Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PEI In 200 Days!

On Friday, my Dad's 73rd birthday (That should give you a rough idea of my own age.  If it should score me any more points or sympathy, I am closer to 50 than 40 at this point.), I completed my 8 week program AND I successfully ran 5 km STRAIGHT!  No stops, no walking.  A whole 5 km straight!  You have no idea how many false starts I have had over the past 14 years, or how many programs I have attempted but could never quite make it.  But, this time, I did it!  I don't even remember where I found the program - somewhere on the internet?  It was a Word document that I downloaded and will never be able to return to the site from whence it came because it is on my computer which is officially toast.

T, before you start harping on about "you should get a MAC", let me just tell you that I got a new iPhone last Saturday and it hasn't worked properly since I got it.  A phone isn't much good unless you can actually hear what the other person is saying and I can't hear a thing.  Although, it is sort of nice that I can get my point across without having to hear "no" or the plethora of excuses.  You see, they can hear me at the other end.  So I can call the SF and say, "I'll be home in 10 minutes.  My dinner better be on the table!", and he can say whatever he wants back, but I don't have to listen to it.  Or, I can call him and say, "Can you stop at the grocery store and pick up....."  Same thing!  Better yet.  "Can you pick me up a coffee?"  You remember that new bike he just got?  Well, it means that Momma deserves a little payback.  I'm just wonder how long I can milk it?

What the iPhone has been good for is recording my run times/distances while I'm at the gym.  Instead of taking pen and paper, I can just make notes right then and there.  Although the drips of sweat all over it aren't that great and my hands shaking from exhaustion make it somewhat difficult to hit the right letters and numbers, but you get my point.

So where am I?  Well, at the end of my 8 week program, I have landed just short of Murray River, PEI.

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Murray River is, yet another picturesque, town on PEI.  I'm probably going to get tired of saying that.
Located in Murrary River is the Maclure Dam which was built in 1808 in order to provide power to the local grist mill and sawmill.  The Dam happens to be the largest body of fresh water on the island.  In the past, it served the community well in the summer months.  I Because the community did not have any refrigerators until after the 40's, the community members would cut blocks from the ice that accumulated at the dam in the winter and would cover it in sawdust from the mill which would allow the ice to last through the summer.  This sounds familiar to me as the people of the community of Ulukhaktok, where the SF and I lived for two years, would cut blocks of ice from the surrounding lakes.  They would actually melt the ice and use it as their drinking water.
Ulukhaktok.  Loading the kamik with ice.
Hmm....you tell me?  Would you rather live your days in the picture above or below?  No question where I would rather be.

Murray River Wharf
Photo courtesy of /www.pointseastcoastaldrive.com

The community of Murray River is also known for its grove of old wood white and red pines which provide a great backdrop of colour come Fall.  Some of these trees date back to the 1870s.  Spectacular!
Photo courtesy of www.pointseastcoastaldrive.com
That's all I've got for you on Murray River.  As for me, I have now completed 98.25 km!  Well....I've gotta run!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So I'm A Little Late.

I know, I know!  I'm late getting this post done! I've had a horrible headache for the past couple of days so as soon as I arrive home and dinner, etc., is done, I have been taking it easy.  But I have much to share with you.
I have been teasing you all with a bit of a story, so I better spill the beans.  As many of you know, the SF has been harassing me for oh....must be coming on 14 years to buy a motorcycle.  Well now that Momma has a J.O.B. the pressure, although non-verbal, has not gone unnoticed.  And of course, this is the time of the year when people start listing their bikes.  I'm sure if you found the SF sitting in front of his laptop 9 times out of 10 he is probably looking at online ads for motorcycles (See.  NON-VERBAL.)  The subject came up again not to long ago and I relented.  It's not that I didn't want  him to get a bike, but as many families do, we stretch our dollars as far as we can and there just hasn't been much room for such a toy. 

But, now that I have  job, things have changed and so I softened.  Lord knows, the SF deserves a nice toy after working as hard as he has and sacrificing all that he does.  He has provided for me and the boys well and never begrudges me my indulgences.  Any, the slightest hint of caving and he was off.

Within a matter of days he had driven the whole West side of the island checking out a couple of bikes.  He even took two of his buddies with him.  The first one was dismissed, in  part, because the owner couldn't be bothered to even clean the bike prior to the SF coming.  We ALL know how particular the SF is about cleanliness.  The second bike - well, the colour was a bit off-putting - sort of a sparkly bright blue.  Not quite manly enough for my man.    That night, his buddy called and told him of another website to check out and after a while, he called me in.  He found THE ONE!

He got on the phone and immediately called.  I'm thinking it was 8:30/9:00 at night.  Everything sounded great and the SF was gung-ho to go and check it out.  The only problem was that he only had one day off left and the bike was over in Halifax.  To make things even more difficult, the owner told him that he had meetings all day the next day so that if the SF wanted to see it, he had to be there no later than 8 or 9am. (I can't remember exactly).  Well, when my man wants something, my man gets it.  He told the owner, he would be there bright and early the next morning.  Did I mention it is a good 3-4 hour drive to Halifax?  He then spent a while making sure he was rigged to bring the bike back home, straps and all.

At the crack of dawn the SF was up and gone while I snoozed in bed for a few more hours and not too long after me and the boys were up, the phone rang.  It was his!  His very own motorcycle.  I have to say, I don't think I have ever heard him so excited in all of the time I have known him....not even on our wedding day.  Hmmmmm?   It was all strapped on and he was heading home with his prized possession and he'd see me in a couple of hours.

