Just Fucking Do It 

One year has gone by since I started this blog. That seems crazy. How can it have been that long?? I had a birthday last week and I’ve spent my thinking time since then evaluating where I’m at and where I’m going. I’m also celebrating a year of blogging with a fresh new look for Pudgy Princess!! I hope you like it! 

It was an amazing year for Cameron and me. I did so many things and learned a lot and got out and enjoyed life. Last year one of my vague goals was to start feeling like I was living instead of just existing. If that was the only criteria I judged this year on then I’d say it was a resounding success. But there’s more to it than that. I wanted to be so much further ahead of where I am right now and this week feelings of failure, (along with an – overly enthusiastic dancing – related minor back injury) have kept me in a tired rut of defeat. I’m trying to haul myself out of it now by laying out exactly where I wanted to be vs. where I am, and why that is.

I was running with James the other day for the first time in a while and he told me to look as this new year as a fresh start. I told him that I can not look at it as starting again. That’s so discouraging. I’ve started again so many times in my life. But this time I haven’t quit, so there’s no need to start again. There’s nothing wrong with starting over when that is what’s required… but that’s not where I’m at. I’ve decided to think of this month instead as a reset. Basically the device is still running but things are getting slow and crashing often and maybe just turning it off and turning it on again will fix it up. No need to chuck it and get a new one. An old fashioned reset should do the trick.

Yes… I basically just called myself a PC.

For the last month and a half I’ve been a little checked out and fitness has definitely come second, or third or fourth in my life. I’m putting it back on top starting now. My one year blogiversary. I used to think of it as my job and my number one priority, and it will now be put back in that place. It has to be that way for me. Jump in with both feet and give it everything I have.

I got 20% of the way to my goal last year. I want to lose 100 pounds, I lost 20. I put no timeline on that goal so that I wouldn’t feel awful if I didn’t meet it. It’s important to me to keep going no matter how long it takes. I still feel great about my loss and I’m so much more comfortable just doing normal life things being more strong and fit with those pounds gone, however at that rate it will take me five years to get to my goal. That’s too long. I’m not insisting on a deadline for myself to lose the 100, but I will not give up until it is done and I’d certainly rather it was faster than slower. So after this birthday/one year of blogging reset I’m going to stop hanging on to my old crappy attitude towards my nutrition and tackle that next. I know how to work hard, now I have to eat right.

With that in mind going forward, let’s take a look back.

I really have had one of the best years of my life. It started out with a visit from Princess America just over one year ago and her challenge to run. I took it and kicked off August of 2015 with walks around my neighborhood that evolved into running slowly for barely one minute at a time. There were many minutes of walking in between those painful run minutes and it was very hard but I kept at it. One month later Alison took me to the stairs for the first time. I met James there and then things really kicked up a notch. A friendship began that has taught me what hard work look likes like and how to do it. Although I don’t believe I’ll ever achieve his level of discipline and work ethic his example makes me want to be better, and I am better because I know him.

My most stalwart supporter is Alison without question. She regularly kicks my ass and endures my whinging to make me do things I don’t want to do. This year she has kept me going to the stairs, running, and even took up the challenge of teaching me to cross country ski. I suspect she may have kept teaching me after the first session mostly because of my sound effects (of terror) and apparently hilarious facial expressions, but that’s ok. We had a pretty good time and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year when the horror of winter descends upon us once again.

I recently hiked up hills with Jenna which one year ago would have been incomprehensible to me. That reminded me of how far I’ve come even if I was feeling discouraged about my progress. I hauled the hose around at the fire hall and climbed their tower countless times. I had an awesome trip to South Carolina where I got to hang out with the awesomest of friends and also managed to run almost every day.  I shot guns at the range and kickboxed with James wherever we had space and time to do it. My family came to celebrate Christmas in the Yukon and we rang in the New Year together. 

I ran in the sun and the rain and the snow. On warm days and frigid days. On roads and trails and around the animal preserve. I went to the Policeman’s Ball in Watson Lake with Cameron and danced the night away with Jon and Jenna. My friends and I carried sand up the stairs twice to celebrate the loss of each ten pounds.

This summer I learned to ride motorcycles which now, to me is freedom. Cameron taught me with the patience of a Saint. In fact in everything this year Cameron has been my number one fan and encourager. One month after getting my license we went on a bike trip from the Yukon to Vancouver Island and back again. We visited family and friends and I learned a lot about what I’m capable of, even when terrified a lot of the time. Halfway through we both got new bikes and had an amazing time riding them home. A few weeks later Lyndon Poskitt came to stay at our house for short a break during his round the world trip and my motorcycle hero became my friend. The three of us went on a glacier flight and did the black street stairs and rode bikes together. He worked really hard at his administrative and media stuff while he stayed with us and inspired me in another way, to work harder on my blog.

