Friday, November 2, 2012

Oscar Worthy Stress Fracture Humour!

My coach sent me the link to this short film below. Seeing that I am still reeling from me being diagnosed with a stress fracture I think he thought it would cheer me up...and it did!! Funniest thing I have ever seen. Who has the funding to make movies like this about a subject like stress fractures in runners. ENJOY!!

Watch the movie first before reading below if you haven't seen it yet.

OK, I may be a bit slow but I catch-up eventually(sometimes it just takes me a while). Would have been helpful if I spoke German but I guess you don't need much funding if you are just putting subtitles on another persons movie. I still love it though;-P Yes I really thought they paid actors and got the costumes and rented a set and a really high quality camera to make a movie about Hiltler's stress fracture. Didn't you too? There are apparently many more "Hitler Rant" parodies to be seen here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time for a BREAK!

Well I guess it's time for a "break", if I want one or not. My coach recently gave me the option of taking a few weeks off after having run in a flurry of 3 races in a 30 day span including a 10km road/trail race in mid September, a 25km trail race at the end of September and my hometown 8k trail race in mid October. I mulled over the thought of taking time off for all of a few minutes then let him know I was up for a Fat Ass race in November. In the few minutes I took to think about taking some down time I tried to conjure up in my mind what I might do with myself if I wasn't running. Mostly I just pictured myself losing the precious base I had built up over the past few months and getting SOFTER, FATTER and SLOWER by the minute but I did also think about the things that I put off doing because I have to get a run in. Little things like cleaning behind the appliances, and organizing closets came to mind but also big things like finishing an art project, writing a story, reading a book and signing up for a class on a subject I have always wanted to study. I knew as soon as I told him that I wanted to keep on training that I was in part doing it as a procrastination tactic not to do the other things that have been tugging on my shirt tail as I head out the door for a run asking me when their time will come.

Looking back I don't think I was being altogether unreasonable choosing running over my other long term goals. In my mind I had had a disappointing 5km racing season and was looking forward to capitalizing on finishing my first 25 km race, albeit with some horrible muscle cramping issues in my legs, and jumping into the, "Fat Ass" trail racing scene for the Fall. So when during my long run in the middle of the woods on a winding leaf carpeted trail I felt a sudden bite into my soleus, the pain wrapping itself around my fibula and like a snake constricting the muscles of my shin as it insidiously climbed the tibial shaft squeezing mercilessly at the underpinnings of my knee attempting to severe the weight of my body from it's very bearings that I had a glimpse of a notion that I had perhaps made my decision not to take a break in haste.

So if you haven't figured it out, the prognosis pending a bone scan is that I have a tibal stress fracture. My doctor surmised this as I recounted my story of the viper in my leg and the handy dandy web based symptom checker confirmed it over and over again no matter what order I checked off my symptoms in. Right now all I can do is accept that it IS time for a break afterall because I do in all probability literally have a "break" in the tibial shaft of my right leg.

Me on the finish mat at "Run for the Toad" with my fractured tibia extended. I think the severe cramping I had in my lower leg during this race together with my continuing to run hard on the downhills was probably the breaking point for my tibia.

My tibia's finish line photo at the Sydenham 8km. Thanks Sara:-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Farewell to Old Friends...

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie
Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. ~George Eliot

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. ~Lazurus Long
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. ~Theodor Seuss Geisel, attributed

Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life. ~Jean Paul Richter

The best things said come last. People will talk for hours saying nothing much and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart. ~Alan Alda

Look Ma, No CHAIR!

I rolled my chair and my ball out of my office last week. I had been having problems with my hips rotating inwards and tight hip flexors and know that sitting all day at my computer only exacerbated the problem. Even though I knew I should get up from my chair and stretch or walk around a bit every 30-60 min. I just found that I never did it and would stand up after 2 or 3 hours of sitting feeling stiff and sore. So far I have not had any problems standing all day. I do find a need to change support back and forth between feet but also find myself naturally stretching various parts of my body(hips, feet, back, arms, neck) throughout the day also. The set-up I have rigged(the two white boxes on top of my desk) is not ideal but it is working for now until I decide if I want to invest in a real standing desk or even an adjustable one.

