When You Can’t Sleep, Blog!

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It doesn’t happen to me too often but it is one of those nights when sleep is elusive. I was lying in bed and my brain wouldn’t shut up. Getting up and writing seemed like a good alternative.

Last night Jenna and I went to the gym and the pool again. I did 25 minutes on the rowing machine and I can feel in in my back and shoulders today. I really like that thing. We went to the pool after and it was busier than last time. I wanted to get the eff out of there when I saw it was busy, but Jenna wasn’t having that and we got to swimming. After we finished 40 minutes of lengths we hopped in the lazy river to float around in it for a minute. It turns out that the lazy river is not so lazy, that sucker moves! We ended up laughing our faces off for 20 minutes while acting like children. It was awesome.

Today I was back at the stairs with quite a few friends. I wanted to get a photo of all of us but I forgot and I’m kicking myself for it because it was a great group. I did six (I think) sets of stairs in 30 minutes. I forgot to start my watch at the beginning of the workout so I can’t say for sure. It was either six or seven, although seven is a little hard to believe since my record before today was five. But either way, improvement! One of the guys was trying to be super encouraging but every time he told me something it was less than helpful. Here’s one example –  “don’t worry, it gets easier. Well, no it doesn’t actually, you just get faster. It doesn’t ever get easier.” He got a sarcastic “thanks” for that little gem. He was super nice and encouraging though, and I appreciated the effort if not the execution. I reminded myself that I called him (along with James) “Satan’s Minion” in the blog after my first stair session and gave him a pass.

After the stairs today and a lot of assassinating people (while playing Assassin’s Creed) I was pretty beat. We went to bed at about 9:30 and I thought I’d fall asleep right away. I even said to Cam that going to bed when you’re super tired is the very best part of the day… but it didn’t work out for me. My brain wouldn’t shut up. I was thinking about workouts, and whether I’ll be able to run tomorrow or be walking instead due to stair legs from today. Then I thought about what I was going to do on the weekend. That led to thinking about next week and fitting in my runs around work… then how I can get some exercise done at work between calls but without getting down on a gross ambulance station floor or getting too sweaty. I did not find a solution.

I thought about my nutrition and how if I get that shit on track the pounds and inches will hopefully start melting away even faster than they already are. I thought about all the clothes I have tucked away that will fit me soon… and how I don’t have any smaller running gear waiting so I’ll have to get new stuff as I shrink, and that was exciting.

Usually putting on my sleepy time playlist works so I fired up the music… which made me remember that I left my guitar in my locker at work and that I need to remember to pick it up tomorrow… then what songs I’m working on and what new songs I want to learn. Then what song I would sing if I was told I had to sing my last song ever. I thought about that for a while; I couldn’t decide.

So I started counting sheep… which made me think about knitting and what projects I’m planning for this winter and what I want to get started asap for Christmas. I decided to go the knitting store tomorrow, then I got excited about that.

Finally I said “fuck this!” and got up. So now you know a little bit more about how my crazy brain works, I’ve had a bowl of frozen blueberries and now I’m off for a midnight hot tub and then hopefully to sleep!

Here’s to Z’s!

~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.

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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.

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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

Motivation. Fitsporation. Frustration. Aggravation. Determination.

That’s a lot of douchey “shun” words to start a day with… but that pretty well describes what I’ve been thinking and feeling this week so I had to douche it up a little.

I didn’t have anything big and exciting to write about when it comes to running this week so I didn’t want to write this. Then Andy reminded me that it’s not all lollipops and rainbows and I said I was going to write about the crap weeks too. And he was right. And here I am.

This week started out rosy with a great run (even with a cold) on Monday. I was super motivated to get right back into my home routine after vacation and rock on. Tuesday I had a Black Street Stairs workout with Alison and Quinn. I got dropped off on Main Street to pick up a few things and planned to run the 1km to the stairs. I started to run and instantly pain shot up the inside of my leg starting at my ankle. It’s been bugging me on and off but never instantly like this, and not usually so sharp. It has often been sore at the end of a run but never the beginning. After about 2 minutes of running on it I realized it wasn’t going to go away, so I dialed it back to a walk to the stairs.

I did my 30 minutes of stair hell and it was a good workout. My leg was sore but manageable at a walk. The stairs reminded me that I can’t leave them for three weeks and come back easy peasey. That night I was sore, and my leg was very sore. I had a hard time weight bearing on it because it hurt so much. I don’t know specifically what is wrong with it but it is taking a pounding from running and it’s telling me to fuck right off. I don’t want to fuck off. I actually, really want to run and I am frustrated and angry that I can’t. Three months ago I never would have imagined that would be a thought my brain could have. But there it is. I’m pissed off at my body. I’m pissed off at myself for having this crap body that I created. I’m frustrated. I’m angry.

On top of this my diet has been shit this week. I’m not eating mindfully. I’ll have a great meal and start the day out awesome and by the end of the day I’ve thrown away my good start. I’m not going crazy with all day ice cream feasts and deep fried smorgasbords or anything like that but I’m so not rocking it. Why is my mind in the game with exercise but not with food and why can’t I get it there?  I don’t know… I’m frustrated about this too. I’m angry at myself.

