Thursday, April 29, 2010

heading to edmonton

So, sigh.

here it is. the end of a another semester. I just took my last final of the semester. (except for the 2 that are deferred until august). sorta feels okay. wasn't super thrilled with how it went.

but, don't worry. A blog update is coming up soon. I just first have to finish correcting these 115 fricken papers! by tomorrow! eep! may not sleep much tonight!

Heading to ottawa tomorrow, and then Edmonton on Saturday, to bring my mum home. Should be a good "family focused" trip. and, that is always good for you ;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

mama and me

SO, i laughed at my mum when she said she wanted to take pictures of herself in the hospital. but, everyone knows well, that when you are injured, you want to chronicle it.

remember this? that time where i broke both my arms, and they took some hip bone and put it in my wrist bone? 'cause I do. 3 years ago on Canada day.

anyway, mum is getting better every day. We are aiming for a discharge date on the 1st of may, b/c I have a very small window in which I can get her back to edmonton. not a long post today, but just to upload some photos.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scotia Bank race report, final exams, and thoughts about hospitals..

yikes. with a title like that. you would think that with a title like the one above, there is going to be a super long post that will follow. this might be so...

Race, well, it was interesting. You can see the breakdown of my run (in time, placement, etc) HERE. Some people don't like to write times on a public place. but, with sites such as THIS ONE they are pretty easy to find. and, i kinda like that. You can stalk opponents, and catch up with your friend's results.

so, back to the run. After a training week that did not go as planned last week, I was rested, and my legs feeling ready to go. I was in low anticipation of the predicted crappy weather. and, i was sandwiching the run inbetween sessions of a Rowing Canada Coaching clinic. I ran into more people than I would've expected, prior to the race. Got a good little warm up in. the last minute pee. debated about if I was keeping my long sleeves on, or going lighter (glad I kept the long sleeves!). and, went to the sheep corral.

race started well. it was kinda strange to think that I haven't ran a 1/2 in over a year. and, so it was feeling a little strange, b/c it was almost like i had forgotten what it should feel like. the first Km, I started, looked at my pace, and damn it. waayyyyy too slow. and, you know, you are supposed to go slow. but, i thought: dang it. if i keep it like this, i am *never* going to get my time.

and, maybe that was my first point of defeat. and, maybe i panicked a bit. i tried to pick it up so that i was hitting my hoped pace. and, I did pretty good. my HR was fairly even most of the way though. I felt *quite* good, all the way to 17/18km. i was even starting to negative split the Km's. 'cause I really wanted to break 1:45, or get as close to possible to 1:40. i want to feel a 1:40. this is the 3rd 1/2 that i have run in the 1:46/47 range. i mean... if not 1:40... at least break 1:45? please?! but it wasn't to come on sunday.

things that I changed from previous 1/2's. I ran through the water stations. I watched my watch for pacing. i focused more on technique. it wasn't until about km 18, but at that point, i felt like crap. head started pounding. and, despite the fact that I was keeping a decent pace, i didn't feel like i was going to be able drop the hammer with 2 km to go. my left IT was searing (really!?!? that niggle again!? you haven't shown up all season. why now, during a race?!). and, the wind was really not helpful in turning the last corner. and, my nutrition (in way of hydration) didn't hit like it should have.

i could tell the nutrition is key. 'cause my recovery during the afternoon was awful. and, 1/2 marathons aren't meant to hurt that much. so, something was not right. we just have to figure out what it was.

it was hard. but, i can't be disappointed. i mean, it was in the range of a PB. i got 29th/145 in my age group. i paced decently. i hit a predicted time, despite crappy weather (and feeling at some points like i was in a trail run, due to the puddles!) and crappy winds. and, it is a start. it was the first race of the season. if this was august, I would be concerned. but, it is april. so, I am not concerned. it shows where to start, and where to go forward from.

the question will be if I can hit that time after a bike.... this, we shall see. stay tuned.

