Friday, December 31, 2010

Week in Review - Catching up

Here I thought I'd have all the time in the world to blog over the holidays .... and I've barely touched the computer.
So where have I been and what have I been up to? (I know you're all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear - hahahhaa).

Let's start with just before Christmas.  I've mentioned a few times that my legs are tight, tired, & sore.  It took barely being able to walk or straighten my legs to finally buck up and make an appointment with the therapist.  He worked my legs a bit and confirmed that they are extremely tight.  Extra mileage exaggerated the problem, but he said that I'm prone to it with my feet and he (like the shoe fitter) suggested I try stability shoes.  He told me to try running a little bit, see how it feels and come back after Christmas.  I was a bit disappointed because I didn't feel he worked my legs much (these thoughts would come back to bite me BIG TIME at the next visit).

Christmas was very peaceful and low key.  Finances are horrible so the gift exchange was beyond low, but it was still nice to have some down time together as a family and it was very peaceful.  On Christmas Day I went out for a walk, tried running a short distance and there was no way.  Even after that walk my legs were painfully tight.
Boxing Day was a total score for me!  My daughter and I hit up the Adidas outlet store.  I knew they had some pretty good prices before Christmas, but when we arrived everything was 40% off the lowest ticketed price.  My Mom had given me money for Christmas and I spent wisely!  I got:
  • 5 pairs of running capris (1 for my daughter)
  • 1 pair soccer pants for my daughter
  • 1 pair yoga pants for my daughter
  • 4 t-shirts (2 for me, 2 for the kiddo)
  • 2 running tanks
  • 1 long sleeve running shirt
  • 1 yoga style jacket
 .... all for under $200!  Original value was about $700.  TOTAL SCORE!


Jacket - $15
Tank - $10.80
Capris - $6 !!!!!!!

Top - $10.80
Capris - $25
Cheesy Grin - Priceless!

I love the back of the blue tank.  And the capris with the long sleeve purple top are SO comfy!  On the back of the calf is about a 4" zipper and when you open it up, there is mesh in the opening.

Pictures of the other clothes will be scattered over the next few posts.
Plus I finally ordered some running shoes - Brooks Adrenaline GTS.  $170 in the local store (taxes in), $70 shipped, final price, online.  Score again!!!!  They arrived yesterday!!!!  WHOOP WHOOP!  I hope they help my problem.  I wore them around the house all last night but won't run in them until tomorrow.
On Monday, with all that new workout gear staring at me, I was dying to try it out and I HIT UP THE GYM!!!  That's been a while.  I warmed up with 1 mile on the treadmill and felt good, but decided to stop at that.  Did a killer weight workout that left me with expected, but reasonable, stiffness the next day (or two!).

Tuesday my friend wanted to get in her last long run before her upcoming marathon.  It was a nice day and she begged encouraged me to join her on my bike.  I met her partway through her run and did 18 miles along side her.  It wasn't much of a workout, but it was good to spin my legs.

Wed morning I had another session with Dr. Evil!  At my last appt I told him that I had expected it would hurt (because it always does) and he said, "It doesn't always have to hurt, Heidi."  Today as I was gritting my teeth trying not to scream and scare away his other patients, I reminded him of this conversation.  he said, "Ah yes, but last week I was just trying to figure out what was wrong with you ... today I'm fixing it!".  Holy mother of bright rainbows ... OWWWWWW!!!!!!!  He told me I could try running again a little bit to see how it feels, and to come back on Friday.  He said my legs are both very, very tight and definiely need some work.  I have a race on Saturday but will have to be open about whether I can "race" it or not.  It might have to be a casual run with the option of backing out part way if needed.  He didn't go so far as to give me permission to do it, but he didn't outright forbid me either.  I will play it by ear.  I'm already registered and paid so I may as well go.  I'm sure there's no harm in running it at a slow pace.  I will see how I feel.

After my session, I did a little 3 mile easy run.  It felt FANTASTIC and I wanted to fly.  Could still feel a little pain in my left foot, but the legs wanted to GO!  Good thing it was a courtesy run for my friend to shake out her legs from her long run, because left to my own devices I would have gone too fast & too long. By the evening I could feel some stiffness creeping back in, though I wonder if some of that might still be from my weight workout the other day.

So there you have it, the lowdown of my excitement for the last week.  At some point in the next week I will review my goals from 2010 and post my goals for 2011. 

Wishing everyone the very best for 2011 - health, happiness, prosperity.  I know there are some of us who can't put 2010 behind us quick enough (for me there are parts of it that I want to file in the "Forget this %$@#" drawer pronto!), let's do all we can to make the next year the best it can be. 

Reach for the stars, even if you only hit the moon you'll have one heck of a view.

Keep Active!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Marathon Pros & Cons

I recently came across a post at Running My Mouth regarding pros & cons of running a marathon.  This is something that consumes my mind on a regular basis.  As of yet, the scales have not fully tipped in either direction.  I'm balancing on that fence, swaying in the wind.  So I thought I'd put together a list of my thoughts on the subject in a more expanded form than the comment section of her blog.

This thought process is not new, I've questioned it before (HERE).  I'm just gathering more thoughts on it, but am still not conclusive.

