Sunday, July 18, 2010


I haven't run for weeks.

My IT band is messed up, my knee is messed up and I have come to wonder why I didn't pursue power walking instead of running...

Oh ya, cuz running makes me happy, walking makes me bored.

But now there is no running and not very much walking.

This is the true meaning of boredom.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I am reading Geneen Roth's excellent book, Women, Food and God. I like what she has to say and what she writes about change:

The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value and possibility. To change your body, you must first understand that which is shaping it. Not fight it. Not force it. Not deprive it. Not shame it... Change, if it is to be long lasting, must occur on the unseen levels first. With understanding, inquiry, openness.

I find every sidelining injury makes me inquisitive. As I type I am icing my flared up IT band/wonky knee. This wasn't a sudden injury, the inflammation was created over time. Every time I didn't stretch enough, every time I pushed past the pain in my knee to try that kneeling yoga pose, every time I ignored the aches and kept on going.

Now I'm going nowhere. Stuck on the couch with ice. I recognize old unhelpful thinking - the no pain, no gain mentality or the "I must work very hard and push my body very hard to lose weight" thoughts.

I want to change that mindset.
I want to stop fighting with my body.

I am seeking something that feels quite mysterious. How can my body get stronger without damage and injury? This is indeed unseen. But now I am looking.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Being in a rush

I am in a rush.

A rush to be fit, to be thin, to be a yogini, to run fast, to lift heavy weights, to do the dancer's pose and on and on the list goes...

Being in a rush isn't helpful. In fact it's worse than not being helpful, it's detrimental. I'm reading The Power of Now and intellectually agree with Tolle's wisdom but haven't quite internalized it.

I wonder if remaining in the present is as important as sweating and stretching and 10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day. I think it is.

You can't rush the present. So if I don't spend my day thinking about the future, imaging another kind of life in another kind of body than I am left with today, right now...

It is a constant mind tugging to stay here, right here, right now and not zip off into the future.

A 24/7 mental workout.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My lote

Boot/Butt Camp Week #2
Hated it and loved it - in equal parts, hence my new word, lote. I lote boot camp. Lote it with all my heart, soul and ridiculously sore, tired, inflamed, angry muscles.

The walk to the top of Citadel Hill got my heart going crazy and that was merely the warm-up. When the new leader of the day said, "We're going to do 100 push-ups" I was sure she was kidding. She wasn't.

I did 100 push ups today. That's a wow. Another wow is how oddly happy my body feels with this kind of workout. I didn't run once this week (except to first base on baseball night). This week was all about hot yoga with my kid and then today's boot camp.

Four sessions of hot yoga and I am addicted. Addicted to the mystery of what will happen on my mat. A week ago, yoga made me so angry. Angry with my bulk and inability to move in the way I thought I should.

This week Moksha Yoga has made me sweaty and strong,amazed at the strength of my body.

And then I did butt camp - I wanted to weep at my weakness, my noodle arms trying heft my body for another 10.

I am on a roller coast of body learning. It's quite a ride.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New is good

Butt camp was brutal - as challenging and fun for my body as I'd hoped. After, my inability to walk without groaning or sit without moaning proved the true term for the experience is indeed butt not boot camp.

That was Saturday. Sunday brought another unexpected adventure in the story of surprising my body.

Moksha yoga - hot, sweaty yoga. It's my newest addiction. I am literally counting the minutes until me and my kid go back tomorrow for the 6:30 a.m. class.

When I arrived for the Karma class last night (you make a donation, minimum $5) I was a tad nervous. Saunas make me nauseous and I could barely bend over. I wondered if more exercise was the right thing to do or if laying on the couch would be better. Recognizing that laying on the couch really hasn't worked for me, me and my petunia ventured into the Dresden Row studio.

After 60 minutes of sweating profusely and laughing occasionally in a room of 50 strangers I left different, loose and light and wanting to dance.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What the hell was I thinking?

I am off for my first ever boot camp this morning.

I find myself in a similar space as when I faced my first long run. I keep asking myself, "What the hell was I thinking?", I keep repeating this question in my mind.

The battle of the bulge typically finds the bulge the ultimate winner.

This round, I'm going for gold. Victory will be mine; my body will beat the bulge. To achieve this, I know I must use new tactics.

