Gardening

garden
I love having a garden in my backyard and pots of things growing on my porch. I had expected gardening to be more work that it has been so far. Every day I eat something that I have grown myself. My carrots are big enough to eat and I’ve started eating one every day as I water my garden. Yum. My first zucchini is starting to grow and my pumpkin flowers are going to bloom soon. Since this is my first attempt at gardening I was a little worried that it wouldn’t work very well. I didn’t expect everything that I planted to actually grow into something and I thought that I’d be spending a lot of time weeding, watering and caring for the garden. Basically so far I’ve mostly just had to remember to water it regularly and pull out a few weeds every now and then. Initially I left a lot of space in the garden because I wasn’t sure what to plant but I keep planting more things as I see the success of what has already been planted. Now I just need to figure out how to tell when the root veggies are ready to pull up. I’m going to put up my new favorite smoothie recipe in my recipe section. I use lettuce, stevia and mint from my garden in the recipe and it is sooo good.

Yum fresh carrots straight from the garden.

Yum fresh carrots straight from the garden.

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I have been loving my life lately. The weather has been beautiful which means that it is perfect for skydiving. I did 8 jumps during the time from Friday through to Tuesday. I am now up to 66 jumps. Every jump that I've been doing lately has been with other people and I've been learning a lot. One of the guys has also been helping me out a lot. My last 3 jumps were with him and we were working specifically on things that I need to learn. It was great! I'm going to have to start thinking about buying some of my own gear. I've been renting equipment for every jump and it's not cheap. Buying equipment isn't cheap either but if I'm going to stick with the sport it makes sense to invest in my own equipment. Plus it would be nice to have stuff that fits me so that I'm not covered in bruises from wearing equipment that doesn't fit quite right.
Yesterday I babysat my niece and nephew. We decided to go to the beach. It takes a long time to get ready to take two kids to the beach for a few hours. I had to make lunches, get the kids ready, get everything together… Taking kids to a beach requires a lot more stuff than when I go to the beach with friends. Both kids have food allergies so I had to have their emergency kits (with the epipens wrapped in cooling gel packs), I brought lunch for them (I would have even if they didn't have allergies because it's healthier), we needed towels, changes of clothes, an umbrella, a blanket, pool noodles, buckets, shovels… My trunk was full by the time I got everything in there. I think that next time I would skip the umbrella. We didn't even use it. There was a nice breeze and most of the time the kids were playing in or by the water and I was there with them. I did get a slight sun burn though. I guess SPF 4 just doesn't give me enough protection. I need to find some better sunscreen so that I'm more inclined to put it on. Foodbabe discussed sunscreen on her blog a while back and she recommended some good brands so I really should go out and pick up a bottle. I've read things in the past about sunscreen being harmful and actually being a contributing factor in people getting skin cancer so I'm always a little reluctant to put it on. Plus I like having a tan. I actually never used to burn. I might have gotten a little pink but it would usually be a tan by the next day. Now it seems like I get a burn every year so I really need to start being more careful. I wonder what the difference is. Is it because I'm living in a different area or is my skin changing as I age or is the sun more harmful?
beach
I haven’t been exercising very much lately. I really don’t feel as though I’ve had much spare time but maybe that’s partly an excuse. If it was important enough I’m sure that I could find the time. I have been running a couple of times a week but they’ve mostly been short runs. I’m considering doing about 8k today if I can get my butt out the door. I’m partially ready to go. I’ve been trying to work on my speed and I hate speed work. I think that I am getting faster though. I find that my right knee still bothers me during and after my runs (sometimes for a couple of days) but I think that it’s still healing. It’s probably good that it’s still not quite healed because it will keep me from doing more speed work than is wise. Even though I hate speed work I still find that it can be easy to push myself too hard or do too many days of speed work without enough easy runs in between. Today is going to be an easy run and hopefully I’ll refrain from doing any speed work. I haven’t been out on my bike at all and I haven’t even been to a spinning class in over 2 weeks. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to hit a spinning class before I head out to the dropzone to skydive.
I’m still loving the classes that I’ve been taking. I finished one class last week and started another one this week. This one is specifically about addictions and I’m looking forward to all that I’m going to learn. It looks like there is going to be a lot of reading and the major assignment doesn’t look like much fun but I still think that I’m going to enjoy the course. I am officially registered for school in the fall to become a registered holistic nutritionist. I got an e-mail a couple of days ago with information including letting me know what I need to pre-read before classes start. I think that I’ll wait, to start the reading, until August when my current class will be finished.

