Sunday, Run Day!

This weekend seemed like it was really disjointed and choppy!  Friday night the headache that plagued me all week went supernova and I couldn’t do anything but lay on the sofa and wimper.  During the night I had an epiphany that maybe I have a sinus infection so I took a decongestant and an advil and was provided with enough relief that I’ve diagnosed myself with it. I used to get them alllll the time when I was a smoker; it’s been so long since I’ve had one that it didn’t even cross my mind.  I slept for 12.5 hours Friday night and when I finally woke up on Saturday morning, Ray was gone to do some errands and I spent a couple hours back on the couch with my coffee before he came home and we took Gracie for a good (slow) 5km walk. It was such a gorgeous day and getting that bit of fresh air was so nice!  I did a bit of cooking on Saturday afternoon, took another nap and then we went to Ray’s daughter’s for a family dinner.  She made spaghetti and meat sauce but was sweet enough to cook a spaghetti squash for me.  That whole relationship has come an amazingly long way, I’m so grateful for where we are today!

Sunday morning I was up bright and early and in the car, driving through immensely thick fog to get to my sister’s house for our 5km event.


We were very excited about our run.  The distance wasn’t too far, completely achievable, and our plan was to do it together from start to finish.  We were reminiscing about the two that we had done previously, one in March 2008 that was my first organized event ever (I was so nervous I couldn’t even smile for the pics) and the second one was in July of that year and it was so hot and I was so hung-over that I nearly passed out halfway through the course from dehydration.  And…..this time I had a severe sinus infection.  Grrreat.

We were not to be deterred though, the horn finally sounded after an hour standing around in the freezing fog and we were off!  We kept a good pace through the first half, stopped just after the 2.5km mark for about 30 seconds for a sip of water and then pushed it back to the end.  We finished strong, sprinting our way across the finish line holding hands; wish there was a picture of that!


We finished pretty much smack dab in the middle of the pack as a whole and in the middle of our female age group.  Our official times were 34:36.9 and 34.37.4.  I’m extremely happy with that, it’s my fastest 5k (which, according to my GPS was actually 5.25k) and was achieved with no outdoor run training, mainly just cardio conditioning on the treadmill a bit and the rowing machine for the most part.  I have to decide now if I want to train outside on hills and roads in order to see if I can place in the top 10 in March.  Right now I don’t really give a rip….but after my legs stop hurting I might consider giving it a shot!

Saturday was also, sadly, the one year anniversary that our foster puppy, Snoopy, passed away.  For those of you who don’t know, Snoopy came to us as a foster and we’d pretty much planned to adopt him. He was an 8 month old boxer puppy, a sweet little redhead, full of fire and love.  I wrote this post: when he started to get sick, even reading back on it is hard, that was such a hard couple of weeks, the stress & sadness from that really threw us for a loop at the beginning of last year.  Here’s the post I wrote when he passed away:

In order to not end this post on a sad note, I’ve included a bunch of photos from yesterday as well as my Century chart which I am over 1/3 of the way complete.  Today is the quarter way mark and if things keep on at this same pace, I will happily reach my 100km goal and book my foot reflexology appointment!

Century Quarter Mark photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4



A Full Weekend

It’s Monday morning and I feel like I’ve been off work for a week, not just the two day weekend.  That’s a nice feeling though, not complaining!  It was much nicer out this weekend than was predicted and we took full advantage! 

Friday night to celebrate the exam being over and passed, we went out for a nice dinner with Ray’s daughter and her husband.  I had an Ahi tuna sandwich but wrapped in lettuce instead of bread, slathered in red pepper relish and guacamole, it was amazing!  Being toast from the week and month previous, I went to bed with Grace almost as soon as we got home from dinner and slept until 9 the next morning. 

Saturday morning I left the comfort of the bed and had a bath in the main bathroom while Ray was showering in the en suite.  And when I got out of the bath, this is what I found:

Grace Bed

She’d kicked all the blankets onto the floor and made herself at home Right. On. My. Pillow.  Frigging spoiled dog!  No shame, either!

Saturday we ran a tonne of errands including jewelry repair, knife sharpening (they sharpened my knife for free…..after I paid $145 for a new chef’s chopping knife to go with the slicing one I already had!), tea purchasing and dirt buying. 

