Friday, October 31, 2008

My Scariest Halloween

Halloween has always been big in my life. My birthday is November 1st, so I ALWAYS had a Halloween inspired birthday party while growing up (and a sister's birth on my 4th birthday, but we'll save that story for another day).

Last October 31st is, and will be, my scariest Halloween to date.

Sydney was 10 days old and she woke up at four to eat. She seemed like she was tired, but ate and fell back asleep.

At seven she woke up. I always describe it as someone came into her crib and switched her with another baby. First, she woke up screaming. Sydney never cried, she her screaming was frightening. When I went to pick her up, she would cringe, like touching her was hurting her. My Mom came over and by ten I had called Colin to tell him we needed to take her to emergency. She had a high fever and would not stop crying.

When we got to emergency, she still was crying but her temperature had gone down. They decided that it couldn't be too serious, so they had us wait in the waiting room. We were infuriated, but felt helpless to do anything about it. Of course, many nosy nancies said it was "Just Colic". Uh, no. I had a one year old at home who did suffer from Colic and this wasn't it.

About THREE hours later, she became listless and we ran her back to admitting. WITHIN 10 Minutes she was in the NICU and they told us she may not make it through the night. We were horrified. She had some unknown "infection" that they couldn't seem to diagnose. Their only hope was to give her as much antibiotics and tests as they could perform and hope she was strong enough to fight it on her own.

I don't remember much about the next 72 hours. They were a blur of hospital, to home, to hospital, to see our son at my Mom and Dad's. She had a feeding tube, and on Sunday, when we thought she was in the clear, she took a bit of a step back.

Twelve days later, we took our little girl home. That morning, we had our family portrait taken for our churches registry. We look so tired. And you can see the band aid on Sydney's hand from where they removed her IV not twenty minutes before.

We never found out exactly what infection Sydney had, but the doctor suspects it was Bacterial Meninigitis. And how she got it, they couldn't say.

That was the worst day of my life.

I will never forget, my scariest Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Small Goals

So I believe that everything you do is about goals. Some days your goals are just to get out of bed and make sure you shower before you go to work. Other times it's to make sure you only eat healthy.

I decided that in honor of my 29th birthday this Saturday, I will be running 14.5k with my hubby. Now, why 14.5? Because it's half of 29 and there is no WAY I am running 29k this Saturday!

He has planned out a nice route for us and says no matter how long it takes, he will run with me. Really he is just my running coach for this one. If I let him run it, it would take him no time and I would be left like dust in the wind!

So wish me luck. Since Colin will be running with me, he will have his Garmin and I will let you all know how it goes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to Basics

I have made it no secret that my ultimate goal is to shed some of this "Post Baby" weight. How much isn't really in my mind right now. But enough that I don't run a 8:35 walk adjusted Kilometer. And enough that I can fit into all the pretty clothes that have been hanging in my closet since January of 2006.

Recently I began using Nutrisystem. And it worked well. But it is way too expensive, especially with another adult in the house. I was still spending the same on groceries as I was before, plus buying the food. So I have decided to go back to what I know: Weight Watchers.

I have been using the online tools for Weight Watchers all year. It especially helps when my activity (i.e. training) is up and I need to figure out activity points. I always use the Flex Plan and not Core because while I don't like being told what I can't have. And I like me carbs way too much. Ideally I would LOVE to go back to meetings, but I can't afford it right now. So it will be online for me!

So it's back to the basics and these very good rules to live by:

Drink Water ALL DAY LONG
Eat your Veggies, especially at lunch
Limit my Alcoholic Intake (See I can't drink "just one" glass of wine. All my nearest and dearest know that!)
Exercise is the key (since my training begins again next Wednesday, that won't be a problem)

Hopefully this time, I will be able to stick to this. Especially with Christmas coming up soon!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Training Limbo

We've all been there. That place between your last race or goal and the next one!

Right now that is where I find myself. Truth be told, my limbo is actually quite longer than just my last race. Since I haven't been running since before mid August consistently, I feel like I am starting all over again. Which I guess I am!

