running again

So the summer is almost at end. April, May and June were spend in France. Not a happy time and not something to dwell on. Everything has turned out well in the end with my parents safely in England and well cared for by my fantastic sisters, Sarah, who has taken on the major responsibility and my other sister, Julie. However it took me a few months to settle back down to living back at home. Now I am back to sketching and running.

My diet has been terrible for the last 6 months and my glucose levels have risen as a consequence.  My weight did increase considerable after my trip to France but once I came back, it settle down to the 199lb mark, which is about 4lb higher than when I was running regularly, so not too bad in the sense it levelled out but about 75lb too high for my height. Even when I was at that weight before I had kids, it was artificial as I was bulimic, so achieving that weight is probably unrealistic but I would like to be about 45lbs lighter.

Apart from my weight, I realised I needed to get a tighter control of my blood sugar levels which is never easy when you are the only person with type II diabetes and the other person probably needs more carbs in their diet than you. So it took me until the beginning of September to decide to do anything about it as I am essentially lazy. Counting and recording all that you eat and drink is not hard but time consuming. Testing before and after meals is pain but has to be done. Hopefully by the time I see my doctor in October my AC1 will be under the 6.5 mark. I am using this site to record my eating and it really is easy, My Fitness Pal plus it also links with my Garmin and Fitbit so I get extra calories for excising, which is brilliant ūüôā I have also found an excel chart to record my blood sugar levels so I hopefully I can spot trends.

As part of this renewed effort to control my diabetes (this is not really about losing weight but it would be nice) I have started my 5K run training again. As it is nearly 9 months since I really trained, I have started back at the beginning. My first 5K is 1 Nov and I hope I can beat the time I had in the Jingle Bells run but just doing it will be fine. At the moment, it’s much slower but a few weeks of training will make the difference.

Today’s run was hard because (1) I have been lazy and not walking as much as I could and (2) it was very humid due to the rain last night.¬† I am following a program and currently in wk 3.¬† 10 mins walk, (2 min run, I min) walkX4 and 10 min walk.¬† That is about 1.73 miles at the moment. I then walk for additional 10-15 mins. I should add some strength training but I really do not like going to the gym.¬† I have the means to do it home as well but I really don’t like exercising LOL.

7 weeks to the 5k.


Life has become complicated

About 2 weeks after my last post, I got the call I dreaded, except it wasn’t exactly what I expected. My Dad had a stroke and was in the local hospital. He was expected to be fine but he had no feeling or movement down his right side. Mum was taken in with him as he was her sole carer. ¬†So I was immediately on the phone to the airline. That was Monday and I was in France being greeted by my youngest sister and her husband on the Wednesday. Andrew was great at keeping up our spirits but he had to return to the UK on the Friday.

After that it ¬†was a blur of activity seeing Dad plus Mum in hospital and then arranging for Mum to be moved into a local retirement home. Not an easy task as neither Sarah or myself speak French, although Sarah’s did improve over the 2 wks unlike mine. Fortunately we had the assistance of local English man when we saw the hospital social worker in charge of Mum and Dad. Within days, Mum was transferred to a temporary home in Pontivy and my Dad was transferred on the same day to ¬†what is called the re-education centre in Plemet which is about 2l miles north of Pontivy. ¬†So now we had the added issue of visiting them separately.

Dad seemed to progress quickly in the 2 weeks we were there, with movement returning to his leg, arm and hand, probably due to the excellent health care in France. Seemingly if you get to the hospital quickly enough they can inject you with something that in effect reverses some of the damage a stroke does to you. Unfortunately his speech was still too poor to hold a proper conversation and he does not speak French ūüė¶ ¬†So he is stuck in a room on his own, unable to communicate properly. There is a TV in the room but he refuses to put it on as you get charged for it and all the channels are in French (although you can get subtitles on some programmes apparently, so the dialogue is in English. Usually American cop shows¬†). ¬†Speaking with him on Monday via phone was difficult but I ¬†was able to find out that he still has no feeling on his right side and he is still not walking as he keeps falling. ¬†His speech was about the same as when we left the previous Monday. The aim of rehab is to get him walking with assistance after which he will be transferred to the same retirement home as Mum.

