Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The post about a new house, Easter weekend and the VLM

My progression collage.



  • What a busy weekend! Lots has happened over the past 5 days. On Saturday we went to view a house in our desired neighbourhood. I knew once we'd seen the entire house that I could picture my family living there. It's a touch smaller than my current house but had many things on our wish list. There were already 4 registered offers and it was priced low to sell quickly. Hubby and I decided to go for it. Offers were being held off until Monday, so my agent came by the night of Easter Sunday to get us to sign our offer. We had to go in with our best and hope that we got picked. We offered $25,000 over asking and won! So I have two houses now! Mine goes up for sale on May 1st. 
  • The new house (built in 1930ish) still has a lot of character and charm, which I like. And even though it's an older home, there is a HUGE walk-in closet just off of the master bedroom. Enough room to hold all my clothes, bags and more importantly shoes/boots! There are some aesthetic things that can be fixed, but it's a good solid house that's in awesome shape and I think we got an excellent deal. New roof, furnace, air conditioner, finished basement, an extra bathroom. And we're one street away from Gage Park which is beautiful. 


Good Friday dinner.

  • The only time my heart hurt was when I saw the yard (which is 1/2 the size of my current yard) and thought it would be too small for Finn. Still miss my boy everyday and it will be hard to leave this house because Julien was born here and Finn lived his whole life here. This is where his memories lie. Onward to make new memories!
  • Easter weekend was lovely. I hosted Good Friday dinner for my family. Made the traditional Polish dinner my mom made. Salmon, veggies and pierogies! This year I decided to NOT torture myself. I purchased the pierogies frozen! I know. Blasphemy! But I don't even eat them and they are a ton of work. According to my family, the ffrozen ones were pretty good. So I don't feel badly having cheated. My teriyaki salmon was yummy and I made a salad and sauteed green beans. The salad had goat's cheese and I ate it. Yup, I got a tummy ache. I will NEVER learn. 


Easter Sunday was a no bang day. A quick snap with my guy:-)

  •  Easter Sunday was spent with my in-laws. We had the usual dinner. We have the same thing for every family gathering, but I never get sick of it. Chicken, veal, peas, salad. There was also lasagna and potatoes, but I don't eat that. It's catered by my brother-in-law's aunt and is super yummy. Lot's of food and fun with family. Julien was happy because he kept getting money shoved in his hands. By the time he got back home, he'd been given over $100 from various aunts and uncles. Swear to God that kid has more money than me.
  • Monday was a stat holiday for me. Which worked out well because that's when the presentations for  the offers on the house took place and my agent had to come by for us to sign contracts after we won the bid. I also needed to catch-up on all the household chores I put off all weekend. And it was warm. Shorts warm. I finally went get my nails done (after 5 weeks) and wore shorts. The shorts only lasted a few hours until I became cool again, but I had to wear them because I could!
  • Monday evening I entered the Virgin London Marathon (VLM) lottery. Now it is a long shot that I will get in. The race isn't until April 2015. There are only 5,000 international spots. But hey, I was feeling lucky. Won my house bid, maybe I'll win  my marathon too! If I do get in, I won't know until October. In the meantime, I am going to work on my foot issues. I have a whole year to work out the crampy toe stuff. Once my house is sold, I'm focusing on acupuncture and the gym! If I do get to run the VLM, I'm going to be in the best shape I can be in.
  • Yesterday was a much needed rest day. I ran 5 days in a row and clocked over 42K. Not too bad. Since I'm not training, I'm trying to keep my mileage over 40K per week. I got to run twice on the Rail Trail which goes up the escarpment. It's good for the leg muscles and glutes for sure! Lots of snakes and slugs out right now. I hate all things that are squirmy:-( UGH! 
  • I'm off to run. My 2.5 hour home inspection is this evening. Buying and selling a house is a lot of freaking work and stress. I'm looking forward to the beginning of July. That's when the move will happen and I can get settled. I'm letting go of this house in my mind and I feel a touch lost right now. Stress levels are high for sure, but the mindfulness therapy is helping. Have a great day! Until next time:-)
 
That is Max. Julien named him and we feed him. He lives in my yard.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The post about a sick boy, a running break and Throwback Thursday

Top left: Julien and I on Saturday.
Top right: Julien on Sunday.
Bottom left: Julien and I on Sunday.
Bottom right: Me on Tuesday.




