Monthly Archives: October 2013

Diabetes insta-photo

I’m what some might call a quasi lazy diabetic.

Despite the fact I am OCD when it comes to obtaining BG perfection with my blood sugars, testing, on average, at least 12 or more times a day, I’ve been known to let the ball drop when it comes to physically recording my blood sugars, and for that matter, my insulin doses.

For years I relied on the memory of my machines, only bringing them out on the hour drive to my endocrinologist’s office, frantically jotting a month’s worth of readings down while my moms drove the car.

And when I got the pump, I’d make changes to my doses on the pump, but I never kept a file of what those doses were. If the pump was ever to crap out and revert back to factory settings, like it did recently, I would have had nothing to fall back on. My memory is nowhere near strong enough to remember 8 different doses plus 5 or more insulin-to-carb ratios throughout the day.

Ahh, but my world of diabetes changed thanks to technology. No longer do I frantically scribble out my blood sugars the day of appointments, not when I’ve got a plug from my metre to computer downloading them all in about a minute.

And my insulin doses, oh man, this is brilliant – hello iPhone – hello pocket camera – hello snap-snap. Forever documented in less than a second!

So yeah, when my pump totally crapped out the other day, and my settings went blank, I was not freaking out. Nope. I’d just made a few changes to the settings a couple days prior, of which I permanently stamped into my iPhone’s camera roll.

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Diabetes insta-photo! 😀

We run…

Two years ago today, I was doing this:

SFmap

With the bestest, most favourite running chicks EVER:

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Today, I’m doing a little of this … again:

foot roller

Remember these shoes:

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Well, it seems, these shoes, these beautiful looking New Balance 860 running sneakers, of which I won in a Canadian Running contest a few months back (along with a sports bra, shirt and shorts… love the shirt, like the bra and shorts) are the latest to cause me injury… or close to injury.

Following last week’s autumnal run, the first since my half marathon, the heel of my left foot was super tender. I’d had something similar in the spring, not the sharp, searing, tearing pain of plantar fasciitis, but just tenderness, of which ice and rest did the trick. I’m hoping for the same with this one here, but nearly one week post run and I’m still feeling tenderness and random shooting dull aches through the heel and up the calf.

And you know what sucks about it, I’d held off forever trying these shoes out. As many of you know, I’m quite particular when it comes to my running sneakers. It’s almost like a relationship, you know, when you find one you love (as I had with Mizuno, and now Brooks) you don’t ever let it go. And so, while I thought it was totally awesome I’d won a pair of sneakers, I had niggling doubts about them given they weren’t my brand of sneakers. I’d never worn New Balance before, I didn’t know how my foot would respond to them, I didn’t know them.

But, well, after running my Brooks pretty much into the ground, and not having a replacement given I’m trying to save rather then spend these days, I didn’t really have any more excuses not to give these shoes a go.

Thirty minutes – THIRTY MINUTES!!! – was all it took for my feet to say no more 😦

But here’s the thing, with my feet resting, icing, compressing and elevating, I choose not to dwell on the annoyance of it all (I mean, seriously, another injury???) but rather, to remember the heart-filled memories of two years ago, and dream of future destination running memories to be made…

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And you better believe they WILL be made 😀

Volcano of oil

Sept. 7, 2013
Cook’s Country – August/September 2013
California-Style Fish Tacos

130907fishtacosYou can’t just wrap a fish in a tortilla and call it a California-style taco. You need light, crisp fried fish, the perfect toppings, and high-contrast flavors and textures. ~ Rebeccah Marsters

I’m a bit late with this post, and in fact was a bit late with the making of this “August” challenge (I blame work!) and am now playing catch up, which means you guys will be getting back-to-back recipes … not sure if that’s a good thing 😉

So, back in early August, Big Ring and I met up with our New York turned trucker friends for dinner at the first annual Columbia StrEAT food cart festival in New Westminster. Now, normally I steer clear of street food, it just doesn’t sit well with my belly, but the foods featured in these carts, they were far too intriguing not to try. There was Holy Perogy, Beljam’s Waffles, Chilli Tank, and Vij’s Railway Express – yes that Vij! Super chef Vikram Vij bringing out what was sure to be yummy Indian eats at a fraction of the cost of his hoity toity restaurant fares.

I had hoped this event would have been sampler style so I could try bits from multiple carts, but no, it was a wait in a hour plus lineup and hope the food you want is still available when you finally reach the front of the line kind of event. But I digress. I chose Vij, and I don’t know, maybe I had hyped the food up in my head, but I was fairly underwhelmed by it all 😦

Yet, still, the atmosphere, the people, the feet on the street, the potential of such an event intrigued the heck out of me. And so, when I spotted California-style fish tacos in my latest Cook’s Country magazine, there wasn’t any debate about it, I knew that would be my August cooking challenge. How is that not street food???

