The Daily EO: May 12th, 2012

Alcohol is poison. It takes a large dose to kill us but nonetheless it is poisonous. It slows your reactions, impairs our judgement, affects our metabolism and pushes our liver to process out the toxins.  But yet, we wrap it up in fancy bottles and talk about strawberry undertones and food pairings.

The detrimental effects of processing alcohol on my body was obvious than when I ran Saturday morning. (see how committed we are?)  After consuming about 10 ozs of wine on Friday with delicious food pairings, I ate a healthy, low-calorie healthy dinner and went to bed at a reasonable time.  We drove to an area of vineyards near Emile’s parent’s house (read: nice and flat) and started out.   The flatness of the area had that dessert oasis effect where things seem much closer than they are.  I ran and I ran and I ran and when I finally made it to my goal – a cross street – I checked my GPS and found I had run . . . . . 7/10 kms.  Huh?  This is not possible!  And the worse part?  The car was now .7 kms away.

I managed to sprint, stumble, and drag myself 3.3 kms, but it wasn’t gazelle-like nor inspiring.  Emile, of course, dug deep and managed to get in 5.0 kms.  I walked another 1 km and collapsed by the car.

This is how I know alcohol is poison.  Because it couldn’t be my will that is weak.

May 12th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Visiting 18 Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries today despite the first-hand knowledge of the impacts of alcohol on my body.  Food, wine, summer weather, and good company.  Who cares what tomorrow brings?

Maintenance May Day 12:
A day with Emile’s parents – a nice break for two extremely hard-working people (Family)
Baked a vegan chocolate cake that the who family could eat (vegan due to allergies) for my sister-in-law’s birthday on Sunday.  (Body/Connection)
Did not steal extra Bergamont Cupcakes at the final winery of the day despite an overwhelming desire of the delicious orange frosting and moist interior despite the host’s back being turned.  (Soul)

 

The Daily EO: May 8th, 2012

Oh my God.  If you have more oxygen moving around your body, you can run further.  This may seem elementary to you, and it is elementary to me.  But sometimes it just needs proving.  My body was like a busy Dim Sum restaurant’s conveyor belt – a bunch of empty plates and little food.

I told you about my iron issue a week or so ago.  And for over a week now I have taken 54 mg of iron* with Vitamin C and B12 a day in addition to my usual diet.  I hit the track today awaiting my old friend “the stitch” to return about the 1.0 km mark like it usually does.   Nope.   Not at 1.2.  Not at 1.4.  A twinge at 1.6.  And back again at 1.8.   Hmmmm.  This is strange.   Have I done anything different?  No, less sleep than I should have.  Less breakfast than I should have.  So, I was not set-up for a good run.  Yet, for the first time since the Chocolate Race, I was able to run 1.8 km without stopping.  I tried the same thing today and found the same result – 2.0 km without stopping.  And a little stitch at that point, but nothing too bothersome.

It’s a Miracle!  I’m cured!  Now if my stupid calves/shins would stop complaining all the time we’d be in business.

May 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Being able to start to the push to build my endurance to 5 km.  Hooray! . . . . . . . . Wait, if I am cured, I have no excuse to stop running.  Dammit.

*I will be dropping my intake once I get my levels to normal.


Maintenance May Day 8:

Visited the Trinity United Church to watch a movie about Dr. Burzynski and his fight for his seemingly effective cancer treatment to be accepted by the general medical community.  Definitely one side documentary.  Definitely where you hang out on Tuesday nights in Huntsville if you are a bit crazy.  Definitely one of those nights where you wish your youthful good looks didn’t stand out so much in the blue hair forest.  Definitely made us talk on the drive home.  Definitely going to the next movie next Tuesday night – after all the crazies are the most fun.  (knowledge)

Completed a personality test as a pre-screen for an interview.  Hopefully, I have a personality.  (career)

 

The Daily EO: May 6th, 2012

Part of the learning I had from the dietician we visited last week was to try to do all of your exercise at one time in the day.  Your body starts off by burning carbohydrates, then moves on to burning fat after that.  If you do little spurts, you probably will not burn as much fat if you completed it all at a time.  This caused my husband – who just last week nodded his head in agreement of my assessment of endurance runners as crazy – to increase his running distance to 10K.    But both Saturday and Sunday, he ran 10K (only walking a couple of laps).   Now I think he is crazy too.

This lead me to change the way that I do exercise too.  Often, I would do two or three bouts of working out in a day as I accomplished other things.  Sunday, I completed 66 minutes of cardio/strength training followed directly by a 3K run.  This was not fun, but I’ll try it to see if it garners better results for me.

I choose to run on a side road out here near my house.  The local tracks are great, but the continuous round and round – I think I am going to tip over sometimes.  And I lose count.  (How hard is it to count to 12.5 or 25?)  No only that – it was a nice spring day out – people were out.  When I run with other people around, I don’t want them to see me stop or collapse.  So I push myself to go a bit further around the bend until the people are out of sight.  It is effective.

I do not trust dogs.  Several of you have dogs and you know that I rarely touch them (they smell) and I don’t like to be close to them.  I think it is because I could be seriously injured or killed by a dog.  I know, I know . ..  you will all say to me. . . “Buttons here is so gentle, so well trained”, but the fact remains if Buttons decided to use his teeth and weight to attack me, I would be maimed.  My cat often decides to attack me and it is generally futile – he doesn’t have the strength to be able to seriously injure me beyond a deadly case of cat scratch fever.    I was assaulted by a Doberman while swimming in Fairy River a couple of years ago.  He wanted to play, but in water over my head he was much too strong for me.  I was badly scratched on my legs and I was certain I was going to drown.    The dog was not on a leash nor was he trained well enough to return to his owner when called.  (Please note, I did not engage this dog in any way except being in the same beach area.)  That was one of the most terrifying events of my life.

I am not writing this to say that dogs are evil, or dogs should be destroyed, but I do believe that a dog must be trained and kept on a leash (if not at home).  For the dog’s safety as well as mine.  Bottom line: if my cat wanted to kill me, he’d probably have to sneak into my bed and put arsenic in my mouth.  If a dog wanted to kill me, most wouldn’t need arsenic.

So, I am nervous around dogs – big and small (they are all dogs).  While I ran down the street, I passed a house where everyone was gathered at the foot of the driveway in lawn chairs.  Why do people sit in the front of their property like that?  When I ran by, all FOUR of their dogs started chasing me and barking at me.  They did not return home when their owners called them.  It was frightening, and I burned some more fat by bumping up the pace trying to outrun their territory.

May 6th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   Running down the street with four tiny little yappy dogs (mini yorkshire terriers?) barking their hearts out at me.  I was frightened and felt ridiculous about feeling frightened.  Afterall, wearing other clothes I could have been an heiress with my accessory dogs on Rodeo Drive.

Maintenance May Day 6:
Agreed to have my résumé presented to another employer by a recruiter.  (Career)

The Daily EO: May 4th, 2012

I received my exam results today.  I didn’t study much, although did a lot of cramming for it in April.  It was was kind of like an IQ test – a lot of it depended on my DNA and upbringing.  But as I listened to the exam results, I felt relief, then pride.  After all, didn’t I just do swimmingly?

When I run, I start finding it difficult around the 1 km mark.  I have often wondered, “Do other people have the same problems and they are mentally strong enough to will their bodies to carry on?”  Or is there something wrong with me?  Am I just not built for running?  Between pain in my calves and my lungs feeling like they are not getting enough oxygen, I then think that people who are endurance runners are completely crazy and the mentally strongest people on earth.  But maybe they have better bodies than me?

For those of you who have followed a Couch to 5K officially program, you know they usually start you out on something like walk 1 minute, run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute etc.   When I first saw these instructions, I thought “Who can run 5 minutes?”.  Really?  There are people who are sitting on the couch who can just get up and run 5 minutes?  Wow, I am quite unfit.

But back to acing my exam – except for 1 aspect.  Everything else – cholesterol, triglycerides, vitamins, platelets, White Blood Cell Count, Albumin, Creatinine, CK, Glucose Serum Fasting, you name it – exactly where it should be!  My blood pressure was 85/40.  Alas, the iron ruined my perfect result.  My ferritin levels are 12: “Iron Deficient”.  (the lowest category on the scale).  Interestingly, iron carries oxygen on the red blood cells to the muscles in the body – hmmm.

Did you know that Iron absorption in the body is hindered by some items?  Polyphenols in tea; Phytate in legumes, soybeans and whole grains; Oxalate in spinach, chard, kale, and sweet potatoes; vegetable proteins and calcium?  Um, is that not my diet right now?  I live on tea, I always eat whole grains, I eschew white rice for quinoa, I eat kale and spinach in smoothies, etc?  And these things – though required and good for me too – actually help to block iron absorption?  No wonder there are so many diet books out there – this stuff is complicated.

My calf pain also may have a cause – Chromic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS).  Doesn’t that sound terrible?  It basically means that when your muscles expand during exercise they are trying to expand beyond the “muscle compartment”.  As you can imagine, this causes pain.  But we’ll see about that – I am going to get a referral to a sports doctor to confirm.

May 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  It’s not my fault!  I am mentally strong!  It’s the iron and the potential CECS!  I knew it!

Maintenance May Day 4:
Visit to the Nurse Practitioner (NPs in Canada can do anything a doctor can except prescribe narcotics) for a full review of my health.  And they actually spend time talking to you. And the appointments start on time. (body)
Consultation with a Registered Dietician with Emile to review our diets and fitness regimes. (body)
Updated my immunizations for Tetanus, Whooping Cough and Diphtheria. (body)
Visit to the spa to get a pedicure.  Hello beautiful blue toes! (body).

PS  Yes, I have already added a iron supplement to my vitamin intake.

