Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A+ Day

Thanks for the comments on my post from yesterday.  It really is a beautiful area.  I will have to get some more current pictures, plus some of the surrounding area.  Some of you asked how far of a move this is for us ..... it's about 3 1/2 - 4 hrs drive - so a move for sure, but not terribly far.  It's a completely different lifestyle.  Where I am now is almost city living.  The region I'm in (not the particular city) has a population of 2.5 million.  Where we are moving the regions population is under 300,000.  But city for city the population is pretty similar. 

The big kicker though is the weather.  The new place is classed as a cool semiarid climate, meaning it receives fairly low annual preciption.  It's also prone to fairly hot summers (25°-40°C or 75°-100°F) and somewhat cool winters (just above or slightly below freezing).  Where we are now we receive annual 62" of rain (sometimes it feels like we get that in a day!).  Up there it is 13".  That's a whole lot of difference!  The area we are moving to is often one of the hottest and driest in the country.  That's right up my ally!

Anyhow, enough with the figures and facts.

Yesterday was A+++++++++

When I wrote out my menu plan the other day I decided to "track" by counting points.  I no longer attend WWs meetings as they do nothing for me after all these years.  I'm a Lifetime member in good standing so don't have to pay anyway, but I'm just not into it.  However, counting points is easy for me.  I know by heart the points value of pretty much anything I regularly eat.  Plus I can calculate quite accurately the points value of a food just by looking at it's nutritional information.  Once in a while I pull out my tracker to check but I'm always right on.

I even remembered an old "pal" of mine from years ago - chocolate pudding and cool whip!  A small serving after dinner was exactly what I needed.  This isn't my pudding (though it does look awfully fancy, maybe I should try it), but you get the idea.  Actually the link I got it from looks pretty good if you wanna check it out.

Lately my whole schedule has been topsy turvy and I think that was contributing to me being so off balance with my eating.  For a while now I've been having a hard time preparing my lunches for work, often buying out.  Then coming home and struggling to put together dinner.  Too often I found myself reaching for (or going out and buying) packaged and/or prepared foods.  That a good diet does not make in my world!

What I am finding helpful (besides being organized and having a plan) is as soon as I get home from work I go straight to preparing dinner.  Ideally I like to come home and chill for a bit.  Maybe watch some TV, go on the computer, sit down and chat.  But then I'd find myself in a crunch to make dinner, plus I was HUNGRY and I'd find myself picking.  So I'd end up making something quick (and not usually very healthy) and because I ate late I'd end up feeling lethargic and skipping workouts.  Not a good combination.

I have to keep this up.  Keep up the planning.  Keep up the organization.  It helps SO much!  And I end the day feeling satisfied and without guilt or remorse.

Here's yesterday's eats:

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with peaches & brown sugar
Lunch - Brown Rice w/shrimp stir-fry (leftover from dinner) & an orange
Snack - Cottage cheese & pinapple (not good together, but great apart)
Dinner - Toasted english muffin with ham, cheese & egg
Dessert - Chocolate Pudding with cool whip

All this for 22 points

After dinner had all settled I hit up the gym for some running and a bit of core work.  I don't enjoy running on the treadmill, but sometimes it's a necessary evil.  I wanted to do 10K, but I find it so monotonous running on the TM.  Instead I did fast intervals:

2 x 1.5 miles
3 x 1.0 miles

average pace 7:40/mile
total time 47:30 **see below

Now ... there's NO way I could run a full 10K at that pace right now.  After each mile I paused the TM, caught my breath, had a sip of water and/or a little stretch (plus a piddle break in the middle) - then continued.  It took me closer to 60 minutes with all my breaks to actually finish.  But I think it's important to do intervals at a faster pace like that to improve your speed.  This has worked for me in the past.

I was really happy with my interval pace though.  I remember not too long ago where I couldn't break an 8 minute mile - even if just for one mile.  Now it's totally doable.

Hope you're having an A+ day!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Little Getaway

Not sure if anyone noticed ... but I was away for a few days.  I had limited internet access so wasn't able to blog or read blogs and I MISSED it!  I'm trying to catch up on everyone as quick as I can.

I haven't mentioned it on this blog before, but we're possibly (probably? are? maybe?) moving!  Just before Christmas we put in an offer on a property and we got it.  The sale closed a couple weeks ago.  I'm hesitant to say we're actually moving because at best it's a couple years away and there's a ton that has to happen for us to move.  But the possibility is quite real. 

This is a vacant lot.  There is a ton of land prep to be done (luckily we have the equipment to do this ourselves).  And of course the house will have to be built.  Plus ... our current house/property needs some major overhauling. 

We started the land prep this week and we went up to check out the progress.  It's looking incredible. 

The views from this property are amazing!  I don't do yoga, but if I did I think this would be an incredible place to build a studio with HUGE glass windows to do it in.  Totally serene.

These pictures are from December.  The snow is all gone now.  I have some current pictures on my camera from this weekend, but I haven't loaded them onto the computer yet.

From the house site you get a good view of two lakes. 

This is the large one to the north.  It's HUGE - 135 Km long and 4-5 Km wide.

And this is the one to the south.

With a decent set of binoculars I'll be able to see my sister camping there in the summer. ;)

And there are mountains (hills??) all the way around.  I guess mountains actually. 
There is a ski resort less than 20Km away from town.

This is a cool tree on the property.  We're going to try to leave this one. 
Apparently the bottom there was scratched off by a bear!

There are a ton of "critters" up there.  So far we've just seen a bazillion deer and some mountain sheep.  But apparently we will be expecting to see lots of coyotes, some bears, elk, maybe the odd moose or cougar even.  And then there's the critters that scare me .... rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, ticks.  I actually have lost sleep thinking about those ones.

The area this is in is highly active too.  You name it, you can do it here.  Water sports, snow sports, outdoor everything!  Everywhere you go people are doing some type of activity.  The road up to our property is about 10Km straight uphill with an elevation gain of 2000 feet.  If I can even walk from the bottom to the top I will have rockin' buns of steel.  I can't wait to walk, run (well try to) and ride it!

While up there I sadly only got out for one run.  The first day the weather was icky.  And yesterday it was super windy and seriously ... I was almost afraid I would blow away.  Apparently last night the winds were over 100 Km/h.  But the run I did do was wonderful!  I ran along the lake, then the river and return on a wonderful paved trail (with at least 3-4 bathroom stops - wahoo).  It was 8.5 miles return!  Pretty windy on the way out, but warm and sunny on the return.  This could SO be my regular route.

Eating has been .. uh ... not so wonderful. :(  But I spent some time last night writing out a menu plan for the next few days and also prepping some food.  It really is the area I struggle with most.

I'll try to catch up with everybody in the next couple days. 

Hope all is well!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Step In The Right Direction

Writing all that out yesterday was actually therapeutic.  I've had that horrible habit of being a closet eater from time to time and getting it out made it real.  It also seemed to erase the guilt or the shame associated with hidden eating.  It's done, nothing can change that.  There's no need to feel guilty about it.  The only thing to be done is to take action and move forth.

Last night I skipped my workout!  Doesn't sound like action, does it?  But it was!  The workouts are the easy part for me.  Sometimes (like lately) I even use them to avoid facing tasks that need to be done.  Which is why I skipped it last night.

I finished cleaning up my kitchen, cupboards & fridges.  Two HUGE garbage bags full of junk.  I had tons of fruits & veggies, yet half of it was rotten.  So when I go to prepare a meal I was just faced with having to pick through things and got overwhelmed.  Same with my cupboards.  Boxes and packages of stale, out-dated food that had to go.

It felt so refreshing to get all that cleaned up.

Then, I made a new batch of hummus.  Not the prettiest batch I've ever made.  I added a bunch of cilantro & chili powder to it and it had a very disturbing browny/green tinge.  But it tastes pretty good.

I also prepared lunch for today!  As many of you noted, and I knew this too, pre-planning is a major part of success. 

So, today is going much better.

Breakfast - Raisin bran cereal with 1% milk
Lunch - Hummus & veggie wrap, cottage cheese, orange
Dinner - I'm thinking a shrimp stir fry with brown rice would hit the spot.
Dessert - Peaches

 ... and a big a$$ bottle of water too!

I'm hoping today we get the news that they'll take off my son's braces soon.  It's been over 2 years and his teeth look perfect, and have for some time.  They're not getting any more money from me and we both just want them off!  I'm actually getting kind of angry about it.

Definitely having a more positive ... in control day.
Hope you are too!



Cute Under Armour Shirt at Destination 26.2 - go check it out

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I can go on and on about how my running is going.  For me, that's the easy part.  It's just one foot in front of the other ... One Step At A Time.
My eating however has been sliding down a slope at breakneck speed and I fear I'm getting out of control.

Confessions of what I have consumed since last Thursday, when the slide began:

  • Didn't pack lunch so had a Subway sandwich for lunch - that's not so bad.  But then had a sweet craving and walked across the street to the store and got a 227g package of Twizzlers red licorice = 750 calories.
  • After work I had a crunch craving and ate a huge bowl of popcorn, plain, but still way more than a serving.   
  • Oatmeal for breakfast with WAY too many toppings
  • Mexican for lunch - huge bowl of bean soup and green salad not so bad, but most of a basket of deep fried tortilla strips
  • Woke up feeling stupid full.  Decided not to eat until I actually "felt" hungry.  That wasn't until about 5:30pm.  I had a bowl of mini wheats cereal. 
  • An hour later my husband called and asked if we wanted to meet him at a restaurant for dinner.  Had chicken lettuce wraps.  Not a horrible choice, but alot of sodium and I felt pretty full afterwards so I must have eaten too much.
  • Had a late breakfast of toasted buns (two) topped with peanut butter and jam.  This day actually wasn't too bad.  My "friend" arrived in the afternoon which led me to believe that may be the reason behind my excessive and unhealthy choices. 
  • Didn't pack lunch again for work, got Subway again - this is my go to.  Knew that wouldn't be quite enough to sustain me so walked over to the grocery store with the intention of getting a piece of fruit and a yoghurt.  Instead I left with a baggy of party mix (pretzels, nuts, etc.) and some swedish berries. 
  • Went grocery shopping after work and somehow ended up with another bag from the bulk bin with chocolate covered almonds.  Ate most of them on the drive home, then left the last few in my car - which I ate today. 
  • Made a mexican bean soup for dinner (VERY good).  Then hubby came home with more junk again and right before bed I had a Reese's peanut butter cup, a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie, and a Riesen (never need a reason to have a Riesen!).
  • Tossed and turned all night from a bloated, sick tummy - plus the feelings of guilt about my eating habits as of late. 
  • Woke up exhausted from lack of sleep.  No time to prepare breakfast OR lunch, or even my morning tea.  Could barely keep my eyes open to drive to work.  Decided to pick up a fat free (wowie) French Vanilla Cappuccino - loaded with sugar and calories.  Then, I was still craving some sort of REAL food, so I went to McDonald's and got a Sausage McMuffin with egg & cheese.  We're looking at over 700 calories for my breakfast alone.
  • Figured I'd just skip lunch because I had more than enough to sustain me.  But then hubby called and asked to meet me for lunch at my favourite place - The Olive Garden.  We rarely ever do lunch together (or a meal out) so I agreed to go.  Ate fairly light, but still felt stuffed.
  • Came home after work determined that if I even felt hungry I would eat something very light.  Then, proceeded to dig into the junk still sitting on the coffee table - 2 Reese's peanut butter cups and 3 Riesens.
  • Followed by a toasted english muffin with peanut butter and jam. 
And terrified!  So out of control and at this point I don't even know if I can stop it.  I'm only hoping by putting this out there that it helps me rein it in.  I can't remember the last time I felt so out of control, certainly not for so long.

After the english muffin tonight, I proceeded to clean out my cupboards & fridges.  Things were getting really disorganized and I had a ton of stuff to be cleaned out and reogranized.  Maybe this will help me????  Maybe it can at least get me back to packing my lunch and preparing more of my own meals.  If I don't need to go out for meals then I shouldn't be tempted to pick up the wrong thing.  I have lots of good food in my house and I need to use it!
Please, let me get things back in control! 
I don't like this feeling ... at all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recovery Week?

