Monday, September 27, 2010

A moment of distraction almost ended in disaster

Almost 3 days ago (Saturday) I thought I ruined everything. I thought I ruined months of training. I thought I ruined my upcoming half marathon in 2 weeks. Why did I think this? Well you see, I ended up coming down with a cold last Wednesday thanks to my lovely co-workers who had been bringing their germs to work. It was making the rounds between staff and I told them, "don't get me sick." Took me a day or 2 to actually feel the effects of it. 

Then on Saturday, I went for my normal Saturday run at Westwood/Morrell. I was still sick but on the mend with Friday being the worst day. In fact, Friday I was supposed to attend a cross country meet with my high school team, but I had to bail on it and instead spent the morning/early afternoon sleeping on the couch before heading to work. I was up late Friday night waiting on hold and dealing with Shaw Cable as our internet had been out since sometime early that morning. After waiting on hold for about an hour and 25 minutes, JUST as I was about to give up, someone picked up. I was nearly asleep in bed as it was about 1:30am at this point. We tried a few things, didn't work, so he said "I'll have to send a tech to your house, which can't be done until Monday morning." I was not impressed, so he told me I could call back during the day and request a sup if I wanted to try and get it escalated. 

 I was then too riled up to sleep, so I didn't fall asleep until nearly 2:30. Needless to say when I got up at 8am, it was early! I was still all stuffed up in the head, still mad about Shaw Cable but headed off on my run anyways. It was going okay as I made sure to take it easy considering I was still somewhat sick. About half way through, I rolled my left ankle slightly. I crouched on the trail, said a few cuss words and then ran it off. It felt okay, but I knew I then needed to watch my footing on the roots. 

I did fairly well for the rest of the run, no tripping/slipping/rolling of the ankle. Then it happened..... no lies within the last few steps of my run, JUST as I was starting to slow down as I entered the parking lot, I rolled my ankle again. I was coming down a small hill onto flat ground. As I rolled my ankle, I somehow (I think) tripped with my other foot and I became a flailing mess as I was trying not to fall on my face on the pavement while limping on the injured ankle. It was quite a sight I am sure. A few more cuss words came out of my mouth and two ladies near by asked what happened and if I was okay. I believe I swore and said "rolled my ankle for the 2nd time today and only 2 f'ing weeks before my half marathon." They didn't say much after that, lol. Sorry ladies. 

I limped across the parking lot to my car nearly in tears. A fellow runner/friend John came over to ask if I was okay as he saw me limping across the parking lot. He has also seen me with about 2 minutes left in my run and I wasn't limping then. I told him "No I am not alright" fighting back the tears. Walking it off didn't appear to be helping this time. A quick chat with him and another runner who told me I would be fine, I headed home, holding my throbbing ankle with one hand while driving with the other. 

As soon as I got home, I took Advil and grabbed the ice. I got changed, went upstairs to the bed and laid down, put a cover over the ice and strapped it onto my ankle. The pain got worse. I took the ice off and it felt a tad better. I knew I needed the ice though, so I strapped it back on and distracted myself while it froze my ankle. I kept the ice on and off over the next hour while I waited on hold with Shaw again. This time requesting a call back, to which didn't appear to be happening, so I called back again (after an hour) and waited on hold. Finally I received a call back from Will... to which I immediate gave a brief explanation and requested a supervisor. He tried very hard to deter me from getting that supervisor, but I know from working in a call center the agent must do everything possible to try and avoid that (aka by saying "I have the same power/skills that my supervisor does"). But if you say "supervisor" enough, they finally give in. 

I got called back by a person in the escalation department (I think), nothing he did worked. He said to try something and that he would call back in 2 hours. We tried it, didn't work. They kept saying it was an issue on our end. I went to work and eventually about 3 hours later he called back and said he escalated to the local Shaw department. My bf shortly after tells me that Shaw left a voice mail on his phone, they had an issue on their end and it was working now. Big surprise. So no internet between sometime Thurs Night/Fri morning and about 5pm Saturday with about 3 hours of being on hold. Let's just say, not impressed. I will be calling back to speak with customer service about my experience. I just didn't feel like sitting on hold again yesterday or today. 

In the meantime, I wrapped my ankle and went to work. The more I walked, the better it felt. There is no pain in my ankle now, even when I am running, though the tendon down the side of my lower leg is very aggravated right now. I have been lucky enough to have been fit in for some ART in the morning. Thanks Abe. He was all booked up until Thursday earliest, but he is taking me in before he starts work tomorrow. So thankful, but at the same time I know it will be so painful! Good painful though right? 

