I’ve Joined a Cult and Other Shenanigans

We were in our early 20’s when one of my best friends told me she’d joined a cult. I can’t remember where we were or what we were talking about before she said it but seemingly out of nowhere she said something like “well I did it. I joined a cult.”

As she is not the cult joining type, I was confused. Then she told me that the cult in question was Weight Watchers. I also had some pounds to lose in those days and I ended up buying in to the cult too. I was dedicated and I quickly shed the weight I wanted to with the gift of being young and having a job in a barn where I was constantly physically active. When I got near (but not quite all the way to) my goal I stopped the weight watching and maintained a weight I was pretty happy with until I stopped working in the barn. Obviously it all came back after that plus some… but what I retained was forever thinking of Weight Watchers as a cult.

After months of making many fitness gains but zero weight losses I decided to re-commit to the cult. I joined two weeks ago and at my weigh in today after a looong night shift I am down 3.8lbs since joining! I have logged my points faithfully and while I haven’t been perfect and I had a bit of a rummy pirate weekend last weekend it is working! Thank fucking… cult? Weight Watchers is definitely a corporate machine that makes shit loads of money off repeat customers and desperate people, but if you follow the plan it works. So I’m officially a devout cultist. Deal with it.

I’m so happy to finally write a blog about a good couple of weeks and some real success! I really, really can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support everyone has given me in comments and messages and real hugs and love you’ve all given me as I’ve been struggling along here for the past while. I feel like the past few blogs can be summed up with “hey guys, I super suck but I’m still trying!!”. I’m glad you’ve stuck with me and I’ve had a great February so far, filled with adventures.

Last week my friend Gillian walked 100 miles from Whitehorse to Braeburn as part of the Yukon Arctic Ultra pulling a sled full of supplies and I was so honored to be a small part of her support in doing this amazing thing. She and her friend Jennifer set out on Feb 4th at 1030 and finished on Feb 6 at 0230. I got to bring them some pizza and snacks at the marathon distance at Rivendell Farms and also headed out in the middle of the night to cheer them through the finish at Braeburn. I brought Gillian a delicious brekky bowl (my choice of last meal if I ever have to choose) and a heated truck seat home to Whitehorse after her adventure. It was so cool to cheer then in to the finish and be there to see it. I won’t ever forget it. Gillian is a huge inspiration to me and as I said before, I was so happy to be able to be part of her adventure! Here they are at the marathon distance and then at the 100 mile finish line! I can say for sure this is something I will never do. First because I hate the cold, second because my worst fear is falling through ice and third because Gillian told me after she was finished to never, ever do it! Haha!

GandJMarathon.jpg

GandJ.jpg

James continues to stick with me through success and failure and we had a couple of good workouts to kick off the month. My favourite by far though was when he brought me to the fire hall to workout with the Combat team. Now when I say I worked out with the Combat team, what I really mean is they worked out, and I worked out with James, and we happened to be in the same place at the same time. Of course I can’t even come close to reaching their level of fitness right now, but it was really fun to try some of the stuff they do. First we climbed the tower about a hundred times (ten, ten times) and the view from the top is pretty great. It was a beautiful day.

Firetowerview.jpg

It is so much better than the black street stairs in winter. First, it’s not fucking freezing. Second, it’s not as many stairs. It feels like you’re accomplishing so much more when you reach the top more often and then get to go down. I got a couple of great videos of the guys. Here’s one of Jeremy. My regular readers may recognize Jeremy as the man of many encouragements that are not always helpful, but always well intended. I like this dude a lot. Even though his encouragement is helpful about 30% of the time, it makes me smile 100% of the time.

At the top of the tower I wanted to check out how heavy that hose hoist was. Turns out… it’s really, really fucking heavy. It would take me at least ten minutes to get that thing up if I could even do it at all, which I highly doubt. Here’s my Jedi killing it.

Yeah, I know. Awesome.

So after a bunch of stairs we moved on to hauling a charged hose around while James took some pro photos that he had to fight a bit to get me to let him take. After that I tried to pick up the manikin dude they call Randy – note, also the name of my boss which I find hilarious – and drag him. He was one million pounds (really like 180ish pounds) and after multiple attempts I managed to pick him up and drag him maybe ten feet resulting in many bruises to both forearms and both thighs which I am still sporting a week later. Good times. Really, I loved it. I loved this workout because it was not just running, or just stairs, or just whatever. We did a bunch of stuff, including a good fight and it was varied and intense and overall, fun! 

James.jpg

KirstandtheHose.jpg

The next Monday James and I hit the cross country ski trails for a run that we ended up getting in trouble for. Turns out you can’t run on the ski trails in the winter. Now we know. I was post pirate weekend and it was pretty rough for me which was my own fault. Do not drink rum like Captain Jack Sparrow the night before a run with James. I should have learned this lesson months ago. Apparently I did not. Now I have and really have.

Later that same day after weeks of effort, Alison finally got me to try cross country skiing with her. This was a minor miracle because in the past I had, lets say, a bad experience on the XC skis. Four or five years ago Cameron and I decided at the beginning of the winter that we were gonna get super into cross country skiing. He grew up doing it but I had never tried it. I grew up downhill skiing. I figured “hey, it can’t be that hard, right? I mean, it’s not like you’re flying down the hill like you are on the mountain.” Oh boy I was in for a surprise. At the time we lived on a 40 acre property and we figured we could ski around the perimeter and get a good trail going and get lots of exercise with the dogs. So, with infinite confidence we headed out to Coast Mountain Sports and bought ourselves some nice skis, boots and poles and were excited for a winter of health. Cam talked me through the basics and we headed out around our place with him setting the trail and me following.

