Monday, May 31, 2010

Burning Up The Dreadmill

Yay! for me. It was another stupid hot day and I haven't had a chance to get used to running in it so I packed up the gang and headed to the gym after picking hubby up from the Go.

29 mins and 5K. Going like my butt was on fire and felt awesome (ok really hot and irritated but great) and I was going to keep going to make it a nice 7K since I was barely denting into my energy stores when my G-D Ipod shut down. Well it seems that I have not charged it since my injury. Can you imagine?

Well that dreadmill got even worse without my musical motivation. One minute after it crapped out on me I slowed to a trot. Then I slowed to a fast walk then said "Eff it" and went to join the guys and dangle my feet in the pool to cool off. Not to shabby I must say. Not even a twinge now several hours later! Wahhhooooooo!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Action Plan

Ok so I'm over weight, coming back from a running injury and dealing with stomach issues, and harboring a major food addiction. Those are the cold facts.

I need an action plan. Can't keep mulling over it. It's got to be dealt with. So I went to bed last night and painted my toes a gorgeous colour of burnt sugar and read my chickflick book and avoided the cravings that were calling to me. I was craving cheese by the way, how odd.

In the last two-three months some of my old bad habits have kept back into my life. Thankfully, not the diet coke habit though it whispers to me whenever it has the opportunity. I'm sporadically eating breakfast and find that I'm not even hungry until about 11 am and then I'm HUNGRY and make bad choices that escalate through out the day.

My food choices are not balanced. Too many indulgences. Not enough activity and letting my general attitude/outlook slide. Need to make changes STAT!

Here's the plan so far: Make sure that I eat a healthy balance breakfast (today: check, strawberry, pineapple protein smoothie and one cup of coffee). Get some physical activity in, will do that by cleaning the house from top floor through back yard, including laundry even though that means running the machines during peek hours which I despise doing.

Lunch will be light tuna salad with crudite and iced tea (again just sun tea over ice, no sweetener). Snacks are limited to a small portion of almonds and some fruit.

Dinner will be some roasted chicken and veg (no starch). No dessert, just a cup of tea while I get some work done. My treats for the day will be non-food related. A soak in the tub with my book and a facial mask and manicure.

I can't wait until I'm able to run far enough to enjoy a dusk run. Until then perhaps enjoying the front porch at dusk before my soak might be a nice way to center. I may not have time to post update photos of the food but I'll take them and post them tomorrow. For now I've got to shut the laptop down, get up and get on with the day.

Stay cool y'all!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Working on my Action Plan

Up at 7 am so that I'd have lots of time to enjoy a cup of coffee and strawberry protein smoothie and get everything and everyone ready for the gym. Once I left the house I realized that I could have easily gone for another cup.

My workout consisted of trying to keep my head from exploding while running on the treadmill. Allergies suck! I can't express that passionately enough! I did manage to run about 3.5K and walked the rest of the 5. I walked only because I found myself running comfortably fast but too fast to chat with my friend and it was a very compelling conversation. Now that I think about it, it was likely the conversation that was causing me to run so fast.

Anyway, all good. No pain. A little discomfort but did what the good doctor wanted and iced the usual suspects when I got home. I have to say for the first time ever, it really didn't suck to do it. It was actually pretty nice.

When I got to Dr. P's I pointed at the areas where I was feeling the twinges and he hit the spots with his air ratchet. Only minor adjustments to do. No electrical impulses required. Then we discussed my plans to pace the LTR and perhaps do the same for the trail running group. He liked both plans so long as 1) I wouldn't run on the concrete side walks. 2) if I paced that I wouldn't push myself too hard. 3) that if I did the trail running I'd do it slow enough to ensure that I placed my feet wisely. Otherwise, blessings all around and I do go back to see him for three weeks! Yipee! I almost feel like I should have a graduation ceremony *snort*

So I'm back working the action plan. Cutting the indulgences back. I will not "diet" but I will be watching portions, avoiding majorly calorie dense foods. Trying to put the balance back along with increasing my physical activity.

That said I should say that dinner tonight will be a scoop of tuna salad (made with yogurt and a dash of mayo, onion, celery and salt/pepper) some cut carrots and peppers and a little bit of fruit and a whole lot of iced tea (just plain sun tea no sugar). Once the back yard is in shade we'll go out and horse around in the back yard until bedtime.

I think tonight I'll treat myself to a good long soak in the tube, my book and then a pedicure and an early bedtime.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Light at the End

of the tunnel. It seems to me that everything is lightening up. I'm no longer feeling ill (ok except for my crazy allergies) and my injury appears to be dulling down. I'm headed out to the gym tomorrow to put some mileage on the treadmill or track with a friend. I haven't been running outside because my head feels like it is going to explode. I can't get over how aweful my allergic reaction is this year.

My pyramid box is almost completely planted. I've left one spot for various herbs which I have still to buy. With my husband's help we've gotten the fountain all dug up and corrected. I've gone in and separated some of the plants from the weeds that were mingling in the same mud clumps. That wasn't fun. They've since been replanted and aren't too happy but I assume there will be a period of limpness before they perk up again.

The bed in front of the deck has been dug up and prepared and is just awaiting a large investment in flowering shurbs and perrenial herbs. Now I'm just waiting on the back bed to be prepared so that I can put in 16 Beefsteak Tomato plants. I did plant 16 Early Girl Tomato plants in upside down planters. We'll see how that experiment goes. Husband will be putting up a railing along the top of the fence so that I can hang all the planters there. Right now they are hung from the sides of my gazebo and look awful but at least they are in full sun.

With all the work in the back I'm now a bit more tanned than I ever wanted to be. I like the colour but not what it represents since it is real. The sun is so intense in my back yard that even a fresh coating of SPF 50 isn't enough to stay a nice pasty white.

This weather has been great, I'll say. We've installed a ceiling fan and black out blind in each child's room and will be installing one in our room and the living room. We are trying our best to keep the temps down in the house without running our A/C at full tilt.

I did succumb and turn it on today, as I was supposed to be doing housework. Kept all the rooms dark and most of the electronics off . The temp was 75F (for some reason I prefer to use F in my house...strange eh?) and now it's at 76F but with the fans on in the boys room it really is nice. I'm sure that we'll make it through the summer without the crazy hydro bill that we've been fearing ever since they mentioned the HST.

Well it should be my bed time. I have broken too many of my good habits lately. Got to get back on the horse!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary....

How does your garden grow? Well I'm no Mary and my garden is bushy at best! Ok, I've really sucked up my pride and I'll show you pics of the garden projects under way. Last year I totally gave up on my gardens because the weeds and bugs were taking over. I had really no energy to battle either the heat or the weeds. The years of neglect have quickly taken their toll. This is me baring my gardening soul.

So this year the plan is for the main bed: see pictures below, to take out the full sun perennials and find them a new bed. Lay down the weed barrier and put in new top soil from the mountain of dirt that has been placed in the back yard. (see before pic...I'm so ashamed). All the garden beds will be walled off with a row of bricks to keep soil in and dogs/kids out. You can see here how the weeds and grass have taken over. In this bed there is a lilac tree, asian lilac tree, a french lilac tree, butterfly bush and an ornamental mulberry tree. Allin the corner is a huge patch of shasta daisies and they are so content there. I'll be yanking them out to transplant. Lavender, bee balm and some miscellaneous ground cover and tiny shrubs. You'd never know it because of the grass, clover and choking vine.The fountain had a beautiful cutting bed see before picture. Then it got hit with grubs and some other pestilence and the daisies died off completely. As did the heather. I put in to replace the defunct daisies, four "torch" coreopsis plants and now two continue to come back but the grubs took out the other two. I've got thrift growing happily in there now but that's just not cutting it. Because this is a full sun patch. I've decided that the thrift and coreopsis can stay but the small ground cover must come out. I'll try another two more coreopsis plants since husband is spraying for grubs this year. Then I'll fill the rest in with some varied greenery. If I want more show I'll add in a few annuals but for the better part I just want something simple that will fill itself in, year-after-year. Befores (two years ago) and now. degenerated *cries* This year it's getting a stone/brick wall. The flimsy wire fence was to keep the dogs out.This is what is left this year. Sadly, the grass has grown back over the circle. Maybe three plants survived the grubs. It's getting a total face lift this year.
Now this area is a disaster. This patch was mainly a catch all for the perennials that were gifted to me where they required some degree of shade, at least some of them did. There is the slip of lilac shoot that a lady friend of mine gave me. I'm so amazed that it actually took root. Now it's too tiny to be much of anything so I'll put in another lilac tree to round it out, The rest will be hostas and shade loving flowers and herbs.Front of the deck: This is where the new bed will go. I was thinking of some herbs in here a long with some ornamental grass, and perhaps a flowering jasmine or weigela. The cedars will go in there. Do you know we've had these cedars for two years now and have never gotten around to planting them! Watch them die as soon as they are in the ground. It would be my luck! You can tell that the kids have been here. Look at all the toys they've decided to store on my fire pit.
Now on to the pyramid planter: I was trying to explain this to Jo and Misty today but it wasn't coming across in translation. I believe because I've missed the cooler seed sowing season I'll have to content myself this year with whatever vegetable/fruit plants I can find at the various garden centers. There are some things like beans and radishes that can be sown now and will mature before the end of August. There will be a good deal of herbs in that garden and I'll put in some annuals like marigolds and a few piss off plants to keep the dogs and cats out. I do know that the top tier will be home to many alpine strawberry plants! Yum! I'm considering staining or painting the boxes with a non-toxic paint just to pretty it up a little. Can you believe that it took 2 1/2 yards of triple mix to fill this sucker!Along that stretch of fence I'll be hanging my tomato planters so that they can enjoy all that direct sun. I'm hoping to get those planters made this weekend but I'm having trouble laying my hands on the 2ltr pop bottles. If any of you out there have a bunch of these bottles I'll happily drive around to your places and collect them.

The privacy wall will get a long planter at it's base for the clematis and some annuals to shade their roots. They will climb the privacy wall and in the planters there will be basil, basil and more basil. How can you tell I love basil? I plan to dehydrate it and store it in tiny bottles for the winter.Then we'll put in some shrubs along the back fence to try and keep Finnigan from chewing his way through to get the dog on the other side. The lattice was put there to keep him from chewing the fence but he's chewing his way through the lattice! That dog seriously need Prozac. Big flowering shrubs. Weiglia and some spira should just about do the trick.

My big pile of extra dirt for the various beds and planters. In this spot eventually there will be a shed. Husband's been dreaming of one since we moved in. Perhaps this will be the year we splurg. If he puts one in, I'm going to ask him to build me a cold frame so that I can do some early seeds. We'll many possibilities and now I've finally got the time and energy to tackle these projects.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Rare Treat

This was one busy weekend! Saturday morning started with me getting my hair done and then going with the guys to Home Depot to get untreated wood for my pyramid garden boxes.

Then after hubby got the bottom portion of the box built and his tools stowed away he and the boys went off to a sleep over leaving me home all alone. How nice was that?

After they headed out the door I found myself at a loss for something to do. Was contemplating ordering in some late dinner but decided that would be wasteful I just pulled some ingredients out of the fridge and created a caramelized onion-mushroom tart while I watched Sex and The City. Such a treat! After the movie was over I put in another one. When that was done I settled into bed to read a few chapters of a book. A sleepy yawn or two and out went the light.

Waking up at 9 am this morning to a nice quiet house. Only the songs for the robins outside. It was wonderful to see the sun shining. A very nice treat! I got a cup of coffee and a magazine and headed out to the deck to sit and enjoy the last little bit of peace.

The boys were home about an hour after I got up. Their own brand of chaos spilling into the front hall. Sleeping bags, pillows, shoes, coats and stories of their sleepover. The rest of the day was spent chasing them about. Entertaining them, feeding them and keeping them out of trouble.

