Getting back to normal, some Yin torture and heading into vacay mode!!

Guess what?! I am on vacation next week!! I’m going to stay in town this weekend doing chores around the house and then there’s a Redblacks game on Sunday…then on Monday, I head up to the cottage until Thursday…and I CANNOT wait. No cell reception/internet and no TV means UNPLUGGING…and it is going to recharge my soul and allow me a whole lot of time to do this:

And I must say, this week has been a lot more normal compared the last few weeks.

Abby has been almost sleeping through the night completely which has meant that I’ve been able to get workouts done in the morning…and I’ve been trying to be smart about them.

Monday night I had to go to physio because my glutes were a mess and for obvious reasons – I was running randomly and had not done strength training in a while and stretching was practically non-existent.

So, after a solid 13km run on Tuesday morning, I did a good strength training session on Wednesday

Felt so good to be doing this again.

Then on Thursday morning I did a solo track workout:

3 sets of:
4oom, 2x 200m, 800m
1 min rest between 400s, 200s and 4 mins rest between sets

And then Thursday night I had field hockey…I actually showed up early for once! lol

And that got me another 7km for a total of 19km yesterday.

This morning was definitely a stretching day…so I chose to do my Yin Yoga DVD – the “Hips & Pelvis” segment which I had never done before.

OMG. It was tough.

These stretches normally feel great on my tight hip flexors…but not when you hold them for 3-5 minutes!! Good lord, I was dying!!! lol But my legs felt so much better afterwards.

I started my last day of work, before vacation, with a bike ride with one of my patients.

25km total – 13 of them with my patient (I bike to and from his house). Below is our turn around spot. As a teenage boy, he really doesn’t appreciate this view the way I do!! But I make him stop and stare out over the water for a few minutes anyway! lol

Abby had a decrease in one of her meds this week so am glad I’ll be able to be with her 24/7 next week to keep a close eye on her and be able to catch it quickly if she starts to head in the wrong direction. And how is she handling all this?

As per usual. Very little stress in her life. Which is just the way it should be, right?

As I said, I’m up at the cottage all next week and then away at a a very dear friend’s wedding in Southern Ontario next weekend…lots to update you on when I get back, I’m sure!!

Happy Friday!

 

Heat waves, snow piles and my Abby.

Thank you for all your kinds words over the last few days – Abby is holding steady and my worries, while still present, are feeling less suffocating.

We are having just about the best summer – so, so, so hot and humid. I love it. Saturday’s long run was no exception – met up with some teammates for a lovely 11 miles in the early morning blistering heat.

And so when we passed by a hockey arena and saw a pile of beautiful snow outside on the ground, I don’t think one word was exchanged – we just all changed course and head over to the pile and rolled in it for a few seconds!

After the run I packed up the car and joined my parents up at the cottage.

Abby’s medications make her more sensitive to the heat and sun so, while normally she’d choose to be baking in the sunshine, I set up the umbrella so she could have some shade and still cuddle up to me.

In the late afternoon, with the sun less blazing, she was happy to sit out and survey the lake.

IMG_6061One of the great things about being up at the cottage when my parents are there is that my mom cooks great meals. Saturday night we had delicious Cornish hens on the bbq with hickory chips giving it such a yummy flavor!

While we’re less than an hour from the city, the weather can be so different up there. It was sweltering in the city overnight, but up there it got down to 12C/54F and after an hour’s paddle around the lake in a long sleeve and pants on Sunday morning

I then spent the rest of Sunday morning under a wool blanket reading my book and then in the afternoon, it still wasn’t all that warm,  so I spent my time on the screened in front porch with my mom doing some adult colouring! My mom is obsessed with Jane Austen and her BFF gave her a Jane Austen themed colouring book. This was my masterpiece…seriously, it took me almost 3 hours. I might now have carpal tunnel.

Got back into the city late Sunday afternoon…back into the sweltering temps of the city. God, I love it!! lol

Abby had me up a couple of times Sunday night so when my alarm went off for my run in the morning, I just couldn’t do it. So missed yesterday’s workout. But last night Abby only had me up at midnight so I had more continuous sleep and was able to make it out for my run this morning…and am so happy I was able to – it’s ridiculously gorgeous outside these days! These are taken over on the Quebec side looking across the river on the back of Parliament.

I’ve been doing some major clearing out of my office at home…and yesterday I came across this relic! It was the first GPS I had for running. Probably circa 2003. Seriously, it was soooooo fancy at the time.

