Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Great Run!

So yesterday, I went to the local Running Room for a regular Wednesday run night with some of my marathon clinic memebers. There weren't many people out probably due to the much anticipated hockey game with Canada playing Russia. So 5 of us from our group headed out for a 10-11k run following our usual Wed route and everything started the same way as every other Wednesday but last night was different...
I really enjoy running and look forward to most of my runs but rarely can I say that I have had a really good run physically, where I feel light on my feet and run for miles and miles at a great pace without "feeling it". Well last night the stars and the moon were aligned and I had such a run. I know this sounds funny but it was almost like I experienced a sense of enlightenment within the body but rather it be mental it was physical.  I hope this means I have reached a new level in my running but even if this was just a temporary state of running bliss, I am grateful for it.
So my stats from last night are as follows, nothing special or different in the numbers:
Distance: 10.82 k
Time: 1:05:51
Pace: 6:05/k
Avg HR: 142 bpm
Feeling: Awesome!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hump Day

Today is pajama day at my daughter's daycare, one of my favourite days for them for it makes the morning dress time a lot easier. If only work had such an occassional dress code - lol.

I am turning 36 this summer which is a little daunting for so many different reasons. As a result I have set the goal to be in the best physical shape by my birthday and that means losing the 10 or so pounds around my waist that I have accumulated from two pregnancies and stress eating habits.  So today I got up at 5.30 am, normally I have this intention but get lured back to sleep by some good dream and listening to the ego as she rationalizes how it is better to sleep then workout. Anyways I have just completed Jillian's 30 Day Shred Video, Workout 1.  Yesterday I also started a push up challenge with myself after reading other people's blogs about doing them. I tried to do men's pushups and managed to only do 6. I took a break and was only able to do 25 modified push-ups. Oh well it is a start. With Jillian's workout you do a couple of sets of push-ups and now my arms feel a little jelly like as I type this up.

There is much to talk about but I need to get ready for the day. One thought to leave with though, is when is the last time you jumped in a puddle? Despite it snowing here, yesterday afternoon I picked the girls up from daycare and there are a few puddles from the place to the car. My youngest was determined to jump/splash in every puddle along the way. At first my reaction was don't do that but then I thought, why not.  Seeing the pure joy of her face making a mess was all worth it. Reilly looked on with a smile and almost a longing to join her, so I took her to the nearest puddle and let her step into it. It didn't make the same splash but you can tell that she was happy to participate in her own way.  So the next time you see a puddle, don't walk around it, take a big step into it and enjoy the mess it might create! It is only dirt and water but the satisfaction of doing something so carefree is worth it.


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Weekend - a distant memory already

Over the weekend I logged 15k on Saturday and 21k on Sunday. A successful running weekend! On the home front my husband and I spent some quality time with Reilly. London was at the grandparents so we took Reilly swimming on Saturday afternoon, one of her favorite activities. It was actually really nice to give her this time, for usually London, believe it or not, takes up a lot of our time and attention around the house.

Saturday night we had a few of my running friends over and although we did talk and reminisce about past runs and events my husband did not feel out of place. I am hoping over time he will wear down and join us crazies out on the road but the more I hint at this, the more he resists. It is funny that since we were all running (except for one who was on the injury list and my husband) the next morning at 8.30 am it was not a late night. I guess that is the difference when you get a group of die hard runners out on a Saturday evening, an early night and healthy eaters. I had a chocolate pecan dessert and would you believe that out of eight of us, no one dared took a piece. Now that is discipline or a reflection of how we all have changed our habits.

On Sunday we also visited with our neighbors who are in their fifties and don’t have any grandchildren yet. The husband is quite the pianist and I insisted he show off his musical talent for the girls, especially Reilly. It was amazing to see Reilly light up as soon as he started playing some show tunes. It is interesting that most girls with Rett Syndrome love music, it is almost like that part of their brain is more developed and consistently so with all girls with RS. For instance, one of my friend’s daughter who has RS, loves classical music but only classical music. Moreover, she loves it so much she has to listen to classical music, almost every minute she is awake and will indicate by getting upset when a song comes on that she doesn’t like. It is interesting to note her likes and dislikes change throughout the day, and day to day.

