Time for a PINT!

PINT has moved!!

That One Mom

That's it for me!! Go enjoy your own PINT now!


I never intended to be the girl who ran races.

It's true. That's not why I learned to run. I first learned to run because it was a good calorie burn. Then I learned I liked to run. So I wanted to learn to run so I could run. I spent months running without having a race to run in.

I could have run a 5k months ago. I didn't. Because I didn't care if I ran races.

I just wanted to be able to run.

Sometimes a little perspective is a good thing. I've been so upset - even a little depressed - over missing the Cobequid Trail Run. I considered trying it anyway. And then I sat down and asked myself one question - what do I have to lose?

If my knee injury was the beginning of something major, I could do irreparable damage trying to run ten kilometres. And then I'd never be able to run again.

When I started this, I wasn't trying to run races. I was trying to run.

One race wasn't worth that. There will be other races.

Because I'm never going to stop running.

Final Word...

No running. Period. Not till I've had the knee checked by a doctor.

Nothing more strenuous than *walking*.

We're scaling the whole program back considerably. Shawn's decided we might have tried to move forward too fast.

I might cry.... or go nuts... or both.

Quick update

Knee seemed better yesterday. Took the day off from the gym, only went for a walk, no amount of pain.

Today it actually seems like normal.

Not quite sure what to do. I'm gonna defer to Shawn's expert opinion here and see what he thinks. Really, really hoping this is still a go, even if it's a slower time than I'd hoped for.

Work is nuts, so just a short update. Almost done though!

Not a good post...

I thought I had a good run last night.

I thought the stumble over that stupid pothole was nothing. It didn't hurt at the time, it was early in my run, and I finished no problem.

I thought the worst thing I'd have to deal with was my stupid finger in the stupid car door.

Shows what I know.

Instead, I have a right knee that will hardly let me walk without causing pain, isn't responding to icing, and is basically showing all the signs of an injury that will not be healed in time for my 10K on Sunday.

Two-and-a-half freaking months of training for nothing.

I think I'm going to go cry now.


Was having an incredibly blech day today. Trying to finish a report for work that just won't get finished. Stressed and strained. Plus, have some personal crap I'm trying to deal with on top of it.

Totally not feeling it for my planned 10K tonight.

Went to the chiropractor, and he managed to motivate me into it a little more. Felt better by the time I got to the gym.

Went out, got that one foot in front of the other and smoked it!!! Best time yet! Feeling even better about Sunday!! Had a great post all planned about how my knee hates potholes, and my ass hates me, and how I hate stupid drivers, and how we all hate hills....

Still a little stressed leaving the gym, but felt better. Grabbed a chocolate milk to refuel (and as a bit of a treat) and headed home.

Got home, grabbed my crap out of the car, whirled around to turn off the lights, hit the door with my gym bag, and promptly slammed my finger in the door.

Like, really slammed. As in, had to open the door to get finger out.


Don't think it's broken, but it's hurt. Very hurt. Gonna go back to icing and end this now. Sorry for the short post and missed I Can again. I'll make it up to you.

Show & Tell!

Or, how I make up for not posting yesterday... by posting pictures of what I was doing instead!!
Agility show @ the Musquodoboit Ex!

This is actually my "up-and-coming" dog, Player. Every time I run with this dog, I'm reminded that I don't do nearly enough sprint work. Do you see how far ahead of me he is?

With my "veteran" Austin and our "celebrity run" victim, the Musquodoboit Ex organizer! For some reason, no one got any shots of the two of us running together.

This show is one of my favourites, not only because it's one of our biggest, and because the organizers are so great to work with, but because it has our one and only "horse-dog relay" of the year, where our dogs pair with a horse for a relay timed event - the horses do their own course, and we do a course, and the two times are added together. It's also the only "official" competitive event we do!

Player isn't good enough to complete in the horse-dog relay yet, but Austin & I have been in the two previous years we've put this on, and placed second in both of our previous attempts.

Austin on the dog relay course - I'm course designer, so this whole course was actually my idea! It was hard!

My horse teammate - he is going VERY fast!