  • Sense of accomplishment & pride - running 26.2 miles is something to be VERY proud of.  Not everyone can do it and it takes alot of dedication and effort.
  • Motivation - There's a lot that goes into doing a marathon.  Months of training, time, expense.  It's not something you walk away from easily.  Therefore, you're likely to stay very motivated towards your goal for quite a time.
  • Plan to follow - Not that I love following a plan, because I really do not.  But I do find having a goal to work towards keeps me motivated and dedicated.  I don't tend to flounder when I'm working towards achieving something.  And I'm less likely to get lazy and skip workouts when I know I'm building up to a goal.
  • Member of "The Club" - Yes, then there is that little thing.  Not so much as bragging rights, but just to be able to say/know I've done it.  For me it's more about KNOWING I've done it than SAYING I've done it.
  • Time - There is a TON of time required to train for a marathon.  It can not be taken lightly.  Weekend runs can easily consume 4-5 hours or more of your day.  Longer if you like to drive to other locations for a change of scenery.  Plus there are the runs during the week.  You can't just skip those and go all willy-nilly.  Regular, organized training is required.
  • Expense - Entry fees alone are high for marathons.  At least double, or more, than a typical 10K.  If you don't live within reasonable distance of one, or have the desire to do a destination location, then you could incur substantial travel costs as well. 
  • Injury - Risk of injury is pretty high, at some point or another.  You are pushing your body to a pretty high extreme and must be very careful, and even then you could get injured.
  • Lack of Weight Loss - It's true.  While you may be burning a bazillion calories doing all that running, you will be hard pressed to lose any weight if that is your objective.  Your body simply needs more energy.  Reducing calories while training for hours on end just leaves you completely fatigued and slow to repair.  I read it before and thought it must be impossible to run that kind of mileage and not lose weight (or gain), but yet somehow it is QUITE possible.
  • All Consuming - It's on your mind ... alot.  What & when you eat/drink.  Amount of sleep.  Cross training.  Adequate fluids.  Proper Nutrition.  If you have a 20+ mile run on Sunday, chances are you are not going out drinking and eating junk food Saturday night. 
  • "What Now??" - The let down afterwards can be pretty tough.  Maybe let down is wrong, but many people get left with a feeling of wondering what they're going to do next.  You've just accomplished an amazing feat and it's easy to get lost in trying to figure out your next direction.
I'm right on the fence.  Having just gone through a compressed training plan with my friend for her upcoming marathon I've gotten a bit of a taste ... and yet I still don't know which way I lean.

I think I do want to do one.  I cetainly think about it alot!  I just don't really know yet what is driving that desire and maybe I need that answer to make my decision.  I want to be able to say I've done one, even though I have complete confidence now that I could do one, so the actual completion is not the challenge.  I know that for me I would have to determine a goal time and THAT would be the challenge for me.  I don't need an actual race just to feel like I've accomplished the distance.

That said ... the cons are pretty strong for me and are currently weighing in a little on the heavier side.  While I am very proud of myself for doing these longer distances (current PR 22 miles), I don't get a real kick out of doing them.  I think I'm happiest running between 6 and 16 miles.  The training takes a huge chunk of time.  10Ks and half marathons fit well into what I like to run and don't take alot of extra effort or time above my normal running to train for.  And financially I'd MUCH rather do 2 or 3 races for the cost that a single marathon would cost me.  Very hard to justify sinking all that money into one day.  I can't even consider the cost of an out of town marathon right now, though THAT would interest me for the experience.  I can't even fathome the disappointment if I trained for and paid a bunch of money for a single race and something occurred that made it not 100% ideal.  I'd be devastated. 

It's hard to consider this all right now.  I have been running on tired legs for what seems like forever now.  My pace is struggling and I can't help but feel concerned that it will never return (I've been assured by many that it will once I resume normal activity levels).  And now I have this pesky little injury that will sideline me for a week or so.  But, I've essentially been training for a marathon, using the quick method plan and not exactly following ideal nutrition/fluid/rest/sleep schedules.  No doubt my legs are revolting, no doubt I'm questioning my sanity and my drive.  Normal I expect???

With 2011 fast approaching, I of course am contemplating what it is I want to achieve in the next year.  No, I don't HAVE to decide this by January 1st, but it is an ideal time to seriously consider it.  Yet, I'm still blowing in the wind.  Maybe a marathon will make the list .... maybe it will be tabled.  Time will tell.

Keep Active!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shoe Fitting and an Owie

Yesterday I mentioned that I did something kind of exciting recently.  Pretty sad when this equals excitement in my life.

I finally went for another shoe fitting!  While I've been happy with my shoes, I also find myself currently suffering for the third time this year of a similar injury (January 2010, April 2010).  My left leg has been S-O-R-E since (and during) my long run this past Saturday.  The trigger areas are behind my left knee and in the arch of my left foot.  I can only assume that it's the same extremely tight calf muscle that caused similar pains before. 

Each time I've had my feet assessed, I've been told that I should probably be wearing a neutral shoe, however my left foot could possibly use some support. 

For this shoe fitting, the young male was very knowledgeable and thorough.  I could tell he was young-ish, but I was quite impressed when I learned that he was just 17.  This kid knew his stuff!

He told me the current shoe I'm wearing IS a very good fit for average running.  However, when pushing into higher mileage & frequent training as I've been doing, it's not enough support - especially as the shoes near the end of their life cycle (currently at 440 miles).

His #1 suggestion for me is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS.  I've never considered a Brooks shoe, but let me tell you ... they felt GOOD!  I have loved my Mizuno's (neutral), but when I tried their version of a support shoe it felt very awkward.  I will be getting a pair of these shoes.

I also tried on the Mizuno Wave Rider's.  These are very similar to my current Mizuno's (which they no longer make that model).  I still love these shoes.  I'm seriously considering getting a pair of these as well, and then alternating shoes.  Currently I wear the same shoes on EVERY run, which really isn't the greatest idea when you're running frequently.  Certainly it can't be good to pound them that often, many times in the rain, and then wear them again the next day.  If I get both pairs I should be able to get through most of the next year without needing another pair ... I hope!

I also got myself one more item.  We went to another store, where I had won a gift certificate at a race earlier this year.  A nifty little running hat came home with me, complete with a pony tail hole.  So cool!

Here is some more info on it.  DRYLINE PONYTAIL TOQUE

It was a welcome addition to Saturday's long run when it began to snow during the last 9 miles of the run.

I don't know what the next few days hold out for me.  I need to run 60 miles in the next 10 days to reach my running goal for this year.  Under normal circumstances I could totally do this, but with this injury I'm not sure.  I'm stretching as often as I can, and tonight will do a short trial run on the treadmill to see how I feel.  I've already scrapped the prospect of another 20+ mile run this year, but I'm not yet giving up on the goal. 

Keep Active!


