Saturday, October 31, 2009

My 2010 Olympic Torchbearer Experience!



Warning its a longer one!

So it began like this. I went to bed last night, feeling a bit crappy so I was in bed earlier than normal. I woke up at 8:30 and was feeling gross but so thirsty so I got up for the bathroom and water. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 9am. When I got up, I felt aweful. I took my temperature 101.5 F. Oh great I thought as I was supposed to be running a leg in the Westwood Relay at 11am (just over 5km).

Next thing I knew, my face was friends with the toilet bowl and up came all the water I drank. I sent a text (as I didn't feel like phoning if I was going to vomit) to someone at the relays who put me on a team to say I wasn't going to be there. No response back. After the toilet bowl and I part ways, I try calling as I have had no response. No answer. Message and call another guy I know that will be there, no response. ARG.

Finally just before 10am I put on 3 shirts and some pants and head to Westwood. I arrive and everyone is happy to see me as I tell them to keep their distance. I explain I will not be running, which means one girl on my team must either do 2 legs or they need to find another girl. No clue what happened. Sorry guys or should I say girls, but I was in no shape to run that far!

I came home, after stopping at the grocery store for tylenol flu, orange juice and throat stuff, then came home. Chilled on the computer for a bit, ate half a bagel and had some OJ until I felt tired and then slept until about 1pm. I dragged myself up and hit the shower, which did refresh me a bit. Some more tylenol before I left and I was on my way to Chemainus.

We were to be there at 2:45pm in order to check in and get orientated. I got there just in time and all but 1 other torchbearer was there. We got our speel about no real stopping for photos with the side crowd etc, that we can take our time though and if things go too fast, they will slow us up. Done the speel by 3pm we have 30 min to wait till our bus leaves.

Everyone around has people taking photos; however, my family wasn't going to be around until closer to 4 they told me. While waiting I was a celebritied, some people asking for pics of me, with me or even holding the torch by themselfs. Of course I let them with the understanding not to run or drop it! In the end, about 5-10 min before we left, my mom and step dad showed up and captured some photos. See below.





This marker shows were I was supposed to start, 105; however, they dropped me off at a different location and then proceeded to tell me that I was getting to run probably 500m instead of 300m and asked me if I could handle it. Hells yeah! I guess the guy in front got his cut short, sucker! ;)



Next are a series of shows while running with the torch. I did a slow jog and man did the entire process go buy so fast. I literally had no clue how far I had to go and then all of a sudden, there I see Mila a grade 10 student from Calgary (she chose Sooke to Nanaimo as her route due to having family here). Darn, over all ready.

Part of the relay convoy!



Here I come! I heard some commotion behind me for the 2nd photo and it turned out to be some guy trying to get his moment of fame with his photo and me and the torch! Security, although they don't look like it, were concerned for a brief moment until they realized what he was doing.





Slowing down as I come up to the next torchbearer and just before we touch torches


Coming to turn my flame off and me waiting for the bus pick up



Except the shuttle drove right by me so the guy in the middle had me walk back a few blocks before it came back to me.



One last one of me, my mom and step dad after the torch run was done



When done we were dropped back off and I booted it home to watch the relay start beside my house. By then it was dark and half the pictures sucked so I won't post them. Plus this is long enough.

In the end it was a great experience. I wish I were sick with a fever at the time; however, I made the best of it and enjoyed myself. Too bad we couldn't run for more than the allotted time! Ahh well, GO Canada!!

PS now I am off to bed as I am dying. I wanted to attend the in town festivities but as soon as I got home, the horrid feelings returned to my body. Darn.

