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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

so long 2013, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

In 20 minutes this year will be over. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d still be awake by now but we watched two episodes of Buffy in a row and then it was suddenly after eleven. I took a shower and now I’m just waiting.

Not sure why.

I think it’s because I’m just eager for this year to finally be over.


And I am pretty sure I’ll be kicking myself  a year from now, but I just don’t have it in me to do my yearly wrap up on the blog. This isn’t particularly a year I want to remember. It’s been one of the lousiest years I can remember and some pretty Big Stuff happened that wasn’t altogether pleasant.

So, I’m ready for a “new year”. For the first time in ages I even bought a calendar year agenda. I’m so used to following an academic calendar – even at work. To me, my year begins in August/September.

But this year, August and September weren’t fantastic and were still too closely associated with the earlier part of the year. I’m just completely over 2013 and I think that might be why I was so drawn to this agenda.

I don’t know.

I don’t even know what to expect or hope for in the new calendar year. I’d like a lot less major traumatic events in my life. If that’s possible? Please. But honestly, I normally have lousy even-numbered years and generally I do not get along well with the number for and 2014 has all of that and more.

Then again, I normally do well in odd-numbered years and the number 13 and I tend to play well with each other. And that just didn’t work out the way I’d hoped.

Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of sadness and darkness and negativity and disappointment. No matter how fiercely I fought to stay positive I only succeeded in finding myself exhausted. I want to hope that 2014 is brighter and lighter. Not just for myself but for everyone because I’m not the only one who’s had a rough year. I know too many people who were kicked in the pants by the last year and I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one happy to see that calendar change at midnight.

Fifteen minutes…

…until the numbers change and you have to start thinking about the date as you’re writing it down. Betcha a lot of rent cheques will bounce tomorrow as people forget to change the year when they date them.

For all my pain and darkness I did manage to accomplish things in 2013. I’ve been very active (for myself) and have kept it up. I have managed to be healthier physically – even if I need to focus on the mental health now. I have learned a lot about myself in the last year and I am slowly learning that I am not alone. No matter what happens I am not alone. I am surrounded by a strong, supportive and loving group of family and friends who will not let me suffer in silence and will help me get through anything.

I’ve even managed to keep a 4.0 GPA in my program at school. It’s slow and I could have done better this past semester had I not been suffering from PTSD (without realizing it) but I am still hanging in there and I have more faith in myself and my ability to not fail than I did a year ago.

I didn’t read much but I did many other creative things and realized that I need to keep up the artistic stuff to keep my brain and soul happy. And I enjoy it.

Ten minutes…

This year was exhausting and not the best of years but I know I have come out stronger and with a better sense of who and what is around me. I know I am lucky. Extremely lucky.

One thing I’d like to do in 2014 is be less connected. Whether that means I delete twitter and facebook from my phone or ONLY even use those platforms on my phone and not on my computer, I don’t know. I know that they make me unhappy. I miss only having blogs to visit and getting to see people through random posts as opposed to constant streams of chatter. I’m a culprit, too. I talk all the time, often too much. I need to be less all over that and more in my pen and paper journals and here, on the blog. Social media makes me tired. Very tired. And angry. And sad. And annoyed. And I need to cut back.

I need to colour, paint, draw, sticker, GLITTER and write more. Maybe take my guitar out of the closet and tune it and practice playing it again.

I need to BE more and DO more and be less nosy about other’s lives.

Five minutes…

And now I’m done with my blog post. My final of 2013.

Don’t trip on the way out, 2013. You’ve worn out your welcome and I am happy to see you go. I’m ready for something shiny and new.

Until next year and tomorrow, internet. Happy new year.

the Year of Being Active

The past year I have made some pretty big changes in my life. Having to deal with chronic pain and fatigue was really starting to get old and I needed to try to do something to help with that battle. Something that wasn’t just a prescription from a doctor. I am tired being a slave to medication so I decided to be active and not passive in my own physical well being. With the added excitement in my life this year (the jumper guy, the layoff, and other fun things) I needed to channel all my negative energy some new way. Sitting on the couch reading – my usual method of escape – wasn’t cutting it any more.

