Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some positive news is that my knee is feeling better today. Not 100% but over the last 24 hours certain movements have provided some slight "adjusting" of my knee which appears to be helping. Woo hoo. I am not out of the clear yet, but at least it is better than yesterday thus far (knocking on wood). I still am confused as to what happened, but provided I get better, I don't really care anymore.

I wish I had brought my camera along today. The high school track season has started again, so today (being my day off of work) gave me the opportunity to attend practice. I swear it started to pour just before I got to the track and the entire time during their practice. We only had 4 distance guys out today (maybe the rest were scared off by the freezing rain) and I am proud of them for sticking it out.

Quinlyn states that he won the wet t-shirt contest as he had white on. Rebecca, Miryam and Hannah (all sisters) worked their butts off even with numb legs from the cold rain. I wish I had my camera to capture it all. Funny thing is, as I drove home I drove through pouring rain near the track and then 10 min down the road towards my house, I met fluffy white clouds and dry roads. I guess the downpour missed Cedar!

During the Olympics, I received an e-mail from the Canuck Fan Club (yes I am totally a member) stating that I had won a prize. Every so often they send e-mails around advising members of contests taking place. I generally always enter, never really expecting to win, but secretly hoping to. I filled out the forms, scanned them and sent them back. A couple of weeks ago I received my prize, which was shoved into my tiny little mail box and I actually had trouble getting it out, not to mention the envelope wasn't even fully closed anymore. Hopefully no one took my actual prize and swapped it. If they did, I will never know!



So if you are wondering, that is Henrik Sedin's autograph. Or is supposed to be from what I was told. The contest was an Olympic Prize Pack, which meant there were various autographed prizes (mostly photos, with 1 hat I think) from Henrik, Daniel, Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo, Pavel Demitra and Roberto Luongo. I think there was 1 prize per player. Anyways, I was surprised I won and will add this to my auto collection, considering I have yet to get Henrik's autograph in person!

Before I go, I figured it's been awhile since I have posted some updated photos of my kitties. If you don't like cats, too bad :P

Socket mid yawn



Socket being lazy on the table (He thinks he owns the house)



Steve and Socket playing games with one another



Socket posing for a photo



Steve lounging in the sun



Socket napping



Steve relieving an itch (this one makes me laugh)



The way Socket likes to share drinks

video

Great way to keep the kitties amused (ice in a bowl)

video

Steve likes to talk and does this often

video

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mysterious Injury

I am confused. Let's just say, I went to bed on Monday night pain free. No issues no nothing. Well other than the abdominal issues which have been more minor lately. Tuesday morning I woke up and my left knee was stiff and it hurt to walk, especially bending to go down stairs. I figured I slept funny and hoped that walking around would loosen it up so I could complete my workout.

It never loosened up, but I headed off attempting to do my workout anyways. The warm up felt okay, minor pain but nothing serious. Alright, I thought, onto the workout. The first rep of my workout was brutal. Needless to say it hurt. At that point, I decided to give it until rep #3 before I called it quits; however, rep #2 went much better so I ended up finishing the workout. A bit stiff on the cool down, but not major.

I iced it when I got home and even took my ice pack to work and stuck it in the freezer at work to use it throughout the evening. Pain was there and it hurt to even walk. It felt the best to keep my leg straight. I took Advil.... but it didn't help. At the end of the day, I went to bed hoping that it would magically feel better by morning just the way it magically began to hurt overnight.

No such luck though, it still hurt this morning which resulted in an unscheduled day off from running. I can deal with scheduled days off, but when an unscheduled one comes up, I hate it. I feel like I am missing out as I am supposed to be out there running. In the end though, I have to do what is best for my health and if that requires a day or two (hopefully not more) off, then that is what I have to do. Even if I go stir crazy.

