Monthly Archives: April 2011

A royal affair

Seriously, what was I thinking? Scheduling a dentist appointment? The morning of an infusion set change? The morning of the Royal Wedding? How could I have possibly overlooked such things?

Yes, I am that girl! I love weddings – love them! – and there was no way I was missing Wills and Kate tie the knot, no way I was missing her gown.  And because I had such a busy morning ahead, the alarm clock started blaring at 4:50 a.m. (thank heavens for PVRs ;))

And look who came for tea, flew all the way over from London, to have tea with me:

I loved the wedding, loved the intimateness inside the chapel, loved Kate’s dress which looked so much like Grace Kelly’s, loved the lace, loved that she kept her hair down, loved Harry’s red cheeks, and the bishops unruly eyebrows, and the runaway horse, and the beautiful and crazy fascinators (I need to get me some of those!) and pretending with Mario to be Wills and Kate or the Queen and Camilla, or Chuck and Harry … bet our conversations were way more funny than theirs 😀

But let me just say when you live in a loft, wake up at 4:50 a.m., come out of the shower and are half dressed and you see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge standing in your living room, when you completely forgot they were coming, I bet you’d scream too!

Did you watch the wedding?

Asphalt yes, cement no, trails maybe

Timing is everything. On the drive to my brother’s after work I was cursing myself for choosing to run today instead of yesterday. The monsoon last night was nothing compared to the golf ball sized hail smashing down on my window today. And last night I had my jacket with me, but tonight, as my eyes started spinning watching that hail, I realized my jacket was hanging on the banister at home – an hour away. Oh crud.

And it’s not like I could just shirk this run, I had to run, I haven’t run since Saturday, I needed to get at least one mid-week run in before Saturday’s long run. So, come hail, come monsoon, come thunder and lightening, I would be running. Ahh but my timing proved perfection. By the time I drove up to my brother’s house, the sun was shining and the dark clouds were a good distance away. Shorts weather, yes I think so.

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 11.1
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance: 6.64 km
  • Average pace: 5:58 min/km
  • Time: 39:42 minutes
  • 6 p.m. BG after: 3.9
  • Temp. basal: +30 per cent (1 hour)

It usually takes me about 2 or 3 km to figure out if I’m going to have a good or bad run. Some days I can shake the kinks out and totally rock the run, while others it’s like I’m a granny seizing up halfway to the rocking chair. When I realized I was pushing her good tonight, and feeling totally awesome doing it, I went with it. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep up the pace, or at what point I’d want to collapse, but until that moment came I wasn’t letting up steam, none at all. And you know what, I may have been huffing and puffing pretty good, but at no point did I feel like I was killing myself – and it was a hilly route! Good sign.

However, because I opted to go in the opposite direction from where I usually run from my brother’s house, I was mostly relegated to sidewalks, which I hate running on. Give me asphalt any day, but please keep the cement away. So at about 4 km in, I totally switched things up and hit the trails, which is huge for me because like cement I’m not much of a fan of trails either. But for a short distance, it was a nice break from the sidewalks, both in foot padding and scenery. And it was a trail that I used to walk through all the time as a teenager but haven’t been to in well over a decade, so it had a bit of memory lane attached to it too.

My reward for such a hard rocking run: hanging out with two of my super awesome nephews who with their beautiful smiles and super big hugs can heal any post run aches and pains in a heartbeat!

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding tomorrow morning? I will 😀

Blue box here I come…

Dear Alex Burrows,

As you should very well know (given the hundreds of love  fan letters I’ve written to your bud Ryan Kesler, and before him Jovo and Linden) I have long been a Vancouver Canucks fan. Not once have I jumped off the bandwagon like most Vancouverites are akin to do – not once. Not when Bure left town. Not during the West Coast Express letdown. Not during the many failed attempts against the likes of Jonathon Toews, Brent Seabrook and that oh-so-cocky Patrick Kane. I stood by you guys, thick and thin, I didn’t throw Luongo to the wolves when pucks were getting by him like water through a sieve, I stood up for him. I stood up for all you. But last night, Mr. Burrows, I almost gave up. For the first time in my Canucks loving history, I had almost had enough, was like a nose away from setting my love for you all a sail. Do you blame me? When I heard Shorty’s voice scream, with less than two minutes to go in the third period of the final game of the first series against those no-good Blackhawks, that that  filthy Marion Hossa had gotten away with yet another breakaway, leading to Toews tying the game, that was it. I was done. I’ll admit. I screamed. I cursed. I may have even had a tear or two. I pounded my steering wheel, slammed my radio off and drove in sniffled silence. I did not turn the radio back on, I feared the bing of my phone notifying me of game over, but after just a few minutes, my anger turned back into hope. Quietly I started chanting: “Go Canucks Go… come on Canucks… let’s finish this already… let’s kick some Chicago ass!” The chants got louder, the excitement and fear in my belly was twisting, I believed. And you, my friend, came through. So, my dear Alex Burrows, I thank you for keeping me the most stalkerish devoted fan … please don’t call the cops like Cloutier did when I park outside your house with binoculars. I’m just looking at the stars 😉

Sincerely, Princess.

