This Recreational Running Blog is the site blog of RuntoBeHealthy.com. We update it automatically whenever we add to or update our site.
It's easy to keep informed of our latest running tips and ideas. Simply subscribe using RSS buttons on the nav bar. You can then 'feed' our content to your favorite RSS reader service.
Beautiful spring run this morning, even though it’s just mid-March, and typically we can often still be in the dead of winter at this time. Ran in shorts the other day even – in the gorgeous sunshine. Geese are everywhere already, so they think it is spring also. I ran a total of 5 times this week – FIVE!! I haven’t been able to do that much running in months. No energy, problems with my feet, just too tired. I wouldn’t say I feel fantastic, but I feel better than I have in over a year now. So I’m making progress. I started another online health course to learn more and connect with even more like-minded souls. And we often ask each other for recommendations on products. The purists in these groups like to think that we can get everyone to eat healthy, no processed food. Make bone broth and juice regularly. Fast a couple of times per year. Eliminate all the stress in our lives. Get the recommended hours of sleep that we need every night. In theory, it’s a good plan. In reality, most of us are so far removed from that kind of living. And that is why people are struggling mightily. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired. But go see a health professional and they recommend lifestyle changes that are beyond what most are capable and willing to do. When I first started seeing a natural doctor some 25 years ago he essentially told me that nothing I was doing was any good. In reality, my lifestyle and diet were both pretty decent at the time – but he wanted perfection. I was so discouraged when I left his office that I almost gave up. Almost! That was a life lesson for me. I know now that when people come to me for suggestions, if I come back with things that are too far out of their comfort zone, I risk turning them off completely. So I try to start them off with something easy. Start there. Every little bit helps. It takes years for the body to become overwhelmed by unhealthy lifestyle choices, so it’s unreasonable to expect any one thing to help a body regain health instantly. But the small changes add up over time, until eventually the good outweigh the bad, and health begins to return. The body is capable of healing, if it is given the right tools. Those tools – good food, regular exercise, restful sleep, spiritual nourishment. I feel like I have turned that corner again. I still have too much work on my plate – so I’m working to pare that down. I do my hemp/collagen protein shakes daily – just finished one with blueberries -yum. And I’ve got another product for my arsenal. I was recently asked about vitamin supplements for babies – so I went asked around in my group. There is no one answer, but it’s a start.
I’m back. Back to running more regularly. Back to writing more regularly. I’ve over-committed myself during the past year. Working full-time on a software implementation. Writing my blog for my website. Working with a number of friends and family helping them to try to improve their health. Working to build my direct marketing business. Selling hemp products at the market every weekend. Researching natural health methods for myself and for others. I even started on yet another product to sell and I had a relative working very hard to get me to join yet another venture (that I strongly considered). Working with a homeopath and a chiropractor on some of my own personal health challenges that have actually gotten slowly but surely worse over the past year. So something had to give. I have struggled to continue on with my running because of my lack of energy and less than optimal health. While I had not given up running, I had relegated it to a once or twice-weekly habit, down from the 5+ runs that I was doing last year. And I missed it – a lot. So I am back up to 3+ times per week now, with plans to increase that once my workload allows again, sometime early in the New Year. I quit the new product that I was dabbling in. I didn’t like how it made me feel. If I can’t use it, I can’t sell it. I quit selling hemp at the market. It’s just not a good use of my time to spend 6+ hours per week trying to sell a couple of products on each go. I still love my hemp – am now making milk out of it and using that milk to make my collagen protein shake every day. Now that is a good and efficient use of my time. And I’m still trying to determine how hemp will be a part of my end-game. But I donated the bulk of my supplies to a local youth organization. It’ll be more profitable for me to take the tax break – and I was able to find an organization that was keen to take my products. That, to me, is a win-win. It’s a much better use of my time than spending so much time and energy trying to convince people that hemp is not weed. I have just undergone a couple more tests to determine what is causing my health issues. I think we’re close – I just need the lab results to confirm what I suspect. Once that happens I will be on yet another new path. I was told once a few years back by a lady 20 years my junior that I am fearless. I never thought of myself like that. I just don’t believe in settling. Never have, never will. It breaks my heart to see so many people without hope. People who believe that whatever they are dealt is simply beyond their control.
So, last week, not that nice. This week? The weather is absolutely beautiful. For mid-September, the weather just doesn’t get any nicer. Beautiful blue sky. Highs in the mid to upper twenties. The leaves have started to turn so it couldn’t be prettier. All part of a picture-perfect run. And every day we get like this in September is a gift that I am so very grateful for. Even the smells of September are wonderful, in my opinion. That is one more benefit to running – it has enabled me to get closer to nature. Closer in that I appreciate it more. Closer in that I am more in tune with nature. When the weather network says it’s 5 degrees, I know what that feels like and I know how to dress for it. When it says -5 degrees and the wind chill makes it feel like -20 degrees, I know what that feels like too. I know that is not a temperature that I want to go running in – or, at least, that it’s not my favorite temperature to go running in. So I have learned to be grateful for all the good weather days. I have also learned to appreciate the not-so-good weather days – because they can bring their own set of rewards. When it’s pouring rain, I appreciate the freshness of the air. I appreciate the puddles that I run through. Those puddles are often very different from the spring time puddles in that the water temperature is not a shock to the toes. That brings me to another thing to be grateful for – the incredible power of the body to self-regulate. Running through a puddle of freezing water in the spring would, once upon a time, cause me to worry about freezing my toes. That has never happened. Within minutes of the cold water flooding my shoes, my toes have returned to their regular temperature. The body is capable of generating energy and, thus, r-heating those toes with no lasting discomfort or actual health issues. The body truly is a work of art. In the summer, the body is capable of cooling by sweating – buckets of sweat in some cases. Buckets of very aromatic sweat – in my case. It’s not very pretty, but it is very efficient. As the body is designed. And now for a really cool piece of trivia. I was just reading that a lack of magnesium can affect body odor. The beauty of that little gem is that a good piece of dark chocolate can be a good source of magnesium. How cool is that? I personally like to eat a couple of pieces of good quality chocolate each day. I avoid mass marketed products – too much refined sugar and bad fats to be healthy. That’s why chocolate has a bad reputation. But it’s not true. Good chocolate is good for you. Yay for good chocolate!
Common knowledge does not necessarily equal common wisdom. So says one of my favorite mentors, Dr. John Bergman, a chiropractor from California. Common knowledge in Medieval Europe held that regular bathing could be dangerous to the health. We know, now, that is not common wisdom. Common knowledge in the 1970s held that fat as bad for our health. All fat. Common wisdom has since shown that not all fat is the same, and that good fats are not only good for us, they are essential for healthy weight, as well as good heart and brain health. The notion that fat makes us fat now makes as much sense to us as the idea that sugar makes us sweet. Again, common knowledge versus common wisdom. It’s really a matter of learning to think critically. The other statement that was recently made by an ex-employee of the pharmaceutical industry was that drug advertising is about marketing, not science. That statement carries profound implications for the health of tens of millions of people currently using prescription medications. This is, however, a very unpopular point of view to take. People do not want to believe that they are being misled. I am often told that ‘they’ would not do that. Whoever ‘they’ are. But remember, it’s about marketing, not science. Always keep that in the back of your mind. The other statement to keep in mind is one that I post on my hemp market table each week. It’s magic until it’s science. Magnets. Lightbulbs. Microwaves. And hemp. So many people that I see at the market would really benefit from regular intake of hemp hearts. Packed with nutritional goodness and no THC. People eat a meal and they feel crappy. Or they feel good. But they do not equate how they feel with what they have just eaten. It’s like how we feel has absolutely no correlation with what we have eaten. That’s so not true. And once we buy into that notion, it’s no longer magic, it’s science. I feel so good most of the time because I eat good food, most of the time. And when I don’t eat well, it shows in how I feel. No magic, just science. If what I put into my body does not adequately nourish it, chances are I’s going to drain my body of energy. So I make my choices with that in mind. I believe that people are starting to get it. They are starting to understand how important it is to feed themselves well so they feel well. To use products that are good for them. Because they understand cause and effect. And they know that health is a personal choice and a personal responsibility. That is one of the reasons why I do what I do – because I want to help others achieve optimal health. I search out products to help other people make better choices. No marketing. Just science. And magic!
“Don’t die with the music still in you” – famous words by our beloved Dr. Wayne Dyer, who passed last week. I speak for a lot of people when I say that we lost a true inspiration. Dr. Wayne was such a beautiful soul which was evident in all his books, movies and appearances. I posted that music quote on my door to my garage, so I can see it before I head out the door every day. Profound words indeed. They really say it all. I am still trying to live out my purpose here on earth and those words speak loudly to me because of that. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the days that we don’t look inwards to ensure that we are enjoying our time. I know that is one of the reasons that I have always loved my running. It gives me time to just be. I often try to multi-task during my days as I always have a bottomless list of to-do’s on my plate. When I am out running, I am out running. I put on my headphones and listen to some tunes, often without actually hearing the music. It is most often just background noise. Running is my escape – part of my music. I don’t necessarily do it for anyone else’s benefit but I sure know it benefits me. As I am out running this weekend I am thinking about how fast this summer has gone. I know it’s not yet officially fall, but it was rainy and chilly this weekend. The leaves are already starting to fall. The geese are making their appearance again, on their way south. I love the fall season, probably my favorite season of the year. But I definitely do not love leaving summer behind yet again. Another part of my music is promoting healthy products. I am at the market again this week. Sales were, once again, a little slim. But I know that it’s a process. Sales is about trust and relationships. I am encouraged by the number of people who are looking for the hemp products at the market. I am not discouraged by the number of people who are not yet at that place. It will come. I am selling some excellent local products and we have yet another oil that will soon be available. Excellent and effective products with no downsides to them. I know I could sell more if I pushed harder. And at some point I might just do that. For now, I am content to just be there. To feel my way around until I am comfortable with pushing – if that indeed will ever be my style. I don’t know yet – and I am in no panic to go anywhere. Part of my music is just to give people healthy options for when they are ready to choose them. And I respect that.