It was a rare occurrence for London to fall asleep early but last night she did just after 8 pm, so I had some unexpected freedom to do whatever I wanted and last night I felt like taking it easy. So I watched a Canadian movie called Saint Ralph. It was released back in 2005 but I never heard of it before. Anyway it is set in the 1950’s and it is about a fourteen year old boy whose mom is in a coma. I missed the first bit of the movie so I am not sure how she ended up in a coma but he comes up with this crazy notion that if he wins the Boston Marathon that it will be the miracle needed to pull her out of it. So the movie is about his journey of him training for the Boston Marathon and employing some interesting running strategies along the way. It has some cute moments and if I wasn’t a runner I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much as I did, especially with an ultimate goal of someday qualifying for Boston.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yahoo - Friday is here!

I am sure most people are echoing my thoughts on thank goodness it is Friday! For me it has been a fairly quick week but who doesn’t look forward to the end of the weekend? Despite not being able to run this past weekend I managed to fall back into a similar routine this week with the following runs:

Monday – 7k, nice and easy (don’t usually run on Monday’s but it was a stat holiday)
Wednesday – 11k nice and easy
Thursday – Tempo run – 4k warm-up; 3k Tempo and 3k cool down

I was in a rush to get out of the house last night for my run and left my Garmin at home, so I don’t know my average stats but extrapolating from other’s results I probably did the 3k in an average pace of around 5:00/km to 5:05/km. It is such a great feeling to be able to push myself out of my comfort zone. Although I am still amazed at how much of a role adrenalin plays on race day for what pace seems impossible to maintain during practice runs becomes doable during race day. I think the trick is not to doubt your self going into the race. Something I will have to work on.

Anyways I hope everyone has a great Friday and good weekend ahead of running!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Resetting Expectations

So my husband and I had big plans for this past weekend. We took the afternoon and made it to my parent's place at dinner time.  We had a great dinner and start to the weekend.... and then my hubby got hit hard with the stomach bug shortly afterwards.   He missed watching the opening ceremoies and was AWOL for all of Saturday and Saturday night, for he became best friends with the bathroom. No more needs to be said here.  Needless to say we had to abort our getaway to Ottawa, much to our mutal dissapointment.  On Saturday I thought I was next in line to catch this awful bug for I developed terrible chills all day, aches and pains in the muscles and bones that wouldn't go away. I resigned to the fact that this is it, for that is how it started for Mike.  I had no choice though to carry on with the day with Mike already being out but managed to get to bed early.  Much to my pleasant surprise and probably to my parents as well, I felt a lot better on Sunday. Hallelujah!

My other half was feeling a bit better by Monday and we all went out for a skate on the lake.  Here are some photos of London skating or rather getting acquainted with her new skates and the new feeling of being on ice. It was great that she wasn't intimidated at all. I think she is determined to play hockey like her dad.  She is starting to get a mean slap shot with her hockey stick in the basement.  

Since Reilly is not steady on her feet on the best of days, there is no way we would try putting her on skates. Instead she enjoyed being pampered like a snow queen in a sled. Here she is sporting my sunglasses, there was quite a reflection coming off the snow.

My parents have had this cottage for three years and each winter season has been very different then the last. This year they haven't received much snow so no real opportunities for snow shoeing but the lake has frozen so nicely that you can actually skate across it without any real issues.  I have never skated on a lake before let alone going across it and I must admit at first I was a little unsettled wondering if the ice was thick enough but after coming across some clear patches it was quite evident that it was at least 16 inches thick. Here are some cool pictures that we took, at least we think they are cool given that we are city folk and rarely do things like this.

You can tell that I am a city girl when I was fascinated by the fishing huts. Most of them had a heat source that fed to the outside and windows with curtains.  In some ways they were like little homes on the ice.   While we were out on the lake throughout the weekend and even during the night we often heard a very distinct sound coming from the lake. The best way to describe it would be that of a drum or even a car door slamming but magnified.  I am told it has something to do with the ice fracturing or freezing but it is not the sound that you would expect with ice changes.  Either way it was a little unnerving at times.

Unfortunately I did not get any runs in over the weekend as a result of Mike being under the weather and my own stomach doing summersaults. I am dissapointed about this but what can you do. I am hoping that this unintended break will allow me to come back stronger and faster than before. 


Friday, February 12, 2010

Go Canada Go!!!!

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics start today and I look forward to seeing the opening ceremonies later on.  Here is hoping that they get some cold weather out there and I would be more than happy to give them soe of ours.  I am more partial to the summer Olympics sports but it will be still exciting to watch the various events, more so since we are hosting the games.  Go Canada Go!!!

