Friday, July 30, 2010


Yesterday did not work out as planned!  I had an eye appt after work and due to a little mix-up it ended up taking alot longer than anticipated.  Unfortunately this left me with a time crunch and I chose to swap my planned run yesterday with my planned rest day for today. 

Truthfully I COULD have fit it in .... but I really wanted to watch the results show for So You Think You Can Dance.  Glad I did as I was pleased with the results.  Also, after having run the last 4 days in a row, I kind of needed the rest day.  I'll get that easy run in today.  I have to, I kind of have to reach my mileage goal for the month.

Let me introduce you to Jeffrey ....

Jeffrey (as named by a friend's daughter) is our resident moose on our new property.  He comes visiting from time to time.  I'm thinking he's quite young.  Usually he comes early morning or at dusk, and apparently he likes to drink from a hole we dug that gathers water.  Our dog & him seem to have an understanding where they just ignore each other.

On the July long weekend, when we went up to our property, our very good friends from Washington state came up with us.  This is his "unit".  It's a sort of custom motorhome that he uses for business.  That "little" trailer at the back held an SUV, 4 quads, 6 mountain bikes, and a ton of other bits & pieces.  The motorhome section sleeps something like 12 people comfortably, more in a pinch.  Now THAT'S camping!  That little blip in the picture is my 16 yr-old son.

(the boys getting ready to take out the toys)

It's another long weekend here for us - provincial holiday on Monday.  Not sure what's on the agenda but definitely some running today, tomorrow & Sunday.  Monday is a scheduled rest day but I wouldn't mind doing some biking or something else casual.

Have a great weekend and Keep Active!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keep 'er steady

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm finally learning how to use some of the features on my Garmin.  As this is the first time I've really followed a training plan, there are certain workouts I'm following where I need to pay attention to pace, distance, intervals, etc.  The Garmin is REALLY coming in handy for that.

Tuesday I was scheduled to do a tempo run of 3 miles at 8:20/mi.  I had planned to do it in the morning, before it got hot, while still on vacation.  But I slept horribly that night and when I finally woke up I knew it would be way too hot for me.  So after driving home, I emptied the car as fast as possible, threw on my running gear and was out the door.  I knew I had to boogie to finish before it got dark. 
I've never really understood pacing too much.  You hear people say you shouldn't go out too fast.  When I go for speed I often go out fast in hopes of creating a "buffer" for later on in the distance.  This is exactly what happened on this run.  I flew out and the first mile went by in just under 8 minutes.  I manage to do the next 1/2 mile at almost the same pace.  I knew though that I couldn't, and shouldn't, maintain that pace.  My goal was 8:20 and I was going too fast and would have needed a rest if I kept at that.  I need to learn to trust the training program!

Then ..... I remembered the special features on the Garmin.  I set the alerts on it to let me know when I was going too fast (over 8:10) or too slow (under 8:25).  I wanted to stay around my goal pace.  This worked wonders!  And I found it so much easier to maintain a steady pace rather than going all out then having to slow down and recover.  I will definitely use this feature more often.

Last night I had a moderate run and due to tummy issues I opted to run on the treadmill ... and of course I was fine.  Just wasn't a risk I was willing to take, but I definitely missed doing an outdoor run.  I did learn however that I made some mistakes in setting up my training plan.  I adapted it off a plan I found and just realized yesterday that it was set-up to achieve a 45 min 10K.  That's a bit beyond my reach right now.  So I'll be doing a little more adapting.  No wonder I was finding the moderate runs a bit hard for being labelled "moderate".  I was starting to wonder how I'd ever reach the faster paces as the program went on.

Finally got a few pics loaded from the wedding we went to.  Here's my hubby & I.

(ain't we cute????)