I'm not sure I have this concept down of a recovery/rest week. First there was the weekend before my first half where I ran the full 13.1 instead of my intended 12.1 miles. Then last weekend, there was the actual disaster race, where while I ran a little short, I still ran 12.1 miles.  Then this weekend I completely went over my anticipated mileage and almost did another half.

This week I had fully intended to back off the mileage a bit. Monday my husband and I decided to do an easy recovery run. We'd planned to go about 3 miles, but it ended up over 4 miles.

Wed I planned to do 2 miles ... I did 3.

Friday I went out running with a couple of friends, and a new running mate.  I expected we'd probably do about 4 miles ... we did over 6.

Sunday I was to run with friends again.  I expected we'd do maybe 5-6 miles on this run, however I wanted to go a bit longer than that (to keep up my half training for next months race) so I went early and planned to do 2-3 miles before meeting them.  This ended up being a lot longer (details to follow).

Friday was actually a pretty cool day.  I had plans to get together for coffee/tea with a good friend "Mel".  I run regualrly with her sister "Mac" and also had plans to run with her that day.  Mel is just starting to run again and decided she'd come out with us and we'd run ahead and then all meet up afterwards at the coffee shop.  It was a beautiful day.  Mac brought along a co-worker with her, who she's been running with and it was awesome to run with someone new.  Very nice lady!  We ended up running 6.35 miles.  A little slower than I've been running, but it was alot of fun to just yak and not think about running.

Afterwards Mel & I went to a 2nd hand store and I got myself an awesome sports bra in fantastic shape and 2 cute dresses - one with tags on still.  Then we went to my favourite little Mexican restaurant and had a lovely lunch.  It was a fun day.

This one is just a tad tight through the chest/back and waist.
I can wear it, but I know I'd be a bit more comfortable in it being down about 5 lbs.

This one is SO comfy!  I think it will be super comfortable to wear in the summer.

Sunday I met up with Mac and a couple other running friends.  As I said above, I wanted to do a few miles on my own, so I started before they got there.  I had planned on doing about 2-3 miles, but once I got going it just felt so good.  We'd had some more torrential rain in the morning, and the sun had just come out and it was SO warm.  I ran 2 1/2 miles then called Mac to see where she was.  She was running late - PERFECT, I wanted to run more.  I ended up doing 5.5 miles on my own before we even met up.

Mac & I run at a faster pace than the others, so we went ahead on our own.  I figured she'd want to do about 5-6 miles, so was very happy to be getting about 11 miles in for the day.  As it was, she wanted to go a bit longer and we ended up doing 7.3 together.

So in total, I ran 12.8 miles!  It was a much slower than race pace, but it was awesome.  Except for the last bout of rain we got.  About 2 miles from the end the skies suddenly opened up.  I could barely see from the rain falling in my eyes.  Insane!  At one point I threw up my arms and screamed to the skies "Bring It On!" ... I believe I got answered!

For a week that I'd anticipated running about 17 miles .... I ran 27 miles!

I'm going to be so ready for that next half!  I can't wait to go check out the route.


Another giveaway at Running Through Life for a beautiful Adidas jacket.  I love Adidas clothes!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Half Marathon Pics

I was lacking for bloggy ideas today, when these little gems showed up ... pics from our recent half marathon.

My husband is at the back in the brown hoodie. 
He always looks so big compared to most runners.
I am to his left, but am too short to see me behind bow-tie guy.
I'm pretty sure we were the last runners to cross the start line.
Being a chip time I didn't feel the need to crowd up into the start gate.

He took off his hoodie around the 2Km mark and left it by a volunteer.  After the race it wasn't there and it hadn't been returned to the organizers.  We left our name & number, but no one has called to say it was returned yet.  This kind of disappoints and suprises me. 

Here he is further along in the race (after ditching the sweater ... and leaving me).  At least he managed somewhat of a smile for the camera


What?  That doesn't look like me?? 
I'm in the purple long sleeves behind this guy.
I didn't realize I was that much behind this guy. 
I think I was in front of him a bit when I got too sick and had to stop.

Here is the (un)HAPPY face I'm talking about ...

I think I was attempting a smile, but a bit late. 
And OH MY the hair. 
The way it's going up and back makes it look like I have a super short cut. 
When in fact, I'm trying to grow it out again and it's longer than it's been in a while.

At the next race I see a camera, I will try extra hard for more of this look

I had no idea that top moved that much either.  It always feels so snug.  Hmmm

Not the prettiest things, but eh. 
I haven't decided what to do with ours yet. 
Might hang them in the gym by the treadmill.

Speaking of the treadmill...

As I mentioned yesterday, I got up early and did the first workout from Making the Cut.  Then last night, I did the 2nd workout in the book.  I had missed Tuesday and wanted to make it up.

Afterwards I decided to do mile intervals with a short break in between each mile on the treadmill.  I want to work on turning my legs over quicker, so did shorter distances at a faster pace.  I was pretty happy with my paces, especially the last one.  I don't recall doing a sub 8 min mile before.
Mile 1 @ 8:13 mile/min
Mile 2 @ 8:00 mile/min
Mile 3 @ 7:45 mile/min

But somewhere about midway I got what I thought was a major cramp in my sides ... but both sides, not just one.  I've never had anything like that before and it felt REALLY weird.  It felt like something was grabbing my stomach inside and pulling it in.

It wasn't until this morning when I jogged up the stairs to my office that I put it all together.  It was my abs from the strength workouts!  It's been a while since I worked those babies hard.  I'm feeling that lovely little ache from a good workout today.  Love that burn!

It's a beautiful sunny day again today.  Got out for a short walk on my lunch break.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to go running with a friend and a new running mate of hers.  That's always exciting.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wise Words

The sweet and fiesty Tamara left me this comment:

Heidi: maybe you can stop thinking this way as a public service. Because if you don't feel like you belong, how am I ever going to feel it? Or the next person who's just starting the C25K program?

Repeat after me: You're a runner. A great runner. An inspirational runner!

Say it. See it. Believe it.

This girl makes me laugh my butt off so often, plus she's kinda scary when she wants to be.  So ... I think I better listen to her advice! As a "public service" (hahaha) I will from now on always consider myself a true and competent runner.  Thanks Tamara!  She's so right too.

I went onto facebook today and my dear friend's daughter is going through some emotional and mentally challenging times right now with relationships, completing university classes (while still in high school) and just the future in general.  Her aunt, who I've yet to meet - her brother is our best friend - posted this advice to her ...

Remember... each morning when you wake up... YOU decide what your mood and attitude is going to be.. we can choose to feel sorry for ourselves.. or we can accept it as an opportunity to learn and grow and become stronger!

WOW - these words really struck me.  A couple years ago I spent more time being cranky & moody than any person should ever be.  Really, I didn't have a reason to be that way, but I just wasn't happy with life.  My weight was a big part of why I felt that way - and I believe my negative reaction to it just made matters worse.  I was choosing every day to focus on the things in my life that weren't ideal.  Consequently, I was blinded to all that was good.  It was a downward spiral.

I made a conscious effort to change how I felt about the world.

I ended a friendship that was tearing me down for quite some time.  I made a huge effort to change my attititude about things that I couldn't change.  And I also made an even bigger effort to change my reactions to other's attitudes, personalities, judgements.  I used to be pretty bad about sitting and talking with a friend/family member and bashing someone else - I REALLY didn't like that about myself.  It wasn't the type of person I was deep down, but I had let myself become that person. 

For the last few years I have really tried to live my life in a more positive light ... and I'm way happier because of it.  These words from my friend's sister really hit home for me and I think it's the motto I've been looking for for quite some time.  Thank you Kelly!

I just want to give a quick shout out to my Momma.  Yesterday was her very last radiation treatment after having uterine cancer last fall.  It's been a tough battle, but she made it through with shining colours.  I love you Mommy!  I'm so glad this has turned out so well.  Enjoy your well deserved vacation in the sun.  Wish I could be there with you!

Oh, and I had said that last night I would start with the first workout from Jillian Michaels: Making the Cut.  I didn't!  A bunch of stuff came up and I was really tired, so went to bed early.  BUT ... I got up early this morning and did it before work.  WOOOHOOO!  Tonight I will do Day 2, plus a little run.

Have a great day everyone! 
The sun is shining here and it's a wonderful day.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Got a Bug

Well, it's confirmed, I definitely have/had a bug!

I felt mostly OK Sunday & Monday so I was really starting to wonder if it was something I ate, or if I was dehydrated, or maybe it really was just nerves.

When I got home from work yesterday my husband asked if I was planning to run.  Yes, I was ... but on the treadmill!  Nice and close to a bathroom.  No way was I going to risk going out on the roads where there are not even any businessed or parks to duck into.  He suggested we go out to our trail (where there are enough potties) and just do a short run, as we feel.

We ended up doing about 7 Km at a slow pace, with two urgent potty stops.  This was definitely exactly what our muscles needed.  The first half was brutal, my legs felt like steel blocks, but as we returned I could feel the lightness in my step return.  Those recovery runs are tough, but they make a world of difference.

In a way it's nice to know that it was definitely something, not just nerves or food.  This is something that will pass, and hopefully with any luck it won't strike again with such horrible timing.

I'm pretty darn sure our next race will also be a half marathon at the end of April - a little under 6 weeks.  I'd love to do some sort of race between then and now, but I haven't yet found one that works.  I'd especially love to do a 10K soon, but will have to see where I can fit it in.

Until then, I will continue my training, with my sights set on the next half.  Also ..... starting tonight, I will be following the workouts in Jillian Michaels: Making the Cut book.  With no immediate races on the agenda, I will have no concerns about muscle soreness and these workouts will be my main focus.  Time to tone up those muscles and get cut!  Also, to get those pounds coming off again.

I wonder what it will take for me to feel like I "belong" in the running world.  I'm super happy with my times and endurance and truthfully I'm doing way better than I EVER thought I would do - EVER!  I never even thought I'd ever want to do a race at all, never mind a half marathon and actually put in a decent time.  Running started for me as a means to weight loss, and eventually as a social outlet as I joined in a running group.  It's moved so beyond both those things that it's not even funny.  Running = Me.  It is what I am.  My life would not be complete without it, and I also NEED to race.

At the race package pick-up last week, I was standing in line waiting to get my package.  It was a long line, and as you got closer to the table, the line split in two.  10 & 5 K runners to the right, half marathon to the left.  Naturally, I proceeded to the left.  A man behind me leaned over and said, "That's the line for the half.  Are you running the half?".  When I said I was, he said something like "WOW, good for you."

Now, chances are he really just meant it like that.  Chances are he may actually have been impressed, or maybe even inspired that he too (a normal being) could do a half.  But ... I'm standing there, in line behind two women who are tall, thin, and look in amazing physical shape.  In front of them is a man who is also long and lean.  The three of them all looked like how you picture a distance runner.  By comparison I'm feeling VERY short and dumpy ... and inadequate.  Now I know I'm not particularly short - I'm 5'5 1/2", and I know I'm not particularly dumpy.  I also know I'm not an inadequate runner.  I'm a pretty good runner, but when will I accept that?!

Yeah, I kinda felt like the guy on the left ... except shorter.

Why does it take such a simple little (likely harmless) comment, to make me feel so insecure about myself?  Why would I even question it?  I have no reason to believe that I don't belong in this world.  And even if I don't fit the stereotypical profile, who cares.  Just me!  I SO need to get over that.  But that stupid little nagging part of my brain has to wonder why he even questioned the distance I was doing in the first place...

Giveaway to mention:

Running Through Life - Health Anniversary Week - Giveaway #1

Hope everyone is having an awesome day!


Monday, March 15, 2010

My First Half Marathon Report

I had expected to write up this race recap on Saturday, but I just couldn't.  Then Sunday I went out shopping pretty much all day.  By the time I got home I was wiped and had barely enough energy to breathe.

So ... Saturday was my first half marathon.  As you may recall, I was rather worried about the weather.  We'd been having off/on torrential downpours.  However, in that aspect Mother Nature was kind and we had relatively clear skies.  A few sprinkles here and there, chilly to start, but really quite mild.  Actually, perfect running weather.

I was SO prepared.  I laid out my clothes the night before.  Had our water bottles filled with our favourite Gatorade mix and loaded into our running packs.  Packed some on the run snacks, extra clothes for after.  Timing chip zap-strapped onto our shoes.  Bib numbers pinned onto our shirts.  Everything was perfect.