The Vancouver Canucks didn’t make it easy for us fans, going up 3-0 in the series, and plummeting so far down with Chicago forcing a Game 7 and overtime. After losing Game 6, my heart was so wrenched and I didn’t know if I could go through another game that felt more like a  B-rated horror flick than a hockey game. But when I found out I had a school board meeting to cover last night, I was appalled that I wouldn’t be seeing the game, how could they possibly schedule a meeting on game night? Seriously? But, thanks to laptops and the Internet, I may have been watching the game, but making it look as though I was writing breaking news! Up next: Nashville. Carrie Underwood, your husband is going down!

TONIGHT’S AQUA JOG:

  • 5:30 p.m. BG before: 6.4
  • Temp. basal: -100 per cent (1 hour)
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • 6:30 BG after: 6.1
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1 hour)

So last night’s win had me over the moon, but a text I got at 7 a.m. this morning from one of the Triplets of Runnersville had me dancing on Pluto. I GOT IN!!! it read. I gasped, literally gasped, and quickly opened my email to discover that I GOT IN TOO!!!

I’m in baby! The Nike Women’s Marathon (also known as the Tiffany’s Race) is one of the hardest races to get into, it’s so popular they have a lottery system in place, and this year, it had the most registrants for the lottery. I formed a team with my favourite chicks, but I wasn’t holding out too much hope, and I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t be overly heartbroken if we didn’t get in given that I’m going to be in San Francisco two weeks prior to this race for Mario’s gran fondo, and my wallet would probably love me more if I didn’t get accepted. But really, who was I kidding. This race is the race for me. Any race that ends with a Tiffany’s necklace  – that’s right, a TIFFANY’S NECKLACE!!! – is worth being heartbroken over. Good thing I don’t have to be. Oh happy day!

If you could do any race anywhere, which one would you choose and why?

Easter exhaustion

A 70 km ride one day followed up by a 23 km run the next equalled a brilliantly exhausting weekend that I’m still recovering from days later.


Salted chocolate was just what the doctor ordered!

Happy Easter my friends. This holiday weekend, as they usually tend to be, was a bit of a whirlwind which included cycling, running, eating birthday cake with friends, an early morning conversation – which never happens! – a chocolate egg hunt, a baker’s meltdown, the lip-smacking, piece de resistance stuffing and ham dinner with my most favourite people in the world, and a major Vancouver Canucks’ playoff letdown.

How was your Easter weekend?

SATURDAY’S RUN:

  • 11:15 a.m. BG before: 7.1 (4 sharkies, no bolus)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (2 hours)
  • Distance: 23 km (LSD)
  • Average pace: 6:38 min/km
  • Average heart rate: 165 bpm
  • Time: 2:32.25
  • @45 min: GU gel. @90 minutes: GU gel. @1:45: BG: 12.4 (Negative temp. basal canceled.)
  • 2:30 p.m. BG after: 7.1

Normally I run my LSD runs on Sunday, but because Mario had taken Saturday off, I figured it was a perfect opportunity for us to meet for lunch at Granville Island, with him riding and me running.  (I’d been drooling for a Granville Island sandwich ever since running 3 km shy of one last week.) And I thought for sure, because I’d gone out hard on the bike the day before, my pace would be super slow on Saturday; it wasn’t. I was having to slow myself down quite a few times.

Before leaving the house, I was a little concerned about a bruise on the top of my right foot that had appeared after Wednesday’s run. The bruise was right where the top laces tie together and every step I took there was a wincing of pain to be had. I ended up bandaging the sucker up and switching out the newer shoes for an older pair, which seemed to do the trick. (Note: medical tape my butt; after 23 km, that stuff was more like injury tape, actually tearing my skin apart. The post-run shower burned like hell!)

The run for the most part was great, my ankles felt fine, the sun was shining, the temperature wasn’t too hot or too cold, it was near perfect. But still, unlike last week, I was most definitely wanting to be done at the completion of the run. My legs were so exhausted, they were throbbing!


