Sunday, October 31, 2010

Québec city!

"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."
Erma Bombeck

This first part is not running related, but I spent the last three days in Québec city with my two sisters...and we had a blast!
Me, Cee and Iz

I was in Québec for a Psychology Conference. It was great to come back to my room after my day of very interesting, but relatively serious sessions and finding my sisters waiting for me. We had some wild laugh out loud moments.

A nice dinner together.

These conferences also have an Expo, where they sell psychology related books and tools. After being in Niagara Falls last week for a race, the difference in how I dressed and what the people around me discussed, was striking. They are really two very separate worlds and yet somehow, I fit into both of them comfortably. I have to admit I was tempted to wear my "Live Laugh Run" t-shirt, just to let people know that I am also a runner :) ...but it was actually too cold in those rooms! Then in the evenings, it was all about spending time with my sisters. But, since they are both in helping professions (Cee - coaching, and Iz - acupuncture) we sometimes talked about our work. I like it when my worlds collide and then merge!

I participated in the Run for Lupus Virtual race and THANK YOU Marcia, because I received my cool necklace from Tarma Designs.

The really cool thing, is that I was expecting to receive the "Heart" to Run necklace, which I really really like. However, I'll be honest and tell you that when Marcia told me that Tarma would be sending me the necklace directly, I almost emailed her to ask if I could get the running girl  instead, which I love. But, then I figured that was being picky :). So, imagine my surprise when this is what I received in the mail...
Yay! It's the running girl...I love it!

Thanks again Marcia and Tarma Designs!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A few thoughts...

A few thoughts about my unplanned half-marathon:

Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our path, but the lesson to be learned is always ours.
  • Cross-training really helps. While I could not run, I biked, and I realize this definitely helped keep me strong enough to complete this half-marathon, despite the fact that I had not run more than one 10K in the previous 8 weeks. 
  • I intend to buy a trainer for my bike so that I can continue cross-training over the winter (I'll post a picture when I get it).
  • My lungs are so much stronger now. I had a cold two weeks before the race, and that used to mean a serious deterioration of my lung capacity (asthma). Not this time, I got over it without even seeing my doctor. Running heals me :)
  • Doing this untrained-for half, has really increased my confidence in my body's capacity to run a marathon (in May)! I am stronger than I thought I was. Yes, I too believe I can now say with pride, "My name is Anne and I am an athlete"! :) 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Niagara Falls race report! many stories :)

“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The (wo)man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”
Dale Carnegie
Niagara Falls downtown…Saturday afternoon. Ripley’s Believe it or Not…check out the “guy” going up and down the building on a cable.
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We went to the expo…and bought a few things, including this cool t-shirt.
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Then we listened to Kathrine Switzer give a short talk…this woman is very inspiring and it amazes me that her experience occurred in my lifetime. Essentially, I can train to run in an official marathon thanks to her.
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 Then I went for a free massage…and this girl did a great job!
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Oh…and when I went to register for the 10K, it was full. This is what the nice man said to me, “Well, either you tough it out and do the half or you wimp out and do the 5K” :) …yeah, okay. So I decided to go for the half…of course! Note that since my last half-marathon on September 5th, I was injured twice and had only run 10K once…no more. For three weeks I did not run a all and then I started back very slowly. Was I a little worried about doing the half…yes, a little. But, I felt good and I hoped that my base was strong enough. Also, I had already decided that I would play it safe, so NO to my Garmin and YES to my camera. How did it go…you’ll have to wait for it.
First, Saturday night fuelling…we shared.
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After a relatively good night’s sleep, we had our pre-race breakfast in our room.
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 Then off we went and while we were waiting for the bus, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting up with Marlene. She is such a gorgeous young woman, inside and out. Great personality…I’m really glad I got the chance to speak with her, as she reassured me regarding my last-minute switch to the half-marathon.
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 Then it was off to the start line. Here’s the view in front of me…isn’t it beautiful!
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 Here I am, on the run, near the beginning.
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 Now here are a few pics of the water stations along the way.
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Here I am around half-way…still feeling good.
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 Nearing the Finish line…
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It seems that my base is solid enough and my injuries are truly healed! I was careful to walk whenever I felt any discomfort and I was careful with my form. I felt pretty good considering the lack of training and the fact that I just got over a cold last week. My time: 2h21m14s :) I’ll definitely take it! BTW, the cool black rain jacket I am wearing is what we got instead of a t-shirt…I love it!
The weather was perfect, between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius (high 50’s to low 60’s Farenheit) a peak of sunshine, a few raindrops and minimal wind. Uber H and I were happy…speaking of which. 
Now for the second part of this story…the main reason we came to Niagara Falls this weekend…Uber H was running his first marathon. I am so freaking proud of him! His goal was to try and come in under 4 hours.
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 His time: 3h59m06s…Woot woot! He freaking did it and he was so excited.
I am so proud of him!
Celebrating :)
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Finally, here are a  few pics of the Falls…breathtaking view.
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Overall, a wonderful weekend…

Friday, October 22, 2010

Foto Friday :)

"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."
Kathrine Switzer

Inspiration! Such a nice lady...and fit!

