Carolina in My Mind, and Under My Feet

   

I’m sitting on our balcony at Myrtle Beach listening to the waves and looking at the stars and thinking I could probably stay here forever. There may be some James Taylor playing too. Our place is amazing, right on the beach with a killer view. This is how things look from where I’m sitting, although it’s a little darker now. 

  

Shortly after arriving the clouds started to roll out and it’s now a clear beautiful night which is a good sign for a sunny day tomorrow. We headed down to the beach to dip our toes in the ocean and then out for dinner. 

  

How is the running you ask? Well I’ve stuck to the plan and run every day so far. I’ve had two great days and two ok days. My body is really taking a beating and I’m sore. More whining, more whining, etc… I have two blessed days off running tomorrow and the next and I’m going to use them for lots of beach walking and swimming. I’ve never felt ocean water this warm and I’m looking forward to getting in there tomorrow! 

Not much more info for you tonight other than we’re having a great time with great friends and I can’t wait for some sun!

  
Whitehorse snow vs. South Carolina sand. Sand for the win!

~PP

The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

  
Luckily I remembered this flood safety strategy from my childhood and my rescue umbrella is ready!

It is literally a state of emergency in South Carolina declared by the President. The state is at OPCON 1, which sounds scary. Dams have burst, bridges and roads are washed out and the rain keeps coming. We got these alerts all night.  

  
This is the back yard, which does not normally have a lake view.   

That cement thing you can see in the back had about 15 feet showing last night and Andy says it’s 20 feet tall. SC Emergency Management tweeted this:

 

The extra periods let you know they’re not screwing around. I’ve used the same technique myself. So it’s not a shopping day. Also Myrtle Beach is under water… so we’ll see what happens to our beach plans in a couple of days. Worst case scenairo: we stay here and still have a great time. 

We are safe and dry on the high ground where we are and they say the Lake Murray dam near us is not in danger. I’ve been restricted to the four streets around the house for my run if I go. I don’t want to be like the guy that stood in front of the aligator warning sign, yelled “fuck that alligator!”, jumped in and was immediately killed by the alligator. So do I say fuck that rain? Probably not. A federal state of emergency might give me a pass. Probably a good day for a workout video. 

I’ll keep Instagram updated with the situation for my friends and family back home, and I’ll leave you with this sweet slow-mo video of the rain.

  
 
And finally – seen in Myrtle Beach today by a friend of Andy… sharkpockalypse. This is a road, not the ocean. Hopefully this is real. Wait, I changed my mind. Hopefully this is not real!

   

~PP

Official Crazy Person

Let me set the scene for you:

It is 6:30 am and I have just finished night shift. 

It’s the day before our vacation and I am so tired.  

I am not going home, but instead standing outside with James ready for a run.  

It is dark, it is cold, it is snowing.  

James is lit up like a proper runner with lights and reflectors. I am a ghost wolf ninja assassin because I’ve never run in the dark before and I am still a total noob.  

I told James that crazy people do this and asked if I was now a crazy person. I really can’t remember whether he said I was or I wasn’t, I was too cold to listen properly. So I decided that I was. Officially.   

We started our 6k loop and as we ran I warmed up. No. That’s not quite right. 

We started our 6k loop and as we ran I got less cold. My upper legs never really got warm the entire run. I have no running pants longer than capri length, so I put on some bright pink tall socks and swallowed my pride. I’ve had to do that a lot lately so I’m getting better at it.  

I forgot my watch when I went to work the night before so I was running data-less. It was surprisingly nice actually. I didn’t worry about pace or time or anything, I just ran. The whole thing is a bit of a frozen blur but I do have a few clear memories.  

James was a sneaky sneakerson and got me talking about things that distracted me from my icy misery like what running stuff I’m going to buy on vacation and maybe video games? I can’t really remember what I babbled about but it was definitely distracting. I realized what he was doing at about km 4, and at the same time I realized it was working.  

I slipped in the snow when I stepped onto the bridge and almost had a fall which could have been unpleasant.