We were able to sort out the banking problems (someone has to pay the bills) through the help of very helpful bank employee who came up to the hospital to get Mum and Dad to agree to some paper work. Unfortunately the Notaire was not so helpful and to be fair it was Easter weekend (something I was not aware of until I got to France). However he has failed to reply to any phone calls or emails since then, so I am not impressed.  Everything else in France was great, the friendliness and customer service. My parents neighbours were there in their hour of need and are still there for them, sorting out things my sisters were unable to complete while we were there. I can only hope to have friends like that when I need them.

To be honest, I was not expecting this situation. I have been listening for the phone for several years now, as both Mum and Dad have health issues, although over the last couple of years, it was Mum that we expected to hear about. She was diagnosed with a progressive neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) a couple of years ago. It is often mistakenly thought to be Parkinson’s or that the person has had mini strokes. However an MRI will confirm that it’s neither of these conditions, leading to ¬†the diagnosis of MSA, although only a brain biopsy after death will confirm it and ¬†there is no treatment currently available that will stop this disease.However, Mum is a determined woman (always has been) so she is still fighting hard and has outlived most projections regarding this disease. The fact she has only just gone into a wheelchair is a testament to her tenacity to live. To be honest, I am pretty sure she is aiming to be older than her mother who was 90 when she died. That is another 13 and a bit years away. Unfortunately I don’t think she will make ¬†it as my Mother is now in the latter stage of the disease and most commonly, pneumonia or a bladder infection will set in and the patient dies within hours due to their lower immune system. ¬†Dad has a whole host of health problems, any of which could cause his death but Mum ¬†worked so hard at improving Dad’s health, he was fitter than he was living ¬†in London., so a stroke was not something we expected. So on receiving the call from Mum’s neighbour, to be honest, I was expecting to hear that one of them had died.

This situation is the worse of all worlds as none of my sisters (like me) live in France and all of them have family commitments and jobs,so this is very hard on all us.As it is my parents choice to live in France, we should not feel guilt but we do. My parents are adamant that they will stay in France and they also clinging on to their home in a small French hamlet. Unfortunately it is my job to persuade them that they need to sell the home they have created over the last decade or so, not only to cover the nursing home fees but because basically an old house will deteriorate very quickly if it is left uninhabited for more than a few months. Fortunately I do not have the job commitment my sisters have and all of my family is self-sufficient without me being around (loved but not needed any more, poor me ¬†ūüė¶ LOL ). So next month I will be back in France,helping out my parents in dealing with this new normal and having to leave them in a situation neither of them wanted. They were hoping, like all of us, that they would die quickly and suddenly at home. The bonus is that I will have an extended stay in France as I am not sure when I will return as it is not feasible to keep visiting France for what will be a 30 mins to¬†an hour trip to the home at the most.

I remember my father-in-law who was dying painfully and slowly of¬†esophagus cancer at the age of 88, saying “I was meant to die of a heart attack”. Kind of ironic, that since he had retired, he had become fitter by walking everywhere and changing his diet to keep his cholesterol ¬†and blood pressure low. Trouble is modern medicine keeps us going so well, that hardly any of us die at home or quickly these days. ¬†A sudden death is painful, especially for the people who are left behind and ¬†especially if that person is relatively young (my Uncle Jim at the age of 62 of a heart attack doing his favourite thing, cycling) but seeing people die a slow and drawn out death is even worse. Only my Nan (my Dad’s Mum) has died suddenly in my experience and even she had dementia by then. All the other people in my life who have died have experienced a long and often painful journey to death. I really don’t want my children to experience that with me, so like my parents and their parents, I hope I die in my sleep or suddenly and if I am diagnosis with a terminal disease, I ¬†want to go out like my aunt who opted out of any further treatment and ¬†died surrounded by her family in her own home, on her own terms. I can understand the need to keep living (I like life) but if ¬†I was in my Mum situation where your future is being confined to a chair not being able to move and not being able to communicate, even though your brain is still active, I think I would opt for ¬†the right to die before my family has to suffer too much.

However, I am not my mother and I admire her will to live despite the odds. Hopefully Mum and Dad will be reunited in the next few weeks. They will be happy in the home together the way they want to be. It’s unfortunate my sisters and I live so far away, so in their twilight years they will not be surrounded by their family as history tells us life should be but hopefully being together will be enough until the day they are parted forever.

battling against depression

I have been battling against the ‘big blue’ for several months now and just as I think I have conquered it, up it comes again. ¬†This time of year is always bad for me as I definitely respond to sun light and normally in this part of Texas we have tons of it. Not this year, like much of the States, we have had well below normal temperatures and not much sunlight. ¬†Thankfully I don’t live in the Northeast where it seems to have been snowing since the beginning of Dec and still hasn’t stopped. Quite seriously, I would ¬†have been suicidal by now if I was faced with that. I have never like snow and facing day after day of the stuff would have driven me nuts! ¬†I am not a fan of the really hot weather we have here either but at least I can cool down in air conditioning and the sun is shining.

Anyway, that has been about my life story since my ‘fantastic’ run in December. I think I realised I was more than my normal ‘blue’ self in the middle of Jan when I hadn’t entered my art room (sometimes called a studio) since before Christmas. ¬†I had started to what is now my normal routine of getting up as Gordon leaves the house, to feed the pets and then I go back to sleep for another hr (or so). There seemed to very little point in getting up as the breakfast news (what news?) bore me to tears. Breakfast itself has become problematic as I have given up on the cereals as I trying to get serious about my type II diabetes. It has to be low low carb so my blood sugar does not spike and I can’t take too much in the way carbs early in the day. So that tends to rule out bread and oats (my favourites). Recommendations are eggs, bacon or other meats which is fine once in a while but everyday – puke. So avoiding getting up was an easier option.

Unfortunately the situation is ongoing and only today I slept in until 9.15am simply because I was happier in bed. I even woke up with a smile on my face after having a nice dream. ¬†Hopefully things will improve with the better weather and also I have started to run again although most people can walk faster than I can run LOL. ¬†Running does make me feel better and I am also going the aqua fitness group from this week as part of my cross training. Bought myself 2 swim suits so I don’t have any excuses.

Cedar Park Jingle Bells 5K 2014

This was meant to be the end of training event for Couch to 5K training group but actually as far as I can tell, I was the only person who actually ran it along with 2 members of the 10K group, who were great, coming to me at the end, congratulating me on completing the run.

Arriving at the Stadium
Arriving at the Stadium

I did not go into this with the right attitude (as is the pattern in my life) and right up to almost the last moment, I was tempted to back out. I had a good reason not to run, as for the last few days I have been suffering from a heavy head cold. ¬†I even went to the trouble of looking up ‘ should you run with a cold?’ ¬† Yes, you can, if you don’t have a fever or it hasn’t hasn’t travel below the neck Yeah, well my sinuses were slightly blocked (my right nostril has been permanently blocked for for the last few days), my chest was fine and I didn’t have a fever. Darn, that ‘get out’ is not valid ūüė¶

I do not like hills, even walking them. ¬†Cedar Park is full of hills. This course, although essentially around the block, was up and down. It was warm for the time of year, upper 60’s. I had dressed in my standard glow in the dark T with a Merry Christmas T on top. I was much too warm. I had sat around all day due to the cold and was feeling sorry for myself, so my body was unprepared for a dash around the block.

Gordon and I arrived at the stadium about 6pm. People quickly started arriving and then Santa led a quick warm stretch session. That was fun:) Gordon took a few pics and then it was time to line up. I was very nervous. On your marks, GO!

stretching session led by Santa
stretching session led by Santa

As seems to be the norm when I run, I had to stop running and start walking after only about 2 mins. This was not a good start, I know I can run longer than this, although at the moment ¬†just over 400 m is about my max (about 3.50 mins) Everyone was rushing past me. ¬†By the time we had left the¬†Gupton Stadium, I was ready to quit and we weren’t even 5 mins into the run. ¬†By this time a family running with a stroller and child aged about 4 ran pass me. This put me into even more a funk. That child ran/walked with his parents right up to the 1 mile mark, amazing ūüôā

And we are off!
And we are off!

My mood was dark ūüė¶ I was sweating profusely and I was not having fun as I watched all the other runners disappear into the distance. This was a small run with only about half the runners timed and the rest were ‘fun’ runners LOL. What is fun about running. By this time, a pair of ladies had passed me and they were walking! ¬†I kept going though, counting the fire hydrants – run 2 walk one as they are so evenly spaced. Thanks Cedar Park. However, by the time we got to Brushy Creek rd, I was miserable with sweat dripping into my eyes with large drops like rain rushing to the ground. I began to walk more than run.

