Tuesday, June 26, 2012


With all the visits back and forth to to see my Mom at the Hospital, I've gleaned some important facts from the Doctors and Nurses around her.

It seems to me that the most relevant things for them to know about anyone in regards to their health are:
  • How did you sleep?
  • How much did you eat/drink?
  • Did you take a shit?
Sleep and nutrition/hydration I can understand - it's the Hospital's unnatural preoccupation with bowel movements that concerns me. It's my Mother's lungs that don't work great, people - questioning what's coming out the other end just seems weird.

They must know what they are doing though, because she is slowly getting better. Her dissatisfaction at the moment is being in a four-person room (and on the door side, not the window side) instead of the window-view, solo area she had in ICU - she could look at the deer grazing on the helipad* to pass the time, and she misses that. I've convinced her that being out of the Intensive Care Unit is a better thing, regardless of view.

She did state however, that she can't wait to get home - at least she won't have someone asking her about her colon every 10 minutes.

I'm going to try and find a way to work that into our daily talks from now on...


*not shitting you - actual deer munching away on the grass beside the helipad. It is a Canadian hospital, after all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Elderly Dichotomy

Today was a day of errands with my Dad - taking care of the banking and other things that need to be done while my Mom is still in the hospital.

My Dad is kind of a funny guy -  He doesn't drive anymore, he's shaky, unsure, and can be the most cantankerous and frustrating guy I know.

I love him to bits.

The thing with my Dad is this: Because of his age and physical/mental condition, doing anything with him takes forever - and yet he has absolutely zero patience for anyone.

Example: We head downtown, and Dad decides that he wants to eat before we do the shopping. There's a Subway inside the grocery store, and he says he wants to go there. For me to walk from the car to the Subway would normally take less than 2 minutes. Walking with Dad takes 15.

We get to the Subway, and there's a lineup. We are in the line for no more than 2 minutes when Dad looks at me and says (and I quote) "Can't these fuckers move any faster?". As you can see, Dad's appreciation for the talents of a Sandwich Artiste only goes so far.

It was like that everywhere we went today - get Dad out of the car, take him where we had to go, and watch him get crankier and crankier anytime we were in a lineup. We usually spent more time getting him to where we needed to be than we did doing what had to be done.

The irony of it all hit me when I got him home and settled - I said that it was nice to get those errands out of the way, and he said to me "It would have been faster if people in this town weren't so goddamn slow."

I almost explained to him that aside from the groceries, almost everything we had to do could have been done in less than five minutes online.

I held my tounge.

Dad hates computers more than he hates lineups.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Distance Therapy.

I'm not sure if my Twitter feed shows it or not, (I think the Nike+ software/site upgrade messed with that) but I've been running lots of miles the past week or so. I think last week was 36, and this week looks to be creeping close to 40 when it's all said and done.

There's two reasons for that.

One, I'm at the point in my Marathon training where the mileage starts to ramp up - and two would be the fact that right now, running is what's keeping me sane.

There's been some stuff going on with my parent's health that has made life a bit of a chaotic jumble lately. It's manageable, but at times it's a bit overwhelming and organization is critical.

Of all the bouncing back and forth from hospital, home, work, and my parent's place, having that morning run - that time of the day when it's just me, my shoes, and my thoughts means more than ever.

Knowing that no matter what - whatever prognosis, whatever comes up, the pressures of work or the schedule juggling at home - tomorrow at 5:30 am, there's a run waiting for me.

4 miles, 6 miles, intervals, hills, and the always-loved Long Run - those aren't just numbers on a program - they're my salvation.

I can sweat away my frustrations and clear my head for organizing what the day will bring. I can finish the run with a stretch, a shower, and a coffee - and believe me, the day looks infinitely more manageable when your view is from the right side of the coffee mug.

After I get off work today, I'm heading to the hospital, then out to check on my Dad, and then eventually to home.

When I get there, I'm going to come through the front door and see my shoes, sitting where they always are, ready for tomorrow's run.

And that's when I know everything's going to be okay.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Having been at that stage where I was the Chubby Guy running on the side of the road, wondering if people were laughing as they drove by, I found the following blog post to be incredibly inspirational and rewarding.

Just thought I'd share.

Flintland: Hey, Fat Girl.


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Having recently turned 40, and because it just seemed a prudent thing to do, I went to my Doctor on Friday and had a complete physical.

One of my co-workers was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and he has said that while he'll be fine, he still wishes they had caught it earlier (he's 56). with that in mind I called and set up an appointment with my Doctor.

(Actually, my Wife called, because she's got the number memorized, and I barely know where the place is.)

Turns out my Doctor is on vacation, so I just said I'd take whatever Doctor was available. In hindsight I might have wanted to re-think that decision.

The waiting room at the office wasn't too bad - they had replaced the chairs since the last time I had been there, the magazines were current, and there was even a running one that I could read - fresh coffee would have topped it all off, but I guess you can't ask for everything.

The nurse came, called my name, and I followed her to the other room to get weighed and measured. As a Canadian, I'm ashamed to admit that her statement of "1.78 Meters and 79 Kilos" made as much sense to me as "12 Stone and 17 Hands high".

After getting sent back into the waiting room for a moment, I was called to one of the examination rooms and given a robe to change into.

This gave me pause.

When talking to the guys at work, they all told me that it was all modern-day stuff - that all they did was listen to your heart, check your lungs, and everything else was done by lab tests. If that was the case, why the robe?

I know - the resemblance is uncanny.
Not being one to shy away when someone tells me to get naked, I shrugged my shoulders, stripped down, and pretended the robe was some sort of cape, or that I was doing a re-enactment of Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys - but just the asylum scenes.