  • Another impromptu blogging hiatus. It wasn't planned, life just got in the way. I haven't written here since last Wednesday. I am doing okay. Just a lot of stuff going on in life right now. Trying to juggle everything is proving to be challenging, but I'm coping much better than I thought I would. 
  • There`s some big changes happening in the Costa household. My hubby and I have decided to put our house up for sale. This is very bittersweet for me. I love my house. We have lived here for 8 years. I live in a Victorian garden terrace house and I fell in love with it the minute I walked through the front door. It still has all the original period details and is just gorgeous. BUT, this is not a family neighbourhood. There are no kids for Julien to play with here. The neighbourhood, although real pretty, is made up of singles and retired people. It hurts my heart that Julien can't just go outside and have friends to play with. That is what my childhood was like and I wish he had the same. So we are moving to the east side, where there are family neighbourhoods. I wish I could move my house, but I can't and it's just a house. I need my son to have friends. That is what will truly make my heart happy.
  • Selling and buying a house is stressful. My house is not up for sale yet. That's happening May 1st. And although we're looking, I haven't found my house yet. I know that our house will sell quickly. One just sold across the street for over asking and in 2 days. Makes me more anxious that I could be homeless in a few months. The competition for buying right now is pretty high. Stuff is selling quickly. My agent is confident that we'll get something no problem. I wish I shared her enthusiasm. 
  • Last weekend Julien was sick. Like I had to spend the night cleaning up a lot of vomit kind of sick. The bulk of his illness happened Saturday, so Sunday I felt a bit off. I stayed home with him while my hubby went to a family function. I didn't run and we just vegged on the couch all day. I figured that since I didn't feel great, that I had a much milder version of what he had. I never got physically ill, but my stomach was off all day. Figured I dodged a bullet because I woke up Monday morning feeling pretty good. 
  • Monday I was out of my house at 6:20am because I had to be in Scarborough for 8am. It was a long day. I worked all day, then went to a Dr. Poon Support group in Scarborough at 7pm. I didn't get home until 10:30 pm. I did a few things before bed, then hit the sack around midnight. I woke up at 4am with my stomach in turmoil. Now I really had what Julien had. I felt so badly that I couldn't even have coffee. That`s how I know I am sick, when I can't drink coffee. I had Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy, so I went. And I had an important work conference I had to attend in the afternoon. So I went to that (and it was cancelled). By the time I got home, my entire body was aching and I had a splitting headache. We went to see a house in the evening and I got home just after 7pm and went straight to bed. I didn't eat all day and other than water, wasn't able to drink anything either. Felt like a big huge bag of shit! I slept for 10 hours straight. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling okay, but still had a headache. Two cups of coffee later and that was gone. I started eating again and my Wednesday was a much better day.
 

First run back after 4 days rest. Not as bad as I anticipated.

  • Running! Man oh man. My running was non-existent this week! I didn't run on Sunday because I felt off and didn't want to take the chance of being out while running 12K and needing the bathroom. I didn't run on Monday because I had to be out of my house so early. Didn't run on Tuesday because I was sick and didn't run on Wednesday because I hadn't eaten in 36 hours. I did run on Thursday. Much, much needed. I was expecting a much worse run than I delivered. It just felt good to be out again! I haven`t taken that much time off of running since I broke my ankle last fall.
  • Last weekend was the London Marathon. It was exciting to watch everything unfold on Twitter. Looked like an awesome time and one of my UK Tweeps has encouraged me to enter the lottery for a spot for next year! I am waking up at 3:45 am on Tuesday morning to do just that. There are only 5,000 international spots so my chances are slim, but how awesome would that be? It gives me a whole year to work out my foot issues and even if I have to walk the end part due to the Morton's Neuroma, I'll do my best. I know I can run 30K, what's another 12?
  • When I went to the Dr. Poon support group on Monday, and I listened to the other women talk about weighing frequency, I realized that I haven't weighed myself in a real long time. Like a couple of months at least. I used to weigh myself daily. Actually several times a day and it became an obsession of mine. So I stopped. One less thing to stress over. I know the minute that my body is different. I can tell by how my clothes fit. I only keep current size clothes in my house. So if they're fitting differently, I know something's up. Bigger clothes don't necessarily mean a weight loss for me though. It just means my body is changing again.  When I went on maintenance, my weight didn't change for 8 months, but I dropped 2 sizes. I have a couple pairs of size 6 pants that I'm wearing, but I'm still in my 8's for now. The last time I did weigh myself I weighed 157 pounds. I really am joining the gym. I thought my income tax money would have been back by now. That is what I'm waiting on to join the gym. I know that once I start strength training, my body will change again. I'm looking forward to seeing what I'll look like six months into joining the gym. When I join the gym I will get weighed and measured so I have a starting point.
  • Yesterday I posted my picture on Twitter for Throwback Thursday. The pic I showed was one of me when I was 25. I've posted it before. I have no idea what I weighed in that picture because I refused to be weighed for a couple of years. I know it's the biggest I ever was though. If I had to guess, I'd say I was 330 pounds, but probably more. That seems like such a lifetime ago and I honestly don't remember being that large. But pictures don't lie. That is probably the only picture of me at that weight. I avoided the camera like the plague. I know my weight was real high, but I was in denial about how big I really was. I also wore size 26. My highest recorded weight is 310 pounds and I easily have 20+ extra pounds on me in that photo.
  • Today is Good Friday and I'm hosting a family dinner. Although my mom's been gone for 11 years I still observe Polish Good Friday. Today will be a fish and pierogi day. I normally make home made pierogi but I figure why torture myself. It's not like I'll be eating them. Pierogi are not Paleo:-) I will be eating the yummy teriyaki salmon I'll be making though. I ended up buying the pierogi at my mother's favorite Polish deli in Scarborough. Almost as good as homemade! And I'm drinking wine! That`s my one guilty pleasure that I still allow myself:-) Wishing you all a great Easter weekend, and if you don't celebrate, enjoy your long weekend:-)
 
Top left: My TBT picture. I'm 25 there. 330+ pounds.
Top right: Where I was just before I started Dr. Poon 300  pounds.
Bottom left: Around 260 pounds.
Bottom right: Around 157 pounds.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The post about more therapy,warmer weather and new friends

What I wore the last two days. Warmer weather means no big coats!
And everything is from Value Village with the exception of the jeans!

  • It's getting warmer in Southern Ontario. The warmer weather has been brightening my mood for sure. I am still fairly anxious. That has not really changed, but my mood has changed. The warmer weather and sunshine has me feeling much more positive. I have been sleeping a little better at night. But I'm still awake super early. It's dark at 5am, and stays that way until about 6:30ish. So morning runs are still cold and lonely. 
  • Something that has been bothering me over the past couple of weeks is a comment I made in my post on March 29th about having to take an Adivan after having an anxiety attack while with a client. I said I felt weak. I shouldn't have said that. I am not weak for having needed something to help me through a rough time. I am my worst critic for sure, but needing medication for mental illness is not a weakness. And I would never think someone else who needs medication is weak.
  • Yesterday was my first Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy session. I was completely underwhelmed. I met with a male therapist. This didn't bother me. What did bother me is that I know too much information about him. He talked about himself a lot. And he kept talking about the Ojibwa First Nation and considers himself an honorary band member because he studied so much about colonization in university. WTF? And he kept responding (after I had elaborated on his questions), with "why"? Why do I struggle with my self-esteem? Why do I view myself so negatively? Why do I see myself as overweight when I am not? Why, why, why? Wasn't sure how to expand anymore than I already did. And if I knew the answers to those questions, I wouldn't have been there. Oh and he referred to my former self as "fat". Strike 4!!!! I refer to myself as being formerly obese. There's a lot of shame that goes along with being labeled fat, and I don't like to use that word to describe anyone. This just looks like regular therapy to me. I'm already doing that. He needs to teach me the MBSR therapy or I'm outta there!



Top left: The sun roof was open today!
Bottom left: Beautiful flowers from a beautiful friend
Right: My new rear-view mirror ornament:)