My number one all time favourite thing he said to me on the run came when we were about 500m (maybe less) from the finish. I was dragging, exhausted and cold and heaving oxygen in massive gulps. I also felt like vomit was going to happen in the near future. I stopped to walk and doubled over basically dragging my feet. He turned around and said “don’t look so tired!!”

What?

He said he knew I was tired but to stand up and put my shoulders back and don’t look it. So I did. As soon as I stood up I instantly felt better, and then felt surprised that I felt better. I walked a bit and then picked it up to a painful jog until the end.

I thought about that moment a lot last night and today. I’m going to be tired and sore and in pain a lot over the next year and a half… and then for forever because my goals won’t stop with the Princess Half; but I don’t have to look it. In everything – eating, moving, quitting smoking – I need to stand up and put my shoulders back and not let myself be so defeated all the time when something doesn’t go exactly as I expect it to. When you get a flat tire you don’t get out, slash the other three and then smash all the windows. You change that one ass hole tire and get back on the road. I’ve been a four tire slasher in the past. Not anymore.  

We’re sitting in Sea-Tac airport waiting for our next flight right now. We had a crap morning and missed our first connection in Vancouver due to the complete and utter incompetence of Air Canada. Luckily we had a hero on the ground arranging to get us from Vancouver to Seattle in time for our next flight. Thank you to our hero – you know who you are! 

I’m watching the humans on their leashes (cell phone chargers) sitting around the airport tied to their devices. I can’t judge them since I’m writing this on my iPad right now, but I can’t help think there’s better things in life. I think I have a decent balance with technology. I’m not too tied to my phone. Someone has recently turned me into a Facebook monster and the blog has increased my social media time for sure but all that has been to my benefit in motivation, support and camaraderie. The difference now is that I want to turn all this off and get out and do other stuff with my body and not just my mind. I want to make it capable of doing the things I want to do instead of it being the thing that holds me back. I used to look at other pudgy girls when traveling and think “well at least I’m not the biggest girl here. That’s good right?”. Now I’m looking at the large women of America and thinking that I cannot compare myself to them. It doesn’t matter if I’m bigger or smaller than someone else. What matters is that I am healthy and fit and the right size for me. And I’m on my way there. Finally.  

Ok enough feelings. It’s uncomfortable for me to talk about them instead of eating them, but it is fewer calories.

Theres a couple photos on Instagram so far. I wanted to include them in this post but the airport wi-fi is a little stubborn and slow so I’ll go photoless for now. I have only turned into a raging travel stress banshee once so far and before I ate my feelings I realized that I was in bad nicotine withdrawal and had one of the nicotine mints I brought with me. When I told Cameron it was disgusting he asked what I had expected of a cigarette mint. Touché sir.

Interesting Happenings Thus Far

  •  On flight one out of Whitehorse I watched the movie Pitch Perfect. I am a movie musical nerd and I have seen it before. Possibly more than once… there’s no way to know. I said to Cameron that if Pitch Perfect 2 was available on our flight from Seattle to Atlanta I would lose my mind. He found it for me within 5 minutes of getting on this plane. I lost my mind. Quietly so I could stay on the plane though.  
  •  I have listened to VHS by X Ambassadors 3 full times now. My friend Josh texted me the other day telling me to listen to the album and prepare to have my mind blown. I Spoitified that shit and it is awesome! Not Death Cab for Cutie, Plans awesome (possibly my favourite album ever), but really good. I’m not too surprised due to his generally excellent musical taste. Spotify it for sure. And if you don’t have Spotify, get it. Then listen to the album. Then thank me. And if you don’t know Plans, Spotify that too.  
  • Graceful-Lee strikes again! I just managed, not 15 minutes ago, to spill a quarter of a glass of rum and Coke on my tray, all over one leg and the airplane floor. We’re halfway to Atlanta and I have a soaked leg that smells like rum. I hadn’t even had any yet so I can’t blame it on the booze. Just plain old clumsiness. Cameron was very entertained. He finds my shenanigans hilarious. Except when they involve technology (I dropped and broke my first iPad 5 days after I got it).  
  • And again. I had finished this post but then I did another dumb thing so I had to open it back up and add this. I opened up my water bottle which has a button to open the top. Of course being up in the air it had pressurized which I didn’t think about. When I pushed the button it shot me fully in the face, chest and down the front of my shirt. At least it was just water this time. Cameron was almost in tears of laughter and the guys across the aisle and one row back also thought it was pretty funny. I could not believe it. 