Of course today has to be the day

Oh yeah, who totally woke up this morning with a 101.5 F Temperature and then proceeded to puke up all the water taken in about 30 minutes before? Yep that would be me. Changed my plans for the morning, which I will explain later; however, temperature or no temperature I am running with that damn torch! Leaving in a few so I best finish getting ready. 4:58pm Pacific is when I am "scheduled" to run. In Chemainus BC, from Alder to Pine street, along Maple I believe! I'll blog all about it later!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Races and Olympic Stuff

Alright, I am probably going to put 2 of my blog posts together today. Hopefully this won't get too long. As I mentioned yesterday, today was our Vancouver Island High School Senior Cross Country Championships. We took about 16 athletes down to Victoria to run at Beaver Lake, which included a range of Grade 8-12's. Some great races were run; however, unfortunately our girls suffering from flu's, cold's and injuries were not successful in qualifying, individually or as a team. Good work anyways girls!

Our boys on the other hand, had 2 individual qualifiers and then we find out that the boys team also qualified for the BC championships. Way to go boys! So it looks as though the boys will be headed to the BC Championships on Saturday November 7th. This is where I hope to see D, after many many years of not seeing her. This is provided I can attend as I am technically scheduled to work that day. Anyways, here are some photos of my team on the start line. They were given starting lanes and the lanes were tiny, so the team had to line up 2 behind 2 etc.





In other news, I promised you photos of my Olympic Torch Uniform. So here you go!

Front and Back of Jacket



Front and Back of Pants



Gloves and Toque



Me wearing the outfit, posing like a dork with the timer!








Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blowin' In the Wind

I have quite a few options to blog about; however, I have opted to spread them out over a few blog entries rather than have a long post with all the info and then have nothing to blog about for a few days. It is going to be hard not to mention a few things though as they are pretty exciting (at least to me).

I was scheduled for a track workout today and I must say that I was less than thrilled about the workout once I looked outside and saw the crazy wind. I thought to myself "It can't be that bad" but boy was I wrong. When I arrived at the track, it was howling. And of course the finish straight was were the headwind was.

After a warm up and some drills, I jumped into the workout. I must say the workout was tough and once I hit the headwind down the final 100m, it felt as though my pace just stalled even though the effort was just as hard if not harder. Once I was done the workout, I had to stop to take a video of the wind just so I could prove to my coach that my times definitely did not reflect the effort which was put in.


video

Not much else to say today. Tomorrow my NDSS High School cross country team has their Island High School Championships in which they will attempt to run their hearts out in order to qualify for the BC High School Championships on November 7th. The top 20 individuals along with the top 4 teams will qualify. We have a variety of Grade 8's through 12's competing, even though generally, it is a senior high race which is specifically for grade 11 and 12. Fingers crossed we can get both a girls and boys team qualify, but if not, I hope we get at least a few individuals to qualify. Good luck to my team!

Lastly, I will leave you with a photo of Socket. I may have put the cover from my stack of blank dvd's over his head. What? lol, he was curious about it and then once I put it on his head, he sat there for long enough that I could grab my camera and take a photo. I don't think he knew what to do, but this picture does make me laugh everytime I see it. The photo is a bit dark as I didn't have time to get the flash ready, but you get the point.


PS. Torch relay uniform photos to come in future posts!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2010 Olympic Torchbearer Confirmed





Ok, Blogger is being a pain (stupid errors) so I have now switched to Windows Live Writer. Let's hope for the best! The above pictures seem small so you might have to click on them to actually see them.

I received the confirmation e-mail last week, providing me with the time and location of my relay segment. Unfortunately, it appears to be in the Chemainus region. And an even bigger disappointment that it estimates my time of running at 5:45pm. That means that the very first year in my own house, I cannot stay home to hand out candy to the trick or treaters. Oh well.

The way I see it is that I live on a main road and probably would get 5 kids if that. Most of the kids go to the newer subdivisions where the houses are closer together and not on a main road. I received a Purolator package to Jay's dad's house (where we used to live) yesterday, which I assume is my Olympic Uniform as I can't think of any other package that I am expecting. Really, it is about 3 blocks away from where we are now, but I just couldn't be bothered to go pick it up today. Whenever I do, I'll have to try on all the gear to see how "interesting" I will look.