Ah, market day! Only it’s different today in that I am selling at the market and not buying. I had inquired a couple of weeks back at a local market as to whether they had room for me and my hemp products. Yes, was the response. So I signed up for the required food handler’s course and started doing some of the other required legwork. But as is my habit, I was sitting on the fence when it came to actually committing to the market. That changed, however, when I received an email 2 days prior to the market asking if/when I was ready start. The rest, as they say, is history. Within 48 hours of that email, I had purchased a full inventory of product, bought sampler supplies as well as the usual paraphernalia for managing a table at the market, and was busy setting up my first table. It was a little stressful as well as exciting. I love new adventures once I commit to them. It took me over 2 hours to make my first sale. And that first sale totalled $5.00. Looks like I’m going to have to keep my day job for a while. But it felt great to make that sale. I ended up selling a couple of hundred dollars over the 4-hour market. Not a great return but it was a decent first start given that hemp products are still not widely recognized and valued. And nobody knows me at the market – yet. That will come. I get that this venture is about developing relationships with my customers. That is how my business will grow. I also need to buy another website as these are local products that will necessitate the creation of a commerce site. I have another couple of products that I also intend to sell through this site – I just don’t know the logistics of that process yet. But I am excited. For the first time in days, months, maybe years, I am actually excited about what I am trying to accomplish. My day job pays my bills but I am long past the point where it feeds my soul. My quest to help people on a really meaningful level is what drives me. As I watch the people wander through the market I see so many that need help from some of the products that I sell and promote. The hardest thing for me is to not say anything to them. And it breaks my heart to see them suffer needlessly. However, if they are not asking for help, I say nothing. I have learned that you cannot tell people things they are not yet ready to hear. When they are ready, I will still be available. In the meantime, I continue to work on my own health. Because I still have my own issues to deal with. I just found another great source of info. That really excites the nerd in me.
Online presence. In today’s world, without a website, how on earth do people find out about you? I am planning on selling hemp products at a local market, in the near future. So I also feel like I need to build another website to provide information on that aspect of my business. I attended another market recently where I shadowed a couple of friends who are doing exactly that, selling hemp products. People are interested in trying new things for their health. But part of that process is informing themselves. Gathering information. And how do we do that in today’s world? We go online and visit a website. One of my pet peeves is businesses that have no website. When I go online and all I can find on a business is their yellow pages listing, there’s a good chance that I will find another company to deal with. Our yellow pages phone book goes into the recycle bin. There just isn’t enough info in a yellow pages ad to give me a sense of what the company is all about. And if a business has a contact info website that I try to connect through and I receive no response, again, I’m on the hunt for a new business. I get that email can be an impersonal way to connect with people but, when gathering info, the value of it cannot be beat. As an introvert, email allows me adequate time to analyze the info that I am looking for and craft the questions to my liking. Online booking is another idea whose time has come. When I am booking an appointment with someone I have already seen, I generally do not need to talk to anyone. No chit-chat. Just let me book my time. I am excited because I just found a new health practitioner who does a lot of the initial patient info gathering via a secure online form. I got an instant reply when I submitted my form. Brilliant. He gained a lot of points in my book. No receptionist at a desk, patients get a key card to access the building. Brilliant. Websites and email do not replace face-to-face contact, but it allows us introverts to become comfortable enough with people or businesses to commit to a face-to-face. Back to the market booth. A number of people who visited the market booth wanted a business card – with a website address. The website gives us a glimpse into what the business is all about. More importantly, for me, is it allows me to see WHO I am dealing with. One page I always review before I start to deal with a business is the “About Me” page. That one page gives me an idea of the kind of person that I am dealing with. And learning about someone in this fashion is perfect for those of us who are introverts. Want to know more about introverts?
Therapeutic dose. “The dose that may be required to produce the desired effect.” When the doc prescribes a drug, what instructions accompany that prescription? Take as prescribed and be sure to finish the prescription. That’s because we are given a therapeutic dose of whatever we need to deal with whatever ails us at the time. If we do not follow the directions we run the risk of not achieving that desired effect – usually removal of whatever symptoms we are experiencing that prompted us to visit the doc in the first place. The natural products that I take and promote and sell are built on that same principle. Formulated with a therapeutic dose to help the body heal. But in the world that we live in, our insurance may cover what the doctor prescribes for us but there is no reimbursement for the natural products that we take to help our bodies heal. So we are tempted to skimp on those natural products – to make them last longer and make our dollar go farther. It’s a good practice, in theory only. I, too, have done this. The bottle says 6 per day – I take 2 or maybe 3. And then I wonder why I don’t see the desired results. So I assume that the product does not work. Without taking the therapeutic dose prescribed by the provider, there’s a good chance that I will never see the desired results. Because I am simply not ingesting enough of what I need to help my body heal. And I often see that same mentality in my circle. How long do I have to take the product? Do I have to take that much? It’s so expensive, I shouldn’t have to pay that much for health. Maybe not. Maybe health is a right, and not a privilege. Certainly we are all entitled to good health. And it breaks my heart to see so many people suffering. Often needlessly, in my opinion. But we all are in a position to make choices. And good health may not be easy in the world we live in. It is also not cheap, I am living proof of that. But what are our options? I believe we always have choices. What to put into our body. What we are willing to spend our dollars on. I believe that I can spend my money now working to maintain my health, or I can spend more of it later on in my life, working to regain my lost health. And as I look around at most people my age, I choose to spend my money now. And I do not live my life in fear. I believe that any symptom my body displays is to help me address any area that needs my attention. That’s how the body works. I listen, and I make the best choices that I can. And it serves me well.
The body can heal. I firmly believe that, and now I have yet more personal evidence of it. Someone in my circle was recently diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. I knew what he had before he went to the doctor – but he needed to be sure it wasn’t something more serious – a stroke, a tumor. Like that. Nope, Bell’s Palsy it was. So I go to work googling for info on causes and treatments. Steroids are what the conventional system will offer. Yup, doc prescribes Prednisone. So I google that. And I pull out my books on drugs and their usage and side effects. Doc tells him the steroids will prevent further damage, but the damage that has been done is likely permanent. I tell my friend that, based on my research, I personally would not touch those steroids. Any drug that calls for 5 days of regular use plus another 5 days of weaning you off the drug would scare me off it, permanently. But I cannot decide for my friend. He decides he would like to try a more natural route first. If he feels that the paralysis and pain are getting worse he will try the steroids. We start him on Vara and silver solution and hemp hearts. We are throwing everything at it. Not exactly a scientific approach – but given that there are so few natural health resources available to us on this subject, we are simply working to increase the body’s own defenses. Within days he starts to feel better. Less pain. It is evident that the body is healing because the paralysis is definitely less. In 2 weeks the paralysis is barely noticeable, and the pain is gone. The steroids sit on his kitchen counter, unopened and unused. I am amazed. Not so much that he is healing so well, but that it happened that fast. Although the symptoms came on that fast, so maybe it’s not that surprising that he healed so quickly. I wish I could have that same type of success with other people in my circle. Those with chronic, long-term conditions. Unfortunately, they too want success in weeks. Doesn’t work like that. If the body took years of abuse and neglect before it finally broke down and started displaying symptoms, chances are slim that a concentrated 2 week period of natural products will result in any real healing. Even a 2 month intensive course of natural products may not result in much relief. And in the world we live in people have been conditioned to believe that instant fixes are the norm. That is not how the body works. Give the body the tools it needs. It knows how to heal. As evidenced by my friend. No drugs. No more symptoms. No permanent paralysis, despite the doc’s predictions. And no side effects. Now that, my friends, is true healing.
And finally it rains. It’s the middle of July and we have had no decent moisture since the spring melt started back in late March. So the rain is much appreciated. Even as I am out running the past few weeks, I can feel the drought. Never mind my dirty dusty toes when I am done. It just feels dry. And hot. And the heat does not help. So the rain not only waters the earth, it helps to cool things down. It has also cleaned up all the smoke from the forest fires. I actually have not run once in the rain this year. In over 3 months, when it could have been raining. Not once. That, in itself, is very telling. And I love running in the rain. Because it feels fresh and it smells good. Like a new beginning. Although I have run in some pretty nasty rainy weather. Rains so hard that even my skin felt soaked. I ran one of my marathons, mostly in the rain. As I said before, I do love to run in the rain. But 4 hours of rain was a bit much. Not so much fun running a marathon in the rain. It wasn’t cold, but I was a bit chilly when I was done. I have also done some runs where the rain has turned to sleet. Without a cap to protect my face, that sleet is painful. Again, not so much fun. I have also been caught out in thunderstorms. And that makes me nervous. I don’t really want to end up with my jewelry fused into my skin. Or worse. I’m not really sure how many of the stories that I have heard are actually true, but I do prefer not to present myself as a human lightening rod. So, generally, I do not run in thunderstorms. And I need to be properly dressed to run in the rain. Once, last summer when I was doing a long run in preparation for my recent marathon, I got caught out in the rain wearing only shorts and a singlet. I was about an hour and a half into my run and a good 3 or 4 miles from home when it started to rain. Well first, it started to drip. Not a big deal. Soon after that, it started to rain. Not a downpour, but a good steady rain. A good steady rain that I simply was not dressed for. I actually ended up phoning home for someone to pick me up. I don’t might getting wet, but I prefer to be dressed for it. And that usually means long pants and a running jacket – and a hat to cover my face. None of which did I have with me at the time. So I called home and quit for the day. Right about now I’d be happy to see a return of that weather. For a change.
Oh my, it’s hot. And smoky, from all the forest fires in the area. So not the best running conditions. In fact, not even good or decent running conditions. But run I did. Because I have not been out all week. And I missed it. Not so much the heat or the smoke. But I like the solitary thinking time that my running affords me. And it was solitary time, in that there were very few people out and about. I am still working on devising my plan for interval training. Run for 15 minutes. Walk 2 light posts. Run 3. Walk 1. Run 3. And on and on it goes. For a full hour. Once I am home I am drenched. The sweat is rolling down all parts of my body. I grab a glass of water and stretch. Take my shake from the fridge and head out to the deck on the back of the house. There is still shade out on the deck, and the faintest of breezes. Between the shade and the breeze I thoroughly enjoy my time on the deck before I head in for breakfast. What a fabulous way to start the day. I have so much to be grateful for and this start to my day is just one more example of that. Interesting, I was reading someone’s post the other day about coaching being a scam. About how positive thinking will not necessarily help those people who are stuck in unfortunate circumstances. To me that sounds like a solid victim mentality. I cannot change my circumstances if they are bad, regardless of how positive I feel. At least that is what I was reading in that post. So I chose to hide that post. I know that many people struggle. But I also firmly believe that we always have a choice. Life is about choices. And I choose to be positive, no matter what. I choose to embrace whatever knowledge and coaching I can obtain from others. It’s not always easy, but it’s always simple. And I believe it makes me a better person. Happier. Better able to inspire other people. I don’t know how much it actually helps another person. But it cannot hurt. There is enough misery and unhappiness in the world – and I choose not to be a part of that. I choose not to read the newspaper anymore, or watch the news on television. If I want to know what is going on in the world, I google it. Otherwise, I choose to seek out information specific to my interests, and good news stories also. That doesn’t mean that there are not bad things happening in the world. But I do know that thinking about them only brings me down. And it helps no one. So I choose not to spend my time there.