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How do people manage to work full time?

Last week was a really busy week for me. I had 4 days of training on a new job and it was exhausting. Apparently I’m no longer used to waking up before 5a and going to bed after 10p every day. I had trouble staying awake every single day of the training. It didn’t help that it was mostly classroom information and very little hands-on work. The training unfortunately landed on a week when I had stuff to do every single night. But I’m glad that it’s done and that I can go back to my usual life of a fake retired person. The job is for temporary on-call work and it sounds like they don’t actually have much work right now so I’m not expecting to get called in much (if at all). Back to job hunting this week. 😦
I have been really laid-back about my running lately. Last week I only ran twice (partly due to time constraints). I have been working on my speed a little but I’ve also just been taking it easy. I don’t think that I’ve run more than 7k at a time since the half marathon. Since my next race is only a 10k it’s been kind of nice to concentrate on something other than distance. I think that I’ll probably do a 10k sometime this week just so that I don’t get too into the habit of only running 5-7k.
I did some more skydiving today. I did 2 jumps and neither one was by myself. It was so nice to jump with other people again. The first jump was a little disappointing. By the time we got up to 8000 ft we were starting to get into the clouds. We had been expecting to go up to 10000 ft so we weren’t too happy to find out that we would have to get out so low. It was still a fun jump though. The girl that I was jumping with has about 60 jumps but is quite a bit more experienced (and confident) that I am. We were working on staying at the same level and at moving toward each other. We had planned to fly around each other as well but ran out of height to get much done. Overall it wasn’t a very successful dive as far as what we had planned to do but I knew that it would be difficult for us with our experience levels. We still managed to come close to docking (flying to each other and grabbing hands) so I was happy that we at least almost did one of the things that we’d planned. I had a great landing on that jump as well. For my next jump I decided to pay for a coach to come with me. I need to get my A License and there are things that I have to prove that I can do so that I can get it. The jump went really well. There is always room for improvement but overall it was a success. I did everything that I was supposed to do and it was a lot of fun. I’m glad that I decided to do the coach jump because it made me realize that I’m actually not as bad as I had thought that I was. The coach took video of the jump and went over everything with me afterwards so that I could see where I had done things well and where I could improve or do things differently. I’m going to start making more of an effort to find people to jump with me so that I can start improving a little faster. I do have things that I want to work on now though even on my own. The next time that I jump I’m also going to be doing a different landing pattern that I’ve been avoiding doing since last year. Apparently when it comes to skydiving I’m a little resistant to change. I’m also going to start using a smaller parachute. I’ve been doing well with the big huge parachute that I’ve been using so I feel fairly comfortable finally moving to a slightly less huge parachute. If everything goes well with this other parachute then I’ll be moving onto an even smaller one after that. Hopefully we’ll have some good weather this week so that I can go out and do a few more jumps.
Tomorrow I’m doing a 5k walk for arthritis with some friends. We are doing it in honor of a friend of ours who passed away last year. She suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis all her life.

These beautiful strawberries are growing on my porch.

These beautiful strawberries are growing on my porch.

