Random Friday…Things?

Yeah I lost the alliteration by posting this a day late. Good thing I’m not governed by internet memes. At least not publicly, anyway.

1. I’ve been tracking my calories with the My Fitness Pal app since before New Years.  I had great success the first week, then stalled, then gained the weight back 3 weeks later.  Seriously, WTF? Anyway my awesome twitter (and triathlon) friend Jennifer suggested I increase my calories and see how I not only felt but how my body reacted.  Well a week later I’m down a few inches and 3lbs.  Not a huge loss by any means but I didn’t GAIN weight even though I have been purposely eating more food. I’m going to keep this up and see how it goes.  Restricting sucks, anyway, and the MFP app really seems to put people on WAY too little calories. This is a whole other post in and of itself.  Check outGo Kaleo’s post on how to properly determine the amount of calories that are right for you – it really opened my eyes.

2. I’ve been MIA from this little blog of mine again, and in February I am aiming to change that (as well as change the blog) by following the 28 Day Blog Challenge from Katy Widrick.  Every day I will follow one of her prompts and change one small facet of the blog to improve it.  Today I edited my “Pages” – so the about me, contact me, blogs, and the dogs sections just underneath my header.  Please check them out and tell me what you think!

3. One thing I neglected to mention here (clearly I’m not into over-sharing) was that from just before Christmas until last Saturday we had a foster dog.  Her name is Miley and she is a lab/hound cross.  I haven’t heard anything from her new family yet so I’m taking that as a good sign that she is fitting in and they aren’t having any problems.  She was a great little dog and she really came out of her shell while in our home. It is truly rewarding to watch a shy, scared dog blossom into a self confident, outgoing, saucy thing. It’s one of the reasons we keep doing it, although I gotta say that being back down to just 2 is so peaceful.

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I’m off for a run, then a nap, then some CrossFitting if my shoulder allows it.  Have a great weekend, folks – I’ll be stuck at work but I’ll still be checking in with my 28-Day Blog challenge, so I’ll be around.

Good Life

 

I had a 5 day weekend this past weekend and took full advantage of it.

Thursday morning I hit up the 7am WOD at CrossFit (7 am used to be my go-to time to workout before I started working nights last year – it was painful getting up that early again) and then rushed home to pack, pile the dogs in the car, and head to the cottage.

I went out for lunch with my mom and brother who had been up there since the previous Saturday.  They left late Thursday afternoon, so the dogs and I had most of the evening to ourselves until Shawn arrived late Thursday night.

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Our view!

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She’s so pretty

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Must…get…stick

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Happy dog

 

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He’s got a good jump for a dog with 3 good legs

 

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Scout just falls off the dock…again, so pretty

 

 

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Splashdown!

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Home and so sleepy

Friday we slept in (well, as late as Scout would let us), went out for lunch and hung out on the lake for the afternoon.IMG_2710

Saturday we go home around lunch time and went shopping – we ended up with this beauty (finally!).

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I am in love with the iced drink button, as well as the iced drink K-cups that are available now.  I’ve had an iced tea or coffee every day since we bought it.IMG_2746

Sunday I went to the gym, PR’d my deadlift at 225lbs, a 10lb PR (sorry for the angry cat back Kev) and then kicked my own ass with one of the “girls”, Elizabeth.

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Cleans
Ring dips

I did 75# power cleans (my legs were shot from the deadlifts) and finished in 7:45.

It was a lovely extra long weekend, and one I’m grateful I get to enjoy frequently due to the nature of my work schedule.  I’ll take nights and 13 hr shifts to have 4-6 days off 1-2 times a month!!

Hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine!

Bubba’s Story–Part 2

Today Bubba is making his journey to his forever home.022

I talked about the start of Bubba’s journey here, but never finished it.

Where I last left off, we had gone to visit Bubba at his adoptive home.  He was happy, loved his new mom, and loved his new brother. 

A week or so after that visit I got a message from his adoptive mom – she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and would not be able to keep Bubba.