 
Onward to SC and keep an eye on Instagram for photos!

~PP
 

Oh, the Places We’ll Go!

Vacation is on the horizon and I am so excited!

beach

The internet tells me this photo is of Myrtle Beach… I hope it’s not lying.

Later this week we are headed to sunny South Carolina to see our friends Prince BumKnee and Princess KarateNinja (better known as Andy and Heather). We will spend some time at their place and then on to Myrtle Beach! I’ve searched the archives and even though they are our BFFs we have no photos of the four of us together. None. That is mind bottling. So no photo of us all today, but that will change next week!

  • (mind bottling definition – when something is so mind boggling that you need an even more ridiculous term to describe it)

I am so looking forward to seeing our friends. They got out of the frozen hinterland of the Yukon a couple of years ago and moved somewhere that sensible people live. I haven’t been outside since we went to Disney almost exactly one year ago.

  • (outside definition – to Yukoners – anywhere that isn’t the Yukon)

My to do list includes:

  • Celebrate with the best of friends
  • Sit in the sun (oh, how I miss you already)
  • Shop for running clothes… lots of running clothes
  • Run! – Every damn day

James made me a vacation running plan and I’m going to do it all or die trying. Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But I want to eat food I love and drink booze (both in moderation of course 🙂 and have a real vacation, so I will run. Because now a real vacation includes running, for the rest of forever.

Last month this was the cover of Women’s Running.

womens running cover

When I saw it in the bookstore you could have knocked me over with a feather. Amazing! What a beautiful girl. Her name is Erica Schenk and she is a model and a runner. The story was about her and about finding athletic clothes that fit properly when you’re a pudgy princess. You can read it here. Yay Women’s Running!

So I did a little research and you can find a lot of it right near where I will be on vacation! My visa’s gonna get a little American workout along with my legs on this trip. Deep breaths Cameron…. everything is going to be alright.

Andy is going to take me to some running spots. I have specified that they must be snake free though. I want to see zero snakes while I am running. Or any other time. I have zero tolerance policy regarding snakes.


I found a muscle!

I was shaving my legs in the shower after the wood pile shenanigans and in the usual way of leg shaving I had one of them up on tippie toe (girls, I know you know what I mean). When I looked at it I actually thought “what the fuck is that dent in my calf?!?”

I looked closer.

I poked at it.

I looked even closer.

Oh. My. God.

“I HAVE A MUSCLE!!!!!”

I let out a little yip and did an excited leap. Then I landed in the soap and skated around for a few seconds narrowly avoiding shower disaster.

I told Cameron when he got home and he was super stoked for me. I made him look at it from about six different angles even though he confirmed he could see it too from angle one.

I told James the next day. It was the day after the wood pile incident and we were running at the wildlife preserve (the wood pile got me out of absolutely nothing. Also, there was no stopping to “look for moose”). I said “I found a muscle” and he said “yeah you did!!” All excited like.

No, I am not putting up a photo of my one muscle. When I have two perhaps I’ll reconsider.

I’ll post a couple blogs from South Carolina with some pictures of our trip and my runs. I’ll also be putting some photos up on Instagram. You can follow me or just check them out on the side over there. —>

I’m so excited for vacation but nervous about keeping up my very new good (goodish?) habits and not descending into full debauchery which is usual vacation mode.

How will it turn out? Will our pudgy princess stick to the plan and run her arse off whilst on vacation? Stay tuned to find out.

Spoiler alert.

I’m sticking to the plan.

~PP

Kirstin vs. the Wood Pile

This monster was delivered yesterday.

woodstart

The annual fall wood pile. Cameron stacks it by himself every year. After all, wood is a man’s job generally, right? 😉 So today I thought I’d surprise him by stacking it all for him while he was at work. It turned into more of a battle than I expected and there was definitely a winner and a loser.

