Friday, December 27, 2013

An Experiment: Ditch the Scale and Put on the Jeans

Another beautiful and merry Christmas has passed and a new year is quickly approaching.  I for one have really enjoyed the last week of relaxing some of my "eating ways" indulging in more wine and treats.  I haven't gotten on a scale every morning.  I haven't logged onto My Fitness Pal every day.  I've been happy and mostly carefree.  I haven't thought about food all the time.  I have been present with my friends and family celebrating and enjoying myself.  But the magic of Christmas is slipping away and old thoughts are creeping in.  Already my news feed is full of diet plans and resolutions to lose weight. Last night after a delicious Christmas dinner and dessert I found myself thinking tomorrow back on track!

Frankly, I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of getting on the scale each morning.  I am tired of logging into My Fitness Pal each day and logging food while I eat it.  I slipped back into more rigid ways of thinking and eating before going on vacation and I don't like how it made me me feel.  I worked hard last year trying to explore intuitive eating and finding a healthy balance.  I want to find my way back to that place.

So I'm contemplating an experiment.  I've been thinking about it a lot.  It scares me.  Which I think means I need to do it as my friend Jay would say.  I am going to start with one month and see how it goes. 

For the month of January I am going to stay off the scale.  I am NOT going to use MFP to count and track everything I eat.  Instead I will use my favourite new jeans I bought at Christmas and wore to some parties as my measure.  I will try them on and as long as they keep fitting I will know I am on the right track.  I will eat to nourish my body, but won't fret each morsel.  I know what my body needs and what makes it run well (literally).  

By doing this, I am going to free up all sorts of space in my head to think about other things!!  Instead of figuring out how much protein is in my next meal, I can be more present in my life.  I will pay attention when my curly kid is showing me a picture she drew.  I will spend more time doing the things I love like scrapbooking instead of going to bed early because I am afraid I will get hungry.

The experiment scares me because getting on the scale each morning makes me feel in control.  Somehow that number on the scale makes me feel in control of all the other things in my life.  But the truth of the matter is that it is just a number.  Earlier on this year I went through a period of really trying to explore intuitive eating.  It wasn't easy but I found myself feeling "lighter" in my mind and spirit.  I was happier and had so much more of "me" to give others (especially my family).

Recently I spent  the most amazing, magical, wonderful week with my family in Punta Cana!  I disconnected from world and reconnected with my family.  I was 100% present and in the moment.  We swam with dolphins and sharks, collected sea shells, lazed in the sun, floated in the ocean, laughed, ate and drank.  It felt so good to let go.  I ate what I wanted, mostly stopped when full because I knew if I wanted more I could have it. I enjoyed every bite.  I think I had rice with every meal when there! LOL.  I "worked out" 4 times while I was there (each time under 30 min).  I went running barefoot on the beach because I wanted to.  I didn't wear a garmin, I stopped and picked sea shells.  I ran as fast or slow as I felt.  It was heaven!  I didn't even listen to music instead I listened to the ocean.  On the plane home, I thought I need to keep this feeling.  I need to remember to exercise because I want to, to do what I love.  I need to eat with pleasure and until satisfied. Most of all I want to stay connected to my family and enjoy the moments.  I am so blessed and it's a shameful waste to let those moments slip away worrying about how much I weigh, or what size my pants are.

I cried when I first saw the Dolphin, it was just so surreal!  I was also in total "mother" over drive and holding on to Kasey with an iron grip lol

morning workout on the beach, best gym ever!

Relaxing with my little mermaids, feeling so very content

mmm dessert, no I didn't eat all that...but I sampled them till I found the ones I liked and gobbled those up 
As I write this I am even questioning whether my silly experiment is that important.  So you get off the scale, you put on the jeans each day?  What if they start to feel tight? Then what?  Quite frankly they are already a wee bit snugger after the Christmas Holiday Celebrations.  Should I panic? Should I cut back on the carbs?  Oh wait I had homemade biscotti with my coffee this am :)  No, it's ok.  

I'm going to: 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

End of the year wrap up and big goals for 2014

The year 2013 started off with a bang, literally FIREWORKS, Jan 14th in Disney running 42.2 km!

In 2013, I  ran 1061 miles or 1707km! (not too shabby considering I run 3 sometimes 4 days a week and have taken a running volume rest period since the October Marathon). I'm pretty proud of those miles, and let me tell you every time I drive down Woodroffe Ave, I do a small cringe.  

In those 1061 miles I ran:
2 Marathons
3 Half Marathons
a 5km and 18km race too.

 I ran fewer races this the year but focused in on two goals. I wanted to run a Personal Best at the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon, and I did in 1:50:36!  I also wanted to run a PB at the Toronto Marathon in October.  But knowing that may not be the case, told myself that most importantly I wanted to run a HAPPY race, give it my best, and be happy no matter what.  I wanted to be proud of all the work and dedication that it took to get there.  I ran my best race that day, finished with tears of joy when I saw my family, and crossed in my second fastest time.  No regrets on that one.  

I learned a lot this year about myself and what I want from my running, racing and fitness goals.  As much as I want to push myself to achieve goals, I want to enjoy the journey there, and living this healthy fit blessed life with my family.  I want to find balance training for events and yet also enjoying weekends away and events with my family.  Which sometimes means altering my training plans for that weekend.  I've learned that I need to be kinder to my body, and that I need to rest more, cross train more, train smarter.  I've also learned that I need to be kinder to myself, and that come race day whatever the result I want to be proud because I worked hard to get there.  

So since running the TO Marathon, I've been on a running break.  I've been doing 1-2 runs a week, and not of much distance.  I haven't taken a significant break from running since I started 3 years ago.  It feels good!  I ran barefoot on the beach in Punta Cana recently and it felt amazing, I was flying.  I felt so fluid and fast.  I feel rested.  Now I haven't been slacking off in fact I've been working out hard cross training and literally spinning some ideas around in my head.  My fit friends are making plans for next year and are up to exciting adventures.  I've been battling with the idea of running another marathon but I have to be truthful I feel a little Marathon spent.  I did run 4 in two years...I know that's peanuts to some of my crazy friends, but man that's a lot!  BUT.... I still like the idea of a BIG SCARY MAKE YOU HEART THUMP type of goal.  

So today I hit the REGISTER BUTTON on.....

The Canadian, 113 IRON DUATHLON in August.  That's a 2km run, 90km bike, 21.2 km run! RUN. BIKE. RUN. 

