Friday, 30 March 2012

Finally Friday

Another crazy, stressful, exhausting week.  Well, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger I suppose.
  • My running has been sporadic to say the least, but at least I'm running.  Three times per week is just fine for me considering I don't have a target race to train for.  My new kicks are really nice and quite a bit lighter than the previous Saucony's I was wearing.

  • Two weeks ago I took the plunge and signed up for the GrandFondo Bike Tour this July.  I'm pretty excited about it especially for the fact that I don't have to train for it in craptastic cold spring weather like you have to do if you are cycling the Rideau Lakes Tour in June...bonus!  Once I registered I took my bike to "the Toy Store" for its annual spring tune-up.  I just called and they haven't even started to work on yet!  I told them I'd be there after work to pick it up and it had better be ready.   Nuff said, I think that two weeks is plenty of time to have to work on a bike!

Davey, it is one of my designs.  Since I was born in the Year of the Snake and I am also a Gemini, it consists of two snakes.  The numbers depict the Half Marathon (21.1k) and Full Marathon (42.2k) distances I have raced over the years.  Hope this little explanation helps.   I'm still undecided as to what I will create to commemorate the Half Ironman I did last year (distance of 113k or in the USA, known as 70.3).

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  I'm off to remove the snow tires from the car and put on the brand new seasonal tires (If we get a snowstorm any time soon, it isn't my fault), and to pick up the "better be ready" tuned up bike.  I want to get rolling this weekend!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Friday, 23 March 2012

Finally Friday

What a crazy week, how can it be Friday already?  Time flies when you're having fun ~ Right?  With any luck I'll be able to take a long walk / run on the beach this weekend.

Where I live
It is a busy time trying to get not only my income tax crap  return information prepared but now I have had to put on my detectives hat to try to track down all my dad's tax information too.  Let's just say that I caved and called a co-worker's accountant who is going to handle it all once I get all the sh*t information together.  What I am learning in my Alzheimer seminars is to accept the help of others.  See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Speaking of accepting and allowing others to help you out, another one of my co-workers had given me a Christmas Gift Certificate for a massage at Absolute Massage Therapy which happens to be situated right next door to my office.  I took the opportunity to use my certificate and add on another half hour.  Holy Hannah, I was in heaven!  All the tension and stress I have been carrying around for the last six months was ripped and stripped, gently massaged out oh so tense muscles and left me feeling totally body stoned.  Honestly, I had to sit in my car for about five minutes just to get my bearings.  It was FANTASTIC!!!

Wednesday was a visit with my Chiropractor at her new InTune Chiropractic office.  Again, just being able to totally relax and have my adjustment is helping me overall.  I also learned that I am not breathing properly while in a relaxed state.  I've been breathing with the top of my lungs and not using my diaphragmatic breathing technique that I use when I swim, bike, run.   Who knew!  So, another lesson learned and definitely one I shall continue to practice at all times.

Since my old running shoes were pretty much at the end of their life span after all the Half Iron training and actual event.  I took the opportunity of using one of the discount coupons you receive when you sign up for any of the Running Room Clinics.  So I sprung for a new pair of my ever faithful Saucony's....ProGrid Triumph 9's.  I can hardly wait to get out this weekend and see how they feel.

Saucony ProGrid 9
On another note, I've recently found a running blog of an Expat Canuck.  Canadian Runner in Exile.  Caroline is now living in SoCal with her husband and kidlettes and is currently giving away a fabulous book just in time for the Boston Marathon!!  The book is "Young at Heart", the story of Johnny Kelley who was a 2 time winner and 7 time 2nd place finisher of the Boston Marathon.  So you can understand my excitement to be able to put my name into the mix to be the possible winner of this book.

Young at Heart book give away
Marlene!  My little Blog Daughter, perhaps you'd like to get your Boston Bound Tushie over the Caroline's Blog too!!