Last September I started doing Aqua Fit through a staff fitness program at work. Turns out I have been missing that from my life. It was low-impact and suddenly most of my pain issues were managed in a much better way and I my flexibility had started to come back. It was enough at the time for me to start rebuilding my body’s strength. In January I challenged myself to do x-number of push up and crunches each night before bed. That helped me a lot with the upper body strength. I added stretching in as well to help with my constant back and hip pain. I did something similar in February. I also tried to do the ab challenge over the summer (making it only 15 days out of 30, but I just didn’t have the TIME in the day to get 100+ crunches in. Goodness!) With the surprise trauma I experienced in March, I was strong enough (thanks to the aqua fit) to add running into my weekly exercise schedule. The running hasn’t been easy, but it helped me in so many ways. Sure, I haven’t been out in over a month but I haven’t stopped the activity. In fact, I’ve stepped it up a notch!

Me & Elissa – October 27

Enter Elissa.

At the end of August/early September, I kept seeing this one name in my FB newsfeed over and over. I noticed that this person and I had almost 20 friends in common and everyone was praising her spirit and fitness motivation. Turns out this was right before she was about to start offering weekly fitness classes. Bonus – the classes are literally a block a way from my house. Talk about a sign! So I dropped into the first class to see how I’d like it and I was immediately filled with a sense of contentment. Everyone was laughing and smiling and friendly and Elissa was so effervescenty and warm. So I bought a card for 15 sessions and have been going to the indoor AND out door classes. I have gotten to know Elissa even more in the last two months and am possibly ready to be the President of her fanclub. Even though we grew up not even 5 minutes from each other, I never met her until this fall and I am so happy that I did.

Sometimes you get lucky and people come into your life at just the right time and that’s what happened to me when I met Elissa and joined her fitness classes. She inspires me, helps motivate me and is just an amazing new friend in my life. She’ll even brave the chilly cold October weather to train us outdoors because we want to do it! I am enjoying her classes and her friendship so much. This is someone who had four children and and a husband (who helps out with each class, too! He’s an unsung hero in my books) and she makes time to help others and is always smiling. ALWAYS. And so positive! What an inspiration.

So with Elissa in my corner and my newly found love of staying active I am feeling better both mentally and physically and I am stronger than I have been in both ways, too. Life is still throwing curve balls and things are difficult but I’m not letting it get me down and I am focusing on my health. I have muscle definition (amazing!) and I can lift weights that I couldn’t even hold a month ago.

I’m not reading much at all and I rarely hide my head inside the laptop any more, but right now I need to be active and not passive. So, I’m being active and I have found a group of wonderful people who are helping me stay inspired and motivated and…well… I’m even officially signed up to suffer – er participate – in the Spartan Run in May 2014 with a group from the fitness class. Elissa did it last year and survived – so I guess I can too? 😉

So, I have had a Year of Going Place and a Year of Doing Things. This year is officially my Year of Being Active. I will beat this fibro business and I will be pain-free and stronger eventually. That is my goal. This is SPARTA! Or, a reasonable facsimile thereof.

if the shoe fits

One shoe, two shoe. Old shoe, new shoe.

Well, I guess it’s official. I am going to keep on keeping on with this running business. Before I spent any money on running paraphernalia I wanted to make sure this wasn’t just something I was going to try and then abandon after a few half-hearted attempts. But I spent money today, so it’s like, a real thing. I am going to be a runner.

And although I don’t go out nearly as often as I think I should. I have continued to lace-up and hit the pavement every month in hopes to progress a little bit farther than I had the last time I was out. I continue to consider all days that aren’t over 25C days that are, “good running days” and then become slightly mad at myself if I am not actually out there running. Or walk-running as I actually do. I have been out enough that my 2-year old Brooks are wearing through their soles. Granted they are two years old and I bought them while on strike so I’d have something comfortable to walk in a circle for 3 hours day in (let’s not talk about that anymore, shall we?). And in the last two years, there were a couple of actual half-hearted attempts at trying to jog in there, but I didn’t wear the shoes often enough to wear them down much.