Monday, December 20, 2010

22 .... sigh ......

Sorry for the sporadic posting lately.  Things have been busy, however not terribly exciting or share-worthy. 
Been doing some Christmas baking, getting a few more decorations put up (wasn't going to bother, but then the mood struck).  Seeing a few friends for some Christmas cheer - however still not having enough time to see everyone I want to. :(
Oh ... wait.  I did do something exciting.  But I'll post about that later because I want to add pictures.
On Saturday we did another mileage record for me.  22 miles!  OK, yeah, I guess that might be exciting.
The first 13-ish miles were good.  I felt good, the weather was perfect (crisp & cool, but dry).  Running on quiet roads, past lots of farm fields and some quiet subdivisions.  Very nice. 
We then stopped at a coffee shop to fill up on our water.  I swear we were only in there for maybe 4-5 minutes.  When we came out ... the world had changed.  It started snowing, mixed with big drops of ice cold rain ... and the wind picked up.  It was disgusting!  My friend told me to make a decision ... press on, or stop now and get picked up.  I'm stubborn so I said press on. 
As it was, the rain and most of the wind stopped, however the snow continued to fall.  We were now running along a busy road and it wasn't pleasant at all.  Around 17 miles my body started to shut down.  My muscles were cramping, the arch in my left foot locked up.  It was very umcomfortable.  I had to stop a couple times to stretch.  My mind had checked out too, but like I said .. I'm stubborn, and we continued on.
We made it through, but really the last 4-5 miles were a bit of a blur for me.  I just had to get through it.  At least this time we had lots of time to warm up and have a good stretch after.  Unfortunately I sat on my friend's cat though.  I went to sit down and it jumped up underneath me as I was going down.  However my reaction time was seriously impaired and I couldn't get up in time.  Sorry kitty!!
I had prepared some steel cut oats for us to have after the run.  We ate them with blackberries.  YUM!  I think that's the best after run meal I've ever had.  Warm, chunky oats with fruit.  Heaven!!!
My leg muscles are so unbelievably tight right now.  I need to be very careful.  We had planned one more long run (24 miles) before the new year.  But I think I might reduce that one substantially.  I'm not willing to injure myself long term, especially when this training isn't for anything in particular for me.  I will be (and have been) dedicating alot of time to stretching.  My husband said when I'm at complete rest (ie: laying in bed having just woke up) my leg muscles feel like they are in the middle of a major weight press.

Consumed prior to run: Multi-grain Cheerios w/milk & 1 cup of tea
Consumed during run: 3 water bottles filled with Gatorade, about 8-10 Sun Rype Fruit Bites
Immediately after run:  Steel Cut Oats w/blackberries & tea
Approx 2 hours later:  Awesome delicious dinner of roast pork tenderloin, cheesy scalloped potatoes, vegetable medley, salad and all kinds of goodies
Stomach issues: Pretty good
Energy level during run:  First half great, 2nd half extremely challenging
Muscles: Medic?????

Aftermath:  Very stiff, very sore, no headaches though and not completely drained of energy
Things to try on next long run:  Adequate rest!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lessons Learned

Yesterday was a pretty stiff day after running 20 miles the night before.  When I woke up in the morning I could not straighten my left leg, just wasn't happening.  I tried for a few minutes and wondered how on earth I was going to stand up ... and hoping it would stretch out before I needed to go to the bathroom!  Luckily it did and I didn't have to wet the bed.

It sucks to do a long run like that and then go straight to bed.  The bonus is you sleep like a rock.  But, your muscles just lock right up and it makes recovery tough.  That coupled with having to go to work the next day and sit at a desk all day long.  I work in a very small office and usually work through my lunch hours, so not much opportunity to move around.

Normally on Tuesday nights I run.  But I wasn't sure if this was wise or not.  I e-mailed the oh-so-experienced Marlene to see what she would do.  Unfortunately I did it too late in the day and didn't hear back from her in time.  So .... I went anyway.  Did 3.5 miles at a snails pace.  The first few minutes were quite funny looking, but I did feel better at the end.

Tips I've learned recently:
  • If there is even the slightest chance of rain ... bring a hat!
  • Layering is an art ... that I am not even close to having perfected.
  • Do not eat cabbage & samosas before a long run
  • Make sure you REALLY like your long run partner.  After 3-4 hours you may begin to hate them, even if you absolutely love them.  I totally love my running buddy, but after that long when you're sore and tired, it can't possibly be your own fault [insert sarcasm]and you need someone to blame for dragging you into this crazy idea.  We may have been throwing the 'b' word back and forth at one another near the end.
  • If you need to stop for a potty break en route and decide to use a farmer's apple orchard ... beware of Siberian Huskies that may come lurching at you.  Apparently he did not want me using his tree.  I agreed and found another field.

Did the dreaded swim this morning.  Other than that, I think today is a rest day. 

Keep Active!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2-0 of Pure Determination

First off, in case you missed it (wink wink - lol!), Sunday was my birthday.  Being a runner, we do crazy things like challenge a new distance for our birthday.  There must be something wired wrong in our brains - seriously!

But it wasn't to be.  It rained SO hard on Sunday.  Now, it rains ALOT out here, we're quite used to it ... but this was beyond insane.  I think all said and done it was around 60mm (2+ inches) or more of rain.  My husband got up with the dog twice that night.  The first time he came back to bed and questioned my sanity to even consider running in that kind of rain.  The second time he came back he actually forbid me to run in it.  HAHAHA - he's cute!

My running friend called me in the morning to ask if I wanted to delay it an hour or two.  That was all I needed.  I would have done it, but really did not want to.

Instead we opted to do a nice family breakfast where I stuffed myself silly.  My running friend and her husband came over and she brought me Elmo Ice Cream Cupcakes from Dairy Queen.  Dairy Queen does not make ice cream cupcakes ... yet she convinced them that yes, indeed, they do make them, and they're cheap.  She's such a shyster!  They were cute and they tasted great.  It never really did clear up so we scrapped the run idea all together and went out to a Christmas store.  So festive!

