The Daily EO: May 1st, 2013

I’ve not participated in enough exercise to merit the results I got in the Sun Run.  When I looked up how fast I should have been able to run it based on my fitness level and training level, I got “the average time for runners to complete a 10K race generally falls between 75 and 80 minutes”.   Not only that, based on a bunch of internet “calculators”, etc, considering my best time on a 5K (running regularly), my time was pretty darn good for a 10K (um, also considering it was the second time *ever* I have run a 10K.)  considering the lack of training.  75 minutes is quick average and I feel pretty good about this.

So, I started thinking about what if I was actually training?  What the hell would I be able to pull off then?  Whoa.  I could be sub 1 hour.  That’s crazy talk I know, but . ..  hmmm. .   I wonder. . .

Aside here, am I the only one who 2 days after a race forgets the pain and only remembers the glory and starts looking for the next race?  Really, how many technical tees do I need?

Anyways, since I really hate May for many reasons – though the Spring melt is not a May problem here in Vancouver, loving that – I thought that I need to do some exercise and training.  So for the month of May, I am going to try to run every day (a min of 2 kms).   Today I started out with 4.6 kms (shortened from 5k only because I was distracted by a big event in Victory Park with police presence and torches, and flags, and ambulances!  I couldn’t take the long route home – I had to Check! This! Out!)

May 1st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  A challenge to keep my superstitious mind occupied, and my ass a little tauter.

May 1st:  4.6 km
May Cumulative:  4.6 kms

The Daily EO: April 22nd, 2013

The day after 10k that you weren’t prepared for is a tottering one.  Yes, you have that ground swell of pride and good feeling, but sitting down to pee is problematic.

Nonetheless, I still think it was worth it.

Ow.

No more water, Thanks.

April 22nd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Knowing today’s pain is better than tomorrow’s will be.

The Daily EO: April 21st, 2013

Today was the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run – a 10k run through Vancouver’s downtown and Kitsilano areas.  I signed up about 30 days ago, certain that it would motivate me to get running and exercising.  It didn’t.  And since all I have been doing during the last week is blowing my nose or coughing, I was uncertain of my ability to join the run and actually make it through without stiffened sleeves due to . . . well, wiping my nose the whole time.  (sorry about the graphic image)

I was still toying with skipping when I awoke this morning, but cheapness and knowledge that I would regret not making it spurred me out of bed to the longest and hottest shower I could stand.  I took a Drixoral, ate some oatmeal and greek yogurt, had a sport drink (with caffeine), blew my nose for the 15th time that day, stuffed my pockets full of kleenex and hit the road.

I am glad I did.  I can’t explain what it feels like to walk from your house and see almost everyone around you sporting numbers indicating they are doing the same thing you are.   It’s like this weird sense of community that makes you say “Hey!  Me too!” to everyone.

I’ve only run a 10K once before and logged in about 1:22.  But I was determined that I was not going to break the rules of my colour which was runners between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes.  Could I run that fast with my snotty nose slowing my pace?  My strategy was to make up a lot of time in the early part where most was downhill, then I could slow up and walk during the other portions.

I use an ap to track my pace and generally it is fairly accurate – it lets me know every 2 minutes and every 1/2 kilometer what my pace and time are.   So, as I bolted out of the starting gate – well, it felt like a bolt – I was blown away to hear after two minutes that I had a pace of 3 mins 40 seconds.  What?!  That’s crazy town.  Maybe I did bolt!  Look at me go!  Then as I passed the 2 km mark, my ap announced that I had moved 2.5 kms.  Sigh – little GPS problems somewhere I think.

The sport drink I had consumed earlier now wanted out, but I would be damned if I was going to wait in a line and hurt my time, so I held it for 8 kms.

False information, kleenex stops and full bladder aside, I pushed through and did feel a twinge – well, wave – of sadness passing the 5K mark where I usually would be finished.    Oh, god, I have to do the same distance again!

My left ankle hurts, my right shoulder hurts, my shins hurt, I have a headache, and I am starving (yes, weirdly I get hungry during and directly after exercise).  Surely, I can’t be too far now.  Oh, good, here’s the last bridge.