But let me tell you that hot, spitting oil wasn’t gonna let me off easy. According to the recipe, I needed to keep the temperature at 350 degrees while the fish was sizzling inside, but the thing is, I didn’t have a temperature gauge, so your guess was as good as mine as to how hot that oil actually was. That said, given it spat a fiery volcano’s worth of oil up at me every time I laid a piece of battered fish down in it, I’m thinking it was probably hot enough.

When I wasn’t dodging the spitting oil, I was fighting to keep the battered fish from sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Apparently there’s was a skill to it: when you place the fish in the oil, it’s advised you slide it along the bottom of the Dutch oven. Well, let me just say, that did NOT work. I swear half the fish was a mangled battered mess!

Overall, this was not my favourite recipe. I liked the heat of the jalapeños mixed with the refreshing white lime sauce, but I just couldn’t get over the battered fish. It tasted fine, don’t get me wrong, and it went well with a cold beer, and Big Ring said it was even better the next day, but I’m really just not a fan of deep fried. I think, for me, fresh fish – no batter – would have been a much better, repeat-worthy option.

Ingredients:
PICKLED ONIONS
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

CABBAGE
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup pickling liquid from pickled onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

WHITE SAUCE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons milk

FISH
2 pounds skinless whitefish fillets, such as cod, haddock, or halibut, cut crosswise into 4 by 1-inch strips (I used cod)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup beer (light bodied lagers work best)
1 quart peanut or vegetable oil
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. FOR THE PICKLED ONIONS: Combine onion and jalapeños in medium bowl. Bring vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt to boil in small saucepan. Pour vinegar mixture over onion mixture and let sit for at least 30 minutes. (Pickled onions can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.)
2. FOR THE CABBAGE: Toss all ingredients together in a bowl.
3. FOR THE WHITE SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. (Sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.
4. FOR THE FISH: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add beer and whisk until smooth. Transfer fish to batter and toss until evenly coated.
5. Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 3/4 inch deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Working with 5-6 pieces at a time, remove fish from batter, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, and add to hot oil, briefly dragging fish along surface of oil to prevent sticking. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Fry fish, stirring gently to prevent pieces from sticking together, until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fish to prepared wire rack and place in oven to keep warm. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining fish.
6. Divide fish evenly among tortillas. Top with pickled onions, cabbage, white sauce and cilantro. Serve.

Serves 6

This season

I love the colours.

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I love the leaves.

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I love the cool sun.

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I love fall.

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YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 9 a.m. BG before: 6.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: granola bar (14g) no bolus
  • Time: 28:11
  • Distance: 5.17 km
  • Average pace: 5:27 min/km
  • Average cadence: n/a (tried out new shoes w/o foot pod)
  • 10:15 a.m. BG after: 4.8

What’s your favourite season?

Race Day: Bellingham Bay half II

So. Where were we? Right, the race itself…

When I signed up for this race, I essentially considered it an at-home race. Bellingham is about an hour away, without the border lineup, and over the years I’ve been there countless times. But mostly only for Costco runs or other such cross-border shopping. No exploring. And so, when we arrived at the start in downtown Bellingham, I was immediately taken in by the cuteness of this town; its history, unique eateries, gathering spaces, beauty.

And the course itself, while it had all the beauties of B.C., there was still an element of mystery for me to feel like I was exploring new territory. We ran past Little House on the Prairie style houses, along romantic, tree-canopied trails, around the bay jostling for position against the forceful breeze coming up off the water,  past clusters of enthusiastic cheerleaders; one a girl about four-years-old vigorously shaking a cow bell as she high-fived me with her free hand. I imagined Little Ring doing the same a couple years from now 😀

The first 10 km of my race was pretty awesome, so awesome, in fact, I didn’t look at my mileage for the first nine of those 10 km and had no clue how far I’d run because my math conversation skills from miles to km are non-existent. I was having fun out there. I was enjoying the scenery, the people around me, the movement of my legs. And my time showed it. When my Garmin alerted me I’d run 10 km, I was on pace for a 1:55:00 finish. Holy freaking awesome!!!

Sigh. If only the race could have finished there, I would have had my perfect rainbow race, but no, that’s not how the running gods would have it. My run started to fall apart in probably the last 5-7 km. I got a side stitch in which I struggled to get rid of. My stomach and throat started to feel a little pukey. I got stopped by a train – A TRAIN!!! – seriously, stuck standing there for a minute and a half and then trying to weave through the huge throng of social runners once the train had passed. Are you freaking kidding me??? And the last three km, they were tough as hell.

Hills. Pukey belly. Brain.