So this pain you ask, what is it about the knee. First off, I am horrid at explaining injuries and how the pain feels like. Honestly, I think it feels as though the knee is off or something. It feels like it has to pop but won't. It hurts the most when bending it and I feel it the most on the outside. Is it a major injury? Hard to say. The one thing that has me confused is I felt nothing prior to waking up yesterday morning with this pain. What the heck? Mysterious injuries are what bothers me the most! I haven' t done anything to aggravate it, though it is time to switch to new running shoes again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Still alive

Has it really been 5 days since I last posted. A lot of blogs I follow are updated either daily or at least every 2nd day. I don't know how these bloggers do it. My life hasn't been all that exciting lately so I haven't really thought of much I could write about. And when that happens, it turns into a really lame blog post so there is no point. It could be due to me working an extra shift, making it 6 out of 7 days or it could be that I just haven't had the motivation to write!

So here I sit, thinking about what I could possibly write about. I spent the last few hours watching the Blind Side. Has anyone seen it? I thought it was pretty good. I am also back to assisting coach the NDSS high school track team, so there is something else that is taking up some of my free time lately. So far it looks like a small team; however, I hope it will grow. If it doesn't, that is okay too as the ones we do have are a good group of kids.

Speaking of coaching, I was also asked to take part in another coaching opportunity, which at this time, I have turned down. Due to my work schedule (3-11:15 on a 2 week rotation), it makes it hard enough to even make 2 out of the 3 NDSS practices each week, let alone trying to fit in another group. I would love the opportunity to coach the kids; however, I need to first do some education on coaching youngsters and also find more time (if that is possible). We have about a month until the first track meet, so we'll see how it goes.

With regards to my own training, it has been going well. This week I ran some decent times in my workout, which indicate some positive results. My iron is improving (I think), though its hard to tell without an official blood test. I do feel better in my workouts though, so I take that as a positive sign. I know to fully recover from low iron it does take a few months at least; however, some benefits should be reflected soon after starting supplements. I look forward to the day when I have my full health back!

Race plans in the mean time have been discussed with the coach and will be revealed when the timing is right ;)

On a side note, my friend Lila started getting into photography last April and asked me if I was interested in taking some Olympic photos with my torch bearer uniform and torch. I said sure why not, but first warning her that I am in NO WAY a model. I met up with her yesterday afternoon down at the water front and we took a few shots. I haven't seen them all yet; however, these were the one's she posted online.



My eyes are nearly closed in this one and it made me realize my horrid posture!





Then one of me being a dork



Lila has some amazing talent, especially with the voice work. And of course she takes great photos too. You can see her site here. Thanks for the photos Lila!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interesting Facts



After all the Olympic mayhem, has anyone been watching the paralympics? I saw a portion of the Paralympic Torch Run and man it had a different feel to it. Very laid back compared to the regular Torch Run. I will admit I haven't been able to watch it as much as I was watching the Olympics; however, I do check out the action online and am proud that on Day 4 Canada has 6 medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze). Oh and I did see part of the opening ceremonies and am very proud that VANOC did a pretty good job at the event. The only downside was the ever so obvious horrid singer and lipsyncer FiFi Dobson or whatever she is called. That was painful to watch!

Another week of training has come and while I still don't feel 100% back to myself (iron wise), I do feel slightly better. Still have the lower abdominal aches, but I am getting used to that one. I have no choice as it has been since December and I am not ready to take a break yet. Not to mention, it isn't bad enough to take a break. At least not in my opinion. (knock on wood).

I have also recently discovered a new sense of joy and motivation with my training. I have new goals and a new attitude and together along with hard work, I will attain my goals and see great success. I am looking forward to it! No details on these goals though.... for now they are staying within me and for those who need to know ;)

I hope everyone is having a great week! Happy Training!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tribute

For those who have followed and read what I have previously mentioned about the runner who passed away a week ago in Sidney, I suggest to take the time to read the following Tribute to the man that was written in a Victoria paper recently. You can find that article Here. I would like to quickly point out that back on January 10th, 2010 he ran a 37:11 8km, which is 4:39km/7:29 mile pace at age 67. RIP Karl Klein! I didn't know you but you sound like an amazing and inspiring man.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Winter Reminder

Here on the West Coast of BC, we have had a pretty mild winter. Last winter we were hit with a decent amount of snowing and freezing temperatures which made the snow last for over a month. This is unusual for BC, as normally we get snow which is followed by rain shortly after.

