Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't get me started on Doctors

Don't even get me started on Doctor's here in Nanaimo. I tend to describe most doctors in Nanaimo as USELESS and I apologize in advance but this blog post might turn into a bit of a vent.

Let me begin on Friday afternoon. Just prior to 4pm while I was at work, I received a call from the Doctors office. Actually, let's back up to Wednesday. I picked up the mail and found my blood test results from the previous Friday when I had them taken. In my results I saw my Ferritin level had dropped from 14 back in March/April to 10. WTF? I have been taking a supplement and eating more spinach over the last 6 months. Officially these were the results supplied with the normal levels in brackets.

Ferritin: 10 ug/L (15-180)
Iron: 10 umol/L (10-33)
TIBC: 70 umol/L (37-72)
SAT: 0.14 (0.20-0.55)

The original doctor (we'll call him Dr. S) who ordered the test is alright, but somewhat useless. I wanted the total blood count test done as well, but he apparently did not include it. Anyways, I had the results and knew they were low, what the heck, with supplements as well. Hmm.

Fast forward to Friday afternoon at 4pm, my phone rings, it's the doctor's office. I don't answer as I am at work, but check my voicemail when I have a second. Message states to call back as Dr. S would like to see me about my test results. I return the call, at probably 4:05 wondering if they are even open as I thought maybe they closed at 4pm, hence the call on Friday afternoon at 3:58pm. I was in luck though, as the appointment desk was open until 5. Here is how that conversation went.

Receptionist: "How can I help you"
Me: "Yes I would like to book an appointment with Dr. S"
Receptionist: "Oh Dr.S is on holidays"
Me: "Uhh okay, why did I just receive a message asking me to book an appointment with him about my iron test"
Receptionist: "Well he isn't back until September 9th"
Me: "Can I book with someone else then"

The result was me booking with Dr. J for Monday morning. I arrive at Dr. J's 5 minutes before my appointment and proceed to wait another 20-25 minutes. I enter Dr. J's office and meet him for the first time. He asks what he can do for me. I explain I would like to sort out my iron results. He looks through them and states that they don't look that bad. I explain I am a runner and that the Ferritin is low. He states that Ferritin really isn't a tell all factor and doesn't concern him. I explain that when I say I am a runner, I mean a real runner not some random jogger. He says that he understands, but still proceeds to be a douche (sorry).

He goes on to say again that Ferritin isn't that low and that he isn't too concerned. He said what he goes by is Hemoglobin levels and I didn't have that tested. Last tested in April at 131 g/L within normal limits of 120-150. Uhh that was how many months ago doctor? I told him I originally wanted that to be included in my blood tests, but Dr. S didn't include it. So he fills out a form to have me get my total blood count tested.

In the meantime he asks what I was taking for supplements and I showed him. He said it had very little iron and told me very briefly what he normally prescribes. He also asks whether I have low iron symptoms. I told him yes, within the last few weeks my motivation has dropped, my energy level has dropped, my immune system is crap, my hr is high and my breathing is increased even on paces that shouldn't be. Again he brushed it off. I took the form and left his office nearly in tears as he frustrated me and made me feel as though I was wasting his time. I walked by the patients waiting shaking my head and muttering "useless" under my breath.

I went and got the other required tests and I hope to hear back by the end of the week or early next week. Whenever the mail gets to me I suppose (finger's crossed by Friday).

In the meantime, I stopped at the pharmacy and asked them what they would suggest. I told them what I was taking and they basically said that anything bought from a health food store will not have enough iron as they are not licensed to sell higher doses. Basically, what I have been taking for the last 6 months is about 1/10'th the amount of iron I should be taking. I purchased the pills they suggested and went on my way.

I can name the useless doctors in Nanaimo, Dr. S, Dr, J, Dr. B, Dr.M. I think the list could really go on as I have seen more than those whenever my doctor's aren't available. I am in the hunt for a new better doctor but the main issue is a lot of doctors don't accept patients who technically already have family doctors. My main family doctor is half retired and unless you want to book a month in advance you can't see him as he is always on holidays.

So that is where I stand. I rocked the workouts 1.5 weeks ago, but then things slowly dropped off, even with plenty of rest days. Paces became harder to hold, breathing increased on even easy runs. Some say, oh maybe too many hard workouts and not enough rest, but I can honestly say that is not the case. My coach does very well at planning and I have felt this before, I know it has to do with my iron levels.

