Monthly Archives: March 2015

Speed: 1. Cold: 0.

To blog or not to, that’s a question I have been struggling with a lot lately. I have plenty of things to share, but not time it seems to put thought to screen. (See: I blame chemistry.) But yesterday’s question was a different one, one that took priority over the latter:

To run, or not to.

I have had, well, actually I don’t really know what I have had. Shortly after finishing the First Half back in mid February I was struck by my first cold in probably a year, a full on head cold right in the thick of midterms. It lasted over a week, but thankfully did not invade my chest. Two weeks later, my throat was closing up on me and my voice began to sound like that of a wearied 30-year heavy, pub-patroning smoker. What the frick? I couldn’t possibly be getting another cold. No way. I chalked it up to allergies, popped a few antihistamines, and within two, maybe three, days I was cured. Fast forward another two weeks to yesterday when I again started to feel my throat closing up on me, and again, my voice got ugly squeaky. What the freaking hell? A third cold, how the frick is that possible? Nope, it’s not a cold, it can’t be a cold, I rarely get colds and I do not get back-to-back-to-back subsequent colds. This has to be allergies… or does it. The nose is dripping. The grody greens are showing. And the cough. There’s a cough. Are you freaking kidding me? Not cool immune system, not cool at all.

So again, the question of the yesterday: do I run or don’t I?

I’m not sure what the rule of thumb is (and frankly, I don’t want to know) but I think it has something to do with if it’s in your chest don’t. Well, it’s not technically in my chest, just in the whole expanse of my throat stopping at the upper tip of my trachea. So no, no excuses.

My feet owned those speed intervals!

And really, I couldn't leave my new group of UBC chicks (and our token fellow) hanging now could I :)

And really, I couldn’t leave my new group of UBC chicks (and our token fellow) hanging now could I 🙂

THURSDAY SPEEDS:
5:50 p.m. BG before: 5.7
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
Carbs: banana, no bolus
Distance: 8.17 km
Time: 54:29
Average interval pace: 4:13 min/km
7:30 p.m. BG after: 2.7 😦

Good decision? Well, my voice is kaput today, my nose is a faucet, the grodies are aplenty, and the cough, oh that nasty cough… buuuuut, I felt great doing it, my speed did not suffer, and still, today, I am feeling mentally solid. No regrets.

15 weeks: friends, fun, fortitude

When I agreed to take on the leadership role of the UBC run study last fall, I was at a crossroads with my running; I was in a state that was fast becoming find some inspiration, find something to regain the love, or move on. When the opportunity was first presented, I had some hesitations: I had never led a training session before; I am seriously directionally inept; what about the Little Ring sitting; could I put my goals aside to help others with their goals?

Well.

The 15 weeks of training ended about three weeks ago and this week I am about to embark on my second stint as run leader with the UBC run study. If that’s not evidence enough that this was very much the missing link I needed, I don’t know what is.

How could this not be considered fun???

How could this not be considered fun???

Finally, I was happy running again. Some days the program was more challenging than others, but because I was the leader, there was no whining or wimping out, I had to lead by example; it was full boar up those hills, and gust or bust through those speed intervals. And while the numbers dwindled somewhat over the weeks (might have had something to do with the light snow and sharp cold) there was always someone(s) to run with. I was no longer lonely running, which was pretty freaking awesome. But it wasn’t just running with other people, it was running with these chicks!

Favourites!!!

Favourites!!!

Finally – finally! – after a crazy long search, I had finally found another group of solid favourite running chicks. Seriously, I am not just saying that. It took all of one, maybe two runs with these chicks to feel as though we’d been running together for years. We griped at things, we laughed at things, we told stories of our lives, and yes, we even talked poo!

That’s huge.

Running with my new set of favourites didn’t feel like a chore. I was excited to get on the trails, the roads, the hills with these girls. I wanted to be out there. And even though the majority of our runs were repeat runs, routes we’d done time and time again, it didn’t feel repetitive, it didn’t feel long. Some of the speed intervals were out and backs multiple times which I normally loathe, which normally feel so tiresome and long, but with these chicks, it was like a snap of the fingers and the run was done. And almost always, if not always, with a smile at the finish.

That’s huge.

So many laughs!

So many laughs!

And so, when the organizer of the study asked me (probably in the best way possible, calling me a favourite) if I’d be interested in taking on another group of ladies, there were no hesitations this time. I knew I could do it. I knew I loved doing it. And by golly, I convinced a few of my favourites to keep coming out, hells yes I was going to do it.

Tomorrow starts the first day of the next 15 weeks.

Here’s to the love of running again 🙂

(Final note: This is a promise: I will be posting about the dynamics of the study and the man behind the study in a future post, just not as of yet.)

Mama and Little Ring style… postponed

So where were we? Ah right, I had just conquered a huge 10 km personal best, but still had 400 metres to go…

I’m not going to lie, it was slower. Significantly slower. And that was planned.

You see, I had a little boy waiting for me at the top of the hill, probably about 200 to 300 metres from the finish. Every race this boy has been at the finishing chute cheering for me, clapping, getting all excited to see his mama. But this time was going to be different. In my head, in my heart, (something that was not shared previously) that last 400 metres was to be dedicated to my Little Ring.

More than just a spectator.

More than just a spectator.

Little Ring has been watching me run since before birth (see picture below). He’s attended all of my races, and has accompanied me on a few of my training runs too. And at the First Half, when he spotted me coming down the finishing chute, like the other races, the smile on his face was mega watt excited, but this time it was different. The mood changed the moment I surged past. With my head still turned his way I could see the intense disappointment in him as he reached his arms out to me and started to cry out. He wanted to run. He wanted to run with me. He wanted to be a part of the finishing experience. And it was in that moment that I decided he needed to be more than just the best spectator ever.

The face that keeps me going.

Even in my belly, he was there.

And so, for this race, my plan was to run over and grab his hand and finish the race mama and Little Ring style. That was the plan. But as is the case with most toddlers, things don’t always go as planned. For the first time in Little Ring’s spectating career he was not lined along the finishing chute as I came through; nope, the boy apparently couldn’t be pulled from the playground nearby.

Even dressed in his sweats (and under his jacket, his cycling jersey) ready to run.

Even dressed in his sweats (and under his jacket, his cycling jersey) ready to run.

His racing day will see another day. As for me, it was a solo finish.

150307HCrun6

Race recap: They say 10.4, I say 10.0

Wasn’t it just the other day I was shouting to the world PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! Why yes it was, and last Saturday I was singing those glories again.

Some may say this one has a stain of stipulation to it, and this is my response to them:

You say 10.4, I say 10.0. PERSONAL BEST BABY!!!

Seriously

Seriously, who designs a 10.4 km race anyway? Seriously? The 5kers got 5k, I deserve my 10k. I earned that 10k.

Last Saturday I ran the Vancouver Hot Chocolate 10.4 km run at Stanley Park, and wow, what a difference a year can make. When I ran the inaugural run last year it was a miserably cold day; I blew myself out in the beginning of the run; I expended far too much energy early on weaving around other runners; and at about 7 km in I was experiencing that ugly feeling of nausea and was listening to that nasty little chorus of “You might as well quit!” singing Van Halen style in my head.

But this year was different. I wasn’t planning on racing. Sure, I was intending to put a solid effort in, but racing was not top of mind. In fact, I was really only planning to run hard for 10 km; the last 400 metres was meant for something someone special.

And maybe, just maybe, it was that that enabled me the incredible run I had.

Still, at the start line I situated myself closer to the front than last year; I did not want to waste needless energy weaving. I made sure to get a good, solid dynamic warmup in before the go. And when we were unleashed, I made an effort to hold back on my pace. I may not have been intending to race, but really, can you take the race out of this girl???

150307HCrun4

The day was so close to the kind of day I had a few weeks ago at the Vancouver First Half. Although there wasn’t the endless rays of god lighting or the spooky fog hovering the path this time, it was such a beautiful morning to be running. The sun was shining warm, but not too warm, over the cool crisp rising up from the ocean. The city’s greens and blues were so clear and so vibrant. Even if I was having a crummy run, I’d be hard pressed not to smile at all the beauty around me.

And because the route covered a portion of the route from the First Half, I was able to find my happy zone pretty quick. Coming off of such a great race, I channeled those endorphins; I pretended my favourites were there with me, all of us being accountable for pace; I pretended it was the first half of a half; I pretended I was the wind just like the daughter of one of my favourites in her first run two weekends ago. And just like that run, I left the music at home, but this time, I had the melody of a three-year-old singing his ABCs while strapped next to his sister in a double stroller with dad at the helm; that was pretty awesome.

And hey, look! That guy shot out of the gate and passed me right off the hop, but look who’s passing him now. And hey now, there’s that chick who was a super speedster too, but is now looking like I did last year struggling even to jog. And oh my greatness, I’m finally gonna pass my pink camo-legged carrot. (Uhmmmm, doesn’t pink camo kinda defeat the purpose of camouflage???)

But wait. Noooooooo! My shoelace is untied. Are you freaking kidding me? I never have shoelace coming undone issues. And mere moments before I’m to pass my carrot, the girl I’d been trailing for the better part of the run, but who I’d been gaining on and was finally ready to pounce over, and my bloody shoe comes untied. Not cool shoes, not cool at all.

So. This could have killed the momentum, it could have slowed me down, it could have sent me spiralling. It didn’t. Yeah I had to stop and retie and nearly took out a couple walkers doing so, but even with my shaky fingers, I was back running again in seconds, pushing my pace, getting back into position, overtaking that carrot of mine.

Nowhere along the way was I feeling any forms of struggle. I had no nausea. I had no pains. I was not overheating. I just kept going, my pace kept solid, I kept smiling. And you know what I am still smiling. Because when I looked at the time on my Garmin for the first time in this race about 500 metres to the 10 km mark, the numbers displayed had my eyes out of their sockets – 49 MINUTES, SOMETHING SECONDS!!! H’oh my gawd!!!!

All hail the run gods!

All hail the run gods!

(I hope I never lose that feeling of that moment of sheer, blissful, proud excitement.)

And when I crossed over 10 km: 52:04!!!!!!!!! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

RUN FOR HOT CHOCOLATE:
• 9:45 a.m. BG before: 5.6
• Temp. basal: -70 per cent (1 hour)
• Carbs: 3 shot blocks, no bolus
• Distance: 10.0 (10.4 for some)
• Average pace:
• Time: 52:04!!!!!!!!!
• 11 a.m. BG after: 4.9
• Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1.5 hours)

And the diabetes? No issues. The blood sugars started a tad lower than I would have liked, but I had 3 shot blocks at the start (a banana, no bolus, about an hour and a half earlier), reduced my basal down by 70 per cent, and ended with 4.9, and didn’t experience any post-run slap-in-the-face highs.

Perfection.

Post run waffles well deserved.

Post run waffles well deserved.

Stay tuned for a recap of the final 400 metres…

30.6: “As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen”

9KFH(1)

Dear Little Ring,

My sweet, sweet baby who is no longer a baby.

You are the boy who I swear went from two to two and a half in the blink of an eye.

The boy who used to let me cuddle him for hours, but who now can’t stay still for more than a second and more often than not squirms when I try to sneak in a hug or kiss. Sigh.

The boy who’s been talking for some time now, but only now has truly become a proper parrot as evidenced by your beloved copycat phrases: grody and boogers; oh my gosh; and, oh man, I try not to explode laughing when I hear it, HOLY CRACK!

The boy who is so full of thrill and adventure. “Where am I going?” is the first question you ask in the morning, and one of the last you ask before your eyes take their final flutter of the evening. On your bike, it’s down ramps, stairs, dirt piles, up slides and giant rocks that you most like to be. And at the playground, your eyes are so focussed on the big kids, so eager to do as they do. Your arm pointing, “I want to do that!” Whether it be ride the big swing, climb the ropes “to the top!” or hang from the monkey bars.

150308LRbike

The boy who likely is one of the only two and a half year olds in North America talking about Jacque Anquetil and Eddy Merckx every day, (who sadly are currently in the hospital) along with their cycling buds Thomas Voeckler, Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins, Jan Ullrich, Francesco Moser, and “Cippollini!!!”

The boy who doesn’t know his mama is different, but knows her differences. You know that honey and dried apricots are part of my medicine. You know that the machine attached to me at all times, tempting as it is for you to press the buttons, is part of my medicine. You point to my blood testing tattoos, “What’s that?” you ask. And because I don’t know how to explain it in a way that you, a two and a half year old, will understand, I tell you straight up it’s my callouses. And again, with your reply, you blow me away with the incredible sponge of your knowledge, the eyes of your wisdom. You know it’s not a fun thing, you know it’s not a nice thing, you know it’s not a pleasant thing. “It hurts,” you say, as though you too have felt the lifetime of multiple daily finger stabs.

You may not feel it, but you see it, I know you see it.

“You eat your owie?”

Ah, yes, leave it to you my dear child to point out that grody little habit of mine I’ve had for oh, going on 28 years now, that no other will.

Every day you make me laugh, you lighten my world, you warm my heart. Every day you ask “You want to play with me?” And every day, today, tomorrow, an infinity number of days from now, I say yes. I will always say yes.

150308LRmontage
Forever. Love.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” ~ Winnie the Pooh