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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour

I unfortunately missed Earth hour as I'm spending time in a household that refuses to turn off the TV. It's fair enough, perhaps, as they go the extra mile to cut down electricity and have made their home more energy efficient through little things.

I know I have a long way to go, but here are just a few things that I can think of, that I do regularly to reduce my pollution to this world.

- I turn off any lights that I am not using. I regularly turn off the kitchen lights (to piss off my roomates)
- We use re-usable recycled bags whenever we go shopping.
- I walk to school most of the time, and I bike to work whenever I miss the bus. For the first two years I lived here I travelled by bus as I did not have access to a car.
- I am a vegetarian. I'm not going to get into this one, but less energy is lost through the food chain as there are less levels. (sun - plants - humans) vs (sun - grass - cattle - humans)
- I try to buy local. I try to buy most of my veggies at the farmer's market... which at this time of year isn't very local, but this is more helpful in the summer!
- I try to buy less packaged and bulk-products. Hopefully this helps in a little way.
- I don't flush every time I go to the washroom (numbers 1s).
- I shower less than once/day. I wont tell you how often, and I try to keep my showers about 10 mins long.
- I hate wasting papers when I print, so I've been collecting already-printed papers that have a blank side. I print on the blank side :) I've also recently made a notebook this way.

One-sided papers folded in half and hole-punched into a neat re-cycled notebook.
- I turn the water off when I brush my teeth.
- I am trying to start watering my house plants with rain water. This will be easier once the bucket outside isn't frozen!
- I compost! I have been keeping worms under my bed for a year now and I feed them egg shells, banana peels, coffee grinds, etc. They have just had babies and I am super excited that I haven't killed them! :D

That's about all I can think of at the moment.
What did you do for Earth Hour? What do you do to reduce your impact on this world?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly recap

Here is a picture of me all dressed up for our team pictures! I felt bad cropping out someone next to me, but the picture was quite big....
Let's pretend I am still on (old) Kuwait time and the weekend ends on Friday.
I've been so busy this week that I've had to leave a class early so that I could go to a meeting, and I've changed into fancy clothes in a bathroom stall because I didn't have time to go home.
I can finally sit on the couch and relax after a very long, busy week.

I know this is supposed to be a running blog, but since I have been chilling my knees and been taking it slow, there is no running to report since my track laps on Monday.
I went for a walk with Calvin yesterday, which was nice, as I used the 40 mins to unwind and be super smug as I'd tricked Calvin into exercising.

Things that deserve mentioning for this week:
-I did my first speech at a Toastmasters meeting this week. It was my ice-breaker speech, and I talked for 4 and a half minutes about myself. My only grammatical mistakes were that I said 'so' 4 times and 'um' twice. It's silly about the ummms.... because I heard myself say it the first time, and I was nervous and said it a second time!
-We are on our way to getting a show on the University radio show. I am super excited. The show will basically be what V.I.S.A stands for, but in 'spoken word' form. I am planning on having a different cultural theme each show; having guest speakers to talk about fun things from back home, or things they found weird when they were new to Canada, music from around the world and crazy interesting trivia, such as not all curry is spicy!
- I got a volunteering award for Associate of the year. It sure sounds special, but when you think about it logically (there are only two associate positions on the VISA team) it's only a 50% chance that I would win. I am super proud though!
-I am on top of my finals papers and am pretty calm about wrapping up this semester. I cannot believe my third year in university has gone by so fast! It really feels as if I was sitting at a recognition dinner just a couple of months ago... but it was a full year ago!
- The weather sucks but I will try and walk with Calvin 3x a week, and I will try another run again as soon as it's warmer outside!

That concludes this week. It looks as though next week isn't as busy, but it's still full of role plays, group meetings, reviews boards and training.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Rest it up NOW

Hey everyone!
I'm still around. I'm busy with 5 papers that will substitute finals for 3 of my classes, and wrapping up my first field placement!
I learnt some things today:
- THINKING positive helps! If you're optimistic, you really do look at things in a better way.
- Mondays don't have to suck.
- TAKE IT EASY now, because you can always ramp up the intensity later. This is especially important today, as I ran 1.2k  (2 laps) on the outdoor track at school. I felt great and wanted to do more, but I can always do more later if I stay on the path of healing! I am so excited that my knee felt okay... half marathon #2 is coming up May 1st and it is FAST APPROACHING!!