Oh did I mention an old lady in the waiting room at the lab before I had my blood tested muttered to her friend "she is all bones." Ugh, I get sick of hearing that. Just because I am thin they consider that I have an eating disorder. Totally not the case. I like my sweets WAY too much for that ;)

So that is where things stand. We'll see what the next results say. I took a different iron supplement over the weekend and had ferritin and iron retested today (I think) so hopefully it is more than 10.

In other news, this is what happens when you try to read a newspaper in my house.

You get a little kitty who will come and lie down right in the middle of the paper. This poor kitty is sick right now, sneezing a lot over the last 2-3 days, spraying snot everywhere and has runny eyes. I feel so bad for him, but I know he will get over it. I am keeping an eye on it and if it becomes serious I will take him to the vet, but in the meantime I will wait it out to save the expensive vet fees. Think good thoughts for Steve!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moksha Yoga

After a wicked progression run last Saturday (Aug 21), I had Sunday off running. I had heard of a free Moksha Yoga session down town at the waterfront, but basically didn't want to go alone. I have only done Yoga a few times with Mindful Strides. An old childhood friend Heather mentioned on her Facebook that she was going to go, so I sent her a message and said if she was going, I would go too. I don't think I have seen her in years, but we grew up a few blocks away from each other and our parents are still in the same houses. I was the same age as her brother Ryan and she was a year older than us.

Anyways, so we headed down for the free session. Moksha Yoga Nanaimo was holding the free session. Their studio is in the same building as Island Optimal as they share the same space. It was an easy session and the sun was in and out, but it was fun and they had a good turn out. Definitely good to get a few stretches in and I had even done most of the poses before, which was a bonus for me. That means I didn't look stupid trying to figure out what to do!

** photos courtesy of Moksha Yoga

Arriving early to get a good spot!

Group slowly growing

Time to get started!

Thanks Moksha yoga for putting on this free class. Next time it would be better on the green grass though ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cat Nip and Biggs Park

Yesterday I attended 60 minutes of free yoga downtown put on by Moksha Yoga Nanaimo. Moksha is located at the same place Island Optimal is at, so I saw their flyer there earlier this week and I debated going. Then an old friend updated her facebook that she was going to attend, so I decided to go with her. It was an easy session with a decent group of people. I will blog more about it once they post some photos in which I am waiting for that will go along with the post.

In the meantime, we gave the cats some Cat Nip last night. It is always amusing.

I'm so high!!

Today I went to pick up some parcels from the post office when I noticed it was 12:30. Our post office is closed for lunch from 12-1, so I went and got some groceries and grabbed my camera and headed out to Bigg's Park. It is located out in Cedar near BC Ferries for Duke Point.

From Biggs Park it overlooks downtown Nanaimo and you get a good view of Mount Benson that is in the background. Photo op time!

Blue function on camera

Nothing like taking dorky photos of yourself! It took me a few tries to get the timing somewhat right, then someone came along so I stopped, hah. So this was the best of what I got.

Follow the arrows home!

This was the loot I picked up at the post office. I had 5 slips in the mail box to pick up. Socket of course had to check it out. Top 3 are BBQ Set's and the bottom 2 are Muskoka Chairs.

The chairs are in pieces so photos will have to wait until they eventually get put together. Here is the BBQ though.

Gotta love contests! See you on the trails!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What a beautiful day!

My view from my icing attempt

I got up early this morning to get my workout over with while the temperatures were cool. It has been a big few weeks of training and I wasn't sure how my legs were going to hold up today, which called for a pretty big workout. I visited Abe at Island Optimal earlier in the week where he used his magic hands for some ART on my hip flexors and calves (ouch) to try and give me my legs back. I believe that is exactly what I said to him when he asked what he could do "give me my legs back." He worked his magic and said if I was interested I could come back later in the week for a tune up before this workout. So I went back yesterday for some more hip flexors and quads.

I was in bed early last night. Okay well early for me, which meant 10:30, though the cats woke me up about 3 times before I was finally up at 7am. The workout went great, running it slightly faster than I was supposed to, yet it still felt good. Definitely a good sign for my upcoming fall races!

After the workout I stopped at the grocery store for some Chocolate Milk and then drove over to Piper's Lagoon to get in some ocean icing as the lakes are too warm. I arrived to find the tide out.... boo. I took off my shoes and bundled up and waded out into the water. Shallow shallow shallow. I would have had to walk for ages to get into deeper water, plus that meant walking through all the weeds (no thanks), so I opted to just kneel/sit in the water, which put the water level to about my waste. It was cool, but not painful cold so didn't quite have the effect I was looking for. When the tide is in, you normally don't have to walk more than 10-15m into the water to get waist deep.