We poured them into bed before 7 pm and the house has been silent every since. My pyramid garden box is complete and awaiting the soil. We will be making a trip to Arnts either tomorrow or Tuesday and hopefully they'll bring the soil on a dry day so I've got a chance to get it around to the back yard and installed in the box before the rain washes it down the driveway. Once the boxes are filled then I'll be hitting a few garden places in search of vegetable plants and some prime strawberry plants. I'll also put in my herb garden at the same time.

Tomorrow is promising not to be a fun day. Hopefully I'll have an answer to why my stomach has been so upset.

An update on outdoor kitty: Apparently not just outdoor kitty (feral) but also mommy kitty. She's had a litter about 12 weeks ago. Now she's got three adorable fluffy kittens. I could have sworn she had more but perhaps 3 is all that is left of her litter. They have been sited tumbling about on my neighbours back lawn. They are super cute but sad that unless someone adopts them now they will be just as wild as their parents. I understand my neighbour is selling their house so that means that they will be getting an eviction notice.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Update: Been injured since March 16th after completing a 16K long run in my usual predicted time at a pace of 7:20km. Started seeing Dr. P about 9 weeks ago. To date I've been able to walk without pain even up an incline. Stand without any pain. Balance on right leg with only feeling uncomfortable and now I'm back to reconditioning.

Been putting in 2-3 pool runs a week and trying a trot on the treadmill just as often. I've gotten up to 20 mins running just below a 5K race pace without too much discomfort. It was time to take it to the road. My assignment after my first 3-4 treatments was to run a block, roughly 1 km. The first time I tried it I didn't get beyond my neighbour's driveway. I was destroyed.

Yesterday I tied up my shoes and popped on my Garmin (wanted to measure distance gain before onset of pain) and headed out with the that perfect sense of dread. I started out a little stiff and warmed up then felt pretty good. Was almost tempted to go further until I got halfway through the run (around the block) and started to feel the niggle. Decided to shelve the runner's ego whispering hoarsely that I could go further. I did the block. I survived without actual pain. I stretched, cooled down and showered. The rest of the night I had only a faint pulling sensation whenever I moved the leg.

My new assignment is to attempt a block and a half. Use some intervals if necessary and only run on the road. No sidewalks allowed any more. Icing after the run even if I'm not aching. Great! Cause you know I like icing so much *snort*

Still at least I have something to look forward too. When I'm back my new motto will be "I run because I can" and don't you think for a minute that I'm going to take it for granted.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Trip to Carrot Town

Left early for the city and our shopping trip. A nice drive in. Got a parking spot in a great spot. Hubby took the kids to the book store and to the specialty candy store on the Danforth so that I could do the shopping unimpeded by kid-matters.

It was nice. Not too crowded. The produce section was in the midst of being restocked for the weekend so I was able to grab right out of the boxes. Fresh! Nice! No strawberries though. Darn, I was really hoping to grab up a couple of containers. Been eating them like candy in the last week because they don't upset my stomach like most other fruit.

Got some deals and stocked up on the veg. I looked in on the meats and I have to say I wasn't all that impressed. Expensive and really not all that much more to offer than what I'd find termed "free-from" at Superstore. So I didn't pick up any meat, milk or cheese. I can get that here. Which suits me fine as I can transport it safely home without fear of spoilage.

I was headed for the check out when hubby and the boys reappeared. I had just finished paying and watching them bag my purchase (a nice bonus I must add) I looked down and there is L. with the largest red lollipop I've ever seen. Literally bigger than his face. Ironic, no doubt.

We packed the stuff into the car and headed to Ikea (no problem since nothing I purchased would spoil). We let the boys play in the play area. OMG this is so nice. They get checked in. It's pretty elaborate. No real chance of anyone walking off with your kid since they actually require a signature check from the checking out adult. You're given a pager should they need to call you back. You've got 40 mins to shop without having to entertain a child. It was like a date night!

I went to pick up some glass serving bowls and look for some patio stuff. Hubby was looking for a child's table for the kid's computer. We didn't wind up getting it or the kid's chairs because they were out of stock. No matter. I did come home with the bowls and a nice rack to hang pots of herbs in the dining room so that I can grow them year round. I never bothered to do this before because there was nothing to put the pots on so that they could get as much natural light as possible. They will also be high enough up so that they are not of any interest to the boys. *JOY*

On our way home we stopped and had a late lunch. Once we got home and got the veg/fruit put away we pretty much fizzled out. Rain really started up and our energy drained. Dinner tonight might just be a sandwich. None of us are at all hungry.
Almost filled my dining room table. Lots a great stuff here. I finally found whole Spelt berries *bliss* A really big bag of Adzuki beans and a mother-lov'n jar of unprocessed Ontario Honey. Got some great bread on sale and a huge bag of basil and some of my favourite sunflower sprouts. I'm so tempted to make a veggie lasagna this week. I had a righteous coupon for the cereal thought we'd experiment. Along the back of the pile I've got two large bags of potatoes (yellow and red). Sweet potatoes, romaine, carrots and pears. E. was upset that I didn't hide the star wars guy in the kale again *giggle*

I still have a stash of squash, beets, parsnips and onions. There was no need to pick that stuff up. Next time I'll probably be in the mood for zucchini again. Got too much of it a few weeks back and sorta spoiled my appetite for it. I think I'll get daikon, sprouts, some nori and bok choy and do a whole asian cuisine theme for a week. Been thinking of making sushi again. Would make for an excellent long weekend nosh.

Ok, time to get to work and churn out some spreadsheets :) Going to make a pot of tea and settle in to get the job done so I can go to bed early and read a few chapters of a rapid read book. I've only got 'till Tuesday to get it back before I get charged a buck a day. It's not worth a buck a day fine. But a nice chicklit read anyway.

Going to The Big Carrot

Well I feel like something that got scraped off the bottom of a shoe. gahhhhhh

I was supposed to go and meet up with my gym buddy and do some interval training with her today. I was all excited about getting back into my running groove as my hip feels loose this week. Then the other day I started to feel lousy. Sore throat. Sinuses a real mess. Yesterday, mildly feverish and achy. Stuffed up with a runny nose (yes odd combo, eh?). Claritin and Benadryl had no effect. So that must mean that I've got a stupid spring cold. No doubt the same thing L. has been suffering from this last week.

I still feel crappy but I don't care. I'm making the trek into the city to shop. My fridge is bare and I'm craving some fresh veg. I'm also bringing my cooler packed with ice packs. I'm going to bring home some meat and dairy, as well. Well, I'll do that if the price is right or if it's something I can't get here. Like organic lamb. Could you imagine?

I will update later this afternoon with pictures of the bounty. Tonight is a work night. I've got lots to churn out so that means I've got to have every thing else done early. Hoping that hot tea will help make the night go by a little easier.

Ok, now I've got to go and put in a load of laundry, shower a layer of yuck off me and get the fridge cleaned out. Looking forward to a change of scene and society today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Holy Windy!

E., L. and I are a bunch of sniffling, sneezing, runny-nosed messes. The last few days of constant wind have really stirred up the pollen. I'm hoping the rain really dampens the air-borne allergy thing.

What a busy day! First blood test (yep, again. I'm starting to look like a pin cushion) then to the gym for two hours of running on the treadmill. Would have gone the distance today cause I was in the zone but then my partner showed up and our talking kept me from the pace that I really wanted to run at so I just slowed to a elevated walk.

Then we did the track. As we walked and talked we discussed learning to run and got my friend to run along with me on the track. She's going to be a great runner, you can just tell she really enjoys it. She lives in Bowmanville and doesn't have the luxury of a steady babysitter so clinics are pretty much out for her. I offered to help her get started. So on Friday I'll bring my Garmin and we'll start some interval training. Oddly enough I got the thumbs up from Dr. P. So long as it's a slower, steadier pace (of course he doesn't know that I totally turned up the heat on the treadmill today...shhhh don't tell him!). No hurdles allowed *giggle* Since these are bound to be short workouts we're going to do our cross training on those days too. The walking lunges have actually helped me.

