Monday, January 31, 2011

Well Endowed

When my running gets a bit stale I like to change the venue. I have been working at UBC and thus I have been able to run in the endowment lands. I am feeling rejuvenated!

Today I ran 30 minutes in total and followed my running workout with a pull set in the pool. I have no pain in my foot and I am not even limping. My legs were a bit tired from a crazy night of dancing on Saturday night and a hard 500 meters of kick in the pool yesterday. Generally I felt really good and bit antsy to run hard. I am still taking it slowly and trying to improve my fitness by combining different modes of exercise to ease pressure on my foot.

The training is going slowly but I am confident in my plan. I am easing along so that I do not get a training induced depression or further injury. I am doing drills to maintain my strength and weights to improve my physique. I am also eating a great deal of food to maintain my weight and prevent injury. I am excited!

I have been a bit fired up lately about many different things. I have a certain policy with my blog that I will not write on certain subjects. I will not write about anything connected with work besides that I am fortunate enough to work in one of the most dynamic and amazing health care professions in existence. I am an occupational therapist!

For those who do not know what an Occupational Therapist is, I will explain. We are concerned with getting people who are sick back to the activities that they have to do. Much of my work is concerned with ensuring people are safe to go home from hospital. For instance; Grandma lives alone in an apartment. She will have to bathe by herself and will be preparing her own meals. I will meet your grandma and within a few minutes of meeting her I will have an inkling that she has a bit of dementia or delirium going on. I will do a cognitive assessment to show that grandma is going to burn the house down if she goes home alone. I also noticed she cannot dress herself without falling over. I will tell the doctors that Grandma should have blood work done for a delirium or a complete assessment for dementia and that at her current functional status is unsafe to go home alone. I have just saved your grandma's life. To summarize, Occupational Therapists are the safety net in the hospital.

I am an Occupational Therapist and I am concerned with how you complete the activities that give your life meaning. You may mistake me for a physiotherapist but I am not. Grandma may be able to walk around the block but if she cannot remember where she is than she is kind of screwed. I make sure she will know where she is. I am not a nurse. I do not wipe grandma's bum, I ensure that she can do it herself when she is discharged. I am not a doctor. I still care for your grandma when her temperature has improved and her hemoglobin levels are within normal range. I will actually talk to your grandma when she is in hospital and hear what she tells me in response.

I am very proud to be an Occupational Therapist. I am essential to your health care team. I am client centered and my biggest concern is ensuring patients are discharged safely and able to do what they need to survive. Ensure when Grandma is in the hospital you talk to your Occupational Therapist. If you are concerned about her memory, her ability to manage at home, her ability to eat safely or manage her life then ask to talk to an Occupational Therapist. We may just save Grandma's life.

Happy Training!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old is New

I ran three days in a row!

Today I ran my first workout since June. This effort pales in comparison to what I have run in the past but it was a good start. I am aiming over the next few weeks to build a bit of endurance and gain some of my speed back. I want to get some fitness under my belt before getting into workouts.

My workout today was a 35 minute warm up followed by full drills and strides. I ran 6 strides in total and one short (300 meters?) stretch at perceived race pace. It felt really good to run fast again and I felt in many ways that I had not taken any time off. I feel stronger than I felt this time last year although I have lost most of my fitness. My time spent in the gym working very hard on my core strength and upper body will provide a little extra speed this summer. I want to maintain this strength and the extra muscle into the spring and summer.

I think I am ready to ease my way back into training. My head has been cleared and I am even starting to dream about running again. It is a sure sign I am ready to train when I start to dream about running and imagine the feeling of running a great race. For the last few months before my injury got really bad I had stopped dreaming of the perfect race. My dreams were of other things like finding a rich husband, winning the lottery or starring on Broadway. My dreams are still filled with pipe dreams and a bit of running too.

With the days getting longer and summer coming up I am getting excited to get my beach body and fitness. Bring on the summer heat and fun. I will be ready!

Things I love

VANCOUVER!! As I was running on some of my favorite trails in Stanley Park today with a thin long sleeve shirt on I thought of all the places in Canada that are under snow right now. What a glorious city I live in! The daffodils are almost up and starting to bud outside my apartment building. They are in the flower bed below the palm tree. Not kidding!

Happy Training!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Training Again

I feel like an athlete again.

Today I have been working out for around 2 hours. A 50 minute run in the morning and a 70 minute hard swim this afternoon. If I have the energy to do a core workout later I will have a great day of training under my belt. This would be the first step to getting back into shape to be able to race again.

I am starting to get into a bit of a rhythm with my training. I have had a few false starts and I am a bit anxious that my foot is going to flare up again. I would like to get consistent with running before I start speed work but I also have to be healthy before I can get consistent. Although I want to run less and try to get more out of each workout I also realize that I need to run consecutive days to gain a training effect. I am going to attempt a run tomorrow. I will see if my foot can withstand the pounding.

I was listening to This American Life which can now be heard on CBC radio. It is my favorite radio show. There was a segment talking about happiness and the characteristics that happy people share. The main unifying tendency was for happy individuals to have goals to accomplish. I had a goal when I was not running, to get a boy friend. That did not work. Now that I am thinking of running again I am starting to feel a bit more focused and lighter. I am nervous for my first workout and to tempo again but I am happy to have something to look forward to. Goals, they are a good thing!

Happy Training!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Ready

I went running yesterday and my foot is not sore today.

I am preparing to get ready to try and get into running again. I am tying up some loose ends and preparing a life schedule that will enable me to train and have a life outside of sport. This might be difficult.

I am a bit of a yes man. I am naturally curious and very active. If someone suggests something I am prone to say 'can I come too?' or 'can I help?' I like to help and thus I have a list of commitments that limit my ability to actually participate in a lot of things that I find really fun. This winter I am wanting to do a lot of things and especially ski! So I have a plan.

Now that my foot is healing and I am not living in chronic pain I have motivation to train again. I must also acknowledge that my experiment to be more mainstream gay has not enabled me to find a boyfriend. Thus I am content that I tried to do something that I do not necessarily love and will go back to something that I actually love. I am motivated to run again.

I am motivated to run with a few provisions. I want to ski. I will not start training until ski season is over. I do not want to be injured so I will train with a reduced schedule. I plan to run an interval workout, a tempo run and a long run every week. All other run training will be on an adhoc basis. I want to keep some contact with the homos and continue to go out and explore non mainstream gay venues and parties. I will not use running as an excuse not to socialize and make opportunities to meet eligible men. I do not want to be super skinny anymore. I will continue to lift weights and eat. I also plan on sticking to racing no longer than 10 km in the next year. I may try some track this summer if I am in the mood!

For the next year I want to maintain my running ability without killing myself trying to do it. I need a break but I still want to be fast. I do not want to be a plodder. I will continue to maintain my fitness by cross training. I may try swimming with the Vancouver Open Water Swim Association this summer as well.

I have a few plans in my mind of what I want my running to look like in the next few years. With the Canadian Cross Country Championships coming to Vancouver for the next few years I have a keen interest in keeping fit so to participate. If I have a good summer I may change my training plans in the fall to gain the necessary fitness to compete at Nationals. Although I do not particularly enjoy racing cross country there is a certain nostalgia that keeps me coming back to the cold grueling racing. In the distant future I will run a marathon. Marathon scares the crap out of me and I will need a very strong support network, i.e. boyfriend, to help me through this monster. I do not think it is something I can do on my own, like most of my training. The thought of arriving alone in my dark and cold apartment after a long training day is 100 percent depressing. I will need someone to help me clean, cook and who will take care of me when I am on the verge of crumbling under the mileage.

I have a plan.

Happy Training!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Smile

I learned a valuable lesson last night. Smile!

As I have written previously, this time of year brings forth a mix of emotions. While most are celebrating the new year my family celebrates the life of my father who passed away 25 years ago today. With time and growth comes healing. Though I often think of what my life would be like had my dad not died prematurely I also have learned to enjoy my life.

New years eve is always difficult for me. I want to celebrate and enjoy myself and join the raucous partying that accompanies ringing in of the new year. I also have a keen sense of guilt during this time of year because I ought to never forget my father and continue to memorialize him in my life. This year I thought about my dad while I was out having fun and also worked on something new, smiling. I worked on letting go of my dad and the guilt associated with having fun on this crazy night. I just had fun.

My major goal of the night was to smile. Not a half smile but a full blown goofy smile! The effect of smiling is incredible! Every time I smiled it seemed to catch the attention of a man. Smiling became an invitation for someone to make eye contact and chat. When I thought about my goal I would instantly force a smile which would make me laugh and smile more. I would get a bit giddy and my spirits would rise. People seemed engaged and willing to reach out and connect. An open and free attitude created positive energy. I discovered the power of a simple smile!

Now that it is 2011 I want to think of some goals for this year. Running goals are ambiguous at this time. I was looking over some old race information and photos the other night and I got a bit of an urge to start training. With the days getting longer there is some incentive to get out on the trails, although my foot is still sore. Things continue to go well. Maybe my 2011 goal should be to smile!

Happy Training!