Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rest and Re-set

Happy 19km run in Hilly Norland

It's amazing how much better I feel since letting go of the Half Iron Du.  I literally feel as though a big weight has lifted off my shoulders, and the shadow has passed.  This past weekend I took a full rest day on Friday and Saturday morning headed out to try a long run with new met pads in my shoes.  Given that I ended my run 12km on Thursday limping I wasn't sure how it would go.  GUESS WHAT?  I felt great! I felt better then great.  I enjoyed the first half immensely, I felt free! I tackled 3 huge hills and felt very strong going up them.  I have to say I think I like running hills!  Going down however is a different story, the impact get's to my knees and on the way home the impact of running down those 3 hills was getting to me.  I listened to my body and slowed down and even walked down some of the steep tilted hills.  Even with slowing down I ended with a great long run pace of 9:24 min/mile.  Best of all I enjoyed the run and felt good.  

Sunday was spent boating and I did a short 20 min PIYO strength workout on the dock by the water.    Later that day I even got over a huge fear of the water and actually gave a try at surfing.  

That's ME!!! that's really ME!!!!
Truthfully, I had been using the excuse of not wanting to get hurt before the race as an excuse to not try every time we went boating.  Not anymore, so I TRIED!  And man oh man it was fun!  I cried, laughed and sang!   

Monday I felt the familiar need to get a burn on, but I was feeling tired, we were packing up and had a long drive ahead so I took a REST DAY!  I took a rest day on a MONDAY!  I only did one long workout on the weekend!  

Tuesday the plan was to run, I likely "should" have done some speed work or a tempo run. Instead I ran as far as I wanted, and as fast I wanted and even checked out a new route!  It felt great and I ended up running 7km,  and at decent pace to boot.  Again, I ENJOYED IT! 

Today I had planned on hitting the gym, but wasn't feeling it.  So instead I rallied up some friends and we did PIYO in the park, it was fantastic.  I felt like I needed to do some cardio too, to get a spin class in or something like that.  Being so used to double workouts and a lot of cardio.  But I felt tired and reminded myself I let go of the race because I was feeling burnt out.  If I continue blazing on all burners I'm not going to re-charge.  So I let it go and was content with just the PIYO.  

Sporting some silly looking but I like them cute pig tails for piyo today 

I'm listening to my body and letting myself rest more.  I'm enjoying what I feel like doing from an exercise perspective and not following a specific training plan yet.  The focus right now, is re charging my batteries.  I'm also focusing on eating better and remembering what's like to eat when you haven't burned a ton of calories on a 2.5 hr workout 3 times a week training for a huge race.  I'm finding my happy balance again and it feels good.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Letting go and moving on

I cut my long run short today almost 12km into a 19km run, I started limping and I knew it was best to just stop.  I even called Ryan to come pick me up as I was about a 20 min walk from home.  It was a tough run, started off feeling achy all over, mentally wrestling the whole time, and then when my knee started hurting enough that I was limping I knew it was time to stop.

I thought I was in for a great, KILLER, training week.  I thought I rested last week on vacation when I forgot my running shoes. I took my first week off running since I started 4-5 years ago (lost count as to when I started lol).  I did 6 workouts on vacation, mostly short piyo which isn't very taxing.  I did 3 bike rides, but only 1-1.5hrs and overall the whole week was much less intense then normal.  I was coming off a 100km ride, maybe that impacted me more then I thought.

Last week was amazing, forgetting my running shoes was a blessing.  Not only did I not run, but I didn't worry about my training plan at all.  The mental freedom was delicious.  I worked out, based on how I felt.  Somedays a short 30 min piyo was all I did and that felt great.  Other days, it was a fast 1.5 hr bike ride.  I felt so good last week.  I felt rested.

This week I have dragged my but out of bed, slept in, and had to do my training runs on the dreadmill at the gym.  Every "planned training workout" has felt like a chore.  Even the piyo I had been loving became too much, I didn't have the energy to tack it onto a run.

