Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not The Diary of a Wimpy Runner

End of February! I had a great run today motivated by Kathy and Tania, who earlier in the day responded, "One!" "Two!"to my question, "so how many miles do you think I have in me today?
Wait just a minute ladies, one or two miles?  How about 10! "Beep Beep!" (getting ready for Albuquerque :). Finished off the month with 185 miles. Just think, I might have made the 200 mile mark had it not been a short month.  Yes, I am reaching the 200 mile mark and yes there will be a party. If I remember right my old friend Danny Salmonon (who lives in Regina but hanging out in Mexico for the winter) is taking me out to dinner to celebrate my first 200 miles!  Now where is that sexy black dress? 

"God is a comedian who is playing to an audience afraid to laugh."  This quote by Voltaire begins Christopher Moore's novel, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. I had no idea what to think when I began reading Moore's book however, after finishing it today, I can say it is one of the most unique, fun and creative novels that I have ever read. The story is wonderful, well researched, and just so cleaver. My new reading adventure is "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  The authors have chosen to tell the story through a number of letters sent between a group of people living in Europe in the 1940s after the war. Comes highly recommended.

Friday, February 27, 2009

175 miles!

Crazy busy day today. Managed to get 5 miles in. My leg is feeling great and I'm back to enjoying my runs again. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

170 miles!

Four more miles. I'm now at 170 miles.  I hope to get a few more in over the next couple days to finish the month off. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Closing out the month

Ran a little over six miles tonight (166). My leg felt great, the two days off really helped.  The weather is terrible. I am so tired of running indoors and can't wait to get to Albuquerque so I can run outside without snow, slush and ice. I'm there most of next week so a little reprieve from winter. 

Ottawa was great. However I did come away worried about the feasibility of the project. I guess at this point we just keep going forward and remain optimistic.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meeting Marathon

Skipped my run today. Had a series of meetings that will continue into tomorrow. Very interesting day. I came away with a feeling that we have a great deal of work to do to place the project in the best possible position to move it forward.  I'm looking forward to some quality time researching and analyzing the literature.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Running in the Capital

Hanging out in Ottawa.  Ran three miles today which brings me to an even 160!  I was going to run outside but it is so slushy and slippery that I decided to run indoors. The gym in the hotel was "Africa hot" so I called it quits after 3 miles. 

I have new exercises for my injury. Completely forgot the exercises from physio...a mind like a sieve. Runner's world has an injury prevention edition this month which gives a set of exercises to strengthen abs and glutes which stabilize the pelvis as you run. It is a very good exercise there is a really sexy guy on the magazine cover, bonus girls (and some guys)! It also has the running shoe buyers' guide, which is also very good.

Two days of meetings in the Ottawa to drum up support for the ethical framework project that I'm working on with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Bill Mussell is joining me from B.C. which is a treat. Bill is a wonderful mentor and these days I certainly need one.  I have had a headache for 4 days straight. Work is really stressful and my personal life is just very sad...well except for Skender...he is great! And yes, I should get a metal for bravery having to face the dating scene once again....ughhhh...middle-age bring this new are not only meeting a person for the first time, but also meeting that person's past...something we didn't have to worry about in our 20s because no one really had a significant past that intruded on the present...think I'll avoid being brave and just focus on running for while longer.

Pictures are of Sken's basketball game on Saturday. He is the guy with the ball and the guy with all the crazy hair in the group photo-back row tallest guy. The other pictures I took today when I looked around Winterlude. The ice sculptures were amazing. The two pictures are actually of one sculpture which was of a horse drawn carriage. It was incredible.    

Saturday, February 21, 2009

157 miles!

A few more miles today. Not the greatest run but I managed to get through a short run and add a few more miles.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fastest mile

Ran a little over six miles tonight. At the end of my run a voice came on my ipod and congratulated me on a personal best running time for the mile. Doesn't that sound wonderful!!!! No, I'm not telling how fast my personal best is, but I do promise that at the end of my 1000 miles I will reveal my fastest mile and longest run for the year. 

If you are reading this please vote on where I should run during my summer vacation. The poll is just on the side of the blog.  Good news, it looks like I will be running in Yellow Knife in July when I attend the Circumpolar Health conference. I should be almost mid-way through my 1000 miles by then. Am I not the luckiest runner!