Boot camp is one of my secret weapons.

Since I may not be able to move for an extended period of time apres, I thought I better do this update now.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, away I go...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Me and my yoga mat

Once upon a time I went to my local rec centre and learned easy, relaxing yoga moves. I had a great teacher; she encouraged the class to do what we wanted on any given night - slow down, speed up or just lay on the mat. I often laid on my mat, not moving.

I first heard the expression, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got" at a Weight Watchers meeting many moons ago. While I agreed with the sentiment, I wasn't ready to not do what I'd always done.

Now I am.

Changing ain't easy, though nobody said it would be. I want more from my body, less of it. I want to run fast, it so prefers to plod. I want to contort myself into a pretzel, my bulk blocks me.

I swore ever so silently while on my yoga mat this past Sunday. I struggled with the poses, with my shape, with the holds, twists and lunges. I felt awkward and tight and wrong. And it sucked. At the end, that fun shavasna part, aka laying still at the end, my new teacher said, "Say something nice to your body." Helpful.

So now I am back to the feeling I had on the treadmill, running one minute walking for one minute, wanting "to be a runner". I didn't know how long it would take but the goal was specific.

Now my goal is to be a happy yogini with more ohmmming than #!*^#, more flow than not. I like my goals to be clear, this one isn't. All I know is that I will be on my mat three times a week.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

And so begins the Beyond

Part one of this blog was to capture my quest to complete the 10 km Blue Nose race.

Part two is the beyond.

I don't know exactly what this means yet. I know it includes running. I want it to include yoga, swimming and weight lifting. The beyond work is finding my real body, what does it look like, feel like, move like without excess weight.

This beyond adventure is not removing fat to see numbers on a scale change, though they will. This beyond work is the next step in health, but I don't think I know what that means either.

I do know that I'm planning to do the Johnny Miles 5 km in a couple weeks with my kid. And that my husband and I are planning for the PEI 10 km in October.

I also know that on my birthday this year I started my day with a run in the park and had a great hike in the country with my mom in the afternoon. Gifts to myself.

The beyond feels mysterious right now but I think sweating regularly will help me find my way.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Race Day

7:30 a.m. Why? Why? Why? Why?

8:30 a.m. Brunswick Street with so many people, no line up for the port-a-potty, invite from a friend to a bbq after the race. Tick tock

9:00 a.m. Let's get this thing going, stop dancing Tower fitness people, stop talking radio people, shoot the gun for the marathoners already.

9:05 a.m. There are over 2000 10 km racers, I try to get to the back of the mass, far from the pace bunny with the 55 minute sign. I stop behind a group of women wearing the same t-shirt. A mother with friends running because of the too-early death of her child and raising money for the IWK.

9:10 a.m. We're off. I see my family cheering as I pass by Citadel Hill.

1st km, look at my time, hmmm, that would appear to have been an 8 minute km but I don't run that fast. Made myself slow down.

2nd km, two women stop, one is bent over in pain, she can't walk, the race is over for her.

Along Maynard Street and heading over the bridge I take in all the supporters, all these random strangers hooting and hollering and saying kind words. Have mushy gushy Blue Nose marathon feelings.

Nantucket - this hill was THE hill for me. I put my head down and did it. I shuffled my butt up that hill, not stopping and am most proud of that.

Back over the bridge - feeling overheated with no energy and walk more than my usual one minute. See a port a potty mirage and decide to walk to it while remembering my daughter's comment, "Can't you just not go to the bathroom for an hour and a half?" uh-ya but...

Down hill part of the bridge - know if I don't pick up the pace, the runner in me will disappear. Start my shuffle, turn on to Brunswick and there's my little darling, her bud and my mom. They run with me for a bit. Hubby is waiting at the finish line.

9 k.m. - I wait for some energy, some kick, some source of power to surge through me. Nada.

As I see the finish line I am aware that a woman who is WALKING is keeping pace with me. It can not be, I dig in and hustle to the end.

My chip time is 1:30 and some seconds. That was my goal. Whoo hoo.

On this sunny, warm day, my runner's high took about 1:40 minutes to hit me but it lasted all day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Race Checklist

Familiarity with the route - check
Clothes laid out - check
Hydration - check
Family member/cheering squad prepared - check
Pep talks from faraway friends - check
Charity registration - check
Ridonkulous amount of nerves - check

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pre-Race Run

Today I will do my last training run.