To get ready for that I also registered for an Olympic Duathlon (5km run, 44.4 km bike, 10km run) in June.  Which is shortly after running a fun Half Marathon in Peele Island with a big group of girlfriends.  I love that I have a super fun weekend away run planned, mixing it up and adding the fun back into running.   The Olympic Duo is "do able" but still new to me and hence a butterfly dance party in the tummy.  The Half Iron Duo, on the other hand, is down right scary just like the Marathon was the first time.  I'm really excited to have a goal like that in front of me again.  Thump. thump. thump. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Got my knickers in a knot

I've got my knickers in a knot! It started innocently watching a Youtube video on common mistakes people make at the gym (I won't post the link, because the video was posted by a blog that I normally quite like) The video started off well with some good tips. Then they started to talk about how you shouldn't spend your time on the treadmill (or other cardio equipment) and expect to lose weight. They went on to say that unless your training for a "marathon" or a long distance event your time is better spent elsewhere. They briefly talked about running and racing and how it isn't effective for weight loss. This is where my knickers get knotted up. I guess I missed the part where the video was going to be about weight loss. I mistakingly assumed it was about getting fit and healthy and mistakes made at the gym in reaching those goals. Is WEIGHT LOSS our primary goal in exercising? I pray that it isn't. I don't run to lose weight. I run because it makes me feel alive. I run because it fills me with endorphins and makes me happy. I run because it makes me a more patient mother. I run because it has taught me I can do anything I set my mind too. Running has lowered my resting heart rate, made my heart stronger, my lungs more powerful, and my mind stronger. I exercise for all of these reasons. Is strength training important? Absolutely! But so is flexibility, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. Yes I exercise to help maintain my weight and yes even lose weight at times. But it is far from my primary motivation for exercising. So please find what YOU LOVE TO DO (swim, dance, run, lift, crossfit...) and do it! Do it because it makes you feel good. Don't feel like your doing something wrong or wasting your time. Also for the record, I lost 50 pounds at the beginning of my journey on virtually a CARDIO only regime. Move, Breathe, Eat and Be Happy.

Monday, October 21, 2013

4th Marathon: Broke the downward spiral and finished happy

The sign in our hotel, BIG DREAMS BABY BIG DREAMS! 

I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for the second time yesterday.  The day started with a great night's sleep.  I actually went to bed early and fell asleep easily.  I wasn't nervous, I was more nervous for my half in May because I was putting so much pressure on myself to achieve a certain time.  Not this time, I was going in with a "run the best race you can attitude".  I'd run 3 marathons in the last year and half and knew for the most part what to expect.  I also didn't have any wine that night, did you hear that NO WINE, so I slept like a baby.  I was up early the morning of the race at 6 and had dressed in my gear and laid out all my stuff.  Then I only had 2.5 hrs to kill!  Lucky for me we were staying at the Hilton which literally was right next to my start corral.  I was able to enjoy breakfast and a double expresso in the Executive Lounge.  (I had cut back on caffeine the week prior to the race so I wouldn't experience withdrawal headaches in the race, can we say ADDICTED?)  Then the family and I hung out in the hotel room watching the corrals fill up, listening to the music from the street.  I was able to stay warm and pee 6 times in my own bathroom.  I left the room 15 min before the race started and got in my corral no problem.  You couldn't ask for a better set up.  

My plan for the race was to run at a 9:50-10:00 min/mile pace for the first 5km, and then 9:50 till the halfway mark, and if I could maybe hit a 9:40 min/mile the 2nd half.  I would take a gel every 40-45 min, and walk through each water station for water, and drink my nuun as I pleased from my fuel belt. 

The race started off great, I felt good.  I was very comfortable at my pace.  I think I did a good job of staying in my target.  I was enjoying the race, my music, the scenery.  I took my gels as planned.  I enjoyed the wee break of walking through the water station but found it difficult to get my pace back up when I started to run again.  I was only walking for 30 sec if that.  But it felt like it took me a min to get my pace back.  Maybe my garmin just took time.   The halfway mark in this race is interesting, the half marathoner's go to the right and the marathoner's to the right.  You go from running in a giant pack to feeling much much more isolated.  We ran under a blow up arch that had lost it's air, volunteers were holding it up.  It was quite comical.  I said allowed that it was a bad sign and we should all follow the half marathoners.  A couple people laughed.  This is where the Marathon part get's real.  This section of the course is in a more industrial like area, there are less people, you feel isolated.  There was even a sign that said "sketchy neighbourhood run faster!"  After the halfway point my pace slowed a bit, or would stay at the 9:50ish.  I wasn't able to get to that 9:40min/mile.  I was just slower, but I felt good.  I wasn't in pain.  But I was stiffer, hips tighter.  I didn't stress it, I knew I was having a good race, better then my slow injured one last year in pain.  I was in my happy place.  I eased off my Gels feeling full, and that seemed like a good decision.  My favourite part of this race is when you run through a neighboured of stores, that reminds me of Westboro here in Ottawa.  Great cheer crowds, lots to look at, store owners handing out oranges and bananas.  The orange slices were a welcome sight.  Coming out of this area I was almost almost at the 20 mile (32km) mark.  I had broken the race down into 5 mile parts...4x5miles and then 10km.  I did well with the first 20 miles/32km, the 3 32km training runs really did prepare me well for that.  I was doing well mentally and all though tired was feeling pretty good.  

Then the last 10km was a totally different story.  Let's just say that running a marathon is like giving birth and the last 10km is like the baby crowning! Even though I had slowed in the second half, I had fully intended to pick it up and kick it the last 10km.  Did not happen!  Instead I had intense pain from glute down to my foot build up.  The pain got so bad I had to stop and walk.  I panicked a bit thinking of Disney and the last 7 miles and thinking I was done in.  But luckily a quick little walk break  and the pain would ease.  Ease enough to run again but at a much slower pace.  The last 10km was my slowest!  I would run and then take a small walk break.  I kept waiting for the giant hill at the end of the course.  I haven't confirmed it but I think they changed the end of the course this year.  I remember running up one hill that seemed hard but it certainly wasn't the giant one I remembered and we still had like 8km or something to go so it couldn't be it.  I NEVER EVER walk a hill! I wanted to walk so bad. I ran hard on my right leg and pulled my left behind me.  When I got to the top I took a quick walk break.  The end of the course had this pain in the ass loop.  I think that's what changed.  Mentally it did me in.  It was just like the greenbelt loop that I hate at the end of my runs on woodroffe.  I was running down it with runners coming back beside me. Oh man I wanted to just stop turn and join them.  In fact at that point I wanted to quit.  But then I remembered I forgot to pack my visa in my belt and I wouldn't be able to get a cab and I had to finish the damn race! I really thought of taking a cab back! No joke. Once I did the turn around I felt better, I knew I was getting close to the end.  I told myself no more walking just get this over with. 

As much as the last 10km suck, its a time of inspiration.  You go from running next to all these strong looking people, to watching people break down around you.  People limping but not stopping, people in pain and not quitting.  It's incredible the sheer determination.  

2km to go and I started a chant in my head, Kayleigh, Kasey, Kayleigh, Kasey....I kept saying my girls names over and over and praying I would see them at the finish line.  In all my races, I have never actually seen my girls at the finish line.  As I came into the 500 meters to go area, I started frantically scanning the crowd for my family.  I was praying so hard that they were there and I would see them.  200 meters from the finish line I SAW THEM!!! Kasey on Ryan's shoulder's and Kay's little face, waving at me! I waved back, my hand to heart, blowing kisses and crying so hard.  I ran as hard as I could to finish line.  I crossed and when I stopped I broke down in body shaking tears.  A dude tried to high five me and I couldn't lift my hand.  I just cried.  I was so happy!! I'm crying now writing this.  My first race, my best race, I ran with their sweet little voices on my ipod telling me GO MOMMY! Yesterday they were there in real life yelling go Mommy.  On my last 32km training run, I was having trouble with knee pain and called Ryan to tell him I was almost home and to have the girls outside.  Knowing they were waiting for me, I made it home.  Yesterday, I knew they were there and I kept going to get to them.  I saw the CN Tower and knew that they were close, just had to keep going.  

