Tuesday, August 26, 2008

monday to monday

monday (last week)

Because of the rain last Sunday I planned to run after work on Monday. I mapped out a route that would take me up on the mountain where it levels out and I thought I'd run a route up there before running the descent home.

This is what I learned:

1. Running a very long distance post-work is near impossible. It's probably better to just run home or do a shorter run.
2. Know when to stop. Instead of pushing myself into frustration and getting down on myself, it's better to stop and call it a day.
3. It's okay to walk.

During the run I felt awful. I kept trying to talk myself into the run, telling myself that I just needed to find my rhythm. Then the negative thoughts starting flowing and no matter how hard I tried to stay positive and focused, the negativity came back. I was simply too tired to carry on. I tried to keep going and took extra walk breaks and longer walk breaks, until finally I admitted to myself that I was beat.

Still quite far from home I started walking. The walk gave me lots of time to think. I questioned whether I should be running at all and asked myself why run a marathon? No clear answers came to me and I got quite irritated. At the bottom of a very long hill, I started to run again. The pain made me angrier and once again I gave up. My legs were so tired. (Perhaps I should have mentioned that three days earlier I did several reps of lunges after my run and was still quite sore from that workout). I wanted to cry, but I was too mad to cry. I wasn't mad at myself or anyone, just frustrated for not having the ability to run.

I made it home just as the sun was setting and told db the whole frustrating story. He tried to reassure me, but the doubts lingered.


No running or biking. I started work early because I'm training for the office job to cover the office person while she's on holiday. This is actually the job I applied for last fall, but didn't get. Now I'm getting an idea of what the job would have really been like. While I enjoy learning anything new, I realized that this isn't the business for me. I'm definitely in the wrong area. This isn't an earth shattering revelation, I did study in an arts discipline, but not working in the arts I guess I thought I'd be able to find a place where I could fit in and feel content. I guess I was wrong.

I risked eating sprouted wheat bread on the weekend and lived to regret it. I was starting to feel a little relaxed about my wheat consumption and then lo' and behold it started to catch up to me. I was feeling sluggish and bloated again. So Tuesday was the day I decided to stick to my gluten-free ways and see if it made me feel better.


Somewhat hesitant I dressed to go out for my run. When I faced the hill ahead of me I told myself that I would just "do what I can." If it meant that I'd run around the block then I would do just that and call it a day. I was convinced that I would't run more than 2 k.

I started off slowly and ran my regular short route to the park. Once at the park I decided to head toward the track thinking that the softer surface might be a nice change. Once on the track I decided to start my speed workout for the week, but I was cautious and I told myself to just try one set of 1600 meters at a faster pace. I completed one set, followed by 800 m jogs in between. I finish another set and follow with more jogging. The morning heated up, but I tried a third set, completing half of it and I was grateful for completing half since I had left the house with little expectation. I topped off my workout with some lunges (I felt I was ready for more lunges again) and jumping on the spot (yes, I probably did look ridiculous, but it really does help). Then I ran home and was relieved to know that "yes I can run after all." Maybe I won't pull out of the marathon yet. The weekend would be the true test when I'd have another long run (30k).

In the evening I attended a family bbq. Family here meaning cousins, second cousins and my great aunt and uncle, i.e. family I don't see as often. I hadn't seen some of them for 10 years or more so it was quite cool to see everyone and catch up on what they're up to. Veggie burgers were on the bbq before any meat so I was happy and there were gorgeous portobello mushrooms to go with. Very delicious. I did have my burger on a wheat pita bread, but I didn't want to make a fuss about the wheat since I already felt like I was putting people out being vegan.


A long day at work and I spent most of it on my feet. Even though I'd eaten the pita bread, that was the only wheat I'd eaten since the weeked so I was starting to feel better. Work was long and it seemed like the day would never end.


db and I planned to run after work together. He tends to run a bit faster than I do so I know it will help to run with him.
I was still nervous about running and how my body would respond. Would it give up on me? Would I give up on it?
We had a short, but good run. I felt lighter and leaner as if the affects of the gluten were less. I felt the real test was coming up on Sunday, the long run day.


We traveled to Bowen Island. It's so close and we've never been. We read about a market on the island and being eager to seek out every market around, we left early in the morning for the ferry.
Bowen is beautiful. I loved the island!
As it turned out the market was just a craft market (no produce). While this was a bit disappointing it didn't really matter.
Just a short walk up from the ferry is the market.
Boardwalk near the marina.
A view of one of the beaches.
The wetlands near Kilarney lake. We hiked around the lake. It was a beautiful hike. The map gave approximate times for how long each hike would take. db and I soon discovered that it was probably written for someone who rarely walks and may need a hip replacement, because the time it took us on the trails was half the time allotted.
More mysterious fungi. I never tire of looking at them.

Very nice day trip that we completed with a microbrew at the pub near the pier. I didn't want to leave. Hopefully we'll go back soon.


The big day. I was up at 5:30 to have a good breakfast before heading out on my long run. The plan was for me to run 14 k and then meet up with db to run his 16 k. I took a look at my pacing goals and headed out. I was nervous and not entirely certain how to pace myself, but I felt good so I didn't hold back too much.

The morning air was quite a bit cooler than I thought, perfect for running. I did my 10:1 run walk ratio and it was all going really well. In fact I was ahead of my expected pace and started to worry that perhaps I went out too strong.

