Monday, August 26, 2013

A summer read

How can my summer vacation be over?

Where did August go? It seems it was just a few weeks ago that B was turning 7 and we were looking ahead at a few camping trips.  It seemed that it would never get dark at night, and the mornings were bright from 4am.  Now it is dark at 6am, and the sun is going down at 8:15pm.  Fall is rapidly approaching.

Since I really should be chasing my kids, feeding them, and getting out of the house in a timely manner, I will keep this one short.

I figured since my last book counts as a thriller, it was time to jump back in to some less "literary" choices and go back to read some thriller/action books I have been stacking on my table for when the right mood hit.

This delivered a fast paced, action driven book.  I can't say it was over the top intellectual, but it was entertaining in the same way that reading a Nora Roberts book is.  The story is well crafted, Reacher is an interesting character, the good guys win and he hits the road again.  You kind of know what to expect, and there is worth in it.   Some days, that is just perfect.  Much like when summer is wrapping up, your mind is distracted with school starting again, and your errand list seems to be a mile long.  A light, entertaining novel is the perfect antidote!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

11.... not wait.. that is 10 weeks in

I just completed the last "run" of week 10.  I have now officially departed from the training schedule that I started out with and am going to blaze my own path from here.  I found that after week 9, the training went crazy (as I may have mentioned in one of my last posts) and I actually found it really alienating - I hit a bit of a mental wall when I considered running 7/2 min intervals to 10/1 min intervals one day, to 20/2 the next.  I really found it intimidating.

Since I am training against myself, and my own goals, I talked to a few fellow joggers and asked them what they did back in the day when they were training.  It seems, I am going to go with what works for me.  So I took a week off (work was really busy and I was trying to get out early on the Friday so I could join up with my boys on the Sunshine Coast) and then got back to it again this week.  I was worried - I was half paranoid that after a week off, I would lose some of the momentum that I had gained.  I got lucky - after a week, I could still run 7/2 mins.  PHEW.  Tuesday's run wasn't so fast, but Thursday and this morning have been much better.  It was a hurdle to get through.

A dear friend was in town this week, and we ran/walked together for the last two runs and it was really cool.  After so many times solo, it was really nice to have company on a run at 5:30 am in the morning. Crazy girl!  She also goes at this time - it is the time that works when you work full-time have a family. It made me appreciate "training".  She has been doing this now for a year and a half, and I can't wait to be faster, and able to go longer distances.  Ultimately I would be happy to be able to do a 10km within 80 minutes or less.  Currently, I am at about 7 km in 68-70 minutes.

The other thing about running with someone, that is also a mental hurdle for me.  I feel self conscious about my pace.  I am not speedy, but I am consistent.  Slowly, I am getting there.  Bit by bit, I am getting faster.  She couldn't quite run circles around me (okay maybe a few loops there and back), and I am pretty damn proud of her journey and where she has gotten herself.  I appreciate that she held back a bit to stick with me.  It meant a lot.  It was good to do my normal route, and then this morning we ran out at Pitt Lake.  I am glad I have never done this one on my own, and it was great to share it with her.  It was a really pretty run.  We ran in to some fishermen - apparently there are bass in the slew!   Our friendship has spanned many years and many different experiences and it is cool it now also includes our physical fitness journey as well.  Crazy that at 40 we are running together and at 16 we did everything we could to avoid physical activity.  We both shook our heads at this memory.  If only.

Time.  Training.  Consistency.

It really does come down to that.  First time being raining on this morning in all the 10 weeks I have been going out!  This has been a pretty impressive summer.  I have been truly spoiled and I have been thinking about what next - definitely considering a treadmill since I don't see heading to the gym in the morning, or a longer lunch hour happening anytime soon.

Hard to believe 10 weeks ago I could only run 1 minute.  Now I can run 8 minutes, and walk 2, and be out there for about 60 mins.  It is all about putting one foot in the front of the next, again and again.  I hope to do a few 5kms this fall - I would like to do one of the colour runs, and then the night run in November.  I think this has been a great way to embrace my 40th year.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A crazy twist.

What a crazy thriller.  I have never read a book quite like this.  It takes what you are thinking and twists it on it's head, a few times.

Not what I expected, at ALL.

Well worth a read.  I had to tell Ken all about it since it was just such a different book.  Flynn deserves kudos for coming up with a plot and characters like this since my brain certainly doesn't work like this.   Like the Sixth Sense, I am not really going to give away much more of this because of the twists in this plot.

Of course, now that I have read a book like this again, I have a whole pile of summer thrillers that I will read next.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Major's Last Stand

This was a lovely read.  One of those cup of tea at your elbow and just kick back and enjoy a good book with some lovely repartee.

This is a story set in England - equally about manners and manors, as it is about relationships - parents and kids, new lovers, old lovers.

