The Daily EO: February 1st, 2014

Does Acupuncture hurt? 

I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question.  Well, Always might be a bit of a strong sentiment.  My first word was not acupuncture.  Or ac-cue.   Hmmm.  Actually, I don’t know what my first word was. 

Anyways, that is not my point.

It always seemed a strange thing to do – sick needles in your skin for healing.  I’ve had enough experience as a kid playing with a pin knowing that it is possible to stick it in your hand – right on the edge of the skin and you can freak others out including your kid brother – without pain.  So I understood the concept.

And since my benefits plan and my husband’s benefit plan covers acupuncture, it is free for me, so why not try it?   Interestingly, my benefits will pay for $500/year and my husbands will also pay  for $500/year.  They will only pay $200/every second year for vision correction for my -.75 and -.50 eyeballs.   I know it is the insurance scam – give you a big list of benefits that very few people will partake in and limit the benefits that most will need.  But seriously, people – between contacts and needles, it is an easy choice.  One of them helps me get to work in the morning – it’s time to adjust the $200/year thing so people can afford vision correction!

Wow… off point today (no pun intended).

Regardless, I have now visited the acupuncturist 3 times.  The experience of having needles inserted is a briefly painful experience that leaves me feeling almost paralyzed when the needles are in.  Mentally paralyzed, guys, not really paralyzed – like I cannot move until they are removed.  The first experience made my legs feel heavy and pinned down.  When the needles went in, it was like a little stab of pain that instantly subsided.

After the insertion, you lay quietly and let the energy flow – don’t fight it.  You lay there snug on a massage table with a heat lamp warming you gently, not a care in the world.  And I drift, fall asleep, and relax. 

After a dampness diagnosis based on tongue, pulse and described symptoms, it is recommended to avoid alcohol, dairy, wheat, raw vegetables and any fried foods.  Seriously?  That is my entire diet.  (well, except the alcohol part – I tend to stay sober most of the time.)  What the heck?!  I’m losing weight because I don’t have any food in the house to eat!

February 1st, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Dying for a grilled cheese sandwich.

PS:  Happy Chinese New Year All!

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The Daily EO: September 2nd, 2013

Getting ready for a run at my house is a long process.

First I put on running shorts, then a sports bra. Then a loose shirt overtop. Then I settle in to do something else. Like work. Or read. Clean. Eat. Or whatever.  I eventually will then change into a running tank or shirt.  And go back to whatever else I was working on.

Then I add socks and shoes.

Then later, headphones and iPhone.

Then I make sure I haven’t eaten recently.  If I have, I have to wait a while.

So today for example, I started getting ready for a run at 7:30 am and came back to the house at 3:45 pm.  You see – I have to mentally prepare myself to go outside and make my lungs hurt.

There is a process, people, and you’ve got to follow it.

Today, when I finally got out, I ran through Strathcona and I ran by the Hendrix house – which is a protected historic house that was owned by Jimi Hendrix’ grandparents.  No, it is not a historic house because of Jimi Hendrix, but instead because his grandparents established part of the vaudeville scene long before Jimi was born or he even thought about playing a guitar.

I eked out 4.8 kilometres and came back to the building red-faced, sweating and feeling somewhat accomplished that my long preparation resulted in an actual run.  (you can imagine that such a long process can often be thwarted by opposing forces).  As I got back to the elevators, I was wondering why I hadn’t found the strength to go the last 200 metres when I ran into the same guy I rode down with when I left.

He congratulated me on my “long run”.  I insisted it was not long, but rather slow instead.  He told me he used to run ultra marathons – I then understood that I was dealing with a crazy person so I used my calm voice.   I again stated that my accomplishment was paltry today, but he wouldn’t hear of it.

“You’re building and that’s all that matters”.

September 2nd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Fresh view from a stranger on the elevator.

The Daily EO: June 23rd, 2013

Emile and I went to the ScotiaBank 5K this weekend.  And it hurt me.  My butt is sore, my legs are sore, my shoulders.  My pride a little.  What seemed like something I should easily do, was really difficult.  But I did it.

June 23rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:

Scotiabank Vancouver 5K:  Vancouver, British Columbia, June 23, 2013 (5K)

Emile Results:
Time:  26:14
Overall Finish:  99th
Gender Finish:  75th
Category Finish:  9th

Susan Results:
Time:  34:25 (weirdly tied with Chocolate Race Results)
Overall Finish:  517th
Gender Finish:  294th
Category Finish:  34th

The Daily EO: May 4th, 2013

A gorgeous day and a forecast of more to come.  I awoke determined to find both more items to throw out of my warehouse AND to get outside to run run run.  I did the first while I waited for my running partner to get out of bed and get ready.  Emile is good at being on time and reliable, but given a fluid schedule, he is the best futzer I have ever met.  He could stretch anything into a 4 hour event.  But nonetheless we finally got out of the house.

I should mention here that I changed my rules for my running month of May.  I am not going to run every day – honestly Self! You are a Materials Manager you are busy – but instead run a  cumulative amount for the month.  This seems more realistic as I can definitely spend more time on weekends exercising then I can on my 12 hour days spent commuting and working.  So, my goal for the month is 130 kms.

But back to Saturday.  What a Day!  Sunny.  No Humidity.

But the Sea Wall was crowded.  Really Crowded.  I took a picture to show you:

photo

Okay – that actually was a picture of my view at the Vancouver Sun Run, but you get my meaning.  There were a whole bunch of people pouring of off the cruise ship and everyone was out enjoying the weather.  It made it feel like a race picking your way around people.  But I got in 9.2 kms.

Okay – that is another lie.  I am a liar.  I cannot claim 9.2 kms today.  My shins.  My poor poor shins.  They hate me after pushing through the Sun Run and having recovered yet.  So, I probably ran about 6. or 7 and then had to walk – at a lively pace – but walk nonetheless for the rest of the day.  There comes a point that pushing yourself is stupid if it is going to result in injury or longer lasting pain.

But it was such a beautiful day that we decided to register for the BMO marathon on May 5th.  Because we could.  Because we were right there.

Okay – that is another lie.  God – what is wrong with me?!  There was never any intention of signing up for the marathon or the 1/2 marathon.  Instead, we were going to do the 8k, but for some crazy reason whoever was in charge of the race – and it must not have been a sane person – scheduled it to start at 6:30 am.  Wha?!  The only thing I do at 6:30 is get out of bed into a hot shower.   So sorry BMO – and all the charities that you fundraise for – forget it.  I am keeping my shins in bed along with my 50 bucks.  Because I always sleep with my shins and 50 bucks.  Always.

But – the best part about not signing up for the BMO marathon was enjoying the “Expo” and getting free things like health bar samples, yogurt, weird BMO gloves that look like those gloves you buy for exfoliation in the shower rather than real gloves.  I must say the Vega booth was pretty cheap on their samples though – you had to go up and request that they cut a little piece of a bar or give a little sip of a drink.  If you are giving free samples – then don’t be cheap about it.  That’s what I say!  Put them out there – share your stuff.  Don’t make them beg for it!

Any hoo, back home where somehow it was already 4:45 pm (I blame Emile with his futzing not my walking) to shower and eat healthy things like kale.

Another LIE!  I am out of control!  Instead, we used my hidden credit card and coupon to buy $2 sweet fries at A&W and since we were there you can’t not have a diet root beer or apple turnover while sitting in the sunshine.  (not that I have a hidden credit card normally, it was just tucked away in my running shorts).

So, off we ran to see “The Manor” all the way across downtown as part of the Doxa film festival.  It was good – but I found it hard to watch sometimes as I wonder how the director was able to show his family warts and all.  (including his own warts).  The filmmaker was there, and we joined in a lively discussion after the movie to learn more of his story, and went for drinks with the producers after the show.

Okay.  Yep.  That too is a lie.  We left immediately afterwards – alone – and headed to Chill Winston’s (best location in Gastown), sat outside, had a beer and wine and shared a pizza and watched the world go by.

And that is no lie.

May 4th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  The best day of my life!  Okay.  No.  Really, what I mean, is there are no regrets moving to Vancouver today.  And Oh!  That heat lamp at Chill Winston’s was pretty freaking awesome with the sun setting and the temperature dropping.  And the wine was excellent.

Run Today:  6.5 kms
Cumulative Total:  16.3 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: April 17th, 2013

I can barely hold my arms and head up to type tonight.  It isn’t from sickness or tiredness – though I am both – it is from languidness.  My shoulders have the satisfying ache from use, I smell really good and I am well moisturized.  My skin feels just right to be in, and I have a bit of the feeling Burt Reynolds would had with those boots in Striptease.  Which causes me to twitch my toes back and forth.

Ever since I discovered that I had benefits that covered massage back at Celestica, I’ve been getting massages regularly.  Not salon massages – the best ones are from RMTs that have their own practice.  And last year when Emile and I were happily using up the maximum amount of benefits before he got laid off – well, I had a massage every 2 weeks.

I like my new RMT here – she is just around the block – and she likes to press hard.  I can’t say I enjoy every minutes of that, but I find it a challenge to take the pain without wincing or jerking.  And then afterward my muscles feel accomplished and well worked.

April 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Feeling pretty good for the first time in a week.