The Daily EO: April 29th, 2012

The morning finally arrived.  Our race.  Our chocolate race.  We were up at 8:00 to dress and have a good solid breakfast to power ourselves through 5K.  Instead of taking the shuttle, we drove to Port Dalhousie ourselves and found parking on a nearby street.  The day was one of those perfect days – sunny but crisp, cool but the potential for a wonderfully warm afternoon.  We were prepared – a new firm sports bra (for me – nice to have the girls strapped in tight) and new long running pants for Emile (for those turkey legs of his).  A good night rest, a solid breakfast, no alcohol, and a month+ of training.

Could we make our goals of a personal best?  Considering the chocolate pits stations on the course?  Hills? People?

Goals:  Emile:  34:00 Minutes     Susan:  38:00 Minutes  These goals are based on our best average times on an indoor track – no hills, no crowds, no chocolate and controlled climate.

The chocolate race course is a an out and back one meaning you run 2.5 kms and then loop back to finish where you started.  I have never run more than 1.5 kms without stopping, Emile has consistently been able to run 5 km only stopping for a water break each km.   We agreed we would not wait for each other (like I’d be doing any of the waiting!), but simply run the best race that we could.  As we were separated, I could not tell you what Emile’s strategy was, but mine was to just keep going.   I had a target to run from the start until about the 1.75 km mark where a very steep hill marked the entrance into Westcliffe park – and I made it.   At the 2.25 km mark, I had some Gatorade and a chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry on a stick.  Hello, yum!

At the 3 km mark, my old friend the stitch acted up, and I had to walk and stretch a bit, but I kept going as fast as I could.   At 3.5 km, I thought I was done, but I didn’t like other people passing me, so I found something to keep going,

And finally, seeing that finish line across the parking lot and Emile waiting for me, I managed to dig deep, ignore my shins, ignore my lungs, and ignore my stitch and ran as fast as I could.

I blog to you about many EOs – mundane, silly, ironic, funny, but today’s EO is one of the most emotional ones yet for me.  When I crossed that finish line, tears – and not from the wind – came to my eyes.  I am so proud of myself!  So proud that I ran 90% of the race.  So proud that I could turn such a difficult winter into an accomplishment.  We set our goals modestly, and trained for this race and we set fair goals based on previous results.

2 chocolate croissants, 1 chocolate milk, 4 truffles, 1 brownie and 1 chocolate martini (yeah, a real one) each awaited our celebration at the end of the race.  Why are more races not like this?

April 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:

Emile Results:
Time: 29:55 (personal best, and -4:05 from target)
Overall Finish:  58th (!!)
Category Finish: 6th (OMG!!!)

Susan Results:
Time:  34:25 (personal best and -3:35 from target)
Overall Finish:  126th
Category Finish:  32nd (!!)

We Run for Chocolate! (updated with official timing)

The Daily EO: April 7th, 2012

I love Sesame Street.  It is one of those shows that speaks to its audience whatever age they are.  I always wanted to visit Sesame Street because I thought it was a real place.  I had figured out that some of the characters were probably just adults play acting, but I was certain the street was real.  From everything from letter rock videos, to crazy skits by zany puppets and everything in between – and somehow they snuck in learning.  When I was growing up, Sesame Street aired at 12:00 pm until 12:30 pm.  The problem was that I had to leave for Afternoon Kindergarten at 12:15 by the digital clock on the TV. (Yes, isn’t that fancy?  A digital clock on our TV in the early 80s.  As I recall it broke and my Dad wrote one of his famous letters to the manufacturer expressing his disappointment.)  I  covered the clock on the TV at 12:15 pm which obviously prevented Mom from knowing I hadn’t walked to kindergarten yet.

I remember a Bert and Ernie skit called “Ernie’s Telephone Call”.  For some reason it stuck with me and I found myself thinking of it today while I ran.

It involved Bert and Ernie fighting to answer the phone, and Ernie grabbed it.  Then Ernie heard a wonderful story by the caller.  The caller was Happy about a sunny day playing softball.  But then he was Sad because it started to rain.  While the caller stood under a tree, he was surprised to find a gorilla.  But Afraid once he saw the gorilla’s sharp teeth.  When the gorilla ate the caller’s bologna sandwich, the caller got Mad.  But when the gorilla gave the caller a ride on his shoulders, the caller felt Proud for taming the gorilla.  (Assuming this takes place somewhere in middle America, this seems a strange gorilla premise to me looking back at this.  But hey, it stuck with me, and I am sure there are kids still looking for gorillas under trees in the park.)

After we hear the story, Bert then comments on what an excellent story it was!  Happy, Sad, Surprised, Afraid, Angry and Proud!

It came through my head because Emile and I went for a run at the summit center.  It was just like the telephone call!  I was Happy that I ran 1 km without stopping.  Complete with arm pumping and cheering.  I was then Sad because it was only 1 km.  Surprised to find that I had kept up to Emile.  Afraid to that my shin splints would put me out of commission.  Angry to realize that 3 km was my max today ensure good health on my legs.  Proud that I have run and exercised enough that I needed to drop my distance from 5 km to 3 km.

April 7th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  1 km without stopping, heading up to 1.5 km with Bert and Ernie by myside.  Way to go, me!

The punch line of this skit?  The caller had the wrong number!  Ba ha ha.. . .

Ernie’s Telephone Call