  • Thanks for all your feedback in regards to my last post about struggling with thoughts of binging and wanting bread. Let me elaborate a bit. When I was morbidly obese and a HUGE binge eater, I mostly binged on things like pasta, chips, crackers, bready types of foods. Although I'd also eat a batch of cookies if given the opportunity, processed carbs and grains were my nemesis. It's the desire to have the texture of those kinds of carbs in my mouth again. I'm not sure if you can understand this, but it's the fullness after a carb binge that I struggle with. I want the fullness and feeling of eating a bag of Lays chips again. No, not really, but the thought crosses my mind. I won't do it. I can't do it. I'll lose control. I know myself well enough to know that that is my reality. I also know I can't have Paleo versions of my former binge foods in my house. If I make Paleo loaf (banana, pumpkin etc), I will eat the entire bread in one sitting. I know that for a fact. That is why I have strict eating rules I have to follow. Life is just easier for me that way. This may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
  • This afternoon I got to meet a new friend. I met someone for coffee after work and we discussed the struggles and loneliness of weigh-loss. Loneliness I say? Yep, loneliness. We talked about how alone it feels to be on such a journey by yourself. Although my husband was supportive of my weight-loss efforts, I was on my own when it came to meals when I was in weight-loss mode. We ate completely differently. And he didn't understand, and still doesn't understand my struggles with binging, or my self esteem issues. This is not his fault. He's just never been morbidly obese or had body issues. And he's never been a binger. I was lucky because he always supported me. I know that not everyone has that in their life. But even though he supported me (as did everyone else in my life), it was lonely if I needed to discuss my feelings with someone. Because only someone who was going through or had gone through what I was/am experiencing understands. It was a real pleasure meeting you today  Enza. And thank you for the gorgeous flowers:)
  • I leave you with a fun video I did with Julien. The YMCA take 2. It's getting easier for me to watch myself on video because I'm just having fun with my son. Everyday things get a bit easier, and everyday Julien and I laugh. Although therapy and medication is important for my healing, so is my son. Although I sing badly, it was fun and this kid is such a ham:) He makes my heart happier than anything else in my life.
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The post that's a whole week long...

My recovery run. I got to wear the shirt:)
And check out the photos on this post, I'm a side head cocker...

  • I have a whole week of talking about myself to catch up on! This blog post should be super long. Perhaps I will do it in two parts. Seriously though? I got nothing. Life has been busy for sure, but boring at the same time. Work and life, life and work. Same old, same old. Let's start from after the Bay. 
  • It took me 3 days to recover after running the Bay. I had a massage on the third day. My quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back...all in pretty bad shape. The receptionist effed up my appointment time and I was only booked in for 45 minutes. I never have a 45 minute massage. I was not happy to say the least and Mark couldn't help me out because he had someone else booked right after me. So I didn't get the 15 minutes per body part like I expected. He did strip my calves. That was very painful and made me levitate off the table a few times. Although he could have, he didn't do the same to my hamstrings and quads because he wanted me to be able to walk out of there. The massage was a good thing. Although it was painful during, by Thursday morning, my body felt completely normal again. 
  • So my recovery run happened Thursday morning. I kept it a shorter run at 6.4K, and my pace was 6:32/K. Not my best time, but my legs felt off. They didn't hurt. I just felt like I was dragging. The days leading up to my recovery run were brutal. On Monday I walked bow-legged all day. My upper inner thighs were super sore. Tuesday I felt like someone had beaten me across my quads with a crowbar. Wednesday there was a dull ache through my legs but Thursday I was good.


Top left: Julien and I after my run on Friday morning. He's looking dazed
and on his way to school.
Bottom left: I got to finally run on the trail where I used to walk Finn. There
were still some snowy parts, but it was mostly clear.
Right: Self love on Sunday. I like this picture of myself because I am wearing
zero make-up. Just  moisturiser of course!

  • I feel completely out of sorts. I have nothing to train for right now. I am joining the gym. I'm giving myself Friday as the deadline to sign up. I will be strength training and hopefully getting leaner. I'm not trying to lose more weight, but I would like to tone and firm up where I can. I will need someone to show me what to do or else I WILL hurt myself. I am accident prone. I've proven that 3x since the fall. Breaking my ankle and cheek bone, paralysing my arm and falling last month and wrecking up my shin. Yep, I need an instructor and some sort of caution tape around me while at the gym to warm others away from me. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • I'm still running of course, but without a regular schedule, I'm questioning my running distances. My boss had a great idea today. He told me I should get a random number picking device that will pick a number between 6K and 16K for me. Something like a spinning wheel or a 10 sided die. And I just spin or roll that every morning to get my distance to run. I like the idea, but what if I roll 16K on a Wednesday and I have to be in the office for team meeting? I don't think he'd be too understanding if I missed team due to a run.
  • I was talking to a co-worker today about my eating habits. He's trying to eat cleaner because he wants to lose a few pounds before his wedding. He asked how I got to the point of not caring about food any more. He thinks I don't care about food because during team meeting, I don't eat all the sweets and pastries. I still care about food. It pre-occupies me. I think about binging everyday. I haven't binged on any of my former binge foods, but I have over eaten foods such as nuts and fruit. Still high in sugar and calories and not good in large amounts. But I really struggle with wanting to eat something bready. That is what I get fixated on. Everyone thinks I have this iron clad will power. The truth is that I constantly fight with the voice telling me to eat bread, or pasta, or get a Big Mac and fries.  I can't give in and I won't. But the struggle is still there front and center.


