One year later…

If you’re going through hell, keep going. 

This year proved to have a few bumps and challenges, here is an update from a previous Facebook post.

July 24, 2017

This morning I woke up thinking that I was close to my “one year anniversary” with Roni Davis – Fitness and Nutrition, so I checked. Literally, today, is exactly one year from the day I first emailed her to see if she had any room for me. 😜

My original goal with training wasn’t to be thin and the number on the scale wasn’t my focus. I wanted to be strong. Really strong. And it’s fitting that we ran a Spartan Race yesterday. It was finally a chance to see if there was any improvement. And there was. Yesterday, not only did I conquer several obstacles that have left me paralyzed with fear in previous years, but I lifted some of the men’s weights instead of the “women’s”. To say my experience yesterday was “super” doesn’t even come close. 

This year was not easy an easy one. Far from it. Early mornings, illness, soreness – but it was great. I’m a glutton for punishment and I made it my mission not to make any excuses. (Roni held me to it!)

I’m proud of where I am today and I wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of others.

Roni – thanks for a year of laughs, tears, squats… the way you show people how important it is to love their bodies and change mindsets makes all the difference. You’ve gotten me through many ups and downs… (both figuratively and literally.) 🙏❤️

Kristi – my running/training partner – thanks for being a good friend I could count on. When I needed support and encouragement you were there to pull me along. You were so good to meet at times & places that were easy for me to commit to – I appreciate our friendship so much! ❤️🔥

Pat, Felix, Tessa – for making sure I was eating properly & keeping me honest. 🖤🖤

And of course the crew at Trico Centre for Family Wellness who create a safe place for their guests to work out. And I say “safe” because even from
day one, I never felt out-of-place or awkward. The fitness monitors are second-to-none; they showed me how to lift properly and answered my questions (there were/are usually lots….) 🙏🙏🙏🙏

The funny part of all of it is that I took my first pictures last August 1 and felt sick about where I had let myself go. I was ashamed. Embarrassed. And wasn’t entirely sure I’d have to do any revealing after a year (I wasn’t super confident I’d stick with it….) but here we are.

No diets. (I literally ate pizza and chips at least once a week. Plus I drank.) No pills. No magic shakes or teas. Just the overwhelming weight of not wanting to let Roni (or myself) down… 😉

Below are my results so far. I’m happy to keep going!

MarTrain Day 10: Happy Friday!

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right”

runners prayerI had to take a few days off of running due to my left knee. While running the other evening, I slipped on ice. My body went one way and my knee went the other, Yuck. Needless to say, it has been a frustrating situation with a swollen and sore knee.

But even though it was still a little tender today, I was able to get out and run around 6km (which I was happy with.) Now I’m set out to see the physio to make sure I’m doing all the right things to take care of it.

I was reminded that as frustrating as little setbacks can be, I know that it’s a lot smarter to take care of them early before they become big problems. As much as I enjoy running in cool temperatures, I could really do without the darn ice. I guess it’s time to kick up the treadmill search!

Happy Friday!

And then life happens… literally…

“Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance-you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet.”

It has been quite some time since I’ve updated everyone on where my running is at. To be honest, I am extremely superstitious so I really didn’t want to write anything until completely in the clear.

pregnant runner calgary

One week before Tessa came!

Unfortunately at about week 27 of my pregnancy (early August), we were camping in British Columbia and I started having pain in the middle of the night. Long story short, we headed back in Calgary the next day and I went to the RGH to get things checked out. Following that visit, I was treated for suspected pre-term labour, which involved resting and Netflix (which sounds awesome, but it’s not really.) It was at this point in my pregnancy that my OB recommended that I no longer run and to limit walking to a leisure pace (even 15 minutes brought on pain.) It was very disappointing for me as I had a laundry list of races I wanted to complete during my pregnancy; I felt failure in many ways. After spending a few weeks resting, I headed back to work in September. My intention was to work as long as I could, ut after having a fairly emotionally draining pregnancy, my husband and I decided that I would finish up work on Oct 21. I kind of felt guilty to be leaving the office at just about the 37 week mark, but it is a good thing I did.

