I love kids.  I’ve spent plenty of time with kids this week between volunteering with the middle school kids at church, babysitting my niece and nephew and spending time at my mom’s while she was babysitting her boyfriend’s grand-kids (M is a 4yr old boy and Iz is a 1.5yr old girl).  Before I left my mom’s on Thursday she asked the kids to say goodbye to me.  M was watching a cartoon on the TV and was oblivious to anything else.  My mom and I started watching his face and it was very fascinating and entertaining.  He had so much expression in his face.  The cartoon was just a normal cartoon suitable for young children.  I think that a toy was broken or someone wasn’t sharing or something.  M’s face kept changing as we watched him.  At first he looked like he was going to cry and then all the muscles in his face would start to relax and he would look calm and peaceful again.  It went back and forth a few times as things happened in the cartoon until the end when he looked completely content and happy because all was well in the cartoon again.  I don’t think that I’ve ever watched a kid like that before.  Maybe he’s just more expressive than most kids but I think that I could watch him all day and be entertained.

Today I babysat my niece and nephew.  Since it was rainy I decided to take them to a place that sells honey and does tours and gives info about honeybees.  There is also a bug room with tarantulas, scorpions, stick bugs, beetles, crickets…  My sister took them one other time but they had to leave because my sister couldn’t handle being in the bug room.  Everything is in cages but it still freaks her out.  The kids loved it today.  We were in there for a long time.  We also got to sample lots of honey and see the honeybees and learn about them.  It was a fun day.  The kids were crazy and full of beans after I got them home.  At first I thought that it was the honey but it was my niece who was the craziest and she didn’t really have any honey.  It’s always tough to find the balance between letting them be goofy and crazy and also making sure that no one gets hurt.  Luckily we managed today. 

I don’t envy parents very often.  Today I was thinking about how difficult it is to be fair with children.  It’s hard to spend equal time with them and to make sure that you don’t give one more attention that the other.  When both of them are trying to get me to go see something with them I feel bad because I have to choose between them at that moment.  I worry that I will accidentally choose one kid more often than the other.  Kids pay attention to that kind of thing and I would never want to make one of them feel bad.  I can only imagine how hard it is for a parent when even I find it difficult. 

My 4 yr old niece is a very cool, very witty and very original child.  She is always saying things that are quote worthy.  Often she says things that seem wise beyond her years.  Here are a couple of recent ones:

After the eye fell off of a stuffed dog my sister put it in her pocket.  My niece says “He’s got his eye on you”.

Last week: “Your heart stops beating when you die but you can still love”

A few months ago:  “God talks to me at night.  It’s magical.”        

I’m not enjoying marathon training this week.  I had a terrible run on Friday.  I had had a long break between long runs so I should have been well rested and it should have been a good run.  I only had to do 2.5 hrs.  I chose my route and felt not great but not bad for the first 6+km.  My legs felt tired and I didn’t have a lot of energy but I was able to run. My stomach started to bother me and I had to stop at a bathroom around 8k.  It didn’t help my stomach.  I took some walk breaks and tried to keep running.  My legs were feeling worse and my right knee was aching.  It’s almost like my whole right leg in the knee area aches.  I can’t even pinpoint a spot but it’s really uncomfortable.  After about 12k I ended up mostly walking the rest of the way home.  That night my legs felt really tired considering that I’d walked about 8 or 9k and had only ran 12k.  I’m not sure that they’ve felt that tired even after some of my longer runs.  I still don’t feel great and my ankles are hurting me again as well.  I don’t know what is going on.  Maybe it’s because I ate away from home on Wednesday and Thursday.  I’m going to try to be extra strict with my diet this week and hopefully the aches and pains will settle down before my next long run.  I don’t want to be worrying so close to the marathon.

I signed up for another counselling course that starts next week.  I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy it as much as the last one.  I actually had to apply to get into the counselling program at the college in order to take this course.  I’m not sure if I’ll finish the program or not.  I enjoy learning but I don’t want to take more than one course right now because I’m still hoping that I’ll find a job.  I’m also still looking into a holistic nutritionist career and starting school for that in the fall.  The more that I look into it the more I worry that I won’t be able to make a living off of it after I’m done the schooling.  I will most likely have to be self employed and will have to find my own customers.  That kind of scares me totally freaks me out.  But I don’t want fear to stop me.  I want to be realistic and practical but I don’t want to not do something just because I’m scared that I won’t have the skills to make it happen.  I worry about finances while I’m in school too.  It will drain my savings and possibly put me in debt and that makes me anxious.  I hate debt.  But I’ll keep researching and praying and hopefully I’ll figure things out and be at peace with a decision soon.      

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Skydiving Season Has Started!

This weekend was a really good weekend for me. On Friday I started the day by walking to church (it’s about a 10 minute walk from my house). I really enjoyed the service and was reminded of what an incredible thing it was for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. There were things that the pastor talked about that I really just hadn’t thought about in detail before. I’m still thinking about them. I watched the last three episodes of the Bible series on the History Channel with a friend last night and I decided that it’s time that I read all of the gospels again. After church on Friday I drove out the the skydiving dropzone. There were lots of people there. Most of them were strangers to me. The other local dropzone has been going through some major changes and it looks like all these new faces will soon become familiar ones that I’ll be seeing regularly at our dropzone. They all seemed really nice, knowledgeable and helpful so I think that I’ll enjoy having them around. I had planned on doing a couple of jumps on both Friday and Saturday. I did my first jump since October on Friday and it was FREEZING!! The whole time that I was in freefall all that I could think of was how cold I was and how I just wanted to get to 4500ft so that I could open my parachute. I didn’t even work on much of anything in the air. I just floated down and resisted curling into a ball to stay warm. I was happy to have a good stand-up landing. Last year I had some problems with landing on my feet. I fell several times and then just assumed that I would fall every time and without realizing it I stopped even trying to stand. It wasn’t until one of the guys told me that my only problem with one of my landings was that I didn’t try to stand up that I realized that I’d stopped trying. I think that I’ve had stand-up landings ever since. After my cold jump on Friday I decided that I didn’t want to do another jump that day. On Saturday I went for a short easy run in the morning and then headed back out to the dropzone to hopefully do some more jumps. It was warmer at ground level on Saturday and one of the guys that had already done a jump told me that it was pretty warm up at 10000ft as well. I still dressed warmer than I had on Friday just to be sure that I wasn’t going to be cold. The jump was wonderful! I did a front flip then I rolled onto my back for a couple of seconds and then I did a little bit of tracking (moving forward). I opened my chute at 4500ft and did another nice stand-up landing. But, for some reason my left ankle hurt on the landing. That ankle had actually finally stopped bothering me when running so I was not happy to feel pain in it again. I decided not to do another jump that day. With the marathon only a month away I don’t want to risk injury at this point. I’m not sure that I can resist skydiving for a whole month but I’m going to try. My ankle hurts a bit when standing but it didn’t bother me on my run this morning so I may have trouble convincing myself that I shouldn’t keep skydiving.
Yesterday I went to another great church service in the morning and then I went for a bike ride with a friend. We tried a new route and I loved it. We were on dikes most of the way. In the beginning the water was mostly still and kind of gross and dirty looking but then we got to another river where the water was clear and blue and flowing fast. It looked and sounded so nice. We ended up riding 37km in about 2hrs. We could have gone further if we had wanted to as well. We’ll definitely be doing that route again if I have anything to say about it. The friend that I was with seems to think that my marathon training has made my legs stronger. He was having trouble keeping up with me at the end. The past few weeks that we’ve biked it has been one or two days after my long run and my legs have been sore and tired. I’ve always refused to do hills or anything too long or strenuous and I’ve whined a lot. This time it was 4 days after my long run and my legs felt great. It feels good to know that my legs just keep getting stronger. The further I get into this marathon training the more I’m enjoying it. I never thought that I would feel that way but I’m happy about it. I actually just signed up for another half marathon at the end of May and I’m no longer saying that I will only ever do one full marathon in my life. I’m not saying that I’ll do more than one but if everything continues to go well I would say that it could be a possibility.
Today I went for another short run in the morning. I did some speed work today. I don’t like speed work. Tomorrow I have more speed work and harder stuff too. I’m not looking forward to it. After my run today I called the dropzone to see if they were busy and wanted me to come out and pack some parachutes. I am planning to start packing chutes whenever they need the help and I am available. My plan is to go out on Saturdays and maybe some Fridays. Today it ended up not being very busy when I got out there. I only packed one chute. It was the first tandem chute that I’d packed this year though so it was nice just to get one done and to remember how to do it. I had packed three regular parachutes on Friday and Saturday without much trouble. The tandem chutes aren’t really much different. They are just bigger and you close the container differently. I’ll still have to get a refresher on one more type of tandem and then I should be good to pack for the season. I enjoy packing chutes. It’s easy once you know how and all of the chutes that I’ve ever packed on my own have opened nicely so I feel confident in my packing ability. It can be a little scary to think about the fact that you kind of have people’s lives in your hands but mostly I just try to make sure that I do a good job and hope that nothing unexpected will ever go wrong. I am glad that there is always a reserve parachute just in case. The reserves are professionally packed by someone with special training. When I was at the dropzone today they decided to put the engine back into the plane that they use during the busy part of the season. I was amused to realize that I was more concerned for the safety of everyone during the process of putting the engine in than when they/we are jumping out of planes.
I went to my Monday night volunteering again tonight. I actually offered to do the prayer requests this time and I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with it. I expect that it will be my job at least until I’m completely comfortable. I’m really starting to enjoy volunteering. I’m getting to know the people a little bit. I have trouble remembering all the faces and names but they’re getting familiar. I think that I should start writing down some notes for myself at the end of the night so that I can remember everyone better. Some people stand out more than others and some are easy for me to remember but there are many that I’m worried that I’ll talk to multiple times without remembering. I definitely remember the ones that I pray with more than the others. Tonight there seemed to be more people than usual that wanted prayer to get their lives together and to get over their addictions. I often wish that there was more that I could do than pray. I know that God is in control but it’s hard to see people that want to change their lives but are having trouble actually doing it.
I’ve started growing my own vegetables. I have some pumpkin, zucchini and onions that are starting beautifully. I plan to put them in pots tomorrow until I can get the area in my yard ready to plant them. I’m also going to plant carrots, lettuce, dill, basil and cilantro. Plus I have parsley, kale, broccoli and artichoke that are coming back from last year. I bought two strawberry plants this past week as well. I’m not a huge fan of strawberries but for some reason I always want to grow them. I decided that I would plant them where I had flowers last year and just hope that they’ll come back nicely every year. I’m really looking forward to eating some of my own organic herbs and vegetables this year. Hopefully it’ll encourage me to actually eat more veggies and to cook more often.

I’ve been keeping track of approximately how much I’ve been running every month so far this year.  In January I ran 109km, in February 111km and in March 164km for a total of 384km.  I didn’t really decide on a goal for the year because I really don’t know what to expect.  I think it’ll just be interesting to see what the total is.

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The first 20-30 minutes of my long run last week was very snowy.  As I was preparing to go out for my run it started to hail.  I expected it to stop quickly and thought that I could probably wait it out.  But, I was wrong, the hail turned to snow.  So, I changed into more suitable clothes and out I went to run in the snow.  It was cold out there.  My hands were freezing right away.  I only had to do about 20k that day so it almost felt like a short run to me.  I still can’t believe that 20k isn’t a big deal to me anymore.  The picture below was taken the day after my run in the snow.  Crazy weather.  It has been sunny and between 10-15C the past several days.  Winston has been very happy because I have been allowing him supervised ‘freedom’ in the backyard.  He tries to go under the fence to the neighbour’s yard but has been very good to stop when I tell him not to.  I wish that I could let him out unsupervised but I’m pretty sure that he would leave the yard and there are too many dangerous things that could injure the fat and out of shape cat that he is.  My friend gave me some fresh catnip to take home to Winston on Friday so that’s what I’ve been using to get him to willingly come back indoors.  He has a bit of an addiction to fresh catnip.  I have to keep it outside in the BBQ whenever my friend gives me some or Winston goes crazy trying to get to it.       


I did my long run for this week today.  I felt pretty good after having the shorter run last week so I thought that my legs should be able to handle doing the run a couple of days earlier.  It is supposed to be nice all weekend and I’m really hoping to have a chance to finally do some skydiving.  I don’t want running to take up a day that could be spent in the sky.  My friends all have extra time off this weekend too since it’s Easter so I wanted to have more free time to do stuff with them.  I did a 26k bike ride with a friend on Sunday and I’m kind of hoping to do another one this weekend if possible.  

My run today went well.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny and warm but not hot and with a very slight wind.  I was a little cool when walking but perfect when running.  I chose a different route today.  I ran mostly downhill for the first 6k, then did about 17k on flat ground, went back uphill 6k and then past my starting point finishing on mostly flat ground.  I ended up running about 32k total.  I had been hoping to do 33k but since I had quite an elevation change I decided that my legs would appreciate not doing that extra 1k.  My right knee was hurting quite a bit at the end and it was getting difficult to run (or walk) so I think that it was a good decision to stop at 32k.  I had an ice bath when I got home and I just finished icing my knees again.  I have a massage appointment tomorrow that I think I’m going to really appreciate. 

Tomorrow is my last counselling class.  I’m kind of sad.  I’m actually going to look into taking some more courses over the next few months if I can.  I also may have decided what I want to be when I grow up.  I mentioned before that I would love to do something with health, healthy eating etc..  I’ve been looking into it and a registered holistic nutritionist sounds like it is exactly what I would enjoy.  As I was reading the course descriptions I was getting excited.  I still need to research it a lot more but I’m leaning strongly towards starting the program in September.  My main concern is money.  I’m a little concerned about the cost of all the schooling that I dream of doing but I’m also concerned about whether I’ll be able to make enough money when I’m finished.  I may have to work part time for more than one place or I may need/want to start my own business.  I also don’t actually know what they charge for their services.  But it is something that interests me and that I think that I would really enjoy.  I feel relieved just from having a possibility in front of me.  It can get stressful being unemployed and having no idea what you want to do about it.  

My volunteering was a really great experience for me again this week.  There was a youth group that was helping out this week so we had a lot of extra people.  Because of all of the extra people I ended up without a specific job.  At first I handed out some cards for a free breakfast this weekend but then I just ended up standing around awkwardly.  The guy that was kindly pushing me to pray with people two weeks ago came over so that he could start pushing me again.  I prayed with a couple of people with him and then he would just point people out to me and I would go introduce myself to them and ask them if I could pray for them.  I have always had trouble going up to people and talking to them.  I don’t like going to parties because I feel awkward and I get even more shy than normal.  It is something that I have decided I need to work on but I haven’t done anything about it yet.  I think that this volunteering is going to help me with this.  The people that I approached were all very kind to me and I never regretted going up to them.  Some of them let me pray for them and some didn’t.  I talked to some for a while, others I prayed for and then they left, and others just politely said no thank you and went on their way.  But no matter what I am building relationships, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and developing new skills and abilities, I am getting comfortable with praying out loud in front of people…  When I went for my volunteer orientation session back in the fall I really felt that I was in the right place.  I felt that this was where (and when) God wanted me to volunteer.  Now I’m starting to see why.  I love it when I can catch glimpses of why things may work out the way that they do. 