Combined time of 41.98 seconds!
Two seconds faster than the second place team!!
(I also think I look awesome in this photo even if half my hair fell out of its ponytail)

The best thing about the Ex is all the good looking cowboys wandering around.... but winning was a nice bonus too!

Great way to spend a weekend! I did have to postpone my 10K training run this morning - just didn't think my legs were up to it - and probably ate some crap I shouldn't have, but it was still fantastic.

Apparently, it would be better to be drunk at work...

This morning, I stormed into my co-worker's office, flung myself into the chair across from his and declared "That's it! I'm either going for a stiff drink or a DQ Blizzard!"

He pointed a stern finger at me. "You are not going for a Blizzard!"

Apparently being drunk at work is better than destroying my diet (seriously - just check the calorie count on Blizzards sometime).

I've managed to get a lot of my bad habits under control, but I do still struggle quite a bit with the emotional side of eating. I still go to extremes - I either lose my appetite completely, or want to eat myself stupid. I didn't go for my Blizzard today (or my stiff drink), but I did inexplicably end up ordering a cinnamon roll with my lunchtime coffee.

Bad choice. But as I have to remind myself, one bad choice did not get me to 240 lbs. It was days of weeks of months of bad choices that I failed to acknowledge were bad choices.

And believe me, as I was doing my speedwork tonight, I was reminded over and over what a bad choice that cinnamon roll was. Not good running fuel, as it turns out.

This is my first full week Shawn-free (I just made him sound like an infestation - go me! He'd love that). Lo and behold, the world did not explode. I did not descend into the fiery depths of diet disaster-land. Okay, it wasn't completely Shawn-free. We still email. We chat at the club. I have his program to guide me and the subsequent pain in my ass to remind me of him all the time (I'm so glad he doesn't read this...)

I miss the idea of having a trainer. It's like we were this little special group of members, those ones who worked with the trainers. We'd commiserate in the change rooms after our sessions, secretly proud of the fact that we were sweating harder. During sessions, when sharing a mat or workout space, we'd joke about what expletives worked best to get through the last few reps or what "special" names we had for our trainer. It was like being initiated into a secret club the first time another member leaned over while both our trainers were killing us on the rowing machines and said "You're allowed to call him names. It helps, really."

It also breaks the tedium of working alone. I have lots of acquaintances at the gym, but no friends, and so I work out alone. For my last two workouts, my brand-new MP3 player has refused to work (I'm thrilled, can't you tell?). My sessions with Shawn gave me someone to chat with and were a nice break to working out by myself.

But, I can do this by myself. That's nice to know.

Got through my speedwork tonight (3.6 miles/75 minute workout on the Go-Chica-Go Challenge too!). Up to 10.5 mph at my max, though I could only hold it for about 30 seconds. Of course, that was at the very end of my session, so not sure how long I could hold it if my legs were fresh. I am going to ask Shawn whether I should be pushing for longer times or faster speeds, since there's such possibility there. It's a high, running that fast. And apparently frightening to onlookers. An old classmate from high school came in while I was running at 10.0 mph, and told me later, "You were running very fast. I was scared you were going to fall."

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Okay, I'm sure I had more to write tonight, but I've forgotten it. This is always the downfall to writing late at night. So, I'll save it for tomorrow.

TGIF all!!

Oh, and before I forget:

Why I Run...

Life has gotten really hectic lately, so you'll have to bear with me if the blog posts slip a day or two.

Last night, I was planning to go for a run. I planned it out early in the week. Strength training Monday and Tuesday, med-long run Wednesday, off Thursday, sprints Friday, off Saturday, long run Sunday.

Of course I didn't plan my strength training that well, because Tuesday, I decided to try the new legs workout Shawn had designed. My ass hates me. It hates him, too. But Wednesday, I was supposed to do a med-long run.

I don't become wedded to a training plan. I've learned, listen to your body. If my body says no go, I find something else.

Yesterday morning, everything hurt. My ass hurt. My hamstrings hurt. My calves hurt. I did some stretches and went to work.

By lunch, everything still hurt. My ass was sending me hate mail. I forwarded it to Shawn. He told me to "stretch stretch stretch". I told him I was having that tattooed across my ass if it ever stops hurting. Have I mentioned how thankful I am Shawn appreciates my sense of humour?

