't she afraid of getting rolled? Trust me, there are unsavory characters out early in the morning in my neighborhood.  I know because I run by them!
  • I have a long commute to work. I get stuck in three different areas of traffic. Burlington, Mississauga and Toronto. To cut the boredom, I either a) listen to the Dean Blundell show on The Edge, or b) do a Rock'in Soul (insert day of week here). So today was Rock'in Soul Wednesday. During Rock'in Soul, I crank some rock'in tunes and sing and bop along like no one is watching me. I do this in bumper to bumper traffic, and I drive in the center lane. People do watch me. And I get a lot of smiles, thumbs up, nods. Sometimes people will motion for me to put my window down so they can hear what I'm listening to. I make a lot of eye contact and sometimes people will look away with a shy smile or pretend that they don't see me at all.  Today I got my very first finger. That's right, someone flipped me the bird. I have been doing this since early summer (minus vacation and my broken ankle of course).  This is the first finger I got. Oh well! Not everyone is a morning person. And I'll just keep boppin along!
  • It's early (for me), but I am feeling beat. Regardless of the fact that I don't have to run tomorrow, I will still be up at 5 am. So I leave you with the next installment of the Anniversary Series entitled I Love Buffaloes.  Who knew that there we so many Chinese restaurants in Fort Erie? Proceed to watch with caution. You will never get the 3:42 back that it takes to watch this video. Consider yourself warned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The post about Santa Claus coming to town, getting spanked by Mildred and garlic mashed turnip

Hamilton Santa Claus Parade. Isn't my boy adorable?

  • Thank you for all your supportive comments, messages, virtual hugs. You guys are awesome. I'm not sure why it happens. Just some days, I get overwhelmed with sadness and I can't attribute it to any particular thing. The crisis has passed and my weekend was a time for reflection and looking at all the blessings I have.
  • Saturday, we went to the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade. It was a pretty mild day. Definitely a better parade day than it was last year.  Last year it was freezing cold and I just remember my feet freezing. Julien enjoyed himself, which was the whole point. Hamilton's parade is okay.  There's not a lot of bells and whistles.  But there was a pretty big turn out, and it was freaking long!  Julien wrote his letter to Santa and was able to give it one of his helpers along the parade route.  He was very excited.
  • My absolute favorite part of any parade? The pipe band. I LOVE the bagpipes.  My father is from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Back in the day, he was a piper. And a really talented one at that.  I have listened to the pipes my entire life.  The one major flaw in the Santa Claus Parade? Only one pipe band:(

  • Sunday was a fun day. We went to my girlfriend Elin's house for the CFL football game. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were playing the Toronto Argonauts.  Hamilton were the victors and next Sunday they play the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the Grey Cup. I have to confess that I don't really care about football.  It is fun watching Elin get all worked up over the game though.  She's fan enough for the both of us!
  • Today it was back to the old grindstone. I felt like I was all over the place. I drove from Hamilton to East York, to downtown, to Scarborough, to Easy York, to Brampton then back to Hamilton.  And I needed to stop twice to use a bathroom somewhere.  The first stop was Canadian Tire.  I really need to remember to use the bathroom before I get into my car!
  • Something very unusual happened today. While shopping with a client and waiting in line at Walmart, I felt a slap on my ass. So I turn around, prepared to be all enraged, and it's a little old lady with her walker standing directly behind me. She says, "Oh deary, you have a nice bum". WTF? Well I can't freak out.  She was a tiny little thing and reminded me a bit of my Aunt Mary. So I said "thank you" while my client looked like he was going to explode.  She also told me I had pretty hair and that her hair used to go down to her bum when she was a girl. Ah Mildred! Thanks for making me a feel a bit icky, and a bit like hot shit!

Trying on a slouchy beanie at Chapters on Friday. Not only did I feel melancholy,
but I looked melancholy...
In the washroom at Canadian Tire today. Notice my hair is Ombre!

  • Yesterday made me very happy. I got LOTS of meat on sale. Chicken breast, ground beef, ribs. All good stuff.  And I made garlic mashed turnip. A great alternative to mashed potatoes.  I may use the turnip the next time I make Shepard's Pie.
  • The mashed turnip was super easy to make. I just boiled the turnip with whole cloves of garlic (6), drained everything when it was super soft. Added some sea salt, pepper and a splash of chicken stock.  I used beaters to whip everything together. Yummy. Turnip is not my favorite, but I'd definitely make this again.
  • I ran this morning at about 5:45.  It was blustery!  A very windy run. My pace was the slowest it's been yet. But seriously, I felt like I wasn't going anywhere fast.  My ankle has been achy all day. Not pained, but achy. I think it's from the damp. My cheek that was fractured gets painful on wet and rainy days. Weird!  I only ran 3K and the hardest thing about that is that just when I'm warmed up and feeling good, I have to stop.  I'm looking forward to Sunday's run. Graham is letting me run 5K. Yay!

