Moments to Remember for 2013

So as it’s getting to be the end of 2013, I figure I should do a quick picture post of some of my memorable moments…..

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Chilly Chase 15k January 2013 – I was so not prepared for this mentally or physically. It was a 2 hr time limit and I barely made the cut off. The last 200 meters I was done, and standing there was my Aunt Shelley and Sandra, who I had known forever. Sandra yelled at me I was not walking to get my ass moving, and she got out on the course and ran beside me. I finished with less than 4 minutes to spare, but I finished.

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They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but this one is worth so much more. For the first time since I was 17, I weighed under 200 lbs. I wish I could describe the emotions that I experienced but it was overwhelming….

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BMO Half Marathon, my goal race and first ever half. My dearest friend Jared flew up from California to run it with me. My cousin Elaine came down from Ft Nelson and ran it as well. When I crossed the finish line she flew into my arms and gave me the biggest hug ever and we both cried.

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Lower body lift on June 14, 2013. Physically I recovered like a champ. Mentally it was a lot tougher than I thought, but I survived it. And learned a lot about myself.

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My first “Ladies of the Trails” run in North Vancover, and first time meeting Solana. I had no idea how big an impact this was going to make on my life…..

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Kendall and the Coho 14k run. I cannot say enough about how lucky I am to have met her. Kendall came along at a time when I needed her in my life. I guess she’s like my favorite pair of sweats, I’d be lost without her some days 🙂

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5Peaks Buntzen 10k trail race. The first race in my double race weekend, and my first ever trail race.

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Surrey Half Marathon, the second race in my double race weekend. Rocked my half PB by knocking over 22 minutes off my previous race.

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Being able to run in Tina and Melissa at Rubber Ducky Half. Both amazing people that I love so dearly.

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My first runs back post lower body lift with Tina, Bea and Will. Some I even drug my ass up at 4:30 to go on…. They were awesome

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BCMC in 1:27 with Jenn. She pushed me and helped me crush my previous attempt on the Grind. Just awesome

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Emergency surgery due to complications from weight loss surgery. Albeit not a positive experience, and scary as shit…. A lot of positives came out of this. Friends being the biggest.

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My Scoot A Doot shirt!!! I wanted one so bad and the ladies were wonderful and sent me one after surgery. Pure love.

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West Van Run photo shoot (picture compliments of Jennifer Strang) amazing day with amazing people.

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My brother and I back home. Granted it was for a heart wrenching reason, but I am so glad to have spent the time with him.

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Team FOMO Christmas get together at Solana’s. Becoming a part of this group with such amazing people has meant the world.

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Christmas at Kendall’s house *love*

I am also extremely lucky to have met someone this year who has become very dear to my heart. There may be more miles between us than I wish, and a crappy time zone change, but never have I felt judged or less of a person. I can tell this person anything, they know things of my past nobody else does, and understand things that I am not always sure how to explain. I am forever greatful to this person, even when they piss me off, and hope one day I get the chance to hug and thank them for the impact they have had.

Of course there are so many other memories of 2013 I won’t forget, but these are some 🙂

Happy New Years to those I love and care about, friends and family alike. My life is richer having you all in it xoxo

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First Run Back

It’s been a month since surgery. So a month of food, sitting on the couch, watching Doctor Who episodes, some crappy TV, sports and not running.

Originally my surgeon said that I had to wait 2 weeks before going back to running when I talked with him at the hospital, but I made the choice to wait 3 weeks. When I saw him at my 2 week follow up, I was still sore and having problems keeping food down, so the decision I made was to wait a month before starting back out running.

I didn’t want to get my butt out of bed to run. As much as I wanted to be out there running, I was lazy, sleepy and quite comfy snuggling with Bella.

Eventually I got up, got dressed, threw on my brand new New Balance 880 shoes compliments of a gift certificate from West Van Run (if you are local to Vancouver and want a run on March 2, check it out!! Would love to see you there) my new sports bra from Victoria Secret and the rest of my gear.

I already had my route planned out, I was going to run 5k around my complex, 3 short laps and 1 long lap, in case I had any problems or couldn’t handle the distance I was close to home. The major downside to this route is that it is not flat, and the incline on the short lap isn’t too bad, but it goes for roughly .4km and I started out too fast. My lungs were burning, but my legs felt good.

I had to stop and walk more than once, which was a bit of a tough pill to swallow, but hey… It was my first run back. I was also worried that my stomach was in pain from where surgery was, and if I was doing damage. And then I realized it was the underwire in my bra…. But it was still a bit of a worry.

My last lap was definitely hard. Both mentally and physically because of the increase in the incline. I walked up a lot more of the hill and kept telling myself it wasn’t that much further. I will admit, each lap, each time I went passed the house I was tempted to quit. To say I couldn’t do any more and give up. But I didn’t, and that is something to be proud of.

My pace was slower, obviously, than what I was running before I got sick. But it was still a good pace when I factor in time off and how much walking I did. I am sure it won’t take me long to get back to longer distances or a quicker pace, but it will come in time.

The biggest thing that has come out of all this is I need to be smart. I need to listen to my body and when I feel something is off go see my Dr. Don’t shrug it off, because there is the chance of this happening again. I know my signs, and thankfully so do my friends so I have them to be accountable to as well.

And the best?? My bib holder Kendall gave me as a Christmas gift. All my 2014 bibs will be going in this and I am going to make the best of my 2014 race season. Set some amazing PB’s, run new and exciting races and push my distance to uncomfortable levels.

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Bib holder
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And of course, we all need to be Powered by Chocolate Milk which is a great post run drink

Learning to Cope

I have never been one who had a great ability to express myself. I hold a lot in, and always try my best to not discuss what’s bothering me with others. It’s my own issue and yes I am working on it, but it is still part of me.

Before, I would cope with eating. Either binge eating, anything and everything, or not eating at all. The thought of food would make my stomach churn, and I would go a few days without consciously thinking of food or wanting to eat. Toss in surgery and this “coping” method has been removed from my life.

This past Friday, I lost someone who was very important to me. Not only that, but I have a lot of anger, hurt and unsaid forgiveness for stuff that went on within the dynamics of our family. I had made a choice a few months back that next time I went home, I was going to go see him, if he would see me and just say hi, hug him and tell him I loved him. But that won’t happen. Instead the next time I go home will be to stand with my family as we lay him to rest.

Am I coping well? Not really. Friday was a disaster of tears and heartbreak. Saturday the thought of food made me want to vomit, and tears were still there. Yesterday numbness set in, and anger over so much wasted time towards him and myself is creeping in. I haven’t really slept with all the other stuff going on, throw this in and I feel like a train derailed.

Normally, I would toss on my running shoes and go push myself on an angry run that makes me want to throw up and collapse. Push myself so hard that I can’t feel anything other than my heart racing and lungs gasping for air. And right now I can’t even do that which causes more frustration on my part.

I am thankful to those who listened and let me cry. Who offered to help in any way they could and who also let me have my time to absorb things. But it still doesn’t help the hurt I feel inside. And I know I need to figure out how to cope with shit because life happens and this is not healthy

Body Image – Never Ending Battle

I have tried to write this post a few times, but I never know what to say or how to word it. So instead I am going to just say what comes to mind and hope it makes sense.

I have been seeing a lot of posts over the last while regarding body image and ones perception of how they look, especially after weight loss. And I understand, it is really hard to look at yourself after you have gone through a huge drastic change, and not see what was once there.

I am just as guilty as the next. I look at myself and see skin all over the place. My arms, my legs, my belly, my knees, you name it. I do not see what others see, I tend to think I look so much different than what I do.

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As you can see, I have excessive hanging skin on my arms. My belly is extremely swollen right now due to surgery but I still have hanging skin there. My back thankfully isn’t too bad, but it still isn’t “perfect”.

But, I can’t expect it to be. No matter how much I wish I looked good naked, I don’t. I have to think that this body, with my skin hanging and wrinkly and boobs that are non existent is so much better than my body before. Hanging skin is better than having skin full of unhealthy fat.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother me. That putting on clothing that shows my stomach or arms doesn’t bother me. Especially since I had my lower body lift, I struggle a lot with accepting my imperfections. I am often asked if I will undergo more cosmetic surgery to remove skin and right now the answer is no. The cost and recovery time is not something I think right now is worth it.

We are allowed to hate how we look in the mirror some days. We are allowed to wear double padded bras to make us feel better about ourselves when we have no boobs anymore. Body image is hard, and looking when you don’t see what is in the mirror is a struggle. I cry still. I see the person I used to be, I see myself as being fat and I still hate the scale. I see my arms shake and flop when I run, I see my upper stomach hang and not look flat when I put clothes on. And I am not ok with it a lot of the time. I struggle daily. I try, and it gets easier as time goes but it is still hard.

What’s New Pussycat whoa yeah

“Take it easy, no running, no lifting and rest.” Those were the Dr’s orders. Since I know how well I am at listening to orders, I am very glad to have a ton of people who would kick my ass six ways from Sunday if I didn’t.

But – (of course there’s a but) I have to admit I really overdid it this weekend. I am sore, tender, swollen and have a ton of emotions going through me from other shit that is just making me done. I couldn’t even get off the couch today, my abs doth protest.

What on earth did I do you ask? Well…… Saturday I did the Santa Shuffle Walk for the Salvation Army. It was cold as hell and I am sure I killed a few nerves in my toes, fingers and nose, but it was fun. Krista a fellow runner and friend I have met through twitter arranged a small Secret Santa gift exchange for us as well, and it was great!!

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My Secret Santa got me a beanie!! And some Nuun and a SparklySoul headband. Felt so loved.

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I got these from Krista and I felt so loved 🙂

Originally the plan was to run the 5k, but that was prior to surgery. So my amazing friends Kendall, Molly, Simi and of course Ron all walked the 1k with me. We all agreed less walking was better with how cold it was.

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Ugly Sweaters!!!

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Four Ladies and a Ron (our unofficial team name)

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We all got the cutest medal, and it is by far one of the nicest I have gotten.

Afterwards I drug Ron around shopping because I needed a winter jacket. And with the fact I am not planning on changing size anytime in the next decade I wanted a good one. TOTALLY lucked out and got the most amazing Salomon jacket at 50% off!!! It’s pure love.

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And then there was today….. Oh it started early and Brandi was bitchy. Getting up to throw on running clothes and drive an hour to do a photo shoot in the cold? HELL YES!!

Was it cold? Yep
Did we have fun? Yep
Did I lose my pants and phone? Yep
But don’t worry I found them!!

I met new people, got to hang out with Nikki, Krista, Jacki, Kirill, Alex and Jin as we ran, smiled, complained over the cold, had our pictures taken and then went for breakfast. Most fun I’ve had in a while.

Nikki took a few shots with her phone and here are two of my favorites. (I cannot wait to see the professional ones)

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OMG this is what I look like!?

I missed out on an epic 18k run with Molly, Kendall and Cannon, where apparently someone doesn’t have the abs to pee on the side of the road?? Soon I will be back!! But for now, rest. The short bit I did this weekend wore me out, but it was worth it. And bedsides the shit I need to figure out, one of the best weekends ever.

OF COURSE! it was also Kendall’s birthday and I got all prettied to go for dinner with her. It’s cause I like her that much

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