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Half Marathon #6

I ran my 6th half marathon today and I had fun. I think it may be the first time that I can really say that. Normally when I run I’m calculating my distance and time and figuring out what time I will finish and deciding whether I can maintain a faster pace or not. I’m convincing myself to just keep running, I’m counting down the kilometers that I have left. I get tired and grumpy and I want it to be over. Today was a completely different experience for me. I went into this run with no real expectations. My right leg has been so sore that I wasn’t even sure if I could walk that far let alone run it. I even considered not running at all.
I woke up around 4:45am and listened for the sound of cars driving by on a wet road. It didn’t sound wet at all so I expected that we would have decent weather. By the time that I left my house at 6am it was raining. I drove to my friend’s house and we carpooled from there to the race site. It was pouring on the way there. I was not looking forward to the run at all. I was still concerned about injuring my leg by attempting to run so I had a little anxiety about that. I was also just not motivated because I couldn’t really think of a good reason why I should run the race other than just because I had entered and had paid for it. Having no goals and worrying about injury made it seem pointless to me. But after huddling around under tents for a while trying to postpone getting soaked we headed to the start. It was a smaller race (about 600 people in the half marathon) so it was less than a minute after the start that we were crossing the line. I started out feeling pretty good. My stomach felt good and my leg wasn’t really hurting yet (it doesn’t usually hurt right away). At about 3k I noticed my right leg but it still wasn’t painful. I just knew at that point that my massage on Thursday hadn’t magically cured it completely. By 5k it was sore and I told my friend that I would probably walk when we got to 6k. I ended up running until about 7k and then decided that to avoid injury I probably should take a walk break. My friend continued on. I walked for about half a kilometer and then tried running for again. My leg seemed to be getting worse. I walked again at around 9 kilometers and continued walking for at least 2k. At that point I was considering walking the rest of the way to the end. At around 11 or 12k I tried running again. I passed the 2:30 pace bunny at this point. It surprised me because I felt like I’d been walking so much. I’d already mentally put myself into the 2:45ish finishing time or maybe even later (I wasn’t doing any calculating in my head). I didn’t really care if I finished late but I also didn’t want my friend to stand around in the rain waiting forever for me. Passing the 2:30 pace bunny motivated me to continue trying to run. My leg was still hurting but it didn’t seem to be getting any worse. I knew that if it stayed the same I would be able to continue running. I took a couple of short breaks after that but for the most part I was able to continue running without any increase in the level of pain. I walked down all the hills (there weren’t many) since they are the worst for my leg. The uphill parts were near the end so I made myself run up them even though I knew it might not be wise. I picked up the pace with about 1k to go. I had to pass the lady in pink up ahead. I always pick a target person to beat and she had been ahead of me for a while (my initial target had stopped to fix her shoe a couple of kilometers back). I passed the pink lady easily and was disappointed that there wasn’t really another good target to try to pass. There were people walking!! Who walks with less than 1k left?? I think that they may have actually been from the 10k distance and maybe had walked the whole thing. With only a couple hundred meters to go I spied my next person target. Unfortunately for her she didn’t realize that we were racing. I had really picked up my pace and was running pretty hard. I think I took her by surprise when I flew past her. I should have warned her so that she could have actually raced me to the end. It would have been more fun. Maybe next time. My official time was 2:24:01. My friend got a PB with 2:09:26.
I don’t think that I’ve ever been in such a good mood throughout a race. I was looking around at the other runners and the spectators. I even talked to one lady who had the same capris as me (she was my first target but I didn’t tell her that) and I smiled at anyone that would make eye contact. I was enjoying my audiobook (the rest of Pride and Prejudice, although it ended and then re-started in the middle). I love that book. I was soaking wet but having a good time. There was no pressure to do anything other than what I felt like doing. It turns out that I felt like running. I had fun! I never expected that I would ever find running a half marathon fun or easy or short. But it was all of those things. After training for and running the full marathon a few weeks ago running a half felt like no big deal. I did start paying attention to the kilometers at the end so that I could judge how much to push my leg and I was surprised to be thinking that there was only 5k left. I think that anyone that doesn’t enjoy running half marathons should do a full. The half may be my favorite distance now. My old goal of doing 5 in my life had kind of changed to 10 in my head (seeing as how I’ll have finished 7 by the end of this year) but after today I have no goal. It’s unlimited now. Maybe I’ll even set a new goal of doing at least one a year. But first I’m going to let my leg heal. I just moved it and it’s REALLY sore!! I think I’m going to have some trouble sleeping again tonight because of the pain. I’d better book another massage this week since it did seem to help.

That's me on my 50th jump.

That’s me on my 50th jump.

On another note, I did my 50th skydive on Friday. It was a good jump with a great landing. My first landing of the day hadn’t been that great. I had landed in the field just behind where I was supposed to land. Another 10 meters and I would have hit our field but the owner still noticed that I landed off the property. That guy doesn’t miss a thing! One of my friends came and did his first skydive that day too. We were on the same plane. He did his first and I did my 50th. It was pretty fun. I’ve decided that I need to start jumping more often. I definitely improve if I do more than one skydive in a day. Lately I’ve only been doing one jump every now and then and I’m not getting any better at it. My new goal is to get as many jumps done in a day as I can. I’m also trying to recruit some of the more experienced jumpers to go with me so that they can teach me things. I’m determined to improve this season.

skydiving

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Why did I sign up for another half?

My concern that running a marathon might make me not want to run ever again is almost coming true. I have only ran twice in the past two and a half weeks. I also have a half marathon this Sunday. It’s not really a complete lack of desire to run that is my problem. It’s more that every time I run my right leg hurts a lot for about two days and then a little every day after that. And by hurts a lot I mean that it even wakes me up at night. I have to sleep on my back with a pillow under my knee just to be somewhat comfortable. It doesn’t seem to be getting any better even with all the rest that I’ve been giving it. I tried to get in for a massage yesterday but his available time and my available time didn’t match. I have a massage on Thursday instead. I think I’ll tell him to go ahead and dig deep into the sore area and not worry about the fact that I will have a half marathon to run a few days later. At this rate I don’t know if I can do the distance anyway. I fully expect the half to be my slowest half ever. I don’t even know if I will be able to run the whole thing. I’m glad that I have never had any goals for this run so I won’t feel upset that I won’t be reaching them. I mostly just wish that I hadn’t wasted my money on the entry fee. Oh well. I have learned a lesson in case I ever do another full. I did do a couple of spinning classes the week after the full and I plan to do some this week too. I had thought that I might do another run or even two before the half but my leg is so sore from my 10k on Sunday that I don’t think it’s a good idea to run any more than necessary. I think that spinning is a good alternative since it doesn’t seem to aggravate my leg.
Last week I didn’t do any exercise. It was an extremely busy week for me. I was up between 5 and 6 most days and there were several days that I didn’t get home until after 10pm. I’m not used to that kind of busy schedule. It’s going to be an adjustment when I start working again.
I was quite excited the other day when I went outside to check on my garden. We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately and I haven’t had to go out to water so it was pretty neat to see that everything was starting to grow already. I can’t wait until I can actually eat some of it. I planted some more carrots yesterday. I didn’t want everything to be ready all at the same time so I decided that I would plant a few short rows of carrots a couple of weeks apart from each other. I think that the carrots are what I’m looking forward to the most out of everything that I’ve planted.
I discovered the other day that the counselling program that I’m is offering a class that I can take during the summer. I didn’t think that there was anything running over the summer so I’m pretty happy to find out that I will be able to get one more class in before I start the holistic nutrition course in September. I wish that I could just be a professional student. I’ve been trying to contact holistic nutritionists and companies that employ them so that I can ask them some questions. I called a bunch of places on Friday so hopefully I’ll hear something soon. I really want to register for the program. I’d hate to have finally decided what I want to do and then end up not getting into the program because I researched it too much and waited too long. Part of the reason I’m waiting is also because I may be able to get government funding. I can’t apply until I do all my paperwork for them and get approved. I’ve already been getting requests from people that want me to use them for the case studies that I will have to do. I will have to do a total of 14 (including myself and one other student). I already have 3 people that would like to volunteer and I’ve only told a handful of people that I will even need case studies. My mom is even trying to get me to start working with my sister right now. She doesn’t seem to understand that I don’t have all the necessary skills yet.
I babysat my niece for a few hours last Thursday. I love that kid. She was really excited to have me babysit. She even chose her outfit with me in mind. She wore her new horse shirt and horse socks. It was so cute when she showed me and told me that she picked them because she knows that I like horses. We didn’t do anything really exciting but it was an enjoyable day. We played a couple of games and spent a couple of hours at the park. I always enjoy just being with that sweet little girl. I will probably be babysitting her again either this week or next. I think that I’ll try to take her to the beach or to the pool. She loves water. It was her very first ballet recital on Saturday. I had to miss it because I had class all day. It was the only Saturday class that we had and of course it had to be on the same day as the recital.
On Friday night last week I went to a musical with a bunch of the middle school kids. One of the boys was in the production. He had speaking lines in the opening scene and he did really well. I enjoyed the whole musical. Everyone that was in it was in Grades 7-12. They were very talented and did an amazing job.

