Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The post about a very happy New Year!

My main goal for 2014 even though I didn't write it down? To stay within
5 pounds of my current weight of 157 pounds. And I'm 5'7" in case anyone
is wondering! Dreams really can come true...if you work hard for them:)

  • So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year's over. And a new one's just begun! Sing it John (Lennon)! What have I done this past year? Well, let's recap shall we?
  1. I started the year out at my "goal" weight of 165 pounds. Just in case you're curious, I started 2012 at a weight of 250 pounds.
  2. In March 2013, I ran my first 1/2 marathon with a finishing time of 2:19:47. I was aiming for the sub 2:15 half, but had to abandon that dream at the 14K point when my toes cramped so badly that I had to walk for about a half a kilometer before I could run again.
  3. On March 9th 2013, I celebrated my 1 year runniversary:)
  4. At the end of March, hubby and I ran the Around the Bay 30K as a 2-person relay. His furthest distance to date, and I ran all the hills on the back half!
  5. In the spring of 2013, I taught my 3rd running clinic at the Running Room. The 10K clinic with some really awesome people!
  6. In the spring of 2013, I started to eat strictly, The Paleo Diet for Athletes. It changed my life. That is all.
  7. On June 2nd, I ran my 2nd half marathon in Niagara Falls, Ontario with a finishing time of 2:22:35. I ran with my running mentor Carol and tried for the sub 2:15 half again, but had to abandon it when my toes cramped at the 15K mark. We did a lot more walking than running after that.
  8. After the Niagara Falls Women's half, I began training for my 1st marathon and coached hubby to train for his first half marathon. Exciting times!!!!!
  9. On September 4th, I broke my right ankle:( Womp, womp, womp...I spent six weeks in a cast and freaked out! I was convinced that I would gain weight during the 10 weeks I had to take off from running! I didn't gain weight, and actually managed to lose a few pounds, but that was only due to SEVERE diligence. I did lose muscle mass though.
  10. In October, I was diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma which explained the crampy toes and pain during long runs. Womp, womp, womp:(
  11. I began running again in November...and for the first time in my life, I lost weight without even trying to! Never thought I would see the 150's ever...but here I am sitting at 157. Running again kick started my metabolism:)
  12. Had to say goodbye to my beautiful boy Finn at the end of November. The hardest thing I had to contend with this year for sure. I still miss him and I think of him every single day. He has a piece of my heart forever:(
  13. I began training for the Around the Bay 30K a few weeks ago. Hubby and I are going to run the entire distance together. Our furthest distance to date.
  14. I begin 2014 at my lowest adult weight ever. I'm sitting at 157, and I'm good as long as I stay that weight within a 5 pound radius (I tend to gain weight when I'm training hard due to water retention). And I just realized, that I am FINALLY considered a healthy BMI (even though BMI is a crock of shit if you ask me). Can I get my certificate now Dr. Poon??????
  • Wishing you and yours a very healthy and happy New Year! Cheers! And remember...it's just one day, and it's just food. Don't do anything you'll regret in the morning! And BE SAFE!!!!!!!!

My late Christmas gift to myself. My all leather Steve Madden
boots from Value Village in near mint condition for (drum roll
please)...$14.99!!! Those are 4.25 inch heels!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The post about another Christmas dinner, my 2014 goals and a couple of good runs

Batman (he's hot), Jules and me!

  • I'm not gonna lie. I don't feel like blogging right now. So don't be too disappointed if you get a half assed post. I can't promise you humor or wit, just the cold hard truth.
  • I am tired of putting more into relationships than I get back. I have my regular (mostly long term) friends that have been there with me for the long haul, and they are the only ones I can really count on. I am a huge fool because I can't blame anyone but myself. I need to stop being so accessible to others and let them work for me for a change. Why I feel the need to bend over backwards for people when I get nothing in return is beyond me. Just goes back to my many insecurities that are still a HUGE issue for me.
  • Yesterday I hosted my family's Christmas dinner. I made a kick ass pork loin, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad...and cake. I didn't eat the cake, but my family did. And that's okay! I don't need or want cake:)
  • I have thought about my goals for 2014. I don't make resolutions, because they don't work. But my goals are something I can always strive towards. Even if I don't complete them this year, they are a constant reminder of what I'm working towards. So here goes...in no particular order!
  1. To complete a 30K race and at least two more half marathons.
  2. To lead another running clinic with the Running Room.
  3. To continue to eat Paleo following the 85/15 rule (85% strict, 15% other)
  4. To join the gym in the spring and work at firming and toning.
  5. To train properly and try to stay out of physio for as long as I can:)
  6. To treat myself to vacation (that includes a destination race)...by myself!

My best post broken ankle pace to date! And it makes me sad that I have
to retire my Adidas very soon...like 50K ago:(

  • Yesterday I ran a 5k tempo run. I ran as fast as my legs would take me up and over a few hills and I ran the best pace I have in a real long time. I felt good and tired at the end so I know I pushed myself. But that is okay. I did it and I felt great because now I know I can do this. Gave me some much needed confidence.
  • Today's run was my LSD (long slow distance). I ran it at a 7:00/km pace which I think is pretty admirable considering I had a lot of black ice to contend with. It was mild out, but the puddles were deceiving.  There was ice under the water and there were some very slippery spots that I had to gingerly walk through. I almost wiped out at one point. All things considered, I still made pretty good time.  Mostly because when there was dry pavement, I booked it!
  • Tomorrow is a rest day, and I am going to sleep in. I have slept in for the past couple of days. Six-thirty one day, and 7:45 this morning!  Wha? Yup, I slept till 7:45...that feels like a HUGE accomplishment for me!

