RUN WEEK!

It’s RUN WEEK!

I’ve had a great February so far and I’ve been far too busy to write about it! It’s been relatively warm in Whitehorse and I’ve taken advantage of it.

Last Sunday was the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon. That means we’re officially down to one year before I wing my way to Florida for the 2017 run. Realizing this I started to panic a bit. Down to one year already?? I’ve made a ton of progress in the last six months but there’s a long way to go.

It was serendipitous that my days off this block fell Monday to Friday and thus James declared it to be RUN WEEK! We aimed for a goal of 25k for the week. This may not seem crazy to those of you that are seasoned runners, but to me it was daunting; much more than I’ve achieved in a week before.

I started out on Sunday morning after a long night shift. I headed to the Canada Games Centre when I was relieved at 0630 to put in a couple of early kilometers on the track. This turned out to be a terrible idea. I had just finished my first night shift and my routine is usually to get home and collapse into bed as soon as possible and sleep as long as possible in order to be a non zombie for my second night shift. This generally works pretty well for me. I can often get a workout in after a sleep but I’ve never tried one right after first night shift. I ran for 3.5 sluggish, sleepy kilometers and then decided I had to get the eff home. When I got home I discovered to my dismay that I was now totally awake. My attempts to sleep were fruitless and I got up and had some breakfast and a hot tub and didn’t feel sleepy until the afternoon. I had a short nap and woke up feeling like total crap for second night shift. It’s safe to say I will never do this again. After second night shift when I have to stay up the next day for some reason or other it would be a great way to start the day… Lesson learned. In any case, I was already 3.5k towards my 25k goal and that gave me a little comfort on my second long night shift.

The next day I was a smart princess and slept immediately after my shift for about 5 hours. I woke up and got ready for a 10k run with James. My first 10k outdoors. I’d run the distance on the track before but the lack of gps tracking meant that we couldn’t be sure of the distance and it turns out based on how long it took us that I did not, in fact, make a full 10k that day. We left James’ truck at the finish line and took my car up Hot Springs road and parked at the springs planning to run the whole road. It was bare pavement! After running only on snow outdoors for months I was really really excited to run on pavement. It was slow and it was hard at times but I felt really great which surprised me after my night shift – early run – miscalculation. I struggled less than I often struggle on 5k runs even though we were going at about same pace. I still run pretty slow but damn it I ran that whole 10k. Here’s the data. As you can see it was gradually downhill almost the entire time and it still took me almost an hour and a half, but that’s ok. I did it! Just look at that calorie burn! This run took me to 13.5k for the week and it was only Monday.

10k garmin

After my previous run of 10ish-k I attempted to run the next day with disappointing results. I couldn’t even run 2k before I was exhausted and sore and grumpy. I beat myself up pretty hard for that one and it took me a week at least to get my spirits back up. With that in my memory I was nervous about my run the next day. We were heading out for 5k on the Millennium Trail. I kind of expected to fail which is a crap attitude and not one I usually indulge in. It was a sunny day though and the sun always makes me happy. I could even feel it’s warmth. A few weeks ago when I was discouraged about something or other my friend and stalwart supporter Chris told me that soon I would be out in the sun and be able to feel it’s heat for the first time and that would perk me up. I was thinking about that conversation and how right he was when we headed out. It turned out to be a great run and I finished it no problem. I was really encouraged by that result and ready to push for more on RUN WEEK! It was only Tuesday and I was already 18.5k towards our goal of 25.

Wednesday we hit the track at the Games Centre once again for some recovery on the springy surface and it was a less than great run for me. My shin splints made themselves known in force for the first time this week and I limped painfully and whinefully through not quite 3k before I was done. We spent another half hour fighting and I managed to bust open a few knuckles and jam my wrist with my right hook. My wrist was so painful that James asked if I thought I broke it. I definitely did not but I replied that it would be really cool to be able to punch hard enough to break a wrist. James agreed that would be cool and that since we’d still be able to run he’d be ok with it, haha! Here’s a couple photos of the track we run on at the Games Centre. We’re very lucky to have a spot like this in Whitehorse when the weather is frigid.