153 miles!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Skipping my run for a great big hug

Two days off. I drove halfway to the gym after work and then turned around and went straight to pick up Skender. I hadn't seen him in a couple days because of my trip to Edmonton. Once I left work all I wanted was to see his wonderful smile,  get a great big hug, and hear about the past two days.  Running just didn't seem that important, a challenge for another day. 

My physiotherapist said my leg is healing and probably needs some more time to get back to normal. She gave me some stretching exercises and I need to see her over the next few weeks to make sure it is healing properly. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Running in Edmonton

Ran a short 2.5 miles tonight. My leg muscles were feeling pretty tight and I was really tired because of a restless sleep last night.  I was happy to get a couple miles in and even happier to call it quits early. Meetings all day tomorrow and then I fly home in the early evening. 

I've started a new novel. This time an irreverent comedy by Christopher Moore called, "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." I didn't know what to expect but it has turned out to be quite clever and very funny.   

Photos at our meeting in Edmonton on developing ethical guidelines for research with Metis communities: Chris Anderson, Mike Evans, Judy Hughes, Devin Deitrich.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Putting on some serious miles

Ran a little under 10 miles today. My leg feels great, only a small amount of pain. Even though I felt better I decided to split my run into 6 miles followed by another 4 after stretching.  I am now up to 145 miles with 12 days left in the month. 

I finished reading The Killing Circle last night and recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. It was soooooo creepy! Other books I recommend, Life of Pi by Yanni Martel (he lives in Saskatoon), Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Finley (this is a story of Noah and his family during the time the Ark was being built and during the voyage...real cool story, which is not a surprise given it is Timothy Finley), and Atonement by Ian McEwan (this book was recently made into a movie which I've heard is quite good). 

Sken recommends Diary of a Wimpy Kid volumes 1-4 and Bone volumes 1-9. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Born to Run

Ran a little over eight miles today making my total to date just over 135 miles. It was great. I am running a bit faster and can run longer without having to stop and stretch because of the pain. I hope the extra couple miles today does not set my leg recovery back. It actually feels pretty good and I have my fingers crossed that the recovery will continue.  I listened to some new Bruce Springsteen today. If you haven't heard  The Wrestler, make sure you do. Both the lyrics and the performance are amazing...heartbreaking. I also discovered Radio Nowhere to run too. It is on his album Magic. And of course there is all that classic 80s music of his...brings back memories.  If I were granted a wish (I'm not sure by whom...let's say my fairy back up singer) to meet a famous musician, Bruce Springsteen would definitely be at the top of my wish list. I might even ask him to run with wouldn't that be mind blowing...hey, "cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run."  What do they say? "if wishes were horses..."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No Speed Demon

A day off today. My leg is feeling almost 100% and so I decided to take a nice afternoon nap rather than add a few miles to my long distance game.  I had my first anonymous comment today asking how fast I run on the treadmill. Amusing to me was the fact that I received the comment just after finishing two creepy chapters of Andrew Pyper's, The Killing Circle (which by the way is not just creepy but deliciously so!).  Given the timing, I had this initial weird feeling that despite the numerous friends and family who know about my blog, could an anonymous 'Sandman" be following my running game....just like Patrick Rush, could a ghostly Sandman be watching through my "cyber" window (creepy!!!)...but hey, do I honestly think the Sandman would say "cuz?" :)  But I do love a good story.

The answer to the question is that I am no speed demon. On a treadmill I run a 9.5-10 minute mile, which means I run about 6 miles  in an hour. My speed generally ranges from 5.6-6.5 miles when I am trying to run a longer distance. For training purposes (meaning when I'm trying to look good in a bikini, which I currently am because of our upcoming cruise) I do sprint running which means that I run around 5.6-6 miles for five minutes and then sprint for three or more minutes at 7-8 miles per hour. For anyone who is trying to maximize the benefit of training regularly, sprint running is far more effective than running a slower speed for a longer period. At least that is my experience. I believe, but I don't know, that I run slower when running outside. This is because of the elements including hills and wind, and because sometimes running along the Saskatchewan River is just too beautiful to worry about speed. I am so blessed to have the river trails across the street whenever the inspiration for a river run hits me. 

