Monthly Archives: March 2014

Pins and needles

Have you ever been so cold, you could feel the veins in your hands and arms jumping and shifting with your every movement? Have you ever been so cold, the act of holding something as small as a cell phone is near impossible, let alone pressing the button to turn on the screen? Have you ever been so cold, your muscles plain go on strike? I have!

Friday.

I was scheduled to run 110 minutes, which if I calculated correctly was around 18 or 19 km, and because I had a dentist appointment at 10:30 (the possibility of a root canal – eek!) I figured I’d get the run out of the way first thing. What better way to calm your nerves then a run right 😀

Big Ring designed me a route Thursday, we reviewed it twice, and then talked about it again the morning of in hopes that I would actually NOT get lost. (My track record doesn’t leave much hope for that.) I had everything prepared the night before, my clothes, fuel, accessories, etc. And just as I was about to head out the door, I looked out the window and saw no rain. This was a good omen.

For two seconds.

Pretty much in the time it took me to descend two floors and get out the door, the rain started up, and not just drizzly rain, nope, more like bathtubs of rain.

I kept my pace slower at the start as I was still recovering from that stupid cough. I figured if I felt alright after the first 5 km, I could pick up the pace later. And I did. I was enjoying the route of gradual hills, a mixture of pathways and residential streets, my music was pumping, and before I knew it my pace was hovering between 5:30 and 5:50 min/km, and I was actually enjoying the thick cloud of raindrops smacking me in the face.

But then. IT happened.

I got lost. And by the time I realized I was lost, I was so far out from where I should have been. I stopped to gather my bearings (thank you iPhone maps) which took maybe five minutes of me standing with a bucket of rain continuously dumping over my head.

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Red is what I ran. Blue is what I should have run.

When I started running again, it was no longer enjoyable. My sweat (or was it my moisturizer?) started running into my eyes burning the hell out of them. I tried wiping it away, but of course I couldn’t as every piece of me was sopping soaked. My beet red hands were so cold I had to clench them shut in hopes of not feeling those damn veins angrily shifting about. I didn’t want to stop, but my pace had drastically decreased and I was running out of time before my appointment. So, under the shelter of an awning, I called Big Ring. It took all of two seconds before I was in full on tears – I DON’T CRY!!!

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The state of my hands, with directions rain smeared off, at the time of the phone call.

Because he was at least 15-20 minutes away, and because I was in an area where there were no coffee shops to duck into and wait, we decided I’d keep running until he caught up with me.

By the time I got home, I was shivering, body shaking, teeth chattering cold. I couldn’t unvelcro my sports bra straps, couldn’t undo the zipper of my Type Tanks to remove my pump, couldn’t even unclip my pump from the infusion. No muscle capacity whatsoever. JELLY ARMS!!!

A boiling hot bath didn’t shake the chill. A hot cup of tea didn’t shake it either. Nor did sweater after sweater layering. Note: you know you’ve got a sufficient chill when your dentist gives you a blanket and you don’t take off your mittens!

Two days later, portions of both hands, fingers, and forearm are pins and needles numb. According to Dr. Google, I had gotten so cold the blood vessels in my hands stopped pumping blood in order to give my vital organs the necessary blood they required to stay warm. So yeah, pretty much, the edge of hypothermia.

Stupid rain.

HYPOTHERMIA RUN

  • 7 a.m. BG before:
  • Temp. basal -50 per cent
  • Time: 1:22:00
  • Distance: 14 km
  • Average pace: 5:59 min/km
  • Average cadence: 87 spm
  • Fuel: @30 minutes (4.8) 1/2 PB and honey sandwich
  • 9:30 a.m. BG after: 4.4

Ps. No root canal!!! Just a regular old filling!!!

This is me listening

When the running community tells you don’t run, you don’t run.

Our community is a pretty hardcore community. We run in all weather, super hot, humid temperatures, torrential downpours, snow, sleet, hail; we run in the wee hours of the morning and the late hours of the evening; we run when we’re miserable; we run when we’re sad; we run when we’re hurting, physical pain shooting through all regions of our body, and we’re still out there. And when we’re sick, eyes watering, stuffy nose, sore throat sick, we run.

But the chest, that’s another story.