So. Angry and frustrated I turned to my love of Pinterest for a little fitsporation. Did you know it mostly sucks? There’s some good stuff but really, a lot of it is bullshit.

We’ve probably all seen this one.

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No. Just no. That is about zero % of the reason I’m doing this. Don’t get me wrong, if that happens it will be a nice side effect. But if that was my motivation I’d have quit already. That’s a shit reason to change your life.

How about this?

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If that were true then I have never really ran. Not once. That’s bullshit. I fucking run.

And this complete piece of crap.

THOSE ARE NOT THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS! What idiot made this?

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Actually, often you’re legitimately hungry. Go fuck yourself.

So instead of getting the motivational kick I wanted I grumped at fitsporation for a while. And then I stewed about how much it sucks and how there must be something good out there. And then I thought about why I was doing this in the first place and why I felt I needed that external kick anyway. I still don’t really know. Maybe the honeymoon is over and now that I’m really in to it I need to dig deeper. I know that normally I would have quit before now and even if I’d made it this far this funk I’m currently in would usually result in quit city.

I’m not quitting though.

Don’t panic.

I just need to find my jam again. I can’t let one crap week of leg injury, and a cold and bad eating get me so down.

So here are a few that I liked. And I liked them not because they gave me new motivation, but because they reminded me of shit that I already know, that I already think, that I’ve already written.

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I’ve written this before. I’m so tired… I’m weary… I’m sick of giving up and then starting over and over and over. I won’t do it again; this is it.

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I’ve done this, I’m doing this now. It have to keep doing it. All the time.

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This, so this. I am already thanking myself for starting (almost) three months ago. I’ve come so far already and I want to feel the same again three months from now.

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I won’t.

A crap week doesn’t mean that I can give up. This will not be my last crap week. I’m sure there will be even crappier ones. Much, much crappier ones. And I need to be able to push through them without being a big baby whiner.

My motivation can’t come entirely from one place. Not from fitsporation, not from my friends, not from my family, not from this blog, not from James. Getting motivation (and a lot of it) from each is a great thing, but if I rely on any one too much it will inevitably fail me. It has to come mostly from me. How I dig into that when I need it is another matter that I haven’t quite figured out yet. I need it now, and I’m digging… hopefully I’ll hit the pay dirt soon.

But regardless of whether I’m feeling motivated or not I am determined.

Determined not to quit this time.

Determined to be healthy.

Determined to reach my goals.

Determined to take another step.

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Simple.

~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!

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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

A Southern Education

Last night we had an epic birthday party for Heather. It was at a beautiful house on the lake and we met a ton of great southern people, who are apparently the nicest people on earth. 

  
Here is the view from the deck with the party tent in the back yard. Unfortunatley it was hella-raining but we just took the party inside, although the boys did go stand in the party tent for about five minutes just so they could say that they used it. 

Southern girls can party and they sure love to dance. There was a great DJ and the girls danced the night away. That’s not really my scene so I sat outside with the boys and watched the show through the glass doors while they gave me a southern education. It was so much fun. I did try to cross the dance floor a few times and quickly got pulled into the circle with the southern belles and let me tell you when they’ve got a few drinks in them they get… handsy. 😉

Here are some of my observations about people in the south. Some I learned from the boys last night and some just from watching and learning. 

  • You can say just about anything about anyone as long as you follow it with “bless their heart”. This is an actual thing. 
  • Refering to people as darlin, or honey is pretty much compulsory and they manage to do it without sounding the tiniest bit condescending. When someone calls you darlin here, you love it. 
  • About 80% of drivers that pass you when you’re running wave to you, it is a constant wave fest.
  • People you pass on the street (again while running) say hi, then many of them ask “how you doin darlin?” and seem like they really want to know.
  • You must have a college football team and have their sticker on your car. A car looks naked without a football sticker on it.
  • Y’all, all y’all, and y’alls are words.
  • The accents, oh the glorious accents. I love them. And I must admit that after only a week and a half I’ve already caught myself drawling the occasional word. I’m prepared for much and more ridicule when I get home. 

Now back to the running. After my two days off at the beach I got up early on the last day there to catch the sunrise and get a hard run in before we left. I hit the road and it was one of those days when everything came together. My head was in the game, my legs felt good, and I had the perfect running playlist for an early run. My route was flat and straight and I was ready to push it. I ended up with a personal best and I felt awesome the whole time. 

   
  

 
I was faster every km and that is the first time I’ve ever done that. I also didn’t walk at all for the first time. I stopped once to take a quick photo during km 2 and then once for about 30 seconds at km 2.1 to take this sunrise shot. 

  
The challenge will be recreating this run back in Whitehorse where is isn’t nearly so warm and so… sea level, lol.

The sun is out today and I’ve already done my scheduled walk. I have two more days here and that means two more SC runs. Then a travel day, one day off (although I’ll bet a run is on the menu) and then back to work and normal life. 

I’ve chosen my football team. The local team is the South Carolina Gamecocks and any team with such a hilarious name is the team for me. So I’ll be home in a few days with great memories, a little bit of a drawl, a nice tan, running success and my Gamecocks gear. 