Yet one more reason why I love my morning run. It’s my thinking time. I have solved all of my problems on my morning runs. And all of the problems in the world as well. And then I get back home – and my little inner voice pulls me back. To reality? Maybe. But it’s the voice that works to keep me ‘safe’. I’m learning to ignore that voice. It’s taking a lot of time because years of conditioning are not easy to overcome. I chatted with a friend the other day. He is not happy in his work – wants to go out contracting. He asked me how I have managed it over the past 2 years. Managed it? I managed nothing. I was extremely unhappy with the energy of the place where I was working. I had just started a new job and stayed 6 weeks before I simply quit. Went in one morning and told the boss man I was done. I am not great at articulating, especially when it comes time to sharing how I feel. So I probably did not do a good job of explaining why I was leaving. But I was miserable in that environment, so I made the decision and left. I had no other job lined up – not even an idea of where to go or what to do. I just knew that I couldn’t stay there. And since I quit that full-time, ‘permanent’ job, I have learned some really valuable lessons. Number 1, there is lots of work out there. Within days of quitting, I had several pieces of work to keep me going. Those opportunities found me. Six weeks later I picked up another contract that lasted several months. And while that contract was going I also picked up a couple of other temp jobs. In all honesty, I have had more work offered to me over the past 2 years than I was able to accept. And the opportunities keep coming. Lesson number 2, nothing is permanent. Security is a myth, at least in terms of relying on someone else for it. Number 3, self-worth comes from within – in knowing my own strengths and value. And when buddy is asking me the other day for words of wisdom, I think what he was really looking for were words of assurance. Again, I don’t know that I was able to express that. But the truth is, life really is what you make it. Life is too short to be miserable. And so many people are so unhappy in their lives because they are unhappy in their work. I see a trend. More and more, people want to strike out on their own. Offer up their talents to the world in their own way. And I applaud anyone who has the courage to try that. That is exactly what I have been working towards now for the past 2 years. It’s still a work in progress.
Interval training. I’ve heard the term before. Given it some thought. I’ve given lots of ideas some thought. And now I’ve done some reading on it. And given it a try. Sort of. I think. A word of advice. It’s best not to expect too much when it’s plus 27° C at 11am. I did manage to do about 40 minutes of on-again, off-again spurts. Nothing more advanced than timing my walks and runs to coincide with the light poles on the street. Or with every second light pole on the street. Something like that. Truth be told, this is my second attempt at intervals. And I am going to spend some time working on a technique, or system, or whatever it is called. Because I have been running for about 18 years now. I look around and see others improving. And I’m not making any gains. At all. In fact, I would say that I am losing ground. So it’s time to mix it up a bit. Maybe it’s the heat today. Running in hot weather is hard work. The heat saps your strength. All that aside, I feel like it’s time to set a new goal. Set my sights on something else. I feel like it’s time to take it to the next level, whatever that level might be. I’m looking at purchasing some type of GPS watch. Something that will encourage me to step it up a notch. I’m asking for recommendations from other runners. I miss the app that I was using on my old phone. I purchased a 6+ last fall and it’s too big and bulky to take with me running anymore. So I don’t have any company on my runs anymore. No electronic voice telling me my time and my distance. I miss that. How nerdy is that? But I liked those reminders. I am an introvert so I don’t necessarily want to run with another human being. Running is my alone time. My meditation. Just my thoughts and me, myself and I. And the voice that comes over my phone every 5 minutes, telling me my time, my distance and my pace. If you can call it a pace. But I miss those reminders – and that is often what motivated me to step it up a bit. Not sure if there is a GPS watch that is going to do that for me. Now that I think about it, I think that’s what I am looking for. Company, but not really. In true introvert fashion, I only want limited company. I don’t want to have to chat the whole way. I want someone to natter at me. Without expecting any response. And I want to know my time for every run. Hmm, so I want music. And GPS. And audible announcements. And time tracking. And some way to reach out for help, if needed. So I want my phone and my old app. Full circle.
Out for a run today. Beautiful running day. First day of summer. Sun is shining. We could use some moisture for sure, but it’s beautiful anyway. But what a tumultuous week it has been. Not for me personally, but for a lot of people in my realm. People getting fired. People quitting. Relationships ending. Big conflicts in relationships. So I retreat to my journals from previous years as I often do when I feel out of sorts. And I come across a couple of words that I wrote in my journal a year ago. Only not know. I don’t recall who said that or where I read it. But it is very fitting. Worry is all about the past or the future, never about the present. So being ok with not knowing is bound to help bring peace to whatever is presently occurring in our lives. It’s not always easy, but it is always that simple. I ditched my last permanent, full-time job almost 2 years ago now. And since then I have never been without work. And I am often turning down possibilities that come my way because I only have so much time and energy. Once I got past the fear of not having a permanent job, I really started to enjoy my work a lot more. I do have a lot of different skills and experiences to draw from. And I get bored easily if I have to do the same thing over and over and over again. Same for working with the same people for an extended period of time. And somewhere along the line I came to realize that there is no permanent job out there for me. And security does not come from a job. It never has, it never will. But I spent years buying into that philosophy. Because I thought that I was in control. That, too, is an illusion. And for me, it was because I was living in fear. In fear of what might happen. I don’t know if what I was afraid of happening ever did happen. I don’t ever recall any catastrophe in my life because of something that I did or didn’t do. I have had my share of struggles over the years. I cannot say that I am never afraid anymore. But I don’t let the fear rule my life or my decisions. It will all work out somehow. No matter what. It’s not easy. But it is that simple. Only not know. And I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know. But it’s all good. I don’t need to know. I just need to be ok with that. Secure in the knowledge that whatever is meant to happen will indeed happen. And that everything that does happen is for my good. And it happens in the time that is right for me.
I am standing in the lineup for the washroom – because we runners always have to use the facilities before we run. Even if we don’t really need to go, nerves make us think we do. There are two washrooms. Buddy comes out of biffy #1. Next buddy goes into biffy #1. No action from biffy #2. Another buddy comes out of biffy #1. Next buddy goes into biffy #1. Biffy #2 – nada. And the lineup of nervous runners continues to grow given that we are all using just biffy #1. I watch this scene repeat a couple of more times and finally I ask the obvious question. Is there anyone in biffy #2? Shrugs all around. One of the girls squats down to see if she can see legs in that second facility. She decides she can’t determine anything from that view. Again, shrugs all around. And the next buddy exchange occurs at biffy #1. Right then I decide that I do not want to be part of this science experiment. So I go knock on the door of biffy #2. No answer. I try the door. It is open – and the facility is empty. I turn and look at the runners ahead of my place in the lineup. Shrugging is the reaction yet again. Part of me considers just using biffy #2, but the other part of me that always wants to do what is right for everyone else decides, instead, to let the first person in line use that facility, and I return to my place in line. I do not have a pressing need to go right now – and by this time there are only a couple of people ahead of me. So I know it won’t be long. And, the line moves faster after that. Shocker. But that bathroom scene was yet another experience that I had in the relay race from the past weekend. So funny to see how people behave when they are afraid to question the status quo. Or perhaps they assume that everyone else knows better than they do. Sometimes it just feels easier to go along and wait for someone else to take action. But the silliness of that situation just would not let me ignore it. I had about ½ hour before my race start. I am sure that I would have had lots of time to get to that start in time. But the lineup behind was quickly growing. And why on earth would we all just assume that both facilities were being used, even though there was no action whatsoever from biffy #2. I once worked with a gentleman who said I asked too many questions. Nope, I don’t think that’s possible. Always good to ask questions. And in my world, I will always question something if it doesn’t make sense to me. That’s just my nature. And for those of you who do not recognize the word ‘biffy’.
Race day begins at 5am. Yikes! We are half an hour away from the race start. Connect with our team captain to get our race packages. Get race rules. My fellow runner, T, was due to start the first leg of the north part of the relay, at 7am. It was a beautiful morning – sunny, a slight breeze, and about 7° C – perfect running weather. T is off. I get to play support vehicle for T’s part of the run. Making sure she has enough water. Picking up whatever running gear she decides to ditch along the way. And the course is absolutely breathtaking. T finishes her run in good time and tags in the next runner. I am envious. T is done, and I have another 3+ hours before my start. In the meantime, we play support for a couple of the other runners. It is a very cool experience. Enjoying the beautiful scenery while watching runners do what they love to do – run. Finally it is my turn. I am nervous. I head to the start line when I see my team buddy from the previous leg coming in. He tags me in and away I go. My leg is rated moderate. I’m not sure who assigned that rating – but the 6500 foot altitude represents a challenge that I have not experienced before. A total of 17.1 km. Add to that – what they deem a rather steep incline for 1.5 km at the 4.2 km mark. I choose not to print the expletives that I heard as we rounded the corner and got a glimpse of that ‘rather steep incline’. I walked a good piece of that rather steep incline. And then there is a long and steady decline. I loved that part of the race – but I ended up leaving it all on that downhill stretch. I had nothing left by the time I hit the last straight stretch. I had some serious chafing happening on my arms. I was feeling wiped from the altitude. And hot. And dehydrated. I needed to use the facilities – that were non-existent between the stages of this race. All in all, not my finest hour. Hour and fifty-six minutes and change, to be more precise. I fairly collapsed when I finally crossed my finish line. Still, one more ‘race’ under my belt. All in all, it was a fun experience. I would definitely do it again. And I say that now, forty-eight hours after the race. Despite the fact that I can barely walk thanks to the downhill portion that stressed my glutes and my quads. Despite the fact that our team registered no time because one of our runners was unable to finish because of injury. The race, for me, is all about the run. Not about winning. Not about placing. And not even about registering a time. It’s about the run. Plus made new friends again this weekend. It’s a beautiful thing.