The bride & groom

The groom's parents are our next door neighbours, and the groom & his new bride live in the small town that we will eventually be moving to.  This was just the wedding reception ... the actually wedding was in Ontario the weekend before.  860 people were at the reception (1000 were invited & paid for).  Isn't that crazy???  We only had about 60 people at our wedding.  Of those 860, the bride didn't know at least 700 of them.    We briefly met the bride at the reception and she seemed very overwhelmed when we spoke to her.  However, last weekend the newleyweds came to visit us on our new property and we got a chance to speak with her.  Nice girl, VERY pretty!  He's pretty cool too, funny guy.  The family is pretty steeped in tradition, but him not so much.  He told us it is custom for the new couple to go to dinner at each member of the family who attended the wedding as soon as possible after the wedding.  He estimates they need to go to approx. 100 dinners! Given that most of the "family" lives 3-4 hours away from the couple, that's a lot to cram in whenever they come down to visit.   How's that for a social schedule.

These lovely ladies let us take their picture (no idea who they are).  So many BEAUTIFUL Saris.  Bright colors, lots of beading.  So pretty!  Our neighbours tell us that they usually attend at least 1 function per weekend, often up to 3 or 4 throughout the summer months when there are lots of weddings.  Honestly I don't know how they do it.  This wedding alone lasted 3-4 weeks with all the parties.  I think they said it was about 10 parties in all.  The final party, after the reception night, the groom's parents invited 100 people to their house.  70 showed up and their caterer made a mistake and provided food for 150 instead of 100.  They had ALOT of leftovers, which I found massive containers of in my fridge the next day.  The kids & I don't eat much in the way of Indian food, so my husband and FIL ate it for almost a week straight and we still threw out at least half of what they gave us.

Tonight I have an easy run on my schedule.  I'm very much looking forward to that. 

Keep Active!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another great mini

I'm back from another great mini-vacation.  4 days in the Okanagan.  Weather was absolutely wonderful - hot with a little breeze.

Managed 3 out of 4 days running.  Saturday we drove up there but before we left I lazed in bed in the morning instead of running.  By the time we got there it was much too hot and I went to bed fairly early after a long day.

Sunday morning I went out and did 5 miles.  Had planned to do 7, but arranged to meet my sister at a time I figured I would be finished my run, as is typical of me, I didn't get out early enough and ran late.  It was SUPER hot by the time I met up with her.  I had water, but really needed a refill.  My sister is just beginning running so we did run/walk intervals.  I was very impressed with her pace. 

Monday morning I chose a different location to run, one that had ALOT more shade, and was also close to a bathroom and my car (which had more water in it).  I also FINALLY discovered the power of my Garmin.  So far I only have used my Garmin to tell me distance, time & pace.  But after playing around, I learned how to set it for intervals.  YAY!  I wouldn't have to glance at my watch constantly.

I had set it for 1 min fast pace, 2 min slow pace x 15 intervals.  I also indicated I wanted to do a warm-up & cool down.  Not knowing how the warm-up worked, I ran ... and ran ... and ran, waiting for it to beep and let me know the warm-up was done.  Figured it would beep at maybe 5 minutes, or 1/2 a mile .... or 10 minutes ... maybe 1 mile?????  Then I questioned if I even set it up properly so ignored it for a while and just ran.  Then a little light went off in my head and I thought ... hmmmm, may I have to press the LAP button when I was done my warm-up and ready to move on.  I had run 1.7 miles before that lightbulb went off.

Having done a much longer warm-up than planned, I figured I wouldn't bother doing all 15 laps of the intervals.  But ... I ended up scooting around town, checking out new things, and before I knew it I had completed 9 of the 15 laps.  I didn't know how to reset the # of laps mid-run, and really wanted to know what happens when you're done.  So, I stopped and refilled my water, then really pushed it through those last 6 laps.  It was hot and I was tired, so some of my slow paced intervals were very slow, even a walk - but I was OK with that.  At the end I did a nice, slow cool down.  What a COOL feature!  If you have a Garmin and haven't yet played around with the workouts you can create, I highly recommend it!

Afterwards I found a nice shady spot on the grass, over-looking Okanagan Lake.  There was a wonderful breeze coming across and it just felt like this was my reward for completing a tough training session.  Pure bliss!