I’ve known the rule for years: anything below the neck, stay home. But sometimes, I need a reminder. Like, you know, after battling a persistent cold for a month, and already missing out on a week of running due to said cold, and being miserable, stuck inside, feeling frumpy, worrying about the missed mileage, and knowing that a good run will make me feel better. At least, mentally.

But there’s this cough. This persistent hacking, core convulsing, green phlegmy cough.  Stupid cough.

I had every intention of running today. 90 minutes. 16 km give or take. The weather was supposed to be beautiful. I was excited. I could feel the endorphins last night getting ready to shoot happy goodness through my veins. I wasn’t even thinking about the cough until Big Ring started questioning whether it wise I do it, concern written all over his face every time he asked “Are you sure you should be running?”

Ugh.

To ease his concern, I went to my running community, which consists of high achieving runners, veteran runners, favourite runners, super smart runners, so sure they would side with me. They did not. Sixteen comments on Facebook, three on Twitter – all but one said no 😦

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Just a few of the coments

Like I said, when the running community says no, you listen. Strength training it was.

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: The drumroll please… The winners of the four-pack of 50 sheet Diabetic Dabs are…

Dab winners

Johanna B and Jennifer please email me your addresses and I will get the Dabs in the mail ASAP.

Singing Lamb Chops

“This is the cold that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend, some people started sneezing, and I caught their ugly germs, and they’ll continue infecting me because…”

THEY’RE NASTY EVIL JERK FACES!!!

I kid you not, I have had a cold for over a month. But not a continuous cold, no, not a typical cold, no, a sadistic freaking evil cold. This cold is toying with me, making me believe I’ve kicked it the curb, giving me a few days reprieve, only to full on attack again, and again, and again.

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Jerk face germs!

I was first infected at the end of February. I clearly remember, it was a Monday afternoon, I was driving home, when suddenly I felt that telltale sign of my throat swelling and a lump every time I swallowed. I hoped it was dry air, but by the evening, I knew it was a cold.

I didn’t overly complain. I was lucky. I mean, I hadn’t had a proper cold in almost a year (I came down with a case of sniffles that lasted all of three days in September, but nothing major) despite the fact that our lofthold has hosted the cold and flu germs on average every three to four weeks since Little Ring started daycare. So, I figured, I could handle this cold.

I suffered the cold through work. I suffered it through an exam. I suffered it through the weekend. And by Monday, I was feeling better, good to go. But then BAM, Friday comes – I’m on holidays – and suddenly I’ve got a cough, then I’ve got a sore throat, then I’m losing my voice – what the???

I started to complain.

I suffered through a race with that cold. I suffered through the Oscars with that cold. I suffered through my holidays with that cold. It wasn’t until the following Friday that I finally started feeling decent again, my voice had stopped cracking, I could once again give the characters in Little Ring’s books super awesome voices, I could get through more than one sentence without requiring a cough drop.

Thank goodness, I thought. After that, surely I was due a solid run of health. But nope, that bloody cold was NOT done with me. Last Thursday, I again started to feel the swelling of my lungs, the dryness of my mouth, the filling of green mucousy phlegm in my throat. I thought maybe it was allergies; surely it couldn’t be another cold, not even a week after getting over the last one, I mean, that would just be freaking evil.

Welcome to evil. Full fledged cold. Phlegm. Cough. Crackly voice. Runny nose. Cold.

Either my immune system has suddenly gone completely down the pooper, or this cold is freaking relentless. It’s bloody well starting to piss me off!

TODAY’S INTERVALS (with cold)

  • 4 p.m. BG before: 7.9
  • Carbs: none
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance:
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Intervals: 10′ warmup with 4 x 30s sprints; 400m (4:32 min/km) 800m (4:39 min/km) 1000m (5:04 min/km) 800m (5:03 min/km) 400m (4:31 min/km)
  • 5 p.m. BG after: 7.2
  • Temp. basal: +30 per cent (0.5 hour)

My phone battery died which means no pictures from today’s intervals, but last week’s pic (which I did not post on the blog) depicts my continued thoughts on interval training:

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I know they’re good for me, but seriously, they’re almost as evil as the cold!

Ps. I did not keep proper pace of between 4:00-4:15 min/km. Stupid cold 😦

Giveaway: The Bloody Diabetic

So. You know my fingers. My heavily callused fingers. My heavily callused fingers that became that way from decades of pricking them with a sharp needle. My heavily callused fingers that I squeeze blood from at least eight times a day. Have you ever wondered what I do with the excess blood lingering on those fingers following a blood test? Or, have you just assumed I use Kleenex or an alcohol swap or something else of that ilk. That would, after all, be the logical, un-gross thing to do right.