Mashed turnip and post-run coffee!

  • I'm tired of reading that my lifestyle (Paleo) is a fad diet. That's all I have to say about that. 
  • I'm reading some new literature right now. The jury's still out on whether I like it. If you're reading this Heather, you can check out the novellas by Jess Dee.  They're pretty filthy, so read in private.
  • That's pretty much all I've got for you today. It was a pretty uneventful and low key weekend. Tomorrow is a busy day. I have back to back to back to back meetings. Yup, that's four in a row.
  • I leave you with the 7th installment in the Anniversary Series entitled Where's the Start Line. In this episode hubby and I make our first on camera appearances.  And we fail to locate the start line of hubby's half marathon because we are losers. Riveting, I know!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The post that has absolutely nothing to do with running or a healthy lifestyle

  • I don't usually do two posts in a row, but I'm having a shitty day.  You know, the kind where you feel like crying for no reason and where you feel you have no one to talk to that will understand? That's me right now.
  • This morning I was driving through Six Nations Reserve to get to Brantford (where I had a work meeting).  Whenever I drive to Brantford, I swing onto Six Nations to get cheap gas.  It's totally worth it.  Gas in Hamilton was 125.6/liter today.  I paid .96/liter on Six Nations.  I spent time afterwards just driving around. I felt peaceful for the first time in a long time. Six Nations is a Mohawk reserve. I'm Ojibwa, from Serpent River in Cutler Ontario. I've been to my reserve once. To meet my birth mother in April 2010. My visit to Cutler was a stressful one because of the circumstances. 
  • I am a lost soul. I never fit into the "white" world where I was raised, and I always felt left out of the Native world where I should have belonged.  My adoptive parents loved me.  My mother loved me, my father still does.  It made no difference to them what I was.  My paternal grandmother was not happy that my parents adopted Native children (my sister and I).  And although we were not ostracized from our family, it was blatantly obvious that we were different from the fair haired, light skinned members of our adopted clan. Since my mother's death, I have had ZERO contact with her side of the family. I have reached out a few times, only to be ignored. Not one of my mother's relatives came to Julien's baptism. They would have been there if my mother was still alive. She would have accepted nothing less.
  • I love people. People of any race, nationality, creed or sexual orientation. You name it, I love them! I work with disadvantaged youth who come from very diverse cultural backgrounds, and have numerous traits that society may deem unfavorable. I treat them all the same and work as equally hard for one as I do for the other. I advocate for them with 100% conviction.  That's just how I roll.  I abhor discrimination and oppression and have zero tolerance for people who make derogatory comments about others.  It makes me shut down.
  • If I hear one more person complain about how immigrants are taking Christmas away from Canada, I am going to scream.  It's immigrants who brought Christmas to Canada in the first place.  I can assure you that before European settlement, Christmas was not celebrated on this continent.  Christianity was brought to the First Nations people in a very abusive and oppressive manner.  If you have never heard of residential schools, I suggest you hit the link.  I am not writing this to offend and I apologize if someone reading this is offended.  I have nothing against any religion.  I am simply stating that you have the right to be Christian in Canada, as well as the right to be Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish...whatever religion or non-religion you believe in.  Canada is not a Christian country in my opinion.  First Nations people practice sacred ceremonies/beliefs that do not fall under the umbrella of religion.  That being said, I was raised a Catholic and am raising my son a Catholic.  
  • My most hated racist name? Paki.  I mean, any racist name causes me to cringe, but I absolutely hate hearing someone say Paki. When I was a child I was called a Paki all the time.  I am not from Pakistan. I would never refer to a person from Pakistan as a Paki.  I am...what am I? Am I Native, Aboriginal, Native Canadian, Indian, First Nations, Saulteaux, Chippewa, Bungi, Anishinabe, Ojibwe or simply Ojibwa? I'm not sure what the politically correct name is for me. My government says I am an Indian.  It says so on my Indian status card. But sadly, I don't even know what to refer to myself as.
  • Although I felt peaceful while on Six Nations, I started to feel anxious as I drove back to Hamilton. I always think of my birth mother anytime I am near anything that has to do with the Native culture. There were so many things left unsaid between us, and I'll never get to tell her things I wanted to say, or ask her the questions I wanted answered. I just need to let that go.
  • Today I needed my mother. I needed to talk to her.  No one loves you as much as your mother does. I love someone beyond reason, but no one loves me like that anymore. I was very close to my mother. She was not perfect. Far from it. But we had a special bond. It was me she asked for on her death bed and I was alone with her when she took her last breath. Second to Julien's birth, it was the most important moment in my life. And one that I can never get out of my memory. I wish I could because hers was not a peaceful death.  I lied to my father, my brothers and my sister and told them that she died in her sleep. She was semi-conscious when she died and struggled horribly for her last breath. I wanted to ease their pain and have held that secret inside me for over 10 years.
  • I'm not sure why I wrote this post. I may very well hit publish, then take it down.  All I know is that I needed to write this for me because my heart is heavy and I'm not sure why I feel this way today. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The post about urine (a lot of urine), Meatloaf and Chippawa