In the last week of reflection what I’ve realized most is that at the beginning my blog really fired me. Writing about my experiences running and otherwise was so motivational. I got lazy and I’m not only resetting my running and nutrition but my writing as well. I’m taking two blogging courses right now that will help me stay on top of my writing and explore new sources of inspiration and motivation to keep going…. I hope that this in turn will motivate my running. I’m beginning by setting more measurable, achievable goals in three categories. Running, nutrition and weight loss, and blogging. My project this week is to map out three goals in each area with measurable milestones and actual plans for achieving all of them (and also to put all my laundry away).

James asked me the other day what the biggest thing I’ve learned from him this year has been. I replied instantly “it doesn’t matter how you feel, just fucking do it.” James just does the things he sets out to do. The weather is insignificant, how much energy he has or does not have is insignificant, everything other than the work he has set out for himself is insignificant. Unless there is a legit injury or illness, feelings don’t matter. This I know in my head but lately I’ve been letting my lazy feelings rule the day. For August, it doesn’t matter how I feel, I’m just going to fucking do it. I commit to this now. Loud. August is reset month and I’m going to kill it. I have the Klondike Road Relay in September, my first actual race and I will be prepared for it. I will go into it knowing that I did everything possible to prepare for it in the few weeks I have remaining.

My counter for the Disney Princess half flipped over to 6 months yesterday. That gripped my heart with terror. “I can’t possibly be ready” I thought.

Bullshit.

I will be ready. It’s doesn’t matter how I feel each day. My motto for year two, in a small twist from Nike’s version is: just fucking do it.

The time is passing anyway, I plan to make the most of it.

Cheers to being a little better, everyday.

 ~PSquared

Back in the Game

After a crap week last week I am back in the game.

I kicked off this week at the Canada Games Centre with Jenna. We headed there after work and started out at the gym. I ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill just to see how my leg felt and it was fine after 6 days of rest. I did get on my bike a couple of times during the week but I didn’t run. After a quick run I got on the rowing machine for about 15 minutes and it was pretty fun. My back and arms got sore pretty quick… I think I’ve been neglecting my upper body lately in my pursuit of running glory.

We headed to the pool and it was pleasantly deserted, which is the perfect way for a pool to be when a Princess appears in a proper bathing suit for the first time in about 15 years. In fact it was the first time I’d done many things in ten or fifteen years, and I kept Jenna well informed. Here is a list of things I told her I hadn’t done in x number of years:

  • Gone to the gym
  • Used a rowing machine
  • Gone to the pool
  • Worn a real bathing suit
  • Swam a length
  • Worn goggles
  • Changed in a pool changing room (gross)
  • Done a somersault in the water (I did a few while we were swimming)

I may have exasperated her with my reminiscing.

We swam easy for about 45 minutes and chatted while we swam along and it was wonderful. Here’s a fun fact. When you are doing the breast stroke, and your butt floats and your boobs float you better have a flexible spine because you fold in half backwards. It was awkward and hilarious. We got a good laugh out of it and I evened it out with a few lengths of backstroke just to keep my back happy.

After swimming I was reminded that you should bring baggy sweat pants to put on after. Getting yourself back into slightly sweaty tights while trying to hold your towel in front of you because you’re not eleventy years old and you know it’s not cool to parade around naked in the change room is a task of epic proportions. It’s like trying to get your sleeping bag back in the case after the first time you take it out, only with more hopping around, slipping and swearing.

The next day was a run day. Andy taped up my leg with KT tape like a boss and I hit the Millennium Trail for 5k with James. My leg did pretty good and only starting twinging with about 1.5k left but it never really got too bad. I refused to look at my watch or let James tell me how fast we were going and ended up with a new personal best!

I felt awesome after that run. I was actually pretty nervous starting out because I thought I’d have gone backwards after a week off. The first time I ran with James I could only run 9 minutes before I needed a walk break. That was on September 16th. Now, about six weeks later I can run the whole thing and I’m getting a little faster!

Then and now. Same amount of time for the run but yesterday was a half km farther and almost a minute faster average pace.

thenandnow

I worked night shift last night and today after a few hours of sleep I met James again for another Millennium Trail loop. This time James was wearing his full fire gear and a weighted vest for a total of about 92 extra pounds. That’s almost as many extra pounds as I have (5 down, 95 still to go). I was super tired and it was windy and cold when we set out. I told James I didn’t think I was going to make it today without walking. He said I would, and I dragged myself around that trail and somehow made it happen. It felt like my legs were barely moving sometimes.

Halfway through I told him that running today after night shift was a bad idea. He assured me that it was, in fact, a great idea. I was not convinced. I think I was fueled solely by anger that James had an extra 92lbs on and he was still outrunning me. Not anger at him though, just at me… And not bad anger I don’t think. It made me keep going this time rather than getting me down. I will outrun him one day when he has that gear on. I will. His uppance will come.

My one comfort was that I actually heard him breathing hard for the first time today. That was pretty satisfying.