I felt like a tourist today. Mental Health court at Old City Hall in Toronto.
Never a boring time.


  • I wanted to share a comment I got from Janice on my last post about running the Bay. Hi Leigh! I just want to say Thank You for running yesterday. I already knew it, but while we were watching, it dawned on me that ATB raises money for St. Joseph's Healthcare. My son was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on Feb 10 and his surgery is scheduled for June 12 at St. Joe's. I know people run for many different reasons, but I got pretty emotional and so grateful for all those runners helping to raise money so my son and so many others can get the best care possible.
  • This comment touched me so deeply. This right here makes me forget about my aching feet and my sore body. This makes me know for sure that regardless of how lousy it was to have to train for the Bay this past winter, I will absolutely and without a doubt repeat the exact same thing next year. Because aching feet, a sore body, sub-zero running temperatures and more snow than I can remember is nothing compared to having a son diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thank you Janice for putting things into perspective for me and making me eternally grateful for all the blessings I have. God bless you and your family. I pray for the best possible outcome for your son. xox
  • Here is a video of me and my son having some fun in front of the camera. Julien's favourite 80's song is Tenderness by General Public. So he wanted us to dance to it. When I was in high school, I remember watching everyone else do the Running Man during school dances. I couldn't do it of course because I was obese in high school. But I can do it now. This was day 2 of Bay recovery and my quads were on fire. But this was also the 3rd song I did the Running Man to. I look silly as hell, but I don't care. Julien and I had fun:) Sorry for the very bad picture quality!


Friday, April 4, 2014

No Gains, No Grains - Eating Out



A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about eating out Paleo style! Well Paleo style for me. I follow the Paleo lifestyle about 85% of the time. The other 15% is spent on things I can't give up like red wine, cream in my coffee and energy gels and sports  nutrition sportives during long runs. When I was actively losing weight, I ate very similar to Paleo. I followed a low carb, high protein, low sodium, low fat diet. This consisted of lean protein, low carb veggies and very limited fruit. The job I work at requires that I eat out a lot with clients. I probably eat out 5-6 times per week for work. And it is always client's choice. So how was I able to lose weight, and now maintain my loss while eating out so frequently? I used my voice.

When I first went low carb, I remember panicking a bit whenever I ate out with clients. I had no control over the location and whether or not there would be something I could order from the menu. I was lucky for a while, then one day I was taking a client out for a birthday lunch. She chose an old style pizza parlour to eat at. After perusing the menu, I realized that there was truly nothing on that menu I could eat. There was a tossed starter salad, tons of designer pizzas, but nothing like grilled chicken with vegetables or anything. Chicken breast was a pizza topping, and so were lots of veggies including broccoli, peppers and of course mushrooms. So I asked the waiter if the chef could make me a grilled chicken breast with a side order of sautéed mixed veggies. He went into the kitchen, came back out a few minutes later and said it wasn't a problem. That is the moment that my eating out anxiety disappeared.

After that, I became very vocal in restaurants. Sometimes I wouldn't even look at the menu and would just ask for grilled chicken breast with veggies, or with a salad. I have yet to be turned down for any special request I have made. Restaurants are more than happy to accommodate dietary restrictions. You just need to ask. If it is a sit down establishment, I can pretty much get whatever I want. Fast food becomes a bit more tricky. There are some places I know I can't eat at Tim Horton's comes to mind. But I do drink the coffee there. And I haven't eaten (or had to eat) at KFC or Taco Bell. Luckily, most of my clients prefer sit down places to fast food. Although places like McDonald's and Wendy's have salads, I tend to stay away from them if I can. Too much processed stuff. I will do Subway in a pinch because I get to pick exactly what goes into my salad. Rotisserie chicken places are the easiest for me to eat at. 


Different meals out. Buffets are my favourite because there is always a variety
of things I can eat. I sneak cheese in every once in a while and pay for it later:(

I eat at Chinese buffet a lot. I actually like the buffet option. Although high in sodium (WATER, drink lots and lots of water), there is a lot of variety to choose from. There's a salad bar, grilling station, carvery (roast), fresh fruit. I'll get vegetable dishes, and because I'm not sure how they're prepared, I always consider Chinese buffet a cheat meal. I also tend to over eat at buffets in general. That is my binging past rearing it's ugly head. Although I'm making better food choices, a binge is still a binge. And being uncomfortably full is not good.

Some other favourite restaurant meals to order if I'm feeling particularly risqué? Bunless burger with sweet potato fries (I would only get fries if I'm training, normally I'd opt for salad), fajitas wrapped in lettuce leaves and once in a while I'll order chicken wings (non  breaded, but deep fried). I don't pay as much attention to sauces or toppings in a restaurant. I'll ask for spreads to be left off, but I don't sweat it if there's sauces on dishes. And I have no idea what kind of fat/oil they're preparing my food in. And I just have to let that go. I do tend to eat more Primal when I eat out which I always pay for later. I don't do well consuming large amounts of dairy. Particularly cheese. But I never learn.

I know that eating out while following a specific diet or lifestyle can seem daunting. But it doesn't have to be. You  just need to find your voice and ask for what you want. I have eaten out consistently since the beginning of my weight loss journey. I had no choice because it is required of my job. But I made it work for me. During my active weight loss phase, I never had a gain regardless of the fact that I ate out at least once per day. I remained as diligent eating in restaurants as I did eating at home. And during weight loss I was much more mindful of sauces and toppings than I am now. And another tip? Don't bother looking at the menu if you can help it. Too much temptation! I just asked for grilled meat and veggies. Made my life so much easier.


The results of low carb, high protein, clean eating.
140 pounds gone.

Now I ask you to go check out how my BBFs (best bloggy friends) manage eating out. I'm sure they have awesome advice to share with you as well. Go take a look. I know you will not be disappointed. These women are truly amazing and each is a huge inspiration to me. And a big congratulations to Karen who is 2 years and 2 months into weight maintenance:) Yay Karen!

Against the Grain
For Life
Living the Life
Garden Girl

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The post about a historic road race

My pre-race run from Saturday.


  • This is going to be a running post. It was an important weekend for me. Thanks to everyone who wished me well on my race. The Around the Bay 30K Road Race celebrated its 120th year today. It's the oldest road race in North America. Older than Boston. But Boston is the oldest marathon which began in 1897 three years after the Bay.
  • Yesterday I was itching for a run. I just wanted to get out and stretch my legs for a bit. I decided to do a short and slow (6:45/K) run. I ran 3.9K and went faster (6:19K) than I wanted to. I felt good and it really was a short jaunt. A nice warm up to today. I didn't "carb load" Friday night or yesterday because I never do. I did however eat a small sweet potato with my dinner. 
  • I went to bed as early as I could muster. I was starting to get pre-race jitters last night. It was snowing when I went to bed. And it was staying on the ground. It was gone by morning. I fell asleep around 11:30 pm, woke up at 2:30 am, then woke up again at 4:30 am. I got out of bed at 4:45 am and made coffee. I also chatted with several of my UK tweeps and got a lot of love and encouragement. Thanks guys:) Happy Mother's Day to all my UK readers who are mothers.


Top left: The finish line in FirstOntario Centre
Bottom left: My starting sign...and huge zit!
Right: All kitted up and ready to go.


  • I was pretty anxious as the morning went on. The anticipation of the race was making me nervous for sure. And because I had so much time to kill, I was getting more and more stressed about it. I have never run 30K before in my life. And I always get anxious before a long run in anticipation of my toes cramping due to Morton's Neuroma
  • This is the first race I've run solo. My hubby dropped me off near the starting line about 20 minutes before gun time and I stood around. Mother Nature finally came through. It was a beautiful sunny day. Warmer than forecast. People were leaving their clothing behind at the start. I think I dressed okay. I had on two upper layers and had my sleeves of my outer top pulled up to my elbows.
  • I was way at the back of the corral because I am slow. I also wasn't planning on starting out fast at all. And I didn't. I stuck to my plan. I let everyone pass me and didn't try to keep up with anyone. I ran a good 5K just loosening myself up. Around 6K, I started passing people. 
  • They changed the route this year which added 4 hills to the first half of the race. Now I drive the Burlington Street overpass all the time. I never realized how freaking hilly it was before. As I got to about 7.5K, I already knew that my run was not going to go the way I wanted. I tried so hard to keep my form up, and I could tell that my big toe on my left foot was starting to go numb. Morton did not disappoint. By 9K, the toes on my left foot cramped. I ran through the cramps and walked through the water stations for some temporary relief. By the time I got to 11K, my right foot also cramped. I'm not gonna lie. I wanted to cry. I had to run 19 more kilometers and both my feet were already in pain. 
  • I put music on at this point to get my mind off of my feet. Around 13K, the 3:15 pace bunny came up from behind and started running with me. I had no idea I was running better than a 3:15 finish at that point. My aim was to finish...but to finish under 3:30 if I could. So I stayed with the 3:15 group for a few more kilometers. They were doing walk/run and I was doing mostly run. I was only walking through the water stations at this time. 


Worth all the pain.


  • I saw Monica at the 15K relay exchange and it's around there that I lost the 3:15 group. My feet were in bad shape. I figure that once I got onto North Shore Boulevard, I'd be in better spirits because it was the home stretch and I ran that route 3x during training.  I knew exactly what to expect. Once I hit North Shore, I had to start doing some random walking because my feet hurt so badly. I was eating my energy gels and would take my time sucking back the gels and drinking my water. I was also limping at this time. This is when all the hills on the back half of the Bay start and I could feel my legs getting tired.
  • So I kept on running and walking when I couldn't run any more. I ran all the hills and just did my best to keep focused. One thing I can say is that the energy along the route is awesome. The back half is run through a residential neighbourhood and everyone comes out to cheer you on. Some people even set up food and drink stations. And they blare music for you. I spent all my time high 5ing children and elderly people. 
  • By the time I reached "Heartbreak Hill" (the last HUGE hill of the Bay), I was limping a lot. I ran up the hill without stopping and my quads started to cramp up. When I got to the top I had to stretch a bit before I could go on. Once you reach the top of Heartbreak Hill, there's less than 4k to run. And it's downhill. Sounds like a piece of cake right? The last 3K were the absolute hardest kilometres I have ever run in my life. I could see FirstOntario Centre and it seemed so far away. I had to walk a couple times during the final 3K because my feet were in so much pain. And I questioned my sanity and asked myself why I thought that running this race would be a good idea. It's a hard run for someone just coming off an injury.
  • When I finally ran into the stadium and crossed the finish line, I felt a huge wave of emotion come over me. I didn't cry because there is no crying in running. But boy was I emotionally spent. The mental stress that I went through for 3.5 hours just reached a crescendo and I had to walk off to the side and breathe deeply. I didn't have a panic attack, but I needed to pull myself together. 
  • So here are my stats. I came in 5155/6762 (This number does not reflect the relay teams that ran). My gun time was 3:34:44. My chip time was 3:29:19 (I just made it under my 3:30 goal). My pace was 6:59/K.
  • I met up with my husband and son. They missed me crossing the finish line. My husband brought a change of clothes for me and I couldn't get to the washroom quickly enough to change. As I peeled off my sweat soaked clothes, my calves seized up. I actually couldn't move for a few minutes. And my entire body was sore. I got a prime blister on the sole of my foot. That is new. And my second toe on  my left foot is bruised under the nail. I may just lose another toe nail. I went 2 years without losing any nails and in the matter of 5 weeks, I'm going to lose two. Lovely.
  • I stood at the mirror in the woman's washroom and started chatting with someone who congratulated me. She asked if I would run again next year. After all the bitching and moaning and complaining and pain I just put myself through you think I would have answered differently. But I looked her straight in the eye and said, "absolutely"! And I meant it 100%.

Top: Last year Monica ran the 30K and I ran the relay.
Bottom: This year Monica ran the relay and I ran the 30K.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The post about a busy week, race shirts and what foxes say

My Friday run had me feeling hot, hot, hot! I dressed waaaay too warm:)