The scenery was definitely beautiful though. I used my crappy cell phone to snap some pics! (yes I took my towel with me as I wasn't sure how cold it was going to be)

After I finished my icing and started to get out of the ocean, a kid all dressed up came towards me. Okay he was probably either a teenager or possibly very low 20's. Anyway, he approached me and asked whether I would be interested in some reading material and showed a brochure. He stated it was to do with how to deal with stress, but I am sure it was probably something religious (nothing against religious stuff, it just isn't for me). I should have asked, but just assumed and said no thanks.

We had some small chit chat about the beautiful day etc and he asked again stating that it advised people how to relax. I told him I had no issues with stress management as I use my running to combat that. He said something about how I had that all figured out and wished me well before he went on his way. When I got back to my car, he got into a car with 2 older well dressed men and I heard "well I tried" or something like that. Who knows what he really wanted, but I went on my way.

Now to spend the rest of this beautiful day relaxing! Maybe squeeze in a nap shortly! See you on the trails!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stocking up!

Nestea Anyone?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I won a year's worth of Nestea (aka 52 coupons for 12 packs). I took advantage of Superstores latest deal buy 2 and get a 3rd free. Using my free coupons for the 2 that I had to "purchase" I would get the 3rd for free. The Superstore deal was only good till the 21st, so I loaded up while I had the chance.

When I went to get the mail today, I found a key in the box stating a I had bigger mail in one of the compartments. Knowing I am waiting for many totes/coolers/bbq sets, I wondered what it was. Cooler's went to the post office, so I figure it wasn't those. I opened up the compartment to find these shoved inside.

20 tote bags. Basically reusable bags. Funny thing is that the totes are worth $0.97, yet the postage on each envelop says $1.22. They paid more for packaging and shipping than the prize is actually worth. Tote anyone?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Clearing the Cobwebs

A perfect morning, with cooler temperatures, partly cloudy skies and a morning run through local trails. The runner glides smoothly along the trail when all of a sudden she gets a spider web right across the face.... and then across an arm.... and then another one across the face. She can feel the webs hanging off of her blowing in the wind collecting more webs as she goes along.

Uhh yeah, that sounds much nicer than it actually was. The one down side about early morning trail runs is that generally no one else has walked the trail yet, leaving me to clear the cobwebs for everyone else coming along. Yuck. I don't know about you, but getting spider webs, especially across the face, is a disgusting feeling. Gotta love running down the trail with 1 arm raised in front of the face. I hit so many spider webs this morning that I ended up running the last 1/3 of the trail into the park like that. May not look pretty, but I'd rather collect the webs on my arm than my face =)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Those People.... and Google too!

You know those people.... everyone has them on Facebook. The one's that have consistent cheesy status updates or comments on other's photos/updates. They make me laugh sometimes and at other times they make me hate Facebook. Come on now, admit it, you all have at least one or more of these people on your Facebook.

Google is a strange tool. I have the Feedjit application on my blog so I can see the variety of locations people access my blog from. This application also shows how people get to my blog, whether it is from direct link, through Facebook or even Google. The Google one's make me laugh as I am amazed at what searches people enter and then end up on my blog. I have had other runner's names, people searching Westcoast and even weird things as when the flasher was around town or when a cat hoarder was busted in town. I should take a screen shot of some of the funny searches, but will have to do that in the future as I don't have access to any amusing one's right now.

Okay, this post really made no sense so I am going to sign off for now! Still training hard and looking forward to the hopeful payoff this fall. See you on the trails!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mindful Strides Round 2!

Last Sunday I was invited back down to Victoria to attend a second Mindful Strides Workshop. As you may remember, I did a 2 days workshop back in June. This was my chance to check up with Marilyn to make sure I was headed in the right direction and improving on the drills, which in turn improves my form. I feel as though I am more efficient with my running, but many times I have thought I was doing things right, to then film myself and see that I actually wasn't doing things the way I thought. So it was nice to have Marilyn's expert eyes to give me a few little tips and cues and overall I was advised that everything was looking improved and much better! Woo hoo!

Marilyn demonstrating

Assisting another workshop attendee

Me doing the drills (photo credit Mar's iphone, Kat's photo skills)

I also wanted to go to the workshop so I could do another Yoga class with Yoga Guru Katherine! I will admit I haven't done much of the Yoga she taught me back in June. I am so new to Yoga that this weekend was only my 3rd class (if you count each day of the 2 day workshop separately). I feel as though I was more comfortable with it this time around, but definitely am by no means an expert. I find doing Yoga easier following someone else and Kat's voice is so soothing and calming I swear she could put me to sleep at times.

