Sunday, January 30, 2011

week in numbers

so, got my next two weeks of training today. And, goodness... definitely thankful for the chance to have a recovery week, this week. my body feels good (despite being sore from yoga yesterday), and I feel rested.

I was just out for coffee with some friends of mine this afternoon, and was talking about how once you resign yourself to the amount of work that needs to be done, and the great amount of time that is going to be spent being a hermit... well, it feels a little easier to handle. because you just know that it is going to be that way.

so, changes in the next two weeks includes things like: 12 hour training weeks, 3x a week of strength (Up from 2x/wk), a bike ride that includes "pounding that shit out" 1 minute heavy gear climbs, and next week, adding more tempo zone workouts in. seems like things are getting to business. i mean, really, my first 1/2 ironman of the season is only about 4 months away ;) ... and my first "major" race of the season is only 2 months away (Scotiabank 1/2 Marathon). and, i will tell you now: that time will fly. spring is just around the corner!!! (yeah right... did i mention that it is going to be -15 with a windchill of -28 tomorrow?)

anyway. this week numbers:
swim: 2hrs, 5200m
bike: 3h45min
run: 1hr 45min
strength: 1.5 hrs
total: 9hrs of pure recovery bliss

Saturday, January 29, 2011

here's to neighbourhood exploring and too food!

today, i have had a lovely day.

After yesterday, where I didn't really leave the house at all, it was time to wander outside. Despite the fact that I do enjoy "work at home" days, I also find that I can feel quite isolated. Especially this semester, where it now seems like we are finally in a graduate program... everyone in my class is spread out between supervisors, and locations, and different placements, and different practice times, etc. We don't get so see each other much, especially compared to this first year and a half. But, I suppose, if I am going to be spending 4 months in Malawi next fall, I need to get used to it!

So, knowing that I had strength and a run on tap for today, I thought that I would use the morning to do some work in a cafe, eat breakfast, then yoga and run it up. But, I woke up with a bit of a headache (and was really worried it was going to end up being a full fledged migrane), so I went back to sleep. 1.5 hrs later, I woke up, and realized that I would not be running before yoga. I ate some advil, and walked (not biked, since it was snowing hard outside, and the Y is not far away) to a cafe that I had heard good things for breakfast about. I ate lunch there, with the boy i like, when he was here in October. But, this morning, it was all me. I read the newspaper, ate a yummy breakfast, and drank too much coffee. It was delicious, and, I will eat there again.
And, then i trudged my way down to the YMCA; I ran into Annie, and we yoga'd it up. And, we did a pose which i have NEVER done in my life, which was quite entertaining. Kinda like a forward bend/chair/twist, where you wrap/reach your arm between your legs, and around your opposite hip, while the other arm reaches behind to try and grasp the hand of the arm which is reaching through the legs. yes, i know. I can't explain it, but it was HARD! I then went running on towards Mt Royal (one of the only green spaces in town) and enjoyed the fact that all of a sudden, I have learnt to run in my HR zones. I returned, got changed, and decided to go to yet another cafe for a soup and salad lunch, which doing some studying. Delicious meal of the day, #2? Check. Pretty much, the majority of the day was spent doing a mini-walking-tour of the adjacent neighbourhood to mine, Mile End. Eating good food, watching interesting people, and stopping into a few fun shops.

it was at this time, where I thought that i would write a post about little places in Montreal that I like to eat... Now, the pre-amble to this is that I LOVE BREAKFAST! it is my favourite meal of the day, and most definiently the meal that I love to eat out, at almost anytime. due to that, I explore breakfast places. Here is a list of places in montreal that I love (if there is a link to the resto, i have it in the resto title....) and, why i love them. so, Here is to my Montreal Breakfast spot critiques! (HA!) Thanks to google images for the photos.

i love this cafe, mostly because it allows me to have a taste of home, by brewing 49th parallel coffee, from Vancouver. the owner is a vanocouverite, and former manager of one of the locations of my fav coffee shop there. SO, naturally, I would like. They teach their baristas well, it is warm and cozy, food is not the focus, and coffee (and tea's!) are top notch. IMO, by far the best coffee in Montreal. Though, it is a little far for me to go, which often saddens me.