Mentally, my head is not in the game.  This half iron Duathlon at the end of August, has become a shadow :(   I wrote recently about giving myself permission to not do the race, and it's been on my mind a lot this week.  Yet I'm afraid to say it out loud and truly quit and give up. I've never done that. I ran my second marathon with an IT band injury and a lot of pain, I ran my 3rd Marathon limping the last 7 miles.  I've never given up.  I've never not followed through on a race.

But I'm tired.  I have had such an incredible summer with my family and friends.  I'm enjoying my kids so much and this sweet age that they are in.  On a bike ride last week,  I told myself that next summer I would not train for any BIG races.  I would enjoy the summer with my family and not worry about when to fit in the BIG workouts.  I like the half marathon and OLY distances they are much more manageable.  The winters are so soul sucking and long and I want to enjoy this as much as possible.

Maybe my mind is catching up with my body, or body is making the decision for me.  But, my feet are so sore it has hurt to walk this week.  An old recurring foot pain has been bothering me for two weeks.  My knees have been tender on all 3 runs this week and I've been limping here and there.  I feel beat up.

So I'm saying it here, I'm saying it out loud.  I am not going to do the half iron Du. I am letting it go and moving on.  I'm going to bike and run as I please, and piyo my heart out :)  I'm going to rest and feel better.  I"m still going to do the Army Run in Sept, but as a fun run.  I am not going to train to PB, just train to run it and enjoy it.

This long weekend I will take my bike and enjoy the Norland roads, and maybe run if I feel well.  No BRICK workout, No LONG ASS RIDE, No long run ...all sandwiched together.

When we go camping in two weeks with friends I won't be stressing the up coming race, but instead fully engaged with my family and friends.

The year may not be turning out exactly as I planned, but I am still really really proud of doing my first Olympic Duathlon, running a sub 2hr HOTTER THEN HADES Half in Pelee, doing a 70km and 100km group ride, and most of all I am really really proud of letting this go.

I think this decision is a sign that I am finding balance on this journey to health and happiness.  In the past I would have needed to do this race to feel worthy, to feel good about myself.  But I am much more confident in my skin and in this happy little life of my mine.  My kids will be really really happy because as much as it's "inspiring" to see mom at a race, my being gone for 2+hrs  3 days a week on top of the other workouts does make them sad.

So letting it go, moving forward, and resting tomorrow :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The tricks the scale, pictures, bad lighting and fleshy white bellies play on us

First day of Piyo, an "easy 9km" run, and lower and upper body piyo

I like keeping it real on my blog, sharing the real in and outs, the flabby under arm skin, the marathon sharts and all.  It's an on going journey/battle to feel good about yourself, to feel good in your skin.  I find I am constantly checking in and seeing if I need to tweak things to maintain my own happy balance.  By happy balance, I mean looking and feeling good in my body, enjoying life in this fit body and having my wine and choc! All while running and sweating up a storm because that's what I like to do.

Recently I purchased Beachbody's PIYO program.  I am certified to teach the LIVE class but haven't really followed through with that.  I do love the workouts though and thought this would be a great option for my strength work during the summer while the kids are home.  I don't like dragging the WHINE TRAIN to the gym.   My plan is to do PIYO for my strength for a month and see how it goes.  I had been getting in 2-3, 20-30 min strength sessions a week and I hope that PIYO will up that commitment to strength training, while balancing and strengthening my RUNNING and BIKING Machine.  I don't know if I can pull of 6 days a week with all the other stuff I do but 4 would be nice.

I'm hoping to see some changes in my body with the PIYO, as many indulgent weekends away are catching up on me and I need to tweak that "balance" again.  (note: not following the nutrition part of the program as it's not enough for my training)

So as part of the PIYO program they have this thing where if you send in your BEFORE and AFTER pics you can get a sweet free TEE.  I like FREE.  So I took the pics.