Something has shifted in me, after all these weeks of running. This whole training plan was to prepare me for the 10 km Blue Nose run. Now, I kinda don't care. No, I care, I kinda don't need the end of the race, "the ribbon" moment. That's a surprise.

Every single run I have completed has been a reward. No cheering crowds, no medal but when my training run ended and I walked my cool down I have felt the glow of success - plus the ache of the foot arch, pain in the knee, hurt in the hip etc.

My running goal has completely changed. I began running to complete the 10 km distance.

Now I am running to be in my body, to feel my power and push my limitations. I am running to move and to sweat and to see who else I can be. Wow. All that for an early bird registration fee of $35.00. Good deal eh!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


A week ago I was nervous, anxious, wondering if I could run for 60 minutes, something I had never done in all my days. I worried and fussed and felt uncertain. I did my 60 minute run and felt pretty damn impressed with myself.

This weekend was a 70 minute run. I didn't bother fretting about it. In fact I felt rather blase; my longest run ever in my whole entire life was merely a to-do to be done when the weekend hit. I think Deena had something to do with it.

Mysteriously, when I started running I also started receiving daily quotes from Runner's World. I don't remember filling anything out or signing up for this. I took these daily rah rah's as a sign to keep on doing my thing. This week Deena Kaston, a really famous and really fast runner was quoted, saying, "I don't believe in fear. I believe in doing the work."

Oh. So instead of mindless chattering about if I could or if I couldn't do the run, I would do the work by doing the run... Interesting concept.

I left the house early Saturday morning and said to myself during my warm up walk, 'I'm doing the work' and did.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

10 reasons why I run...

10. Fresh air
9. Sweat that drips into my eyes
8. Potential firming of my gluteus mucho maximus
7. Music mixtures
6. Conquering hills
5. Conquering fears
4. Cold beer
3. Space to think and dream and figure stuff out
2. That mystical runner's high that never fails to arrive
1. The end

Friday, May 7, 2010


So tomorrow will be my longest run ever. 60 minutes. It freaks me out, and excites me - almost equally. 60 minutes. 6 x 10 minutes with a 1 minute walk in between. I have never ever ever run that long.

Can I do it?

This wondering is packaged in fear. It feels mostly mental. I try and tell myself another story, one with empowering turns of phrase and some calming words. The belly butterflies, I observe them flit as I take a few deep breathes.

I can't not do it. I am on a quest and will not be defeated, or will I... ahhhhhhhh. Turn the page, turn the page, new story. This is about change. Changing my mindset, changing my limits, changing my understanding of what this bod can accomplish.

Distraction will help. I'm taking a new route and borrowing my kid's Ipod for some different tunes. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clara Hughes and I

Superstar athlete Clara Hughes was recently touting the wonders and necessity of massage therapy. I couldn't agree more.

This notion that it is one's will and determination that are the defining elements of success doesn't ring true for me. I function within the, "It takes a village" model, as in, the more the merrier to make me move faster, stronger, longer.

Kristen Muntz is my massage therapist and she is talented. She knows what needs to be kneaded, what needs to be held, released, strengthened and lengthened. Every visit feels like a body gift. This machine that I make sit for too long, not sleep enough, stuff with food, forget to stretch - it needs a regular Kristen fix.

Don't believe me? Call and book an appointment - 405-3538, or book online

I lost a team member recently.

The gifted and generous Sarah Gordon passed away but before she did, she healed me.

She was a friend's physiotherapist and my friend recommended her, saying she was a miracle worker. Yes indeed. I run because Sarah taught me how to stretch. After every run, I follow the stretching routine she created for me.

I like the space a run gives me, the thinking and dreaming alone time. But early in the morning, late at night or any run in between, I am never truly alone. My team keeps me going.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Should I or Shouldn't I

I spent yesterday in bed. Damn head cold, hit me on Tuesday and knocked me over for a day on Wednesday. Today I went to work, sniffling and snorting and worrying colleagues about my germs. I made it through the day with the help of Tylenol and a lot of Kleenex.

Home, with chicken soup on the menu for dinner and another cold drug in me, I went back to bed. Caught up on important information from Perez, did some banking, Facebooking and tried to sleep. No sleep.