I took the dogs for a walk at 11:30 and when I returned I put on my hiking boots and some work gloves and got in there. I crawled around the side to get into the shelter and started stacking. After about half an hour as the pile receded from the entrance I realized that a wheelbarrow would be beneficial. The problem was I couldn’t get it around the pile. I thought about trying to get it over the top but I have occasionally been called clumsy and if it can be broken, spilled, tripped over or fallen off of then I’m your huckleberry. So over the top was out. I kept stacking and made myself a nice wheelbarrow lane way. Score one for Kirstin! Suck it wood pile.

woodmiddle

With the wheelbarrow in play I was motoring, but to get from picture 1 to picture 2 took about 90 minutes. See that piece of wood standing up in the middle of the shelter? I stuck it there as a seat while I took 5 right before taking this picture. After taking it I got right back to work filling up the wheelbarrow. Then I backed it into the shelter forgetting about my seat. I backed directly into it, tripped, fell backwards ass over tea kettle and narrowly missed the wheelbarrow landing on me. Honestly.

My middle name is Lee. My father is wont to call me Kirstin Graceful-Lee. It’s really that bad.

Score one for the wood pile!

With the contenders being tied one a piece, our story continues…

The offending seat was kicked, sworn at vigorously and thrown out of the way. I rallied and carried on. Shortly after I must have found the keystone. I pulled a piece of wood out which caused about fifteen other pieces to cascade directly on to my shin. More swearing, some Peter Griffin injury breathing through clenched teeth and possibly a single tear. Two for the wood pile. 

Nothing else hilarious happened but the fall and the shin injury caught up to me after a while and I was cold, and sore, and grumpy. After three and a half hours of work I conceded defeat at 4:00 pm. There was no way I was getting it all done before Cameron came home. It was going to be such a great surprise too!

Three points and victory to the wood pile!

woodend2

did make a pretty big dent in it though. I also burned 1400 calories and walked 6 km back and forth ten steps at a time apparently. And even though I didn’t finish it Cameron was still very surprised and impressed. So all was not lost. And look at those pretty stacks.

woodend

Things stacking wood is good for:
  • endurance
  • grip strength
  • calorie burn
  • impressing husbands
  • monotony
  • dust and dirt – in your eyes, nose, mouth, pockets, boots and (even if your jacket is zipped up to your chin) between your boobs.
  • sneezing
  • bruises
  • back pain
  • hilarious falls
  • swearing
  • having a nice pile of wood
Things stacking wood is not good for:
  • sanity
  • walking upright ever again

Thus ends our tale of Kirstin vs. the Wood Pile.


Earlier this week I had two very different workouts. The first one was a run on the millennium trail with James. We ran and chatted about my food and goals and such. There was no plan, just run as much as possible and walk for a little bit when needed. I ended up with a personal best pace, again! 9’01” per km over a 5 km distance. I felt great! Strong and fast.

The next day was the stairs. I was grumpy. I don’t know why, I just woke up that way. I didn’t sleep well which didn’t help. I didn’t want to do the stairs but I also didn’t want to waste my time going there and not working hard or waste James’ time coming there to help me. I couldn’t shake my bad attitude and grumps. I felt slow and weak especially compared to the run the day before when I felt so great. And it pissed me off that I couldn’t shake those feelings. So I felt angry at myself, and grumpy, and sweaty, and tired, and slow, and weak.

I was disappointed in myself, and I so hate to be disappointed. Whether it be in myself or something/someone else it’s one of my most hated feelings. It almost always brings tears, and it did yesterday too. James could tell something was bugging me and asked me what was up. I told him I felt weak and slow and it was so different from how great yesterday was. Then I tried to cry on the inside like a winner, but failed. He said there’d be days like this. He said I was there instead of on the couch even when I was grumpy. He said days like this are why people quit. He said a bunch of stuff that I obviously needed to hear because I kept going. I was angry, disappointed, sweaty, tired, and crying. But I was still running those fricking stairs. Luckily I was super sweaty so the tears just mixed right in…. unless you looked at my eyes, then it was pretty obvious. I said to myself that as long as I could still see I’d keep going no matter what bullshit was coming out of my eyes, and I did. I did stairs for a good 20 minutes in sob land.