Ray decided that Sunday morning he should get me up earlier so that we would have more day to work with….in theory I agreed with that, but the actual practice of it sucked so he bribed me with breakfast out.  Works every time!  After breakfast we headed home under sunny skies and Ray went and washed the back deck while I spent three hours weeding my front garden.  Three hours….a third of the garden done.  I called it quits and we took our dog and walked 3km up to McDonald’s for smoothies.  I realize that while McD calls them Real Fruit Smoothies, they are probably more crap than fruit….but it’s a nice treat!  Hoofed it back home to find Ray’s daughter had stopped by with her puppy and wanted to go for a walk.  Since Ray’s son was already there the four of us headed out into the park and ended up walking another 4km.  Our dog was pooped by the end of the day….as was I!  3 hours of gardening plus 7km of walking, done for the day!

Ray with our dog, our grand-dog, his daughter and son.

Ray with our dog, our grand-dog, his daughter and son.

This week is supposed to be gorgeous and our plan is to insure my motorcycle, go for a couple evening refresher rides on Tuesday & Wednesday so that on Thursday and Friday when the weather is extra gorgeous, I can ride my bike to work!  Ideally I would like to ride my motorcycle to work at least two days a week through this season, weather permitting.  It’s cheaper on fuel and much more fun than my car!  The only sucky part is having to pack with me a change of clothes for work as well as bundling up for the morning and then finding somewhere to put all those layers for the warm ride home.  Sometimes it feels like more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth!

Anyway, since I try to balance healthy with reality, I need to put the focus back on the “healthy aspect” this month.  It’s not that long until summer when everything gets derailed in favour of sitting on the patio with a cold beverage.  Studying and the stress that came with that is gone now so from now until June my focus is going to be on my fitness and overall health (good sleep, vitamins, hydration).  Ray is going to be gone for a week out of the month and there’s a long weekend coming up and I have some huge plans for that week/weekend, yardwork related.  I’ll have the pickup truck, no one to cook for and no one to tell me they don’t like my yard renovation ideas so I’m going to go gangbusters!  Can’t wait!  Were there a certain family member who reads this blog who wanted to come out on May 18th and get some good, natural exercise digging, raking, pulling, pruning and shoveling,  in exchange for some sort of lunch or dinner, that would be great!  Hint-hint-hint  😉

That’s it for me today, it’s a Monday, I’d rather be home digging in the dirt than sitting at a desk indoors…… I’ll dig when I get home, dinner is made and in the fridge marinating, just has to be pan fried!

Pressing Forward

HOW is it January 28th already?  I was reading a work email and someone referenced the date and right away I laughed inside thinking they had gotten a bit ahead of themselves on the calendar.  Apparantly it’s me who is behind!

Obviously this past weekend was hard and sad and exhausting.  This as a bookend to the last two weeks that have been exciting, sad, heartbreaking, sleepless and worrisome.  It’s no wonder that my brain is still stuck back on January 12th!  As we were laying in bed on Saturday and then laying on the couch on Saturday and then laying on a different couch on Sunday and then back in bed on Sunday, I remarked to my dear hubby that we may as well stop trying to “get some sleep” because extra sleep is not going to help us with the kind of tired that we’re feeling.  Just time and regular life will take care of that.  As silly as it may sound, the last two weeks have been traumatizing.  I know that we only had Snoopy for 11 days but what we went through with him was pretty intense so we’ll be recovering from it for a little while, I think. 


Saturday night, wiped out & sad.  Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

Saturday night, wiped out & sad. Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

We went to a 50th bday party on Saturday night, something we’d already committed to and it was actually a great distraction for us.  We took Ray’s son & daughter with us as the venue was an hour’s freeway drive away.  The birthday guy got there at 5 and by 7 they had him absolutely shittered, I felt SO bad for Future Birthday Guy, they were mixing shooters and cream drinks and beer.  We didn’t call and see how he was feeling the next day, I can only imagine!

Sunday we didn’t do much, it was absolutely pouring with rain so we did a couple errands and then hung out on the sofa for the rest of the day.  I was actually looking forward to coming to work today and I am REALLY looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow morning!  I was on hiatus this past week but my body and my mind really need to charge forward and keep building on the momentum that I started at the beginning of January!

We’re going out of town for the weekend on Friday after work so I really only have 2 workout days to get through this week but two is better than zero!  I may add a Friday morning one just to add fuel to my fire in light of this past week off.  We’ll see how my body feels by Friday!

