Posts tagged ‘nature’

Photo a Day May: Bird – 5.

Today I had the best chance ever for a bird photo.  A bird’s nest.  And I missed it.  The most intimate capture of a bird, its home, its livelihood, where its soul is born.  And so hence time was not on my side today, so this is the bird you get.  Far away, in the midst of a torrential downpour aftermath.  “Don’t get too close, you’ll frighten it.” So maybe not as lively or exciting, this one is out of respect.  We all have our stories.

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May 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

C25K: Week 8 Day 3

Woop!  Killed it this time instead of just mildly torturing it.

(Oh! I want to link to this article comparing breastfeeding to running.  I’ve linked it before but it’s friggin’ awesome hence the double link.  Enjoy.)

I killed it in terms of pace, speed and challenge, but I did not kill it in terms of distance.  In fact, I have taken a few steps backwards when it comes to distance, but only for this one run, and I THINK it’s because I tackled a MASSIVE hill, I ran at a very very intense incline for probably about 6 blocks.  It was hard, it slowed me down to no end, and there were many-a-time where I thought I should stop and walk the hill, then give’r the rest of the way, but not once did I stop, not once did I let my negativity overcome my abilities, because I knew that it was there.

I ran down to the river tonight and along the river for only a slight bit, and then back home.  It’s funny how I can always time my runs so that I am arriving home just as the run should be done.  I guess I’ve been running around this neighbourhood for the last 8 weeks so I’ve got a pretty good grip on how long it takes to get from point A to point B.  I am SOOOOOOO excited to start week 9 because I KNOW THAT I CAN TACKLE IT, ROUGH HOUSE IT, and MAKE IT!  And that just makes me so astoundingly happy.  Two more minutes of running than what I’ve been doing?  Piece of cake.  I’ve got this, baby, I’VE. GOT. THIS.

Whenever I see other people running, I feel like we are in a bit of a secret club and we can connect on a level unheard of.  It’s a neat feeling and I feel good to be part of ‘that group’, or clique, really.  Grade 8, how I’ve missed thee.  And this is totally egotistical and actually I am wondering if I should even put this anyway but I’m going to because I know deep down that I am not an egotistical selfish person, and I hope you know that too, so… here goes.  Sometimes when I see people running intervals, like they are just starting out a program, or doing a different kind of running program, I VERY SECRETLY (not so much anymore, sigh) think to myself, maybe they read my blog, and maybe I inspired them, and maybe they’re doing the C25K challenge and secretly following along on my blog!  YAY.  Likely NOT but it’s fun to think that and it gives me a jump in my step.

Since we’re divulging, I’m going to divulge something to y’all that makes me feel like a big whopping loser but that’s okay.  I think I did so well tonight at running because I was totally using it as a therapy tool.  A couple hours prior I had a meltdown on the phone with the National Student Loans Service Centre.  Like, I’m talking a breakdown.  I’m kind of embarassed and I’m willing to bet I was the girl they talked about after we hung up the phone.  Ugh.  Since I’ve been on maternity leave I have readjusted my loan so that I only have to make interest payments.  I initially wanted to do repayment assistance where the government would help me, but our income was above the limit for that.   That was stressful, because they have super strict dates and things you have to do and if you don’t get it in RIGHT on that date, it’s kibashed, but yet you still have to wait for pay stubs, information saying how much you make, etc., and if you don’t have it by that date, kaboom, done.  I kind of got the runaround with that so needless to say whenever Student Loans comes into the picture I have a mild panic attack.  I got a letter in the mail saying my account was SERIOUSLY PAST DUE and I owed like, $3000 or something, and my account was negatively affecting my credit.  I was ultra confused because I HAD made the payments that I was required, however, they had sent a letter with my revision of terms that I was supposed to sign and return by a certain date (aforementioned STRICT DATE) and since I didn’t, blam, all done, things got f’ed over and cancelled.  I DIDN’T GET THE LETTER.  So I started crying on the phone.  To the poor lady at the student loans centre.  Whom I said “Just listen to me PLEASE! I keep getting screwed over! I am so confused, please just listen to me explain this, *sob sob sob sob*”  Like I said, UGH.   This is what pregnancy and motherhood hormones do to us!  So long story short, I’m kind of a loser, it’s all figured out now and all is well and I don’t owe $3000 after all (good grief, thank goodness), and I took out my lameness on my run hence the awesomness.  The end.