By mid-afternoon, I wasn't going for a run. I'd find something else to do.

I went to the gym, changed into my running clothes, and decided to try stretching out some of the tightness. My MP3 player hadn't charged properly and died. I can't run without music.

Ten minutes later, I was heading out for a run.

Within the first five minutes, nothing mattered. It didn't matter that I didn't have any music. It didn't matter that my ass was now considering divorcing me (go ahead, try it). It didn't matter that I have a report I may or may not get finished, and a presentation that will not stand up to scrutiny. It didn't matter that most people run faster than me, or that I still have to take walking breaks on long runs. It didn't matter that no one else understands why I run.

Six months ago, I couldn't run for more than one minute straight. Last night, I ran seven kilometres. Because I can.

That's why I run.

Defining Success

I was going to do a fun, flippant little post for Post-It Note Tuesday, but my mind has decided to be a little more introspective, and since I don't have anyone else to share my musings with... you're stuck with me.

My gym has put up these new posters to promote personal training. Each one has a bunch of pictures of people who are "success stories" for their respective trainers, and thus, for the club as a whole. Last week, while we were heading to the training studio, Shawn pointed it out. "My next goal is to get you on that poster," he said, demonstrating my prospective modeling pose.

I laughed at him. "Right," I scoffed. "And will the pigs be flying in front of me or behind me?"

Thankfully, Shawn appreciates my humour.

I've been thinking about the exchange ever since though, for a few reasons. Another friend recently sent me a link to a magazine. They were looking for weight-loss success stories. I browsed through the ones they had; I have lost more weight than many of those women. But, was I really a success story?

Am I?

I still look in a mirror and see the five or ten pounds I'd like to lose. I set myself, as a reward, the idea that when I hit my goal, I would get a tattoo. Then, I decided I needed to stop focusing on the scale, and focus on my accomplishments. Now, I'm not sure what that goal is.

I don't know how to decide I'm a success.

Shawn sees me as a "success story." There are others around me who see me as a success story.

How do they define success?

On Saturday, I ran ten kilometres. I will likely run it again tomorrow. And Sunday.

Does that make me a success?

I've gone from a diet that was 60-80% processed food (even if it was low-cal) to one almost entirely "clean" and focused on high-quality whole-foods.

Does that make me a success?

I started out on this weight loss journey in a size 18; I now have clothes as small as a size 6 (though I say I'm a size 8 most places).

Does that make me a success?

Am I in a place where I can (and should) be calling myself a success? Or am I, like my blog, still a work in progress?

How do you define success?

I'm in... are you?

One of my biggest worries in leaving Shawn's tutelage has been that my motivation will falter without the impending fear of another assessment looming over me (I'm realizing now we never did the last assessment he wanted to do... either he forgot or took pity on me and "forgot").

So, to combat that, I'm joining Drazil's Go-Chica-Go Challenge! Could be a real challenge for me, since I start law school in the middle of this, bt it'll be good motivation to keep my butt moving even during orientation and all that (and I'm just remembering I forgot to put my registration for orientation in the mail again). Anyhow, you should all check it out. I am seriously competitive, and am training for the 10K (and planning a second already) so I'm very optimistic. Unless, of course, some marathoner signs up.

I forgot (I think) to mention that one of Shawn's parting gifts to me was a strong recommendation that I see a doctor about my left shoulder. It makes bad noises. It hurts sometimes. It makes really bad noises when I work out. I hate doctors. Oh my goodness, I hate doctors. I should really have a basic blood panel done too, since the last time I had one done, I was nearly 100 pounds heavier.

I have to say, I am intrigued by all these bloggers who get to try things for free and write reviews. I can review crap, I mean, stuff. So, you know... Garmin? Polar? I'd be happy to try out a heart rate monitor and let people know what I think. Adidas? Reebok? UnderArmour? Got some apparel you need an opinion on? Sony? You should know I have a tremendous capacity for killing MP3 players though (my Walkman MP3 is currently sounding death knells). I'm going to be an unemployed student soon, I figure I'd best start peddling now.