Today I feel much better, aside from the Attack of the Wood Pile injuries. But my spirit is recovered and I’m excited to keep going once again. Those days before were quit days in my past. But I’m not that girl anymore. I can’t be. I’m so fucking sick of being a quitter and I won’t do it anymore.

I’m starting to believe that I’m really going to do it this time. Every other time I’ve tried to lose weight I’ve done it quietly, mostly by myself and without telling many people. It’s safe that way you see? You can fail quietly too. Nobody knows. This time I’m doing it loud, out here for the world to see. If I fail, I will fail loud too. That’s scary. But doing it loud has another unanticipated advantage which is better. The support I’ve gotten from old friends, new friends, acquaintances, people reading this around the world, and my family has been amazing. I didn’t realize how much that would mean and how motivating it would be. Thank you all.

~PP

Here’s a funny picture of Switch and Chinook… just ’cause it’s cute.

funnyswitch

The Terry Fox Run

This post is a day late but not a dollar short! Yesterday the Terry Fox Run was my first official event. I reached my goal to raise $100 for the Terry Fox Foundation thanks to my generous donors: Sue and Phillip, Andy and Heather, and the King and Queen. Thank you all so much!

terryfoxcrowd

It was a beautiful fall day and about 300 people ran or walked with many others there to cheer and support. Princess CindyLouWho came to run with me and we had a nice big cheering section. James was there too and he had a plan for me – run 9 minutes, walk 45 seconds – repeat, keep the pace consistent, and don’t chat too much (haha!). He ran in full turnout gear like a crazy person and was still lightning fast. Here he is near the finish line.

jamesatterryfox

jamesatterryfox1

I stuck to the plan and at the end I thought I was about two seconds slower than the pace I ran with James last week. But when I got home and looked at my fitbit stats I was wrong. I was actually faster than that pace by 5 seconds/km. Wahoo!

terryfoxpace

While this wasn’t really a “race” it still felt great to participate in my first organized event. There were no numbers, timers, or even a start/finish line and it was a really good way to break myself in to the running scene without any pressure. I was nervous at the beginning but it was mostly because I was about to run around people. Lots of people, with eyes that could see me and ears that could hear my ragged breathing. A friend told me that I’d be surprised by the variety in body types at races and she did not lie. Every variety was represented and I didn’t really feel too out of place at all once things got going.

Thoughts I had before the run:

  • There are one million people here
  • My hands are cold I should put my gloves on
  • My hands are hot why did I put these gloves on
  • It’s chilly should I wear both of these jackets?
  • My shoes are too tight – loosens shoes
  • My shoes are too loose – tightens shoes
  • My shoes are too tight – loosens shoes
  • My feet are going numb, I think they’re still too tight – loosens shoes
  • Everyone is going be looking at my wobbly bits
  • Cameron is going to be taking pictures, I hate pictures, but I need pictures for my blog, and he takes really good pictures, so I’m glad he’s taking pictures.
  • Omg it’s time to start! Are my shoes too loose?

Thoughts I had during the run:

  • That girl in front of me has really beautiful hair
  • Thank god Cindy is running this with me!
  • I’m so hot! This jacket has got to go

That’s all I can really remember… lol.

Here we are rockin it at the finish.

kirstatterryfox

And one of me and James post run

kirstjames

So all in all it was a success! Thanks to our cheering section – Quinn, Alison and Memnon the Destroyer, Sean and Cameron. You all rock!

One year from now it will be very cool to look back at these photos and see how far I’ve come.

~PP

Return of the Salad Station

What is a salad station you ask? Well a few years ago in a salad phase I either saw it somewhere or invented it, I can’t remember. Lets say I invented it. I like convenience (who doesn’t?) and I will most often eat the convenient thing over the good thing, even if I like the good thing almost as much. So the salad station came to be.

saladstation

Behold the glory! Grab-able salad! Lettuce and spinach, peppers, onions, celery and toasted pumpkin seeds; all washed, cut and ready to go. You can make up a wicked salad in two minutes flat and be all cleaned up too. All the small containers have lids and fit inside the big tray which slides onto the bottom shelf in the fridge. Make up a container of chicken or beef and it’s even better.

