I Fly Like Paper, Get High Like Planes…

I’m not sure why I feel compelled to start writing here again.
Well, I know where the “impulse” came from…
M.I.A’s Paper Planes. On my run today, it came on- blasting through my headphones. Yes, headphones. I used to be a purist and NEVER run with music, but now I need all the help I can get.
But when the first chords of the song pumped through my earbuds today I was instantly transported to the side of some weird back road out on the UBC Endowment Lands behind St. Georges- on one of my long (18 miles maybe?) runs… training for “the” marathon… how many years ago? 5? 6?
I wasn’t listening to any music at the time, but rather I repeated it out loud, as to distract myself from my almost overwhelming desire to stop running.

The song plods along;

I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make ’em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait…

Like how I “run” although I think plod is a better name for what I do.

I am “plodding” again.
I have, over the last few years tried to get back in a plodding groove.
It is hard here- the winter is reeeeeeeeeally long. And I tried, I can’t run in -20. I do a bit of treadmill. I have IT Band issues that won’t seem to go away. I have six children, a husband, a job and PhD in progress… all things that I constantly use as excuses as why I am not out there
But I think about running, er, plodding all the time.
I obsess over stories like this one; about old ladies running Boston.
So I am back at it. And M.I.A made it a little easier today.

Sometimes I think sitting on trains
Every stop I get to I’m clocking that game
Everyone’s a winner, we’re making our fame
Bona fide hustler making my name

They tried to make me go to Rehab…

I’m not running.
It just would be silly- I want to be running when I’m 80- so I have to get a handle on this injury now.
So no marathon, no 1/2 not even an 8K- I am lying low.
I tried Moksha yoga this week and loved it. I would say it was my most positive yoga experience so far. My plan is to go 2 times a week- I am trying to be realistic- making it to classes with everything I have on my plate is a challenge- 2 times a week- now that I’m not working and can go when 5 are at school and 1 is at daycare seems do-able. I will continue to “try out” my IT band going for very short (5K’s) runs if there is no pain. I will use my foam roller and I will do my physio prescribed exercises.
I will not get jealous when I see a woman walking down Cambie Street with her 2010 Vancouver Marathon blue race package bag… I have decided not to pick up my package. I don’t want to see my number and it just means trying to fit in a trip downtown to get it.
Rehab- it’ s all about the Rehab baby…
And as my good friend njb said, it’s supposed to rain Sunday.
Jealous? Who me?!

A very big decision

I just made a very BIG very IMPORTANT decision.

Ever since the 1/2 I ran a week and a half ago I have really not been able to run. I gave myself a few days off after the race, then came down with a cold and generally felt very low energy. I got out for a easy 5 K and it was slow and creaky but fine. The next day however knee pain was back in my everyday life- not just when running. I had hoped to do 11k yesterday and get back on schedule but could only manage 3.5k- and some of it I had to walk.

I have started yoga (VERY hard but I liked it) and I go to see my accupuncturist today but I have been nervously eyeing the calendar since last week and the marathon is 7 weeks away… my long run is supposed to be 24K this week and 28 the next. It’s not going to happen- as determined and optimistic as I can be my body will not cooperate. Couple that with the fact that the next 6 weeks will be my very busiest at work…

So I changed my entry in the BMO Vancouver Marathon to the Half category. Still a good goal- but one that I feel more confident I can achieve.

I thought long and hard about it and I want to be in this for the long term. I had made a goal to run 1 marathon a year- and that is still very attainable- it is only March. If I push it now I might do some real damage. And this should be a wake up call to myself that I MUST do the stretches and the strength training to be able to endure the long distances.

A bit of weight had been taken off my shoulders but there’s a still enough pressure to make myself crazy.

I’m all about the crazy.


I guess you can say I crashed… I was fighting a cold the day before and the day of the race and then it pretty much hit Monday and has hung on in a very annoying way- that kind of sick that makes it completely possible to carry on with your normal activities but you still feel like crap. I have not run at all mostly because I wanted to get better first and I was pretty post -race -sore until Wednesday, and partly because the kids are all around since we are on Olympic break (is it over yet?!) and partly because I had this exam hanging over my head that I finally got done today.

This exam was for a University Art History class- and it was hard. Not hard in and “I can’t understand this” sort of way but hard to motivate myself to study for and hard to know what to study when 500+ pages of the textbook were covered. But it’s over- I got through it- I don’t think we’re talking A+ here… The papers were far more “enjoyable” to do. It was a good experiment. It’s all in my plan to figure out a way to go to Grad school, while keeping my 20 hours a week of work that I love and being an available Mum to the kids of course. The best possible plan would be a programme that would allow me to work rather independently, this course was a correspondence course- and that’s sort of the idea I’m looking for… the best and most interesting programme I have come across is Goddard College’s MFA in interdisciplinary studies. So that is my new focus, trying to figure out how to get in, how I would manage it etc.

Oh, and let’s not forget I need to make sure there is still time to run… Did I mention I’m already registered for the Vancouver BMO Marathon?

8 weeks?!

I like surprises!

Yay! for positive thinking! Yay! for gorgeous “winter” days, Yay! for friends who pick you up to accompany you and cheer you on at your race, Yay! for acupuncture, Yay! for beating your best time by 10 minutes! Yay! for me!!!

The race went well. It was very hard, more hilly than I was prepared for but somehow I did it and had a very good race.

It was a gorgeous day and good friends A and N picked me up for the hour long drive. I wasn’t really nervous but was perhaps a bit anxious. I was worried that my knee would not hold out and the trip out there would be for nothing.

I had to focus REALLY hard at the start to hang back and not go too fast. I really felt like I was at the very back of the pack. Everyone seemed to be going out really fast but I just kept checking my pace on my Garmin to make sure I was hanging around the 6:30k mark.

There was a 2:30 pace bunny who started near me and I was keeping my eye on her. My goal was to finish in 2:20 so I felt like I should ultimately be in front of her- but dag-nam -it if she didn’t keep passing me. She was doing 10’s and 1’s and I was not. So I would pass her when she walked and then she would wizz by me when she started to run. She was TICKING me off- but I restrained myself- and tried my best to ignore her.

I felt great after the first hill into the animal sanctuary (I saw zebras, giraffes, emu’s and wildebeest’s!) and was ticking along until I got to 10 k and my knee started to hurt- I kept running but was worried. For the next 3 k I was doing my best to focus on ridding myself of the pain and ever so gradually and miraculously it went away but then at about 16 k I hit a bit of a wall. The longest training run I had done for this race was 15.55 k –  again I started to worry if I had it in me. Couple that with the fact that there is a HUGE hill at this point and I really started doubting myself. I motored up the first part of the hill- and my head began to feel like it would explode (this happens from time to time) I was hot, I was dying, so I stopped to walk and popped the 2 Advil I had with me- I turned the corner and began to run- and now it was all downhill- it was hard not to go “fast” so I went with it- and enjoyed passing a few people on the way. At the bottom for the hill and turning the next corner as the course became flat again my legs felt like lead- I was at 20k… so close… but I wanted to stop, I wanted to walk but I could not let myself do that- There were people walking around me and I shuffled by them. By the time I saw the finish line I was just trying to keep my legs moving- mentally I wanted to do the “sprint” to the finish line but my legs would not go any faster. I checked my watch and realised I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal and previous 1/2 marathon time. I don’t know what happened to that pace bunny- I don’t remember passing her- but I’m so glad  I didn’t let her pace throw me off.

I gotta say even though there were a few “why am I doing this?!” moments I’m pretty darn happy with my results 2:12:54 And of course, I’m already plotting on how to train and better my marathon time- 9 weeks to go!

Race Day

It’s race day and I’m feeling pretty positive. And even though started all this training maybe wanting to get a PB- now all I really want to do is finish- finishing strong would be nice but just let my knee hold out to get me over the finish line.
And then tomorrow, I start training for the marathon. I WILL do strength training and I AM signed up for yoga… but let me just get through today’s race. Slow and steady suits me just fine.

Everything’s comng up roses…

…and daffodils and cherry blossoms and crocuses and tulips… gotta love the winter Olympics in Vancouver!

Anyhoo- On running… I’ve ran. 3 times this week to be exact. 3K on Monday, 5K on Tuesday and 8K today. And me knee has held out. There were twinges on Monday- but today I felt strong. I am stretching and icing and putting on the heat… ad on a complete whim I got acupuncture on Monday. I actually called Balance to see if I could get in for a massage as it is literally 2 blocks away and since all the kids are off for Olympic break I has an older one to watch the wee ones- the fellow on the phone talked me into accupunture and actually did a combo of the two, and I am really feeling much better. Interesting.

I picked up my race package today- after wandering around with the kids checking out Olympic festivities. So not my thing. I really get no enjoyment from wandering the streets with thousands of people and I refuse to stand in any line for more than 5 minutes which means I’m not getting in to any pavilions… But the girls got to se the mascots skate and shake hands and even hug Crotchy… or whatever his name is, so they were very pleased.

A couple of quiet days before race day perhaps?

Que Sera Sera…

I’m trying not to get too excited BUT no knee pain this morning… It is only 6:30 am- but Hey! I’ll take whatever I can get. I will not run today making it 5 days off- but I will try for a a short one (8K) tomorrow. It looks like I won’t get my last long run (17K) in but I am still feeling very positive that I will run the damn race.
A friend stopped by a couple of days ago to find my lying on the floor, stretching, and when I whined to her about my knee and not being able to run and the race coming up blah, blah, blah… she looked at me like I was crazy and said ” So don’t run! Why put yourself through that!” Ah, good point… It’s all about perspective non? I’m a middle aged working Mother of 6 who just lived through yet another major house renovation and I’m freaking out because my knee hurts? Get over it.

I’m just trying to be chill about the whole thing- I will go to the race, and just see what happens, Que Sera Sera…

Not panicking…yet!

My knee is bothering me. I ran 15.5 k on the weekend successfully- and for the most part felt strong- except for the last 10 minutes or so when my knee felt “twingy” Today on my 8K just past 1/2 way it was pain I felt so I stopped to walk a 2 minutes not wanting to push it. I’m stretching but could be doing more. I’m icing it after runs and putting heat on it at night. I’m rolling on my Relaxus foam body roller.
But the question as always is to run or not to run…

Sneakin’ one in…

A very brief update…

Had a couple of great weeks… feeling strong and goin’ long… but in the last week life’s been CR-azy and I am really just trying hard to maintain- Getting out for a few 5ks and a 8 if I’m lucky.

I even “snuck”  in a run today… literally… so much to do and on top of it, the ol’ man gives me much grief about being so selfish as to run when there are things to be done- he really doesn’t get the “I function so much better when I exercise” thing- so I just got back from a run that he doesn’t have to know about ’cause he’s not here!!!

I just gotta get through the next couple of weeks- fight to maintain and then worry about the rest later.