Going to post my affirmation and I Can later. Have gotten nothing accomplished at work. Go me.

Before the morning....

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

So hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

I love this song. It reminds me that everything is going to get better, that there is always light to counter the dark, and that every night ends. I'm a morning person - I've said this before - so the image of "the dark before the morning" is a really powerful one for me.

Today is a better day for me. My brain doesn't handle change well, and it's really scary thinking about doing this on my own, but I've convinced myself that this isn't an all or nothing leap - Shawn is still a resource for me if I need him, and I always have the option of returning to training. And, I put on a bright yellow sundress and felt pretty. That always helps.

You know what I love about running? All the great shopping opportunities. Not having any money is less awesome, but I can dream. I've decided I really need a Bondi Band - seriously, my battles to control my hair are becoming epic at this point, and if these work, I will recommend them to all my friends. I want a couple with the great sayings, and one that just says "I Believe." Does anyone else have one? Do you like them?

I've also discovered iRUNLIKEAGIRL. Oh my goodness, I need this stuff. I desperately just want the casual hoody so I can wear it around school and proclaim my status as a runner. Yes, I am that lame; no, I don't really care.I'm also thinking the short sleeve performance hoody would be nice as the weather gets cooler.

Editing to add my affirmation and I Can

Happy Sunday everyone!

One foot in front of the other...

I didn't post an affirmation or I Can yesterday. I guess by the time I got home from the gym, I just wasn't really feeling very affirmation-y or I Can-y.

I didn't cry. Neither did Shawn. I think it was pretty close for both of us. Okay, I did actually cry, but only after the session was over, when I went and hid in the locker room.

This is weird for me. I mean, I don't handle change at the best of times - my brain copes much better with the status quo - but I just feel like I'm really losing something valuable. That's stupid. I will still be at the same gym. I will still be working out. Chances are I'll see Shawn several times a week. I just won't have those two hours a week of focused attention... and I don't have that feeling of a support person anymore, who is always just an email away. And it's left me feeling a little adrift today.

The program he's designed to get me through the next little while is pretty kick-ass, though, and he obviously spent an incredible amount of time on it. It's designed with my goal of becoming a runner in mind, and keeping in mind that I will be going back to school soon. Some of the things are a little hard to wrap my mind around - among others, he's recommending I increase my caloric intake to 1900-2200 calories/day, which seems so high to me. I know it isn't but it seems high. I'm going to try to scale up gradually over the next month or so.

Our last session was so much fun, and so challenging - making me wonder if I'm really ready to forge out on my own. But, I keep telling myself that this is just "for now" not "forever." I *can* go back to training.

I decided to do a full 10K training run this morning. I run by myself all the time, and yet this morning was the first time I really felt alone while running. I guess my head just wasn't in it. I had to keep telling myself "One foot in front of the other" and "You can do this.... impossible is not a word." Every bit of muscle soreness seemed amplified, and it seemed like there was nowhere to stop and stretch. But, I did it. Okay, it took over an hour, but I did it. I'm going to try to fit in one or two more practice 10K runs before my actual race.

My high point of the day... I decided to go check out the sales at a local clothing store, and as I was trying on a very cute halter top and checking it out in the three-way mirror, a woman beside me was agonizing over a pair of jeans, wondering if she should get them and making some disparaging remarks about the size of her hips. Trying to be encouraging, I told her I thought they looked good. She glanced over at me sighed, looked back at her friends and said "See, if I looked like her, I wouldn't worry have to about this!" I didn't quite know what to say to that, so I just repeated that I thought the jeans looked good. But it did make me feel good.

It's the sort of thing I'd share with Shawn during our next session.

I will not cry...

My last session with Shawn is in... 54 minutes.

My testimonial is all written and proof-read and ready.

My card with all the things I couldn't write in the testimonial and my gift to him is bought and signed and ready.

I don't know if I'm ready.

But I will not cry.

I will not cry.

Okay, maybe I just won't cry in front of him? He has seen me cry before.