Happiest hug ever!

My girls :) 

I finished my 4th Marathon in a year and half, in my second fastest time of 4:29:24.  I didn't get the PR I had hoped for, but I am proud of my time and that I broke my marathon downward spiral.  

As we made the 5+ hour trip home after the race, I was blessed with amazing words of congratulations from my friends online.  I'm feeling sore and blessed today. Very very blessed (and sore lol). 

Friday, October 18, 2013

On our way...Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon here we come!

STWM last year, likely thinking about the food that Ryan has waiting for me at the finish line!  which was the  BEST CHICKEN CREPE SAMMI EVER!
My bags are packed and I am double checking my run gear one more time!  Last year I forgot my water bottles and had to scramble to find a running room to get more.

What was going to be a sweet romantic late anniversary weekend, in Toronto, ending with a 26.2 mile race is now a family adventure.  The kids are coming with us!  Oh well, the four of us are tight and will make it a fun weekend.  We plan on checking out that new Ripley's Aquarium.  I've also told the kids that this was supposed to be a romantic weekend for mom and dad and they better be on their best behaviour.  Not that they have a clue what a romantic weekend is lol.  I still plan on going to a fancy restaurant Friday night to celebrate our anniversary and eat delicious gourmet food.  I don't care if the menu doesn't have kid fun food.  They like bread and butter they will be fine.

It feels good to be getting out of the house and going somewhere today, as I've felt stir crazy.  I'm nervous about the race and have been debating strategy in my head changing my mind over and over. I have a plan now and I'm going to stick to it! (famous last words!)  Friend's have asked what my goal is for the race and I have been scared to say one out loud for fear of not making it.  But then someone said to have more then one goal.  I like that. I like that a lot.

So here you go......cue the butterfly dance party!

My first goal is to break my marathon downward trend!  wink.  I ran 3 marathons in 9 months and they got slower and slower.  Which is to be expected.  4:17, 4:39:49, 4:48.  I ran Toronto injured and in pain last year and I limped the last 7 miles at Disney so given that I am in good shape, and injury free I hope that I can turn this ship around.  I think my biggest challenge will be a pesky knee pain that seems to come's plagued me a bit this training period but I've been very careful.  So my challenge will be when I feel some ache to not think about it, to not get stuck in a negative panic loop, to go somewhere else and let go.  I think I make it worse getting stuck in that negative place.

My second goal is to try and mimic my first marathon.  It was an incredible race.  I felt good, I was powered by emotion and messages from my kids.  I was making a life long dream come true.  The was no pressure as it was my first and I just wanted to finish.  My last 10km were my strongest.  It wasn't an easy race but I felt strong.  I want to feel that way again.  I've trained so hard this year.  I used the Run Less Run Faster program to run my fastest half marathon in the spring 1:50:36 (1:49:30 on my garmin thanks to zig zagging hit the half before the finish).  I ran my fastest 5km this year training for that May race at 23:58.  Then I moved into Marathon training and used the K2J plan.  I was doing hill and track work that is much more intense then before and more long runs.  I modified the program a bit, listening to my body and learning when to ease back and when to push.   I found balance this year, I learned I didn't have to push my body into the ground.  I also found away to train and have fun with my family.  So this race is a celebration!

That's right, my main goal is a celebration!  I'm celebrating the girl that spent 10 years or so on the couch so to speak feeling envious of those that ran.  Thinking that was lost to me.  I'm celebrating having a family that is active and healthy and LIVING an amazing life together.  I'm running because I can, because I love it.  I'm running 26.2 miles because I love to friggen run!

I also have a Secret Weapon:  I have a bag of Bulk Barn Treats, and Cupcakes from my friend Janice at Cakes by Design  waiting for me to eat in the car on the way home!  I WILL RUN to get to my Salted Caramel Cupcake!

oh and side goal.....not to SHART my pants again :) LOL!!  You only do that in Disney!

Monday, October 14, 2013

6 days out

Me on the left 4 years ago proud to run 8km while at the cottage,  my lifestyle changing.  Me on the right 6 days out from my 4th Full Marathon, lifestyle ingrained.

6 days out from the Toronto Marathon and as usual I am feeling emotional and reflective.  I'm thinking back on the roughly 5653 km's I've run to get here today.

There have been many high's and some low's, and many many lessons learned along the way.

But the biggest thing I want to do now is celebrate.  I want to run happy on Oct 20th and no matter what happens cross that finish line proud of all that I have accomplished.  Not only did I make a life long dream of running a marathon come true, I did or will have done it FOUR TIMES!

I've finally found a happy place and a balance in my life.  I don't feel weighed down, I feel free and able to dream big.  I've worked so hard not to travel km's but truly to let go of my past.  To let go of my disordered eating and anxiety.  To find  myself again, a confident and happy person.  It's been a very long road, but one I am ever so proud of.

I hope I will role model a person of health and happiness to my girls and they will now that anything is possible for them.

Run Happy, Run Free

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Army Run 2013: A Happy Finish

I started race day early with a butterfly dance party that had me out of bed much earlier then I needed to be.  At 5:30 am I was taking pics of my coffee maker, random piles of race stuff, and trying my bib on! This race was "supposed" to be a training run on the way to the TO Marathon.  I had no expectations to PR it, but was hoping to come in under 2 hrs.  Other then that I was going to enjoy the day and my friends.

My ride arrived at 7:10 and I had the pleasure of riding to the race with 3 friends, Leigh, Tracey and Tania.  Yabbering all the way there, desperately trying to find parking, almost getting stuck in an elevator (ok maybe not but I felt like it lol) and warm up jogging to the race as were 'running' a tad late made for a fun and humorous start.

The corrals were packed and I climbed over the rail to get in praying I didn't fall and hurt myself before the race even started.  I got into my spot about 8 min before the race started.  Since the corral was so packed I couldn't get into my time area of about 1:55...I was up much further and with faster runners.  The upside to that was I didn't have to fight the crowd at all to get by slower people, and I sort of felt like the crowd was carrying me along.  I felt great after "resting" and dialling back during the week.  My knee felt good and I felt loose and limber.  I was running WAY FASTER then my planned pace...but it felt great and I knew I would slow down later and thought just go with it.  I ran so happy, thinking about how much I loved "racing" and the experience of it all.  Then at 9km my legs turned to JELLO!  Miss. Marathon Girl jello at 9km not even at 10 yet!  I had to laugh at myself.  Especially since there was a small part of me that while running so fast thought, HEY maybe I can keep this up and kill my May time.  NOT!  In addition to running to fast, I had had breakfast, a VEGA BAR, at 6:00 am and nothing else. I should have had a small snack 40 min before the race.  So I took my first gel a bit early to give me some ummph.  I slowed down and settled into a good pace.  My legs were tired but  the rest of me felt great.  I figured it was great marathon training for running the last half on tired legs.  I loved the race, was pushing, but not to hard.  If I got tired would ease back a bit and never stressed my time.  I didn't have any pressure on myself and that felt so good.

