Monthly Archives: March 2011

SuperMattMan versus the road

Blog readers, I need your help. A few months ago my big brother sent me an email asking if I was running the Vancouver Sun Run this year. Truthfully, it’s not a favourite run of mine. While the location is beautiful, the people that run that race, I don’t know, they’re just all over the place. And the reward, a cotton shirt, doesn’t exactly make up for the claustrophobia stress. But, for my big brother, if he was going to run it, you darn rights I’d be running it too.

See, SuperMattMan is not a distance runner. He’s a soccer player, a good soccer player, he runs all-out short sprints like no other, but long distances do nothing for him. When I used to live with him, I’d guilt him into running 7-8 km with me at night, and he’d put up such a fuss about it, but wouldn’t dare let his baby sister run in the dark all by her lonesome. So you can imagine, when I got that email, I was thrilled. He, however, maybe had second thoughts about sending me that email, because I never did hear another peep out of him about it after I responded. But here’s the thing, I don’t forget big things.

And so when my moms recently presented the idea of our family participating in this year’s Abbotsford Police Challenge 5k walk or 10k run in June, my brother’s email instantly flashed before me. It was time he got another email, I thought.

Okay SuperMattMan, you’ve got 2.5 months to train, let’s RUN the police run together! That would be fun, come on, way better than the Sun Run, you can totally do it, do ittttt!”

Seriously, how can he NOT embrace running when his name is SuperMattMan? And how can he NOT embrace running when his kids are practically superheroes themselves. Just check out the youngest one here: Super. Hero.

As you may recall, before Little Man Finley was born my brother and sister-in-law were having a heck of a time coming up with a name for Baby Number 3. Mario and I had a bit of a campaign going for them to name him Lightening Bolt … seemed logical, really. And just look what I had made for the little guy. Perfection.

I think I may have outdone myself with this one 😀

SuperMattMan’s a little timid about running 10 km, he’s never done it before, so come on dear blog readers, let’s tell my big brother all about the greatness that is running.

Chasing legends

You see this tea, this chocolate chai tea, it was more than just tea for me, it was a brief moment today, just 10 minutes in a quiet corner of a British cafe, with Brit accents all around me, and the aroma of chocolate swirling up into my nose, and the daintiness of drinking from a China cup, no work, no phones, no stress, just a moment of perfection. A moment so desperately needed.

I’m pooped.

Last night, instead of trudging through yet another trainer ride while watching an episode of True Blood, Mario popped in Chasing Legends, a movie that documented HTC Columbia’s ride through the 2009 Tour de France, and it also went through a little bit of the Tour’s history. And you know, I never thought I’d actually enjoy the trainer, but last night proved me wrong. With that movie, riding while watching one of my favourite cyclists Mark Cavendish sprint to so many of the stage finishes that I still remember watching two years ago, it suddenly felt as though, I don’t know, I was there a little bit, part of the team, you know. And so I couldn’t just go through the motions of pushing the pedals, I had to work, I had to work my butt off to help George Hincappie, “Captain America” get that cocky, and oh-so-cute Cavendish to the finish line, and keep Thor Freaking Hushovd out of the mix. Four sprints, that’s what I did. Yep, you can just call me Princess Canada 😀

And then tonight I hit up the pool for an aqua jogging session that lasted 55 minutes, 35 of which were WITHOUT the  belt! Like I said, pooped.

But here’s the thing about the pool: just when I started to get somewhat comfortable going, and started to store the nasty icks about the place at the back of my head, some old dude goes and sits off the edge of the deep end, which I’m jogging towards, and picks his freaking toes! HIS TOES! Are you kidding me? I seriously threw up a little in my mouth then and there! And back to being the anti-pool germaphobe I go!

TONIGHT’S AQUA JOGGING

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 9.3 (had a granola bar 1/2 hour before, no bolus)
  • Temp. basal -40 per cent (1 hour)
  • Time: 55 minutes
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.1
  • Temp. basal +40 per cent (1 hour)

I’m trying something new with my basal rates post exercise. For some time now my BG has been skyrocketing post exercise, and last night it was the highest it’s ever been. So tonight I decided to add a positive temporary basal for the same amount that I had as a negative for an hour after exercise to see how it reacted. When I got home, my BG was .2 less than when I finished exercising. Not bad, but we’ll wait and see how it is a few hours from now.

