Half marathon tomorrow! Eeek!

Tomorrow I will be running my fifth half marathon. I went for a massage on Monday to try to make sure that I’m in good shape for tomorrow. My legs had been feeling really tired since my last long run. I really noticed it when I walk up more than 2 flights of stairs at a time. They seem to be better now but my shins are sore from speed walking mostly downhill to get to the train on Thursday. It was a nice day so I wanted to walk instead of take the bus. The bus often makes me feel slightly carsick for some reason. While my legs have continued to feel much better than they did a month or two ago they still do not feel 100%. I feel like my recovery time is much longer than it should be. The front and side of my leg and ankle still hurt even to walk as well. I think that they are very slowly getting better. Even though I still have pain and my legs stay sore and tired for a really long time I’m still very happy that my calves are feeling so much better. It was the calf tightness and pain that was really frustrating me and getting me down. I still feel kind of anxious about the half marathon. I probably will always feel a little anxious before any run that is longer than 15k. I’m hoping that the weather will be okay. The forecast says sun and 3C in the morning and 7C during the day. I’ll be very happy if it’s right and we do have sunshine.
The day after the race I am going down to the states with a friend to pick up the new running shoes that I ordered. I’m really excited about them. This is the first time that I’ve ordered shoes online so I’m a little nervous that I won’t like them and that I won’t be able to return them for some reason. But I’m saving about $50 by ordering them and picking them up in the states so I thought that I’d give it a try and hope for the best. I did try the same shoes on twice in stores here in Canada before ordering them. I’m a big fan of Nike runners. I used to let the people in the running stores convince me to try on other brands and I even bought other brands a couple of times. I have never loved another brand of shoes as much as I consistently love my Nikes. So now I only try on Nikes. On Monday I’ll be picking up a pair of Nike Zoom Vomero +7. I can’t wait. I’m sort of hoping that my leg issues have been because my shoes are starting to get old and that maybe I just need some new ones.
Over the past few years several things have been making me aware that I’m aging. I have noticed significantly more grey hairs on my head. Enough grey hairs that I started to dye my hair. My body seems to get injured more easily. This past summer I was hiking with a friend when my foot slipped slightly while going down a hill. My foot probably only moved 2-4 inches but I had pain in my groin for months! I shouldn’t have had any pain at all! My massage therapist also made a comment one day about how my muscles are getting older. The most recent occurrence was when I was trying on runners. I was surprised to find that the 7.5 sized shoes all felt too small. I commented to the person helping me and they mentioned that as people age their arches will start to fall. So, I guess I’m getting old. This past fall I also bruised two toes while training for the half that I did in October. I had no idea that bruised toes hurt so much. Even the sheet on my bed touching my toes caused me enough pain to wake me up at night. I think that maybe part of the problem was that my nails had been too long but I’d never had trouble before so I hadn’t worried about it. The bruised nails finally fell off a few weeks ago. I was pretty happy when they did because they were ugly and annoying and one would catch on everything. But one of the new ones that was growing in underneath isn’t growing in normally. It looks funny and it also catches on everything for some reason. I’m hoping that it’ll eventually go back to normal. Has anyone else had this happen? Do your nails eventually grow back normally?
I started volunteering last week. I am helping out at a thrift store right now. It’s not the most fulfilling thing that I could be doing but it gives me something to do and it may teach me some new skills. I’m only helping out for 4 hrs one day a week. on Wednesday this week I went skating with my nephew (and niece) and his grade one class. It was their first time skating so it was fun to be able to experience that with them. They were both very cautious and tense at the start. Both of them at different times said “It’s real ice.”. I think that they knew that it would be ice but I guess somehow it wasn’t exactly what they had expected. Or maybe they just didn’t really know what to expect. My nephew was funny because you could see that he really wanted to be a good skater right away. He didn’t want to have to depend on the metal ‘walker’ type thing. He could see other kids from his class that were in hockey or skating lessons that were really good and he wanted to at least be able to skate without a walker. He kept trying but he would try to skate really fast and then would lose control and fall. I tried to tell him to practice by moving slowly until he got the hang of it but he only tried that for about 2 minutes before he was trying to go fast again. Oh well. My niece was super cute. Once she got comfortable she would run across the ice with her skates and then slide. She would turn the ‘walker’ to slow down or stop. She loved it! She often gets really excited about things and she really enjoys what she does. It’s always a pleasure to watch her try new things and to see her excitement. Both kids were really tired on the way home. My nephew was also really grumpy. I’m kind of glad that I had to leave right away to go to the employment center before it closed. I can imagine it wasn’t the most fun afternoon and evening with two tired and grumpy kids. Hopefully they weren’t too bad for my sister.
This past week my plan was to get serious about this whole job hunting thing. It’s so hard to look for jobs when you have no idea what you want to do. I did make myself a list so I had several websites to look at as well as a few places that I know are actually hiring right now. I wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. I’ve only applied for one of the jobs on my list so far. It is a job that I would love to do though. It is a delivery driver for a healthy bread company. They use organic local ingredients and they don’t add any crazy strange ingredients or preservatives. I like driving and one of my favorite former jobs was doing deliveries so hopefully they will like my resume and cover letter and will at least call me in for an interview. I’m planning on applying for some more jobs today. I found out this week that I might not get into the college program that I’m on the waitlist for until May 2014! That is part of the reason that I decided that I’d better start putting more effort into my job hunt. Another reason is that my employment counsellor suggested that maybe I won’t be able to be on EI for as long as I thought and that I may not be able to get funding for schooling. One of the main reasons that I haven’t worried too much about my job hunt is that my employment counsellor has been pushing me to try to get funding for schooling this whole time. I can’t get funding if I get a job. So basically I have felt that she has been discouraging me from getting a job and encouraging me to go on EI and apply for funding for school. I’m not really the type to not work and I never would have considered this on my own. I actually think that I got a bit of a lemon as far as employment counsellors go. Every few weeks I go in for about a 20 minute appointment and I walk out wondering why I bothered. I can think of very little practical help that she has given me. Most of the help that I’ve been given that has been useful to me in my job search has come from other people. I am incredibly thankful for those other people because the help that they have given me has been huge.

The above picture is one example of how Winston helps me do yoga. It isn’t the best picture but it’s hard to take a decent picture from so close up. He often walks underneath me and rubs against my arms while doing downward dog, and he quickly lies down and rests his head on my calf when I do a lunge. Today I had just finished stretching forward and grabbing my toes (I’m not sure what it’s called) when he climbed onto my lap and started massaging my quads for me. Unfortunately he needs his claws trimmed so it didn’t actually feel very good. The poor guy, I don’t think that he understands that I could have any reason for sitting on the floor other than to pet him.

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