Today's LSD...in front of the fountain at Gore Park.

  • I am really missing my beautiful boy Finn today...and yesterday...and the day before that:(
  • I spent a while at the laundromat today. I miss having a working washer. The change girl Sue followed me around and kept me company. That is all.
  • Here is the 17th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos. This one is called The Lexus. It's the morning after our anniversary night and Hubby and I discuss how the Lexus was the "star of the show". Although he hints to maybe getting a Lexus one day, I point out that he will never, ever own one. Not in a million years. Just say'in!!!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The post about an ice storm, a four day running streak and a Merry Christmas

Girly and festive in the same day! A big step for me!

  • It has been a while since my last post, and I have been busy! On Monday, I worked. I had a client that I was seeing in Toronto. We had the ice storm on Sunday, but Hamilton did not get it nearly as bad as Toronto.  Specifically Scarborough. Even today, there are still 50,000+ homes without power. It is like a war zone with all the fallen trees and impassable streets. And I didn't plan my trip very well. I should have gotten gas before leaving Hamilton for the day. Instead I was hard pressed to find a gas station open.  Then when I found one, I had to wait 20 minutes for gas, and was only allowed $20 worth. That was due to the severe power outages. My father and my in-laws were affected. They both live in Scarborough. They did regain their power Monday night, but had lost power for 36 hours. There are others who have gone 120+ hours without power. Over Christmas. Can you imagine? And here I was all disgruntled because the Walmart I was shopping at on Sunday night lost power and I had to abandon my shopping cart mid-shop.  What a tool I am!
  • On Monday I dressed as festive as I could muster up. I was having a Christmas breakfast with one client, and a Christmas lunch with another. I wore a black skirt and sweater with burgundy tights and black riding boots! That is completely risque for me and I questioned my outfit choice all day. And it was colder in Toronto than I anticipated. Maybe I should have just gone with an ugly holiday sweater...
  • Christmas Eve was a different day for me for sure. It was very quiet and low-key at home. Just the three of us.  If my mother was still alive, I would have been at her house having Polish Christmas. This is the second year in a row that I have not acknowledged Polish Christmas. I feel bad about that because it was my Christmas Eve tradition for 41 years. Something that always makes me sad is that Julien never got to experience Christmas Mee Mee (what her grandchildren called her) style.
  • I am likely the only Ojibway from the Serpent River First Nation who can make kick ass perogies and cabbage rolls. Just say'in....
  • Christmas was my mother's holiday. She went all out on Christmas and spoiled all of us with food and gifts. Although my in-laws give me a token gift every year, and my dad usually gives me chocolate (which I re-gift shhhh), I haven't really gotten any gifts since my mom passed away. Gifts are not that big a deal for me and I'm definitely a better giver than I am a receiver. But she always got me stuff that she knew I would love because she knew me so well. Christmas is always a hard time for me. I miss my mother, my birth mother (I saw her on Boxing Day 2 years ago, before she passed away the following Halloween) and of course, Finn this year. A very melancholy Christmas for me.
  • I got an awesome Christmas day run in. I ran 5K and did my best post broken ankle pace to date. I ran a 6:35K on Wednesday morning. That is a HUGE improvement for me and almost takes me back to where I was before I broke my ankle. Most importantly? I felt great during that run and couldn't have given myself a better Christmas gift!

My letter to Santa!!!!

  • Christmas morning I woke up at 5am. I went to bed pretty late.  It was 1am to be exact by the time I finished all my wrapping and Christmas day prep.  But I still woke up at 5am. I made my way to my couch and hung out with Baby (my cat) until Julien got up at 7:30am!!!!! Can you believe he slept in so late on Christmas morning?  Hubby was happy for sure. We watched Jules open his gifts and go through his stocking, then we had to rush through the rest of the morning because we had to head out for our runs (5k each for hubby and I...but not together), get showered, dressed and head out to Scarborough for Christmas lunch with my in-laws. We spent 5 hours there before heading to my girlfriend Nokomis's house for a late turkey dinner. 
  • Man it was a fun time at Nokomis's house. A house full of musicians and all the Christmas carols you can sing! Julien complained the whole way there because there was not going to "be even one toy or kid"! I could barely get him to leave before 10pm. He loved it! They let him play tambourine and he was so proud to be part of the "band". Miguel got some video. I'll ask if he will share:)
  • My eating on Christmas day? It was a lot. I ate a lot. But I stuck to the Paleo template. At my in-laws I ate chicken, veal, rapini, salad and peas (now the peas are on the fence about being Paleo or not). As a rule I do not eat peas in my regular life, but threw caution to the wind, and ate them at my in-laws. I love the way those peas are done...with garlic, olive oil and mushrooms. Yum! At Nokomis's house I ate turkey, ham, salad, carrots and yams. All Paleo acceptable dishes...and I ate nuts. A lot of nuts:( That and the wine were definitely my indulgences for the day! I do not feel bad at all. I'm wearing my size 8 skinny jeans today, and they are still loose on me:)
  • I had an awesome run this morning. A slower pace than yesterday, but we also got a few centimeters of newly fallen snow. So it was a slow run for about 2K, before I could move it on the road where I had much better traction.  Then I picked up the pace and finished with an admirable 6:49/K. I'm feeling good right now if I can keep my pace below a 7min. kilometer.  I'm hoping to kick it up a notch in about another week or so!