Today is Day One that I’m adding creatine to my diet.  Creatine is an amino acid that your body produces normally but in the case of heavy lifting, supplementing with it can provide extra “food” for your muscles in order to get leaner, lift heavier and increase the rate at which you can build muscle.  I definitely want to maximize my time in the gym and taking a supplement such as this will definitely help me get there (the same as taking a protein drink within 30 minutes of muscle work).  If you’ve ever done any reading on weight lifting, body building or supplementing you may have heard that taking creatine can make you bloated and retain water.  Fortunately, technology and medicine has come a long way and there is now a revised version called buffered creatine or Kre Alkalyn.  This buffered creatine has a higher pH in order to avoid the acidity of the stomach from turning large quantities of it into the toxic byproduct creatinine.  Creatinine is what causes water retention, bloating and upset.  The conversion of creatine into creatinine is also why, in the past, people had to take huge quantities of the supplement to get the results…because after the degradation in the stomach, not a lot of usable supplement was left.  Now they’ve taken the creatine and buffered it to a higher pH such that the acidity of the stomach does not degrade it.  So a smaller supplement load with better absorption to the muscles and no side effects. 

Anyway, I’m excited and curious to see what, if any, results I have with this.  It’s possible that I don’t lift often or heavy enough to actually gain a measurable benefit from taking it, but I’m going to try it for awhile.  The bottle that I bought should last me a little over two months at which time I’ll make an assessment and either keep on or drop it.

Anyway, should probably run along and make some tea, eat some vegetables and do some work and remember:

Today is a brand new day.  Replace any negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise.  Drink lots of water.  Healthy is happy!

Sleepless In Coquitlam


I’ve been on a bit of a detour this week.  You can go to the blog that I share with my sister to get the details on what’s been going on (link right above).  Short and sweet is that Snoopy got very sick on Monday, I’m alone at night because Ray is on graveyards and Snoopy’s discomfort/condition seem to flare out of control in the dark hours.  So he screams and cries and burns up with fever while I try to comfort him all night.  It’s been a horrific game of trying to make him comfortable, anticipate his needs, try not to get bit while attempting to help him and understanding that into everyone’s life a little dog pee must soak ones pajama pants.  I make light of it but it’s actually been horrible and brutal and heart breaking.  It’s been picking him up off the lawn at 1:30am when he face plants into the grass because he’s unable to stand up.  It’s been listening to him shriek in pain through heavy duty narcotics.  It’s been trying to get him to eat, injecting water into his mouth every hour, petting and shushing him while crying myself.   All of this, all night long all by myself…and then going to work all day.


Anyway, Snoopy is now back with the vet, apparently he had a good night last night with minimal pain killers and is walking around much better.  He still has a high fever so there’s definitely something not right with him and they’re trying to figure it out. We’re trying to figure out what our decision about him will be going forward.  There are people in my family who tell me in no uncertain terms that Snoopy’s health and wellbeing comes dead last in the list of all the other things that I have to consider.  This from someone who actually has their own animal.  Along with everything else we’re dealing with, it’s startling when you discover that when the chips are down, people’s reactions to it are so different than what yours are or what you would expect of them.  Especially when it’s not even their own chips that are down; all they have to do is offer support and they can’t even do that. 


Our uncertainty about what’s going to happen going forward isn’t about whether or not we want to keep him, we certainly do, in a perfect world Snoopy is our second dog!  But whether or not his current needs & condition are something that we’re even logistically able to deal with?  If he needs constant supervision for the next two months…..well…..we both work, we have no ability to supervise him all day long.  Unfortunately when we agreed to take him, we agreed to take a healthy puppy that would be perfectly find staying home during the day with Grace.  Snoopy isn’t that puppy right now and it’s heart breaking.


OK, Snoopy aside.  No.  Wait.  There is no “Snoopy aside”.  He’s pretty much consumed my existence for the last week.  No gym, no exercise, barely functioning to cook.  Last night since he’s in the care of the vet, I came home and had a glass of wine, dinner, a scorching hot bath and a lovely blue sleeping pill and was dead to the world at 7:35 (went to bed at 7:30 and Ray came to ask me about making my lunch 5 minutes later and apparently couldn’t wake me up…zzzzzz).  So I got over 10 hours of dreamless sleep….and this morning I feel worse than I’ve felt the rest of the week.  A bit of sleeping pill still in my system plus an adrenaline hangover, I suspect. 


Last week (when things were still normal), I had done a lot of research regarding adding a new vitamin to my fitness routine.  I went out and spent quite a bit of money on it and was all raring to go this week, test it out, see how it made me feel, what my performance was like and if it did anything to give me further or different results.  I see the little pill mixed in with the rest of my vitamins each morning and it’s a bit of a kick in the pants when I have to pick it out and then throw it back in the container.  No weight lifting means no supplement! 