Le Vieux Velo

perhaps my favourite breakfast/brunch spot in town these days. the walls are adorned by fun "indie" art, the music playing frequently is of the likes such as belle and sebastian. ... and the eggs benny are one of a kind. This one is in my hood, so it is REALLY easy to get too. i do, however, always leave feeling like I have spent more than I plan on, but, maybe it is because i can never decide what to eat, and the more expensive dishes (of course) sound the most delicious. My most frequented ordered breakfast is a pesto-roasted veggie-benny. i like that they serve lattes in tall glass cups, and that the service is fast and friendly. What I love the most is that it is called "the old bike," and that there is not more than about 6 tables in the whole place.


this is where I lunched today. I have gone here a few times in my montreal-life, and I always enjoy it. i find it a bit pricy for the amount of food that you get, but, the atmosphere is great. it just feels warming to the sould. and, it is ALWAYS busy, saying something about how delicious the brunch is. i have (not today)had a muffin or two there, and (since muffins are my weakness) think they are delicious. service is fantastic, and today's salad dressing left me wanting to lick the plate. they also let me sit there much longer than I should have (i was doing school work!), despite having people in the resto waiting for a table.

hmmm, now, I think that is good for now. I am going to continue this, since I have a good list of places that I have eaten. some have been good, others have been not-as-good. but, needless to say, these last few are my tops, so far...

Friday, January 28, 2011

it's the end of the week! and, it's OK!

and, i have 3 whole days of nothing really super duper scheduled... and, you know what that means?!!? it means i can work from home, decide any time during the day I want to work out, and get a little extra sleep. And, that makes me HAPPY!

this week has been a recovery week, and it came just in time. It's kinda funny, because as someone who has a degree in exercise physiology, and have spent some time learning about periodization, i know a decent amount about it. I also know that periodization occurs at different levels, and that sometimes, it is nice give yourself an extra little push~ allow your body to go through a bit of an overload. But, This week was not it. So, when I looked at my training week, when it was posted on sunday, and saw that my three week block was extended into a 4 week block, I had a little freak out. Not that I would mind having another heavier week, just that i was mentally (and, physically, it seemed) ready to have a recovery. I emailed coach, she just about shot training peaks for not uploading my week properly, and at the end of monday, i was rescheduled. thank you so much, mary!!!

recovery weeks mean that I can sleep more, i can be more flexible, and I can workout without worrying about thinking about what my heart rate is. I can just and, i love that. because now, at the end of the week, i feel like i am good to go again! i am recharged, per-sey, and I still have two days of recovery week left!

however, your hunger level is still the same. and, on tuesday, I have no idea what happened, but it was like felt totally out of control with what I was eating. And, so, in many ways, I just gave into it. And, after master's, while I was walking home at 9pm, and after i had had a chocolate milk, i walked by a pizza place. and, oh man, it smelled GOOOOOOD; so, in i went, and of course i wasn't going to get a whole pizza. but.. calZone? yes please. stuff that sucker with artichokes and spinach. with my steaming hot calzone, i happily walked home.

and, i got to thinking. because when you walk alone on cold winter nights, you think. I thought about a conversation, my roommate (Kim) and I had a few days ago. Sometimes, "it's" hard.

what is hard, you ask?

well, the way she put it. "i try to eat right. i try to exercise, i try to be environmentally friendly, i try to do well at school... etc" but, there are other things as well... i try to be a good girlfriend, I try to think about others and not be selfish, i try to only buy items that i need, i try to do charitable work, i try to stay tidy, i try to be a good family member, i try to be a good athlete.

there are a lot of things we try to do.

and, there are so many things that we, on a daily basis, make choices to try to do well.

And, it is hard. now, as someone with a foundation in faith, i don't stress a whole lot about really screwing things up. for, if i place my trust in god, and try to live a life of service, then, i am really not going to F up too badly. but, it still is challenging. and, you know, as i munched happily on that calzone, i remembered how important it is to allow ourselves to just chill sometimes. how important it is to allow ourselves to say "today, it is OK if I throw a milk-bottle in the garbage instead of the recycling bin, because I don't really feel like walking around with it for the next couple hours." "it is ok if i watch a movie instead of staring at my computer, doing no school work." "it is okay if today, i eat a pizza." "it is ok if i buy something i want, instead of not getting it." i truely believe that if we allow ourselves those times to relax, the "trying hard" becomes quite a bit easier.

so... it's ok. because it is hard.

on a sadder note, i heard some bad news this week. And, if you read this, and you know who i am talking about, please respect their grieving. As you may remember, last year, I did a whole wack of fundraising for the leukemia and lymphoma society. I signed up, because a dear friend of mine's father was fighting a battle with Leukemia. Today is a week since he passed away. As a jewish family, they will be finishing "sitting shiva" today. This was part of the email that I got from her.

The doctors told us he wasn't going to make it past a week so we brought him home and just kept him comfortable. We ended up having some very beautiful moments with him and were able to tell him everything we'd want to before he left us.

He died peacefully with my mom, my brother and myself by his side. The funeral was quick (as it is in Jewish tradition) and we are now mourning the loss of my wonderful incredible dad with family.

