Thursday, February 24, 2011

A change of course

I have been absent from blogging for the past couple weeks, as my life has taken a major change in course.

On Tuesday February 8, my mother suffered a massive stroke. She is only 68 and had no risk factors, so this is a bit of a surprise (this type of stroke-- a subarachnoid hemorrhage--generally does not correlate with heart disease risk factors). She was lucky enough to get medical attention quickly; she had some life-saving procedures and is now in the neuro-ICU of a large hospital, receiving excellent medical care. Her doctors assure us that she is following a pretty standard course of recovery, which is good. She is sometimes but not always responsive to their stimuli and sometimes following commands. The doctors and nurses assure us that many people go through these ups and downs before recovery. We do not know how much recovery there will be, but the chances are very good for at least partial recovery. They tell us that now its critical that she make it to day 21 (we are now at day 17) with no major complications; after that, somewhere between day 30 and 60 we will likely have a better idea of what we are dealing with. So we wait, and keep going up to visit her every day, because they tell us that helping her keep connected to he "outside world" helps her to recover. We do not know if she can always hear us, but she sometimes can. Hearing is usually the last thing to go when people can't do things like move and blink (temporarily).

My parents winter in Florida, which is where this all happened. Their permanent home is in Massachusetts where my sister also lives; I live pretty far away from both in Vancouver, Canada. So my sister and I, with the help of several close friends, are flying back and forth to Florida to be there for my mother and help my father. My father relies on my mother for much of his daily routine and care, so we need to make sure his needs are met as well.

This is by far the most challenging situation I have ever been dealt. But we take what we are given and we move forward.

It will not come as a surprise that my running goals for the spring are now on hold. I am still running regularly, almost daily, although I am not following a regular training schedule. I can often enjoy runs of up to an hour, sometimes more when I am back home in between visits. But running is more for stress relief now, without the pressure to get faster or hit certain paces.

While I am enjoying running without pressure, I also realize how my past running and racing has helped me face this personal challenge. The mental strength I have gained from learning how to push through tough races and training runs has helped me realize I am capable of more than I sometimes think. It is time to use that strength of character to help me meet the challenges of taking care of my mother, my father, myself, and my own family during this difficult time. I will race again when I am ready. And my mother knows how important running is for me, and she would not want it any other way.

I am continuing to log on DailyMile, but will not be updating as regularly here. I will be posting more intermittently here as thoughts come up that relate to my running.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vegan recipe of the week: Easy black bean enchiladas

Last night I made my version of the black bean enchiladas. This is my very easy weekday simple version.

Easy Black Bean Enchiladas

vegetable oil
one onion, diced
one large yam (orange sweet potato), diced in small pieces
(you could also add corn here if you want)
one can of black beans, drained
one half-package of firm tofu, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
six soft tortillas

Saute onions for about 5 minutes. Add yams and continue to saute for another 10 minutes. Add corn, beans, tofu and spices and saute for another 10 minutes.

Add filling to tortillas, and wrap and fold. Place in a vegetable oil coated baking pan, and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes until tortillas get browned.

For the non-vegans in my family , I add some sliced cheddar cheese inside the tortilla and some shredded cheese on top. I love mine without cheese, but you could use a vegan cheese here if you want.

Top with salsa (I use Newman's Own). BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Training Summary: Week 4 (January 24 - January 30)

Monday: 5.2K easy on treadmill, 30 min
Tuesday: 11K easy with Mike downtown, 1:05
Wednesday: 10K with about 7-8K hard, untimed
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 8.5K with Mike downtown, 49 min
Saturday: 8K on the treadmill in 46 minutes; later: 2.3K with my son in 15 min
Sunday: 20.25K in 2:00:00 (5:55/km). Gorgeous run.

Total: 65K