I can say crazy because Mike calls himself crazy right?! Plus I think it does require some craziness to run 50km, 50miles and even longer plus adding in the mountains for a more challenging run.
I often get asked if I run too and it's a no! It's not that I didn't wish I could. Friends and family who knew me when I was living in Denmark know I used to play soccer every day of the week. I even played for two clubs because one just wasn't enough for me plus coaching girls as well as trained with selected players from around the province. Yes I loved and still love soccer.
However these days due to my illness I can't run much without getting ill and end up in bed recovering for 2 weeks afterwards. Sadly though, as I wish I could go out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings Mike sees on his trails. Being there just isn't the same as seeing it on FaceTime :)
So how is it living with a crazy runner?! Well, it's interesting, fun and sometimes worrying. It's a good thing I had some practice. See, my brother used to be a professional triathlete so I'm used to having sports gear all around the house, someone eating loads of food, training and racing a lot as well as waiting impatiently at the finish line/at home hoping he will come back in one piece.
As with triathlon, trail running is also an endurance sport and it takes a certain character to be able to do it. I'm just going out on a limb here; it also takes a certain character to live with someone who is into these kinds of sport - I'm sure my lovely sister in-law will nod at this, having traveled around and living with my brother :)
Trail running is not a sport where you can watch the whole race from start to finish. Most times you can maybe get 2-3 sights - start line if you get up very early, at one of the aid stations and of course the finish line. So what do I do while he races?! Well at his 50 miler, I decided to volunteer my time. Volunteering is always fun and I got to hang out with some great people while serving burgers and hotdogs to other volunteers and runners. It gave me a great insight into how tight the trail running family really is and it was great to be a part of this and I can see why Mike loves it so much.
A few tips I have learned since Mike started trail running:
I can't believe this is the first blog post about Mr. Felix! He's the centre of the family if you ask him but don't tell the cat that! However the last week has been all about Felix as he went in for surgery last Thursday. He had a broken tooth and needed an extraction and while under anesthetic, he had a dental clean too. One extraction, however, turned into 3, so we had a poorly dude afterwards. Loaded with pain medications I got ready for a couple of days of looking after him day and night.
We got home around 6pm and no surprise Felix was tired. I got his dinner ready with his pain medications as prescribed by the vet. He wasn't allowed any exercise so afterwards I got one of our pet travel cages out, put his blanket inside with a blanket on top and because he was pacing around prior to this, I put a diffuser on with two blends of essential oils called Balance (the Grounding Blend) and Serenity (the Calming Blend).
Felix's favourite essential oil is Balance - now I hear you ask, how do I know? Before using essential oils on Felix, I ask his permission or in some cases which oil he prefers. Leave the cap on the bottle and let your dog sniff the bottle. If he/she turns their head straight away, it's a no. If however they keep sniffing, you got your yes. Felix will not leave the Balance bottle alone which is why I say it's his favourite.
Balance is a blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile and fractionated coconut oil. The blend helps promote grounding feelings as well as helping you feel relaxed.
I added Serenity to the diffuser as well as it's another great blend for relaxation and has a calming aroma which would help Felix settle down and it worked great. I had the diffuser running an hour before bedtime too and he was more calm and settled down for the night quickly. He woke up twice during the night and I put the diffuser on for another hour and I found him quickly settling and falling back asleep again.
We continued this for the next couple of nights and it was a peace of mind that he got the rest he needed and felt relaxed, so he could recover without issues and without stressing about.
Not all essential oils can be used on dogs, so it's important to do some research before you start with your own dog. A dog's brain is only 1/10 the size of a human but the part which controls smells is 40 times larger than in humans. A dog's sense of smell is about 1,000 - 10,000,000 (depending on the breed) times more sensitive than a human's. A human has about 5 million scent receptors and a dog has anywhere between 125 million to 300 million!
So when using essential oils which are so potent, it's important not to overwhelm your dog. Never leave your dog alone in a room with a diffuser - you want them to be able to leave the area if they get overwhelmed by the aromas. Only use a couple of drops in the diffuser and if you are using the oils topical, it's very important to dilute the oils with an edible carrier oil.
Not all essential oils can be used on dogs and if your dog is prone to seizures, the list is longer. Some oils to avoid are: Wintergreen, Thyme, Clove, Oregano and Deep Blue. But there are so many you can use and it's great to have tools for minor things where a vet isn't needed but your dog isn't feeling at its best. Tummy problems, joint pain, repellent spray, support the immune system and help them be relaxed and settled like the ones I mentioned in this post; essential oils are great tools for your dog too. A great resource is My dog oiler where you can find recipes, info about dilution and usage. And of course you can ask us. We'd love to help out and share what we have used with Felix and if you want more info on essential oils in general, contact us for more info here.
Disclaimer: The info in this post are for educational purposes and provided only as information. The information and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases and the use of essential oils are not to be replaced with medical/veterinarian care. Readers are advised to discus essential oil use with their medical advisor/vet.
I have been experimenting in the kitchen this past week but not with food recipes but in stead with various products for Mike and I. I made a list with products we could make at home in our process of eliminating the toxic load on our bodies and it's been a fun experiment.
First up is a shaving cream and aftershave recipe for Mike as well. Mike has been using them this week and despite having to get used to a different texture of shaving cream, he's loving it. It does its job and he smells amazing so it's a win.
2/3 cup shea butter
2/3 cup cocoa butter
1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil
5 drops Cedarwood
5 drops Tea Tree
5 drops Peppermint
1) Place the butters and fractionated coconut oil in a double boiler and melt.
2) Mix in your choice of essential oils.
3) Let it cool down.
4) Whip with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
5) Store in container.
3 tbsp witch hazel
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Peppermint
1 drop Rosemary
1 drop Tea Tree
1) Place all ingredients in a bottle.
2) Shake well and dab onto the skin after shaving.
With hair wax we always have trouble finding one that does the trick and it seems every time it's time to buy a new one, the prices have gone up again. So I'm happy that we found a recipe which we are happy with. It has great texture and is easy to apply. It gives the hair a nice shine to it and holds it in place.
1/3 cup Shea butter
1/4 cup beeswax
1/4 cup jojoba oil
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
5 drops Rosemary
5 drops Peppermint
1) Place Shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler and melt.
2) Leave it on the heat after melted for 15-20min.
3) In the meantime add jojoba oil to a bowl with the arrowroot powder and combine. Add Vitamin E and essential oils of your choice. (I chose Rosemary and Peppermint as they add shine and stimulate hair growth.)
4) Take the mix off the heat and add the oil mix to it.
5) Mix with a hand mixer until it has a thick texture.
6) Put into a jar and store in a cool space.
7) Apply a little to your hair and style as normal.
It's been fun to experiment with these recipes and I'm really happy with the end results. We are one step closer to getting rid of toxic products in our home and going all natural.