In other news, I mentioned the other day that it was cake time for my birthday. Well here is the cake that my boyfriend got me. He likes to rub it in that the Canucks are sucking this season, so of course after the horrid game vs Calgary the other day, he got me this cake. Nice eh?

Picture 357 Picture 359

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Yellow Bus



Today I was lucky enough to ride in a big yellow school bus. I am pretty sure the last time I was on a school bus must have been in high school, which means it has been over 10 years. Why was I lucky enough to ride in the big yellow wagon? Today was the Island Age Group Championships for High School Cross Country down in Victoria. Who wouldn't want to spend 1 of their 2 days off this week on a big yellow bus for about an hour and a half each way with a bunch of teenagers ;)

Nah don't get me wrong, it was definitely fun. Some strong races, with a few kids having a rough time out there. We have exactly one week until the Island Senior Championships where they will run to try and qualify for the BC High School Championships on November 7th over in Surrey (where they ran earlier this month). It will be nice if we can qualify both a girls and boys team; however, all will depend who brings their game next week! No pressure of course, as long as they have fun!

We have a mix of kids on the team this year, some who are pretty serious and other's who just love to run. There is nothing better than watching a kid have a great time running and is excited to come 2nd to last. I find it enjoyable watching kids like this run. They run for the joy of it and why not. There is so much pressure out there today, whether kids put it on themselves, or their coaches or parents do. It is upsetting to see this at times, especially when the parents do not realize they are doing it. Any sport should still be fun, whether serious or just out for the heck of it. Don't you agree?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cake Time!

As D would say, it's cake time for a celebration of me!!!! So as of today I am not 28, will I remember that when people ask how old I am? Normally it takes me a few times until I remember right off the bat that I am 28. Fall is not being nice to me on my birthday, as it has been pissing rain pretty much all day. The rain did stop eventually and the sun tried to break through the clouds, but of course this happened when I no longer was required to be outside.

This morning I woke up and headed off to NDSS's cross country practice where I stood under an umbrella in the rain for about 75 minutes. Then I headed off to the track where I completed my own workout, with the rain stopping briefly, but otherwise varying between raining hard and lighter.

Coach gave me the workout and my first thought was "what a great birthday present workout" being sarcastic of course, but it wasn't a huge deal to me. It was a workout that needed to be completed, not a huge deal that it was on my birthday. Then I woke up this morning and had an email that said "I forgot it was your birthday, happy birthday and you can put off the workout until tomorrow if you want." Instead, I just decided to get the workout done and over with and it went well. I don't mind running in the rain as it wasn't overly cold.

In saying that, I am off to take a nap before heading to dinner!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The leaves have turned

I think we can safely say that fall has now landed on Vancouver Island. The weather has been gorgeous, all the way until a few days after the half marathon. Speaking of which, I recovered well with no real soreness. This tells me I did not push myself hard enough. Oh well, anyways, the rain came in, along with the cooler temperatures and foggy mornings/late evenings. The leaves are bright orange and are slowly beginning to fall and cover the trails. In other words, it is absolutely gorgeous.

Between 2002 and 2004 I spent nearly 2 years in Australia, minus a 6 week stint home in order to renew my visa. I never noticed fall as much until I came home. Ever since then, I am constantly in awe whenever looking at the beautiful colors of fall. I wish I could post some photos with this post, but I have yet to make it out with my camera to take some. Hopefully I will get some soon though, before all the leaves are off the trees and on the ground.

I wouldn't say that I am a fan of the cold, so I am not a huge fan of late fall and early winter. The worst part of the season change though, is the darkness. Soon enough it will be dark by 4:30 and that is depressing. In turn, the hydro and gas bills goes up and that is depressing too. I could put up with the cold and the rain, provided I could have daylight at least until 7 or 8pm. I guess it is a good thing that I work 3-11:15pm as at least I have daylight to complete all my workouts. If I worked the opposite shift of 7-3:15, I would have to rush out after work to try and get most of my workout done before it became dark.