Running schedule this week:

Mon - Rest (did 6.68miles incl. 15 x 1:00 fartlek w/2:00 recovery)
Tues - 3 mile tempo run @ 8:20/mi  (done)
Wed - 4 mile moderate run (2 miles at 8:40 / 2 miles at 7:40)
Thur - 3 mile easy run @ 9:40/mi
Fri  - rest
Sat - 3 mile easy fartleks
Sun - 8 mile @ 9:10-9:20/mi

It sure is nice to incorporate exercise on vacation.  Somehow it just makes you a little more focused on eating healthier ... or at the very least it balances the indulgences a bit.

Keep Active!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweaty and Sweet

Last night I had scheduled to run 3 miles - 1.5 miles at 8:50 pace (13:15) and 1.5 miles at 7:30 pace (11:15).  The plan I'm following suggested splitting your moderate runs so that you do the 2nd half of your run 2-3 minutes faster than the first half.  Not sure if I've worked it out properly ... but boy, oh boy, was that 2nd half tough ... and fast (for me).  I wasn't sure if I could finish it and did have to stop once to catch my breath and give myself a talking to.  But I made it through.

At the end I was a big sweaty mess.  I ran on the treadmill because it was much cooler in the gym than outdoors, but it was still very muggy.  This is a good 15 minutes after my cool down.  Right after my run I had so much sweat dripping from my eyes, I looked like I was crying.

Half way through my run I thought, gee, my feet have been awfully sore lately.  Since I haven't been doing a ton of running this kind of surprised me.  Then I thought .... DUH ... I have at least 500 running miles on my shoes, not to mention walking/cycling and the odd fitness class. 

So, I decided it was time to break out the back-up pair I've been storing in my closet.  Ahhhhhhhhhh, what a difference!  As soon as I put them on I knew the old one's were shot.  The second half of my run felt SO good, at least for my feet/legs, otherwise it was pure hell.  I'll have to switch these new one's out a little sooner I think.

Just a little difference here

While I was running, I had these babies rising

Cinnamon buns - from scratch!  I had a small one after my run.  Not bad.  Way too sweet for me though.  I'm going to seek out a different recipe and probably skip the icing next time.  My friend's husband makes the most amazing cinnamon buns ... and without a recipe.  They turn out huge and fluffy every single time, but he just throws a bunch of stuff together and never measures a thing.  That man has a serious talent!

Tonight I have an easy run scheduled.  Kind of looking forward to that.  Not sure when I'm going to squeeze it in.  May have to be late.  We're planning to go watch the opening ceremonies for the summer games tonight and I just found out my cousins daughter is in the games as well, so maybe we'll see her there.

Have a great evening

Keep Active!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweaty, tough & satisfying

I have begun a new running plan.  With no races on the horizon I have just been ... running.  No goals, no ambitions, no planned workouts.  Well, there's been monthly mileage goals, but getting to them has just been one ol' boring step after another.  SNORE!  I haven't noticed any improvement in my running lately.

So many people are training for this and that ... I just HAD to jump on the bandwagon.

Last week I put together a new plan and couldn't wait to get started.  I found a plan online and adjusted it to my needs & hopefully for the pace I'm aiming for.  I'm still a little leary about some of the paces I've set and may have to adjust them along the way if I find I've aimed too high.  But I'm flexible that way.

This week my plan is:

Sun  - 6 miles easy @ 9:45
Mon - Rest
Tues - 3 mile tempo run @ 8:30/mi
Wed - 3 mile moderate run (1.5 miles at 8:50 / 1.5 miles at 7:30)
Thur - 3 mile easy run @ 9:45/mi
Fri  - rest
Sat - 3 mile easy fartleks

I may have to switch Fri & Sat as I'm probably travelling on Saturday and don't want to run in the afternoon heat.  Although I could also get up and run early - eeeeeeeekkkkkk!