This winter was different, a very brief snowfall once, which stuck but then turned to rain over night and was gone by morning. I posted the other day that it was attempting to snow, which it was, but by no means did it ever stick to the ground. This morning I woke up at 8:15am to this:





Socket trying to get to the snow



Of course it was the one morning I had to go out and be somewhere by 9:30am. Thankfully the roads weren't that bad, just a bit slushy on the side roads. By the time I got home just after 11am, it had stopped and was now raining. By the time I went for my run, it was sunny. The following photos were taken at about 12:45pm.





Basically, I think winter just wanted to give us a heads up that while we have had mild temperatures (10 degrees yesterday afternoon and 10 degrees now), winter is not officially over yet so don't get too excited!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nutritional Uh Oh

Last Thursday before I raced on Sunday, I went and had my blood tested to find out my iron levels. I ran a decent race, but still felt as though there was a lack of oxygen in my legs. On Monday I received a call from the Doctors office; however, due to being at work when they called, I didn't get their message to return their call until after the office had closed.

I called them back on Tuesday morning and received word that my serum ferritin levels were extremely low. I didn't inquire as to how low as I knew my results would arrive in my mail box shortly, which they did on Thursday. According to the results, my ferritin was < 5 and was supposed to be 15-180 ug/L. Hmm, so you mean if its under 5 they don't give you a number? Weird. I was also told that chances are my ferritin was stealing from my hemoglobin as that was 124 and was supposed to be 120-150 g/L. While it was in the acceptable zone, it was on the lower side of the acceptable zone.

So there we have it, on Sunday I felt off and as though my legs wouldn't go due to lack of oxygen and now I have an official reason as to why. I will admit I am not a big red meat eater and yes I know there are many other ways to get iron. I will have to work on it. Until then, I will also take supplements. Anyone have any experiences with low iron? What foods taste good and are full of iron? Should I worry about taking too much iron? I'd love to hear experiences.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The power of Google

Wow, I have gained a lot of hits through google, which include "Bazan Bay 5km" or "Runner dies Bazan Bay." Crazy insane about of people googling this, whether they just heard about it or whether they were there. Unfortunately, its not the ideal way I would like to gain attention to this blog as it was such a horrible situation for family and friends of this runner. If family runs across this, please know I send condolences your way.

On a side note, you wouldn't know I raced a 5km yesterday with the way I feel today. Whether I will get hit with delayed onset of muscle soreness, I guess I will find out tomorrow; however, so far I feel great, no soreness no tiredness. That means I didn't run hard enough or fast enough. Darn. I will get my revenge at some point though, don't you worry! And I will be sore next time (well maybe).

Oh and guess what I woke up to this morning? Take a look for yourself.


video

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bazan Bay 5km Race Report

Well after months and months of training and no races since October, my coach thought that the best way to jump back into racing was to do a 5km (thanks coach!). =) No all is okay, I am not mad at my coach as I agreed to it. In saying that, with little to no interval/speed training leading up to this race (my real race goals are in early May), there I found myself standing on the line for something I knew was going to hurt.

First off I must add that the race was at 9am in Victoria, which resulted in me leaving my house at 6:15am to drive down south. I "may" have been driving over the speed limit as I found myself down there by 7:45. It was a very enjoyable drive though, with little traffic and a beautiful sunrise in which made me realize I forgot my camera at home. Darn.

I did my warm up and things felt okay. Not great, but not bad at the same time. I felt some tightness in my lower legs and hoped that it would loosen up during the race, but it did not. The first km of the race went out fast, though I did hold myself back and ran more conservatively than last year. It was a bit faster than I should have still, but compared to my training I thought I had a chance to hang on. The 2nd km slowed down a lot, though it didn't feel like it, and then the 3rd one slowed down even more, with the 4th the slowest of them all (man and I thought I was picking it up). I was able to pick it up in the final km, but timed my take down of the girl in front of me wrong and she barely held me off (turns out she was in my age group 25-29).

