Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears... Oh My!

Okay, maybe minus the Lions and Tigers, but I had a Bear scare yesterday morning. Well to be honest, I never actually saw a Bear but it may have been in the same park I was running in.

Here is the story, I was doing my easy run in the mid morning and entered a local park a few blocks from my house. I took an extended trail in rather than the regular entrance to the park. As the trail met the main trails in the park, I came upon an older man walking his dog. He tells me to be careful and that he is sure he heard a bear in the bushes while he was fishing. He goes on to tell me that he believes it attacked a dog on the upper trail as he heard a commotion and that this is why he had a pocket knife in his hand. I confirmed the area where he thinks he heard the bear and then thanked him for the info and went on my way. As I was running, I heard him say that there was bear droppings on the trail where he was.

At that point I was debating with myself what I should do. Do I continue in the park or do I do a 180 and head out of it to finish the rest of my run on the roads. I opted to keep going but to be aware. Of course going through my head are the recent bear attacks on the island where some guy had part of his scalp ripped off. I think my heart rate might have been a tad higher than normal. I continued on, debating whether I would continue my usual loop (generally I do 1.5 loops) or if I should just head to the other side of the park and head out of the park.

I met up with another lady who was also walking her dog. I stopped briefly and asked her if she had seen/heard the bear. She had no idea what I was talking about, but stated she wouldn't be surprised because she occasionally thought she saw something black move in the bushes before. I know bears are around as there are wooded areas backing onto the park, but it is whether they show themselves or not. I start to head on my way and she asks "Are you a marathoner" to which I stop and respond no only half's. She goes on to say that she needed to get into running because all the runner's she sees have lean legs. I tell her that it is addicting and that it's best to start slow. The conversation lasts a little longer and then once again I am off again.

I decide to head on my usual loop and a half and then a few minutes later all of a sudden I think I hear rustling in the bushes. Or was it some grunting? OR.... was I freaking imagining it? It was in the area where the guy said the bear was. I have no idea if it was anything or if it was me imagining it, but I opted to skip the half loop which trail cuts through the park right where I "think" I heard this. Instead I did an out and back on the lower trail before heading out of the park.

So was there actually a bear? I have no idea. Did I actually hear rustling/grunting? I can't even confirm that. I thought I did, so I kinda just booked it out of the area. On my way home the man who I saw in the park drove by me and waved. I think I will wait a few days until I run through there again. Good thing I never run with music eh?

In other news, my luggage arrived yesterday. In fact, stupid Purolator tried to deliver it when I was out on my run. Go figure, that is the time they always try and deliver. No matter what time I go for my run, that is when they come by. In the end, I went and picked it up while I was out running errands in town.

Watch out for the killer kitty guarding the box

Not the prettiest, but hey... free is free

Close up

Last night I also attended the First (annual?) Westwood Running Club BBQ at Westwood Lake. It had a decent turn out of 25 or so people I think (I am horrible at estimating people). Just fun to get together with a bunch of runners of all abilities. Thanks to the WRC boys for putting it together!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Contest Fever

Over the last while I have caught the contest bug from a co-worker. I began entering contests here and there and have a few wins. Wins for myself and also wins under some family member's names (shh).

The first win included Free Nestea for a year. Unfortunately I do not drink Iced Tea; however, Jason inhales it as though it was air. They send out the prize as 52 coupons for 12 packs of Nestea. Here is just a sample of the coupons.

Next up I won some Hey's Luggage, but I have yet to receive it. I won these under my own name (x1), my mom's name (x2) and my dad's name (x1). We should be receiving these at any point. They state they are worth $100 but people receiving them say they have price tags of $79.99. I guess they have to justify for HST or something.

I also took in an 8GB Ipod Touch. This one was from Nestle (Nestea and Luggage was from Coke). I have received the Ipod and have been having fun playing with the features and free apps. Oh and I do find it funny that they sent my IPod with a letter addressed to Darren. And here I am posting Darren's address on the internet. I wonder if Darren received my letter?

Up next was a win from Huggies. A HUGE $10 gift card for Home Depot. Woo Hoo. That one is exciting eh? Hey a win is a win!

I have a few other wins too, consisting of multiple tote bags worth $1, or a few 24 can cooler bags. I won a set of chairs for my dad, which I am secretly hoping he will donate back to me. I first have to tell him I won both luggage and chairs. I guess I better get on that before they just randomly show up at his house! I have yet to receive anything from this contest (Maple Leaf) though.

In other news, when I am not working, running, entering contests, or eating, I tend to be doing a lot of this

Yep a big week of training with some good quality workouts added to late nights and early mornings equals daily naps to catch up on missed sleep. What better way to recover than to sleep right? Well added to eating and drinking fluids.

