Monday, October 29, 2012

Pushing it

This past Sunday was my third year running the Rattle Me Bones 10km race.  I did it with my hubs, and a bunch of my friends. My kids even did their first race and ran a 1km Jigglebones race.  My parents even came out to see us run (and watch the kids hehehe, thank-you Mom and Dad.

I set out to run this race, with a goal in the back of my that in all truth I really didn't think I would be able to meet.  But I went in with my PUSH IT till can't you PUSH IT anymore attitude.

My dad told me in the summer that his best time from back in his day, was 48 min and 50 some seconds.  All summer I had that number calling my name.  My best 10km training time so far was 52 min something and I was spent.  So I really wasn't sure how I would ever get to 48 min, especially 2 weeks after my 2nd marathon, and learning to change stride.

I started the race off fast..thinking GIVE a bit...PUSH a bit...and just keep going. I hit the 5km mark at 24:04, I felt great!  At 6km my hamstring seized up, I wasn't used to running on my forefoot and going that fast for that long.  So I switched back to my trusty heel strike and fought through the discomfort.  As long as I kept to short strides I felt pretty good.  Well it worked...I have to admit I was shocked to cross the finish line and see 48:28!  At the finish line a woman hugged me and thanked me for pushing her, now how cool is that.

I was really happy, and not just because of the time but because my family and friends were there.  I had girlfriends not only running their first 10km race, but some of them their first 10km distance.  Each and everyone of them KICKED IT!  Our little running club represented at RMB!

I felt really strong after that race, and relieved and happy that I have come off an injury and am healing really well, and am back in race form.  I'm excited so very excited to keep running.  I want to this to be a life long hobby of mine.  I look forward to running with my daughter at her first 5km some day soon.

I've come along way in 3 years......

RMB 10km (1:09:20) 2010

in your before pics you have to show the really unflattering one :) wink

RMB 10km (48:28) 2012 

...3180 km :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Candy: Avoiding the Horror of the Binge

Halloween candy is already calling my name.  Its 3:00 pm and I find myself in shoppers, hitting the dreaded energy dive bomb, it's then that the howls and cackles from the halloween candy isles start calling my name.  The pull is so strong! This morning I was in the grocery store, having just finished up my workout and my glycogen stores were screaming at the candy corn...JUMP IN MY MOUTH! There is just something about HALLOWEEN candy that does my mind in.  I don't get like this at Easter and Christmas.  Yes, I indulge in the sweets but this obsessive  mouth watering pull seems to only come with Halloween.  

In years past I would succumb to the brightly colored boxes and buy the stuff early, I would "hide it" so I wouldn't eat it.  YEAH RIGHT!  I would then find myself balanced on a kitchen chair scarfing down PB cups and Twix bars from the back of the closet top shelf.  Or going into the cold garage for perfectly chilled choc bars....shaking my head. 

 So I find myself sitting here, reflecting and coming up with a plan to avoid the binge and guilt cycle this year.  I was looking at old halloween pictures and have to admit that this one really "surprised me." This picture is from two years ago, and at the time I was about 5 months into my new active life, working out 5-6 days week.  I had lost maybe 20-25 pounds?  I remember buying that halloween outfit and feeling so good about myself. For the first time in a long time I was ok with "showing myself".  Oh lord, I did not realize though that it showed so much of my giant hooters! LOL.  That was a good halloween, I indulged but not over board, and didn't feel guilty with what I did eat because of my activity level.  I wasn't overly obsessed with the candy, and found a good balance.  

oh my good lord my boobs were huge, I miss them LOL
Fast forward to the following year and I was close to my maintenance weight, and very focused on the losing part of my "journey".  I tended to avoid the candy at all costs, thinking of it as a "not allowed" food.  BAD IDEA!  Doing so gave the candy so much more power over me and I found myself obsessing about it.  Ryan was travelling a lot at that point and I found myself alone for a week, with two young kids testing the very limits of my patience.  The days were stressful and I found I started fantasizing about eating the candy.  For some stupid reason I had once again bought candy early and had it in the house.  I remember that week alone, was a very hard and difficult time for me for so many reasons.  I remember rushing the kids to bed one night and coming down stairs and making a giant pile of chocolate bars that I was going to eat.  I stared at it.  My anxiety was rising through the roof.  I bagged up the candy and threw it out, well that bit of it.  I had too.  I sat on the couch and talked myself out of the binge.  I called Ryan and talked to him.  I said a prayer. I narrowly escaped that binge.  The next night I found myself in that very same scenario.  I have a blog post written about it somewhere.  I faced down some demons that week.  I won the big battles but did lose out to some smaller binges of 5 or 6 little choc bars, little binges that led to big ugly guilt and renewed promises to not touch the candy.  Last halloween was very much the picture of someone that was stuck in an all or nothing, black and white kind of thinking pattern.  

So what will this year look like?  I think I will be taking a page from that busty girl's picture.  I will find a happy medium between some indulgences and putting down the candy bag.  I will wait to the last minute to buy the candy. I will decide ahead of time how much I will have.  When I find myself in Shoppers Drugmart itching like a drug addict for candy, I will buy my favourite Lindt Dark Chocolate bar and eat that.  I will dress up in costume and trick or treat with my kids, and watch really bad horror movies with my husband while eating this treat.  I have been eyeing it up on Pinterest for awhile.  I figure, why not, make something special enjoy it and get back to the sweating and chia seed eating after halloween.  

Super hero with binge fighting powers! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Two out of three done!

Race kit pick up Saturday
Two out of thee marathons done! CHECK!

(seriously questioning sanity, during last 5km of Sunday's race was planning how to have Ryan take my Disney Bib LOL) 

Yesterday I ran my second marathon, 4.5 months after  my first one.  OUCH.  Yesterday's race was a lot different then May's.  In May all my training and all the emotion leading up to completing a life long dream kicked into place and I ran an amazing race.  
Ready to go! lucky 3123

Sunday was a "little" different, but now that I have had to time to digest it I see that it was a really really good experience.  For starters, waiting in the start coral, I had Ryan waiting with me.  I was so calm and happy to have him there for support. I didn't have the usual race adrenaline and nerves coursing through me.  I think because this is the first time EVER that I have gone into a race without a time goal.  My goal was to run it with as little pain as possible and cover the distance.  The gun went off and it felt like I waited about 15 min before I even got to cross the start line, and yet I was calm and just relaxed. 

I started the race off well, settling into a comfortable and slow pace.  Not worried about getting through the crowd in front of me.  In the beginning I tried to focus on my stride, short stride, feet directly under my body, mid foot strike.  The rain had stopped, it was warm out, and I was comfortable.   But by 2 miles in my IT Band started to tighten up and my knee started hurting.  My mind got stuck on the pain, and I was really worried it was just going to get worse and soon I would be hobbling and unable to finish.  My mind went right to the worst case scenario.  The mind is so much more powerful then your body and I knew I had to shake this or I would end up quitting.  I put on my special playlist, and I started to plan my Richmond Exercise Class, and the exercises we would do.  I envisioned the ladies doing squats and lunges and what kind of push and pulls we would do.     It did the trick, my mind left the pain and I let go of it and also gave my pre race Advil time to work.  I soon found myself feeling relatively comfortable again.  

The middle of the race was golden, the weather was amazing, I felt comfortable, and I so enjoyed running in a new city.  I did what I said I wanted, I ran with little pain, I settled in and enjoyed it!  Near the half way mark we went by a turn around point and I got to see the "elite" runners.  I couldn't help but stare at the women, each of them, they filled me with inspiration.  I kept thinking I want to be that person!  Someday I want to run like that.  It filled me with renewed motivation to get this IT Band/knee thing healed and to learn to run mid foot.  But what really really filled me with INSPIRATION was when I was on the other side of that turn around and I was watching the "caboose" of the race go by. Seeing the slower runners, running on their own, struggling, and yet pushing themselves with looks of determination that I have never seen before! Now that just filled me with goosebumps.  

I think it takes a lot more guts for those runner's to push through then it does for someone that running comes to more "easily".  The fact they had to push mentally and physically for all of those 42.2 km is pure inspiration! 

At the half way point, I took another advil wanting the pain to stay away.  I really was able to run most of the race pretty comfortably.  As long as I kept a comfortable pace I felt good.  I rarely checked my garmin for pace, which is so weird for me, normally I am constantly checking it to make sure I am on pace and pushing it.  Sunday I told myself that I would just listen to my body and run what felt good.  It was very freeing.  Every now and again a good song would come on and I would speed up to my old pace, and immediately my hips and knees would yell out in pain and I would slow down.  But I was ok with it, I was actually so thankful to be feeling good and not limping.  

I also did something else I don't normally I do, I walked through all the water stations.  I think that 30-40 sec break did my knees a lot of good. Mentally it felt so good, and the aid stations were every 2.5 km's. I broke the race down into those little breaks.  Funny enough, I had no trouble starting the run back up, like I thought I would and I always felt refreshed and renewed.  

Around 17 miles I got a wicked caffeine withdrawal headache, I was starting to get really bored and thinking holy crap I have a long way to go yet.  I pulled out my phone texted Ryan and posted a funny message on FB.  It was enough of a little teehee to get me back in the game. 

