Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unhappy Psoas

My Psoas is mad at me, if it is in fact my psoas. Basically my abdominal and hip flexor on the right side is incredibly pissed off at me. I received some ART treatment for it from Abe @ Island Optimal this afternoon and have also set up yet another physio appointment here in town, plus more treatments with Abe next week. It's pretty bad that when he simple touched my right side to begin treatment, it sent my right side into spasm. This isn't the first time that has happened either.

I have to figure something out as this is getting ridiculous. Pain off and on since December and when it is bad, it is a down right annoyance. It's making me one frustrated runner; however, in the meantime I will run through it. It is only a tight muscle that is causing the issue, so as long as I keep an eye on it so that it doesn't pull other things out of whack, I should be ok. In the meantime, one more shift at work before 2 days off =)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mission Completed

The mission was to take a no running break. I went into the break without knowing how long it was going to last. It was all in my coaches hands. I was dreading the break, thinking that 1 week was forever. Then I found out it might be 2 weeks. Coach Matt laughed when I asked if he was trying to kill me " OMG what are you going to do" was his response. Smart Aleck. This cartoon suites Coach Matt I think.

Nevertheless, being sick and busy at work, the week flew by. Sunday evening I received an e-mail that showed that the break was over. Turned out to be 9 days without workouts/running. I am now making a slow return back into running and will begin my build for the fall. No races until September most likely and then I will be ready to rock in October, likely for a half marathon, but things could change, we'll see. All I know is that the weather is beautiful and I am allowed to once again fly through the trails and catch up on my protein intake by inhaling bugs. Yum!

My weekend went well, a usual weekend at work ending with a hectic Sunday evening which resulted in me sending one of my residents to the hospital. That is never a fun job, but she needed to go. Unfortunately it took some convincing as she did not want to go at first. Her husband who lives with her went to the hospital about 3 months ago and was set to return today, so she did not want to go away and not be there when he returned home. In the end, his return home was delayed as she is not back yet either. I look forward to having them both return home to the facility. The joys of health care. Over in complex care though, the high light of the weekend was one of the residents turning 100 years old. Quite the accomplishment and his family threw a few parties for him. Some elderly are amazing!

Until next time, you'll find me out on the trails ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Break Time

Starting this week I have officially been on an end of season running break before I begin my build for a fall Half Marathon. I was originally not looking forward to this break. I had finally found a groove of good races and wanted to race again. Instead it was decided to take a break instead. I think it helped that I began my break being sick. That way I didn't miss running and I admit it was kinda nice not feeling guilty about missing a workout due to being sick!

How have I spent my break? Doing a lot of lying on the couch, watching tv, spending WAY too much time on the internet, coaching some kids and practicing some of the stuff that Marilyn gave me to work on. Well all that and work and sleep of course. I am unsure as to when I will begin running again as that is not in my hands. All I know is that I am feeling energized and extra motivated to get back into it, to begin working hard as I know I am capable of some great results in upcoming races!

Unfortunately, my break is about to get even more boring as I work all weekend. At least the weather is supposed to turn crappy, so I won't be missing out that much. How do all you other bloggers out there have such interesting lives? You have things to blog about all of them time? I suppose with no races, no training and nothing much going on during my 2 days off this week, it leaves me with not a whole heck of a lot to post about.

So in saying that, I'll change over to my cats and their new tricks. Hopefully this will keep it somewhat interesting.

Below you'll find how much Socket hates bikes

Socket has finally figured out that he is able to stand tall and reach heights he has never reached before

Steve LOVES newspapers. Every time someone reads a paper, he plunks himself right on top. Never cooperates for photos, but politely tells us he wants attention

This was also taken tonight. Socket likes to share EVERYTHING we have. Always sticking his paws in our cups whether we are finished or not. Tonight he decided to share some of Jay's Tim Horton's Iced Cappuccino.