I am almost back to my old running self. That is VERY exciting for me!!!

  • I have run four days in a row, and I feel good! I didn't run Sunday on account of the ice storm, but did run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today. My ankle is fine which makes me super happy. No pain, no discomfort. No nothing!!!!! Tomorrow is my rest day. And I'm definitely going to try and sleep in.
  • Karen and Kelly were wondering what I do with all the cookies I bake at Christmas time. They do not stay in my house long. They are given as gifts. I have already given cookie gifts to my massage therapist, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and Nokomis. I have still to give to my physiotherapist, brother and some neighbours. I haven't done my rounds yet this year.  But honestly? They have been in Tupperware containers on my fridge for a week now, and I swear on the baby Jesus that the nuts in my pantry are more of a temptation. That's what happens when you give up grains and refined sugar for two years...you don't crave them anymore!
  • I had a weird dream last night about Paul McCartney. Now he is not my favorite Beatle. But apparently I wrote a couple of Christmas songs that he was really interested in and wanted to purchase off of me for a HUGE amount of money. Yes please!
  • I have not yet seen my family for Christmas. That will happen on Saturday. I'm making pork roast, sweet potatoes, turnip and something else...with salad of course!  I'll have Christmas cookies and coffee for dessert. You know,Christmas is really about spending time together. Julien knows that gift giving is over. I hope no one proves me wrong because I told him not to expect anything else this year...FYI if you're reading this:)  He's good!!!!
Super Smash Brothers? 14A? Yeah, hubby did Xmas shopping
this year. Womp, womp, womp:(

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The post about a slouchy beanie, a hangover and The Running Man

Still ran in the dark on a Saturday!

  • Friday was a shit day! I drove from Hamilton to Brantford to Toronto to Brantford to Hamilton. I left my house at 8:15 am and didn't get back home until after 7 pm. It was only about a 320K drive, but it was done in lots and lots of rain and freezing rain. Very slow driving conditions to say the least!  The good news is that my client and I made it home safe and sound! 
  • Weird temperatures on Friday. It went from being frigidly cold, to +2C. I actually wore my biker ensemble...something I didn't think would see the light of day again until spring. Even though the temperatures were milder, I was still cold. Damp and wet means chilled to the bone.
  • On Saturday morning I got up early to run because I had a massage booked for 9am. I also knew that we were expecting an ice storm on Sunday, so I switched my long run day to Saturday. I ran 9K at 6:30 am. This was my furthest distance post broken ankle. 
  • I haven't seen Mark in three weeks. He told me that he noticed an improved difference in my muscle definition and could also tell that I had lost weight. He told me I looked really good, which is a total confidence booster for me because he sees parts of me sans clothing. And I completely lack confidence without clothes:) And he told me six weeks ago that he could tell that I was losing muscle definition.  So at least I know that the running is improving things once again!  Thank you Mark for making me feel a little better about myself.  And thanks to Sharon (his wife) for making me a slouchy beanie. Look at me all trendy!
  • Yesterday, Julien and I spent the day Christmas baking. We made and decorated a ton of sugar cookies, and also made chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. Hubby was my tester. And surprise, surprise! Julien ate a sugar cookie. I think he forced it down, but he ate it. He does not like sweets...

Left: The slouchy beanie that Mark's wife made me...
Right: Wearing the biker ensemble on Friday. I can't believe that my legs are
getting leaner, they look thick in that photo!

  • Last night was my girlfriend Elin's annual Christmas tree ornament party. Elin reminded me that it was actually her and I that started the party back in 1989 when we lived together in Trenton.  This year marked the 24th year of the party! That makes me feel real old! I was 19 in 1989...
  • I drank a bit too much last night and am nursing a slight hang over. Man I do not like this feeling. Note to self, you cannot handle more than 2 glasses of wine! The four I had was a bit much. My stomach is off.  The headache has subsided, but it totally wasn't worth it. I didn't eat anything off plan...but drank too much wine for sure! I cannot drink like I used to.  And I had a shot of something...which was done out of peer pressure. I'm way too old to give into peer pressure.
  • Last night my husband and I had a Running Man competition. I did The Running Man for 10 minutes, or 3 songs, and he managed for 2 songs before he questioned whether or not it was good for his ankle. WTF? I'm the one who broke my ankle 3.5 months ago! 
  • We have had an ice storm here in Southern Ontario. There is a sheet of ice covering the sidewalks and roads. I am being forced to take a rest day today because I cannot run on ice! I do not have a treadmill, so I will have to do The Running Man later:) It's all good. It's fun, effective cardio, and I get to crank the 80's music. Julien will have a blast and I'll get to go back to high school for a bit! I may be old, but I'm young at heart:)
  • I have no other videos to show you right now, because they need to be uploaded onto YouTube still! Maybe by my next post...because I know you all want to know what happens on the Sunday after our anniversary!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The post about maybe getting sick again, trimming the tree and joining the gym

My silly kid in front of his master piece!