Yesterday called for a 3 mile tempo run.  Due to circumstances I had to run around 5:30 last night and it was HOTT! (yes double T)

I did a 1/2 mile slow warm-up, followed by light stretching and mental prep.  Then headed out for my workout.  Ideally this would have been a steady run, but it was frickin' hot, and I didn't bring my water bottle with me.  So instead I stopped about every mile to either stand in the shade a moment, or to go into the community centre and get a chug of water.  I did manage to stay on pace with an average speed of 8:25/mi.  Hopefully next weeks tempo run I can organize a bit better and run it straight through.  At the end I did something I've never done and I went for another short, slow run to cool down.  Although I had already essentially cooled down after stopping for water, the slow jog felt good, like it was loosening up my legs.

At the end of my run, I went into the community centre again to get a drink & use the washroom.  I'm absolutely drenched in sweat ... and I run into the execs of our soccer club (a few are my son's current or past coaches) about to have a meeting.  Oh well, I'm sure I didn't look (or smell) lovely, but they're used to it as I often run during practices.

While there I did find out some news.  My daughter will be playing soccer this year as well and I had already anticipated that girls typically play on some Sundays.  But I found out for my son this year, his age group goes to playing on Sundays every week, instead of Saturdays like has forever.  Boo hoo!  First, I REALLY like to watch the kids play every single game and inevitably their games will overlap at times.  But second .... Sunday mornings is my ME time for my long runs.  I'm going to have to do some careful planning this season.

I'm not sure if I will use this training plan towards anything.  I do have my eye on a couple of races for Septeber/October ... but we'll see if I get to entering them.  One I'm pretty confident I can manage, though I'd really love to do the others as well.  Either way, I think I really needs this plan to give me some focus and some reason.  The idea of just going out there and running, step after step, just because - well, it's ain't for me!  In some ways I wish it was, and at certain times I do enjoy a few runs like that.  But for the most part I need a plan and/or a goal.  I'd like to get my 10K time under 50 minutes and I'm hoping this plan will help to get me there.

My community is hosting the provincial summer games.  The events start tomorrow and I'm kinda thinking about going out to watch some of these amazing kids compete.  I just found out that my neighbors son will be in it.  How exciting for him and what a great experience!

Keep Active!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Fiesta Chicken

Thank you so much to Darci for sharing her recipe for Fiesta Chicken!  I saw this last week and knew it was something I had to try.  Normally I get a little finicky about anything with a cream soup in it, but I'm so glad I gave this a shot.  Let me just say it is YUM, YUM, YUMMMMMMMMOOOOO!

Just a few changes:
  • Added about 3/4 of a can of black beans (as suggested by my sister, though it was already in my mind).  I ♥ beans and it added just one more dimension to it. 
  • Considered adding chopped red peppers to it, but the salsa actually gave it some decent color so I left it alone.
  • Next time I will cube the chicken instead of putting in whole breasts.  Easier for dishing out leftovers (which this dish is amazing for) and for my husband who doesn't have a desk/table to eat at, it will be easier for him to eat if it's already cut up.
I used a fairly hot salsa because I like my food on the spicy side!  I think next time I may also chop up some green onions and toss them on top after cooking.

My adjusted recipe ....
  • 1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 c. brown minute rice
  • 1 to 1-1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 3/4 can (540 mL) black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. paprika
Mix together soup, rice, salsa, corn, beans & chicken in baking dish. Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375° for approx. 45 minutes until chicken is cooked and rice is tender.

Optional: Top with chopped green onions after baking.

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of it.  My husband stole my camera last week for his work projects and I haven't gotten it back from him yet.  The dish was made last night, but when he got home his clients had fed him and I wasn't hungry.  So I only had a little taste last night and am now devouring it for lunch.

Had a nice run yesterday.  Did an easy paced 10K run with a friend.  I'm still slowly getting back up to more distance and pace after being sick.  I've been working on a new running plan for the remainder of the summer.  Will update when I know how it's going.

Keep Active!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Liar, Liar ... Pants on Fire

So I was a big fat liar the other day.  On Monday I posted that "Tonight, no matter what, I'm going to run at least 3 miles". 

Well ... I didn't.  For me that's unusual.  Normally if I post it here, it's gospel and MUST happen.  I ended up having to run around after work and by the time I got home I was just done.  I used it as an excuse and yes, I did feel guilty for it.