"Anne - Running gives us everything - Go for it!"
K. Switzer Niagara, 2010


Thursday, October 21, 2010

We're off...and rainy run

"One already wet does not feel the rain.”
Philemon Turkish Proverb

Well, so far, the weather forecast for Niagara Falls this Sunday is...
and windy...

I'm sort of glad I'm not running the marathon as I can be there to support Uber H...maybe give him some dry socks and a dry t-shirt around half-way. As I've read on a few blogs, "You run the race you're given"...I can only agree.

As for me...I hope I can downgrade to the 10K. They do say we can downgrade to the half-marathon, so I hope the 10K is also allowed. I was all excited because the last 10K of the circuit are downhill...until I realized that we are doing an out and back from the start/finish line. So, uphill the first 5K and downhill the second 5K...oh well :) My 5K run this morning went really well. But, it was... the rain. Good practice for Sunday...
What a strange looking early morning pic...

I was by this cool place that sells water plants and is full of ponds and bridges.
See it wasn't dark anymore, I took both those pictures within seconds of each other...

I have had no time to comment over the last few days...but, I'm bringing my computer and if we have internet'll be hearing from me :)

Niagara Falls, here we come...I really look forward to meeting up with Marlene, one of my running bloggy heroes...yay! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another blip...but, I'm ready

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."
Vernon Sanders Law

Just as I was feeling no more foot or knee pain...just as I was letting the idea of the half-marathon float around in the back of my mind...another blip! Last week I ended up with a cold all week and basically spent Tuesday and Wednesday either sleeping or working. Not running. Okay. So, I was back to wondering if I'd even be able to complete the 10K.

Today, I figured I'd try and run 10K in order to test where I'm at...and although the lungs are not 100%, they're getting better (without prednisone...yay!) and I did it. I took very short walk breaks almost every Km, but overall, my pace was at 10:38 min/mile, which I'm feeling good about. Most important, no pain! So I'm ready for the 10K in Niagara Falls next Sunday...and I'm excited to be there to support Uber H who will be running his first marathon! I can't wait to be there for him, taking pictures and encouraging him with a cool poster :)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Is this a mini brick?

“You can't make bricks without straw”

Ready to go on this beautiful fall morning

First, I went for a run and completed 6K (3.7 miles)...this time my run/walk intervals were 10/1, definitely getting there. The best part is that my foot felt problemo! I then came home, put on a jacket, grabbed Frida and off we went. BTW, I wore my biking shorts under my capris, so I was ready quickly.
Frida...patiently waiting for me

I met up with Uber H (who was out doing his 23K). My brother had joined him and my super SIL, who is injured, was also on her I joined them and off we went for a total of 17.75K (11 miles) of Sherpa biking :). 

A run followed by a bike this a brick or an inverted brick? BTW, I hate really don't like swimming pools and well, swimming, so don't go getting any TRIdeas :) ...sorry for the bad humor (yes, I'm a little tired today - it was a wonderful, but busy weekend).


Sunday, October 10, 2010

3 in 1 10-10-10 VR report!

“I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I will do it again.”
Matt Groening

First, let me say that my run today, the final leg of my 10 miles for two Virtual Races, was completed in memory of Rick the Warriorman (aka Marathonman)...thanks for being who you were...

Over the last few days, I completed 10 miles as part of Neil Z's 10-10-10 Virtual Race for one :)

                                                              All the Cool Kids are racing in this!

 ...and I also completed these 10 miles as part of Marcia's Virtual Race to Finish Lupus!


Here are the dates for my mileage along with the times...I will point out that for 6.9 of those miles, I was run/walking using 1/1 intervals. However, for my 5K today (3.1 miles) I ran 3 or 4 minutes to my 1 minute of walking, so it's a little better. I'm just really glad I was actually able to complete the 10 miles and extra pleased that today, I had no pain at all post run...Yay!

Here we go:

10/6 -   1.9 miles (23m09s)
10/7 -   2.5 miles (31m10s)
10/8 -   2.5 miles (29m12s)
10/10 - 3.1 miles (35m19s)

For a grand total of 1h58m41s...okay, I'll take it :)

I ran by here

...and here

Feeling good after today's 5K...Yay!

Congrats to everyone who ran this weekend!
Thanks Neil and Marcia for these fun races :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

The news is good...

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
Mary Pickford

This morning, I ran 4K doing 1/1 intervals and I was feeling good. I was enjoying my run for the first time in a while now and it was niiiiiice. The foot is not 100%, but my PT says it's about 90%...I'll take it! After my run, I had PT and it went really well great. Joseph feels that there should be no problem completing my 10K in two weeks in Niagara Falls...yay. Of course, now that I'm a runner, I did what any self-respecting runner would do, I asked him if he thought I could run the half-marathon. Joseph's answer: "I don't think risk injuring yourself once again." Me: "hmmmm ooookaaay" Joseph...with a smile: "You can do it if you want, it's up to you. It's not going to hurt MY foot." Me (grin): "You're right, I know". Then he massaged the foot, not as painful today, and had me do a few balance exercises and then onto the treadmill. It went extremely I'm allowed to run 6 and 8Ks this week and I see Joseph, hopefully for the last time, next Friday.