In the evening we had some other friends over and had a wonderful dinner of Rouladen (recipe).  Mmmm, one of my favourites!  My friend also gave me a bottle of Kahlua which I've stashed away and will savour for probably a year or more.

The running plans were shot ... except I have this crazy goal of running 156.9 miles this month to meet my goal of running 1000 miles this year.  I really can't afford to miss a long run.  So, we did what any normal human being would do.  We just postponed it to the next day ... which just happens to be a Monday, and I work full time.

I went direct from work to my friends house and we were on the road by about 4:20.  I think we got about 10-15 minutes of semi-daylight before it got dark.  The first 2 miles were tough.  After a full day of work, in the dark ... my mind just wasn't into it ... plus my legs were stiff.  But then we hit a bit of a rhythym and it wasn't so bad. 

We passed my house and I was getting too hot so dropped off my jacket in the driveway.  I would come to regret this!  The route was a more or less out and back ... just after we reached the turn around point the skies decided to open up.  UGH!  I had no jacket.  I'd forgotten my hat.  Yuck!  It was disgusting.

Around mile 13 I was done, but there was still a long way to go.  I kept trying to find a way to zone out or magically click my heels and be teletransported (there's no place like home, there's no place like home  ... Oh Toto, we'll never get there).  It didn't work!

This run was SO much harder than last week's 18.5. Yes it was a little longer, after work, in the dark, in the rain ... but still.  Definitely a run of pure determination!

When we got back to her house we did a short walk but our legs just seemed to get stiffer as we walked.  We went into her garage for some stretching and I just started giggling like a school girl.  I went into hysterics, which of course made my friend start laughing.  Her husband came out and asked what was up.  I told him it was either laugh or cry, so I laughed. 

Between stretching at her house and then again when I got home, I probably spent over 40 minutes - and I'm still stiff.  Alot of stretching going on here at work today too!  It seems to be just tightness though, not soreness (ie injury), which is great!

There you have it ... 20 miles on the books ... pure h-e-double 'l', but it's done!  I slept like a log last night.  Hubby got up with the dog again and I didn't notice either of them even move.  There's definitely an option for those who suffer from insomnia.  Run for 3 1/2 hours right before bed.  Knocks you out flat!


Consumed prior to run: breakfast & lunch (which included a bacon & cabbage dish - probably not ideal)
Consumed during run: 1water bottle filled with Gatorade, 1 of plain water, 4 Sharkies
Immediately after run:  Hot Chocolate & a Wendy's Spicy Chicken Burger (oh soooo good)
Approx 2 hours later:  Fast asleep!

Stomach issues: Not so great, couple of emergency stops .. probably the cabbage!
Energy level during run:  Medium-low - no doubt due to the circumstances and time of day
Muscles: O-U-C-H! 

Aftermath:  Other than expected stiffness this morning, I feel pretty darn good.  Rather tired, but I'm not certain that's related directly to the run.
Things to try on next long run:  An umbrella????
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Kick in the Arse

This post is brought to you by 4:30 AM.  Why?  No, it's not because I'm up early to rack off some crazy miles.  No, I'm not up early to do chores, or go to work.  I can't sleep!  Last night I attended a Christmas Tea and ate too much, too late .... I'm paying the price with sleeplessness and bloating.

I took a picture to share with you, but honestly it was way too scary to share.  I look (and feel) like a train ran over me.

There's been too much of this lately.  No doubt some stress eating, coupled with a lack of time, motivation & organization.  Not a good formula.

There's not nearly enough fruits & veggies in my life lately.  And really, there's no excuse for that.  Over the next few days I'm getting myself organized.  Hitting up the produce stand.  There are some wicked salads out there that don't take much to put together.  I used to make myself some great packages of veggies to take to work everyday.

I need to get back to this!  I feel SOOOO much better with lots of produce in my life.  I crave sugar less.  My body just feels ... cleaner.

For tonight I've just finished off a hot cup of Sleepytime Tea.  Let's hope it does it's magic.

Keep Active!
and (note to self) eat your veggies!!!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dance Like No One is Watching

I came across this news article today that was just too good not to share.

Apparently this band was warming up at the Grey Cup and someone noticed a random worker up in the stands just enjoying the moment to the fullest.  They've been trying to identify this guy and have no idea who he is.

Reminds me of that quote "Dance Like No One is Watching".

He's pretty darn good until about the 1:20 mark.  That would be me!

Ran a rainy 6.1 miles last night.  That's 37.2 miles down, 119.7 to go!  If you say it quickly it doesn't sound so bad.  I'm actually a couple of miles ahead of where I need to be - YAY!.

I've been having a tough couple of days and my friend asked me yesterday if I wanted to skip our run.  Nope!  Better to get it in now, you never know what's gonna come up.  Besides, it was quite pleasant, despite the never ending rain.

Keep Active!


Monday, December 6, 2010

18.5 Baby!

WOOOHOOO Another mileage PR.  This has got to be the number 1 best part about joining my friend on her training plan - regular distance PRs.

Fitting in these long runs is often difficult with my schedule.  This weekend it meant we had to leave the house just before sunrise (7AM).  I was certain we would turn into instant popsicles.  But, was surprised (and happy) to realize that while it was cold out, it wasn't so bad.  In fact, 3 miles in I happened to be running by a friend's house so I took off my jacket and gloves and left them at their door.  They're currently being held ransom until I come for a visit - haha.

While our last long run was difficult and I was frequently sore ... this one felt great for me.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, the route was enjoyable and constantly changing.  We ran through rural farm country and downtown city.  Loved it! 

Also, there wasn't a single ache or pain along the way.  Some stiffness afterwards, but normal, not excessive.