BAM!

pregnant runner calgary 2

She’s finally here and we’re glad she is!

Our baby was born five days later in what I would describe as the most optimal delivery experience possible (literally pushed for five minutes.) October 26th we welcomed our perfect baby Tessa to the world. She was petite in stature but full of frigging personality and it certainly was love-at-first-sight. I was relieved that she arrived safe and sound – my new little running partner. We’ve got to wait a little while before she can hit the trails with me, but I’m so thrilled to get back at it!

 

Then there are runs that will be very humbling…

Spartan Canada Alberta Pregnant Runner“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t’ is you. And you don’t have to listen.”

This week was a tough one for running, I really had to push myself to get up early and get out. On Tuesday I did my regular loops around the neighbourhood before work. I usually make this a speed training workout, but this week I took it easier on myself than usual. I find the loops extremely boring but I hate going too far in the mornings because I’m up way ahead of my husband and I’m scared that if something happens while I’m out I won’t be able to get ahold of him… so I play it safe! Thursday morning I did the same thing, though it was more enjoyable (it’s funny how some days are mildly better than others.) The hardest thing right now is pushing myself out the door – my mind is all game, but my body is definitely pushing back some. I don’t usually find the running itself tough, but afterward my joints are definitely tender (so it’s nice having a ‘hot’ tub to relax in.) I use ‘hot’ in quotes because my husband lowered the temperature significantly (85-90) so that I could get in and cool down because I know pregnant people are not supposed to get in if they’re hotter than 102.

photo 5-1Also – not really part of my training at all (more ‘spur of the moment’ type thing) I spent some time out at Canada Olympic Park doing some work stuff, so I got to treat myself to a steep uphill walk. It was hot and awful – it confirmed that I will not be participating in the Spartan out there this year!

pregnant runner calgary - reservoir running- albertaYesterday was a long run for me. I had intended to do 10km but to be honest, I got out there and it was really warm so I ended up cutting it to 9km. Typically I would push myself through it (I’m stubborn like that…) however, earlier this week I got to spend time with my favourite Olympic ski jumpers (Taylor & Matt) and Taylor (and her mom) told me not to run too hard… and proceeded to tell me a tragic story about a pregnant lady who had been out running, had a heart attack, ended up passing away and the doctors barely saved the baby. My mouth was agape whilst they told the story, so you might say I was ‘scared straight.’ But I also have a feeling that there were many things to contribute to a heart attack.

I have been really good not to push myself too hard. I watch my heart rate and I also take water every time I go out. I really try hard to go in the early mornings before it gets too warm, but if you’re in Southern Alberta now, you know that it’s somewhat impossible to find a cool time of day (we’re experiencing another heatwave!) So the temperature during my run yesterday was around 27 degrees, but felt as if it was about 30 (plus humid as heck!) I finished and was extremely grateful to be done. As hard as it is for me not to push myself, I realize that it’s more important to be safe, so I alternated my running with walking on the second half of the run, just to give myself a break. It was good.

pregnant-runner-alberta-running-fish-creek-parkToday was a shorter run for me (6km) – it was slow and steady. I broke in my new sneaks in on the trails – needless to say, they are no longer white. It was a tad slippery, so there was some wicked maneuvering out there. I should also mention that the humidity is at 94% right now, it is awful. There is nothing worse than humidity in my opinion – I’d take the dry heat any day! As I sit here writing this I am probably sweating more than I did my entire run. But at any rate, the run was pretty comfortable and much more enjoyable than yesterday.The only thing that has changed significantly is my speed. I’m not into week 23 and I feel slower. I realize not every pregnant runner slows down this fast, but I also notice my loose and shifty joints – such a weird feeling! To be frank, it feels like my knees/pelvis are slipping. So weird.

Anyway – the plan is to keep trekking as long as I can. After all, I still have a few races left this season!

Happy Trails!

Back to the grind!

“It’s supposed to be hard, hard is what makes it great.”

Today I did a 6km at Fish Creek Park. I waited until a little later in the morning and it was a bit warmer than I like, so I won’t be doing that again. Overall, the run was pretty good. My legs aren’t sore despite the Spartan a week ago Saturday and the obstacle course on Wednesday… oh and wearing cowboy boots most of yesterday (YAHOO, Calgary running-for-two-selfie-calgary-pregnant-runnerStampede Parade!) My feet were a tad swollen, but the weather has been hot here and I really don’t feel like it’s pregnancy related… yet!

fish creek park calgary alberta running for two pregnant runner calgaryThrough my run I realized that I need to freshen up my playlist – if you have recommendations send them my way! Most days I don’t listen to anything, but recently I’ve had music on to keep my mind occupied so I don’t focus on the need to get to the washroom. It works sometimes.

I have to admit that I am having anxiety about the run I have scheduled for July 25. Right now my my joints seem to be more loose (which is common in pregnancy apparently, but not necessarily a good thing!) This is causing my left knee to move around like never before (kind of like having someone kick you in the back of the leg without you knowing… remember that from high school?) It is such a weird sensation and not really a pleasant one so I am taking it easy and not pushing myself too hard (which is a struggle!)

pregnant-runner-calgary-alberta-running-for-two-fish-creek-parkThe good thing about Fish Creek is that you can choose the trails you want to use – I was on the grass/gravel and stayed on the flat side, this felt good on the legs to get them warmed up for my 10k tomorrow.

Oh – you know what I did? I downloaded the ‘Airhorn App’ because I’ve noticed that Fish Creek Park is legit the only trail in town whereby very few cyclists/bikers use their bell to warn you. Therefore, today, when bikers went by without warning to their surprise I used the Airhorn. It was funny. But seriously. It is really annoying to have someone come up from behind, really fast and without warning.. not-to-mention it’s dangerous! FYI: using your horn while on a bike to warn pedestrians isn’t just a courtesy, it’s actually a law in Alberta…

In other news, some of my FitBit friends have reached out and were worried about my steps dropping off (I love you guys) so to clarify –> I did not wear my fitbit for a couple of races because I was worried it would get ruined, I’ve also been in the habit of taking it off lately (because it’s so warm) and I forget to put it back on. Because of your concern I promise to keep it on, even though it is uncomfortable right now.

Lastly, I got new asics and today was my first real run in them. I like them but I really need sneakers with a  wide toe box. Why don’t companies make sneakers for people with wide feet? There has got to be a lot of us out there?!

Hope everyone is well out there! I see lots of Mud Run and Spartan posts – way to go friends!!!

Just do it.

“Go for it now, the future is promised to no one.” – Wayne Dyer

Nike Just Do ItPeople often ask me how I make the time to get the things done. [I have a four-year old, work full-time, own my own company, I’m a sub chair on a Calgary Stampede committee, volunteer around the city, read, exercise, cook & clean daily.] Phew! It always takes me aback because this is the first time in two years I’ve been super organized and somewhat in charge of my life.

But I only got to this point because two people I trusted most told me I was on a downward spiral and needed to snap back to reality. I’m so grateful for that swift kick in the ass (and I am so grateful to have them both in my life).

I started yoga. I loved it. It literally changed my life. But just two short months after, I had the scare of a lifetime.

I was having a routine eye exam when the Doctor had me wait out in the reception area as he went through results. He called me into his office and shut the door. He said, “Kat, I don’t like what I’m seeing on your scan. Let’s call your family doctor.” There were a million things going through my mind. Am I losing my vision? What the heck is this guy talking about.

I held my breath as he called, but he couldn’t get through to my doctor; he left a message saying he was with me and came across something incredibly serious that needed attention immediately: as in, today. When he hung up the phone he said, Kat, I don’t mean to worry you but this is serious; there’s a problem, and it may be neurological.”

He pulled up a test and showed me what he meant. There were many areas in scan where it appeared my eyes were not getting/sending messages to the brain. He went on to say, “This can mean a few different things. There may be something blocking…. a tumour. Or there could also be a clot somewhere. An aneurism…Or maybe MS.” At this point my mind was really racing. And so was my heart. I had a six month old baby at home. I was devastated. [I should have prefaced this by saying I became an extremely sensitive person post-baby; this literally felt like the end of the world as I knew it.]

Tests were set up immediately. I had loads of blood work and met with the emergency neurologist right away. Within a few days, I had an MRI; which was absolutely terrifying and uncomfortable, FYI. We waited very anxiously for the results. Within 12 hours the Dr called me personally to tell me himself that everything came back clear. I can’t even describe this sense of relief. I knew that this wasn’t the end of the investigation, but that they ruled out the life threatening things. Thank God.

As cliche as it sounds, that experience changed the way I think about life; it put everything in perspective. I realized I was being selfish in some of my most cherished relationships. I took my family and good friends for granted. Instead of putting time into the people and things that mattered most, I was doing the reverse. So I came out of it with the following rules:

  1. Make time and put energy into the things that are truly important: health, family & friends. You need to be healthy to have healthy relationships. As soon as I started running again, I found myself more productive. I made time to focus on relationships that were important.
  2. Be true to who you are. This is tough. But don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not.
  3. Forget about material stuff, it ain’t that important. I’ve met so many people who are so driven to keep up with what other people have that I wonder, “what the hell is the point?” The size of your house, bank account, the type of car, where you vacation – it really doesn’t matter in the end…
  4. Tell it like it is. I know this pisses some people off, but truthfully, I don’t care. There are too many people who worry WAY too much about what others think of them. Here’s a secret: if you’re a good person, it doesn’t matter. You will NEVER please everyone. Don’t bother trying. So if I die tomorrow, no one will be guessing about where I stood. (I’ve earned the reputation for ‘no bullshit’!)

I was unbelievably lucky that my fate wasn’t one of their earlier suspicions and it gave me the perspective I needed. That experience constantly reminds me that every single day you must do your absolute best to make the most of it. There will be good days and bad days. But don’t take any of them for granted. I knew I had to get my ass in shape. I knew I had to make some pretty serious lifestyle changes, but not just for me, so I was a better mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.

So how do I make it happen?

I make lists. When something is important to me, I put it on the list.

I like to be busy. I feel like this is the best way to get the most out of life – pack it full of stuff to do! My family is important, so I make time for them. For work. For volunteer endeavours. For health & wellness. For social. For brainless activities. And misc. I started a bookclub with a good friend, joined committees, signed up for sports and decided to quit with the excuses like: “I don’t have enough time.” Because we all know that’s bullshit. You just find the time, whether it’s first thing in the morning, middle of the day or at night – don’t make excuses.

As soon as you decide not to let yourself make excuses you’ll be amazed with what you can do in a day.

On any given day, I can be found juggling a lot.  Aside from 9-5 work, I make quality time for my son and husband, I volunteer and make sure I exercise.

So make the most of every day, because as the saying goes ‘tomorrow is never promised.’

“JUST DO IT!” 

When I don’t have a goal, I fall off the wagon

runner3.jpgIt has been quite some time since I posted last. There are any number of excuses I can use, but the truth is, I just starting losing track of what I’m doing and where I’m going – i.e.: I don’t have any goals. So here I go, because what’s more cliche than setting goals prior to the new year, any way?

(1) I want to get back to running a 6 min/km run consistently. When I finally did an 8km in less than 48 minutes, I was so happy. The reality is, I know I can do it, I just need to push myself a little harder.

(2) I want to get back into doing yoga 2-3x per week. As you may remember, yoga was the only way I started getting back on track the last time…

(3) I want to start cooking from scratch again. Yep. You read that right. The gal who HATES cooking is going to start doing things from scratch.

(4) And finally, when all is said and done, I hope these little changes will help me get back into my smaller jeans (yes. That’s vain. I don’t care.) I got really close when I was training for my half, but I never quite followed through.

I think theses goals are attainable. As Rick Hansen would say, “The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break.” 

So the plan is to start this stuff even before the new year, because the reality is that it doesn’t matter if it’s December 13 or January 1, and plus, I don’t want to be part of the bummer new years resolution stats.