Light therapy. For old injuries. For chronic conditions. I’ve been going for laser therapy to help with my shoulder injury/issue. I’ve also been getting my ankle injury treated. I am currently in the process of deciding whether to purchase a laser for home use. No question that I have enough of my own old injuries to get good value from a laser. Plus I have family members who can easily help me to double or triple my return on my investment. I don’t really understand all of the science involved, but I read a number of testimonies that help to convince me of the potential. Actually, I dropped all of my science classes in high school. I had one of those teachers in my BIO 20 course that was not the least bit interested in working with anyone who struggled. And I was not the least bit interested in having to actually work hard at any learning. I was used to easily grasping any concepts presented to me. Learning had never, ever been a challenge for me to that point. So how would I be prepared to start having to work at something when I was 16 years old, and obviously smarter than anyone else in my life? Oh, if I were only as smart now as I thought I was then. Again, as is my habit, I digress. Back to light therapy. I am at another health and wellness show this weekend. While we have a booth where we are offering information our healthy products to potential clients, I am also keen on investigating other practitioners’ offerings. And one that I am keen on is yet another type of light therapy. I don’t know much about it yet, but I think I know enough to be excited enough to see about renting a lamp and trying it out at work for a couple of weeks. I am really curious to see what kind of difference it makes. My work environment for the past 6 weeks is almost completely void of natural light. And now based on what I have just learned I am thinking that might be stressing my body. I know that one of the reasons that Iove, love, love my running is the fact that I get to spend time outdoors. And I know that the body intuitively knows what is good for it. So I am stoked to try this light therapy at work. I will pay special attention to how I am feeling. In fact, I will keep a record of how I am feeling from one day to the next. I’d like to see how much this helps me personally and pass that info along to the organization where I am working. And to others that I know as well, presuming that I see the positive results that I am expecting. Another potential win-win-win situation. My kind of perfect.
My last long run before I run my relay leg, in under 2 weeks. At least, it was supposed to be my last long run. Turned into a longer run and walk. Busy weekend meant I was up late the night before and then up late the morning of. So I did not have time to have my protein shake before my run. And by the time I got out to run, the temperature was in the mid-twenties. So halfway through my run I was powering down, mightily. Too hot, and no energy left. I did not struggle for energy the previous week, so I know better than to try a long run without some extra nutrition first. Too soon old, too late smart. One of my favorite sayings, and oh, so true in this case. On the plus side, I will not do that on race day, guaranteed. Busy busy weekend again. Visit with my sister yesterday – we had a good chat about health and the number of people that we know with health issues. Health issues that are not being helped with conventional medical therapies – typically, prescription drugs. Had a phone chat with another relative who has some issues for which a steroid has been prescribed. Logically, it makes no sense to me to prescribe a steroid to weaken a person’s immune system when the person has an auto-immune condition. But that is what we do in conventional medicine. Treat the symptoms instead of the imbalance in the body. I see so many people every day who are stuck and feel they have no real options. And in the conventional realm, they really don’t. There are always lots of natural options, I have found. I found an excellent homeopath here in town last week. One of my tribe. I saw him once – and I will be going back. I love how he thinks and the healthy options he represents for me. Quick visit last night with the twin grandbabies. Needed to line up insurance from my son – so it was a two-fer visit. My health product partners and I are displaying at a local anti-aging tradeshow here in town. We have been busy lining up supplies and making the necessary plans to set up our booth. With the reformulated multi-vitamin that now includes glutathione, we have all kinds of testimonies coming in now. I, personally, love the stuff. I tend to be very sensitive to whatever I put into my body – both in a good way and in a bad way. This stuff makes me feel fantastic. Even better than I was feeling – and I thought I was feeling pretty good already. As I keep saying, I want everyone to try this stuff because I want everyone to feel this good. Once again, so much that I am excited about and thankful for. This is just one more thing.
My first long run in preparation for my relay leg in 3 weeks. Not exactly an optimal training schedule. I had planned to start some weeks back – but then I went out and sprained my ankle. Two weeks off to let that heal. Then a couple of weeks of moderate running to see how it went. But now that I am 3 weeks out, it’s definitely time. So away I went. I am not sure how long or how far I went – it was at least an hour and a half, maybe an hour and forty minutes. Ish. I was able to complete that much time and distance without any falls or any other type of injury, for that matter. And it felt good. That reassures me that I will be able to complete the run in a couple of weeks, even if I don’t have finish with a PB in terms of time. I can live with that. For me, it’s always been about sticking to it. In most everything that I do. So while I may not carry the team to victory, neither will I prevent the team from finishing. That’s very important. When someone is counting on me, I take that responsibility very seriously. Just like all the ad hoc health coaching I’ve been doing – or maybe it’s more like health encouraging. I do not give specific advice given that I don’t always know all the issues that a person is facing. But when they ask me for some advice on a specific concern, I try to point them in the direction of resources that they can draw on for guidance and help. The internet is an excellent resource. So much info at our fingertips. And I have tried countless products and services over the years – so chances are, if someone is looking for feedback on a particular good or service, I have tried it – or I know someone who has. My purpose is to help people feel good. Naturally. Just like I do. I keep telling people that I feel better than I have in over 20 years. How many people do you know that can make that claim? There aren’t many in my circle. If anything, it’s the opposite for most people that I know. And we seem to think that’s ok. The normal course of things. As we age, we believe that we will just naturally feel more tired and run-down. Plus, if health issues run in our family, we believe that is our destiny. I, however, do not ascribe to that theory. I’ve never been one to settle. If I don’t like the answer that I’m given, I search elsewhere. I believe we are meant to be happy and healthy and I choose to live that way. And I like to plant those same seeds of hope in everyone that I meet. Life is a beautiful thing. And so is the relay that I have signed up for.
Back running again this weekend – how sweet. My ankle is 100%...yet…but soon. I have been eating my collagen protein to help with the healing. And, as is my practice, I had a look around for what else I could do to speed the healing. One modality that I looked into last fall already was low level laser therapy. At that time I was looking for some help to deal with an old shoulder injury. I’m not sure that I recall exactly how I injured it – it goes back to my late teens or early twenties. And I believe there was alcohol involved. Enough said. In any case, over the years that shoulder has flared up from time to time. And part of the flare-up includes numbness all down that arm. It’s all about the hip bone connected to the thigh bone – like that. An injury in one part of the body often makes itself known in other parts of the body as well. A couple of years back I actually missed a couple of days work because I was in a fair amount of pain due to that old shoulder injury. And the numbness in recent weeks has been on the rise. Over the years I’ve had it massaged and rolfed and I’ve put all kinds of healing creams on it – which have helped – for a time. But obviously no complete healing – or I would not be dealing with it…yet again. So between the shoulder injury and the ankle sprain I once again asked the Universe for some advice – with the Universe being the Internet, of course. Up pops the low level laser therapy and, how perfect, I find a practitioner just a few minutes from my place. I’ve been back for a few sessions now – both on my shoulder and on my ankle. I am also considering buying a home unit to continue with more healing – and I have others in my household who can benefit as well. I love finding and researching more natural ways to heal the body. They are not cheap – I long for the day when my health insurance benefits will come close to paying for a decent portion of what my health products cost me. But the reality is, I will not refuse to follow a natural course of treatments just because it costs me money. I don’t want to live forever but I want to live until I die. Not just exist – truly live. And, I do right now – thanks to the research and the money that I have spent on it. It’s worth every penny to me – and I am reminded of that often when I look around and see all the health challenges that people my age – and even younger – are facing. I often get comments on how good I look – and the real beauty is, I FEEL good too. That’s my why!
How awesome is that? Less than 2 weeks after I sprained my ankle, I was back out running again. The first day that I went out running I had to go to the medical supply store – aka my spare room closet – to find an ankle splint to support me. And I wore it on my first run as I was concerned about whether the ankle would hold. I believe it was mostly fear of either aggravating the current injury or possibly losing my footing and re-injuring. That first run was a short one – only about 40 minutes. Not sure of the distance but I’m sure I set no records. My second run, however, I ditched the splint. And my ankle felt solid. The sun was shining. I still am a little slow – ok, slowER than normal – but it was a great day to be back running again. I am amazed at how fast I was able to get back to it given the severity of the injury. I credit my collagen protein. There are so many people who still have no idea that what they feed their body can positively (or negatively) impact their bodies. I am so happy that I learned that lesson a long time ago. To lift my spirits even more, the trees are leafing out. It was still a bit chilly this morning, calling for long pants and a jacket, and that feels like a bit of overdress for the month of May. But the green on the trees is so refreshing to see. Again, it’s a sign of new life and hope. Another great piece of news this week - our multivitamin powder, has been reformulated to include Setria Glutathione. Damn, that’s exciting! Google glutathione to see what the benefits are of supplementing with it. The list is lengthy and impressive. And the vast majority of people are deficient. Glutathione – the second most important nutrient in the body – right after water. Ok, that got my attention. The mother of all antioxidants. I need that mother – don’t we all? I am stoked to add that to my diet. I know a lot of people who feel that they can get everything they need from their diet alone. I suspect that is doable if you are really committed to the cleanest of products and the strictest of diets. I like to think I eat fairly well – I buy mostly organic, free range foods. I eat very little processed food anymore. It has been a slow and steady progression for me for sure. When I think back to what I fed my kids as they were growing up, I realize how little I knew or understood at that time. And I am not convinced that I can get what I need from food alone. So I have been searching for excellent supplements and I think that our new Vara product qualifies. And glutathione just amped it up a notch.
And…yet another beautiful day for a run. Not sure yet if I’ll go for a run –but it’s a beautiful day for one. I did indeed sprain my ankle last week while I was out running/bird-watching. By the following day I could barely walk. My ankle was swollen and bruised and I was wondering if I had broken one of the 26 bones in my foot. I debated running down to the nearest hospital for a quick x-ray. So I used the handy site that gives wait times at those hospitals. Nope – not interested in spending 4 hours of my life on that task. Instead I took the advice that my chiropractor had once given me. Alternating hot and cold packs for a couple of hours. The ankle felt better before I went to bed that night. I figured if it was worse in the morning I’d go for an x-ray. I’m happy that I made that call. Next morning, the ankle was noticeably better. Less swollen, less discoloration, and it felt much better also. And it’s been a quick and steady recovery since then. Next time I’ll do the hot and cold packs on the day of – or perhaps I’ll leave the bird-watching to others and not have a next time. Part of me wishes I would have gone to the doc just to confirm degree of sprain, but based on my research I believe it to be a grade 2 sprain. Last time, back in 2008, it was a grade 3 – my foot was black and blue and swollen from above the ankle bone all the way down to my toes. And walking was out of the question. This time, the swelling was not as severe, nor was the bruising. I could also walk on it – not without some discomfort, but not like the last time where I was literally crawling around my house because I could not put weight on that ankle. I am thinking that not only is the protein playing a role in the healing, it also helped minimize the severity of the sprain to begin with. I really wrenched that leg when I went down – so much so that it felt like I had sprained my a… butt. Everyone laughs when I say that, but that’s another thing in life that’s only funny when it’s not you. I was able to go for a lunch hour walk the other day already. Went to visit my chiro buddy yesterday. He laughed too. And then he proceeded to help align me again with the help of his activator. I don’t visit many practitioners on a regular basis but this is one exception. I have a lot of respect for this guy and his knowledge as well as his ability. Funny enough, the sound of an activator is very similar to a woodpecker. That was not lost on either of us. I’m still debating on the run.