When I met up with db I felt okay and we continued on. For the most part I maintained a pretty steady pace. My right calf started to tighten up more and more the longer I ran and this was becoming a problem. Still, it wasn't painful enough to cause me to stop.

At around 23 k I hit a mini wall just before having to go up a small hill. I climbed it anyway and kept going. db was so encouraging. He had to run the furthest he's run in a while and there he was trying to keep me going!

The calf was getting worse and with only about 2k to go I started to wonder if I'd finish. 1 k left and I stopped to walk. db suggested I slow down a little and take it easy. I already felt like I was shuffling, but I made it. db did 16k. He looks very ready to run the half marathon. I could hardly believe I was done, but I completed 30 k. How I'm going to do 12 more k on top of it, I don't know.

By the time we stretched, showered and ate it was too late in the day to make it to the local farmers' market. Our on-line research revealed Whistler to have a market than runs until 4 pm. We had a enough time to make it and took advantage of db having the car from work and drove to Whistler.

We've never been. The market was definitely worth the trip. We bought some chanterelles mushrooms and found a stand devoted to heirloom tomatoes.

Ah tomatoes and basil, a perfect combination.
Heirloom varieties.

There was also a raw/vegan booth with raw crackers and lots of sweets. I bought some raw macaroons that I'm pretty sure I can duplicate.

After the market we just took a stroll through Whistler village which is quite nice and made all the more beautiful by the spectacular backdrop.

The signs for the 2010 games are everywhere. The shops are filled with 2010 knick-knacks, t-shirts, postcards etc etc. The signs are posted indicating where the events are to be held. The drive along the sea to sky highway has just about every meter under construction. The amount of work to be done on the highway alone is astounding.

Anywho...db and I drove back, stopping at one of the viewpoints to take in the beautiful vista and stretch our legs once again. I think walking around Whistler helped us both since we both had grueling long runs. It was better than sitting at home stiffening up.

All in all it was a great labour day weekend. We had three days together and definitely made the most of them.

monday (labour day)

A day of rest. I slept in and then eased into my day doing very little. It was a pretty relaxing day. Quite a contrast compared to last Monday. Tomorrow if the weather is nice I may run after work, but only a short distance, just enough to keep the training on schedule.

View along the Sea to Sky highway.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

return of the rain

It seems like a long time since we had a full day of rain and now here it is. It reminds me of October.
The plan was to get up and run. Last Sunday I woke at 5:30 am and was out the door by 7 am. It rained a little last week and there was a thunder storm to deal with, but nothing like what I woke to this morning. Today I slept in until 8 and then looked out the window to see the rain. Still I prepared as if I was going out for my 28 k run. I had a light breakfast, some water, got dressed and then took another look out the window. db and I stared out the window wondering what the run would be like. db was planning to bike for a bit then run a while before getting back on his bike for the last leg of my run. It was a good plan. It really was. Finally we decided we'd be miserable after 5 k and want to turn back. If it was five or ten k I was doing then I'd do it, but 28? No thanks. If it happens on race day then I'll do it, but why stress through training any more than I already do.

The new plan is I run after work tomorrow (yuck!) and take the long way home. It's 11 k from work to home so I'll take a few detours before heading home. So we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is a picture of Rupert I posted on my blog in '06. He was part of my sister's cats that I refer to as the "cast of characters." I got to spend a lot of time with the cast and Rupert when we all lived together on Margueretta. While it was often difficult to tell what the others needed, I could always tell what Rupert needed. He loved the love. In this photo above he's got that look on his face that anticipates the patting that will be coming his way.
He was very ill this summer and yesterday my sister took him to the vet one last time because he wasn't getting better despite her and his best efforts.
I'm so glad I got to see him earlier this month. My sister has been taking such great care of him and Rupert was loving having her all to himself most of the time.
He was so young and that's what makes it all the harder. He was such a sweet and gentle guy. He had FIV so any time he got ill it would take him that much longer to recover, but this time he just couldn't and he couldn't eat.
I can't believe he won't be with us anymore. I miss him. My sister sent some beautiful photos that I'll share here. He was pretty sick in some of the photos. He had a feed tube in that was protected with some bandages around his body. He was definitely weaker, but he had lots of good moments with my sister where I'm sure he felt like himself.

Farewell Rupert. You were much loved and were one of the sweetest cats I've ever known.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NB vacation photos part 2

This is what the roads are like in the area where we camped. We'd be off one of these "main" roads and about 4 k into the woods off an old logging road that is used only by my brother now to get to his property. There's a picture in my previous post of the road into the camp that is much overgrown and lush.

Recently my brother has been cutting some trails (he has a very handy bushsaw). In anticipation of our arrival his girlfriend (co) made up trail signs. This one reminds me of home. There's also a "Waverly Trail" sign to represent where my sister and mom live. I think this is the most beautiful Coquitlam Trail I've been on. That's my brother ahead on the trail with his chihuahua dog (Little Joe) on his back (his preferred method of travel in rough terrain).
The campfire of course. We'd put a "night log" on once it got dark. These are found cedar stumps that have been partially hollowed by ants so that the fire would come up through the center.
Blueberries are everywhere! We picked several containers to take home to my sister in Montreal. I can't believe what I pay for these throughout the year when they are so abundant here!

And here's one of the moose we saw. He was lovely. I wish the picture was clearer, but you get a sense of how close he was. We were quite far from the camp that night, slowly poking along the roads hoping to spot a moose. db is fascinated by them and I guess who wouldn't be? They are so massive and move so gracefully through the forests.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008