Running Injury: Ankle.

As a runner it’s just inevitable that you will suffer any athletes worst nightmare: an injury.  A few weeks back I suffered what I’m going to classify as an “Unknown Injury”.  Now this particular injury is twice as frustrating to me as I one have no real idea how I suffered this or specifically what type of injury it is, all I know is that as I said I suffered it a few weeks ago (shortly after my half marathon on July 8), and is that it is an injury that is affecting my left ankle and underside of that foot.

Comparison in size between the mysteriously injured left ankle, and healthy right ankle.

I had spent the last few weeks trying to ignore the fact that I was having pain in my left foot and ankle by continuing to run, and perform other regular activities on them, however reality (that I need to ease off this foot and ankle for a week or two) did hit home yesterday as Ashley and I tried to do a training run for our upcoming half marathon on Sunday August 19 at the Edmonton Marathon weekend in Edmonton, Alberta.  I had made it 2.3 miles when I had to begin walking.  What was planned to be just a short walking break turned into a half mile walk only to sadly turn into ending my attempt at running yesterday given the fact that I was walking and almost in tears and almost screaming due to the level of intense pain I was experiencing.

Icing my foot and ankle.

Thankfully ice and painkillers have been helping somewhat over the past 30 hours, but they are still far from perfect.  During this upcoming week I am going to be trying to take it easy on this foot and ankle aside from working.  I won’t be doing any running this week before Wednesday afternoon at the earliest giving this injury approx 96 hours minimum without running but lots of ice, R&R, and painkillers. With my next race 21 days away I’m willing to entertain most any and all methods of recovery.

On the upside if there is one, suffering this injury and having to stop our training run less than 3 miles in yesterday did result in Ashley getting me a “pick me-up” Frozen Yogurt with gummy bears, and coconut last night, haha!

 

 

If anyone has suggestions or remedies for this type of injury please share them with me I will be beyond grateful to you.  Hopefully this injury heals quickly and effectively.

-Ben-

Summer Wedding.

There is just something so romantic and special about a summers wedding, wouldn’t you agree?  This past weekend Ashley and I had the privilege of attending Ashley’s Step Sister’s wedding about an hour north of Calgary in a small town named “Innisfail, AB”.  This wedding was a special and memorable wedding for us to attend in my mind as it was the first wedding we have attended since our own wedding 4 1/2 months ago.  One of my favorite parts was just sitting back, enjoying the ceremony, and reception and reminiscing about all the parts of a wedding that we discovered just a short while ago.

Some of the other highlights for me were: seeing my amazing father in-law Gerry, and step mother in-law Delphene, and her four daughters including Krystal who’s wedding it was.  Also the time I spent with Ashley, and my brother in-law Ryan in our car on the drive up to Innisfail Friday night, and the drive home yesterday.  Also I gotta admit the wedding favors which were chocolate roses made by Delphene, and little jars of homemade jams made by Krystal, were very cool parts of the wedding.  But most of all it was just so magical and romantic to witness the start of a beautiful life together in the state of marriage by a couple as perfect as Krystal and Brian.

Here are a few of the photos I have from the wedding back on Saturday:

Ashley and I.

Ashley and I again. 🙂

 

Ashley, her dad Gerry, step mom Delphene, and her brother Ryan.

This really was a great experience again especially given that Ashley and I just got married a few months back ourselves, and once again I wish my wonderful step sister in-law and her new husband a lifetime of happiness, and love.

Hope you all had as great of a weekend as we did.

-Ben-

 

Summertime In The City.

Who doesn’t love summertime, and everything that goes along with it?  From music, and concerts, to outdoor sporting events, and fitness to the weather.  These are all things that most of us in North America love about summer, and certainly those of us in Calgary, and much of Alberta Canada love about summer.  Over the last few days I had the good fortune of being able to experience all of these joys of summer.

Wednesday night I had the opportunity to see musical legend Neil Diamond live in concert with Ashley and her mom (Cheryl).  

Now while the concert was indoors at Calgary’s “Scotiabank Saddledome” it just came with that fun summery feeling.

