Monthly Archives: August 2013

12 months: Moments…

Shhh…

As I sit here in the rocking chair with you sleeping in my arms, my heart is near bursting. (Note: the heart bursting thing, it’s a daily occurrence when it comes to you) You’ve been sleeping for awhile now; I just can’t bring myself to lay you in your crib for the night. Good thing. Moments ago, your eyes popped open and you gave your mama the sweetest smile and the most heart-melting giggle. Then, you promptly fell back asleep.

Dear boy, I love these moments!

Dear boy, I love you!

You, who by the way, after months and months (seriously, months!) of teasing us with a Jack-in-the-Gums style tooth finally cracked a proper tooth just last week. Gone is my toothless wonder!

You, who by the way, loves to live on the edge, giving your mama heart palpitations every step of the way, whether it be mastering the art of solo standing in the most dangerous locales, the bath, the stairs, mamsy and papsy’s bed, or riding the swings like a roller coaster with your arms all up in the air, head and torso joyously swinging backwards!

You, who by the way, loves accolades and praise, and who is not shy of giving it to yourself, clapping with great gusto every time you feel it warranted: standing solo; spoon feeding yourself; pulling all your clothes out of the drawer; flinging clean – and usually freshly folded –laundry all over the floor; destroying a tower of Italian wooden blocks…

Clap. Clap. Clap.

You, who by the way, blows your mama’s mind with the expansiveness of your intelligence. Your love of the ‘H’ words: Hi. Hey. Hat. Head. Your remarkable talent for mimicry, whether it be the satisfying breath you take after a swig of water, or the AAAAAAAA sounds you make after your mama and papsy sneeze, or the woof, woof, woof you vocalize in the presence of dogs.

You, who by the way, are maddeningly stubborn (must have got that from your Papsy ;)) and want nothing but freedom and independence with such tasks as feeding yourself, stacking your blocks, opening the lid to the trunk of your car, which never stays open.

You, who by the way, are growing up way too fast.

Tonight you are 0. Tomorrow you are 1.

How did that happen?

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“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” ~ Robert Munsch

26 years of Dear Diabetes

About 30 years ago I had a dream. In my future, I wanted to be a doctor and an author. The author part was natural; I loved reading and I loved making up stories. But the doctor, well, that was the more the evil meanderings of a younger sister 😀

You see, my big sister Jules is nine years older than me, and back then (and sometimes still) she was always the boss! Jules, at the time, had great notions of becoming a nurse, and me, at just five or six years old, already knew doctor trumped nurse. Finally I’d be the boss. Mwahahaaaa!

Fast forward a few years to the day I got diabetes. It didn’t take long to change my mind about wanting to become a doctor, what with the long hospital stays, trips to the ER, endless amounts of blood-sucking needle jabs. No thank you.

Thanks for that Dear Diabetes.

Note: I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes 26 years ago today, on Aug. 23, 1987; the same day as my big sister’s birthday. Do you think she hexed me 😉

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Happy Birthday Jules!!! Now that’s something to celebrate! Heart!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 10:30 a.m. BG before: 7.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: Larabar 30 minutes prior (19g) half bolus
  • Time: 1:00:15
  • Distance: 10.15 km
  • Average pace: 5:55 min/km
  • Average cadence: 84 spm
  • 11:45 p.m. BG after: 4.4

130823bakeryThis, too, was also worth celebrating – best post-run tuna waldorf and chocolate chip cookie EVER!

Why I run…

I run for my health.

I run for my happiness.

I run for my equilibrium.

I run for my sanity.

I run to clear my mind.

I run to settle my emotions.

I run to rid myself of daily toxins.

I run to keep my weight in line.

I run to keep my blood sugars in check.

I run to give Dear Diabetes a big, fat F.U. with my middle finger.

130820FUdiabetes

I run to experience the thrill of the endorphins.

I run for that boost of natural caffeine.

I run for the scenic views.

I run for the new adventures.

I run for the exhilaration of the warm, summer breeze slapping my face.

I run for the bragging rights.

I run for the competition, the challenge, the notion of bettering myself with every turnover I make.

I run because I love to run.

And when I can’t run, when something is holding me back – illness, injury, circumstance – it kills.

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Yesterday, I ran.

YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 5 a.m. BG before: 7.4
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 1/2 Bonk Breaker bar (17g) with bolus
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Distance: 5.24 km
  • Average pace: 5:41 min/km
  • Average cadence: 85 spm
  • 6:15 a.m. BG after: 9.1

Just 30 minutes. Just back-to-basics. No music. No worrying of pace. Just minding my form and foot turnover. There was pressure, but not pain. I ran through it.

I. RAN.

And tomorrow, I’m going to do it all over again 😀

 

To fluff or not…

July 31, 2013
Cook’s Illustrated – March/April issue
Fluffy omelets

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The day I moved away from my parents’ at 19 was the day omelets became a regular staple in my diet.

