Thirty Nine Days

A few weeks ago I decided it was finally time to start writing again. Since that decision I have been procrastinating like a professional. It has been six months since we last saw each other and so many things have happened in my life that I knew this entry would be long and overwhelming. I didn’t know how to tackle it and so I didn’t. The other day I said to Cameron that I had a lot of regrets about the last six months because I haven’t made any progress. He told me to forget about the last six months because they’re gone and focus on the next six months. That is good advice. I’m taking it.

My regrets are only fitness and weight loss related… otherwise life has been pretty awesome. When I was talking to Alison the other day about my feeling of overwhelmation (not a word, I know) regarding writing the blog again she suggesting making a list of “10 things that have happened to me since my last post”. GREAT idea!

Here are 10 things that have happened to me since my last post:

1. We got new motorcycles!!

  • The conclusion of the motorcycle diaries:  We got new bikes while we were in BC and rode them home. They are amazing. My bike’s name is Lara and I love her with my whole heart. Cameron’s bike is called Forge.

Lara Bike
Lara Bike and Forge Bike
2. I met my motorcycle hero. We are now friends. For reals. No big deal.

  • Last winter I was finally persuaded to try riding a motorcycle after Cameron got me hooked on a YouTube show called Races to Places. Lyndon Poskitt decided to quit his job and sell all his stuff and ride his motorcycle around the world. He competes in rally races and films it all for his show. I loved it and it made me really want to ride. I likely would not be riding (at least last year) without watching Races to Places. This summer Lyndon was coming through the Yukon and I sent him a facebook message saying thanks for making the show and hoping to be able to meet him and go for a drink or something. He ended up staying with us for a week and we did a lot of fun stuff. We’re still in touch. He’s just finished the Dakar Rally… I’ll talk about that later. Here’s some stuff we did last summer.

Cameron, Lyndon and I on the Hubbard Glacier
In the Icefield Discovery Plane

At the Black Street Stairs. We went twice!
Out for a ride
3. My little brother got married!

  • He picked a pretty great bride. Jess is awesome.
  • It was a beautiful wedding.
  • It was cool to see some old friends.
  • It made me feel old.

4. We bought a house and moved!

  • Kind of out of the blue we bought a house. We’ve had one eye on property available for a couple of years although we have been trying to pay down debt and get in a better position for home ownership for a while now before seriously looking. Cameron found something he really wanted to look at and we went for a viewing but it wasn’t right for us. The realtor had another property she was just about to list in the same area so we went to look at that one and BAM! Bought a house. It’s even more in the middle of nowhere than we already were but hey, look at that view!

5. I had to get glasses 😦

  • Even though I had laser eye surgery nine years ago and therefore have (or had) laser eyes, it seems my right eye is giving up like a jerk. I realized I couldn’t see properly when we moved to the new house and the couch was farther from the tv than it was before. Got glasses thinking I’d just wear them at work and watching tv and stuff… I now wear them pretty much all the time except when running. Luckily my laser eyes are guaranteed for life… so I just have to get myself to Vancouver for a week to re-zap them. Who knows when I’ll get around to that. Until then I’m glassified.

6. I ran the Klondike Road Relay.

  • I ran from the Skagway summit to the Canadian border. This leg was not nearly as downhill as I expected it to be and I was pretty slow but I did it! It was freezing cold and pouring rain. I wore a pink tutu. It was awful (except for the tutu, that was awesome). I just told Alison today that I’d do it again next year. I do not know why I would say that, but I did.

7. We got a cat!

  •  I have wanted a cat for seven years, but as renters it’s hard enough to find a place to live with dogs… so no cat for Kirsti. Now that we FINALLY have a house that we own, in the country, where mice live… I got my cat! We got an orange one because my first pet as a kid was an orange cat named Tigger and I wanted an orange cat again. Turns out my new kitten is a massive asshole and my hands are scratched to shit! He also likes to bite you in the face when you’re sleeping. That is awful and more awful. But he’s adorable when he’s sleeping. He likes to cuddle with Switch. Chinook wanted to eat him on the first day. She had foam drool and could not stop licking her lips and biting the air and definitely tried to put cat in mouth. A couple of weeks later she now defends him from Switch when he gets a little to intense at play time and doesn’t realize his tank paws will crush the 11 week old kitten when playing chase. She will not accept cuddles, but she doesn’t want to eat him anymore… or she hides it really well and will eat him when we’re out of the house one day. Time will tell. We named him Hobbes.