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. I thought I was screwed because the pain was bad and I couldn't walk it off, but in the end it turned out okay. I will just have to be careful for the next 2 weeks until I gain some strength and stability back in that ankle. 

PS. For those wondering, Marilyn Arsenault has been making progress in the hospital. She is seeing some progress in now getting up out of bed unaided. She has been able to walk around a bit (ex go to the washroom). This is big considering how things were last week. Hopefully she continues to improve and get released sooner than later. As she says, she still has a battle ahead of her to get back to where she was before, but she is going to fight to get there. Below is the exact quote from Marilyn. 

"Can now get myself out of bed unaided! It's quite the workout but it's worth it to have the independence! Thank you everyone for your messages of support! It's going to be quite the journey to get back to where I was but I'm always up for a challenge!"

Quick shout out to Katherine Moore for her marathon this past weekend at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. First Canadian Female in 2:47:44!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It finally caught up with me

Over the last few weeks, people at my work have been sniffling, sneezing and blowing their noses. I tried my best to avoid it, but it caught up with me. On Tuesday I told one of my co-workers that I had better not catch her cold. Last night (Wednesday) I went to bed with and plugged yet runny nose. I woke up with it slightly worse. Great! Then again, I have also been saying for the past few weeks that if I was going to get sick, I wanted to get it over with now. The reason? Because on 10-10-10 I have my fall race goal of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon. Heck of a name eh? Formally known as RVM (Royal Victoria Marathon), which was so much easier!

Nevertheless, my half marathon is coming fast! So I suppose to get sick now isn't too bad. I still have about 16 days to heal, which should ideally be plenty of time. And while I sit here whining that I am sick, I have to say that it is nowhere near as bad as the situation with Marilyn Arsenault, who was all set to debut for her first marathon this weekend at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, but instead finds herself in the ICU at the hospital due to a blood stream infection! I feel absolutely crushed for her. She has trained so hard and was ready to rock out a good one, then on the day she is to fly out, she instead finds herself in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. What seemed to start from a tight hamstring, into an adjustment at the physio to a possible torn groin into a now blood infection. Absolutely shocking and heart breaking. Please get well soon Mar!

In the meantime, it's time to take care of my own health. While it sucks to be sick, things could always be worse! Remember that! =)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chop Chop Chop

After over a year, probably well over a year and many months of saying "I should get a hair cut," I finally went and did it. This past week I decided my hair was getting too long as it started to fall out of its tied up bun when I ran. Having it in a pony tail have way down my back was annoying. So on Friday I made an appointment to get it cut.....
..... and once I got it cut... part of me regretted it. Let me be clear, I didn't regret the entire haircut, but I did regret how much was taken off. In fact, when I was getting it cut some guy walked by and was like "what are you doing? you don't see women with long hair anymore." It ended up being slightly shorter than I was looking for, which may be why I am missing it. I get told "people won't even notice it is cut." That is fine, but for anyone who has had long hair, you know that it is easy to notice when a few inches get cut off and I had more than a few inches! Anyway, here is the before and after shots to show the change in length.


I do have to admit that my hair is much lighter now. Maybe that will make me faster? ;) I know it will grow back, so I will try to enjoy the shortness now. Hopefully it won't be another year before I get another one; however, when I do, it certainly won't be shorter than this! No matter how many people tell me to cut it short, no way, not now, not any time soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Land's End 10km Race Report

First order of business: Both kitties are now fine and healthy. About 48 hours after Socket got his shot, he perked up and started chasing Steve around the house again! Yay! He is no longer breaking my heart, but he is back to getting into mischief which made us say "maybe he was better off sick." =)

Second order of business and the main reason for this post is my race report. Let's just say I would like to ultimately forget this race. Not kidding. I haven't raced since my mile on the track in June which went incredibly well. It was followed by a no running, no working out, no nothing break. From there, I have put in some pretty awesome training with plenty of ups and downs. For the last few weeks it has been more down, finding out low iron and feeling like junk stuff; however, for the past week I have felt a slight perk again. Then comes the race. 