I woke in the morning feeling totally refreshed (often before a race I have troubles sleeping, from nerves).  I felt so confident.  I wasn't hungry at all, so didn't eat.  I'd had dinner around 6 the night before, but still wasn't hungry.  I had snacks for on route, if needed.  I've run on an empty stomach in the morning lots of times and I do just fine.

We arrived with enough time to do a decent little warm-up and of course the obligatory potty stop.  In the waiting line we got talking to some people and it seemed this was a first half for alot of the participants.  It was all very exciting

I was feeling SO confident and ready!  I'd done all the hard work and I was ready to have it recorded officially.

The first 5 Km was AWESOME!  My husband ran about the first 3Km with me.  He was having some leg pains at first, but they eased up after a bit and then he went on ahead.  He's slightly faster than me so I never expected to run with him the whole time.  It was nice to run the first little bit together though. My pace was awesome and I felt like I had a ton of energy.  I KNEW my time was going to be great.  I had already prepared my facebook status and blog report in my head.

Around the 4 Km mark I thought .... hmmm, my tummy feels off a bit, I may need a bathroom at some point.  But I seemed to recall there being a stop somewhere along the route.  At this point we were passing the starting area and I could have veered off, but it was a bit further off route than I wanted to go, and I wasn't 100% certain that I actually had to go, or if it was just nerves.  Besides, my pace was really good and I thought if I can build up a little reserve, then I won't need to worry about taking the time to stop.

Between 5 & 6 Km was the only real hills on the loop.  Two short, somewhat steep hills, and one gradual hill between them.  About the time I reached the top of the 2nd hill I knew for sure that I needed a bathroom, and fairly soon.  I asked a volunteer if there was potties along the way.  She didn't know.  So I continued on, hoping one would magically appear. 

We rounded a corner then started a long gradual downhill.  That's when the trouble really started.  By this point I had drastically slowed down and was starting to seek out possible bushes to duck behind.  Though, we were running through a subdivision with very few "natural" type areas.  I even went past a cute little family who were sitting out in their driveway on lawnchairs watching the runners go by.  I seriously considered asking to use their bathroom, but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Shortly after that I had to reduce my 'barely-a-jog-pace' to a walk.  I'm still going downhill!  Runners are passing me, and being the wonderful support system that runners are ... everyone is encouraging me to carry on.  But I knew I couldn't.  As competitive and driven as I am, I wasn't willing to crap my pants - that's not success in my books!

At the bottom of the hill there was an out and back and then we were to turn back down towards the start area for the 2nd loop (where I knew there were potties).  I asked the volunteer at this cross street if there were potties up ahead.  She didn't know if there was, but of course there were the one's at the start line.  At this point my average pace was still OK that if I had had access to a potty right there, and been able to pick it up a little bit on the 2nd loop, I still would have beaten my time goal for this race. 

Sadly, I had to make the agonizing decision to abandon the course and head down to the potties.  My gut was wrenching, I had silent tears slipping down my cheeks, and was walking at a snails pace just praying I would make it.  I'm also mad, mad at the world, disappointed at the hand I've been dealt.  A blind chicken should have been able to take one look at me and realize that I was not in a happy place.  As I passed the start of loop 2, there are people standing there cheering everyone one.  The race director (I think) leans in to me and gives me a big smiley face and says something along the lines of "Smile, it's not that bad".  I, uh .... kinda lost it here for a moment.  All my anger came out and I replied along the lines of, "Yes, it is that bad.  I need a bathroom and there aren't any port-a-potties out there and I gotta take a crap!".  Yeah, not my proudest moment and I bet he was a little surprised.  But seriously, I'm clenching my stomach, I have tears in my eyes, I'm walking slowly and I look mad as hell ... read the signs buddy!!!

Just as I'm about to turn off, my husband comes running by.  He is absolutely sick with worry at this point.  He had expected to see me on the turn around a while back and has been desperately looking for me.  When he saw me up ahead of him, he figured I'd twisted an ankle or something.  He said he wanted to stop right then and there.  He knew this was my thing and he didn't want to do it without me.  I told him what was wrong and told him to go on.  This of course, upset me even more.

So I get finished up in the potty, and then I don't know if I should continue on, or just quit and wait for my husband to finish.  I'm already off course (not that anyone else knew that) and the race for me is over.  I decided to continue on.  I figured I don't want to sit around for an hour waiting for him (he had the car keys too), I may as well run what I can, plus I still want my medal even if I didn't do it properly - I paid for it!!! ;)

As I'm coming back onto the course, I see just up ahead is the runners that I had been running with right before I had to stop.  So I figure at least I can continue on and have a good idea of where I would have finished if I hadn't had this issue. 

The next couple of Kms are good.  My pace is right back where it should be and I feel fine, but then ... it hits again!  I have to slow my pace again, but at least this time I'm in a park and there is a bathroom nearby.  Continue on and go past the starting area again about a Km later and figure, hey, last chance ... may as well make one more stop and hope that will do.

I finish up the last 7Km or so without incident, but really my tummy is still not feeling great and my pace is really slow.  I went through a million thoughts.  I was never going to race again.  Well maybe I'll race, but I'll never race longer than 10Km again.  Well, maybe I'll do another half, but never this one.  By the end I had come back around to ... I can't wait to do this race again and nail it!

My husband met up with me at about 19Km and jogged the last little bit in with me.  He was so worried about me, and felt so bad.  As I came across the finish line I didn't even want to hear my name being called out.  I barely even wanted the medal.  I just wanted to go home!

My "finish" time was 2:07:33, but that really means nothing.  According to my Garmin I ran 12.1 miles - though I know I walked at least 1 or those miles, maybe a bit more.  So, three extended potty stops, 1+ mile walking, off course ..... GRRRRRR!

My husband however did awesome!  He said it was a while before his leg pain eased, but he ran very well.  His goal was to finish under 1:55, though he said when he started he didn't think he would be able to do that.  His finish time was officially 1:48:46, so he blew it out of the water!  I knew he'd be around that time.  I'll get to that time one day too!