I have to say if you’ve never seen Neil Diamond, and you have the opportunity to go, take it.  For a 71-year-old performer the guy can still rock a packed house especially with the ever popular summer sports anthem “Sweet Caroline”.

Yesterday Ashley and I enjoyed some afternoon beers, and eats with my “Papa ELR” before Ashley and I headed to the Calgary Stampeders v.s. Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL game.After patio beers, and food it was off to the game.  Now those of you who follow me on Instagram @benncarrier or twitter  @eatinglivingrun or @benncarrier or know me in person know that when it comes to Canadian Football League football I am a HUGE Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, and in being such I wouldn’t be able to miss Roughriders v.s. Calgary Stampeders game.  The rivalry between these two teams is similar to that of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears in NFL action, or Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in MLB.  So obviously I was cheering for Saskatchewan and so was Ashley by proxy, and I think also just to try to see me happy.  The game was great and controlled by Saskatchewan for the first 3 1/2 quarters but due to a complete collapse starting with a thrown interception the boys in green (Saskatchewan) blew a 17 point lead only to lose in overtime, a very hard loss for me to stomach but oh well such is life I suppose.

Today was a lovely Friday together for Ashley and I as we both had the day off, and what better way to start a Friday off work together than with a sleep in and romantic brunch for two?

Scrambled eggs with chili peppers, onions, and chives, with half a steak, and two slices whole wheat toast.

After brunch and a bit of house cleaning we were off for a training run for our upcoming half marathon in Edmonton, AB next month.  The run next month will mark my second ever and second half marathon this summer, and Ashley’s first ever, so we’re trying to train in a way that’s working for Ashley.  Now I’ve never really run with anyone right beside as I run, but I have to say it’s a very comforting thing and inspirational source having someone there cheering you on, and someone for you to cheer on.  Ashley is doing great with her training, and I look forward greatly to running this half marathon alongside my wonderful wife.

Now we are off to Innisfail, AB for a family wedding and some great and fun family time.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend whatever yours may bring.

-Ben-

The Importance of R&R

First off I’m gonna apologize for the fact that this post is picture-free post, haha.

I am writing this post about one of those very important “Life Lessons” that I have just recently fully come to realize and truly appreciate.  The lesson I speak of is “The importance of R&R”.  Now R&R yes is a very important part of any healthy lifestyle, but especially and lifestyle that includes a heavy dose of physical activity, such as running, cycling, or a team sport, or really any physical fitness activity that you participate in on a regular and continuous basis.

Now in my case I am a huge fan of running, and this year I have already registered for four races and so far run three of them with the fourth race coming up on Sunday August 19 in Edmonton Alberta (Canadian Derby Edmonton Marathon, Half Marathon) which I will be running with the love of my life and the biggest support in my world, my wife Ashley, as this is her first ever half marathon (my second, and second this summer).  However if there is just one thing I’m more aware of now than ever before it’s the fact that you can only push yourself and your body so far before it gradually starts to “buckle” and develop a dislike for you and your mind which is pushing it to perform at a high intensity level for a prolonged period.  My body is definitely beginning to get to this point in a few areas.  First off is my left ankle which has been acting up on and off for the last few weeks.  As well as my left knee tonight when I ran, I felt it saying to me “Take care of me and rest me, I’m your only truly good knee left”.  This is a result of my right knee having had 6 operations over the past 16 years to repair ailments ranging from a twice torn ACL to removing loose bone fragments.

Now as I earlier said, this run on August 19th will be my fourth race this year, and in a 3.5 month span making this my biggest racing year to date, not to mention my biggest running training year of my life.  Now don’t get me wrong: I’m completely overjoyed with my progress made this year, and the fact that I’ve come so far both in my training, and races this year not to mention my dedication to my health, and my running.  However today I came to the sad but very clear realization that me and Ashley’s race on August 19 in Edmonton will in all likelihood mark the end of my race, and hardcore (almost every second day training program) that has encompassed as of mid August 3.5 months.  After that race I plan to continue to run occasionally throughout the end of summer, and fall, and through the winter staying in great running shape for the 2013 running season.  I do however plan to partake in some major R&R and physical healing time to avoid further injuries, and worse operations.  But for now its 32 more days of hardcore training for the “2012 Canadian Derby, Edmonton Marathon half marathon” Sunday August 19th.