OMG! Those pictures are sooooo not flattering!! Now most of you know I take a lot of pics of myself in my workout gear.  I've been doing it since day one at the gym.  I had even given up using the scale for a bit and was using the pictures as my guide.  I feel good when I see my fit self in my workout gear.  I don't always feel good when I step on the scale.  So I didn't expect to be horrified by these pics.  I will admit I wasn't holding my core at all, didn't use my usual "good pose" etc.  So these are not flattering! Want to see? LOL

These were taken on a Monday after a weekend camping! nuff said :) 
They aren't that bad, mostly I see a flabby middle aka the wine belly :) So shirt back on and away I go with my usual routine.  Training as I usually do except with the addition of PIYO, eating as I normally do (about 2100-2300 cal, only a lot "cleaner" during the week then the weekend) and 2 days later took these pics.

Fully admit the "core is on" but not sucking in for dear life :) wink 
I look at these pics, and think man I lost 10 pounds! I must have done a cleanse or pill or took a huge poo! NOPE.  2 days later, SAME WEIGHT!  But I'm in my favourite workout clothes, that flatter my body.  I'm feeling good, and it shows.  I don't walk around with my white belly showing :) maybe if I did and it got some sun I would feel better about it.  My point is that, we are all bombarded with BEFORE and AFTER IMAGES.  We see adds for quick fixes.  We see programs that promise results.  Not to say that doing those (and I fully do expect PIYO to help change my body a bit, certainly to strengthen it and make it more flexible) won't deliver some sort of result.  But before you leap into buying that promise.  Before you let your pictures, or mental picture of yourself make you feel badly.  Truly take stock of your strengths.  Strong legs, blue eyes, endurance runner...whatever it is about yourself that makes you FEEL GOOD!  Take a "Selfie" in good light, in flattering clothes, and smile :)  Feel good in YOUR skin.  Your before and your after is uniquely yours and will not match the ads seen on TV.  Then if you want to add some strength or a nutritional program to your regime go for it.  Do what feels right for you, but don't be mislead.  Make it your own, modify it and make it fit your unique self.

Happy Hump Day :) 

My happy place, in my happy clothes, getting sweaty 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

To race or not to race?

For the first time since I started running and signing up for “races”  I am actually thinking about maybe not going through with one.  Part of me wonders whether I have the muster to do the Half Iron Du.  I know I can do the 2km run, and the 90km bike.   But the half marathon after? I know it would be HARD, really hard, and I likely could do it with a lot of mental will power.  But for the first time in a long time I’m truly questioning whether I want to.  

I’ve had this need to push myself to achieve big scary goals, to go long distances, and to up the ante so to speak over the last 2 years.  A full Marathon was amazing, but doing 3 in a 9 month period was even better!  If Im honest, I really craved pushing myself hard.  I also at the time needed the “big goals” to make sure that I took care of myself and treated my body well.  There was no way I was going to be ale to run a marathon if I was "dieting and being restrictive".  The marathons were my way of taking care of myself, in my own crazy extreme way.  Last year I “only” did three half marathons and a full marathon.  I focused on training for the May half and PR’d and then trained hard for the Full.  I had hoped to PR, but did break my downward spiral time wise and finished with one of my happiest finishes when I saw my kids at the finish line.  

This year I chose to not run a FULL marathon, something I struggled with, would I still be a marathoner if I didn’t run one this year? Instead I decided to try something new, the Duathlon.  In doing so I was taking a lot of pressure off myself, and getting back to the fun.  I can’t even begin to describe how much I love biking.  I did a 72km bike ride today and there is no way I would have enjoyed a 2.5 hr run as much as that!!  It was still challenging and hard, but when you get that downhill ride, the wind whistling in your ears, and your flying! Oh man what a feeling! or when your DRILLING It down the road, legs a fluid machine, the bike an extension of you, so AMAZING!  I do belief I even like panting out of breath at the top of the hill!  I did my first Duathlon event at the beginning of the month and loved it.  But man oh man that 10km run at the end was hard.  

So here’s the thing, we have a busy busy summer.  We aren’t even home 5 weekends in a row! The kids are home all summer so getting away to train means getting up early most mornings.  There is so much fun to be had and things to do with family and friends.   I’m worried I’m not going to be able to get all the training in to be able to do the Half Iron Du at the end of Aug.  I told myself this would be a “JUST TO FINISH” race.  So I’m ok if I have to modify some of the training to fit our summer plans.  I am ok with not having a “perfect training plan”.  