So, today, I offer a requiem:
Grant unto him eternal rest, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. May he rest in Peace.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

12 week, 10km Running program

So, i have a few things to write. but, i have procrastinated enough this morning, because a friend of mine wanted to know if I knew a good "Training Log" for a 10km running race. So, instead of finding her one, I made one up for her. HA! Nat and I used to work at Body and Soul in Vancouver. She worked as a lovely front-desk receptionist, and I, as a personal trainer. And, I gotta admit... many, many, of my friends who I have from Vancouver are people I met at B&S. And, for that, I am really thankful.

Now, she is a Momma, and makes lovely Tutus. Have a look at her page, to see what she does. This spring, she is deciding to take on the every delightful Vancouver Sun Run. I love the race, because it is one of the largest 10km races in North America, and almost everyone in vancouver does it ;) (not really, but, you know what i mean...) And though I don't have a great idea of what her level of fitness is right now, this is a pretty simple plan that will work her from a base, presuming that her 10km time will be about 1:15.

So, Nat (and anyone else who might want to run a 10km), here it is. Let me know if you have questions. (or, anyone else.. feedback?!) I am excited that she has made this goal!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

pink dragons and this week in numbers!

so, not much to talk about today. maybe except for the fact that going to church these days has been great... mostly because it has just about doubled in size, with those new people all being around my age. which adds a great different vibe. and one that i LIKE! it feels good not to be one of the only token 20-something's in the congregation.

and, coming home from church this morning, i encountered this on the street....

not everyday where you get to see one of those :)

anyway, nothing really eventful in training this week, except that I am really feeling the end of this 3 week strength block. I am crossing my fingers for a recovery week! we shall see, as soon as my training peaks is updated for the week. other than that, i had an amazing run last night, in -15C weather, and starting at 7:45pm (meaning it ended just after 9ish). I had no idea that a cold-"late-night"- endurance run in the middle of winter could be so invigorating. and, i wasn't even cold!!!! :)

finally, the pool at Parc YMCA is going to be open again this week... YAY! back to master's, and no more swimming with aggravating public-lane-swimmers.

so, this week. every workout in (YES!) some changing around of the schedule, but, it has to happen sometimes. here are the numbers...
Swim: 1hr 45min, 5500m
Bike: 5hrs
Run: 3hr 50min
Weights: 1hr
Total: 11hr 45mins

Saturday, January 22, 2011

long distance moments and A moment for inspiration...

So, it has been a long week, and I know that I was SUPER tired last night. And, I also realized that I have to make sure that I have good sleeping patterns in order to make it through the week to weeks.

but, this week, late nights came because I had two conversations with the boy i like which lasted 3-4 hours. parts of those conversations were times where we talked about nothing. and in those times, we get somewhat distracted by the internet, and will send links, photos, etc. back and forth to each other. And, you know, many people spend time doing nothing together: you know the times.. where both people are sitting at a table, and reading the newspaper? together, doing nothing, but, being together. And, since the boy I like and I cannot physically be together, we procrastinate on the internet. we look at blogs about bikes. we find interesting hilarious ridiculous things on etsy. we do nothing. because that is what people do.

however, as you may have also guessed, we talked about some pretty meaningful things (i mean, comon' we talked for 3+hours!). and, i find it interesting how I react to talking about meaningful things on skype. Cause i am a pretty emotionally inept at talking about the deep, most meaningful and important things in my life. and skype has this magic wall on me, that it makes me not want to approach those topics even more. yet, in a long-distance-relationship, you have to. because you can't just save those conversations for when you see eachother. or else you are missing a lot of time. and, that is just no good.

I just got off my bike. I was supposed to ride it last night, but, i was so dang tired. And, I still have a run (1:15 hrs) to do later. It is going to be fricken cold. but, it will get done! All I have done is procrastinate today, and dream about moving back to BC once I am done with this degree.

but, I have a friend of mine, Donna (who was a former WVU rower with me, and is now a train-this triathlete) doing a ultra 50km trail run. I guess the pre-race note went something like this:
You are the one responsible for entering this race, you better be prepared
for the course itself. The rocks will have no mercy. I have seen this course
rip apart many a "good trail runner." Mountain Mist is trail running in its
finest form. No one is ever let down, just shut down, beaten up, broken and
left bleeding. You first timers beware, this course may cause you bodily
harm. Even though you have entered the race and paid the fee...YOU CAN STILL
BACK OUT! No one will laugh at you, just tell them your family still needs
you and you want to continue running in the future, they'll understand!
Otherwise, "know your limits and then completely ignore them."

To me, THAT is inspiration.

