Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall Challenge


I know it's a bit early for Syl's challenge, but I've already recorded my current weight and measurements and I'm almost ashamed to share them (though I will .. soon).  Not because they are horrible or I think I'm disgusting, I'm still very proud of what I've accomplished and for the most part, maintained.  But, while I knew the scale was up and my clothes seem a little tighter than they used to be, somehow I didn't really realize that all those little numbers had gone up as much as they had.  Everything on me has expanded and I don't like it!  It's certainly a wake-up call.

However, I know that one of the first steps to change is acknowledging where you are at and holding yourself accountable.

Some of these numbers are even higher than they were the last time I started Syl's Shred Challenge.

I also know that I had some pretty decent success last time, and I think I will again.

This time I'm doing the challenge a little differently.  I will not vow to Shred every .. single .. day.  I'm just not wired for that.  I go insane doing the same workout day in and day out.  Plus I think my days of listening to Jillian on her DVD are over.  I have my cheat sheets for each level and I'd prefer to follow those while listening to music.

Instead my plan for September is something like this:

♥ Continue with my mileage build-up plan

Aug 29 - Sep 4:    17 mles
Sep 5 - Sep 11:    18 miles
Sep 12 - Sep 18:  14 miles
Sep 19 - Sep 25:  19 miles
Sep 26 - Oct 2  :  20 miles
      *total weekly miles for September-ish

♥ Do a "Shred style" workout minimum 4 days per week

This may or may not be Jillian Michaels Shred DVD.  But it will be a workout based upon the same sort of principles with a weight/cardio interval type mix.  Keeping that heart rate constantly elevated and doing challenging weight/plyo/strength moves.  Some workouts will be upper body based, others lower body, many mixed, and most will include core work.  This workout can also be substituted with a fitness class that is along the same principles (including Boot Camp).  I will try to post my workouts often.  I've done a bazillion and one fitness & boot camp classes in my life and can usually put together a decent workout.

♥ Activity Every Day

For me, this is the basis for this challenge.  Well, not only to be active, but to push myself and be active beyond what is "comfortable".  I firmly believe in being active most days of the week, even if that activity is just a light walk or a 10 min weight session.  But for this challenge, this will be a more aggressive type of active.  A fat burning, muscle building, endurance increasing type active.

While this is all being done in the name of a "challenge", really it's the way I want to live my life and what I want to achieve hear is habit.

For those doing this challenge ... buckle up, it's gonna be a wild ride

Keep Active!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Today is not my day

Oh my what a night & morning!  Things can only go up from here.

We had relatives arrive at our house sometime late last night.  They're on their way home from holidays and needed a place to park their motorhome for the night.  I didn't know for certain exactly when they were coming, but figured it would be some time over the next few days.  I'm guessing it was around 1AM when the dog started growling.  Didn't really wake me up but it was a distruption to the sleep cycle.

Then around 4:30AM the dog wanted to go outside.  My husband got up to let her out and then went to the washroom himself ... only to discover that we were out of water.  I'll tell you what that is - KARMA!  About a week ago I was talking to our neighbors and they were out of water.  They are on the city system, something had gone wrong with it and they were out of water for nearly 24 hours.  It was a hot day and the husband had been doing hard, dirty work all day.  We are on a well so weren't affected by the city water system problem.  I considered offering him to use our shower, but I didn't.  I'm not really sure why.  Part of me figured that they wouldn't take up the offer anyway.  But really, I SHOULD have offered and I'm not quite sure why I didn't and felt bad about it later.  So this was my payback!  Next time I'll offer.

My husband went out to fix our water problem, but it was dark and he couldn't see a thing.  Do you think I could find a working flashlight?  Or batteries to put in one? NO!  Ugh, Karma!!!  Eventually we found one that was dying rapidly and giving little light, but it was enough.  It took him nearly an hour to get the water going again. 

By the time he got it fixed it was nearly 5:30 and he had to get going for work - but he now didn't have time to make a lunch.  So ... I made him a lunch.  My alarm was set to go off at 6:15 for my morning run, so after he left I just stayed up.  Cleaned up the kitchen, got dressed, and went to head out for a run.  Boom!  Thunder and a sudden downpour.  WTH???!!!  I'm starting to get the message.  Today is not my day.

But I didn't abandon my run.  I didn't want to go outside in case there was lightning, so it was off to the dreadmill.  It was most definitely a dreadmill and I didn't enjoy my run.  But I did complete the 4.2 miles that I had planned for the day!  Some days you just have to do it.  I'm still feeling Wednesday nights workout too.

That Karma thing ... you gotta watch that!

