Monthly Archives: April 2010

Life is all about backup

Note to self: Never leave home without a spare AA. Today I discovered, that not only do I have to remember to have enough test strips in my purse, and sugar tablets in my purse, and backup insulin when I leave the house, I also have to have a fully juiced up AA battery.

So yesterday morning, when I was at an interview, the alarm bells on my pump went off, and I had no idea what the heck it was, I thought it was someone’s annoying cell phone ring tone, you know, the chiming sing song kind of ring tone. And it wasn’t until I got in my car, and felt my pump vibrating against my waist along with the chiming bells that I realized, oh, the battery’s low. But I figured it would have enough juice to get me to Saturday morning when I had to change my infusion (it’s quite the hassle to change the battery in the pump, when you’ve still got a sufficient amount of insulin in it, because the pump loses memory when the battery pops out, and even though there’s still insulin in it, it doesn’t read the insulin, so you’re forced to go through all the steps again before it will continue to deliver insulin: rewind the pump, load the insulin cartridge, prime the canula, fill the canula, ugh!) So, I held out. But apparently, as I discovered this morning, I was so wrong on how much juice was left in that battery.

Let me back up a little bit here. I took the day off today, and the plan was to go cycling in the Valley with Mario. But when we got up, the skies were grey, and the forecast wasn’t giving us much hope for later in the day. So after a great amount of waffling, we finally decided to take the Skytrain into the city, head to Granville Island for lunch, and then catch a movie at the Fifth Avenue or Tinseltown (which we didn’t end up getting to because the Skytrain broke, and had us stranded inside for a half an hour. Ick). So anyway, we walked to the Skytrain station, about a 10 minute walk from the condo, and just after we bought our tickets, I heard the alarm bell sing song again, and I looked down, and ohmygawd! No delivery, said the message on the screen, change battery. Crap-Crap-Crap! I started rummaging through my purse, hoping, praying that there would be a random battery inside, but not really having much hope, I mean, seriously, who carries batteries in their purses? I DO! Yep, there was a battery, not a clue why, but my gawd, I was pretty darn happy – and relieved – to find one in there. And the second I got home, I stuck another one in to replace that one!

Life is all about backup!

Even though we didn’t ride today, we did walk 3 km from the Main Street Skytrain station to Granville Island, which is such an amazingly, beautiful walk, with False Creek on one side of us, and the Olympic Village on the other, and a fresh ecosystem, and neat little bridges, and a modern skyline of towers, and runners and cyclists and walkers – and yes, the sun too. It came out!

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

And I had the most amazing sandwich EVER at Granville Island (I love the sandwiches there, and was actually getting excited watching the guy make it) and then we had the yummiest strawberry tarts … hmmm … and breakthrough: I figured out the carb ratio all on my own (no heavy Calorie King book stuffed in my purse, oh no) and had no ups or downs in the blood sugars! Yay!

And when we got home, we topped the day off with a bottle of Red Bicyclette!

I liked it after about the first half glass.

Such a beautiful, refreshing, rewarding day!

Running through a teenage wasteland

Ok, seriously, when is the warm spring weather coming out to play – and stay? I’m tired of getting taunted with one day here or a half day there or no days at all. It’s grey and wet and showery and cold. Twelve degrees just doesn’t cut it when it’s practically July!

First thing this morning I decided I was going to try and get a run in later this afternoon, before hanging out with the little monkeys, otherwise known as my oh-so-cute nephews. But because I wouldn’t be coming home between work and the boys, I had to pack my bag at like 7 a.m. So, I threw in a light top and shorts, along with shoes and other gear, and was good to go – until I got outside. It was miserable, pouring down rain for most of the day, and every time I looked out the window, my motivation depleted. Had I been able to go home, I so would have thrown on my tights – that’s how ridiculous it was!

Luckily for me, though, my shipment from Livestrong was delivered to the office this afternoon, and inside the box a long sleeve base shirt was awaiting me, which I think may be my new favourite running shirt. Love it! But it’s kind of funny because after I bought it, I thought what the heck am I doing buying a long sleeve shirt when we’re practically in tank top weather? Now, though, I’m thinking it was pretty darn brilliant 🙂

So it seems I’ve been channeling the “This Is Your Life” runs a lot lately; I hit a segment of my highschool years tonight. I really do love the memories that flood through me on these sorts of runs. When I hit Mt. Blanchard, a road I trekked up thousands of times from Grade 8 to 12, I started thinking about the different people who belonged to the different houses: the best friend who lived at the end of the street, the boy I had a crush on, the girl with the fire engine red hair, the kid who used to drive me home from school, the Christmas house that was a hydro company’s dream come true. It’s been about 14 years since I was a regular on this street, and I think the only thing that’s really changed are the people in the houses – and my perception of the street. When I was a sullen teenager, I hated walking up Mt. Blanchard, it was like a torturous hill for me that I thought would never end. But tonight, I breezed up it no problem, it didn’t really even feel like much of a hill. Oh how things change, hey. As you can probably guess I wasn’t much for exercise as a kid. But now, I love hills. And I love this run down memory lane.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