Winston enjoying the sunshine a couple of weeks ago.

Winston enjoying the sunshine a couple of weeks ago.

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I did it!

I'm so happy to be finished.

I’m so happy to be finished.

I ran a marathon yesterday! I’m so happy to be done. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was hot. It was 17C at 8am when the race started. By the time I crossed the finish line it was 23C. It felt hotter though. A lot of the race had no shade so it felt like the sun had been beaming down on me for hours non-stop.
The day started for me at 4:50am when my alarm went off. My friend, Becky, came to pick me up at 6 and we drove to her workplace where we parked her car and used the (non-porta-potty) bathrooms. My dad picked us up from Becky’s work and drove us to the start of the race. We checked our gear and met up with another friend of mine who was also doing his first marathon. We then walked to the start and split up because we were all in different waves to start. Everything started right on time and soon I was beginning my run. I felt pretty good. At around mile 5 I saw my dad for the first time. It was nice to have someone cheering me on. I think that it gave me a burst of speed. Then I kept running, and running, and running, and running. I wasn’t sure when I would see my dad again so I was always looking around me to make sure that I wouldn’t miss him. Normally I don’t look around much when running because I like to just zone out and listen to my audiobook and not think about how far I’ve gone and how far I still have to go. It was nice to see all the beautiful scenery though. It really was gorgeous. I also read a lot of the signs this time. One of my favorites was “Smile, no more long training runs”. It really did make me smile.

The first 16km + elevation chart

The first 16km + elevation chart

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Evidence of how hard the end of the run was for me.

Evidence of how hard the end of the run was for me.


I kept a decent pace for the first half of the run. At the halfway point my time was 2:19:36. I had been hoping to finish between 4:30 and 4:45 so I was right on track. I didn’t actually know that at the time though because I wasn’t paying much attention to what my time was. I slowed down slightly between the halfway point and 30k but was still running under 7min/k. I saw my dad again around 31k. I was walking at the time because it was right after a water station and I was getting tired and hadn’t started running again yet. After 30k everything got a lot harder for me. I was tired. My right knee/leg was killing me and every single step was painful. I tried to tell myself that I only had 10, 9, 8… kilometers left but it wasn’t helping. Even 2k was further than I wanted to continue running. I took more walk breaks but found that they didn’t really help much so I just slowed down and kept putting one foot in front of the other. When I had about 5k left my stomach was bothering me enough that I had to take more walk breaks so that it could calm down and I could run again. There were no bathrooms for the last few kilometers so I was pretty careful not to aggravate my stomach too much. But I ran when I could. Everything hurt. My feet felt swollen and were uncomfortable and painful. My right knee/leg and stomach were killing me. With 2k left I was really struggling. I was breathing strangely and I was desperate to be finished. I knew that I could do it but I hardly cared at that point. I was tired and grumpy and in pain. Finally I turned the corner towards the finish but it was still a long way off. My stomach was still really unhappy and I knew that I wanted to finish strong because I had people that were going to be cheering me on. I didn’t want to be one of those people who are walking on the way to the finish. But my stomach needed a walk break if it was going to let me run to the end. I walked for a minute and then started running (very slowly) with just under 1k to go. At about 700k I saw my mom and her step-son and his wife. It was exactly what I needed to get me going again. My slow run changed into a faster run (because people that I knew were now watching me and videotaping me) and I ran strong to the finish line.
A final burst of energy to pull me through to the finish.

A final burst of energy to pull me through to the finish.

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My dad and Becky were cheering me on shortly before the finish as well. I crossed the line with a time of 4:58:26 and got my medal and then proceeded to fight back the tears and sobbing. I partially succeeded. We had been talking on the way to the start line about how people often cry after their first marathon. I confidently said that I didn’t think it was likely that I would cry. I’m not very emotional and I very seldom cry. Apparently running for almost 5hrs and being completely exhausted will make me cry. I was glad that there was no one around to witness me fighting back the tears. I really am glad that I did it. It was tough but I never gave up. I wish that I had finished a little closer to my goal but I’m really happy that I managed to stay under 5hrs. There is a small part of me that is dissatisfied enough with my time that I may need to do another one some day. But I’m in enough pain today to know that IF I ever do another marathon it won’t be for a while. My right knee/leg was sore all night last night and it doesn’t feel any better today. It needs a good rest. I’ve been icing it but I think I’ll take this week completely off of running and stick to something easier like spinning if I want to get some exercise later in the week when I’m not in so much pain. My other muscles are all sore but they are more of a good sore. I probably could have pushed myself a little harder if my right leg and stomach hadn’t been bothering me so much.
I have been amazed by all of the support that I’ve had on facebook. I posted about the run on Saturday evening and got a lot of comments offering support. But the number of congratulations after completing the run has amazed me. I didn’t realize that I would appreciate the facebook support so much. I also really appreciated having both of my parents there to encourage me and cheer me on. My mom gave Becky and I each a little bouquet of flowers and my dad took us out for lunch. Becky and I treated ourselves to ice cream later that evening. Ice cream is the one thing that I often still kind of crave every once in a while since I stopped eating sugar. I figured that yesterday was a good day to indulge. It was really good.
My friend Becky got a PB with a time of 4:03:10. That’s 9 minutes faster than her last marathon PB. My other friend, Walter, who ran his first marathon yesterday, came in at 5:02:35. He also struggled a lot at the end. But I think that’s pretty good since his longest training run had only been 30k. Walter and I are doing a half marathon on May 26. I hope my right leg feels ok by then! I have no goals yet for that run. I’ve slowed down so much with the marathon training that I have no idea what to expect. Becky and I also signed up on Friday for a half marathon in October. I’m hoping to get a new PB at that one. I guess my goal of 5 half marathons and 1 full is going to have to change a little bit since October’s half will bring me up to 7. Now that I’ve done a full the half just doesn’t seem like as big of a deal. I almost feel like I could enjoy the half distance now.

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Just call me Debbie

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. I’ve been struggling with being unemployed, not being sure about what I want to do with my life and not having any income coming in right now. The career explorations class that I took a couple of weeks ago didn’t help me out much. Mostly it just made me feel more depressed. Ever since then I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting myself motivated to do much of anything. I haven’t been applying (or even looking) for many jobs. I haven’t been researching a career in holistic nutrition. I haven’t been wanting to exercise. I know that these are things that I need to be doing but I’ve been doing all kinds of other time wasting things instead. I haven’t even been doing things that are productive like cleaning and organizing my house. At least during normal times of procrastination I will get other things done. Not lately. I’ve even been spending less time with friends because I feel like I won’t be very good company. But I think that I’m on my way out of the slump. I told myself that I had to get out of this by the end of this week. Part of my problem, whether it’s a result or a cause I don’t know, has been that I’ve had more pain than usual lately. I’ve had swelling in my legs and feet along with probably a normal amount of knee, ankle and other leg pain. But the worse of it has been my wrist. My wrist first started hurting me in 1998. I have mostly learned how to manage it so that the pain doesn’t get very bad and doesn’t stop me from doing too much. In the fall I started doing weight classes at the gym. I didn’t lift anything too heavy but I found that it really aggravated my wrist. I tried changing the way that I did things to make it easier on my wrist. I stopped doing that class for multiple reasons (although I hope to get back to it at some point) but the wrist pain has never completely gone away again. In the past two weeks it suddenly got much worse. I was icing it and wrapping it but some days the pain was so bad that I basically would avoid using that hand at all. I find it really frustrating to deal with constant pain like that. Almost every time I move my fingers I would get a horribly sharp pain in my wrist. I was even dreaming about it and the pain was my first thought some mornings when I would wake up. I didn’t know what to do other than wear a splint on that wrist. I don’t know what the cause of the pain is and so I don’t know how to make it go away. I’ve been eating well and I try to live a healthy life but I don’t know what else to do. A few days ago I read something about supplements to take if you have fibromyalgia. I still don’t think that this is what I have but I do believe that inflammation is a problem for me. I decided that I would go out and buy some of the supplements and give them a try. So, now I am taking bromelain and turmeric 4X/day, kombucha tea and kefir. Coincidentally (or maybe not) my wrist suddenly has started feeling a lot better. I’m going to continue taking the supplements and hopefully will continue to see a decrease in pain and swelling.
Ok, enough whining and complaining.
In 2 days I’m going to be running a full marathon!! I’ve been trying not to think about it too much because I don’t want to stress over it. Tonight I’ll be going to pick up my race package. Today will be my last run before the big one. I know most people struggle with tapering but I haven’t had any trouble. In fact, it may be my favorite and the easiest part of marathon training for me. I have no trouble at all reducing the amount that I run. I’ve probably done even less than I should have the past couple of weeks. I tend to worry more about doing too much than doing too little. I want my legs to be very well rested for Sunday. I even took the bus yesterday to the train instead of walking because I didn’t want the 4k downhill walk to hurt my knees. My legs in general do feel better right now though than they had been feeling. My knees still aren’t feeling normal but they have definitely improved and I’m not too concerned about whether they will be a problem on Sunday. My run today will be short, slow and easy. It’ll probably be about 3 or 4k. I had actually planned to do a spinning class today instead of running but I stayed up too late last night and didn’t want to wake up early enough to make it to the class. I need to be more self disciplined. Tonight I’m going bowling with the middle school kids. Hopefully I won’t strain any muscles that I don’t normally use. I never thought that I would worry about going bowling but apparently this run is making me paranoid. Tomorrow I will probably be packing parachutes all day and I’m hoping that it won’t make me sore as well. It shouldn’t bother my legs at all so I’m not too worried. My wrist might protest to both the bowling and the chute packing though. The weather is supposed to be beautiful on Sunday with the temperature getting up to 23C!! I don’t generally mind the heat so I’m not too worried that it’ll be too hot for me. I expect that it’ll still be cool in the morning. I will take sun and warmth over clouds and rain any day so I’m happy that the forecast looks so good. In fact I’m getting excited just thinking about running in sunny weather with beautiful scenery. I’ll just need to remember to actually look around at the scenery occasionally.
I’m looking forward to starting skydiving again next week. I think that it’ll be difficult being out there tomorrow packing chutes and not jumping. But the weather forecast looks good for a while so hopefully I’ll have a chance to do a few jumps next week. A few new people just recently finished the course to learn how to skydive so there should be some more new faces around. I think that it’s going to be a busy year at the dropzone this year.
My dad and I made me a garden in my yard yesterday. It is 6’X3′. I’m going to research what plants can be planted beside each other and then hopefully I’ll start doing some planting next week. The plants that I started indoors with seeds have not been doing very well. I have 2 zucchini plants that have survived and that’s it. I might have to try again (for the 3rd time).
Well, it’s time to get out and do my pathetically short run today. I’m actually looking forward to getting out in the sunshine today. It looks wonderful out there. I love the sun!

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My longest pre-marathon run is done! Yay!