Reilly is feeling better and no one has caught the bug so it looks like we are still heading to the cottage after lunch, just need to put in a half day of work before we are off. On a running note I kicked some ass out there last night. It is amazing to see my improvement this session over the last few clinics. I probably had some mental barriers around speed work and I am definitely more conditioned and healthy this time around.  Marlene and I started together after our 3k warmup and I was determined to stay right on her the entire time, or as long as possible. I managed to do that for the first 3k of the tempo run but then she had some fire in her and took off, going well under 5:00/k pace. Impressive!  My average for the 4k tempo portion was 5:09/k. I am truly estatic and hope to keep this up for the rest of the clinic, injury free.

So I hope everyone has a great weekend, for some of us it is a long weekend for we get Monday off as a statutory Family Day holiday. 


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Parenting - Fun Stuff

On Tuesday evenings both girls have swimming. London goes with her Daddy for regular swimming lessons and I take Reilly to our local hospital that has a warm therapeutic salt water pool that is staffed with volunteers. She has been going for almost 2 years now and really enjoys it. The assigned volunteer is supposed to work through a program that the physiotherapist sets up but Reilly beats to her own drum and will have nothing of it. For instance, her volunteer is supposed to work on leg strength and has Reilly sit on a ledge and then asks her to stand up to build the quad muscles. Reilly just thinks the volunteer is hilarious and refuses to stand up. Instead she giggles and has this look like why would I want to stand when I am perfectly comfortable sitting on the ledge. Who is the smart one? I must give the volunteer credit for trying. They have even tried reverse psychology and asked Reilly to sit but Reilly always has the last laugh. She would rather just float on her back or walk around the shallow end with a huge smile on her face. These volunteers are amazing and it is also more amazing that I don't need to get in the water with her either.

So Reilly had a great swim session on Tuesday night and had a great night sleep. She went to daycare and within an hour we got a call that she has thrown up. I came home from work and let's just say yesterday was spent caring for her and doing loads of laundry from each aftermath.  Unfortunately I had to forgo my run or any alternate exercise given the circumstances. She is doing much better today as we have only had two little disasters and she seems to back to her smiley self.  So I think I have the clearance from hubby to go running (he is a super dad but when it comes to throwing up his stomach gets queasy). It is funny that both of us were feeling off yesterday dealing with it but I am pretty sure it was 100% psychological.

Anyway, here is to a good run tonight!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Reilly Roo

On my way home tonight from work I was thinking on how I can incorporate my little Reilly Roo and Rett Syndrome (RS)  into my blog. It is easy to keep it as a running blog but I do want to give Reilly and RS a voice somehow, someway.  The challenge though is that Reilly is severely disabled. For instance she can not talk, use sign language, point or even coordinate her limbs to give us a hug or kiss. As a result there are little opportunities to relay stories like I did earlier on with London's little bathroom scene with me this morning.  So sometimes I feel guilty that I don't do "enough" with Reilly or "engage" her enough but my standards of what "enough" and "engage" means are based on my definition and not necessarily hers.

Anyways I kept this dialogue up all the way home while listening to CBC in the background and then to my disblief I heard they were going to interview Ian Brown who wrote 'The Boy in the Moon', a story about his severely disabled son. It was funny how I was looking for some answers and wouldn't you know it some of them came through this interview.  I haven't believed in coincidences for awhile, so I listened....

The hardest part for me is to put into words what I took away from this interview. I can easily process it in my own mind but to manufacture the right words is another battle and I don't know if I can do it justice.  I did find a quote that speaks to one message that stood out for me.  He stated that "with Walker, you can just be there and it is true. It reminded me that the truest story is the story that is right there: the story that you honestly experience as opposed to what you think you should experience."  These words couldn't have been timed better for I need to continue to work on staying in the present moment with Reilly and enjoying things at a different level or rather from a different vantage point.  I was going to use the word simpler but that is not fair or just, for she has taught me some invaluable lessons in the last 5 years.   When I bring myself back to the present with such reminders I really embrace being present with the girls and getting pure enjoyment over the simplest things, such as guiding Reilly through some funky dance moves in the living room and seeing the brightest smile on her face. 

So Reilly you will have to be patient with me as I find your voice through my fingers as I continue this journey of learning and living (and London you are not out of my thoughts, you will play a pivotal role in this journey as well - but I would appreciate some uninterrupted sleep during the night, please).

To read more about the Boy in the Moon that has won the Charles Taylor award....

Life is Like that...

