Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Races locked & loaded

The 2014 Race season is locked in.


Oy vey, I signed up for the Avengers Half and Super Heroes 5K today which are the newest races in the Run Disney arsenal and happening at Disneyland. This will mean I’ll do Wine and Dine in Disney World the weekend of  November 8&9, that’s a 5K in the morning and the Half at night (10pm start time EST) then following weekend I’ll make my way to Disneyland for the Avenger Super Heroes weekend.


As I’m now 100% sure Dopey (5K, 10K, Half and Full consecutive days at Disney World) is not happening this year I’m now looking back thinking I’m ok with that.


I’ve done and will do more races this year than I’ve ever done before.


The crazy amount of trips to the US this year was fueled by grief and a need to have something to look forward to. I certainly don’t expect to do this again next year and instead choose travel races more carefully.


Never say never though, when I did a marathon in 2006 I swore I’d never do one again and now I find myself contemplating doing one again. Actually I think doing another marathon before Dopey might be a better idea for me.


Will I ever do Dopey, who knows?


Life is funny, recently a past friend suggested dinner. I say past friend as we drifted apart and have less in common than we did before in fact when we last met I got the distinct impression that the friendship had shifted. I take responsibility for that too as I didn’t really put in a whole lot of effort to keep in touch over the years. I said yes but then she was sick so we cancelled. Time passed and I suggested it again butshe cancelled again and I honestly feel it was for the best. I won’t attempt again. I wish her all the best.


I don’t think all friendships last a lifetime when they do it’s amazing but sometimes friends are just there for a period of your life because that’s the way it was supposed to be and that’s ok too.


As I get older I realize that friendships are only good when they’re mutually beneficial as in you feed each other’s positive energy, there’s nothing wrong with friendships morphing into acquaintances. With every new experience we meet new people who support where our life is at that moment.


Grief Group Support meeting #2 was Tuesday night and while I go to this with a feeling with dread I’m always happy when I went afterwards.


It looked like we were down at least 5-6 people. This time we watched a video about losing a parent. One of the people who were talking in the video lost their father to dementia. Whoa I wasn’t expecting that as that’s how I lost my mother almost 12 years ago. She talked about the feeling of relief when they pass as the person is no longer suffering, yup I felt that. She said something I never thought about before that the grieving process starts as you lose the person with dementia. The woman who died 12 years ago wasn’t my mother; she was a shell of my mother. My mother the person I knew left a few years before the corporal being. It felt like yesterday watching that video.


They asked us how the week went so I told them how I went to Canadian Tire on Saturday and felt weird in the store. My Dad and I always went to that Canadian Tire together starting when I was super young. I just felt off the whole time I was in the store and in the end didn’t have what I was looking for anyway.


We got divided into smaller groups for one part, you guessed it I got the kid I thought was annoying day one and the guy who talks forever. It was an opportunity to go deeper into our stories


You know I see the kid (in their 20s) in a whole new light, when I was their age my dog died and I thought that was traumatic. I can’t even imagine losing one of my parents at that age.


With the other guy I think I caused an aha moment. There was a lot of talk how the older generation especially European immigrants deal with grief by not talking about it. Certainly that was how my Dad dealt with it when his brother died and my mom died. I totally understand that part but this was talk about how they were going to make them talk and deal with it.


This inspired me to say “have you ever heard the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”.


I then said when my Dad died the last thing I wanted was to talk about it or see people or interact face to face with anyone. I had to process it internally. I write about it more on here as to me it feels safe and it’s not a two way conversation. When I’m ready to talk, I’ll talk and now by going to counselling I’m ready to talk.


At the end we all go along around the room to say what we thought about that session and that’s how I think I caused a wee aha moment.


I really liked the smaller session as it allowed me get to know my group members better and also realize though our circumstances are different there are a lot of similarities in how we feel.


My aha moments were that I now know I have unresolved feelings about when Mom passed and that doing this grief counselling is probably one of the best decisions I ever made.


