Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two Girls in Sneakers...

I can't believe we are approaching the end of a decade. I can't believe I'm now 29. I can't believe how quickly Christmas and my birthday flew by this year!

What I can believe is that 2010 is going to be a good year. A great year in fact. I think my favourite birthday card this year came from Kirsten. The message inside it read "there's nothing that two girls in sneakers can't do" and you know, I believe that too.

[I also have to give a little shout out to my 2nd favourite birthday card, which came from Shane (pictured below).

The inside of the card reads "No animals were harmed in the making of this birthday card. One dog, however, was made to feel like a complete idiot."]

Looking forward to 2010, I've been thinking a lot about resolutions (both new and old). I don't typically do the whole resolution thing as I tend to set goals (athletically) throughout the year and am otherwise pretty happy with how I live my life and how I deal with my vices (ahem, lattes, ahem). As such, I'm not sure I feel the need to change anything, or make new resolutions, at this time. That said, looking forward to 2010 has also had me reflecting on resolutions past...

A few years ago, I sat down with Shane and our friend Ash on Jan 1st (2007) and we all wrote down a few things we wanted to accomplish that year. Writing them down really does hold you accountable and I was able to stick with most of the resolutions I made for that year (aside from one which was to "paint more." I'm still not painting nearly enough). Anyway, I think the best resolution I made in 2007 was to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. After a busy 2006 that included welcoming Rusty to the family, finishing building our home and moving in, as well as getting married, I had really let myself get out of shape. I was able to stick with my exercise resolution pretty well, mainly by running, and then in March of that year I saw that Juan de Fuca was offering a triathlon clinic. I thought joining the tri clinic was a great idea and would give me a goal to help me keep fit... those who know me well, know that that clinic pretty much changed my life and that triathlon has become a passion (an addiction some might even say). So, I suppose, resolutions really can be a good thing...

As for the here and now, the past week I had planned to put in some heavy training before we go away on vacation. Unfortunately, the cold that I had been fighting (and thought I shook) caught up with me in a bad way on the morning of Christmas Eve. I've definitely had some colourful phlegm, thankfully only green and not both of the holiday colours (green and red that is). I took Christmas Eve and Christmas day off from training and then tried to get back into it, thinking I could exercise the phlegm right out of me... which, unfortunately I could not. I finally conceded defeat and have spent the day doing nothing (aside from visiting the clinic). I also plan to spend the next few days doing nothing before we head to Hawaii as I want to be healthy enough to enjoy my time with Shane... and besides, how am I supposed to get in some good runs along the beach in Hawaii if I'm still a gooey mess!

Well, with this I will sign off and bid 2009 farewell. I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2010.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Motivation, Inspiration, Vacation... Random-nation?

Don't ask me what the title of this post really means, as I'm not totally sure myself. They are just a few words that popped into my head. I haven't posted in a while as I've been having trouble focusing my thoughts to one particular subject. As such, I think the following is just going to be a bit of a mixed bag. Potpourri Round 2 I suppose.

So, let's see, where to begin... how about the run.

I was thinking recently about how last year I did most of my runs first thing in the morning, on the roads around my house in Shawnigan. It's not really the most ideal place to be running, as there is very minimal shoulder and no street lights, but I never really worried about it as I have managed to put together a pretty reflective run kit for those dark mornings. That said, this year something has changed and I just can't seem to get comfortable running in the dark up there alongside traffic. I've had more fear of getting run down, more fear of spraining an ankle on the uneven dirt that is the shoulder, more fear (and albeit irrational, it's still fear) of getting attacked by some strange animal lurking in the dark. As such, I've taken to doing most of my shorter/easy runs on my lunch break at work. It's been nice because it allows me to run some routes I wouldn't usually tackle and also, recently, I've been joined by two of my co-workers. It's great motivation to have some friends alongside you to chat with on a run and also to have a chance to get to know each other better as well. While I enjoy the solitary pursuit of running and will still relish the odd long run on my own, it's pretty amazing how quickly a 30 minute outing can go when you've got someone by your side.... and so the 'POV Run Club' is born. Remember guys... you LOVE running. Other notables about the run is that all the stretching and massage I've been doing/getting lately seems to be helping and my calf is starting to feel a little better on each outing. Fingers crossed the improvement continues.