Beautiful sunshine today for my run. I was in blissful heaven as I started out my run. Best of intentions to do a longer run this morning. After all, I have less than 2 months before my next race – my leg of the Banff Jasper relay. So I adjusted my route this morning, tacked on another loop. And as I am running past the trees in the new section, I hear a woodpecker. How cool is that? But the trees are a bit of a distance so I am struggling to see the woodpecker. I can hear it, I just can’t see it. Ever hear the expression – don’t take your eye off the ball. Not exactly an expression from a runner’s viewpoint, but the principle applies here. Maybe more like – keep your eyes on the road. Too much time searching out the woodpecker had me step half on, half off the sidewalk. Sideways went my right ankle. Down I went. I felt that all the way up my right leg – right up to whatever joint/bone meets up with my hip bone. Biology is not my forte. Actually, any science was never my forte. Ironic, I hated science in school and now I spend a lot of my free time trying to figure out how my body works and how best to nourish it. Too soon old, too late smart. Anyway, once again, I digress. After I fell, I got up and tried running again. Nope, not happening. So I figured I would walk it off. That worked, sort of. I ended up walking it off all the way home. And now I sit with my foot riced up, the swelling around my ankle indicative of a mild sprain. At least I hope it’s a mild sprain. So not only did I not get an extra-long run in, I am now not running for some time. The last time I injured this ankle I was not able to run for a couple of months. This is nowhere near as severe an injury from the looks of the foot. But it’s an injury nonetheless. At least this time I was respectful enough of my body not to try to run on it afterwards. I’m sure that only compounded the damage the last time. I am thinking that, while it’s a bit tender right now, I should be able to nurse it back to 100% fairly quickly. At least that is my intention. The rest of my day was much, much better. Grandbabies first birthday celebration – how fast that year has gone. And that birthday party was so much fun. They had absolutely no idea what was going on. Just that there was lots of noise and lots of people over. But we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. Lots of good food and drink. Lots of presents for the girls to open. And now that the day is done, I’m thinking about that woodpecker.
New shoes, finally! I got lucky too. Went down to the running shoe store and bought the last pair of my shoes in my size. The clerk asked if I wanted to try them on? Nope, they were the same shoe that I have worn for the past 6+ months. Same make, same size, even the same neon bright color. Not exactly my favorite color. But as I have often mentioned, running is not about how I look. Ran in my old shoes this morning. Next run – new shoes. So my toes got pretty dusty this morning. Spring has arrived but all that means at this point is that there is little snow left out there. And lots of dirt and dust given that it’s pretty dry. On the plus side, I am starting to see a hint of green in the grass. It’s faint, but it’s there. Huge win. I love wins. Just like the new raw foods restaurant that just opened in town. I don’t eat strictly raw but I do love the option and a new restaurant in town represents yet another source for me. And the new deli that I just discovered in my area. I haven’t actually been in the deli but I’ve heard good things. So it’s on my list to investigate this week. I found a local business coach to help me with some of my business development. Biggest discovery was a natural nutrition school here in town that I was not aware of. A friend found the school and invited me to attend their open house with her the other day. I love connecting with like-minded people so I made time to go. Really good use of my time. The school seems to deliver a really good offering of courses. I don’t know that I am interested in taking another year of schooling at this time, but I love the opportunity to connect with like-minded souls. And there were lots of those souls at the session. I also had the opportunity to chat with a few people at the meeting. I love connecting with people in my tribe. Those connections are what give me hope for the future. There are so many people I know that have no clue about nutrition. Either they don’t know or they don’t yet buy into the notion that our food is our fuel. And that what we eat directly affects how we feel – over the short term and over the long haul. So when I get a chance to rub elbows with people who really get it, well, I get excited. So many wins over the past few days. I love it when that happens. My challenge right now is figuring out how to incorporate all these wins into my life over the next weeks. But, in the scheme of things, I think that’s a good problem to have. I love to win.
Out for a run again today. Chillier than it’s been for a few days. Typical spring time weather here – just can’t make up its mind. But that’s ok. Spring is in the air and every day without more snow is a gift. And so I am grateful and thankful for each day. The babies were over again yesterday. Parents too, of course – meaning my daughter-in-law and my son. And their beautiful twin girls – now on the brink of their first birthday. They are just so much fun to spend time with. They are happy and excited to start each day and that is a valuable lesson to learn from the children in our lives. Children keep us young, and show us just how much we have to be grateful and thankful for. In any case, back to my run. I need new shoes. I have blown a hole in this pair – but I’m thinking I’ve got my money’s worth from this pair. The hole has my big toe almost poking right out of my shoe. That same toe that is working hard to regrow the toenail that I left on the beaches of Cuba. For someone to pick up, thinking it was a sea shell. Kidding! I threw it in the garbage. Leaving it on the beach would have been mean, and just a little yucky. So new shoes are on my list for this week. I’d like to buy new socks. Preferably socks that do not have muddy brown toe sections on them. It’s an inescapable consequence of running outside where there are often big puddles of icy water to dodge – when possible – and run through when not. And I have learned not to expend a lot of effort avoiding these puddles. I know that, no matter how cold the water, my feet will quickly warm up again. Experience has taught me that trying to avoid the puddle that I can see often results in me stepping in other larger puddles that often lurk in the grass or under the leftover patches of snow. So generally, while I do not jump in the puddles like a little child, I also don’t go out of my way to try to avoid them. Not anymore. And that means that my nice white running socks are often quickly a muddy brown. Good thing running is not about how I look, but how I feel. I went looking for socks online. I found socks black socks with white toe sections. Nope, that is backwards. Although if the rest of the sock was black, the muddy brown toes wouldn’t be quite so noticeable. Again, not how I look – how I feel. And I feel fantastic. I had that conversation again last night with some friends. How I feel better than I have in a couple of decades. And everyone should be so fortunate. That is my mission. And this is one of the reasons why.
What products should I use? How long do I have to use them? Why can’t I just buy cheaper products instead of what you are recommending? Lately I am spending a lot of my time answering these types of questions. I don’t really have any desire to do one-on-one health coaching and yet I find that I am consistently doing just that – only I am doing it for free. Not really the best of business plans. But I am simply not able to ignore anyone’s request for help. Over the past 30-40 years we have filled our bodies with fake foods that were severely lacking in vital minerals and nutrients as well as good quality proteins and essential healthy fats. Now we are paying the price in chronic health issues. And despite the fact that it may have taken us all these years to end up with these health issues, we still somehow want to believe that there is a magic bullet that we can take to fix our ailing bodies. Doesn’t work like that, I am afraid. The body has an almost miraculous ability to heal itself given then right tools. Cut your finger and watch as it mend – that is an example of how the body can heal itself. The same process applies to any other issue that the body faces. In theory, anyway. But that means we need to be willing and prepared to work on that healing by giving the body what it needs, and that will differ based on our genetic makeup as well as how well we have looked after ourselves over the years. I started on my protein more than a year and a half ago. It’s not been an overnight transition and yet…I am now wearing a smaller size pant since before I had my children…my eyesight has improved to the point that I just finished buying a weaker prescription for my contact lenses…my chicken neck is no more…..my stretch marks have healed….and, although I don’t know that I have less wrinkles, I certainly do not have more. Now that’s progress. Not quick, but exciting nonetheless. And now that I have added hemp to my diet I am starting to see improvement in my arthritic joints – a couple of my toes and fingers have been slowly but surely showing signs of buildup. I started on hemp a couple of months back. Be warned – if you are not regular – start very slowly with hemp. But as I start to see improvement in my joints I can’t help but get excited. Again, not an overnight improvement – but it’s a huge win regardless. And the hemp oil on my face – fabulous. Yup, I could buy cheaper. But I can’t buy better. And I am worth it. And how long do I need to take this stuff? Only as long as I want to feel better.
And… it’s the first day of spring. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. There is a gentle breeze blowing. All in all, a fantastically beautiful first day of spring. Unfortunately, that is not my first day of spring. Instead, we have over 5 inches of freshly fallen snow, and more on the say. YAY! Gotta love springtime in Alberta. Not only are we getting more snow, it is cold - 10° C. Not exactly what we would order up for our first day of spring. But that’s what happens here in the springtime. Sometimes we get beautiful weather, sometimes we don’t. Today, well, we don’t. Despite the lousy weather, I decide I am going for a run. Certainly it’s not too cold for running. Minus 10 is actually ok weather to run in. It doesn’t take more than a couple of blocks to get the internal furnace revved up – and I am warm. The sidewalks require a bit of navigating given that there are icy patches under that nice new blanket of snow. But still, I have had worse runs – by far. Last week I ran in a long sleeve and pants, today I had to add long underwear and a jacket and gloves to that outfit. It is supposed to warm up again by the end of the week. So I look forward to that. In the meantime, it snows again on the second day of spring. Not just a light dusting, either. Oh no, it’s another 5 inches at least. Seriously, that made for tough slogging again, given that about 70% of my route was not yet shovelled from the first snow. On the plus side, the sun managed to come out in the afternoon of day 2 of spring. Actually the sun managed to make an appearance by late morning – so it was out by the time that I went out for my run. So the walks that were shovelled were rapidly drying. The walks and paths that were not cleared, well, they were definitely not cleared. It was neat to watch the snow that I plowed forward as I pushed each foot forward for the next step of my run. And it’s kind of funny in an ironic sort of way to see the piles of snow alongside the driveways again. Those piles were almost completely gone before it started to snow. Now, if I did not remember what time of year it was, I could easily believe that we are back in late November or early December. It looks really clean and pretty outside again. At least until it starts to melt. Sometime in the late afternoon. I saw no geese on this run. They are back in igloo-making class – trying to determine how to put up with this snow until it’s gone. Or they are out getting fitted for snowshoes? Trying to somehow deal with the unpredictable spring weather in Alberta.