I have a rule in all races or runs I undertake – I have to run across the finish line or the end regardless of how I feel.  So, as I came down off Cambie Street bridge and could see the finish line in sight, I spurred my aching body on.  For the first time in my life, I felt nauseated due to exercise and I thought I was running on a sprained ankle.  I think I had a bit of a bladder accident too, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to cross the finish line running.

April 21st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:

The Vancouver Sun Run:  Vancouver, British Columbia, April 21st, 2013 (10K)

Emile Results:
Time:  1:01:24  (current personal best)
Gender Overall Finish:  9089th
Category Finish:  822th

Susan Results:
Time:  1:14:53  (current personal best)
Gender Overall Finish:  11535th
Category Finish:  1122th

And now for some sweet cream and rhubarb ice cream.

The Daily EO: March 30th, 2013

I walked from Yaletown to Gastown to get my nails done.  They convinced me not to go with the plain French manicure as I always do, but instead to do something different.  So I ended up with a French-like manicure with silver sparkles on it.  It might be too much.  I’m not sure, but I missed out on pretty sparkly nails and the like due to retardedness in all things pretty growing up.  So, I am catching up I supposed.  (and using the word retarded in the proper sense here – as in my progress in pretty things was retarded by lack of knowledge and confidence.  But do crimping irons count?  I was really into that!).

Emile walked down and joined me and we headed to South Granville to do some furniture shopping.  Afterall, I am still sleeping with a mattress on a mattress on a floor.  But did we buy anything? No – why?  Because we are cheap now.  I used to be a person who bought things when I wanted without concern – but Emile broke me.  Alas.

We then walked back from South Granville to Yaletown to look at my latest favorite shop – Cross Design.  Which inspired me for a new look in our living room – not new new, but new and fresh.  I’m tired of our things – it’s time for a change.  But yet am value conscious – see above – so could be trouble here.  I am thinking greys, whites, Provençal with a splash of red?  Hello, Craig’s List.

Bought berries in Yaletown and then back home to Gastown.

Dinner was with old friends – our next door neighbours when I was a kid – where we participated in a strange family tradition where our berries and cream were served before dinner.  “Uncle Rod” lived next door my entire life before I went to university.  He’s 81 now and a little balder and doesn’t see as well, but Uncle Rod was thrilled to see me after almost 10 years.

March 30th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  12+ kms, nails that sparkle in the sun and reconnection.

The Daily EO: March 2nd, 2013

With some prodding from my husband, I went to bed at 9 pm on Friday and found myself self awake at 6:45 am but feeling pretty well rested.  The thought occurred to me to go to the gym and I bounced out of bed and into my gym clothes before I could roll over and snooze that idea away.

By 8:30, had hd run 5 kms, done 120 Russian Twists, pulled 45 lats reps and finished stretching.  All that was left was a protein shake and another big glass of water.

I wasted an hour or two doing something on the computer – so wasted in fact that I cannot remember what it was.  I went down to London Drugs to pick up a couple of things.

That afternoon – after a break in the rain – Emile and I headed out to do some shopping – well, really browsing at high-end stereo equipment and high-end hand bags.  Needless to say, we didn’t buy anything.

March 2nd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  An agendaless amble through Vancouver’s downtown core with a hot tea in hand.

The Daily EO: February 16th, 2013

I can tell you this – it is much easier to get in exercise and healthy eating when you are not working.  With everything happening in our lives and my demanding job, I let my exercising and healthy diet slip.  Fortunately, I never returned to my high of 176 pounds from a few years ago and can say with certainty that those 15 pounds have successfully been banished.

But also, I have never returned to my low of 152 pounds either because well, I don’t have all day to just focus on me.  So, I try to make sure I run 2 times a week and work out at least once beyond that.

3 weeks ago, I ran/walked a loop from my house up Pender, Main, the Sea Wall, underneath Canada Place and back home on Cordova.

Pathetically, it took me 42 minutes.

Today I did the same loop again and it took me 37.

Okay, okay, it’s not 25 minutes like some can do, but exercise isn’t about anyone else, it is about you.

Trying.  Doing.  Failing.  Succeeding.  All on your own terms.

February 16th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Goodbye 5 minutes.  You’re not coming back.