Here we are after the run. Yes my hair is crazy. It was super windy, I swear! But even with crazy hair it’s a great picture.

kirstandjames

I am so happy I went and was wrong about it being a bad idea. I’m working nights again now and I feel a lot better than I usually do on my second night.

This week I have another swim planned tomorrow, stairs on Thursday, and at least two more runs. It’s awesome to be right back in the game after a slump.

As Journey says, don’t stop believin’!

~PP

A Magical 8k

Yesterday was a magical day. I think James might have pulled some kind of Harry Potter shit to make it happen, or maybe I just did it, I don’t know. But either way, check this out!

8kdata

I ran 8k. I ran it. The whole thing. The whole damn thing.

The above data comes to you from James’ Garmin. I forgot to turn my heart rate monitor on at the beginning and my data turned out a little wonky otherwise. So James sent me the evidence and then I had to believe that I really did that shit! Although it’s still difficult to believe… I think I even dreamed about it last night. And that calorie burn is his btw (which he says was probably high since he wasn’t wearing his hr monitor either). Mine was 1ooo calories for the same run, haha!

The longest I’d run without a walk break before this was 36 minutes, I think. I did that at Myrtle Beach but I did stop for 30 seconds half way through to take a photo so it might not count, but it’s the closest I’ve come to running an entire run so we’ll go with that. Even if that was the longest run I’ve ever accomplished I smashed that record. Demolished it. Doubled it. Holy shit!

Cameron and I landed in Whitehorse on Oct 14th at 2200 after a slightly delayed flight, but I made fast friends with our awesome flight attendant so it was alright. When we arrived and got to the car one tire was flat. Like, rim on the ground flat. Cameron started getting everything out to change it but we’d been flying for about twenty hours by that time and now our tempers were flying also. I suggested a cab, he said that would be about ten thousand dollars and it was a no go. So I covertly texted a friend while he tried to get stuff out in a tired trance and she instantly agreed to come pick us up and drive us home. YOU my friend are an angel from heaven. Cam put everything back in the car and our angel drove us home where we hugged our puppies and collapsed into bed. I slept for about four hours and then woke up and could not get back to sleep. I got up, topped up the hot tub which was a little low, made a fire and generally puttered around while making plans with James for a run later that day. These plans were made at about 5am.

5 Questions:

  • Do you wake up at an ungodly hour every day?
  • Do you sleep hanging upside down with your arms crossed over your chest like a bat?
  • Are you able to run 8k without seeming to exert any effort whatsoever?
  • Do you sparkle in the sun?
  • Are you so cold you occasionally have to run with your hands in your pockets to warm them up?

If all five of these are true you are probably a vampire. If 3/5 are true you’re probably James Paterson. And I could not have done this run without him… especially since it was his crazy idea in the first place.

I don’t know if he thought I could do it or not, but I was determined to do it no matter what he thought. I do have a sneaky feeling he thought I could do it though, and that he generally believes in me more than I do for now… but I’m slowly buying into that crazy train.

The first 4 crap km were uphill which was awful and more awful. But when we were on the way up my friend Genevieve happened to drive by and she honked and rolled her window down and yelled encouragements at me which was amazing and kept me going for a while… even though James told me I wasn’t stopping to talk to her when she turned around in front of us. Thank you Gen, that was the best!

Eventually the maybe vampire told me we were halfway and could turn around and head back for the second 4k. I hadn’t looked at my watch once yet and that was a major accomplishment for me. This half was now blessedly downhill, but still painful. I kept telling James he had to talk to me. I needed to drown out the self doubt and “I hate this” talk that was going around in my head. So we chatted about video games and such for a few km which was very effective.

With about 2kish left I told him with most likely a look of pain on my face not to let me stop. I wanted to stop so badly but I said that I wanted to be able to tell Cameron that I did the whole thing without stopping and please not to let me stop. And he didn’t. And I told Cam I ran the whole damn thing. And he was so proud of me. I know he would have been proud of me even had I walked a bit, but it was oh so glorious to be able to tell him I did it.

When James told me I could stop running I doubled over and said “I… just…. have to…. look.. tired… just for a second.” He laughed and let me look tired. We walked back to his truck and I proceeded to get butt sweat all over his truck seat, also known as payback. 😉

I don’t have a photo of my exhausted victory because I wouldn’t let him take one, not that he didn’t try.

Now I have a cold coming on. I have the sore throat and the itchy ears and general crap feeling that comes with a cold. But I will live through it on the awesome feeling I still have from that victory yesterday. I didn’t know a person could feel as good as I did after that run (and subsequent hot tub).

My hip flexors are sore and my ankle is sore and my shoulders are sore but my brain is happy, happy, happy!

Today’s blog is brought to you by Hozier (twice), the letter V for Vampire, and the number 11, just ’cause that’s my number.

Love you all!

~PP