It was terrible! The snow was at least a foot and a half deep and there was no gliding at all. It was pretty much walking with big, awkward planks on my feet that my heels didn’t stick to. I hated it. Then we hit a little hill, which looked like a huge hill to me with my plank feet. Really it was a small dip that went down and up for a total elevation change of maybe 4 meters. I was terrified. Cam glided down and up effortlessly. I took a deep breath and went for it. I glided down the hill and once I hit the bottom immediately fell over. I was a tangle of skis and poles and floundering around in the deep snow trying to get up while Cameron laughed his ass off at the top of the hill. I had to take my skis off to get up to the top and tearfully yelled at him that I was “never ever doing this fucking piece of shit sport ever again!” I kept that promise until this week.

After Alison convinced me it was great idea to try it again, Cameron dug my brand new (and yet four year old) skis and boots out of the shed and I headed to Alison’s house where she scraped the ancient wax off of them and got them ready for the temperature that day. She took me to actual ski trails (the same ones I got in trouble for running on earlier that day) with tracks and grooming and shit and gave me a proper lesson. It was night and day to my previous experience. I loved it. It made a huge difference to learn from someone that is not my husband and also to learn on proper ski trails from an experienced skier. I was pretty scared but it turned out to be awesome. I kept looking down at the tips of my skis for some reason. Alison told me at least ten times to look where I was going. I’d say “FUCK!” look back up and not three minutes later I’d look down and get hypnotized  by my ski tips until she told me again to look where I was going. There were a couple of small hills which terrified me due to my bad experience but she talked me through them and laughed at my expression while I struggled and screeched down the hills. She told me she recreated my faces and noises for Quinn later that night, which I’m sure was pretty funny. She took good care of me and I had a great time and am super excited to get out there again. It was a good cardio workout without the pounding that running does to my body and I really had fun. When we finished up I was regretting wasting the last four years not skiing actually, it was that fun.

On Tuesday Jenna came over for a run around my neighbourhood after our day shift. We ran shortly after we both ate dinner and we each regretted that. I was very glad we did the run after it was over but oh gawd it was so cold and my dinner was making itself know as was hers. I had a hot tub before I went to bed and after 30 minutes in there I was still cold when I tucked myself in.

Wednesday I was lucky enough to have a workout in the middle of my day shift. James came by for a fight and some planks that my core is still feeling a little today, many days later. I do not take for granted that fact that I can occasionally get a workout in on the clock… it’s a pretty amazing perk to what is already the best job ever.

Thursday James and I hit the Millenium trail on a sunny 2 degree day and I had the best run I’ve had in weeks. While it wasn’t a PR it still felt great to get around the 5k without walking and we had a good chat and told some funny stories which made running kinda hard at times while laughing and I felt really good to be out in the sun. I was struggling in km 3 pre funny stories and asked him why the fuck anyone runs. I told him it was a stupid thing to do… he agreed that it was pretty stupid but reminded me that I run to stop running, and when I stopped running I remembered why it’s so great. Stopping running is the best. I needed to remember that.

On Friday, disaster! The following is embarrassing… but it’s the truth and it’s also funny, thus I will share it with you. I was between night shifts and I slept until the early afternoon. When I woke up I headed to the hot tub, as usual. All was normal until I got inside after my soak and proceeded to take my bathing suit off. What is a normal everyday occurrence turned into disaster when I bent over quickly to take my bottoms off. I was bent almost 90° and my lower back seized so hard I could. not. move. It was so painful and I was stuck, bent over, in pain, in my bathroom, with no clothes on. It was so bad I actually considered calling an Ambulance to help me for at least four minutes. This may not mean much to my non-emergency services readers. However to my fellow medics and other first responder friends you’ll understand how bad it was. I work in a small service and therefore I know everyone that works for EMS in Whitehorse pretty well. I could only think of about two people that I would be ok with finding me stuck and naked in my bathroom and both of them are on my crew so I knew they were not working at the time. So I ruled out calling for help pretty damn quick. Eventually I straightened up and made it to my bed where I managed to lay down and whimper. Unfortunately I had a workout with James at the fire hall (my new favourite, as you know) scheduled in the next hour and I texted him that I messed up my back…. he didn’t text back. FUCK! I assumed he was busy at work (he was as I found out later) and I refused to just not show up, so I took a bunch of ibuprofen, told myself I was fine and headed out. I was not fine. We walked the stairs maybe four or five times and I was done. I was so angry that I hurt myself TAKING OFF MY FUCKING BATHING SUIT! I literally do that every day. James said to tell people that we were running through the woods and fighting at the same time and we were attacked by wolves and I punched one in the face and got injured fighting them off. I liked that much better. A running wolf fight injury is much more majestic than a stripping injury. Wolf fight it is.

Skiing with Alison this week made me miss snowboarding. I haven’t ridden in years. My excuse before this year has been my severe out-of-shape-ness. My excuse this year has been my no-snow-pants-that-fit-ness. So this week, before the back pain disaster, I took my board in for a wax and sharpen and went and bought some end of season sale Walmart snow pants that fit. I was planning on going to the hill this weekend with Cam but the wolf fight injury has got in the way. I’m still kinda hoping that enough muscle relaxants may let me go ride tomorrow, we’ll see.