But even with that, with taking that pressure off, I find myself still questioning do I want to do this?  I’m totally serious, I don’t feel the USUAL drive to make this happen.  So I’m not making any decisions right now.  I’m going to wait and see how things go.  I have to say so far I am actually enjoying the training.  Last weekend we went on our first camping weekend of the summer.  I got up at 5am on the Friday to do my BRICK workout before Kasey’s Kinder concert.  Then I did my 2.5hr bike Sunday when we got home from camping, in the FULL HEAT of the late afternoon.  I tell you my motivation to do that one after a weekend of camping treats and wobbly pops was pretty low! But I did it.  This weekend we were in Norland with my sisters and crew.  I got up Friday am and did my Brick before we hit the boat for a day of sun and fun.  I rested all day Sat on the boat, soaking up the sun and sangria while watching my family kill the waves!  I started rehydrating after dinner and went to bed early so I could get up this am and bike 72KM!! It was a little rough getting up but once up all went well.  It was an amazing ride.  I”m really proud of myself for getting all that in while still having a lot of fun and enjoying myself.  

72km bike!!! Longest Distance yet by 2km :) 

Sangria girl!! 

So far so good, but what about when it get’s tough? How will next weekend at Sandbanks go? I do know I love endurance sports and running and biking are my “Happy Thing”.  I’m not likely to be taking any weekends off completely from working out.  I need my fix :) But somehow the thought  of taking a long run/bike at Sandbanks simply because I want to and going as far as I please seems more appealing then following a plan right now.  

Maybe I am being a baby and looking for excuses to not try?  Maybe I am just tired of always having a damn training plan or goal (which I do to myself).  Maybe I am JUST FREAKING SCARED? Maybe I’m scared of failing and it’s easier to just quit before hand?  I don’t know.  But this where I am right now.  

So I’m just going to keep going for now, do what I can, and see what happens.   

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I did it!!! OMG I did it!  I ran 5m, biked 44.4km, and ran 10km!

I went into this race with the attitude of giving it my best, and enjoying the experience.  I had signed up for the DU to change things up, to try something new, to get the FUN back.  I didn't put the usual pressure on myself like I do when running a race.  It was refreshing to say the least.

The morning started off with the girls running the 1km Wylie Ryan Race.  This was their first race running without mom and dad.  They loved that!  We took them to the start line and they promptly shooed us away.  I love that my race was late enough that I got to see my girls run, it was just the boost I needed.

My big girl, she ran with just ahead of her sister most of the time, and kept looking back to make sure she was ok

Curly kid just on the heels of her big sis 
I love this pic! Kasey in the finishers chute, drinking her Gatorade, and asking if she can eat a bagel (like she just ran a marathon lol). I love that they got to experience this race yesterday and soak up all the inspiration from all the athletes. It was so neat seeing people swim, paddle, bike and run. The girls even went out for breaky after their race with Daddy. They got the full race experience lol!

After the girls race I was left on my own, to set up my transition area and find my partner in crime Rachael.  Our race didn't start till 9:45 so we had lots of time to kill, and I'm thankful that we kept each other laughing instead of being nervous. 


The race breakdown

5km Run

The 5km was an out and back X2 with lots of grassy areas.  This part of the race was crowded as we were running with a 5km race and also meeting up with people on the run portion of their Tri's.  The running path was narrow which was a little annoying with so many people, but you make do.  My plan for the 5km was to run it easy maybe a 26-28min 5km.  Well, that didn't happen, I got caught up in the excitement and was chasing my friend Rachael's heels and did it in 24:20 (would have been a smidge faster too if I hadn't stopped and stood still asking for clarification on where to go at the end before crossing the mats lol).  