Not to mention, my friend JuDE UlTra. , who i know from working at MEC for the first 8 months that I was in Vancouver. Jude just arrived down in Costa Rica for the 2nd year in a row to do the Coastal Challenge rain forest run. Now, THAT is ridiculous. The "route of fire" run is a ridiculous 6 day, 225-250km race through the rain forest. Pretty much a trail-marathon a day, for a week. The route isn't even on the website yet!!! so, there is another pile of inspiration. I wish you luck JuDE! This video "Impossible Ain't Nothing but a word" is sick.

She also has recently posted a fab video from North Face. Which, as she mentioned, are thoughts that are never far away from the mind. BEautiful. Take a bit of time to have a little watch!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

how to find real food

in a search for Fage Yogurt substitutes up here in Canada (Other than Liberty), I came across a neat blog. I LOVED this flow chart!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swimming Snob?!?!

(i just re-read this post... and I said "annoying" so many times! HA! i guess it is clear what my sentiments are when there are too many people at workout times!)

so, last night, I went to the swimming pool at McGill during the 6:30-8:30 lane swim time. and, i did this, because my classes are scheduled too close together on tuesday's to get the lunch time swim in, without being totally crunched for time. I just gotta say that I am SO EXCITED for the pool at the Y to re-open, so I can have normal master's on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings.

I decided to swim late, due to the fact that I also wanted to go see Harry Potter. You see, tuesday nights are 6.50$ night at the big fancy theatre downtown. And, I have no classes on wednesday. It is my mid-week "work from home" day. which I love!!!! So, to McGill I went. And, reallllllly?!!? this is the second time that I have had this week during the "evening workout time" that I have been SUPER annoyed with how many people are there. I think it might be a combination of the time of day, as well as the new years resolution people. All I know, is that i really need to stick to the morning workout times, as to not just get super annoyed.

the first was monday, where the YMCA was exceptionally full that I had to wait almost an hour to get a treadmill, and I had to hop between 2 treadmills to get my full hour in. HA! it is annoying. but, that being said, I do realize that the only reason it is annoying is that it doesn't fit within my schedule. so, really, it is just a selfish reaction.

the second, was yesterday. And, the advantage of having so many people in a lane means that you can practice your open water skills by passing and having people hit you, cut in front of you, and swim slowly (so you can learn to draft). the disadvantage is when those same people stop at the end of the lane, and not move over. when they take up at least 1/2 the lane. when you tap their feet to tell them you are behind, and they don't pause at the wall. or, my personal favourite, they wait until you are exactly going into the wall for a flip turn, and push off directly in front of you. :rolleyes:

yes, people, I am a swimming snob. i apologize. Meanwhile. have a watch of my weekend swim video. NOt a terrible video, but, I wish I had more "head on" time. I hope you like my bathing suit, at all. Yes, it is watching you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

food days

sometimes, i have days that i am shocked at how much i eat. today was one of those days. this says nothing of portion sizes, which were controlled.

but, i suspect it does say something about the 3 week strength block i am in...

breakfast: 2 eggs, banana, plain greek yoghurt (small bit)
post-gym snack: latte, muffin (gasp!)
snack: mixed nuts, apple, more pomegrant greek yoghurt.
lunch: tomato-veggie soup, salad, soy-whey-almond butter-chia seed drink.
snack: larabar, frozen berries with soymilk.
dinner: left-over veggies and tofu, with shrimp and eggplant added to fill it out.
post-swim movie snack: homemade baked yam fries.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

weekend report!

there is pretty much one thing i would rather be doing right now, that sitting comfy in my bed writing a blog about my wonderful weekend. and that would be sitting comfy in my bed having a skype conversation with the boy i like. but, he decided to go to tron. And will be back at about 11. and, frankly... that is too late for me. and, there is only 1 thing that is beneficial about that. and it is that... I do not have to go see tron with him.

at any rate. Today was a LOVELY day. The weekend was lovely, after a slightly chaotic 2nd week back at school (is it really supposed to be feeling so disorganized?!!?) I had a little sleep in on saturday morning, because it was "Travel Day." travel day to where, you might ask?!