Had an interesting day today. Skender and I went to see Michael Ignatieff speak. I guess I have felt very disillusioned by recent government events and needed to see what the new guy on the block had to say. Ignatieff gave a very inspiring speech and we had a chance to meet him and his wife and Skender and his buddies had their picture taken with him. What inspired me most was the fact that he continually came back to the situation of Aboriginal Canadians and the need to recognize social and health disparities among Aboriginal peoples as a blemish on Canadian society that could no longer be allowed to persist.  As we left the brunch Skender announced that he never wanted to be Prime Minister because he didn't want to work that hard and he also didn't want to give speeches all the time! Hmmm, so maybe only one of us was truly inspired :)  The pictures above are of Michael Ignatieff with Skender (who is in the back row looking at me and not the camera) and his friends John, Elizabeth and Maria. The second picture is Skender with the new Liberal leader of Saskatchewan, Ryan Bater. 

Friday, February 13, 2009


End of a long week. Lots of work and more cold weather. Ran 6 miles today bringing my total to 127 miles. I am aiming for 170 miles by the end of February. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

121 miles!

I ran a little over four miles today but quit when my ipod battery died. I was also feeling pretty tired because work has been very demanding the past few weeks.  Thirty-five days until Skender and I leave for our cruise, I can't wait to relax and soak up some sun. The next 35 days are going to be a challenge to get the distance in that I need because I'm traveling out of province every week until we leave. I plan to pack my running shoes and try to run a few miles whenever I can. Victoria and New Mexico should be perfect temperatures for running...and while I don't know about Albuquerque, NM, running in beautiful Victoria in early March will be an absolute treat for a weary Saskatchewan soul that is wishing and waiting for spring :)  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

117 miles!

Great day today! I ran a little over six miles and my leg felt pretty good.  We also celebrated Skender's birthday...actually we have been celebrating for days with birthday parties, lunches, dinners. presents etc. I can't believe he is already nine, almost as tall as I am and in grade 3. Time flies. Skender was a 10lb 3oz. baby...ya I was eating Haugen Daus back then too, they should put a warning label on that stuff! I gained 53lbs, was absolutely huge and not surprisingly I had to run many many miles to get back into my skinny minny jeans. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stalking the walking man

Ran 6.5 miles tonight!  My leg felt pretty good and hours later there is virtually no pain. Could I be getting better? Finally!!!! I ran today on the treadmill beside a walking man. Not just an ordinary walking man but one who has been on the Canadian racewalking team. Racewalking, for those who may not know, is a long distance event that requires one foot to appear in contact with the ground at all times. This guy is currently training to compete competitively again. What is so cool (and admittedly a bit funny, actually it makes me giggle) is that he walks as fast as I run! Yup, I'm doing my thing, both feet off the ground just like Fred Flinstone (an added advantage for speed) and I look over at his machine and he's walking the same speed I'm running.  So for any of you who expressed fear that you couldn't  keep up with me on the trail, just remember the story of the walking man. By the way, I have every intention of befriending this guys so he will walk/run with me sometime this year. How could I not?
Total miles: 111  No. of redos required: 0

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wishing for a life redo

I ran just over two miles tonight. I couldn't do anymore than this because my heart just wasn't committed to the day's challenge. My heart and mind were stuck on something that happened earlier in the day. Have you ever wished for a life redo? Stepping back in time to choose a different path, make a different decision? Today was one of those days. If I could just step back in time and undo a decision I made several months ago, maybe today's event would never have occurred. I vote we should all get at least three redos every decade. Granted the wisdom of hindsight and the ability to use it! Redoing the past decision that led up to today's grand finale would definitely be at the top of my decade's list of redos. 

What am I reading? A wonderful Canadian novel called the Killing Circle. More about it later in the month. My recent favorite reads: Mercy by Toni Morrison (amazing!), The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (specifically for those who love epic novels and dogs) and of course a great Canadian novel, winner of the 2008 Giller Prize: Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden (he's Metis ya!!!).  Books I'd pass on: Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips and Blood Sucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. There is nothing I love more than a funny novel, and while both had their moments neither left a lasting impression.

