Owning It.

I am still riding the high from my race. I feel like a little hypocrite though. I said many times to many people, that I wasn’t going to ever enter a race and I really thought I wouldn’t. It’s not that I’m not a competitive person – I certainly am, and I’m sure others would agree.  I just never felt very competitive in an athletic sense.  Part of the reason I never considered a race is because I always thought that’s just why people run – to train for something.  I have never felt that I needed a race as an end-goal to run. I’ve always been pretty disciplined and to keep things interesting, I started setting little goals – run 5 km, get up to 7 km, now do 10 km, etc. My friends would also try to change my mind but I was pretty stubborn – I think I wanted to be that one person who didn’t run a race, I don’t know.  I’m also not a person who likes to run with a group.  One or two people, sure I’ve done that and it’s fun; but running with a few hundred strangers?  Yeah, no thanks.

I discovered early on that I just like going for a run to clear my head, to get some exercise and to keep fit. But then I started getting hurt and quickly learned  that in order to keep running and avoid injury I had to do some other kind of cross-training.  Over the past few months I started doing more weights at home, and especially weighted quad sets, in order to get stronger legs.  The extra little bit has started to pay off –  I am running a little faster, I recover more quickly and have had less injuries.

I’m going to own that hypocrisy now. I kind of, sort of really liked running with all those people.  I thought it was pretty cool that there were spectators along the route ringing cowbells and encouraging us.  It was even inspiring to see the half-marathoners encouraging us as we approached the last kilometer of the 5k race.  “You’re almost there! Run! Run!”  I’m getting chills now just thinking about it. I thought that was pretty amazing.

And let’s be real here – I’ve had three children and weigh 20 lbs more than I did the day I got married.  Pregnancy and childbirth change a woman’s body, more than I ever realized.  While I would love to be the weight I was on my wedding day, the way my body shape has changed, I would probably look really unhealthy and anorexic.  A more realistic goal was to eventually get down to my last pre-pregnancy weight.  That has proven to be more difficult than I first imagined and I’m not even sure it’s ever going to happen.  So the next goal I set was to fit into a particular pair of jeans that I was wearing before I got pregnant with my third child.  I have tried to ignore the scale (so much easier said than done), but when there’s one a few feet from my office, it gets hard.

Over the past several weeks I have a number of patients (all women, and all fairly new moms) comment on how fit I’ve been looking and I’ve heard several times, “Wow, doc, have you lost weight?”  Usually I reply with a quick and embarrassed,  “Oh, gee, thank you”, and ask what brings them in in the hopes of redirecting.  More often than not, my question gets ignored and I am asked how I do it, how do I find the time with work and having 3 children? While I really try not to spend the first few minutes of their appointment discussing myself, I think it’s important for some patients to hear this.  My first answer is always that I have a stay-at-home-baby-daddy.  Without his support and encouragement and his sacrifice (though he would never call it that) to stay home with the kids, a lot of things might be different.  (I can’t imagine what pick ups and drop offs would be like if we both worked, not to mention finding the time to exercise?!) The second part of my answer is that I run. It’s the purest form of exercise I have ever done and it’s quick and cheap.  I run home from work at least once, maybe twice a week; husband and I alternate running on the weekend. If I go on Saturday, he goes Sunday or vice versa.  Then I always get asked if I diet. The answer is always no.  We try to eat healthy during the week with salads, veggies and fish or chicken but we often splurge on the weekend with steaks and other fun foods (ie chicken wings, pizza, fries, beer and wine).  I know what my weaknesses are and its primarily dessert.  We don’t have dessert after dinner anymore.  I might have something sweet after lunch at work but I justify that with a run home afterwards.  So basically what I tell patients is that I run so that I can still eat what I want.  Now, I realize that the majority of people can’t do that, so I continue by saying that eating healthy, well-balanced, portion-controlled meals and having some form of daily exercise (even if it’s walking or taking the stairs instead of the elevator) can go a long way to keeping fit and staying healthy.  Fad diets never seem to work long-term. They can be taxing on one’s system and the rigidity of some of these diets just can’t be sustained over time.