Getting my sweat on at 5:15am...
I look tired because I am.

  • My last two days were mucho busy.  Although I couldn't run yesterday morning, I still got up at 5am. I am just conditioned to get up at that ungodly hour, regardless of whether or not I need to be.  It's all good though. I get a lot done in the wee hours of the morning. 
  • I had to be in the office fairly early yesterday for an all staff meeting.  I drank a pretty large coffee during my commute.  The earlier I leave to go to work, the longer the drive. I was in my car for over 2 hours.  And man did I have to pee.  Like really badly.  So bad, that I was scared to actually get out of my car because I was nervous that I'd just go right there in the parking garage.  I make my way up to my unit floor (in a lot of pain I might add) and high tail it to the washroom.  The maintenance guy is in there and he has a "washroom temporarily closed" sign on the door.  Are you kidding me? So I walk into the washroom because no stupid sign can keep me out now, and he's all like "you can't come in here, the washroom is closed".  And I'm all like, "I don't care, because if you don't let me pee, you'll have urine to clean up too".  So he high tailed it out of there. I swear, I must have peed for a full five minutes.  It was touch and go there for a while, but I made the unit meeting on time.  Phew!
  • You think I would have learned from that experience and made extra sure that I used the facilities before any car trips.  On my way home today, I had to stop at the Esso station at Burloak and Harvester to use the bathroom.  Again, a near catastophy.  I tell you between this, my lack of water consumption and the cheese I can't seem to stay away from, I am a ticking time bomb. You don't want to be around if that explodes!
  • Since I am on the subject of urine, I barely drank any water yesterday.  Although, I did drink coffee like it was water.  Waaaaaaaay too much.  And I also did something I haven't done in a real long time.  I went through the McDonald's drive thru with a client and got a large Diet Coke.  I know, I know. Artificial sweetener, not good.  Nor was the amount of caffeine I consumed.  And definitely not Paleo.  But there you have it.  Yesterday my urine was a dark yellow all day.  My urine hasn't been that color since I was morbidly obese.
  • Too much information? I completely concur...
  • Today I was out my door at 5:15am for my morning run.  Yup, I'm becoming that crazy running girl again.  It took me 22.5 minutes to run 3K.  Mostly because Graham told me to take it easy on my ankle, but also because there were some crazy strong winds to contend with.  I swear it felt like I was running on the spot sometimes.  It was cold and very windy and it took my breath away.  When I'm running in those kinds of conditions, I can't wait to be done.  But those runs are also the most gratifying because nothing feels better than completing a particularly difficult run.  
  • Speaking of Graham, I love him again.  Although he said I could not run 5K this weekend, he has given me permission to run 5K next weekend.  He also agreed that I could begin my 30K training schedule the week of November 25th.  I bought a new giant fridge calendar today so I can map out my schedule for the next 18 weeks!!!!
  • Although running in the dark, early in the morning all winter can be daunting, I'm just grateful to be running again.  So I will not complain even a bit about the cold/snow/rain/sleet.  I will mention the bad weather because I deserve the bragging rights, but I won't complain.  I ran all last winter, five days a week, regardless of the weather.  It made no difference if it snowed, rained or was -20C, I still ran.  The hardest part about running in less than ideal running conditions is getting out the door. Once I'm running, I just want to keep going so I can get warm. Sounds like I'm crazy right? Oh I am crazy! Crazy about running!
  • About five years back we had a Mac computer.  I had the absolute best playlist on it.  I consisted of over 150 songs that included the oldies, classic rock, 80's, 90's and some more current music thrown in for good measure. It took me forever to download everything and even longer to arrange the mix so that it flowed nicely from one music genre to another.  Julien froze the computer when he wasn't even one yet by bashing on the keyboard and the system crashed.  I was saddest because I lost a bunch of his baby pictures along with my playlist.  A few days ago I found a couple of CD's I burned from that playlist, but had no memory of doing so.  It was awesome listening to my disks in the car the past couple of days.  Some really cool tunes...and Meatloaf!  I may or may not have sung Two out of Three Ain't Bad at the top of my lungs today.  Now my voice is very raspy.  Sounding a little bit like Jessica Rabbit right now...
  • Tonight I was freakishly hungry.  I ate half a roasted chicken, carrots and broccoli for dinner.  I'm full now.  Just to put your mind at ease, I did get back on the water drinking wagon today.  I drank about 120 ml of water.  My urine is very light yellow again and I no longer feel bloated.  Now you can all rest easy and not have to lose sleep over my dehydration problems.  
  • I'm off to bed because 5am comes quickly.  I leave you with the 6th installment of the Anniversary Series entitled Rich for a Day.  In this segment, we visit the township of Chippawa while mapping out the half marathon route.  Hubby is hard of hearing and I talk about being pseudo rich for one day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The post about a cold run, Ombre and being married to Neil Young

