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Thursday, April 28, 2011


Even though this is my second half marathon, I have never properly trained for a race of this distance.

It's sometimes because of motivation, but mostly it's due to injury.
For example, this time around, I maintained my fitness during the winter. I ran on the treadmill occasionally, swam and went on the bike. When it got warmed outside, I even did a few suicide runs, where my boyfriend would drive me 8-10km out and I'd run back home.

And then my knee/s started hurting. And it kept getting worse, until I went to see a doctor about it. He identified that I had tendon pain, and I took some time off and did a bunch of electro-therapy. Then I got better!

At the same time the knee was getting better, I decided to buy Vibrams. I thought the natural running pattern of the lighter shoes would force my stride to become better and would make everything better.
But I didn't factor in the time it should take to transition, and my calf got injured. (Mostly normal muscle tightness from being pushed too hard after it hadn't been run on - ever.)

So my calf hurt, and I took about 15 'rest' days where I biked and walked instead :)

Yesterday I had an amazing bike/run workout. I biked for an hour (15mi) and then went on the treadmill, with my Mizuno's. I thought I would try run for a minute, walk for a minute and repeat until I wanted to stop. But I ran for 3 minutes... nothing. I ran for two more minutes... I told myself I'd run for ten minutes and I would stop if I felt the knee twinge. I made it to a mile (11:11min) and NOTHING HURT. And of course, I wanted to keep running because it felt amazing. But I didn't want to push it, to jinx it, because I had a race at the end of the week.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that whenever I feel great, and enjoy running, I jinx it by signing up for a race. And while 'training' for that race, I destroy my enjoyment of running. On top of staying healthy, there is the added pressure of having to run a race at the end of the training cycle. So after my second half marathon.... I'm not going to sign up for another for a while.

I want to run whenever I want, for however long I want to. I want to enjoy running, I want to stay injury-free, and I want to have lots and lots of races in my future. But I have to get back to running strongly and consistently, and that hasn't happened since before I started racing.

So no more signing up for races........... (unless I'm able to run injury-free through the summer).... or at least, not months in advance! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I have an older Ipod nano that's silver. I'm telling you the colour because it's a very important detail, okay?

I'm not one for fancy gadgets. I have my Timex Ironman watch, my ipod, some funky running shoes and that's about it. Oh, and my laptop.

So I've had my ipod since my senior year in HS - about 4 years. It's perfect. I never update the songs, I have my running song playlists, and I occasionally update my podcasts. Because it's an older model, I can buy covers for it at clearance sales :)

But the BEST thing about my ipod, is that the battery is amazing. It lasts months at a time, since I keep the brightness down and the backlight off most of the time. I can listen to this baby for 3 ENTIRE days while I'm on a bus travelling across the country, and it won't die on me.

But the downside for it's amazing battery is that I forget it needs charging about twice a year ;)
So when the battery ran out two weeks ago, I kept grabbing my ipod, forgetting it wouldn't turn on. And I've misplaced the cord that will charge it.

Ha, I just wanted to tell you that. I'm thankful for my ipod :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

broken calf - Sweaty Saturday

Just kidding... but it does hurt a lot.
Just running barefoot through the house to test it before the gym hurt - it's tight and feels like a pulled muscle. BUT it shouldn't hurt, because it's been 1.5 weeks since I ran with the Vibrams.
I *might* have started out too fast.... MAYBE.

But I did workout today. 4 times. (kinda). I did an hour bike in the basement while watching Dexter :)
Then I went to the gym with Julia. We were going to have a bike show-off, but I was insanely bored after 2 miles so I switched to the treadmill.

I forgot to wipe the bike. Ew. Oops.

Treadmill: walking warm-up at 7.5 incline. NOT a good idea for the calf. I pushed it down by .5 each half minute, until I was at 1.0, at which I ran for ~3 mins to 1 mile.

Then I switched th --------------------------------------

I MUST GO AND WINDEX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :( :( :( :( :(

ughh it has a million legs and crawls really fast. :( I feel horrible so I wont finish this entry :(

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Barefoot Walk #1

A new Mike moved into the house today, he's come down to spend some time with the London folks since he's done with exams and we're done with exams (we're all done with exams!!!... except Calvin).