Aaaah, the sound of spring. For me, that means the sound of the Canada geese coming back to the area. Funny, before I started running I never really paid attention to their comings and goings. Now, however, I am not happy when I hear them in the fall because I know what is on the way. But I love the sound at this time of year because it means spring is near. Yes, I know we can still get some crappy weather yet. But it’s close – and the anticipation of spring is such a beautiful thing! I heard the geese the other day and, when I was out running this morning, I saw them out on one of the ponds along my route. There they were, standing on the ice, stomping their webbed feet to keep warm, or maybe break the ice. Ok, I am making up the part about them stomping their feet. But it would be funny to see. Every spring when they first return, the ice still seems to be frozen. I can just imagine them thinking WTH? We flew all the way back here – we know we are on schedule, what’s with this ice? Beyond the geese, there are more indications of spring. The snow is almost gone, there are only occasional patches of ice to challenge me on my run, and the mounds of gravel on the sidewalk are frequent and a hazard for anyone navigating on wheels. These gravel piles are a result of the city’s efforts to keep our roads driveable in the city during the winter – they drop the gravel on the icy roads and then, when they plow the roads, that gravel ends up on our sidewalks. And there it will stay until residents sweep their sidewalks and then the street cleaners wash it down the drains. In the meantime, the gravel adds to the drab of the current scenery. I know spring is on its way, but until the trees and grass start to green up, the landscape is plain old butt ugly. There is no other way to describe it. I am reassured and hopeful, however, because I know that it will soon be beautiful once again. Regardless of how things look on the surface, life is waiting to burst forth. And it will, when it is time. Everything for a reason and everything in its own time. It’s the same in our own lives. Sometimes things appear bleak on the outside while, beneath the surface, all kinds of things are actually happening. We just need to be patient and trust that we will get what we need when we need it. Patience is one of my lessons. I know it because I often feel impatient. But I’m working on it. And with patience comes acceptance. Of whatever happens. I’m working on that too. Life really is a beautiful thing!!
So I have committed…..once again. I was in agony at the end of my last marathon. Before I finished that last marathon I swore I would never race again. And I use the word ‘race’ very liberally. Perhaps I should simply say that I plan to complete another run. This one, however, is very different. It’s a relay race through the majestic Canadian Rockies. I recently started visiting a new local health clinic, and in their first newsletter they were looking for additional participants for the Banff to Jasper relay in June. I jumped at it, of course. Way back when, back in the olden days, my initial marathon foray began because I accepted an invitation to run in a similar relay race. I joined a running group, and so began my long runs. After one Sunday morning run, when I had completed 18 miles, I made the decision that I would then also like to run a marathon. If I can run 18 miles, I can run 26 miles – I said to self. Ah, to be that naïve and optimistic again. As fate would have it, I was not able to actually run in the relay race due to an untimely but necessary abdominal surgery. But I did indeed run my first marathon some 2 months after that surgery. That was a testament to how well I looked after my body for a speedy recovery. How nice it would have been if I had known about my collagen protein for speedier healing. In actuality, though, the collagen protein that I am using was not even available in those olden days. Back to my point. I started my long distance running as training for a relay race. Now that I have completed 5 marathons I am going to run a relay race. I also invited one of my friends from my boot camp last summer to run – so we will be travelling together. I also invited my brother to run – he will be coming in for the weekend to run as well. The scenery for this runs should be beautiful. My leg of the run is about 17km – so I don’t expect to struggle too much over the distance. But the hilly terrain and the altitude may be challenging for me. I will need to figure out what I need to do to train for this race. And I should probably figure that out soon – given that the race is 3 months out right now. Long runs – here I come again? On the plus side, winter is pretty much done. So at least the weather is improving. If I have to spend more than an hour on my Sunday runs, it’s much more enjoyable in the sun – and when it’s not -20 – or worse. So, full circle. My training begins, yet again. For the most beautiful relay in the world….
Out for a run again today in the gorgeous sunshine. Not that warm for March, but can’t beat the sunshine. And given the part of the world that I live in I know it could always be worse. So I am grateful for the sunshine. And by this time next week I may no longer need to wear my treads on my shoes as I see that a lot of the ice on the sidewalks is gone. However, not all of the ice is gone. I stepped on an uneven part of the sidewalk and wrenched that same ankle that I badly injured a number of years back – in March – when I stepped on a piece of ice. The result was a third/fourth degree sprain as well as a bone chip that took a number of years to resolve. But, as anyone who has ever sprained a joint knows, that type of injury can be very painful. It was certainly more painful than any broken bone I have dealt with. My foot was swollen and bruised from the toes all the way to the bottom of my calf. The doctor said it was ‘just’ a sprain – and to RICE it. Fair enough – I did that – but I was going back for physical therapy as long as 8-10 months later. So when I twisted that same ankle again this morning, I was freaked. And for a few minutes it was sore – I ran/limped gently along trying to ensure that I had not actually suffered anything more than a slight strain. As I kept going with my run I forgot that I had even twisted it – and by the end of the run I felt no evidence at all of the mishap. I have no doubt that the wrenching on my ankle this morning was as severe as the last time I injured it. The difference is my body is better equipped to deal with the strain. I credit my collagen protein. I love the fact that I have found products that not only enable me to maintain my health but also to improve it. I was at the market again yesterday – a favorite pastime of mine – where I met a couple of lovely ladies who also believe that nourishing the body with good clean whole foods is the best medicine on the planet. What were they selling – good old hemp. The same stuff (although not the same variety) that I was suspected of using in a different manner in my youth. But this time I see the value in this product and I plan on using it for different purposes and for a longer period of time. And perhaps I, too, will sell it at the markets in the future. I love it when I find new products that can help me with my health and also help those in my circle. Want to know more about the benefits of hemp?
Out for a run the other day. Brilliant sunshine so I thought it might be a little chilly with the wind. The wind chill factor said it was -16° C. That didn’t seem too bad, so out I went. I was proactive enough, at least, to put on long underwear – shirt and bottoms. Turns out that was a very good plan. It felt freezing cold. I didn’t wear a hat – I don’t like wearing hats – at any time. I wear my headphones over my ears so my ears do not freeze. But I guarantee that headphones in no way, shape or form help to keep the heat in like a good old fashioned toque. So I was chilly to start. Once again, we had a light skiff of snow the night before – less than a centimetre so it wasn’t the tough slogging like the last run. However, it was perhaps a bit more treacherous as we have had numerous thaw and freeze cycles here over the past 6 weeks. So that nice pretty snow becomes cover for some fair sized stretches of ice that could easily be used for as a track for speed skating. Not so good for running, though. As is my custom over the past 6 weeks I put on my traction contraptions for my shoes. That is the only way I have been able to continue my running during this winter. Normally I don’t have to start with the traction aids until spring – but this winter has been particularly uncooperative for runners. No biggie. I love my running so a patch or two of ice, or a mile or two of ice, is not going to deter me. Nothing beats running in the great outdoors. I feel like a little kid when I go out for my run. Excited and looking forward to the adventure – never knowing what it may bring. And I feel like a little kid when I return. Grateful for the experience. Pleased with myself for the accomplishment. Feeling good just because I was once again able to spend time in nature – no better therapy in the world in my view. Just plain old happy to be alive. My son and his wife had twin girls last spring. They are now about 10 months old. My son sends me pictures on a regular basis. One of the little ones just standing up bracing herself on her walker. Pleased as punch just to be alive and standing there –reveling in the moment. Nothing more. We can take so many lessons from watching children. Live in the now. Enjoy each and every moment. That is all we are guaranteed. So soak it up. Whatever the experience is, live it and love it. Just like those little babies do each and every day. Why are they so anxious to get out of bed every day? Because every day is an adventure! Kind of like my running is for me.
Two weeks in Cuba soaking up the sun on the beach – fabulous. My protein and probiotics meant I was able to eat and drink whatever I wanted during those two weeks and I put on exactly zero pounds. I have never taken a vacation where I have not put on at least 5 pounds so I was stoked to see the scale register the same number as it had 2 weeks prior. Never mind the scale, I went shopping for pants for work and bought – size 2s. I cannot remember the last time I wore a size 2 – and all without trying to lose weight or tone my body. And on the heels of a fantastic vacation to boot – unheard of in my world. That was the good news. The bad news – I picked up some bug that left me wiped out for the following 2 weeks – so I ended up taking a very long hiatus from my running. But I am happy to say that I am back at it. I went out again the other morning after a big dump of snow the night before. It’s a treat to be able to be the first one to leave your footprints in the snow after Mother Nature has graced us with a fresh coat of the white stuff. However, Mother Nature outdid herself with this snowfall. It was probably a 6-inch coat that she gave us that night – so while it was pretty to look at, it was gruelling to run through. I could feel my quads half way through my run. But damn, it felt good to be out there again. I have a treadmill and an elliptical in my basement. When it’s miserable outside I will head to the basement and use one of those machines. Jump on my rebounder as well. Maybe spend some time with weights and do some floor exercises. But nothing beats a run. I love my running. I did go for a couple of barefoot runs on the Cuban beach during my vacation. It was cool – very different. Too many people out there for my liking. I am an introvert. Part of the joy in my running is my solitude. My running is my time to recharge – meditate – think about things – think about nothing. It’s actually easier to do that when I am slogging through 6 inches of snow in relative solitude than it is when I am dodging tourists and sea shells on the beach. So I loved my vacation but I also was very happy to get home. Spend some time alone, recharging. Giving some thought to what the New Year will hold for me. I have been journaling most mornings since I’ve been back. It’s a great way to connect with myself. I am an introvert and I am ok with that. Want to know more?
Combine one of the best earbuds for running with one of our top MP3 players for running and you'll have music every step of the way!
Recreational running is way more fun with music. But which are the best, and lightest, MP3 players for running?
If you don't practise proper breathing while running, then you won't hit your best times. Learn how to breathe during your training or races.
Winter running is not safe unless you strap on some running spikes. Here are six of the best availble for purchase online.
If you're training for a marathon, then you'll need one of these pairs of Marathon Running Shoes. How to choose them, and why you should care...
The weather outside may be frightful, but keeping fit is delightful. Our winter running tips will help you to keep to your routine, and keep you safe.