Spent an hour in the park with a secret cup of coffee. Shhhhhhh. Watching the kids play and getting completely windblown. Both boys were a bit lethargic but gave the park the real college try. It wasn't hard to lure them away today. Only so much you can do with your eyes half shut against the blowing sand. Though the whole time I was there it just seemed so peaceful and quiet. Blue skies and fluffy clouds and hot sun against the chilly wind. Very pretty.

Still mulling over what to do about my gardens. Was staring out the window through the rain wondering what would work. I think I've got a strategy thanks to my friend Laura. It may just be worth trying. Stay tuned. I will post before and after pictures of the make-over.

Nothing eventful going on. My stomach has been better but then double the dose of meds has helped more than my diet. No pictures but breakfast was some organic granola & heirloom grain cereal (mixed) and lunch was ham and tomato on sprouted wheat bread with half a banana (shared with E) and some strawberries. I did manage to find two of the most fabulous tasting organic strawberries at the Superstore two days ago. Cheap too I might add. Shame they are so hit and miss with their supplies of organic produce.

Going into the big smoke on the weekend to shop at the Big Carrot. Very much looking forward to that. Besides that life is pretty quiet here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Me and My Big Ideas

Yeah, that's about it. Today I woke up and looked out the window. Ahhh beautiful. Swung my feet over the edge of the bed and my butt, quads and calves said "oh no you don't!" and that was the end of my gym aspirations for the day.

After breakfast with the daydreams of gardening from the day before I decided that I'd venture out and start digging around in the beds that had been neglected for a long time.

Now I remember why they had been neglected. I won't go into specifics (as to save my marriage) but let's just say that it's going to require a lot of brute strength, money and time to rip that garden bed out and build it up properly.

By the time I had thrown in the trowel (ha good pun) I was so thoroughly frustrated with my lack of progress that I could have kicked the gardening tools over the fence and taught my kids all new "mommy" words.

It's planning to rain all weekend but between us....I'm still going to be hacking away back there between rain clouds. My back yard is officially an embarrassment. Now don't get me wrong. My husband knows it is in sorry shape too. He's been working on the deck and other projects for the last two years so we both agreed that when all of those projects were completed we'd focus on the landscaping. Well that time has come in spades.

The second source of frustration is "outdoor kitty". This mangy flee bitten kitty who is completely wild, born and raised by mother nature. Has taken a liking to my patio furniture and likes to sleep on the loveseat with his muddy paws and flee droppings. Yuck I'm tempted to wrap my cushions in tinfoil to get him to bugger off.

I love cats, really I do. I just hate having to wash my cushions endlessly. Especially for a kitty who would mess me up rather than let me scratch him behind the ear.

No feral kitty love here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Clouds Part

Well not so much. April apparently was the second driest April in a century of recorded temps and precipitation. Great running weather and I missed it.

It's been a very odd month for me with the injury and the stomach issues. Now my 40th isn't until next month but it seems my warranty has expired early. Anything that can go

I haven't been blogging because I haven't wanted to take pictures of the food that I've been getting bye on. Nothing inspiring. Nothing fun. Nothing that I've been craving which is everything I can't have. Now I totally understand why diabetics cheat on their diets. Especially when all the fun stuff is so bad and made badly to boot.

I'm off to the gym again this morning. I've been seeing great strides in my stride. It started with a trial run a few weeks back where literally I only made it to the end of my neighbours driveway. Then two weeks ago I was able to accomplish a 5 minute trot while doing the treadmills with a friend. Last week I managed 12 minutes then 20 minutes. Each attempt stretches out longer and longer with fewer feelings of discomfort. I honestly understand the true scope of how an injury hurts a runner. It's not just about the physical. The mental is worse.

Yesterday on my way to a birthday party there were runners everywhere. All suited up with fuel belts loaded with gels and power drinks. You could tell they were doing their long runs. All in preparation for the marathon. I thought it would kill me seeing all of them. I wanted to run with them. I was thinking of going down to the race and cheering on my club mates but I'm not sure that I'd be able to keep from being emotional. I'm envious as all stink but it wouldn't be envy that would surface. More disappointment. I think instead I'll send my love in an email to my friends and then treat myself to a nice diversion that day.