This week, i was back in montreal, for a number of things. mostly to write my physiology and nursing 511 exams. as sunday turned to monday, and monday turned into the evening, and I was supposed to be writing physiology in the morning, my panic got higher and higher. I can't write this exam. I don't know anything about this! i mean, i know. but, i don't know. so, I made the descision, like I did with Pathology, to defer the exam until august. So, I will write my finals in Aug.

and, that was a hard decision. and, i think that I analyzed my freak outs, and discovered that it is not so much the putting off of the exam. or, not so much knowing that it is the right thing to do. but, it is far more that it feels wrong. it feels abnormal. I have never deferred an exam. I have never just "not wrote" my final. and, this time, i have had to. and, that doesn't feel right. it doesn't feel fair that I have been able to not write it, but my classmates did. that they had to go through the stress, and i was able to say "i'll do it later." it feels wrong.

and, it is not so much that i dread to write a exams in august, it is that i dread the limbo that I am now it. I will have a conditional acceptance into the M.Sc portion of my degree. I am now in limbo until august. and, there is not much more that I hate, than limbo. and, uncertainty. sometimes I just wish that I could plan, and that I could organize. but, i know that life does not work like that. and, so far... well, let's just say that I haven't been drastically upset by the failures, or changes, or limbos that I have faced in life thus far. so far... well, with all comparisons, and all perspectives, life is good :)

going back to Ottawa tonight.

i know my mum anticipates my return. And, you know? it is weird to be on the other side of things. to not be a paitent. to not be a nurse. to just be a family member. someone who is there, without an exceptionally specific role. i just sit. I keep company. I help when needed. I try to advocate in any way needed. I do tasks like phone insurance co's and make sure that things are going okay.

but, let me tell you. there are some BAD nurses, and some BAD orderlies out there. and, if i see you not respect the rights of my mum? well. you will hear from me.

I hope that she moves through the rehab quickly, and efficiently, and we can get her home to edmonton soon, and as planned. and, with the insurance not blowing a big hissy fit.

that is it for today!!! thanks for reading the long blog.

ooh. and...

DONATE TO TEAM IN TRAINING. I am hoping that you would be able to sponsor me, not only to help me reach my goal, but more importantly, to help towards the goal of the society; Your dollars are used nationally and locally for funding dedicated to blood cancer research and providing education and patient services.

I am at 35% of my needed funds. I need to raise another 4000$. I believe in this, and i think that the effort will help change lives in the future.

Moo? Celine? Angela? Jude? Erik? People coming over from Train this?! Folks coming over from "my pinecraft world?" U D M rowers?

my fundraising page:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

when i run, i feel his pleasure*

not a terrible day. not a fantastic day. race report will be put up tomorrow!

So, getting ready to run my first real race of the season, tomorrow! The weather up here is cold, and wet this weekend. I am hoping that the the sun might peak out for a little bit of time, but, I think that is a little ambitious. So, those training runs in the rain will be beneficial to these ones.

I am feeling... well, I don't quite know. I am definitely feeling mentally ready to get my race on. Physically!? I just have to trust that I am there. Even though this week, I haven't been able to hit what I was meant to hit with training. I haven't run a 1/2 marathon in a year. and, the last one i ran had a 56 mile bike, and 1.2 mile swim tacked on before it. so, it has been a while.

I am carb loaded (feeling kinda weird though, on it. i feel very "full." or... bloated?) and know what running for 1:45 feels like. i have a goal. and, i have no idea if I am going to be able to reach it.

i have a few goals. i know i can get most of them (concentrate on technique. pace. quick cadence). my time goal, that is what I am unsure about.. it is fast. faster than i have gone before. so, we shall see.

the course is in parc jean-drapeau. a park where expo 67 was held. a parc that I spend every day at, because that is where we row. it is a great venue (including flat course that goes around the rowing bassin, through the trees, and on a race car track). I hope i have a great race.

it is go time, friends :)

*that chariot of fire quote (the one in the title) is only sometimes true. it is most always true when i bike.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spending time in hospital!

Not me, but you would think that I spend enough time in hospital during school anyway. From my prior update, you might have caught that my mom is in the Ottawa general Hospital, because she sustained a hip fracture on Sunday morning, while up on a work stint in Nunavut.

She had surgery on Tuesday evening, and is already on her way to recovery. It is pretty "funny," because I really am starting to know how everything works. the nursing, the physio, the pain of having a big accident, and the worries that you go through as a patient. Everything from the hospital treatment and stay, to the insurance covering, to the taking care of things at home and work.

oh, and the physio. how they get them up walking so soon after. it is so necessary, but so painful for her! and, i also find it funny, b/c health care professionals just presume (a lot of the times) that you don't know anything about anything. but, did I mention that I did a M.Sc in Rehab? that my M.Sc focused on hip fractures?!?! ;)

And, I am back to montreal tomorrow, for a few days. I had a little freak out yesterday about my exams (particularly Pathology, which was scheduled for today). i am able to defer, but if something happens in august (which is the other time to write the exam), i am screwed for my program. you know. like aliens taking over the city or something. I am going to be writing my other ones, and taking it day by day in terms of whether I need to go to Ottawa, or Edmonton (when my mum goes home), or whatnot.

