Monthly Archives: February 2013

Running … with company

Full disclosure part 1: My training the last couple of weeks has fallen off the map.

For the last 10 days, the Princess and the Rings have been entertaining Big Ring’s mom and niece from Onterrible; the first visit since Little Ring’s birth. In the weeks leading up to the visit, I thought for sure I’d keep up with my running and strength training. I had a well defined plan, and I was determined not to stray from it. But then, our guests arrived.

Now, let me backtrack a moment. Big Ring and I are not well versed in the art of entertaining. Since purchasing our loft four years ago, we have hosted just ONE other couple, and that was long before Little Ring’s existence. Heck, I’m pretty sure we can count on two hands the number of times we’ve held dinners at our place. So really, we can’t be faulted for not realizing ahead of time just how stinking exhausting daily entertaining can be!

Initially I thought I would get my runs in at night, but after hours of driving around (it rained a lot) or sight seeing, or even simply negotiating acceptable activities for an 18 year old who loves to shop and a 76 year old who values her rest, by late afternoon all I wanted to do was crash in my bed. I did not want to lace up my sneakers. I did not want to brave the rain. I did not want to pull out the mat and activate my push-ups and planks. I just wanted to sleep.

So, I changed course and tried getting my runs in, after getting Little Ring sorted, in the morning. But that also proved challenging as I felt I was holding everyone else up for getting started on their day. Ugh. And my strength training, oh man, the only way I was able to get my circuits in was to opt out of an afternoon or two of activities – but that, too, was not always possible. I didn’t want to be rude.

Unfortunately (for me and my fast softening belly) the perfect solution to fulfill their touristy desires and my running needs was only just realized yesterday; the last day of their visit! When Big Ring suggested we walk around the Olympic Village, where his niece could see where the 2010 athletes stayed and his mom could relax with a cup of hot chocolate in one of the nearby cafés, we decided it would also be a great opportunity for me to get a quick run in on the Seawall out towards Granville Island. And so, instead of dressing in my regular wear, I kitted up in my running gear, and packed along an extra pair of Lululemon pants, hoodie and warm socks for the post-run activities. Win. Win.

Why the heck didn’t we think of that sooner?

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Because sometimes, company and all, you’ve just got to run (ps. that’s not me!)

YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 2:30 p.m. BG before: 6.0 (2 biscuits, 16 grams carbs, no bolus)
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Distance: 4.95 km
  • Pace: 5:54 min/km
  • Time: 30 minutes (5′ warmup, 20′ tempo, 5′ cooldown)
  • 3:15 p.m. BG after: 3.3 😦

And so, my friends, instead of a week filled with three run days, two strength training days, and one cross training day, I managed just two runs, one strength day, and one 40-minute stint aqua jogging at the pool last week, and so far this week, I’ve accomplished just one run and no strength training or cross training … then again, the week is not yet done, and I no longer have company. Time to get back on that training wagon 😀

Stumped by the lingo and gizmos

When I dreamed of coming back to running I thought it would be like riding a bike. Actually,  no. I thought it would be like running, something we’ve all done since we first learned how to put one foot in front of the other. And it was…for the most part. I got out there and it was as though I had never left, the wind in my face, the burn in my thighs, the spreading and releasing of my toes with each foot strike I made; a feeling more familiar than the back of my hand.

But then, three weeks ago, it all changed. Suddenly I was being stumped, stumped by all the running lingo and gizmos – terminology and technology I thought would forever be stamped not only in my feet but also in my brain.

Cadence? Tempo? LSD? (Okay, that one I remembered, but only because it reminds me of something else ;)) What the hell was all that???

I am now well into the second month of my running comeback, and it seems, according to Coach NZ, I’ve built a foundation around my running. The first month we concentrated on reacquainting my feet, legs, hips and core with the pavement. There was no Garmin to track my pace, or to measure my distance, or to sound the alarms for walk breaks. It was just me and my shoes running with the freedom of the wind before us.

But now, that welcome back banner is gone, replaced by my nemesis: SPEED!