Tried a new running fuel:
 Sun Rype Fruit Source Mini Bites

The things I loved about them:
  • Cheap!  A package of them is $2.97 and I'm guessing you get about 5 servings out of that.  So ... 60 cents per serving.  I like that!!!
  • Taste fantastic.  No chemical, crap, choke-it-back-and-hope-for-the-best taste OR aftertaste.  YUMMY!
  • Ingredients:  All fruit + citrus pectin.  This is what's in the Strawberry flavour- Apple and/or pear and strawberry puree concentrates, apple and/or grape and/or pear and elderberry and lemon juice concentrates, citrus pectin, natural flavour, apple powder.
  • Convenient.  You pick the serving size.  Take however much you want, stick 'em in a baggie and you're good to go.
  • Not too hard or sticky.  You know how some products stick in your teeth and stay forever?  These didn't (as approved by my friend with braces).  And while it wasn't below freezing, it was close, and the bites didn't get too hard to chew.
  • Size - they are perfect bite size.  Not too big, not too small.
  • Potassium- each serving (14 pieces) has 200mg of potassium. 
The only down side I could see is that there isn't much sodium in them, which you'd typically want on a long run.  But I drink Gatorade and that's enough sodium for me.  The other down side (OK maybe not) is that my kids love them too ... so it's one bag for Mommy, one bag for kiddos.  Guess I can't complain about that one.

I got home with enough time to re-fuel, warm-up and have a good shower before heading out to watch my son's soccer game.  He scored a goal too!!!  WOOHOOO.  He plays defense so in 11 years that hasn't happened very often.  Unfortunately I missed it.  GRRRR!  I almost never leave a game but I think all the fluids I consumed during & after my run caught up with me and I had to walk away for 5 minutes.  He scored 1 minute after I left.  Apparently it was a good one too.  Figures!

Consumed prior to run: just a little water, too early to eat
Consumed during run: 3 water bottles filled with Gatorade, Sun Rype Fruit Source Mini Bites
Immediately after run:  2 mini spritz cookies, 3/4 c. pasta, banana, chai tea
Approx 2 hours later:  No time to eat.  At soccer.   Not super hungry anyway. 

Stomach issues: No emergencies, but two stops.  Is it possible I'm getting over the tummy troubles?

Energy level during run:  High!   Could have kept going.  In fact, the run was only supposed to be 18 miles, but we decided to run the last 1/2 mile home instead of walking it.  If you'd told me I had a couple more miles I would have been fine with it.

Muscles: Good!  Normal stiffness a couple hours later, but feeling good today. 

Aftermath:  Very slight headache after which I took a Tylenol to ward off in case it got bad.  Maybe could have had a little morewater after, or perhaps have eaten before the run.  I had a HORRIBLE nights sleep though and had no interest in getting up any earlier than I needed to to eat.

Things to try on next long run:  I may have found my formula!  I'm going to try the same on my next long run, but try to have enough time for a pre-run mini meal.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Darn Brick Walls

I keep asking myself .. what have I done so wrong in this world?  I think I'm a good/decent person.

Honestly I'm getting a little sick of climbing these brick walls.

Last week we finally got a break on a job we'd been waiting on, but then something happened and it cost us all our profits.

Yesterday afternoon my friend called me to see what I was up to for the evening.  I had nothing planned.  Said I would go home, see what's up and probably do a short run.  Not 5 minutes later I get a call from home.  Excessive rain + frost coming out of the ground + overgrown bushes & grass blocking an outflow pipe = water backed up and flooding my basement.

My basement that holds all my storage stuff including all the Christmas decorations.  My basement that also is my gym.  It seems we got it just in time so there was relatively little damage.  There goes my "quiet" night with no plans.  The entire evening was spent cleaning up, clearing out, sorting, reorganizing and salvaging.  And no, no time for a run which I would have MUCH preferred.

Every time there is a light at the end of the tunnel .... it's just another train coming to run us over.

My sister says my ship is just out in the ocean bobbing around, waiting to come in.  I'm placing bets that it will sink just before it gets to shore.  Or better yet, before it sinks it will hit something and we'll be 100% at fault.

I'm not looking for sympathy.  No, no, no!  This is NOT a pity party.  Often people ask me how I find the time to run so much.  As we all know, if you want to do something bad enough you find the time.  For me it's essential.  If I sat around thinking of all the stress in my life I'd quite simply go mad and it wouldn't change anything.  I enjoy to run and don't see myself ever choosing to stop.  I wouldn't say I'm driven by the stress in my life to run ... but boy, oh boy does it ever help.  There is nothing like knocking off a good hard or long run to bring calm, help you sleep, blow off steam, or just to forget for a little while.

Of course having amazing friends & family helps too.  Just this morning the world was crushing down on me.  Some days are harder than others.  And then I received a message from a dear friend that was so sweet and just brought me to tears (you know who you are).  I don't have many close friends in my life, but those that I do have are the best.  Their support and understanding means everything.  One day I'll make it through this ... hopefully in one piece! :)

Have an amazing weekend!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Plan of Attack

Some of you asked me yesterday how I plan to reach my goal this month, where will I find the time, how will I do it.

Gotta say I love my Mom's idea of either quitting my job, or better yet, getting my boss to pay me to run.  Hmmm, now to convince them to purchase a treadmill for my office!!!

* I ALWAYS run during my kids soccer practices.  I used to sometimes run during their practices, now I ALWAYS do, without fail.  It's too far from home to drive back, and not quite long enough a time to accomplish anything productive anyway.  Plus, let's face it, I have no money for shopping.  So ... may as well run.  Usually this gives me a good 10-12 miles+ that I don't have to schedule. 

* I have a running partner who is training for the Goofy Challenge in January.  She needs to run at least one 18 miler and one 20 miler this month.  I will accompany her.

* Hitting the 'mill'.  I got caught a couple times last month when soccer practices got cancelled.  Or my running partner couldn't make it.  Instead of running by myself, I used the circumstances as an excuse.  No excuses, as much as I prefer to run outdoors, I will hit the mill if necessary.

* Above point made ... I'm going to take a page out of Shelly's book.  She recently posted about watching a movie on her laptop while on the dreadmill.  What a great idea!  I do not have a TV in my gym.  I have a plain mocha brown wall with a clock on it, and an outdated stereo that refuses to play most home made CDs.  But ... hubby has a laptop and I can steal it away if he's not working.  I just need to find something high enough to plop it on and maybe I can catch a few flicks.  With any luck I can download some shows that I've missed and catch up!!!  Hmmm, an entire season of One Tree Hill, that's gotta be good for a bunch of miles.