Once I was comfortable in my robe (as comfortable as you can be with your ass hanging out) I sat and waited for the Doctor to arrive. At this point a heated seat in the examination room would have been a great addition.

When the Doctor walked in, I got another surprise - it was a woman. My regular Doctor is a man, and I just automatically figured that when scheduling a replacement for my physical, they would have just switched another guy in there. Oh well, how bad can it be, right?

She started off asking me questions about my health and history - normal type stuff - and lit up when we discussed exercise and I mentioned I'm a runner. She and her husband both run, and we discussed goals, plans, and past races for about the next 10 minutes.

She then had me get up on the table and checked my heart and lungs. At this point the whole robe thing made sense, as it was way easier to do all that without a shirt in the way. Everything was great and we were still discussing running when she asked me to roll over on my side.


She didn't even pause in our conversation - we were talking about running, she said I was going to feel some pressure and slight discomfort, and next thing I know she's knocking on my backdoor and complimenting me on my smooth and small prostate.

She didn't even buy me dinner first.

While I thought our relationship had taken off to the next level, she was just as casual as ever, and was still asking about my training and if there were any other races I was doing before the fall. I was halfway through my reply when she said "While I'm at it, I might as well check your testicles."

Since I was still glowing from the prostate compliment, I lifted the robe up and let her get to work.

I'll admit, I was expecting another round of praise, but she kept quiet and just kept feeling around and around and around... she kept checking over and over in a certain area, and it wasn't until I told her I forgot to mention my Vasectomy in my history that she seemed satisfied with what she was looking at. (I'm taking the silence as a compliment this time.)

We discussed some of the lab tests I'm going to have to do - since my work schedule and the lab hours don't jive, they'll have to wait until Tuesday to happen - and then I was free to put my clothes back on. (I almost asked to keep the robe as a memento of our time together.)

From what she told me, I'm the picture of glowing health - at least until the lab tests come back, and hopefully they won't say anything different. So all I have to worry about is whether or not my cholesterol is high and my blood sugars check out okay.

Next to that, my only other fear is that they'll hand me a robe and ask me to roll over on my side...


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Water Wings.

I'm trying something new in both my training and general life, and while rewarding, it's kind of driving me crazy.

It's Hydration.

Basically, I've realized that in the general course of the day, I don't drink enough water. Sure, if you count the kind that is mixed with ground up coffee beans, sugar, and cream, I drink tons of it - but not so much of just the regular stuff.

So I've been trying to drink a bit before I run and whenever I'm thirsty during the day, I try to reach for the water bottle instead of the coffee cup. It's been pretty good so far, except for one thing:

I keep having to pee all the time.

Maybe it's the added fluids, maybe my bladder is only the size of a walnut - I'm not sure what it is, but I think I've turned into a 5-foot-10 water conversion unit.

I think my kidneys are working overtime just to get me to put down the water bottle. It hasn't affected my running yet, but the day I have to stop in the middle of a race to pee, it's over.

I'm willing to give it another week but if I keep peeing like this, I'm going to have to have Adult Diapers underneath my running shorts.

I'd stay and chat, but I'm on my lunch, and I have to pee before I go back.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I Feel:

  • That since today was National Running Day, I made sure to log some miles (which I would have done anyway) and I did a tempo run (7:15min/mile) just to show those pesudo-runners who's in charge on the roads.
  • That since yesterday was a hill day, maybe putting a tempo run right after wasn't the best choice.
  • That since coming back from Vegas, all I've done is work and run. (The Wife forbade me from running in Vegas) I can't complain about the running, but the work really sucks.
  • That I should get a medal for every person I don't slap after coming back from holidays. That includes customers, co-workers, and just random people on the street.
  • I've decided that I really like the dry heat - Vegas was around 40C (100F) and I loved it. Coming back to the humidity of the West Coast just made me feel sticky and smelling like a moose.
  • That given the choice, I would never run another hill again. Problem is, you can't go more than 1km from my house without having to go up some sort of mountain.
  • That I'm both amazed and appalled at Helicopter Cat.
  • That since (because of social/personal obligations) I'm moving my Sunday run to Saturday, my Saturday run to Friday, my Friday run to Today, and Today's run to Tomorrow, I may lose track of exactly what year it is.


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Filthy Fun.

Yesterday, for most of the afternoon and part of the evening, I took my kids down to the Fair/Carnival that had stopped in town for the weekend.

Rides, games, and food were available for the youngsters to enjoy.

They didn't have any of the food, because after working in a restaurant for so many years, I'm not letting my child get food that was prepared by a dirty carny in a place that may or may not have passed it's last health inspection.

They didn't win any of the games, because carnival games are all rigged pieces of crap that try to get you to shell out tons of cash for a trinket that is made for pennies in some Chinese sweatshop.

And then there were the rides. The kids got more fun out of the obstacle course playgym area, the mini roller coaster, and the haunted house (in June?) than anything else.

But then it hit me.

I don't let them play the games they'll waste money on, or eat the food that I don't trust, but yet its perfectly okay to put them on a ride that was trucked in and assembled by a guy who likes working for the Carnival because "There's no rules on the road." That certainly instilled a lot of confidence.

I hope he follows the rules when he's putting that roller coaster together.

I realize how foolish it is that I'm trusting the safety of my children to a guy who's main talent appears to be spitting and rolling his shirt sleeve up higher anytime he sees a pretty girl.

Add the total time it takes to disinfectant the kids afterwards, (there were some seriously unclean people hanging out there.) and it almost seems like a hindrance more than anything else.

But then I saw their smiles.

Despite all my reservations/bias, they had a great time - and can't wait to do it again.

That makes it all worth it.