Monday, August 31, 2009

Bye Bye August....

Tomorrow is the kick-off to Syl's 30 day Shred Challenge. I'll admit I'm a bit scared and not yet fully believing that I can pull it off. I'm going to need fellow challengers, and any other wonderful, supportive bloggers, friends & family to help me to stick to my plan.

In the morning I will post my beginning picture & measurements. Then in 10 days (per Syl's "instructions") I will take them again.

I'm adding a list on my blog of my weekly "plan". Mostly it will be the shred and as much running as I can. My son starts back with soccer this week so I'm going to have a couple nights per week where I will get out for a run while he's at practice.

I've been contemplating how much things have changed with my running. When I first started, running was soley for the purpose to assist my weight loss. Now, running is it's own animal. I love it, I crave it, I can't imagine life without it. I finally believe I AM a runner! Before running was just something I did to lose weight, now it's something I do because I enjoy it.

I'll end with a little poster I made myself to reflect some thoughts I've been having lately (maybe to come in a future blog ... or not....)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hmmm, not appreciated?

I don't know how many of you have discovered Operation Beautiful. I came across it at some point and found it very intruiging. I think it's a great message and the whole concept is just neat.

Yesterday I decided to take a step and posted the following in the communal bathroom in my office building:

This was fairly late in the afternoon (maybe 2:00ish). I'm guessing we have at the very most a dozen women in this building.

So upon arriving to work this morning I ventured into the loo and found that someone had taken it down. Huh??!! It was fairly small, and off to the side of the mirror so it wouldn't be in anyone's way.

Just makes me wonder why someone would take it down. Strange!

Yesterday I had to take my son to the orthodontist for his regular check-up (all is good Auntie I - just the wire was loose, not the tooth) and afterwards we ventured over to the mall to get some school clothes for the kids.

While there we met up with my mother-in-law and decided to have a little drink and a snack. I had an All Bran bar in my purse just because I knew this was going to happen, but instead I succumbed - grrrrr! Actually it wasn't too terrible. I had a bowl of steamed rice, but it was a BIG bowl. I'm guessing maybe two cups of lovely, sticky white rice. Mmmm!

Not nutritious, but it did fill me up and it became dinner. I did have a small fruit smoothie at home later.

My sister-in-law is in town and she came into my room to get me out of bed to go for a walk this morning - heehee. I literally rolled out of bed (as in a front roll off the edge of my bed ... call me Grace). Probably a good thing to go, it was actually nice to get out and walk. I rarely walk anymore and it was nice to take it down a notch.

I still plan to do a run tonight. I crave them now!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Running Room Disappointment and Landscaping Pics

Last night I met up with a couple ladies to do a running room session (these are the free drop ins you can do). Hmmmm, how was it???? Well, in certain aspects it was awesome, others not so much.

Two weeks ago we went, ran with a 7K group, and it was pretty good. However, this time, the new sessions have started so they are all at the beginning of their training and not running as far. We had planned to run with the 10K group this time, however they were only running 4K last night and we wanted to go further.

So we opted to join in with the half marathon group. The plan was to run about a total of 9-10K which included 7 hill runs.

We start off and first thing we notice is that this leader doesn't do any sort of walking warm-up. She started off jogging right away. OK, a little different from us, but she did jog quite slow (which she did the whole time, so it wasn't just slower to start). We asked her about it after and it seems she doesn't really believe in warm-ups, especially in warmer weather. She said the 'elite' runners don't typically warm up. I'm having a hard time believing that.

About 5 min into the run my friend and I are itching to get going, but the leader is still jogging along slowly. So we pull ahead a bit, but we don't know the way so we have to keep her in sight. We get to a light and one group of runners crosses the street and goes off. We wait for our leader to catch up, and suddenly it's just my friends and I that are left in the group. The rest of our group followed the other group. Hmmm!