I went out and supported the Nanaimo 5km/10km/Half Marathon last weekend. Part of me wanted to race because it is my home race, but the course isn't ideal. Instead I opted for the Land's End 10km down in Victoria as it was supposed to be a much faster course. Plenty of fast times last year, but the rumor that the course was short. Nevertheless, it was a better course and a good chance to get in a good effort. 

I was scheduled to work this weekend, so I worked Friday and then took Saturday off. The race started at 9:15am on Sunday and I didn't want to work until 11:15 Saturday night and then have to leave the house by 6:30am on Sunday. I relaxed all night and attempted to have the lights out by 10pm. The lights were out, but I struggled to fall asleep. I really actually don't know how much I slept during the night because I woke up about 5 times and each time it seemed like I lied there forever waiting to fall back asleep. Let's just say the morning came REAL early! 

Jason came with me to Victoria as he wanted to visit a store that was only open in Victoria, which meant I didn't have to drive so that was nice. The one bad part about not driving is that by the time I got there I was starting to fall asleep. I also saw that the rainy drizzle that was in Nanaimo was also in Victoria, which meant a wet race. No big worries though. 

I picked up my race number and heard 2 ladies in front of me state "if I wasn't already registered, I wouldn't be running today," which made me laugh. It's only rain! My warm up felt okay, though my breathing seemed a bit more labored than it should have been. I chalked it up to nerves because I haven't raced in months. With a change of shoes and socks, the loss of extra clothes and the addition of a hat, I headed off to the start. 

We were advised that the km markers were a bit off, but that the course was measured and was not short this year. The top 2 male and females were also predicted, which didn't include me, though based on who I saw on the line I figured I had a chance at 2nd and hoped I could pull it off. There was money on the line $150 for first and $100 for second. I wanted to be top 2. 

The race started and off we went. I ran along side my friend and competitor Melissa. She is a very strong 10km runner (among other distances) and has proven herself often in the 10km distance over this past year. I knew it was a gamble to run with her though as I have yet to run a faster 10km. Then again, since Sept 2009, this was only my 3rd 10km (one in Sept 2009, one in April 2010 and then this race). Not ideal. I knew based on my fitness though, I should be able to keep up or within a reasonable distance. 

We went out at a good pace, nothing overly fast and it felt good. I felt good until about 4.5km and then I had a slight side stitch which made me lose contact. At the turn around, I think I was I don't know 15-20m behind. From there, that was the end of my race. My legs never once felt horrid and didn't hurt, but as much as I kept willing them to move faster, they decided to cruise at the their own pace. 

From that point I was also running all on my own watching the 2 people in front of me get further and further away. I knew the 3rd female (Claire) was likely gaining on me too as my km splits became slower. I knew when I had 1km left I had to pick it up. 2 people were gaining on me (1 male and Claire) and I just barely held off the male and Claire was 12 seconds behind. 

 Coming into the finish. I am apparently still guilty of sitting back. A bit blurry too as Jason used the wrong setting.

I finished in 38:41 which was 21 seconds off my PB, which might I add was from back in April and also a less than stellar feeling race. I had lost 1:17 on Melissa after 4km. lol. Good run Mel! I know it wasn't even near your best time either.

I was incredibly frustrated when I cross the line. Frustrated, disappointed and had simply had enough. I commented that my race was horrid, which was overheard and taken the wrong way by another runner (my bad). The race was horrid though. No way does it match up with my other races or training. I had to let off some steam. Maybe it was the wrong moment, but it was honest. I was speaking my friend Mike who also had a bad race, we both commented that maybe it was time to start drinking full time and quit running. =)

All and all it was a race and a solid effort. I wasn't overly fast for the first 5km and there is also rumors that the course might have been slightly long. No idea if it is true, my Garmin along with my friend Mike's said 10.06km which means 60m long. There were a lot of slower than normal times though. Anyway, I would rather a long course than a short course though. A short course gives a false impression. Also, this was my first race back, a rust buster basically. I am not making excuses, believe me, I just wasn't there on the day. This was not my goal race though, my goal race is on 10-10-10. I will take this crappy run, get over it, move on and hopefully smash my goal! 

I want to thank everyone who gave me supportive comments over the last 24 hours. I admit I was a big grump after my race. I sulked, I vented etc. I hope other athletes can understand though, you work so damn hard and then when a race goes incredibly wrong you take a hit mentally. It doesn't help that I am incredibly hard on myself and always have been! With that.... onto 10-10-10! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sick Kitty

Sick Kitty is breaking my heart. I first mentioned that Steve became sick. He was sneezing a lot, snorting snot everywhere and sleeping much more than normal. I knew it was a matter of time before Socket would get sick because Steve would simply sneeze right in Sockets face. Yummy eh? So then last Wednesday I came home from work and was told that Socket was starting to sneeze all the time.