But, at any rate: i am running a 1/2 marathon this weekend!
And training this week has been a little bit disrupted. and, so, it has been a little strange. But, the cool thing is, is that my body feels like i need to mooooove! definitely feeling "Rested" but also shocked that when you are on "recovery" all you want to do is sleep more, and not move at all! it is kinda strange.

anyway. i am excited to race. REALLY excited to race.

Monday, April 12, 2010

crazy weekend...

So, started off my weekend not by my usual routine. That should have been my first hint that something is going a little strange.

no. wait. loosing my running shoes should've been my first hint.

anyway, i biked on saturday, instead of going for my usual long-run with my team in training co-members. Since i didn't have my shoes, i knew it was quite silly to go running. and, yes, i know that barefoot running is all the rage right now, but not for me at this moment in time. And, I knew that it was quite windy out (45km/hr at times), but it was sunny-ish, and I had no desire to do a 3hr ride on the trainer.

So, once again, I went out in search of somewhere outside of the city. but, alas, again I was trumped. the bridge was closed and I was not allowed to go on the bike bridge. the car bridges out of the city are crazy, and there is no way I will ride my bikes onto them, so, I turned around and followed the bike path. Wasn't all together bad, since I think most people were inside on saturday avoiding the wind. Below is my bike graph... The ride was meant to be 2:10 endurance, 50 mins tempo.
you will notice the beginning of the ride, with multiple ups and downs. those are stop lights and turn around and riding around in circles. you will also notice the pee break at one hour (oops! forgot to do that prior to leaving!). but.. you will also notice at approximately 1:15 of the ride, the peak moment for me.

when my HR was at 150, and my speed a whopping 8.8 miles/hr (14.6km/hr). my pedals were moving. i, however, was not. :) At first the wind was discouraging. but then, i thought "well, it is not going to be going away. so, you better look at it as a training partner. On race day, you can't just stop when it is windy like this." I also loved how once I turned around, I covered the same distance in about 40 mins as I did in about 1.5 hrs on the way there. just flying. was kinda afraid at some points, from going so fast...

this week is a recovery and race week. WOOOT! so excited to be racing on Sunday! :)


in other news....

I got an email from my mum's co-workers up in Nunavut, yesterday after I got back from church. She has been up in Nunavut for the last couple weeks, covering in social work. She spends about 4-6 months up there a year. The email waiting for me said that she was in the health centre, after having a ski accident. After a number of phone calls, and her being medevac-ed to Iqaluit, we have found out that she definitely has experienced a hip fracture.
She is being medevac'd to Ottawa today, most likely for surgery tonight. So, I am planning on heading out there in the next couple hours.

Falling sucks. Breaking bones sucks. Pain sucks. But, at least ottawa is a lot closer to montreal, than Iqaluit is. 'cause right now (despite the fact that going to baffin island would be amazingly cool), I don't have the time to go to the artic circle. I do, however, have the means of going to ottawa easily.

Friday, April 9, 2010

friends are beautiful people

tick off of the week: loss of running shoes. ARGH. i mean, really. who loses something that they use every day?!!? a week away from running a 1/2 marathon, and you loose your shoes?! dang it. I cannot afford to have to buy a new pair of shoes right now. tick. on that note:

photos from brunch on good friday :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

cancer sucks.

so, lots of things are going on these days. I finally got done with the last assignments of the year, and a final presentation to do. relieved that there are no longer any more "homework" things to do.

I am feeling a little under the weather, with a non-descriptive soreness in my thoracic area. and, i am kinda concerned about it. 'cause i am never sick, and it seems like i have been a fricken hypochondriac these past few weeks. and, i don't know why. but... clinic tomorrow? all i know, it that it is frustrating. and uncomfortable.

My friend Beth is in Toronto this week, because her dad is sick. CANCER SUCKS. i hate it that her family is going through all of this, and i know that when an illness happens in a family for years, people learn how to cope. but, it is scary, i think. it is scary to see people that you love, sick and not able to do what they want to do. It is hard to be the stronghold in a family, and support the other members who are also staying upright. It is hard to be in school to be a health professional, and understand the terms that they are saying, and be able to read what is going on.

My re-committment date for Team in Training is on Friday. And, i am nervous about it. i am at 34% of my funds required. I have some good things coming up which are hopefully going to bring in quite a bit of cash. but, i am nervous because if i don't make the require amount by june, i am supposed to be able to cover the difference. and, i would not be financially able to do that. but, when I think of what beth is going through... how could i think of backing down?
SIGH. not sure what to do.

would you donate to my effort to help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma?
click here: Team in Training Website

for those who also want to know about leanna and beth:

For those of you in Montreal, who are reading this... I am selling cocoa camino chocolate bars. do you like organic fair-trade? do you like chocolate? DO YOU HATE CANCER? Buy some chocolate.

Amelia is selling 49th parallel coffee, and gift certificates, courtesy of Cafe Myriade. make an order today.

She is also selling an acoustic guitar + accessories….

Stay tuned for such events as “speed dating” and “quiz night for a cause.”

Friday, April 2, 2010

love will set me free!

there is this song, on a recent mix CD that I got, which is called Ain't no reason by Brett Dennen. and, the chorus says this: love will come set me free, i do believe. love will come set me free, i know it will..." and, I love this song. SOooooOOOo great. But, I have had this song in my head all day long, and I have thought about the fact that this weekend is EASTER!

and, really. that is what easter is all about. love set me free. and, that is pretty dang sweet.

Today was a great day. It was not only good friday, it was a great friday.

I slept in until about 8 or 8:30, and then made a little smoothie, and did a litte yoga (thanks to a podcast from mary), some homework, and tidyed up the house a bit... My roommates are out of town, so I have the apartment all to myself. It is quiet, which is nice. But, sometimes I remember how I am not 100% sure if I could do this all the time. I like having people around.

So, because I like having people around, i invited over friends for a Good Friday brunch. some of my nursing friends, and rowing friends came by. we had banana pancakes (i made and ate my almond/flax pancakes for me) and coffee and yogurt and montreal bagels, and montreal treats (consumed by everyone else!) and hordes of fruit, and eggs, and cheese. once i get the photos, i will post some.
DELICIOUS. i guess that is one of the things that I love about food. It brings people together.
In college, for the last 1.5 years of school, me and my close guy friends would get together every friday morning for "breakfast club." it was pretty much my favourite tradition at WVU. i miss that one.

then I got ready for a little ride outside, and low and behold... remember how my bike was sick in the fall? and, remember how I wasn't sure if i was pleased with the work that was done on it? yeah, well, they didn't really give me a good indication of the degree of wear and tear on the bottom bracket. (okay. so, i don't really know... maybe it is all the trainer riding from the winter playing in as well..) but, I started out for a ride down to jean drapeau, to re-connect with my rowing team. and, definitely had to make a little pit stop, that turned into a long pit stop.

But, I was able to ride. And, i rode for 1:15 (not counting to and from commuting! YAY! commuting!) around the Villneuve F1 track at the Parc. This place is just bleeding cyclists, and it makes me so happy. Despite the fact that you go round and round (i think more than 1:30, i would get really bored), it is so well controlled, and so smooth. NO cars, no lights, and not too many stupid people. But, i came to the huge realization that i really don't need to try to bike hard, while outside, to hit my zones. it is really really easy to be in the right zones.
afterwards, I went to a bike shop to see what they said about my baby blue. needless to say, the bike needs a bottom bracket. it will be fixed this month :) hopefully that will solve the problems. on the way home, i stopped into the running room, to by some gels for my long run tomorrow (1:45! wowza...) that is pretty much the length of time it takes me to 1/2 marathon it! i am ready for racing in just over 2 weeks! but, after talking a lot about nutrition, and hydration during runs, i made a very spontaneous purchase.

who knew that these things fricken cost 50$. REALLY!?? that is a little ridiculous to me.
I came home, dinner, and lecture watching. but, i came home really happy. i love love love riding outside. it has come at such a needed time. I am so happy to have the wind in my hair, and the bike being dynamic, and feeling like flying. i love feeling like i can fly. there is nothing like it.