Wow, tis the season. To be busy and stressed and over-committed. Company Christmas party last night, so I’m pooped this morning. But I am sure I’m in better shape than a number of others who seemed determined to have too much fun last night. Been there, done that, not going there again. If I recall correctly that was my experience at the party last year. That was still too fresh in my memory to repeat at this time. It was a pretty good party again – fun group of people to chat with and a great meal again. Music was not so much to my taste – maybe that’s why I didn’t have too much fun again. What did strike me at the party, however, is how truly unhealthy so many people are. A couple of the people that were at the party last year were not there this year – gone from this earth. Health issues, far too young, and preventable, in my view. Well over half of the group there last night seemed to be struggling with excess weight. And that is just one of the visible effects of health struggles. How many more are struggling with other issues that are not visible. And everyone that I talked to last night had stories of loss. The sad part of the story is not just that people pass, it’s that we don’t take the lessons from their lives or their passing. And that we have been conditioned to settle. Accept deteriorating health because it’s inevitable as we age. Or it’s genetics. Or we just have bad luck. And we accept that we cannot do anything about it. My mom always used to rag on my dada and me about wanting to live forever. Nope, that’s not my intent, even if it were possible. But I do want to LIVE until I die. That means addressing the root cause, not covering it up with drugs. I heard those stories last night, too. About the symptoms of the drugs people were taking for the symptoms of a body out of balance. I mostly choose not to get involved in those conversations because I have found that, unless people are actually looking for information, my opinions make people uncomfortable. There are so many options and opportunities to get healthier and those are the choices that I try to make, because I think I’m worth it. Because I believe that I deserve to be healthy and, by extension, happy. We are going on vacation in 2 weeks – for 2 weeks – to someplace sunny and warm. Yay! I am going for a run again today, in the sunshine – Yay! I am going to try a new procedure called cold laser for an old shoulder injury – that I got when I had too much fun some years back. I have another massage appointment next week. Yay! Taking care of myself feels good – that’s why I keep visiting this place.
Brrrrrr. It’s chilly outside. And when I say chilly, that means colder than -20˚C. Cold enough to freeze the brass…..well, you get my point. Now I don’t mind chilly, I really don’t. Anything up (or down) to about -10˚C is actually ok running weather. Beyond that, it takes a fair amount of willpower to talk myself into going out for a run. Last week when it first snowed I went out a couple of times. It was beautiful, the sun glistening off the snow like diamonds. Or some such drivel. I don’t know exactly how to word it, but it was beautiful. And when it’s not too chilly and we haven’t had too much snow, I’m game to run in it. This week was a totally different story. We got buckets of snow – I shoveled the driveway and the sidewalk 5 times in less than 3 days. Not fun, not fun at all. At the end of the 3 days I could barely lift my arms. I have another appointment soon for massage- can’t happen soon enough. Oh, and by the way, we live on a corner lot. It’s nice to have the privacy that a corner lot affords – at least on one side. What’s not so nice is the extra hundred feet of sidewalk that we have to maintain each winter – aka shovel snow off. What makes it worse is the vehicle drivers who insist on cutting the corner sharp and driving over that sidewalk that we are responsible for clearing of snow. Ever try to shove a walk that’s been driven on, numerous times? I digress – I’m good at it in case you hadn’t noticed. My outdoor adventures for the past week have been limited to shoveling snow. No outdoor running now for a week. I used my rebounder and my elliptical this morning. It was nice in that it was warm in my basement. I didn’t have to dress in 3 layers and worrying about freezing my face off. People often ask if I worry about freezing my lungs in that kind of cold. Nope. Don’t know if that is possible or probable. But in this weather, it’s necessary to wear a balaclava in order not to freeze my face. And wearing something covering my mouth makes me feel like I am being smothered. It’s just a lot of work to run outdoors when it’s this cold. Three layers of pants and shirts/jacket plus 2 layers of mitts and maybe a toque and a balaclava. By the time I finish getting dressed I am sweating…and usually swearing as well. So I stayed indoors today. Watched a great show on how probiotics help to keep you from getting fat. Among other things. So it was a big win for me – I stayed warm and exercised and I learned some more about what it takes to stay healthy. Check out this site if you want more info.
Yesterday was a run in the spring weather. Today, back to winter. We have had a number of warm days over the past week so most of the snow was gone. It actually felt like spring out there. Today was another story. Rain and then snow and then more rain. Not as much snow as the eastern states – nowhere near that kind of nasty weather. But enough snow and rain to make it pretty snotty in spots. Again, the sidewalks weren’t bad but the roads, and especially the intersections were really greasy. So I’m very aware of the traffic as that is a much bigger risk to me than falling on the ice and snow. I considered just doing a stint on my treadmill or my elliptical – but it’s just not the same. The big draw for me and my running is getting outdoors. Even if the weather is not that great, there is something truly refreshing about getting outside and being in nature. I watched the movie ‘Origins’ today – it’s free for a limited time – and wow does it have a powerful message. One of the messages that I took from it was the fact that getting out in nature is good for us – it connects us to ourselves, really. That explains my compelling desire to run outdoors even on days when the weather is less than cooperative. After I watched the movie I shared the link on my facebook page. I love giving people the opportunity to learn. Right away I got a comment back that ‘food is food’ – in response to some of my comments about the movie. I have a person in my circle (at least one for sure) that thinks I am ‘out there’ with my ideas. Wild stuff, like what you eat affects your health. And that most food sold in supermarkets is nutritionally lacking. And that sugar is bad for the body. You know, crazy ideas like that. Bottom line, despite my age I am in better health than most people in my group. I am in better health and shape than I have been in over 20 years. I weigh less than I did 20 years ago. I wear the same size clothing (again) that I did in my 20s. I sleep at night. Every night. All night. I am not on numerous prescription drugs for this ailment or that ailment. I have enough energy to work long hours every day of the week, if I so choose. I am not depressed or anxious. In other words, I FEEL GOOD! And I feel good because I look after myself. So movies like ‘Origins’ speak very clearly to me and my beliefs. And I’d love for everyone I know to feel as good as I do so I share whatever I think might help others. I cannot control what they do with that information. Want to know more?
I went out for another run today in the fresh winter air. Just a few short weeks ago I was running in shorts and a long sleeve. Today it was long underwear, gloves and a toque. Pants, shirt and jacket also, of course. How quickly the weather changes here. I was asked the other day if I worry about slipping and falling on the ice out there. Not so much. It is a little slick in some of the intersections because of the traffic packing the snow down as they stop and start. The sidewalks, however, are in pretty good shape. We’ve only had a few centimeters of snow so even the sidewalks that are not shoveled are in decent running shape. Just like me. I am so happy with how I feel lately – better than I have in twenty years. I’m wearing blue jeans that I thought I would never fit again. I’m going to take my two favorite pairs into the tailors to see if he can make them smaller for me. I’m not sure if that is possible but I love those pairs of jeans. They don’t stay up anymore – I can actually take them off without undoing them anymore. It’s a good problem to have, in the scheme of things. Most people my age struggle constantly with their weight and ever-bulging waistlines. Between my running, my supplements and my collagen protein I, thankfully, do not have that problem. My greatest wish right now is that everyone could feel as good as I do. We have an epidemic of health issues going on right now – just have a look around. As the population ages, health issues increase. And given the poor quality of most foods in the supermarket, even the younger generations are experiencing all kinds of health issues themselves. The shame, as I see it, is that it’s all preventable and treatable. Just feed the body what it needs. Listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs and wants to survive. I am often asked what to take for this issue or that issue. I always say there is no magic bullet. We are the sum of all the parts so it’s important to give your body everything it needs. In doing so, the ailments will generally go away. Because those ailments are your body’s way of telling you it is out of balance. And the longer you ignore the ailments, the louder the body will speak to you. The good news is that once you start to listen to your body it will work to heal itself. That’s what the body does. Naturally. It works to survive and keep you feeling well. Isn’t that why we are here? That’s what I came for.
Last run before the snow flies. By the time November comes, every run without snow could be that last run. So the other day when I got home from work I took advantage of no snow yet. The sun was still shining and, although it wasn’t warm by any stretch of the imagination, it was still above zero. And the sun was shining – did I mention the sun? So I went for a run and it was fabulous. Good thing I took advantage. The next morning there was indeed snow on the ground and more was falling. Nothing more than a couple of centimeters, but the ground was white. And the temperature was definitely below zero. Time to dig out the long underwear and gloves…sigh. While I was not necessarily happy to see the snow, there is always a certain beauty to making fresh footprints in the newly fallen snow. As I ran by, buddy out shoveling his sidewalk commented about how ambitious I was to go running in the first snow. I didn’t see it that way at all. A little bit of snow has never prevented me from going running. Freezing rain, maybe – that’s risking a fall. But I feel pretty sure-footed on just the snow itself. My biggest concern in fresh snow is the drivers on the roads. I don’t run on the roads, but with the snow and ice buildup some of the corners end up very slick. I try to make sure that I run on the opposite side of those slick corners so I am not game for buddy who still has his performance tires on his SUV. Ouch, he’s fortunate he only went up onto the sidewalk and never actually hit the lamppost that was ready and willing to greet him. Hopefully he takes that as his cue to get his winter treads installed. Aside from watching for slip-sliding vehicles, once again I was so happy that I sent for that run. And that’s why it’s not hard to go out in the snow. Because I know I will feel better for having gone. I enjoy the run itself. I like how I feel afterward. Why would I not go for that run? I love how it makes me feel. I love how it makes me look. I do it because it’s good for me on so many levels. Running. Eating clean. Supplementing. I haven’t felt this good in years. And isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about? Feeling good? I believe it is. And I know I’m not the only one. When you have some time, check out this lady – fascinating.
As I am out for my run again this morning in the beautiful November weather, I am reminded why I run. One of the reasons is that I love being in nature and, given where I live on this planet, every day now that is above zero and sunny is a gift for which I am eternally grateful. Through my whole run I had this silly grin on my face, drinking in the (relatively) warm weather and beautiful sunshine. How could I not be smiling? And I think about lots of things and yet I think about nothing in particular. I remember once being asked what I was running from? My response – I am not running from anything, I am running towards something. I have also been asked why I run. My response – so I don’t kill someone. I have to say that one with a smile on my face or someone may take me seriously. Honestly, I am not a violent person. I have no stomach for it – can’t even stand to watch violent movies even though I know they are not real. But when I have had a particularly trying day, nothing beats running for relieving stress. At least nothing beats it for me. No matter how bad my day might be, after a run I often cannot remember what I was upset about to begin with. How’s that for relieving stress. And when I’m not having a bad day, and those are the majority of my days, running just adds more joy to an already good day. Today was one of those days. I am an introvert. I am actually a fairly introverted introvert. So the fact that running is one of my passions is not a surprise as I love to run, alone, with only my thoughts for company. No mindless chatter. No over-the-top enthusiasm. No making small talk. For an introvert, small talk is the worst. We can do it, but it is extremely draining. If you are an extrovert, right about now you are probably thinking I’m a weirdo or a nerd. Could well be. But if you are an introvert, you know exactly what I am talking about. You are nodding your head in agreement. You are relieved to know that you are not the only nerd on the planet – or maybe you already knew that and you are just happy to have found another one of the tribe. Now I feel like I’m making small talk, so that’s enough of that. If you are an introvert you may want to read Susan Cain. I love her book. I have read it. Twice. And will probably read it again. In the meantime, I continue to cherish my alone time when I am out running. If you are interested in learning more, check out her Ted Talk.