EDIT:  After I wrote this post I got a phone call from home that the water is off again!!!  GRRRRR.  I don't think hubby will be home until late tonight and I'm utterly useless at trying to fix something like that.  I suppose a smart woman would have set aside at least a jug of water this morning - just in case.  Apparently I'm not a smart woman!

Have a great weekend!!!

Keep Active!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweaty & Satisfied

Two workouts in one day!  Go me!!

For a long time I have been a big fan of evening workouts.  And I still stand by that an evening workout gives me the best sleep possible.  But twice this week I have ran in the morning, and then did some sort of activity in the evening.  Morning workouts are great because you have two options: 1) Your workout is done for the day and if you choose not to do more in the evening or have other things to do then you're already done, or 2) By the time evening rolls around you don't really feel like you've already had a workout and still have enough energy to have a good workout if you want.

Last night I got all sweaty & satisfied ...


... doing strength/cardio intervals.  It rocked!

It was short & sweet, but hit the spot.  
  • Dumbbell Squats with shoulder presses
  • Wall sit with bicep curls
  • Wall sit with lateral raises
  • Walking lunges with dumbells
  • Tricep Kickbacks
  • Dumbbell side bends
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups

Each move was performed for 2 sets x 15-20 each and about a 30-60 second cardio interval (jumping jacks, high knees, boxing, butt kicks, ...) between each set.
I'd much rather be doing this type of workout in a class setting.  On one hand it's nice to create your own workouts because you can determine the intensity (often I find classes lacking) ... but on the other hand it's nice to just let someone else do the thinking and pushing for you.
In a perfect world would you rather take group classes and/or have a personal trainer ... or do you prefer to beat to your own drum?
Keep Active


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inspiration Comes From Many Sources

This morning was the 2nd run of my "build-up mileage plan".  All day yesterday I wanted to run SO badly, but resisted the urge so that I can take this rebuild slowly.  I was supposed to run 4 miles today, but I wasn't quite organized to get that in this morning.  I was up late organizing lunches for my boys, then my husband was up at 5 to go to work.  My alarm went off at 6, but it took me a little longer than anticipated (over 30 min) to get moving and out the door.  I had to be back, showered and ready to leave the house to take my son to work at 7:30 and then go to work myself.  With such short time I had to chose between running the full distance or leaving some time for stretching - which I think is crucial these days.  I chose to run 2.8 miles and stretch.  I haven't decided if I will do the extra distance tonight, or add a mile on to my next run (which is only supposed to be 3 miles).

It's been kind of nice running in the morning.  I wonder if I can make this a habit before the weather turns ugly and the mornings get dar?.  If I can keep it up I will.

Last night my son's soccer team had their first practice of the season (going to be alot of sore boys this morning!).  One of the great advantages to my kids doing sports is that it gives me time where I have nowhere else I need to be, and an excuse/reason to be outdoors and exercise a few times a week.  If all those kids can be out there battling whatever weather comes their way, so can I.  Their practices are usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours long.  I just can't see driving them there, coming home - then returning at the end.  Alot of wasted time and unecessary driving & fuel.  I prefer to run or walk during that time.  When they go to the track I can run stairs, do sprints, lunges, push-ups on the bleachers ... it's great!

Watching the kids do their drills last night (walking lunges, crossovers, burpees, high knees, sprints, etc.) made me crave that type of workout.  That's the kind of things we did when I was taking all those boot camp classes last year and I LOVED it!  There's really no reason I can't do that kind of workout on my own.  I have all the knowledge and experience.  In fact I often felt the classes I was taking were not demanding enough, so I really could put together a decent workout.  The team may have a fitness only practice once a week where they do this type of activity the whole time, so depending on which coach is running it, I may offer to lead them through these exercises.  It drives me insane how horrible the form is for most of these kids while doing these exercises, and during their stretches.  As a minimum they are getting little out of what they are doing and at worst they are going to get hurt.  Either way, I am re-inspired to get back to these types of workouts.

Keep Active!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Here we go....


After 10 days off of running ... I'm back!  Today marks the kick off of my mileage re-building plan.

The plan is to start off slowly, not worry about pace, and continuously build up over a period of about 4 months until I'm running a half marathon distance again.    Every 4 weeks is a recovery week which I think will be very important.  Too often I'm push, push, push and don't schedule recovery weeks. 

I loved the feeling of being able to comfortably run those longer distances and can't wait to get back to it.  But I'm going to do it smartly this time.

This morning I did my first run of the plan ... 3 miles.  It was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!  And I ran before work too - crazy huh?!  I changed my Garmin so that it would NOT tell me pace or time.  All I want to think about right now is distance and just let my body run as it feels.