  • What to say, what to say! Well for starters, my jaw is sore. Not sure what that's all about. My throat is sore as well. Not sure if one thing has anything to do with the other. I've been feeling a bit run down. My sleeping is deplorable as I operate on about 4 hours of sleep every day. I'm hoping to catch up on sleep this weekend. I'm amazed I can run at 5 in the morning on so little sleep. My gf Linda told me that I look tired and I do have pretty huge bags under my eyes. Tomorrow is a rest day and I am going to make myself stay in bed until 6am. Even if I just lie there...
  • We finally trimmed the tree last night. Julien was super excited and insisted we do it as a family. Hubby wasn't interested at first, but he finally relented and we trimmed the tree together. A nice family moment and Julien was happy. Thank goodness for the Yuletide Fireplace on cable. Our gas fireplace had the ignition wire chewed last winter, and we haven't had the money to get it fixed yet. A fireplace just adds that extra touch of coziness!
  • My pace is getting better. Even though I was still running on slippery/packed snow for my last three runs, I'm getting more sure of my footing. I ran just over a 7 minute kilometer today. A huge improvement from Sunday's 8:06/K.  I noticed when I came in from work tonight that the sidewalks cleared up today. The temperatures were milder and the packed snow melted. Would make for an awesome run on Saturday...but we're expecting freezing rain all weekend:(
  • My pace is getting better and I keep getting smaller. Dropped another pound. I'm at 157 as of this morning. Again, not sure why this is happening. Nothing much has changed with my eating. I'm even eating more stuff than I was during the broken ankle fiasco. I'm eating fruit and nuts and sweet potatoes. The only thing I can think of is that the cardio from running has kick started my metabolism again. I'm not going to complain, but who would have ever thought that I would lose weight without even trying!
  • So the weight loss has led to my stomach getting flabby. It usually firms up on it's own in time, and with running. You use 4 stomach muscles when you run. I think that is why I have been so lucky with my abdominal area after my weight loss. However, I do need to work on strengthening and I'd like to get as firm as I can. So after I finish running the Around the Bay 30K in March, I'm joining a gym. I hate the gym. The gym I'm looking at has a $129.00 joining fee, and then costs $10 per month with no contract.  You can quit anytime. I can handle that! It also includes group classes like Yoga and Pilates. And is going to be open 24 hours so I can totally head to the gym when I get up at 4am! I just need someone to show me what to do. All those big machines? I'll need adult supervision for sure!
  • I'm off work from the 24th of December, until the 2nd of January.  I guess I'm looking forward to the break. I feel like I just got back to work after breaking my ankle though. I'm not going to complain. I can run in daylight for a week and a half!
  • My husband is a lucky man and should know that, or so says the man who followed me into Dollarama today. He followed me from the parking lot, even though he was walking in the opposite direction of the store when I got out of my car. He was behind me in the Christmas isle, and told me in a Barry White voice that I was very beautiful, then asked if I was married. I flashed him my ring, never once turning around, and he said my husband was a very lucky man. Now how does he know that? I could be crazier than a shit house rat! And did he really think I would run off with him? I was in a pretty sketchy area of Scarborough (aka the Hood). And I totally looked like I was out of my element with my red Danier leather coat and Kenneth Cole bag (both purchased from Value Village I might add for next to nothing). I was a bit anxious about leaving the store because he knew which car was mine. But he was gone when I left. This has never happened to me before, and I don't like the way it made me feel...
  • I am done my Christmas shopping for Julien. I just have a couple of gift cards to get on Monday, when I'm back in Scarborough, and I am done!  This weekend is going to be a baking weekend. Julien's excited to make cookies for Santa and I'm making some for gifts too. Along with Paleo muffins for my supervisor!
  • The 16th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos finds hubby and I back in the car and heading to the Fallsview Casino for a night of gambling and debauchery. Okay, so we just gambled a little (because we only spent $50), and there was actually no debauchery...Sorry Irene;) It's called Corkage fee.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The post about running in a snow storm, running after a snow storm, and visiting the orthopedic surgeon

My very slow LSD this past Sunday.

  • This past weekend we got a storm system from the States that left us with a bunch of snow and frigid temperatures.
  • It was a tough weekend for running. Saturday's run was done during the snow storm. I ran 4K in -15C temperatures with blowing and drifting snow. I saw one other runner out. It was pretty treacherous to say the least, but I had to run. Gotta stick to the training schedule. There weren't a lot of cars or people out during the storm. It was after 9am by the time I ran. I ran by a dude at the bus stop who yelled "I have to be out here, what's your excuse?" I turned and yelled back, "I don't have to be out here, what's your excuse?" Smart ass reply, and he likely thought I was crazy. And maybe I am, maybe I am.
  • Saturday afternoon I deserved my wine date with Elin. I ran through a freaking snow storm!!!!
  • Sunday was the fun run. I ran 7K through the streets of downtown Hamilton. It was lovely, with a foot of newly fallen snow that hadn't been cleared yet. So I ran through deep snow, over snow banks and ran on the road as much as could. Even that was tricky though because even though the plow had been by, the snow was packed down hard and it was super slippery. My pace on Sunday was over 8min/k. I ran a similar pace last winter with my half marathon clinic after a snow storm. It's tough to run through snow. And I was a bit sore on Sunday and Monday. I was using muscles I don't normally use for running.
  • Even this morning's run was tricky. It snowed...AGAIN! It was real pretty though. Very quiet and peaceful at 5:15 when I left the house to run. But also very slippery and slow. I am not going to complain about having to run in this weather. At least I can run...and I get to classify myself as bad ass and hardcore. 
  • On Sunday we finally dug ourselves out and headed out to Ikea to purchase our $20 Christmas tree. They are all bound up when you get them, so we had no idea what it looked like. It turned out to be quite nice. Much shorter than what I normally get, but I can live with it. It's nice and full!
  • I did manage to get the house decorations up on Sunday. And I had to go to the laundromat because my washer finally bit the dust. I cannot get it to work anymore, and I'm okay with that. I'm sure it's from the 80's. It's about time we got a new one.
  • This evening was Julien's Christmas concert at school. The little kids were adorable as always. Julien did an admirable job singing Frosty the Snowman. The bigger kids? Well lets just say, there really isn't a singer or a dancer among the group. But they do get an "A" for effort.