Panorama of the Track


The View From the Track


Today with another 5k run on the Millenium Trail we hit our goal! I made it to 25.76k at the end of our run. It was a hard one in the middle. My leg was sore but much better than yesterday thanks to being KT taped to the nines and a pre run ibuprofen. Smack in the middle as we crossed the bridge I was struggling pretty hard. My legs felt heavy and my breathing was ragged. It was snowing and generally gross out and I really wanted to give the fuck up. But I pushed on thanks to some distraction talk and my resolve to run every one of the 25k I wanted without walking. Less than a kilometer later I felt great, I got my rhythm back and we chatted about how you can feel so awful and then so great in the course of one 5 kilometer run. The range of thoughts and feelings you can experience in that distance are amazing. James said for the first while your body is often trying to get you to stop torturing it by telling you that you can’t breathe, and then that your leg hurts, and then something else hurts, and then you have to pee, and then another part hurts. But finally it realizes that you’re gonna keep running no matter what your body says so finally it says “fuck it, I guess we’re doing this” and lets you do your thing.

So now having already reached my goal for the week I get to do some fun shit tomorrow! I’m going to the firehall for some stairs (did you ever think I’d call stairs fun?!? I didn’t), a fight and some firefighter stuff which is always fun times. Then I’m going to stay and help out with the Combat Team workout… on the condition that I can whistle at boys. 😉

Last week Cameron and I made good on my resolve to go snowboarding and went to Mt. Sima for an afternoon of riding. It was a beautiful day and I got a nice picture from the top. I also convinced him to go for a walk with me at the Wildlife Preserve and last Saturday we had a cold but sunny walk there which was great. I’ve continued my cross country skiing adventures with Alison and I’m getting a little better as evidenced (according to Alison) by my ability to look where I’m going instead of at the tips of my skis and also less sticking out of my butt while trying to balance. Apparently I still put my arms out like wings when I’m going downhill. I also yell pizza! (Ya know, the shape you make with your skis to slow down) and let out the occasional downhill shriek. It’s super fun.


I’m not satisfied with 25k. I still have a day left after super fun happy times tomorrow to push it further. The dilemma is that I’m working days on Saturday. So James and I are heading out at stupid o’clock, aka 0500 for another 5k to make it 30 for the week. That gives me enough time to rock the run, get to work, have a shower and still relieve night shift a little early after which I will immediately lay on my work couch in exhaustion after a run week well done. Best. Job. Ever. Work couch? I mean, come on! I love it. We just moved into a new station with a new, huge communications centre which is amazing. My crew joined me for a pizza/movie night last block and I took this picture for the memories and also to give James a small heart attack. He hasn’t seen it yet so you can enjoy it with him. I have such a great crew and we had a great shift… after which I had crap run morning but nevertheless… good times.


Finally I’ll leave you with this little gem.

Fixed!

~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!

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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.

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Watson Lake RCMP Members; Me and Cameron; Me and Jenna
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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.

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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. 😉

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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

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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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

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.

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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

The Inaugural PPR Vlog

Today Alison and I completed the ceremonial dumping of the sand, and we videoed it. I hate pictures, and I hate videos even more. I was thinking there was a good chance I’d just keep this for myself. Then I realized that was the easy choice once again. It was a pretty cool experience and Alison’s idea to do this is amazing.

The video changes quality a couple of times because my phone decided it had enough of the cold and shut down in the middle of filming. So we switched to Alison’s phone which is in a derp proof case… probably an excellent idea. Perhaps a GoPro will be on my Christmas list if the vlogs continue (the vlogs will probably continue).

I woke up at 4am today and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was so excited about doing this. The vampire transformation has begun…

I hope you watch and enjoy our shenanigans.

The song is Naked by X Ambassadors. Partly because I love the song and partly because that’s how sharing a video makes me feel – naked… figuratively.

~PP

A Real Runner Now and Three Month Results

I started this blog last night. I was writing it on wordpress in a browser, like an idiot. Around midnight I had it 90% complete… and then my browser crashed and I lost it all. I growled, said “fuck this shit!!!!” and went to bed. So now, a day older and a little wiser I start again; this time in Word, like a genius.

This week started out for me with a stair session with the Ginga Ninja and Mister James. We did our half hour and my brain was in the “yay! I’m done!” zone. Then James asked me if I was just going home to assassinate, which is code for play video games. I was indeed going home to assassinate. He informed me that instead I would be staying for a full hour of stairs. He had another group coming right after us, unluckily for me. I stayed and suffered for another half hour while he made me do progressively more flights of stairs two at a time until the last time I went bottom to top double stairing it. That was Wednesday… my legs still hurt.

The next day I woke up after a post night shift nap to a delightful message from James telling me that it was a solo run day for me and that he was sure I’d get it done. I had planned a solo nap day. I thought about it as a good chance to try out the new Yak Trax that I had just bought so I got up and headed out around the neighbourhood. There is a big hill in the middle that has repeatedly defeated me. The first time I “ran” this route I had to stop four times to catch my breath while walking up it. I still can’t run it but at least I can walk up it without stopping now. I will slaughter that hill one day… soon.

The run was cold and windy and painful in the leg area, but when I got home it was the first time I felt like a real runner. I think it was because I really didn’t want to go and I was tired and hurting but I went anyway. Even though I walked the hill in the middle of the run when I got back I thought “I think I’m a runner now”. There’s always a bit of a debate of when a person can call herself a real runner. Some say it’s when you get out for your first run, others when you finish your first race… I think it’s when you feel like a runner and it’s different for everyone. The feeling finally happened for me and now I think I can call myself a runner.

Here’s my new Yak Trax. They are amazing! Your feet feel a bit heavier but the traction is pretty epic. FYI, running on snow is hard… not as hard as sand, but still pretty hard.

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YakTrax

The next day James wanted to run and it was the first time I had to tell him “I can’t”, which hurt me in the soul a little bit. I’ve tried very hard never to say that to him and just to suck up my “I can’ts” and do what he tells me to. But I could not. My legs were two pillars of soreness that would barely move forward after the hour of stairs followed by my first snow run. He gave me a choice between doing upper body at the gym and a walk. I totally chickened out of the gym (with lots of people with lots of eyes to see me) and choose a walk, which was lovely. But now I kind of feel like the old Kirstin was around that day and she chose that. If I could go back in time I’d chose the gym, because that was what I didn’t want to do; it was the hard choice. I chose the easy way once again and I regret it. I have to keep making the hard choices and next time I will choose differently. My legs regretted it too, even walking was pretty ouchy.

Yesterday Alison and I went to the Wildlife Preserve for another 5k run. It was actually the first time we’ve run together. We’ve worked out together and climbed stairs together and kickboxed together (so much fun!) but it was our first run… and my legs still hurt like mo fo’s. We strapped on our Yak Trax and hit the road. I was struggling pretty hard and was once again defeated by the hill… those damn hills. Truthfully I was defeated before the hill and we walked for a bit. The lynx were out for once though so that was pretty cool. I was convinced that my legs were done for the day but once we got to the top of the hill I told Alison that I was going to run from there to the end and I did it. We were having a good chat which was very helpful. Talking always distracts me from my misery fairly effectively.

I haven’t had the pain in my leg that had been bothering me for a couple of weeks, but when I woke up today there it was again. The same sharp pain in the exact same place just like a bitch. So I will ice it and tape it up and rest it if I need to and keep on keeping on… but it’s super annoying.

This week I’m hitting the weights. James says it’s time. I’ve had some success with Les Mills Pump in the past so I’m starting that again. It’s a 90 day strength program that I’ve achieved some good progress with twice… and then never bothered to finish. I’m great at starting shit, but my finish needs some serious work. This time I’m gonna rock it all the way to the end. Today is day 1 and I will fit it in around my runs, which will always be priority number one.


So! It’s been three months… what have I achieved?

I finally lost ten pounds! I stepped on the scale Saturday morning and when I saw I was at the ten I did a happy dance and yelled at Cameron immediately “I finally fucking lost ten pounds!!!”  He rejoiced with me and it was a good start to the day.

I also did some measurements and here are the happy results, which are actually even more exciting than the ten pounds. I must be packing muscle onto my legs because these results don’t make sense with only ten pounds lost otherwise. All the following losses are in inches.

  • Waist  -3
  • Tummy   -4
  • Hips   -3
  • Thigh -2 (on each leg!)
  • Arm   -1
  • Neck  -0.5

Here is an example of my running progress. On the left is a solo run in August shortly after I got my Fitbit. On the right is my best 5k run so far which was a couple of weeks ago.

progress

I’m really happy with all of those results. While progress has been slow with weight I’ve managed to look beyond that and see the change in how I look and my improvement in running as my main markers. Someone that I haven’t seen in a couple months walked into my lair at work the other day and immediately said “holy shit Kirstin are you losing weight?  You’re fading away!” That felt pretty damn good.

In three months I’ve gone from deep rut to real runner. I’m starting to think of food as fuel and not just yummy yum yums. My brain is in the right place and my feet are firmly on the road.

This week Alison and I are going to haul ten pounds of sand up and down the stairs for a while and then dump it out at the top in celebration of my ten pound loss. It was her amazing idea and we plan to do it every ten pounds I lose until I reach my goal. Hopefully there will be a big old pile of sand up there soon… we just have to find some sand that isn’t currently frozen. I keep bringing my phone to runs and stairs and forgetting to take pictures. I will not forget at the 10 pound celebration though… I will not.

Stay awesome!

~PP

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