In case you missed it the first time around, the salted chocolate


What do you get an evil pace bunny who’s training for his first triathlon for his birthday? Why a gravestone cake of course (courtesy of Pam, who’s like a freaking Monet cake creationist!) … and a tube of road rash cream 😉


Oh Lindt, how I do so love you!

I hope you all had a holiday weekend filled with melt-in-your-mouth, dream-worthy, drool-inducing chocolate, and an Easter Monday that you could actually call a holiday … unlike me. But I’m not bitter, oh no.

Conquering the bike snob

Try and snub me now roadies, I dare you, I double dog dare you!

  • Helmet √
  • Ryders √
  • Jersey √
  • Arm warmers √
  • Gloves √
  • Padded cycling shorts √
  • Road bike √
  • Clip-in shoes √

Two weekends ago I bought my very first pair of clip-in shoes and today was the first opportunity I had of using them outside. The shoes were the last accessory I needed to conquer that oh-so-coveted, and yet so snobbishly reserved roadie wave. For three years now I’ve been doing everything in my power to get that wave, but for three years I’ve been snubbed. Sure I’d get the odd one here and there, but for the most part, them roadies made it as though I didn’t even exist. I waved, nothing. I smiled, nothing. I made eye contact, nothing. Snobs, I say, snobs!

But I would not be deterred, oh no. It was a challenge my friends, I was going to get that wave no matter how much it cost me – physically and literally!

When I first started down this cycling path, it was on a Dahan fold-up bike, a great little bike with 24 gears, three rings, did everything a “real” road bike does, even took me as far as Horseshoe Bay one day, which was 80 km of hill hell, but my Dahan, she got me there. The only difference was she folded up; apparently that wasn’t couth with the cycling snobs. So, not long after purchasing my Dahan, I upgraded to my Kona Zing. And still no waves. I then bought a pair of butt accentuating (my butt does NOT need anymore accentuating) padded cycling shorts. Nothing. I got the cyclist sunglasses, had the cycling socks, the jersey, the arm warmers, the jacket, everything but the shoes. Today, I had those shoes.

TODAY’S RIDE:

  • 10 a.m. BG before: 10.1
  • Temp. basal: -80 per cent (4 hours)
  • Distance: 70.12 km (New West-UBC-New West)
  • Average speed: 20.5
  • Time: 3:21:39
  • 3 p.m. BG after: 10.0
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (4 hours)

Today wasn’t the first time I’ve ridden with clip-in pedals. The first time was back in October, when I rode the cobbles of Belgium with Mario and my cousins, where riding in sneakers was not acceptable. And it was okay, I was pretty good at it for the most part; I didn’t fall over. So with that fairly successful experience, you’d figure I’d be good to go for today, right. Wrong. I was totally freaking out, and rightfully so. While I didn’t fall over, I came close at one point, having to smash my bike repeatedly against my leg to break free of the connection; there were several times where I couldn’t get my foot clipped in for the life of me; and there were a couple of occasions, where because I couldn’t get my foot clipped back in, I wasn’t even through the traffic light before it had already changed back to red again. Awesome.


Totally sucking up this hill and not impressed with Mario’s camera in my face!


And the fact that he made it look so bloody easy in his fancy schmancy, super fast, super new, sexy Lapierre didn’t irritate me at allnote the sarcasm!

I know the theory behind clip-in shoes, that they’re supposed to make you a more efficient cyclist, that they’re supposed to make you work more for more, and that cyclists “apparently” really do fall in love with them, but you know, the thoughts going through my head for about 90 per cent of that ride, went a little like this: Forget the bloody wave, I’m happy being the lazy girl cyclist!


I most definitely deserved this ever-so-tasty lunch at Mahoney’s; the only missing was the beer!

Of these athletic types – runners, cyclists, triathletes, pole walkers – which would you classify the nicest, the snobbiest, the weirdest, the bestest?

Fire! Fire! Shins on fire!

I almost didn’t make it, was totally going to quit, my shins were screaming at me to stop, burning like they were a pig on a spit, and I’d only gone 1.5 km – this was not going to be a good run. It didn’t help that it was preceded by a major traffic jam on the highway that took me an hour and 15 minutes to get from the office to my brother’s house; a drive that should have only taken 20 minutes.


Why are we paving the highway at rush hour?

As mentioned yesterday I had planned on running 10 km, but my legs had other ideas. They wanted to lie on the couch, or soak in the tub, or even sit at the blogging desk – they did not want to run. And if the shins on fire weren’t bad enough, my form was majorly off. I was slapping my feet, not even the music coming from my ear buds could drown out that clomping, and I was going all bird like craning my head forward and with my shoulders creeped up to my ears. At 3.3 km in, with sweat dripping out of my jacket and with an average pace that my grandma could do, I was ready to throw the towel in. I stopped my Garmin, took off my mitts (why am I still wearing mitts in April???) and jacket, and stretched out my legs. And then I started thinking, I’m still going to have to run another 3.3 km to get back to my brother’s house, what’s another 4.5 km really? Have I mentioned, I ain’t no quitter.