Thank-you for taking the time to read this post, and please if you have any thoughts, or R&R ideas for me after August 19 I’d sincerely love to hear from you.

-Ben-

Doing a second half marathon.

What a crazy whirlwind of a week this past week has been. Starting with running my first ever half marathon last Sunday and doing it in a time of 2:25:07 beating my time goal by just under 5 minutes at the “Stampede Road Race” here in Calgary. Then having my beautiful loving wife Ashley return home from her mother/daughter Mexican cruise with her mom last Sunday night.After having Ashley home it was time for a week filled with “Calgary Stampede” festivities, both work related and free-time related.

The ever-popular Cowboy boot beer glass at “Craft Beer Market” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede.

“Cowgirl Ashley” Yee-Haw!!

A typical free Stampede breakfast, consisting of: pancakes, sausage, and juice box.

Married cowpolk getting their Honky-tonk on at legendary country bar “Ranchman’s” during the “Calgary Stampede”.

And of course the beer that is consumed during Stampede week. haha!

 

Also this past Friday Ashley and I along with her wonderful mom (Cheryl), and “mama ELR, and step dad ELR” we went to the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys”.  If you haven’t seen or are un-familiar with what “Jersey Boys” is about, it’s  about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and their rise to stardom.  I highly recommend this musical to anyone and everyone.  It is filled with everything that you could ask for in a musical: happiness, romance, sadness, triumph, and even (if it’s your thing) a slight touch of violence.  I wont tell you anymore as I truly hope you all have the opportunity if you haven’t already to go see it.

The stage set for “Jersey Boys”

 

One final highlight of this past week was me and Ashley’s decision to sign up for this August 19th’s running of the “Canadian Derby, Edmonton Marathon” half marathon.  This will be my second half marathon ever, and second this summer, and it will mark Ashley’s first half marathon race.

This race is very important to both of us, as I am running it with Ashley not only as a running buddy but also as a running coach, and sense of support for her out there along the course.  This race is very special to me also for the fact that Ashley had to miss my first half marathon last Sunday due to the last morning of her cruise, and this time not only will she get to see me cross the line after my second half marathon but she and I will cross the finish line together hopefully hand in hand marking her first half marathon completion.

We started the re-training for the “Canadian Derby, Edmonton Marathon” half marathon this morning after I had taken a week off running since my half last Sunday with a beautiful 10km/6.2 mile river run this morning here in Calgary.  Throughout the next 4 1/2 to 5 weeks we will continue our training for our half on Sunday August 19 in Edmonton.

I hope you all had a great week, and weekend this weekend.  I’d love to hear any great or fun stories you have from the past 8 days.

Have a terrific Monday!

-Ben-

Stampede Half Marathon.

I DID IT, I REALLY DID IT!!  I ran my first ever half marathon this morning in the Stampede Road Race half marathon here in Calgary.  After a very busy but very dedicated 6 weeks of training from a 10km (6.2 mile) run to a 13.1 mile (21.1KM) run I completed it.

Now first off when I’ve run 5km/3.1 mile runs and 10km/6.2 mile runs I’m not one for walking any of the course unless of course I begin to develop immense pain in my knee which has had 6  operations on it, and still can be a bit of a gamble as to whether or not it’ll hold up.  Also I’m not really one for stopping at the aid stations along the course largely due to the congestion that normally occurs around them.  However during my training period I came to on my own and was also encouraged by more seasoned runners than I that making the jump from 6.2-13.1 miles even with all the training I was doing was gonna likely necessitate me to allow myself to walk a bit of the course, and to accept my body’s need to stop at the aid stations.  Well I did end up doing one of those: I did stop briefly at each of the six aid stations along the course for water as it was desperately needed as it was 70 farenheit or 20 celsius at 7:30am when the race started not to mention sunny with not a cloud to be found.  Also stopping to eat two packages along the race route of Honey Stinger gummies (www.honeystinger.com).