Yeah. That’s not me.

I like efficiency when it comes to blood testing, and adding an extra, in my opinion, useless step cuts down on said efficiency. I understand having to wash my hands prior to a test (which I do about 80 per cent of the time) but cleaning up with an alcohol swab post test, why would I do that – when I’ve got my mouth!

Yes folks, I am that person, that diabetic, I am 100 per cent a blood sucker! Not because I like the taste, most times, when it’s just a little droplet, I don’t taste a thing, but when it’s a large glob, ugh, the metallic taste filling my mouth, totally disgusting! But, it’s convenient. I’ve never been one to wipe the blood on my clothes, I cherish them far too much for that, I do wipe it on my hands sometimes, but most times, straight in the mouth that finger goes.

Like nail biting, which I broke free of 6 years ago, it’s a habit I wish I could break.

Diabetic Dabs *might* be the solution.

Diabetic Dabs are non-toxic, highly absorbent sheets designed to easily fit into any blood testing kit. They’re made by a mom of a young boy with T-1 D. The company sent me out a box to try, and you know what, I liked them. They were easy to use, convenient for the most part, and totally fun! I mean, it was like art time every time I tested.

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I call it The Bloody Diabetic

But the problem, for me, was in that I don’t carry a proper meter case. For several years now, I’ve either stuffed my meter, strips and lancet device into a pocket in my purse, or most recently a small Coach pouch my moms got me a few years back. I find the cases cumbersome, annoying, and space taker uppers in my purse. So, when the company sent the dabs out to try, do you think I could find my proper case? Nope. I looked everywhere, in my wardrobe, desk drawers, nightstand, storage, but couldn’t find it anywhere. (I probably threw it out.)

I did, however, find another meter case that was suitable. So, for a week, I carried a separate case in my purse that  stored the dabs, which are equipped with sticky tape to attach to the inside of the case, as well as my Coach pouch containing my actual meter – now that was a full purse!

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Stack o’ Dabs

And for a week I didn’t taste that nasty metallic in my mouth… well, actually, that’s a lie. Some habits are just too hard to break!

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Shh… don’t tell Buffy 😀

But hey, maybe I’m just a diabetic weirdo! If you do carry a meter case, and if you do want a package of Diabetic Dabs of your own, or if you’re not a diabetic but want to hang out with the cool kids and pretend you’re a diabetic (I don’t judge 😉 ) the company has sent two cases for me to give away. You’ve got two chances to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post, prior to Thursday, March 20, telling me how you clean the blood from your finger… or how you’d like too!
2. Tweet this post out to the Twitter Verse: RT: @princessopavmnt: I don’t want to be a blood sucker, I want Diabetic Dabs.

The winner will be announced Thursday, March 20.

The legal stuff: The company sent me a box of Diabetic Dabs for free to review on my blog, but they did not tell me what to write. All words posted here are, as always, my own.

Confidence. Belief. Self Efficacy.

You can’t control the uncontrollable, so don’t waste tears trying.

That was probably the most valuable piece of information I walked away with following the running symposium I attended this weekend at Burnaby’s Fortius Sport and Health Centre.

Sports psychologist David Cox (who works with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian Olympic snowboarding team) had just 20 minutes to share his expertise in getting the mind ready for race day. He didn’t waste any time. Talking a mile a minute and frantically chicken scratching notes on the whiteboard he spewed out key words: Confidence. Belief. Self Efficacy. He threw his hands up at negative pressure, he slapped outcome goals in the face, he weighed the cancer of extrinsic values to the reward of intrinsic.

Believe2-1

As runners, we are so hung up on times, on the “brutal” win-or-lose mentality. But why not invest more on our performance goals, those things that are under our control – the technical, tactical preparations, he said. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control illness. We can’t control the preparation of the other runners around us. But we can control our preparation, our health, our rest.

At the end of the day, Cox said, the question to ask is not how did you do, but what did you learn?