  • I've had a busy week with work and life. Monday night I had my first therapy session with a new therapist. I liked her. She asked me a lot of questions and really listened to my feelings about my anxiety and stress. And she didn't give me the old "side eye". Something that bugged me about my last therapist was the double take she gave me when I told her I had self esteem issues. Felt a touch judged by that reaction. New therapist had lots of great stuff to say about Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). My first session for that is April 8th. The only problem with this therapist is that she's very busy and does monthly sessions. That's okay though because I'm doing the MBSR as well.
  • An interesting angle she talked a lot about was Neuroplasticity. Apparently my brain needs to be re-wired. She compared it to someone who loses a limb and has Phantom Limb Syndrome. The Mirror Box therapy used for that takes three weeks of consistent use before the patient can get permanent relief from the pain of the phantom limb. She said there was definite merit in the picture therapy that the previous therapist suggested. Taking photos and seeing the good in myself needs to be done consistently before my brain will switch. This could be tricky. I'm tired of talking about my pictures already. And I don't do it consistently.
  • I was with a client early on in the week and we passed a young man who was smoking a Calabash pipe, wearing an Elmer Fudd hunting cap and zebra stripped clogs. He also had on a mohair jacket. My client looked at me and said, "Either he's mentally unstable or really confident". Now the young man did stand out, but he carried himself with an "I don't give a f**k attitude". So he was definitely confident. And eccentricity is never boring.
  • Tuesday was not  a great day for me. I got anxious while I was with a client. The weird thing about that was that he was one of my less stressful clients. I still had a panic attack in the washroom of the Pickle Barrel. And the worst thing? I was getting cocky (because I thought I was in control) and didn't bring the Adivan with me. So I dealt with it, felt nauseous all the way home, then popped one as soon as I walked in the door. They work like a charm, but I felt weak for having to take one. It was my first time.
  • On Wednesday I got an email from the Around the Bay organizers. Our shirts were going to be available for the expo this weekend! My hubby went and picked up my kit for me yesterday. And lo and behold, the shirts are PURPLE! Love it! My favourite colour! Can't wait to don it for my recovery run on Tuesday...or maybe Wednesday. Lets see how long I can last before I have to run again after the race.

This shit is real now!!!!!!


  • Thursday I went to see my mechanics for an oil change. We go way back. They've known me for about 14 years. Now who knew that one of them also dealt with a lot of stress and anxiety a few years back. Swear to God, I had one of my absolute best therapy session with my mechanic. He has read so much on Neuroplasticity it's not even funny. He gave me tons of good pointers on how he dealt with his anxiety. His anxiety issues were different than mine, but he totally got me. And he's always so full of nice compliments about me. So when I started with, "you're not gonna understand what I'm going to say to you..." he nodded and said, "I've said that to people for years about me. I get it!" 
  • Friday was spent in my car. I drove from Hamilton to Kitchener to Scarborough to Hamilton. It was wet and drizzly, but 10C. I wore a blazer for the day! And I was stuck in a lot of traffic. Especially across the top of the 401 in Toronto. Hate the 401, just say'in. So I did something I haven't done in a long time. Like since before Finn died. I did Rock'in Soul Friday. For those of you who are new here, Rock'in Soul is me sitting in traffic, blaring the tunes, singing along, and making eye contact with as many people as I can. It was fun. There was a lull in the rain and many people had their windows down. I got a couple of people singing along with me. A dude who sang part of "Baby I Love Your Way" (Peter Frampton), and a woman who sang "Don't Look Back in Anger" (Oasis). Loved singing with the woman. We were beside each other because she was the passenger and she switched her radio station to mine so it was in stereo. Fun times. I still got some dirty looks, but it made me feel good!
  • So tomorrow is the big day. I'm running the Around the Bay 30K. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. This is my first race back post broken ankle (broke my fibula back in September), and this will be the furthest distance I have EVER run. What makes me most anxious are my issues with Morton's Neuroma. My toes cramp pretty badly during long runs. So I know that the last 10K or so (when I'm running all the hills) will be painful. I'll likely have to walk the cramps out a few times. But I'll finish. I've already run 25K. What's another 5? 
  • This week was scale back week and I only ran 3 times as opposed to 5. Unsettling to say the least. I'll be raring to go tomorrow. My issue is that during a race, I tend to start out too fast. I'm going to hang back for about 5K, then pick up my pace. It usually takes me 5K to get good and warmed up during a long run. That's when I'm totally in control of my breathing. That is my strategy. We'll have to see if I stick to it!
  • Here's Julien's latest YouTube video. (What does) The Fox (Say). I've never seen the video before, or listened to the song too much. I've heard Julien singing along when he's wearing headphones. Julien sings, I finger dance and hubby and I argue about a morse horse. And yes, I stand corrected. They do communicate in mo-o-o-o-orse...