I wanted to stop, oh man, did I ever. Doubts creeped up into my head, and it took everything I had not to cave in, to keep telling myself I had made it this far, why the hell would I stop now, the distance was nothing, I could do that distance in my sleep, easy peasy, don’t you dare stop, no way you can stop, just about there, keep going.

With just about 500 metres to go, I spotted my Rings in the finishing chute, which was all I needed to amp up my speed. I ran so hard I could barely stand at the finish. I ran so hard, I thought I would puke at the mere smell of the food lining the finishers’ corral. I ran so hard I had to be held up by the kid wrapping the heat blanket around my shoulders. I ran so hard, I finished with a smile 😀

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Running to the finish, no idea if I’d made goal or not…

BELLINGHAM BAY HALF MARATHON

  • 9:15 a.m. BG before: 9.2
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: none
  • Time: 1:59:10 NEW PB!!!
  • Distance: 21.1 km
  • Average pace: 5:36 min/km
  • Average cadence: 86 spm
  • Fuel: @30 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 60 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 90 minutes: 1 Clif Shot Block
  • 11:45 p.m. BG after: 10.1
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent

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Proof: finished with a smile 😀

NOTE: Garmin is the time I’m going with. I may be criticized for this as Garmin is not Chip, but because there was no one at the train to document the train stoppage, I don’t feel Chip’s accuracy can be trusted. Whereas Garmin was stopped and started the second I stopped and started, so, for me, that’s the accuracy I need.

Race Day: Bellingham Bay half I

UNDER 2 HOURS!!! < 2 HOURS!!! SUB 2 HOURS!!!

But wait…breathe…calm. First thing’s first:

There was rain. There was pain. There was even a train. And oh yes, there was an evil, little brain.

When I woke up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning and heard the monsoon crashing at my window, the last thing I wanted was to get up and run a half marathon. And so, when Big Ring commented that his throat was feeling a little tickly, I offered to forgo the run in the name of his health. And when both my shoulders were feeling a little sickly, I suggested maybe it wasn’t wise to put them through 21.1 km. And when the border line up was more like 40 minutes and not the advertised 10, I proposed we opt not to face the sure-to-be prickly border guard and hightail it quickly back home.

The fierce jitters in my stomach were getting the better of me!

Nerves are not new for me. Every race day, doesn’t matter the distance, the insides of my stomach are jumping all over the damn place, but Sunday, oh man, I thought I was going to puke… or worse.

runner-diarrhea
Remember this dude 😳

If you haven’t already figured this out, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself, and I tend to compare my results to that of others, and think, if they can go that fast, I surely can too. (I know. I know.) I had worked super hard this running season to get to this race, I had embraced speed intervals, something I loathed, I had taken up strength training, something I had never done prior, and I had raced, my goodness, I had raced. And so, going into this half marathon, everything inside me told me I should be finishing with a good time, I should be finishing with a personal best, I should be achieving the goals I set out earlier this summer.  But then there was that thing called injury – plural – that had left me sidelined a few times through my training, and most notably through what was supposed to be the most difficult month of my training. And knowing that, I feared the disappointment I might be facing post run.

So, that caused some of the jitters.

And then there was my attire. I had planned my race day wardrobe Saturday afternoon. There had been torrential downpour Saturday too, but for some reason, I don’t know why, I thought it wise to dress in my lightest top, with my shortest running shorts. No tights. No long sleeves. No arm warmers. Well, Sunday morning, in the car, and then at the race site prior to the race, I was cursing that decision. It was wet! It was cold! I had packed a warmer running shirt for after the race, but was beginning to wonder if I should wear it on the race, but what if it made me too warm, what if it annoyed the hell out of me.

So, that caused some of the jitters.

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Even Little Ring was showing nerves for me!

I opted not to wear it, mostly with a racer in mind. I didn’t want to lose precious seconds off my time by removing the shirt and tying it around my waist if it annoyed me. Turned out to be a super wise decision. Not even a kilometre into the run and I was no longer suffering goosebumps or chattering teeth. The rain was coming down, but not as fierce as it had been, and aside from the super strong breeze around the bay in the last quarter of the race, I didn’t feel cold at all.

I did, however, feel wet shoes becoming looser around my ankles, wet feet slopping away in wet shoes, wet socks rubbing against wet feet. There was no avoiding the puddles, I, along with several others, had mud splashes all up our calves, and surely I would not be the only one suffering blisters post race. Embrace the puddles!

Once I started the race, I put the morning jitters aside and gave myself a selection of 3 goals to work towards (thanks HUGE to my super awesome coach for giving me this strategy):

  • GOAL 1: Ultimate: Finish with a 5:30 min/km average pace, resulting in a 1:56:00 finish.
  • GOAL 2: PB: Finish under 2 hours.
  • GOAL 3: When All Else Fails: Have fun!

To be continued…