On Wednesday I signed up for The Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington in March. Then I made my training schedule up and joined the 1/2 Marathon Clinic at the Running Room. Some good friends are teaching the clinic together, so I think it is going to be a blast.

Training officially starts on November 5th. I am really excited. This is a huge race for me both personally and physically. I wanted Scotia to be my first "running" race, but this will have to do.

Besides as the great Confucius said "It doesn't matter how slowly you go, so long as you never stop".

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It May Be Safe To Say........

........that after a year, it may not be "Post Pregnancy Weight" anymore!

I refuse to complain and I refuse to be negative. But this weight loss thing is hard! EVERY DAY, there seems to be something else that gets in the way of my weight loss goals.

In the beginning I figured it would be easy. I've been down this road before. But I am starting to become a bit frustrated with the lack of results. Colin thinks I may not be getting enough food through Nutrisystem to train like I have been. And since I am doing such a high level of activity, I might just be holding on to all my reserves for dear life. Makes sense I guess.

Plus there's the baking. I love to bake and cook. I make dinner for my family every night and I love to try new things. I made an awesome Banana Loaf for a friends birthday yesterday and decided to make Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies too. And Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. So yeah. There are now about 4 dozen cookies sitting in my kitchen waiting for me to eat them. So far this morning I have been good. But I know once my coffee is done, and the grapes I am nibbling disappear, it will just be me.........and the cookies.

I save my addiction to the Starbucks Lattes for another day (Skinny, but Venti)!

Tonight I will be going on a nice short 4k. Since it occurred to me as I was building my training schedule for The Chilly Half Marathon in March that training starts two weeks from yesterday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oasis Zoo Run Race Report

Well we are finally on the mend over here, so I thought I would let everyone know how my weekend went.

On Saturday, I participated in the Oasis Zoo Run 10k here in T.O. It was a cold morning, and I was glad that I had decided to wear my running jacket. Colin and I got to the zoo at 7:30, so we easily picked up our packs and were back in the car in no time! Soon we met up with some friends and proceeded to the start corals. Someone must have been playing a trick on me, because my 1:00+ purple sticker was covered with a 40-50 yellow sticker. I traded with hubby and we went to our corrals!

The race started and some runners I had planned to run with took off. So I was pretty much my own company for the entire race.

It was a beautiful route, but there were A LOT of hills and even more turns it seemed. By the time I got to the first water station, the first elite (see Kenyan LOL) passed. It is always a thrill to see they elite. About 1k later I saw something that gave me chills. The top three ladies fighting for first place. They practically looked like they were running arm in arm. It was so inspiring. And it is one of the things I love about this sport. You run with THE BEST in the world. The same route, the same race, the same finish line. It's awesome.

The remaining first half was pretty uneventful. But once I hit the 1/2 way point, I was toast LOL! ALL of my fellow runners know exactly what I am talking about. That damn uphill board walk. It nearly killed me. The African Trail was also pretty demanding. More ups and downs and LOTS of turns.

By 8k, I knew my pace had slowed. So much that I was passed by a few WALKERS. But I just plugged away. Once I came around the corner, and saw the finish line, I sprinted into the end for a 1:34:19.7 gun time. About six minutes off my PR, but it was a demanding course that I was just happy to see the end of!

The BEST part of the whole day? My best friends and hubby also ran and all kicked it's butt. And my sweetie of a mother in law and her sister were there with the kids after. That was really special!

It is definitely a race that I will be running again next year. Hope to see you all there!

The finishers! Just one suggestion? That course DEMANDS a finishers medal!

Monday, October 20, 2008


So not much time to post anything today. Both Sydney and I are sick. BOOOOOO! But I promise as soon as I feel up to it, I will be giving everyone an awesome race report for this past weekends Zoo Run!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weekdays and Weekends

For most of us, our lives run pretty much the same. We get up on Monday, shower, get the kids ready for the day or to go to school and then we ourselves go to work. We come home, have dinner, maybe go out for a run or to the gym. We come home, get the kids and hubby ready for bed and try to unwind before eleven hits. We do this Monday to Friday until finally it's the weekend!