All in all, February has been great so far. Once my back is a-ok I’ll be right back at it. Hopefully that is ASAP. The week of Feb 22 James has a big running week planned for us and I plan to rock that shit. I’m at just under a year until the big Princess Half Marathon goal…

My friend Gord put up a photo on Facebook of us riding at Grouse Mountain seven damn years ago this week. It made me nostalgic and happy and sad and missing him and those good times in Paramedic Academy and on ski patrol. I was a lot more fit in those days. Actually that’s not 100% true. I was smaller for sure, but maybe not more fit. Even though I have a long way to go still (a very long way), it’s possible I’m more “fit” now, at least cardiovascularly, than I was then. I doubt I could have run 8k, or 10k without stopping even though I weighed less… and I guess that’s something to be proud of.

grouse.jpg

So cheers to warmer weather, and sun, and skiing, and riding and a good rest of February!

Here’s one of Cameron and me at Mt. Sima in 2009ish.Those damn nice pants don’t fit me anymore… but they will…. soooon. Mwa ha ha!

sima

~P²

The Princess at the Ball

Last weekend Cameron and I went to the Policeman’s Ball in Watson Lake. Our friends and Princess teammates Jon and Jenna invited us to come party and it was fun and really fun! We drove down there on a sunny Saturday and it was a beautiful trip.

I wore a dress! I realize that wearing a dress is a basic princess skill, however this princess doesn’t normally do dresses. I found a great one that was pretty and twirly and fit right so I princessed it up for the night. I saw old friends and met new ones including Miss Town of Faro Karina Watson who is hilarious and fun and awesome and hopefully will join the princess team!

misstownoffaro
Miss Town of Faro

I danced the night away and realized that walking in heels for more than an hour is a life skill that I have lost in the last couple years. I’ll have to work on that one, lol. Here are some photos from the ball.

Processed with MOLDIV
Watson Lake RCMP Members; Me and Cameron; Me and Jenna
Processed with MOLDIV
Dress Twirlin with Jon

 

After a late night, a sleep in and noon time breakfast with friends we headed back up the Alaska Highway towards home. The sky was beautiful and we had another good drive followed by collapsing into bed to recover.

alaksahwy
The Alaska Highway

This weekend we went out for dinner with friends and I got to wear the other dress that I may or may not have also bought for the ball before finding orange twirly awesomeness. I took this – right light, right angle, good filter, actually wearing makeup – shot. 😉

kirsti1

We had a great time with Peter and Steph and marveled at the fact that we went out two weekends in a row. We’re total homebodies so this was a pretty epic two weekends for us. We’re exhausted!


 

So, back to fitness.

January has been a bust for me results wise. It’s been a disappointing month of my own making. No I haven’t quit and I’m still working out but once again nutrition has been my downfall. So instead of dwelling on it I’m trying to chuck it away and move forward into February. I need a new plan and James and I are working on some solutions to my nutrition woes so I can get it right this month. I’ll let you know when we find one. The solution is probably something like – HEY PRINCESS! You’re pretty smart, just eat fewer calories and you’ll start losing some serious weight – well, easier said than done for me. Maybe I just don’t want it bad enough, I don’t know. I want it pretty bad though and I’m super motivated on the fitness side, I just need to get the nutrition to click.

I was back at the stairs this week and I haven’t been there in almost a  month, which was a huge mistake. The weather was cold for a bit and then I got a cold and it just never happened. Two days ago I got back there with James and those damn stairs let me know I’d been away for a while by fusing my calves into rocks. Remember the Zombie walk? Well it has returned at about 75% power. I shuffled across the living room this morning which caused Cameron to cover his head and yell “don’t eat my brains!!!”. At least I am able to step out of the bathroom in under five minutes this time, gotta look on the bright side. I won’t be making that mistake again. Stairs every week or zombie? Believe it or not I’ll take stairs.

This is a short update but really I don’t have much to say about January, I want to forget it and make February my power month. I’m focusing everything I’ve got on getting some big results. I’ve said before that writing this blog is scary because I can’t fail quietly anymore. I’ve already made some commitments and statements here that I’ve failed pretty loud on and that has made me want to stop writing and just disappear. But I won’t do it. I’m going to write more in February, get my nutrition on track, step up my workouts even more and follow through. I’m possibly setting myself up for a hard fall here, but hey… what if I do it? How sweet will that be? I’ve been beating myself up for January and been a little down, but I feel good and optimistic today and ready to say FUCK January… lets move forward on these zombie legs.

I’ll leave you with my favourite photo from the Ball. When I said I wanted a cheek kiss – foot pop photo I did not know that Jon was going to pop a foot as well. Well played Constable, well played.

footpop

~P²

So Many Mistakes

We’re 17 days in to 2016 and my “New Year, With No Mistakes in it” already has so, so many. Why haven’t I written for 17 days you ask? Shame I think. Yeah, pretty much shame. I talk a big game; apparently my follow through still needs some attention.

The work is good. The running is good. Great even. But I haven’t done what I said I was going to do, and that chafes. Tony Horton and I haven’t seen each other in a while. I fully, publicly committed on this blog to 90 days of P90X3. Have I done that? No and very no. I like Tony. I like his philosophy and his workouts, but man are they fucking hard! So, no follow through on that one. I also said in the context of “shit is going to get real” that there would be no booze for a while and no smokes forever. Have I done that? Again, no and very no. FUCK! I suck so badly sometimes and I really didn’t want you all to know. Many people have told me that I am inspiring them, and I find that a heavy responsibility to carry. I fail often, and I feel like an inspiration shouldn’t. But that’s not real, and I started this thing to be real. So the reality is… I fail. I fail a lot. I feel like I shouldn’t be anyone’s inspiration because I still feel like I need so much inspiration. I’m sorry that I’ve let you down, but that’s the truth.

Alright, pity party over… Back to the work. James asked me a couple of weeks ago to commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day without excuse. I’ve done that at least. That I can do. We were chatting the other day and I told him that it’s easy (relatively speaking) to do the things he tells me to do. The hard part is not doing the things I should not do. Why? No fucking clue.