For the first time in a long while I also ran the whole distance without taking a break ... and I never felt like I needed one.  That tells me this is just what I need.


Last week I rode my bike to work every day and it was great.  The only down side was packing lunch.  I only have a smallish pack on my bike and hate to carry a backpack.  I'd like to ride most of this week as well and think I may have found a way to have the best of both worlds (cycling & food from home).

This morning I packed my lunch for the entire week and brought it with me to work.  I'm fortunate to have a fridge, microwave & kettle at my disposal - pretty much for just myself.  So I can stock that little fridge full!

I brought with me:
  • 4 c. carrot sticks
  • 4 c. blanched broccoli
  • 1/2 c. homemade pueblo bean dip
  • 4 c. green & red grapes, mixed
  • 4 c. homemade navy bean soup
  • 3 turkey sausages (130 cal 5 g fat ... I can't wait!)
  • 750g container peach yoghurt
If I feel the need to supplement this at all it's easy enough to pack a small extra snack, or take a 1/2 mile walk to the grocery store on my lunch break.

Once a week I can bring my food in and then when I bring next week's food to work, I'll take last week's containers home.  I think even if I'm not riding my bike to work this would save me all kinds of time, money and temptation!  I already pack my lunch most days of the week, typically in a rush in the morning, but this is something I can do on Sunday and have it done.

I'm very excited with all these new plans on the go.  Kinda feel like a kid going back to school (well, maybe not my kids, but like little kids that still find it exciting).

Keep Active!


Friday, August 20, 2010


The strangest thing to come of this past week without running has been the reflections and how much thinking I have done.

Not sure if it's the long, quiet bike rides.  Or not having something in particular to aim for.  Perhaps it's just the time of year as we can slowly start to see summer beginning to fade away and those oh so slight signs of fall peeking around the corner.  My mind has never felt so clear.

I have discovered a couple of past loves (horses & cycling) that I fully intend to dive back into, even if at a casual level.

I have a complete new vision on what I want from my running.  Next week I will start back up again ... but I will do so intelligently.  I will start slow and short, and my only goal will be to get a few miles in without getting sore.  Then I will gradually build on that until I am back to being comfortable putting out the mileage that I was doing prior to my half marathon earlier this year.  I also have some grand ideas for where I will head once I build that mileage up again. 

Also this week I have found so much inspiration from a number of fellow bloggies.  In so many areas.  I am bursting with energy to explore some of these ideas that are currently roaming around in my head.  I feel like a kid at Christmas ... waiting to open up my future.  It's a good feeling!

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend!

Not sure what I have in store.  With any luck possibly a sold horse.  With even more luck I might find someone to go hiking with (not very optimistic for that one).  But I will be active in some shape or form.

Keep Active!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why Did I Stop This??

Going on Day 5 of riding to/from work.  There was a few sprinkles of rain this morning, but it's looking like it will blow over so that the ride home should be pleasant.  I'm hoping to finish off the week riding.  Makes me wonder why I wasn't doing more of this throughout the summer.  Once the kids are back in school I won't be able to ride often, if at all.

I don't mention it much, but I have horses.  We had 4, one died last winter (very old age), and a couple months ago I sold my very favourite horse.  He went to a sweet little girl who loves him to pieces and spoils him rotten.  It killed me to let him go, but the opportunity came up, and it's a perfect match so I'm happy.

Now we are left with two horses and have been talking about selling at least one, if not both.  In talking with an old aquaintance on facebook, I asked if she knew anyone looking for a horse and she did.  It's been a LONG time since I've ridden them and I thought if someone is interested in them I probably should at least give them a little ride.

This is the two of them running around.  I was warming up the black one (Dawson), and the other one (Levi) just followed him.  As I asked the black one to speed up or slow down, the other horse listened to my voice commands and did the same thing.  It was too cute.

Here's Dawson warming up. 
It's very hard to get decent pictures while controlling the horse - heehee.

This next horse, Levi, is my special boy.  My FIL bought him from a ranch in eastern Alberta when he was just 3 (he's now 10).  He rode him the first day he brought him home and he bucked pretty hard & high (young horse, new location, 16 hour trailer ride, ridden immediately = really bad idea).  From that point on my FIL didn't trust him.  So I worked with him slowly, getting him adjusted and settled, and he has always been a doll for me. 

It's been years since I've ridden consistantly.  For a while there I was riding 5-6 days/week and show jumping.  I haven't had the slightest desire to do ride at all in at least a year.  But last night, after just that short ride, I'm seriously unsure if I can sell both these horses .. Levi particularly.  I think I may just have to dedicate a couple days a week to some riding.