The idea behind joining this group was to meet new runners, get inspired, maybe get some tips. I love the ladies I run with, but this wasn't really the idea. So we found our hill then ran it 7 times (the leader only ran it 4 times). It was a good workout, but I wasn't impressed. She cheered us on and was super nice, but I wanted more. Yes, I know it's a free drop in, but I'm using this to judge if I actually want to join a clinic.

We got talking to her about how to become a clinic leader and I personally wasn't super impressed with the procedure. To me it doesn't seem like you need a whole lot to lead a clinic and there's minial "training" involved. I'm not sure I'm willing to pay for just anybody to give me advice, I want to know that they truly know how to teach. I'm very on the fence. I should mention too that the leader we had is the manager of the store...

Anyhow, I had a really good pre-run meal of rye toast with peanut butter & jam and a nectarine. I had no stomach issues and felt energetic. Then after my run, even though I didn't feel like eating, I had a ham sandwich on rye.

Here's a few eats from the last couple days. On the left is my beloved Red River Cereal mixed with some dried cranberries. And on the right is a Samosa that my manager brought me. His friend's wife made it and he knows I love them. I'm actually kind of proud of myself. I didn't eat it right away because I'd packed my lunch. I ate it as part of my dinner AND I only ate the inside part - not the fried outside. Mmmm, so good!

Also, we finally got some pics from the landscaping job my husband and son have been working on. This is why I never see them! They have completely done ALL the landscaping on this property including site services, digging the pond, placing the rocks, landscape design and the paving stone work. I don't know why this collage comes out so small. :( You can click on them to see them bigger.

This is just the front of the house. I don't have pics with me of the back.

Here's a little stone pathway around the side of the house. And one of the front lawn.

This is a paving stone install that my husband designed on the island in the middle of the pond. It's a compass, and where it points north there is an 'N' worked into the tiles. He created the design completely on his own and cuts all the stones. There is more paving stone work from the parking area and back deck, but that will have to come another day. I lvoe the 'furball' tree in the middle pic.

So I leave with a couple questions for runners ....
* Do you believe a warm-up is essential? If so, should it be a walk or do you think a light jog is OK?
* How do you feel about stopping during a run? Do you feel it's OK to walk, or does that make you cramp up? Do you feel it's OK to stop completely to rest?
* If you're running on the road and you come to a light, do you stop or jog in place?

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm the Old Bag & Shred Challenge


Yesterday I got back from spending 5 days with my parents and my sister & her family. It was sure nice to be able to see them all. I can't truly blame my Mom's slow computer for my lack of posts. I quite simply just didn't get to it and really wasn't on the computer very much at all.

I didn't get my camera out at all (it's not beach friendly), but my cousin did manage to get this one shot of me laying on a floaty. And my kids catching a few rays too. I didn't request permission to post my sister's pic so I've put a heart over her (cuz I love her - smooch!).


Last night I went to a fitness class at a location I don't usually go to. I like it there because it's a younger class, younger instructor, the music is typically better and the class is pretty upbeat.

But the downside is that I often find myself being one of the oldest people in the class, and yesterday I was also the biggest - obviously not by much, but still. Pretty weird that at only 36 I was one of the oldest. I've never encountered that anywhere but at this one location. And as for being the biggest ... I know I'm not big, but it's amazing how quickly I felt self concious, which I shouldn't have been.

I did manage to push that aside for the most part, and had a really good class. I still really like this location and try to get there as often as I can.


My blogging buddy Syl has posted up a little challenge - to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, every day for 30 days, starting September 1st. I spent all day debating on whether or not I should join her. I've done The Shred many times before and I enjoy it. Jillian definitely kicks ass and hits you in all the right spots. But, admittedly, I'm not confident that I can actually stick to doing it every single day for 30 straight days. I'm a bit of a fickle character, I crave variety and get bored easily. I recall when Syl did this before there were days when she seemed to dread doing it, but still did it. I'm not positive that I have it in me to do it on those days (which I know are bound to happen).