When I stopped hanging with Tony and his P90Xing I felt pretty crap about it. After kicking myself in arse multiple times I thought about what I really liked to do. What I knew I would stick with (other than the running of course, always the running). I came back to combat. It feels like home. I so love punching and kicking, and the combat program is where I really found my first success a few years ago. So I went back to it. I’ve been doing combat workouts almost daily and running a few times a week on top. I’ve also been punching and kicking the pads with James (So. Much. Fun.). So as I said at the beginning, the work is good. Actually I feel great about the work I’m doing… the calories I’m burning… the sweat and soreness and pain… that part is all good. That shit is still real.

But I’m still doing something wrong. The weight isn’t melting off. It’s nutrition. It has to be; because the work is there. I committed at the beginning of the year to tracking everything that goes into my mouth and I’ve done that believe it or not. I know it’s too much and I don’t make enough good choices. I need to change that. I’ve just finished a block at my job which was sometimes great and sometimes shit and the week is new. I’m looking at five days off… five days to get it right. I’m going to take it a day at a time. As my Jedi says, just today. Just do today. I look at today and think I can do it right. But really I need to break it down more than that. I need to do just the next hour, the next ten minutes, the next minute. I can get the next minute right; of course I can. Then I must do the next, and the next, one at a time.

I have so much support. So much love. So much faith from my friends and family. I feel like I’m letting you all down. I’m so sorry. It should be “new year, new you” right? But it feels more like “new year, new watch, new shoes, same old shitty you”.

I need to turn this around. Maybe I’m just tired from night shift and feeling sorry for myself. I don’t know. What I do know is that I have a full week of fitness ahead of me. Workouts with Jenna, with Alison (hopefully) and most definitely with James. I can do the work. I like the work. Maybe that’s just part one. Part one has come together, it’s good. Now I need to focus on part two… nutrition. I can do this. I know I can do this.

So get real princess. Get your shit together and do this. You can. You so can.

Perhaps I lied earlier when I said pity party over. This whole entry was kind of a pity party. But I do want to be real, not for your sympathy but just for the reals. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows here, however there are still things to be thankful for. Cameron’s encouragement and belief in me. My family’s love and support. My friends who stay with me through good times and bad. My Jedi who is a guy that sticks, even when I suck. My readers and followers who deserve the truth, and the truth you will have. I’m in a hard place, but I won’t quit because of all of you. Thank you.

~P²  (Andy assures me that P² is both nerdier and cooler than PP… I tend to agree) 😉

Here’s a shot of the beginning of my night shift the other night. Buffy, salad, coffee and running magazines. It was a day that I got it right. Here’s to more of those. 

  
 

A New Year, With No Mistakes in it Yet

Anne of Green Gables said “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet”. Well, I suppose L.M. Montgomery really said it…  but the point is we have entered a brand new year, with no mistakes in it yet. A new opportunity to get it right, to do life differently than I’ve done it before. I’m taking it.

I’m going to make mistakes, that’s for damn sure. But just for today, I started it off right. I met all my debaucherous goals last night and woke up feeling pretty bad in general, but not quite as bad as I thought I might. I dragged myself out of bed and got ready for the resolution run today. I met James there and while we were waiting to get started I noticed that unlike the Terry Fox run where every type of body you can think of was represented, everybody there looked like a runner. I felt super uncomfortable and out of place and almost walked the fuck out of there. I told James what I was thinking and he talked me off the ledge. While I know that I am a runner, I still don’t look like a runner and today I felt that times one hundred. No one was unwelcoming in any way at all, I just psyched myself out for some reason. Good thing my Jedi was there.

We set out for the run and while I expected a 5k it turned out to be a 7.5k loop. I ran it with James and another Firefighter Combat teammate of his that I met today. I didn’t want to have a run like yesterday’s, which totally sucked for me, so I decided to do it better. This is not always a decision I can make, but today it worked. It probably helped that I had someone I didn’t know running with me. I felt uncomfortable holding him back but figured he could leave us behind if he wanted to pick it up. I had a lot of leg pain yesterday and today James asked me how my legs were about halfway through. I was trying really hard not to think about my legs so I just said “doesn’t matter” trying to keep my brain off the subject. The boys seemed to like that one. I wasn’t even trying to be funny, but I’m glad it gave them a laugh anyway.

When we finished up my family was there waiting for me playing Eye of the Tiger from the truck speakers. They cheered me in to the finish and it was super funny and felt really really good. All in all it was an awesome way to start the year off. Of course I took no pictures with them or James and am now kicking myself for it, as usual.

I do have one picture. James took some action shots while we were running and sent me one. My whole family said it was good; I hate it. HATE it. All I can see is how far I still have to go, and my little piggy nose and my chubby face. I have full withdrawal banshee tears running down my pudgy cheeks right now looking at it. I’m glad I have it though. I’m keeping it for next year. Next year at resolution run I will put that picture beside another one from the 2017 run and feel completely different than I do right now. Instead of letting it get me down too much I will let it rage fuel me into being better. At everything. Just like Khan.

Things went slightly downhill from there for me. It was really warm for Whitehorse today, about zero degrees Celsius so it was a beautiful day for a run. Unfortunately I layered up a bit too much based on how windy and terrible it was yesterday and therefore got super sweaty. My family went out for lunch together right after the run and I didn’t bring a dry change of clothes; didn’t even occur to me that I might want one. It wasn’t super warm in the restaurant either so I was freezing and shivering and starving a little, thus ending my mistake free year on day one. Then I ate a big sandwich because I was so hungry after the run and after I wolfed that thing down the food combined with some lady pains made me have a super bad tummy that was unpleasant. Add to these two problems some nicotine withdrawal and you have a terrible Bermuda triangle of misery and discomfort. Of course this had to happen to me today just as I was spending the last couple of hours with my family before they flew away for home. Sorry if I was a little grumpy guys. I had a great run but I was really feeling pretty crap after. They are landing in Vancouver as I type this and I miss them already. It’s hard to believe the visit flew by so fast… but I know they were really here and it wasn’t a dream because there’s a puzzle that’s ¾ finished on my dining room table and a fridge full of leftovers to prove it.