THE RUN:

  • 4:45 p.m. BG before: 6.3 (two sugar tablets)
  • 0.55 km warmup: walking
  • Distance: 4.06 km
  • Time: 24:56
  • Average Pace: 6.08 km/h
  • 0.55 km cool down: walking
  • 5 minutes stretching
  • 5:30 p.m. BG after: 3.8

I felt pretty awesome on the run, my whole body – my ankles, legs, hips, shoulders – felt loose and relaxed, which is a pretty great feeling the few times you actually get to feel it. And I couldn’t believe the speeds I was clocking. When I looked down at my Garmin and saw 5:29, my eyes nearly popped – I thought I was going slow!

LIVESTRONG REVIEW:

I got the base top, which, as mentioned, I love, and I also got a racerback dri fit tank and shorts. I didn’t wear the shorts on my run tonight, but I did wear the racerback tank which has a built-in bra. I’m not so in love with this one. I got a small, which is a good thing, because had I gotten the medium, it would have been far too large in the breast area, even the small was a little loose, which I didn’t like. And I didn’t like the length of it either. I like my running tops to be on the longer side, and this one only just hovered at my waste … I see an undershirt in this tank’s future! But I love the colours!!! And I love that a portion of my purchase went towards cancer research!

I didn’t, however, love the taxes and custom charges I had to pay when the Fedex order came through. I’m usually really good about checking for any additional charges and such when doing online purchases, and making sure that they don’t go through UPS (that company is horrible with hidden “brokerage” fees). But with Livestrong, I got dinged at customs, which sucks because had I known there were going to be the additional charges, I would have just had it sent to the mailbox company on the other side of the border, and just driven it across – customs rarely stops purchases under $100. Lesson learned!

Becoming Bolt – Usain Bolt

Answer me this: How the heck does someone injure themselves while sleeping? Mario says I toss and turn like crazy, but seriously, I find it hard to believe that I can thrash around so much so that I jam my lower back right up. Ohhhh but I can. Yep. Didn’t even have to run for this injury.

Seriously?

I got tired of waiting for my physio to move me up to the top spot on the waiting list (I know, I know, I only called him two days ago, but what can I say? I’m impatient) so instead, I called my trusty massage therapist, who’s a hardcore distance runner, and is super chatty, and always leaves me with tips and pointers, and maybe even a few discount codes for online running sites too – those have come in handy 🙂

He informed me that I had in fact jammed up my sacrum (the left side of my lower back, which the butt cheek muscle happens to be hitched to) which was probably inflaming my bursa, the ongoing pain in my butt … yes, I have a pain in my butt. And while massaging my back and thigh, he recommended I start hopping and skipping at the track to help my form.

Hopping and skipping? Really. Yep. Apparently all the tracksters do it, so, me wanting to be the next Usain Bolt (female version of course!) that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Look at that gazelle-like form!

Source

When I got home tonight, I saw that the Anti-HST petition peeps were set up outside our condo building. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the B.C. government is trying to implement a new tax that is a combination between the federal sales tax (5%) and the provincial sales tax (7%) and would apply to more goods, like bicycles, which were exempted from the provincial sales tax previously.
I am so against this tax.

Check out the scowl!

I know that the government waxes poetic about how the HST will help recover our economy, which is great in theory, but they also gush about how they want B.C. to be the most physically fit province in the country. It makes no sense to me why they would add this 12% tax to recreational things like bicycles, swimming lessons, gym memberships, rink rentals, and massage therapy if they want people to continue engaging in physical activity. You can’t have both.
I so signed that petition!

With HST my Zing would have been about $100 more!

Because of the end-of-day massage, I wasn’t allowed to do a run or a gym workout when I got home, which was kind of sucky given that I haven’t done anything since my Sunday run as I had pain on Monday, a late school board meeting on Tuesday, and am babysitting my lovely little nephews on Thursday – which means nothing until Friday. ACK! But the massage therapist told me that I caught it early, so good news 🙂

Cycling for a cure

Cure is a funny word. Some people think of the ’80s English rock band, others think of miracles, but me, I think of broken promises. I’ve been pretty cynical for quite sometime when people start spewing sentences that combine the words cure and diabetes. When I was nine years old and first diagnosed I was told there’d be a cure by the time I was 15, then 20, then 25. I’m now almost 32. But my dear, dear husband, he’s not quite so cynical (at least not in this aspect) and to hear him talk of me one day being free of finger pricks, and insulin attachments, and blood sugar dramas is enough to put a warm fuzzy feeling right into my cycnical heart – and a glimmer of hope too!