By the time I got the corner ¬†of Gupton Way Drive there were 3 people in front of me. 2 young girls casually strolling alone whilst chatting with each other and another young woman with a wayward older puppy. ¬†I passed the 2 girls and the 2 mile marker came up. I could see the Stadium lights in the distance. It was now completely dark as the street lights weren’t on. ¬†I was more determined by now, I could see the end but then just as I thought I nearing the end, we were diverted through a local elementary school which was even darker than the street. I was pissed! I hadn’t worn my head lamp as I thought it was all going to be lighted streets and more to the point we were now moving away from the stadium. I walked in disgust throughout the school, losing valuable minutes. By the time I got back out to E Park Street though, I had an attitude change and for the almost for the first time, ran/walked determinedly to the finish line. I would set my self a target lamp post or some random target in the distance. Once I got into the stadium, I had seen the 3 mile marker, so ¬†I was determined that the last .10 mile I would run to finish line, unlike Toronto. That last part of the run made all the difference and I managed to squeak past the finishing line in 49.52.4 mins (16.03 mile pace). A personal best time ūüôā

Yeah, over the finish line.
Yeah, over the finish line.

So what have I learnt from this run. Not to be so negative. Instead of shouting in my head, (and on a couple of occasions out loud), ‘I hate F###ing running.’ Focus on myself and not the persons or persons in front/back or beside me or the fact you are running. Its OK to walk. They are not watching you, so why are you worrying about what they are thinking or seeing. Negativity only slows you down. ¬†Set yourself little goals as you go, ie, run to that next stop sign and if you can,run past that stop sign. You can do it.

If I hadn’t been so focused on hating what I was doing, I might well have beaten my PR by several minutes. In the end though I still managed to knock off more than a minute and half off my Toronto time. Next time I will be aiming for 47 mins (a 15.07 pace). I can do it, I know can.

In the end although I hated the run, I ended up with a sense of achievement and that is what I like. ¬†I don’t think I will ever ‘love’ running and at the moment I don’t see the fun in it but maybe one day I will cross that barrier.

Just remembered, the cold didn’t bother me at all whilst I was running. My chest was little tight at the end due to actually putting in some effort but nothing that effected my running.

Jingle Bells 5K Run Cedar Park 13 Dec 2014

That is the end of training run I have committed to and I admit I was full of trepidation when I filled in all my information. ¬†It is an optional end to the training but on weighing up¬†it up¬†in my head over the last day or so, it would seem pretty pointless not to try. After all that is what all this training is about. ¬†I am still no nearer running a 5k. The best I can manage at the moment is about 3¬Ĺ mins of non stop running. Having looked at the Google map, I see lots of inclines so I will manage even least than that before walking.

I am still not ‘in love’ stage of running and to be honest I doubt I will. Poor Gordon is the total opposite and it sad to see him being stymied by yet another injury, this time with¬†plantar fasciitis, the on going injury I have but a lot worse from the sounds of it. He has learnt from previous injuries not to just run through with the pain as it makes it worse and takes longer to heal. He has devoured all the information he can on the internet. Hopefully he will manage his gentle short 5 miles over the weekend with an improved foot. The upside of the injury is that he tried out his bike for the first time in a long time. Cycling is his true love, just not here with the roads and the heat in the summer. If we were still in the UK, I doubt he would have got into running as he was out on his bike every week, doing 30-50 miles.

I wish I had his enthusiasm for exercise in general, I suspect life would be a lot brighter as I know I do get a sort of high if I achieve even a small hurdle. ¬†This week on Tuesday night training we ran around the local middle school running track. ¬†I was given 4×400 metres with a short walk in between runs. My first run I managed in 3.32 mins unfortunately after that I gradually got slower, 3.42, 3.53 and 3.50 (you are meant to get faster with each lap apparently). ¬†However, I was OK with ¬†that as when I was told I had to do it without walking, I thought it would be impossible but I did it. It felt good.