Is it an Office or a Zoo?

In my office/zoo I have one hamster named Timmy, one beta fish named Rosie, two tiny frogs named Dumb and Dumber, and one large turtle named Franklin. Also our little dog Brady comes and goes, watching me work and to check in on the occupants of our little zoo.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Emilie's Run 2012

Emilie's Run 2012 Start Video

Holy deja vu Batman! Looking at my race photos and having that deja vu moment I had to ask myself why I keep running the same races year after year? It does seem kind of boring after all. Is it because,
a) it's a good way to compare fitness from one year to the next
b) it's a good way to master the particular nuances of that race
c) it's a good way to learn that even if the event is the same, no two races are and you learn something different every time.
d) it's a good way to compare race photos and plan for next year's outfit
e) it's a good way to get a new pic for your avatar
d) all of the above

To expand a bit on a few of the above points, although running the same race year after year is a good way to compare to the previous year's performance it is not a 100% full proof way of comparing ones fitness. For example this year I am a bit delayed in my speed training and having raced less my head is just getting into "racing mode" now so although I ran the race a little slower this time around I still have the potential to run a faster 5km in a few weeks time.

Having the chance to get familiar with the same race year after year means there is less to digest on race day. Travelling was easier as I knew where I was going, when I got there I also knew where the bathrooms, the registration, the best place to warm-up and where the start and finish lines were. None of that was a concern although having that knowledge also made it all a bit less, "eventful" and the excitement of being part of Canada's largest women's only 5km which was a big deal to me last year was kinda lost in the familiarity of it all. Running the race itself was like getting a, "do over" and I definitely had last year's mistakes in mind and hoped to not repeat them as the sound of the horn sent me on my way.
Though I was a bit disappointed in the overall time I was happy with the way I kept believing even when I was losing hope and I know that having gotten through that tough patch in the race will help me tons come next Saturday when I defend my course record at the Sydenham 5km. Not that my time of 21:45ish has any chance of holding up this year due in part to the fact that I mentioned the race to Joanne Armstrong in the grocery store yesterday. She told me she has been racing 800's lately while training with her phenomenally fast daughter Nicole(who is busy training for the Junior Nationals) and is scared of 5kms again so thinks she will jump in the race to get one under her belt again. Now if I could only, "do over" that conversation;-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

My workout from yesterday

My workout from yesterday, 15 cd not showing(now you know how i got through highschool). Then I went and put sunscreen on and kinda smeared it all but was still legible enough during the workout.  It was hard but the "longish" recoveries helped me to hit all of the designated paces. It was my last real workout before my race on the 23rd other then a low end tempo run tomorrow. Legs are sore today...must rest!

I am approx. a week out from my second showing at Emilie's 5km Run in Ottawa. This year's build up for that race has turned out to been vastly different from last year's. Racing wise last year at this point I had run a snowshoe race, a 5km, an 8km(ran a pr by a few seconds), another 5km(and realized my ankle was cranky) then raced at Emilie's on a sore foot and ankle. I had also had a few other injuries including both my hips causing me some grief at various times and my ongoing foot calf ankle issue had me seeing a new physiotherapist, Stacee for treatment.

This year I ran the snowshoe race, the 5km(1min slower then last year), a 10km trail race(very fun race through the woods), the 8km I pr'd on last year I ran as a hard tempo using heart rate guidelines and was not running for time(2min slower). I was quite ill for a few weeks in March which put back my training by the same and a sore quad was an on again off again issue. This week I am finally feeling like I might have some "CONTROLLED" speed back after having spent many long slow hours on the hilly trails and roads of the Gould Lake Conservation area building base all winter. So after last night's progressive interval session I am ready to try Emilie's Run again. I am setting more realistic goals based on my training so will probably be starting out thinking I will try to run 22:30ish AGAIN...but will try to progressively run faster like I have been doing during my workouts and best case scenario will be a sub 22. No Sub-20s on the horizon this year anyhow but I really do think that miracles can happen. A better word for miracle in this case would be, "breakthrough" because I have had breakthroughs before so I know they do happen.