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Month 2, Week 1: my first tempo run. Uh what now? For the life of me I could not recall what the hell I was to do on a tempo run. I knew it called for a faster pace, but how fast? Was it just a slight increase? Could I still run and chat if I so desired? Or was I to give it my all and feel like my heart would pop out of my chest (along with my dinner!)?

I opted for the latter. I still hadn’t pulled my Garmin out of the drawer at this point, and so to ensure I was putting a decent effort in, I figured I’d do the talk test. If I could have a conversation, I wasn’t working hard enough…the only problem, I didn’t have anyone to have that conversation with. But hey, it was dark, the boardwalk was near deserted, I figured, I could huff out a few words. So I asked myself “How are you doing,” and myself responded, “Just fine thank you,” which indicated to me that I wasn’t going fast enough… and to the dude who appeared out of nowhere (and who was quickly inching as far away from me as possible) that I was most definitely a crazy person. Hehe 🙂

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 8 a.m. BG before: 10.1
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Distance: 6.4 km
  • Pace: 6:26 min/km
  • Time: 42 minutes
  • 9 a.m. BG after: 6.2

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Beautifully crisp sunny morning = perfect for a run 🙂

And then came my Garmin run. After nearly a year since I last strapped the Garmin around my wrist, setting that bloody thing up was like trying to figure out quantum mechanics! I was pressing button after button, causing beeps here, beeps there, it honestly took 10 minutes to get it properly set up for a 15:1 interval run – and that was after the debacle of waiting for the satellites to kick in, which took forever!!!

For those of you who don’t live surrounded by condos, check out this video I did back in 2010, it will show the MANY frustrations I deal with when it comes to Mr. Garmin.

Yep. Once again, I am a slave to the lingo and technology!

TMI: the push-up puker

Some athletes hurl after running a marathon, but not Little Ring, oh no, he does it after a few rounds of pushups. Hehe 😛

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My little push-up puker 😉

This post may very well be up there with the one I wrote back in the summer of 2010: WARNING: Trotting to the toilet

Too much information???

Strength training…with love

Who needs chocolates? Who needs flowers? Who even needs Tiffany’s*? Not me, not when I’ve got the two very best loves of my life, every day of my life … yep, I’m all romantic like that 😉

However, that Coach NZ, she’s all hardcore. No days off for Valentine’s Day, oh no, today we were back at it with strength training, but she did note it was strength training with love day!

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TODAY’S STRENGTH:

  • 2 p.m. BG before: 6.4
  • Temp. basal: none
  • 3 sets 12 lunges
  • 3 sets squats
  • 3 sets calf raises
  • 3 sets 10 pushups
  • 3 sets straight planks (45 seconds each)
  • 2 sets side planks (60 seconds each)
  • 2 sets 30 airplane/swimming thingamabob
  • 3 sets 30 clam shells (both sides)
  • 3 sets 16 leg raises
  • 2:30 p.m. BG after: 5.0

Yep, there was love alright!

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Laughing squats

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We do pushups together in this family.

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And when mama needs a little added encouragement with her pushups, the boy is right there.

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“Look Mama, I can do the side planks too!”

And a post-workout, Valentine’s reward by way of America’s Test Kitchen recipe for chewy brownies = yu-um!!!

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

* Don’t get me wrong, Tiffany’s is always nice :D*

Planks, they do a body good

What Pilates, evil crunches, and straight diet couldn’t do for me, Coach NZ and Little Ring have! A series of events have recently occurred leading me to believe those two are serious miracle workers!

(1) CALL THE DOCTOR:

Princess: “I think I need to see the doctor?”
Big Ring: “Why?”
Princess: “I think something’s wrong with my belly; it doesn’t feel right.”
Big Ring: “What do you mean?”
Princess: “Feel it. It’s hard.”
With his hand on my stomach, he gave me a questionable look, not understanding my fear at all.
Princess: “It’s never been hard before, it’s always been soft. This is NOT normal!!!”