* My plan is to have one long run (which will be between 16 & 20 miles), and then 3 to 5 runs of 3-7 miles each for an average weekly mileage of around 36 miles.  If my LSD is 20 miles, that's only 16 miles to accomplish mid week.  I can do that in 3 days if needed.

I have added a list on my sidebar to keep track of my progress.  Like I said yesterday ... if you see me slacking/getting behind - Nag Me. Bribe Me. Beat Me. - whatever it takes.

Dec 1 - 9.1 miles run ... 147.8 to go!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nag Me. Bribe Me. Beat Me.


# of runs: ...........12
Distance: .......... 100.2 Miles / 161.2 Kms 
Monthly Goals:   Never officially set one, but was aiming for around 130 miles
Time Running: ...16 Hours 40 Minutes 35 Seconds


YTD Distance:  843 Miles / 1356 Kms
YTD Time Running: 133 Hours 43 Minutes 23 Seconds


There are ups and downs to looking back on this past month.

* UP * I ran three of my longest runs to date (14, 16 & 16 miles).  One of those 16 mile runs was in very cold weather and I survived.  I can't say I enjoyed that one, but I did survive.  The other 16-er was nice though.

* DOWN * Other than these long runs I didn't do a whole lot of running.  It is NOT ideal to only do a long run on the weekend.  It is much more beneficial to include shorter mid-week runs.

* UP * I did incorporate swimming once a week for this whole month.  I'm coming to the conclusion that I really do not enjoy it.  I will never be a competitive swimmer.  But, I appreciate the workout and it's a convenient and relatively cheap alternative form of exercise that can be done in any weather.

* DOWN * While I did have a 100 mile month, I was really aiming for about 130 miles.  I'm now quite short to reach my goal of 1000 miles by the end of the year and I'm going to have to kick some serious booty to achieve this goal. 
So here we are, the end of the year.  Time to sink or swim on those goals we set earlier in the year.

Originally I had set a goal to run 750 miles this year (achieved this month - YAY!).  Not long after I decided to revise that (I'm a woman, it's my prerogative) and increased it to 1000 miles.

Things haven't always been smooth sailing.  I needed to average about 85 miles per month and there were some months where I hit 50 or less (May, July & August). 

Now I'm in a crunch.  Time is running out. 

I have ONE goal for December.

Run 156.9 miles or more

Considering my biggest month so far is 104.5 ... I've got my work cut out for me.

I'm asking my friends and blog readers to push me.  I HATE not reaching a goal.  If I have to run in the middle of the night I have to do it.  I CAN'T miss this.  It's very important to me.  Keep me accountable.  Nag me.  Bribe me.  Beat me.  Whatever it takes.  I WILL do this!!!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Miss Cranky Pants

Well, we got that snow we were hoping for, actually more.  I think I might be recovered now.  What a tough day.  Cold, wet, non-stop ... I sure do love my day job better.  Things didn't go quite smoothly, but I'm trying to forget about that.  Next time will be better.

Last week was a bust for me.  I had little time for running or workouts, and even less motivation.  I was completely zapped of all physical and mental energy.  To make matters worse, Friday & Saturday I was in one of those moods where, for the safety of others, it was probably best to lock me up in a small padded room without windows.  I wasn't playing nice.  Life stress was catching up with me.

Yesterday I had planned a long run with my friend, but we both bailed.  I NEVER bail on runs, but I really didn't have it in me ... and when she called me she really didn't want to do it either.  She phoned me and said, "No offence, but I don't want to see you today."  HAHAHA - I felt the same way.  Running is supposed to be fun for me, and when it becomes a chore I am not interested.  Because of this past week I may not reach my running goal for the year.  But I'm not giving up ... the quest will continue and I won't write it off just yet.  I will give it my all and do my best.

But all is good now.  I'm feeling human again!  I think it's safe to let me out with the general public.  Last night I even hit up the treadmill ... and enjoyed it!  How long has it been that I could actually say that?! 

I also broke out my journal again this weekend.  I have no idea what my weight is, my clothes fit fine, but I know that I haven't been making the greatest choices lately.  I've been time crunched and stressed and it has affected my eating habits.  It's time to reel things in before they slide out of control. 

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flexibility: rarely over-rated

Flexibility is important!
Not only is physical flexibility important to our bodies.  It prevents injuries, reduces muscle soreness, and all kinds of other good things.  But it's also important to be flexible in life.  Life is a wild ride and you have to be able to roll with the punches, ride the waves, take it in stride.  Basically be adjustable.

Monday I had a planned rest day after Sunday's frigid long run.  However, I found myself with a 30 minute window just before "Dancing With The Stars" came on (I so used to hate this show, but got sucked in this year - Jennifer Grey was amazing).  Those 30 minute windows can suck sometimes.  Not quite enough time to really accomplish anything, but too long of a time to just waste it away. 
I chose to squeeze in a little (overdue) booty-camp workout.  It proved to be JUST the right amount of time for that.  My muscles swore at me just enough the next day to let me know it was enough, but not too much.  It was a nice workout.  Tell me again why I keep avoiding these???

Tuesday morning was annoying interesting.  I had planned a morning swim.  We have had a little arctic outflow thing going through here the last few days and it was bloody cold, and windy.  I really (really, really, really, REALLY) did not want to get out of bed, but eventually forced myself out the door.  As I was running late, my friend called me.  She'd just arrived at the pool and was about to go in when the power went out.  GRRRRR!!!!!   With no other options for exercise, I had to turn around, come back home and get ready for work as usual.  The extra sleep would have been appreciated!