I’m not doing much to celebrate Easter this weekend.  I will go to church on Friday and Sunday but that is about it.  I have almost always had to work on Good Friday so I’m happy that I’ll be able to go to church this year for a change.  My mom is doing an Easter dinner on Monday but I’m supposed to be volunteering so I won’t be able to make it.  I feel kind of bad especially since it is just my mom and her boyfriend and my sister and her kids but I’ll also feel bad if I don’t keep my commitment to volunteering. 




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Homemade Perogies

I managed to get my 30k done last week.  Tomorrow is a shorter run.  I think that it’ll end up being about 22km.  As usual I haven’t been enjoying making decisions about where to go for my runs.  Today I skipped my short run mostly because I didn’t feel like making that decision.  I only had to do about 4k.  It shouldn’t have been an issue but I just didn’t feel like going out there and running.  It’s even a beautiful day today.  I don’t know why I’ve been having so much trouble with my motivation and with getting outside for my runs.  Hopefully next week will be a little better.

On my long run last week I did three 10k loops.  It was nice to not have to think about where I was going but it was also difficult every time that I started a new loop.  At 11k I wanted to be done my run.  I didn’t feel like running a long distance that day.  10k would have been perfect.  But I continued on.  I actually listened to an audio-book that day.  I had put the book on my phone months ago but was saving it for when I really needed.  Since I wasn’t in the mood to run a long distance I decided that the run was worthy of the audio-book.  I loved listening to it!  It made the run way easier than it would have been otherwise.  There were several times when I looked around and thought ‘how did I get here already?’.  That’s exactly what I wanted to happen on that run.  I still struggled again around 21k about not wanting to do another loop but then I got absorbed in the book again and was able to at least partially forget about not wanting to run any further.  The book that I was listening to was Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  What a great book!  I’m looking forward to listening to the rest on my run tomorrow. It’s a book that I could listen to several times and still learn something from it every time. It actually has made me want to continue running long distances just so that I can listen to audio-books. I’m already considering another half marathon at the end of May.

I was very sore from my long run!  Walking down the stairs was painful.  I found myself walking down sideways at home where no one was watching in an attempt to avoid the pain.  It took a full two days for the pain to ease off at all and then my legs just felt slightly sore and still quite tired.  I think that they need the shorter run this week.  I’m hoping that they’ll be fully recovered before my long run next week.

Yesterday I used the rowing machine at the gym after my run.  I think that maybe I’ll try to make a habit of using it more often.  It might be a good cross-training tool for me.  It doesn’t hurt my calves but I really felt it in my hamstrings.  My arms are the part of me that is most sore today though.  I only did about 15 minutes on the machine yesterday.  I didn’t want to overdo it when I had no idea how it would effect my body.

I’ve been recognizing conflict a lot more since the talk that I went to almost 2 weeks ago.  Today I had to call the bread company to try to get my record of employment.  They are really starting to annoy me!  I e-mailed them the first time 17 days ago to get my record of employment.  I didn’t hear anything back but assumed that it would be sent in the mail and that I would receive it within a week.  I waited, and waited and waited.  Finally I called them last week and left a message explaining why I was calling and asking them to return my call.  That evening, after not having my call returned, I also e-mailed them at two different e-mail addresses.  In the e-mail I asked them to let me know when they’ve sent the ROE to me so that I will know to expect it (and will not be sitting at home fuming and trying to figure out what my next step should be).  I still heard nothing so today I called them again.  I finally got ahold of one of the owners.  She said that the lady that does the ROE’s is away this week (no mention of where she’s been for the past two weeks) and that he partner was gone for the day but that he is aware of my request.  I asked her again to at least let me know when they’ve sent it out.  I plan to continue hounding them until I get it.  I’m soooo glad that I got ‘fired’ from that job.  What a disorganized company it is.  Sending out ROE’s should be a simple standard task that they would have to do regularly and it shouldn’t be so difficult.  I realized during my two days there that they have a huge turnover of employees so despite being a small company they probably have to fill out ROEs fairly often.  I’m really hoping that this will be resolved quickly because it annoys me to have to deal with it and try to figure out what steps I should be taking to get them to send this to me.  There is no reason why this should even be an issue.  If nothing else at least this makes me more aware that I really dodged a bullet in not getting too involved with the company and I’m even more happy that I’m not working for them.

I had an interview yesterday.  I really don’t know if it went well or not.  I think that I answered some of the questions well but there was one question that I just completely went blank on when they asked me.  After a lot of ums and uhs I finally gave some sort of response but I’m not even sure if it actually answered the question.  Oh well.  I’ll take the job if I get it but I don’t think that I really want it.  It will be 1.5-2hrs of commuting every day.  I will also be on-call 7 days a week for the entire summer.  I hate being on-call.  It makes it so hard to have a life when you don’t know when you might be working.  The job itself doesn’t sound like much fun either.  The more that I think about it the more that I hope that I don’t get it.  If it was closer I think I wouldn’t mind as much but that commute is going to reduce the amount of free time that I have drastically and my free time is what I live for.  The job is not going to be satisfying so my time away from work will be even more precious to me.  I might have to talk to EI and see if the commute and the pay (since it’s less than my last job) are good enough reasons for me to refuse the job if it is offered to me.  (even though I’m not even on EI now because I’m waiting for that stupid ROE)