So Rogue running training finishes on 20th Dec and my personal training finishes this Sunday (after several years with a couple of breaks, I will miss Nick), so now I will have to make up my own program of exercise. I am not going to lie, this is going to be hard. I find it difficult to push myself out of the door to the supermarket most days, so committing to the gym and running on my own I am going to be fighting against my own nature. So I will just have to sign up for a few more 5K’s I think. I am definitely doing the Pflugerville pfun run in May but I will need to find at least one more.

I hate running LOL- that is what is in my head as I head up the run on Tuesday and get up early on Saturday mornings.

The great fall

one minute I was looking at my watch and the next, wondering how did that sidewalk get so close? LOL.

Only 3 more weeks of the couch to 5k and looking at my pace, I am not seeing much improvement to be honest. Ah but that is not all the story. My feet are not as sore they have been. I have been doing the stretching recommended for Plantar fasciitis which I have suffered on and off for years but after Toronto, it was really bad. I have also been doing the foot drills the running club recommends. So I still have some pain but no where near as bad as it has been.

As to the running, yes, my pace is not really improving but I am managing small hills better than I did 5 weeks ago.  Yesterday I ran around my block which exactly 1/2 mile in distance.  On the 2nd turn from my house, it is all uphill, not a big incline but enough for me to struggle just walking, let alone running. I have never been good on inclines, my legs get heavy and my breathing ragged. A doctor a few years back though I might have undiagnosed asthma but I never really follow it up. I will see how the Cedar Fever season hits this year, as one year I had to use an inhaler.  I am hoping all this running is making my lungs stronger and they do seem to be getting stronger.

I realise that I am going to have to repeat this course but not sure I will do it for the next session as winter is promising to be bad here in Central Texas and I do not want to do 30 mile return trip to run 1.5 miles twice a week with the threat of snow and ice in the forecast. Rain is bad enough as we get so little of it here but add ice or snow and it is carnage on the roads, especially in the dark.  So I will probably continue the running on my own for those months and restart at the end of Feb. Hoping that when I do the Pflugerville Pfun run in May, I will be able to run it, rather than walking it as I did this year.

Too Cold!

So I was a little reluctant to go and train today but out I went, all bundled up with hat, gloves and a fleecy jacket. Hat and gloves came off about mid way around.  I probably lost a few secs fiddling with the hat before I decided it would be better to run with it in my hands. The temp was about 37f with a wind chill factor making it feel more like 30f. Way too early for it to be this cold in central Texas.

The set given by Jen our coach at Rogue Running РCedar Park was Р5 mins walk, 3 min run +2 mins walk X 5, finish with 5 min walk. By the last run/walk segment, I was exhausted and had to stop at about the 26.38 mark. However, at 27.30 I ran again until the 29.00 mark so I completed the running. My pace was not that great 17.20 which is a lot slower than my Toronto 5k time.

Hopefully it was just the weather as I notice that I tend to wheeze if the weather is cold or damp.  However, it could also be because ever since Toronto I have been slacking on my steps completed each day. I have it set on my fitbit flex at 11,000 but I think I am averaging about 8200 at the moment, so I need to push myself to get back out there and just walk!

This is going to be tough week with all this cooler weather but at least its not snowing or even colder like the rest of the USA. I would just snuggle up and forget about the 5K in that case.

Couch to 5K training

Much to my amazement, I am enjoying this training program although the hour before going I thinking of ways to get out it LOL. Much as I thought, I am one of the biggest runners in the group and definitely the slowest (one other runner who about my size).

1st 2 training sessions were a set program for 2 groups, faster and slower. Obviously I am in the slowest group. for the first 2 training sessions it was a 5 min walk, then 1 min run and I min walk finishing with a 5 min walk.  Actually in the first session the coach stayed with me and we walked/ran between fire hydrants which in the immediate are very evenly spaced.  For the 2nd session, I had obviously been identified as the slowest person so another runner came along with me and we managed to keep to the 1 min run/1 min walk for a total of 30 mins with warm up and warm down walks.

Last Tuesday was an easier evening as we jogged/walked to a spot in the local area where the coach had set a 0.5 mile course as a time trial. The first part had an incline (not that much) which I always have difficulties with. Even walking I can get out breathe if there is an incline, especially on cold damp days. This was one of these evening with the first strong cold front blowing in for the season. Temperature when from mid 70’s at the beginning the session to the mid 50’s when we started the time trail but fortunately the rain held off. ¬†I was very pleased with my time – 7mins 35 secs- pace 15.22 which was faster than my Toronto pace of 16.10.

The only day I have been disappointed was this Thursday when I went out for my run and my legs just felt like lead. Even walking was an uphill slog. I tried to follow the program but it just wasn’t happening so in the end I walked ¬†most of the time. ¬†I think it was because I had been doing to some calf exercises the previous day.

By yesterday I was fine and managed to follow the program set. 4 min walk 2 min run and I min walk x 7, 4 min walk – total 28 mins

Today, it was 5 min walk, 4 min run, 5 min walk and 4 min walk. As I have never managed to jog for 4 mins, this was quite a tall order for me but I managed it ūüôā

As well as revamping my 5k training schedule by joining a running club, I have also been trying to follow a more diabetic diet, so no breakfast cereal in the morning and lower carbs for other meals. Kind of strange to be eating egg, salad and nuts for breakfast but I am getting use to it. ¬†I am not counting the carbs and I am not an angel so the odd high carb thing ends up in my diet but it does seem to be bringing down my blood glucose. Haven’t quite figure out the effect of exercise as that tends to send it higher briefly. Hoping my HAC1 will be back down to 6.5 or lower by the time I see Doctor Boyd in March. At the moment its 7.0.

I have also finally started to add rolling into my program. My trainer at Gold Gym has tried to encourage me in the past to do it and Gordon does it after every training session he does. ¬†I got a smaller roller when we visited the Toronto Marathon sport expo from this company – Go Fit¬†as the roller Gordon has is too thick for me. ¬†It look simple enough but it’s not and it hurts if the muscle being targeted is tight but you do feel better for it afterwards. Next step is introduce the Myrtle exercises (recommended by Jen the Rogue trainer), which are more hip mobility which I definitely need

Toronto done and gone

Well, I managed to do the Toronto run in 51min 19secs  which was marginally better than my walk time in May for the Pflugerville 5K. I was disappointed with the time, that is true but at least it was slightly faster plus it was a PB. Anyhow, I have now decided to join a local running club for a program called couch to 5K. I am hoping that at the end of the 8 weeks I will be able to jog the whole distance and then work on getting it down to about 30 mins.  I have no intentions of joining Gordon with his long distance running, 3 miles is more than enough for this old lady.

As to the actual Toronto 5K, I hated it. ¬†Up to the day of the race the weather had been quite mild for that part of the world. We did a tremendous amount of walking as it was so easy to walk when the weather is fine plus there is an excellent transit system, once your feet are too tired to go further. ¬†On the day of the race though, the weather was down to 3c which with a wind chill factor¬†added, actually felt like -3c. ūüė¶ ¬† As I was doing the 5k I had to leave Gordon at the Half marathon site and the sun was just rising as we stood in our corals.


A not so happy me before I got the shuttle bus to the 5K starting point.

As you can see I was wearing a fleece and  (not see) gloves for the start by which time the fleece was zipped up.  So the run started OK. I am never very good at the beginning as I have trouble controlling my breathing so it strictly a run for about 45 secs and then walk/run until I have warmed up.  About 20 mins into the run, I decided I was warm enough to take off the fleece and wrap it around my waist. Big mistake, the zip got stuck and I was struggling with it for a good few mins before giving up and just pulling it over my head.  Then I had tuck it into the running belt I was wearing. At first it began to slip down, so I had to re-tuck it in. However, I found the thing flapping around my legs just plain annoying and distracting. Just had to get on with it.

At about the 25-30 min mark, I decided to take the gel pack Gordon gave me as I could feel my light breakfast was not there anymore and I was walking/running on reserves. Just one problem the gel pack was in my fleece pocket and I just couldn’t get to it!

Throughout the race, I kept coming across these two slightly older ladies who were speed walking.  Turned out they were good pacers for me as they would catch up with me whilst I was walking and as they came up, I would run.  If only I had seen them at the end I might have achieved the 50 min mark I was aiming for. Looking at the video on race site , I spotted one of them just speeding pass me at the finishing line. LOL.

