Saturday, September 27, 2008

Race Report from Running Mania . . .

Here is my race report from about my first race:

My first race of the Army Race 5K will be difficult to top. I was impressed with the pomp and ceremony, surrounded by soldiers - and the inspiring injured soldiers along the way. I was actually talking to a couple about their injuries near Pretoria Bridge (a nurse is always interested). I was in awe! I have lived in Ottawa for 10 years now, but it was the first time I actually saw a Mountie dressed up in the traditional uniform (and I live across the street from two Mounties), first time I saw those guards with the big, tall fur hats. The combat helicopters buzzed overhead just before the race start was cool too. I saw all the people looking out of the windows of the Lord Elgin Hotel. I bet they were thinking that they paid all that money for a room and they get "invaded." Oh, back to me. It was cold this morning! I had a hard time giving up my big brown Roots sweatshirt, in favour of my racing wear only. I found all the advice given to me by everyone here of great use. My previous goal for this race was 40:00, but I revised it when I decided last week I didn't need to do 10:1s anymore, and was going to straight run it with a new goal of 45:00. The race itself was very relaxing. I took my time, took it all in, talked with a few people along the way, just had fun. I saw a friend I work with and his wife on the QE Driveway and Elgin and he told me of his new position on my floor as I ran by. Great! I started speeding up past the 3K (or was it 4K?) mark when you could hear the finish line. I was so pumped. I got to pass my nemesis (this racewalker who was really clocking it) and my watch time and chip time were 45:39. The race was everything I thought it could be and so much more! The finish area was great. There was a line up of soldiers giving the runners their medal, and I just walked up to the hottest one to get mine (of course). I met up with another nurse I was chatting up with before the race. It was her first race too and she started running the same time as I did in May and started the LTR class at the same time. She did really well also, finishing about 5 minutes ahead of me. Both of us didn't get one of those post-race blankets, because we figured it was warm enough now. DUMB idea. Should have grabbed one of those blankies. I got cold waiting for my bag at the bag check. I was so happy to see my brown Roots sweatshirt! I got to meet Kiza, Nick, Crash, Strider, Mrs Strider! It was fun to watch the 1/2 marathon with them. I saw most of the Maniacs cross the finish line! Notes to self: My next race, I'm not going to underball myself so much by starting so far to the back. I spent the first half of the race passing families walking 4 to 5 abreast and were making you pass them wide. My fault though, they started at the back themselves to have a relaxing walk or jog. Racewalkers book it fast! Don't like them clocking me, but they were walking faster than I was running! I loved talking to people along the way though. There were alot of runners that this was their first race and they had just started running in the spring like me. All in all, goals met. Ran in the time I wanted with no walking breaks, absorbed the atmosphere, had a great deal of fun! My parents in North Bay were very proud and I have received tons of messages on Facebook. I will be going to bed early tonite though. I'm not used to waking up so early and I have to actually go to work tomorrow. I will be wearing my medal and my raceshirt under my lab coat though!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Busy, busy week . . .

It has been a busy (and tiring) week in the wonderful world of Carrieland. The Army Run was Sunday. I had a really bad migraine on Monday - not sure if it was caused by just being tired, stressed, dehydrated, change in weather, all of the above. Worked Tuesday, off Wednesday, worked Thursday and Friday. All 12 hour shifts. Just. Wiped. Out.

The up side is I have achieved my weekly milage goal so far to date. I have started a program to build up some more distance and endurance in my running and therefore to build a stronger base to hopefully, be able to build a 1/2 marathon program starting in January. I don't know where my upcoming surgery is going to fit into this. That is the wildcard, since I have no idea on the date. I tried to phone the neurosurgeon's office again this week to have some idea on a planned date, week, month, year? for this, but no one has called me back yet. I wish I could get some resolution so I can move on. Some days the pain over the stimulator is barely noticeable, but other days (like today) the pain just shoots in your chest like you've been shot. The stimulator was so swollen under my shirt today that you could obviously see it through my black t-shirt at work and it looked like I had a third tit. Attractive.

Not really going through this third surgery for the attractiveness factor. Far from it. The incision is going to be nasty and messy. I am totally aware of this and been told several times. I just want to not worry about snapping wires in my neck and not feeling this underlying throbbing and sharp pain all the time. Obviously with a fast turn-around and back on my feet in a week (I wish!).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Post Army Run . . .

I did it! I did my first 5K race. There was alot of people and alot of pomp. It was really well put together. I ran the whole thing without stopping and followed my plan of starting out slow and gaining speed with each kilometer. I think I started back too far from the start line though, I had to pass alot of walkers walking 4 or 5 across, alot of walkers, strollers, etc. Next time, I think I'll start farther ahead in the back.

Got to meet alot of Maniacs these past couple of days and they all are so supportive and fun. I stayed and watched most of the 1/2 marathon afterwards, but got so tired, I just had to go home for a nap. I had got up so early this morning and the whole thing was so exciting. I had a 2 hour cat nap and am still quite wiped. I'm going to bed early and to work tomorrow!

At the start line . . .

On this FRIGID morning, I am making my way to the start line of the Army Run 5K. I had a. REAL hard time giving up my big Roots sweatshirt hoodie today! I don't see anyone I know yet, but I'm sure I will soon!
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Thursday, September 18, 2008

4 days and counting until Army Run . . .

I am really looking forward to the Army Run ( I have decided, this being my first race, I am going to go and have a good time and not push myself. I'm just going to finish the 5K and take pictures along the way. My parents will love it!

I was at work today and this shift was indicative on how incredibly lucky I am to be me. I know reading this blog has shown that I have seen my share of unfortunate medical incidents, but I am basically a very content person and I live a relatively peaceful life here at home with a comfortable roof over my head, money to buy whatever I want, and surround myself with three dogs that love me totally unconditionally. My parents are very supportive and I have lots of friends. Some co-workers are not living such a peaceful life. Their personal life has actually changed their personality so much that they do not have a moment of peace and it is so persuasive that it invades the relationships she forms at work. How sad. I hope she finds peace from her personal situation soon and comes to a solution because she is such a special person.

I am also so incredibly lucky to have found Running Mania ( and found a great bunch of supportive friends that have given great advice and support on running and some other things. Running can be taken as a great motivator and metaphor for life and this new lifestyle for me has given me such great strength to deal with my health. I have had many people address this new life force I have been projecting even though my health this past year has not been quite the best. I feel I do have the strength now to wait for a long time for my upcoming surgery with alot of positive thoughts from what I have learnt from running.

I am planning on starting a 10K program after the Army Run and continue on that until the end of December, when I hope to start a half marathon plan (knock-on-wood). Right now, I am really enjoying my 8-9K runs the most and I think I will do well on this plan.