Next week the topic is the different types of grief process.


I always find I’m exhausted after these sessions and super tired the next day. Today I left the gym bag at home and will do yoga tonight and probably revisit the meditation DVD, and be in bed early.


To switch to happier news I’m so proud of my WW Fit Group who are virtually walking across Canada. We started in Victoria and blew right past Nanaimo now on our way to Hope, BC. With 6 people reporting we did 166 km. I’m really looking forward to Saturday and posting the map and using a sharpie to track our progress.


What doesn’t kill you make you stronger.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Down but not out

Well Hello my friends,


Hope all is well with you. It’s been over a week since I posted and it’s been quite the rollercoaster hence no posting, this might be long but it helps me get my head straight.


Last time I wrote it was the eve of weigh in and I have to say it was a great weigh in down 2.6lbs last Saturday and entered a new decade that I haven’t seen in a while.


Of course the meeting topic was fit clubs and I threw out an idea to virtually walk/ run across Canada.


My leader divided us up and my corner for the virtual walk had the most people, I was honored.


I was voted team leader so I gave them my email address as I needed some time to think how we’d do this. I did suggest that anything with a distance counted i.e. bike, elliptical, treadmill – walk or run.


I did find info on distance thanks to a friend pointing me in the right direction on  It essentially tells me how many KM between cities so if we go from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland is 7821 KM/ 4860 miles.


With 3 people reporting in before this Saturday’s meeting we were already well on our way to Nanaimo. Since the meeting I’ve had a few more report in.


I suggested we do this until the end of September or until we reach St. John’s, Newfoundland.


I did ask my leader last week if we could post a map and track out progress. She said yes but said they may need to take it down between meetings.


The other thing I wanted to do last Saturday was pick up the Garmin Forerunner 110 that I won. My friend and I head out the location that’s way south and I’m told they don’t have them and that they were shipped back to head office so I needed to call on Monday. I did and was told they were in the store the whole time. I got them to ship it to a store closer to me and I picked it up this Saturday.


The other big thing last week is I started group grief counselling yesterday. I felt off all day last Mondayand that was also due that time of the month so I was super snacky between the hormones and emotions. I knew what I was doing yet didn’t care pretty much erasing all my work from last week.


It was a rather surreal and overwhelming experience, the group is big and it

seems the majority had lost a parent. What surprised me where the people who suffered the loss years ago, of course there were some like me who had it happen more recently but I did think good for them for seeking this out when they were ready.


We had to go around the room and say our name, who passed, the circumstances and what we were hoping to get out of the sessions. I was 5th to go and I noticed that everyone started out well but tears would fall. I was no different. I think I got past saying “my Dad” when the tears started. I squeaked out he was 90 when I got to circumstances and unlike most of the circumstances I heard up to that point it was more just the end, it wasn’t cancer or a stroke or a heart attack, the coroner said underlying cause hypertension which is pretty normal at that age. I appreciated the counsellor saying that just because the person had a long life that doesn’t lessen the loss.


I hated it when people would say “oh he had a long life”. I just wanted to tell them all to shut up as that wasn’t helpful. Don’t try to justify the loss as it was better when they just kept to I’m sorry for your loss.


A recurring theme with each person was they didn’t really have anyone to talk to about what they were feeling, I get that. You don’t want to burden others with your grief so even if they say they’re willing to listen, often it’s still difficult. I have interactions with people around me especially at work that imply I should be moved on or superficially care. Of course I have friends who do really care but again you don’t want to burden them. I truly appreciate having an opportunity like this available to me. I think the major thing I took from yesterday was there is no time line. One counsellor said this is the one thing in life where there is no reward for fast.


It was only week 1 but they told us that week 4 is memento week and we bring something of our loved one. I have no clue what to bring, yes of course a picture but I sort of want to bring my Dad’s Bible. He got the Bible when he first immigrated to Canada in 1959 and it was the first thing that hit me as important to get from his house. I think it would inspire me to talk about the sacrifices he made to come to Canada and build a new life.


They also said we’d be put into smaller groups for some activities. I’m really hoping I don’t get into a group with the guy sitting across from me. He was young and every time he talked he would speak in solutions and impersonally i.e. you need to keep positive. It was all worded in advice which sort of stuck out as everyone was talking about their personal experiences. Of course again it was day one so perhaps I’m being harsh, but you feel pretty vulnerable in the first session and when I feel vulnerable the last thing I want is advice. I just need to feel and process.


Well this experience hit me hard as it brought up so many feelings. I stopped tracking and fell off the wagon. That takes us to my meeting on Saturday where I gained back 2.4lbs of the 2.6 I lost the week before. Our leader wasn’t there so I’ll post the map of the virtual walk next week. I was going to actually miss next week due to a shopping road trip but then I cancelled the road trip as I have a commitment to my Fit Group.


So annoyed with myself but this weekend wasn’t any better well Saturday was fine but yesterday wasn’t. I ordered pizza and earlier had not one but two muffins it was just ridiculous that by last night I sat down with my journal and asked myself what was I doing. On a good note I did hit the indoor track 3 times last week so a part of me is still invested.


I wrote “why are you trying to commit slow suicide”, that’s essentially what I’m doing. By sabotaging myself I increase my chances of bringing on all those horrible things related to weight like cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Let’s face it I’ve been doing WW for a long time so enough already get to goal.


I thought about the excitement of my new friends in WW who are so excited about this virtual walk across Canada.


I thought this no way to honour my parents or give thanks for being on this planet.


A bad week does not define the journey so I’m picking myself up and dusting myself off and getting back in the wagon. My next group appointment is tomorrow but I will not eat my emotions.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Joined a new gym

Well I did it, I joined the Rec Centre in my area.

As I don't have a car this place was impossible to get to until they installed the west leg of the C-Train. Now there's a stop 2 down from mine that's pretty much in their parking lot.

Like I said last week I did the tour and on Tuesday I joined and opted for the Plus membership.

On Wednesday I tested the indoor track all 450 ish meters of it and I loved it.

You loop around the entire 2nd floor and it's not on oval there are loads of turns. You look down on the pool, the ice rink, the climbing wall. You go by the cardio machine area, the weight area, there's equipment in all the little nooks. There's a youth area that from 3pm to 11pm is only for people under the age of 17 but I was told if ever there in the before 3pm anyone can use it.

There's equipment I've never seen before and loads of burly guys hefting weights. I saw one guy doing lunges holding two 40 lb weights.

The place is massive. Now I've always had small gyms. The Spa Lady wasn't that big, the corporate gym is tiny even a few years ago when I belonged to a World Health it was a tiny location. I already spotted an area where I can do my weight routine.

So anyway my right knee was a little angry on Wednesday so I opted to walk. I figured out that about 3 laps equals a mile and I was just going along listening to my tunes and realized 45 min had gone by so I thought I can do another 15min which is what I did.

Left my runners in the tote box I get with my membership, a running pair and non running pair (want to check out their weight class called Strength). This way I don't have to cart them back and forth and how thanks to being at site for 2.5 years I have a 2nd pair of both at home.

Actually with my running shoes I always have an indoor pair and an outdoor pair, when the outdoor pair wears out it's replaced by the indoor pair and then a new pair replaces the old indoor pair.

Love the dressing room, I saw that they say no cell phones but my phone was my music so I still took in with me but it was in my bag. No plans on taking any pictures unless no one is in there. I tried to find a picture of the track but no go.

It's a hopping place though.

As I was looping around I saw a few of their trainers. I saw this one girl getting her client to do push ups. While he was doing the push up she looked bored out of her tree. Good to know, never hiring her. He's paying you at least look engaged.

So far this week according to my scale I'm on track for another loss tomorrow.

Other that it's just been an average week, my plan is to return to the gym on Sunday after church. Tomorrow afternoon I'm finally picking up the Garmin I won. Now I have the model up so I'm going to sell this one to a friend who is going to be my running buddy when the ice goes away as we can access some gorgeous pathways just blocks from work. So happy I know have the back up plan of the indoor track though that should keep my training up all year.

Hope you all had a great week.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

What a compliment

Hello again my friends,

So last week I did not go to weigh in, primarily because the windchill warnings were saying skin would freeze in minutes and as I take transit I opted to play possum and stay inside.

However I was very productive. I realized I need to be better at meal planning and bring lunches to work, not just to save money but to also stay on track better.

I made three things

 The Mexican Potato Casserole from my favourite WW cookbook - Simply The Best, now it's based on the old points so I switched it to the PP as of course all nutritional data it there. In this case I substituted turkey for beef to lower the points even more. It's normally 9 PP per serving with beef so I figured it was closer to 7PP with turkey.
 Some Turkey Chili and this is the recipe from the back of the Old El Paso Chili flavouring packet except of course I used turkey instead of beef.
And finally Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower mash. The recipe for this is totally off the top of my head.

I individually portioned everything and popped them into the freezer. I get bored with bringing my lunch so I figured 3 options was better plus If I needed a quick dinner tada I was ready.

So I did go to weigh in yesterday and I was down a 1lb, since I've rededicated myself to WW I've had losses every single week.

I brought the Glass Slipper medals to the meeting, yes all 5 of them. I had talked about the races in the meeting so I wanted to show them I achieved my goal.

The leader made me get up front so I explained them but my final comment was you can do anything you put your mind to. Of course my little medal show and tell lined up with the meeting topic well as we were discussing activity.

After the meeting a woman came up to me and said I should be a leader as I was very inspiring. Aw chucks, that was a compliment. Well as you do need to be at goal for that I have time to think about it.

I'm pretty positive I told you guys how I've been eyeing this new gym that's opening in a building I love well I had a bit of an aha moment.

I can maybe do 6 miles max on a treadmill before I feel like a hamster. What I really need is a gym that has an indoor track. This winter has been awful and just way too icy to go outside, and while I know spring is coming when it's stupid hot out an indoor track will be nice as well.

So on Friday I visited two gyms with indoor tracks.

One was the YMCA downtown and another was a private rec centre closer to my house. Both have pools, indoor track, drop in classes and registered classes.

The first one I visited was the YMCA, super friendly staff and a bit of a hike from the office but right next to the river and the river pathways. The guy showing me around was super friendly and knowledgeable. The indoor track was an oval of about 152 meters that looks down on to the gym. Now of course they have general membership and plus membership. I had thought I'd be fine with general but seeing it over run with teenagers Plus became very appealing. But there plus monthly membership is like $111 which is steep. Yet when I saw it I understood why. The Women's Plus locker room has gym equipment in it, I'm talking 4 treadmills, a few ellipticals, bike, weights. So if you want a private girls only workout area you've got it.

The next gym has a 456 meter indoor track that loops the entire second floor and it's not an oval you go around areas so it doesn't strike me as monotonous, and there are treadmills that face a window that looks on to the mountains...Love that!!! The staff didn't strike me as all that mature as everyone looked about 18 but I think the track (not an oval) and the mountains win hands down. They are also close to path ways that don't go around the river but you have those mountains. There membership is paid annually not monthly, there plus membership works out to be about $30 cheaper per month then the YMCA. I checked out the general locker room and got to listen to 3 teenage girls talk about boys....yeah I'm sucking up the extra expense and going with Plus membership all the way.

The time change is making me so tired, I think after I fold my laundry it might be to bed with a book. Even though it's not even 7pm yet.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge - The races

Well Hello,
Once again almost a week passes and I blog, I don't have an excuse the week just seemed to fly by.

Let me get to the promised race recap, and to be honest it's probably not the most interesting recap as I don't take pictures during the run and I don't stop for photos with characters. I'm too concerned with finishing as opposed to stopping, however I will do my best.

The Cinderella Royal Family 5K is a fun little race, not timed so my plan was to walk it as I wanted to reserve energy for the half. The 5K is the pink line and after a short stint pretty much around a parking lot and a right turn you go straight into Epcot. The part I wasn't expecting is Epcot was partially set up for their spring festival so you got to see some botanical structures that looked like Snow White for example. You stick to going around the World of Nations and it was pretty smooth no real bottlenecks.

 Me pre 5K
 My plan for the whole weekend was to be on the first bus to the start area.
 The Start for the 5K
 Of course the always energetic RunDisney DJ spinning the dance tunes.
 The plethora of porta potties passed the bib only section which was nice.

It's a cute medal too.

Saturday Feb 22 was the 10K, the Inaugural Enchanted 10K which is the purple line on the map above, that was a much longer trek around a parking lot and roads before entering Epcot again and this time you also went through the boardwalk a bit which I didn't even know was there so that was new for me. Right at the start of the race you went under a bridge and Elsa from Frozen was there and snow was actually coming down. Nice touch Disney.

The corrals were different then I'm used to for the 5K and the 10K and even different from Wine and Dine in 2012. We were sort of in pens then they released us in alphabetical order. So A corral had to walk past all the other corrals to get to the start area.

I signed up for the Race Retreat so stopped in there before the 10K.

Got to wear a few bands around the first few days.
 My 10K ensemble
 Yet another very early bus
 The Race Retreat tent

 Before the 10K I had my traditional coffee and ate half a banana. Which was dumb on my part I don't usually eat anything before a run so had to stop to pee mid race. Though I do think the race retreat was totally worth it if not just for your own porta potties. Post race was a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and they also had oatmeal and muffins.
 The Bling for the 10K
 Yet another bracelet

You got swag in the race retreat tent too, the only thing was the swag was the same after the Half just a different colour of flip flops so I have a black and blue pair.

Close up on the Flip Flop

The Half was on Feb 23 and now my 3rd day in a row of getting up really early, actually everday was half an hour earlier then the day before.

 It's 3am and I'm awake
 First one on the bus this time and at the race retreat I had coffee and some Powerade, then I made my way to the start area which was pretty much another holding area. Just when I had to go pee again they opened it up and we made our way to the corrals which like I said where a hike. Put luckily porta potties on the way. Now I had read it was quite a walk from the start area to the corrals but again I had no idea what to expect, wowsers it was a hike. One of the girls in my corral said it was .6 miles to the corral. The good thing porta potties on the way.

The not so great thing about being in the corral was the 3 women complaining about slower people going to the front of the corral and they should go to the back. The thoughts running through my head was if you're so fast then where you are in the corral shouldn't matter. The other thing I noticed was a corral jumper, I was in K and her bib said M. This half takes you through Magic Kingdom and once again Epcot. In Magic Kingdom you get to run through the castle I love this part even thought it's a massive bottleneck especially with the people who stop dead for the photographers.

 And finally I have a castle shot I love this picture so I ordered it. This was one point where you hit that pretty much dead stop.

My plan for this race was to keep to my run/walk ratio till mile 8 then probably walk from there. Keeping in my mind I didn't train so well for Tink and had 5 weeks between races so the Tink Half was still my longest distance before the Princess Half.


I have to say I appreciated the free flip flops as I put those babies on after the race for the trip back to the hotel. Got back to All Star Movies and talked the food folks into giving me and another run Mickey Waffles as breakfast was wrapping up. My go to post half meal are those Mickey waffles.

On this course there a few up and down overpasses towards the end that I didn't care for and quite a few bottlenecks where you literally came to a dead stop. I still enjoyed it but I can't say it was my favourite. I still think I'm fonder of the Disneyland races even though the majority of the race is on the streets of Anaheim there are so many cheerleaders and bands cheering you on. In Disney World while you are in the park it's far longer stretches of nothing.

I totally surprised myself by skimming 10 minutes off my Tink time.

In my head I had this race dedicated to my Dad and when I saw that finish line the tears started. When the Glass Slipper medal and Pink Coast to Coast when on the tears increased. They handed you a wet towel at the finish and I used that to mop the tears before I got to the photo area.

Once again I book a ridiculously early flight home the day after the half so it was day 4 of being up in the wee hours of the morning.

Though on my way through the Orlando Airport I did impress the TSA person with my snazzy headband.

Now would I do Princess again. Probably at least once more as I know more what to expect but it is a huge race 25000 runners. So that was a little crazy.

Tomorrow the rest I've been up to lately plus gym shopping.


Saturday, March 01, 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge Recap - Part 1 The Expo

Well hello, finding it hard to believe that a week ago I was in sunny Orlando and today I'm staying inside due to -40c windchill and extreme windchill warnings.

Figured it was a good time to write a recap.

Well my plan to take the red eye from Calgary to Toronto so I arrived in Orlando just after noon made sense on paper but it was rough of course I worked all day. I got home and tried to take a nap, no nap happened. My cab came a little early so I was at the airport by just after 9pm. I couldn't find any desk that seemed to be occupied to check in so a lovely woman at the Elite Air Canada desk checked me in.

I went to my gate and noticed that this was the time all the airport staff take a coffee break.

I grabbed a decaf mocha and a new book to bide the time as we weren't boarding till 11:30pm. I didn't sleep much on flight one, so we landed in Toronto where I stood in the longest security line I've ever seen. The good part we had a singing security dude.

Got to Orlando and took the Magic Express to All Star Movies, dumped my stuff and headed straight to the expo. The expo is at ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Disney World Resorts have free race transportation to the expo.

I had a strategy this time after my disappointment of not snagging a Tinkerbell jacket, I was going to go the RunDisney booth in the main expo area first, then go pick up my bib, the Dooney and Burke purse I pre purchased and all the race tshirts. There were two RunDisney booths but my first stop was in the main expo which is in the Josten's Centre.

I got to the expo at about 3pm on Thursday and when I walked into the Run Disney area it was empty of people but full of merchandise in fact they were restocking as I was in there. I didn't even need to stand in line at the cash. That was a first for me. Risky as yes they could have been sold out of stuff but I figured it went along with my mantra of it's went to be it will be.

 Got my bibs for the 5K and Glass Slipper Challenge at HP Field House which had the second RunDisney booth, the one in the main expo definitely has more stuff. Had to go to Champion Stadium to pick up the purse but all 3 buildings are super close to each other.

 I had preordered the pins and necklaces below so picked them up with my packet

 The race shirts are cute but I was hoping for brighter colours.
Went a little bananas in the expo with shirts and not just one jacket but 3. 
Loved how the white jacket had the saying on the back and while I do own a few hoodies none are pink.

 I figured this one would be good for layering as it seems I'll always be training in winter.
Got the magnets for filing cabinet and I always get the mini medal pin, plus a medal for my vinylmation RunMickey.

The other place I wanted to hit in the expo was Raw Threads, I love love their shirts as they can go to the gym or just out and about and they have some super cute designs on front and back. I figured I was saving on shipping.
As I do call myself CowgirlWarrior I couldn't choose between the two Warrior shirts so had to get both
 Cute play on Snow White with the 7 dwarf hats on the back,
I got the Cindy shirt on the 2nd day of the expo as I noticed people in the 5K wearing it and loved the pumpkin carriage on the back. I had commemorate my Pink Coast 2 Coast journey from the Castle in Disneyland to the Castle in Disney World.

I had thought I wouldn't pick up anymore sweatybands but the selection sucks in the Running Rooms in Canada so this was my opportunity to get some I do like to accessorize a bit when I'm on the treadmill.

Tomorrow I recap the runs - The Cinderella Royal Family 5K, Enchanted 10K and Princess Half