SYRACUSE! my friend annie and I piled into a small rental car with the black flying machine in the back, and down to the states we went. We went down, because I was having a train-this testing and video weekend, at the YMCA in downtown syracuse... which has a FANCY computrainer set for about 8 bikes. we got to go in, before it opened to the public, and rode our fancy dancy bikes. but, can i say... SNOW?! cause after the worse road conditions that I remember for a very long time (um... barely could see 10 meters ahead of you, having to drive down the interstate with 2-way blinkers), all I could imagine was going snowshoeing or XC skiing. actually, i was quite jealous... We stayed once again with My good friend, kelly (blog linked below in text...), who I stayed with during Syracuse 70.3.

so. we sweat. and then after a 30 minute average 178 BPM avg (max 186... but, let me tell you... there was not much "variance" in my HR....) computrainer session, we swam a little while with a "Coach cam" (read: underwater digital duct taped to a broom with purple duct tape... hilarious.
The computrainer system is fun. but definitely not a replacement for being outside. ie... i did not feel as if it was a true representation as if I did that same ride on the road. but, never the less, it was GREAT to be riding along side my teammates and friends.

and feel at one point that I was going to ralf. in the following picture, i do not look like i was trying hard. in fact, neither does Alexa. oh, you know.. just a little sunday ride. i look way to happy to be there. which, clearly, I was. but, the ride was also hard. (despite this pic not depicting that...) you can see that here:

we then went out to delicious lunch as a team, and proceeded to talk about what happens when women get their period during a (ironman) race... stop? (HA!) amongst other topics of conversation...

and, drove back, with more snow, and a highway closure due to a semi-truck sliding off the road. needless to say, a 4.5 hr trip turned into almost 6hrs on the road.

the weekend ended up being a bit more expensive than I would've liked it to be. but it was worth it. I love meeting/seeing my teammates. I love seeing my Coach. and I love riding my bike hard. i LOVE IT!

week in numbers. Lower than last week (due to yesterday off, and a bike test today rather than a long bike), but, good quality training, i found...
swim: 1h 20 min, 3200 m (missed some, due to pool schedule mishaps)
bike: 5hrs 30 min
Run: 2hrs 30 min
Strength: 1hr
total: 8hr 30 min.

Friday, January 14, 2011

oh my gosh, people.

i am not pregnant.

re-read. it is in section of things that OTHER people have said to me this week.

so, stop freaking out.

that is all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thive thursday: encouraging people

This is a on going series that is posted on (the occasional) thursday's, to answer the question: "What helps you to thrive in your environment?" The series is written by myself, and a variety of guest Contributors. This week, I want to comment on peopel who lift you up.

if you are a regular follower of my blog, you will know that I have not had an easy start to the semester. if anything, it has been humbling. It has been character building. It has opened my eyes to how easy it is to just be brought back down to reality. And, it got me thinking about how certain people, this week, have lifted me back up in through this week. Mostly, it has come in the form of the academic leaders that are around me.

it seems as if this week, there has seemed to be a lot of blog posts about not hitting perfection. Coach Mary commented on it, and referenced "single dad laughing" post about perfection. My teammate/friend/train this coach Kelly talked about being real in her wonderful you wednesday post. Today, My other teammate/friend Alexa reflected about rebounding from being hurt. And, i don't know if it is because it is the winter. or, if it is because it is after holidays. or, just what it is. but, we rise. and we fall. and we have people to pick us up.

As you may know, I am a goal oriented person. I set goals. and i push out to achieve them. And, I am not all the time disappointed if I don't get them, because I know life evolves. And, because of my faith, I have an underlying belief that I cannot totally F up my life, because i have "someone" else out there looking out for me.. protecting me from falling and screwing up too hard. I might wander off a path towards my goal. I might miss that step in attaining it. but, I guess that one of the other things is that I believe God may puts people in my life to help me get through those points.

over the last week, i have been afraid of disappointing people. To the extent that I felt ashamed. mostly, i disappointed myself. but, i felt as if I was letting people down. letting people who gave me a chance, a reason to question their decision. I was afraid to tell the people that I needed to that I had not done well. That i wasn't able to "pull through." and, the response I got was amazing... i got "you don't need to be ashamed... I think no less of you, or of your potential." I got a spontaneous hug in the hallway from a very incredibly achieved woman, who is a leader in her field. I got a "how are you doing? let's plan your project. What are your interests for Malawi?" I got a "It's ok. I got my first F on the same week I found out I was pregnant. Then I re-took the exam, and was fine." I got a "what are you sorry for?"

it has been amazing. The shame that I have felt has mostly passed over. I am waking up in the morning excited for what is to come. I am seeing the light at the end of a scholarly tunnel. I have been uplifted by people who know how to uplift. the very people that I am wanting to "impress."

because they have been understanding, despite the fact that they do not know me well. But, they understand that life happens. and, we move on. and... people like that?! well. they make you thrive. because they believe in you. and they allow you to believe in you, when you may have forgotten how too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

week in numbers

it has been an up and down week in terms of life. Lots of conversations with the boy i like on skype, a few sobbing breakdowns into girlfriend's lap, and a few too many glasses of wine last night.

but, i did get the new year's newsletter out. And, i LOVE THAT!

and, it was a solid week in training. An hour extra, because i had to fit in a run last monday, that I had skipped on sunday (due to travelling from victoria to Montreal, that day). so, there is an hour extra.