Soooo...... after much deliberation, and mostly after looking back at Syl's results, Ash is Fit's results, and a bunch more I found online ..... I have decided to give it a shot, though somewhat modified. I really enjoy going to fitness classes a couple times a week and the one's I take are very focused on weight training and high intensity cardio (much like the Shred). So, I have decided that my pledge will be to either do The Shred OR one of these types of classes every day for the month of September. Of course I will always keep up with my running and some biking as usual.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

5K = 26:11

Last night I ran 5 Km in 26:11. WAHOOO!!! The last time I timed myself I think I was 27:40ish. And my first 5K race (earlier this year) took me 32:46.

I actually think I could have done it a teeny bit faster. I was SO not motivated to go run last night. I felt lazy & lethargic. But I finally kicked my butt out the door around 8:30 (OK, probably really stupid time to go as it was turned dark while I was out there).

Half way through my time was 13:16, so I knew I had to pick it up on the return run. For that time of night it was still surprisingly hot out.

When I got back I was a sticky, sweaty, hot mess! (not pretty) But so glad that I went. My next goal is to get into the 25s, then I want to be under 25 by the end of this year. I know if I keep at it, I WILL get there.

Now ... for as to why I was feeling lethargic. Hmmm..... see that <------. Yeah ..... that! THAT is why I was feeling so gross and lazy. THAT was my dinner! Argh (grrrrr!). The rest of the family had a nice roast. But I ... well, I was making some cookies (as promised to a certain relative) and way too many found their way into my mouth.
Honestly, this was a new recipe and it's not even that great. I ended up skipping dinner because I was already feeling full enough (and gross) from the cookies and knew there was no way I could run with having even more food in me.

So, I think with better planning, I can knock that 5K time down into the next zone!

I'm off to visit my parents & sister this afternoon until Sunday, so posting may be sketchy. My Mom's computer is painstakingly slow (haha, poke, poke, nudge, nudge Mom - that's a blatant hint that you should go buy a new one!!!), plus we'll probably be spending most of the days laying on the beach or floating in the water. Ahhhh, my last summer outing!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mmmmm, new recipes!

Yesterday I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen. It's been a while since I tried something new and since I haven't really been cooking much lately, I was getting the itch.

I made three new dishes...


~♥~ 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
~♥~ 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
~♥~ 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
~♥~ ¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
~♥~ Sea salt & pepper, to taste
~♥~ 1 c. Mozzarella pearls (or cubed small)
~♥~ 1 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
~♥~ 6 On-the-vine tomatoes, cut into large cubes

1. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, sea salt & pepper. Whisk lightly.
2. Add mozzarella and onion. Stir and let sit approx. 30 min.
3. Add tomatoes 5-10 minutes before serving and stir.

Serves 6
Nutrition: 130 cal, 10 g fat, 1.5 g fibre – 3 points per serving

My father-in-law said this was the best salad he's ever had.


Note: This dish was originally an appetizer, but we had it as part of our meal.

~♥~ 2 teaspoon olive oil
~♥~ 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
~♥~ 3 cloves garlic, minced
~♥~ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
~♥~ ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
~♥~ ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
~♥~ salt
~♥~ 1 pkg (approx 650g) uncooked medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
~♥~ ¼ c. cilantro, chopped
~♥~ 1 tablespoon lime juice

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook jalapeno pepper & garlic.
2. Add shrimp, cumin, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and salt.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until shrimp just turns pink.
3. Add cilantro & lime juice, stir and heat for about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Nutrition (for 4 servings): 195 cal, 5 g fat, 0 g fibre – 3 points per serving
Nutrition (for 6 servings): 130 cal, 3 g fat, 0 g fibre – 4 points per serving


~♥~ 1 ½ cups water **See note
~♥~ ¾ cup long grain & wild rice**See note
~♥~ ½ large red onion, diced
~♥~ 3 cloves garlic, minced
~♥~ 1 tablespoon ketchup
~♥~ 1 teaspoon cumin
~♥~ ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
~♥~ ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
~♥~ 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed

1. In a medium pot add all ingredients, except beans. Stir.
2. Bring to boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer for approx. 10 min (**See note) until rice and onion are cooked through.
3. Add kidney beans, stir and let sit in covered pot approx. 5 min to heat through.