Fast forward to Tuesday evening.  The plan was a 6 mile tempo run with the big dog.  Two things got in the way.  First, my daughter's practice was cancelled due to the snow/ice/wind - her practices gives me an excuse a reason to get out the door.  Plus it puts me in a safe area for running outdoors.  But the kicker was I came home to my daughter & MIL painting my mostly renovated bedroom, my son washing floors, dusting & putting away the fall decor, and my husband rushing out the door to work.  There was drywall dust EVERYWHERE!  My job was to steam clean the carpets which also entailed having to declutter a bunch of areas.  There was my night for running shot.  But ... alot was accomplished and I'm very grateful to almost have my bedroom back!

This morning was swim attempt #2.  SCORE - lights!  DOUBLE SCORE - my friend sweet talked us into getting in for free due to the power outage yesterday.  Gotta love free!  Though I don't gotta love the swim.  I have been swimming, but I do NOT love swimming.  I don't know if I'm improving.  This morning felt hard, very hard.  But it's done.

Tonight I "plan" to do hill repeats.  But that probably will be might get kiboshed (defiition:  stopped from happening or developing) too ... by two different possible scenarios.  My bedroom may be ready for another coat of paint, and the carpet could definitely use another steam cleaning.  If that is the case I may resort to using the dreadmill and putting in a late night run after the work is done.

But the more exciting ($$$) thing that may keep me from my plan is we are expected to get a good dump of snow tonight.  My husband has a contract for doing snow removal and we need to keep as much money in the family as possible, so I will be one of his slaves employees.  I'll either be driving an ATV with a snow plow on it, or I'll be doing old-fashioned shovelling.  Is it kinda sick that I think I'd rather shovel so I can get more of a workout?  However, I think either way it will be a decent workout as it's a big, powerful machine and the conditions won't be easy.  Think of me late tonight!  I have new long johns and new wool socks.  Bring on the SNOW!

While it's great to be flexible, and I think I pull it off not too bad ... I do have to reschedule these missed runs.  I have a goal to reach for 2010 (1000 miles) and can NOT let obstacles get in my way.  I have to move around, over or through them to make success happen.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

WANTED: Shoe Fairy

Thanks for the snow vibes.  We did get some snow, but unfortunately not quite enough for us to go to work clearing it.  GRRRR!!!!  Momma needs a new pair of shoes, bring on the snow!

The only way to describe my run this weekend .... &%#@*&^ cold!!!!!!!!

16 miles in minus 3°C.  Yes, I know it's colder in many parts of the world.  But on the BC Coast this is bitter cold.  The kind of cold that goes deep in your bones and grips them in ice.  You have to be here to understand that -3 here is colder than -8 in say Edmonton.  It's a damp cold.

Now, to be honest, the worst part was the first mile and then any time we stopped.  Of course, at least half the route was running into a strong, cold head wind and that wasn't all that pleasant either.

Certainly not the most enjoyable run I've ever done (by far) but it's done and over with.

It was too cold to drink very much, but I don't think I lost much through sweat anyway.


Consumed prior to run: toasted english muffin, 2 sl. ham, 1 boiled egg, 1 c black tea, 1 c. peppermint tea
Consumed during run: 1 water bottle filled with Gatorade
Immediately after run:  copious amounts of tea, 1 sugar cookie, 3 gingerbread cookies
Approx 2 hours later: turkey sausage and pasta & broccoli alfredo.  Not a huge amount of hunger.

Stomach issues: 1 pit stop at the halfway mark.  Stomach was a little "off", but no emergencies.

Energy level during run: Pretty low. I could have been talked out of going on this run quite easily and could have bailed at any time with just a slight push.  I'm proud that I didn't actually bail and that I went.  But honestly it was cold, I was sore, and it was tough to push through.  Definitely a mentally challenging run.

Muscles: VERY tight.  Had to stop for a stretch in the first mile because my shins felt so tight.  I don't know if the cold made it worse, but my legs felt like bricks for most of the run.  My dear husband gave them a good rubdown last night and it really seemed to help. 

Aftermath:  No headache again or complete energy drain.  Other than my tight muscles and tenderness I feel good.

Things to try on next long run:  In a perfect world I'd get some massage therapy and a new pair of runners.  I desperately need both.  I think I'm going to have to find a way to make that happen, somehow. 

Ideally I'd have a few pairs of runners and then I could switch them for each run, making them last longer and have more recovery time.  What I wouldn't give to have a few different styles (and colors).  It's no fun trying to pick out shoes when you are on such a limited budget that you can barely afford the one pair of shoes and you know that it's do or die.  Whatever shoes you get HAVE to work, there are no options to just get another pair.

These are the one's I have my eye on:

Mizuno Wave Rider 13 (Dark Shadow/Pansy Blazing Orange)

this is last year's model which is still available ... love the colors:

Mizuno Wave Rider 12
I also would be interested in trying these:

Mizuno Wave Creation 10
I know the Wave Rider 13's are $154.99 at my local running room.  That's just insane!  Unfortunately ebay isn't offering them as low as the last time I bought shoes off of there.  Prices seem to be higher now, though still well under the Running Room. 

I bought my current shoes a year ago (bought two pairs at that time, so no, I'm not still running on those shoes) and they were $55 shipped (about $150 in the local stores).  I need another deal like that!  ... or a shoe fairy.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge

This may be the kick in the butt I need as we embark on the holiday season (aka the season where I REALLY love to bake!).

The challenge starts tomorrow so go on over and sign up (click here).

In the past I've been a sucker for virtual contests like this and they have really motivated me to move my bootie!

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Weekly Goal Review - Nov 19th

In light of my longest run to date, I missed posting this edition last week.  Here it is for the past week.



Swam 2000M in the pool this week.  1 set x 500M, 1 set x 1000M, and 1 more set x 500M.  This takes about 60 minutes including rests between sets.  The 1000M was definitely a challenge and it zapped my energy.  However, that morning I was feeling a little more run down that usual.  I am seeing some improvement.

Basic Exercises

Minimum 10 push-ups and 50 sit-ups per day  - I am terribly, terribly behind on this.  I don't think I could catch up at this point.  But I am going to make a real effort to do these from today on.