However ... last night I got my sweat on!  At first it sucked a big one.  I was hot, itchy, sweaty, lethargic and just so did not want to work out.  Being off sick for a week and a half left me feeling so badly out of shape.  I know it will come back quickly, but fighting your way back is just hard.

I knew that no matter how much I didn't want to work out - I HAD to!  I just could not leave it one more day.  As we all know, one day, turns to two, turns to three, turns to 4 years - and I'm not willing to go down that road.

I started off with a little warm-up and some strength moves (push-ups, curls, squats, abs - etc.)  Then I did a 1 mile run on the treadmill.  I repeated this 3 times, each time pushing myself faster on the runs and lifting more weights and/or more reps on the strength.

At the end I could feel my old self returning and I was reminded of how awesome a good workout is.  It may have only been 3 miles, which for me is a short run, but it was perfect.

While I've gotten a late start for the month of July, I want the last half to be great and I want to stay active.  I'm not aiming for a particular mileage goal this month, will just do what I can.  But I will commit to 19 Days of Activity in July (commencing July 13th - that's every day!).  I think this is key for me.

Keep Active!


Monday, July 12, 2010

This is some talent

Double Post Day (but it's short & sweet)

I came across this video today and just had to share.

I used to do alot of jumping with my horse.  And I've dabbled in some roller-blading in the past.  But NOTHING ever along these lines.  Heck, I'd be afraid to even get on rollerblades these days, nevermind attempting something this crazy. 

WOW, is all I can say ... nothing to add to that!


Back Among the Living

I'm finally feeling pretty much human again.  My eyes look normal again.  All last week they were so swollen.  They looked like two pee holes in the snow.


As predicted, Friday's bike ride home from work was pretty brutal.  I took it easy and the ride actually wasn't so bad - but as soon as I got home I crashed on the couch and slept for about an hour.  It was pretty muggy and we all felt pretty drained so I didn't get to the beach as I had hoped.

But ... I had told my daughter earlier in the day that if she took the initiative and did some extra clean up around the house there might be a little reward for her efforts.  She actually did more than I'd expected, which made me quite happy ... and left me with not so much housework to do this weekend, which was nice.


So, on Saturday (after the Germany-Uruguay soccer game - woohoo Germany!!!) I picked up her friend and we went to the beach.  Parking was INSANE and we ended up having to park and walk over 2.5 KM each way.  It was hot, but still a pleasant walk.

I grabbed a book (I don't think I've read anything other than fitness magazines for about a year) and just enjoyed the afternoon.  Except for the drunk guys next to us, hitting on any girl they saw - including my daughter & her friend.  Poor them had to run in to "cold-hearted-Mommy".  I told them to go away and basically let them know not to waste their time even looking our direction.  The girls were actually glad that I was there because the guys had started hitting on them when I had walked off to the bathroom and they were kind of uncomfortable.  I'm rarely ever offended by foul language, but these guys were disgusting and so excessive.  Very annoying!  But we still had a nice time.


Sunday the clouds rolled in a bit.  But my husband had to go see a potential client ... out near the beach.  So I decided to tag along, and my son came too.  It's a good 30-40 min drive to the beach, so anytime I can combine trips with business and save gas, it's a good thing.

After seeing the client (yay, he got the job!), we decided to drive along the beach front road and check out all the fancy houses.  I wish I had my camera with me.  We came upon the most expensive house in the city and I think I will dream of that house for a long time to come.  Almost perfection!  WOW!  At the moment it's still much under construction, but it's amazing.

We drooled along the road for a while gawking, then we headed down to the beach and went for a 4-5K walk along the beach.  As soon as we got to the beach, the clouds lifted a bit and it warmed up very nicely.  I would have like to spread out a blanket and lay there for a bit, but the guys were much more content to stroll along and check things out.  Though my boys "stroll" is more like the average persons power walk.


This weekend was just what I needed to finally get recovered.  I haven't run in 11 days and I'm itching now.  I want to run, and also I know that if I don't run again soon I could easily backslide to lazy-ville.  Tonight, no matter what, I'm going to run at least 3 miles.

Fit Heidi is coming back!

