Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Adventure with a capital A!!

Well, it is the eve of the big trip. Today I pick up the hired help (namely, my parents) from the airport, and the fun begins.

It has been highly emotional around here. Eden is a bit on edge, I think because she is anticipating us being gone for a while. Aaralyn and Ephraim know something is up, but can't quite articulate what is going on.

I'm feeling overly excited and unbelievably anxious and completely overwhelmed all at the same time. We have bags to pack, little odds and ends to pick up, documents to print off and details coming out of the wazoo (is that a word?)...

I am looking forward to getting on that plane, and leaving life behind for a while - taking the word 'holidays' at the core and making these next three weeks into 'holy days'. I am looking forward to being in the moment (and apparently learning to be firm with my 'no'), and just being for a while. I am looking forward to not being connected to the larger 'small world' via the internet (translation: no blogging, no facebook, no email). And I am looking forward to doing it all with Mike.

The pyramids...the sphinx...Aswan...boating on the Nile...sunrise hikes up Mt. Sinai...monasteries as old as the hills...this is going to be an Adventure with a capital A!!

Just one favour to ask - if you see my kids at all over the next three weeks, could you give them a big hug and tell them that their mom and dad love them to pieces?

Friday, 8 October 2010

It's official

It's official. I have most of the little gadgets and paraphernalia a person needs to be a serious runner.

I have a running tank top. This, by far, is THE most important tool that a female runner needs to own - enough said.

I have a am arm band with a fancy-dancy new iTouch with some serious running music on it. Something I have discovered about myself is I am a bit OCD about the music I listen to. I'm not really picky about what the music is, but it has to have a consistent, steady beat the whole way through. There are alot of people out there who can listen to whatever music suits their fancy that day, but I am not one of those people. I have discovered podrunner, where I can download music at a specific bpm that is consistent the whole way through my run. I am running at somewhere between 172 and 175 bpm, and love that my feet are in sync with the beat. (as an aside - do you remember that Jetta commercial a while back when the wipers matched up with the basketball bouncing and everything else that it came across - now that made me happy). I have tried running to regular music, and it is so distracting, I just can't enjoy myself.
I have the Nike+ipod sensor attached neatly to my shoes (I don't have Nike shoes, so I have a case that is attached to my shoelaces). It tells me all sorts of things that I really wouldn't be able to easily figure out myself (like the pace I am running at), but it also tells me how far I have run and talks to me while I am running to let me know how much further I have to go. It also keeps track of my runs online, so I know if I'm improving in distance or pace. It's pretty cool. I do think, however, that if it was Brad Pitt's voice at the end of a workout, I would be more motivated to improve my distance.

I have also read a few really great books about running:

No Need for Speed, a very powerful book for beginner runners. I highly recommend it.

Another great book is Run Like a Mother. Any mom who is just getting into running or is an experienced runner should definitely read and/or own this book. It is a fabulous resource and is very, very inspiring.

Of course, a person could own all the right clothes and gadgets and read all the right books, but that really isn't enough to get out there and start running. For me, there were a few things that worked together to get me to this place of actually enjoying and looking forward to my morning runs.

1. Determination. I am the first person to say I don't have any self-discipline. I have loads of unfinished projects, I eat things I shouldn't, I don't go to bed on time when I am caught up doing things, I have bouts of laziness where I'd rather just sit on the couch and read a great book and not do what I have to do. I don't have self-discipline, bottom line. But, when I make a decision to do something, it gets done. And that is determination. I have surprised myself with the level of determination that has showed itself when it comes to running.

2. Encouragement. I am thankful that I am surrounded by people who are encouraging. To name a few, Mike is my biggest fan and will bend over backwards to make sure I get out in the morning. Ian, my brother-in-law, is constantly asking about how things are going and is sending all sorts of information my way to encourage and help me out. And Brenda, a great friend, is always just checking in and finding out how things are going. I can't imagine doing this kind of thing without them...

3. My kids. I want my kids to know that women can be strong and passionate and determined. I love that part of their play is exercise and that they take their dollies out for a jog and that they are there on the sidelines and watching me run. I think by far, that this modelling is what motivates me the most.

All these things came together last Sunday when I ran my first race in over 8 years. I ran 5K is the CIBC Run for the Cure last week and managed to work through a major stitch pretty much through the whole run and still run my best time yet - 5K in 25 minutes.

But this run was so much more than just about my goals. It was so powerful to see so many men and women running with the names of people for whom they were running pinned on their shirts. As I crossed the finish line, I cried - out of joy because I had conquered that beast in my head that tells me that I can't do it, but also because there are so many women out there who have conquered, are fighting and have lost the battle against breast cancer. I am so thankful to have been a small part of this amazing event. I am so looking forward to running it again next year.

So, it seems that I am officially a runner. Not a fast runner. Not a hugely long-distance runner. But, I am a runner and it feels really, really good.

Friday, 1 October 2010


Forty is one of those numbers that looms on the horizon for many people and for some reason is a bit intimidating. I guess maybe it is officially mid-life. It causes people to reflect on where they are at and evaluate whether or not life up to this point is a cause of celebration or of heartbreak.

But forty is also a holy number. There are references in many faiths to forty - 40 years in the desert, 40 days of fasting, 40 days of Lent. It seems that there is something very significant to the number forty.

Today Mike turns 40. Today he has lived on this world for forty years. Today, he has been known by many people for forty years. Today, he passes into the realm of his 'forties'. (just as an aside, I'm no where near this milestone...)

Here's to a guy who loves life.
Here's to a guy who doesn't make any decisions based on fear.
Here's to a guy who really knows how to do a fabulous tarping job.
Here's to a guy who enjoys his beer immensely.
Here's to a guy who is an amazing friend.
Here's to a guy who takes 'great father' to a whole new level.
Here's to a guy who can make putting up drywall look sexy.
Here's to a guy who makes turning forty into one really great adventure.

Happy Birthday Mike. i love you.