So the other day, when Mario told me that he had signed up for the Whistler Gran Fondo, a 120 km cycle trek from Vancouver to Whistler, I didn’t really think much of it. I mean, Mario’s been talking about it practically since it was first announced, and he loves to ride, and it lands on the weekend of our first wedding anniversary, which would mean a fun-filled Whistler weekend for me, so yeah, it didn’t really seem out of the ordinary you know. But then he went on to tell me that instead of going in as a solo rider, he was going in as a member of Team Diabetes, which fundraises for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Mario’s riding for me, and everyone else with this disease – he’s riding for a cure.

And you know, I gotta say, I was quite shocked with that warm fuzzy feeling shooting through my veins at that pronouncement. But how could I not get all warm and fuzzy inside and filled with belief at words like these:

My beautiful wife, Katie, has lived with diabetes since she was nine years old. She went through all the stages of denial and rebellion after she was diagnosed. But in the years I’ve known her she’s never
let the disease slow her down. In fact, she’s training for her first marathon. We ride together. We travel.

I am doing this ride for Katie, so she might one day live her life free from test strips, finger pricks, carb counters and sugar tablets.

The day after the Gran Fondo will be our first wedding anniversary. I can think of no better gift for all she has given me than to get her, and every other diabetes sufferer one pedal stroke closer to a cure.

Awwwwwwww!!! It would be a great gift … but I still want something to unwrap on Sept. 12, hint-hint 🙂
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can go to Mario’s website www.mariosgranfondo.com, which has a pledge page link to the Canadian Diabetes Association AND a link to Mario’s Gran Fondo training blog.

Nice photo, hey! I took it 🙂

Hip update: My hip was achy all through the night, so I called physio first thing in the morning and was put on a wait list to get in hopefully sometime this week. As the day progressed, it became just kind of a dull ache, only really noticeable when I thought about it. But when I try and rotate my leg, there’s still pain. Still have no idea where it came from, just really hoping it’s some kind of freak anomaly that will soon pass.
Took it easy today. No running. No weights. No yoga. Just a nice visit with my favourite face friend, Sarah, who always manages to make my face look and feel oh-so-pretty!

City runner taps into her country roots

As much as I love the city, I LOVE THE COUNTRY! For four years, I lived on a farm, which consisted of five acres of sky-high trees, soothing ravines, yummy blackberries, nasty stinging nettles, and the best hide-and-seek games ever to be had. Some of my most formative years were spent on that farm (we only had rabbit ears and maybe two channels, so finding our own fun was a must). I remember climbing the willow trees, and taking the My Little Ponies for a swim in the murky pond, and testing the neighbour’s electric fence to see if it actually did work (it did!), and sinking in the “quicksand” by the ravine, and bottle-feeding our cows – Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Sirloin, T-Bone and Porter House … Hey! The brothers named them not me 😉

About five years ago, my parents moved back to the farmhouse , and it’s still one of my most favourite places in the world. And so today, I decided to tap back into my country roots, and channel a country run … and a visit with my moms and dad too!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 11:30 a.m. BG before: 6.5 (inputed a temporary 50 per cent basal rate (ongoing stream of insulin))
  • 10 minutes yoga with mom (I was feeling massive pain in my hip, and hoped some yoga would loosen it up)
  • Distance: 6.85 km
  • Time: 42:51
  • Average Pace: 6:30 km/h
  • 10 minutes stretching
  • 12:45 p.m. BG after: 4.3

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

I’ve done this loop so many times, and yet, almost right from the get-go my head swivels in every which direction checking out the old familiar sights like the bus stop shack I used to huddle under in the rain, and the new sights like the homemade mailbox made from a wooden post and an old ice cream bin – now that’s recycling!
The route is lined with fields of big, burly cows, and grazing horses.

And there’s whippet crossing signs and dressage crossing signs and tractor crossing signs. I saw rustic farm fencing, old metal gates, and randomly placed park benches.

There’s overgrown trees and bushes and blackberries.

And an old-time bike has been made into a much-loved planter.

The farm loop has always been a nice getaway. Sure, there’s still traffic on the roads, and the speed limits are about 20 to 30 km/h faster than in the city, but there’s a lot less traffic, and a lot more serene beauty clumped into one spot. I mean, in the city, how often do you run with a trio of hawks circling high above, or a large peloton of cyclists riding past you, or vehicles “kindly” moving over so that you can share the road too. And if the sights aren’t enough, the sounds are amazing. Not even halfway through my run, I paused my iPod so that I could take in the twittering birds, and the scampering squirrels, and the moos of the cows, and the nays of the horses, and the ferns fluttering in the breeze, and the garter snakes slithering through the overgrown grass. I had only meant to temporarily turn off the sound, but before I knew it, my run was nearing its end and the sound was still off – the sounds of the country were my music today.

Now, that all being said, I still love my city runs, don’t get me wrong. In the city, I’m not having to battle through gigantic horseflies, or having to  hold my breath as I run past a mushroom farm that’s just been spread with manure, or a chicken farm (they’re the worst). But every now and again, the farm loop is exactly what a city girl needs!

So the pain in my hip: I woke up with the irritation yesterday morning, which seems to have progressively gotten worse today. I’m not sure what happened, as I didn’t do any running or any other exercise for that matter the two days prior to waking up with the pain. I’m thinking that maybe I slept on it awkwardly or something … it’s right in my hip joint. It did subside for my run, but I don’t want to take any chances, so if I don’t see any improvements in the next day or so, I might be calling on my physio’s expertise once again.

In the meantime, Miracle Balls.

Breaking down the walls

Have you ever gotten lost in a box full of old photos and cards and notes and before you know it an hour or two has past? That’s exactly what happened to me last night.
I went up to the storage closet in search of a specific photo, which I found right away, but it was in a box that had tons of other photos, as well as letters from when I worked at a summer camp, and stacks of notes and cards from Mario that extend back to even before the beginning of our relationship – and it gave me the warmest, fuzziest feeling, like you know the warmth of when the first sip of red wine hits your belly, it was like that but 500 times more intense!
For me, that box, and the several others that I have stored away, are like treasure boxes full of gold; my life in gold 🙂

What’s in your treasure box?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the marathon that I’m going to start training for in just over a month, and how I’m really going to need some kind of strong motivation to keep me going – 42.2 km, that’s a long way. There’s going to be walls that will need to be broken through! When my legs start feeling like bricks, I’m gonna need something to push them forward. When my brain starts playing the “I can’t!”  game, I’m gonna need something to counteract with an “I can!” And when that little jerk of a red demon pops up onto my shoulder and starts mocking me as I climb the hills, I’m gonna need something to smoke the little turd in the chops!
All my other runs I’ve done for me, which, for the most part, has been great, but when the going got tough in my last half marathon training, ‘me’ didn’t cut it. This time, though, I’ve got something way stronger.
Starting in June, I’ll be running, and my grandpa, Albert Emanuel Stadeus, will be running right next to me, maybe even carrying me at times.

I was about 7 in this picture, and loving the attention of my grandpa ... and the camera!

My grandpa was one of the strongest men I have ever known. He, too, had diabetes (Type 2, though), and when I was a kid, he did things to make sure that I knew I wasn’t strange or odd because of my diabetes (strange for other reasons, yes, but not because of my diabetes). And I am so sure he would be so proud of me today.
So, if anyone can get me through those walls, and to the finish line of that race, my grandpa can!

Christmas 2002

Missing and loving you always!

TODAY’S WORKOUT:

  • 8:30 a.m. BG before: 7.7
  • 75 minutes of hard yoga. I have no idea half of the moves we were doing, but by golly I was sweating almost from the get-go, and my abs were shaking! Who knew yoga could make you sweat 🙂
  • 10 a.m. BG after: 5.3

Coming clean on being green

As Kermit The Frog has painstakingly brooded over the years, it’s not that easy being green – despite all the earth-friendly initiatives flying my way on Earth Day yesterday.
I gotta say, as much as I love the colour green, and as much as I love the idea of being green, I am so NOT the greenest girl around. I commute to work, driving approximately 172 km a day, 860 km a week, I do not carpool (blame the job, not the girl), I travel by plane up to twice a year, and when they took my trash bin away at work, and replaced it with a blue box, I put up the biggest fight in the world … what can I say, I liked the convenience. At home, I try to recycle (I do) and I try not to aimlessly run the water, and I try not to leave the lights on, but more often than not, I fail.
I’m not anti being environmentally sound, I commend those who remember to grab their cloth bags out of their trunks so they don’t get stuck with the plastic, and those who are patient enough to find all the local produce and poultry and dairy hidden in their city’s nooks and crannies (they’re so hidden) and those who opt for cloth over TP … well, actually, maybe I don’t commend that, to me, it’s kind of ick, but again, I repeat, I’m not the greenest girl around!
But yesterday, I tried, I really, really tried. Instead of going to Starbucks, I brought my own tea to work … buuuuut probably only because I got stood up by my regular Thursday morning tea date. So I guess that doesn’t count. Later, though, I walked to the bank – IN HEELS – with the wind blowing my hair up into a Bride-of-Frankenstein-like style, but I didn’t care, oh no, I was doing my part to save the earth … mind you, if we’re being totally honest here, which we are, it really isn’t that far of a walk, only about 10 minutes, and I usually walk there anyway. I did, however, take my keys this time because of the wind, but at the last second chose to walk because of the earth.
Baby steps, right 🙂

“It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why … it’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”
~ Kermit The Frog