However since the last week of March? I can now feel rocks and other little things through the bottom of my shoes WHILE WALKING. That made me take a look at them and realize how much I have worn them down in the last 5 months. But new running shoes are expensive. New running shoes are hard to pick out for me. I loved the cushion and support that my Brooks Adrenaline GTS had, but they were a little heavy. And I know that I tried on three different brand of shoes that day – including some awesome purple ones! – but I chose these because they felt the best on my feet. And they were. I have been able to run without foot pain which I never thought possible. They were great for high-arched feet like mine. But the latest edition of them didn’t feel fantastic when I tried them on. So I went to the Running Room and had them show me other shoes that were similar to what I had and what I needed. Only, it’s hard to find tiny feet shoes. The first RR I went to didn’t have any size 6’s* in stock except for one brand of Asics. Those felt weirdly tight and the last thing I want is for more pinching on my right foot to make it fall asleep while running.

So I took photos of the other shoes and decided to take a look at the RR closer to home and see what I could try on. Again, not all the shoes were in my size and although I was partial to some sort of Gel-type Asics, they were almost falling off my feet. So the woman suggested I try some shoes in the junior section. I was worried they would be too fragile for a heavier adult (with tiny feet) but I was surprised by how “normal” they felt. The first pair I was given were too narrow and although one foot felt ok, the other was pleading with me to try something else. So I asked about two other pairs and only one came in my size.

As soon as I put the first one on? I knew. This was going to be my shoe. I put both on and pranced around the store to see how supportive and cushioned they were and how solid they felt. I didn’t want to buy a pair of shoes that I’ll destroy in a month because I’m a 37 (and a half!) year old woman who isn’t 80 pounds. 😉 But they felt very similar to my Brooks.

Bonus: They are PURPLE. Oh, that made me so happy!

Super Bonus: They were less than half the price of the adult shoes (seriously!) and so I was able to look at the running shorts and get a new belt for water (go, go, Fuelbelt!)

I have now invested money into this crazy venture and not just my time. So I will make sure to continue with it. I am still unable to run even ONE kilometer after five months, but I am getting there. And I will, eventually, make 5km. My goal of being able to do a 5km at Disney World in October isn’t going to happen this year (unless miracles happen between now and then) but I will get a 5km in eventually. I seem to poop out at the 4km mark even with the walk/run training, so it’s very slow going. But I am determined and am actually enjoying the challenge this is giving me.

I honestly never, ever, thought this would be possible. Or a real thing. Childhood, teenage and 20-something-year old me would never have imagined in million years that I would want to run. And enjoy it when I do. Those past Me’s would have bet ALL of their money against this. And I’d be so poor right now because I just proved myself wrong.

These items all represent me now. It’s mind-blowing. Reading & running.

I am still not able to come out and say, “I am a runner” because I don’t quite feel that way yet. I know people say that I am a runner because I actually go out and DO the training and RUN, even if it’s ever so slightly. But until I can run for more than 3 minutes (twice in a row) and can reach at least that kilometre mark, I won’t feel comfortable calling myself a runner. It feels like a lie right now. I know it won’t always feel this way, so I know that I will be able to call myself a runner one day. Just not yet. I’m a beginner. That will work for me for the time being.

will be a runner. I need to start accepting this as fact. It’s the path my life has decided to follow. I have invested money on running paraphernalia and I will run. Although I’m not entirely certain what to do when winter descends upon us. I don’t quite see myself as a Running in the Snow & Ice sort of runner yet. Baby steps.

*Depending on how the shoe is made I can often wear anything from a kid’s size 3 to an adult size 6. My Brooks were a 6 and fit me perfectly. The other size 6’s I tried on today were too loose on my feet. It is so difficult trying to find shoes for me. Good grief.

diary of a non-jogger – july is not the best running month


Hey, so I keep meaning to update this blog with more than just jogging posts but I never seem to find the motivation. I have a different post already started about other things, but each time I sit down with the intention of blogging I get restless and distracted.  I’m a day-time blogger, really, so if I can’t find time at work to update (and trust me, I can’t. Soooo busy.) I just don’t feel like sitting and writing when I get home after a long day. Alas.

Even now, as I try and write this particular post about my run this morning, I’m all over the place. Not feeing it. BUT I am keeping track of this for my own reference and I want something to look back as I move forward. So, here I am.

We’ve just come off a 2-week major heatwave that saw a few days with highs of 44C in a row with humidity. That’s 111F for those of you who don’t speak Canadian. I have never experienced anything other than humid heat so I don’t know what 44C would feel like WITHOUT humidity. I’m sure it’s still hot and I have been told that it’s a little more bearable than a humid heat. Who knows. What I do know is that I couldn’t go out at all while the humidity was so bad. I can’t breathe just walking in that weather, there was no way I was going to try and run. I know my limits. I did go for a few bike rides though and although it was still hot it was a little easier to bear.

Thing was, I was missing the runs BIG TIME. I was feeling anxious and antsy and cranky about not being able to run and yet each and every time it’s HARD and I wish I could run MORE and not have to walk. Still, I’m going  out and doing things so I’m getting stronger and apparently I’m even starting to like it. Who knew?

Friday night my throat started to hurt and my neck got tight. I was hoping it was allergies (hay fever started early this summer) but by the time my glands swelled up I knew that was wishful thinking. Sleeping Friday to Saturday was uncomfortable. Everything hurt from the hair on my head to the bottoms of my feet. Saturday evening was cool and nice and I wanted to go running to badly but I was so sick. It was worse than Friday and I just could not get comfortable. I was angry at my body for doing this to me the first day it was nice enough to go out and run again! Curses!

This morning was a miraculously cool 15C and although I woke up with the intention of going out to run first thing in the morning (regardless of how I was feeling) I realized that I am not a morning runner. The idea of doing anything other than sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee in my jammies was not a reality. I ‘m not a morning person in general and most week-days my husband has to help me make sure I am leaving the house with pants on. The number of times I have started out to the bus with slippers still on is astounding. 😉

But after a pancake breakfast I was feeling the urge to go out again. I am still sick but not quite as bad as yesterday and I am stubborn. I got changed from tinkerbell jammies to running clothes and I went out by 11am. It was still cool and I knew most of the path I’d be running on would be in shade.

It was going well. Surprisingly well. I am giving myself another “week” of the week 2 C25K schedule to make sure I can still do it (and, it’s been 21 days since I last went out!) and it started off so well. Those first few runs were like nothing. I was feeling so confident. Not too hot. Not too sore. Lungs were working, nose was running but my throat was a little bit better. I was going to DO THIS!

Then, at the end of the walk 6 of 9 I was slammed with a wave of dizziness. Ugh. I was on my way back and was hoping to make it through but I had to pause everything and sit down for a little bit under a tree. I drank my water and texted Shawn, letting him know I was going to take a break. But as I ran out of water and the dizziness wasn’t really passing we decided that I’d go back a different way and he’d come pick me up by car with more water. I should have brought a bigger bottle. Oh, well. I wasn’t too warm believe it or not, but I don’t think I was hydrated enough AND I am still sick. Bleh.

I managed to get two more runs in and my last 90 second walk ended just as Shawn appeared with the car. I made it through almost the entire program but not the last 90 second run and the 5 minute cooldown. When I got back up I was feeling a little better, which is why I added the runs back into the path home (towards the car) and told myself I’d stop if I was dizzy again. Thankfully it only started up right before the car appeared.

I only made 3km and I was covering less distance this time, but my running pace was a little slower than it has been. I’m chalking that up to my cold. I’m not too disappointed though part of me had hoped to complete the entire thing plus some. I had wishful thinking for a sick-day run.

I sat with an icepack on my head when I got home and have drank boatloads of water. I feel fine now – just tired and I am so much happier that I went out and did something. I probably should have gone for a bike ride over a run today, but I MISSED the running.

I am hoping that the cooler (well, under 30C anyhow) weather this coming week will allow me to get back out there a few more times after work. I’d like to try out the week 3 schedule by next week, but I want another successful week 2 under my belt before that happens because the running jumps quite a bit after this.

Speaking of belts, I might need to get a FuelBelt with two water bottles in it since I don’t like to run with a big bottle and my little Evian bottle isn’t quite enough for summer runs. Not that I can spend money right now, but I’m going to look into it. I also need shoes but I don’t think mine are quite as bad to make it urgent. I am not having problems with the shoes…yet. But that will be soon I think.

Running is great exercise but boy can it be expensive (and I haven’t even signed up for any races yet!)