So the boys wanted to go to Shoppers to buy pizza. I knew it would be cold out, so I put on my jacket. Because it was raining, my pink shoes got soaked on the way (5.5 blocks).

*Sounds of buying pizza*

Since I am excited about this barefoot running and minimalist shoe thing, I decided to walk home without my shoes on. Calvin warned me it would be cold, but I figured it couldn't be too much worse than the wetness + coldness seeping through my shoes anyway.

So I carried my shoes in my hand and took a few careful steps. THE GROUND WAS SO COLD!!!
By about a block we had fallen behind the other kids, because I was walking verrrryyy slowly. It felt like there was a lot of pressure on my feet and every step would hurt my numbing toes. Things were made worse by the fact that my toes were getting frozen and they hurt a bit with each step. (By now I've already made it halfway home, might as well keep going.)
The ground was surprisingly smooth. I didn't step on anything painful, and I didn't see any dog poo. The sensation of feeling the ground was awesome :D

So I finally get home and I decided to take a couple of pictures!! Since it was raining, my feet did not get super dirty :) And after I wiped them dry and put on some socks... they are good as new. I can pretend the whole thing didn't happen.
Not too dirty, just cold :(
My toes were red = thawing.
But I am super excited to try again when the weather is nicer!

600m barefoot :D


I just handed in my final paper.... 2 hours ago.
I just checked my email and noticed that my first grade had already been posted (SUPER EARLY!). I'm always scared to check, and this is a class I wasn't too sure about. I did great on the quizzes, but I was nervous about the paper.

But I got an A- ! I'm happy with it, and it's set a lovely tone for receiving back my grades.

In running news........... nothing. Walking home from school, my left calf was still hurting so I wont be running today. It's also raining outside, so yuck.
Maybe tomorrow! :)


Well, it's officially Tuesday, my last day of exams.
I am working on my final paper and putting finishing touches on it, at 6 in the morning. I'm such a last minute person lately....

Since I have been staying up, I've been munching on chocolate eggs, carob chips and dried seaweed to keep me entertained while writing this paper. It may be a weird combination, but I like the variety in flavours.
Today is going to be busy - nap, write my exam, print & hand in my paper, try to hit the travel agent's before they close. And then relax................ I am super excited.

My left calf is almost back to normal. There is still some pain (DOMS) when stretching it, but I think it may be all right to run on by tonight. If the weather is decent I will try go for an outdoor run. But as it was snowing yesterday morning, the weather could go either way - I hear there's a call for rain.

I've been watching a lot of Youtube videos on barefoot running, and I may be developing an obsession with feet. They are so crazy awesome!!! The fact that we wear shoes has taken away our ability to receive information about the ground and how we walk/run, which is why we've all developed heel strikes (which is bad). Your bones can even fuse together if they have been forced into uncomfortable positions for too long. It's crazy that without shoes, we can spread out our toes and use more muscles to balance and stuff.

Perhaps if we didn't wear shoes, our feet would be less ticklish?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweaty Saturday :)

Woke up kind of late today at noon. Had some tea because my throat was raw. I blame the bike ride - the air was a bit cold and my throat hasn't been happy since then.

I read a chapter of Social Policy and then had lunch - broccoli and cheese rice :)
I messed around the rest of the day, but I did manage a trip to the gym!

29mins - 3 miles on the elliptical.
My calves still hurt from my run in Vibrams, so I wanted to take it easy today. I couldn't decide between a swim, bike or an elliptical, so I put those options into an online random generator and it picked for me :D

Half an hour later, I feel great but my legs still hurt a bit. I may do some ice soon, and I might use some muscle mist. I'm not sure if the mist helps, but the heat feels lovely.
I may go swimming tomorrow because I want to loosen up my shoulders. However, the pool timings are a bit weird on Sundays, so if I miss the timing, I'll take a rest day :)

Have a great Saturday night! Mine will be spent reading two more chapters before bed!