I got up at 8:30 put on my sneakers and went for a run. I left my bed and got up and ran. Even seeing it in black and white it still hasn't sunk in. I think I might be living the life of a runner.

The scheduale was 9 minute runs x 3. I tried a different route and ended up shuffling up the biggest, never-ending hill that I didn't even know existed when I turned down that side street; damn those side street surprises.

But up I went and as I went up the conversation went like this:
Oh my god, this hill! interject voice of my husband, 'Way to go athlete'
There is no way I can make it up this hill! followed by my daughter saying, 'You can do it mom'. I made it up the hill with not only my husband and daughter but my mother and bff too.

Still scared of 10 km. Scared of race day and nerves and the whole bathroom thing and the weather and the speed and the route and the bridge but tonight I felt no fear. I met the runner in me and I like her, head cold and all.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I had a quick run today.

After my fantastic 50 minutes this weekend I had to do a mere 2 x 9.

For the first time I felt a little something like speed.

I ran on the treadmill and at 7 minutes I had covered 1/2 a mile. Which I went on to to count would mean a 14 minute mile which would mean an 84 minute race which would be less than the 100 minutes I've been imagining.

The logical part of my brain knows I couldn't keep that pace and that the machine is always off but the, wouldn't it be nice, part of my brain imagined not running for almost 2 hours and finishing in under 1 and 1/2 hours and running with something like speed.

I have gone from wondering if I could finish to wondering how fast I can finish. Love that!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Run fast or run slow

I don't know, I do want to be fast, it's just totally beyond my realm of possibility at the present time.

I'm slow. Faster than a shuffle but not by much.

I'm using turtle-mind, forget a bragging completion time, completing is my goal. I had to remind myself of that numerous times today while out with the running club I'm a part of. We took off at a pace I have never ever reached and began by going down hill which made me feel speedy for a moment. That is until my body went into total "forget about it" mode. At the bottom of the hill the light turned red so I caught up only to be left in the dust a moment later.

By losing the group I also lost the time keeper and my stop watch was back in my locker. Made me realize I am obsessed and controlled by the minutes and the seconds. I am a clock watching runner. Forget the wind in the hair, sun sparkling on the sea, nope, I am going for 8 and 1 and if I'm at 6 and about to collapse, I can make myself go for 2 more.

Not sure if it'll happen before the Blue Nose or after but I will become a non-clock watching runner. I will head out to feel that wind/sun/rain but now I am setting a slow and steady as the clock ticks pace.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Getting back into the groove ain't easy. Holiday fun shifts into the grind of 'real life' which really is pretty wonderful, just lacking in afternoon naps.

Trying to shake up the holiday hangover my daughter and I went to a Zumba class this week. Lots of fun. Very tiring and kinda tricky too. I liked the focus on learning and listening to music and not thinking about anything but the rhythm and turns the crazy-fit teacher was showing us.

Day after Zumba my knee was sore.

So sore I didn't run and didn't have anxiety.

Missing my run didn't have any other meaning other than I was listening to my body.

Sore knee = day off. It does not mean that I won't complete the 10 km, it does not mean I am lazy or that I am not committed.

That's how I used to think if I missed a work out.

The critic voice can be so darn loud! I'm learning to turn it down. With great results.

I walked home from work on Thursday to be outside in the sunshine, not to burn calories. I think this is what is meant by an active lifestyle versus obsessive weight loss anxiety. An active lifestyle feels like freedom.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Airport purchase

Back from a great holiday.

Lots of sleep, lots of shopping, lots of sun and my longest run ever. Yup. On holiday I managed to sweat through a 4.8 km run all because of Runner's World. I picked up the latest copy during a lay over and got inspired.

I learned about my feet.

I found easy healthy recipes, new stretches, and runners who do things like 100 mile runs. Oh.

When I was doing the 'should I stop, should I keep running' yada yada I thought of that guy featured in the magazine going for 100. I kept going.

Part of this 10 km quest is figuring out how to make the training successful. I learn new stuff every week.

This week was the week of Runner's World.

Now I have another tool, another part of my running life I can rely on like my music, cushiony socks, supportive bras and satisfying post-run snack (blueberries, Kashi Go Lean cereal and yogurt).