As it was, I didn't get to leave for a while yet.  My husband had dropped his sweater part way on course and we walked out to get it.  I figured it would be good for my legs to have a little walk.  You guessed it ... part way out the stomach attacks again!  GRRRR!  Then, when we finally got to where he'd dropped it, it was gone.  He dropped it by a volunteer.  So we head back to the finish and talk to the organizers ... no one had handed it in.  We left our name & #,  hopefully it gets returned, but at least it wasn't anything super special if it doesn't.

My tummy was off for the entire rest of the day, including a bit the next day.  So I don't think it was a matter of something I ate, or nerves, or runners tummy.  Apparently a friend of mine had a similar thing earlier in the week and she doesn't even run (I hadn't seen her so I didn't get it from her). 

I'm pretty sure we're going to do another half at the end of April.  I just can't leave it at this.  I KNOW I can do this!

Maybe one day I'll laugh about it.  For now it's still a bit hard to swallow.  Though, when my friends ask "How'd it go?" I give a little giggle and say "uh .... shitty!"

It's just so disappointing!  I'm NOT disappointed in myself.  I don't think there's anything I could have done differently.  As my facebook status says:

There are some things you just can't train or plan for, you just have to accept them and move on.

When my sister saw that she called me up and said, "Aww, what's wrong Pooh Bear".  Hmmmm, funny you should call me that!

Hope you had a better weekend than me!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Tomorrow ... tomorrow ... there's always tomorrow ....


And so is my first half marathon!

Went out today and picked up our race numbers and timing chips.  They've had to do a last minute change to the course (I think due to lack of participants and/or volunteers).  It's now going to be two 10.55Km loops.  I drove most of the course today to check it out and it looks like a pretty good one.  Just doing loops has it's pros and cons. 

Pros - you know the course for the latter half of the race and can decide when to push it a bit more and when to back off.  You have a really good idea where the end of the course is.

Cons - You know the course ... and can over analyze it, or if you're already feeling tired and know there is a big hill coming up it can mentally exhaust you, you can also visually know how much longer there is to go.  Loops sometimes feel longer than they are because you feel like your done when you're only halfway there.

For me, on this course, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  It looks like a nice course.

This morning we had an absolute downpour.  The kind you can barely see through.  If today was the race, I can't say with 100% certainty that I would have gone.  It was THAT bad!

I'm hoping that the system burned itself out this morning.  It cleared late in the afternoon ... so I'm hopeful.  A little rain I can deal with - the hose on full boar is another story.  Anyhow, I think it will be OK.

My buddy Syl so graciously gave me an amazing shout out today on her blog (Live Smile Run).  This girl always has my back.  In her comment to me yesterday she said something along the lines of me wearing something pink so she could come along with me on the race.  So I went out in search of some kind of item that I could take along.  I looked for something like an earring, bracelet, necklace, hair clip .... but found nothing.  This kind of disappointed me because I really wanted to take her along.

As I was waiting in line to get my race package I was standing beside the socks.  I've been eyeing up proper running socks for a while, but I'm just so cheap and couldn't stomach spending that much on a pair of socks.  Though as I run longer distances I'm starting to value them more.  My feet get smokin' hot when I run, so I wear super thin socks - but my soles get tender on long distances. 

I saw a pair that really stood out to me.  They had cushioning on the front and back of the underneath of the sock, with a very thin mesh on the top.  Perfect!  Plus ... they came in pink.  SUPER PERFECT!  I could have the cushioning I need, they were pink so I could take Syl along on every step, plus ... I kinda like pink myself.

Imagine how blown away I was when I went back and re-read Syl's comments to me.  She said, "I am so excited for you, I wish I could be there to see you cross....maybe you could wear pink socks or something to know that i'm with you ever step of the way!"

Must be fate!  I didn't even realize that was exactly what she had said.

Here's my purty new sockies:

I'm going to bring along a pair of my regular socks - just in case there is an issue. I'd rather change them after my warm-up, or even have to stop to change in the middle of the race, than to run the whole thing in socks that are uncomfortable. But I'm pretty confident these will be good.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!  I will be carrying your well wishes with me tomorrow and will use them as fuel to push the whole way.  It means alot to me.

I'll be back with a recap, and in the next couple of days I have kind of a funny story to share about my workout last night (kay, not super funny, but maybe you'll see the humour in it)

Have a great weekend everyone!

and THANK YOU once again...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 days to go

I can't believe it's only 2 days until my first half!  I'm excited, nervous, anxious, a bit relieved that it will be over - so many emotions mixed into one.  Overall though I feel very confident.  I'm 100% confident that I will complete it, and I'm 98% confident that I'll reach my goal of finishing under 2 hours.

You may think it strange that I just said I'll be a bit relieved when it's over.  As much as I've been looking forward to this day for a long time (I first seriously considered this last summer), it's been a major focus for me for a while.  As far as running goes, the trail races and this half were my big things that I really wanted to do well on.  Since the beginning of this year especially, it's just been run, run, run, run.... 

Ideally I should have been doing more strength training along the way.  But with a race almost every other weekend, and all the long runs, I put off strength training alot because I was afraid of being sore.

Then ... what do I do last night (with about 60 hours to go to race time) ... I wasn't in the mood to run on the treadmill, so I broke out Jillian's Making the Cut book and decided to follow Day 1 of her workout (as I did in December ... here).  Today my chest is a bit tender, but at least my legs feel pretty good.  Ah well, all should be fine for Saturday.  Nothing a little ibuprofen won't take care of.

After this half is over it's back to the burn for me.  I was looking at the pics from my Shred results last fall and I look an awful lot more like the before pics than the after.  I won't be able to do the Shred at this time as I have no place to workout with a DVD player, but I will be doing similar workouts.

I made this yummy salad for dinner the other day

even my husband couldn't resist picking at it

Looking at this I'm thinking this could make a good dinner for tonight.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unexpected Mini Vacation

My husband's best friend lives in Washington State, about 4 hours drive away.  Due to a variety of reasons, we have only seen him once in the last year, and it's been a year and a half since we last went to his house.  He has recently experienced some potentially serious health issues and my husband decided at the spur of the moment that we were going to drop everything and go for a visit.  You just never know what can happen, and you don't ever want to have regrets because "life" got in the way.

We left Saturday afternoon (after my 13 mile run) and came home very early Monday morning.