And it didn’t at all seem cumbersome to have to wear that honking piece around my arm! The watch still works…need to find some AAA batteries to know if the GPS portion still works! lol

One of the side effects of one of her new drugs is that it can be sedating….

Yeah, I didn’t think Abby could get more sedate, but she is!! But she seems happy so that’s all the matters. I lowered, as per the vet’s instructions, one of her meds today…she has follow-up with him next Thursday to see if she is tolerating this decrease…fingers crossed – this is the drug that has her waking me up throughout the night. Decreasing it would be good for both of us!!

Happy Tuesday!

When your best (canine) buddy is down, you can’t run…but you get to judge beer.

I don’t even know what to write here…my mind is such a jumbled mess. I am so tired. And because of that, I’ve been missing more than half of my workouts…which then only makes things worse because I’ve lost that stress reliever. It’s a vicious cycle.

Abby had another seizure last week. So we found ourselves back again with the neurologist yesterday.

While what is going on is very serious, notice that Abby is looking back at the door – waiting for whoever it is that is going to walk in the exam room…but facing the counter where she knows (from previous visits) that there is jar of treats. She doesn’t want to miss either thing. She cracks me up.

But she also has been the cause of so many tears. The recommended treatment is adding more medication…costly medication…with really time-consuming and schedule restricting administration instructions (numerous pills at home and frequent trips to vet for injections). The cost is creeping up so much that the neurologist (who works at the top clinic in Ottawa…and by far the most expensive…some might call it robbery) advised me to get one of her new meds at Costco.

Yup, Abby is now a registered client at its pharmacy. lol

So I’m stressed about the additional meds and their side effects, the restrictive administration routine and, of course, the cost. Plus, it’s all a reminder that Abby is not well. And so far has not responded well to treatment. And that this condition is fatal. But what choice do I have?
I would do anything for her. And other than the seizures, she is her usual self and looks to me to keep her safe.

As it is for many, I find stress relief through physical activity. But I am so tired these days from nights of frequent sleep interruptions, that I can barely do that.

Yesterday I managed to get out in the morning. 7 miles.

Can I tell you how healing this was?

I felt so much better yesterday at work – so much more alive.

And then we went to the neurologist last night.

And I barely slept last night. And so no workout this morning other than hitting snooze a million times.

I have field hockey tonight which I know will do me a world of good. And my plan is to do yoga tomorrow morning. And then, cottage time for the weekend. I so need that.

Ok, fun story to cap off this depressing post…at the family reunion we had our customary “Best Beer” contest. There were 15 submissions and three people were chosen to be the judges. I was one of them…obviously. Winner gets to be in possession of the plastic dinosaur until the next reunion.

We were blinded as to who had submitted each beer and when we revealed the winner, the crowd went nuts when it was my 82-year old aunt who stepped forward to claim the prize!

Such good times with family!

Happy Friday🙂

My weekend included prison time and hanging out with giants.

Warning, I didn’t run once this weekend…so don’t expect any running stories!🙂

This weekend was our bi-annual family reunion and, as per usual, was sooooo much fun! It was held in Kingston this year (it’s held somewhere different every time) which is a beautiful little city 2 hours away from Ottawa. And, the highlights of my weekend were spending time with my nephew Jackson…

And my niece, Jillian…

Kinda totally ridiculously cute, no?

And let me tell you, I’m not the only one under Jackson’s spell of cuteness. He pretty much ran the show all weekend. And when Jillian starts talking, I’m sure she will too!

My father bought Jackson a wooden toy rifle after his successful training at Kingston’s historic Fort Henry on Saturday morning…

…for hours, literally, he had David play that he was a zombie so that he, Jackson, could shoot him dead with this toy wooden rifle

And then with Alex and Nick (both conveniently lifeguards and swim instructors), he had two perfect pool mates

But really, Nick and Alex can find entertainment just with themselves…

And here is Nick giving his mother an underduck (or underdog is that’s what you call it)

Oh, and I did I tell you that they are each 6’6? They have FINALLY stopped growing. lol

Other than just hanging out and catching up with family members, we did have a group outing to the newly opened tourist attraction…the Kingston Penitentiary.

Opened in 1835 and closed in 2013, this historic (and oddly beautiful) prison has housed some of Canada’s most notorious killers (Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo and Russel Williams). And what makes this tour all the more impressive is that instead of just having a summer student, who has received 8 hours of training, giving you a tour, you have retired correctional officers who spent some or all of their careers working within these walls.

These tough old men, talked about how terrifying it was, everyday, to walk in through the prison gates as they never knew what would face them that day.

This tank of shanks, taken from another prison in Ontario, gives you some insight on the dangers of working in a prison.

Below is where manual labor took place – the guard on the stairs had some pretty crazy stories to tell as this is where inmates had access to the materials that could be used to make weapons or escape equipment.IMG_5801And when you have a lot of time on your hands, humans can build some pretty impressive things with some toothbrushes and pen casings!The most disturbing part was in the museum where they had, on display, “tools” used to punish prisoners in the late 19th and even 20th century. It was completely barbaric and shocking to me that some of it was still being used just a few years before I was born!

Inmates were tied to this “Triangle” and whipped

IMG_5822Old way of water boarding…prisoners would sit with their heads locked in that lower barrel while water was dumped into it from above. This form of punishment was abandoned after only a few years of use…because too many prisoners were dying during it.

This was the rec yard…

But only in use during the warmer months – during winter, inmates were kept inside. I’m sure that does wonders for moods and aggression.

Anyway – they have tours of this prison happening until October 31st of this year…after that, it will be decided whether they make it an official historic attraction…or whether they tear it down to build condos as it sits on prime real estate. Sigh. I fear it will be the latter. So, if you’re in the area, I strongly recommend getting to it soon!

Random pic…Jackson showing me his “huge muscles”. lol

It was a fantastic weekend, but am looking forward to getting back into the routine of things this week! Happy Monday!!

 

 

My nemesis, cupcake fuel, and #TeamAbby prayers, please!

No question about it. It is summer right now here in Ottawa. And while we can have extremes in the winter (-40 degrees) we can have the same in the summer…this week, the humidex has been 49-42C (104-108F). And I just LOVE it.

Although, I will say…team practices which are normally killer in regular weather are kinda totally insane right now. However, we were rewarded after Tuesday night’s killer mile repeats…

Yup, it was FG’s birthday!!! So obviously, we re-fueled our beaten bodies with cupcakes!!

And for those of you who know me…and know I HATE cake…I have you know that HAPPILY ate the DELICIOUS icing and, so as not to offend my teammate who made the cupcakes, choked back the cake part! lol

Wednesday is my off day from training…and ended up being not a very good day. Abby had another seizure. I managed to stay calm during it, but as soon as it was over, I broke down and just cried and cried. Her neurologist is currently out of town (and from what I’m gathering, is at a cottage with no cell/internet reception) so, given that she seems stable right now, we’re waiting until he’s back on Monday to do anything. So until then, let’s concentrate on better times…like this…when she was 8 months old and already a total rascal…who had stolen my heart!!

Yesterday was supposed to be field hockey but I opted to stay home with Abby…and, with her at my side, faced one of my current nemesis’: Crab Grass
I don’t know if this is a problem for you…but with the heat and lack of rain we’ve had over the past month, the crab grass is THRIVING in a huge way. So I spent a lot of time last night pulling it out and cursing at it. I feel like cursing at it will help keep it from coming back? lol

This morning I did a speed workout, but last night we had an INSANE thunder and lightning and torrential rain storm…so the crappy track I run on was in even worse shape…but not everyone was upset with that!!

That dog HAD been playing a fabulous game of catch with its owner but then, mid-fetch, suddenly decided it needed a bath! The owner didn’t find it nearly as hilarious as I did!!

Despite the puddle hurdles, I got my work out done:

3x400m, 1×1200, 3×400
1 minute rest between 400s, 3 minutes rest before and after the 1200

And then I had some fun taking pics of me flying!🙂

This weekend I’m heading out of town for a family reunion!!! I am SOOOOO excited…’cause you know who I get to see??

THIS GUY!!!!

Happy Friday!!!

Weekend Fun! Football, thunder runs, craft beer and Abby laziness!

One guess as to what she is saying to me here:

If you guessed, “Mom, there’s a humidex of 41C (106F) happening today so I’m going on strike from walking until further notice” you’d be right!!

Last Friday I shocked myself…for 1.8 seconds, I found myself in the crow pose!!

There’s hope!!!! lol

Friday night marked something very special here in Ottawa!!

Yup, the home opener of the Ottawa Redblacks!!!! This is their third year of existence and for those of you just joining, here’s a quick recap:

Year 1: they sucked so bad that we cheered if they just managed to catch the ball! (seriously) They finished bottom in the league. I think they won 1 game that season.