Just finished my first "long ride" of the year. 2hrs on the trainer (90min endurance, 30min tempo to finish). I watched "outsourced" and part of an episode of "weeds." Not bad, but my crotch is definently not accustomed to the long rides yet, and it feels as if my bike is slightly off balance (lean to the left?). so, that makes the last little while of the ride a push, because the only thing i want to do is get off!!!!

Swim: 2hrs, 5000m
Bike: 6 hrs 7min
Run: 3hrs 35min
Strength: 1 hr
total: 11h 35min

and... just for fun, because it just arrived in my inbox, here is a Boxing Day photo of the boy i like's family. and me. just stuck in there like someone with a different last name that isn't wearing something in the grey-green-blue spectrum.

4 photos from whistler

to those of you who are visiting because I just sent my NewYear's Newsletter, please leave a comment! I would LOVE to hear from you!

On the 27th-29th of december (Snowboarding the 28th), I went to Whistler with Sean, to meet up with some of my favourite people in the world: Zach and Ben Mauss. The 28th was Zach's 27th B-day. Here are 4 photos!

"birthday cake in a cup" Irish Car Bombs with two USARMY Officers!

yup, the translation of this sign is: SICK RIDING TODAY!

As always, a little sushi is needed in life.

Me and those two Mauss boys. Love 'em.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Running with the big boy club... ytri.

so, this week has been a week of learning humility. Why should I think that it would stop on saturday morning?

I have been training on and off with the YMCA tri team over the past few months. Only for swimming though. And I stick to the plan that coach mary gives me. If it fits, i go. If it does not fit, i don't go. simple as that. It is also the reason I jump out of the pool early (even though it feels like I am slacking). 'cause my coach knows me. and i pay her for something. I don't pay her to give me suggestions that I will not follow. I pay her to give me a program that will get me to succeed on the other end, and go fast in races, that I take seriously.

SO, this morning, the run was going to fit. I got an email through the list serve saying "9am at the Y, a 10-12km run." i'll be there. I have an hour run. That is about accurate. I enjoy the group, sure, let's go.

and, let's just remind you, that out of the 3 disciplines, running is my biggest enemy. it is where I loose finish places in my races. It is the place where I fell like I have not improved over 3 years (um... hello... 3 straight 1/2 marathons at 1:46? is it impossible for me to break 1:45?!??!), though that is not completely true.

but, in the pool?! well, pretty much I rock out the workouts with the Ytri team. one of the fastest in the fast lane (i have nothing to say about the fact that most triathletes are mediocre swimmers at best... meanwhile, funny video on that at SW's blog). So, why should I not be able to keep up on the run?!?! (HA! humbling moment to come!)

well, there were 4 others. and, these non-swimmers... well... they are certainly runners. they are skinny. they are men in the mid-30-late 40 range. they are FAST! and, it took me about 3 blocks to figure out that I was going to be left in the dust. so, off we went. and i said "endurance run. stay in endurance zone..." andddd then my HRM stopped picking up my HR. don't tell mary, but i don't think i stayed in zone 2 very well at all. but, it was steady. and it was good to be running with fast cadence people. it kept reminding me to have quick feet turnover. and it kept reminding me how far i have to improve in running.

we ran about 11km. and, all i gotta say, it my personal favourite time was the 1/2 km at a 8-10% slope. yup, that time where i thought that i was going to die? yeah, that time. yes though, it was "variable terrain" and it was "steady." a steady feeling of:

"OH MY GOD! I AM RUNNING WITH THE BIG BOYS NOW!" I got back, did my lift, and then sat in the steam room and thought...

good god, that was good.

here is the elevation:

and here is the route:

Friday, January 7, 2011

we go up and down. and we have limits.

So, it has been quite the week back to Montreal. In getting back, I thought that things were going to be fairly normal going into the new semester. But, it has been anything but that. this week taught me a lot in a little time, and they are lessons that we all need to learn, and need to learn repetitively. It has been a week of lows and highs.

I have always been decent at school. I am not stupid, and yet it has never been SUPER hard to get good (not excellent) grades. I have always thought that "if i did not have as much going on" i would be a straight A student. Every once and a while, I think "eh, that is not true" but, it is about what you put into it, right? My CV is exceptionally full, with life experiences that I have been totally blessed to have. For at 27 year-old, i have life experience of someone way older. I do have the tendency, because of those two things, to set high standards for myself. And, i am happy when I achieve those standards. In sports, it is the same thing. In swimming, I was good, but not great. In rowing, i was verging on the edge of great. In triathlon... well, that has yet to be seen. All i know is that i think i am doing better at triathlon than I am doing at school ;)

This week taught me again about humility. Getting an F on my transcript is awful. it send shivers of "oh my god, i will never get another scholarship/bursary/award in my life" or "if I ever want to do another degree, i will never get in" fears down my spine. It also sends the "damn. what must my profs think of me?" But, it reminds me that we have limits.

it is like the team that only has wins, losing to a team that is lower in places. A top triathlete who nails almost every competition, having everything go wrong during a race, and not finishing. we have limits.

i guess it is that we need to be reminded to ground ourselves. humility is essential in everything we do. I know it is not true for everyone, but most people need to try really hard to be able to do really well. and "failure" is something that reminds us of that. and, when we succeed, and do really well, we need to remember how easy it is to do to much, and loose focus, and loose balance and fall. i've heard it say that the higher you are, the further you have to fall. isn't it a statistical concept? something about approaching the mean?

anyway. big lessons being learnt this week.

in other news. remember my global health stream? the possibility of going overseas for school. well, yesterday there was a meeting about if people agree that sending a student to Malawi would be a good idea. There was agreement, and so now it is just about my supervisor sending a email to say "yes, we think this is a good idea" and it will be good to go.

so, what does that mean for me!?

well, long story short, I am 95% sure that next september to december, I will be doing a clinical, and a research project based out of Liglongwe, Malawi. In Liglongwe, there is a well established Nursing school, with advanced degree nurses. So, keep your fingers crossed, but, it is looking pretty good. and let me tell you.

that news makes my heart sing. 'Cause this girl will be going back to the Motherland. This girl will be going somewhere that feels like home.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

it's a new day.

and, after sleeping almost 11hrs, i am feeling much better than last night. Still concerned, still worried, still feeling many of the same things. but, after that first day, the second day gives you better perspective. and did you know, that if you cry that much in one day, and still workout, you end up being REALLY dehydrated?! yup, mental note: water is on the menu today.

and, i want to offer a "i'm not as lame as it seems" statement. At McGill, in grad studies, a C+ is an F. that is right, you drop from a B- to an F in a couple of wrong answers. And, i am not saying that it is not an F (it still is), but it is not less than 50% or whatever. it still makes you feel like shit though.

but, that is all on that topic. i'll keep you updated as to what happens.

let's talk about something else. training. How about training?!

well, christmas was interesting, to say the least. It wasn't like i was missing everything left and right, but I was in a location that I did not have a bike, and no *Easy* access to the gym/pool. I hopped around, and did what I could. I also snowboarded a lot. But, i guess that is what christmas is about. You know that you will not hit everything. You know that your diet will consist of coffeecake, chocolate, and pies. and, that is ok. I know that I could be more structured, but at the end of the day, between those times that i did not hit everything, and between the times when the diet was coffeecake, chocolate, and pies,

i did ok. i managed to get about 90% of the training done, and 60% of good eating. my meals were fine, it was just the in between times. and, did I happen to mention that i won a 5km resolution run?! well, i did.

again, the run was SLOW! and, it was a semi-trail run, so, that played a part. but, it still felt like a cheat win. most of the "fast people" would've run the 10km that was happening at the same time. but, whatever. a win is a win. i'll take it. I have also started thinking about my race schedule for 2011. I know, I know, many people probably have it set by now. But, my life often seems like i don't know what will be happening in the coming months. And, because of that, my race schedule seems to be flexible. but, it will get somewhat more secured soon. and to me, that is REALLY EXCITING. 'cause i train because I love to race. and i race 'cause it is fun. racing is way more fun than training, that is for sure.

getting back to montreal is a bit of a relief, in terms of training. I have my bike again. The Y is so close. I get to make my own schedule. I don't have to worry about my training time cutting into other people's time, or worry about getting a ride to the gym. it's jsut kinda nice.

I am getting into a 3 week block right now, with about 10hrs/week. it is kinda funny, because it takes an adjustment. it takes time management, and structure. And for some reason, I have felt that I haven't been able to do that in the last semester. maybe that is why I have done poorly in school. and, maybe that is going to be my new year's resolution. time management.

do like i did in high school. Make sure that everyday, there is at least a 2 hr period where i sit at my desk, do school work (even if there is "nothing due."). I workout at scheduled times, not just "where it fits." I sleep 7hrs a night during weeknights, and at least 8 hrs on the weekends.

i need to find balance. because, somewhere, I have misplaced it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Running in snow dust doesn't solve the problem...

but, it sure does help. And, I guess that is the thing about exercise. It doesn't necessarily solve the problem, but it sure does allow you to deal with it better. The endorphins (or whatever you want to call them) that flow while you are exercising allows you to face the day, the situation, or whatever... better. movement, though done with the body, is healing for the soul.