Keep Active!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 9

It's Day 9 of me being sick and I'm just about done with it.  I'm getting mad now.  Yeah I know, I can't exactly control how long I'm sick for, but I'm putting my foot down anyway.  The act alone makes me feel good.

I haven't been this hit, for this long, for a long, long time.  Naively I thought I'd put this kind of thing behind me when I started living a healthier lifestyle.  GRRRRR!  My head is so unbelievably stuffed up and my eyes will not stop watering.  Eating hasn't been wonderful as I lack the energy to do much and food just doesn't taste right at the moment.  This leaves me reaching for foods in the hopes of finding something satisfying - which nothing really is.

Well ... this morning I decided enough was enough.  I truly have not been able to exercise for most of the last week.  Some days I've been lucky to even be upright.  Generally I still like to exercise when I have a cold because it helps me feel better for a little while.  This one has wiped me out too much.  But this morning I decided to ride my bike to work.  I took it fairly slow and easy, but at least I was moving.

The ride home is going to be killer.  Temps this afternoon are expected to be around 30°C (86°C).  And the majority of the ride is uphill.  Maybe I'll burn this darn cold off!  Taking it easy certainly doesn't seem to be helping.

I'm hoping to leave work a bit early today and maybe hit up the beach this afternoon.  I think I could use some moist ocean air!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hello Strangers

Hello Strangers ....... 

I've been majorly MIA lately.

First, we spent 6 days on our new property.  Our very good friends from Washington State came up camping with us.  It was so wonderful to spend so much time with them. 

The weather however was very uncooperative.  Alot of overcast and some drizzle.  Not terribly warm.  We did get one half-warm day, and the day we had to drive home it was nice (figures, right?)

The worst thing was that I came down with a bug - GRRRR!  We left on Jun 30th and by the evening of July 1st I was done.  My throat was absolutely killing me and my head felt like it was filled with rocks.  I had to take some medication which made me fall deep asleep maybe 5 minutes before the Canada Day fireworks started.  I was VERY disappointed.

Of and on for the rest of the trip I was sick.  I had planned to get in lots of running during this trip, and I wasn't able to do even 1 mile.  I did get out for a c ouple of walks, but nothing that really got my heart beating.

We got back home on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday morning I woke up feeling even sicker.  I did however have to go into work.  But I only made it part way through the day.  By mid-afternoon I was toast and had to drive home.  I had what felt like a migraine and my stomach was tossing and turning.  I mostly slept the remainder of the day, and got sick in the afternoon.

Today I'm feeling ever so slightly better, though far from 100%.  My appetite did return with a vengeance after eating next to nothing yesterday. 

So ... I have decided I'm not setting any goals for July.  I haven't run at all for the first week of July and I think it could be a few more days before I'm able to do much physically.  I'm just going to do what I can, when I can.

As for eating & the South Beach diet .... I managed a good 12 days without a stitch of sugar or starchy carbs and I'm very proud of myself.  The next few days I had very limited amounts of those items.  Then I relaxed a little while camping (I had planned this before I went).

Originally I had planned to stick completely to the diet.  But then I thought .... you know what ... I'm not a machine and I want to be normal.  Yes, I want to lose more weight, but I also want to be able to enjoy treats during certain times - like camping.  And while I did indulge .... I didn't go insane crazy.  I enjoyed a couple of cookies each day.  I had two glasses of wine in a one week period.  I ate bread (white bread) and some meaty cheesy lasagna.  Crazy .... huh?  No ... normal.  I still drank my tea without sugar and stayed away from pop entirely.  When we got home I said to my husband that I went a little further than I should have, and he said "No, you ate like a normal person ... or less."  I suppose he's right.  I did gain 1.8 lbs in the week, but I'm totally OK with that.  The key is in taking it right back off and not staying in holiday mode and I feel I will be successful with that.

I think that's the way I want to live my life.  On a daily basis keep the treats & sugar at bay, and limit the starches.  But enjoy myself to a normal level for special occasions. 

I've been trying to catch up on my blogging buddies and will be more active over the next few days.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Keep Active!