The whole situation was horrible – she didn’t want to give up her dog, but it was more important for her to deal with her health than to worry about caring for a young dog.

So again, we took him back.  And have had him ever since.291

Now…the sweet part to the story.

A woman in Colorado had been following his story ever since we pulled him from the shelter in New York last September.  She had fallen in love with him then, and when she found out he was available (again) for adoption, jumped at the chance to snatch him up.  My friend, who is on the rescue board, is going to drive him to Buffalo, where a doggy transport will pick him up and take him to Colorado.

It will be the perfect home for him.IMG_1224

But still I’m sad.

I’m going to miss his adorable little face, his soft dense fur, the annoying way he always had to touch you when you were walking through the house, him barking when he gets excited, and how he bounces when he tries to get another dog to play.

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I know he’ll be happy.

But knowing that he waited for 20 minutes at the door for me after I left him today breaks my heart. I can’t explain to him what’s happening, he just thinks I left him behind again. And I hate knowing that he’ll be waiting for me to come back for him. I feel like I’ve abandoned him. I know I haven’t, but he doesn’t know that.

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So I’m taking today to wallow in sadness and self pity, but tomorrow I will be happy that I saved his life, and got to know one of the neatest dogs I have ever met, and bring him to where he was meant to be.

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Maybe one day I’ll figure out why the story went the way it did. Until then, I’ll just be grateful to have known him.

 

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The Weekend in Pictures

…and video, too!

It was (and still technically is!) a long weekend in Canada, and Shawn and I were both lucky enough to have Friday off.  We piled the dogs in the car and headed up to the cottage early Friday afternoon for a few nights.

There was swimming.

And sleeping.

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And some stick chewing.

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There was also some running (please be kind! It’s weird talking to myself)

On Sunday we headed home late morning in order to head to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to see my first NASCAR race.  We stayed for about an hour, and watched probably only 10-15 minutes of the race (they do go around the same circle for 51 laps!) but it was definitely more interesting than watching it on TV.

There were pretty cars.

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LOUD cars.

BBQ pulled pork for Shawn (I had fries – I like my pigs alive!)

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The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and planning our front garden as well as our veggie garden! I’m going to stop by the garden centre today to pick up the perennials and some of the veggies we want to grow from plants.  Last year we planted too many tomato plants and it kind of went wild.  Hopefully this year the garden is a little more controlled!

How was your weekend? If it’s a long weekend for you, how are you spending it?

Just Don’t Call It A Comeback–Race Weekend!

One more sleep until race day!

I’m still hesitant to have any kind of finishing time in mind.  I’m a slow runner as it is, and I’m still even slower since starting back running, and it’s a trail run.  As I said before, I’ll be happy to finish upright and smiling.

I ran on one of the many golf courses in Uxbridge Thursday while I was at my parents’ house for the afternoon.  This isn’t the golf course the race will be held on, but the golf cart paths and grassy areas were a nice change from road running, and the hills really worked my legs (and lungs).  It was a gorgeous day, and even thought I got lost on the golf course (who does that?) I still had a great run.

I picked up my race kit from one of the local Running Room stores Thursday evening.  It had a lot of stuff for a smaller-ish race, and I was surprised to see that they actually had samples.

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The race shirt is really nice as well, and it was lovely that they had men and women’s sizes, and not just unisex like a few of the smaller races I’ve done. 

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Since this race is sort of a “comeback” (I guess – I was never really anywhere before, ha) and the start of something new, of course I had to come up with a new playlist.  I’ve been running with the same songs on my old playlist for far too long.  The new stuff definitely makes running more fun (for me – I know a lot of purists won’t run with music), and even hearing the songs on the radio makes me want to hit the pavement – er, trail in this case. 