Here's us on the ferry on the way over.

These people are absolutely genuine, hearts of gold, good people.  I completely adore them - the whole family.

My husband met his friend about 10 yrs ago at a 4x4 diesel truck show.  They talked on the phone for months and then he came up and stayed with us for the weekend (pitched a tent on our lawn).  After that the kids came up with him for many weekends and eventually we went down to his place and met his ex wife (they have an amazing situation, they're divorced, but share a house and essentially live like a family, but yet there is no "relationship" between them).  It was the strangest thing for me ever to let a complete stranger stay at my home, which he admitted was one of the strangest things he'd ever done too ... but looking back I can't imagine our lives without this family in it and I'm so glad we did this.

The only problem I have staying with them is they are the most amazing hosts!  And food temptations are everywhere.  Not only are there all kinds of nummy treats around (chips, cookies, nuts, pretzels....) but my husband's friend is an incredible cook.  With him there is no such thing as low-fat, fat-free, or reasonable portions.  Everything is done on a grand scale.

Sunday morning we were treated to french toast with nothing spared.  Pork sausage, fruit, syrup, icing sugar, fresh juice.  I managed to stick to two small pieces of toast and some fruit. 

Then, because his son's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, they decided to break out the special occassion meal they were planning for that and had it while we were there.

Dinner was rib eye steaks (almost the size of a dinner plate and 1 1/2" thick - 1 per person), the biggest lobster tails I've EVER seen (8" long x 4" wide x 2" thick - again, 1 per person), two loaves of the most delicious homemade garlic bread and a few vegetables (I think mostly to appease me).

I had 1/4 of a steak, half of a lobster tail with lemon (no butter sauce), 1 slice garlic bread and some veggies.  I was COMPLETELY stuffed!  I actually felt guilty because I knew they had gone to alot of trouble (and expense) on this dinner and it was just WAY too much food for me.

I wish I had taken some pics ... but I'm pretty sure I would have gotten some strange looks.  They already don't quite understand our (my) eating habits, and I think they might think I'm a bit obsessed already.  When we left they told me not to lose any more weight - haha.

I think I'm still full from the meal!

We made a quick grocery stop on the way home (the US has so many more options than we have in Canada, plus certains things are WAY cheaper down there).

I picked up two frozen meals for lunches this week.  These were $1.80 down there and for a similar item here (you can't get these particular one's in Canada though) they would be closer to $4.

Yesterday for lunch I had a Lean Cuisine Vegetable Eggroll (310 calories, 5g fat)

Very good!  Really it's all about portion control.  I could probably put together something like this pre-made at home for about the same calories.

Today I had a Smart Ones Chicken Enchiladas Suiza (290 calories, 5gt fat)
I wasn't sure if I'd like this.  I love chicken enchiladas, but I wasn't sure about the sour cream sauce.  I'm not a big fan of sour cream.  But it was VERY good!

Normally I don't like to eat many frozen meals.  They are typically loaded with sodium and all kinds of ingredients that I have no idea how to pronounce.  But they were kind of fun for a little change.  I think if I were single, and lived in the states, I'd probably eat this a lot more often than I should.  So cheap, they taste good, and portion control is done.

I also picked up a few packs of Flat Out Wraps.

Tomorrow I plan to make myself a yummy wrap for lunch.  Lots of veggies.  YUM!  These things are HUGE for 100 calories.

4 more days until my first half marathon race!!!!

Hope you are having a great day!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Saturday's Plan = FAIL ;)

Saturday's plan:  Run 12.1 miles at a 9:05 pace (this would have me finish the half just under 2 hours), and take along homemade mini peanut butter cookies to try for on the run fuel.

As plans go this was sort of a fail.  2 miles into the run I realized I had forgotten to pack along the cookies.  GRRRR!  I wanted to try that out on this run and if it went well I was going to take them with me on the race.  As it was, I didn't want to turn back to get them.  Plus, I wanted to run this whole distance without stopping to really see if I could do it.  So I just continued on.

It was hard!  I've run that distance before, and certainly close to that distance many times.  But for whatever reason I fought this one the whole way.  I remember feeling like this last year just before the one race I'd been looking forward to all year.  Kind of burned out, and eager to get it over with and then just move on to running without a training plan.

Around 5-6 miles in I wanted to quit so badly.  Which is odd, because I frequently run over that distance.  But I pressed on.  By about 9 miles I started thinking ... why am I running 12.1 today?  Are you thinking that I was considering quitting???


What I was questioning was why didn't I just run the whole 13.1! 

So yes, it was a fail because I didn't do what I had planned .... but it was a grand success because I did more. 

When I got home I felt a bit like I'd been run over by a truck, but actually not too horrible.  I decided to grab my camera and take a pic (since I'm horrible about posting pics of myself). 

I took these two ...

but I always feel kind of silly taking pics of myself just standing there, and the trampoline was sitting there beckoning!

What can I say?  I'm just a big ol' kid.  Ou first trampoline was actually purchased fo ME, not the kids.  I did gymnastics as a kid and ALWAYS wanted a trampoline.  I've kept up with it enough that I can still do a few tricks (with less than perfect form).

Here's a little sampling:


And a couple back tucks

This one I was going to delete because I didn't capture what I was aiming for ... then I saw my calves.  Holy!  I know I have naturally muscular calves, but I don't get to see them from this angle.

I was surprised that I had the muscular strength to still pull off these tricks after this run.  I was a bit scared to try because I thought I might crumble.  But after a few bounces it all felt good.

Afterwards I went and had a cold bath (those are miserable), then a hot shower.  I was tired, but not as burnt out as I often am after a long run like that.  Hey, maybe the trampoline jumping helped!  HAHAHA

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Steel Buns

For those not familiar, yes, Timbits are donuts.  Donut holes to be exact.  They are from the Canadian chain Tim Horton's, which is about as Canadian as you can get.  However they are starting to spread rapidly into the US Market. 

From their website:

Tim Hortons locations can presently be found in Michigan, Maine, Connecticut, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York...

Currently, there are more than 2,800 stores across Canada, and over 500 locations in the United States.