I’m fortunate enough that I’ve never had to resort to a diet, unless cutting back on dessert is dieting. For me, running works and for now I’m going to stick with it.  And maybe I’ll run a few races a year for fun because why not?  My ultimate goal (and yes, I realize it’s a bit shallow) has always been to wear my favorite jeans again.  Despite what the scale may say, I have reached that goal. And running got me there.

 

 

 

No Going Back Now.

Um…   Shit just got real, yo!

I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve run 5km, but suddenly I feel like “Oh my God, what if I can’t finish?”

I never ran track or took part in any group/team sports.  I did some dance and ballet as a kid and played the piano, that’s about it.  I remember getting really nervous before a piano recital or exam (I made it to grade 11 Royal Conservatory).  Before most exams in university and medical school I would need a bathroom visit at least once or twice before walking into the examination room.  My running friends say they have “tummy” issues all the time before a race and I’ve suggested they take an Immodium the night before a race to calm the nervous bowel.  I have no idea if that’s going to happen to me. Should I take one just in case?

I’ve been getting emails daily, sometimes twice a day, from the race coordinators and every time I see it in my inbox, my heart skips a beat.  Why am I doing this?!  I’ve got nothing to prove.  Is it going to be fun or am I going to be a ball of nerves? I have no idea what to expect!

Gah!

I just want to wake up and have it be March 2.

A Great Start

I mentioned previously that I joined another blogger in a 1000km running challenge. We are going to try to run 1000km in 2015. Breaking that down means that I would have to average about 80km per month.  That seemed a lot to me, especially with the on and off injuries I had in 2013.

Well let me say that January has been a fantastic month for running.  I have incorporated weighted quad sets (20 lbs) on the off days and have noticed a huge difference in the strength of my legs.  The knee doesn’t ache anymore and the shin splints are gone.  My speed has improved as well.

The first half of January saw me running a series of 5km runs (from work to home).  One of my goals this year was to run 5km in 30 minutes. I haven’t quite gotten there yet but the last few 5km runs I have broken my own personal best record twice, in the same week!

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I’ve only done two long slow distance runs this month.  The first was the 11.1 km a few weeks ago.  Yesterday was the second.  My online running group suggested that I try to incorporate one LSD per week to help me reach my goal of the sub-30 minute 5km. I didn’t tell them this but one of my other goals for the year is to run a half-marathon distance.  Again, I’m not signing up for any races so there isn’t really a time constraint, other than I have 11 months to reach this distance.

So while the kids and I were visiting my in-laws, I took advantage of the extra childcare and set out on a long run in a city that isn’t all that familiar to me.  I mapped out a 10km route but got a bit distracted by the scenery (million dollar homes along the waterfront).  It was really cold and my cheeks were frozen by the half-way point.  I wanted to quit several times.  I needed a few extra walk breaks, not for my legs, but for my breathing and thank goodness for traffic lights.  The ability to catch my breath made it easier to keep going.  It was a very mentally challenging experience and one I am proud of accomplishing.

photo(32)That final run of January took me very close to 80 km.  Didn’t quite make it but that’s okay.  I’m just happy I can run pain-free again.

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Full Steam Ahead to 2015.

Is it just me or did the last 365 days fly by?

Seriously! I blinked and it’s December 31st.  Where has the time gone?

It was an eventful year.  I started the year on maternity leave.  I struggled with one running injury after another and worried I might never run again.  Then I ran 10 km for the first time and managed to repeat that feat at least three more times thereafter. I shaved off almost a minute from my average running speed and ran almost 630 km this year.  WOW!

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I lost two patients to cancer, discovered another area of medicine I’d like to do more of in the future and welcomed 15 new babies to the practice.

I turned 40 and celebrated in style.

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I watched my daughter lose her first tooth and wiped away brave tears as she got her first cast.

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Our family lost a beloved pet (on the left) but we have another beauty amongst us (on the right) who still needs our love and affection more than ever now.

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I am blessed with beautiful friends and family who have consistently been there for me and have supported me this year. I am grateful to them (you know who you are) and am so very fortunate to have you in my life.

My husband is my knight in shining armor. We had so many amazing adventures this year; I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.

IMG_9920 IMG_9830 IMG_9697 IMG_1408 IMG_2961 IMG_3292IMG_3126IMG_1409 And finally to my readers and followers:  thank you for reading and contributing.  I look forward to another great year in the blogosphere!

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