Oh man, how much did I need to hear that? There’s been countless times where I’ve berated myself mid race when I fall short of a pace, or when I see a personal best slipping out of my grasp, or when I see a runner I perceive should be slower than me leave me in his or her dust. There’s also been times where I’ve neglected a strength training session because I’m too tired, or only half-assed a speed interval session because it’s too hard, or even forgone a run because there’s snow on the ground or some other silly excuse. But what determines your level of performance?

HOW YOU TRAIN!

If you want to improve, you have to push out of your comfort zone, you have to challenge yourself, you have to make it an attitude. I control that!

Interesting to note: “Elite” comes from the Latin word elire, meaning to choose. Elite athletes CHOOSE to be great.

I choose to be great. I choose to work hard. I choose to believe.

Believe

YESTERDAY’S TEMPO RUN:

  • 2:30 p.m. BG before: 5.6
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent, 1 hour
  • Carbs: 2 gummies, no bolus
  • Time: 20 minutes, 5 minutes warmup, 15 minutes tempo at 5:00 min/km pace
  • Distance: 3.88 km
  • Average pace: 5:15 min/km
  • 3:30 p.m. BG after: 6.3
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent, 1 hour

The running symposium had several other speakers, including Dr. Jack Taunton, chief medical officer for the Vancouver Olympics; Lynn Kanuka, former Olympic running medalist; dietitian Ashley Charlebois; and more.

For a first time event it was pretty good, but I think they overbooked speakers for the way it was set up. Initially they had registrants select two speakers for the morning and two for the afternoon plus the keynote speaker, which meant you wouldn’t be able to see all the speakers listed, but that you’d maybe get more time with speakers you were actually interested in listening to. I liked that model.

However, at the last minute, they changed it and made it so everyone would have an opportunity to hear from every speaker. I was NOT keen on that model. It meant, I had just 20 minutes with the sports psychologist and the same with the dietitian – the two speakers I was really interested in hearing from. It also meant that some of the speakers, who I’m guessing had designed their presentations based on more time, had to seriously crunch it down to a Cole’s Notes version.

In closing:

images

18 months: too fast

(I’m a few days late with this post.)

Dear Little Ring,

18 months, how has that happened. I swear, it’s as though I blinked and you went from a crying, sleeping, pooping lump, to this super chatty, super curious, super adventurous, walking, running, climbing, and trying to cycle little boy. And your knowledge, my goodness, is incredible. This year and a half, I have learned so much from you. Every day I learn from you.

I’ve learned that we don’t need to know all the words in the world, we don’t even need to know how to read in order to find love and laughter in the world of books. That day YOU read the Gitchy Gitchy Goo book at the edge of your room, no idea that I was watching from afar, tickling yourself at all the right pages, and getting super excited with giggles at all the right moments, that, my boy, is hands down my most favourite experience with books – ever!

Being a lover of words, I’ve always enjoyed speaking, but until you, I don’t think I properly knew the true joy of words – real or not. When you tell me to “Sit! Sit! Sit!” with a big smile on your face as I approach with your beloved “Goo!” (see below); or when you grab your “Doo!” and run to the “Doo!” and say “Out! Out! Out!”; or when you wrap your arms tight around my neck, bang your head onto my shoulder or into my chest and drawl out an “Aww!” – LOVE!

And kid, you’ve awakened me to the inefficiencies of our language too with your brilliant one word for a multitude of meanings speaking strategy:

  • “Doo!” = Spoon. Door. Shoes. Bib. Book.
  • “Goo!” = Yogurt. Coat.
  • “Gawr!” = Scarf. Lion’s roar.
  • “Yaya!” = Blanket. Daycare lady.
  • “Zzzth!” = Biscuit. Cracker. Pretty much anything in the pantry.

I’ve learned that I don’t need to be a champion cook, heck, I don’t really even need to be a good one to make your belly happy. I don’t need cookbooks, I don’t need structured recipes, I don’t need fancy ingredients – just a mixture of your favourites, no matter how odd it may seem to mix some of them together, and you’ll hoover it up as though it were Gordon Ramsey with the apron on.

I’ve learned on the road from you too, seeing the thrills on your face and in your feet, literally bouncing with excitement the moment you’re set free. You run with your eyes wide and your smile glued. You run with your arms waving and your feet motoring. You run with purpose. You run with meaning. You run until you can’t run anymore. All the while laughing, giggling, shrieking with glee.

Every day my heart grows with yours. Every. Day.

