Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cats Are Evil

I was going to go for my first run today since the doctor's okay. I wasn't planning anything big, just to head out the door and see how far I could make it. I wanted to see exactly how much of my endurance I had lost in the five weeks before I start doing a more structure running schedule this coming week. Mostly, I wanted to go for a run just to get out of the house while the weather is still as beautiful as it is today, before the rains return. I was so excited about getting out and running that I dreamt about it twice last night.

Then this morning, my cat got underfoot while I was getting out of bed. I landed on my right foot at a strange ankle and had to limp to the couch. It's nothing serious--it's already better than it was an hour ago--but it's sore. I've already had to take one extended break from running, I don't want to have to take another. I'll just go for a walk this morning instead and wait until Tuesday to start my running.

Stupid adorable cats.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Verdict Is In...

Guess who got the all clear to start running again? I'll give you a hint:

I've been instructed to ease back into it, but I can start running again!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Like Chrismas Eve... But Not.

No pressure, but if there is a Santa Claus, tomorrow I get the okay to start running again. I've noticed that my knees don't feel funny as often so I'm hoping that's because of the exercises and not the lack of running. A friend was trying to convince me to do the Gunner Shaw 10K Memorial at Thetis Lake at the end of November and after reading about it, I was pretty bummed to say no. I just don't have enough time to get ready but a true cross country race where you get dirty, cold and scrambling over rocks, through puddles and across logs? It looks like fun! Definitely one to put in the calendar for next year. (And if you've ever run it, share some stories.)

Wish me (and my knees) luck tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come On, Brain, [Insert Activity] Builds Character!

Sometimes I wish I could shut my mind off. Obviously not for important things like breathing and swallowing my own saliva, but for those awesome things that you want to do, you know you should do, but your mind is just too lazy to do.

Tonight was West African Dance night and my own mind almost talked me out of going. I didn't sleep well last night, I had a crap day at work, and all I wanted to do when I got home was watch Hawaii 5-0 and hope to see Alex O'Loughlin's abs... and I almost did just that.

You have a bunch of writing you have to do.

You have nothing ready for dinner and do you really want to have to start cooking when you get home?

You should upload those photos for your piece on Alberta.

You missed vacuuming on the weekend.

Maybe you should just have a nap. You only slept six hours last night.

Alex! O'Loughlin!

My mind had more excuses than a five year old who doesn't want to go to bed (it may have even used the five year old I-don't-wanna as well) and I found myself sitting in a funk, watching my clock creep closer and closer to leaving time. I jumped off my couch with minutes to spare, dressed while using the toilet (try doing that without getting pee everywhere, gentlemen!), and raced off to class.

Even just with the decision to get my butt in gear, I found my mood elevated and I didn't feel so tired. By the time I got to class, I was singing out loud to my mp3 player (even serenaded a few people on my walk to class that's how good I was feeling). I gave my all in that class--as I always do because it's impossible not to--and I ended up sweaty, out of breath, and craving more. I left the class feeling like life was awesome and I should go for a walk. So I did.

To a coffee shop.

Where I got delicious decaf coffee.

And dinner.

Okay brain, now we can watch Hawaii 5-0.


Anyone else have problems convincing their brain to workout? How do you handle it?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Counted Sheep So Many Times, I Knew Them By Name

It has been a really bad week for healthy choices and workouts. It all stems from the fact that I did something to my sleep pattern last weekend and it messed me up all week! Bah! I was finally forced to take a sleep-aid (*ahem* a hot toddy, to be exact) to get myself back into my normal pattern.

My internal clock is really good at resetting itself. I attribute this to all the travel to Ireland I did growing up, but it causes problems for me now because if I stay up too late for two nights in a row, I'm hooped. My body will think that's my new bedtime. Last weekend, I was up past midnight on Friday and Saturday so despite being in bed at 10:00pm every night this week, I'd toss and turn until 1:00am. Morning yoga got skipped in favour of more sleep, after work workouts became internal struggles over doing more and flopping on the ground in a dramatic fashion, and dinners had to be ready in less than 10 minutes because I couldn't be bothered to stand up for any longer than that.

I don't like sleep aids if I'm not actually sick because I have a fear of becoming dependent on them. For me, this fear is pretty irrational (like my fear of moving scarecrows) because I can honestly count the number of times I've used them on one hand. (When I'm sick, however, I will down NeoCitran like I think it's water.) A Hot Toddy on Thursday night was my compromise. I'm pretty sure that after I finished the Hot Toddy, I could have slept anywhere. Sort of like this guy:

Heyna sleeping in mud puddle, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

I really wish I had done it earlier in the week because Friday was the first day I did not feel lethargic and grumpy. Friday night's workout was the only one where I really felt like I kicked butt too. Coincidence? HELLS NO! I'm looking forward to being back on the sleep train this week and seeing how much better my choices are because of it.