The Daily EO: February 2nd, 2013

More than 30 years ago, my mom signed me up for figure skating.  Little did she know that was going to result in being the head costumer for the little birds number for the skating carnival.  I wasn’t a particularly good skater – weak ankles they said – so I didn’t pursue it much further.  Last time I skated was about 15 years ago on the Rideau Canal.  That lead to about 4 days that I couldn’t walk very well after using muscles that hadn’t seen the light of days in quite some time. Emile hasn’t skated since grade school. So, when Emile and I were invited to skate at Robson Square we both said sure, but with a bit of wariness.We had a wonderful time spending probably 1 1/2 hours on the ice with kids and beginners; show offs and hand-in-hand couples.

February 2nd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:   Learning to skate again – and we both did really well.

(forgive my pictures, moving on a cell phone in low neon-back light was pretty tough).

A train
A train
Faster!  Faster!
Faster! Faster!
My weak ankles managing to keep my blades straight.
My weak ankles managing to keep my blades straight.

 

The Daily EO: January 31st, 2013

So, the end of January is upon us and that means I have to give you an update on Cliche January – or my journey with the other masses of people trying to remove the Christmas chocolates from my ass.

I’ll tell you now – the numbers are not too impressive.  My weight is generally the same, but I can live with that, maybe down a couple of pounds.  I am sleeping better, and feeling better also.

For the first 2 weeks of January, I was sick, so getting in exercise proved to be difficult when all you really wanted to do was lie on the couch and moan.  Work also got quite overwhelming for a while, so I really just wanted to lie and the couch and be left alone.

So instead of beating myself up about that, I will celebrate the times I got off the couch.  This month I:

  • Got outside to run 2 X 5+K.  This is difficult to do because when I leave for and return from work, it is dark.  I don’t feel comfortable running in the dark alone, so it ends up being Saturday and Sunday.  Also, I don’t really have proper rain gear, so it has to be a Saturday or Sunday when it is not raining.  All in all, that is 25% success rate of the 8 available days.
  • I did 130 squats according to the Squats Pro App I have.
  • I hit the gym in our building about 6 times this month and while that number is not very high, it is 6 more times than I actually did in December.  Besides the hordes of Cliche January-ers are there, and it bugs me to be part of their movement, so okay.
  • Went for a 17 km walk with Emile around the sea wall and Stanley Park.  That was a long walk.
  • I went to a spin class at a GoodLife gym which was pretty hard but I did the whole thing.  Classes are included in a gym membership there, which I do not really want (see noted gym in my building), but they charge $15/class for drop in fees.  Which then makes the gym membership thing cheaper than taking classes.  So, waiting to understand how Emile’s contract renewal is going to look – don’t want to sign up for a long term commitment right now.
  • I took a healthy lunch to work every day.  And packed one for Emile too.
  • I stopped caffeine again (and so much better for it).
  • Use Mind Jogger to remind me to “Drink some Water” and “Count to 10 and breathe” twice a day each.
  • Watched 5 episodes of the Biggest Loser.  (doesn’t that count?)

There is lots of room for improvement in Fit February, and I am committed to continuing my efforts.

January 31st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Cliche January’s mixed success rate inspires me to keep on moving into Fit February.

The Daily EO: January 19th & 20th, 2013

Being unemployed, my weekends lost their value.  What difference did it make if I didn’t have to work? – I never had to work.   So being back to work is different – suddenly these two days take on new importance.   These are the days that everything else needs to get done – and the days that you get to relax.

On Friday night, I purchased yet again another piece of IKEA furniture – a bookcase.  This allowed me to be able to place all the books in boxes and a number of pictures and other items in “something”.  Before Emile even got out of bed on Saturday morning, it was all completed and looking great.  Most of the boxes are unpacked and we have storage for everything now.  Pictures are on the walls and it feels more and more like home.

I made soup from some wilty broccoli and some wrinkly orange and red peppers. romaine lettuce hearts (why not?) and the non-moldy onions. (not that I was saving the moldy onions for anything)   It tastes pretty good, but is a weird bright orangey green.  I guess that is what happens with soup – you get what you get.    With that I was able to clean out the fridge to make room for better and fresher produce in the drawer.

I went grocery shopping to the biggest and busiest grocery store I have ever entered on Grandview Highway.  It had ever piece of produce I could imagine – and some things I couldn’t.  Since when do carts cost $1?  I know I get it back, but it irritates me – is the quarter so low in value now that people won’t return the carts?