The thing is, one can never really know what it is your body is waiting for for it to take that leap of faith that allows a breakthrough to happen. Right now it is important for me to keep things real, keep fighting for every gain and/or fight back from every setback and being prepared for the idea that a breakthrough may never happen while at the same time BELIEVING IT COULD! There are no guarantees so I am enjoying the process and being satisfied with all that I can accomplish which is perhaps in the end even more important then running that ever elusive, "X TIME".

Monday, April 30, 2012

Limestone Weekend 5km Race Report

Like ripping off a band-aid, I needed to get this race run as quickly as possible, suffer through the pain and take it like a woman. Derrick's words of wisdom for me leading into the race were to, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable again". I understood exactly what he meant because that was precisely what I had been building to for the past 4 weeks as I ran the pace specific interval workouts. However, as uncomfortable as running 3 x 3 minute sets are, a 1-2-3-3-2-1 ladder was, and a 9min progressive interval at race pace can be, holding that pace for a 5km is an entirely different level of "uncomfortable" that I have not courted for some time now.

As most of you know, being at that particular level of discomfort is not pleasant but it is a necessary evil and an evil that I willingly signed up to put myself through. So pretty much from 1km forward into the race my body was screaming to stop even though my head knew I had to keep moving forward and, "rip this band-aid off". It really wasn't until I hit the half way point when I gave up on any hope that I might stop running and walk back to my car and became fully committed to finishing that I found myself becoming, "comfortable with being uncomfortable again".

One could say that at the moment I became a captive participant in the race with no hope for escape I was forced to get comfortable with another level of discomfort that is almost impossible to tap into during my everyday training runs. In ripping off that band-aid of comfort I am now ready and set to discover new levels of sustainable uncomfortableness. Yeah for me, I think!??

Upcoming Races(Band-Aid Ripping Ceremonies)-

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm still here and still at it.

Hello everybody, just popping into Blogger World to let you know I am still here and still at it. I have been training consistently and pretty much injury free over the winter and now into spring. Building upon last years late summer and fall training I continued to up my long runs throughout the winter and soon found myself running on the trails and hill laden roads in the Gould Lake Conservation area. I eventually worked my way up to a 3hr. run covering 25kms and with some nice climbing thrown in. It was great to take my running to a new level distance and time wise and with the added bonus fun of tracking my elevation gains I can easily see how people get addicted to this stuff.

In January I ran in the 3rd Annual Dion Snowshoe Race held in Frontenac Park. I was happy to place 7th female and taking a bunch of minutes off my previous years time although the near perfect snow conditions certainly helped out there. The snow had just fallen a few days before and the conditions could not have been more perfect for the race. Unfortunately we didn't have alot of snow for the remainder of the year so the snowshoe season was brief and all subsequent races in the series were cancelled. The race itself was well suited to my training in Gould Lake and I was able to run every hill where in years past I had walked a few. I fell in with a great group of women early in the race who pulled and pushed me every step of the way through the single track course and it was perhaps one of the most enjoyable and satisfying races I have ever run.

The early spring weather soon had me springing into my 5km training mode again. Derrick began to give me pacing rather then heart rate targets for my tempos and it took alot of work to inch those paces down. Some days I thought the legs were never going to come back to spinning the way they had only 8months prior. It really gave me a new respect for anyone who trains for long distances but races the shorter ones as well. The short distances really do require speed specific training to get the legs back into quick turnover mode and those early interval sessions were tough on my confidence and just plain butally tough. Luckily I have a coach who knows all of this and slowly but surely week after week, tempo run after tempo run, interval workout after interval workout he/we were able to inch those paces back down to where I am feeling hopeful about running some good 5kms this year.