My life, does not work that way.

Yes, I get up on Monday mornings. Usually before the sun, and I usually run then. Because by the time my day is done, the last thing I want to do is exercise.

I am a new generation stay at home Mom. Why the "new generation" label? Simply put, I can't afford to work full time and pay for the childcare my kids would need. So I work evenings and weekends. Which puts a huge damper on living a "normal" life. But this is normal for me!

And Weekends? What are those again? My weekends are normally more jammed packed then my weekdays. For instance:

Friday-My mother and aunt in law are coming for the weekend! Hubby and I are going out while they have agreed to look after the kiddies for us!

Saturday - Zoo Run at the Toronto Zoo in the am. Softball banquet in the PM. Also have to find some time to go and get a pair of shoes for said banquet, get my daughters birthday present and pick up some AMAZING gourmet cookies I am having made for her party!

Sunday-Sydney's 1ST BIRTHDAY! Where did this year go? Pick up her cake, do some last minute grocery shopping and set up for the party. Then of course....PAAAAARTAY!

And keep in mind that I am NOT working this weekend! So that means next weekend, two days on!

Basically every weekend looks like the one above. And sometimes it gets so stressful and tiring. But I work hard and play harder!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Team Diabetes

So here is our announcement of sorts: Colin and I now belong to Team Diabetes!

Since its inception, Team Diabetes participants have raised vital funds on behalf of the Canadian Diabetes Association and the 2 million Canadians with diabetes that the Association serves.
Team Diabetes participants not only increase public awareness of the disease, they inspire their communities to get active and involved. They create lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, while raising funds in support of the research, education, advocacy, and programming that the Canadian Diabetes Association delivers in communities across Canada. Team Diabetes participants are local heroes working to prevent diabetes at home and abroad.
Team Diabetes programs allow you to walk or run in world-class marathon events in fascinating cities both nationally and throughout the World.

Colin and I will be running on behalf of his mom, Penny, in May during the Ottawa Race Weekend! I will be running the 10k event on Saturday, May 23rd and Colin will be running the Half Marathon on Sunday, May 24th!

We are both very excited to be a part of this Team. Many may not know but Diabetes is something that has affected both our lives, but especially Colin. His wonderful mom Penny has had Diabetes most of her life, and it is something that she lives with everyday.

So this is for you Mom!

Let's all support this wonderful cause together! We will both be sending out emails soon with more information!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Year in Retrospect (So Far) and 2009

In an effort to continue training (if you can call it that) Colin and I are already trying to decide what races we will be doing in 2009. So far this is the line up:

Chilly Half Marathon - Burlington, Ontario - March 1st Both of Us
Around the Bay 30k - Hamilton, Ontario - March 29th Both of Us
Hartwell Challenge 10.5k - Aurora, Ontario - April 26th This is a COUPLES Challenge with some friends of ours. And we will lose LMAO!
Nordion 10k - Ottawa, Ontario - May 23rd I will run this, while Colin runs the Ottawa Half Marathon the next day!
Toronto Women's Half Marathon - Toronto, Ontario - May 31st This is just me....Colin and the kids will be waiting for me at the finish!
Nissan 10 Miler - Toronto, Ontario - Date TBA A nice warm up race to Scotia
Scotiabank Half Marathon - Toronto, Ontario - September 2009 Both again
Oasis Zoo Run - Toronto, Ontario - October 2009 And again, on both our schedules

Sporting Life is out, since we just can't fit it into the schedule and we had already decided that while The Mud Run was an experience, we would NOT be doing it again!

Colin has some other things planned for next year, including a couple of clinics he is teaching and MAYBE taking the Triathlon Clinic next summer! Plus there is a smattering of 5k races that I am sure we will also fit into the schedule somehow!

Speaking of Colin, I want to take a second to applaud his efforts this year. Colin started out 2008 agreeing to run because he wanted to support my efforts to run. Many people may not know that Colin is what I like to call a natural athlete. He started playing hockey at a very young age and his body is conditioned to perform. And has it.