And I can tell you that, no matter how fit you are, riding a horse will work muscles you didn't know (or had forgotten) that you had.  I only rode maybe 25-30 minutes last night and my arse and thighs are screaming today.  I think this could be a great cross training for running.  Surely it's got to compliment it.

In this last week I have participated in two activities that used to be HIGH priority for me, but I had stopped doing for various reasons.  Riding the horses and riding my bike.  I still bike occassionally, but I used to bike commute pretty much daily, most of the year when the weather was decent, for a few years.

Oh, and on a super high note ... my hips feel fantastic today.  No achiness at all in the last 24 hours!!  YIPPEEE

♥♥♥ BLOG TO NOTE ♥♥♥

I came across this blog yesterday (Dorothy at Yellow Brick Beauty) and just wanted to share.  It's a wonderful little blog, relatively new, with lots of great food ideas and just looks like a nice little blog that I thought some of my readers would enjoy.  Check it out!

Have you ever had a hobby/activity that you thought you were completely over .. just to find one day that you were so not over it?  Did you go back to it?  Did you not, and then regret it?

Keep Active!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Here fishy, fishy

A few people asked me yesterday if the balloon people left us a bottle of champagne.  They hadn't when I left for work, but this morning my husband went out on the deck and saw this on one of our tables:

I didn't know this was customary.  They also left an entry form for a draw for a free balloon ride.  Hmmm, I've never had an urge to go up in a hot air balloon.  I think I'll see if one of my friends is interested in entering.

The other night (at 1 AM) my brother in law dropped in to spend the night.  He had been away fishing with a friend and our house is about halfway back to his place.  As usual, he caught a ton of fish, so he kindly left us a salmon.  I ♥ salmon, but rarely ever buy it because A) it's pretty expensive, B) the stuff in the stores don't often taste fantastic, and C) my kids won't touch it.  But free salmon, fresh as can be ... I ain't ever gonna pass up that!

Since I don't buy salmon often, I'm not very experienced in cooking it.  I was terrified I would ruin it.  So I looked at a few basic recipes and kind of did my own thing.  Mixed up a bit of olive oil, lots of lemon juice, fresh garlic, dill, salt & pepper.  Wrapped it up in parchment paper and baked at 375° for about 30 minutes.  Pretty basic, but a great combo.  It was a thing of beauty!

That thing is MASSIVE!  Probably about 18" x 10-12".  I had to use the biggest cookie sheet I own.  We're going to be eating salmon for a few days I think.  Can you freeze cooked salmon???

Another day without running.  Though I have now ridden my bike to work for the last 4 work days.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow ... BOOOO ... we'll see how bad it is, I may still ride.  My hips feel pretty good today.  I took an Advil after my ride yesterday and iced them, just to ward of inflammation.  I'm still going to wait a bit longer before I pound the pavement again. 

Keep Active!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stretch, Ice ... repeat often

This morning as I was getting ready I heard a strange sound outside. I looked out a couple windows but couldn't see anything. And then .... gee that balloon is low.

WTH??!!  It's landing in our field.

So cool watching it come down.  They were lucky I was home and had left our gate open otherwise they would have had a very long trek up the driveway carrying this baby out.  You can see in this last pic how dry our grass is.  Normally this is lush green.  It's been hot here ... though it's supposed to cool off soon - booooo!

Well, there's no more denying it ... I'm injured. :( 

I've mentioned a few times lately that I've felt achy, especially in my hips.  I have been trying to do some extra stretching, a little icing, the odd rest day here or there.  But it's not getting better at all.  I haven't run since Thursday and was very sad to miss another long run this weekend.  Waking up sore is just not a good way to start a run.

At first I felt guilty and worried.  But then I thought ... what am I training for????  Nothing!  I have no races on schedule and taking a week or so off of running is not going to change anything.

I'm going to try cycling and see if that is a gentle enough activity to allow healing.  It's hard to tell though because I don't have pain during activity, it comes on after sitting or laying.  As long as I keep moving I feel fine.  Hmmmm, maybe that's the key, keep moving - always! hahaha

This week it will be no running, but I will try some cycling and get my booty down to the gym.  I keep coming back to this, but I have to get back to those weights.  I'm fighting it.  I'd pretty much guarantee that the lack of cross training is a part of what has caused this injury.  I am not balanced.  All I'm focusing on is reaching the bigger mileage goal I set earlier this year, but I can't do that at a price. 

So, now how do I keep from going insane while I'm not running and my legs are literally bouncing in my chair wanting to GOOOOOOO!

Keep Active!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Who is it really for?