At 19.5 miles I started to wonder, am I going to be able to do this?  My hips, IT Band and knees were starting to get tight again.  I kept thinking my longest training run for this race was 19.5 miles! I am not trained for this, I'm going to go down hill fast.  It was such a mind game, I was talking myself into a bad place.  So I had a chat with myself, I may have only been able to train for 19.5 miles because of the knee thing, but I did train, just differently and I could do this. Again, I put on my special music and settled in.   I focused on the city and all the cool and different things to look at.  Heck I wasn't running down Woodroffe for the ZILLIONTH time :) enjoy it!  

I was nearing the end, the 35km mark and I had this HOPE that maybe just maybe if I picked it up I could at least finish just under the 4:30 mark.  I tried, oh man I tried and for a little bit I was running at my old power songs were on..I was feeling good. Then everything froze up and I was hurting.  I slowed....SLOWED right down.  Honestly, I should have been happy that I was still running, and doing pretty well.  There were so many people around me that were going downhill, hobbling and not looking well. But that stupid competitive part of myself was beating myself up. Right near the end of the race there is a BIG HILL, I mean who puts a giant hill at the end of a MARATHON?  I'm proud to say I am the only one that ran up that hill in my "group". I'm funny that way, love a good hill, just hate going down and yep going down hurt like hell!  At this point I just wanted to be done...and it just seemed to be taking forever.  The last 5km of that race was the hardest, the longest, and a total mind fark.  My Garmin had me finishing the 42.2 km when in reality the race still had a km to go (the course is marked for shortest distance, tight corners and not zig zagging). I started crying then, the big ugly cry.  I was crying because I was tired, I hurt, and I was sad and disappointed that I was over the 4:30 mark.  (way over).  

At the end of that race I let my mind tell me I didn't do well enough, I let the part of my mind that used to call me fat and ugly take away something I should have been very very proud off.  In my defense  running for 4 hrs and 40 min really does a number on your emotions.  I tend to be "a little" hard on myself.  I think I was a little numb after I finished, just sort of processing it all. 

I saw Ryan at the finish line, and that made me so happy.  He's been there at the end each time...usually just finishing up his own race, but there. Always there!  He had a giant crepe chicken sandwich waiting for me.  The best thing I have ever eaten!  He is just so amazing to have supported me through all this craziness.  

My parents called me right after I crossed the finish line. 

Driving home in the car, back to Ottawa, with my ice bags, I got so many incredible messages from my friends.  

I very quickly stopped feeling bad about my finishing time of 4:39:49 and feeling super blessed (because I did pray very hard for God to let me run and finish that race, and to run with as little pain as possible and I DID)!  

We stopped at a rest stop close to home and I was hobbling to the bathroom I passed to other ladies hobbling...and we looked at each other and "KNEW"...yep part of the marathon club :) We laughed and I felt so stinking happy!  

I am so proud of myself...I did it!  I didn't let my mind take over.  I kept training when I was hurt.  I kept running when it hurt.  I kept going when my mind said this sucks.  I had lists of excuses and I didn't give in.  (Truth be told I even started writing this blog post while in that first painful 2 miles and was explaining why I gave up and didn't finish.) 

I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a time of 4 hrs, 39 min and 49 seconds!!!!!!


Badge of honor :) Have a few of these LOL. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

To be part of something....

Grabbing a silly pic while huddled in the car before a run in the rain
I've always been a solo runner, I have been quite happy and dare say even preferred to be out running on my own.  My pace, my race, my music....time to myself.  But just over a month ago my very good friend Laura came up with the idea of making a local running club.  It was a mix of friends as well as new acquaintances as the word spread.  It was a brilliant idea on her part, a way of rallying the troops so to speak to help her train for a 10km race.  But in doing so she brought together a group of women each week pushing themselves and cheering each other on to reach new heights. 

We are a mixed group of runners and paces but we all gather around in the end.  Last night we walked back to meet the rest of the group as they came in, almost had a race feel to it.  So neat to be hooting and hollering for everyone.  Funny thing is we are not that spaced out.   We have some great ponytail swingers in the group to boot!  Its seems like most nights someone reaches a further distance or best pace or most definitely that euphoric "I DID IT!" feeling.  

The thing I enjoy most about this group, is watching my friends find their click, watching their faces fill with pride at their accomplishments, seeing them excel!  Its contagious and fills me with a new kind of happy.  

Running is my happy place and I am so glad that I get to share it with this amazing group of ladies.  

Being part of something is pretty darn cool :) 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Messages to self

This coming Sunday I will be running my 2nd Marathon this year!  Its going to be a tough one, I haven't been able to train like I did in May, because of knee pain.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been diligent.  I have been working hard, training differently and am really hoping that all that work pays off and I have a good 42 km.  I have let go of my goal of a personal record, and I am hoping for as much of a pain free run as possible.  My goal is to cover the distance and be proud of those 42km.

So I have some messages for myself, thoughts to keep in mind as I cover those km's.

and then go further

and most of all Katie: