Saturday, January 26, 2013

Moving Along

January 26, 2013
I'm quite pleased with my progress this month. Not including walking, I averaged about 9-10 hr/wk of various cardio-activities, which included a few work-outs but mostly concentration on maintaining proper form with a somewhat elevated heart rate. I spent more time pool running and biking and less with the elliptical and swimming. I found the elliptical was affecting my knee at times, and I occasionally got a sore shoulder with the swimming. Definitely don't want a cross-training injury! I had Lisa record me pool running so that Rick and I could take a look. Thanks to that, the pool running has allowed me to stay focused more on my form.  The bike has allowed me to best elevate my heart-rate. 
I also got in my 2+ hours of walking done on the weekends. I love getting the fresh cold air that I miss while being in the Gretzky Centre so much. Speaking of the Gretzky Centre, I will be living there this weekend with Micah being in a tournament. So glad it's only 1.1 km from home!
The best news is that I am running again!! Patricia started me a few days early and I had no complaints! We started with 2x1 min of running with walking between. I am now up to seven minutes total, now doing 2 minutes at a time. And, no I am not going crazy. We invested this time to recover, heal and properly strengthen the muscles to be used correctly; I am not going to mess it up and do too much, too soon. Sherri and Patricia have been amazing as Essential Physio. On Thursday, Rick came in to observe my physio session, and have a little meeting to discuss my progress and next steps. The three of them watched me run on the treadmill. They noticed a few other things that need correcting. I can't believe how these people can see things others cannot. A few weeks ago, Rob asked my about my right ankle. I had sprained it back in my hockey days and he could tell from across the room that it wasn't moving right. And when I was running, Patricia and Sherri noticed one of my shoulders was not right. Rick taped me running and I know I will benefit from watching it, as I did the pool running video. The best part was when Sherri checked my pelvis. After just a few days of a bit of running, the pelvis was going to be the determining factor. If it was shifting back, we would have been in trouble. BUT she was very pleased with it so we continue on!
I am constantly aware of my posture, positioning, core and glute muscles. The whole connection between the brain and muscles is quite interesting. I remember the first time they had me properly work my core. I'd been consistently doing ab work prior to that but abs and core are entirely different! The brain got the muscles going and it seems like I'm always doing something now...squeezing my glutes, relaxing my shoulders, not crossing my legs, keeping my weight on both legs while standing, etc. It makes it so much easier, knowing I can do these things while driving, changing a diaper, folding laundry or just sitting.  
So, the plan for the next month or so is to gradually increased the running. I'll stick to the treadmill so as to have level ground and use the mirror to correct my form. We'll beef up the workouts and keep up the good work we've been doing.
A neat part about my experience with my physiotherapy is the number of people - at the gym, other moms and runners, etc who have asked about my progress and stated that they have had lingering issues for quite some time. Whether you are a runner or not, getting to the bottom (pardon the pun, in my case) of an issue is a must. I think Essential Physiotherapy is going to see a rise in new patients. Makes sense that they are putting a "sports therapy" sign with the existing one!
Well, I'd better get to my 7 minute run.....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Proceeding with Caution

Thursday, January 24th will be eight weeks since I last ran. And on this day, Sherri and Patricia are going to observe me doing a short, trial run on the treadmill! The plan was to resume running once I was 90% and I'm almost there. Provided I continue to maintain an appropriate pelvic balance, I should be able to proceed with running. I've quite enjoyed the break: eating a bit differently, staying up later, having more energy to get projects and odd jobs complete, and enjoying the variety in cross-training. But I know my mind and body are finally on the same page to get back at it. Initially my body knew I needed the break more than my mind. Then once I stopped running, I knew my mind would benefit as well. There's no better time to be injured than after a successful season and over Christmas! Like I've said before, I'm usually pregnant again after a season; a baby on the way is a great distraction when your body is healing. But, worlds is not far enough away to have another baby, recover and train!

For those of you who've asked, here's what I've been doing.
At the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre - Mon, Wed & Fri 9:00 a.m. and Tues & Thurs 5:30 a.m.
- combination of swimming laps, pool running, elliptical, bike for 1.5-2 hours
- strength exercises, primarily lower body to strengthen quads, hamstrings, glute, etc.
At home - Sat & Sun
- bike 45 minutes
- walk 1-1.5 hours
- physio exercises, heat & ice to hip, stretching, etc.

I've really enjoyed the new early hours at the Gretzky so that I can get in some training before having to be back home to get the kids ready for school. And because I've been home more during the day, I've really enjoyed the quality time with Leah. Another great thing about the Gretzky and the childcare provision there, is the great group of regulars. Thanks, Mike, Dean and Lisa, and many others. It's great to support each other as we recover, maintain, or advance our fitness.

So, Rick and I will likely come up with a February to May plan and a May to August plan. For the first three months, we will likely focus on workouts on the bike, elliptical and pool while I get used to running again. Then, if all is well, we will decrease the cross training and ramp up the mileage and intensity with running in May to August, really focusing on the marathon.
My first race will likely be Around the Bay but we certainly won't be expecting the same outcome as last year. With my focus on a spring marathon at the time, it made sense to be in tip top form in March. But this year is different with Worlds being in August. We'll look to have more successful races in late spring/early summer. With having three kids, I seem to do ok, coming from behind! It's about putting in the work and being patient. I think I can handle that.
I look forward to training in the summer again. Early mornings to get in the km's and beat the heat really worked well for me. And the kids aren't in school so it's a bit easier.
In the meantime, I'll finish up those odd jobs, continue with the activities of life as mom of three, and look forward to what is to come. January to March is our birthday season so that will also keep me busy.