Tracking:  Yup
Points eaten:  25 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  6 (at least)
Hunger level:  stupid hungry after work, ok the rest of the day
Morning Weigh-ins:  up 0.6

Last night's run was a tough one again.  This is how it went down:

Planned - 2 miles @ 8:40, 2 miles @ 8:10, 2 miles as I felt (expected about 9:00)
Actual   - 2 miles @ 8:50, 2 miles @ 8:08, 2 miles as I felt ... 9:57

We're heating up out west again and I picked the warmest part of the day yesterday to run.  Certainly felt it in the first two miles.  I could barely meet the slower/average pace, how could I go faster for the next section?

I tried to push hard for the "faster" miles, but had barely improved.  Took a 20 second stop to drink water and give myself a talking to - then I pushed hard.  I was shocked to see at the end that I DID manage to reach my goal, plus a little extra. 

The last 2 miles I just took very, very easy and didn't care about pace.  I've been having a hard time lately running steady for longer than a mile at a time, so I just wanted to run the whole thing without stopping.  The route I took yesterday is a VERY rough road, very pitted.  My feet were very sore and still today they are tender.  I need to get out on some trails soon!  I had 3 ice packs going while watching So You Think You Can Dance last night.

After work yesterday I was SO hungry.  My husband's buddy came out and helped him with a project all day.  My first instinct was to bake them a little treat, but I knew that with my hunger level that I would devour whatever it was that I made.  It wasn't a safe choice to bake.  I opted instead to make them a good pasta dish (full of shrimp & veggies - they loved it!).  However, the other day I bought some cereal "for my son" (you know how that goes, is it really for him???), Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  I ♥ that cereal even though it's pretty much candy in a box.  That ended up being my quick meal when I got home (aka dinner - I skipped eating the pasta dish as well).  Not the healthiest choice that's for sure, but perhaps a slightly better choice.

I've noticed this thing I do.  I am the one having the craving for something ... but I "mask" it by baking for someone else, or buying a treat/special food for someone else.  Like somehow that makes it OK, because it's not for me.

Oh, and the men did get a treat after dinner - store bought cookies!  I very rarely like/eat store bought cookies, so that was something I was pretty confident I wouldn't dig into.  Also, they didn't come out until I had eaten AND gone for my hard, sweaty run.  After a session like that all cravings are toast.

Today I have ridden my bike to work.  The current temp is about 30°C / 86°F (feels higher), so the ride home will be taken very easy.  This is essentially a rest day, active rest(???).  I'm hoping to get out for a long walk (maybe on the beach .. or the river) with the family this evening.

Have a great weekend and ... Keep Active!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sense of Control

Tracking:  Every bite
Points eaten:  21 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  0
Hunger level:  average / appropriate
Morning Weigh-ins:  down 1.0
Yesterday Tricia @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical  made a post about the reasons why she runs.  She made this statement which really hit home with me:

Running gives me a sense of control, when everything else in my life is up in the air.

For the last few years, parts of my life have been spinning wildly out of control with only so much I can do. So, I do what I can to try to control it, and then I run.

The other day I was talking to a woman about running, weight loss, etc.  She does mostly weight training (former fitness competitor) and she was asking me how often I lift weights - which if you're a regular reader you'll know it's not nearly as often as I should/wish.  When it really comes down to it, if I only have a small window to exercise in, I would really rather run.

She said she understood and mentioned that I must get a runner's high "...a term used for that euphoric state which is experienced by many runners during a prolonged run".  For me though, I don't think of it as a runner's high.  Running for me is a time where:
  • I can unplug
  • I don't have to think about anything, or ...
  • I can think if I want to
  • I can escape the realities of the world
  • I can have control over at least one area of my life
  • I can de-stress
  • I can do something that is completely free and does not have hours of operation
  • I can solve the world's problems, or maybe one of my own
  • I can be proud of what I accomplish
This is why I love to run without music.  There is enough distraction in the world everywhere we go.  Running is a place for me where I can be without any distraction and most importantly where I can turn off all thoughts and just go.  I love many forms of exercise, but most everything else requires thinking for me or possibly a committment I can't make, which running doesn't.  Running is simple, straightforward and there's very little stopping me from going when I want to.  Tricia really nailed it when she said running gives her a sense of control.  I feel the same!

What gives you a sense of control?

Keep Active!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finally A Good Run

Tracking:  Every bite
Points eaten:  24 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  6
Hunger level:  hungry late afternoon, small meal held me thru until after run
Morning Weigh-ins:  up 0.2

Finally had a good awesome run last night.