I have been asked several times this week if I am still sore from my marathon a couple of weeks back. Sore? Seriously? I was back to running my normal runs within 5 days of running that marathon. I could have started sooner if work hadn’t got in the way for me. Like I keep saying, if I could run as fast as I heal I would probably have had a Boston Marathon qualifier time instead of my slow and steady and persistent time. If and when I decide to run another marathon, my goal will be to run the race with good enough conditioning and form that I am not in pain during the last half – at all. That is my goal. I have no nagging aches or pains from that marathon, or from any of my other activities. I know it is because of the collagen protein that is part of my daily routine. I incorporated these products into my life about 15 months ago and I feel I am just getting stronger all the time, unlike most of the people in my life. I look around and see so many signs of unhealthy lives and living. I wish I could convince all the skeptics in my life who seem to think that their physical deterioration is a natural part of the aging process. I don’t buy that – never have, never will. Next time you see a healthy person, ask them how they have managed to maintain their health. It is pretty simple. A word of warning, it’s not necessarily inexpensive, especially if you abused your body in your younger years – as I did on numerous occasions. However, unlike a lot of women my age, I do not look like I am permanently pregnant. I do not struggle to sleep at night. I am not plagued by depression or uncontrollable mood swings. A big part of that is my running. It makes me feel good, plain and simple. And it keeps me feeling good as well. Another integral part of my health is my supplementation – especially my collagen protein. Google collagen protein and you will see why. One of our partners, Alan Odgen, is a retired pharmacist with a specialty in geriatric pharmacy. Google him to listen to some of his talks on YouTube, where he calls collagen protein the medicine of the future. Or check out Dr. Charles Rouse, Jr., another of our partners who is a Pharmacist as well as a Naturopathic Doctor. In fact, Dr. Rouse has written a short book on enzyme hydrolyzed collagen protein, called “A Weapon of Mass Construction”. It talks about what collagen protein is and what benefits can be derived from taking it. If you are interested in a free copy just send me a quick email with your mailing address. I can also send a free sample of our protein smoothie powder for you to try. Good health is possible, don’t settle!
So as I am jumping on my rebounder the other morning I am watching some mindless drivel on the TV when an ad comes on that catches my attention. It is an ad some drug that will help with some issue – I don’t recall the details. But I do know that the side effects of the drugs seemed to be worse than the symptoms that the drug was designed to treat. And still people are going to the doctor and requesting those drugs. They must be, or the pharmaceutical companies would no longer be advertising. Big pharma is big business. And that means they know what makes them money. So if they are advertising they must be making money from those ads. Have we lost our ability to critically analyze information that is given to us? Are we that gullible? Naïve? Maybe it’s a matter of coming up against a health issue – or multiple health issues – and being unable or unwilling to accept a conventional diagnosis. I know that’s when I decided I needed to do further research and that is what has brought me to my current place. I have spent over 20 years researching and investigating various natural health remedies, with varying levels of success. I tried a remedy that Health Canada just finished warning the public about, saying the product could harm you. Absolutely, if used incorrectly, this product could cause some real damage. I used this stuff for several months with no adverse effects and some actual health improvements. I quit it mostly because it was quite a lot of work to prepare and use. I’ve since moved on to better things. Speaking of products with potential adverse effects? How about acetaminophen? Fluoride? Mercury? We seem to be ok with putting that stuff into our bodies. Too much of those things can kill you, but I don’t see Health Canada telling you not to use them or consult a doctor if you have. But we should also know better than to use them incorrectly. In my perfect world, everyone would decide for themselves what works. Listen to what is being said. Do your own research. Read all the articles that you can find on a particular subject. I especially search for the negative articles on products that I am researching because I want to know what the critics are saying. Sometimes there’s validity in what the critics are saying. Sometimes it’s just someone’s opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t necessarily have to agree with it. In the end I make up my own mind based on my research and often my own experience. That’s what critical thinking is all about. This article sums it up very nicely.
Another quick run today in the beautiful October sunshine. Every day now without snow or cold is a gift, but to actually be running in shorts and a long-sleeve in mid-to-late October goes beyond sweet. Less than a week after the marathon and I have already been for 3 short runs – each feeling better than the last. The sunshine. Being able to wear shorts. All the leaves are not even off the trees yet. We had a shower the other afternoon and when I ran the following morning, it smelled like heaven. I know spring smells great, but fall has an awesome aroma all its own. Mostly it just feels good to do a quick run. I don’t have to plan to give up the whole morning or worry about what might be aching by the time I am done. I remember now how much I love to run, for the sake of running. Because it feels good. Because it makes me feel good. Because I love being out in the sun. And even in the wind and the rain and the snow. It just feels good to be outside and in nature. Whatever problems I may have disappear for me during my run. Some day I’d like to have my own spa, and one of my responsibilities would be going for a run with other like-minded souls. People who are driven, as I am, to maintain their health in a natural way. People who are curious for answers, and not lazy about working towards solutions. People who understand that good health cannot be regained overnight after years of ignoring and abusing their bodies. But these same people also realize that good health can indeed be regained. That health is indeed within their reach, and within their control. It’s not easy. But it is simple. That sums up a lot of things in life, and good health is no exception. I can also say from personal experience that it’s well worth the effort. I am surrounded by people who are suffering from one form of dis-ease or another. And most are unable and unwilling to step up and do anything about it. I’d love to help. I have lots of ideas and resources to call upon. But I have learned that you cannot tell people things they are not ready to hear. So unless and until they ask me for help, I offer nothing except an ear to listen. And I hope that at some point they become open to asking for help. In the meantime, I will continue to run. Not because it helps anyone else, necessarily. But it does help me. I’m just looking again at the origins of the marathon. I spoke about it once in a class I took. I joke about Pheidippides’ outcome of his race not being my desired result. Now this would be a really cool marathon to run.
Where to start. Almost a week since I ran (and finished) my 5th marathon. Second post-race run today. I feel fantastic. I’m already starting to think about the next time – duh. But yes, sweet treats for sure this week. After my run I spoiled myself. When I hit the food tent after the race I spied….donuts. Now I do not usually eat donuts. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I ate one – until after the race. I was famished. And I craved some sweet simple carbs. So I grabbed a frosted donut. And another. And then 2 more. To be fair, they were only donut halves – so I only ate a total of 2 donuts. But given that I don’t recall the last time I had one, that is a lot. After 5 hours of running I deserved to treat myself. I also went for another chiropractic treatment again this week. I have booked another massage for next week. That last message was like heaven so I can’t wait to go again. I love treating myself. This body needs and deserves to be pampered. That’s why I eat mostly organic foods. I take lots of quality supplements. I love my collagen protein shakes for how good they make me feel and look. I also started rebounding a couple of months back – after the health conference that I attended in August. I have since lost 8 pounds with no other changes – other than I am actually running less times in a week now. I know that that the scale is not the place to measure progress but I knew I was losing weight because my clothes fit better. And while I am not overweight I have carried about a dozen extra pounds over the past 20 years that have been pretty solidly welded on. So to drop 8 pounds with no additional effort or diet change – that is the sweetest treat of all. I suspect it’s a combination of the running, the rebounding, the protein and the other supplements that I am taking. I know that everything in life is a result of a number of factors – not usually just one thing. I also know that I feel and look better than I have in years. Just by adding 10-20 minutes of rebounding once or twice a day. Easy enough to squeeze that in before my shower in the morning. Or before I eat dinner in the evening. Effortless. And I feel so good. Do your own research about rebounding – the rave reviews are there. Want to know more about the lymphaciser that I use – check it out under products - Education and Extras.
Race day dawned with calm winds and a temperature of 12˚C. It rained heavily on Saturday but race day was forecast with a chance of showers late in the afternoon. Perfect. What wasn’t so perfect was my current condition. I had been to the chiropractor twice the week before. I then booked a ‘hail mary’ massage to try to pull this run from the ashes. When we flew into Victoria I still had not decided what race I was going to run. The 8k distance was very tempting. I ran a quick 8k on Friday afternoon before we left and it was the best run I’d had in months. Obviously that massage really helped. I shaved somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes off that run and I was pumped. I carried that feeling with me all the way to the race registration desk that evening. Once I picked up my race package I was committed. No turning back at that point. I surveyed the piles of souvenir shirts and decided that no other shirt was worth foregoing the marathon experience. So the deal was thus clinched. On the eve before the race I found a good raw restaurant for dinner. Early bath and to bed by 9:30pm. Now it was race day and I was nervous. I hooked up with my brother who was also running. Soon we were off. Nothing beats the excitement at the start of a big race. The first half of the run was great. If you have ever been to Victoria you know how pretty it is. The scenery was beautiful. I felt good and had a steady pace. Finished the half in about 2:12. From that it went downhill rapidly. Between the 20 and the 30km mark I stopped a number of times to stretch out my hips and back. Between 30km and the finish line…well, let’s just say that was not my finest hour. Or, should I say, my finest hour and 45 minutes. I walked 3-4km (on and off) out of those last 12k. Dig deep – did I dig deep? That was incredibly hard work. I finally crossed the finish line at 5 hours, 3 minutes, 26 seconds. I have never worked so hard in any race. I don’t know that I will sign up for a marathon again. I certainly won’t run a marathon with that little distance training. I only had a couple of long runs over 20km and none over 30km. That explains my discomfort by the end of the race. But I did finish. When I commit to something, I like to see it through to the end. So I am grateful to have finished. I am grateful for my collagen protein as I have minimal post-race stiffness and soreness. Ps. My brother finished in 3:37 – a few minutes shy of Boston marathon qualifying time. That will probably be the carrot that leads him into his next race. Will I do it again? Hells…..maybe.