Anyways, enough about the weather, I had 2 stories about RVM that I forgot to mention. The first being dinner pre race. I went to the local grocery store and was debating what to get for dinner. As I stood in front of the freezers, I tried to remember.... "Did Sam have a microwave?" Then I thought "She must have a microwave.

So I opted to buy a frozen lasagne dinner, only to get back to Sams to find out "nope, Sam didn't have a microwave." Luckily though, she had a oven, so all it meant was that it would take 30 minutes for my dinner to heat up rather than 5 or so in the microwave. In the end, the dinner was crap, so I ate 1/3 and then had bagels and cream cheese! Note to self, learn to look at appliances before purchasing dinner!

The second story was post race. I was standing around watching the marathoner's finish and at times was nearly in tears. You see, I am one of those people who will ball my eyes out watching Ironman footage. Not because of the elites at the front, but the real heart warming stories of the regular people just struggling to finish. Their stories melt my heart.

So standing there on Sunday, I saw all of the people from the elite who won in 2:19 to everyone who finished before 3:30. In that time, I saw one guy blow chunks right near me (that didn't make me cry, but I did feel sorry for him for losing it right in front of the crowds) along with a guy who's calf cramped and he went down hard, fighting to keep going, but eventually having to take a break about 100m from the finish and then finally walk over the line.

It wasn't even him who brought the tears to my eyes, it was watching a guy right in front of me collapse as his body gave out and to have 2 of his near by marathoners stop their own race to try and lift him off the ground and carry him to the finish. Unfortunately though, his body was just too heavy and they could not carry him. Instead an official stepped in and the guy crawled to the side and took a break before finally pulling himself off the ground and walk the final 100m to the finish.

THAT had me fighting off the tears. The fact that 2 people right near him, gave up at least 30 seconds of their own race to try and help this fellow out and that this fellow wanted so badly to get over that line that he attempted to stand up and then fall to the ground multiple times before realizing he needed a break. It's these people that amaze me and they were not even the one's out there for 5 hours or longer. They aren't even ironmen or women, which is even more amazing. What can I say, I am a sucker for the people giving it their all even when their body says no more.

With that, I am back to the Canuck game where they are currently sucking it up losing 2-0 to the Calgary Flamers. Still most of the 2nd and the full 3rd period left to go. Go Canucks, Go Rypien (he is currently in a fight)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Special Day!

I personally think that October babies rock, so I want to send a shout out to D. Happy Birthday D! Looking forward to seeing you in less than a month.... finally.... after all it has been years!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

RVM 2009

Goal race for the fall season has now come and gone and I am happy to say that I survived, even with my cold and still ran about a minute and a half PB. Woo hoo. I had planned to leave home at about 2:30 yesterday, but event after event happened, whether it was forgetting something, having the cat nearly lock me out of the house (I'll explain in a minute) or fighting with my car to open the hood (which never happened) as I wanted to add washer fluid and oil.

** side story** Socket tries to run out of the house, so we put up a board near the door to delay him a few minutes. Plus we can hear when he jumps over so we can prepare to block the door when coming in. Anyways, he jumped over when I was leaving and then as I locked the door he jumped back towards the living room to go to the window. As he did that, the board fell over and blocked the door. I had about a 2 inch space to fit my hand into, with Socket sticking his paw through the gap as well thinking it is a game, to slowly pull the board back up and out of the way. This is the 2nd time it has happened, stupid cat! ;)

Anyways, I finally made it out by 3pm and traffic was horrible on the way down to Victoria. Not to mention I hit nearly every red light. I ended up driving by the conference center at 4:25 but drove back a few streets to find parking. It took me a bit of time, then I quickly walked to the conference center and arrived late (I was supposed to meet Sam at 4:30, Sorry Sam). She informed me that I am probably classified as an "elite", wtf, so off we went to the elite table to get my number.