I hooked up with my buddy Mark who also went to Eugene and ran a solid 1:23 half marathon for a workout recently. I was feeling tired leading up to the workout, including the warm up, but we worked together and pulled each other through with good efforts. We were both pleased with it and he has advised me that he will likely join me for a few more workouts in the future too. That suites me just fine because I do pretty much 100% of my training alone so it is definitely nice to have company once in awhile. I hope that I can pull Mark through to a faster time so that I can chase him and use him to help me get faster! We'll see how that goes!

In the meantime, I should get to bed earlier tonight considering I am not working. Speaking of work, we had a shock last week when one of our Assisted Living Residents passed away expectantly on Tuesday night. Our Assisted Living unit has been open since October 2008 and this was our first death in the facility. We have had residents go to the hospital and pass away or pass away before they moved in or after they have moved out, but never in the facility until last week. Definite shock to all of us. RIP RC.

Okay off to bed, see you on the trails!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Misbehaving Kitties!

Last week we woke up to find my earphones like this.

They were wrapped around my ipod in the center console on our coffee table along with other objects. I have yet to figure out which is the guilty kitty!

Socket has also recently taking to peeing in places other than the litter box, the little bugger. At one point he was banned from the bedroom. He stopped doing it for a few days and then all of a sudden today, pee was found on a pillow on the floor (little sh!t). The litter box we have is self cleaning, so it isn't dirty. I think the problem lies that he waits until the litter box is cleaning to decide to go, so when he finds that the litter box is occupied, he finds somewhere else to pee which is usually on some object that has fabric. I am frustrated and unsure what to do at this point. Only thing I can think of is going back to a regular little box. He has had the self cleaning one for more than 6 months and has been using it up to this point. What the heck?

But then these kitties do things like this and I quickly forgive them for misbehaving.

The stand-off with their new toy

In other non cat related news, I had another awesome workout today. Another early morning to beat the heat, plus I had to be at the track for coaching at 9am so it was either run before that or run later in the heat. I stayed up too late last night and paid for it not wanting to get out of bed today, but once I was up and on the road things went well. My training is picking up in intensity after a slow build after my break and I love it. I am ready for it, I am motivated for it and am looking forward to future races! Plenty of time to prepare for the fall, though I know it will be here fore I know it, so I am definitely just getting started. Better make tonight an earlier night than last night, see you on the trails!

PS. I have been hearing people in the states talk about Scape Sunscreen. I want to try it, but of course cannot buy it in Canada. So instead, I will try to win a sample of it. By doing so I entered a contest, for more info on this contest please visit Shut Up and Run.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Driving > Rock > Crack > Unhappy Driver

I was heading out to my physio appointment this afternoon. I was entering the local Parkway that bypasses town. I swear I wasn't driving that close to the guy in front. He was at least 25-30m in front of me and all of a sudden I see a decent sized rock fly up through the air and I hear "Crack" followed by me cursing.

You see, I have had my current car, a lovely 91 Ford Tempo for almost 5 years. I
acquired the car when I first got my license (yep I was 24 when I got my license) from my step brother for a steal at like $700. While it isn't my dream car, it has done me pretty well. In fact, the odometer just rolled over 300,000km around a week or so ago.

When I bought the car, there were a few small rock chips in the windshield. Two winters ago (3 years after buying the car) when we had brutally cold temperatures hitting well below freezing (well below for Vancouver Island that is) I had the heat cranked on the way to work. I went out on a break to move my car to find the chip had spread into a nice long crack. That crack spread about 80% of the way across the windshield, right in the middle where the main line vision is.

You can kind of see the main crack

I put up with the crack, even though I know it is illegal as they could say it obstructs my view, because I didn't want to pay the deductible for the insurance. The plan was to move to a new truck (blazer) sooner than later. Here we are a year and a half after that crack occurred and I am still in the Tempo. My Blazer sits in the yard waiting for an engine swap (long story). Actually you can see the red in the back ground in the photo above which is my Blazer. No idea when Jason will get to doing that as he has been busy on home repairs and redoing our fence.

So today, I now have a brand new crack in the windshield and this crack is now on its way to intersect the other one. It already spread a decent amount today, so I imagine with a few more hot days over summer, it will join the other crack. At least I hope it does and doesn't decide to go off in a weird design to obstruct my view even further!

Beginning of the chip, where the rock hit today

Now I have to decide whether or not I replace the windshield as it will cost me a $200 deductible through my insurance. Grr.