Week 9, you’re on baby, YOU ARE ON.  I’m pumped.  Cue Rocky theme song music here.

July 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm 2 comments

C25K: Week 7 Day 2

It’s true what they say, better late than never.  My running schedule is a bit wonky this week, but I managed to squeeze my run in this afternoon, in the blazing wind.  I ran mostly against the wind, a 40km/h wind, might I casually add.  It was intense and I am glad to say I have braved nearly all of the elements and scaled those elemental walls indeed.  Rain, check.  Scorching heat, check.  Wind, check.  I loved running in the rain.  I hated running in the heat.  And I didn’t mind running in the wind.  That heat from Sunday knocked me on my ass for a couple days, and I was struggling with the consequences on Sunday and Monday.

My run today was about 4km, and I took a new route, which is always fun.  I need to keep things fresh so my head can stay clear, I can feel it’s a challenge, and I am not mentally calculating in my head how far I’ve gone, but mostly, how far I have yet to go.  I ran to teen pop music today, the likes of BSB, N*SYNC, 5ive, and Britney Spears, and again, it was awesome and amazing.  I feel like I can conquer the world because I tackled the years where those groups defined my days, and if I made it through that, well, surely I can make it through anything.  Birthing and teen pop, oh how they have transformed my days.

Once again, the unbelievable has happened.  I surprised myself by feeling like this run was more bearable than the previous day’s.  I never would have thought this would happen.  Shit, I never would have thought I would be running for 90 seconds straight, then 3 minutes, then 5, then 8, then 20, and now 25.  I can only go up from here, I think, and I am prepared.  Any time I feel a bit of a kink my stride, a pain in my shin, a muscle twinge in my side, I get a tiny feeling of disappointment, because I think that it is going to offset my game, this awesome thing I’ve got going on.  But it hasn’t yet.  They are minor bumps, tiny little speed bumps that we zoom over.

Kyle is sick with a cold right now, and so I’m on my own with this one.  The last run he did was Week 6 Day 3, and he had to cut it short due to some achilles trouble.  He’s been icing, resting, and…. NOT doing recommended exercises to ease the ailment!  Yikes.  Note to Kyle: exercise, stretch, and rejuvenate your achilles so you can join me on the awesome bandwagon and feel better.   On the upside, I’ve got several people in my life who are extremely supportive of this program and me doing it, and a lot of those people are doing the program as well, which is all kinds of fabulous.  Every couple of days, we’re shooting off text messages back and forth, checking each other’s progress, cheering each other on, and basically proclaiming how amazing we are doing.  Yes, it’s like that, and yes, I went there.  It just feels so good.  And what feels even better, is knowing that I am SEVEN runs away from being done this program and I KNOW I can complete it, assuming everything continues to go as planned and I don’t end up on my ass with an injury.  It would be too much of a coincidence if that happened, since I blogged about it?  Right?  Please validate that for me because now I’m paranoid that I’ll wake up in the morning all runned out.  Now THAT would be too much of a coincidence for sure.  I think we’re clear.

How are you all doing?  I just want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has said any nice word to me in terms of running, sticking with this program, and being active.   I can’t thank you enough for the support, my gratitude goes on for miles and miles.  <3 to you all, my friends.  Oh, and I promise, within the next couple of days I will blog about something non-C25K related.  I promise.

July 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

C25K: Week 6 Day 1

I am TOTALLY and utterly ecstatic that I am more than halfway done the program.  The program that if you would’ve told me a year ago I would be completing, I seriously would have laughed in your face and de-friended you because that would have been an insult, but only because I was lacking confidence, trust, and esteem in myself.  Sigh.  Oh such a long way we’ve come, we’ve come a long way.

Can I go out on a limb and say something ridiculous?  Day 1 of this week was a breeze.  It was way easier than week 4.  When I say a breeze I don’t mean easy, I just mean the most doable week so far, probably, or at least compared to week 4, it was peanuts.  I think because you go through week 4, and it seems like a ton more running, then you do week 5, and the third day of that week is interval-less, so then doing week 6 day 1, with intervals, you get a break.  However I have read that intervals are more difficult, because the stopping and starting is tricky and messes with thee.  Not so sure about that.  We’ll see though – week 6 day 2 is the LAST DAY OF INTERVALS.  Omg, Omg, Omg.  From there on in, it’s go hard and run with only a warm-up and a cool-down.  So insane.  I remember doing week 1 and looking forward to seeing what the weeks had in store, and having slightly mild panic attacks when I realized I’d eventually run 25 minutes straight.  Actually, I didn’t even realize I’d eventually run 25 minutes straight, because I saw it as im-freaking-possible.  Turns out I have a little more faith in myself than one might have initially thought.  I am on the craziest high of my life, not that I am super familiar with tons of highs or anything, but wow.  WOW.  I want to go and conquer day 2 right now, and then day 3, and move on to week 7.  I can’t believe that before I know it, I am going to be titling a post C25K: GRADUATION, and reflecting on the weeks and the days and talking about how I completed the program.  Blows me right the heck away.

Tonight Kyle, Cade & of course my one true running companion, Lily, joined me.  I thought we could all go for a nice walk, and since I’m SUCH a slow runner, I could probably just jog alongside the stroller while Kyle pushed Cade and power-walked.  Well, well, well, wouldn’t you know, I am totally not as slow as I thought, because I had Kyle & Cade trailing behind me for blocks.  So then when my run stopped, I’d walk back and meet them, and we’d go through that cycle.  There was even a point where I turned a corner and they lost me, so I ran back towards the way I thought they went, and caught up to them.   It was such a delightful moment.  I guess I’m not as slow as I thought.  It’s bittersweet, really.  I even said to Kyle, when we first started our walk, “one rule, you can’t walk faster than I can run, because that’s embarassing.”  Not even a chance of that happening.  So the downside to this was, it wasn’t really a family outing as much as it was me doing my thing, then racing back to meet up with them.  It worked for the time being though, and at the very end when I had finished my runs and was doing my cool-down walk, I ended up jogging beside the stroller, veerrrrry slowly, because I just ‘wanted to run.’  Total cheese and crazy moment, when we got home and got in the back gate, I ran Lily’s bag o’ poo to the back garbage and said, “Why walk when you can RUNNNNNNNN!”  What a nerd, yeesh.  The other cutesy moment of the day, not that that one was cutesy, but whatevs’, was that when I was driving around doing some errands tonight, I saw a family of 4 jogging together.  It was priceless and awesome and I smiled but I don’t think they saw me.  I WANT THAT.

C25K updates!  C’mon, let’s hear ’em.  How are we doing?  Do you need some inspiration?  I want to help you and motivate you, because I am totally convinced that this is the greatest exercise program EVER and I love running and can I call myself a runner yet?  I will when I finish the program, just to be fair.  Goodnighty night my friends.  Love, sweet dreams and fluffy pillows to you all xo.

July 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm 14 comments

C25K: Week 5 Day 3

This was the big one, the one I was dreading but not dreading because dread doesn’t finish runs now does it?  This was the first interval-less run of the program.  Five minute warm-up, and a five minute cool-down, with a 20 minute full-on run smack dab in the middle.  Could I do it?  Oh yes I could.  What I did not know was how many times it would take me to complete this run.  Turns out, I nailed it on the first try.  Well maybe not nailed it, but you know.

I actually did this run on Thursday, but am just getting around to writing about it now.  It’s been a whirlwind couple of days.  Thursday and Friday were mostly consumed by my most precious boy, who has come down with a cold, and who does a boy need most when ill?  His mama, of course.  And then Saturday, Kyle and I took off to Moose Jaw for a wedding and a much-needed-much-appreciated night alone, while Cade chilled with grandma and grandpa.  Thankfully he was feeling a bit better, but still a tad stuffy, but not enough to dampen the weekend fun for him, and not enough to make me worry about him.  Make sense?  I should clarify, I missed the little peanut the minute we got in the car to leave, but seeing him the minute we came in the door today was priceless and I don’t know if I’ve ever been that excited.

So I surprised myself and completed the run.  When I checked my distance, it was even LESS than what it has been, so that again is kind of crappy but I am hammering that useless point home by talking about it every post, so I’ll drop it.  I’ll still talk about distance, but not about how crappy it is that my distance is decreasing.  OK, I’m done.  It was a hot one when I ran, and a mosquito-filled one at first.  I’m going to wager a guess that swatting and scratching while running add a bit more intensity and help to burn calories, yes?