My favourite part of the race was keeping my eye out for our friends (Jay, Sue-Anne, and Shannon) cheering at about 19km.  I hate this part of the race, the last drag to the finish line.  So seeing their crazy happy cheering faces really gave me the final push to finish.  When I caught sight of them on a rounded corner, I sped up and tried to point my bum at them and side shuffle yelling FART BOMB! Yeah, that's me, crazy Katie!  Funny thing is that it all happened so fast I missed the special sign they made just for me with something farty in it!  I ran strong to the finish, hitting the 13.1 mile mark early as usual and then doing the dreaded how far off am I. WHEN OH GOOD HEAVEN when is the finish line going to come into sight.  I saw the finish line, and ran scanning the crowd hoping to see my family.  I thought to myself, if I see them I will run faster.  I didn't see them so I stayed at my current pace, this is a training run right?

FINALLY! I crossed the finish line, HAPPY! I had a great race, felt good, and was happy with my time of 1:54:35. Not a PB but faster then last years Army Run and a great race.  In May I crossed the finish line at 1:50:36 a PB, and sat down and cried for missing my goal by 37 seconds.  After that race, I decided my new goal is to cross happy and proud no matter what!  You have no idea what will happen in a race, lost gel flask, muscle cramp, injury, poor weather, or simply a bad run.  But crossing the finish line is about so much more then that race. It's about all the training, dedication and determination leading up to that race! That is something to be proud of no matter what Sportstats says.

I found my family right after the race, and had some great hugs from these little fart faces.  Seriously this picture makes me so happy.

The day only got better from there when I met up with my friends Leigh (ran a PB and her 5th half), Tracey (also ran a PB and her first half) and Tania (ran along side Tracey supporting her the whole way).  

So proud of these girls!

We spent a good portion of the afternoon, celebrating with our cheer squad and some other friends over food and drinks.  My very favourite part of race day, is celebrating over beer after and rehashing the race.  Not to mention how quickly those 2 beers go to your head! Seriously HAPPY day!  Now one more long 32km run and 2 weeks taper for the Toronto Marathon!  EEEEEEE

Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Kind of Training Run: a joyful one

My Joyful Training Run

I have a goal this coming marathon and it may shock you but it's not a time goal.  My goal is to cross the finish line with a huge smile on my face and if there are tears they will be tears of happiness and pride.  My first Marathon almost a year and half ago was exactly that.  Almost every race (2 marathons, 3 half marathons) after that have ended in disappointment.  Even in May when I achieved a personal best on the half marathon.  I had become to hard on myself was setting goals that if I didn't achieve I felt defeated.

I"ve had a change of heart.  You see the thing is I have been gifted a second chance in life.  Running and fitness and have gifted me a healthy strong body and mind.  I can do things that I could only dream off 3-4 years ago.  Like run a marathon or jump on the euro bungee with the kids.  My mindset has shifted this summer to enjoying this life with my family and friends and LIVING a healthy and happy life.  Perfect diet, a number on the scale, or even a time on my garmin don't carry the same importance they once did.

So this weekend when we headed off to Sandbanks with friends for our last summer hurrah, I had serious misgivings about doing my scheduled 29km training run Sunday am.  The thought of spending 3 hours out running, plus the usual hour or more of recovery after made me pause.  I didn't want to miss out.  I wanted to be at the beach with them playing in the waves, and laying in the sand talking to my friend.  I wanted to drink wine by the campfire Sat night and let go and relax.  Not be sipping water to prepare for a run.  I didn't want to get up early to get out early for that crazy run, when I could be snuggled up to my curly kid in my sleeping bag.  I know my husband didn't want me waking up the whole tent to get up early to run either lol.

I've been training for a race for what seems like forever, I choose to do that and for the most part I love having goal.  But this weekend I made the decision on Saturday after wrestling inside a little that I would just enjoy the weekend, the beauty of Sandbanks and my family and friends.  On Sunday I woke up when I was ready after a good snuggle, and got dressed in my running gear.  I was still running but not because I had too, because I wanted too.  I wanted to run by the water and enjoy the chance to run in such beautiful surroundings.  I had no set route, I had no planned distance (other then knowing that I wanted to be back to play with the family in a decent amount of time).  I had my new Camelpak on to try out, and literally felt free.  I didn't have to worry about water, or time or distance.

I set out and felt great, which is really funny given I enjoyed many a glass of wine the night before.  I think I must have been really happy and I was sucking back freely on my water hose rehydrating.  I had this amazing moment on the run, where I was close to hitting the 5 mile mark. In my mind I said get to that turn around and then you will know you did a SOLID 10 MILES.  The old me that is number focused started to focus on that.  But there was a crest of a hill up ahead and I knew there was something awesome on the other side.  So I kept going, not knowing where it would take me.  I was rewarded on the other side with the view in the pic up above.  The beautiful sun shining on the lake and the sound of the waves.  I didn't turn around to do a set out and back...I just followed the water and I enjoyed every step.

Happy Happy Girl 
I ended up running 15km that morning because I chose too and with a huge smile on my face a gift to myself.   When I returned to the campsite I was rewarded with a coffee and baileys!  I felt a tad guilty for not following my training plan.  But then I spent the morning on of these:

and I spent the day playing on the beach with these kids:

We had the biggest water fight in the waves that day, made amazing memories and tracked half the beach home with us.  No regrets whatsoever.  Next weekend 32km will be mine and I have a feeling they will be easier to run now that I have recharged my spirt.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Investing some time into my own care

I have a big race coming up, the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, in October and my goal is to run it injury free and smiling when I cross the finish line.  Last year I ran it injured and it hurt, it is not an experience I want to repeat.  I've learned a lot since last year, a lot about listening to my body, dialling back when I need to and in general finding a better balance in my training and in life.

Last week when my knee started to hurt, I didn't panic and I didn't push.  I dialled back and modified my workouts.  I stretched more and I got a message from my friend Tara, an RMT at exactly the right time.

You see I make time to move and sweat, it's at the top of my priority list (right next to taking care of the kids lol).  I'm admittedly selfish with my workout time, it keeps me sane and helps me be a better mother, wife, friend etc.  But when it comes to making time for things like massage therapy, physio, chiro, heck even a simple hair cut I admit they are at the bottom of my list.  Our weekday evenings are already filled with a give and take of activities (kids stuff, husband's cross fit, my run clinic etc) it is hard to find time to fit anything extra in.  I tend to make time for therapy, a priority when I'm in pain and panicking.  Case in point when I called my usual clinic from the treadmill on a tuesday morning in panic when my knee wasn't cooperating.  I knew my last minute call was a long shot and I was right, there was no room.  That's when a well timed, message from my friend Tara asking what was going on with my knee came in.

Truthfully, I had always been slightly embarrassed to see someone I know personally, I know me shy? Hard to imagine but yes true.  Imagine my comfort when she asked me to come dressed in a workout bra and shorts.  I knew right then that I was in store for a different sort of experience.