His first 5k race in March he ran in over 30 minutes. His next 5k race in August was run in 26:04, which took off a full 5 minutes from his previous Personal Record. This past weekend at the CIBC Run for a Cure, Colin ran an impressive 24:06! So since March he has taken almost seven minutes off his 5k time!

And in his first Half Marathon he finished with in 1:58:05!

So I can't think of a better coach to get my butt in shape. He is making up running schedules for me so I know what distance I need to run and on which days to run them. And he is letting me use his Garmin so I can finally figure out what exactly my pace is.

We also have a little something planned that I haven't told anyone about, but I think it deserves a post of it's own. So look out for that in the next few days!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scotia Race Report

On Sunday, I completed my first 21.1k Half Marathon. Initially, I was going to run, but some health issues got in the way and I walked it instead.

Saturday, we dropped the kiddies of at their Nana and Papa's and headed down to the city to pick up our race kits! The Expo was small, but it was nice to see so many familiar faces and talk to some amazing friends I don't normally get to see - Martine from new Balance and Bill from Mizuno - are two that come to mind. I also got a nice pat from Sylvia Ruegger. Overall it was calming for me to see people that believed that I was going to succeed.

The alarm went off at 5:00am and we were up. Both Colin and I got the BEST nights sleep in ages, considering that we didn't have the kids. By 5:30 we were out the door and on the way to the race.

Colin found parking just north of Dundas at the bus station. It is just a two minute walk to City Hall. As we approached the race site, I started to get really nervous again. I mean, could I really do this?

Colin checked our bag, and I talked with one of my Running Room work mates (Helena) while I waited. She was also running the 1/2 so I knew there were a lot of people that I was going to know on route.

On our way to the corral, I stopped and got a much needed hug from John Stanton. He has always been so supportive of his staff and it actually calmed my nerves considerably. Then it was off to the purple corral to await the start of the race.

Colin started in the same corral as me, as we waited patiently for the gun. About two minutes before the gun, we were asked to move up, which pushed me RIGHT into the Green Corral! Colin felt good, but I really started to get nervous. But of course, I saw our friend Dave who gave us a nice shout out, and my nerves calmed AGAIN.

The gun went off and in two minutes Colin and I crossed the start line. A quick kiss from him and he was off! Just as I was rounding the first corner, I saw Diane and Jen, some walking friends from work! High fives all around and I kept going. Dave passed me about five minutes later and gave me another good luck call. It was great having these people around, since it really gave me the motivation to keep going.

The first 5k were pretty uneventful. LOTS of runners were passing and I just tried to stay out of the way. Once we hit the 6k mark, the 1/2 marathon leaders were ALREADY coming back. Records were on their way to being smashed for sure.

5-10k were the most difficult. I don't use a Garmin (GPS and I think I might be asking for one for my birthday) so I really had no idea how fast my pace was. Just before 8K I heard my name being called from the 1/2 marathoners on their way back. IT WAS COLIN. I was so happy to see him and the smile on my face stayed for the rest of the race.

At 10k another shout out from Pete and Candice, who were also on their way back. All these people telling me to keep going was so motivating. At 10k I also got my first split time. It was 1:41:16! I was so happy. But I also new I had to slow it down. At the 12.2k, my time was 2:01:56.

Once I hit the 13k I really stared to get excited. I was over half way there and I new I was going to make it. At 15k I grabbed some water and really ramped up the pace. The handful of M&M's I had helped too.

At 20k we join up with the marathoners and make our way up to the finish. The streets were lined with people cheering and screaming. Having my name on my bid certainly helps, and hearing people call out to me made me feel great.

With 150m to go, Diane and Jen were there cheering me on! More high fives all around.

With just 50m left I saw Colin. He was screaming at me to finish. All our friends were there. It was great. I crossed at 3:31:46.5. My chip time was 3:27:45.1. My pace was 10:03. My goal was to finish under 3:30. So I was really pleased. I collected my medal and headed back to the finish line to watch Marlene finish her first marathon!

Over all it was a great experience. My feet are in pretty bad shape, but I already have another 1/2 lined up and am trying to see what next year has in store!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!