Well, there you go, another action packed week!  Hope everyone has a great weekend and for those of you headed to Hamilton for the Around the Bay, have a fabulous race and keep your eye open for the Grim Reaper...because you know he's looking for you!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Meet with a handshake and leave with a hug

Last Saturday was an all day seminar hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa.  Not knowing what to expect I was admittedly shocked to see the number of people dealing with the same situation as I am.  Families arrived.  Groups of children were there along with a parent to find out how they could best deal with their family situation.  Single people were there, like me, dealing with an elderly parent and single people were there to find out how to best deal with an ailing spouse.  The number of heartbreaking stories was staggering.  It made me realise that even though I'm dealing with an awful lot at the moment, my situation is relatively tame compared to other people's scenario's.  I came away from the seminar exhausted, tearful, uplifted, informed, along with new contacts, and even some possible new friends.  We began the meeting with handshakes and left the meeting with hugs.

This is the most vicious of diseases and it can affect anyone.  What I am learning is, the MORE I learn, the more I receive information, support and include others in my life to help me cope, the better off it will hopefully make the final years of my father's life a whole lot easier.

Our weather lately has been exceptional...I can not ever remember such high temperatures in the month of March.  This is truly a freak of nature, but I'm loving it!!  Sunday's run was fantastic as I joined in with a group of ladies that are preparing for the 30k Around the Bay race this coming weekend.  It is a really fun race that takes you through many neighbourhoods, a portion takes you along the shores of Lake Ontario and then into a beautiful subdivision of stellar homes.  You run past and through several cemeteries and then up a huge honking hill and run back towards Copps Coliseum.  You might even run into this guy!

Jen, the Grim Reaper and me

Monday night was my first clinic night in quite a long time.  It is just a 10k clinic but it was really fun to meet some new runner's who are so excited to "do their first 10k".  Sort of made me realise how I was a little jaded in my running career.  I think their energy will give me the lift I need in other portions of my life.  We assembled for the clinic and it is a really large group because most of them are signed up for their first 10k race at the Ottawa Race Weekend.  I'm so use to doing long distances with pace groups and I'm soooo use to doing a slower pace instead of busting out at full speed, that when we were getting ready to start our first 6k group run, I was a little discombobulated that everyone just takes off like mad fiends!  How freaking exciting is that?  Off they go...what a concept!

A few of the more "nervous to do that distance" people sort of hung with me as I explained to them, if you can't hold a conversation because you're out of breathe it means you are running too fast.  I also explained that the further we get into the 6k run, they will see that some people are totally spent and will have to walk the rest of the way.  Well, you know what?...we ran the whole way and could talk and had a great time!  We even passed people!!  They were so excited to find out that they didn't have to bust a gut at the beginning of the clinic...they could work on their cardio, breathing techniques, gain confidence, pass people and when it comes to race day...then they can leave a lung on the pavement.  Some of the new runner's hugged me when they finished their first ever 6k, overall, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this group!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 16 March 2012

Finally Friday

Our temperatures are starting to warm up.  While some of my running / tri friends to the south of me (Born to Endure in Indy and another friend in Grand Rapids) have been talking about high temperatures all week, I've been in my down-coat and braving cold winds, rain, hail and thunderstorms.  Well hopefully all that is past now and we can actually get out without layers of long underwear.

Even with the nice temps, I'll be in an all day seminar tomorrow that is put on by the Alzheimer Society.  The focus will be on future planning and what can be expected when loved ones dementia progresses to the next level.  I'll have to remember to take a box of Kleenex with me.  Hopefully the seminar will finish early enough that I'll be able to either stop in to visit with my dad or go for a run.  Maybe I'll be able to do both!

Sunday will be going to run club in the morning for a smart little 10k and then I'm off to the Outdoor & Adventure Show.  I'm considering buying a kayak, after all I live a block from the river and haven't been out on the water in years other than to swim!  Bushtukah will be there and they are the grand suppliers of most of my cycling gear and cross country ski clothing.  I bought Blizzard (Trek 2.1) from them a few years ago and I'm (okay, I'm being truthful), thinking of buying looking at the Speed Concept again.  Ssshhhh, don't tell my bike.

On a side note:

  • I'm 14 months alcohol free, this hasn't been a problem considering I didn't have a problem, I just feel so much better and stopped when I was starting my Half Ironman training.
  • I'm now heading into my first full month without coffee and it's killing me!  WhAAAaaaaa  I've even had dreams about coffee!!
  • Had the best massage in my whole life last night, all the stress from the past six months seemed to leave my body, however, today I feel like I've been hit by a truck!  
  • I'm still eating clean (over two years) and have eliminated most breads, sugar and general gorp i.e. junk food from my diet.  I've been tracking what I eat daily with My Fitness Pal.  The scales show a significant weight loss and I'm going to have to buy some new summer clothes...that is pretty exciting so I'd say it has been a great success.

For those of you who are Irish, or even Irish for a day, Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Three Things Thursday

Well, I can't believe it is already Thursday. Time is flying by and I'm still don't have my fitness groove on, however,

  • The Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour Century ride is now full. Considering I haven't been on the bike in a little while it just wasn't meant to be this year. It'll be the first time in four years not doing it, BUT I am considering signing up for something a little later in the summer ~ GranFondo Ottawa. Perhaps the MedioFond 100k route. I've got 127 days to train.

  • The 10K clinic starts on Monday night, yup, I'm going to commit to just getting out there and being active. Who knows, maybe I'll throw a Sprint or OLY Tri into the works over the summer.  Did I just say that?

  • And, I've rejoined the Kanata Nepean Bike Club this year.  I'm hoping that some day trips with the group will help me manage my stress levels.  This only means that Blizzard will once again turn into a packhorse.  Double duty for you this year Blizzard!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Monday, 12 March 2012

a step back or is it a step forward?

Once again, life has taken a little turn, just as I knew it would.  I'm not going to go into to detail, however, my life has been topsy turvy yet again due to changes in my dad's behaviour due to dementia.  It is progressing and all I can do is spend as much time with him while he can still remember who I am, while he can still talk to friends on the phone, dress himself and feed himself.  All this is changing rapidly and I'm truly learning you can not hold back time.  The hardest call I've ever had to make came last Friday when I made the call to Community Care Assess Centre.  The time has come where I've had to start the process of getting my father into "the system" for future long term care.  Previously I had come to terms with him moving closer, being in a Seniors Home, he would be taken care of, I knew he would be safe...things would be normal.  All this is changing and when I made the call I couldn't believe how much it upset me, it was making me face reality and to come to terms with this relentless disease.  I wasn't liking what I was seeing.  The woman on the phone was exceptional, answering all my questions, dealing with MY denial of having to face this reality.  She was caring and compassionate when I cried, she understood that I too am in the process of trying to understand the true meaning of caring for an ageing parent.  I will NEVER begrudge the promise I made to my dad so long ago, to look after him when he got to this stage in life,  he will be 92 in May and sometimes he is as young at heart as a teenager.  What it all boils down to, he deserves quality of life, love and understanding.

Throughout all of this Dad's friends have been a wonderful support not only to him, but to me as well, as has my cousin who has been a social worker of sorts and is now involved with grief counselling.  Although my cousins health is failing, he has always had time to talk with me over the years.  He has been a great help in so many facets of my life and now he is helping yet again.  I am blessed.

Finding time to train for any specific event has been a challenge.  Needless to say my race calendar is still empty, but I have been trying to find the time for "me".  Spring is just around the corner, you could feel it in the weather over the weekend.     hallelujah

soaking up the sun after a run
The past four Sunday's I've been driving into town to run at the local Running Room.  While I was there yesterday I signed up for the 10k clinic which begins next Monday.  Again, life is throwing me some reality.  Trust me when I say it is a real head trip to go from being Half Iron fit to needing moral support to run 10k.

Is it a step back or a step forward?  As I'm learning....Any journey begins with the first step.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hang on....

We are under a storm watch and severe wind I'm going to go cross country skiing!

I'm going to take some birdseed with me this time so I can feed these little fellows!  They'll be hanging on for dear life in the 90km an hour winds we are experiencing!

If I don't blow away, I'll be back....

Life's fun if you don't weaken,