For the first time since November – and even longer since outside – I ran.  I ran through Chinatown, up Main Street, along the sea wall underneath the conference centre and back again.  I managed 5.26 km and felt so accomplished, strong and better than I have in a while.   I use “run” loosely because honestly, there was some walking involved, but that is okay – I am back out there.   I ran by where my car was broken in to – said “ha ha!  I am not scared of you neighbourhood!”

I finally figured out how to make folders on the iPhone, and spent several happy minutes organizing my ap’s.  And downloading some new fitness things for the hell of it.  Did you know you can use “Squat Pro” ap which counts your squats while you hold it out in front of you?  Do I need such a counter?  Is it difficult to count to 10 or 15?   But cool, I guess and I’ve done 40 more squats this weekend than any other weekend.  (that also means that I cannot walk or sit down on the toilet well).

Laundry was completed – though after my run which means I have to do another load.   Afterall, it was cold out there and I am still getting over a cold – so yes, my sleeves are a little dirty.  Yeah, eeew.

January 19 & 20 Extra-Ordinary:  A productive weekend makes it easier to face the week ahead.

The Daily EO: January 14th, 2013

I am not a great skier, but I never fall.

I was a successful brownie and a guide that eventually dropped out due to my refusal to conform.

If you combine two statements about me, it all but completely sums up my personality.    Sheer willpower keeps me on my feet, but I never quite got good at skiing.  I am nervous of ice, steep hills, stray junk on the hills, and well. .  mostly falling and anything that could cause falling.  And hurting myself badly.  But also, I am afraid of looking foolish or unable to cope with what is in front of me.

In guides and brownies, you had an opportunity to earn badges which you then sewed on your sash.  If you didn’t wear your sash, you earned demerits.  Therefore, you HAD to wear your badges outs in front of everyone that showed all of the badges you’ve earned.  It wasn’t bragging, it was mandatory display of facts.  I could show the world how awesome I was and be protected from being a braggart.   And if this didn’t motivate young Susan!   My mother had to implement a rule that I could only work on 5 badges at a time.  I was so fettered as a child.  Sigh.

But I parted ways with guides when it became obvious to me that they wanted people to conform and I didn’t want to.  I *had* to wear a uniform (not pants instead of the skirt), I *had* to show up all the time and I *had* to follow the rules.  Conforming – especially when it is something I don’t really want to do – is not in my make-up.  I thrive on being different, being contrary and being individual.  And so the badges – and really,  how many more could I earn – didn’t outweight the conformity aspect.  And when my mother told me I had to either follow the rules or quit, I quit.

So, when faced with spin class tonight – which happens to be taught by my current boss at work (yes, that is weird a little isn’t it?) – I certainly was not going to fail in front of her, another co-worker that takes the class regularly or in front of other toned up peeps there.   She started the class out by letting people know there were 7 tracks and that if this was your first class, stopping after 3 or 4 would be a great accomplishment.

Whatever.  Like I am going to stop after 4 tracks.  That could be 1 or more of 3 things that I don’t do:

  1. Looking foolish and being unable to cope with what is in front of me
  2. Missing an opportunity to prove to myself that I am awesome (and letting others know a little too)
  3. Conforming to the persona of being out of spin shape (despite 18+ months hiatus of taking any challenging spin class)

So, there was a guy that left after 3 tracks.  He looked a cliche January-er, but he made it to class and maybe next time he’ll get further.  And that is my honest reaction – I didn’t think he looked foolish, or that he wasn’t awesome or that he was conforming.    I thought, good for you buddy, this is tough.  But then I went back to focusing on me and the *must* of completing the task well.

And I see that all the time in my life.  I like it a lot when my team members are awesome, but I know they can be awesome and make mistakes.  I know that they need to be able to raise their hands and ask for help – and when they do, I don’t think they can’t cope or they are foolish.

So why the double standard?   I don’t know, but I really think we should wear badge sashes at work – I would accomplish so much.

January 14th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  You bet I did the class – the whole damn thing and took no easier options (other than tension adjustments sometimes).  I’m awesome, I can cope and I didn’t look foolish (mostly).   I need to lay down now.