In other news, in my last post I think I mentioned something about doing a workout the following day. Let's just say "BOMBED." Yep complete disaster. I was nowhere near the paces I was supposed to run and I couldn't even finish the workout properly. In fact, I couldn't even finish my cool down on the way home without having to stop a few times. I went out at about 10:15am and it was the hottest day of the year. I think we set a record high temperature for that day. I was dehydrated and had no water with me.

As I was running I first debated stopping at a local gas station and begging for water. Then my thoughts went to stopping at a local house and asking for water. My last thought was "maybe I should hitchhike home." Unfortunately I was too far from home and in my opinion no matter how much I was dying, I didn't want to walk. I wanted to get home as fast as possible, which meant running. I gulped down a ton of water and took a cold shower as I was overheating. I headed to work with a headache and I didn't visit the washroom until at least 10:30pm even though I had been taking in water regularly for the last 10 or so hours. Since then I have tried my best to work on my water intake. I was doing well, but today I think I fell off that routine! Oops. Back to it tomorrow.

I got my redemption on that workout yesterday. I was up early and running before 7:30 to beat the heat. The workout went well considering where I am in my training, which basically means it is still early in my training plan for my fall plans. I felt good and ran the paces I was supposed to.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a present in the mail! New shoes from Molly. Okay well not really from Molly as I bought them but she was nice enough to ship them to me! Thanks Molly! Aren't they beautiful? I love them, the Saucony Kinvara's. Plus they match my sunglasses!

I also did some light gardening last week. That means I pulled out some weeds (at least I think they were weeds) and then put in 4 plants. I am not a green thumb so hopefully I don't kill these! I just wanted to add some color to the front of the house.

More posts to come, sooner than you think. I have more to say, but will split it up into multiple posts rather than one very long post! Until then see you on the trails!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This post was a bit delayed, I became busy watching Funny People. I've won a few free months of membership, so I have been renting movies. It's so easy, select online, they mail to the house, watch them, put them in the return paid envelope and then the next movie comes! No I am not trying to sell; however, it's free so I am taking advantage of it!

Anyway, after nearly 7 months of nagging aches and pains from my lower abdominal and hip flexors, I tried a new form of treatment today. I have tried ART through Abe, which has keep things at bay and always received temporary relief. So today I saw a local physio named Mike, who did his assessment. He stated that I didn't have any deficiencies in strength, such as a weak side or muscle that was causing the issues. He figures it is related to tight/shortened muscles on my right side. All the tightness has likely resulted in pulling at my abdominal causing the pain.

In saying that, we opted to do some IMS treatment. If you haven't heard of IMS, it is Intramuscular Stimulation. According to this website:

The treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again. The needle used in IMS, by stimulating muscle spindles, essentially becomes a specific and unique tool for the diagnosis of Neuropathic Muscle Pain.

The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull. IMS, in effect, treats the underlying neuropathic condition that causes the pain. When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the amelioration of symptoms and signs, even for chronic back pain with root signs.

It was an interesting process. I had been warned that it hurts, so I went in there a tad nervous about it; however, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Mike inserted a needle into healthy muscle at first to show what it should feel like, which barely hurt. Then he went to town on my lower to mid back. I have no idea how many times I got poked, but I'll tell you that some hurt and some didn't hurt too bad. Nothing was unbearable though. After my back he went onto my right side, then one in the piriformis before doing the last one in the abductor of the inner thigh. I think the one that hurt the most was the ones in my side. One in my mid back was pretty bad too.

After that he stated we were done for the day and that we would do another session next week. He only wanted to do so much so that I wouldn't take too long to recover. On the drive home I definitely felt my back and side, but after a few hours the aching went away. So far it feels good, we'll see how it is in the morning.

Have any of you had IMS? I have a workout tomorrow so I hope I feel okay for that. I think I should be, if anything my lower back might bug me but he really didn't pick on my legs.

I really have more to say, but seen as how it is 12:37am and Funny People is almost over (I'm multitasking), I should sign off for now!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy July!

I really need to update my blog as I have been neglecting it lately. Last week I was busy with work and tonight I was to lazy, instead opting to watch the Harry Jerome meet live on the internet via Flotrack. I wanted to be there in person, but working out travel arrangements proved to be too much work. I promise I will work on posting a blog tomorrow.

I have a physio appointment at 11am, which I might add I showed up for that appointment today only to find out it was tomorrow. I checked where I had written it down, yep I said Tuesday July 6th. Should have really checked that before leaving for the appointment, but whatever. After that though, I should have a quiet night where I can post something.

In the meantime, shout out to Natasha Wodak on her 4:27 1500m race tonight. She ran strong considering she is really a 5-10km runner these days! Until tomorrow.....