Borrowing from the Reader's Digest "Life is Like that" column, this morning I was getting ready with my soon to be three year old daughter, London, perched in her usual position on top of the toilet seat watching me get ready.  I had just come out of the shower and had a towel around me as I started to straighten my hair with the heated straightener. I don't know how many times I have done this in the past with London watching on giving me step by step instructions as if she is the mom and I am the child. It is quite funny. Today, however, she then asked if I was going to straighten and then proceeded to pat her private parts. At first I didn't get what she was saying and then the light bulb went on. I had to explain to her without laughing too much that the straightener was for the hair on one's head only. In her little mind, she was still thinking well why not?  I have no idea where she got the notion that it could be used in other areas and I could never imagine such an application but boy did she make me chuckle with the notion.  It reminded me that I should probably store my make-up in a a place she can't easily get to for I can only imagine what she might end up doing with it, if left alone.

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Weekend

On Friday night the girls were at the in-laws so my husband and I could have a date night, we decided to go see 'When in Rome'.  It actually is a very entertaining romantic comedy that I would highly recommend if you are looking for something light and fun.  The only reason I mention it is that there were a couple of running scenes through NY's Central Park that had me longing for some warm weather and also further motivates me to run the NY marathon.  I have been a couple of times years agao but that was in my non-running days.  I did put my name in the New York marathon lottery for this November so here is hoping my name will be pulled. It would be quite an experience!

So we have been hit with a cold front, I guess we couldn't get away with unseasonably warm temperatures for the entire winter season, but I wouldn't have complained. Anyway, yesterday and today was -20 degrees Celcius (or 4 degrees F.) with the wind chill - too cold for my blood.  Despite the extreme bitter wind from the north, I went out for a 20k run both Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday I ran with Marlene and Sunday with the Running Room group. There is no way I could stay motivated in that cold to run by myself so it was great to be able to get out with others. 

After attending a Jeff Galloway talk in Disney on his frequent walk break appraoch to running, I have embraced it and have started to use it on my LSD days.  Marlene was kind enough to humour me on Saturday so we did 4 minutes of running and then took 35 second walk breaks.  On Saturday we finished at a 6:19/k pace, not bad given the weather and trying to take it easy given that we had to be back out the next day.  I then ran with a couple of other friends on Sunday's run and did the same run/walk approach and finished 20k at a 6:13/k.  I  would have liked to get it down a few seconds but all in all a successful weekend of running. So my total mileage for the week is approx. 60km. 

This coming week it is not going to as much for my hubby and I are heading to my parent's cottage for the weekend and then he and I are going to spend the night in Ottawa, just the two of us. My parent's have created this 3 year tradition which I am looking forward to. Plus my husband is going to let me join one of the Running Room stores for a morning run on Sunday so I can get some distance in while I am away.  Now that is a great Valentine's gift that money can't buy!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tempo Run


Last night was the Running Room clinic night and it was a scheduled Tempo run -3/3/3.  For the past three clinic seasons I challenged myself but within a certain comfort zone. In other words, I held back.  This clinic I vowed to myself to step it up and take it to the next level, particularly in the speed work department.  For our pace group last night, the goal was to maintain an average pace for the middle 3k of 5:30/k.  Well I have happy to report that not only did I accomplish that I ended up doing an average pace of 5:24 for not 3k but 5k total. Yahoo!  I must confess though I was hell bent on trying to keep up to Marlene, not because I think I should be at her pace, but rather she served as a motivating factor to work towards a goal. So I was on her heels for most of the route.  It definitely helps to have someone in the clinic to serve as your baseline or target. Sorry Marlene but your it but do consider it a compliment.

When I got home I did a little more stretching and the tendon on my right knee was a little tender. I knew it was because I pushed myself and of course that little comfort zone angel started to natter saying that I should take it easy so a little wave of doubt has started to creap in that I should be challenging myself. I will try to incorporate more leg strengthening exercises into my routine and maybe book a physio appt as a preventative measure. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Okay Marlene, you have inspired me to start a Running Blog to track my running adventures, mishaps, and lessons learned while throwing in a personal twist, Rett Syndrome. For those that know me, I initially laced up some running shoes to lose post-pregnancy weight and then it became a much needed way to relieve stress and then I have become a running social junky. So... going forward my objective with this blog is multi-fold… to further motivate me in achieving my running goals, create much needed awareness on Rett Syndrome, and to give and receive support from others.

With that said tomorrow tonight is Marathon Clinic night and we are to do a tempo run. One of my goals in this clinic is to push myself beyond my comfort zone, especially with speed work.