I drove down from Nanaimo on Sunday and it was cloudy and rainy all the way to Duncan (about half way to Victoria). On the other side of Duncan, it started to clear and then driving over the Malahat, pure sunshine! It was a gorgeous day at Beacon Hill Park which is not far from downtown Victoria. The park was busy, which was likely because Saturday was a day of pouring rain and most families were taking advantage of the sunny day. It was a good group of about 10 or so of us. Even 3 others from Nanaimo went down after I sent out a little blurb about the workshop to the local running clubs.

Kat (and Marilyn in the background) getting ready for meditation

Marilyn all tangled up!


Thanks to Marilyn and Katherine for allowing me to take part in another successful workshop. They have one last workshop on August 29th in Vancouver and then they will both be taking a break from Mindful Strides to concentrate on the final preparations for their marathon at the end of September. More workshops might become available in October, so keep your eyes open at the Mindful Strides website.

Training is going well this week. I had a strong workout on Tuesday. My workout buddy Mark who has joined me for at least 1 workout and 1 easy run per week for the last 2-3 weeks is in Vegas this week, leaving me to run them alone. Not a huge deal though as I used to do pretty much 100% of my training alone anyways. I thought I would miss him on my Tuesday workout, but it went well without him. Another good workout is scheduled for tomorrow. It would be nice to have his company for this one as well, but I will survive. Occasionally one can get stuck alone in a race, so doing workouts solo can be good preparations for that right?

See you on the trails!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smokey Skies, Dry Spells and Raindrops

For the entire month of July, here in Nanaimo we did not see any rain. Well to be honest, we saw a very small rainfall on Canada Day (July 1st), but not a single drop the rest of them month. Instead we saw consistent sunny days, minimal cloud coverage and plenty of warm temperatures.

Most of BC has been this way, which is really dry. There are over 400 wildfires burning throughout the province. This past week (Wednesday afternoon) was at work and I noticed a smoke haze in the air. Worried there was a fire around town, I searched the local newspaper online. With relief I read that there were no fires in town or near town and that the smokey haze was actually from the wildfires in the interior of the province. The winds had shifted and carried the smokey haze a great distance to cover a large portion of Vancouver Island. I cannot take credit for this photo (one of my NDSS athletes Katelynn posted it on her facebook) but here is what it looked like.

The local health authorities ended up listing the air quality as 5 out of 10 and put in place an advisory for anyone with health or respiratory conditions to avoid strenuous activities. Good thing I have no issues as I was out there Thursday morning running through the smoke. Overall it wasn't too bad and I didn't really notice it other than seeing it. The smoke lifted on Friday and is barely noticeable now, though they do warn that we may see the smoke again later in the week.

With regards to rain, we finally saw some fall early Thursday morning. Not enough to lift any of the dry conditions though. We would likely need a few days of consistent rain to do that. This morning we received more rain as it poured for half the day. I had my long run to do this morning and it rained every single minute of it. By half way through my run, my fingers were prunes. It was a warm rain though, but still very refreshing. It poured and I had water dripping off my nose and chin and by the time I finished I was muddy and drenched. I LOVED every minute of it! August rain is the best!

Now that it rained, it's calling for sun again. Good thing I suppose as I am spending tomorrow afternoon down in Victoria for another session of the Mindful Strides Workshop. This time it is shorter, only 2-5pm but I will go and see how I am progressing with the drills and to see whether I have improved or not. Maybe I will receive further tips to help me improve. It will be a bigger group this time, which should add to the fun!

I just finished a down week in training this week, to recoup and recover my legs after some big training weeks. I am back into it starting Monday and am looking forward to seeing what the next couple of weeks will bring. In the meantime see you on the trails!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stolen: 1 Garden Hose

Yes that is right..... Jason and I just realized this evening that someone has stolen the garden hose on the side of our house. They were nice enough to the garden hose on the front of the house. We know for sure that the hose was there last Saturday, otherwise, we have not noticed. Who the heck steals garden hoses? Are you serious?! Wow some people are so stupid. What is wrong with people these days.

As I write this, a friend tells me that she had 4 screens taken from her house. She lives a few blocks away from me. Screens? Seriously? Screens have no use, at least a hose has a use. Sounds to me like some kids who were up to no good one night. Ugh.