Just today, Wesley and Tara Korir, posted (see below) this Kenya Kids Foundation message, which lifted my spirits even higher. Like I've written before, I've always felt God gave me this gift of "Marathon Mom" for a reason, His reason. And I want to give back. It was great chatting further with Wesley and Tara about it in November. Jonathan and I support this amazing organization financially, and God-willing, we would like to make a trip to do even more. I would train at altitude and volunteer, Jonathan would put his many gifts to good use, and the kids would experience something they could never get in Canada.

Matthew 25:29 
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.
Matthew 25:40
When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!

Enjoy ....
Our main areas of focus will continue to be financing education, providing medical care, and helping families become more self sufficient through farming.
In addition to financial support for high school students, we hope to begin offering scholarships for post-secondary education. As a way of raising funds for these scholarships, we are hoping to find groups who would be interested in providing direct support for an individual studying in a particular field. For example, a group of teachers or nurses might agree to sponsor a student in an education or health care program. We plan to facilitate communication between these students and their sponsors, providing mentorship opportunities and perhaps leading to international hosting opportunities.
We plan to offer some exciting new programs for young children and students. This includes an early childhood education program during the week as well as a weekly children’s literacy program. On Saturdays and during holiday periods we will continue to have tutoring for high school students as well as tutoring in preparation for the Standard 8 KCPE exams. We also plan to improve computer literacy by providing computer training sessions and making computer equipment available for use at the Foundation office. We are hoping to raise sufficient funds to build a library/community centre to provide the space needed to deliver these expanded programs.
The first mission trip at the hospital was a success and we are looking forward to hosting medical students and other professionals again this year. A guest house with accommodation for 20 has recently been built nearby to allow us to host future medical teams and other volunteers.
We also plan to help more families lease farm land and provide farm inputs. This will provide work and income for these families, empowering them to become financially independent. Once again we thank you for your past support and invite you to join us in continuing to empower Kenyans. God bless you!

Seth is speaking with Mr. Gretzky. Another day in Brantford!
Micah's drawing. Note the Saucony symbol!

Essential Physio building behind me on Brant Ave. I do miss the old restaurant, Geds, that used to be there, but E.P is a good replacement.
My inspiration to start 2013. This entire family raced January 1st., including grandma who arrived from England the day before. Here they wait for dad's 10 km finish. And it was mom's birthday! Fun family! (Jonathan and Micah were to race but Micah was ill).
Leah steals the show at Inside Brant, our local Rogers show. What a big swig of water from the Eload bottle!
Skating at Harmony Square in Branford. Gotta love Leah in diapers and skates!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year

My last post was Dec 31, the last day of 2012.
Today is January 9, the first day at age 36.
2012 was an incredible year and I am so excited about 2013.

I am incredibly thankful for my accomplishments, and support from so many people, family members, and friends.
Thank you, Jonathan, Micah, Seth and Leah, for your love and inspiration.
Thank you, Rick, for your expertise as coach and manager.
Thank you, Eload, Saucony and Chariot, for your generous support.
Thank you, Brantford, for your encouragement!

In 2012 I had personal bests in each distance I raced.
Each time was a top 5 in Canada for the year, I believe.
Marathon 2:32:06 Apr 2012.
Half Marathon 1:14:02 June 2012.
30 km 1:47:03 Mar 2012.
10 km 34:08 Aug 2012.
8 km 27:43 Jan 2012.
5 km 16:32 July 2012.

Hope you enjoy the highlights of 2012. I sure did!

The hip is coming along. I am getting stronger each week. Likely won't start running until the end of January or early February. But that is fine. We are being wise and cautious and I'm staying fit with 90 min of cardio each day. We are starting to include workouts on the elliptical, then will start workouts with pool running.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Highlights of 2012

Winning the Around the Bay 30 km race in 1:47, a minute from the Canadian record.

Meeting Silvia Ruegger, Canadian marathon record holder at Athletes in Action dinner where she was guest speaker.

Travelling to Rotterdam for a shot at the Olympic standard. This picture was taken after Leah finished nursing, a week before I left.

Celebrating after our four personal best times at the Rotterdam Marathon. Way to go, Dylan, Rob and Lanni! The female winner of this race, Tiki Gelena went on to win the 2012 Olympic Gold!

A family trip to Ottawa where I ran the 10 km ...
...a few hours after Jonathan and the kids did the 2 km.

Winning the Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon in 74:02 ...

and seeing Stacey and Miss B. after!

Marathon Mom article in Canadian Running Magazine!

Preparing for STWM (plan B).

Supporting Brantford Tournament of Races.

Celebrating with STWM Race Director, Alan Brookes, and winner/marathon mom, Mary Davies.

Living this moment.

Being honoured. Check out the swelling in my left hip due to the glute mede pull!

Toughing it out to the end with Rejean by my side. Near personal best time.

Travelling to Japan with Rick and Team Canada to race in Chiba Ekiden relay.

So much support in Brantford. This picture was taken at City Hall, after they recognized me for my achievements.

Brant Sports Person of the 2012.