I mentioned to Joseph that I want to get a trainer for my bike (to cross train inside while watching tv) and he suggested I get a back tire specifically for rollers (the back part of the trainer)...he was saying that otherwise, I risk ruining my road tire. I'm just case someone else didn't know about this :) I'll be checking this out, if you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it...just remember that I am not a triathlete, I just want to be able to cross train and avoid injury.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday tidbits...

"A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." Muhammad Ali

Being 51 definitely has its knowing that life happens, yet things usually work out somehow. But, these days, I've been really tired...I went to bed at 9pm last night and got up at 8am this morning, that's 11 hours. Yes, I've been relatively busy, but nothing I usually can't handle. That's the other side of being 51...hormones get a little wacky. Naps are a must...but, so is exercise :)
I saw Joseph, my PT, again yesterday and he gave my foot a good "painful massage" and then had me run at my regular speed on the treadmill. I was allowed to do 10 X 1 min. walk/1 min. run...and it went great! Wootwoot! I was back out there today and did 11 x 1/1 intervals...and by the time I see Joseph again on Friday, I am to have completed 15 X 1/1 intervals...and then "we'll see" he said, after I asked him if he thought I could at least do the 10K in Niagara Falls in 3 weeks. So, "we'll see"...but, today was a success. The pain is minimal and according to Joseph, it's always better to keep the muscles working...I like his method.
So, after my 22 minutes of "run/walking", I went for a 10K bike ride and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine...lovely morning, now time to get ready for work. 
 Congrats to everyone who raced over the weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

PT, what took me so long...and a marathon!

“Love what you do. Believe in your instincts. And you'd better be able to pick yourself up and brush yourself off every day.”
Author unknown

First of all, yesterday I finally decided to see my PT. This first part is all about the specifics of my injury and treatment...if this doesn't interest you, you can skip on down to the second part. :)

What took me so long to make an appointment? My thinking was that there was probably nothing more I could do about this type of injury, but wait...I was already using a tennis ball to put pressure on the painful area (suggested by my sister, who does accupuncture - she's amazing) and it really helped relieve the pain, but mostly it was temporary relief and I still felt pain when I ran two steps. However, yesterday, I figured that after three weeks, it was time to take some sort of action to figure out exactly what was going on and what more I could do about it. So off I went to see Joseph, my beloved PT. He showed me, with the help of Oscar his skeleton and some images in a book exactly where my injury is. The metatarsophalangeal joint on the second toe (after the big toe) is where my initial injury is, which caused inflammation on the lumbrical muscles and then because I tried to stay off the injury, it was leading to a secondary injury on the cuboid (basically, I was putting my weight on the outside of my foot, asking it to support my body, but that's not its job). See photos below for visual...
Initial injury at arrow - secondary injury Cuboid

Lumbrical muscles (inflammation)
Apparently, none of it is bad. Nothing broken or torn, just inflammation. The first thing he told me was that I have to start using my big toe again when I walk, to spare the cuboid. He reminded me that the big toe was not injured and that even if it hurt a bit, I was not causing damage by using it. Secondly, he actually had me run slowly (though still at 180 steps per minute) on the treadmill, explaining that if I went too much on the forefoot, it would hurt, but if I stayed midfoot, I would be staying off my injury and it would be okay. He was right!! When I was careful to stay midfoot, I could run...slowly. So I see him again Monday, but until then I have to ice for 15 minutes twice a day, plus I have to make sure I always use my big toe when I walk and every day, I must do the following : 3X walk 1 minute/run 1 minute...a grand total of 6 minutes (and ice after). Also, whenever I'm not doing anything, I have to wiggle my toes. Seriously, I can't believe how much this is helping...the first time I went out and "ran" it was very tentative, but already yesterday it was more of a jog. Joseph basically said that it's okay if it hurts a bit, as long as I'm careful to use the areas that are not injured. At first, using my big toe hurt the second toe, but after one day, it hardly registered. I'm feeling a huge difference today...My PT is amazing!!

Secondly, yesterday I completed a marathon...
...on my bike ;)

First, I went out and did 10K on my own and then I "crewed" for Uber H on his 32K run (20 miles).

I put my bike in low gear and peddled along next to him for his run. Sometimes I would speed off to fill water bottles or go to the washroom, but mostly, I was right by his side holding his gels and water bottles. It was great to be able to do this with him and I felt so good finally getting a long workout in. I may not have been going fast, but the legs were turning over at pretty much 180 rotations per minute :)  
Taking pics while riding worries, this is a no car zone :)

It felt wonderful to get out there and to support Uber H on his last long run...his marathon is in three weeks! I'm still hoping I can do the 10K by then...