I did however manage to keep myself running the entire 13.1 miles much to my happiness and surprise.  It wasn’t always an overly fast pace in fact there were a couple of points where I slowed so much that I was running/jogging at a pace just barely above that of a speed walk.  Now there were certainly points where I thought about walking a couple hundred yards and even kinda wanted to just to try to make things just a little bit easier on myself, but the stubborn, always push yourself further and harder, and I can do anything side of me one over the somewhat possibly more logical side of me and said “No you won’t walk, you want this, you believe in yourself, now stick with it and finish this run running.” and as it turned out that is just what I did.  This course today was anything but easy as it was filled with rolling hills, winds in the road, and for the latter half very little to no shade to provide any sort of relief from the warmth and the sun.  These though were not my only challenges I was faced with.  I also was faced with the challenge of my knee brace coming loose and re-positioning itself not once but twice thus leaving me to have to stop briefly both times to re adjust it, as well as having a slight shoe malfunction where my left shoe came completely undone at one point resulting in yet another un-scheduled stop for me, luckily my asthma inhaler can be taken on the run, or who knows how many stops I would have had to make.

Coming into the last 3/4 of a mile I ran past my uncle who had come down to watch me finish and cheer me and other runners on for that final big push to the finish line, and then with just over 100 meters to go to the finish line I had “Mama Eating, Living, Running” and “Step Dad Eating Living Running” not only cheering me on from the sidelines but also running the last 100 meters along side me from the sidelines just giving me that extra push and support to finish the race.  Coming into this race I had set 2 hours 30 minutes as my time goal.However the time on my Garmin GPS watch did not read 2:30 it read 2:25:07.  I beat my goal and not only did I beat the goal I had set for my first ever half marathon, but I beat it by 4 minutes and 53 seconds, Woo-Hoo!!

Upon crossing that heavenly finish line I received my half marathon finishers medal, I really did it, I am now a “Half Marathoner”!!

 

After all that was done I got to spend sometime thanking my family: uncle, “Papa Eating, Living, Running” “Step Dad Eating, Living, Running” and of course “Mama Eating, Living, Running” with whom I shared a joyful, but tearful hug with. Having my family there to see me start and finish my first half marathon was indescribable and beyond touching that they all came to support me like they did.  The only thing missing from this accomplishment was having my absolutely amazingly loving and supportive wife Ashley there but know she’ll be back from Mexico tonight is almost as good and she’ll get to hear all about this mornings run upon here arrival.

Mama ELR and I after our joyful but tearful reunion post race.

 

This race this morning is without question my greatest fitness accomplishment to date especially given that after 6 knee operations to repair torn ligaments odds have often been stacked against me ever being able to run a race of this length, but hey I did it and I feel I rocked it, I really don’t think I could be happier with my run today.  What this has left me with is a renewed belief, no scratch that, knowledge that if you want something bad enough, and you’re willing to put forth the time and effort, and you believe in yourself and are surrounded by friends and family who believe in and support you, you can achieve anything, fitness or other.  Also running this mornings half marathon and doing in my mind so well has left me with a strong desire to try to do at least one more half marathon this year, and hopefully maybe do my first ever full marathon next year, but only time will tell I guess.

Finally I would just like to thank all of you for reading this post and caring enough about me and what I accomplished, and to all of you who over the past 6 weeks have been nothing shy of the best friends and support anyone could dream of.  I would have mentioned you all but there are so many and you all know who you are friends, family, and readers, so thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!

I hope you all had a great weekend, I know I did and it’s just gonna get better with picking Ashley and her mom up at the airport in a couple of hours as they arrive home from Mexico.

I’d love to hear about the highlight of your weekend, or the biggest fitness accomplishment you’ve ever achieved, if you feel like sharing with me.

-Ben-

Welcome to the 100th Calgary Stampede and Exhibition.