The last paragraph of my testimonial:

I joined Nubodys to lose pounds, and with Shawn's help, I've accomplished that. Ultimately, though, I'm struck not by what I've lost in this process, but by what I've gained. I've gained a passion and love for fitness I never thought I'd have; I've gained the knowledge to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle; and I've gained a sense of confidence that I carry out of the gym and into every aspect of my life. Most importantly, for the first time in my life, I've gained the ability to look into a mirror and like the person I see. For that, I will always be grateful.

I'm probably going to cry.

A couple of post-its....

Because I'm not forgetting two days in a row!!

What can I say? I'm a crier. I can totally see me crying.

OKay, butt...

...you and me need to have a little talk.

I did not mean to fall down playing ball. I did not mean to fall so hard. But seriously, you're playing this up a bit. You were almost fine yesterday. And now you've migrated the pain from really high in my hip to lower in my hip. WTH is up with that?

I have a 10k to train for. I fully intend on doing a training run this weekend. That will be difficult to do when walking hurts. Kindly get with the game here.

And yes, I'm gonna keep making you sit on icepacks till you're not achy anymore. Is that incentive or what?

Oops... broken butts are distracting...

I totally forgot to do my Affirmation and I Can yesterday. My broken butt distracted me.

I am happy to report it's less broken today. Actually, feels almost back to normal. I'm going to put on some yoga pants and stretch while I let the dogs out for their evening run just to be safe, but as long as nothing's really achy tomorrow, I think I'll try a shorter run - 3 miles or so. I never thought there would be a time in my life when 3 miles would be a short run.

Last night was my second-last session with Shawn... I've decided I am going to step away from the personal training, at least long enough to get school started and get my life squared away. And, to figure out that I'm not going to fall flat on my face going this alone. Then, I can go back to it because I want to, not because I have to. I think that's the difficult dilemma for me. I do see a lot of benefits from personal training beyond just an improvement in my physical fitness, but I don't necessarily see them as essential - more as luxuries. So the effect on my stress level, my overall happiness, my sense of accomplishment, my confidence... I have a hard time justifying going back when I don't have the clearly defined goal of improving my physical health. But, if in a month or two I want to go back to personal training because I want to go back - I will. I'm making that promise to myself.

In the meantime, I'm working on a "testimonial" for him. They are really freaking hard to write, by the way. I have so many things I'd like to say, and I can't figure out how, or they're something I would say personally, but not professionally, or whatever. I've decided to write the "professional" testimonial, but I'm also getting a card that allows me to be a little more personal about what all this has meant. This - finally being the size I am, the weight I am, enjoying the level of physical fitness I have - was a dream I truly thought was unattainable. He allowed me to reach it.

Anyhow, going to put in my affirmation and I Can, and run off to keep working on my testimonial.

I might have broken my butt...

This weekend was our town's annual celebration weekend, which means three days of events and activities. And, like all good hometown girls, it meant I ran flat out from Friday until Sunday. It's now Tuesday, and I'm still tired.

The two big highlights of the weekend (for me) are the agility show (which we host) and the lob ball tournament. Last year, my eyesight and impending eye surgery knocked me out of the lob ball tournament, so this year, I was itching to get back in. Plus, it's my first year playing in my "new and improved" format.

It was fun. Busy and tiring, but fun. I won MVP for the girls' category in two of our three games - once for two rather spectacular dives while playing in the outfield, and once for a totally awesome catch while playing second. The difference playing this year, actually fit and in shape as opposed to previous years- wow. It was quite a high to sprint across the outfield after a ball. I did take one rather nasty fall, and managed to pull something in my hip - hence, I broke my butt.

No one got any pictures of me playing ball (I don't think anyway) but there was a few of me at the show. It was quite a shock - I don't see in a mirror what the camera sees!

By comparison, this is the last photo I had of myself on the agility course... and not at my heaviest here. This was taken in 2007 - I put on about another 25-30 pounds after this photo. I just started avoiding cameras after this photo. My dog was cleaner though.

Off to go ice my butt! Happy Tuesday everyone!

So, opinions anyone?

I'm having a not very good week, calorie-wise. Not that I'm actually counting calories, but I do keep something of a measure in my head.