Do you have a favourite cyclist, runner, any endurance athlete really?

Focused on the comeback

Dear husband, I regret to inform you that your best friend duties are no longer needed. To be blunt, you’ve been replaced. Don’t cry, there’s no need for tears here, you’ve got many a great qualities, it’s just that, well, the physio this morning, he proved more worthy of that best friend status. I had no choice really. How could I not have made him my new BFF when he was the one to have gloriously told me that I could again soon be lacing up my sneakers!

It’s been two weeks and two days since I last ran (but I’m not counting) and two weeks exactly since I had a near break down following the phone call from my doc where he ordered me to stop running because of stress fractures “all throughout” my ankles. But this morning, my new BFF, with a copy of my scans, softened that initial blow. The scans showed that I had suffered inflammation on both outer ankles, and my right shin had been attacked by periostitis which is apparently a precursor to stress fractures, but it was my left shin that actually had the stress fracture (notice the singular).

The stress fracture was a low-grade class-1, which takes about 4 to 6 weeks to heal (I got the scan a month ago) so 2 more weeks to go!!! And if that wasn’t great enough news, there’s more. My BFF also told me that I’ve got great range of movement in both ankles, which is rare for me, and that my alignment is bang on, which is again super rare for me. Super great news, right?

For the most part, yes. However, just as best friends are akin to do, mine felt compelled to throw a few stipulations into the positive news. I had to start back slow, he said, see how it feels and work my way back up slowly. For those of you new to the blog, I’m not exactly a fan of “slow.” He said not to go all out right off the hop … apparently his version of all out is 10 km, and here I was thinking 10 km was starting out slow. Nope, he advised I start out with 3 km runs. Really? 3 km?

And so here’s the part that troubles me: I’ve got a half marathon in the middle of May and a full marathon at the end of May. By way of long runs, I’ve already missed a 19 km and a 26 km run  and this weekend I’ll be missing a 29 km run. And while my BFF seems to think I’d be good to go for those races given all the cross training I’ve been doing in the meantime, I’m somewhat skeptical. I mean it’s one thing to run on water which yes gets my heart rate going, but it’s a completely other thing to run on pavement, and if I’m not getting my pavement mileage in, am I setting myself up for yet another stress fracture injury? Hopefully not.

For the next two months my BFF and I will be seeing each other once every two weeks to make sure my once problematic alignment and ankles stay perfect throughout my comeback. And if not, off to the ultrasound machine I go:


(Confession: The second he leaves the room, I start fiddling with the controls … it’s an obsession really :D)

TONIGHT’S TRAINER:

  • 7 p.m. BG before: 5.7 (operating on a 50 per cent reduced dinner bolus)
  • Temp basal: -50 per cent
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Sprints: 4 (I was pretending I was the female version of George Hincapie working to get Cav to the finish line)
  • @30 minutes: BG 3.2
  • 8:15 p.m. BG after: 6.5

 

Word to the wise

Dear friends, if the sound of your lungs are anywhere near resembling the exhaust system of a 1980 Honda Civic, I have some words of advice for you that may or may not have come from first-hand knowledge:

1. Avoid carrots at all costs. While these orange Bugs Bunny favs are nutritional heros on many fronts, chocker block full of Vitamins B, C, D and E, they’re also your friend’s, your co-workers, your acquaintance’s, and even random stranger’s worst nightmare. Unless these suckers are coming from a jar of baby food (and really, do you want to go there?) they’re going to be spewing right back up and out for at least a good hour after every time you have a hacking attack.

2. Ahh oranges, their citrus Vitamin C goodness must be the perfect cold remedy right? Wrong. Imagine yourself three days straight coughing, and not just a wimpy eh-eh cough, a full-blown, abs feel like they’ve gone a round with a boxing kangaroo, three quarters of a lung puked-up cough. Now, feel the juice of that orange squirting straight at your angry, raw, fire-engine-red uvula. Are you screaming, because I sure as heck was.

3. If the stop hand is flashing at the crosswalk, just stop already. Do not try and beat the light, because just like that worn-out, blue exhaust spewing Honda Civic, you won’t make it! You’ve been in bed for three days, you could barely stand up for longer than a few minutes yesterday, and now you think you’re gonna be able to run across the street before the car makes it through the light? Really? Yeah no. Not going to happen. Unless you want to be splat on the pavement, wait.