I really need to figure out what to do with my life.  It’s been getting me down lately.  I did another career test last week.  #21 on the list was embalmer.  Three times ‘funeral director’ has come up and now embalmer has too.  So, basically I’m best suited to work with dead people.  Excellent.  I actually keep thinking that I really should at least look into it.  Who knows, maybe it’s exactly what I’m looking for.  I also keep thinking that I’d love to do something that involves healthy eating and living.  I don’t feel that I have to skills that I need to do this but it’s something that I feel passionate about.  I don’t know how I could do it or what type of job I could have but the idea excites me.  I would love to do something like go work with a family for a week or two or a month and help them to switch their eating habits and foods over to healthier options.  But I don’t have as much knowledge as I would need and I also don’t have the cooking skills that I would need.  Oh and I don’t have the people to do it for.  But I’ll keep it in the back of my mind and look for ways of learning.  One of my friends suggested that maybe I should just start writing all the things that interest me and that I love to do without thinking of them in terms of a job.  I think that this is a great idea, but I haven’t started to do it yet.  Maybe I’ll start while I’m on the train tonight.  Most of the time I think about what I love and can’t see how it provide me with employment and so I get frustrated and annoyed.  I tell myself that I have no skills and I’m not smart enough or good enough…  It’s really a bad cycle that I try to stop quickly when I recognize that I’m doing it.  But if I think about what I love without the stress of thinking of a job it will keep things more positive and may help me to see my strengths and my passions a little more clearly.

My friend and I made homemade perogies last weekend.  It is probably the only time that either of us will ever make them.  It took us about 3 hours.  We decided to make whole wheat perogies even though we had never even heard of such a thing before.  But neither of us are very picky and we both like to try and make things healthy when possible.  The perogies were a lot of work.


They weren’t the prettiest perogies we’ve ever seen but they tasted not bad.  We found theme to have a little too much dough for our liking but the fillings were pretty good.  I loved the potato and cheddar filling.  We also made sweet potato and feta, and a cottage cheese, ricotta, spinach filling.  The last one was our least favorite of the three.  We had no idea how much to make and didn’t really bother with following amounts on the recipes that we were using.  We had a lot of leftover filling to use up.  Neither of us had any desire to make more dough and roll the dough and fill the dough and try to keep the filling inside the dough and keep the dough from sticking to the counter and make it look pretty and also keep it from getting soggy after being filled… so we decided to make a layered casserole thing.  I had some homemade tortillas in the freezer so I pulled them out and defrosted them.  We then layered the three fillings with tortillas in between and threw it in the oven to bake.  It ended up  tasting pretty good.  I don’t think that I’ve eaten that much potato in years.  I’m not a big potato fan.  I usually (but not always) take a small scoop at holiday meals a couple of times a year and that’s about all that I eat in a year.  I sometimes will order yam fries at a restaurant but I never order potato fries.  Sometimes if a really yummy sounding meal comes with potatoes at a restaurant I will order something else simply because the potatoes don’t appeal to me.  I’m not sure why I don’t just ask for a substitution.  So, I was surprised that I enjoyed our casserole so much.  It must have been all the cheese.

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I went to a session about conflict on the weekend. A couple of my friends were going and one of them invited me to go as well. It was held at my former church. My first thought when the speaker began talking was that I don’t really feel that I have a big problem with conflict. Either that or I’m just very good at avoiding it. My friend and I were talking about how even when we were roommates we never really had any problems with conflict. Most of the time if I have a problem with something I think about whether it really matters in the grand scheme of things. Usually it doesn’t. The things that bother people are often just little issues. I also often look to myself to find out if I’m the problem or if it actually is the other person. I either decide that it’s my issue or I’m just not sure and so I let it go anyway. Sometimes I worry that I’m just avoiding conflict but I don’t feel like I have anger or frustration pent up so I don’t really think that I do. She did mention that we all have conflict every day. The slow grocery teller, the annoying dog owners that let their dogs run in front of you or jump up at you or even bite your arm while your running, the people that smoke in areas that I can’t avoid so that I have to breathe in their disgusting smoke, (ok maybe I do have a little issue with conflict) the driver that cuts you off… I guess I hadn’t really thought of those things as conflict but I can see that they are. The session is in two parts with the next one being mid-April. That’s when we learn more about how to deal with conflict. I’ll try to keep running during the on-leash hours at the park until then.
Remember how I mentioned how great people are and how much I appreciate the things that people do for me? Well several days ago one of my friends texted me to see if my car was running again and to offer me her car while she is away on holidays. She doesn’t have a junky (as my niece and nephew call it) car like mine. She has a nice new vehicle that even has heated seats! I don’t need to take her up on the offer but I’m amazed again at how kind, thoughtful and caring people are.
My basic counselling skills class is almost over. I think that we have 3 classes left. Last week we finished up with our session where we practice counselling each other. I’m glad that I no longer have to think of a problem to talk about every week but I’m going to miss the sessions. At first they were difficult and stressful and I felt totally incompetent. I stressed about doing a good job and getting it just right. Now it still isn’t exactly easy but it’s not stressful anymore. I used to have a million thoughts going through my head the whole time and I couldn’t think clearly but now I find that my thoughts are more organized and I can think and speak at the same time. That’s always helpful. I had decided that I wasn’t going to continue with the program that this course is a prerequisite for but now I’m wondering if I really don’t want to. I need to figure out if it’s what I want to do or if I just don’t want the class to be over.
I have been enjoying my volunteering lately. I stopped helping at the thrift store when I started my short stint with the bread company. I could start back there again but I’ve started helping one evening a week serving food, giving out clothing and praying with the people. I was also allergic to the air freshener at the thrift store. The last time that I was there it must have been a new one because it was bothering me all day and I left there with a terrible headache. I often have trouble with perfumes. It’s really annoying because I feel like a crazy person complaining about scents and perfumes. I used to think that maybe I was just overreacting and being too sensitive and that it was my issue and I had to just let it go and get over it. But then I started using an allergy nasal spray one summer. All of a sudden I found that while I could still recognize scents that normally bothered me they no longer had the same effect. I used to get grumpy and annoyed, I’d get headaches at times and would sneeze and get a runny nose at other times. When I was on the allergy spray I didn’t get grumpy or suffer the other symptoms. But since I don’t like putting medication into my body if I don’t have to I tend to only use the spray during spring and summer. The rest of the year I have to avoid certain scents. Anyway, back to the volunteering. This week they put me on ‘prayer requests’ for the night. The other two weeks that I’ve been there they have put me in the kitchen serving food. You have minimal contact with the people in the kitchen because you are basically just handing the food to them and then they wander off. But prayer requests is a totally different story. I asked every single person in line if they had any prayer requests and wrote them down if they had any. It was a little out of my comfort zone but something that I was ok with doing. I then just stood around for a while so that anyone else that had a request could come to me and let me know. After a while one of the leaders came over to check on me. He asked me about whether I was comfortable praying with people. I told him that I’m not very comfortable praying out loud with people but that it’s something that I would like to be more comfortable with. The rest of the night he basically kindly and gently pushed me out of my comfort zone. He had me praying for people with him and also walking amongst the people praying for them silently in my head. He helped me to watch the people and to listen to whether God was prompting me to pray for anyone specific. It was a good night. I need that kind of thing. I was thinking on my way home that I don’t have many people in my life that really push me outside of my comfort zone. It is something that I want but most people are too kind and don’t like to ‘force’ things on people. I wish that they would more often. Although there are times when I’m not very open to it. I’m looking forward to continuing with this volunteering and hopefully to continue being gently pushed out of my comfort zone.
It looks like I might have to wait a while before I can do my first skydive of the year. The forecast is for rain for basically forever. I had been hoping to do a jump on Sunday but it was too cloudy. I then thought that maybe I could do one this week if they were taking anyone up or even this coming weekend but it isn’t looking very promising. Well maybe I’ll be lucky and we’ll have sunshine the following weekend. The longer I have to wait the longer I have to think about my next jump and the more nervous I will likely get. Last year my heart was racing the day of my first jump of the year. I don’t think that I’ll be nearly as nervous this year but you never know. I still need to find someone to go to the indoor wind tunnel with me soon. I’d love to do that while I’m waiting for the weather to improve.
I got a call today about a possible job. I have an interview on Wednesday. It’s not a perfect job but it might be a good place to get my foot in the door for possible future opportunities.
I am skipping another run this week. I did my ‘easy’ run on Tuesday and then I used the weight machines at the gym. I had planned to do my harder run on Wednesday but when I woke up I didn’t feel great. I was sore, I guess from the weight machines. It wasn’t a good sore either. So, I decided that I’d listen to my body and skip another run. I feel like a bit of a wimp but I think that it’s best to listen to my own body instead of thinking about how much other people seem to be able to do without any problems. I’m going to try to do my long run tomorrow. Most likely it will be pouring rain. I’m hoping to do 30k.

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Maybe marathon training isn’t so bad after all

I might be starting to actually enjoy marathon training!  It’s probably a little early to say that but my last 2 runs have been really good.  I did almost 28k on Friday and it felt really good.  My mom rode her bike with me for part of it.  She actually left me quite a bit to ride faster on her own but it still really helped a lot to have her ride with me for chunks of my run.  I had originally planned on doing 2-3 nice easy flat loops near my mom’s place but there ended up being a detour that forced me to go up a very steep hill.


You can see hear that I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was straight uphill.  After that detour I decided that I would do an out and back instead of loops.  I didn’t want to have to do that hill 2-3 times.  Although honestly I didn’t mind it too much.  Sometimes I enjoy hills just because they offer variety and they work my muscles a little differently.  They also make the flat feel way easier.  But for a long run I wanted to save my legs from too much stress.  It was a beautiful day on Friday.  The sun was shining and I had gorgeous views of water for almost the entire run.  I loved seeing the sun reflecting off of the water.
scenery pp

This picture doesn’t do it justice at all but it’s the only one that I took.  My mom had phoned me to find out where I was so I took advantage of the fact that I had my phone out of my armband and could take a picture.  It was a nice temperature for running too.  At first my hands were cold but then I was a perfect temperature in my capris and long sleeves.  There were times when the wind was really blowing and it got a little chilly but it was later in the run so I stayed warm enough.  My body felt great for this run.  Right from the start I had a feeling that it would be one of my better runs.  My ankle pain was almost non-existent, my calves felt great, my knees were good and even my back was pretty good.  My stomach also felt great.  I took my vega gel at 9k and then had some raisins at 18k.  After the raisins I needed a bathroom so I think that I’ll stick to the vega gels from now on. It’s still hard for me to believe that I ran for over 3 hours and not only didn’t hate it at all but kind of enjoyed it.

On Saturday I went for a short flat bike ride with a friend.  We were only out for about 45 minutes.  Last year we usually did 2hr bike rides with hills but this year I’m being a wimp so far.  I’m scared that I’m going to overuse my legs and end up injured.  If my legs continue to feel good I’ll probably be willing to slowly do longer and harder rides.  But don’t tell my friend.  I keep telling him I’m not doing anything difficult until June so that he won’t try to make me do more than I feel that I should.

I took Sunday off.  I had planned on doing a short run, 20-30 minutes, but it never happened.  I was tired from the time change and getting home late the night before.  I also often have trouble running after church.  It’s partly because I’ve already had my shower that day and I don’t want to redo my hair.  It’s not a very good excuse since I could just put it up and not get it wet but I still like to use that excuse a lot.  Today I did a 12k run.  It felt good.  I love the fact that 12k no longer feels like a long run to me.  I noticed that I was running a little faster because I knew that I could maintain that pace for the whole 12k.  When I do my long runs I always run slow and conserve my energy but for 12k I didn’t feel the need to worry about it.  This is part of what I’m loving about marathon training.  The other thing that I’m enjoying is the mental part of it.  I both love and hate how difficult it is.  I know that I’m going to be extremely proud of myself if and when I complete the full.  I feel like running is controlling my life right now.  I think that it has to because training for a full is a huge committment.  I like that I am able to get out and do my runs even when I don’t really want to.  Sure I still skip the odd one but it’s usually the easier runs that I figure won’t matter as much.  I’m kind of happy that I’m not working right now because I have no idea how people work full time, train for a full and have any spare time for everything else that they need and want to do.  I did send 5 resumes out into the abyss today though so I’m still making an effort to get a job.  It feels like the abyss is where the resumes go because I rarely hear anything back from anyone.

On Saturday night my friend and I watched the new Anna Karenina movie.  It’s definitely one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen.  I read the book last year and didn’t like it much at all.  I should have just given up on it but I kept expecting that something would happen that would make it exciting or interesting so I read the whole thing. Nothing exciting or interesting ever did happen.  So, needless to say, I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy the movie but I wanted to see it anyway.  My friend hasn’t read the book so he didn’t know the story line at all.  At the start of the movie I only knew what was going on because I had read the book.  My friend had no clue.  Throughout the movie I explained things to try and make it make some sense to him.  If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie I don’t recommend either.

I was going through some of my papers today and came across an old car repair bill from the fall.  It turns out that they had replaced the ignition coil in the fall as well as last week.  Hmm.  I might have to switch mechanics after I get this sorted out.  Something like that should still be under warranty and the mechanic should have noticed it.  They also failed to notice that I had three burnt out tail lights until I asked them if they’d replaced them for me when they did the oil change.  My alternate mechanic is much closer to my home anyway so I won’t mind changing at all.  I’m going to go in tomorrow with my bills to talk to the mechanic and try to get my money back from last weeks repair.  I hope that they don’t give me any trouble.