so, it is the new year, and it is back to the grind. I got back on sunday, late afternoon, and did a whole lot of nothing yesterday; pretty much was waiting for today to start. watched a rom-com (umongst other things), grocery shopped, and trained. that was pretty much it. so, before we begin, i present you with cute pictures. here is me and the boy i like x2 . he needs to shave his neck in the second photo. that is all i gotta say about that ;)

ok, so, after a whole lot of nothing yesterday, today arrived. and it has proven to be an awful day. i won't say "The worst day is such and such of a time frame" because i don't know that. it was just an awful day. and, i know that this blog is open to the world. and, due to that, most of the time I filter a lot. you may think i am candid, but, i filter. trust me.

right now, though? it is not going to be very filtered. i am feeling raw tonight, and i need to write. and, i guess that when you have a quote like that very powerful dean karnazes quote at the top of your blog, you owe it to yourself to be raw. you gotta believe in the things that you say. it doesn't make it any easier, though.

i have cried quietly and not so quietly. prayed. talked to people. exercised my frustrations out. A LOT today. 'cause for today, that is all i can do. but, i sure wish i knew what was going on with all of this.

I woke up, getting ready for the first day back at school, and remembered that my last-term grades would be posted. I was shocked to first find a grade of B on my Research methods class. This is the one that I put loads of time in, and felt like I did really well on the final. How can this be? Then, I kept on scrolling. And, there it was. staring at me directly off the screen.

an F in Illness Management.

WTF. An F!???! in almost 8.5 years of school, I have NEVER gotten an F. I am a 3.4 undergrad, and 3.7 graduate student. A F'ING F!?!??! WHAT THE F!?
(and. just a disclaimer. in my program, a C+ is an F. yeah,i know. crazy, right? )

how is it that I failed? where did I go wrong? the exam was hard, but not THAT hard. I understand everything we talked about in class. I missed ONE class all semester, which I then watched online. how is it that I could fail?

this semester has been the hardest one of my life. in the final weeks, my life was exceptionally unbalanced, both in the amount of school that i was doing, the food i was eating, and the lack of exercise I was getting. and that was following the 6 weeks of awful health. i have had 2 doctors appointments this fall, and two ER visits (plus one where I was a support for a friend). that is not good, nor is it easy. but, it is also not an excuse. something went wrong.

so... what do I feel?

i feel scared (about the potential outcomes) and ashamed (b/c the global health committee gave me a second chance by letting me in the global health stream, and directly asked "will you be able to handle the extra workload?" to which I responded yes, because i truely believed i could...) and upset (because i know this is not representative of my ability) and shocked (b/c i honestly don't know how i could feel OK coming out of the two exams on that monday, and then find out that i failed one, and the other i barely passed).

and, i know that it is not justified (nor is it true), but i feel like a failure, and very defeated. b/c as hard as my program is, and despite the fact that LOTS of people struggle, they are still able to pass. so, why am I the person that was not able to do it?

after 7.5 years of academia, am I that burnt out of school?!?!? and, i think i am so affected by it because i LOVE nursing, and i LOVE this program (despite the fact that it seems like everyone around me, including myself, is flunking out), and know that both are perfect for me.

I am worried about having to face the global health committee, and being the student that they gave a second chance, and wasn't able to handle it. I do think that having to do stats probably had an effect on everything and my workload, but, despite that... it is the undergraduate classes (and the exams) that are killing me; pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and this one. all 4 are undergrad classes, and all four have been a struggle. they make me feel really stupid. (and, i know. i'm not. but, it is just how I am feeling.)

I know that there was a point last semester, when I was not feeling well, that i thought "Shit, this whole thing is going to cause me to drop/flunk out of school." I never thought it could be actually true. Now, the prof for the class I failed has written the program director, and is going to see what the procedures are... if there i can write a supplemental exam (it seems to me that all my classmates that I have told say "yes, we are allowed to fail one class, and write the supplemental."), or do an extra project on the subject matter to get some extra points.

I am not out of school just yet. If i am, i honestly have no idea what I will do. But for now, i compartmentalize. I cope, i go on. And, i wait. I wait to see what the decision will be. and, i will go forward, not "fighting for my position," but, rather, humbly. Because, clearly, if I get through this, and they figure something out to let me stay in the program, I am getting yet another second chance. and, well, that is more than i deserve.

ARGHGHGHGHGHGH! i hate this. it sucks.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Letter

Yes folks, it is that time of year again. The annual chronicals are here. Enjoy. Hopefully you can read it. If not, ask for it to be delivered to your inbox!

AHHHH! there we go. Click on the image, and click again to enlarge!