Books I can't believe I'm reading! Skender and I are currently reading a series of kid's books by Andy Griffiths. Sken is on the second book in the series: Zombie Butts from Uranus! while I am making my way through, The Day My Butt Went Psycho! (Based on a True Story).  We have spent the last few nights curled up in bed giggling, reading each other the worst passages we can find.  This is definitely not the 1970s...and I'm still adjusting to the idea of psycho butts! :) 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Slow and steady

Ran a few miles Saturday. I'm slowing moving into the next 100 miles, now at 106. My leg is slowly feeling better but I'm restricted in how far I can run and I have to run slower than usual. It is difficult not to feel frustrated with how long it is taking to feel 100% again.  Took today off hoping tomorrow's run will be easier. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

100 miles party

Drinks at Amigos tomorrow night to celebrate the first 100 miles.   

Starting the next 100 miles I am in need of some new running music. I love what I have but some new tunes would be great. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crazy work day

Had a crazy work day today, one I hope will not be repeated tomorrow. Felt great to get some exercise and clear my head.  I ran a couple miles tonight but didn't want to push it further. I have a couple days off running and my leg feels like it is getting better.  Hopefully the two days will help.

Thanks Crystal for your comment. Nice surprise and your idea is great. We plan to have a little party after each 100 miles (drinks at the Yard and Flagen this Friday night!), and I do plan to take photos of the people I run with over the year. I just need to get this leg problems sorted out so I can start planning my running schedule with friends. The weather is certainly perfect for it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My first 100 miles

Completed my first 100 miles today! 

Monday, February 2, 2009

96.48 miles

Ran a little over a mile tonight because I couldn't help myself and just had to run a little. My leg is  feeling a bit better but I am still having difficulty running. I decided to keep my run to a short distance because of a story I heard last night about another runner who ignored her injury (in her upper leg) and now cannot run anymore.  I can't imagine not being able to run. Nothing works better to clear my mind and boost my spirits. I'm booked for physiotherapy in a couple weeks. I spent my workout time today strengthening my legs, arms and core area. It was a great work out because I had enough time to get through the exercises I wanted to.

So now I'm sitting at 96 miles and if all goes well we'll be celebrating the 100 mile mark Friday night after work :) Timing is everything. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

95 miles! And so it goes

The end of my first month. I ran 7.1 miles yesterday to end January with just over 95 miles completed. My leg problem definitely slowed me down. I've decided to take it easy the first week of February and work on finding out what the problem is and finding a plan to heal whatever is pulled, broken or torn. I spent yesterday PM resting my leg and reading as Skender and his buddy John hopped from one play activity to the other. It is so nice to have Skender home on the weekend, the house is definitely livelier.  

A couple weeks ago I ordered a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five because it is the 25th anniversary of the book. I can't remember when I first read this book, probably about the time it was published and admittedly I had no memory of the story when I placed my order.  I smiled yesterday morning as I read the preface of this new edition. In playing with Stephen Hawking's musing about our inability to remember our future, Vonnegut writes, "Be patient. Your future will soon come to you and lie down at your feet like a dog who knows and loves you no matter what you are." I laughed thinking that I have a least a few stray dogs laying at my feet already. I guess everyone does.  Among them a few I'd like to banish to the dog house and others that unfortunately arrived at my feet far to soon. This month on January 14th was the 10th anniversary of the death of my very good friend, Warwick Hiscock. He would have laughed out loud at my crazy idea to run a 1000 miles and I have no doubt he would have tried to run as many of the 1000 with me as he could. Warwick always took great pleasure in my crazy ideas (the one he liked the most was the mini skirt protest of 1993) including when I decided to paint 2000 plant pots and sell them to raise money to go to UC Berkeley for graduate school.  While everyone I knew ended up with one of my pots (If I remember right they weren't that special, mostly pity purchases), Warwick decided to give me the money he had saved for a new sail boat (the purchase, as he described of one really big pot!) so that I could get my student visa for the US. In the end I received a surprise scholarship, Warwick bought his sail boat and I closed down my plant pot business.  And so it goes.

I'm about half way through Slaughter House Five and for anyone who is a Vonnegut fan, it is one to read again. His wit is as fresh and cutting today as it was 25 years ago.