Well an hour or so passed by and the phone rings.  Instantly I can tell there is something wrong and my first thought is that something happened to the bike.  Nope.  Worse.  He is in the middle of nowhere on the highway and his truck broke down with the bike strapped in the back!  Did I mention that it was pouring rain?  POURING!  What the hell is he going to do now?  I looked up the number for the toll booth on the highway as that was the closest thing to him.  Eventually he get a tow truck and had his truck towed from Nova Scotia to the shop on PEI where it spent the next several days before it was shipped off, still undiagnosed, to the dealership where it spent several more days until they finally figured out it was a corroded computer wire!

And while exhausted and emotionally drained, when he finally got home, there was no wiping that silly grin off of the SF's face!  A proud moment for him, I'm certain!  Congrats, Baby!  You deserve it!  If anything, at least you will never forget the day you got your new toy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Momma is pooped!

I mentioned the other day that our household was buzzing with activity last week.    Well, today I'll address the first thing that has thrown us into a tailspin.  I STARTED MY NEW JOB last week!!!!  I LOVE it!  I pinch myself each day that I get to work with such fabulous people.  My bosses, Lana and Marc, the owners of Stratford Physiotherapy are amazing.  They seem to have a million things going on and yet they both are ALWAYS super friendly and POSITIVE which I am hoping is extremely infectious.  It's hard not to feel that way when you are with them.  Besides, the physiotherapy service available, we also have a massage therapist and Lana teaches yoga classes three days a week which I can't wait to join in on!

During my training period, I am working an afternoon/evening shift so I start after lunch and work until the last patient leaves which could be as early as 5:00 or as late as 7:00.  Either way, if the SF is working a day shift, he is home before me which means, you guessed it, he has dinner on the go by the time I get home!  Yeah ME!  I thought I was prepared for my return to the workforce but apparently not as the first week was a bit of a struggle on the meal planning but we made it through.  Unfortunately I think this week will be a bit of the same but we'll get it eventually.  I am thankful that, for now, I have the mornings to get my runs in, take care of my boys, and get some housework done.  It is a great transition for me.....and the pups and Lord knows, we need it!  I am suffering from brain drain, muscle strain from my runs and a little anxiety-induced exhaustion.  So let's just say, it was a week of early evenings for this ole gal!  

Come back on Thursday for the more exciting news of last week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 7 - PEI in 200 Days

What a week! It has been a busy one around here and the running seemed to be a challenge for me this week. The last two weeks of my program, 7 & 8, don't actually have a time goal to reach, just to work toward running 5 km's non-stop. So, my thought was to attempt to run a mile, walk, run the 2nd mile, walk and complete the 3rd mile which would have put me somewhere near the 5km mark. Not so easy it turned out. I really struggled with the first two runs of the week and was feeling quite frustrated with myself. Come Friday I was in desperate need of some stress relief (more later on that subject) and decided to just run. It worked! I ran half an hour straight and completed 4kms running and walked the last. Not too much longer and I will have reached that 5km goal!

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With this week's run totalling 14.9km, I have now landed in Murray Harbour, PEI.
photo courtesy of Points East Coastal Drive
In the late 1700's, Murray Harbour became a formidable working harbour and continues to do so to this day. During the Depression when the fishing industry was in decline and prohibition was in effect , rum running became a mainstay of the harbour.  The community is made famous by the history of the rum running vessel known as Nellie J. Banks which managed the elude the authorities for quite some time.  Eventually, when she was seized and the owner was taken to court, it was deemed that the seizure was illegal and he actually won damages from the government.
Vessel at wharf, Murray Harbour, PE, 1915 (?)
Photo courtesy of museemccordmuseum

When the railway opened in the early 1900's, Murray Harbour was the final stop for the day of a 22 stop line.  The train was put to rest in the rail yard for the night and would star back up again early the next day where it would make its trek all over again.  Today Murray Harbour is the home of  Rail Head Park where this significant industry is memorialized.

There is some great information about Murray Harbour at this community access program website. 
As well, if you are interested, please check out the Points East Coast Drive website.  This is basically the route I am following and there is far more information there than I am providing here.

Communities passed through:
20. Guernsey Cove
21. Beach Point

I'll fill you in on the rest of the week's drama tomorrow, but for now, I've gotta run!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Must Have Been Drunk

....because by my meagre calculation, using the path I intended, it is 730+ kms around the island?! What the hell was I thinking? Perhaps I should just tackle the Trans Canada Trail which horizontally crosses the island?

If my math is correct, I have to complete 4+kms each day to even come close to that goal? And we all know, that is not going to happen.

Since yesterday was Good Friday, the gym was closed so I had to complete my run today. Not an easy feat after spending multiple hours yesterday with my dear friends, Itchy and Scratchy, drinking sparkling wine and making jewelry. Well, my only contribution to my new bling was selecting the stones and cutting the chain. Scratchy assembled it for me.

With today's run, I have now completed Week 6 of my 8-week program. Today's run was supposed to be my first attempt at running a mile non-stop, walk 2 minutes and then walk/run a 2nd mile. Instead I ran a mile, walked 2 minutes and ran the 2nd mile! Yeah Me! With that, my total distance for this week was 12.97 km which lands me just short of White Sands, PEI which is located in southern Kings County.

White Sands was a prospering community...in 1880.  LOL!  At one time it was the home of two thriving businesses, a pop factory and a lobster cannery but these businesses are long gone.

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Along the way I passed through the following communities:

17. Little Sands
18. High Bank
19. White Sands

Is it just me or does Tignish seem like it is a long way from here?  Gotta run!