First there was my decision to imbibe rather heavily Saturday night. Yeah. Alcohol is a little calorie heavy. Then, Monday, I gave in and bought this scrumptious looking piece of cake from Pete's Frootique while I was in Bedford looking for picture frames. I count that as a little bit of a victory though, because I really only ate like, less than half of it, and threw the rest out. Turns out I really just wanted to taste the cake. It tasted divine, by the way. I didn't even save the rest for later. I just threw it out. Then, yesterday, I was craving an oatcake with the organic coffee that has become my lunch ritual. Normally I just blow off those cravings, but yesterday, that wasn't working so well.

Pfft. Shoot.

That's okay. We just put it aside and keep going. It has been a tough week for me, and though I don't think it's okay to use food to deal with my emotions, I also think I need to acknowledge that my level of stress and emotional state is going to have an effect my ability to handle what has been and will always be a problem for me.

I'm also toying with the idea of digging deep through my piggy bank and somehow coming up with the money to hire Shawn for a little while longer. It's really stressing me out, the idea of not having his support and help anymore, since it's become painfully apparent how little I can rely on people elsewhere in my life. At the same time, I wonder if I'm becoming too dependent on that support. I should probably talk to him about this, as well - not that he would likely talk himself out of paying work, but I also think he would give me sound advice.

At some point I'm going to have to be ready to take that leap. I just don't know if I can do it right now.

Because I need to tell myself this.

Talking to myself

So, as my contribution to PINT might have suggested, I'm having some... dilemmas on the personal front lately.

I think the journey to being well is more than just exercising and eating right, and that's part of the reason I share all this here. Part of being well is being able to have healthy relationships and a network of supportive people around you to help you when times get stressful.

This past week has been a blow to that. I'm discovering that people I thought were friends are perhaps not the friends I believed them to be. What's worse, my reaction was not what I wanted it to be (i.e. my rather inglorious tumble from my path Saturday night). That's been harder still on me. I fight this constant battle against a need for perfectionism... and that was a pretty big stumble. My brain wants to keep beating me up for it.

And now there's no one really to talk to about it... or at least it feels like there isn't.

On top of it, it's weighing on my mind that I have only two sessions left with Shawn. Shawn plays a professional role in this quest for wellness, but more than that, he has become a very important, absolutely necessary source of support. At a time when I'm losing that support, I now feel like I'm losing any other support I might have had.

Sometimes I just need a reminder that I am a strong person, I am a good person - and I can keep going on this course without changing who I am.

Hopefully I'll be able to hear as I keep reminding myself.

PINT - Where my post-its take on a whole new level

Sometimes you need to say things that just can't be said any other way.
For that, there are post-it notes.

Oh, I could keep going, but I'll stop there. Fun new use for Post-Its.

Finding focus

I decided to try some sprints tonight. These are pretty straightforward. You set the treadmill for something, oh, fast, and run for about two minutes. Shawn's done them with me before.

I like them. They're a challenge, but still running.

They take focus. And yet, there isn't time to focus on anything but running.

They require me to concentrate on not thinking. Not thinking about all the people who think me running is a bad idea. Not thinking about the lady in the locker room who thought it was a bad idea for my first race to be a 10K. Not thinking about my friend who has decided to start badmouthing me behind my back, or the other ones who have been incredibly unsupportive. Not thinking about the fact that I'm reaching the end of my sessions with Shawn, and I don't feel ready for that.

All I can think about is running. Just finding a way to put one foot in front of the other efficiently. If I let everything else in, I start short-striding, or I stumble, or I don't hold a straight line, or whatever. And I have to go back to not thinking.

Sometimes, I think I need to find a way to sprint through life. Just find that focus.

Oh my....

See the number on the side there? That's the number of miles I ran yesterday morning. Five. Count 'em. Five whole miles.

Unfortunately, it's also the number of drinks I hefted last night when my brother and a buddy invited me out. Hmmm. So much for any calorie burn yesterday. Three were the low-cal Light Mike's Hard Lemonade, but the two at the bar were the real deal Smirnoff's.

And I've discovered, I don't drink. Or at least, I shouldn't.

Think I'm gonna go for a walk in Victoria Park to undo some of the damage.



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