Lastly, this isn't about my cats; however, back in April one of my friends/competitors Care had a run in with one of the camera men filming the start of the race at the Times Colonist 10km. I was chatting with a friend who works for the news station one day and he mentioned his co-worker getting bowled over. I informed him that I knew the runner who did that and he said they had video of it and it was hilarious. So by request, he sent it to me so I could share with Care! Poor Care was beat up pretty bad, but she still managed to run a nice PB! Go Care!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mindful Strides Recap

Okay, I apologize and admit that I am later than originally planned with this post. You see, I woke up on Monday feeling like absolute crap. I hit the Neo-Citran around mid day (this usually knocks me out) hoping to feel better as I was supposed to work at 3pm. I waited to feel better....... it didn't happen. Next thing I knew it was 2pm and too late to call into work. I showed up physically, but I was mentally just out of it. My head cold that I had felt barely all weekend long had hit me full force today. Stuffed up sinuses, yet my nose was running. I was sneezing non stop. I really should have called into work, but I am stubborn as can be about missing shifts. Plus, I honestly did think it would be like the weekend where I would wake up feeling like crap and then feel better later in the day. I was wrong.

So I went to work and did what I was required, staying as much away from my residents and fellow co-workers as I could. Thank goodness I work in Assisted Living so I don't have to be in the face of my residents constantly and was able to keep my distance for the most part. Yes I know, in health care I really shouldn't go to work sick. Next time I will call in sick, I promise!

Tuesday was better, not 100% but MUCH better than Monday so I went to work. Everyone said how much brighter I looked compared to the day before where my eyes were glazed and I sounded very masculine with my stuffed sinuses. I finally feel better today (haven't blown my nose nearly as much) so I decided to write my blog. Instead, I became side tracked when blogger told me there were new design templates. In choosing a new template my former header no longer fit, so I updated it with a few new photos and that brings me to now!

This past weekend, I attended the Mindful Strides Workshop with Marilyn Arsenault and Katherine Moore. I have known Marilyn for a few years now and had talked to Katherine online, but hadn't met in person until Saturday. Nice to finally meet you Katherine!

These two ladies are outstanding runners, with Marilyn setting the Royal Victoria Half Marathon course record at 1:15:39 this past October, which is great considering she is a Master. 40's are the new 20's apparently as there are a lot of strong women in their 40's here on Vancouver Island. Definitely something to look up to. Marilyn is experienced in the pose running method and wanted to do the clinic to bring awareness to people's running form. Katherine on the other hand is an excellent marathoner who ran the Royal Victoria Marathon last October in 2:47:27 to place 2nd. Katherine's expertise is Yoga, which is something I had never tried prior to this past weekend.

Prior to meeting up at the workshop, I briefly stopped by Scott Simpson's Activa Sports Therapy to get an assessment on my abdominal/hip flexor pain that I have been having since December. It didn't sound too serious, with him figuring it out that it was likely my psoas that is too tight causing issues. I am looking forward to receiving some exercises from him.

I arrived at the workshop a tad late (just barely) and we went through introductions. It was a smaller group (6 of us for the first day and 4 of us the 2nd day) than I had anticipated and in fact I only recognized one person (Gwen), which was also now what I had expected. From there, Katherine gave me my first Yoga experience. I have a lot to work on. While I was able to get into most of the positions, I found that rather than concentrating on my breathing as I was supposed to, I was trying to pay attention as to which position and movement was next. Definitely a good experience though and something I would like to do again.

Yoga time with Katherine

Small Group on Day 1

Marilyn did a brief spiel before we headed off for lunch. It was at this time I realized that I no longer had my cell phone. Last I remembered I had put it on my trunk as Scott had me do a brief run so he could do video analysis. I did not remember picking it back up, which means I left it on my trunk and drove away. I was hoping it was in Scott's driveway or on the road nearby (luckily he lived on a side street). I borrowed Marilyn's phone (thanks Mar) to call Scott, but no answer. Darn, so I decided I would try my best to put it out of my mind for the rest of the clinic and then head back to Scott's to have a look later.


After lunch we worked on our running form. Marilyn had us do a warm up run in which she also watched how we ran. From there we went into drills that would help us improve our form. I will not go into these drills as I do not want to give away all the secrets to the workshop. If you want to know and live around Vancouver or Victoria, go to the Mindful Strides website and sign up for a date! The drills were very tiring as they were using a variety of muscles that I wasn't used to using. The drills added to the warm sun definitely made it for an exhausting day.

Drills with Marilyn

We ended up finishing up with some more Yoga before calling it a day. At that point, I called Scott again from a pay phone and then drove over to his place. He wasn't home so I searched his driveway and road nearby.... NADA. Just as I was about to leave, Scott came home and said he hadn't seen it but would keep an eye out for it.