Bring on sick kitty #2. Socket sneezed snot rockets all weekend, slept a lot, exactly like Steve did. Then when I came home from work on Monday, Socket was now wheezing along with sneezing. As Jay says, Socket sounds like a 100 year old asthmatic smoker. That night he preceded to sleep on my pillow by my head, wheezing all night long in my ear. He generally visits my pillow briefly and then goes to sleep on the floor, not this night. I resorted to ear plugs that night and decided the next morning I would take him to the vet.

I called my normal vet and they were all booked up due to the canine parvovirus going through Nanaimo right now affecting dogs. So people are booking to get immunized. I called up another vet and was originally told 2pm, to which I said wouldn't work as I worked at 3pm. They gave me another option of 10:30am. So off we went.

We had to drive half way across town to this vet, which is Socket's longest drive ever. I take him in the car every so often to get him used to it and he is normally good, wandering from front passenger seat to the back looking out the window. Only incident this time, was he decided to poop right on my jacket in the back seat. Little bugger. I guess it's better than on the actual seat of the car?! Easier to clean anyways.

We see the vet and she honestly does a 3 minute exam and says, he has an upper respiratory infection. Oh surprise surprise. That is what I figured. She gave him a shot of antibiotic that she said would last 2 weeks and that we should see an improvement in 24 hours and sent us home. No incidents on the way home.

Here we are the next day and kitty has been sleeping basically all day, but the wheezing is sounding better slowly. At least I think so. He did snort out a gross snot rocket at one point though and last night I swear he had a sneezing fit of about 20-25 sneezes all in a row. I wasn't sure he was going to stop. The little bugger is breaking my heart.

Wheezing Kitty!

Sneezing Kitty!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Family Reunion 2010

Last weekend my dad and step mom hosted a family reunion up in Qualicum Beach. I have a complicated family that includes 1 real sister, 1 half brother, 1 half sister and a whole whack of step brothers and step sisters. All of which are all older than me so I am not really that close to most of them except my real sister. It has also been a long time since my step mom's kids and all of my dad's kids have been all together. The last time was their wedding in 1995; however, that aspect will have to wait as only 1 of my step mom's 4 kids were able to make it. All 4 of my dad's kids made it though so it was great to see all of those who did make it.

Everyone else arrived in Qualicum on Friday night, but since I worked Friday night, I came on Saturday. I was a bit delayed in my arrival as well considering I had to get in my long run prior to the events. I eventually made it though and it was good to see everyone.

Events included lunch, then some baseball beanbag where the kids whooped the adults butts.

Winning team

After beanbag baseball we headed over to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Such a beautiful day, though slightly windy which made it cold.

Events at the beach included "tickle fights"

This little guy, basically one of my nephews would attack anyone his dad said to. We even thought he was going to attack 2 random people on the beach after he said to. Luckily he stopped before he did though!

Step brother and his nephew kite flying

How cute is this one!

Adults relaxing


He'll kill me if he knows I posted this, but here is me and Jason

Dad and his 4 kids! My half brother still hasn't grown up apparently ;)

Finally a nice shot!

Can't forget my 2 nieces. I wasn't there for art session, so these along with a few other photos posted above were stolen from my sister (thanks sis)!

After the beach we had dinner at a local hotel restaurant and then back to my dad's for dessert. My half sister and brother eventually left with their kids, leaving just the adults who played a game before we all eventually headed off. Everyone else stayed in Qualicum, while Jason and I came home. The next day they all had breakfast at my dad's before heading to their own homes. I unfortunately had to work on the Sunday, which is why we came home Saturday night. Luckily it is only a 45 minute drive or so!

Overall a fun day. I rarely get to see my nieces and nephews, which is unfortunate. I really should go visit them more often, but sometimes it is hard. I get busy on my days off with training and errands and sometimes I just want to relax. I cherish the time I do get to see them though!

PS. 1 sick sneezing kitty has now turned into the other kitty sneezing. But the first one is almost better. I guess it didn't help that sick kitty #1 would sneeze is sick kitty #2's face, so needless to say I was kind of expecting it.