8. I got really sick.

  • Just after New Years I got a cold/flu that kicked me right in the ass. Hard. For two weeks I did not leave my house. I stayed in bed for a couple of days and sweated and snotted. Eventually I was able to make it to the living room for a few hours each day. It was really awful. There are no photos of this.

9. I quit smoking!

  • January third was my last cigarette. I had planned to quit anyway but it was also the first day of my flu so as awful as that was I have to say it really helped. Living in the middle of nowhere with a 30 minute drive to the closest store helps too. But mostly the flu. Now that I’m back in society and at work and near stores and such I’m still doing well. No patch required. I went through withdrawals when I was sick anyway so I didn’t even notice. The snot overpowered them. Yes I’m still craving at times. Yes two and a half weeks isn’t that long. Yes I’m certainly still in danger of failing, but I’m optimistic. I really like breathing into these clear, clear lungs, especially when running.

10. I’m on track again. I’m eating better than I have since I started. I’ve just put together a string of seven days in a row of eating clean and within my points (weight watchers) and exercising. It’s probably my best week since I started this a year and a half ago.

So what got me back on track? Two things.

One. When I was sick in bed for two weeks I thought a lot about the last six months and the time I wasted. When Cameron said to forget it and look forward that was a big mental shift I had to make. Being sick is the WORST, but I thought a lot about the fact that I was going to get better from the flu and a lot of people have injuries or illness that mean they are not going to get better enough to run again or do other things they want to do. I’m lucky to have this body that is capable of running or dancing or riding a motorcycle and it can be capable of so much more than it is now. My friend was saying the other day that her goal is not to have a perfect body but to have a body capable of doing all the things she wants to do. Whether that is to climb a mountain or cross country ski or canoe for six days… that is her goal. I thought that was pretty awesome and rather than focus on a number right now I’m going to pick a couple of things I want my body to be capable of and go for that. Maybe a pull-up, just in case I’m ever hanging from a helicopter skid or the edge of a mountain. I feel like that would be a useful skill. That’s a longer term goal. In the short term lets go with running a half marathon. I’ll find out if I can do that or not in 39 days.

Thirty. Nine. Damn. Days.

I have no time goal, I just want to finish the thing without the sweeper bus hauling me off the course. I am 80% sure at this time that I can. I guess we’ll find out.

Two. While I was sick Cameron and I watched from afar as our friend Lyndon completed the Dakar Rally Malle Moto (unsupported). Of course he has a lot of support and sponsors with gear and such but Malle Moto riders have no support crew, mechanics, RV to sleep in, etc. during the Rally. They are their own mechanic and they set up and sleep in a tent every night. It’s an incredible test of endurance, skill and mental fitness to keep going in extreme circumstances. Lyndon completed the race and place second in his category. He took lots of video and was featured in the Dakar Heroes. On the second last day he posted an emotional video about how tired he was and how difficult the race was but how he needed to stay positive and push on to achieve his goal. Watching Lyndon do this made me realize more than ever before that it is possible for ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. He set a huge goal for himself and worked at it systematically to achieve it. When he stayed with us last summer he was already working on the massive logistics required to even get him to the start line. It was inspirational and it made me refocus on my goals and realize that what I want to do is possible.

The majority of people who try to lose weight fail. I’ve known that for a while and over the past six months I’ve thought many times (as I have done over the last many years) that I will just always be big. I’ve been defeated and tried to accept what I am. But I was wrong. It is unacceptable for me. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not saying it is unacceptable for anyone to be overweight. I am saying that for ME, I no longer choose to accept this body that can’t do all the things I want it to do.

I have a closet that is half clothes I can’t wear. I don’t accept that anymore.

If I had to pull myself up on a ledge to get away from zombies chasing after me I would instead be a tasty brain snack. I don’t accept that anymore.

If I ever broke my leg and needed to be lifted into an ambulance I’d probably need four of my coworkers to do that instead of the standard two. Horror of horrors. I don’t accept that anymore.

I will SO not be perfect. I will have off days. And I make no promises about writing regularly, I’ll probably just break them. However my head feels clearer than it has since I started. My lungs feel clearer than they have in years. I ran a personal best 5k yesterday and I lost two pounds this week (on top of the 6 I lost because of the flu).

Disney is all booked and in 39 days I’ll be in Florida running my first half marathon. I’ve been pretty sad I won’t be there in triumph 100 pounds less than starting. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t do what I said I’d do, but since I can’t lose 80 pounds in 39 days there’s nothing I can do about it other than eat well and train as hard as possible in the days I have left. This I can do.

This I will do.

~P²
Thanks friends and followers that have been encouraging me to come back. It felt good to write again!

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.

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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.

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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