So off I went on my 75 minute drive home with no phone. I got home and asked to borrow Jay's phone to call my phone, but he then informed me that my mom had called about it. Apparently a young kid named Riley had found my phone on his way to the bus stop and the bright little kid went through my contacts and called the one that said "mom." I have no home phone so nothing said "home." Such a relief!

I was in bed early that night as I felt sick, was tired and had a sun burn to top it all off. Up early the next day and another 75 minute drive to Victoria, first to stop at Riley's to pick up my phone. I gave him $20 to thank him. It appears he didn't like the Canucks Background on my phone, changing it to a blank one. lol. From there, off to the Oak Bay Track for Day 2 of the clinic.

It was a cloudy morning, so it was decided that Marilyn would concentrate on her portion first, so into the warm up and drills. I only completed half the warm up before I was stopped and Marilyn did some work on me while everyone finished their warm up. I guess she saw a few things she wanted to correct right away! The drills were a bit more advanced in day 2 and some of them were much more tiring on the muscles than the day before. We only had 4 the second day, well 5 counting Katherine who was doing the drills too, so we received a lot of personal attention. I learned a lot from Marilyn and have some drills and things to work on at home. Hopefully I can pick up these improvements quickly and easily so that I can use them to take me to the next level.

Day 2 drills Marilyn's 1-1 with Katherine

We took a lunch and then were under Marilyn's instruction for a little bit longer. The sun came out after lunch and my coach Matt even showed up. He had a hard training day the day before so it was fun watching him perform some of the Yoga moves later in the day! A few things I have to work on include my arm swing, NOT over-striding and leaning forward instead of sitting. Most of that I knew before going into the workshop; however, now I have the tools needed in order to hopefully improve these. Thank you Marilyn for all your expertise and suggestions.

More demonstration from Marilyn

For the last 1.5 hours we worked with Katherine, where she took us through a variety of Yoga positions. My god some of them were hard. What a workout we got! Some of the core one's nearly killed me, in fact I couldn't do a few of them as it started to hurt my lower abs/hip flexors. Not only did I learn some new Yoga moves, but I learned that my wrists are weak as can be as they were hurting like crazy at times. Apparently if I stick with it, they should become stronger though! I can hope!

Katherine is very talented with the Yoga and likely had fun watching some of us struggle to get into the positions lol. I know I would have laughed. I can see how doing Yoga regularly would benefit one's running though. Now the question is.... can I do it on my own without instruction! Ack! I have the written version of the poses we did, so I will give it my best try! I don't have many photos of the yoga section's as it is hard to take photos while trying to stay on pace with the poses (sorry Katherine).

Before we knew it, the workshop was over and after a few quick thank you's I was off on my way home, yet again. Many thanks to Marilyn and Katherine. You guys are troopers, especially for day 2 after you had both completed a long run prior to the workshop! Even though I was feeling sick, I had a great time!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Update!

I spent the last 2 days down in Victoria for the Mindful Strides Workshop with Marilyn Arsenault and Katherine Moore. So much to blog on; however, it has been a long 2 days which consisted of a physio appointment down in Victoria prior to the workshop, to losing my cell phone, to driving home without it thinking it was gone as I had left it on the back of my trunk after the physio appointment (yeah I know dumb idea), to finding out some kid found it and called my mom via my contacts, to driving back to Victoria today, another day of the workshop and driving home. Excuse that run on sentence. Oh wait before I go on, did I mention I came down with a cold on Friday evening and spent the Saturday morning drive to Victoria wanting to hurl?

So here I sit, bagged after 2 days in the sun, with a cold, a stuffed yet running nose and sneezing constantly. I am quite the sight! hah. I had originally intended on blogging all about the workshop. No details, just the basics so I don't ruin it for others. You want to find out the details about the workshop.... then sign up for a workshop as there are more taking place in the future both on the mainland and down in Victoria. I promise the blog will come, but maybe not until tomorrow or Tuesday.

In the meantime, I am now officially on an end of season break. Maybe this cold is due to my body knowing I am on a break and finally giving in to something I have been fighting for awhile. I know a few weeks back I thought I was getting a cold but it never came full force. Maybe that is what I am dealing with now. The one thing that sucks is that the weather is finally nice, yet I am unable to run, bike or do any other type of workout. This week is to concentrate on rest and relaxation. So in saying that, I am off to finish a few things before heading to bed to hopefully sleep away this cold so I don't spend my break sick!