On the subject of vitamins, go and research Vitamin D.  It’s long been believed to prevent multiple sclerosis in women who live in the Northern Hemisphere but more and more research is indicating now that everyone should take the vitamin and in larger doses than was ever previously thought.  I currently take 5000IU daily and my hubby takes 2000IU…I’m working him up slowly, not because of reaction but because he’s a staunch supporter of “conventional wisdom” and doing what “they” prescribe.  (shakes head)

DISCLAIMER!  I’m not equipped to give dietary or vitamin or supplement recommendations, I can only speak for myself at this time. Proceed at your own discretion.

Anyway, I hope that next week things will be more normal and I can set my alarm for early gym and go and test out the new supplement.  Results/reactions I’ll post here!


Conviction Notice

Did you read my last post, Eviction Notice?  Well today’s post is about a Conviction Notice.  Not a conviction where you end up in jail but the conviction meaning “strong belief or opinion”.

You see, when I tossed my scale out a wonderful thing happened.  Nothing that I did meant anything.  Not as far as the scale was concerned, anyway.  Getting up at 6:30am on Saturday morning to fit a treadmill run in before our day got underway was done because I wanted to do it and I knew that I would feel good after.  It wasn’t done with the purpose of trying to lower the scale number.  Everything that I’ve eaten since the 1st of January has been for nutritional purposes, fuel purposes and enjoyment purposes.  The foods that I have avoided (sugar) have been easy to avoid because they make me feel horrible.  That’s much easier to do than having an internal debate about whether or not the chocolate is going to make me fat.

Even this morning when I was packing up my tote to head out for work and realized that I really wanted a banana.  I haven’t had a banana in a very, VERY long time.  Bananas are good for you.  One every now and then isn’t the end of the world, but when I was scale-driven I would base my decision on my number.  Had this morning’s number been a bit higher, I’d have told myself to wait until it was lower.  And had it been lower I’d have been slightly euphoric and no frigging way would I eat a banana and risk having the extra starch and sugar jack that number up.  And so, something healthy that would give me enjoymnet would never get eaten.  So crazy!

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I ran 4.86km this weekend in 29 minutes, I took my dog on her first “learn to jog” outing on Sunday (not far, she has to be eased into it) and this morning I went to the gym and rowed 3522 meters in 19 minutes (would have been in 16 minutes save for the couple breaks I had to take so I could breathe again, rowing is hard!).  Tomorrow is a heavy lifting day and then Wednesday is a rest day.

I feel good.  My activity is varied and keeps me challenged and I’m doing it because I want to, not because I’m trying to appease the scale.  That’s all good!

Now, moving in a completely different direction, our life is about to change again, this little cutie is joining our family on January 16th.

Snoopy is a 7 month old boy boxer that was surrendered by his family due to financial strain.  He's coming up from LA to join our family on a three week trial.  If our resident boxer can get along with him then he'll be a permanent addition.

Snoopy is a 7 month old boy boxer that was surrendered by his family due to financial strain. He’s coming up from LA to join our family on a three week trial. If our resident boxer can get along with him then he’ll be a permanent addition.

Fast & Furious

It is blissfully sunny out (finally!) and I am insanely busy at work so have been getting there early to start work…which eats into my blogging time.  😉

An update of things ongoing in point form, shall we?

  • Grace is catching on to life with us…in most respects.  It is becoming apparent that she never spent any time outdoors.  She is nervous and insecure about absolutely every little noise, movement, breeze or bug.  It’ll take time but she’s a smart girl, she’ll get used to it.
  • We are more careful about keeping her under our control (leash) than we were at first, now that she’s gaining confidence her little firecracker personality is coming out and she has no hesitation about chasing cats in our neighborhood or even chasing a motorcycle down the road at top speed.
  • We discovered yesterday during a visit with our adoption co-ordinator that she was not abandoned on the side of the freeway as we first understood.  She and her brother were tossed out of a moving vehicle at freeway speed and the car that was behind her car pulled over and went back for them while the owners just sped off.  I just about puked when I heard that.  And then cried. 
  • I rode my motorcycle to work on Friday for the first time!
  • Going back a little ways since I haven’t been posting much, our family dinner worked out absolutely beautifully, everyone was on their best behavior and got along well enough that I would not hesitate to do it again (and we may, in September)
  • On the exercise front I have walked 40.1 kilometers in the last 7 days.  This is, apparently, enough for me to not only maintain my weight but to help strip off a little more fat in the legs and belly and replace with lean tissue.  Perfect!  Especially since, because the weather is gorgeous, we are certainly drinking more than we do when it’s raining out. 
  • There was a cougar reported in our area late last week, freaks me the hell out!
  • We went to a dinner party at Ray’s ex wife’s house last night, she was at our house on Saturday with George so they could meet Grace and she is coming to Ray’s mom’s b’day dinner and then to our house for coffee & cake this coming Sunday.  I am definitely struggling at this point, I don’t mind her, she’s a nice person, I love her dog…….but it’s a strain on my good humour and sociability to crank out a happy face when nerves and upset is what I’m feeling inside.  And Ray, per normal, pays absolutely no attention to my discomfort whether I specifically mention it or not.  It’s a problem.