Go Cocks!

  
~PP
P.S. Before we came here I put up a photo of Myrtle Beach that I found on the Internet. Cam took one that is almost identical but I think even better. Here they are. The top photo is the one I found and the bottom is Cam’s. 

  

The Terry Fox Run

This post is a day late but not a dollar short! Yesterday the Terry Fox Run was my first official event. I reached my goal to raise $100 for the Terry Fox Foundation thanks to my generous donors: Sue and Phillip, Andy and Heather, and the King and Queen. Thank you all so much!

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It was a beautiful fall day and about 300 people ran or walked with many others there to cheer and support. Princess CindyLouWho came to run with me and we had a nice big cheering section. James was there too and he had a plan for me – run 9 minutes, walk 45 seconds – repeat, keep the pace consistent, and don’t chat too much (haha!). He ran in full turnout gear like a crazy person and was still lightning fast. Here he is near the finish line.

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I stuck to the plan and at the end I thought I was about two seconds slower than the pace I ran with James last week. But when I got home and looked at my fitbit stats I was wrong. I was actually faster than that pace by 5 seconds/km. Wahoo!

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While this wasn’t really a “race” it still felt great to participate in my first organized event. There were no numbers, timers, or even a start/finish line and it was a really good way to break myself in to the running scene without any pressure. I was nervous at the beginning but it was mostly because I was about to run around people. Lots of people, with eyes that could see me and ears that could hear my ragged breathing. A friend told me that I’d be surprised by the variety in body types at races and she did not lie. Every variety was represented and I didn’t really feel too out of place at all once things got going.

Thoughts I had before the run:

  • There are one million people here
  • My hands are cold I should put my gloves on
  • My hands are hot why did I put these gloves on
  • It’s chilly should I wear both of these jackets?
  • My shoes are too tight – loosens shoes
  • My shoes are too loose – tightens shoes
  • My shoes are too tight – loosens shoes
  • My feet are going numb, I think they’re still too tight – loosens shoes
  • Everyone is going be looking at my wobbly bits
  • Cameron is going to be taking pictures, I hate pictures, but I need pictures for my blog, and he takes really good pictures, so I’m glad he’s taking pictures.
  • Omg it’s time to start! Are my shoes too loose?

Thoughts I had during the run:

  • That girl in front of me has really beautiful hair
  • Thank god Cindy is running this with me!
  • I’m so hot! This jacket has got to go

That’s all I can really remember… lol.

Here we are rockin it at the finish.

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And one of me and James post run

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So all in all it was a success! Thanks to our cheering section – Quinn, Alison and Memnon the Destroyer, Sean and Cameron. You all rock!

One year from now it will be very cool to look back at these photos and see how far I’ve come.

~PP

The Question on Everyone’s Mind

Can I walk today? YES! I can!

I’m am sore but it’s a good, normal after workout sore. Not a – you may never walk again – sore. Win!

I don’t have much else to say today so I have decided to wax lyrical about the joys of Body Glide. If you haven’t heard of it, this miracle product prevents the horrors of chafing while running or doing any exercise really. I had read about it in the six running magazines I bought this month but I kind of thought that it was something for the hardcore runners that go long and ultra long distances. However when I was at the local sports store I saw it there and thought about my pudgy thighs and their… lets say, issues. 

Various chafing injuries have sidelined me from exercise for a few days more than once in my life and more than once in the past six weeks since I hopped on this crazy train. So when I saw that little pink stick of what might possibly be heaven I snapped it up.

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The first time I used it was on the inaugural Black Street Stairs day, the very same day I bought it. Not half an hour after my purchase in fact. I was chatting to my friend Gillian in the parking lot getting ready to head up when I remembered it there and decided to try it out. I asked her to excuse me while I body glided… she knew exactly what I meant being familiar with its amazingness, but informed me with a chuckle that she usually did that at home before she left as I had my arm down my pants body gliding my thighs. I laughed and told her that I just bought it and I did plan to glide in private generally, haha.

Oh. My. Gawd. It is heaven! I CAN’T believe I’ve made it to 33 years of age without hearing of this product. The target market may be uber runners but EVERY SINGLE Pudgy Princess should buy this! Buy a years supply, buy shares in the company, put it in your doomsday shelters, pack it in every purse you own, get one for your glove box and your locker at work! I would spray tan this shit on if I could. No more chafing and rubbing and awkward – I’ve just been on a horse – walking at the end of a workout (and for the next two to three days). I feel like I haven’t lived before this.

So Body Glide, thank you for being amazing… and you should advertise specifically to the Pudgy Princesses out there… If you do, I sure haven’t seen it. I would have bought it years ago if I had. I’m fairly certain every big girl (and boy) who starts exercising would buy it. You’re really missing out.

~PP

Return to the Stairs

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

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

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

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

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

Various quotes from my friends:

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

Quotes(ish) from James:

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

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

Various quotes from me:

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

So all in all, a great workout.

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

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

eagles

Eagles being rehabilitated.

deer

Deer and nice fall colours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not alone and that is awesome!

~PP