Here is a teaser of Katherine, myself and Marilyn after the clinic finished. I had a great time with these lovely ladies and thank them for sharing some of their wisdom with me!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Records are Meant to be Broken

While I am a little sad to see them go, I feel very honored to have held them for 19 years (since 1991) and I am very proud of the little girl who beat them as I have been watching her run for over a year now. To be honest, I prepared myself a year ago for this day as I knew she was going to break them! Congratulations Madison!

Jordan butchered my last name, but that isn't what is important. For the last 19 years I had held the 400 and 1500m records for the Nanaimo District Elementary School Meet. They had been threatened before; however, most years this meet has crappy weather with wind and rain. This year though, the weather was perfect and I knew they were going to go down!

I do have to correct this news piece though. They state I had the 400, 800 and 1500m records, but in all honesty, the 800 record was broken 3 years ago by a girl named Tkia. For some reason though, the school meet did not record her record and kept it under my name. So technically speaking, I had 2 records broken and Tkia had 1 broken. This little girl flew through the 1500m race in 5:18, which is spectacular for that age. My record at the school meet was 5:25, so she demolished it. I also ran 5:19 later that year, but certainly not 5:18 and she is not done yet! Amazing! I was there to cheer her on for the 1500 and gave her a well deserved high five and congratulations after she finished.

Funny story is, I have known her dad and 3 aunts for years. Her father and 2 of her sisters were in the track club with me and lived on a farm not far from my house. The youngest of the aunt's is 1 year younger than me, so we often raced each other. Fast running runs in that family as all of the kids had set school records at some stage! I am certainly not surprised that it was another member of the family who took down my records! I have a feeling, little Madison will hang onto those records for many many years; however, only time will tell!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mindful Strides

A couple of lovely ladies I know are putting on a running/yoga workshop this weekend (June 12th and 13th) in Victoria. I thought I would assist with some of their promotion by mentioning it on my blog. So if you live on Vancouver Island or in the lower mainland and care to receive some great feedback on your running form from Marilyn Arsenault or if you wish to receive some running based Yoga poses from Katherine Moore, check out the Mindful Strides website!

Mile Video

Thanks to Chris for editing the footage from Saturday. Look for me in the blue singlet.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Oops. My bad, it appears I was totally off with the splits from the mile. It appears they were more like (approx) 1:14, 2:28, 3:45 and then the 5:02.3 finish. As I said the 3rd lap sucked, the splits proved that. Ahh well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Victoria Track Series Mile Race Report

After the half marathon, coach decided that it was time to switch things up and work on my weakness aka Speed. I can do the endurance stuff just fine, but put me in a 5km and not so good. First up was the Nanaimo 3000, which went decently well but due to the only competitor near me not having her legs that day, it didn't go the way either of us had planned.

A few more weeks of speed work, the next race discussed was the Victoria Track Series Mile. This race terrified me to be honest as I have not done a race this short in 11 years. Yes I know I said that about the 3000, but at the time that was my shortest race! It terrified me even more coming up to race day when I looked at the start list and saw many of the University of Victoria Vikes team on the list. I had never raced a mile before, so I had no idea what to expect time wise. All I knew was that my 1500m PB from grade 7 or 8 was 4:51. My goal became "not to get left behind by too far," though coach stated that I would not get left behind and not to worry about it.

In order to do this race, which was scheduled for Saturday evening, I had to do some shift swapping at work because I was initially scheduled for 3-11:15pm all weekend long. Luckily though, the morning worker (7-3:15pm) switched me shifts, though that meant I was unfortunately working 3-11:15pm on Friday night then 7-3:15pm on Saturday before going back to 3-11:15pm on Sunday.

Asleep by 12:30 or so on Saturday morning I suppose, I was up just prior to 6:30am and off to work. I managed to stay busy and awake until about 1:45 and then when things slowed down, I started to get drowsy. By the time I arrived home around 3:30 I was feeling pretty tired. I had about an hour to drag my butt and relax and also get ready before leaving around 4:30 to head to Victoria. Dealing with some traffic on the way down, I arrived to the Jack Wallace Memorial Track just after 6pm. Paid for my registration, found my coach and chatted for a bit before heading off on my warm up.