After dropping Mom and Dad, Grady and Jess off at the airport I rushed home where I took a lot of medicine, crawled into bed and immediately fell asleep for an hour and a half. When I woke up I felt warm again and spent some time with Buffy before heading here for the New Years recap.

Even with the crappy parts, today was a good kickoff to the year. A good run, time with family, and who doesn’t love a nap? I was going to talk about my watch that I got for Christmas and is on it’s way to me but I think I’m out of words today. I’m having the worst cigarette craving right now. A drooling, whimpering, crying because I can’t have one craving. So I’m done for the day.

Cheers to 2016, it will be my best year ever. I will make it so.

~PP

Shit is About to Get Real

The year has grown old, and man has it done that wicked fast. Tomorrow the new year is born and you all know what that means…. Every time you write the date for the next two weeks you’ll write 2015 by accident and you’ll say “I can’t believe it’s 2016 already” thirty times.

It also means resolutions. I’ve been struggling with this. I hate resolutions. This is because I never keep them. Never ever. So what’s the point? I was complaining about this to Mister James the other day and he pointed out to me that I resolved to get fit a few months ago and I’m currently keeping that resolution so it’s not critical that I get my New Years on. My whole life is different this year though, so maybe it’s time to make a real resolution. I still don’t like the “resolution” word though; too easy to break and I have too much history of doing just that. I’m going to call them commitments. That’s a scarier word and I try my best not to break those. My record is not perfect but it’s a lot better than my 0% on resolutions. I’ve dedicated a lot of think time to this over that last week and I’ve got three that I’m going to commit to. They’re not fitness goals but I think they’ll be good for me in other ways. My ninja training is far from complete but I don’t need resolutions to keep that up.

Three commitments to myself this year:

  1. Enroll in some kind of health and fitness or nutrition course online and get started.
  2. Take an online blogging course once per quarter this year.
  3. Track everything that goes in my mouth without fail until I lose 20 more pounds and am on track nutritionally.

I’ve never much cared how much traffic the blog gets. I mean, don’t get me wrong… when I get a lot of views that’s really cool, but it’s not my main goal for this blog. I would like to make the blog more awesome though and I’m sure some blog writing courses will be beneficial. It just so happens that WordPress (my blog platform) has free online blogging courses and I’ve already signed up for two starting in February. Get ready for increased awesomeness!

This week I have had a couple of good workouts. James and I had a great fight earlier in the week. I actually kicked him in the elbow once by accident. I was talking when I threw the kick so he didn’t see it coming. He told me that was because I bite my lip every single time I kick and since I was talking when I kicked I didn’t do it. I didn’t believe him at first. Then I kicked again and realized that he was one hundred percent correct. I automatically bit my lip before I kicked. Then I did it again. And the rest of the fight I tried not to bite my lip every time I kicked. He was right, as usual; I am ridiculous. We finished off the fight with some torture planks and all the squats in the world. My legs are hella sore.

Yesterday I took my mom, my brother and his Jess to the infamous Black Street Stairs. James met us there and we all trekked to the top together. The family walked around the airport fence for a while at the top of the stairs while James and I walked up and down the stairs. It was cool to have my family see the site of my repeated torture and now when I whinge about the stairs they have an idea of what I’m going through.

  
Me, Jess, Grady and Mom

2015 Progress

I had a painful run today, and I didn’t make it as far as I was supposed to. We had planned on 8k and I made it 5k. I didn’t even make it 5k without walks though, there were multiple walks. It made me feel pretty crap to be honest not to be able to do what I’ve done before. But a look back has helped me realize that one crap run does not erase what I’ve accomplished this year. Also I did all the squats in the world two days ago and drank like a monster last night… the drinking part is not normally an acceptable excuse but I’m giving myself a holiday grace period; this ends tomorrow.

Here are a few examples of my progress from my fitbit. Start with my first fitbit run on the top left and work your way to the bottom right. The change in my heart rate and pace are pretty awesome, especially considering I’ve only lost 12 frustrating pounds.

  
Looking at that makes me feel better about today.

  
 The top left photo above was taken on July 31, 2015 the day before this craziness started (Dad is in the background). The rest are in progress photos from the last four months.

Tonight my family is going for a fancy dinner and I’m going to have something delicious and terrible for me. Then we will watch the Whitehorse fireworks at the sensible time of 8pm and after head home where I plan to dive into the rum bottle and smoke my face off until 11:59:59pm. I’m pretty sure this paragraph just gave James a small heart attack… it’s ok buddy, breathe through it; everything is going to be ok.

Tomorrow shit gets real. Really real. It’s not that I haven’t worked hard the last five months, I’ve worked very hard. Tomorrow, though, the real commitment begins. Nutrition will be bang on, rum is out and the nicotine withdrawal rage banshee rides at dawn. I’m meeting James at 11:30 for a resolution run with many other people in Whitehorse. Yes, I’m going to run with other people. That’s real shit for me. James has promised to stay with me no matter how much I suck (my words, not his) and kick the running year off together. That’s pretty damn cool and I’m looking forward to it believe it or not. My family will be at the finish line and I can’t imagine a better way to kick off my best year ever then to be running with James with my family cheering me on.

I’ve had such a great holiday with my family and I’m sad that it’s ending, but I’m also looking forward to the New Year. It’s going to be an epic one for me. I’m going to melt the weight away and reach my running goals. There’s just under 14 months left until the Disney Princess Half Marathon and I’m going to kill that run. I know I will, because I have the support I need to see me through. I know I’ve said it many times already but I am so thankful for the support of my friends and family. I could not and would not be doing this without you.

Here’s a photo my mom took of me earlier this week writing the blog. Apparently I’m very serious at times when I’m thinking about what I’m writing.

  

Happy New Year and I’ll be back tomorrow with a New Years Resolution Run update. Thanks for sticking with me this year… I love you all.

~PP

P.S. This little beauty arrives for me in early January… More on this tomorrow!

  

Kicking Ass and Christmas Cheer

It’s cold and beautiful in Whitehorse at –35C and my family is celebrating Christmas by cooking delicious food and boiling water and throwing it in the air outside. Check this shit out. Also notice the sweet Star Wars snowflakes that I made and that Cameron poured the boiling water on his feet a little bit.

  My parents came up from BC to celebrate the holidays together. We haven’t all been together for Christmas for at least seven or eight years and it’s lovely. My parents are here now and my brother and his Jess arrive in two days for New Years shenanigans.

I haven’t taken any training time off for Christmas. James said our schedule this week looked like this: Monday, we train. Tuesday, we train. Wednesday, we train. Thursday is Christmas Eve so you know what that means… we train. Today I get a rest day but tomorrow, I train!

This week we have been running as usual, but after that we have been fighting to the death! Well… not to the death, just to the pain. Well not so much to the pain either, but definitely to the short of breath. Perhaps a little back story is needed here. Last spring Alison and I took kickboxing for a few weeks and we loved it. Hitting and kicking stuff is very therapeutic. I also do a combat type workout at home which I’ve talked about before but then it’s just the air that’s being punched and kicked and it doesn’t fight back. So James and I were talking about new things we could do and I told him I want to hit stuff. He was into it and so I went and bought some very tough looking MMA gloves (they’re not tough, they’re pink) and some Muay Thai pads and James now lets me hit him after we run. It is SO fun. It’s my favorite workout ever. The first day we did it I must have had a massive grin on my face the whole time because my cheeks hurt a bit after. You know it’s a fun workout when your face cheeks hurt. Pain in your other cheeks does not necessarily indicate the same thing.

  
While I haven’t taken a training break I have definitely been having a foody, boozy, good old holiday time. It’s my last hurrah because come January “shit gets real”. Smoking is out, drinking it out, eating anything delicious is out. Running is in, fighting is in, constant soreness is in. I’m going to do this thing. I’m on the wagon, I might been leaning off a little right now for the holiday but I think in January I will be tied to it until it reaches my goal.

I haven’t been doing much else exciting lately. I’ve been on a 90’s TV show Netflix binge for a bit. Right now I have to nerd admit that I’m really into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is partly nostalgic because I loved that show in high school and partly research in case I find out James really is a vampire. Do you ever see this and feel like Netflix is judging you?

IMG_2642.JPG

YES, I am! Fuck you Netflix. I do other shit too, you don’t know me.


 Last week on the winter solstice I started an entry that I didn’t finish. It went a little bit (or exactly) like this:

Winter Solstice

Sunrise today was at 10:09AM and sunset at 3:48PM. It was a beautiful day and I even had to wear sunglasses for about 10 minutes around noon. It was a happy day because I’m officially on vacation! I’m not going anywhere, but I have two glorious weeks off and my family is coming for Christmas!

We’ve had amazing northern lights this week. I was standing outside last night while I was working night shift and they were mind bottling (see previous blog entries for the definition of mind bottling). Pink and red and purple and green; some of the best northern lights I’ve ever seen. Here’s a great shot from Jonathan Tucker Photography that I saw on instagram.

I haven’t been idle for the last two weeks. I’ve still been running and P90Xing and such, but it’s Christmas and I’ve also been boozing and eating. When I admitted to James that I was a little, let’s say unfocused, he asked me if I fell off the wagon or jumped off. I told him I dove off into a bucket of rum. You pretty much can’t decorate the house for Christmas without rum and eggnog right? James assured me that you can, and that the decorations turn out more straight when you do. Perhaps I’ll test that theory next year. He often tells me that our journey is a marathon and not a sprint and even though I sometimes totally suck, he sticks by me and keeps helping me. That dude really rocks. Everybody should have a Jedi… but you can’t have mine.

That’s it. I really remember writing more than that but It’s possible rum was involved. Oh rum, I’m going to miss you next year.


 I’ve been thinking about resolutions a lot lately. I have a bad attitude towards resolutions, mostly because I make them every year and I have never kept a single one. So for the past few years I’ve said fuck it and refused to… resolute?? Resolve??? Reform??? I’ve refused to make any resolutions. James gave me a hard time about my bad resolution attitude and I’ve been reevaluating. We’ll see what the week brings and I will update with a New Years post about what’s in store for the year and a look back at how far I’ve come.

Whatever and wherever you’re celebrating this year, from my family to yours, have a great one! Please have a laugh with us at our hilarious, Yukoney, very Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

  
 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

~PP

Mojo, my Feather, the Banshee and Love

Well kids, it’s been a while.

I’ve had a few adventures in the last couple weeks, so let’s catch up!