“Welcome to Calgary, home of the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition” is a common line you’ll hear when visitors arrive at Calgary International Airport, and for I will admit good reason.  The Calgary Stampede and Exhibition is one of the largest and most world-renowned stampedes/rodeos and exhibitions/fairs in the world.  For 10 days each July hundreds of thousands of people will flock to our city in the heart of the Canadian Rockies for agriculture, heritage, musical, carnival, rodeo, drinking, and of course food purposes, and just to be clear these are people from around the world.  This year the Calgary Stampede is celebrating its 100th anniversary from July 6-15.

Now each year during the Stampede one thing there is no shortage of in this city is FOOD.  Both midway purchase food, and food in the form of free pancake breakfasts, and free bbq lunches, and dinners are more than bountiful.

A typical “free stampede breakfast” pancakes and sausage.

Now along with the food probably the biggest part of the stampede culture is how you look at stampede. Take for instance this fine-looking cowboy here, haha. 

In the morning of the first day of stampede each year there is the big Calgary Stampede parade.  In this parade you can find floats and marching bands not only from all over the city, province and Canada, but around the world too.  Now in addition to the main Calgary Stampede parade some districts/suburbs have their own smaller stampede parades.  This morning along with “Mama Eating, Living, Running” and my aunt and grandma we went to the “Bowness Stampede Parade” where “Step Dad Eating, Living, Running” was performing with other members of the “Alberta Fire Fighters Pipe Band”

Step Dad ELR is the tall one in the middle.

Lakeside Lutheran High School, Warrior Band from Lake Mills, WI. At the Bowness Stampede Parade.

After my morning of stampede parading and free breakfast eating I went back to “Mama ELR and Step Dad ELR’s” house for some visiting and sun, food, and beer on their patio.

Now as I wind down the night, and my last night without my beautiful wife (I’m so happy to have her back home by this time tomorrow night, a week alone is way too long for this boy), I must bid you all goodnight and quickly finish rounding up all my running gear ie: clothes, Garmin GPS watch, Honey Stingers snacks, shoes, and of course sunscreen, and knee brace, in preparation for tomorrow morning’s Stampede Road Race Half Marathon.

I will continue throughout this upcoming week to fill you in a bit more on “The Calgary Stampede”.  Also coming tomorrow (Sunday) I will post a full recap of tomorrow mornings half marathon.

Have a great Saturday night, and amazing Sunday.

Wish me luck in my race tomorrow morning! 😉

-Ben-

I’m Really Gonna Do This.

So it’s official I’m gonna run my first ever half marathon this weekend.  Not that there was ever any real doubt that I would, given that I had registered and paid my entry fee a little over a month ago, not to mention all the hard work, dedication, and training runs I have put in over the past 6 weeks training almost everyday for this run. But today I went and picked up my race package including my shirt, race number, and a bunch of other runner swag.

Race Package.

Along with picking up my package there were just a couple other obvious signs that running this race this Sunday is in fact the right thing to do, and that the time has indeed come to run my first ever half marathon.

The signs started this morning while I was texting with my uncle who has run a few half marathons in his life.  He was giving me advice that he received before he ran his first half marathon, most of which I was already aware of, but it still is nice to receive pointers from people who have been down this road before as well as messages of support and encouragement.

 

Runner’s World, August 2012

The second obvious sign that the time was now and that me running my first ever half marathon truly is meant to happen this Sunday came in the form of my mail today.  Today when I arrived home and got the mail I saw that I had received the latest issue of  “Runner’s World” (August 2012 issue).  Now what really tipped me off was what the theme of this issue is, as it focuses on setting yourself up for success in running 13.1 miles or a half marathon.  I have yet to actually begin reading this issue but I can’t wait to start it either in bed tonight or tomorrow morning on my way to work at the latest.

Now all three of these happenings today just furthermore prove to me that I really have made the right choice.  I wont lie to you I’m both absolutely overjoyed and excited as well as terrified beyond belief, I just want Sunday morning to come soon so I have less time to possibly over think things, but at the same time I wanna be able to soak it all in.

