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!