There are some great one liners in this book, and Major Pettigrew is a great character himself.  It was neat watching him fall in love again as a 67 year old with a Pakistani widow that unexpected steals his heart.  It is a lovely tale.  I wasn't so sure in the beginning, but the prose certainly won me over.

Enjoy this one.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

9 weeks

This morning, I finished off week 9 of my "learn to walk/run 10km" journey.  It almost felt like a first time getting out there - it was really hard to get up the motivation, get my gear on, and leave the house.  I am not sure if it was the change in the weather (a little cooler, which should have been motivating) or it just being another long week at work, but I was a slug.  Once I got halfway through my run, things got a little easier, and by the end, I was pretty satisfied.  You do feel better once you have the exercise done for the day - anything else is a bonus.

This week was run 7 mins, and walk 2 mins.  Next week, it jumps to run 10 mins and walk a minute.  See, I am not so sure about how I am supposed to get up to 10km per run in the next 4 weeks (13 week program) when I am running between 5.5 - 6.5 km per time out, and the runs shorten in length in the next few weeks.  Maybe most people out there get moving faster, but I am staying more at the same pace and building on my endurance.  I did a 9 minute segment today, so I know I can do 9... so I guess I started to feel better in my run today when I decided that I would modify week 10 if I need to, and realistically, even add time to my runs to make sure that I am slowly building up the distance I can cover in a shorter amount of time.

Between my walks and runs this week, I covered over 30 km!!! I think part of the reason it was tough today is that I undermined myself a bit yesterday and was trying on all sorts of clothes I have - ones that have never fit, ones that didn't really fit when I bought them, some hand me downs I got from a friend that lost weight last year... at the end of the day, my clothes are fitting better. Some of the ones I want to fit in to, I am not quite there yet.. but it is coming.  I do understand that slow is better - it is a lifestyle change I am after, not a quick drop of some weight and then it all comes back on as soon as I go back to my evil ways.  I can feel my legs getting stronger, and my endurance (and confidence) is growing.  Shirts are fitting better, and I think I am overall feeling better.

I love being able to run out of my door, and I am running beside the Fraser River along an amazing path within minutes.  This was one of the reasons I wanted to move back here, and I am so glad that I am doing it.  Physical exercise was a disconnect in my life, and I am getting I am working on it.  It is good for my head.  I am out and hitting the dykes at sunrise.  I have seen some amazing sunrises this summer.  When I think about my 40th year, I will think about the amazing weather this summer, getting active again, my kids getting older, a fabulous date with my hubby, (hopefully) some great camping trips, and just embracing this next decade.

It has helped to blog about running.  It was a hard one this morning.  I could have happily not gone out.   I felt so much better for having gone out, and for the cold water that was waiting for me.  I need to remember these moments - and hold on to them.  It is not easy to keep up motivation every day.  In August, we have a few camping trips planned, and I will work at keeping up with 3 runs a week.  I may even run on my camping trips.   This is unheard of.  I remember when I went on a canoeing trip with a dear friend, and she went for a run before we headed out to the lake - I thought she was nuts.  I think I understand why a little better now - especially since I have discovered I like to run first thing in the morning.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another surprising read

This book surprised me.  I liked it from the beginning, even if it wasn't the book that I expected it to.  Then, it got really good, and work was getting in the way of finishing the novel.  Then the end seemed to come and wrap up so fast!

This is a story of redemption, of love, of mothers and daughters, and of hope.  This is a good story.  I like how the author wove the present with the past, and how the threads of a life separate and then come back together again.  I cannot say that I always like the our heroine, Victoria, but I could certainly appreciate her.  I found the part with her baby and how she struggled with breastfeeding to bring back memories of my own struggles.  I am so glad to be beyond that now, but we very rarely ever discuss just how hard breastfeeding can actually be.  It may be natural, but learning how to do it is far from a natural gift!

I am glad that many of my favourite flowers have positive meanings (tulips, declaration of love, and red roses, love) for my wedding flowers.. I love my dahlias, dignity, and a few others.  It was certainly a different kind of book, and although the story moved towards a happy ending, I was glad for it, since it ultimately tied the pieces of the story together well.

It is hard to believe it is already August.  We did some pretty big yard work this year, pulled plants, moved some plants, cut some back, but we still have a wild yard.  It is nice to put down some roots, and  know we have time for things to change, grow, and evolve over time.  That is one thing I have learned since we moved here - everything doesn't happen at once.  I thought it would, that we had to everything done right away.. things wait.  Life moves on.  Other things become important.  Priorities shift.  All those buzz words to explain why I have four plants in their pots sitting out front, and the garden I cleared of yuccas now has a brand new crop growing in with the forget-me-nots that sprung up within a week of me clearing out the weeds.  Last year, I couldn't bear to pull out the yucca plants.  In a burst of energy, I pulled a bunch this year.  This is of course, before I learned just how determined these plants are.  They are growing everywhere.  So much for worrying about killing this plant.  It is back! As are the thistles.