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On the CrossFit end of things, I had 3 great workouts this week, particularly yesterday’s.  The workout was:

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x3 of bench press
Then:
6-5-4-3-2-1 of cleans (increasing weight each round, up to 90% of 1 RM)
Between each round, do 5 box jumps

I suck at bench pressing, but managed to do 60lbs for 3 reps. My cleans were as follows: 65lbs – 70 – 75 – 85 – 90 – 95, which is a new PR for me – I had never cleaned 95lbs before! Not only that, but my box jumps (at 20’, not on the tire for once, but used a smaller box and 35lb plates to get up to 20’) were solid, AND I finished first for once, in 10:26.  I’m normally the slowest. It was a killer workout, and talk about a CrossFit high – I don’t think I stopped smiling all afternoon.

Besides the race on Sunday, it’s also my mom’s birthday (hi Mom!) – she comes back from Florida today, and brings with her cinnamon bears for me.  I’ve never had them but have heard a lot about them, and now my desire for cinnamon-y, gummy goodness can be satiated.  I’ll also put the finishing touches on my try-a-tri training plan which I will start on Monday. Oh and I also added a page for the dogs at the top of the blog – check out their cute faces!

So many workouts, so little time.

Have a great weekend!

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes the world seems too big.

And the crushing weight of our problems and troubles seem overwhelming, no matter how big or small they really are.

In times like these, it’s good to take a step back and appreciate the smaller things in life.

Like pizza and ice cream, baseball, and a walk on the golf course.

Happy Wednesday <3

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The Weekend I Ran 5km Again, and Signed Up For a Race

Good Monday morning everyone! I trust that everyone had a safe and enjoyable long weekend, and that you didn’t indulge (too much) on Easter candy. No

Just a quick post to check in.  I had a great weekend overall, but especially exercise wise.

Friday morning was my return to running, with a 3.6km run with some walks in between the 1200m repeats, to a total of 4.08km.  My knees felt great afterwards! Just as a precaution I wore my drugstore knee sleeve the rest of the afternoon, for some added support.  After my run my mom met Shawn and me at our house and we took our 3 dogs and her dog for a walk down by the lake.  It was basically the same route I had just run, so we ended up walking for about an hour and covering nearly 4km.  So for me that was about 8km either ran or walked for Friday – not too shabby.

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Rocky, Scout and my parents’ border collie, Chase, at the cottage

Saturday was my return to lifting heavy.  I have some updated news on that but until things are figured out with my coaches and I actually have a plan in place I’m going to keep that secret to myself.  Needless to say I’m VERY excited and look forward to the challenges the next few months will bring.

Sunday I finally ran 5km! Okay, I know that doesn’t seem like a lot to most of you, but since my injury I have run exactly 5 times, one of them being yesterday’s run.  And boy, in a 2 month time period do you EVER lose your conditioning.  I can’t believe how difficult the run was for me.  I ran with a friend from work, and I felt badly because we took so many walking breaks, but my lungs and legs could just NOT keep up.  It was a huge difference from being able to run 16km a few months ago. I have a lot of work to do to build back up but I’m going to take it slowly.  My knees are happy now and I’d like to keep them that way.  After my run I iced, foam rolled, and wore my knee sleeve for a few hours again.  So far this strategy seems to be working! I wish I had a fancier knee sleeve but the shipping prices on the ones I’m eyeing (ie Tommie Copper!) are almost as much as the sleeves themselves, so it doesn’t make sense for me to order one at this time.

To celebrate my 5km distance, I did what any other self respecting runner would do – I signed up for a race! And it’s in less then 2 weeks!

The Uxbridge Half Marathon – Run for the Diamond has a 5km trail run/walk, 10km trail run/walk, and a half marathon trail race (as well as a kids 300m fun run).  I had originally wanted to do the 10km but clearly will not be ready for that, so I signed up for the 5km.  I’ve always wanted to do a trail race, and since I have my sights set on a 14km trail race in July, I figured I might as well start now.

So that was my weekend in a nut shell! Add in dinner with friends on Saturday night, and Easter dinner at my parents’ yesterday, and it was a busy weekend.  I’m off to run some errands, then head to an extra lifting class at the gym, and of course, Monday night yoga as usual.