I headed towards Clayburn Village, a historic village that came into being with its brick plant in the early 1900s and still fashions itself after those turn-of-the-century times with old brick buildings, open gardens and white picket fences.

I’m glad I kept going. Pretty much as soon as I started to run again, the shin flames had seemingly been doused and I was good to go. So good, I was booking it without really noticing, which helped bring my average pace back down to a respectable digit – and the way back had like 5 hills! And not piddly hills, oh no, running back up from Clayburn Village is like climbing the Mt. Ventoux (okay, maybe not that steep but it’s freaking steep) three back-to-back hills with nary a flatline for recovery! Good thing I like hills 😀

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 6:15 p.m. BG before: 11.1
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1.5 hours)
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Average pace: 6:22 min/km
  • Average heart rate: 162 bpm
  • Time: 1:03:52
  • 7:30 p.m. BG after: 5.6
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1.5 hour)

Note: The shin pain had nothing to do with my recently healed stress fracture, it wasn’t that kind of a pain. I am wondering, however, if it had anything to do with the fact I was wearing my compression socks underneath my compression tights, maybe they just got overly tight … or maybe they were still tired from Sunday’s run. Who knows, all I know is that my legs and feet are in desperate need of a massage!

Do you run with compression socks?

Raccoons on Robson

Ahh perfection, you really aren’t so perfect after all. I walked into my specialist’s office this morning and he was beaming, literally beaming, with the results of my 6.7 HGa1C three-month BG average. “These are great numbers,” he said, “can’t get much better than these numbers,” he said. And then, just like that, he flipped the switch. Being the super smart endocrinologist that he is, he knew that my blood sugars haven’t consistently been in the 6.0 range, nah, I’m not that perfect. “How many lows have you been experiencing?” he asked. Dammit!

Yes, I am a low blood sugar kind of girl. With the amount of exercise I do, and the not-quite perfect calculations I make, my blood sugars like to hang around the bottom of the pool. My guess, and I don’t know this for sure, but given the line of questioning from my doc, is that average diabetics experience a few lows a week, I experience a few lows a day sometimes. But not drastic lows, I haven’t needed help for a low in eight or nine years, and that’s a good thing. He didn’t seem overly concerned, he would like to know what’s going on with my BG overnight, but given that Animas doesn’t yet have a sensor to monitor continuous blood glucose, he can’t find out. Yet. Apparently Animas is getting a sensor in the very near future according to my doc.

Despite having a great visit, I vowed upon leaving my hot doc for yet another year to not have a low today. (Baby steps!) And you know how I made that possible? I went out and bought me some Belgian chocolate, chocolate chunk cookies! Yum 😀

I ended up spending the day in Vancouver as my appointment was at 10 a.m. and rather than have to take the Skytrain back home and then drive the hour to work, I figured I’d just hunker down at a Starbucks and get some writing done. It’s nice to get away from the phone all the time sometimes don’t you think?

At around 4 p.m. when I had packed up to go home and was walking up Robson Street, a pretty heavy vehicle- and foot-traffic street, the weirdest thing happened. I saw something stalking towards me from the middle of the street. I stared at it and at first I couldn’t figure it out and then it registered – it was a freaking raccoon! Are you kidding me, we’re in the city? These things seriously scare the pants off me. The landlord at a basement suite I used to rent told me the previous tenant was attacked by one! And when I was a summer camp counselor in Maine, one of the cabins I was stationed in was like the furthest out from everything, and it had a massive garbage bin just outside of it, and on the nights when I uhm got a little inebriated stayed late reading at the library and had to sneak back to the cabin, there was like a family of raccoons hanging out at the bin, and I’d have to run to the cabin and not dare look in their direction. They ain’t cute – they’re freaking vicious!


You weren’t getting me any closer to that sucker!

I had intended on running 10 km tonight, but given that I was up until almost 2 trying to download my blood sugars (stupid, finicky ezManagerMax software that didn’t end up working forcing me to go all old school writing them out) and back up again at 6:30, I was just far too exhausted for any kind of run, trainer, even blogging felt somewhat daunting. The run has been postponed to tomorrow, and tonight I rest, and maybe eat a few more of those scrumdiliumptious cookies … all in the name of keeping my blood sugars up of course 😉