So, that’s what HAS happened, and here’s what’s coming:

  • Grace has a vet appt tomorrow.  We thought she had an ouchie foot because of all the walking however it could be because of how she was….um….surrendered.  She needs to get that looked at.
  • Tara is coming over for dinner on Wednesday so that we can drink a nice rose in the driveway and so she can meet Grace
  • Ray’s mom is turning 75 on Sunday (hence the birthday dinner and get together at our house).  She just took a tumble yesterday and may have broken her wrist…which is not great, she’s not a great exerciser to begin with and has little confidence in walking to begin with and this won’t help.  Plus, she’s going to Israel and Jordan in September so she needs to get up and going.
  • Saturday we have a Harley meeting, a chiropractor appt (that Gracie gets to go to…and he offered to take a look at her and see if he can help her at all) and then a memorial service in the afternoon. 

So that’s about it. It’s too beautiful here to spend anytime indoors and I’m too busy at work to do anything but swear and bang my head against the desk.  Three weeks from now we’re going on holidays as well and that is going to be crazy to get ready for, we’re camping just the two of us and our dog and also towing our big boat up there and going to spend at least a week on the water fishing and swimming and hanging out… this point I have requested two weeks off and only had one approved so we can’t even determine how long we’ll be gone for….which really blows.

Love Haze

I’m experiencing Love Haze.  I didn’t know that there was such a thing but about 20 minutes after Grace moved into our house, family, hearts this haze descended upon us.  Dog things that bugged me before (shedding, bits of dog food all over the floor, eye boogers, snoring etc….OK, it’s any wonder that I agreed to get a dog!) don’t.  She’s my baby and while I know that having a dog is nothing like having children, this is still amazing to me.  I’ve lived with a dog for almost the entire time Ray and I have been together, but she was never mine.  Brandy was never so excited to see me when I got home.  She never, ever snuggled with me on the sofa, never followed me around.  When we were home alone she’d go and sleep in the front room while I was in the family room.  She was Ray’s dog through and through and we never really bonded to each other.

Bliss-face with the car window open, sniffing away!

I had to apologize to Ray last night because I did not, for one second, understand the love he had for Brandy.  When Grace saw me come up the stairs when I got home from work and her little face lit up and her entire body started to wiggle with excitement I completely understood.  When she presses her little forehead so hard into my chest while I’m petting her, it absolutely melts me.  My rule had always been “greet humans first” because he would always greet Brandy before he would acknowledge me.  Now I understand how impossible it is to resist that wiggling body and excited happy face.

Snuggle time in the morning after I’ve gotten ready. Makes it darned hard to get off the sofa and go to work!

Anyway, dog- love aside….well….there isn’t really an “aside”, there’s not much else going on right now.  I can’t go to the gym for this week or next, Ray is on graveyards and doesn’t get home until 6:30am, it’s not like I can get up at 4:30am and leave Grace alone for a couple hours with no walk first thing in the morning.  So I’ve been getting up at 5am and walking the little sausage for about 4-5 kilometers before Ray gets home from work.  It helps to tire her out so that she’ll sleep while he’s trying to sleep during the day.  Worked yesterday, hopefully today as well.  I’m not toooo worried about the lack of gym but I would really like Ray to get all of our free weights and plates back from the person we lent them to so that I can at least do something while I’m on doggy duty for the next two weeks!  Of course after dinner we walk for another 4-5km so hopefully that’s enough to get me by for now.  Grace has already dropped a bit of weight, she has a waist again and starting to get a bit of loose belly fur so that’s great, hopefully Ray and I can do a little of the same!

How can you not love that face!

The sunshine is out for the next week or so which feels amazing and makes the 5am walk feel so nice and refreshing!  I imagine we’ll be adjusting for the next few days so there may be little for me to post.  If you want to, follow me on Twitter, that’s always fun and a great way to interact!