I met with Tara, at Apollo Physical Therapy Centres West, on Queensview Dr.  Our first appointment was so very different from anything I've experienced before.  Tara is trained in Myofascial Release, and more specifically the John F. Barnes approach.  The best way to describe my experience is that it was a lot like a Yin Yoga class.  She worked on an area 'lightly', for 3-5 minutes, moving slowly allowing my own body to release.  At times the sensations would become much more intense, much like when holding pigeon pose for 5 min.  There was even that familiar slight panic, then I would tell myself to breath and let go and I could feel the release happening.  I say worked 'lightly' because she was never 'working' an area with force, hence I left feeling good.  I didn't leave feeling sore (not that I am complaining I've very much enjoyed that type of massage too.)  I really enjoyed the slow ebb and flow feeling to the treatment.  I felt as though Tara was responding to my own bodies cues, at one point I felt the need to have my foot flexed while being worked on, and she went with it and incorporated it into what she was doing.  It felt fantastic!  All though I went in with the 'symptom' of a sore knee she spent time looking at my whole body and finding the cause of it.  Hence the work on my hips, which I never would have guessed as being a weakness, as they don't hurt when running.  Funny enough that night I had aching hips, but I smiled and popped an advil knowing that change was happening.  I went for a run that next morning, HILLS of all things and I felt fluid and strong!   I kept telling my poor workout partner over and over how good I felt!  I wanted to cry, I may not have panicked when my knee started hurting the week before, but that feeling of fear was lurking beneath the surface.

I had a great first experience and this is where I would normally carry on, and wait again till I was in pain before going in for another treatment.  But not this time.  I'm finally getting how so much more then just my 'running and strength training' will contribute to my goals.  I don't just mean my goal of running another Marathon, but my goal of running till I have a long white ponytail.  Last year when I hurt myself and couldn't bend my knee for a whole weekend I got a taste of that fear that I could indeed hurt myself enough that I don't run again.  I am a runner at heart, and I need to make sure I keep on running.  So I am making the time, and making this a priority.  I will cut back on Starbucks if I have too to pay for it, or at least downsize to a Tall.  I had my second appointment today and get this I took both the kids with me.  Tara made room for the kid's and their huge bag of art supplies and snacks.  They covered her treatment room floor in paper, and crayons and drew fashion designs.  When they had to pee, someone helped them find the bathroom.  This is HUGE!  All though, taking my kids with me is far from ideal, it is the reality of a stay at home mom in the summer.  We made it work and I am so appreciative of that.

Today's experience was different then Monday's, which I think again goes to show how it follows your own body and it's needs.  I didn't have any of the intense sensations today and generally felt very relaxed, I even got a little teary eyed while chatting.  Funny how my emotions came to surface today, while relaxing and letting go.  I'm sitting on the couch now, writing this feeling surprisingly warm and relaxed.  Almost as though I just enjoyed a glass of my favourite Red. I have track practice tonight and am looking forward to seeing how I feel.

I"m going back for two more treatment's next week.  When leaving today, Tara mentioned that she would spend some time on my upper body that it seemed 'angry'.  Well she's right, my right shoulder tends to be a general mess, but I ignore it thinking that my LEGS are the important real estate.  But now I'm realizing how my whole body effects me, and that it is all prime real estate.  Literally, things that I would never have thought would effect the way I carry my body now, are at play.  Imagine my surprise when Tara asked if I had ever had a miscarriage?  Which I have and an etopic pregnancy, both of which effect the myofascia in my body and ultimately how I carry myself.

I wanted to share this experience with you because it has been very different for me.  I'm also enjoying how well it matches my desire to find balance of late.  Balance with food, with my body image, with my training, with my home life.  If you have any questions you can visit Tara's Facebook Page here and ask away.  I highly recommend liking her page and checking out her postings.

Thank-you for asking what was going on with my knee, and for putting up with two crazy kids messing up your office today Tara.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Power to the Pouch!

I was out shopping yesterday and spied a really cute red dress for $14! I tried it on really quick while heading out to gymnastics.  I left my yoga pants on when I tried it on, there was lots of room so I figured the dress fit.  Not a smart idea, those yoga pants were holding something in.  When I got home and went to try it on, I almost cried when I saw how the silky material clung to my hanging 'pouch'.

I've gained a little bit of weight since Christmas, having relaxed and found a healthy balance that is working for me.  But that little bit of weight has gone to my pouch.  It's even 'yuckier' because I have lost a lot of weight and I have a lot of loose skin.  So now it like a bag that I've added some groceires too, and it hangs heavy :(  Not sexy I tell you.  Last night I had a moment of panic, a moment where I thought it's time to "get serious," "to cut back," to do something DRASTIC!  Then I took a few deep breaths and thought FARK IT!  I'm happy.  I'm happier then I have been in a long time.  I'm not thinking about food all day and counting it and measuring it.  I feel free.

So today I was on a mission, to find me some SMOOTHER, SUCKER UPPER UNDERS!  The kids and I spent a sweaty and admittedly hilarious 20 min in the change room at the Bay with a mountain of flesh coloured contraptions.  They thought it was hilarious watching me wriggle and squirm into these things.  Don't get me started on explaining the whole PEE HOLE thing to them.  I am surprised by how comfy many of the garments were, and I found a reasonable priced slip that goes just under my bra line.
It really is amazing what a difference it made.
You can see my lovely pouch hanging like a Hobo bag in the left picture, only it isn't Coach.  I ended up adding a belt to give the dress some shape.  Laura would be proud of that :) 

So there you have it, my drastic measure was a pair of underwear.  Now my pouch and I need to rest up for tonight's killer track workout!

Monday, August 5, 2013

STWM Marathon Training: a different plan

Wearing last year's STWM shirt to inspire me to keep on trucking during an uninspired workout last week  

Warning boring post talking about training plans to follow...likely only interesting if your a running geek :)  

I'm 5 weeks into training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and I'm feeling very hopeful that this Marathon will be a good one (provided I stay off the injured list).  I started week one, on the Run Less Run Farther (FIRST) plan that I used for the Ottawa Race Weekend Half.  I loved the FIRST plan for the half, it was intense and hard and helped me PR with a 1:50:36 but the idea of FIVE, (F-I-V-E) 32km training runs for a full marathon had me scared!  I had only ever run 3 for my first Marathon, a year and half ago and that just about did my body in (also my best time at 4:17).  I then ran two more Marathon's close together and not knowing how to train or recover in between invented my own plan.  I ran ZERO 32km training runs for Toronto last year, as I was hurt and I ran one on my birthday training for Disney.  Looking back I see that I was not prepared for Disney and that is likely why I limped the last 7 miles in pain (hey but I still finished under 5hrs at 4:48, proud of that).

I've learned a lot (I think) about what I need to do this time around.  Number one being focusing on staying injury free with resting, foam rolling, stretching, and paying attention to my body.  But I'm also training differently, much differently.  I signed up for the K2J Fitness Marathon Clinic and along with the weekly track practice (or as I like to call it barf get together) I got a training plan.  This plan is very different for me.  For starters it has 4 runs a week.  I've always trained with 3 runs a week, maybe a 4th for fun or social.  The plan also has HILLS, TRACK, a MODERATE run (which varies from 6-16km my lord that's long!) and the LSD.  The good news is the plan has only THREE 32km runs in it. Thank-you :)  The 'other' news is it has me running more weekly and with more intensity then I ever have.

Hills:  The FIRST plan does not have hill work in it.  I like hills and actually missed them training for the May Half.  Before the FIRST plan I had actually done a hill and a speed workout most weeks. However, my idea of hills back then was setting the dreadmill to the hill interval program and running 1 min hill intervals for 6-8km at a level 6-7.  Now I am aiming at 400-600m at 7-10% incline x6-8.  This takes me much longer then 1 min!

