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

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

Return to the Stairs

stairs from top

The view from the top. Today I headed back to the Black Street Stairs for another torture session. Our crew today consisted of Princess Earhandles (regretting her name a bit now but it’s not too late to change it!), Prince Handlebar, Princess CindyLouWho (a new and awesome addition), and James: Satan’s Minion.

We started with chin-ups again and I swear it felt like I was able to let myself down slightly more slowly than last time, at least for the first two or three. While we were trudging up to the stairs James said he had read my blog. I blurted out “I’m sorry I called you Satan’s minion!” He laughed and said it was ok and I began to think this could be the beginning of a beautiful Trainer / Pudgy Princess relationship.

I boldly declared that I’d like to be able to walk after this week’s session. James said that we would be doing more of a sustained effort workout as opposed to last weeks hell sprints; hell being my added adjective and not his original quote. We were to walk up and down the stairs as many times as possible within thirty minutes, as slowly as necessary in order to keep going.

I started up the stairs and made it to the top on round one without venturing too close to death, though much more slowly than my compatriots. That was ok though. It won’t be ok forever, but it was ok today. I stopped at the top to breathe, but that was not the plan! James (on at least his second round but possibly his fifth, there’s no way to know) said “keep going! The way down is your rest.” I laughed and told him it was really cute that he thought that was a rest.

I slogged through three more rounds with much encouragement from my friends and much heckling of them from me. I swear I passed James while I was on the way up and he was on the way down every time and then about twelve seconds later he scared the shit out of me with encouragement from behind.

Various quotes from my friends:

  • “You’re doing so awesome, keep going!”
  • “You’re awesome”
  • “You can do it!”
  • “You rock!”
  • “Your legs aren’t shaking as much as last time” – true.

Quotes(ish) from James:

  • “the way down is your rest”
  • “It gets really bad, and then just stays the same amount of bad.”

I said I’d have to go ahead and disagree, it kept getting more bad.

Various quotes from me:

  • at the top with fist in the air – “I feel like Rocky!”
  • to Alison half way up on round four “I’m – gasp – just – gasp – having – gasp – a bit of a  – gasp – hard time – gasp – breathing!”
  • “No whinging!” – I had cornered the market on whinging.
  • “Pass me, save yourself!”

So all in all, a great workout.

Two days ago I started feeling normal after the last stair session. I had about six days of zombie walking, then three days of feeling like general crap with runny nose and runny…. other things, and then got back to running with my legs.

Yesterday Prince Fuzz joined me for a run at the Wildlife Preserve. He’s much much faster than me but we had a great time even so. He ran ahead when he wanted to and then came back for me. We stopped and took a picture of us at the top of Mount Doom but it didn’t turn out very well on my ancient iPhone. I did get a couple of good animal shots though.

eagles

Eagles being rehabilitated.

deer

Deer and nice fall colours.

After the deer we did some short sprints for the last km of the 5k run (run/walk for me) and talked about how sprinting makes me feel like a kid running around and having fun. We picked a tree on the trail and sprinted to it then walked for a bit. It was super fun but one time I picked a tree that was way too far for me to sprint to. I narrowly avoided collapse but still had a great time.

Now five hours after hell stairs I am feeling great. As in – I think I’ll be able to walk tomorrow! –  great.

After I publish this post I’m planning on updating my “About Me” page with some nerd-fessions about stuff I love and more info about me. Check that out later tonight or tomorrow when you have a minute.

I love that my friends and strangers from around the world are reading my ramblings. I’ve had so much advice from friends after reading this and I love it! It means that you are reading and caring and that means a lot to me!

Various advice and comments (loosely quoted from memory) I’ve received in the last couple weeks from my friends include:

  • I can help you with outdoor running plans and tips once it snows and is really cold – T (marathoner and very inspirational to me weight loser through running and clean eating)
  • I can help you with treadmill plans for the winter, I hate running in the cold. – G (ultra-marathoner and another inspirational gal)
  • I think you might be having too many hot tubs, it might be making your inflammation worse and you should try ice. – B (almost definitely true but I do love my hot tub and hate cold) Also, you said you’d come to work outs with us if you could wear purple tights… you know who you are… get out here!
  • So you decided not to swear too much in you blog, hey? – R. My friend who read the whole blog beginning to end while sitting at work with me the other day. I replied that I had started out trying not to swear much but my resolve was eroding as I went along… He also let out many chuckles while reading it which made me feel pretty good.
  • Reading you blog is just like hanging out with you except I’m either not at work with you or I don’t have a drink in my hand. – E (aka The Suit) Apparently I write how I speak – awesome!
  • Your blog is pretty funny, I like it. – D
  • You’ve inspired me to get out there /  back into shape / back to running / etc. – three awesome girl friends. This is the best one! 

I can’t believe that I’m inspiring people. It an amazing and humbling feeling that I’m an inspiration to anyone. I have so FAR to go and I didn’t believe that I’d be capable of inspiring anyone until maybe I hit or was pretty close to my goal. So thank you to all of you who’ve messaged, texted or told me that I’m inspiring you, this in turn inspires and pushes me to keep going.

James said today that who you surround yourself with is critical to your motivation and success (or something like that)… and the people surrounding me right now are amazing. Today I thought my fourth time up the stairs in thirty minutes would be my last. I was already feeling the relief of the finish 3/4 of the way to the bottom with four minutes left. When I was almost at the bottom of run four James pushed me to go one more time. I didn’t think I could do it. My legs were jello; wobbling violently by this time. Then Alison said she’d do it with me. She must have been on time eight, or ten, or thirty but she said she’d do the last one with me. I slogged up one step at a time and she ran past me and then turned around each flight and came back to me with words of encouragement and offers to let me throw things at her if necessary. I think without her doing that last run with me I may (would) have sat down and cried. I’m SO lucky to be able to surround myself with amazing people.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I could not have better friends to help me with this. I thought I could do it alone at the beginning but I was SO wrong. I need my people, my amazing Disney Crew and everyone else who joins me for any part of this journey, thank you!

I’m so looking forward to crossing that finish line in February 2017 with you guys. Whether you’re there with me or cheering from the Yukon while I run along, you all mean something to me and are a part of my story.

I’m not alone and that is awesome!

~PP