After that, we walked back to Sam's where she ever so nicely let me stay at her place which was only 2 blocks if that from the race start. Nice! I was then left on my own, which resulted in me receiving a call from a friend back at the race expo, so I went back there to miss him by 5 minutes. ugh.

Instead, I took some photos around the Parliament buildings, which I cannot take off my camera yet (refer to bottom of post), then went and bought something for dinner along something to eat for breakfast. I think I was in bed by 8:30 with lights out around 9pm. That is early for me. I felt asleep then woke up in a coughing fit and took a bit to get back to sleep. I was awoken a few more times by Sam's upstairs techno neighbours thumping around their place. I tend to sleep crappy before races, hence why I went to bed early.

Next thing, the alarm went off at 5am. I dragged myself up and had some mini bagels and cream cheese and for once I was actually able to eat. Generally in the past, I could never eat much for breakfast as I felt sick to the stomach. I then relaxed and watched some friends until Sam showed up at about 6:30. I met my mom and step dad at 7am near the start and in the process lost Sam, so my warm up was done alone. Not a huge deal though as it was just a short warm up.

So until my warm up, I was stuffed in the nose. After my warm up, my nose started to run. Yep it didn't get any better. My nose was a mess throughout the race, from start to finish. Anyways, stides at the start were completed to stay warm and off we went around 7:30. I started off fairly well, keeping it in control though I was probably a bit faster than I wanted to be. My splits were all over, but it depended also whether it was flat, downhill or uphill.

Honestly, I felt pretty comfortable throughout the hole race, other than my nose of course. Now that was an ugly sight. I had gloves on, 50 cent gloves from Wal-Mart, so they honestly became a kleenex. I also had a kleenex shoved into one of the gloves on the back of my hand but I was saving that until when and if I chose to throw the gloves away, which I never ended up doing. My nose was still dripping though and so a few times, the only way I could get rid of it was to blow some nasty snot rockets. Totally disgusting. I hope no one got a photo of that! I did make sure no one was right beside me when I did it!

I took in a gel for the first time in a race just before 13km and took at least a sip of water at most stations, which is also a first. It was also the first time I didn't feel like hurling in a race, probably because my stomach wasn't empty for once after some breakfast, gels and water. So that is a plus. My nose felt red and raw at the end, but people were polite enough to say that it didn't look that bad (unless they were lying). We'll see when the photos come out.

So basically, a lame actual race report with not much details. I pushed it, yet still kept it fairly comfortable. No idea whether my cold hampered my performance or not. People say statistically it probably did as my immune system was not 100%, but who knows. I still finished in a new PB of 1:24:15 (results here), which beats my old PB from May of this year of 1:25:59. Last year on this same course I ran my then PB of 1:30:54, so that is a nice jump in a year. I was the 7th woman out of 2964 women and 51st overall with 4603 total finishers. I just wish I didn't let the 5th and 6th women go as I pulled them back at the end but it was too late. They finished 14 seconds ahead of me. Next time!

Anyways, here are 2 photos my mom took of me near the final 800m or so. Shows off my not so great form! Ack!



.
PS. I have other photos of the night before the race, but its on my older camera as my mom had my good camera. I now have to find the right USB cable to be able to take the photos off the camera. They may get added later or to another post.

BTW, hope this isn't too long or boring for you D:P

Now its 11:10pm and I have been up since 5am with no nap. Time for bed!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

T minus 17 hours

There is just over 17 hours until my race begins bright and early at 7:30am tomorrow morning. Here I sit about to head down to Victoria to stay at Sam's (thank you Sam), and I am still stuffed up. Not nearly as bad as Wednesday but still far from 100%. Fingers are still crossed that I wake up feeling at least a little better by tomorrow morning. At this rate, I will need to carry a kleenex box with me. I guess I will wear some gloves at least for the start of the race, they can act like kleenex I suppose (eww).

