Tag Archives: fatigue

Oh yes, I will remember

I keep losing my poppy – I think they’re designed that way so you have to keep putting a toonie or a loonie into the cadets’ tray to get another one this time of year. That’s OK by me. My grandfather, a veteran of World War II, is long since passed away but I still remember.

Besides that, right now soldiers are returning from Afghanistan in coffins, maimed, wounded and suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Over the past 65 years since WWII our soldiers have been returning from Rwanda, Cyprus, Somalia and countless other peacekeeping missions that resembled only in varying degrees the meaning of that term.

On my reading list, for instance, is General RomĂ©o Dallaire’s new book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. He says Canada is losing its moral soul internationally, evidenced by our non-action on child soldiers, our participation in failed “peace” keeping missions like Rwanda.

The issues of war and peace still need our attention; what better time of year to pause for a moment and think about the whole thing.

Except you won’t get any help on that score from Canada’s biggest retailers. According to them, Christmas started weeks ago. Remembrance Day? What’s that? Such a somber holiday is not very conducive to sales I guess. They don’t even have to close their doors for Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) any more. They suffer the young cadets and Legion volunteers to sell poppies outside their doors, but inside it’s all Christmas trees and holiday “music.” On the television it’s started: the heart-wrenching ads designed to give you that warm nostalgic feeling for Grandma’s home baked cookies and hot chocolate.

I say enough. To me every one of those ads, all the Christmas music (it’s not even Advent, if you’re so inclined to follow a Christian calendar) infusing the stores already – it’s an insult to the day we’re being asked to observe this coming Thursday.

I say enough by refusing to shop at stores where they’ve already started the unending  (until Boxing Day) vomit of Christmas marketing. Last night, horrified by a schmaltzy Canadian Tire ad, I Tweeted:

I’ve decided to #boycott stores that have #ChristmasAdsTooEarly starting with Canadian Tire.

That started a barrage of ReTweets and conversation, at least a dozen replies within a half hour of my post.

I’ve decided I’m on to something, and it’s more than #ChristmasTooEarly (my hasty hashtag). I think it’s a marketing fatigue – a feeling of hopelessly getting sucked into the Christmas Season Vortex of Expectations. I’m going to write about it in further posts, but for now I want to make this post about Remembrance Day and about starting my own boycott of the disrespectful retailers.

Meantime, I’m going with my daughter to the Remembrance Day parade here on Thursday. I’ll write about that. Then I’ll write more about my conflicted feelings around the holidays, and further on why I’m remembering to boycott the following shops for Christmas:

  • Canadian Tire
  • Zellers
  • La Senza
  • Leon’s

Any more that you’ve noticed? Any other thoughts on starting Christmas too early?


My second job

Did I simply forget how tiring it is to train for a full marathon? Or could it be the extra weekly run and two extra boot camp sessions per week that have me begging for mercy?

Take a little from column A, a lot from column B and you have the reason I wake up in an exhausted fog some mornings. This training schedule is like a second job. For instance, here’s this week’s schedule:

  • Monday: morning tempo run 10-11k; evening “recovery” run with the Running for the Truly Terrified group I started.
  • Tuesday: morning spin class at the YMCA where I’m a volunteer; evening boot camp.
  • Wednesday: evening speed workout with Frontrunners marathon clinic.
  • Thursday: evening boot camp.
  • Friday: one-hour hot yoga at noon because lord knows I need to stretch!
  • Saturday: 19k run (long slow distance: pace 6:50/k, a little over 2 hours)
  • Sunday: hike Witty’s lagoon! (I’m really looking forward to that one!)

As luck would have it, my real job is busy but not crazy-busy, and during the summer I haven’t (yet) needed to put in any overtime hours or travel too much. If that were the case though I’d have to give up something – probably a boot camp session.

As a matter of fact, come August (when my mileage starts climbing again) I will drop one of the boot camps per week, and during taper I won’t weight train at all.

The perennial question for runners is: what are you running from?

Good question. The harder answer (given the fact that marathon training is actually hard on the body) is I have no idea. I can’t think of what I’m avoiding in life by working out so much, I can’t think of anything “chasing” me that would cause me to run away.

The easy answer is: I simply love this, I love running, working out, getting strong, staying youthful, staying healthy; and I love doing it with other people, helping them achieve their fitness goals at the same time I’m achieving mine.

What other possible answer could there be?

Photo: Tori running the Royal Victoria Marathon October 2009 by Bill Broughton


Marathoner's torture: finding balance

Whose idea was it to move house in the middle of training for a marathon? Or try and begin a new relationship?

I’m moved, but still have no sofa, bed for my daughter, end tables, living room lamp or desk chair for this computer. Not only that but the new place (why didn’t I notice this before?) has no linen closet. I need trunks or some other storage solutions. It’s going to take a bit of fussing to get settled. No problem, right? Right.

Grin and bear it

Grin and bear it

Except for an increasingly punishing training schedule, looming deadlines and staffing shortages at work and a frustratingly ambiguous yet potentially very exciting love life at the moment. Oh yeah, and then there was the fall down the back stairs in the rain on Monday, from which I got a bruised tailbone and elbow. I still can’t quite sleep properly (I never realized how much I like to sleep on my back…)

A wise massage therapist once told me that once you’re running over 15 miles a week you’re not doing it for your health, you’re punishing your body. At that point you’re doing it for some other reason. Marathons are for fit people, for determined people, for people who perhaps have something to prove. But they’re not going to keep you healthy.

Well, I am kinda crazy and determined to reach my goal, so I push on, trying to fuel up, get enough sleep and resist the urge to freak out when some new surprise in my new place, my new neighbourhood and my new sorta-relationship comes up. (Um, ok, so I have freaked out. Once. After tempo run/hill repeats this week. So sue me, I’m not a saint.)

I saw a counsellor/coach yesterday who taught me a relaxation-meditation exercise that seemed to work instantly – in her office anyway. The trick will be to use it when the stress response starts to kick in. I’ll try it after the next set of hill repeats.