NOTE: Depending on the rice used, consult packaging for cooking instructions – vary rice & water quantity and cooking time as required.

Serves 4-6
Nutrition (for 4 servings): 275 cal, 1 g fat, 11 g fibre – 4 points per serving
Nutrition (for 6 servings): 185 cal, .75 g fat, 7 g fibre – 2 points per serving

This rice was SOOOO good. Today I added 2 oz. diced chicken breast and have it packed up for my lunch, mmm, can't wait!

My husband asked me last night if I made sure to write down everything exactly as I made it because it was one of the best meals he's ever had!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Running Room

Last night I finally got my behind down to the Running Room to join in on one of their practice runs - they're free (BONUS!).

I went with a friend who also had never been. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!

I'm guessing there was at least 50 people there, maybe more??? Pretty much everyone seemed so upbeat and friendly.

There was a bunch of different groups that you could join in with - Walk program, 3 Km (run 2 min, walk 1 min) (I'm guessing this was from the Learn to Run group), 7 Km (run 10, walk 1), 10 km (they were doing a hills session), and a Half Marathon group (also doing hills). There may have been another one, I forget.

We joined in the 7Km as this was our first time out with them and my friend hasn't run longer than 5Km in a few weeks. They took us on a nice little route. I'm not fond of the traffic and especially the traffic lights, but it was just fun to get out with a bunch of active people.

I most definitely want to go again!

At this location they also offer a 15Km clinic. What a great in between step from 10Km to Half Marathon. I don't see it offered for online registration, but they had it on their board. I'll have to note when that group is starting up and see if it would work.

Though a lady we talked to last night said she doesn't get much from the clinics anymore now that she's been running for a while. Which leaves me having mixed feelings. I'm bad that way .... I can hear tons of really good reviews, but one bad one and I'm left questioning. That's awful :( I really shouldn't be like that.

Today's plan:


Breakfast - 1 1/2 buns, 3 sl. salami, 1 tsp jam (not really a great choice, but my MIL had it out and I ate before I thought) (5)
Snack - Nectarine (1)
Lunch - President's Choice Szechuan Chicken, Nectarine, 20 mini pretzels (7)
Snack - String Cheese, Carrot sticks & Cucumber Slices (2)
Dinner - Tilapia, Corn on the Cob (I'm the only one eating it), Spinach Salad (7)


30 min casual run

3 sets x 12 of the following:

Runners Lunges
Basic Crunches
Cross Knee Oblique Crunches
3 angle Calf Raises
Dumbbell Side Bends
Single Leg Bridge Ups
Plank x 1 min.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plans Work and "New" Jeans

I was a good girl yesterday and stuck to my plan. Well for the most part. I didn't feel like making prawns just for myself and instead had a 1/2 slice of pizza which the rest of the family ate. But I 100% stuck to my workout plan and I believe that was ONLY because I had posted it here. A few times I wanted to cut it short, but then I didn't want to have to come here and say I didn't quite do what I had planned. I was drenched in sweat and it felt SO good!!!

Yesterday on my lunch hour I decided to hit up Value Village again to see if I could find some in-between clothes. I'm not in touch with my new size and was thrilled to see that most of the 9/10s I picked out were too big (YAY!). I didn't find a whole lot that I loved and didn't want to buy something that was just sort of OK.

But I did find these Garage jeans for $5.99. I know Garage is more of a teen line, but their clothes seem to fit me fairly well. While in Oregon I bought the black top on the right at Target for $20 and hadn't found anything to wear it with yet.