The last time I wrote I had just done my first 10k, which was awesome. The next day I was surprised to feel not broken so I went out for another run with James and Jody. It was a 5k around the Millenium trail and I DIED. That may be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture. After about a kilometer, maybe not even that far I had zero energy. My shin splints were splinty, the rest of my body was ouchy and my brain could not make my legs go. At all. It was super demoralizing and there may have been a tear or two near the end. There’s no way to know.

I’ve run about four times solo since then but every single time has been complete shit. I’ve been slow with lots of walking and “I so suck, I hate running in the cold, I hate running in general” talk in my head. The crap runs were topped by an epically crap run at the wildlife preserve, but I did get some great pictures.

wildlifepreservewinter.jpg

sheep1.jpg

eagle1.jpg

I decided, with running being shit, that I needed to do something else for a while. I had a couple of great spin bike sessions and a couple of good Les Mills Combat workouts too. Combat is my go to workout. It’s a beachbody program. If you haven’t heard of beachbody then perhaps you’ve heard of P90X. It’s a beachbody program which Cam has done a couple of times and had great results from. I haven’t done it, but Combat is amazing. I LOVE kicking and punching, even though it’s only punching the air. It’s so fun, the time goes by fast and it’s a great calorie burner. So after a few good non-running workouts I decided I needed to kick it up a notch.

Tony Horton is the P90X dude and his most recent form of torture for human people is P90X3. It’s a little (lot) crazy but the workouts are all just 30 minutes. P90X and X2 have long workouts – usually 60-90 minutes. So I figured if I was going to do crazy I might as well start with X3 and 30 minutes each, especially since I’m often now doing doubles. I haven’t stopped running and spinning and stairs and Combat…ing? I’ve just added X3. My weight loss has been so sloooowwww and I’m lucky to have a lot of free time, so why not double up? I’ve committed to the craziness that is X3. 90 days of 30 minute workouts Monday-Saturday, Sunday off. Tony and I are going to get to know each other pretty well. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Or in my case negative 87.5 more pounds.

Adventures in Quitting Smoking

Nine days ago I quit smoking. I’ve tried to quit about every second week this year with no success. The longest I ever made it was about lunch time before failing. But I need to quit. So, I stopped. It’s hard, really really hard. The most difficult time for me is at work. I miss it the most there, but I have good support and my friends are going above and beyond to help me. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had a couple blips this week, but I’ve gone from almost a pack a day to zero (most days).

Here’s a neat fact – nicotine withdrawal turns you into a bitch monster rage banshee. I was having a conversation with Cam at one point and he said something (neither of us can remember what it was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t something that would normally bother me) which raised my eyebrows. Thinking that was pretty funny he continued down the path of self destruction which resulted in my saying “go FUCK yourself!!”. I can’t replicate the exact emphasis in print but it was ridiculous. Normally I would never ever say something like that to him. Luckily Cameron possess an excellent sense of humor and instead of instantly leaving me he burst out laughing and walked away. I really love that guy. Now, if my eyebrows go up even a fraction Cam says “go FUCK yourself, got it!” and walks away. He’s the best.

When I’m running I usually reach a point in the last couple of kilometers when I know I’m going to make it. Once I know I can really settle in and sometimes push a little harder until the end. I can’t explain how I know, I just do. I wish that would happen earlier in the run, or even before I start but it doesn’t. With quitting, I’m not there. I don’t know I’m going to make it so I’m not free yet, not even close. I’m in as much danger of falling back into it as ever, but I’m doing well. Finally!

Back to Running

Yesterday I had my first good run in two weeks. James was with me and I hadn’t run with him since the 10k awesomeness and the 5k disaster that followed. When we were running the 10k I was talking about how I can’t push myself when I’m on my own like I can when I run with someone else, and most specifically my Jedi. I run best with him. He said he was only Dumbo’s feather. I laughed pretty hard because I thought that analogy was both extremely clever and very funny. Laughing hard kinda sucks when you’re trying to run but I couldn’t help it, it was great. I wondered if he was secretly telling me I have big ears. Kidding. There was no wondering… he was correct. James is my feather. Yesterday proved it. On my first James powered run since the crap one I got a new PR. I thought I sucked so bad and I wasn’t a runner anymore. I really did. I gave him a comprehensive list of reasons why I didn’t want to run. He didn’t much care about my reasons, I was running.

As usual he was right and I was wrong. We hit the Millenium trail for 5k and I was hella nervous. My running mojo was pretty low. But I had my feather and I spread my ears and tried to fly. The first 2k were alright but I was struggling pretty hard in kilometer 3. That’s fairly normal for me though and I tried not to complain. I think I only said “I can’t breathe” once-ish and I didn’t complain about my legs feeling heavy at all, even though I thought about it a lot. When we finally hit 5k and I got to stop running I told him he was a great feather, and he is. I don’t really need him to fly but he sure helps. When I realized it was definitely a new PR my running mojo returned all at once. It was an amazing feeling. I’ve said before (although not in the blog I don’t believe) that I mostly run to stop running.

Stopping running is the most best thing ever. My friend Jared told me that once about a million years ago and I didn’t understand, not really. I thought it was funny at the time, but I didn’t really get it. I do now. Stopping running after a good run is a great feeling. It’s worth all the pain, and the shortness of breath, and the cold and the everything. Running well and then stopping is better than I could ever have imagined it might be. Do it.

runpr.png

The Little Things

Two little encouraging things happened this week, and when the weight loss is slow you have to appreciate the little things. First, very little but very awesome was that I had to do up my watch a notch tighter. It’s cool to be losing size even on my wrists. Second, I was shopping for a new sports bra yesterday which all women should agree is the most important piece of fitness equipment for us. Even more than shoes. The awesome bra store in Whitehorse has been closed for a few months doing renovations so I haven’t been there in a while. They keep a card with all the stuff you’ve ever bought and your size and such, and when the bra lady went to write down my new info she said “hey! Look at this, you’re a few sizes smaller than the last time you were here. You must be working out!” That felt pretty damn good.

I know the shape of my body is changing like crazy and I’m much more fit and strong than I was four months ago, but come on pounds, fuck off.

A Little Love

I’m feeling extra thankful today for all my people and so I have some love to give at the end of this little catch up session.

First to Cameron for thinking the nicotine withdrawal rage banshee is hilarious and not just a huge douchebag. You have put up with a lot and laughed about it. I sure love you.

Next to Alison for the gift of some amazing fleece lined leggings that I wore yesterday under my running tights and which kept my legs nice and toasty for the first time since there was no snow on the ground. Amazing. And also for climbing stairs with me and making your legs into non moving wooden pegs alongside me.

To Jenna for the constant encouragement, for always laughing at my jokes and for getting me a flipbelt so I can carry my own shit on runs. You’re awesome.

Guillaume, thank you for reading and for all your awesome comments on the blog. I hope you and your family join the PPR team and meet us at Disney. Your encouragement means a lot to me and I appreciate it more than I can say!

James, my magic feather. You make me stronger and faster and better and help me to fly.

To Andy and Heather for cheering me from afar and for all your love.

My family, for your encouragement and support, and for always letting me know how long it’s been since I’ve written when it’s been a while.

To all of everybody who has commented on here, or facebook, or to my real face… THANK YOU! Each one of you helps me with every encouraging word.

So cheers to all of you. You keep me going. For reals. Thank you times one million.

One billion.

Infinity.

~PP

cinderella

Blah, Blah, Blah, Running

I was reminded by Andy yesterday morning that I had not written in nine days. That’s a lot more days than I normally let go by between posts. Lately though I’ve been thinking that all I had to talk about was blah, blah, blah, running… stairs… sore. There’s only so much you can write about running. Really though, that’s why I started this thing. So here we go with some blah blah running.

facebook

 
This week was hella cold, so James and I hit the indoor track at the Canada Games Centre on Monday for some non frigid running. It was nice to wear shorts I have to admit. I pretty much live in shorts once the temperature hits at least eight degrees in the spring until the cold temperatures thwart me in the Fall (Fall being early September here) and I’ve missed them. We did devil sprints for about 45 minutes and it was fun to run around the track fast(ish). One lap of walking between sprints was not enough to get my breathing back to normal, but even so every second lap was a hard run… except that one time I may have used the “distraction talk” technique to my advantage and talked about video games for a lap and a half until James said “wait, is this our second walking lap?” I put on my best innocent face and told him there was no way to know. I knew.

 
The next day we did a 5k at the track and it was my fastest run yet. I ran 5k in 37:26 which is an average pace of 7’28” per km. My fastest pace before this was 8’25” per km. Keep in mind that the track is flat and the air is warm and who knows exactly how accurate my fitbit is based on steps instead of GPS, but still that’s a lot damn faster! Almost a full minute per kilometer! After that run James condemned me to a 10k next week as I still had some life in me after that run. I should have looked more tired.

 
Wednesday the world was still frozen so I hunkered down at home for some strength training in my gym. I lifted my little heart out and then had trouble doing anything else with my arms for the next few hours.

 
Yesterday was the most frigid day of the week at –25C and I was back at the Games Centre to run with a new friend. I met Jody through the blog and I was stoked to meet her in person. We’ve been trying to hook up for a run for a couple of weeks and today it finally worked out. Turns out we’re great running buddies with a similar pace. I am definitely looking forward to running with her lots in the future!

 
So what else have I done this week? Well, I sat down to a Netflix 90’s show nerd marathon and gathered all the running magazines that I’ve collected for the last three months. I cut out my favorite photos and quotes and then rearranged and cleaned up my little gym downstairs and put all the photos up on the walls. It looks pretty awesome I must say. I plan to spend a lot of time in there this winter so I’m glad I’ve made it feel a little more like my place.

 
I ordered some winter running stuff from Sugoi and MEC last week and this week it came, which is pretty fast for mail in the Yukon. The Salomon tights I ordered from MEC came first and I was pretty excited about them… but they didn’t fit! Based on the measurements online I was sure they would fit so it was pretty disappointing. They also weren’t as insulated as I hoped they’d be, so they will be going back. This got me a little down to be honest. I’d been so excited to get some winter running stuff and I really need it too.

 
Then my Sugoi stuff came. I love Sugoi and I was really excited about it. I ordered the Subzero Zap tights for winter running and based on the measurements online I thought they’d be a little small. I ordered them to save them for the middle of the winter, but these ones FIT! Very exciting. I also got a nice running jacket. It’s a beautiful Ignite Shelter jacket and I love it, but need to shrink into a little. This time instead of getting me down, the jacket being a little small made me want to work on operation shrink into jacket ASAP. It was motivating instead of disappointing. I’m not sure why it was so different than the tights earlier the same day but it was. It was a rollercoaster of emotions… I don’t like emotions much, but I’m starting to get used to them.

ignite jacket

 
Now I’m back at work for a couple of rest days. It’s funny to look forward to work because you get to rest your aching body a little bit. I pretty much live in soreness now. I can’t remember a day in the past month that some part of my body or another wasn’t sore. Blah, blah, blah, ouch.

 
Next week I’m on to 10k at some point which I have been informed is 40 laps around the track. That’s a lot of laps with the same view. Hopefully my sparkling personality and cunning wit will get me through the monotony without going insane. I’ll let you know how it goes and try to remember to get a couple of pictures of the track.

 
Here’s to a warm, dry, flat 40 laps!

 
~PP