As you all know by now, I am not a good cook, and for the most part, when it comes to savoury dishes I do not enjoy the kitchen. For years I had no desire to learn dinner-style meals; my dinners pretty much consisted of omelets. Every night. You’d think I’d get sick of them after awhile, right, goodness knows my housemates got sick of the smell, but nope, I loved my omelets then, and I love my omelets now.

When Big Ring and I started dating, I quickly discovered that he, too, loved omelets… just not every night. Every week, to this day, they’re on our meal plan. And every trip to France we’ve made (3 for me, 4 for him) the first meal is ALWAYS an omelet and a side baguette.

Knowing that, you’re probably now wondering why I’d even bother including an omelet into my 12 Months of Cooking challenge. Well folks, this was no ordinary omelet. This omelet required oven time. This omelet required fluffing up time. This omelet required attention to detail. This omelet required a cooperative child.

My gawd, did it ever!

Given that Little Ring had been struggling with a Jack-in-the-Gums tooth all day, we decided to wait on our dinner until after he went to bed. The kid was tired, you could see he was tired, his eyes were droopy, he was expressing Tyrannosaurus Rex yawns, and melting down at the littlest of things. But do you think the boy would give in to Mr. Sandman? No.

Halfway through prepping the omelet – after whipping up the egg whites into firm yet semi soft peaks, and then combining them with the rest of the omelet concoction ready for the oven – I stepped away to assist Big Ring in calming our boy. By the time I had come back, the fluffiness had semi deflated 😦

I knew its looks were already far from perfection, but I hoped to still score high on taste in the end, which I am relieved to say I did. The balsamic vinegar was sheer brilliance. I’ve done omelets with caramelized green onions and mushrooms, but I had never thought to include balsamic vinegar. It kicked the flavour up ten-fold!

But still, I didn’t really see the point in the soufflé style omelet. For the most part, it tasted just like any other omelet I’d made prior, it was just somewhat fluffier. Why put that work in, when you could do the same for far less time?

Will I be doing this recipe again? Probably not. The balsamic vinegar concoction will be incorporated into future omelets, but the fluff I can go without.

130731fluffy1

Ingredients
4 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (a tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice can be used instead)
1 recipe filling (see related content)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk egg yolks, melted butter, and salt together in bowl. Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and sprinkle cream of tartar over surface. Fit stand mixer with whisk and whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, 2 to 2½ minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks just start to form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites until no white streaks remain.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom of pan. When butter foams, quickly add egg mixture, spreading into even layer with spatula. Remove pan from heat and gently sprinkle filling and Parmesan evenly over top of omelet. Transfer to oven and cook until center of omelet springs back when lightly pressed, 4½ minutes for slightly wet omelet and 5 minutes for dry omelet.
3. Run spatula around edges of omelet to loosen, shaking gently to release. Slide omelet onto cutting board and let stand for 30 seconds. Using spatula, fold omelet in half. Cut omelet in half crosswise and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Questions of a setback

Ugh. I had a different post planned for today, but then yesterday happened and I couldn’t possibly not document the event. Negative or not.

Yesterday (I can’t even call it morning) I got up at 4:30 a.m..

On purpose.

For a run.

Are you freaking kidding me? Who the hell’s bright idea was that?

Oh right. Mine.

130815morningrun
What was I thinking?

Following Monday’s glorious revelation that I was on the mend, I thought for sure I’d be good to go for Wednesday morning too. But instead of taking it easy, as was initially planned, I thought, well, hey, I could probably get back on with my training program, and seeing as how Wednesday’s run was to be a 60 minute run, 40 minutes of which were at tempo pace (5:00-5:15 min/km) I needed to get up earlier to ensure I’d be back and showered before Little Ring woke from his evening slumber. So, 4:30 it was.

And you know what? It’s pretty darn dark at 4:30. And when you see a guy sitting on a bench next to the playground, or a dude standing outside his parked vehicle with the motor on, no one else in sight, I got to say, worst thoughts come to mind… or maybe that’s just me. Oh and hey, those visions captured out of the corner of your eye, they may just be hallucinations, but by gawd, they get your heart pounding full of fear nonetheless.

130815headlamp
I couldn’t find my good headlamp, and was forced to use this one, which, let me just say, is absolutely useless!

Now, maybe my super early morning running experience would have been different had I not had such a troublesome run. Maybe I would have actually enjoyed it and not thought my life in danger every stride of the way. But alas, that was not to be.

From the moment I started running, there was pressure, not hammers, but an uncomfortable pressure that had me questioning whether I should be continuing or not. In hopes of it alleviating, I kept going. I tried to keep my form proper, I tried to quicken my foot turnover, I tried to get my pace up, but none of it worked. The pressure was not dissipating.

Not even 20 minutes in, I stopped.

YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 4:30 a.m. BG before: 6.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 1/2 Bonk Breaker bar (17g) with bolus
  • Time: 16:49
  • Distance: 2.88 km
  • Average pace: 5:50 min/km
  • Average cadence: 84 spm
  • 6 a.m. BG after: 4.1

And now, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know why the pressure was there this time but not the last time. I don’t know why Monday’s run was so great, and this one so abysmal. I don’t know if I should have kept going or if I was right to stop. I don’t know if I should keep trying or take another week. I don’t know what this means for my training.

Which sucks given last week’s confidence 😦

On the mend

I did it!!!

I started a run this morning and I finished a run this morning; the first time in 2 weeks I’ve been able to do so. And my gawd, by the excitement that filled my legs, that fluttered through my belly, that heartened my smile, you would have thought I’d have just completed a marathon in under 4 hours, (which, by the way, is a goal) rather than just a measly 4 km at a slower than desired pace.

130812smiles
Post-run smiles that would have been even bigger had I not caught a glimpse of those early morning bags under my eyes 😉

But here’s the thing: Two weeks ago, following Jog for the Bog, I was immobile and seriously questioning whether I needed a wheelchair, or at the very least crutches. One week ago, the second I started running, I felt as though I had a multitude of hammers pounding down on both sides of my pelvis, and didn’t even get 200 metres into the run. But today, there were no hammers, there was no pain. I did start to feel a slight pressure on one side of my groin about 300 metres into the run, but it wasn’t unmanageable and it didn’t get worse as the run progressed. And hours later, there was no price to pay or body rebelling repercussions. For the most part, everything seemed just fine.

Which means… I AM OFFICIALLY ON THE MEND!!!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 5 a.m. BG before: 6.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 1/2 Bonk Breaker bar (20g) with bolus and BG correction
  • Time: 24:50
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Average pace: 6:12 min/km
  • Average cadence: 84 spm
  • 6:15 a.m. BG after: 3.1

This being my first run back, I didn’t want to overdo it and risk flaring up the injury, so I opted not to follow my training program, which had me scheduled for a crazy set of 6x 1km speed intervals, (Eek!) but instead go for a quick shake-out run at a super easy pace. Aside from the slight pressure, the run felt fine, and I think for Wednesday, I’ll be able to increase my pace and distance and then see about getting back on my proper training program again.

However, there was one glitch with this run: my blood sugars. I majorly failed my BG this morning and I’m pretty sure it had to do with the super easy pace. Normally when I do early morning runs, I’m either running speed intervals or tempo runs, which for some crazy messed up body chemistry reason shoots my blood sugars up rather than down despite the runs taxing my body of all energy. And so, because of that, when I eat my pre-run snack, I always give myself a full insulin bolus, and a BG correction if needed, to combat any potential highs that may occur. Which is what I did this morning neglecting the fact I wasn’t running speed intervals or tempo or even my long run pace, but rather a much slower pace.

Cue the post-run low 😦

Training the mind

As I sit here typing away (with ice on my buttocks) I contemplate the week that was. There was no moping, there were no tears, nor were there questions of failure. It’s been a week since I last tried running, two weeks since I successfully completed a run. But unlike injuries of past, this one did not send me spinning down the rabbit’s hole of depression.

Sure, following last Monday’s failed run, there were a few moments of disappointment and anxiety, but honestly, those moments lasted all of a half an hour. In fact, my last blog post, the one all about suckage, was written in my head in that half hour while sitting on a bench outside. By the time I reached the door to the loft, though, those feelings had almost all but dissipated.

And yet, I’m pretty sure this has been the most painful, or at the very least the second most painful, injury I have endured. (The ankle stress fractures really sucked!) But this time, there was something in me, something that refused to give up, something that believed in my ability to overcome this injury. Not once did I believe this was the end of my training for the season. Not once did I think I would not be running my half marathon goal race in September. Not once did I contemplate throwing in the training towel.

Which brings me to what I’ve been doing for the last several months: Training my mind in tandem with my legs and core. I’ve been reading books – A Life Without Limits (amazing!); Eat & Run (inspiring!); and now My Life On the Run (still too early to comment.) – magazine articles, online studies, and I’ve also been talking to several runners in my life who inspire me every single day.

130811inspiration

This training has mostly been centred around race day; training my mind not to give up when the race becomes more difficult, to keep going despite fatigue, belly issues, etc., to push hard straight through to the finish line. To refuse failure.

But the thing is, everything I’ve read is just as useful for injury as it is for race day. Triathlete Chrissie Wellington pushed through extreme pain in 2011 to claim her fourth Ironman World Championship title – just 14 days after a major cycling crash that left her with a pulled pectoral muscle and several other injuries! Ultra marathoner Scott Jurek ran an insane 100 miles, for 26 hours and 8 minutes, with torn ligaments in his ankle! They did not give up.

Nor shall I.

Tomorrow morning, I try my hand at running again…