The salad station is not just for salad, oh no! It’s excellent for wraps, sandwiches and home made pizza. We made up some nice thin crust pizza last night. I had it all ready to go in the oven and turned my back for two seconds. Behind me I heard a strange lip smacking sound. I spun around to find Mister Switch with front paws on the counter not two feet behind me nomming on the fresh pizza.

pizza

He got a spanking and the sternest alpha mom voice I could muster. He cowered appropriately and after a few minutes I had a good laugh about it, wiped it off and stuck it in the oven. I know it looks deliciously cheesy and saucy but I had an appropriate portion and enjoyed it very much…. especially since I made sure Cam got the dog drool piece.

A couple of days ago I met up with James for a run on the millennium trail. If anyone had asked me before how long I could run before walking I would have said five minutes. It’s the longest interval I’d ever run and was barely making it at that. The toughest run I had done was three intervals of five minutes with two and a half minutes of walking between each. Six weeks ago I could barely run for a minute at a 12 min/km pace. Oh how far I’ve come without realizing it.

mtrail

hr

Check out that pace! I might as well be the Flash. James pushed me to run 9 minute intervals with one minute of walking in between. If he’d told me before we started that was what we were going to do I’d have called him crazy. But he was sneaky and just did it, which was definitely the right plan. I tried to whine as little as possible and he was super encouraging and pushing in the right amounts in order to keep me from full out rebellion. He knows what he’s doing and I certainly don’t but I’m going to try my damnedest to learn and believe that I can do what he tells me to do.

It was raining and I was sweat soaked but after the run we still got down on the wet grass and did some arms and abs and I loved it. I’ve always liked getting dirty in the right context. I worked on a ranch for ten years so I suppose I’m used to it. I meant to go to the grocery store after but I was so wet and cold that I went home and then straight to my happy place, the hot tub!

The next day was groceries and salad station creation. You should make one. It could change your life!

I’m getting excited / nervous for the Terry Fox Run on Sunday. Check out the link on the right and send me a dollar for the Terry Fox Foundation if you have one to spare.

~PP

p.s. Seriously though… make a salad station.

The Question on Everyone’s Mind

Can I walk today? YES! I can!

I’m am sore but it’s a good, normal after workout sore. Not a – you may never walk again – sore. Win!

I don’t have much else to say today so I have decided to wax lyrical about the joys of Body Glide. If you haven’t heard of it, this miracle product prevents the horrors of chafing while running or doing any exercise really. I had read about it in the six running magazines I bought this month but I kind of thought that it was something for the hardcore runners that go long and ultra long distances. However when I was at the local sports store I saw it there and thought about my pudgy thighs and their… lets say, issues. 

Various chafing injuries have sidelined me from exercise for a few days more than once in my life and more than once in the past six weeks since I hopped on this crazy train. So when I saw that little pink stick of what might possibly be heaven I snapped it up.

Body Glide Her

The first time I used it was on the inaugural Black Street Stairs day, the very same day I bought it. Not half an hour after my purchase in fact. I was chatting to my friend Gillian in the parking lot getting ready to head up when I remembered it there and decided to try it out. I asked her to excuse me while I body glided… she knew exactly what I meant being familiar with its amazingness, but informed me with a chuckle that she usually did that at home before she left as I had my arm down my pants body gliding my thighs. I laughed and told her that I just bought it and I did plan to glide in private generally, haha.

Oh. My. Gawd. It is heaven! I CAN’T believe I’ve made it to 33 years of age without hearing of this product. The target market may be uber runners but EVERY SINGLE Pudgy Princess should buy this! Buy a years supply, buy shares in the company, put it in your doomsday shelters, pack it in every purse you own, get one for your glove box and your locker at work! I would spray tan this shit on if I could. No more chafing and rubbing and awkward – I’ve just been on a horse – walking at the end of a workout (and for the next two to three days). I feel like I haven’t lived before this.

So Body Glide, thank you for being amazing… and you should advertise specifically to the Pudgy Princesses out there… If you do, I sure haven’t seen it. I would have bought it years ago if I had. I’m fairly certain every big girl (and boy) who starts exercising would buy it. You’re really missing out.

~PP