Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Voice Within

I got a chance to do some cycling in "lands unknown", the pretty countryside and waterfront of Barrie and Oro, Ontario. I would have enjoyed the ride more if I had known what to expect (distance and elevation) and wasn't pressed for time.

SS: I have three hours to ride. Is this going to be an easy ride? How hilly is it?

CK: Yeah, it'll be an easy ride ... not hilly, pretty flat.

Yeah, right.

[Start of Rant]

It's rare when I get pissed off, but without giving you details, let me say that after a very hilly 85k ride that of course went way past three hours in length and got us back WAY later than intended, it was not fun to deal with the consequences. I'd have turned back sooner but I was dependent on my cycling buddy for my bearings as we were out in "no man's land". As well, he was already pissed off at my cycling inabilities/limitations and kept dropping me.

So what were the consequences?

1) I had trouble finding flowers for my mom since the florist shops were closed when we got back and I got cleaned up.
2) I arrived much later at my mom's gravesite than planned, after the administration office was closed, meaning there was no one to help me find her grave.
3) I had to cancel a cup of tea with a friend, and couldn't check out the reno job he was doing on his new house.
4) My dinner plans with other friends got totally screwed up. We were supposed to go out together for supper but they were too hungry and tired to wait anymore.

Yeah, I was pretty pissed. I have nothing against hard rides, but that particular day, I didn't need to do that distance and I didn't need to do all those hills (I'm not even trained enough for this kind of ride), but most importantly, I didn't have the TIME!

Of course though, this ride was all about HIM.

[End of Rant]

Whew, I feel better now ... thanks for listening.

It took an hour to drive to my mom's cemetary and as I drove through the gates onto the paths that separated the different "gardens", I started crying. This was my first visit back to my mother's final resting place after her funeral and I wasn't sure I would find her grave as the headstone had not been erected right away.

Interestingly, the following song started playing in my car as tears fell onto my face and I felt my mother speaking to me through it ...

"The Voice Within"
by Christina Aguilera

Young girl don’t cry
I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall
Young girl it’s alright
Your tears will dry, you’ll soon be free to fly

When you’re safe inside your room you tend to dream
Of a place where nothing’s harder than it seems
No one ever wants or bothers to explain
Of the heartache life can bring and what it means

When there’s no one else, look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength that will guide your way
You’ll learn to begin to trust the voice within

Young girl don’t hide
You’ll never change if you just run away
Young girl just hold tight
Soon you’re gonna see your brighter day

Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed
It’s so hard to stand your ground when you’re so afraid
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
When you're lost outside look inside to your soul

Life is a journey
It can take you anywhere you choose to go
As long as you’re learning
You’ll find all you’ll ever need to know
(be strong)
You’ll break it
(hold on)
You’ll make it
Just don’t forsake it because
No one can tell you what you can’t do
No one can stop you, you know that I’m talking to you

Young girl don’t cry I’ll be right here when your world starts
to fall

So not knowing exactly where my mother lay, and after walking around for a while, I placed the pot of pink petunias where my heart told me to, a still open grave with an unnamed headstone, and then told my mom I loved her.

I called the cemetary adminstration office on Monday once back in Montreal and they were able to confirm that I had placed the flowers correctly.

My mom led me to her and sent me her love through a beautiful song ... Oh God, I miss her so much ...

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Beseiged by injury!

Alright, this past week has been a little trying in terms of training.

A week ago, I went on a 50k ride with a triathlete friend who hadn't been out this season yet on his bike and boy, was he enthusiastic! So enthusiastic that for one 20 min. period, we pushed the pace at 33-34k/hr and kept it there, without my drafting him (since he's not used to it). So happy when we could drop down in speed a tad to 28-32k/h when I took the lead and my friend started hurting. Whew!

Knee was a bit sore afterwards, and I didn't help matters much when I went swing dancing on it for a couple of hours later on that day. And then the blues dancing at night locked in the injury ... and I could barely walk, never mind make it down the stairs from my friend's apartment when it was time to go.