Year 2: somehow they made it all the way to the Grey Cup!!

Year 3: we have some expectations for them going into this season.

Friday’s game was against Calgary and it ended in a tie after overtime (26-26) and, truth be told, Ottawa was lucky…they certainly didn’t deserve to win the game.

Saturday morning we lost our gorgeous summer weather…there was nothing but rain and thunderstorms in the forecast all weekend long. But that doesn’t stop the crazies I run with…

We ran through torrential rain, thunder and yes, a bit of lightning – but none of it was right over our heads…that makes it less stupid, right?

Me and these ladies did 14 miles total (everyone was on different schedules and we three wanted to do a longer run than others). I wanted to take a pic during the torrential rain buuuut, my touchscreen doesn’t work then apparently! lol

Sunday morning I needed to get in 10k to get my weekly mileage to 70km (44 miles)…but someone was NOT making it easy for me to get up off my butt!

I did finally leave that lazy ball of fur but with the weather still pretty bad, I stuck to my treadmill for the 10k and watched me some Sons of Anarchy (just about to finish season 5!!)

Sunday afternoon I met up with FG for some beers – she had been away for work all week so we had DAYS of catching up to do! lol We went to the Craft Beer Market where they have over 100 craft beers on tap. Yes, with a little bacon on the side, I’m in heaven when there. This is the beer that I was drinking on Sunday – it was lovely!🙂

Monday’s training schedule has an easy 7 mile run on the docket…and normally, if it’s not a team practice, I ALWAYS do my workouts in the morning (as I am an UBER morning person) but not yesterday. No, when I saw that our heat wave was coming back, I skipped the run before work so that I could do my run during the hot part of the day after work!!

It’s like I need to soak in as much heat as possible during the summer in order to make it through the winter!!

It is SO beautiful here in Ottawa right now, I seriously wanted to stop every 5 minutes and take a picture!! But I limited myself to just this one…sigh. lol

On twitter over the past few days there has been an #accentchallenge where you record yourself speaking so that others can hear your accent or, in my case, lack of accent!! lol So I thought I would post my video here as well! It’s always so fun to hear, after reading someone speak for so long, what they actually sound like!

Happy Tuesday!

It’s stupid hot here and so my workouts are awesome…more proof that I’m a defective Canadian!

It’s Thursday already? This is what happens when it’s summer…IT GOES BY FAR TOO QUICKLY!!!

Monday morning I did 7 easy miles along the canal…and really, don’t I live in a beautiful city?

Ok, ok, yeah, let’s just forget about the 6 months of the year where I’m running in an arctic tundra! But seriously, I feel bad for non-morning people…LOOK AT WHAT YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON!!!

Then both Monday night I drove out to Matt’s place and we watched the Australian comedian Jim Jeffries on TV. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. But WARNING: He is crude and offensive and it’s definitely not for everyone. Some of his shows are on Netflix right now – has anyone else seen them?

Remember how I said Matt lives a little bit outside of the city? Seriously, it’s like they don’t believe in lights out there!! lol (I am SUCH a city girl!!)

Tuesday evening was team practice with the mile repeats on the rolling hills. It was STUPID hot and coach said that we were only allowed to do 3 repeats. Oh darn! (SARCASM!!!)

So, 4k warm-up, three 1-mile repeats, 4k cool-down. I seriously nearly died. The heat was insane. BUT, let’s be clear…I AM NOT COMPLAINING!! If only it could be like this year round!

After the repeats, coach always has us do 50m strides…can you spot me? (also, two of my teammates had their kids with them so they joined us for the strides!)

After practice, Matt came over and we walked for about an hour around my ‘hood and then watched more Jim Jeffries…and laughed until we cried (and are probably going to hell for it)! lol

Yesterday was my rest day and OMG, my body needed it. It just kinda ached everywhere. To be honest, I think I was dehydrated! It has been amazingly hot here and I know I’m not keeping up right now!

This morning was speed work out on the local high school’s gravel track.

The workout from coach was:

2 sets of 800m, 2x400m, 4x200m

And I managed to screw it up! I forgot about the 200m repeats on the first set!!! Don’t ask me how I did that!! So, I added them on the second set and did 8x200m!

Abby is holding steady…but really, all she does these days is sleep. I think it’s combo of her not being 100% and it just being too damn hot for her. Here is a pic of her when she was on her first long road trip at 3 months of age. See? Right from the start she was ridiculous!Happy Thursday!!!