Saturday, 22 March 2014

Rising up to the Liebster Award Challenge

Thank you Michelle of for indulging me with the Liebster Award Challenge! I'm not exactly a new blogger, but I sure haven't been blogging for a long time, so that's kind of like new, right??  ;-)

Here are the details:

The Liebster is an award to help promote new bloggers. The rules are simple:

- Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog.
- Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
- Create a new set of questions for your nominees to answer.

And here are Michelle's questions for me!

Question 1: What is something you are very proud of? Why?

My tenacity. If my health challenges and my running have taught me anything, is that I've learned to be persistent, tenacious, determined.

I'm proud of my tenacity, bc it's what got me through the worst days of my health challenges, when my kidneys failed and I went to ER for evaluation and emergency dialysis. It got me through complications I had 6 months post-transplant, where there was the very real possibility I would lose that kidney transplant due to those complications.

When I made it through all those health challenges, I realized that, in the end, I could do anything I set my mind to. So I walked 100 km for Kidney March in 2010. Started running in 2011, when I could barely run 400 m, ever. I finally learned how to skate and ski this past winter. Things that I used to be scared to do, I'm no longer afraid to try.

And now I've run my first half marathon. And think about running my first marathon. And dream about running my first ultra. The best part is that, health permitting, I *know* I can do all those things, when I'm ready to go.

Question 2(a): When (and why) did you start running?

After 3 incredible Stampede breakfasts during Stampede week, I realized that I really was not going to be able to lose any more post-baby weight unless I did a little bit more than just walking. So I started joining the Run Club at the Eau Claire Running Room that very week.

Question 2(b): When (and why) did you start blogging?

The very first time I blogged was way back in 2001, with the very cute title of "Ladybug's Garden". Of course it was not a running blog back then, but it was a way for my hubby (then boyfriend/fiance) to keep up on my doings and my thoughts in Calgary while he moved away to work in San Diego. Yep, we were in a long term relationship. Turned out to be only 18 mths but we didn't know that at the time.

The current blog The Mama Runs was created after our good friend Keith bugged me to start up a running blog about a month after I started running in 2011. Haven't looked back since...until I was asked this question tonight. ;-)

Question 3: What does it mean to be a kidney [transplant] recipient? How has that changed your life?

To be a kidney transplant recipient is to have three kidneys.

That's my hubby's favourite line, anyway. To me, it is a new lease on life. While I may rely on drugs for the rest of the days my kidney transplant works (the average is currently 10-15 yrs), at least I'm not relying on a dialysis machine that can only function at a tiny fraction of regular kidney function. It means I have the opportunity to get pregnant and have a baby, which I was very fortunately able to do. It means I had a second chance to try out a lot of things in life that I probably would never have tried, because I was too scared before. But when you've stared death in the face because your kidneys failed and you feel the most horrible feelings in your life ever and you think any time now, you're gonna go into cardiac arrest and then that's it....a lot of things are no longer scary any more, especially post-transplant.

[the other] Question 3: What do you want your daughter to know that you didn't know growing up?

Don't sell yourself short. And especially don't let others talk you into thinking that way.

Question 4: If you could tell yourself 16 year old self something, what would it be?

Be patient, one day, someone will love you for who you are. Just be yourself, your best self.

Question 5: What is something that you are afraid of? Why?

Here's something totally irrational: anything (usually a fly) buzzing near my ear. I know it's probably because of some childhood experience where such a thing happened and freaked me out then...and it freaks me out now.

Question 6: What is your greatest joy in life?

My daughter, hands down. My kidney transplant from my hubby's kidney donation and my wedding day are very close second and third, respectively.

Question 7: What is your greatest challenge in life? 

Frankly, I think it will be trying to live long enough to see and enjoy the company of my grandchildren. Given that I was 38 when my daughter was born, my daughter is likely to have kids late in life, and kidney transplants and good health only last so long, I will consider myself very lucky if I can live long enough and be healthy enough to play with my grandkids.

Question 8: If you were stranded on a desert island with someone, who would it be? How would you occupy your time?

My hubby. Mainly catching up on ALL the sleep I've ever deprived myself of. Also talking with my husband. And...doing my wifely duty. Haha.

Question 9: Where is your favourite place on Earth? Why?

Even though I've only ever been to a very few places in my lifetime, I would say Melbourne, Australia. Definitely a family friendly place with pretty efficient public transportation and a temperate climate. The most magical garden - and we were visiting in the winter, without blooms!!

Question 10: What is something you would like the rest of the world to know? 

Be kind to yourself, and be grateful when you wake up every morning for all that you have.

Question 11: What is something you have never done but would like to try?

Ride a hot air balloon. I'm scared of heights though. But I'm working on it.

Friday, 8 November 2013

NaNoRunMo - Days 6, 7 and 8

Day 6 did not start out well. I was tired because Daylight Savings messed up my sleep schedule. I was feeling so spaced out, and making many little mistakes...such forgetting my Garmin and not listening to the leader when describing our 6k route. 

When I ran out with the 10k group at Run Club, I was slow that the person ahead of me - my running buddy no less - abandoned me and ran out of sight. I missed the turnoff and ran a little extra before I realized I was no longer following the group. I backtracked and figured out the appropriate turnoff to head back.

The best thing in all this? Turns out they only ran 5.6k and I ran 6.3k. Unfortunately, no Garmin so no way to know the finish time. However I did run 6k so I'm satisfied.

The next day was the first half marathon clinic session. I was very excited and couldn't wait to run!! 

However, all that was required of us was to run a 2k, here's my time:

I wanted to run some more after the clinic, as did my running buddy and an another lady. We ran another 3k as a slow recovery, as seen below.

Today I considered running but slick ice after today's short and brief snowsorm, made me reconsider and opt for a rest day instead, which was ok. Instead I'll run every day for the next few days and go from there.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NaNoRunMo - Days 1-5...or more accurately: Days 1, 3 and 5.

November 1 was definitely a shorts day, despite the weather getting colder, so I paired my shorts with my CEP Compression socks - which are my new love, by the way. Running in them have made my feet so much more comfortable! Hubby said the shorts and knee high socks look weird; I think they look awesome. What do you think?

The great thing about running in the evening is dusk. So many beautiful, rich and muted colours that change so imperceptibly. This was taken from the Ridge on the other side of the Bow River from downtown. It's one of my favourite spots! This view is toward the east:

And this downtown view is toward the west.

Day 1: I rocked 4k! Sure it was slow, but steady.

Day 2: I did not run; might as well mention I didn't run on Day 4 either.

I think this is gonna be an alternate day type of run, which means I will have to recalculate the minimum distance to run every other day....

Day 3: LSD, or long slow distance run. Was going to run 10k, but the 10k group was running 12k. I joined in with my running buddy R, coz what else were we going to do? So we did...unfortunately, it had snowed like crazy and then froze overnight, creating a skating rink of pathways. So we ran super slow and did our 12k. This is the longest distance I've run so far...and I've run it only one other time, which was in late spring, before my plantar fasciitis got the better of me and ruined my entire summer. But I digress. Here's my run:

Pretty slow run, but I am proud of running the longest distance yet on such icy conditions. Glad I stuck it out!

Finally, tonight's Day 5 run:

Despite not running Day 4, my top of my calves are in so much pain whenever it exerts itself to run (walking seems to be fine). I meant to run 4k today but 2k was all I could get my sore muscles to eke out. I was surprised how fast I was able to run, in spite of the pain.

This puts me at a total of 16k so far, and 89 to go. Less 4 x 12 LSDs = 48, which means during the weekdays I will need to run a minimum of 41k. I do run Weds and Thurs due to Wed night Run Club and Thursday night half marathon clinic. Let's say I run 6k on Wed and 4k on Thurs for now. That's 10k x 3 = 40k. That leaves just 1k to run some other day.

But of course, I'm not going to bank on being able to run these distances as scheduled. However, this does mean I don't have to run every day except for the committed running days of Sun LSD, Wed and Thurs.

I think I can actually pull this off!!