Track Work:  The track workouts in the K2J clinic are harder for me then the FIRST program.  3x 1600 meters for example in the FIRST program vs. 4x1600m and 4x800m in the K2J clinic.  Prior to both of these programs my idea of speed work was on the treadmill running 1-4 min speed intervals.

Moderate Run:  the K2J plan has a '4th' run in it called a moderate run. It varies from 6-16km in length.  The 16km being the same week as a 32km run!  I remember when 16km was my long run not my moderate one.  This run is actually the one that is giving me the most grief.  It's hard fitting it in, as I don't like running back to back.  I'm having issues with foot pain and tend to need that day off running/impact to rest my foot.  Doing a 'longer' moderate run after a hard track workout (where my feet ache from the pounding) is challenging.  I've started using ice baths after my runs on my feet and that is helping immensely.  I also had an appointment at Solefit last week and am trying out a new support that will hopefully help.  I like that the coaches have said that this is the least important run, and that if I need to drop one, one week this would be it.  I also find their 'idea' of the moderate run interesting.  If I understand correctly you run what 'feels like a moderate run on that day'.  To me it's an organic type of run, maybe its faster, maybe its slower because of a killer track workout.  But you run a 'moderate' run on that day.  I kind of sort of love this idea.  For me it means forget the Garmin and pace and just run what feels like a moderate run for your body.

What's for lunch? Feet soup of course!  My Ice pot :) 

LSD:  LSD (long slow distance) this always has me giggling.  LSD the runner's drug of choice, to be enjoyed every weekend (sorry couldn't help it).  I like that the SLOW part of the LSD is emphasized here.  That the idea is to put TIME on the road where your body is under stress.  Again, if I understand correctly my 32km run should take as long as the Marathon will on race day.  I like this much better then the FIRST training which in my mind always had me pushing pace on my long runs.  Yes it was slower then race pace but still pushing.

Cross Training:   The FIRST plan was very specific about cross training, you did 2 sessions a week with intensity (biking, rowing or swimming) and it recommended strength training as well.  I tended to do one bike session and two really good strength sessions that involved the TRX, Heavy Weights, and HIIT.  Right now I have really eased back on my cross training.  I'm doing 2-3 shorter TRX strength sessions of moderate intensity.  I'm not touching heavy weights.  I'm trying to get a bike ride in each week.  Truthfully, I have found myself tired on my non running days.  I'm trying to figure out a balance and trusting that shifting to a more run heavy program will pay off.

Doing more of this in my cross training now, lots of stretching especially focusing on my IT bands and hips. 

So all that being said last week was EPIC for me,  I ran the most I ever have in a week!  I ran 61km last week. This week I am due to run even more if I make it.  Last week was a tough week.  The hills were tough, the track workout left me ill that night (will never eat dinner before track again), and the moderate 15km the morning after on a trail were hard.  I spent my rest day at La Ronde on my feet all day.  By the end of the day Saturday my feet and hips hurt and I went to bed late.  Sunday when my LSD came up, I did not expect much.  But to my surprise I had a great run.  The kind of LSD that reminds you why you love running so much.  I ran what felt good for my body that day.  I likely ran too fast, if the goal is to spend time on the road, but I felt so good and so fluid I just wanted to run what felt natural that day.  I did 29km in 2:50, at an average pace of 9:24 min/mile (about 5:55min/km).  I was even able to bend over and untie my own shoes after (trust me this is huge!)  I even had enough energy left over to go spend an hour doing SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) that night.  Last night when I went to bed, I was in awe of running that far, it's been awhile since I've run that kind of distance.  I had forgotten why it's so addictive, you feel really accomplished after.  I admit my knees and ankles are tender today, so I am resting and stretching.

I"m excited to see what happens in October.  My goal is to train to the best of my ability, to simply do my best.  To listen to my body's needs.  This will shock you but I don't have an official time goal.  I am tired of crossing the finish line in tears.  I want to cross with a huge smile of accomplishment on my face.  I am trying to let go of the pressure I put on myself.  I was begenning to feel like I was suffocating from it.  I want to celebrate my body and mind's ability to do this.  I trust that the work that I am putting into this will pay off.  I am also praying for strong knees, flexible IT bands, and happy feet.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Proof of change

What your about to read may be shocking....
I've been home from our NH vacation for two days.  I haven't begun a "diet", I haven't started a let's get back on track, I haven't panicked about gaining a few pounds on vacation, I don't feel fat.  

Seriously this is huge!  I throughly enjoyed my vacation.  I enjoyed many many delicious beers, relaxing and maxing, delicious dinners that included fries and dessert.  My goodness on our drive home we ate dinner at A&W! My husband was in shock, he couldn't believe I actually wanted to eat there. In fact as we pulled in he said there's a subway next door in case you change your mind.  I haven't eaten a fast food burger in a very very long time I guess.  It was a good choice actually, a spicy guacamole Teen Burger and Sweet Potato fries it was DAMN GOOD! I enjoyed every bite.  Now I don't want to mislead you my vacation wasn't totally filled with food and beer.  We were very active, and we ate plenty of really healthy food too.  It was a perfect balance and I felt happy.  

But usually after getting home and returning to the daily grind, I get on the scale and panic at a few pounds gained (beer bloat and period?) and immediately become restrictive with my eating and start that 'diet mentality'.  Not this time.  I feel good.  I feel happy.  I've made a point of making some really nutritious food to make sure my body has the fuel it needs for my Marathon Training and active healthy life.   Things like:

Coconut Chicken, with Kale, and Black and White Quinoa

White Bean herb dip

Raspberries, Almonds, Kale, Quinoa, and Pumpkin Seeds
I've been conscious about the quality of food I'm eating but not the calorie count ( I had a giant plate and seconds of that Coconut dish!)   I've also enjoyed some sweets.  My mind is not focused on food.  Maybe it helps that my nieces are here and we are having a ton of fun doing things.  Way to busy to be worried about weight etc.  But folks I feel like I've had another "CLICK" on this Healthy Lifestyle Journey.  

A great big CLICK! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Interrupting my awesome vacation to worry about the Toronto Marathon

It's 7am, and I am lying in bed with a coffee and Baily's (I am on vacation you know).  I should be thinking about the fun day ahead but instead I am icing my foot and worrying.  I am GUN SHY about the Toronto Marathon in October.  Last year I hurt myself, I struggled with knee pain (unable to bend my knee at times in pain, due mostly to IT Band issues).  The big painful event last year just happened to happen when we got home from New Hampshire, after a week of running the hills here.  We got home and I attempted a 20 mile run the next day that ended with me hobbling home at 18 miles.  That weekend (labour day) I could not bend my knee without a lot of pain.  I called the Active Health Institute on the way to the cottage crying and set up a Physical Therapy Appointment.  This should all be old news, much has changed since then, my stride, my shoes etc.

The view of the mountains on my run, its so beautiful here, its very hard to not run

BUT here I am in New Hampshire, and the first day here I ran my favourite GIANT ARSE hill two times (about two miles of steep up hill). I also had to come DOWN that grade.  I was smart I mostly walked it.  I got in the cold pool right after and stretched really well.  That same day I went on a Bungee Trampoline thing twice, bounding hard up and down...a lot of flexion on my ankle.
I worked up a good sweat on this thing! It was a lot of fun
Worked out boot camp style the next day...including 50 box jumps and a trail run.