Speaking about 5kms, I will be racing in my first one of the year this Sunday. I have expectations for the race but unlike previous years they do not revolve around what the clock says when I run over the mat at the finish line. The expectation or goal that I have for this race is to run it, to feel it, to respond to it, to live it. I won't be wearing a watch to tell me how well or not well I am doing so all I will have is my perceived effort, my gut instinct, my inner voice to guide me. I feel like I have so many things to still learn about racing that I can only learn by getting into one and giving it my all and be willing to learn and maybe make a mistake but also hopefully gain some insight or a speck of wisdom I can carry forth with me to the next venue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It is time for the Limestome Half/5km again. I am experiencing major De ja vu as this will be my 4th time running it. Those past races have become blurred together in my mind, like 3 projector overlays one on top of the other as though they somehow happened simutanously in time. I can see myself  lining up in my first race not knowing the course at all and then also in my 3rd race knowing exactly what to expect. I can feel my legs going out too fast in my second and at the same time going out too slow in the third.  I remember coming to 1km and feeling strong and raring to go but I also remember being depleted and wanting to pull over. Running around the point I have a mouthful of bugs and yet am then smiling to myself that I have avoided the little buggers as I witness another runner gag. Being passed by a masters runner at 3km teaches me to dig deeper then ever as I am hoping she doesn't show up to repeat the challenge this year, I am turning things around and becoming the challenger myself.  I am racing towards the causway with 1km to go and have emotionally checked out and switched to autopilot mode and yet there at the same point in the race on the same stretch of pavement seemingly at the same point in time I am also more fully aware then ever , battling side by side for a place in my AG as I run all alone racing for a new PR.

I would love to tie these up into a nice little box, put a bow on it and have it all make sense for you but I haven't figured it all out myself. On one hand I think my mind is trying to put together the perfect race for me by taking pieces from each one and comparing it to past and subsequent races but upon further reflection I am also seeing another explanation for this time/space confusion. I have no doubt that we can learn from our mistakes and by some extent we have control over how our race plays out and can plan for it. But planning ahead is one thing, executing your plan is another and that is where the variables come in.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Destinations are overrated, live for the Journey. I have been addicted to "Destinations" for my entire life. The idea that things will be better once I get there has always overshadowed the getting there part. I am not putting "Destinations" down but feel putting them into better perspective is important.

"Destinations", have the motivating factor going for them but looking at a "Destination" as a cure all does more harm then good. "Destinations" are like presents waiting to be opened at the end of a journey, inside may be something wondrous or something disappointing. It may solve a puzzle or hold another puzzle need solving. "Destinations" are unknowns we can plan for but what we will find when we get there is a mystery waiting to be discovered.

Unraveling the mystery of a "Good Destination" may be exilerating but it is also a fast and fleeting event. It is the journey that should be savoured and like a hard carmel candy left to sit on your tongue to dissolve it's creamy buttery sweetness into your mouth.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 10, 2012

Night Run

not my picture.
I was going to go back with my camera
but I had already said my goodbyes.
It was a beautiful February night as I headed out for my evening run at 5:45 just after the sun had set. Earlier I had watched the huge lava ball ignite the sky and was disappointed that I had missed the spectacle of it all out on my usual running route on Freeman Rd. It was dark when I began my ascent out of the village and as I reached the top of the hill I was greeted by a huge full moon sitting low in the clear black sky. I couldn't believe how bright and large it appeared and seemed to follow me on my right shoulder as I ran north, further and further away from the village on the desolate country road. After a few kms I turned west with the moon now at my back I smiled as I realized it would be waiting for me when I turned around at the other end. Unlike a sunset which is fleeting, I knew the moon wasn't going anywhere anytime soon and looked forward to spending some more time with my lunar friend in another 2kms. I was running a bit conservatively and decided I didn't want to run any faster with a sore quad and knowing I had the tempo tomorrow. The further down the road I got the more the clean pavement gave way to patchy clumps of ice and snow and I really needed to be sure footed, picking and choosing where to land my feet. With my mind busily keeping to the task at hand it was not long before I had reached the end and turning around I was once again greeted by the bright white orb in the cool winter sky. In contrast to the warming rays of the sun the Moon's glow was fittingly cool like the night. Now running towards it, the moon had become a huge omnipresent streetlamp keeping me company along the way and lighting my path home. I even turned off my headlamp and ran entirely by moonlight and though I knew I was alone I did not feel that way. So I ran steady, perhaps picking up my pace a bit and turned heading south,, with the moon just behind my left shoulder now, I said goodbye and did not look back again as I ran home alone in the dark of night but it was not dark and I was not alone.