(2) THERE WILL BE BLOOD:

For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling to insert infusions in my stomach, which has almost always been my go-to site for the infusions and before that the daily injections. I’ve been fighting to find a comfortable spot, I’ve been jabbing veins, which smarts like bloody hell, and I’ve got so many droplets of blood squirting up it looks like I’ve got the ebola of the belly! But last week was the tipper – I went through four infusions – FOUR!!! – in just two days! (Normally, one lasts 3-4 days.) I’d insert them and it would seriously feel as though I had a knife twisting back and forth in my belly. And one of them practically erupted under the skin – shooting blood like a canon when I pulled it out. I nearly went through a roll of toilet paper trying to clot the bloody thing!

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Blood in the canula, never a good thing.

I couldn’t figure it out. What the hell was going on? Aside from when I was pregnant and my belly was stretched taut, I’ve never had a problem with my stomach for infusions – never. And then, four in one week – these suckers are NOT cheap!

(3) MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL:

I’d been staring at my belly – for like the thousandth time in the mirror in recent weeks – wondering what was going on, trying to figure it out. For the life of me I didn’t understand why it was not softening, why it was not becoming the pre-pregnancy Buddha wish pot it had always been. I analyzed the last bits of pregnancy, by way of stretched skin, still hanging at the lower part of the abdomen; the section from the belly button to the rib cage; the rib cage to the breast bone. (I think I’ve got my anatomy right :)) It was in the latter two that I saw something, something I had never seen before.

Princess: “Big Ring! Big Ring! Come quick!”
Big Ring: “What? What?”
Princess: “I need you to look at something… look at my stomach… what do you see?”
He paused. His eyes moved up and down the area in question. Then he smiled.
Big Ring: “I see a flat stomach! You’re getting a four pack!”

Uh what? I spent hundreds of dollars on Pilates, I’ve done hundreds of much-hated crunches, I used to run five times a week, I used to eat nothing but health, and always – ALWAYS! – I had a soft midsection. And yet, three months of strength training with Coach NZ (and her little sidekick Little Ring whose giggles keeping me going) have changed that. A twice-a-week, half-hour circuit of lunges, squats, planks, side planks, airplanes, pushups, leg raises, and clam shells have started me down the path towards having my first ever four pack!!!

Goodbye Buddha. Hello abs of steel 😀

Refusing the iBert bike seat

Oh man, the laughter that shot out of me the other night, I swear it shook the building!

It was the night of my last blog post. I had been walking around for days giggling manically; Big Ring knew something was up and was a little, dare I say, frightened. After posting my blog, I refused to leave his side until he read it. At first I waited patiently, but for some reason the guy was not interested in his computer, he was more interested in the real estate porn on the TV. I thought I was gonna pee my pants, I’d been waiting so long, but there was no way I was gonna leave the room and have him read it without me seeing his reaction! After what seemed like forever, he finally shuffled over to his computer, and started clicking on his million or so bookmarks. As soon as I saw my blog pop on his screen, I could feel the evil excitement bubbling in my belly, and could barely contain the laughter within me. I watched as he slowly scrolled down, reciting the words silently in my head. And then, when that shot of the green iBert on the beautiful Bianchi appeared, I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I was snorting like a fat little pug! His eyes shot open, his mouth tried forming words, but for a moment, it was just flabbergasted silence. And then, just as fast as he lost his words, he regained them:

“Not going to happen!” he said. A cavalcade of reasons why came flooding out of his mouth fast and furious. Some of them genuine observations and concerns, but most, big fat lies:

  • “It’s like putting steer horns on the hood of a Ferrari!”
  • “It’s $1,200!”
  • “It’s banned in Canada!”
  • “It’s not suitable for carbon-fibre bikes!”
  • “Could you imagine if Jens Voigt had one of those? He’d have to have SIX strapped to his bike!”
  • “It may be suitable for some road bikes, but it’s not for Lapierres; says that right at the bottom of the page!”
  • “You wouldn’t be able to see your Garmin with that, and if you can’t see your Garmin, there’s no point in riding your bike!”
  • “Mark Cavendish has a kid and you don’t see him riding around with one those!”
  • “The entire nation of France would lay a serious whoop ass on us if we did that to the Lapierre!”