By Thursday my ankle and foot were sore.  I took a Rest day Thursday (other then a small hike and climb in the waterfalls with the kids but it felt great).

That night on the way to the pool my knee hurt.  Cue full panic mode (I feel like every ache and pain sends me into worse case scenario).  I stretched  more by the pool.  I pulled out the yoga poses and stretched.  I was tight, really tight.  I stretched more before bed.  The next morning I had my sprint work to do.  I felt good when I woke up.  I told myself that I would do a half mile warm and if I felt good would go ahead with the 6x1km sprint workout.  I did feel good and I felt great through out the workout.  Huge sigh of relief.  I then spent that whole day in the heat on my feet at an amusement park.  By the end of the day the top of my foot was sore again in it's usual spot.  I iced it that night. It feels better this am.

So here's the inventory, I have had nagging issues with my foot for over a year now.  It always feels better after rest.  But with my training ramping up, taking rest isn't always easy to do.  Will the increased stress from all the distance make this worse?  I think its time to see someone about my foot and make sure I don't hurt it more.  Also now that I am officially in training I need to become even more diligent and through with my stretching, yoga, foam rolling and seeing my RMT.

So today's a rest day, I am on vacation, I will rest today.  We are shopping today and going to an outdoor concert this afternoon.  We have pool time planned and I plan on stretching in the cool water.  I have my long run in the am.  I need to rest today for that.  I'm not doing my planned distance, I'm afraid to run that far here in unfamiliar territory. So I'm thinking 8-10 miles.  I'm ahead of my plan a bit anyway.  Crossing my fingers that I make it to Toronto Injury Free.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacation Creed

The kids and I last year in New Hampshire hiking up to Diana's Bath
We are heading back to Attitash in New Hampshire.  Its my childhood vacation spot and one we recreated the family vacation tradition at for our little family last year.  Let me tell you it was the BEST vacation yet.  Our first time really realizing that we have hit that sweet stage with the kids were we can do things we like too! LOL.  

So before we pack up, I wanted to declare my intentions this vacation for myself:

  • I will be present and in the moment, fully engaged 
  • I will play and explore with the kids and be a big kid myself
  • I will run in the beautiful mountains and trails and not worry about following my Marathon Training plan this week, but I will run and enjoy the blessing of the surroundings
  • This will be an active vacation, but not in a formal workout way.  
  • I will eat and enjoy my fav foods and wine, but I will honour the feeling of being full
  • I will not worry or stress I will let go and just be
  • We will create amazing memories this week 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Long Run Aftermath

Me very sweaty and needing someone to undo my shoes for me (can't bend over) after my 24.14km run this AM.  In this heat that extra .14 is a big deal. 

I had forgotten what it feels like to be training for a Marathon, maybe I forgot on purpose so I would do another one.  I'm two long slow runs into my plan (21km last weekend and 24th this weekend) and let me tell you the POST LONG RUN WALL is in full effect.  Getting out the door is a feat.  I was nervous last night about today's run, nervous about the distance (24km used to be where I would hit the wall of pain in my quads) and nervous about the heat.  This morning I did not, may I repeat DID NOT want to get out of bed to fuel and get ready to run in the crazy heat for over two hours.  But once out there I have to admit I was in my zone and I really enjoyed myself.  It wasn't a walk in the park by any means but I it was a good run.

But once your home, once you stop moving for even just a second...OMG.  Let me tell you a little about my post long run aftermath:

  • I have a hard time bending over to undo my shoes, usually Ryan or Kay will help me
  • I ran out of water 3/4 a mile from home, all I thought about was water...I stood over the sink like I crazed woman and guzzled back two huge glasses
  • I know I need to stretch, but all I want to do is sit on the couch with a cup of coffee as I only had time for one that am, and upload my Garmin data and post my run on Daily Mile....because you know that stuff is important !
  • Despite my desire to be lazy I make it upstairs and turn the bath on and start filling it up with just cold water, while I stretch.  I am the Queen of stretching while checking FB on my phone. 
  • Into the COLD COLD bath...OMG its cold..I can't believe people do this with ice!  I always have to pee once I get in....then all I can think about is how cold I am and having to pee...its torture. 
  • Sometimes I drink my post run recovery shake in the tub.   I do oatmeal, protein powder, banana, PB, chia seeds and almond milk.  
  • Out of the tub and into my PJ's and bath robe to warm up.  By now I am hobbling down the stairs stiff all over..its feat to get down the stairs.  
  • Now its time for sitting on the couch with my coffee, bags of ice for my knees and feet, and my GARMIN
  • only my Garmin sucks balls and won't upload data unless the planets are aligned properly.  
  • My children want lunch...I can't move...I give Ryan the look of desperation and he comes to the rescue. 
  • Eventually I have to get up and make myself something to eat, my tummy rumbling.  
  • After lunch I know I have to get back to the land of the living and do something, most importantly something with my kids.  I've been gone or out of commission since 8:00am.  But man its so hard to move, and I am tired.  Normally I take them to the park where I can relax on the park bench and read.  I am trying not to turn into a lazy lump on my long run days, but its hard.  Today I had no choice, I had a vacation to pack for, errands to do, and kids to entertain. My knees feel it I tell you and my feet.  I don't feel the least bit guilty right now sitting with my feet up and relaxing.  
  • oh and I have a very serious NEED for Ju Jubes on these days :) :)  did I mention one of my errands was a trip to the Bulk Barn?
  • and I guess I should get on that foam roller soon. 

Next stop New Hampshire! I can't wait to run in the beautiful mountains.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer: oh that laid back feeling

Summer is here and man oh man my house is a relax and chill zone.  When school was on, I was up at 5:30 am every morning either training a client or naturally awake myself and fighting to go back to sleep.  Since Summer Vacation has hit and I no longer have to get up to train and the kids are staying up later and sleeping in, I am getting up at 7:30 am folks! It doesn't sound like much but you have no idea how good it feels to sleep in that late.  Many a morning I am actually having to go and wake my youngest up at 8:30!  This is unheard of I tell you.  So needless to say we have been spending our mornings enjoying quiet time in our PJ's and slowly making our way to the gym or out for fun activities.

Summer morning fun, waffles and berries, ipad movie, and blanket fort 

Having the kids home all day, presents a small challenge in getting my workouts in.  I am trying to limit the amount of time that I drag them to the gym with me (they don't seem to mind it much but everyday would wear on them soon and also for the cost).  I can do my strength training at home easily with my TRX, KB's and even have some sweaty play dates planned with friends.  But what I really need is to get back into the swing of getting up early and head out for my runs or bikes before the house wakes and the heat hits (7 mile tempo run in the heat this evening was not smart).