Enjoy your Monday, whatever way you plan on spending it!

Bubba’s Story Part 1

I apologize in advance if this isn’t something you expected or wanted to read.  But it’s something I needed to write.

Last summer I reluctantly agreed to be a foster for the New Orleans Lab Rescue (NOLA).  My friend Pam, who is on the board, coerced Shawn and me into fostering one of 9 puppies they had pulled from a shelter in New York state and brought across the border to Ontario. We weren’t really looking to foster, as the last time we fostered we “failed” and kept Rocky, but as a favour to a friend we said yes. Plus the puppies were super adorable, and it was hilarious to see all of them pile onto each other and chase each other.

We ended up with a little yellow girl, nicknamed Dainty.

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She was very smart and got along well with Scout, although Scout gets along well with everything.  Rocky doesn’t “do” puppies, so he took a bit longer to warm up to her but was a tolerant, if not gracious, host.   She stayed with us for only a week – my Facebook pleading and endless picture posting worked, and she was adopted by a girl I knew from my gym.  They loved her from the first moment they saw her, and when we saw the family with Dainty (now Izzie) we just knew it was meant to be. Successful fostering. I didn’t even cry as we drove away, because really, it was the perfect home and she’d been with us for such a short time.  End of fostering story.

Yeah, right.

Flash forward a couple of weeks, and I came across a posting on the NOLA Facebook page about a blind 8 month old yellow lab that needed to be pulled from a shelter in New York.  Pam had commented that if she could find a foster home for him they’d be able to pull him, otherwise we had to hope that one of the other rescue groups in the area would step up to help him.  I took one look at his face and my heart stopped.

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His resemblance to Rocky was just uncanny, and his carefree grin and kind eyes spoke to a wonderful soul in that furry body.  I had to help him.

I instantly sent a text to Shawn, along with Bubba’s picture, asking if he was ready for us to foster again.  “He’s just a puppy, we shouldn’t have him for a super long time.”  He, too, was struck by the similarities between Bubba and Rocky, and agreed to go along with my plan.  I shot Pam a message, who was surprised, although grateful.  We had originally not wanted to foster any male dogs, as Rocky seems to get along better with females, and a dog that age could make things a lot more difficult in our house.  Still, I had to try.

Bubba was pulled from the shelter and spent a week with a fellow foster in New York before Pam drove across the border to get him the long weekend in September.  We picked up him from her place that Sunday, and the chaos began.  Going from one dog to two is one thing, but going from 2 to 3 is a whole other ballgame.  I’d forgotten what kind of energy an 8 month old Lab puppy has, and he brought out the puppy in both Scout and Rocky.  There were endless three dog wrestling matches in our small living room, and the walls have scars to prove it. It was triple the work now to bring the dogs to work. Oh, and Bubba had separation issues, which meant  barking and throwing himself at the glass door of the run. And barking at home. And barking at the other dogs when they were playing. There was a lot of barking.

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There really isn’t much of a difference between a dog born blind and a dog born with sight.  A dog doesn’t know he’s blind; he just thinks that this is how the world is supposed to be, and adapts to it.  The other dogs don’t know he’s blind and can’t tell him as much, so they all continue on with their dog lives and no one is the wiser.  It is amazing to watch Bubba navigate through the house.  He can jump on the couch, play keep away around the coffee table, and chase the cats just like the other dogs can.  If it wasn’t for his tendency to occasionally walk into walls or other object he didn’t expect, you’d never know he couldn’t see.

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There were a few applications for Bubba initially, but none we felt was the right fit.  Then came the “dream” application – a woman with two sons, who had had a blind lab before.  Score! The home visit went well, and after 5 weeks with us, on Thanksgiving weekend (that’s Canadian Thanksgiving folks) his new family came to pick him up.  He jumped into the car and settled into his new boys’ laps like he’d been doing it forever.  And this time, I did cry.  But only a little. And so our fostering story was over. Or so we thought.