I'm almost winking due to flash. Or my eye is freezing up.

  • Thanks to everyone for your awesome comments and messages about my first post-injury run.  It's so good to be back doing what I love. People have noticed a difference in my mood already.  I am happiest when I'm a runner.
  • That being said, I forgot how freaking cold it is at 6am in November.  It was minus 3 Celsius when I headed out for my run today.  I kept my run short.  And although my breathing was good, my pace was slower.  I can't over do it and push myself just yet. I'd love to, but I'm not going to be stupid about this.  I'm going to listen to what Graham (physiotherapist) tells me.
  • Speaking of Graham, he looks like a 70's porn star right now. He's observing Movember. I'm also not on speaking terms with him because he didn't tell me what I wanted to hear tonight.  That's right. I'm acting like a petulant child. I wanted to run 3K tomorrow morning and he told me no.  He also told me I couldn't run 5K on Sunday. He did tell me I could run 3K on Thursday, and could run 3K every other day for the next week and a half. Ok, I forgive him. At least he told me I could run.
  • I begin training for the Around the Bay 30K the week of November 25th.  I'm VERY excited.  This weekend I will work out my training schedule.  I need to buy another fridge calendar...
  • I am always super slow in adopting or understanding trends.  A few people have told me my hair was Ombre. Swear to God, I thought they meant hombre.  That's confusing right? Hombre is Spanish slang for man (ie: dude) and is English slang for homie or punk.  When I finally asked why my  hair was being called a punk, I was corrected that the actual word was Ombre.  Then I remembered seeing this a lot on Pinterest.  I just never knew what it meant.  Well, it means when the ends of your hair is lighter than the roots.  Apparently it was all the rage.  Now Cosmopolitan has declared the trend over. Harrumph!  Just when I get in the know, it's done.  Typical!  And just for the record, the only reason my hair is Ombre, is because I'm too broke/cheap to have it colored again. It was colored for the Steven and Chris Show at the end of last January which was FREE.  My hair will remain Ombre until it gets cut off.
  • I love Neil Young.  His voice makes me want to cry. And even though he's 25 years my senior and not a handsome man, I would marry him in a heartbeat. Looks aren't everything and I would make him sing to me all day long.  I still think he got robbed at the Oscars in 1993 when Bruce Springsteen won the Oscar for Streets of Philadelphia. Good song, but not as good as Neil's Philadelphia.  I'm gonna let that go now and just add that if I was married to Neil Young right now, I'd be living on a ranch in La Honda California baby!  And I wouldn't have Julien because I would be married in name only.  I think it's safe to say I'm really in love with Neil Young's voice. And this entire bullet is moot.  I would never give Julien up for anything!

The best photo I could find showing my Ombre hair.
I'm only Ombre by default!

  • I have not been drinking enough water over the past two days.  I feel bloated and it's so simple to get rid of the bloat.  Drink water!  Between the cheese and now the water? Sometimes it's like beating a dead horse.
  • I think I am becoming high maintenance.  Or my hair is anyway. I spend a good 30 minutes everyday drying and styling my hair.  And it's just straight.  You'd think I'd have elaborate hair-do's every day. Nope. The most elaborate I get is the sock bun. The sock bun made me think of the beehive. If it takes a sock to give a nice full bun, what in the name of Jehoshaphat did they use for the beehive? Ponder that.
  • So I spent $1000 on my car last week and another $500 on my husband's car this week.  That's $1500 to get them ready for the winter.  It's unfortunate that Julien will be unable to go to college.  But the good news is that I am financing the post-secondary educations of my mechanic's children.  Someone has to.
  • Welcome to my newest reader Cathy.  Thanks for your comment and I will check out the book you suggested - The Gifts of Imperfection. Best of luck to you on your journey!
  • Rosa asked me about my skin care regime.  She remembered from when I was on the Steven and Chris Show that Kristjan mentioned I had really good skin.  Sorry to disappoint Rosa, but my skin care regime is very simple.  Maybe too simple.  I have been blessed with good skin, and I reckon I have both of my mothers to thank for that. My birth mother for passing on such good genes to me, and my adoptive mother for instilling the importance of moisturizing daily from an early age.  I use the generic brand of Oil of Olay.  It's like $5 for a big bottle at Walmart.  I also wash my face every morning with a Dove bar soap. I do wear make-up, but I just use concealer (to hide blemishes), pressed powder, blush and mascara. I use Lypsyl on my lips unless I'm going out, then I'll apply color. All my make-up with the exception of the powder is Aveda because I got it for free from Kristjan.  I use Covergirl powder now because I ran out of the Aveda brand and Covergirl is cheaper.  I take my make-up off every night with a baby wipe. Pampers or Huggies, I don't discriminate and get what ever is on sale. That's it! Nothing fancy, no expensive products.  Just simple stuff.  Hope this helps!
  • Well, I'm off to bed hombres.  I leave you with the fifth video in the Anniversary Series entitled, You are Awesome. In this riveting segment, hubby realizes the astronomical feat he just performed by running a half marathon the week before and is bullied into saying he is awesome.  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The post about my 1st post injury run, lots of meat and morning hair

  • Today was a super special day for me.  This morning I geared up and donned my runners for the first time since September 4th (when I broke my ankle). To say I was a bit nervous is an understatement. I was extremely anxious.  This is likely why even though I was only going 1K, I procrastinated.  I was scared that a) my ankle would hurt and I'd have to stop right away, or b) my heart would give up because I haven't run in over two months.  I am thrilled to report that neither of those things ended up happening. My ankle did fine, and although it took a few minutes, my breathing was much better than I anticipated.
  • I did a couple of loops around my block.  I actually ended up running 1.5K and felt really good.  I wanted to go further, but knew that I couldn't push it. I was really surprised at how steady my breathing was. And my pace was much better than I had expected. My 7:K pace was not too shabby, and I think I could have kept it up if I went further.  I will run again on Tuesday morning.  Maybe I'll add another loop around the block!
  • I'm going to take it easy for the next couple of weeks distance wise.  But I do begin training for the Around the Bay 30K Road Race the week of the 25th.  EXCITED! I almost feel normal again...

It's felt like forever since I've been in running gear...

  • My shins and arms are sore.  This is not from running but from walking Finn the other day.  He's a fast walker and I walked a good 5K with him fairly briskly.  We were on my favorite running trail and we were completely alone.  I let him off leash and he easily ran another 5K around me.  He is super fast! Missed walking with my boy:)
  • I went grocery shopping yesterday. I never go on a Saturday, but really wanted to get it over with.  I bought a ton of meat.  Hubby and I eat a lot of meat and I try to keep our grocery bill down to $500 per month.  That's $125 per week for a family of 3 whose main staple is lean meat and fish.  It can be done but takes a lot of planning and price matching.  The bad news is I spent $200 on food yesterday. The good news is that I won't have to buy meat for a few weeks.  I also got a good deal on eggs which always makes me happy!
  • Tonight we're having pork tenderloin with pepper squash and cumin carrots. I still have a 10 pound bag of carrots I need to use up.  When I buy veggies, I get what's on sale for the week.  Although I like peppers, we haven't had any for a couple of weeks because they haven't been on sale.  This week's sales included squash, broccoli, mushrooms and onions.  The carrots were from last week.

Finn and I enjoying the fall weather.  It was flurrying during our walk.

  • Thanks to everyone for all their kind words about the G&M interview.  I'm not so pissed about Dr. Poon not getting a shout out anymore.  My good friend Steve pointed out that it doesn't always have to be a plug for the diet.  Although I believe in the diet 100% and would encourage anyone to give it a go, my message is to inspire, no matter what plan you follow.  You do not need to do Dr. Poon's diet to get your desired results.  You just need to follow an eating plan that you can sustain for the long haul.  
  • Last week my brother-in-law and I were having a heart to heart and he asked me if I was surprised that I have not gained any weight over the past nine weeks. You know that old saying that diet is 80% and exercise 20% of weight loss/maintenance?  100% true.  I guarantee you that the only way I have not gained weight is because I have stuck to the eating plan.  I also gained a lot of confidence as a maintainer.  I had put all my success as a maintainer on running.  I'm relieved to learn that I can maintain while not running.  I am super glad to be back to doing what I love though.
  • A big thank you to Gwen for giving me the kick in the pants I needed. You are absolutely right! I need to be a friend to myself. I am very critical of myself.  More so now than I was when I was heavy. I hope I am not striving for perfection, because we all know that does not exist! And perfection is overrated and boring.  Weird the way the mind works.  And just for the record, my short run this morning really boosted up my spirits.  I know it's just a matter of a month or so before I'll feel a difference in my body from running.  Can't wait!
  • I have zero patience for oppression in any form. That is all.

This is for Elin and depicts why I  MUST wash my hair every. single. day.
Yup, that's the beauty of me every morning:)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The post about the Globe and Mail, men lying across my legs and Clifton Hill

  • I am annoyed.  I am featured in the Globe and Mail (and will be in the Life section of Friday's paper). I figured my blog would not get a shout out, but I am extremely annoyed that they did not mention Dr. Poon's clinic by name.  I saw the edited version of the interview and requested that the clinic be named because it is covered by our universal health care system and is therefore free to attend.  That could have helped many, many people.  I just saw the article posted on Twitter and they did not make the changes I requested.  Harrumph!  You can read the article here.
  • I also lost 132 pounds from Williamsburg to maintenance and got my running mileage to 26k before breaking my ankle...but that's not as important as naming Dr. Poon's clinic!!!!!
  • I had my ankle popped at physio the other day.  It was quite a production.  First Graham tried to pop it while Matt held my legs down, then Matt tried to pop it while Graham held my legs down. Needless to say, it hurt like the devil.  But I have better range of motion today.  No pain, no gain.
  • I have been sleeping so badly for the past month or so. I don't mind waking up at 5am if I have something to do (ie: run).  I am up well before dawn every single day and I have no where to go.  This will come in handy in a couple more weeks when I'm running in the pre-dawn hours again.  But right now, it is just cruel of Mother Nature to wake me:( I'm only averaging 4 -5 hours of sleep a night.

  • The above video shows hubby and I heading towards Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls.  We also talk about how much money we're going to gamble at the Fallsview Casino later in the night.  Hubby is humiliated.
  • We likely had our last BBQ of the season today.  BBQ butterfly pork chops, mashed turnip and sauteed broccoli. Was super yummy.
  • Not feeling great about myself today.  Feeling pretty flabby and soft.  I suppose everyone feels like this once in a while.  I know that the brain takes a while to catch up with the body in regards to weight loss, but I'm tired of having a sucky self esteem.  It just shouldn't be this way.  I thank everyone for all their compliments.  You guys are awesome.  It makes me sad that I can't believe them...
  • And although I feel yucky today, this may not be the case tomorrow. I could feel like hot shit then. I have a bi-polar brain!  But at least I don't do crack...
  • Ugh! I got nothing else for you today.  Not feeling stellar and my stomach is acting up because, wait for it, I had cheese for lunch.  Will I never learn? Clearly not. I am a glutton for punishment.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The post about looking girly, running 1K and Christmas baking

  • So I made 23 video snippets while were away for 24 hours...that's not a very long time and I was definitely a bit camera happy. You get to see a snippet a post.  Lucky you. None of them are edited, although they should be.  They aren't too long.  Maybe a couple go over five minutes.  But even I have to admit, those are funny.  If you know me personally or have been reading me for a while, these may be more enjoyable for you.
  • In the video above, hubby and I discuss Nexus and the Canadian vs. American side of Niagara Falls. Just for the record, I love the US, but we definitely have more to do on our side of the Falls!
  • I was super busy at work yesterday.  I was in the office all day and was working pretty diligently, but by the time I left to head to physio, I felt like I got NOTHING done.  Hate days like that!
  • I wore a skirt to work yesterday.  I am so NOT girly.  I kept letting the skirt ride up to mid thigh while I was sitting down, forgot to cross my legs a lot and got a run in my tights.  Thank goodness I was wearing underwear yesterday!
  • When I get back from physio tonight, I have to start doing meal prep. I have lots of food lying around that needs to be prepared.  Stuff like beets, squash, turnips.  I`m having late nights until Friday.  Hubby`s not as talented in preparing these things and we need side dishes!  So I`ll be busy later.
Check me out in a skirt (actually a dress with a sweater over it). Michael is my official work
photographer and he always cracks me up!

  • At physio last night, Graham told me that I could do a short 1K run this weekend.  Just to try out the ankle.  I know it does't sound like much, but man do I ever need to run! Saying I'm a lot excited and anxious is an under statement.
  • I am nervous that I will feel pain when I run. I can`t be stupid about my running comeback.  I need to really listen to my body and if it doesn't feel right, I have to stop. I just hope and pray it feels right...
  • I can't believe it's already November and Christmas is just around the corner.  I give out baked stuff for gifts and like to have stuff on hand for guests.  Julien loves to bake with me, so we need to start getting busy!  My freezer's going to get full!
  • I am officially sick of eating out. I ate out all weekend, and have eaten out a couple times this week.  I have two more dinner meetings planned.  Nothing beats home made meals. 
  • This is a short post because nothing major happened over the past couple of days. Except that I have to have a ton of work done on my shit box of a car and hubby needs new brakes. I also hate having cars. They are a money burner! If I didn't have to have one, I wouldn't. That would save me a substantial amount of money every month. And sweet Lord, we have two! Good day all!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The post about a happy anniversary, spending an obscene amount of money and mourning my marathon

  • I dare you to listen to the video above and not be completely annoyed by my voice.  I swear to God that I am not normally an up-talker. Although interesting piece of information.  When looking up "up-talker" in the Urban Dictionary, it says that it is common among people who work for non-profit organizations.  Hmmmmmm, I work for a non-profit organization.  Coincidence?
  • This is going to be a very picture heavy post.  Hubby and I spent the night away from Julien for the first time EVER!  Gasp!  I think we all did very well. Julien got to spend quality time with his Uncle Ross, and hubby and I got to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in luxury!
  • Just after I broke my ankle, I also won second prize in the Bright Run raffle.  The prize consisted of a $750 gift card for Vintages Hotels and use of a 2013 Lexus for the weekend.  Hubby and I decided to stay at the Prince Of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The gift card could be used for accommodation, as well as dining and spa treatments.  We opted out of the spa treatments, but did indulge in dining.  There are three Vintages properties in Niagara-on-the-Lake, so we had a lunch at Prince of Wales, dinner at the Pillar and Post, and breakfast at the Queen's Landing.  
  • Even though hubby did not follow my lead, I was able to stick to Paleo during the weekend.  The only things I ate off off plan were ketchup on my burger, dressing on my salad and cheese with  my breakfast.  I swear to God, I never learn with the cheese! But it was the little red creamy cheeses that I love.  It was worth the stomach issues this afternoon.

Top left: On our way to get the Lexus.
Right: At the dealership.
Bottom left: Hubby was like a kid in a candy store.

  • We left yesterday morning and headed out to the Lexus dealership in St. Catherine's where we were given a 2013 Lexus car to drive.  Don't ask me what make it was, I have no idea.  I really didn't pay attention.  This was hubby's treat.  I didn't care about driving the Lexus until we pulled into the Prince of Wales.  Then we looked like we fit in.  That was one parking lot full of Lexus!
  • Once we got to Niagara-on-the-Lake, we headed to the Prince of Wales and had lunch in the lounge.  Very nice establishment.  Way too nice for the likes of us.  I felt like we were the Clampetts pulling into Beverly Hills.  All these little touches I'm not used to. Linen napkins. Tiny personal ketchup and mustard bottles from Heinz. Real important stuff.
  • After we had lunch, we drove along the Niagara River all the way to Fort Erie.  Check in time wasn't until 3 pm and we had a couple of hours to kill.  So we drove along the same route that hubby ran his half marathon last weekend.  It's the partial route that I ran my half back in June as well with Carol. You don't really know how far a distance truly is until you drive it. All I gotta say is 21.1K is far. 

Top left: The pretty sinks in the lounge bathroom.
Top center: My lunch. Bun less burger with sweet potato fries.
Top right: We checked in!
Bottom left: The gigantic bathroom (I love that hubby's checking his phone).
Bottom right: Our very pretty bed.

  • The room we got was awesome.  We got a premium room which meant it had a sitting area, a king sized bed and a Jacuzzi bathtub.  It was really lovely.  The only problem I had was that the bed was waaaaaay too soft for me.  My bed at home is pretty firm and I like it like that.  I felt like I was lying in a cloud when I was lying on that bed.  I didn't sleep very well to say the least.
  • After we checked in we walked through the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and looked through all the little shops.  We were just there in August with my dad, but it's a different experience when you're with a senior and a 5 year old.  This trip was much more relaxed and leisurely.  I tried on lots of stuff I could never afford to buy and we had fun.  
  • We were sitting in a coffee shop shooting the shit when I asked what time it was. Hubby tells me it's 4:45 pm. I literally ran back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  We had a reservation at 5:30 and I still needed to get dressed.  The good news is that I ran with motorcycle boots on and I felt no pain in my ankle.  The other good news is that I was able to get ready in 15 minutes.  The other good news is that we made the reservation with minutes to spare.  The other good news is that dinner was delicious. The bad news was, well there really wasn't any bad news. 

Hat shopping.

  • After dinner, we headed out to the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls.  We already made a plan that we weren't going to spend more than $40 on gambling.  Because really, we're just throwing our money away. And trust me, I have absolutely no extra money lying around.
  • Before we headed into the casino, we looked through the shops and I tried on a bunch of leather coats that I'd never be able to afford in this life time.  It seemed so bizarre to me that I could walk into these high end stores, and try on a medium size anything and it fit me like a glove. Two years ago, I would not have had the guts to get dressed up and go out for a swanky dinner and casino night out. I would have NEVER set foot in any of those shops. I have good days and bad days in regards to my self esteem. This was definitely a good weekend for me.
  • So hubby and I ended up spending $50 at the casino.  We did get a Players Advantage Card and that enabled us to get free parking and a free show.  I have to call the number on the back of the card to see what shows we are eligible for, but I'm certain it's going to be some kind of local tribute band. Awesome! It's free, and I always say, beggars can't be choosers.

Left: Gotter done in 15 minutes.
Top centre: At the Pillar and Post (and yes those are Xmas decorations).
Top right: My awesome starter, beef tenderloin and spinach salad.
Bottom center and right: At the casino.

  • I was beat when we got back to the room.  And I could hear everything going on around us.  Our room was right beside a courtyard where all the smokers go, so we had to listen to their conversations.  I was stoked because it was daylight savings time and it could mean an extra hour of sleep.  Instead I woke up at 4:15am.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I tossed and turned for a couple of hours before giving in and finally getting up to have a Jacuzzi bath.  
  • Yeah, that's right. I had no consideration for my husband and turned on the tub jets while he slept close by.  Oh well.  I had to try it out.  It was pretty decent.  Only problem was that I added waaaaay too much bubble bath.  There were tons and tons and tons of bubbles.  If they didn't go into clean the room up after we left, I could guarantee you that there would still be bubbles in that tub.  These things should come with instructions!
  • I used the hotel blow dryer to dry my hair.  Only problem was that it was either too high, or too low. The high setting felt like my face was gonna get blown off.  The low setting felt like nothing was happening.  They needed a medium damn it! My hair dried in record time, but didn't look as smooth as usual.  Sort of wind blown.

Left: Turn down service.  Nice touch.
Right: All cleaned up and in a swanky robe!

  • This morning we headed over to the Queen's Landing for their breakfast buffet.  It was just what I needed because I was famished.  I ate lots and lots of eggs, bacon, sausage and fresh fruit.  I also drank some pretty awesome coffee.  Did I mention that hubby ate what ever he wanted this weekend...again?  I'll give him a pass.  It was a special occasion.
  • After breakfast, we headed back to the Prince of Wales to check out.  Our grand total for less than 24 hours was...$595.00.  Whoa! That seems like an obscene amount of money to me.  But it was a fun weekend and definitely a once in lifetime opportunity for us.  It's doubtful I'll ever win such an awesome prize again!
  • We dropped of the Lexus in St. Catherine's before heading home in my shit box of a car.  Hubby had a hard time saying good-bye (to the Lexus).  As we drove into Hamilton, I saw the Road2Hope Marathon going on.  A twinge of regret stabbed my heart.  That was supposed to be my marathon.  I know there will always be next year.  But I still wanted this one now.  

Top left: Outside the hotel.
Top center: In a teepee.
Top right: Behaving badly at the Queen's Landing.
Center left: Breakfast!
Center right: Hubby and his Lexus.
Bottom: The Prince of Wales.