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Old Cars

My car broke down on my way home last night. I had been planning on taking it in to the mechanic to get an oil change today and to mention something that I’d been feeling while driving it yesterday and the day before. It kind of felt like maybe it would stall but not really. I wasn’t too worried but I like to take it in sooner rather than later when I feel something unusual. I don’t want to get stranded somewhere. But I guess my car had other plans. I was driving up a hill when it just started slowing down. I pulled over to the side of the road and it ended up stopping right in front of someone’s driveway. I was on a somewhat busy road about 4km from home and it was 8:45pm. Thankfully my dad buys my sister and I a roadside assistance membership for Christmas every year. Most of the time I think that it’s just a waste of money because I’ve never needed to use it. But I guess it’s times like last night that make it worth it. So I made the phone call and was told that they’d be there in less than an hour. I then proceeded to text some of my friends and update my facebook status. What else do you do when you’re stalled on the side of the road in 2013? I was hoping that no one would hit me. I had my hazards on but I still worry about people not noticing and not paying attention. I only got honked at once and I’m pretty sure it was someone that probably scared themselves a little because they weren’t paying enough attention. I was trying not to look in my rearview mirror because I didn’t want to know if something was going to hit me. I considered just standing on the side of the road but the traffic wasn’t too busy at that time of night so I thought that I’d be ok in my car. Plus it was warmer in there. While waiting one of the friends that I had texted offered to come pick me up and drive me home. I had planned on walking since it was only 4k. My car would be going in the opposite direction to the mechanic shop so the tow truck couldn’t take me home. But I decided that if I accepted the ride I could take my gym bag and my groceries instead of just my groceries. The tow truck driver was concerned about leaving me on the side of the road to wait for my friend. I wasn’t worried but I accepted a ride up to the next main intersection where there was a gas station. This made it easier for my friend to find me as well. While the experience isn’t something that I enjoy going through I found myself thinking very positively about it all. It was a reminder of how nice, considerate and caring people can be. I appreciated that the tow truck driver was concerned for my safety and wanted to make sure that he left me in a public place where I wasn’t likely to be harmed. I was very thankful for my friend and her willingness to take the time to go out of her way to come get me and take me home. I even liked the fact that the gas station attendant (who was very chatty on Friday when I stopped for gas) came over and questioned me on why I was standing at the gas station with all my stuff. It’s nice to have people show care and concern and do kind things. I was also thankful for little things like the fact that it wasn’t raining and that it wasn’t as cold or windy as it has been recently. I was thankful that I wasn’t in one of the other two cities that I’d been in earlier in the day. I was thankful that it didn’t stall on the freeway or in the area where I was volunteering, with drug addicts and homeless people, just an hour earlier. It could have been much worse. My only fear was that it was going to cost me a fortune or that I would need to get a new car. I was worried that I would cry today when the mechanic told me what was wrong. My friend helped me to expect the cost to be a lot so that I would be surprised and happy when it was less than I was expecting. It actually worked. We decided that $500-600 was a good amount to expect. It ended up being $430 with my oil change. Still a lot of money for someone without a job but I didn’t cry. $430 is also a lot cheaper than getting a new car. The problem was the igniter coil. I’ve never had an igniter coil go on a car before. No wonder I had no idea what was wrong with it. I’m glad that it’s fixed now and hopefully it’ll continue running at least until I get a decent job.
I tried out Zumba yesterday for the first time. I don’t like dancing so I’ve never bothered trying it before now. I always felt like I should at least give it a chance so when my mom mentioned that she was going to do it with my sister I decided that I would go too. My sister does it regularly and loves it. She’s even considering starting to teach it if she can find the time. My mom enjoyed it. She also likes dancing. I don’t need to try it again. I don’t like moving my hips. I also didn’t find it to be that great of a workout. I realize that learning a new class is never as good of a workout as when you know all the moves but it still didn’t seem like it would be that hard. The sides of my calves are sore but I knew that they would be. Any time that I do anything like a jumping jack it hurts the sides of my calves. I should probably try to do something about that. At least now I can say that I’ve tried Zumba and I don’t have to do it again.
After Zumba yesterday I went for a 5k run by my sister’s house. Then my mom and I walked to my nephew’s school (with his bike) to pick him up while my sister went to an appointment. I then stayed with my nephew while my mom picked up my niece. I had brought his birthday present with me so he opened it when he got home. I bought him Lego. He immediately started to build the helicopter. He was so fast at putting it together. I couldn’t have done it that fast. I really enjoyed just sitting there and talking to him while he was busy. He often needs time to himself after school. He can get a little grumpy at times and he gets annoyed when things don’t go just right. I think riding his bike home from school and then putting the Lego together was a good combo for him. He told me about his day at school and about his birthday weekend and other random things and I didn’t have to pull it all out of him. He just sat and talked. It was nice. Later that afternoon we were all playing charades. My niece is really good at it but my nephew isn’t. He’s not as into it as my niece is but every once in a while he’ll take a few turns at acting something out. At one point he sat down cross-legged on the floor. He was very stiff and very still. We could not figure out what he was! Finally the timer ran out and he told us that he was a laptop. It was so funny! I was trying not to laugh though because I didn’t want him to feel bad about how he’d chosen to act it out. I could see what he was thinking but there was no way I would ever have guessed a laptop. I love those kids and how their brains work.
My running has been good lately. I ran in the pouring rain on Saturday but I didn’t care because it was only a 10k run. It’s funny how marathon training gives you a totally different perspective on things. 10k in the pouring rain, that’s nothing! I did have stomach issues on the run and had to walk a bit until I got to a washroom. I haven’t been sticking quite as strictly to not eating processed foods lately. I’m still doing pretty good at home but I was away from home for a day and a half and I only packed one meal to take with me. I went with my mom to visit my 90-year-old grandma. I’ll be staying over at my mom’s this week for one night. She lives close to where I take my course so I’m going to stay at her place afterwards and then do my long run in that area the next day. My mom said that she will ride her bike beside me. Hopefully the weather will be ok. I have some anxiety about not being at home for my long run but I guess that’s how it is for races too so I need to be ok with it. It’s not like it’s far from home or even an unfamiliar area. I think that I just feel the need to control my running as much as possible. I am supposed to be going for a bike ride with a friend on Saturday so I hope that my legs won’t be too tired from my long run. My friend said that he would work extra hard at his workout the same day as my run this week so that his legs will be sore too. I don’t think that his workout will compare to running for 3+ hours but at least it’s something. I’ll just be glad to have a good excuse for being slower than him anyway.
I’ve been longing to start skydiving again soon. We’ve had some decent weather but it’s been too windy. I’m hoping to do my first jump of the year soon. I even dreamt about it on the weekend. Maybe this Sunday the weather will cooperate. They did do some jumps in February but I was busy and couldn’t get out there. I also want to go practice at the indoor wind tunnel soon. It was my goal for this winter to get some time in the wind tunnel to learn some new skydiving skills and to practice some old ones. I really should set a date and make a plan to go.

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