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Friday, April 15, 2011


A demo of my Paint skillz
Hi Everyone!
Today was spent studying too little, playing poker tournaments, enjoying some London Fog tea, and cleaning up the house a tiny bit. It was a fun day! :)

I wanted to talk a little bit about the power of competition and how I'm motivated to workout in order to beat my roomates :)
The two Mike's I live with have signed up for the same race I'm running on May 1st. It'll be their first 1/2 and my second. I've known all along that they'll be waiting for me at the end, having finished at least an hour earlier. And I'm okay with that.... I keep telling myself it's because they have longer legs than me.

One Mike went to spend the weekend with his parents and he's been running in order to get out of the house. He's been forming a running streak, and Mike and I have been hearing about it over here. Well, the first day we both went for a run because Mike did. And when he did it again the next day, I went for a bike because my muscles were sore.
Well, when he did another 5k today, Mike and I declared that we can't let him beat us and decided to go for our own runs today. (I was thinking of going for a swim as my calves/ankles/shoulders still hurt from my run.)
We didn't go :( Life got in the way, and that's okay for me. (The extra rest will ensure that I should be able to go out tomorrow.) But I found it interesting that we felt obligated to workout in order to keep up with him. Perhaps the competition is what the Mike's needed to sign up for their first half marathons, and we each keep each other motivated to train hard and keep consistent.

So I strongly suggest you pick someone to run with, cycle with, or go to the gym with. You'll enjoy the company and try to kick their butt :D

At the very least, being with someone else will make the time will go by faster.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


With the weather being so nice lately, I decided to get out of the house and do some biking!
Since my legs (especially my right calf) weren't feeling great after last night's run, I mapped out a shorter route on Google maps and asked Google to calculate how long it would take.

32 minutes.

I've always thought that Google underestimates your speed for driving and walking... I would have thought it would have made the same mistake for cycling.
But 8.6k later, I arrived home exactly
minutes after I had left!

I blame this on the wind tonight. I started out slow, but after 5 minutes I warmed up and maintained a great pace....Until I hit Prince road!

There isn't any sidewalk on Prince so I had to use the bike lane next to the cars, but I felt sooo slow because the wind hit me from the front with full force. It lessened a bit once I turned off that road, but the last half probably dragged my time down.

It was fun to get out for a half hour and feel my heart rate go up :)

Enjoy your thursday nights - TOMORROW'S FRIDAY!!! :)

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I went running!

It's true! After 3 nights with minimal sleep, I've finished three of my final papers and went to bed today at 4am. I woke up after 8 glorious hours of sleep, ready to rock another paper. By 6pm, I've handed in my paper AND my field placement hours log. I only have another paper, two applications to give in, and a final multiple-choice exam left in my third year!

I decided to go for a run at about 10pm. I used to run every night before bed back when I lived in Kuwait.. it was just something to do, like brushing my teeth or setting my alarm clock. By the time I had fully committed to going for a run, it was past midnight.

I checked the weather - 9degrees - put on my hoodie, binded my key to my shoes (vibrams) and set my ipod to my running playlist, and I was out! I mapped a tentative route but decided to change it up once I was outside.
I ended up doing 4.6 in 42 minutes... the last 18 mins were walking home, as my left calf was turning to mush. I blame it on the vibrams, but I'll adjust in time :)

The run was great because I had no knee pain and it felt amazing to be out running again. I have been worried that I don't have the perfect running form, but as soon as I stepped outside in my Vibrams, I noticed that I was fore-striking, so that was okay. The only pain on this run was in my chest - my cardiovascular definitely needs to be brought up to speed.

This run was so great, I even found a penny at the end!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hey all!

It's 3am here in paper-writing land. I have a paper due in 12 hours and I am starting the writing stage. This may seem very last-minute but I'm calm. I've just had to wait for the anxiety to raise to a level where my MOTIVATION kicked in! I've done all my prep work, I know my paper content, and now I just need to write it all up! I will then take a quick nap, and read the paper over and tweak it in the morning/afternoon.
I'm excited! This was a fun paper, and I learnt a lot about burn-out in my field - what causes it, what can prevent it and some ways to treat it.

It's always important to PREVENT things if you can.
But sometimes you can't, and you have to TREAT things after they happen.

Such as my injury. A run a couple of months ago caused me to start crying, cut my run short and limp home. After chiropractic treatment, lots of rest and lots of worrying about my May 1st race, I dare to say I am in no pain! I've had a couple of successful test runs and a long bike-ride (my longest - 40kms!) I am excited to start running again S-L-O-W-L-Y. :)
I am excited at the idea of being able to run when I want to, without time restrictions set by my Dr or my knees. I am excited to experience all the reasons I love to run - the feeling of being finished, the feeling of accomplishment, the bragging rights, the clearness from devoting time to my troubles.....
:) I am excited but nervous thinking about my SECOND half marathon. I will set out my three goals here, for everyone to see:

  1. FINISH!!!!!! [Limp and risk injury if I have to... I WILL NOT GET A DNF!!!!!]
  2. Finish before the limit... which is 3 hours.
  3. Beat my old time - bonus if it's under 2h 40!
I'll get back to studying now.... Here is a picture after I ran my first 21.1k

I am super excited to have all my roomates at the finish line! Because the two Mike's are a lot faster than me, it means everyone will be there waiting for me at the end :)

I just realised today yesterday that I haven't scheduled my plans very well - the day after the race I'll be car-pooling to Ottawa (9hours) and attending a conference where they make you dance as an ice-breaker! Ha!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still here

Summer a few years ago
I am still here, but buried under 20+ scholarly articles about burnout, work stress and how to prevent it.
In a week, I will almost be done with my third year of university.
In two weeks, I will be a relaxed, super-fit, slightly tanned and happy person (hopefully!).

The weather was gorgeous today and I had the pleasure of walking to the the orchestra today! We watched about two hours of James Bond music which has given me an item for my post-exam to-do list - watch all 20+ Bond movies in order! This will surely keep me busy while I spend my time in Kuwait.

After Kuwait, I am hopping over to India for about a month. I am super excited and am getting the visa process started. I have never made my own travel plans complete with picking my destination, obtaining my visa AND buying my ticket, so this is a step on the path to being a grown-up ;)

Dreaming about the summer, and finally having time offffff is keeping me motivated and smiling. I've been in school for 5 semesters now, and I want a guarantee that this summer will be school-free. This includes NO talking about, NO checking the school website and NO thinking about my fourth year. Sounds great :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Hello all!
Yesterday was my last day in field placement as a third year BSW student. The whole situation was quite sad and I teared up a few times... to the surprise of my co-workers. But I've learn a lot, I'll never forget the people I worked with, and hopefully I enjoy my second placement as much as I did this one!

I'm in the middle of trying to write 3 final papers for school, plan my summer activities and make all the dates work.
I have officially been matched to an internship in India, where I start mid-June. It's up to me to buy the tickets, sort out my visa, get my shots, prepare myself and then go! I'm really excited.

The weather this past week has been muggy and rainy, but with the return of sunshine today I want to go to the gym.
Perhaps I can go swimming soon, as I'm done with classes. It would be a great stress-breaker :)

Off to make some ginger-lemon-sugar cane tea! :D

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I went for an awesome bike ride today.
I woke up kinda late and I checked the weather.
It was going to rain, but the temp was nice so I decided to go for it. Perhaps I could beat the rain and be back before it started.

The rain did catch me, but it was light and only lasted a few minutes.
The weather was great and the view (on Riverside Dr) was amazing.
I bike 2.5 hours along the river, all the way to the 'beach'.
I wore my helmet and was prepared in the way of snacks. I forgot a water bottle :(

This ride helped me clear my head. It helped me fill a couple of hours where I didn't want to start writing papers, but didn't want to waste time watching TV.
I listened to about 40 songs and it was just the best.

I believe a repeat is in order next weekend, as the weather is predicted to be warm!! Yay.

Next time:
I will bring a 1.5L bottle.
I will bring my camera.
I will time the ride so I catch the sunset in the perfect spot.
I will try my hardest to bring someone to join me.
I may bring a map with me to be able to try come home a different route!