Anyways, race report to come either tomorrow night or Monday depending on how happy/disappointed I am in my race. I am aiming for happy of course! Good Luck to Sam, Janet, Melissa, Marilyn, Matt, Byron, Shelby, Mark and whoever else is down there racing tomorrow! See you all out on the streets!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Figures



With only 3 sleeps until my race, I wake up with a sore throat and a stuffed up head. Are you kidding me? Now? It figures. It's not the first time this has happened. In fact, for the past week or so I have been fighting a runny nose. I thought maybe it was just allergies or something as it wouldn't go away and then last night, I started to feel a bit stuffed up in the nose. I took some nyquil and Neocitran last night before bed and then woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat. I went back to sleep with a halls tucked in the side of my cheek. Yeah I know it is not safe, but it definitely soothes my throat.

As of now I am trying to push the fluids, especially Orange Juice and am hoping for the best. Anyone have any tips how to fight a cold fast? I know a cold has to run its course, but what are your tips to fight off the symptoms and still be able to run a great race/workout? BTW, I don't have a temperature so its not the H1N1 (Swine) Flu.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cat Hoarder Update

If any of you have been following my blog for a little bit, you may have read my post about a Cat Hoarder who had 94 cats taken away from her back in August. Well here we are almost 2 months later and the newspapers have provided an update on her. She was caught now on Gabriola Island just off the coast of Nanaimo with another 23 cats and again they were found to be neglected. You can read the article here if you want. Something tells me, in a few months time, this lady will have another bunch of cats at a new home. Poor cats! I wonder how she gets ahold of them so fast.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stubbornness of the Elderly

This will just be a short blog as I must quickly vent. I also have to be careful what I say so that I do not get into trouble at work ;). I got home from work almost a half hour ago and I must say that some elderly people are down right stubborn. As I have said before, I work in Assisted Living, which means people are pretty independent and only require help for a few things. Tonight at work around 9pm, when I sat down to take a break and catch some of the hockey game, where might I add the Canucks sucked big time, I heard some odd banging from a nearby room. I decided to check it out and found one of my residents on the floor of his room.

I check out the scene nearby and find his dinner dessert still sitting nearby on his walker, which tells me, he has been on the floor since he returned to his room from dinner. Let me add, he left the dining room between 5:30 and 5:45. Okay you might think, what is the big deal, an elderly person fell. The big deal is that he was on the floor for over 3 hours due to his stubbornness. Each resident is given an emergency call bell system similar to Life Line that hangs around their neck or is worn as a bracelet. This resident had his bell around his neck, yet for 3 hours he did not opt to press the button. If I hadn't of heard the banging and checked it out, he would have been sitting there for even longer due to his stubbornness in not wanting to use the bell. Yet at the same time, he couldn't get himself up and it took 2 of us to lift up off the floor at which point he still could not weight bear. In the end it is a much longer story; however, I just don't get the stubbornness with the bell. Is it fun to sit on the ground for 3 hours? Ugh, the joys of health care. Back to work tomorrow!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Week

A week today and my goal race for the fall will be done and over with. Part of me cannot wait! The other part of me wishes I had a few more weeks to get in some more training. I will trust the process though and do what I can on the day. It's all good right? Provided I get my pacing right, things should workout. I am not sure what time I am capable of at this time, but as I said, I'll do what I can do and plan to run a PB. I just have to beat 1:25:59, which was my time from the Eugene Half Marathon last May.

On a side note, I just want to send a shout out to the NDSS cross country team. I can't remember if I have mentioned this before, but I am assistant coach for them, so I headed over to Surrey BC (outskirts of Vancouver) for a cross country race with them. We took over 13 athletes and had a variety of great performances. Most important was that the kids had fun. Now they have a few more weeks of hard training before they have their Island Championships in the attempt to qualify for the BC Championships. I can't wait to see how they do! Here are a few photos I took of the day.







EDIT

I just had to post this video. We introduced catnip to Socket this evening. His reaction was typical, but it was still funny to watch.


video