Any more tips of advice/things to avoid for us lung hackers out there?

Today is Day 5 of the cold from hell, and while I still sound like I’m being taken by the consumption, I do believe I’m on the mend. The stuffed nose is gone, the headache is gone, the body aches (aside from the strained abs) are gone. All that remains is the irritating cough, but I’m hoping by tomorrow that sucker will be gone too, and then I can be back on the bike and in the pool and at the pilates studio … and maybe my sneakers might even be able to hit some pavement too. Fingers crossed.

A sick princess is a bitter princess

Today didn’t exactly turn out the way it was supposed to. Under ideal conditions I would have been racing 15 km around Birch Bay. But, the stress fractures put a wrench in those plans. And so, in these lesser than ideal conditions, I should have been outside enjoying the sun peaking through my blinds. But, the stuffed head, infected snot, phlegmy throat killed those plans. Instead, I spent my Saturday in bed. Awesome … note the sarcasm!

I hate being sick, I’m like the worst patient ever! I’m miserable, I’m irritable, I’m emotional, and oh man am I ever bitter with thoughts like why the hell am I sick, why didn’t these germs latch on to that healthy looking person over there, why the hell did they latch onto me?!? So on Monday morning when Mario told me he was feeling a cough coming on, I first glared and then ran like he had just told me he was sporting the SARS. I did NOT want to get sick.

I know, I know, I’m not the most sympathetic wife and I most definitely have no nurse tendencies in me whatsoever. But seriously, if you knew my immune system, you’d have a hard time telling me you’d do it differently. My body does NOT react well to the sick. When Mario gets sick, he gets a cough, maybe a drippy nose for an hour, loses his energy, and his appetite, not fun by any means, but compared to how I get sick, it’s like fricken’ Hawaii in his body! Me, my eyes burn, my head pounds, my nose feels like I got a carrot stuck up both nostrils, my eyes get all goopy and stuck together, I’m ripping through a box of Kleenex a day, my throat is lined with fat globules of phlegm that feel like shards of glass tearing up every time I swallow or cough, and don’t even get me started on what my blood sugars are doing: up, down, up down.

Was that too much information? Sorry guys, like I said, I’m a bitter sick princess and if I’m suffering, you darn rights I’m going to try everything in my power to make you all suffer a little too!

Luckily for me, though, my dear husband, does have some nurse tendencies in him. I was craving homemade chicken noodle soup last night, and had planned to make some, but because I could barely stand up for longer than a minute, Mario took over. Now, while he’s all about the cooking, he’s never made chicken noodle soup before, and most definitely never made my recipe of chicken noodle soup (which basically consists of throwing a whole bunch of stuff in a pot and hoping for the best) but he shined ever so brightly through it! Ohhhhh salt how I do so love thee when my taste buds have gone awry.

And not only did he make me chicken noodle soup, he also went out and bought me three-flavoured ice cream! Love 😀

Oh yum! Now that beats Buckley’s any day!

Wimp or Wise

I choose life.

About a month ago I was presented with an opportunity that at first I adamantly balked at. No way, no how was I going to be running the Death Race. The fact that it had the word death in it pretty much sealed the deal right there for me. I did not have any desires to be apart of something that involved death. Just ask my soon-to-be-brother-in-law; he’s been suggesting we form a team for more than two years now to which I have repeatedly shot down.

The opportunity to join another team in the Canadian Death Race was posed last month when I went rock climbing with the boys from I Challenge Diabetes, an organization that prides itself on pushing the limits for diabetics, and making sure us type 1s know that we are NOT limited because of this disease.  Founder and Canadian Olympic rowing champion Chris Jarvis told me about the organization’s plans to participate in the race which is held in Grand Cache, Alberta every year. I Challenge Diabetes is forming three relay teams consisting of all Type 1s, and one of which Chris was sure could win the whole thing. And given that I’m an avid runner, he thought it would be a perfect event for me to be apart of. But like I said, initially I wanted nothing to do with it. It didn’t matter how many times he related the elevation to the Grouse Grind “but over a much longer distance,” or how less of a beating he told me it would be compared to a marathon, I was not interested.