So the workouts are happening, even have my first week of Marathon training down in the books!  It's just been a bit of an adjustment in routine and how they are happening.  I also find myself relaxing in the food department.  About two months ago I had gone back to using My Fitness Pal to track my nutrition to help me be more aware of what I was eating.  It worked well, I did it for about a month or so.  I was eating about 2300-2400 cals or so a day (much more on long run days).  Most of what I was eating fell into the whole foods/healthy category and the other 20ish% into the more 'treat' like category. Ok truthfully my 20% really seemed to be the weekend when I indulged in my favourite bottle of vino and a dinner out.   I've been off MFP for a few weeks.  I'm trying again to just be more intuitive.  Using MFP for that month or so gave me a good idea of what I need to be eating to feel good.  I will admit that when using it I was much less likely to snack on things like jube jubes (why did I buy a big bag yesterday?) etc. But I also feel tired again of always choosing the 'healthiest' option I feel like I need a little ice cream in my life.  I'm feeling much more relaxed about food, less rigid, almost zen like.  A lot of my current attitude is thanks to this woman's blog! and a group called EAT THE FOOD.  My mood in general right now seems much more balanced.  Even with my training for this next Marathon I have for the moment decided to let go of a time goal and just train and see what happens.  I haven't stepped on the scale in awhile and I am ok with that.  I'm even ok with my little belly roll, pouch.

Being happy, living in the moment, and playing with the kids. 
We are going on vacation next week, back to New Hampshire.  I am so looking forward to running in the mountains, hitting the trails, hiking, swimming, doing roller coasters, playing, laughing, eating, and drinking my beloved wine.  We had such an amazing time last year, I can't wait to do it all again with the family this year.  I likely will gain some weight, I did last year.  I'm ok with that.  That's life.  
And you know what I am living one sweet sweaty awesome life! 

A impromptu picnic at the beach for dinner with the kids, a healthy dinner of  Farm Boy salad filled to the brim with wholesome goodness and then JUBES for dessert :) why not?  

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Trusty Canadian Tire Special

My 8 year old, squeaky creaky bike....she's not fancy but she gave me a fabulous 33.37 KM bike ride this am!

I woke up this morning feeling very blah.  My foot has been hurting again (on going problem that I've had for over a year that goes away when I take a little rest from impact).  I was feeling down about not being able to run, I didn't do a long run this weekend and I suspect I will take the week off of running too.  Weights were off the table today seeing as I could barely sit up in bed (50 atomic push ups in Sat's Filthy Fifty have my core cursing! and my shoulder's aching).  I thought about hitting the gym for a spin class when inspiration struck me and I got my husband's old bike out (my matching old bike needs a serious tune up).  I needed to be outside today, not stuck in a gym.  I was a little worried the Old Boy, an eight year old Canadian Tire Special, wouldn't be up to the distance but Ryan was working from home and I had my phone on me incase I needed rescue (its happened before lol).

The brakes squeak something fierce, and the whole thing makes noise when I peddle...but it feels like I'm flying once I get going.  I took my bike out on my 20 mile run route, it felt a little heart flopping to think I will soon be running that route again!  Must admit it's much more fun zooming by on a bike then  running.  Part of my ride was on the greenbelt trails and the trails by the Nepean Sportsplex (about 11km of trails on my ride).  I love riding on the trails, the smell of the trees and nature, the dirt flying, the small rolling hills, the winding paths.  I can't ride as fast having to navigate the turns and there is a lot more breaking involved but its fun and engaging.  I felt like a kid! The time flew by and before I knew it I was home having covered 33. 7 KM on my first bike out, and in 1 hr 29 min :) Not to shabby for this old bike.  Best part is I was a sweaty, dirt splattered, happy, endorphin mess! With no impact on my foot.  

See dirty knees! I have dirt freckles!  
I felt great on the ride, but man oh man was I surprised when I got off the bike and my legs were JELLO!!  I am trying to imagine doing a DUATHLON and running after a longer bike ride?  CRAZY! and I can't wait to try it really soon!

So I need a bike, like a proper bike.  I mentioned it to Ryan in a blurr of sweaty high when I got home and he didn't say no...  So I'm going to talk to him about it some more and see if perhaps I can get myself a decent middle of the road bike to log some miles on this summer. Perhaps even do a Duoathlon in Sept/Oct.  One thing is for sure I am going to do a lot more riding this summer, as cross training in my Marathon Plan.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Running 'Nekked'

pretty washi tape to cover the time and pace on my Garmin
The month of June is supposed to be my 'recovery' month, after the May Race Weekend and before training for the Toronto Marathon starts.  It's like a taper month? In that I am always worrying if I am doing enough or too much?  Every ache and pain sends me into panic that I won't be able to run Toronto. (I think I am gun shy of the TO race having been injured last year with an IT Band issue).

So I've kept up my long runs...8-10 miles trying to keep a base, and have been running them easy, slower then my long runs for the May half.  I've been running them after 2-3 glasses of wine the night before LOL!  I need to cut the wine out when training starts at least the night before :)  I've been keeping to about the usual 3 runs a week...and doing a moderate tempo and a little speed work (a fast 5km or some track work).  Overall the intensity of my runs is much less, so I think I'm doing a good job of cutting back.  
First time on the track since High school last week, YIKES! Getting ready for K2J Fitness in July
The Run Less Run Faster program I used for May Race Weekend, worked and allowed me to get faster and PR.  But it was also an intense program and at times stressful because EVERY RUN had a pace goal.  Even my long 'slow' run had a pace goal.  Watching my Garmin for pace has become even more ingrained in me then before.  My 'restful' June has me going out for runs and stressing over whether I am going fast enough, and if I am even capable of doing what I did last month.  So last night I headed out NEKKED!  I had planned on going without my Garmin, but man that's like COLD TRUKEY! So I used some pretty washi tape and covered up the time and pace.  I wanted to know, NEEDED to know how far I had run.  It took me awhile to settle into the run, I felt anxious and tempted to look at my watch.  I eventually let it go and just ran what felt nice and easy and good on my body.  It was a beautiful sunny coolish evening for a run.  I didn't even have a set distance in mind...just thought I would make it up as I went.  My legs felt a little tight at points during my run, and my left knee was a twinge I really didn't push it..I tried to just be easy and fluid.  But my silly mind kept going back to the mantra.."your not going fast enough".  ughh I hate that I do that.  Overall, I would say the run was more relaxing and enjoyable then any midweek run I have had in ages!  When I got home I admit shamefully that I tore the tape off to see what my average pace was.  ADDICT! 

I had a massage yesterday to help workout all the tightness etc.  Man oh man I sounded like I was giving birth.  OUCH!  What hurt the most was my back surprisingly. Lifting heavy and doing Crossfit is FELT! Part of my June plan was to lift heavier, to do the things I don't do strength wise when training for a race because I need my legs to work, and needing a crane to get off the potty doesn't bode well for a 7 mile tempo run.  My thinking was that building muscle and strength would help protect me going into the run intense months ahead.  (I will still strength train but with TRX and bodyweight).  But I am questioning the sanity of this now, as my knee has been a bit achy on the last two runs, and my Quads and IT Band are wound tight again.  So my plan is to just be aware, back off when needed, and maybe even not do a long run this weekend and do a long spin class instead.  Last week I took TWO DAYS OF REST (I know Gasp)! I also did an active recovery day and did a yoga workout, so I think I am finding a balance between working hard and resting.  

Next weekend I am at my parent's with all of my family for the long weekend, and I am tempted very tempted to ease off all the workouts that long weekend and rest and enjoy.  I remember doing that a couple months ago and feeling amazing for the rest.  The timing works well as I officially start Marathon training when we get back.  So will I do it? LOL.  We will see :)