How do you react to a lack of sleep?

Monday, October 11, 2010


If you read both my blogs, you're not seeing double. This post appears on both of them.

What am I thankful for?

I am thankful to my birth mother for choosing to give me a life she could not provide.

Me at 5 weeks

I am thankful for my parents who never let me doubt how much I was loved.

Dad, Mom and me

I am thankful that I have two brothers who are both pretty awesome in their own rights.
Little and Big Bro about eight years ago

I am thankful that I was born in country where my gender was not seen as a reason to not educate me...


...or disallowed my participation in sports.

Soccer as a teenager

I am thankful that I know my extended family even though they all lived plane rides away.

Me and Cormac on a family trip out to Donegal

I am thankful for all the amazing places I have travelled in my life.

Trinidad, Cuba

I am thankful for the opportunities I've had to live in some of these amazing places.

Freiburg, Germany. Mein Universitaetstadt.

I am thankful for the people I've met who have helped shape my world view.

My going away party in Tanzania. I'm the only non-Muslim at the table.

I am thankful for living in a country where political discord amounts to little more than name calling in the House of Commons.
Political Message along Falls Rd, Belfast

I am thankful that I am privileged enough to be able to give back.
Dinner time, Usa River, Tanzania

I am thankful for all my friends who make life a little bit more worth while.

Looking forward to a hungover train ride back to Victoria after a girl's weekend in Parksville.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Classically Inspired

It's been a great week so far for the moving and shaking. I've had a busy week with barely enough time to watch Beauty and the Beast last night but I feel so great after all the activity I've been fitting in. I don't know if it's because I'm coming back after being sick or if we did a lot more leg work than normal in the flamenco class on Monday, but my legs were aching so much on Tuesday.

I uploaded a bunch of classical music to my mp3 player over the weekend and I really wish I had done it sooner because I forgot how much classical music makes me want to run, jump, turn, dance, leap, kick, twist, and just generally move my body. I went for a walk on my lunch listening to Tchaikovsky's Montagues and Capulets (it's the music at 1:30) and I found myself wanting to do grand battements down the sidewalk.(That's a fancy dancer-ish way of saying I wanted to goosestep, but can't you hear why?)

When I listen to the classical music, my body just reacts without my even noticing. I walk taller and smile more, for starters, but I also caught myself doing the chassé as I walked around my office. It's obvious to me that I need to add some classical music into my workout mix... or I need to convince the powers-that-be to put some treadmills in the Royal Theatre.

See? They totally want to serenade me on my runs! [Source]

What types of music do you listen to while you workout?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Focus on the Positives and Recommit

I'm finally back from the dead over the chest/head cold which has been keeping me pretty low key for the last week. It's been a tough two weeks--I was told to stop running, I lost my workout buddy to Vancouver, I was viciously attacked by my own respiratory system--and I have to admit that at one point, I felt like giving up on the getting healthy. Then a few friends were talking about next week's marathon which I will no longer be participating in. That really didn't help the crummy.

As I got over my cold, I also got over my 'oh woe is me' feelings and decided to focus on the positive:
  1. Running is temporarily on hold while we sort out what's up with my knees. The doc is very positive that I will be back at it soon and that nothing long term has actually happened to my knees.
  2. I'm still allowed to dance and that makes me the happiest when it comes to cardio. I will be plante-tacon-ing and djole-ing once a week for the foreseeable future.
  3. Before the attack of the irritated bronchial tubes, I was doing well with the 'at home' workouts. I know what needs tweaking when I start them up again this week.
  4. I have a new walking partner.
  5. My eating has been very clean throughout my illness and I know I can continue that through the next couple weeks.
  6. Beauty and the Beast comes out on DVD on Tuesday!
Okay, so that last one isn't health/fitness related but it's a positive, darn it!

At the start of September I began writing a contract with myself as a guide to keep myself on target with my workouts and eating. Somewhere along the way, it went from being a simple contract with a few guidelines to a fully annotated Encyclopdia AndreaClairicus. The original thought was in the right place and I want to go back to that. I have a rough draft of it done so I plan to do a quick rewrite of it and then it will be up on here for everyone to see... as soon as I'm done watching Beauty and the Beast.

Because Stockholm Syndrome rocks!