I was so glad to get over that finish line as I had hated almost every minute of this run. It started down at the lake shore but rapidly move onto the downtown area. It was not a pretty run by a long shot. Along the way there were a few bands of cheerers but on whole it was just a grey long slog along a very unattractive route.

Obviously much as I had run/walked trained for this race, I was not ready for it which is the reason I have finally given into my reluctance and joined the running group called Rogue Running in Cedar Park. As there are no pictures of any bigger runners on their blog site or Facebook page, I can only assume they don’t normally get people like me or simply don’t acknowledge them. However, can’t let this put me off as I really would like to be able to jog non stop for 5k, even if I am not fast. ¬†Never thought this would be me but it is. Somehow, all these other people running around me as brought out the slight competitive streak I have deep within me.

To training starts on Tuesday. I will be updating the blog more regularly during this time. I will also working on managing my type II diabetes as it seems after 20 odds yrs of having this disease it is beginning to get slightly worse. I will be interested to see what my A1c level is when I visit the doctor in a few weeks time,

Toronto waterfront 5K

That is what I am training for now and it’s not going that well. ūüė¶

After I finished the Pflugerville 5K which I manage to do in 52:49, I stopped all activity-zilch. I hate exercise with a passion even though I know I should do it as my life is so sedentary, I would be surprise if I manage to use 1000 calories in a day with my normal routine.

However, the other thing I hate is that my weight is continuing to soar upwards. ¬†I am not a big eater. ¬†I have a normal size portion of cereal most mornings, ¬†a small lunch of whatever is available in the larder or fridge and then dinner, which could be smaller but is not that big. As Gordon likes to have a dessert we tend to have a cake or ice cream afterwards. The evening tends to be my downfall as I like to have a couple of glasses of wine each night. Unfortunately these are not the small wine glasses of old days but pretty standard size glasses of today which contain about 200¬†ml if I fill it my normal level, so more that¬†¬Ĺ bottle of wine in an evening.

At the weekend I will also have a couple of bottle beers to keep Gordon company or just because I feel like it. I am not a big beer drinker as it tends to bag me up. On Friday and Saturday we also eat some chips, although not as much as we use to, when a bag would last 2 nights. Now we can stretch it to 4 nights, so Sunday and Monday is either chips, a couple of pieces of toast or an English muffin. As this is always after 9.30, we basically sleep on this combination.  Lastly, I have a slightly sweet tooth so if I see British sweets in particular I cannot resist them. It not an everyday habit although if I am depressed it can be.

Gordon has entered the Toronto Waterfront half marathon in October. He got the idea when we were thinking about our trip to Australia in 2016. Why combine a leisure trip to an interesting place with a 10k or half marathon. I said from the time it was mentioned, OK, but don’t expect me to take part! Anyway after a month of literally doing nothing, I began to think maybe entering the 5k would be a good idea and then my old personal trainer contacted me. The timing seemed right. So I have committed to this 5k and I also made the rash decision that I was going to jog/run this 5k. ¬†3 weeks into this and I seem to be going backwards! Today, I just had no energy in my legs so I walked most of the way and I ended up with a faster time than I managed on Tuesday. How can that be?

. today –

Distance: 1.99 mi
Time: 37:47
Avg Pace: 19:01 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 36 ft
Calories: 227 C


Distance: 2.00 mi
Time: 40:24
Avg Pace: 20:11 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 39 ft
Calories: 225 C

Last Saturday and my fastest time.

Distance: 1.99 mi
Time: 35:26
Avg Pace: 17:50 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 37 ft
Calories: 222 C

Anyway, I not going to give u. Instead I have said I will not drink alcohol (apart from my Birthday on Sunday and Gordon’s birthday next Wednesday) until I have finished this 5k. I am also going to up my gym attendance to 5-6 times¬†a week for 50 – 60 min sessions plus 2 ¬†with my personal trainer Nick. I will run for 3 times and if I need to I will add 30 mins on my stationary bike. So that will work out to about 9-10 hrs of physical activity with a raised heartbeat, which I am aiming to be about 89-135 with a max of 148. Obviously I will have to look at other parts of my diet but the wine is the biggest issue at the moment, so with the exercise, more than enough to cope with at the moment.

Hopefully by the time I get back in a month time, I will be a bit more positive.