My friend Allyson snapped this pic :)  I look much stronger here then I do in the 10km run I bet :) LOL

44.4km Bike

I headed into the bike still high from such a fast 5km, I was both stoked and also praying it wouldn't come back to bite me in the bum.  I was lucky though, as this bike course had a 2km untimed portion in and back.  So I had time to recover before putting pedal to the metal!  In true Katie fashion I got lost going into the bike and missed the start line continuing on the path, only to double back and ask for help.  There was a moment there were I got really pissed thinking I had messed it all up and almost said FARK IT I'm quitting and going home.  Thankfully I didn't and since I hadn't crossed the timing mats yet, my bike portion was fine...I just started later.  I loved the bike part!  Lots of space to ride hard and fly.  The course was 4 loops, so 8 turnarounds.  The first two I unclipped and was really slow going around.  Then I told myself to grow a pair and BALLS UP! I stayed clipped in for the rest, and I'm really proud of that.  The bike went well until the last loop when my butt started to really hurt, my back started to ache, and my hamstring started to act up.  I thought I was done in, wouldn't be able to run.  I love how my mind goes to worst case scenario right away!  I came up to ride easy position to rest a bit, kept pushing the pedals, and pushed my way to the finish.  Luckily there was that 2km untimed piece again to recover before the 10km.  I took it easy and took some extra energy jubes and E-Load.  
10Km Run

This part was hard! It didn't take long for my legs to lose the wobbly feeling off the bike, usually about 400m, but my legs were heavy and tired.  I felt  like a lumbering elephant running.  I wasn't in any kind of pain, just really tired.  The 4 out and back loops were mental draining.  Each turnaround made me slow down and I felt it hard to pick my pace back up again.  Doing a turnaround by the finish line was a tease each time.  I swear if it was not for my kids high fiving me at each turnaround I would have quit.  I felt like quitting at 5km, I actually really thought about it!  

I did it!  My first Olympic Duathlon!!! 

Got to love to small races where you can place THIRD!! 

Next up....Half Iron Du training!  Which I am seriously beginning to question but I'm going to do my best and still find balance this summer to have fun.  I will keep you posted on how that goes :) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

3 days till my first Duathalon

Seriously loving running in this new buff from Pelee Island, makes me feel bad ass

3 days till my first ever Duathalon and I am surprisingly calm about it.  No taper crazies, no second guessing my plan, not even freaking out about the potential of a tire blowing and I still don't know how to change it.  I think I feel calm about it because it's my FIRST and I really don't have any expectations.  I am truly going out to do my best and see what happens.  The bike part is a little bit out of my control.  I know people blow tires or chains come off.  My bike is in the shop right now getting a tune up to make sure it's in great condition.   But if I pop a tire I am screwed. As I still have not learned how to change it.  So if it happens, so be it.  My plan is to DNF and do my own Olympic the next weekend in Norland.  See no biggie :) Totally Zen Katie.  

I've trained for this event, and even did a smaller version of the race distance in Norland a few weeks back so I know I can do this!  I ran a hotter the HADES half marathon almost 2 weeks ago so I know I can manage the heat (just have to slow down).  But still it's a bit daunting when I put it all together.  In my mind it's a wee 5km run (no sweat), a 44km bike (been there done that many times and further), and a 10 km run (no probs) but add all that up and I will be on course for a least 3 hrs!  That's an hour more then a Hotter then Hades Half Marathon!  

What I am a bit nervous about is the idea of being on the bike with loads of other bikers around.  I'm really glad I did that 70km Cheo Ride before this.  Worst case I go slower because I am nervous, and well so be it.  I'm a little unsure how the transitions work but I will figure it out.  I'm really trying to embrace the idea of this "race" being an experience.  I have a fuelling plan and hope that helps with the empty tank feeling I have experienced of late.  I'm as ready as I can be at this point and I'm going to go and give it my best.  Truthfully, I think part of the reason I am so calm is that training for the half-iron distance doesn't get "real" till this race is over.  Now that is something that makes my tummy flutter, so much so that I have recently questioned my sanity.  

run, bike, run

let's do this! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Catch up Thursday

It's been awhile since I've blogged, so much training and sweating and LIVING this sweet sweaty life going on.  I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for an EPIC 4 day weekend away with 7 other girlfriends and NO HUBS, and NO KIDS!  Oh and I'm running my first Half Marathon of the year at a WINERY!  Going to be good.