Monday, March 22, 2010

The check list

So today was a vay-cay day. No big plans, no need to rush out the door.

I woke early though as I had to "get my run done". I wanted my run done so I could spend the rest of my day free from having to run. At 6 ish when the bed and the floor were in great debate, I wondered about the way I'd set this up for myself. I was forcing myself to get out of bed to get my run done. Not to run. Not to feel the pavement passing under my feet, not to be outside breathing in fresh air, not to sweat, sing. Not to find that moment when the stiffness stops and my body loosens into a rhythm only found while running. Just to get it done.

I observed this to-do list thinking. Mulled it over and tried to change it. I got up to run, not to get it done. I ran this morning and watched the fog laying on the city, laughed at dogs, looked for crocuses, smelled buses and ran. I sang a bit. Sweated and spent my run in a non-list world. Had a couple parenting insights, a work problem got solved.

Not trapped inside my mind, I was present.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Antidote for Grumpiness

So I did the big 10 minute run x 4 a few Friday's ago, longest yet and lived to tell the tale. And then me and my fella went out after work for a run the following Monday and we did 3 sets of 10 minutes.

No problem. Until the next day.

My foot felt like the bones were at war with each other. I limped a bit, whined a lot. Not fun. I wanted nothing more than to lace up the sneaks and hit the trails. But I waited. I iced. Went to chiro. I continued to whine and had wine. I did the elliptical at the gym and then the calves went crazy. Geez!

Without my runs I was grumpy. Something was not quite right. Happy to report I did a wee toot around the neighborhood yesterday, just 5 minutes x 4 and no limping nor groaning calves.

Running is my antidote to feeling grumpy. I thought it was potato chips or a mega-margarita;it's running.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Pre-Oscar viewing led to channel flipping and I stopped to watch a bio on Pink for awhile. Her music and the stories behind them are intense and I knew I needed to get some of her songs on my running list. I want her to help me during my runs. I like her certainty.

Today I am back from a looooooong drive for work, left the city at 8:00 am yesterday and arrived home at 4:30 this afternoon. The radio was on and off, fuzzy and clear. When I could, I sang along and thought of additions to my play list. The stiffness that comes from sitting in a car for so long was contrary to how I imagined the music I listened to would affect my running.

Music is more important than I knew for this training trek. My ipod shuffle my new best friend. I've got the usual suspects on the playlist, Black Eye Peas, Lady GaGa but am always looking for more songs. I shuffle the music, using Crazy Heart's theme song to cool me down.

I hear music twice now; in the moment and as part of my upcoming run.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The knees know

I have a running routine now. Ha. Yes, the middle age, overweight, desk job working, wife and mother has a running routine. I kinda can't believe it.

I have two running options - timer in hand I head outside or I go to the gym and turn up my music. I do it three times a week and have been increasing my running time a minute each week; this is Week 6. Six minutes of running and 1 minute of walking, six times. I like to run on Monday and Wednesday and then ideally Friday but usually Saturday.

That's my routine.

I take my gear to work now so if I can manage a lunch time run I'm ready. I may go at night, not yet an early riser runner.

This running thing is now part of my life, it is an expression of myself. I sweat, increase my time, push myself, and get intense crazy moments of pure energy that force me to run faster. And then the energy fades. My run ends and I am always satisfied, always better than I was before.

After the run, life continues.

I forget about the run I ran. My knees don't but the rest of me does.

I want to change that. I want this running routine not to be just something I do but something I am. I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The countdown is on

The Scotiabank International Blue Nose Marathon is my homepage.
Every day I watch the days till the run change. I get a little jolt every time. I wonder if I'll be ready. Then I do some mind over sore knees talking and feel okay.

This 10 km Blue Nose run commitment I have made is a quest. I am searching for the runner within. Inside this short and padded body of mine lies a runner. I've met her on occasion and I think she is fabulous. But she doesn't get out much.

My quest began on a treadmill. The runs that started as 1 min walk, 1 min jog for 10 minutes have increased weekly. This week is 6 min jog with a 1 min walk in-between for 36 minutes. My training increases weekly alongside my nerves. 10 km is really far. I have never ever run that far in my 41 years.

I want to be a runner. I want to run the Blue Nose 10 km. I just have one question.
Am I a runner?