Funny, this article popped up on MSN today ... Tim Hortons wages 'all-out war' for U.S. territory

Last night after work the sun was out and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get out for a run.  I was a bad Mom/Wife and didn't even leave enough time to make dinner for my family - they're old enough to take care of themselves once in a while.  Sometimes you just gotta get your run in, that's all that matters!

After doing a series of lunges, squats, etc. for the last few days my butt was so sore!

I'd love to say I have Buns of Steel ...

but it just felt like I was carrying steel in my behind.

OWIE!!!  But a good owie.  An owie that tells me my workouts are building muscle where I really need it.

Since I didn't leave enough time to make dinner, I ended up picking up something after my daughter's dance class.  I got a couple of McDonald's chicken fajitas.  They sure have a lot of wrap with very little filling in those things.  I tore off at least half of the wrapping.

Tonight I look forward to having the time to prepare a decent meal.  Mon-Wed is a bit crazy in our house.  Thursday is my catch up day. 

Tomorrow I'm planning to do my last long run before the half.  And I'm going to try something new to eat on the run.  Chewy type candies don't do it for me.  Nor do sweetened sports drinks.  We'll see how it goes and I'll write a review.

Until then ....

Have a great day!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Buying Shares in Tim Hortons

Last week I posted about my husbands love for sweets and the array of junk he brought home

Well ... it continues!

In the last THREE days let's see how many 40 packs of Timbits he has brought home:

Yes - THREE!
One box per day

Let's do the math on that:

3 boxes x 40 Timbits = 120 Timbits

1 Timbit = 50 to 90 calories
average of an assorted pack is 65 calories each

so .....

120 Timbits x 65 Calories each =

7,800 Calories

They don't look so innocent anymore, do they?  Where, oh where does my family put these?  Not to mention there is on average 2.9g of fat in EACH timbit .... 120 Timbits = 348g fat - GROSS!!!  I feel nauseous now.

With all this temptation around I've done pretty good.  I have had 6 Timbits total from these boxes, about 390 calories.  While that will not kill me or 'ruin my diet', my husband is in serious danger.

He has been warned that if he brings home one more box of these little devils or ANYTHING junk food like within the next two weeks I will throw the item AND him into the fire!  Though as I look back over those nutrition numbers I may be tempted to throw away any future Timbits, forever.

He was quite shocked to learn that these little suckers are about 50 calories each.  I can't wait to tell him tonight that it's actually 65 calories on average, and how many calories & fat he has consumed just from these in the last few days.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of shock value to set them straight.

Today was my Belly Blast weigh in.  I was down .4 of a pound, yippee.  I'd like to be more excited, but it's hard to be because a couple of days ago I was down over a pound.  Since my race and long run and the last two days I have been doing weights, so my weight is up.  This is typical with this type of activity as I put extra stress on my muscles.  I'm not gonna stress over it.  The scale is going the right way and I'm happy AND I'm going to keep it moving that way.  Plus, while I haven't done measurements yet (too early), my belly seems a bit flatter and my husband noticed it too.  What more can I ask for!

Hope you're have a great AND 'Timbit Free' day!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Race AND a Long Run

Sunday we completed the last race in the trail series.  It was an 8K and a rather hilly course.  I had forgotten how hilly it was.  Silly me should have remembered to read my race report from last year

I went in to this race thinking there was one long hill and one short steep hill.  While there was those, there was also a multitude of smaller hills throughout the entire course.  In discussing it afterwards you would refer to "the flat section", which was about a 1/2 Km long at the most.  The rest was all up and down, and I'm not much better about going down than I am going up.  One steep downhill I decided to try picking up the pace and I nearly did a face plant.

Anyhow, overall it went well.  Actually, it went VERY well.  Not only did I beat my husband's time from last year by a teeny bit, but my time improved 7 and a half minutes faster from last year!  That's huge and I'm very impressed with myself.

I was 3rd in my age group and 46th out of 102 runners.  Last year I was 99 out of 170, so I've moved up the scale there.  Finish time 42:19!  My husband rocked his finish time too with 37:14.  Hmmm, can I improve that much by next year???  That's a pretty big stretch.

Afterwards we hung out for a bit, talked to a few people, drank some water.  Some guys came up to me afterwards and said they paced off of me the whole race - that felt pretty good.

I was rather disappointed after this run with the organizers.  The information for this series indicated that there would refreshments and snacks provided afterwards.  The first race they had pizza, bananas, sliced oranges, and some bread things.  The 2nd race they just had apples & bananas.  And this last race - NOTHING!  Last year there was things like bagels & peanut butter, plus fruit.  I just feel that they cheaped out.  I'd rather pay a little bit more and have them actually provide something.  Guess it just goes to show that you have to provide for yourself and if there is anything there it's a bonus.

Obviously I don't race for the after run snacks, but I just thought this was pretty poor.  Especially since they had indicated it on the information sheet.  It's called fuel and on this particular day I was counting on it!

I find for shorter runs I don't like to eat much, if at all, because it upsets my tummy.  And I woke up with an unsettled stomach so didn't chance eating before the race.  As I mentioned the other day, we had decided to run home after the race.  This probably was a pretty bad idea on no fuel, but we did it anyway.

Getting started after sitting around for a while was tough.  My legs felt like lead.  Leaving the park we had to go up a long hill and I seriously questioned my sanity.  The first couple miles had some minor hills in them, but to me they felt like Mt Everest!  I could feel every step all the way through my legs and bitched constantly.

After that the land levelled out and I was able to pick up my snails pace.  We had planned to stop halfway to home and have a bite to eat - but then my in-laws called and offered to make us breakfast.  I much prefer home cooked food and hey, it's way cheaper, so we fought through and went straight home.

Total distance on Sunday was 12.1 miles (19.5 Kms).  I know after running a hard race AND following it up with a long run home on very tired legs... I am going to rock that half marathon.  By comparison it has got to be easier.  This was the toughest run I have ever done!  I have done longer straight runs and they were way easier.  The only way I made it home was by sheer determination and stubborness.  The gas tank was empty and the cylinders were all broken, so there is no other logical explanation.

Last night, in my effort to be more consistent, I did 1 mile on the treadmill, then some weights & such.  Just a bit, almost a rest day, but I want to keep things moving.  Today I'm feeling refreshed again and ready to go.

Hope you are having a great day!