I also found this Jacob dress at VV, which isn't really something I "needed", but I feel good wearing it and it was only $17. I can wear it to work, even though my job is very casual, but also we have a dinner out planned next month for my co-worker who just retired, so I can wear it there.

Also, I mentioned this a while back, when we were in Oregon I bought a couple of running skirts from Target. I think they were $20 each. The one on the left had a matching top ($14) and I couldn't resist. The top on the right is Adidas and I actually found it at Cabelas Hunting store (who knew they carried running wear???).
The skirts are quite comfy and I've worn the black one quite a bit just for casual wear - like to the beach or hanging out around the house/campsites. I do like them for running, but I did find that on longer runs (especially when it's super hot), that my thighs rub a bit. I'm going to have to get some Glide and see if that helps.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Today I vow to.....

Feeling kinda funky! I'm tired and unmotivated to do much of anything. Was much the same yesterday. I'd planned to either workout at home or take a class, but instead I ate a bunch of carbs then crashed on the couch all night. So unproductive :(

Today I didn't even pack a lunch or snacks - which is fairly unusual for me. It's noon now and I sit here half hoping that a nice healthy lunch will just plop down in front of me because I completely lack the motivation to make any effort.

WOW - reading back over that even I'm sick of me. Time to snap out of it! OK ... deep breath .... putting on the invisible thinking cap.....

Here's my plan for today:

Lunch - Ham & Veggie Sub, Steamed Milk

Dinner - 2 Prawn Skewers, Corn on the Cob, Spinach Salad

Workout -

*10 min run at 7 mph
*Following moves (3 sets x 12) with 1 min 15 sec running at 9 mph between:
...Chest press (2 plates)
...Dumbbell Rows (15 lbs)
...Incline Chest Press (12 lbs)
...Lat Pulldown (4 plates)
...Shoulder Press (12 lbs)
...Tricep Pulldown (2 plates)
...Hammer Curls (1 x 15 lbs, 1 x 12 lbs, 1 x 10 lbs)
...Tricep Kickbacks (8 lbs)
...Concentration Curls (1 x 15 lbs, 2 x 12 lbs)
*10 min. Abs - basic crunch, straight leg raises, reverse crunch, planks 2 x 1 min

When I have stuck to all of the above, then I'm allowed to watch So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Otherwise the TV must stay off for the evening.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kicking My Own Ass!

WOW! The other day I pledged to get back to my regular fitness schedule by at least doing a run on Thursday night. I'm proud to say that I most definitely got my session in. I hadn't done weights in a few weeks with vacation and all, so I really wanted to incorporate that. So this was my workout:
10 min running at 6mph
Alternate the following with running 2 min at 8mph between each move;
40 walking lunges
40 lateral lunges
100 crunches (50 standard, 50 obliques)
100 reverse crunches
Push-ups - 1 set x 20, 1 set x 10
Lateral Raises with 10 lb weights - 2 set x 15, 1 set x 10

finish with 5 min running at 6mph
Holy moly do those fast sets in between get your heart rate up there. I was absolutely dripping in sweat.
Then Friday morning I went to a drop-in fitness class called Abs, Butt, & Thighs. I've done this class a million times and always love it.
But WOWSERS, with those two days combined with a previous lack of strength training - owie, owie, OWIE! If I sit for any extended time I have to manually lift my legs to move them. And my butt is swearing at me. Today I'm taking off, but tomorrow morning I'm running with a couple friends.
Went shopping today in the hopes of finding a new bathing suit, bikini preferred. Apparently summer is over though and the best I could find was a few odd pieces that didn't match.
I did try on a few clothes, though nothing that screamed my name. I was very happy to try on a skirt that I eyed a few weeks ago. I think it was either late May or June when I first tried it and the 9/10 was a bit snug. This time I tried it and it was at least a full size too big - YAY!!!
My closet is ridiculous right now. All my bottoms are too big and I can pretty much only wear them if I can put a belt on and cinch it up. It's a good problem, but I wish a winning lottery ticket would come my way so I can do a full makeover.
I leave you with a few pictures from our trip down the Oregon Coast last month (better late than never). I have more to post but some editing needs to be done as some of the people in the pics I do not have permission to post:
This is me at the top of the Watchman trail overlooking Crater Lake. If you ever have the chance to visit Crater Lake I strongly urge you to - it's gorgeous!
My husband, son & his friend climbed on top of one of these huge rocks and he is taking the picture from up there. In the lower third of the picture in the middle you see a white dot and a black dot. I am the white dot (in my PJs - haha), and the other is my little dog, Tia.
And speaking of Tia .... here is my little Superdog!!! :) This was also up at Crater Lake. She looks like she's getting ready for take-off.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No More Excuses!

