Birthday weekend

IMG_00000149My cat and I share today as our birthday. How weird and wonderful is that? It’s 44 years for me, and seven for my black bear, Moe. Of course, it also would have been seven for his jolly, tuxedo-wearing brother, Joe. We still miss him so much. The birthday weekend started out with some well deserved sloth on Friday night. Moe and I curled up for some old episodes of Frasier and laughed our heads off. OK, I did. Moe just chased mice in his sleep on my lap. We had a good sleep in on Saturday, then cozied over coffee and breakfast. I got the housecleaning done – the vacuum being the low point of the weekend for Moe – and headed out to buy a new TV. Yay! running shoesNext stop was the gym where I ran 11 km – the furthest I’ve ever run. I’ve done the 10 km race in the Blue Nose Marathon several times, and this year, I’m training for the half. I’ve been hampered by high hamstring tendonitis but I think I’ve hit my stride with one long training run per week, increasing the distance by 2 km per week, and keeping limber with yoga, aerobics, water jogging, and walking through the rest of week. So far, so good! 11081209_10153768478330663_9158455327660808308_nOn the way home, I stopped at Flip Burger to celebrate the run and Halifax Burger Week with my usual…cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickle and garlic mayo. Moe got a small taste of local beef patty and curled up on my lap for another couple of episodes of Frasier. We had a delicious sleep and woke to glorious sun streaming in the windows this morning. After coffee and breakfast – tuna for Moe, bagel with light Laughing Cow cheese and pear for me – I rolled out my yoga mat in a sun spot. I don’t normally practice at home; I prefer the guidance of a class. But today, as I looked out the window at fresh beautiful snow on the trees (not resenting it in the least, even though we’re officially a week into spring), I found myself saying to the world, “Thank you for having me. Namaste.” IMG_20150329_121625Then I went sledding. Seriously. I love spending time with my friends and their adorable monkeys. And you couldn’t ask for a more perfect day for sledding. Fresh, fluffy snow, sun, and temperatures above zero. I think I actually got a mild sunburn on my face. Home for a cat nap, then off to the gym again for deep water aquafit. I love a good water workout, plus it’s great for loosening up legs that are remembering yesterday’s run. I made my legs practice good running form while also giving them a break by making my arms do more of the work. Home to a dinner of tossed salad and salmon cakes. Yes, Moe got some salmon, too. It was a great fish day for him. Topped it all off with a steaming mug of Baileys hot chocolate. And now, I’m feeling pleasantly well spent and ready for bed. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up and find out what the next year brings. a ps – The TV is still in the box!

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Power Run

Well hello there. Long time, no blog. Not sure why, to tell you the truth. So let’s get back at it.

running shoesI went for an awesome run tonight. A nice 9km in the sunshine. Right on track for my training for the Blue Nose half marathon in May.

Now, if you know where I live, you’ll know running outdoors is a challenge these days. Nova Scotia and neighbouring provinces have been walloped by storm after storm this winter. One of them involved wildly fluctuating temperatures, so it turned on a dime from downpour to flash freeze. Pavement disappeared under inches of ice. Slushy footsteps frozen on sidewalks made walking treacherous. I wasn’t about to risk almost certain injury by running on that.

In fact, I never thought I’d run in winter at all. Which is funny because I like cool weather for running. My ideal seasons are early spring and mid to late fall. Somewhere around 8 degrees celsius is perfect. Double digits quickly become too warm for me.

But I’ve always watched winter runners in all their cold weather gear, pounding through frigid messes, and thought they looked so uncomfortable. I imagined how cold their feet must be in running shoes that provide little protection in a slush puddle.

Path bravely forged by one of my neighbours from the back door...the only door of the building that could be opened.
Path from the back door bravely forged by one of my neighbours. This was the only door of the building that could be opened until I dug out a 30′ trench from the parking lot to liberate the front door.

And yet there I was tonight, on the first day of spring – hah! – happily trotting through tunnels created by the bobcat snow-clearing machines after the latest storm dumped about 90 cm on Halifax. The bobcats leave a couple of inches of snow but it was certainly passable with caution. The few times I felt the unexpected ick of ice cold water through my shoes, it quickly went away thanks to wool socks.

As I trotted along to Enid, I remembered times spent with my best friend Nat in her dorm room in university listening to the Gordon CD. I smiled and thought, “If only my 21-year-old self could see me now.” I’d like to think she’d avoid some of my mistakes, and also find some of my newer joys earlier.

Ah, that’s not how life works, is it. But here is one little nugget of wisdom about how it does work. A nugget I have known in theory for some time but only just internalized this winter: You are what you give power to.

You can’t swing a shovel around here without hearing someone gripe about the lousy winter. But not me. I’m not caught up in the negativity, and it’s really not hard to resist.

Another snowstorm? Excellent day to make cookies, get some school work done, and nap with the cat! Need to shovel again? Great exercise in the fresh air followed by well-earned hot chocolate with Bailey’s! Another storm coming tomorrow? Do this weekend’s training run early, then foam roller with Netflix while the storm rages!

There are far worse things than some snow, boys and girls. We are Canadian. Embrace our natural habitat. Give power to the joys of hunkering down safe and cozy during the storm. Give power to gratitude that you have good health and a warm coat to do what you gotta do outdoors. I guarantee it’ll lift the weight right off your shovel.

a

ps – If you’re looking for a food connection, there isn’t really one. All I’ve got for you is this: I had an awesome nosh of spaghetti and meatballs after my run tonight. I made the meatballs during the last storm.