So, after a two days' rest, I went out for another ride. 10k, good, 15k, good, no pain ... let's turn back now ... 20k, pain starts, 25k, ugh, I am still injured :-( Whew, 30k and I finally made it back home. Dreaded knee! Even hurt when I went for a short swim afterwards ... sigh.

So basically no riding for many days and just some short swims after another day's rest.

But I did get brave one day and ran 4.07k! And then paid with it with a sore hip. Good news though is that I have an MRI booked finally for September. I have a friend still waiting for one since last year, so this is a Godsend, and maybe I can find out what's happening with my hip and why I can't run (and why I may not be able to race this year!)

Sunday came and I decided to go for it ... I'm gonna ride! I adjusted my seat position as I'm still looking for the right fit and went off. Wanted to turn back after 15k as the headwind was incredible and then contemplated whether or not I could get back in time before the pool closed. But no, dammit, I was gonna RIDE!!

I did my regular route that I take when I ride 50k and just kept on going, and very happily so as I discovered a new bike path that took me to Charlemagne, a suburb north-east of Montreal and off the island. Headwind on the bridge over was wicked but the view was awesome.

80k today with no knee pain ... VICTORY!

Mind you, I discovered butt muscles I didn't know I had ... ;-)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Celebrating little victories!

So, the other day, I went to the pool and it was closed. I had already cycled that day and really wanted to do a second workout, even it was going to be short. In fact, it had to be short as I had bread baking and had to be back in time to take it out of the bread machine.

So ...

I decided to go for it.

Yes, after seven weeks off running due to a hip injury, I decided to go for the GOLD. I slipped on my running shorts and a sassy singlet, then put my socks and shoes on.

I ran and ran and ran ... and I was so happy to have been able to run ...

One and a half kilometres!!!

Alright, it wasn't very far, and in fact it was only 1.42 km (I rounded up, I can do what I want), but I wasn't in agony ... I wasn't IN PAIN!! Mind you, my hip was a little sore afterwards, like it is these days even when I get up from a sitting position or after a long cycle ...

But you know, I'm happy just to have been able to run that little bit ... gives me hope that my hip injury will go away/heal itself. Heck, it's got lots of time to do that before my MRI gives me any conclusive results ... I've got a 9-10 month wait for the appointment alone. Yup, medical care in Canada. Sigh.

I'm gonna go for a two kilometre run next time!!

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bag Balm, I love you!!

I've been off running since mid-April due to a hip injury, I think caused when I had my last bike accident. Probably something to do with not being able to unclip manually before being thrown off my bike. I'm thinking that the same force that threw me into the back of the mini-van might have also torn a tendon slightly as my leg extended backwards before my pedals unclipped ... thus the hip injury. Sigh ... stupid mini-van driver. I've had pain every time I've ran since then, and it would be gone in a day, but only when I upped my mileage recently in anticipation for the Ottawa Marathon did the pain not go away.

So ...

That leaves me with cycling and swimming.

Meet my "new" pal, Kate. She's gonna allow me to train in the city ... Tri-bikes are way too dangerous to ride in Montreal traffic ... I'd hate to injure my neck a third time!

And since I've put new pedals on her and also a new seat that doesn't shred my private soft bits, we've been able to start a beautiful love affair.

Admittedly, we had a few squabbles at first, even with the change of seat, but with the introduction of the new mediator, things have since been hunky dory.

Hello BAG BALM! Good-bye BodyGlide!

For bunches, caked bags, cuts, sore teats, chapping and inflammation.
Active ingredients: 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate 0.3% in a petrolatum, lanolin base.

BAG BALM stikes into the milk glands allaying irritation, relieving congestion and softening the tissues. It heals the skin troubles and makes the teats soft and pliable.

A few applications relieve the worst cases. BAG BALM is soothing, healing and penetrating. Veterinary use only.

Wow, I never thought cycling could be so "pain-free" :-D

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