Other than running, I've had some good spins on the bike recently (mainly trainer rides though - I really need to get out on the road!) and some decent swims. Actually come to think of it, about a week and a half ago I think I experienced the hardest swim workout of my life! It wasn't necessarily hard from a physical standpoint, but it was very technical with a lot of 'no board' kicking to help me work on my body rotation (among other things). I didn't actually make it through the whole thing, partly due to running out of time (I'm a slooow kicker) and partly due to getting a tad flustered, but I will say things are coming together with my stroke and while I'm still not as fast as I would like to be, I'm definitely finding things are starting to click again. And you know, that 'click' feeling is kinda nice.

What else.... ahh yes, the best part! I'm now on vacation from work for the Christmas holidays (as well as for Shane and my trip to Hawaii in January). When all is said and done, I will be away from work for nearly a month... and boy, does it feel good. It's really nice to not have to think about work and only really have training on the schedule. [Random aside: anyone feel like sponsoring a middle of the pack age-grouper who may never win a race but will always enjoy the moment and show great love for a great product... if so, I'm your girl :) haha]. I've been battling a bit of a cold but have still managed to get in some solid training sessions (between wrapping gifts and last minute shopping that is). This next week or so will probably continue to be a bit on the heavier side for training before some downtime and active recovery in Waikiki. I can’t wait!

Well, I thought I had more in my head but I guess not... and it looks like it's time to hit the trainer.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Posterior Compartment Syndrome

Ever heard of it? Yeah, me neither… until this past Monday that is.

I’ve still been struggling with pain in my calf every time I run lately, and so, not wanting to let something minor turn into something major - and on the persistent urging of my Mom [see comments on one of my last posts for example, haha] - I decided it was time to pay a visit to a physio and get things checked out.

So on Monday, I met with JR from Parkway Physiotherapy in Langford. So far, he’s been great (I know it’s only been one session, but still, I feel confident he’s going to help get me sorted out). I think he was a little scared of me at first. I only say this because he said he’s never treated an athlete who is on Warfarin before, but as I’ve learned many times this year, my situation and clotting episode is, well, sort of unexpected and unusual. Anyway, after going over all my history - including every twinge and cramp and ache and pain since my clot - as well as testing my leg strength and looking at my body mechanics, JR set me up on the calf press machine with a crazy amount of weight and had me do calf raises. I’m realizing now he never actually said what we were doing, but I’m pretty sure he was trying to see how long it took to trigger my calf pain… the answer – not long, not long at all! (only about 25 raises to be exact). So, as our hour session was coming to an end he felt pretty confident making the initial diagnosis of “Posterior Compartment Syndrome”. He gave me a strict stretching regime to adhere to, as well as some strengthening exercises for my anterior (calf?) muscles and assured me he was going to do some more research before our next meeting, since continuing with my ‘medical freak’ year, I am only about the 6th or 8th person he has seen in his 15 year career with this issue. We’re going to meet again next Monday so he can have a better look at my stride and my running shoes, etc. and from there treatment will probably move onto massage.

Other than that, the past week of training has been pretty good – some slight struggles on the run due to my calf, but I’ve been feeling better in the pool and am really focusing hard on working a proper stroke. Watch out Michael Phelps ;)

Other than that, I got some very exciting news from Shane last night. I had been planning to surprise him with a trip in January for his 30th birthday, and (great minds think alike) he had also been planning a surprise trip for me. Of course when my parent’s found out about both of these ‘surprise’ trips, they suggested we need to talk to each other, so now we are going to plan the perfect getaway together.... We’ll be heading to Hawaii in early January! I can’t wait!! It will be nice to have some time off together not spent in a hospital and maybe even get some hot weather training in as well (but shhh, don’t tell Shane that my running shoes are going to make the trip as well).

I wonder if they have Pineapple Fanta in Hawaii?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Cause...

... this song always takes me to a happy place.

I could totally go for an ice cold Pineapple Fanta (in a glass bottle of course) while sitting on a dock, in the middle of the Caribbean, in 40 degree heat right now. Mmmmm Pineapple Fanta.