I kid you not, the excuses were coming out of him faster than vomit after a night of tequila! Apparently he really doesn’t want iBert messing with his beloved mistress. Can I blame him? Not really, but uhm, I’ve been saddled with BOB, so really, how is this any different? I’m just saying!

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How dare I even think to mess with his beloved mistress!

YESTERDAY’S RUN:
5:30 p.m. BG before: 9.0
Temp. basal: none
Time: 30 minutes – 10 warmup/10 tempo/10 cool down
6:30 p.m BG after: 7.6

And if you missed it, “BOB” replied to my last post in the comments section 😉

Running with BOB

Dear BOB,

I’m really not sure how much longer this relationship of ours will last. I had had such high hopes for our running friendship months before we were even introduced, but my gawd, practically every time we meet you terribly disappoint.

Shall we start with your blatant rotundness dear pal? I don’t know who you’re trying to kid here, it doesn’t matter how much of that “slimming” dark blue you try to camouflage yourself with, it is so painfully obvious you need to lose weight. A lot of weight! I mean, seriously, you told me you had a lean frame, you told me you were light as a feather, you told me you were so fit, you could run like the Kenyans, but the second I saw you, I knew you were lying, I knew you were nothing more than a oaf that’s been planted in front of the TV for months on end, eating nothing but Oreos and cream cheese.

That is not acceptable.

You told me you’d be a great running partner, meeting my needs with every foot cycle made. You said you were fast, a Speedy Gonzalez. You said you were superior when it came to hills and rough terrain trails. You said no run could beat you; your stability was second to none. You were smooth in your courtship, oh yes you were. And when we stepped outside for that first run together, ohhh how I had hoped it would be a beautiful run, a run reminiscent of those with my favourite running chicks. But no, sadly, just like 90 per cent of the others trolling those online match-making sites (which is where we first met) I quickly came to the realization, you were nothing but a big, fat, no-good liar.

That is not acceptable.

Fast? Stable? Superior maneuverability? Are you kidding me? Your heavy load does nothing but slow me down. Your wobbliness has me veering all over the pavement. I try to help guide you in a straight line with one hand on your shoulder, while fiercely pumping my other arm trying to give us both added momentum, but your form, Dear BOB, is such a blimey mess, I’m forced to plant both hands on your shoulders more often than not, which then screws up my form. And how about that time you decided to go careening into the cement embankment while descending down a hill.

That is NOT acceptable.

Granted, you have made a friend in Big Ring. He boasts about how you keep his pace at a good tempo, how you keep him from expending all his energy too early in the run. He loves your support on the run, brags about how you’re probably the best running partner he’s ever had, always there for him to lean on when in need. He gives me pep talks, sends me links to articles about top marathoners running with your twins, says you’ll help me get stronger, you’ll help with my endurance. And he tells me that nothing will ever live up to my favourites, but that I need to be patient, adjust to the change, and in time, he’s confident I’ll soon love you too, or at the very least, not loathe you. But BOB, don’t get too comfortable, I’m on to that Big Ring, oh yes I am. These exclamations of praise and patience are nothing more than him not wanting a new cycling partner of his own.

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SOURCE: How totally awesome is iBert? First, she doesn’t require any additional storage space, and surely if Bianchi can take her for a spin, so can Lapierre 🙂

So BOB, what are you going to do about this? Are you gonna shape up? Are you going to start acting like the inflated description in your profile and produce? Or, are you going to continue to be a joke, a failed, un-laughable joke? The choice is yours, BOB, but let me tell you, if you choose the latter, you will be replaced by a leaner, meaner, fitter, better running partner. Oh yeah, you better be scared!

Sincerely,
Princess

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YESTERDAY’S RUN… with BOB

  • 5:30 BG before: 9.0
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Time: 33 minutes – 10 minutes warm up/ 10 minutes tempo/ 10 minutes cool down
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 7.2