Over the next month I corresponded with his new “mom” numerous times about various behavioural issues she was having with him, things he hadn’t displayed in the time we’d had him.  They started going to a trainer that Pam knew, and everything seemed to be going well.  Until I got a message from Pam that they couldn’t deal with his issues any longer, and although they loved him, they weren’t prepared to train a young dog.

Blind or not, a 9 month old lab puppy is not the kind of dog you can just snap a leash to and expect them to behave.  We were all devastated, and felt that we had let Bubba down.  Shawn and I agreed that we couldn’t let him go to another foster home and went to pick him up.  He was still the same old Bubba, goofy and crazy and still just as soft as ever.  He definitely seemed to remember us.  When we got him home, after an initial scuffle with Rocky (YOU AGAIN?), it was like he had never left.  He knew where everything was, he moved around the furniture like he hadn’t been away for over a month, and he even remembered the dinner time routine and where we had kept his crate before.  It broke my heart a little, to think that he had all these memories of our home stored in his tiny little brain, and that we had sent him away in the first place.

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The search for his forever home began again.  Everyone kept telling us that maybe this was a sign, maybe we should keep him.  But as much as I loved him (and still love him), he’s not supposed to be our dog.  I would love for him to always be here, but there is a lot of stress both time and financially with another big dog in the house.  Anyway…

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Again, the perfect application came in.  A young woman who lived maybe 10 minutes from our house had a 2 year old yellow lab, and wanted another to keep both her and her current dog company.  I did the home visit on my own, and after talking with her for minutes felt completely comfortable handing my Bubba over to her.  She was dog smart and understood what a lab puppy was like.  She wasn’t attracted to him because of his disability unlike so many of the other applications had been, but she was aware of it and was prepared to take it on.  It was the absolute perfect match – it was like adopting to myself. And this time, again, I didn’t cry – because it really, truly, was the perfect home for him.

We went and visited Bubba a couple of weeks after he was adopted and it was awesome to see how much he loved his new brother and his new home.  It reaffirmed what I’d known from the start – that this was the ideal situation for him.  But life doesn’t always, or really ever, go as smoothly as we’d planned.

I will finish this later today.  But for now I need to go back to sleep…

Friday Five

1. Got my bloodwork back from the doctor on Wednesday – and of course nothing can ever be straight forward with me! So a few months ago I noticed pain and swelling in one of my index fingers.  It eventually went away but then came back in other joints and fingers on both hands.  My doctor is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the joints.  It can manifest in hands, elbows, hips, knees, and feet, among other places.

My bloodwork was fairly inconclusive – out of all the factors they tested, 3 were elevated but this can be normal in about 10% of the population according to my doc (although, for example, one of the normals was 1 and my reading was 8!!).  I had some x-rays of my hands today and have an appointment with a specialist in a few months, so hopefully we’ll be able to figure all of this out fairly quickly.

2. WOD 12.2 of the CrossFit Open was posted on Wednesday night:

10 minute AMRAP:
30 snatches at 45 lbs
30 snatches at 75 lbs
30 snatches at 100 lbs
As many as possibly at 120lbs

This is a snatch:

The 45 will be easy – I’m just hoping to be able to get at least one 75lb’er tomorrow! I was SO CLOSE tonight!

3. Physio was kinda fun on Thursday – minus the pain when she rolled out my IT band.  I enjoy being attached to the machine that tingles my knees while they are being iced.  I nearly fell asleep.  I also got some exercises to do at home to strengthen my glutes and quads.

4.  I’m still sad I’m missing my race on Sunday. But I’m not dwelling on it anymore. I’ve got other things to worry about (hello, 75lb snatch!!!)

5. So we got Bubba back tonight. His mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier this week and we are going to watch him for a few months for her until she gets a better handle on her health.  I’d appreciate prayers for her if you can spare them.

Sorry for the lack of photos, it’s been a long week! I’ll post my Snatch Motivation Music tomorrow morning before I head on over to the gym.  Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend!