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!

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

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!

misstownoffaro
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.

Processed with MOLDIV
Watson Lake RCMP Members; Me and Cameron; Me and Jenna
Processed with MOLDIV
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.

alaksahwy
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. 😉

kirsti1

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.

wildlifepreservewinter.jpg

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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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