Posted by: Karen | July 1, 2008

A Visit Back Home, Training Included

First of all, Happy Canada Day! Here’s a flag photo I took last month at the Columbia Ice Fields.

Canadian Flags at the Icefields

Last Friday I packed up Little Runner and we headed off to the Ponoka Stampede Parade. Yahoo! We met up with my mom’s kin to watch the horses, bands and floats go by. My grandma is 91 and more frail than she’d like, but she had a great time at the parade!

Grandma at the parade

I hope to age as well as my grandma someday, but right now I’ve got time to make the most of my youth and health.

Saturday morning I went for a nice 110 minute run in the country. It was mostly flat prairie dirt road, but I did run down and up out of a valley twice. It was hard to keep running towards the end – just wanted to walk – but I started counting my steps and it kept me focused long enough to finish strong.

After lunch Little Runner and I got hair cuts and then played at the Camrose swimming pool. I didn’t swim any laps, but it felt good to keep the muscles moving, and the cool water helped with recovery.

Saturday night I got the bike out of my trunk and rode it around a bit to make sure it was ready for at least an hour’s ride the next morning before church. Sunday morning the back tire was a little low, so I pumped it up. I was not gentle enough in removing the pumper thingie and must have weakened the tube at the valve connection. It went kablooey on me a block from the house, and I’d forgotten my spare tube kit at home. Phooey. Oh well, more time for visiting, eh?

That afternoon we dropped by my cousin’s and my auntie’s homes in Wetaskiwin and Millet for hugs and visiting. We had so much fun I forgot to take pictures. Monday (yesterday) morning we dropped off some fresh flowers and a couple more hugs with Grandma and headed back to Calgary.

Last night I went swimming for the second Monday in a row. I like being able to swim late in the evening. I don’t have to rush supper like when group running or orienteering. Liesbeth joined me at the pool and gave me some very helpful pointers about my feet (keep them closer together and pointed if possible) and hands (cup them).

It finally dawned on me that breathing every other stroke works much better than every 4th one. It made the difference between dying in 2/3 of a length and making it 5 laps in a row. I floundered around with a mix of breast stroke and front crawl in the first five laps, and then knocked off the next 5 laps of front crawl (after the epiphany) in no time.

I cooled down with a couple of laps of breast stroke. I’m still not “relaxed” while doing front crawl, but there’s a more sustainable rhythm now. I think I need nose plugs. I came away refreshed and looking forward to my next swim.



  1. Karen, be careful! You might start liking swimming better than running. Speaking about ‘refreshed’ afterwards, ‘looking forward to a next swim’. After running I can never say I feel refreshed: more exhausted, but satisfied.
    See you, Liesbeth.

  2. Grandma looks fabulous! What a smile!

  3. my neighbor is 81 and you would never guess she was day over sixty I want to bottle her and store her away…

  4. Yay Grandma…Lookin’ good.


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