In the end, I finished in 18:30 (by my watch) and the official results say 18:33 but they are in the process of being reviewed as a lot of people have results off by 3-4 seconds if not more. It ended up being a personal best over last years time of 18:46. It felt horrid as it was one of those races where my lungs felt fine, but my legs just would not go. As much as I was telling them to pick it up pick it up pick it up, they automatically decided "no," stupid legs.

At first I was disappointed in the race. My coach said to go in with no expectations due to the fact this was my first race back and that I have not done any speed/VO2 stuff since December. As he stated, if you PB great, but you'll smash that PB in 4-6 more weeks (or something along those lines). I tried to go in with no expectations and I really had no idea how it was going to go. I ultimately wanted to at least beat my PB (which I did), but I did have a few other thoughts in my head which I did not meet. I know I am capable of a way faster time if the race were in say 4-6 more weeks. BUT at the same time, my goal race is in just under 2 months, so that is perfect timing.

I have had some wonderful support and very intelligent comments from Marilyn, who made me feel much better about the run and also made me realize that I was disappointed for no reason at all. I can always count on both Marilyn and my coach Matt to put things into perspective for me. Thanks guys. Results are found here. Basically Simon Whitfield took the win in 14:36 and Magali Tisseyre won in 17:03. It was certainly the day of triathletes!

**In other sad news, I have to say that no matter how disappointed I initially was in the race and more so my legs, nothing compares to the unfortunate incident that occurred at 1km into the race. A 67 man from Courtenay (about an hour and a half north of Nanaimo) reportedly suffered from a heart attack and did not survive. He had medical aide immediately and they worked on him for ages until finally transporting him to the hospital, but unfortunately it sounds like he died immediately. RIP to this man and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Things I learned

Its only 11:20am and already I have learned a few things today.

My first lesson of the day came bright and early. My phone rang at 6:06am. Work calling, hit ignore, listen to the voicemail while still half asleep, they want me to work 7am-7pm. Uhh yeah I am sleeping, I think not! As nice as the extra money would be, that is a long day and I had only been in bed since 12:30 with a crappy nights sleep as I worked until 11:15pm last night. Getting me out of bed in the morning to work is near impossible, plus its my rest day, but I'll get into that later. The point of this story is that the lesson was to remember to set my phone on silent so I don't get woken up!


The second lesson came later in the morning, once again my phone woke me up at 8:22, this time it was vibrating letting me know someone had sent me a facebook message. Damn facebook alerts, I should change the time slots in which they are allowed to send them! Quite often they wake me up. So not only is there a lesson to change the time slots, but I also received a double lesson. I saw who the message was from and went back to sleep (yes it was nearly 8:30 and I was not ready to get up yet). Going back to sleep led this person to taking ahold of and creeping into my dreams. So the next lesson was of how easily the mind can take a simple thought and transfer it into a dream.


So what are we on now, lesson four? Ok, lesson 4 came from reading Charisa's blog. It is her birthday today, so Happy Birthday Charisa! She advised her readers that since it was her birthday, she invited everyone to have a Charisa Holiday. From this, I learned that my coach was every so nice in providing me with a rest day in honor of Charisa's special day. Oh wait, well maybe technically it was due to me tapering for a race on Sunday (yep you heard me right, I have a race coming up); however, I am going to call it a Charisa Holiday Rest Day for the rest of the day and do a lot of what these cats are doing below!





Lesson number 5 came from reading Elizabeth's blog. She talked about how both she and her husband have "Track Hands" and how she figures her new little baby (whenever he/she arrives in a few more months) will likely have track hands as well. Track hands basically means no hand/eye coordination when it comes to sports with balls. It took her blog to make me learn that I have track hands as well. For years, ever since I was a kid, I lacked the ability to play racket sports, such as badminton, tennis or even baseball and golf (yes I know the last 2 don't use rackets) and now I know why. Track hands! I started track at ages 8 and competed until 18, then moving to road racing. Once a runner, always a runner= no hand/eye coordination. It all makes sense now, it could be why I strike out whenever trying to play ball!


So here we are, already 5 lessons in the day! Where will this day take me now?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Withdrawal



For 2 weeks I was literally glued to my tv, on channel 210 which was CTV in HD. I was at work on Sunday when the Closing Ceremonies were on at which point I thought to myself "it's over, now what?" Honestly I have never really watched the Winter Olympics in the past, mostly just the hockey, occasionally the figure skating and maybe some other sports depending on who was in it, but with the Vancouver Olympics, I was totally 100% addicted. It might have to do with the fact the games were so close to home (an hour 35 ferry ride away).

I have never been so proud to be Canadian and it wasn't just due to the fact that we won 14 gold medals setting a record, which was totally awesome by the way, but I love the fact that Canadians came out and showed their support. Some countries call us arrogant and some actually praised the fact that there was so much Canadian support.

We may not have owned the podium with the highest total of medals (congrats USA), but I think we did quite well, beating our previous best of 24 medals with 26. Some Canadian athletes didn't perform up to their expectations (Jeremy Wotherspoon) and some exceeded their expectations (Joannie Rochette), but I am still proud of every athlete that competed. Now we just wait for the final bill.... if we ever find out that is.

And who could forget Sunday's hockey show down between Canada and the USA. Before Canada was ever in the finals, but after the loss to the USA, I stated that if the two teams met again, the outcome would be different. There was no way Canada was going to lose to the USA twice (though they nearly did).

I mean all these comments in a friendly way btw, so please don't take them personally.

For hockey there is a huge rivalry between Canada and the USA and of course people are loyal to their team. It was a good game and team USA did give us a scare. I was a dork and even put on my HR monitor during the game. At one point it hit 100, which is pretty high for sitting on the couch (normally about 50).

The game was intense and although Canada was up 2-0 for most of the game, I never once felt safe. They tend to play like the Canucks and fall apart at one point. Within the last minute of the 3rd is when my HR hit 100 and when the USA scored with a few seconds left, I will admit a few choice words may have come out of my mouth. To OT we went, with me looking at the clock. I was supposed to work at 3pm and generally need to leave by 2:50 latest; however, at 2:50 I was still watching the game. I was debating what to do, as I knew I couldn't watch a full 20 minutes or I'd be really late; however, I didn't want to leave the TV and miss the goal.

I was screaming at the TV whenever Canada got near the goal and was even screaming at Crosby "DO SOMETHING" and next thing I knew, Crosby scored! Some cheering went on at the house (this is the only time Jay and I cheer for the same team as he states the Canucks suck). I took the time to update my facebook and then booked it off to work. The roads were dead on the way there, only a few cars with one honking in celebrating (I honked back of course). I think I got to work in about 6 minutes and it normally takes at least 10 minutes.


You see, I wanted to be there to see the medal presentation. I got there JUST in time to see the final USA silver get handed out before moving onto Canadian Gold. What a day! I found some of my residents and the AM Care Aide around the tv and all together we joined in and sung the National Anthem with one of my residents taking photos of the tv with her ancient film camera (so cute).




Anyways, I think you get the point, I am a proud Canadian and was saved from crying if the USA won, though I did feel bad for the USA team as they came oh so close and I know how bad they wanted revenge and to get that gold (especially for being undefeated in the games). Enough about the Olympics, they are over anyways ;)

On a side note, training is going alright. This week is a rough week though, hopefully just the typical down week sydrome. My body just feels as though it hates me right now and I can't wait to get my legs back and to get rid of all the little niggles I am feeling right now. My lower abs are STILL an issue, then again, I haven't really taken any time off to try and heal them. They have their good days and their bad days (any faster workouts). It's probably been at least 3 months now, so I am started to get frustrated. I hope everyone else's injuries from Injury January have healed!