For the last couple of weeks I've really been struggling.  I'd run as hard as I could and my pace was still alot slower than my typical easy pace.  Every step was feeling like a chore.  But last night things seemed to click.  The plan was 2 miles starting out at warm-up pace and gradually increasing to tempo pace (about 8:15 for me).  About 1/2 a mile in I realized that while I had put on my fuel belt ... I had forgot my water.  Luckily my husband had just come home and he brought it to me.  When he got there I checked my pace and saw that my "warm-up" pace was about 8:50.  Running as hard as I can recently I've barely been able to hit that pace.  Another 1/2 mile later I was around 8:30 ... and it just kept getting better.

After the 2 miles it was time for hill repeats.  I chose a long 2 stage hill this week (it had a somewhat flat area in the middle, but was a good steepness).  On the plan was 5 hill repeats - they were each a 1/4 mile long.  I hit each of these uphills at a good pace and got up in about 2 min each.  At the top I'd stop, drink some water, eat 4 blackberries from the side of the road (love this time of year), then jog down.

My overall pace actually improved after doing the hill repeats, though it wasn't exactly accurate for an overall pace since I stopped at the top and bottom of the hill to recover between each one.

On the way home I didn't want to tackle the one more hill on the road, so decided to cut through our neighbors blueberry field and sneak in through our back field.  I had enough mileage and just wanted to get home.  Unfortunately, the weeds have taken over since I last went through there and I don't do well in long grass.  Some of it was over my head.  I tried to get through, but couldn't make myself and had to turn back to the road and jog the extra mile home. 

Overall I did 6.54 miles at an average 7:59 pace.  Again, not really an accurate pace because there was lots of stops, but I'm still very, very happy as I haven't been able to hit anywhere near that pace for a while now.

My plan is supposed to be another 5 miles tonight, but I'm thinking that 5 days/wk running is too hard on my body right now - especially with the type of running I'm doing these days.  Instead I'm going to drop one of the easy runs and do 4 days per week and up the mileage a teensy bit on each run.  This should allow for more recovery time.

My weight was up a teensy bit today, but I also didn't eat dinner until after my run, about 9:00 last night.  That's a late dinner, but just the way it worked out.

I have a few photos to upload from our recent trip, but it doesn't seem to be letting me.  I keep getting a failed message.  Hmmm, will have to try again later.

EDIT:  Oh ... seems to be working now.

There is this great wall up there that seems to be open for people to do graffiti on. It seems to change quite frequently as two weeks ago when we were there, the images were different.  The walls are SO thick with paint.

I love these photos of my daughter.  Hard to imagine that this is the same girl that would NOT allow her picture to be taken for almost 10 years.  She would cry, hit, spit, hide, do anything to avoid it - even school photos.  In the last couple years she's done a 100% turnaround.

And my son jumping for the basketball hoop.

None of me this time.  Always the photographer, rarely the photographed!  I didn't used to like my picture taken much as I'm not terribly photogenic.  I can tolerate it somewhat now, but I do have to remember to ask to have my picture taken.

Keep Active!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1 Great Weekend

We went away for another extended weekend.  This is how it went down on average for the 4 days....

Tracking:  Very, very little and never a full day
Points eaten:  more than 21/21 each day, but I don't think terribly more
Activity Points Earned:  average about 3 or more per day
Hunger level:  never really got a chance to get hungry
Morning Weigh-ins:  Sat - down 0.4, Sun - down 2.0, Mon - up 0.4, Tue - down 0.6
   overall down 2.6 from last week

Culprit for the weight gain, low hunger levels, fatigue and general yuckiness - a quite early TOM

At least there was a reason behind this past week.  It should have been at least another week (I purposely planned my getaways around this).  I should have known really ... all the signs were there, I was just in denial.

Despite that, I still had a great weekend which can be summed up like this:

1 great run
1 great bike ride
1 great night of watching UFC
1 great float down the channel
1 great breakfast with family & friends
1 great game of cards (not including the 2 we lost - haha)
1 Great Weekend

I was a little disappointed to only get one run in.  It was a good one though.  I ran 3 miles on the roads near our property which means there was a ton of change in elevation.  After breakfast I felt I still had energy to burn so I went for a ride around the "block".  The "block" being 5 miles, halfway down a steep hill then gut wrenching climb back up the other side.  I definitely look forward to doing that one more often.

Later in the day, despite lots of stretching, if I sat still for any amount of time my hips were super achy and stiff.  My husband "banned" me from doing the 9 mile easy run I had planned for Sunday morning.  Instead we just did some walking up and down those monster hills near home for the next couple days.

With the arrival of TOM, all my little annoyances from the last week went away.  My running tops and bras were no longer cutting off circulation.  My pants fit again.  That darn scale dropped down over 2 lbs.  Ahhh, much better, and improving daily.

This week I will continue tracking points as my weight is still higher than it should be.  Plus I'm going to add in a minimum of 10 minutes of weights most days of the week.  That's not much, but it's a start.  I don't like to miss a run for weights (even though I probably should more often), and since I don't always have a ton of time for super sessions, I figure 10 minutes is doable.

Hope everyone had a great weekend & Monday.  Will catch up shortly.

Keep Active!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep on trucking .. umm ... tracking

Tracking:  Everything .. even the bits and bites
Points eaten:  21 / 21 - YAY me!
Activity Points Earned:  5
Hunger level:  low
Morning Weigh-in:  up 0.4 ... what the &%*$!%@   &*^#

Up again this morning.  What the ????  Ate exactly on target yesterday.  Included every bit and bite.  Had dinner at about 5:30pm ... went for a 4 mile run at 8:00pm and it's currently 9:30am the following morning and I'm still not even remotely hungry!  That is just odd and I don't understand.  I just hope this is something hormonal and everything will sort itself out soon.

Anyhow, last nights run wasn't bad.  Well, it ended up not being too bad.  My plan was to run 4 miles, with the 2nd half of the run being about 2 minutes faster than the first half.  I was aiming to run my first half at about a 9:30 pace and I struggled with that but did meet it.  Stopped at 1 mile for a good long stretch - which helped a bit.  I'd hoped to do the 2nd half at about a 8:30 pace, which I couldn't quite meet.  I ended up with 8:40 for those last two miles. 

I don't know why I'm struggling so much lately.  These are pretty slow paces for me for these distances.  Lately I haven't even been coming close to any of my good paces, at all.  And the temperature and humidity last night was actually quite favourable for running - that part felt good.

This weekend should be pretty relaxing.  Hanging with friends and family ... a little floating on the water, hopefully laying in the sun!  And tracking!!!!

Have a great weekend
Keep Active!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mmmm peanut butter

Tracking:  Every morsel - YAY me!
Points eaten:  24 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  4
Hunger level:  varied
Morning Weigh-in:  down 0.4 ... that's better

Tracking successful once again!  Yesterday morning I woke up FULL.  No way I could have eaten breakfast before work.  So I brought it with me to work and waited to feel hunger.  It was after 10:00 before I even felt an inkling of hunger, and really I probably could have waited an hour or so longer.  This led to a late lunch and then a bit of a time crunch to eat something before I exercised in the evening.  I knew if I tried to exercise without eating I'd get super hungry, but yet I didn't want to eat much or I'd feel gross.  Ended up having my latest favourite dinner (corn on the cob with a grilled zucchini - YUM!).  After I exercised I did have some cravings.  I wasn't really hungry, more I just felt like eating and I really wanted toast with peanut butter.  I had room for it, but after I ate it I felt kind of full and realized I really didn't "need" it.

As I was getting ready to go, both kids asked for rides in two different directions, then my husband came home and said his truck was almost out of fuel and he had to go to an appt which it was just more logical for him to drive the Jetta to.  Yes, I could have gone and said to heck with everyone ... but honestly it was stupid humid out last night and I was seriously questioning my ability to get in a decent run.  Plus my hips were feeling pretty tight (I'm figuring it's my IT Band that's tightening up so I'm doing specific stretches for that).

In the end I drove my daughter to her friends, gave the car to my husband, and asked my son if he wanted to bike ride to go get what he wanted.  It wasn't a great night for running, but it was awesome for biking!  We rode to town and back (26 Km/16 miles) and afterwards I think my hips actually felt better.  So even though I skipped my planned run, I still think I got in a pretty good workout.  Plus, I'm thinking that I should be doing more biking as cross-training. 

Keep Active!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sweating Like a Pig (actually, pigs don't sweat)

Tracking:  Every morsel
Points eaten:  24 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  6
Hunger level:  comfortable
Morning Weigh-in:  up 0.2 (what the ???)

I did great with tracking yesterday.  We rushed out right after dinner and I didn't get it written down, but after we got home (within minutes of crashing into bed) I still finished writing out the day.

Was disappointed to not see the scale move in the right direction this morning.  Usually it moves a little bit, or at least stays the same.  But I'm not giving up.

Last nights run was TOUGH!  I did 5 miles, including 4 hill repeats.  It's been a bit cooler lately so I left for my run at about 5:30 and it didn't feel so bad.  But I quickly realized how humid it was.  It was one of the hardest runs I've ever done.  I struggled the whole time, my feet hurt and felt like swollen sausages.  I had to stop frequently and when I got home I was completely drenched.

To be honest, I'm not completely certain how hill repeats are supposed to work.  I've "officially" done them once on a drop-in session with the Running Room.  My "plan" called for a .15 mile / 250M hill.  On the route I took, I had the choice of a hill that length, but a fairly low grade ... or a steeper hill that was almost half the recommended length.  I chose the shorter steeper hill because I thought that would be better.  Just flying by the seat of my pants!!!

Before I started the hill section, I kind of thought since it was a shorter length I would maybe do more repeats than planned.  But by my 2nd time up, I honestly didn't think I could do much more.  Maybe it was the humidity, maybe I'm not in as good a shape as I was ... but either way it was difficult and I just stuck to the 4 repeats.  Hoofed it up as fast as I could, walked for about 10 seconds, slow jog down ... then repeat.  After the last one I felt like collapsing.  I also didn't have water with me.  I'll be sure to take some next time.  I'm interested to see how I improve over the weeks.

After the run and some dinner, I went with my husband and daughter for a walk at Crescent Beach.  I found this blog entry which has some great pictures of the area.  I'd love to get out here for a run, maybe in the fall when there aren't so many people.  Last night was so serene though.  And the sunset was amazing.  We have alot of smoke in the outlying areas due to some forest fires (not anywhere near I live, but the smoke blows our way).  While it makes for dismal looking skies, it also makes amazing bright red sunsets.  Too bad hubby still has my camera held hostage. :(

Tonight I'm considering going down to the free drop-in with the running club.  This is really out of my comfort zone to do something like this alone, without a friend ... but that's kind of the whole idea.  We'll see if I actually do it. 

Keep Active!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wake Up Call

Yikes.  I've had a wake-up call over the last few days.  For most of the past year my weight has held steady around 147-148 lbs.  I'd love to be a little less than this, but for whatever reason seem to hover around here.  It's hovered there for so long that I haven't been weighing daily like I used to. The other day I was feeling kind of 'chunky' so I weighed myself at night and was substantially more than I normally would be in an evening.  This morning I weighed again and I was 151.8 .... that's a number I haven't seen in a very, VERY long time.  Well over a year.  150 is my do or die number.

My eating hasn't been stellar the last couple weeks, but it hasn't been horrible either.  I've just come off a 21 day dose of penicillin and my body is definitely not normal.  My tummy has been off (common side affect) and last week for about 4 days I was insanely itchy, especially my feet.  One night I had to get up and dunk my feet in ice cold water to stop them from itching.  I also noticed that I was retaining water like mad.  Had some socks on for less than an hour and had a deep groove from them - whereas I typically get barely a mark.  Even one day I turned back after less than a 1/2 mile into my run because my shoes were digging into my ankles, which NEVER has happened.  But, even if it has something to do with the medication, I'm taking action now!

I've been half-assed tracking the last couple of days but keep getting sidetracked.  Yesterday it was free ice-cream for BC Day, a glass of cooler and munching on nachos late in the evening.  I'm tracking the good stuff and when I go off course I stop tracking.  Today it all STOPS!  I'm going to track EVERY bite AND keep it healthy.

Sunday I had a horrible run too.  My hips have been feeling achy and then my legs were super stiff.  I had to stop a few times to stretch, especially my calves.  Monday morning when I got out of bed I could barely even put my heels on the ground.  I've been stretching lots after my runs, but maybe I need more.  I'd like to avoid having to go to the Chiro if necessary.  Yesterday I finally broke down and took one Advil.  I don't like to take them unnecessarily.  I'd rather let my body heal and not mask the pain which may lead to working out when I shouldn't.  Though since I had that one Advil I am feeling better.  Tonight I have hill training on the agenda.  We'll see how that goes.

Lately I'm feeling a little bored on my runs.  I don't mind running alone most of the time, but it's been quite a while since I've ran with anyone.  My running friends aren't running as much and our schedules have been conflicting, plus my husband has been swamped and hasn't run in over a month.  I like to run with someone at least once a week.  Maybe soon I'll have to meet up with the running room group ... even though I don't know a soul there.  I can't join any clinics, but maybe I'd find some enjoyment just going on the practice runs with them.

This weeks training plan:

Sun - 7 miles (done @ 9:05 pace)
Mon - rest (went for a casual 1 mile walk)
Tue - 5 miles incl. 4 hill repeats
Wed - 4 miles moderate pace
Thu - 3 miles easy
Fri - rest
Sat - 3 miles fartleks

So here's to getting back into action and keeping myself accountable.  No more half-assed tracking.  No letting things slide.  Back to tracking everything and daily weigh-ins.  This works for me.

Keep Active!