Today the first blog I came to was the ever inspiring Jen at Prior Fat Girl. As many of you probably already know Jen lost her Mom last week in a tragic accident. Her post today was about Community, and I couldn't agree with it more. Community is the foundation to everything. Only you can actually make things happen, but if you have a solid foundation of community around you, the sky is your limit.

Personally my community is pretty small. I don't make friends easily, acquaintances yes, friends (or what I call friends) not so much. There is something that holds me back from taking that step, maybe it's fear of rejection, maybe it's just a plain lack of time/availability. But I do believe that the members of my community are so strong that they are able to hold me through anything.

Then I wandered over to one of my favourite bloggers Syl . Syl is recently back from a little holiday and is ready to click back into gear. She has pledged that tonight she will go for a run - and I'm joining her on this pledge! I've been full of excuses for over a week now and while some may be pretty valid excuses, they're still excuses. I want this and I need to make it a priority. As I've told others before, if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. There are always options, even if you don't like them, they are there.

So tonight, even if I don't start running until 10PM, I will do it! My weight is holding, but I'm feeling softer and I don't like that. I want my strong body back and then I want to finish this thing.

Honestly I haven't truly decided where my finish weight is. Officially my goal weight with Weight Watchers is 155, as that is the max I can be for my height. But I always knew that wasn't my goal weight. For a while I figured maybe around 145 would be a good range, and while I'm very happy at this weight, now that I'm basically there, I know that I want more. My next aim is 140 and I'll reassess how I feel when I get there.

On a great note ... my son's friend came home from the hospital yesterday. He's still having short term memory loss and has a long road to full recovery ahead of him, but he's home, he's alive, and he's getting better bit by bit. Can't ask for much more than that!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I think I'm settling back into regular life again for a bit. Getting back from holidays, mostly unpacking the trailer, an unplanned trip to pick up my son and our friends stuff, then spending the long weekend with my parents and sister and her family.... that's a lot in one week.

Had a really nice long weekend away. Stayed at my Mom's place and visited with my sister and her family each day. It was super hot - high 30's, but we were pretty much on the water for the most of the day which was wonderful.

Apparently I need a new bikini - hahaaa. I started the summer with two. The one I really liked I lost the bottoms on our last day in Oregon. I had the top on under my clothes, but just carried the bottoms with me down to the lake and I must have dropped them somewhere along the way. I didn't realize they were missing until we'd left the campground. The 2nd one, I took with me this weekend and I left the bottoms hanging on my Mom's railing - which is fine, I will get it back. But I've been told by family that they were too big anyway and I had droopy butt in them (nice!). Of course being August and mid summer I'm probably not likely to find a full suit. I'll find fall wear and maybe a snowsuit, but not a bikini (personal vent there).

Eating has been good yesterday and so far today. I let loose on the weekend and indulged in french fries twice and I feel gross. Also put me up 1 lb, but I'm not worried about that. I'm right back on track.

Been having trouble getting in workouts. Last week and weekend was SO hot I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not sure if I'll get an official workout in today either. I need to start riding my horses again. We want to sell probably 2 of them and they haven't been ridden in quite some time and they'll need to be ridden. It's still a good form of exercise, but I don't personally feel it's enough for me.