This is what I did tonight. Lay on the couch with Baby while watching Ellen
and willing my Christmas tree to trim itself. It didn't work:( I promised Julien
that we will decorate the tree tomorrow.

  • Diana sent me a private message and asked me my daily eating habits. Well Diana, I eat Paleo. And since I am training again, I will follow the Paleo Diet for Athletes once my mileage increases. It's basically the same as the Paleo Diet, but there are no limits on amounts of foods. Except nuts. There always has to be limits on nuts. Especially for me. And it focuses more on how to eat during training instead of everyday. Paleo is a very basic diet. It's protein (meat, fish, eggs), vegetables (no white potatoes), fresh fruit and nuts that can be eaten raw. That's it. No dairy, no refined sugar, no processed carbs, no legumes, no processed foods. I'd have to say that protein is my main staple, then vegetables, then fruit, then nuts. I keep fruit to 1-2 servings a day and nuts to 1 serving a day. The meat and veggies, I don't measure. I eat until I'm satisfied. I drink water and coffee daily, and red wine on the weekends. If you're wondering what I eat for each meal, I always have hard boiled eggs for breakfast with a piece of fruit. Chicken and veggies for lunch and whatever my husband makes for dinner. But it's always meat and more veggies. And I usually have two snacks during the day. One of either fruit or raw veggies, and one snack of nuts. It's real basic and some people may argue boring, but it works for me! Hope this answers your question.
  • Today I went to see the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Catre. Very nice man. First off, he looked at the medical history I filled out and said, "I am looking at you right now, and I cannot believe that you ever weighed 300 pounds". And I said, "Well believe it Dr. Catre. In August 2011, I weighed 297 pounds". He told me I looked fit and he could tell I was an athlete right away from my body shape. Then we started to talk shop. First he confirmed the diagnosis of Morton's Neuroma. Dr. Catre is not just an orthopedic surgeon, he also specializes in sports medicine. We talked about my feet. He played with my feet (ewwwww). We talked about my feet some more. I was a bit freaked out because I thought he was going to tell me that I couldn't run anymore. I told him I had to run and he said he understood completely. He said he used to be a runner until he destroyed his knee, so he totally got where I was coming from. 
  • Surgery was off the table right away.  He told me that there was no guarantee the surgery would work, and it could prevent me from running.  We talked about steroid injections, and he said that it could help to shrink the neuroma but it would also eat away at the fat cells on the soles of my feet, and once those were gone, I wouldn't be running anymore. So that option was out. We talked about orthotics and I told him about my $600.00 orthotics that have been adjusted 6 times and still do nothing for me. He suggested that I bring them back to the chiropodist that I got them from with all the imaging I have (x-rays, ultrasound, MRI), and see if they can do something very custom for me. The best advice he gave me? To keep on running and continue to work on my running form. That is where I have had the most success. He said that I will become a stronger runner and will be able to run longer distances without getting fatigued later in my runs.  That is how I will be able to run pain-free. Once I condition myself to comfortably run the 1/2 marathon, then I move onto 30K, then move onto the marathon. So this means that I may not be able to run a marathon for a couple of years, but that's okay. Makes total sense! And he agreed that I have to try to run at least one marathon. Loved meeting him. He gave me some hope and made me feel like a bad ass athlete.
  • The 15th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos. This one is called Nice Touches and the Girl... Irene mentioned from my last post that she hoped that since hubby and I were out of the car and in the room, that this installment wouldn't show "literature".  Bahahahahahahahaha! No chance Irene! No one needs to see that and I wouldn't want to make you all blind;)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The post about my impromptu blogging hiatus, maintenance and freezing my ass off

  • So this week I went on a bit of a blogging hiatus. It wasn't planned, but I just felt like I needed a bit of a break because I really didn't have much to say. Thanks to Gwen for checking in with me. I am doing fine. Just busy with work and missing loved ones that are gone away. It's that time of year, but as sad as I get sometimes, I am thankful for everyone I have in my life that cares about me!
  • What a work week! I had some difficult clients to contend with this week. As hard as that can be sometimes, I can't ever get angry at them. Some have severe limitations and their behavior is not their fault. Makes me very happy that I never drank a drop of alcohol while I was pregnant with my son. Just say'in...
  • I have started to eat a bit more. I'm still holding steady at 158 pounds. Maybe my weight won't go up again until I start running further distances? Either way, I'm good as long as I stay below 165 and fit comfortably into my size 8 skinny jeans. I was considering getting myself down to 155 pounds. Then I'd truly be half my highest recorded weight...but that's not really that important to me. It's more about how I feel and how my clothes fit than a number on the scale. 