I will leave you with a couple of pics from my first ever trail race. I almost came in last, but I DID IT!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Epic Bike Ride

No, this hasn't happened yet, but it's in the works!
I went for a ride yesterday as the clocks have changed and there's more daylight after I finish at school/placement. It wasn't too cold so I only went out in a hoodie, without gloves. It turned out to be a bit colder than I was dressed for. I did a decent half-hour ride through an area I don't go through often. It was super nice!! The knee doesn't bother me while cycling, so it's a lot better than just sitting on the couch 'resting' it, I think. ACTIVE recovery ftw :D

This is from a month ago - you won't see any icicles now! :)
Since the weather is getting nicer and I found a helmet to wear, I have decided to plan an epic bike ride for next weekend. I am looking for a cycle partner that will embark on this adventure with me :)
I was thinking of finding a camping site about 30k away and biking there to see it. I've never been camping in Canada before (I hope it'll happen this summer) so it would be a nice destination and mid-point to a ride. I think my longest ride has been about 25k, so it would be nice to set aside a whole morning and make it a big deal.

Has anyone else done any long bike rides? Do you have any tips for me?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Injury Rehab

As runners, I think it's hard to accept that our body is failing us. Sometimes it's out own fault - we went too far, too fast or we tried something we maybe weren't ready for. For me, usually it's that I stopped running for a bit (due to being busy, travelling, or whatever) and then coming back as if nothing happened.

Whatever the reason we are injured, it's hard to accept it (at least it is for me). I WANT to run, and to run pain-free. It seems like it's been a while since I've had a great run where my knee wasn't hurting. It seems like it's become normal and most days I go with it. A couple of weeks ago I went running for 50 mins just ignoring my knee pain, consoling myself with the fact that at least it's not getting worse.

Well, last week it did get worse. I had to stop and have a little melt down as I understood that this injury wasn't due to not being ready to run or being out of shape. This was a real thing that will not go away.
So I scheduled an appt with a chiropractor, since that's what our school has close by. They assured me they could see/help me, and I gave it a shot.
The Dr said I have irritated lateral tendons and he zapped my knee with electricity. He then used a laser to break up scar tissue. He sent me away to ice it and take it easy. He wants me to run as long as it doesn't hurt, and to go back on Monday.

It seemed that the zapping and shining worked, a little. It hasn't been as sore as that workout where I ended up crying and limping home. It mostly hurts when I cross my legs at school, or when I twist my leg side-ways.
So I'm learning to take it easy and I'm learning that I can only go as far as my weakest tendon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crappy Knee

I had the toughest run of the year today.
It was at the track. It wasn't speed that got me, it was pain. Pain you shouldn't feel while running, and pain that shouldn't be there.
It's my stupid knee. It hurts about 1mi into a run and then doesn't go away. It's usually not too bad... or perhaps I usually stop when I feel it.
I've tried ice, changing shoes, taking days off.
The days off help, and my knee wont hurt at the beginning of a brand new run. But it's still there and as soon as I near 1mile, it flares up.

It hurts worse when I walk vs when I run. It super, super hurts when I walk. I did two cool-down laps while waiting for one of my roomates to finish his 10k, and I was crying since it hurt so freaking much.

Here is a copy-paste of what I wrote on DM:
16 x 200m: 
1.00 (ran with the Mikes) 
2.21 (recovery lap) 
---- knee flare-up, went to the lockers to have a meltdown. 
12.35 min mile on elliptical. Initially hurt to put weight on my knee, but it cooled off eventually. 
Sat in the fieldhouse feeling sorry for myself for a while, watching the Mikes do laps. 
I figured that I maybe won't be doing too much damage to my knee since it hurts anyway. AND it hurts a teeny bit less when I run vs when I walk. 
1.18 (with MacAdams) 
1.19 (with MacAdams) 
2 x 200m cool-down. This was painfully slow. Haha, get it? It freaking hurt to walk and I was crying most of it. 
Limped home. 
There will be a Dr's appt tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.
On the one hand, I am glad I didn't quit. But on the other, there's a part of me that will be so upset if I've made the whole thing worse.
So tomorrow morning, I'm heading to the student centre and seeing if I can either get help at the Student Health Services, the Sport's therapy place at the gym, or the other place at the student centre. We'll see. I'm going to make someone help me.
Stay tuned!

Oh... on a brighter note, I saw TWO people with Vibrams at the gym today! One had bright red ones and they were gorgeous :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Hi everyone!
I hope your weeks are going well.
My first week back from Reading Week (spring break) is chugging along, we're already more than half-way to the weekend!

My plans for the weekend include:
working on my Social Policy research paper.
going on an outside run if the weather is nice (there is supposed to be warmer temps with rain this weekend!)
Catching up on my reading at Coffee Exchange downtown :)

This week has been great, exercise-wise!
Monday : Ran for close to an hour through icy puddles with my Vibrams
Wednesday: 17mile cycle at the gym in 70 mins.

I am currently #3 on the leaderboard for total weekly mileage!  I am super excited and may do another cycle this week to stay up there, hehe.

I will post something more meaningful this weekend - hopefully some pictures!