The one thing that continues to surprise me, but less so because I am expecting it now, is that my breathing is SO in check it’s awesomely freaky.  I went from running for 60 seconds and wanting to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep in the middle of the road, to being able to run for 8 minutes, and then only take 30 seconds IF that to catch my breath completely, while still doing a fairly nicely paced brisk walk.  I need to build my strength because that is the one thing that gets me.  My legs and my feet get sore.  Or not even that, they just get tired and weak feeling, like there is no way they can continue to carry me along the streets.  But they do and they have not failed me yet and did I mention how much TRUST I have put into my body, my heart and my soul to be able to complete all of these runs?  I am thoroughly proud, thoroughly amazed.  I am conquering and I am completing and I am trusting.

July 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm 3 comments

C25K: Week 4 Day 1

Week 4 Day 1, down the ol’ hatch.  Today was interesting and awesome.   Awesome because it was in the rain, and because I did it.  Interesting because Lily and I nearly got hit by a car.  IN A CROSSWALK.  Not even exaggerating, we stopped, the car was stopped, looking our way, so I thought she saw us.  We went, and well, so did she, until I screamed “WHOA” and she stopped, looked shocked, but was also kind of chuckling with her passenger?  WTF?  I looked down at Lily to make sure she was okay, because the front of the car was nearly over top of her, but of course, the tires weren’t.  She was fine, I was fine, so I put on my bestest mean girl glare and stared her down and shook my head a million times.  Super scary, super gave me a jolt to the system, and totally slowed down my first run.  I had a bunch of negative adrenaline and I was shooken up, but away we went, running down the street, wondering about what the F could have happened had she just kept going.  I’m sure I would’ve been fine, however my little poochy, not so sure.  And thank goodness I didn’t have the boy with me, or I would’ve went all ragey on their car.

So W4D1 was a definite success.  I am even trying to run properly, as per this video:

I want to avoid injury as best as possible, however today when I got home and took my shoes off, I was stretching out my feet and circling my ankles when I felt a dull, almost pulled-muscle like sensation in my upper right ankle, on inside of my foot/leg.  Ack.  I immediately followed the ‘RICE’ (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method of injury treatment, minus the compression part, which I will likely do soon.  I want to be on my game and take care of any sort of injury no matter how minor.  I don’t want to have to be set back at all, though I don’t want to push myself beyond any injuries, because I need to take care of myself first and foremost.  I don’t do my next run until Tuesday, so I should have sufficient time to rest and baby my foot.

I’ve already been scoping out other training programs and things that I want to be a part of, and I’ve found something for next spring that I am already stoked about.  It’s a women’s only triathlon training program, and registration begins in February.   The training is 10 weeks, 3 times a week, with one day each devoted to running, swimming and cycling.  Sounds super sweet as far as I’m concerned, and I am hoping, that if all goes according to my plan and my personal goals, I will be conditioned and feeling confident to take the program.  Though honestly, if it was offered right now, I feel like I’d have it in me (esteem-wise) to take this challenge on.  Let me know if this is something that interests you and we can join together.  I’ve heard registration fills up fast, and I don’t believe registration is until February 2012, so we’ve got some time yet.

In terms of my ‘stats’, today my distance was about 1km more than it usually is, so hooray for that.  I mapped out my route today and it was 3.86 km.  So sweet, totally boosted me up.  I haven’t seen any drastic weight loss, but I feel different, so I suppose that’s what counts.  Scales are insane anyway.  My weight fluctuates up to 8 pounds in a day, so I never quite know when to weigh myself, or if I should just go with the lowest weight out of every day.  The second week, I had gained almost 2 lbs.  The next week, I was 2.6 lbs lighter, and this week, I am about the same.  Though yesterday, if I would’ve went with the first weigh-in from the morning, I would’ve been down another 2 lbs.  Saturday is our treat day, and I think it is unkind to my Sunday weigh-ins, because I certainly woke up feeling bloated and gross.  Oh boy.

My measurements are more encouraging, though we (Kyle helps me) started out a new system of measuring today, based on a YouTube video which shows how to properly take body measurements:

However, at the beginning of weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, we measured myself the exact same ways each weeks, so we’ll go with those and then starting from this week on, we will be doing the new and proper measurements.  From the beginning of my C25K training up until today, prior to starting week 4, stats are:

Biceps: L -.25 inches R -.25 inches

Bust: -1.5 inches

Waist: -1.75 inches

Hips: -1 inch

Thighs: L 0 inches R +.5 inches

Calves: L 0 inches R -.5 inches

Total: 4.75 inches lost

I’m always doubting when there’s a loss, which I know is really terrible.  I always think, did we measure something wrong?  Can’t be a loss of one inch, or whatever it is, but I guess it is true.  The only thing that I can think explains a minimal loss of weight but a loss of inches, is the whole muscle thing.  My body is getting stronger, because I can feel it getting stronger, it’s just so gradual that it is hard to believe.  I’m a huge advocate for doing measurements, because scales can be nasty.  I do love having a scale and I will always weigh myself, I’m sure of it, but measurements are, in a general sense, more accurate.  And if you’re like me, and like to have something tangible to work with in terms of seeing progress, measure, measure, measure!  Scales can make you feel discouraged, but measurements, even if it is small, seem to be more consistent.

Can I just say one thing?  When I was running, Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ came on one of the pre-made podcasts I use.  Can I say one more thing?  It put a total genuine smile on my face and made me want to run to my heart’s content.  So bizarre.  So lame.  <3 Limp Bizkit running tunes.  It worked for me, it can work for you!

How are you all doing with your runs?  Run (ugh, so sorry for that super lame pun) into any issues?  In terms of me getting side stitches/cramps (which all of you were just throwing ideas at me in terms of how to combat them, except for the fact that you weren’t!) someone on a Facebook community I belong to suggested blowing out as if blowing out candles, and I tried that today and it seemed to improve my cramps.  Hurrah!  Progress is amazing.  Bring on day 2.

June 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm 3 comments

C25K: Week 3 Day 2

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling like death.  I felt like I had not slept a wink, and so I opted to continue sleeping instead of getting up and running, with the promise that I would go when Kyle got home from work.  I lived up to my promise, and Lily and I went running in the rain.   And it was a little bit awesome.

But only a little bit.

The rain part?  So cool.  It was only mildly drizzling, so it was peaceful and the rain helped us glide through the exercise.  It cooled it off a little bit outside too, which never hurts.  The run itself was still hard, but I am learning to breathe and pace myself.  I am stubborn and I can’t let myself stop during a run, but if I need to, I do slow down to a very very slow crawl-like jog, in order to let my lungs catch some good breaths so I can finish the workout with (a bit of) ease.

It’s so cool how every day feels a little bit easier, a little bit more doable, but still a definite challenge.  I write incessantly about that, but it blows my mind every time.  Every week I think, “I can’t do this week!” and then I do it and I totally rewire my thinking.  Week 3 was about as hard as week 1 was in terms of being able to breathe and last for the duration of the run.  It’s neat how my body has acclimatized and become conditioned to what I’m forcing it to do.

I’m happy to see that at least a couple of my running buddies have stuck to the program.  It makes me happy that we’re all committing and being accountable to one another!  Some of you I haven’t heard from, and I know you’re out there, and I know you’re reading, ’cause I can spy now, so come on and speak up!  I want to hear how you’re making out, what’s working for you, etc.  I’m loving the podcasts over at kissmyblackass.org and they have totally kept me going.  Highly recommended.

I’m planning on revealing my ‘stats’ at the end of each 3 week chunk.  By stats I mean inches lost and weight lost.  So far it’s been a little bit, not as much as I’d love to see, but can’t have it all.  I’m feeling great so that’s what really counts.  I have been obsessively weighing myself every day, several times a day, and it’s amazing to see how my weight can fluctuate so much in even an hour.  I’ve been doing an ‘official weigh-in’ and body measurements every Sunday morning, so that’s when I’ll report back.

For now, let’s keep on running.  It’s super addicting and I feel like a million bucks when I can feel the breeze flowing.  One thing I do need is a sweet headband to keep my hair off my face.  Sweaty bangs annoy the crap out of me.  I actually started to make my own headband out of an old shirt, and it actually looks kinda cool.  Pictures to come if it all works out.  Happy running my friends.  OH, and I still would love suggestions for the cramps/side stitches.  Is it just a matter of slowing down, breathing deeply and allowing my lungs to ‘recuperate’ in a sense?

June 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

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