Hill/Interval Training

Wed was supposed to be hill or interval training and honestly I did not feel like it.  Plus, my running partner's ankle was bothering her so I thought we'd be better off with just a simple run.  I did do one run this week that was quite hilly.  Not quite the same as hill training, but I'll have to take it this week.  Sometimes I love the interval training, but lately I can talk myself out of it very easily.

Tempo Run

I did get one tempo run in this week.  It wasn't quite as fast as I would have liked, but I got the cardio up there and it was challening.

Mileage Build-up

This week would have included a LSD, but we backed it up a few days and did it early.  I'm still on target though.  I've just had a slightly longer week which is good for recovery too.

I feel like I'm not quite reaching for my goals like I normally would.  I'm not far off of them, but I'm not quite there yet.  I'd like to light that fire inside me and accomplish them.  But then again, maybe I'm just at a place where I should just be enjoying myself and not too worried about the "schedule".

Thank you everyone for the snow vibes.  We did get a little snow last night.  First of the season - YAY!!  About a 1/2" at my place.  Nothing at my work though as it is at a lower elevation.

The prediction calls for about 2"+ tonight.  Keep sending those vibes.  I know some were coming from many, many miles away and may take a bit to get here.  I'm still happily accepting them. :)

Have a Great Weekend

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snow Vibes Please

Well, no luck in finding the Maragarita or Cola flavoured Clif Shot Bloks.  I even contacted the company and they couldn't tell me where to find them.  They basically just said 'you can find our products here, not sure if they carry those flavours'.  Hmmm, not really impressed with that reply.  You would think they would know the answer to that kind of question.

I didn't get to posting yesterday ... busy day at work (darn work, getting in the way of EVERYTHING!).  But I've been active.

Tuesday night my running friend couldn't make it so I decided to go alone.  I took along another "pal" for companionship and protection.

This picture is from last year.  I've been taking my "big dog" on a few runs lately and am aiming to take her at least once a week from now on.  She still gets stupid excited when we start off, but she settles in faster everytime I take her and she's getting fitter.  The first 1/2 mile is dicey though as she darts in front of me and charges off in any given direction, yanking me along for the ride.  She spotted another dog coming towards us and I had to anchor myself to hold her back as she was so eager to play.  She acts like a total puppy and wants to play with every dog she sees, but is trained and very protective of her family so I feel quite secure running alone with her.  We did 5 miles together.  She was good for 4 and needed a little encouragement to keep up on the last one. 

Wed night I met up with a couple friends and we did another night trail run.  It was the perfect night for it, crips, clear and we didn't spot any spooky characters this time.

This morning was a swim session and I kicked it up a notch.  Last week was 4 sets of 500M and this week was 1 set x 500M, 1 set x 1000M, and then 1 more set x 500M.  It kicked my pa-toodie!  I faded bad at the end of that 1000M set and then the last 500M set I dragged my butt.  But I'm glad I challenged myself.  It's good to get out of your comfort zone.

Tomorrow I may take a much needed rest day ... unless of course it snows (which IS in the forecast).  If it snows I'm off to work for my husband and will be shovelling - hopefully for hours.  While I could use the rest, we could use the money more so I'm REALLY hoping we get some snow this weekend.  Your 'snow vibes' would be greatly appreciated!!!  I also need repair vibes as my husband is having some technical difficulties with some of the snow removal equipment and he's scrambling trying to fix it.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clif Shot Bloks Review

Last week on my longest run to date, I tried another running fuel product - Clif Shot Bloks

from the website:

CLIF SHOT takes a streamlined approach to performance nutrition – delivering only what your body needs most while training and racing. Our all-natural and organic ingredients help provide clean and natural performance for essential energy and hydration, plus fast muscle recovery.
My friend had a sample pack from a race in the US that looked like this:

Though when I check out our local running stores I see packages like this:
Things I liked: 
  • Taste great!
  • Texture is good.  Not slimy, no grit, no stickyness - nice & smooth.
  • Don't stick to your teeth much as other products I've tried.  My friend has braces however and the residue did last a little longer for her, but it did "melt" away unlike some other products that hang out until you find a toothbrush.
  • 3 bloks on a 16 mile run and my energy felt good.  Not sure if it was solely from these, but I do think they helped.
 Things I didn't like: 
  • Size - they're way too big.  I put one blok in my mouth and the plan was to just let it melt itself away as apparently I'm coordinated enough to talk & run, but not to chew & run.  For quite a while I had a big lump sitting there in my cheek and it took probably a full mile to melt away.  I think I'd rather cut these in half and take two.
  • The bloks are joined together (I think in groups of 3 ... don't quote me on that though).  This is probably fine, but it was somewhat cold and we had left them in a steel mailbox.  So by the time we went for our 2nd block, for the life of us, we could not break those suckers apart.  Twist, turn ... nothing!  We decided to say "screw it!" and popped a double blok in.  Let me tell you ... I didn't think I could chew & run before, this was impossible with two bloks in there.  I literally could not get a word out with that hunk in there.  Which of course sent us into hysterics, nearly laughing the thing out.  I gave up and chewed the thing as fast as I could.  Ideally I'd rather savour the flavour a little longer.
 Would I try them again?

Absolutely!  The only real obstacle was the size and that is easily overcome.  Next time they will certainly be cut at least in half and instead of taking one every 6 miles, I'd like to take half every 3 miles.

These are the flavours they come in: 
  • Black Cherry
  • Cola
  • Cran Razz
  • Lemon Lime
  • Margarita
  • Mountain Berry
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Tropical Punch
 What I want to try:

MARGARITA baby!!!!  YUM.  I love me a lime margarita and this is #1 on my list of products I want to try.  However, I've yet to see it in stores here.  With my luck it's not sold in Canada, but I'll keep looking, and if I ever get some room on that Visa card I'm placing an order.


The other flavour that intrigues me is COLA, which contains 50mg of caffeine.  Sounds like a good combination to me.  Again, I haven't seen it here but I gotta find it!

If anyone knows where I might be able to find these flavours in a store I'd love to know. 

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