But here’s the thing, left to my own thoughts later that night, and into the next couple of days, I started weighing the pros and cons. Sure I could die, and yeah that would totally suck, but a weekend like this, surrounded by that many like-minded type 1s would be something of legends really. I mean the last time I was around that many diabetics was summer camp, and they were definitely NOT like-minded, and definitely NOT challenging their diabetes. How great could this be for me? How great could this be for my ongoing training? How great could this be for my diabetes? Pretty darn amazing, I was thinking.

So, I fired off an email to Chris asking for more details telling him I was intrigued. He responded and had me pegged in to the “tentative” Leg 4 of the relay. Meanwhile, Mario did a little of his own research on the race itself. His results, well, let’s just say, you know those feelings of wishing you had listened to your gut instinct? I was feeling that like a medicine ball to the stomach!

From the race website, this is what I was to look forward to:

“through a deep mud bog … very rough terrain … two creek crossings … steep, rocky drop-offs … unstable footing while running downhill … very slippery, rocky terrain … knee deep water … descent is strewn with boulders and deep ruts … eye protection required … remote areas…”

Night running was also on the agenda for the last two legs.

And just look at this elevation:

Did you see Leg 4 in there? That’s like 7,000 square metres straight up right off the top which is the equivalent of THREE Grouse Grinds, and while I am a fan of the Grouse Grind, I have never, not once, had any desire to do it three times over!

I don’t know if I’m a wimp (I sure as heck felt like one) but after a week of fretting and weighing my options I finally sent Chris another email sheepishly bowing out of the opportunity. It wasn’t just death anymore that scared the bejesus out of me, it was also the fact that I’m a pavement runner, not a trail runner, a daylight runner, not a nightlight runner, a city girl, not a backcountry bear encounter girl, and Leg 4, well, that just made me want to pee my pants!

I just hope I’ll get another opportunity of being surrounded by so many like-minded diabetics – that was the hardest part of me chickening out.

LAST NIGHT’S RIDE

  • 7:30 p.m. BG before: 7.9
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • @40 minutes: BG: 3.2 (1/2c. oj)
  • 8:45 p.m. BG after: 7.0

 

Walking on water

Brace yourself folks, I have some news, unbelievable news, shocking news, your-mouth-will-be-left-agape news. Are you sitting down? Are you ready for this? Okay, here goes … be forewarned,  if you’re not prepared, stop reading now, I take no responsibility for you passing out from sheer disbelief … drum roll please …

IthinkImightactuallylikeaquajogging!!!

Shocking! I KNOW!

But hear me out on this. I met up with my favourite iron chickie again tonight and had a real go at the water unlike Sunday’s aqua stroll, and I was actually getting the hang of it, and we all know how much I do so like mastering a sport, and I could feel it, like ohmygawd, I was actually working my legs – so much so I got a freaking leg cramp! And my heart rate was just a booming, and again, I tend to be a fan of the sports that get my heart rate going. And I took the floaty belt off – IN THE DEEP END – not once, not twice, but so many times I actually forgot how many times I removed that sucker from my waist! Iron chickie said she was proud of me 😀

And every time I took that belt off, Iron chickie ran right alongside me with it in hand ready to pass it over if by chance I started to go under. And just like a mother hen, when I reached the edge, she snapped that belt, which we’ve since named my safety belt, right back onto me.

One lady who was swimming in the same lane as us asked how she did it, how she walked in the deep end without sinking? I lifted up my safety belt; I was no star. But Iron chickie, she had no belt, it was just her legs and her arms keeping her afloat. She’s a star. Take note my friends, someday that’s going to be me. I’m going to get that question, I’m going to be the jogging on water superstar!

But I’m not competitive, oh no 😉

TONIGHT’S AQUA JOG

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 6.8 (granola bar, no bolus)
  • Temp. basal: -40 per cent
  • Time: 48 minutes
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 3.3

I haven’t quite figured out the bolus/basal calculation for aqua jogging just yet. I didn’t want my blood sugars to shoot up like they did on Sunday when I didn’t exert myself as much as I thought I was going to do, but I also didn’t want them to go low, so I compromised with a negative 40 per cent, but as my post pool BG indicated I should have gone down even lower.

Anyone know how a 45-minute to 60-minute hard aqua jog  compares to real running distance wise? I accept guesses too 😀