So I thought I would do a little catch up post.

While my first half marathon is this weekend, the big heart pumper is that I do my first DUathalon in 3 weeks! On the May long weekend I did a practice mini "OLY" Du to see how it would feel.  I geared up and even put on my new bike jersey, which is really fitted and not like my usual bubble tops I like to work out in.  Looks great standing up, but bent over on a so much.  But hopefully I will be a blur and no one will notice :) I joke but it's a big deal for me to put on something like this and feel fairly confident and you know what I do feel fairly confident.  Do you know why? It's because I feel confident in what my body can do! vs. what it looks like, something I need to embrace more.

I ran 3.2km, biked 44.4,km and ran 6.4km and it was AWESOME!! I almost died on the hills but I did it!  My legs felt like rubber the last km of my run but I did it!  It was important for me to do this workout so I could have a good idea of what the actual Olympic will feel like. I think I'm ready. The best part is that there is no pressure for this race.  It's about getting used to the DU transitions in a race setting and trying something new.  

I'm enjoying biking a lot.  I actually look forward to my bike rides.  I can't say I look forward to a run and yet I love running.  But when running I am looking at my Garmin constantly and worried about my pace and pushing myself.  When I bike, I just ride.  It's freeing and fun, kind of like being a kid again.  Biking is challenging in a different way for me.  It's making me push past my comfort, exploring new routes and not sticking to the same old same old safe things.  Then there are the HILLS!  Biking is challenging me physically.  I get out of breath at the top of the hills gasping for air.  I don't gasp when I run, even when doing speed work (mmm maybe I should lol).  I can't dial my tension back on the hill like I can in a spin class.  I have had moments of panic approaching a hill where I have thought I can't do it, what if I slow down and fall?  I've come close to giving up before I start.  But I have always made it up, and sometimes I have cried after because I DID IT!!  

Beautiful Norland Road 
I'm enjoying life, I love training hard for a goal and I give it my all.  I am loving the time spent with my family and friends.  I'm really quite happy.  Part of that involves eating good food and drinking wine and celebrating with my family and friends.  My husband and I had a chat recently about weight and we both agreed.  We both work out really hard but we also really enjoy our wine and beer.  I know we could have "flatter, tighter" middles if we cleaned up our diet.  (note: we eat very healthy most of the time certainly that 80%) But we are happy and enjoying ourselves and don't want to change things.  We have made that decision.  So why oh why, did I step on the scale recently and and feel so utterly awful over a few pounds difference?  STUPID! 

I got mad at myself for feeling that way!  Just that week I had felt great about my body in my workout clothes, seeing my reflection in the gym mirror.  I have had some great accomplishments of recent in my training.  All that to say that a number on the scale almost crushed that! WHY? You would think I would have learned by now.  So I had a chat with myself.  What is important to me right now?  Training is important, meeting my race goals and enjoying and living my life with my family.  When my body is "less fluffily" and I am more focused on "clean eating" quite frankly I am grumpy, lack patience, much of my thoughts are focused on food.  I don't want that now.  So what if my middle is fluffy.  I'm ok with that.  So there it is, I need to to truly be ok with that and my choices and get back to feeling AWESOME! 

These peeps right here are what matter 
Speaking of awesome, this weekend I'm running my first Half Marathon of the year.  It's in Pelee Island and I am going on a road trip with 7 other girlfriends!!!!  Did I mention the race is being held by a winery???  So what's the plan?  HAVE FUN!  ENJOY myself!  I plan on running my best race that day what ever it may be, and then drinking a boat load of wine and celebrating with my friends.  Two of whom are running their FIRST HM's and two of whom have just run their first FULL marathons.  Plus there's a birthday in there too :)  So friendship, running, and wine :)  BRING IT ON!. 

So on that note I leave you with: