02 April 2017

What a month!

Where to begin...

One month ago, I went on strike. Some of those days, I was out on the picket line - basically 4 hours of walking at a slow pace. Which was fine, except for the weather, and the ensuing bronchitis.

Most of the time though, I was in an office, on the communications committee, trying to manage social media without any wifi. Not easy! In fact not doable, so I was also working on it at home, from 6:30 in the morning before I went to the office, and as late as 11 at night.

Recipe for burnout! Actually, I bet that contributed more to the bronchitis than the picket line. Anyway, I will be back on the picket line starting this week, and could not be happier!

Anyway, I have not been doing a lot of running. And then last week, I remembered that I had a 5k coming up (here's the link, should anyone care to sponsor me - it's for a good cause!), so I needed to get moving. I still have a bad cough, but my lungs don't have that rattle-and-wheeze they did when the bronchitis was raging.

On Tuesday, I ran 1.5 miles to the picket line, then walked for 4 hours, then walked 1.5 miles home. On Wednesday, I walked 2 miles to strike HQ, and 2 miles home. In boots with 3" heels. Not sure what I was thinking, but my calves were absolutely killing me for days.

I took a couple of days off after that, but this morning I went for a run and I feel great! When I was getting back to the beginning of my circuit, I wanted to keep going, so I threw in an extra leg with a steep climb to wear myself out. 2.5 miles, or 4km.

Can't wait for Sunday!

03 March 2017

I'm Back! Again!

Well, another break from blogging, but I thought I'd check in!

I have only gone for two runs in 2017, due to the perils of the Canadian winter. Even though this winter has been relatively mild, it's still been difficult due to ice. Snow melts during the day, sidewalks are wet, temperatures drop below freezing overnight, and in the morning it is treacherous to walk, let alone run. I was pleased though that the last time I made it out, about a week ago, I ran a solid 2.5 km without thinking about stopping, and could have run longer if I had more time. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but considering how much effort the C25K took last summer, I feel pretty good about it!

I have made up for it a bit by swimming! I am a pretty terrible swimmer - can't put my face underwater without holding my nose - but I like it anyway, and it is a real workout as it uses muscles I never use otherwise. Farthest I've managed is 12 lengths (300 m), but again, considering how out of shape I am, I consider that pretty good, too!

Right now I am recovering from a bout of Norovirus I picked up on the weekend at a big community event. Ugh. Taking baby steps with eating - most of the week, it's been ginger ale, apple juice, graham crackers, chicken noodle soup, and saltines. Not what you would call a balanced diet. Hoping to be back to normal very soon though.

12 November 2016


What a chilly run yesterday! I wore fingerless mitts, which helped some (although I think I need full mitts), and last night finished knitting this:

It's a headband to keep my ears warm, with a hole for my ponytail. Will try it out tomorrow!

Despite the cold, the run felt great, and I could have gone farther/longer. I think the glutes exercises I've been doing are helping with my running, by making me stronger. Did 15 reps each side this morning (goal is to increase by 5 every 6 days, and get to 30 by the end of the month or so).

05 November 2016

A bit woogy today

Started off yesterday morning with a 20 minute run. My phone was refusing to acknowledge the headset (aftermath of the bath I guess?) so I ran without music, but it was fine. I had been grumbling to myself about needing to invest in cold-weather gear (it was about 5 C yesterday morning), but got over it and just wore regular tights under my shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt over my top, and it was fine. No excuses!

Then I went to see my physiotherapist, who was happy to report that my back is a lot better, but did some IMS on my pecs which hurt like crazy! I don't even know if "hurt" is the right word, it's just this intense spasm reaction that isn't really "pain" per se, but boy did it make me yell.

This morning, I woke up to a bit of vertigo, which I do not like. My shoulders are even though (in August when I had vertigo, my left shoulder was up 2" higher than my right). So I don't know what's going on. I even got a good night's sleep last night, even if I was out late!

Still managed to get some exercise in this morning: 30 sit-ups, plus this routine for glutes, which I am doing for the month of November. And then a giant breakfast.

Look at all the B12! I am guessing that's from the kippers.

The other thing I'm trying out is Intermittent Energy Restriction. I was going to try this before, thinking it would be easiest to fast on the days when my kid is at his dad's house, but as it turns out those were the days I enjoyed eating the most, because I could eat out, or eat things the kid doesn't like, like eggplant with lots of garlic! So this time, I've worked out that Monday and Thursday are good days for me to fast (not really fast, but keep calories under 600), and then I can enjoy grownup meals when my kid is away. IER has been correlated with better heart health and blood sugar levels, but most interesting to me is the research showing cognitive benefits.

Not fasting and running on the same days though! That would be nuts.

So for now, my schedule looks like this:

TuesdayRun + Glutes
SundayRun + Glutes

02 November 2016


Whoops, I thought I had posted after my 5k but I guess not!

For some reason the weather decided to be unseasonably warm and sunny on race day - and because we were running in the city down a major thoroughfare, we had sun directly in our faces, and also beating down on our backs as it reflected off glass towers. Ugh. The race was extremely crowded (a popular fundraiser, lots of people were there for the cause and just walked the whole way), so I ended up walking for the first bit simply because there was no room to move. Eventually the crowd thinned out and I was actually able to run, although it felt like an obstacle course due to the number of people. Between the crowds and the heat, I did not make good time at all (a friend of mine warned me that would happen), but the run up to the finish line still felt pretty great.

I have been seeing my physiotherapist every week or two as well, and am doing better though not perfect by any means. Part of this is due to the moving of boxes and furniture (my husband and I separated a year ago, and there were many things left behind that I finally got moved out), which my back does not like. I still have a cabinet downstairs that needs to go upstairs, but I will need a couple of people to help with that. Seeing my physio on Friday, we'll see what he thinks.

Between the back pain and the onset of fall and the passing of race day, I have gotten very lazy. I find it hard to get up in the morning when the skies are dark. And without the impetus of race day and the regular schedule of the C25K program, it was easy to do nothing. I have made a resolution for November though to get back at it, and yesterday morning I got up before 6 o'clock and went for a run. It was cool and crisp - about 8 degrees I think? - perfect weather for running for me! I was chilly to start, but fine once I got going.

It's interesting how a body that has had at least a bit of training will remember what it needs to do. Even though it is a solid month since race day and I have done nothing in that time other than the usual walk to work and furniture moving, I had no trouble running for 20 minutes straight, and no trouble doing 30 situps this morning. I remember years ago when I decided to make morning situps part of my routine, it was near impossible! But now I guess the muscles are still there and even if I go a month (or more!) without doing them, it is not hard to get back into the routine.

My current plan is to run three mornings a week: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. I hope the weather holds for a while.

12 September 2016

Oh, my neck.

I went for a run this morning and felt pretty great! Re-did C25K Week 6 Day 1, ran all I was meant to run, went farther (4.5 km) and felt faster!

I did have a bit of a twinge in my shoulder/neck near the end, but thought, I can do this!

Now my neck hurts, and all I want is to go lie down.

Cannot wait for my next physio appointment - a week tomorrow!

29 August 2016

Back to the ol' drawing board

Got back from my trip on Friday. 13 days/12 nights on the road, and I didn't miss a run! I kept up with the C25K every second morning, and Thursday ran week 6 day 1.

But then.

It started about halfway through the trip actually, with vertigo at night in my sleeping bag. But it went away.

And then it came back.

On Friday morning - in a wilderness park about 4 hours' drive from home - I was dizzy and nauseated and running a low fever (exacerbated by trying to pack up sleeping bags in a tent that was equivalent to a sauna). I spent a fair amount of time lying around thinking, how will we get home? Who could I call who would be able and willing to come all the way out here and drive us back? I'm not sure how one would even get near where we were without a car.

Eventually I felt stable enough to try driving (driving is great! You are basically sitting motionless!) and after building up my confidence on the backroads I headed to the highway and got us home. And lay down.

On Saturday after dropping the kid off at his dad's house, I saw the doctor. First I saw a resident who seemed to be ruling out a stroke based on the various test she did ("Tell me what side I'm touching" "Frown" "Raise your eyebrows") and then my regular doc came in and said, "Boy, when you get sick, you really get sick." Yep.

And then, "It's probably a virus," which is right up there with "It's probably stress," in the doctor's thesaurus of synonyms for "I don't know."

I went home and lay down some more.

In the morning I thought, I wonder where my shoulders are at?

Sure enough, my left shoulder is 2" higher than the right. So I googled "Thoracic Outlet System + Vertigo" and yes, they can be connected. Then I looked up my saviour, Angus the physiotherapist, to see how early I could call Monday morning for an appointment.

Earliest I can get to see him is Thursday morning at 8:30 (he was booked till mid-September, but they had a cancellation), but I will bet a million dollars that he fixes me up perfectly, and this "virus" theory was utter bunk!