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“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, 
I won’t grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me. ”
~ Peter Pan

Race Report: All about the hot chocolate

I didn’t want to come at you guys today with excuses, I wanted to be the Bionic Woman, the woman who could do anything no matter what is trying to hold her down. But, much to my dismay, I am not the Bionic Woman, I am very much human, and here I am with, well, excuses:

• I had not run in two weeks.
• I’d been battling a head cold that turned into a chest cough for just as long.
• My starting blood sugars were worrisome.
• I nearly pulled a Tom Boonen.

Yesterday I ran the first ever Vancouver Hot Chocolate 10.4 km race; my first race of the season. As I’m sure you can guess from ^^^  it didn’t go so well. I so desperately wanted to come out in a blaze of glory, personal besting right off the hop, but the stupid, evil, nasty, grrr cold demons had other plans for me 😦

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Eek!

So, this is how the race went: I started off way too fast, which is an ongoing problem of mine, I expended way too much energy weaving in front of runners (who likely passed me later on in the run), and thought once the field spread out a bit I could ease into a nice groove.

I NEVER FOUND THAT GROOVE!

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Even my Garmin was giving me grief!

My run was a roller coaster of pacing. Too fast. Too slow. My body felt heavy, like I was pulling a stubborn donkey, my shoulder was aching, my head was completely falling apart. People were passing me, my pace was majorly slowing, I couldn’t push, I couldn’t get ahead, I was worried about my blood sugars, I had to, ahem, go number 2. (See Tom POOnen Boonen above!) I wanted to quit. And to be honest, I probably did about 7.5 km in… I kept running, but my head, my heart, my legs just weren’t in it.

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How about I  just crawl back into bed now and call it a day???

When I finally saw my boy standing atop that hill, with about .3 km left to go, had he not been wearing his clodhopper boots, and had I known he’d already excitedly jetted out for a run with a group of the other finishers just moments early, I would have grabbed hold of his wee mitted hand and trotted across that finish line with his happy, giggling face and his super excited feet running alongside me – now that would have been a happy finish!

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“Hey mama, you kinda look miserable over there, how about I join you?”

I’m not gonna lie, I beat myself up with this one a little bit. But this morning, I came to the realization it was just a crappy day. Runners everywhere, cyclists too, professionals and recreational, all have crappy days. Take Tom Boonen, he pooed on someone’s lawn mid race for crying out loud, and got back on the bike, AND won the Paris Roubaix! I, too, WILL bounce back.

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VANCOUVER HOT CHOCOLATE 10.4 KM

  • 9:40 a.m. BG before: 5.2
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Carbs: granola bar 1 hour prior, no bolus (15g) 3 DEX 15 minutes prior
  • Distance: 10.4 km
  • Time: 59:48 (at 10 km: 57:18.4)
  • Average pace: 5:47 min/km
  • Average cadence: 87 spm
  • 11 a.m. BG after: 6.0
  • Temp basal: +30 per cent (1 hour)

And the race wasn’t completely lost. There were some positives. I was still getting over a cold, I hadn’t run in two weeks, and yet, I still got out there, I still ran, I still raced… for the most part 🙂 I also walked away with some pretty awesome swag for a first time race – a super nice technical shirt, a sweet mug (i LOVE mugs) filled with steaming hot chocolate (of which I got two sips and gave the rest to my cheer squad who very much deserved it).

AND…

I finally met this super awesome chick in person!!!

BhrBrCNCUAAusuR
Thanks for the pic Nikki!

I’ve been following Nikki’s blog – Slow is the New Fast – for about a year now and have been chatting on Twitter for just as long, but yesterday was the first time we’d actually met face to face – and completely by accident.

You know those moments when you think you see someone you recognize (in an elevator, across the street, in passing) but you’re not sure enough to actually approach them, so you stare, like stalker stare – that was me! After negotiating myself through the starting corral in an effort to find the “perfect spot,” I settled in about half way, and right away I noticed the girl in front of me. Hmm… she looks like Nikki… she’s super tall like Nikki… she has a super friendly smile like Nikki… was taking selfies just like Nikki … hmm … could it be … hmm. And then, I saw it, right there on her timing chip: NIKKI!!!

“Hey, I said, are you Slow is the New Fast? I’m Princess of Pavement!”  – and the rest is history.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of racing: friends all around!