For now I am thinking about work tomorrow as tomorrow (Friday July 6th) marks the official to the 2012 Calgary Stampede, the 100th anniversary of “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, and I have a busy day as Catering Sales Manager coordinating 2 large Stampede breakfasts consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hashbrowns, and other yummy goodies.  So with that in mind I should be getting into bed and getting rested up for the morning, and starting to build up some extra rest in preparation for Sunday’s big run.

If any of you have any tips or advice for a first time half marathoner please share or even just any good stories. I would love to hear about your first time, or advice you have.

Goodnight beauties!

-Ben-

Happy July 4th.

Happy 4th of July everyone, or for those of you non-americans who don’t still celebrate the United States of America’s Independence Day: Happy Wednesday!  I hope whatever your Wednesday July 4th brought your way you had an amazing day.

 

I spent my July 4th here in Calgary Alberta, Canada, working since our countries birthday “Canada Day” was back on Sunday and we had Monday off work.  The past couple days have been quite busy and go-go-go days.  Here are a few snapshots of my last couple days.

Yesterday after work I went to have a visit with “Grandma ELR”. Very rarely do we get to visit just grandma and grandson so this visit was kinda nice.

 

Last night I took Ashley’s mom and brothers dog out for a walk. His name is “Diesel”, he such a cute little nugget of a dog.

 

This evening I completed my final training run in preparation for this Sunday’s Stampede Half Marathon. Everything feels good, so lets hope that feeling continues Sunday morning.

 

Tonight’s dinner was a super delicious and simple dinner that I got the brilliant idea from one of my favorite bloggers: Stephanie at http://www.epicuriousrunner.com and on Instagram at @epicuriousrunner . It is whole wheat pasta, with a tomato sauce and topped with a fried egg for protein. I just added a few random vegetables from my fridge to the tomato sauce.

 

Now that you know how I spent my last few days, and especially my July 4th (working, running, eating) I would love to hear how you all spent your July 4th 2012.

-Ben-

One Lovely Blog Award

This award along with the whole blogging culture is all kinda new and still foreign to me, but I’m doing my best to do it all proper, and in a way that keeps you reading my blog. If I’m forgetting anything or need to do something different please feel free to drop me a line and give me your feedback, I always love hearing from my readers!

I would like to gratefully and graciously thank Jesica of http://www.runonorganic.wordpress.com for the “One Lovely Blog Award” thank-you Jesica.

Rules of acceptance:

-Thank the person/s who nominated you and link back to them in your post.

-Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself, and nominate up to fifteen bloggers you admire.

-Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know you have nominated them, and link back to them.

Here are seven things you may not yet know about me:

1. I got into the whole blogging world by reading blogs that my wife reads and had recommended to me.  The two blogs that I initially read that really helped inspire me to start blogging myself and still to this day are easily two of my favorites are: Jenn Korducki Krenn and her brilliant blog “Eating Bender”, and Kath Younger at “Kath Eats Real Food”.

2. I am a certified chef.  I graduated from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2008.

3. Favorite pro sports teams are: Los Angeles Lakers, Green Bay Packers, and Boston Red Sox.

4. The first time I saw my wife Ashley 10 years ago I knew that she was the woman I wanted to marry, we started dating each other 5.5 years later, and got married 4 months ago.

5. I love all genres of music, but my all time favorite musical artist is U2.

6. I have had 6 operations in the last 16 years on my right knee to repair torn ligaments and to clean out bone fragments.

7. This upcoming Sunday (July 8) I will be running my first ever half marathon, and I’m both extremely excited and terrified at the same time.

Here are twelve PHENOMENAL blogs I follow (and I highly recommend you do the same) we all will benefit greatly from their experiences, and zest for life.

1. http://www.eatingbender.com

2. http://www.katheats.com

3. http://www.itzyskitchen.com

4. http://www.trulyjess.com

5. http://www.mealsandmovesblog.com

6. http://www.eatliverun.com

7. http://www.juliegolean.com

8. http://www.lifeafterbagels.com

9. http://www.oatmealinmybowl.com

10. http://www.epicuriousrunner.com

11. http://www.candifromhawaii.blogspot.com

12. http://www.amandaleightyson.wordpress.com

-Ben-