I found out later the moon I saw was called "the full snow moon".

I had a 3 inspirations today, one leading to the other and then to the other. Together and alone they each reinforced the same thing, that I need to go out and do what I need to do to get done what needs to be done. I am ready, willing and able, now all I need is the time, which I must beg, borrow and steal. Time is the precious commodity that I am constantly rationing, endlessly running out of, feverishly chasing after and painstakingly bartering for.
And this from the last of my inspirations-
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”…George Eliot

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Longest Run Awaits and The Yukon Arctic Ultra is On It's Way! Yeah!!

I am just heading out for my longest run by time and hopefully distance ever on the Gould Lake trails. The Yukon Arctic Ultra is ready to begin so I will be sending out good vibes to coach Derrick and fellow Health and Adventure athlete David Bohn as I take on all of the rolling hills. If you go here you can see the Spot Tracker map and get more details and charts to follow the athletes. Well the race has started and I am off.

Well I finished my run. Can't say the same for Derrick but he appears to be doing well in 2nd and wait he is first, David should be finished but I can't find any results posted on the site or any tweets from the man himself. I am sure he did well though. As for my run I ended up running 2:32 and 19.75 km on a very rolling hilly and icy route. I was hoping to hit 20km but unfortunately the footing made it impossible to keep up the pace at times and running in some unfamiliar territory at one point also slowed me down some. I wore thin gloves for some ungodly reason and my hands were freezing as I also carried a water bottle which help keep them nice and cold as well. No sign of any wildlife other then lots of tracks in the snow and absolutely no one else out enjoying the park today as there were no foot prints on the trails after 500m into the woods where the icy downhills apparently turned most people back...but not me;-)

OK it's official, 2nd place for Derrick in a blazing fast time of 23:18 which BTW beat the old course record which Justin Wallace now holds with his win of 22:19. Huge Congrats Derrick, it was very exciting tracking the race with Spot Tracker and watching those elevation climbs and decents unfold peak after peak. It was hard to image you pulling a loaded pulk up and down each and every one of them through the night. Congratulations also to David(not Dirk) who finished the marathon in 3:24 taking 2nd place also. Yeah, for Health and Adventure, the Yukon Arctic Ultra was a huge success for all ;o)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I have no memory of writing this;-)

This was in my "Post List" and marked as a "draft" but really I have no memory or writing this. I must have been drunk, although I don't drink so I have no explanation.;-p
Everyone is chasing me again;-)
Snowshoes give you grip where you might otherwise slip. The attaction is traction, reaction is action, the

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The early runner gets the...

The early runner gets the pristine snow. The sleepy head gets this...

I'll have to get up earlier if I don't want to run through and around this kind of mess left behind by the snowmobilers and cross country skiers. By the the time I took these pictures the trail was actually much more runable as more snowmobilers had broken up the icy clumps I found myself in a few hours earlier. I can't complain though because the early risers get the pristine snow so I was the sleepy head today;-)

I'm looking forward to my first snowshoe run of the year tomorrow during part of my long run. It was hard not to throw them on this morning but I put it off one more day per coach's instructions. Then hopefully one or two more times on them and I should be ready for next weekends Frontenac Park Snowshoe Race.