Sunday, April 30, 2017

Daffodils And Some Big Decisions

Here it is the last day and April, and it's a beautiful Spring day.  Some sun and blue sky and big puffy clouds.  A bit cool and a bit of a breeze now and again, and a load of laundry hanging on the clothes line.  The perfect kind of day for working outside.  This morning I stopped and did some digging out of weeds in the north garden.  I want to get the dahlias planted there, or at least some of them, and I want to get it done in the next few days.  I am DETERMINED this year to get them in in decent time.  We have had so much rain that the ground there is still a bit wet in spots, but will mostly be okay.  

The daffodils have finished here, and my one little bunch of tulips is blooming.  The cherry trees, both ornamental and fruiting ones, are in full bloom.

The fellow up the road that is a daffodil grower breeder packed up his roadside stand earlier in the week.

We walk past there most evenings with the dogs.  This particular evening we had all four.  They get to go off leash on this quarter mile section, which is a road right of way.  The daffodil stand would be behind Larry on the other side of the gravel laneway.

That's our road on the left, and it makes a 90 degree turn here at the corner

There are lots of daffodil stands in our area, as we are a daffodil growing area, but this particular stand probably has the most wide variety of daffodils

Another half a mile away is this huge field of dying daffodils.  I think some years they are picked for the cancer sales.  This year the daffodils were late, and then all came on in a rush, so it was a big mass of blooming flowers.

The stand at the corner had a half price sale on bunches for the last few days.  For $3.75 I got this beautiful display.

As for big decisions.....well a while back I had to do a mass jam making session.  One of my fruit freezers decided to kick the can.  By the time I discovered it, everything was thawed out.  I discovered it in time to rescue some of the fruit, as there were still some clumps of ice in the freezer.  The problem is that some of the plastic bags of fruit tend to get small holes in them as them are moved around in the freezer.  So that fruit all leaked out of the bags and was a fruity mixed mess in the bottom, and useless to me.  I was able to salvage quite a few of the bags, and did a LOT of jam making that week.  One day as I was stirring, I thought to myself that I didn't really want to do this any more.  It's not that I haven't thought this before, but this time I am going to act on it.  I decided that next year I am going to phase out the jam making.  Maybe not all of it, but most of it.  After I have used up the fruit that will be carried over from this year, I'm just going to make jam if and when I feel like it.  
I have a feeling that there will be a lot of disappointed customers.

The other big decision is David's and he has accepted a good position in Edmonton, Alberta.  It is about a 12 hour drive or one hour flight away.  He set off yesterday in his land rover and will be arriving as I am typing this. He will be flying back in three weeks to attend his grad ceremony, and staying for the week, and then will be flying back again in mid June when Melissa has finished her work contract.  Then the big move will take place as there are two dogs and two horses going along as well.  We are looking after Tucker for a bit.  He may fly back with David after the grad week.  It all depends if David can convince his boss in the next few weeks to let him have a dog in his office ;-)

Things are changing around here.

PS  About 2 seconds after I hit 'publish' I got a text to say that David had arrived at his new accomodations!! A mother is always relieved that her kids (no matter their age) have made it safely.

Monday, April 24, 2017

We Did It!

The Sun Run was yesterday morning.  The forecast was for clouds and showers, which we were really hoping would come true, as that would have kept us cooler.  On the drive in, we went through some pretty heavy rain, which was a bit concerning, but eventually drove out of it.  The sky was looking much better in the direction we were heading, too much better in fact, and I said that I didn't want to see any blue sky.  And sure enough there were some patches of blue.  When Larry dropped us off it was hard to know what clothing to take.  We both had on little jackets that we were willing to donate, and I had some yoga pants on as well over my shorts.  Stripped those jackets and yoga pants off before we got to the start line.  Meredith started out with her running jacket on, and I had a little waterproof jacket stuffed into my water bottle belt.  It stayed mostly cloudy, felt one drop of rain, but it got warm at times.  

We got across the start line just before 9:30.  We were running together of course, and you get into a certain pace, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Very gradually Meredith eased off and was slightly behind me, but I could just turn my head a bit and see her red jacket out of the corner of my eye.  She gradually slipped back farther (she said she felt really crummy at the start of the race) but I keep glancing back and could still see her.  Then she took her jacket if off and it was hard to pick her blue shirt out of the thousands of other blue shirts back there.  She said she could see me (in my bright green) turning around and looking and she kept waving me to go on, but I didn't see that.  At the half way mark there is a very steep hill to go up, before starting over the Burrard Street bridge.  At the top of the hill I ran in place for 30 seconds to see if I could see Meredith coming, but didn't, so kept going.  I was finding it really tough, but just kept planting one foot in front of the other.  I didn't even seem to have much in reserve to really take advantage of the downhills.  By this point I am totally exhausted, feeling awful and thinking that I am NEVER EVER doing this again.  Between about km 7 and 9 it is a long straight flat stretch.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to walk, but told myself no, can't walk, in four previous 10 k's, I've never walked.  Finally I just had to walk, so walked for about a minute and then got my self moving a bit faster again.  Just after that I got a pat on the shoulder from a woman going by, 'Good job, keep it up' she said.  I didn't know her from Adam, but maybe she had seen me walk and then start running again, who knows.  Appreciated the gesture, but as I looked at her run off ahead, she was one of those tall, very slim runners who just make it look so effortless.  I think I would have appreciated the gesture more if she had looked like she was  struggling like me ;-)

The last kilometre or so starts with the up the ramp to the Cambie Street bridge.  I'm proud to say I ran up all the hills.  The bridge itself is not much of a hill once you get up the entrance ramp.  Then there is down hill towards the finish line.  Most people were able to pick up the pace a bit, including me, but then the downhill runs out and there is a decent straight stretch to the finish line, and it was a struggle to maintain the pace to get there.  I had timed myself but didn't get the timer stopped right away, but was pleased to see I was around the 1:04 mark (one hour, four minutes).  Meredith came in a couple of minutes after me.  After crossing the line I almost felt that I could pass out, but that feeling went, and it was surprising how quickly I started to feel good.

A little red in the face, but happy we are done!

This morning I was expecting all my joints to be sore and achey, but they are not.  A bit of stiffness in my quads after I have been sitting for a while.  The longest toe, the second one on my right foot really hurt this morning.  It seems to get slammed into the front of the runner.  I thought I had laced my runner well enough to prevent that, but obviously not.  The pain from that has gone now.  While running yesterday I swore I was never ever doing it again, but kind of like childbirth, the pain has faded and the 'high' from gettin 'er done! is here, so it may happen again.....we shall see.

OFFICIAL TIME01:03:40.06:22/km10 km01:03:40.01248042936310:29:55

My stats.  I'm taking 30 seconds off that, for the time I spent waiting for Meredith ;-).  So that puts me only 20 seconds away from my fastest time of 1:02:50.  I'm pretty happy with that because I sure didn't feel like I was running well.    So I was in 12480 place out of a total of 39,769 finishers.  I placed 4293 out of 20901 women, and 63 out of 656 women in the 60-65 category.

The funniest sign I saw held up along the way read something like...
Run like United Airlines wants your seat!

Meredith is doing another run at the end of May.  Good luck to her.  I'll be at the farmers market instead.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


On Friday I did the fourth to last training run before the big day, which is the 10k on April 23rd.  It was a particularly hard run, although should have been relatively easy compared to some we have done. It was hard because my running partner Meredith was a four hour drive away (we are in Oliver over Easter), and mostly because I am battling some sort of cold/chest infection.  I considered not running, but convinced myself that it wouldn't be too difficult.  It was only 3 x 10 minutes of running with a one minute walking break between each 10 minute run.  I found it really tough though, and didn't feel well in the evening, and than had a very crappy night, walking up a few times with me and the bed damp with sweat.  As a result I'm giving myself a bit of a break and I didn't run today.  I need my lungs to sort themselves out and recover.

A cool down on the dyke near the Mission Bridge.  Running on a long flat surface, where you can see long distances is boring, we realized.

Other than our visit to Oliver in February, Meredith and I have done all our training runs together.  I would meet her in Abbotsford after she was off work on Tuesdays.  She would come to our place to run on Thursdays after work, and stay for supper.  On the weekend we would try to pick somewhere a bit different and meet there.  Anything to make it a bit more interesting for us, take our minds off it, distract us, whatever. 

Sunset near Jubilee Hall at the end of Bradner Rd.  A few Thursdays we did this run in my neck of the woods.

 Neither of us are born runners, whatever that is.  Neither of us really like running, although will admit to feeling good about ourselves if our run went well.  In fact there are many times we could easily say that we hate running. Sometimes we wonder WHY are we doing this again.  This is my fourth time, and Meredith's fifth.  I think it is the challenge, and the discipline that it takes to meet that challenge.  The training program is all laid out for us.  We agree when and where we are meeting for the next run when we finish the run on any given day.  Of course something comes up at times and we have to make changes, but the fact that someone else is counting on you keeps a person going.

This year has come with it's own challenges.  Winter was bad, and Spring slow to come.  We have run  far too many times in the rain.  Light rain is fine, heavy rain not so much.  There were even a couple of evenings of doing the longest run of the week (Tuesdays), that it was raining so hard that we started running again during our five minute cool down at the end, so that we could get back to the car faster.  
Once our runs got longer, I gradually reduced the length of my leggings, and have been running in shorts for maybe the last few weeks.  I get so hot when I run, and CAN NOT stand to have my legs encased in lycra.  But, I stayed in full length leggings for weeks, because the weather never seemed to get any warmer.  Meredith, who does not have the same leg claustrophobia, is still in long ones.  I think there has only been one day that we ran without starting out with a jacket on. All my cool running jackets that I've picked up at the thrift stores, I've had loads of use out of them this year, as well as my cap, when it's rained.

One Saturday we met at Aldergrove Lake Park.  Larry came and took Jake for a walk, while Luna ran with us.  We are done here, and exhausted.

Finally a legitimate reason for me to say that it smells skunky around here.  Took me a few times to realize that the skunky smell that I would occasionally smell as we ran through a subdivision was not from a skunk, or skunk cabbage.....

Luna was hot too and was glad to have a quick lay down in a pool

I'm thinking that this may very well be my last year for the Sun Run.  My knees and right hip are not particularly happy.  My right knee is the one that felt like it blew up right before the Sun Run last year.  It gets stiff. The left one gives me more trouble though, a bit of pain sometimes when I first start to run, but then it goes away as I continue. All three joints are stiff afterwards.  A smart person would probably have quit a while back.  Once I have made my mind up about something, I want to finish.  So that is my plan for this year, and then I will just see how it goes after my knees have had a good rest.

Running a week ago Saturday at Fort Langley.  We did the Brae Island loop (Tavistock Point in these two photos) and then back to the mainland and along the river.  Another of those rainy runs.

Someone had decorated three bushes for Easter, alongside the path.

Yesterday we went on a two hour hike, and today we rode our bikes for 15 km on the flat, plus a couple of dog walks.  Not exactly laying around, but much easier than running!

Hope you had a nice Easter!