Do not even get me started on  my choice of hair style in the top left photo!
Top (r) is my most recent full body shot taken 2 days ago. Don't want to know what's on the mirror...

  • So December 13th marked my one year of maintaining my weight within a ten pound range. I weighed 167.5 on that day, and up until recently, I have maintained that weight within 5 pounds give or take and totally dependent on whether or not I was training. Right now I sit at my lowest adult weight. And I'm not sure why. I have not tried to lose weight. Who knew that there would be a time in my life where I would not have to try and lose weight? I never fathomed that in my wildest dreams!
  • I found a couple of before photos of me on a friend's Facebook page. My husband asked how I feel when I look at those photos. It seems like a distant memory. Although I'll never forget what it felt like to weigh 300 pounds, I kinda can't recall the specific struggles except to say that I always felt like shit, was constantly sweaty, and breathed really hard. Now I feel great, am constantly cold, and still breathe hard...but only when I run!
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will never go back to my before picture. And although I have lost and gained weight in the past, I know what I need to do this this time around to maintain.  Losing weight is hard for sure, but maintaining takes that extra bit of commitment. When I was losing, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that my "diet" was only temporary. That once I got to goal, I'd get to enjoy my favorite foods again. That way of thinking is exactly why I gained back 100+ pounds after getting down to 185 fifteen years ago.  I needed to get real with the eating. And I know and accept that eating clean (Paleo) is my lifestyle. It is not a diet. Because diets suggest a beginning and an end, and this is for life. And I'm okay with that. And somewhat relieved because weight maintenance is no longer a mystery to me!

It was -20C, but I still managed to get my sweat on!

  • This week was not an easy running week for sure. I thought I was real bad ass on Wednesday because it was -15C (5F) when I went out for my run, but Thursday blew that temperature away. I had to run at 5am because I had to have a client in court for 10am in downtown Toronto, and I had to collect them from Scarborough first. I had to leave my house before 7am. Thursday's run was bitterly cold. Minus 20C (-4F) with the windchill. It was a short run, but man did I freeze my ass off! Literally. I never got warm the entire run, but did pick up my pace a bit from runs earlier in the week. Only because I wanted to get home as soon as possible.
  • I am struggling with runs lately. I need to give myself a break. I'm just coming off of an injury, and I need to remember that. But my pace is back to where it was over a year ago. Part of that has to do with me not being confident enough to push myself hard yet. In the back of my mind, I'm scared that my ankle will start hurting and I'll re-injure it. I'm gonna give myself another month of easy running, then I'm going to step it up a notch!
  • I almost forgot that I had a awkward story to share. So I'm sitting in Swiss Chalet (rotisserie chicken restaurant) with a client. He's a sweet young man. Very polite and a kind soul. He has some limitations. I have been working with him for 2+ years. There is a high school class having a Christmas lunch in a section over from us. When we get seated, I notice that one of the teachers is staring at me. A lot. And some of the teenage boys walk by our table to go to the rest room and stare as well. Normally, I would completely ignore. Like just not look at them. But the longer we are there, the more angry my client becomes. Because he knows why they are looking at me and walking out of their way to go to the bathroom. He becomes agitated and tells me that they are being disrespectful because he knows what they are thinking about me. He goes out to have a smoke to calm down, and I have to approach the teacher and I ask to speak to him.  Talk about awkward! Now I don't mention that they are looking at me, but do say that my lunch companion is getting anxious because they are looking at my table and my companion has some limitations and doesn't like to be looked at. He becomes all apologetic and assures me that he will speak to his students.  As strange as that was, I'm glad I did it because my client had a much more relaxed meal after that. And the teacher still kept staring...
  • I'm getting geared up for my morning run. It's snowing right now and we're supposed to get 20+cm (8") by the end of the day.Will make for an interesting long run tomorrow! The 14th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos entitled Nice Room. Hubby and I finally make it out of the car and we get some on camera mirror time!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The post about an MRI, Shannen's race and a pulled stomach muscle

This is what I got to wear on Saturday. And I got to hang out
in a waiting room with a bunch of old men wearing the exact
same outfit. FYI gentlemen, the ties go in the back!

  • Guess what I got to do this weekend? I got to have an MRI done on my foot. This is the final step in the Morton's Neuroma saga.  It took 25 minutes for the MRI to be complete. It was super loud, and I had to wear ear muffs, like air traffic controllers. Regardless of the noise, I fell asleep. I swear I can sleep anywhere...except my bed. Getting up even earlier these days. Around 4:30 am.  So now I wait for a week or so before the report is sent to the orthopedic surgeon. I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not having my feet cut open!
  • The best thing that happened to me this weekend? I got a message from Shannen. Just when I'm contemplating whether or not I should continue blogging, I get a message that makes that decision for me.  Shannen ran her first 5K race yesterday. When she picked up her race kit on Thursday, her running coach said, "on race day, don't forget to thank the person who got you into running". I got my absolute favorite message from someone that I have inspired. I was reading it in the parking lot of No Frills with a big goofy grin on my face.  Shannen came across my  blog when she was researching Dr. Poon's diet and she started her weight loss journey around the same size that I was when started mine. She thought that if I could change my life, my body and become a runner, then so could she. Shannen is a runner now. She just started running in October, and ran a 5 freaking kilometer race on Saturday! That is awesome! Shannen is awesome! And I keep blogging for now!
  • Honest to God, my washing machine is sticking it to me.  It breaks down constantly, and to get it to work again, you have to bang it around. So it stopped working last Sunday, and try as I might to get it to work again all week, nothing. So this morning I'm wringing out all the clothing that was left in the machine mid cycle so I can get everything ready and head on over to the laundromat. After I get everything out of the freezing cold water, I give it one last bang, and away it goes. Figures. So I didn't have to go to the laundromat, but how long will it work before it breaks down again? I have no idea.

This is all I  have left of my beautiful boy.

  • On Friday, hubby went to pick up Finn's ashes. Trying to explain to Julien that this was all that was left of Finn was no easy task. And I don't think I did a great job. He still doesn't get it, but I didn't want to say that Finn was burned to ashes. That would be a scary image. Next weekend we will spread some of his ashes on the Rail Trail near our house. 
  • Only a couple more weekends till Christmas, and not a decoration to be seen in my house. I'm really not in the Christmas spirit this year, and if not for Julien, I wouldn't do anything. I do have to get into gear though. I will get a tree and decorate next Sunday. It will be fun. Julien is excited.
  • I completed 2 runs this weekend. A 4K on Saturday, and 7K today. My 4K was pretty decent, but my run today was a bit off. I pulled a muscle in my stomach. Just below my breast bone. Weird feeling that. It's fine now, but when I pulled it during my run, I could feel the muscle spasm. The only feeling I could liken it to, was when Julien used to move in my tummy when I was like 10 months pregnant. Such a strange feeling. It happened a few more times when I got home, and now it's completely gone. That has never happened to me before. 

In front of the Tree of Hope in Gore Park, downtown Hamilton.

  • Nuts and sweet potatoes have made their way back into my life. So now the obsession begins again (with the nuts).  I said I wouldn't eat either regularly again until I was running again. Well I am, and I do. I have a love/hate relationship with nuts. I love to eat them, and I hate how I obsess over them. I should just forget about the nuts all together because sometimes, I don't feel in control around them. And I hate the feeling of not being in control of my eating. I know, I'm only talking about mixed nuts. You all must think I'm crazy.
  • My cold is getting better. I went to bed early on Friday and Saturday and may have gotten 7 hours of sleep each night. That's a big deal for me. I've been getting 4-5 hours per night for over a month now. I also made a huge pot of chicken soup yesterday. Just what I needed, but I wish my mom was here to make me soup. She made the best chicken soup and try as I might, I cannot duplicate it. 
  • The 13th installment of the Anniversary Series of videos entitled, No Parking. Hubby and I finally make it back to the hotel after our jaunt out to Fort Erie, to find that although we already checked in, there is no parking left. I don't know about you, but my voice is super annoying. And why don't I sound like that to myself? Tanya explained this to me a week ago, and I already forget.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The post about my Nutreats interview, corrupting my father and dropping some pounds

The lovely card my team at work gave me.

  • My heart still hurts and will for some time. I keep pretending like Finn is just away visiting his friend Lucy for a week, but that doesn't work for very long. It's hard to come home every day from work and not have him waiting for me at  the door. He was always so happy to see me and got muzzle kisses as soon as I walked into the house. I think this is hardest on my husband. He and Finn had a very special bond.
  • With everything that has happened in the last week and a half, I was totally remiss in sharing my latest interview with you. This interview appeared on the Nutreats blog and it is to date, my absolute favorite interview. Feige Lewin really took the time to read through my blog and asked me specific questions relevant to my story. The other interviews I've done were generic questions that everyone got asked, but she really catered this interview to me. And I got to talk about weight-loss, running, Paleo, parenting.  All the important stuff!  Give it a read. You can read it here.
  • Monday was a hard day at work. I got shepherded into my boss's office first thing in the morning. He could tell I wasn't myself and knew that Finn was sick the week before. I cried real ugly and hard as I told him what went down last Friday. The man had no tissues in his office and my tears were all over his table. I was a hot mess by the time I left.  I warned him not to get close to me because I was sick, but he said he didn't care and gave me a much needed hug which I really appreciated. Made me cry even harder though. My team gave me a condolence card for Finn. They are awesome!

My daddy and I celebrating his birthday. Not sure if the tweed works on me.
But I got that jacket for $3 @ Value Village! Got my bangs and eyebrows done today!

  • On Tuesday I took my dad to Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls for buffet dinner and a show. Remember back when hubby and I were there for our anniversary and we got a free show? It was the Christmas Ice Show. Well we ended up missing the show because I don't listen to directions well, but we went into the casino and gambled $20. My dad has never set foot in a casino before. He felt corrupted. On the sixth spin of the slot machine, we won $148!!!! He was very excited and said he had to go to confession ASAP! The man cracks me up! Love him to pieces. We were celebrating his birthday. He's 83 years young!
  • So this is a peculiar turn of events. For the absolute first time in my life, I have dropped weight without even trying. My favorite jeans have gotten so loose on me that I decided to step on the scale this morning. I weighed in at 158.5 pounds. The lowest weight of my adult life. I have dropped the weight in my thigh and ass area. I can tell by the droopy way my jeans are fitting right now. I'm not sure why this happened, except that I'm not eating very well. And again, by not eating very well, I mean that I am not eating very much. Perhaps it has to do with Finn and feeling sick over the past week? Maybe things won't stay in the 150's for long, and I'm okay with that. I wasn't actually trying to lose weight.
  • I have an admirer at my  local Tim Horton's drive thru. A lovely young man who gives me my coffee every morning.  During November, he was acknowledging Movember. So he had a very faint mustache at the end of the month. Last week I told him that his stash was coming along nicely and looked at me with heartfelt conviction and said, "I will take that as a compliment". I said, "please do". So it's December 5th and he still has the stash! And was very excited to see me today. He's like 21! WTF? Makes me feel a lot icky.

I haven't run this pace for over a year...

  • So this morning, I decided to be a big fat liar. I said I would follow the 1/2 marathon training schedule to a "T" for a few weeks. It's only week two and what was supposed to be a 3K run turned into a 6K run. I just felt like I needed to run. It was warm here in Southern Ontario this morning. Like 8C when I went out for my run just after 5 am. I am also battling a head cold so my pace is pitiful because I'm not gonna lie, I was feeling pretty weak. But I ran, and felt awesome when I was done regardless of the pace.
  • The vet's office just called. Finn's ashes are in. I'm feeling even more angry right now. Shit! I'm only in the second stage of grieving. I am not going to be pleasant over the next month for sure. Feel sorry for my hubby:(
  • This is the next installment of the Anniversary Series of videos. I get some air time. The video was originally over 5 minutes long, but EMI blocked it and I had to cut the ending. So it's very short. I look super old in this video. Really need some suggestions on those eye creams!!!! Just say'in:)

Monday, December 2, 2013

The post about missing my furry boy, getting discharged from physio and admitting I'm sick

Baby and her best bud Finn this past summer.

  • Thank you all for your outpouring of support and condolences in regards to Finn's passing.  It has definitely been a tough weekend at our house. And I can't help but feel angry and robbed. I don't know who to direct my anger towards. Just over a week ago, I had what I thought was a healthy dog. Never sick a day in his life. Today he is in a freezer. It's a very hard pill to swallow for sure. Especially when my son asks me why this happened.  He's missing his best friend and doesn't understand why he was taken from us so quickly.  I have no answers.
  • The weekend was spent reflecting on Finn's life and trying to keep occupied. Distracting Julien was easier than distracting myself. On Saturday we packed up all of Finn's things and brought them to our local animal shelter.  I am not getting another dog...ever! I say that now, but who knows how we'll feel after our pain has lessened. If I ever do get another dog though, I am getting a shelter dog. 
  • My little cat Baby is missing Finn. They were pretty tight. They slept beside each other and hung out in the back yard together a lot. She also ate his food before he would eat. She's wandering around the house crying and looking for him. 

An awesome Saturday morning run with my gal Tanya!

  • Enough of the sad talk. Moving right along. I had a much needed distraction with Tanya Saturday morning. We ran along the Rail Trail by the Running Room. It's been a long time since I ran out of the Running Room. Tanya's been a bit rusty with the running of late, so we totally motivated each other to get out and getter done! Considering we both had a running hiatus for sometime, we did pretty decent with an admirable pace if you ask me. 
  • Although Friday was truly a Black Friday for my family, there was one good thing that happened. I was discharged from physio. I have been going to physio for 10 months. I initially went for a hamstring injury that I got while training for my first half marathon, then I had a lower back issue, then I had my foot issues, then the broken ankle. I was Graham's longest patient. 
  • Running definitely reeks havoc with your body. I am convinced that if it wasn't for Graham and Highland Physio, I wouldn't be pain free right now. This is the first time in ten  months that I do not feel pain anywhere on my body.  When I run, it's almost like I am a new runner all over again. No aches, no pains. I also know that as my mileage builds, I'll be back in physio. It's just bound to happen. But Graham keeps me running so for that I am eternally grateful. Because I need to run.

Some parting shots with Graham (cue the 70's porn music)!
Julien and I at the Burlington Santa Claus Parade. Still can't get a decent
picture with the boy!

  • On Sunday, Julien and I hit our second of three planned Santa Claus parades this year. There was a comedy of errors that occurred on the way to the parade. The most significant being that as soon as we got there, Julien announced he had to use the bathroom because his stomach hurt. I just sat through 15 minutes of traffic to park (and asked him if we needed to stop at the gas station about 15 minutes prior to this) and we were right by where we were meeting friends. I had to head back out in the traffic and go to Chapters so he could use the bathroom. The parade started at 2pm, and I didn't make it back till 2:40.  We were there for about 1/2 an hour and it was done. Short and sweet! It was all good, I needed to get home. I wasn't feeling so good.
  • I think I finally need to admit that I am sick. I am now completely snotty and my head hurts a lot. My voice is also very raspy. I'm gonna call it sexy, but it's only that way because I am sick. I went to bed at 7:30 on Saturday, and 9 pm yesterday. The only problem with that is that I ended up waking up at 2:30 and tossing and turning till 4:30 until I just gave in and got up. My internal clock is completely effed up. 
  • Although I have a head cold, I have still done all my scheduled runs. Sunday's run was my longest post broken ankle run. I ran 7K along my favorite running trail. It was also Finn's favorite place to walk and it was harder to do than I anticipated. I kept picturing him running along the escarpment and I'm sure that I looked unstable to all the other runners who passed me and heard me sobbing. I didn't care. I needed to get it out and you always feel better after a good cry.
  • The next video in the Anniversary Series is called Strippers and being wrong. It's a long one, but makes me laugh.  We do talk about strippers and then get in an argument about directions (typical married couple stuff). And I admit on camera that I was wrong! A huge thing for me to have to admit!