On Sunday I ran my longest training run before the marathon on May 5. It went better than I was expecting. I’ve been experiencing some pain in my right knee and I was worried that the run would be too much for it to handle. I’m pleased to say that I’m still able to walk. I decided before my run that I would walk down all of the steep hills because downhill seems to be hard on my knee. I think that it made a big difference and made it so that I was actually able to do the full run. I ended up running about 36km but not all of that was actual running. I walked the 25th and 26th kilometers because my stomach wasn’t feeling great and I didn’t have a washroom coming up anytime soon. When I did try to start running again my stomach ended up being totally fine for the rest of the run. I took quite a few walk breaks but overall I am happy with how the run went. I feel mostly ready for the full and I feel confident that my knee will hold up as long as I’m careful with it. I may end up having to walk some of the marathon on race day but I’m ok with doing that if it means that I won’t end up injured. My hope is that I won’t feel the need to walk and that I will be able to run the whole thing (not including when I stop to take my gels). My dad has offered to drive us to the start in the morning if we want him to. He is also planning to watch from the sidelines and cheer me on. It will be nice to have the support. My dad has run several marathons himself so he knows what it is like and what to expect. I think that my mom may also be at the finish line. We finish within a few blocks of her apartment.
This weekend I plan to run about 20k on Sunday (or maybe Monday). I’m kind of looking forward to that distance. I should probably try to get a couple of new audiobooks out from the library because the latest one that I started is not very good so far. I’m saving the rest of Pride and Prejudice for race day. I’ve read the book and seen the movie many times (several versions of it) and I love it. It should be a good race day book because I won’t be concerned if I miss parts due to too much outside noise.
I’m not expecting to have any trouble with tapering. I know that most people have trouble with it but I’m kind of lazy. I always have reasons for running less. Even in the past few weeks I’ve really cut back due to my concern over my knee. My runs during the week have been very short. So, tapering for me may not really seem too much different than what I did leading up to my long run this past weekend.
I was in a course on Monday when the bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon so I didn’t hear about them until the evening. I really don’t understand why people do things like that. The world is so messed up. I’m glad that they caught the second guy alive today. Hopefully he will be able to answer some of the questions as to why he would do such a horrible thing. I honestly don’t think that I’ve actually felt the full impact of what happened. I don’t have cable so I didn’t see any of the news coverage. I read a few stories on the internet and listened a bit on the radio but I was spared any gruesome scenes on TV. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for all the people that were there. I’m sure that the runners had many conflicting emotions. I just hope that somehow the good in people will shine through. There is a lot of good in the world and it’s horrible that a couple of people can needlessly cause so much pain and suffering.
I skipped out on one of my volunteering nights this week. I had a headache and I was really sore from my run. My headaches can get bad and I find them really draining. I decided that I probably wouldn’t be much help with the way that I was feeling. I miss it now though. It feels like forever since I was there and I’m looking forward to being able to volunteer again next week.
I have two job interviews next week. One is for working on election day. It is just one day of work but the pay is pretty good so I’m hoping that the interview will go well. I assume that they are just screening people to make sure that they aren’t crazy. The second interview is for a meter reader job. The job sounds ok but I will need to use my own car for the job. That is my biggest concern about the job. My car is old and hasn’t been running all that great lately. A new car is not in my budget and I don’t really want to be putting a tonne of kms on my car and risking having it die on me. I have no idea what I will do if I need to get a new car. So, I have mixed feelings about the interview and about whether I actually want the job.
I have been experiencing some insecurity about my weight during this marathon training. I am actually fairly comfortable with my weight right now but for some reason I’ve been worrying a bit about what other people think. Many people know that I’m training for the marathon (because I talk about it all the time and I make sure to tell everyone that I talk to as well as post it on facebook somewhat regularly). People also know that I try to avoid sugar and other processed ingredients. When you put these two things together you would think that it would result in a skinny person. I’m not a skinny person. I’m not a fat person either but I do have some extra pounds. So, I worry that people hear about my lifestyle and wonder why I’m not skinnier. I worry that they’ll think that I’m lying about what I eat or how much I exercise. I don’t waste much energy worrying about these things but I’m surprised when they pop into my head. I find it interesting and I like to try to analyze my thoughts and where they come from. I haven’t come to many conclusions on this one yet but I’ll continue to pay attention to my thought process and to what the reasons are behind my thoughts.
I have been finding it quite easy lately to avoid processed food and sugar. I haven’t been craving sugar much at all and I don’t feel deprived at all. It’s so nice when my brain switches from craving things to just feeling indifferent about them. I still do crave chocolate regularly but that’s probably because I let myself eat chocolate every day with no guilt. I do still need to add more veggies into my diet but I’ve been making an effort. I signed up for a ‘Love your greens 30 day challenge’ a few days ago. I don’t actually really even know exactly what it is but I figured that if it makes me eat more veggies it should be good. If it seems too ‘diet-ish’ I’m not going to do it. Doing something that feels like a diet will only make me want to cheat on the diet and then I’ll end up eating junk again.

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