Nerves were still there while I watched some pretty smoking 800m races and then did some strides while the open Mile was taking place. That meant my race was up next, the elite women's mile. Up to the line I saw there was 8 us, which included Jessica Sedlock, Julia Tschanz and Lemlem
Ogbasilassie just to name a few. On your mark and away we went with the nerves disappearing. I was advised to forget splits and just to go with the group and hang on for as long as I could and see what happens.

The group went out fast, though a few girls a tad faster than the rest. I was unsure which group to go with, I was sitting in 5th initially on the outside shoulder of one of the Vikes (not sure which one sorry). I did the first lap around the outside, no idea the split, but I think it was fast. It would have been 409m at around 68 or 69" I think (can't say for sure as I wasn't paying too close attention). Coming around for the first time I decided "screw this" and surged ahead of the Vike as I saw the top 3 girls were pulling away a bit. Plus I didn't want to run on the outside the whole way. Lemlem was leading the pack, with Julia and another Vike behind her (not sure which one, Brittany maybe?) so I pulled in behind them. I hit 809m in about 2:24ish and this is where the race starting hurting. Did I mention my pathetic 800m PB was only 2:23?

Julia and the other Vike pulled away a bit on this lap but not out of reach. We came around 1209m in around 3:46 maybe and I quickly knew that if I wanted sub 5 at this point, I would need a pretty fast last lap and my legs were hurting. I told myself only 400 left and to hang in there. I heard Ron on the side lines yelling "lean forward, lean forward" at which point I realized my form had gone to sh!t, which often happens when I am tired. Actually throughout the race I heard many "Go Erin's" and I have no clue where half of them came from (sorry to those who were cheering).

With 250 left, Matt was yelling at me, though I don't even remember what he was saying (sorry coach). With 200 left I heard Marilyn yell "quick feet" which also meant my form was horrid. On the back stretch, the one Vike started to drop from Julia and I was slowly pulling her in. I think I passed her with about 150m to go and just gave it what I could for the final bit of the race. It probably didn't look pretty, but I ended up crossing the line in 3rd place in a time of 5:02.3. Lemlem crushed the field in 4:43.8 and Julia in 4:54.8, followed by me and then the next girl Alicia in 5:05.7.

In the end, I crushed my goal of not wanting to be left behind by taking the bronze out of 8 total girls. I am proud of the way I raced and really proud of the time and how I held up against some of the university girls considering I am a half marathoner who doesn't train for the short stuff like they do. Interesting enough, my mile time converts into a 4:40.2 1500m, a 10 flat 3000m (I do remember saying I felt I was capable of closer to a 10 flat 3000), 17:26 5km, 36:13 10km and a 1:20:36 half marathon. Yes I do realize these are all predictions, but they are predictions that I would love to make real!

I have received some great feedback about the race, that I looked strong (minus the 4th lap where my form fell apart) and that I raced awesome. Coach thinks that if I actually trained for these distances I could easily have been under 5 and up there with the top 2 girls; however, I am not a miler so there is no plan to do that! In essence, this was just a fun way to get in a good speed workout and to challenge myself. Results can be found here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

89th Birthday Celebrations!

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately, but really, not too much has happened in my life recently. I worked this week Mon, Tues and Wed, had today off and then return to work for Fri, Sat and Sun. Bring on Monday! The one thing worth mentioning that happened recently is my Grandpa's 89th birthday celebration which took place in Qualicum Beach (about 45 minutes north of where I live) last Saturday. We went up there for lunch and I was able to not only see my grandparents (I admit I do not go up and see them enough even though they are so close) but also my Aunt and cousin from Victoria and even more so my other Aunt who lives up in Houston (BC not Texas). I rarely get to see her, so it made the day extra special!

My lovely Grandpa and me (doesn't look 89 does he?)

Oh wait, I think I should post the first attempt at taking a photo with him. My lovely sister Heather decided to jump in on the photo. I told her I would post it on Facebook, which I haven't actually done yet, so I will post it here for all of you to see (serves you right for sneaking in the photo)!

I should add that she snuck into my photo because I snuck bunny ears behind her bf's head in her photo with my Grandpa. Oh wow, I see blogger doesn't like the word "snuck" but I like the definition in the Urban Dictionary: common mistake for the past-tense of sneak (the real past-tense is sneaked, but sneaked sounds retarded so it should be snuck). haha

3 sisters!

My Aunt from Houston!

Lastly, here is one of Socket after he stole the Cat Nip container. The flash made his eyes look crazy and his tongue out just adds character to the photo!

More to come after this weekend!